So i'm currently working on a superhero game, I've got lots of strong ideas but I feel a bit overwhelmed with the design process and I'm hoping some more experienced people than I can give me some guidance.
I'll give you a brief overview of the game as it stands at my last playtest and then highlight the bits i'm struggling with. Any points you could contribute would be amazing.
First up the board consists of a 3x3 square grid making up the streets of a city. The tiles each have a few locations on them and are connected by roads. The locations are either areas which improve a player (the relatives space allows you to take 2 resolve for example, which gives you the ability to reroll dice) or streets and alleys which are where you would fight baddies, talisman style, where you draw a card and if you can't defeat them you leave it in play.
After the 4 players have their turns a crime card is drawn. Any existing crime cards will also have 1 time added to their track, and any at 3 time will have occured meaning the heroes didn't stop the crime from occuring.
The game turn consists of 2 moves and an action. If you are in superhero guise you can only resolve street spaces or the crimes, if you are in plain clothes you cannot resolve crimes. It costs 1 movement point to change from costume to clothes which might mean you'll struggle to reach an important location. After actions are resolved the crime phase happens as mentioned above.
If people do reach a crime and resolve it the crime is flipped in the crime phase and the team of heroes gathered to fight it. These (currently) require you to each roll the dice of strength and mental power and achieve a certain number of successes, which can additionally be modified with your relevant superpowers.
For example, the prison riot crime is resolved, this requires 2 mental success and 3 physical success. The mentalist and the brute are rolling their dice together, and roll a total of 5 physical dice and 4 mental dice (a 5/6 is regarded a success) The mentalist uses his psychic lance power to guarentee one physical success. If they are successful one takes the crime as a reward (2 crime/vigilante cards allow you to level up). If they are unsuccessful the crime occurs and they take dmg. So the brute who initally had 3 physical dice takes 2 dmg, reducing his physical dice to 1 until he visits the hospital. Additionally the riot occurs, increasing the anarchy of the city by two and making the prison space unavailable for the remainder of the game (this space would be visitable in civilian clothing normally and as an action you could reveal the next crime occuring)
So thats the idea, you go round and you fight easy crime as vigilantes to level up sufficiently to take on the big crime. The end game is something I've not developed fully, currently its as simple as when the deck runs out the heroes must roll successes = anarchy present to defeat the evil villain masterminding all of this, but when the main mechanics are nailed I'll make the battle at the end a lot more interesting.
A few problems have occured on my initial 3 playtests. The drawing of crime cards is really hard to nail down. One per player turn is too hard, as too many crimes come out, one per "round" is sweet for 2 players, ok for 3 and downright boring for 4 players. My current thoughts to resolve that is to have each player turn end with a draw but only some of the events being drawn are crimes. Some will be nothing, some will be slowing effects etc. etc.
The BIG problem I have is that sometimes its impossible to win vs a card and you feel nothing like a superhero. My gf pulled two vigilante cards in an alley requiring 3 physical successes and this was literally impossible as it meant she had to roll 3 5/6 on 2 dice.
My current thoughts are to scrap the physical and mental stat and instead give heroes 5 powers they can pull on but a limited amount of energy they can use. So if that happened she could use her utility belt (she was playing the gadget archetype) which allows you to roll dice = to the number of successes required, and if failed then use the stun grenade to avoid the dmg taken but at a cost of 5 energy, making her useless vs the upcoming crimes until she rested at home or hit the pub. My problem with this is balancing 4 archtypes, and working out initial power caps, power generation and power costs! Aieee! It's all very hard!
Anyway thanks if you read this long, I'd love any thoughts. My current plan is to try and get these basic mechanics down, then maybe add some more archtypes of heros, and villains who both have specific powers when they arrive (think magneto's hood blocking all mental assault) and specific crimes to the villain (so whilst you have the generic prison riot the pro mutant villain might have a card which has an underground mutant cell hitting the police station) long long term I see these villain specific events having an almost Tales of Arabian Nights quality to them but rather than a choose your own paragraph style, each villain would have a mini comic book detailing the battles of the heroes vs them with the relevant outcomes!
Thanks for sharing your design with us. I love superhero games, so you "had me at 'hello'."
It would help if you broke down the game in terms of your primary design goals and the mechanics you're using to achieve them. You have given us much of this info already, but it requires some "reading between the lines." Given that, please take everything I say with a huge grain of salt.
