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Rats Craft: A parody of Star Craft

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larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

I got this crazy idea this morning that I find so cool that I want to share it. It's a parody of Star Craft called Rats Craft. I am not sure yet if I will parody the mechanics of the board game or if I only parody the theme.

The idea is that you would be playing one of the 3 clans of rats. Right now there is the : sewer rats and the lab rats. I just need to find a 3rd clan.

The goal of the game would be to conquer rooms in the house. Each room has various resources and each room connects differently to other rooms. Some are in wall connections, which are safer but more limited, while you can use also the corridors for larger troop movement.

The problem is that as the game advance, the housekeepers will place traps, rat poison and hire cats. Which makes corridors and some rooms more dangerous than others.

You will probably accumulate points for each room you control until somebody accumulate X points to win.

Each clan of rats will have either 3 or 5 kinds of rats with special abilities and statistics. For example, you can have the "fat rat", the "poison rat", the "experiment rat", etc.

The rats would come in the house through entry points like the basement or the toilet.

I was thinking of reusing Starcraft BG mechanics, but there is some mechanics does not make sense to me. So I might only borrow a few mechanics, OR use them in a different situation which makes sense.

Do you think it is a cool idea?

Joined: 07/08/2009
I don't . . .

. . . know why it would have to be a parody. I don't really see much of a comparison between Star Craft and rodents, humorous or otherwise.

It seems like a game about rats (or mice, which are way cuter than rats, even though I hate them both) would appeal to someone-- maybe kids?

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
There are some

There are some similarities:

- 3 types of rats, similar to 3 different factions
- Various type of rats, similar to various type of units.
- Need to control rooms connected to each other which is similar to controlling planets connected to each other.
- Build nest similar to build bases

So there are similarities.

I even had an idea for a token stack mechanics like in SCBG. WHen you accumulate extra ressources, you stack them. When mean that when you want to use those reserve resource, you need to use them in stack order. It simulate the idea of making a mountain of stuff where some could get stuck at the bottom of the mountain.

dnddmdb's picture
Joined: 01/06/2009
Sounds pretty cool!

I like the idea a lot. Though I don't know about Star Craft, this doesn't really need to be a true parody of it. I mean, it could have a humor theme and some similar mechanics, but definitely can be its "own game".

I could imagine a light wargame sort of game with a Clue-like board (i.e, Halls and Rooms). The idea of different abilites and special rats seems very cool. I also like the idea of the number of rats causes different reactions in humans.

For that mechanic, you could have a deck of reactions (with some benign or simply effectless cards) and for every rat in rooms or the halls you would draw a card. I would like to see how the battlefield is changed by such things (i.e., battle interupted by prowlling cat sends the rats scurrying for their nests).

I think you should pursue this idea as much as possible.


InvisibleJon's picture
Joined: 07/27/2008
Third clan suggestion...

Third clan could be "pet rats" or "house rats".

That's all I've got right now. Sorry...

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I am thinking about wild

I am thinking about wild rats. Rats found in nature.

I have looked at what other mechanics I could take from the board game and realized one of the actualy problem with the original game.

I going to use a similar combat cards mechanics which looks close to Dominion where you need to create a small deck of combat cards. Buying upgrades add cards to your deck making you more powerful. The only difference is that the unit types will not appear on the board but only on the combat cards.

On the board you will only find cube or chips of the player's color to identify the rat's positions. Before a battle, you will draw X combat cards that you will use to resolve the battle.

The problem with the original game is that there was various unit types on the board and it was very hard and complicated (brain burning) to make sure that the cards in your hands matched the unit on the board. So even if some cards were powerful, it was a pain to make sure you get the right cards, with the right units at the right time.

By using generic units, all these problems dissapears and you only play the best cards from your hand. Also all upgrades are usefull because you never get a situation where you draw an upgrade card but have no units in the battle to use it.

Jpwoo's picture
Joined: 03/26/2009
I like the idea, but

I like the idea, but sometimes you have to abandon the source material. The idea of rats fighting for control of the house is cool.

Maybe the third player is the homeowner. Make it an asymmetrical battle between rat and rat and man.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote:I like the idea, but

I like the idea, but sometimes you have to abandon the source material.

I understand your point of view, but I think I also want to parody the board game, not only the theme. It's the concept of making fun out of the mechanics of a game. Of course, few people played starcraft the board game. A parody of settlers of catan would be more appropriate since more people understand the references.

Still up to now, most mechanics fits well with the theme and they seems to be used better, on my point of view, than in the original game. So it is indirectly a way of saying "I can make a better game out of your stuff" which is also what game variants looks like. So it could be considered as a game variant which is not a game variant.

