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Torch Lit [Rules Review & Monster Ability Ideas]

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JewellGames
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Official Rules | PnP Cards

Update (4/16/2015): Version 1.1 of the rules has been released. Please review and provide feedback if you like. Thank you for your time!

Note: All of the art and images are placeholders until official art is finalized.

n1x012
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I'm impressed! This looks

I'm impressed! This looks excellent.
I see where you're coming from about the opening description. It's a little lackluster, but the overall presentation is great.

danieledeming
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I'll second n1x012's comments

I'll second n1x012's comments - excellent presentation and very well worded.

One small thing - a typo in the 2nd line of the "Setup" section: "Each player takes a player token and places it front of them..."

Otherwise, any questions I had could be answered by what I read, so it definitely works.

And the only thing I would mention, as you're rewriting the intro, is to mention something about how as players leave the dungeon, they become the monsters fighting against the heroes. It's a great mechanic and differentiates it from other games.

Let me know when it's for sale!

n1x012
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Are you planning on

Are you planning on kickstarting this?

JewellGames
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Game Description

Ideally I would like to find a suitable publisher but if I can't after a period of time, I will KS it.

Here is my first pass at a more thorough game description:

In Torch Lit, players form a group of heroes to explore dungeons, fight monsters, and collect treasure. Before entering each room, heroes that are still in the dungeon secretly decide whether to stay and fight more monsters or leave the dungeon with their treasure. Heroes that stayed will seek out monsters to fight and heroes that left become monsters that fight against the remaining heroes. All players select and roll a monster die. Rolled green monsters are defeated by the group and drop gold for each hero. Rolled red monsters wound the group – if the heroes suffer too many wounds, they are defeated and lose all collected treasure. The player with the best instincts of when to stay and fight and when to leave before defeat will collect the most treasure and be the ultimate winner!

What would you change or add? Thanks again!

HPS74
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Looking good! I've seen you

Looking good!

I've seen you work on this for sometime now and it's looking good Gregg.

IMO - I think you could look at self publishing a small run if you wanted to do the sales/marketing etc.

Dice, tokens, instructions.....small tuck box. Worth thinking about!

JewellGames
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Game

If I were to make my own small run, it is definitely something I need to research a lot more before I feel comfortable doing it. I'd want martian dice/zombie dice quality dice components which may be too costly or unfeasible with lower order quantities. For treasure tokens I imagined something simple like this:

tuscansun
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JewellGames wrote:Ideally I

JewellGames wrote:
Ideally I would like to find a suitable publisher but if I can't after a period of time, I will KS it.

Here is my first pass at a more thorough game description:

In *Torch Lit*, players form a group of heroes to explore dungeons, fight monsters, and collect treasure. Before entering each room, heroes that are still in the dungeon secretly decide whether to stay and fight more monsters or leave the dungeon with their treasure. Heroes that stayed will seek out monsters to fight and heroes that left become monsters that fight against the remaining heroes. All players select and roll a monster die. Rolled green monsters are defeated by the group and drop gold for each hero. Rolled red monsters wound the group – if the heroes suffer too many wounds, they are defeated and lose all collected treasure. The player with the best instincts of when to stay and fight and when to leave before defeat will collect the most treasure and be the ultimate winner!

What would you change or add? Thanks again!

Your game is really cool, and it looks like you have some fun elements to it! There's a few things that I think you could use to make it easier to grasp...

-It's not abundantly clear anywhere in the rules that if I choose to leave, I've chosen to leave for good and can't collect more treasure. I'm still not 100% sure if I can hop in and out reading through again. A nice bold statement saying "if you leave, you can NOT come back. You're a monster now. That's that." Or the opposite. THAT would help a TON in the instructions. And squeezing in the words "bravery" and "press your luck" somewhere would help as well, to give a clue as to what kind of game you're playing.

-Saying my treasure "transfers to my left" means very little to me. Telling me I've stashed my treasure and it's safe means more. Mostly that it's safe. You should also indicate that players keep all non-guaranteed treasure on their right side and stashed treasure on their left before saying where it's moving and why. And don't bank on that (get it? eyyyyy that was a pun I'm sorry). Players will likely not listen to the rules of where to keep stuff in front of them, unless you make it VERY clear or you give them some place to put it (like a little dice bag or a card that says "MY STASH" to put their tokens on top of.)

-Does stamina get reset each round? Does it keep dropping? If we die do we keep going all five rounds or is the game over?

As for the intro paragraph itself...

-"players form a group of heroes" is pretty clunky and I'm not really getting what's being said. Not immediately anyway. Are we contracting heroes to fight for us? Are we the heroes? I understand reading it over again what you mean, but you don't want potential players re-reading line one of the intro for clarity.
Something like "players take the role of heroes" or "you and your friends are heroes?" Something that connects people to the game right away instead of introduces it as a concept to them, that's what I feel is missing. It feels like you're "telling" them the game, not "showing" them the game.

-For the sake of the intro, explaining that players fight or don't fight, then become monsters if they do or don't, is a bit confusing. And I'm not sure why I'm staying or leaving, because I don't know exactly what staying or leaving means yet. So there should be a blurb that just says "stay and fight, you risk what gold you have for the chance at more. chicken out, you keep what you have but don't expect to gain any more riches." Obviously not that but you get the idea.

-REALLY press the idea that you can BE a monster once you stop fighting. It's in there, but if you read too fast you might miss it. It's a really cool mechanic to have glanced over. Try a paragraph break before that if you're feeling confident in what you've got in that mechanic. It seems like a "screw you" mechanic, so look at language in other game manuals that have similar "screw you" elements and emulate that language.