> The mentalist and the brute are rolling their dice together, and roll a total of 5 physical dice and 4 mental dice (a 5/6 is regarded a success)
> So thats the idea, you go round and you fight easy crime as vigilantes to level up sufficiently to take on the big crime.
> The BIG problem I have is that sometimes its impossible to win vs a card and you feel nothing like a superhero.
> My problem with this is balancing 4 archtypes, and working out initial power caps, power generation and power costs!
From these, I gather that the game is multiplayer co-op, with players trying to prevent crime from consuming the city. Players should feel powerful at every stage, but not so powerful that threats are easily overcome. Also, characters should become more powerful over time, with threats' power growing at the same rate, up until the final boss appears.
As for mechanics, it sounds like you're using a "Power" resource to activate abilities and die rolls to resolve success.
Is that about right?
Are you looking to modify existing mechanics, willing to change them completely, or keep everything as-is and add new systems?
Sorry I have a tonne of ideas and trying to articulate them concisely is a challenge.
The game is co-op with a final showdown vs an AI villain. (I'd love to have a villain player but I've already bitten off more than I can chew as it is)
The concept is exactly as you describe. The city is falling into chaos. The first goes will have the heroes taking on the crimes together and even then squeaking out successes if only luck is on their side. As they progress they will gain more abilities and power making the crimes easier to defeat but if too many fall through the cracks they will fail to take down the main baddy.
Mechanics I'm trying to incorporate are:
Unique buildings accessible only in plain clothes. The prison i've covered already but you also have:
The Hospital : To heal 2 dmg
The Gym/uni/lab : To train strength/physical/gain powers
The bar : To refresh powers
Relatives : To gain 2 resolve (aka rerolls)
House : Heal 1/ Refresh a power
You want to visit these places but every time you see aunt may more baddies are taking over the city.
Another key mechanic is the evolving game board. Some crimes will change the spaces you are able to use:
House fire: means your house is less effective at healing you
Captured relatives: tile flips (I envisage each tile having a day and night side, with the night side showing more chaos) the new tile has a burnt out building where your relatives space used to be and now you have access to the graveyard (gain 1 resolve)
This decay of the game board is a concept I'm loving and am pretty certain I don't wanna change that bit :D
The main mechanic I'm most unhappy with is the dice system. Each hero begins with two stats, physical and mental the mentalist would have 1 physical 3 mental dice for example. When being asked to test a stat they roll their dice to determine if they are successful or not. A 5 or a 6 would signify success (long term I'd have custom dice with POW and THWACK etc)
Now I'm thinking this power mechanic I mentioned might serve better as it would let players have better success rates for their events.
> Sorry I have a tonne of ideas and trying to articulate them concisely is a challenge.
Everybody on this board knows exactly what you mean. :) No need to apologize!
Your mechanics clarifications helped a lot.
I'm still not sure what your primary design goals are. Can you state your top 3?
1) Make players feel powerful
2) Encourage teamwork
3) Fun combat
Off the bat, I'd say you should strip the initial prototype down to the core features you know you want. You can add the rest back once you get the core solid and balanced.
Based on what you say, I would guess these are:
-- Special areas in the city
-- Degradation of city
-- Hero archetypes
I love the idea of having secret identities vs hero identities, but are these absolutely necessary to the core of the game? I understand that your current ID affects which parts of the city you can visit. Does it do anything else?
Can you describe, as simply and abstractly as possible, the main gameplay loop?
-- "Tick" existing crimes
-- Check for new crime
-- Player chooses a space in the city to which to move
-- Player moves to the new space (may include switching from secret to hero identity or vice versa)
-- Player resolves action at his new space (battles a enemies, collects Resolve, heals Damage, etc)
Finally, in the OP, you mentioned having trouble spacing the encounters to maintain a good pace. Have you considered letting players *choose* when crimes occur? For example, suppose you say that players have 10 rounds until the Mastermind appears. The Mastermind will come to battle with more forces when anarchy reigns in the city, so players must beat as much crime as possible to improve their chances in the end game.
Then suppose you divide the Crimes into three classes:
A -- easy
B -- medium
C -- hard
On a player's turn, he can decide to flip over a new Crime from any deck, or decide not to add a new Crime to the game. If he chooses to add a Crime, he draws from the deck of his choice. (To keep things interesting, the 'A' deck should include a few special cards that force the player to draw from the 'B' deck, and the 'B' deck should have a few that force the player to draw from 'C').