Which keep me thinking that since I made a starcraft variant, I could make another variant using the system above. I could create one system of rules that could be tested and used in both games.

Lucas.Castro's picture
Joined: 10/22/2008
Wow! Neat Idea!

Hey Larienna,

Terrific idea! I was going to suggest a third clan, Field Mice, which falls in nearly the same category as your Wild Rats idea. The difference here is that the mice would be to rats what goblins are to orks: a close cousin, but weaker and smaller. So a roundup of the factions could be:

1. Sewer Rats: really tough, can spread disease, can survive on fewer/lower-quality resources than the others. More defensive than offensive.

2. Lab Rats: high-tech rats. They have specialists for everything: rats with giant ears as scouts, rats with implants (such as a laser-cannon), etc. They are versatile, and could do a bit of everything, but there are VERY few of them.

3. Field Mice: decent shooters. They run away easily, and are not terribly tough, but there are a LOT of them. They conquer with numbers.

Anyhow, my vote is for a thematic parody, not a strict mechanics one. Have fun with the rules, and design the game as you would want it and love it, without restricting yourself to the mechanics of Starcraft. This game certainly sounds like it could be a blast, but I wouldn't want it to be nearly as long as Starcraft (which is played in 3 HOURS!!!).

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Don't worry, I will not be

Don't worry, I will not be the same game, It will just be similar. It won't last 3 hours.

By the way, 3 hours could be optimistic for a 2 player game without teaching the rules. In average, it's 1h30 per player so a 6 player games takes 9 hours + 1 hour game explanation = 10 hours.

I don't expect to make a game that long and even the variant I designed cut the play time by half.

Pastor_Mora's picture
Joined: 01/05/2010
Starcraft Species

I agree to the theme parody more than the game mechanics.

But also, the essence of Starcraft are the different species (Zerg, Protoss, Human) and maybe three kind of rats is not enought to picture it.

Who is going to survive a nuclear all-out war? I say rats perhaps, and roaches (you think of a third). So they, at some point (with radiation accelerated mutation or whatever) could evolve to human tech level at last (this goes for plot).

So, you have the ROACHES species (Zerg) with common roaches Zerlings, flying roaches Mutalisks, spitting roaches Hydralisks, etc. You could name them Roachlings, Mutaroach and Hydraroach so as to add simple reference to starcraft players.

RAT species could be Protoss with Zealot Rats and Catoons (Dragoons) that are rat spirits in mechanical Cat bodies (rats have an ancestral admiration to Cats as we do with Dragons). The Ratver (Reaver) could spawn flaming lices and the Rat Templar (High Templar) psi-storm could be called Black Death or something, you figure.

With three different species it could relate better to the game (it's a parody at last) and it could be simpler (and richer) for the art part. Else you will have like 30 types of not-so-similar and not-so-different rats. Plus, "Laboratory Fat Rat" doesn't call up "Reaver" to me. Finally, I think you should stick to the first Starcraft creatures because they are more easily recognizable.

You have an idea, and it's a very good one, but it's not a theme yet.

Keep thinking!

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Since it's rats craft, I'll

Since it's rats craft, I'll stick to rats. The 3 species are Sewer, lab and wild rats which will each have it's set of units. There will be different ways to differentiate them and some rats will have their names related to the original starcraft units. For example:

Fire Rats (Immolated rats)
Carrier ( a rat carrying other rats in a carriage)
Queen (a rat with a crown that commands other rats)
Scout (Rats on an hanglider)

Other non SC rats idea

Ooze rats (can ensnare enemies)
Fat rats (tough to kill)
Poison Rats (can kill any enemy rat)

These are just quick examples

Joined: 02/15/2010
3rd race

Forrest/Wild rats? (could be elf-ish, or barbarian-ish depending on need)

Sensei Ono Northey
Shinka Martial Arts

Joined: 02/19/2010

the three factions could be SEWER RATS, LAB RATS and PIRATS. I picked pirats because wild rats are too close to sewer rats.

Pirats could be merciless cutthroat rats with cutlasses, rapiers and pistols

Joined: 02/16/2010
If you want to see some

If you want to see some pro level mouse-work then please direct your attention to the Mouse Guard rpg. It is, honestly, the most useful rpg for bringing in kids to the whole roleplaying experience. If your like me then seeing art or source material can bring on new ideas and insperation. The book is illustrated to perfection and if nothing else could serve to inspire you further :)

Sounds likea fun idea, best of luck!

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