-The last sentence of the intro makes it sound like knowing when to flip your chip or not is a win condition. Instead it needs to clearly say that "most treasure = win," as opposed to "know when to stay and go to get treasure then most treasure = win." They're two separate thoughts (both important and similar, but not the same) so they need to be expressed separately.

This game looks neat, and the graphics look great. I can't even imagine that these aren't final. They look so good! Best of luck with everything!

kos
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Looks good

The game overall looks very good.

In playtesting, have you found problems caused by the rule: "If more than one player wants the same die in the center, all players involved must come to an agreement of who gets to take it before proceeding to the next step. "

That rule looks to me like it has the potential for conflict (the bad kind, not the good kind), especially since as a Monster the best die looks like the Chimera (as long as other Monster players take the Necromancer and the Dragon).

The "Dimly Lit" variant looks like a good solution to the (potential) problem, although as written it removes 1 (of only 2) decision points in the game.

What if the rule was: "All players draw 3 dice from the bag, secretly choose 1 and put the others back in the bag. All players roll their die."

Other than that, Tuscansun said pretty much everything I was going to say.

All the best,
kos

JewellGames
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@tuscansun amd @kos.

@tuscansun amd @kos. Thank you for your comments, I'll take the feedback and work on it.

About the rule, "If more than one player wants the same die in the center, all players involved must come to an agreement of who gets to take it before proceeding to the next step."

There is really only one die that rewards and penalizes only the player that rolls that die (mimic/treasure chest) so really, the group of players acting as heroes and the group of players acting as monsters are kind of on the same team. Ultimately, it doesn't matter who rolls which dice on "your team", so there aren't really big conflicts.

Yes, the chimera is good because it is more likely to reward 1 gold to the player that rolls a red result but so do the spiders. Those monsters also have higher gold rewards for the heroes so you may not want to risk it anyway.

This rule is really there to answer the simple question of what happens when two people both want to roll the same die this turn? Hopefully it promotes player interaction and negotiation instead of heavy conflict. "I'll roll the Chimera this turn but you have choosing priority next turn.", etc.

HPS74
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Dice! I do em'

If you need dice.....I can probably help with that. Direct from the factory.

Tokens too....but the GameCrafter has some nice chit options now too.

JewellGames
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Thanks, yeah I may try out

Thanks, yeah I may try out TGC for the prototype chits. I still need to make the coins. My current version doesn't have denominations on it so I have to figure out how best to add those.

Also, I am working on the rules trying to make things more clear but am struggling to on how to make it clear but concise - its getting a bit wordy in my opinion so it may take some time.

tuscansun
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JewellGames wrote:Also, I am

JewellGames wrote:
Also, I am working on the rules trying to make things more clear but am struggling to on how to make it clear but concise - its getting a bit wordy in my opinion so it may take some time.

Here's an idea, and it might or might not help you out.

Try explaining the game to people who've never played it before. Record yourself doing it. Try to use as little gesturing as possible, only when it's necessary to show a piece. Listening back to your recording might help you know what's important, why it's important to say it at that time, and what's not important right away. It might also help with wording. Usually you're doing the best at explaining the game one on one with somebody.

I'm not sure if it'll help you, but it's a thought. It helps me to define an idea by just sharing it over and over, finding what's at the core and what's just extra errata I'm adding because it seems cool. It's all about cutting the fat away. You might have to do this a few times with a few people, to get jitters out and also to refine what you wanna say.

I'm excited to see the newer version of the rules when you're done! This game does seem like a good time.

JewellGames
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Update Rulebook v1.1

I worked with the rules editor to create version 1.1 of the rulebook. Please take a look and provide feedback if you can. Thank you!

ElKobold
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Great looking game! Out of

Great looking game!

Out of curiosity: I imagine you've considered having hero cards represent classes with some unique powers and/or different stamina value? Why didn't you go for it?

JewellGames
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consideration

I have considered that but haven't really applied it to the game because I wanted to keep this simple and streamlined for now. Most of the unique abilities that may have been tied to hero abilities and cards have actually been implemented as special monster dice (some still being tested not shown here).

For example the tentative Jelly could easily have been a "healer" hero ability but I wanted another risk v reward option directly built into the existing game mechanics instead of adding new components and mechanics (is it one time use?, a flip ability? what timing/usage?, etc.)

The Jelly die has 3 blue sides each with a heart symbol (and no coins) and 3 red sides each with 1 wound symbol. The Jelly's positive sides are blue instead of green to show that 1) it gives a special reward 2) both color results are kept by the dungeon die until the end of the round.

Rolling the blue Jelly gives a heart which increases the heroes' total stamina by 1 this round.

JewellGames
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Looking for any new monsters

Looking for any new monsters and abilities to add to my order before i send out prototype stickers for dice.

Would love your ideas!

debiant
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The game looks fun. I've got

The game looks fun. I've got an order of lego dice and stickers coming. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to try it out at our FLGS in the near future.

JewellGames
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The PnP cards (linked in OP)

The PnP cards (linked in OP) work with regular dice too. You really only need 1 die per player and a die (preferably a different color) to act as the dungeon die.

During setup, just lay the cards in separate piles in the center.

I probably should add pairs of stay/leave cards in lieu of the tokens as well, so I will add those tonight.

JewellGames
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I updated the PnP cards to

I updated the PnP cards to include sets of stay/leave cards to act as player tokens.

Would you want any other cards for the PnP?

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