Each A/B/C crime is worth "Justice Points":
A -- 1 JP
B -- 2 JP
C -- 4 JP
When it's time for the Mastermind to appear, consult the JP of all crimes players prevented:
JP less than or equal to 15, the Mastermind is accompanied by extra henchmen
JP less than or equal to 30, the Mastermind is accompanied by the normal amount of henchmen
JP 30+, the Mastermind arrives alone
Or whatever. The numbers don't matter (and will have to scale with the number of players), but you get the idea. You should be able to balance this such that the players have very few rounds without crime if they want to have a good shot at defeating the Mastermind.
Loving the sound of your game.
Hmm my top things i want people to do is:
Have a degrading city making the game more challenging as time passes
Deal with their non super life (this element is so prolific in comics but not ever explored in games)
Those are the main goals
The basic turn is as follows:
Draw a card (event/crime) crimes are NOT visible when placed on the board. You don't know what the crime is until you resolve it as a hero (though some spaces/powers will allow you to look)
Add cubes to all current crimes (currently adding a 4th cube to any crime makes it "pop" and occur)
Each player then takes a turn of two movement and one action.
Simple as that really.
The current actions I have in place are
Home (heal + refresh a power)
Relatives (2 rerolls)
Prison (reveal next crime or vigilante card)
Hospital (heal 2)
Bar (refresh a 2 powers or u refresh one and another refreshes one)
Theatre (1 reroll for u + 1 reroll for a teammate)
Newspaper (reveal one crime on the board)
Police station (take the two police dice for use in your next battle)
Street (one vigilante card)
Alley (two vigilante cards)
Nearly all of these spaces may change if certain crimes occur. As a superhero you can only resolve street/alley spaces or crimes.
I like the crime idea you outlined but there are a few issues
1: the heroes may never feel under any pressure and the best co-op games have that mechanic where the board is ganging up on you
2: the heroes not taking crime cards will result in the degredation of the city not really occuring
I'm really finding this process helpful thanks so much for commenting!
Thanks for taking the time to explain things more deeply. It helps considerably.
To make sure I understand: the choice of using your hero ID vs secret ID allows you to visit different places on the board? The hero ID mainly lets you resolve crimes and collect vigilante cards (which do what?); the secret ID lets you collect bonus that help you resolve combat on later turns. Is that correct?
If making players feel powerful is your first priority, I agree with your decision to change combat from die rolls to power activation. I think you could adapt your "Resolve" system to enhance the feel of power during combat. When players visit certain locations, they can draw cards from the Resolve deck. Players can use these during combat to increase their effectiveness.
Iron Will: +2 to any Mental power.
Second Wind: Regenerate 4 Energy.
Dodge: Reduce damage by 2 points.
The idea would be for players to horde these as much as possible over the course of the game so that they can more easily overcome the final boss. Of course, they can use them during regular crimes, too, but that reduces their supply for the final battle.
One final point about combat. You may not want to eliminate die rolls entirely. If an encounter requires 2 Mental and 3 Physical points to beat, and you know that activating Psy Lance does 2 Mental, there's no tension. If, however, the encounter says "beat 2 Mental dice and 3 Physical dice," and the player has to activate Powers before the roll, there's the tension of, "Did I activate enough Powers to beat the required roll?"
> I like the crime idea you outlined but there are a few issues
> 1: the heroes may never feel under any pressure and the best co-op games have that mechanic where the board is ganging
up on you
> 2: the heroes not taking crime cards will result in the degredation of the city not really occuring
Probably the idea isn't appropriate, but I'll add in one other possibility. Suppose that players in their hero ID can "patrol," which means they draw a Crime card. They can also choose not to. If they choose not to "patrol," or can't because they are in their civillian ID, they instead roll a "crime die" that moves a cube along a counter. If that counter hits a certain number, a part of the city degrades automatically (represents uncaught crimes happening automatically). When this happens, the cube resets to its original position.
This system could work with or without the "Justice Points" system from the earlier post.
I think I'm understanding the game better. Is this an accurate summary:
-- In their hero IDs, players expend Energy and Resolve cards to maximize their superpowers. They use their superpowers to prevent Decay of the city by stopping Crimes, and, ultimately, defeating the Mastermind in his takeover bid.
-- In their secret IDs, players recover Energy, and collect Resolve.
-- In either ID, players travel to different parts of the City to execute the actions they desire. Depending on the player's current ID state (secret vs hero), he can access different parts of the City.
The primary tension comes from spending enough time in the secret ID to build up power to stop the process of decay, without spending so much time that the decay proceeds too far.
Is that about right?
Also, I had another thought about Resolve cards. If you still keep the division of powers to Mental and Physical, then some subset of cards would help Mental powers only, and another set Physical only. That would make certain cards better for specific archetypes. Seems like introducing a Trading mechanic could be interesting. For instance, maybe players in the Bar can trade Resolve cards with other players, so people have an Action that allows them to optimize their decks cooperatively.
Yeppers you've hit the nail on the head with this summary. I view the initial phase has all the heroes converging on the one crime in a bit to get enough dice rolls to stop the crime but as they get more powerful they will be able to split up.
I really like the resolve card concept but I think it might be a tad overpowered. I'm thinking that to mitigate it resolve still is the reroll dice ability (or maybe a reroll/+1 dice for a test) with 2 resolve being swapped out for one of these more powerful cards like you mentioned the caveat being that they aren't as flexible as the reroll/+1 dice version.
As for the purpose of crime cards/ vigilante cards two of these + a visit to a training centre has you level your guy up. In the old version it consisted of gaining a dice (either physical or mental) or gaining a power.
I've started to put together a rejig of the superhero powers and power mechanic based on our earlier discussion. Now I'm thinking of the following:
Each archetype has 10 cards representing their powerset. They start the game by choosing 5 of these powers.
They additionally have regeneration of 1 energy each turn and 5 energy as their total. Each power they have has an energy cost. When a player levels up they will be able to choose either an additional power, additional regeneration (i.e. 2/turn) or additional energy total (so their max total is now 6). Additionally each hero has one minor benefit they alone benefit from (brute= 1 physical die, mentalist= 1 mental die, speedster= 2 energy regen starting, gadgets= all powers unlocked but only "space" for 3 items (in my minds eye this means they are a lot more flexible but have fewer spaces to use))
I've kept dice, but now you can choose how many you are going to get to roll. I've also tried to give each hero a different flavour meaning the brute takes dmg and deals more while hurt, the mentalist debuffs enemy cards, the speedster gets more actions but burns power and the gadgeteer has lots of variety.
Dmg used to be a penalty for the number of dice you roll. Now I'm envisaging the dmg cubes count toward your total energy. I.e. I have 2 energy and a energy total of 5. As I have 2 dmg I will only be able to have 3 energy at any point in time. I also see some special dmg cards which start to clog up your power slots replacing your powers until you heal them (so the gadgeteers suit is malfunctioning and now there are only 2 slots for powers)
To give you an idea of some of the powers the players would have here are some of the current ones for the gadgeteer:
Kinetic Drone - 2 physical dice (1 power)
Drowzee Gas - 2 mental dice (1 power)
Distress Flare - Utilise the police dice this fight (2 power)
Iron Skin - Block all dmg (2 power)
Electric suit - When a fail condition would have you take physical dmg you may opt to take this dmg and add the same number of physical successes to the crime (3 power)
Stochastic AI - Reveal the next event or crime (3 power)
Utility belt - Take dice = to the number of successes required (4 power)
There are more but I don't want to reveal all :D
I think this way if you have been asked to gain 2 physical successes you could use your utility belt, or you could opt to take the dmg, or send out your drone and send up your distress flare etc. I'm very excited about this concept but I do think the power balancing might be brutal (early on you cant get enough out late on you might be able to just rampage if you are getting 4 power a turn)
I think I get most of it, now.
When you say, "I've kept dice, but now you can choose how many to roll," on what basis does a player choose? Why not roll all the dice all the time?
I can see why you thought the Resolve Cards concept was too powerful. I didn't understand how your power and regen system worked. In my mind, Resolve Cards served that purpose. Leveling would reduce to simply getting a new power. Gaining power and regen as you leveled *and* having Resolve Cards would be too powerful.
As for the changes you're suggesting, they all seem cool, though I can understand what you mean about difficulty balancing things. I have a thought on that but I'll save it for later in the reply.
So...back to your original post and the problems with which you were wrestling:
1) Players sometimes get into fights they can't win.
2) It's hard to pace Crime generation across 2, 3, and 4 player games.
3) So many systems it's hard to balance the game.
Full Disclosure: years ago, I prototyped a superhero combat engine that had similar problems, so I've been in your shoes.
1) Consider using open-ended dice or a "press your luck" mechanic to give players a chance -- no matter how small -- to defeat villains. The simplest example is to allow players to roll again and add damage if they scored all hits:
First Roll: 5, 6, 5 = 3 successes
Second Roll: 6, 6, 5 = +3 success
Third Roll: 2, 3, 5 = +1 success, series ends, total damage = 7.
This isn't likely to happen often, so it won't tweak your balance. Conversely, it's not likely to make players feel very powerful. A second example that addresses these issues it to allow a result of '1' to do no damage, but to count toward re-roll. In your "future version" where dice are labeled "Thwok!" and "Pow!", you could add a face that says something like "Graze!" or "Dodge!".
First Roll: 1, 1, 5 = 1 success, re-roll
Second Roll: 5, 5, 6 = +3 success, no re-roll, total 4
First Roll: 1, 1, 1 = 0 success, re-roll
Second Roll: 6, 1, 5 = +2 success, re-roll
Third Roll: 2, 3, 6 = + 1 success, no re-roll, total 3
This will affect your damage curves a bit more, but still not all that much, I think. Haven't done the calculations to be sure, though.
2) Your game has some implicit "timer" that spits out Crimes at a certain rate. You say it ticks at a rate that works well for 2 players. Can you make its tick rate a function of the number of players? For example, at the start of each turn, the active player rolls the "Crime Die," and if the right number(s) come up, a new Crime appears. Tune this die to produce the same rate in a 2-player game as you have now -- which is a rate you like. Then try the same die, tuned for a 2-player game, in 3 and 4 player games. Theoretically, it should produce the same density of Crimes per player over time.
3) I can see why balance is hard. This game has a lot of moving parts, and they change over time. Having learned about this the hard way in my own superhero combat engine, I'd recommend this: consolidate as many systems as you can. This thread (http://www.bgdf.com/node/7024) explains what I mean. RPGs tend to have elaborate combat systems with many interacting resources, leveling curves, etc. Board games rarely benefit from that level of complexity.
Here's an example, strictly to illustrate my point. I'm not suggesting you do this:
Make Energy and Damage implicit in the Power cards. For example, when I use a Power, I tap it. If I want to use that Power again, I have to tap a different power to untap the first one so I can use it (which I tap after use). If I take damage, I have to tap an untapped power. At some interval, I get a "regeneration" phase that allows me to untap 'n' powers. When I've tapped all my powers, I'm exhausted/knocked out and I've lost the fight.
With this system, I don't have to track what happens to my stats. I automatically get +1 Energy and can take +1 damage because I added a Power card to my character.
To customize archetypes, let each one have a Character card with a special ability you can use at any time by tapping the card. You can untap the card during the Regen phase as if it were a power.
-- Brute: tap Character card to prevent 3 damage.
-- Speedster: tap Character card to use an extra Power this round.
-- Mentalist: tap Character card to control 1 Minion (he attacks for you until released or knocked out).
Sounds like a very cool game. Hope you work out the kinks. Good luck!
The point about dice is that now instead of having the "stat" you had prior, you now can use as many powers as you like in a single engagement provided you have the power to use them.
So initially the gadgeteer had 2 physical and 2 mental dice
This was fine but in the test my gf performed it required 3 physical successes. Now to an extent she went to an alley (2 cards vs a street which only has 1) and ran into a thug requiring one physical success (or else dealing 1 dmg) and a gang requiring two physical success (or else dealing 2 dmg). If she'd passed both tests she would have been due an immediate level up (any 2 experience cards will get you a bump up for your character), so it makes sense it should be hard, but that said being told she'd auto failed was not fun and certainly not heroic.
Looking at it with the current method. She now visits the alley with her gadgeteer with 4 power.
Use her utility belt for 3 dice as the test requires 3 successes. This uses all her power
Use her drone (2 physical dice) and call the police (2 general dice) for 3 power.
Activate the electric field on her suit, generating physical success = to the dmg taken, so for 3 power she automatically passes the event but does end up taking 3 dmg.
Finally if she decides against pushing it she might use her stun grenade at a cost of 2 power to disengage without incurring the fail condition of the card.
In my mind this is more exciting, not only does it mean she can pass this (the drone might be the better option if she has rerolls but the auto win would be tempting) but if she did take the dmg and use the power to win this she is now on 1 power to use and a cap of 2 power, making her useless until she recuperates for a couple of turns. It also adds a really nice dynamic narrative, so its not just roll 3 dice its will the drone fend them off long enough before the police can arrive to help me out. The stun grenade would give her the option to retreat and then the cards will stay on that space tempting the brute to go along (who for 4 power can RAGE and take any number of physical dice for a test, but if he scores more than 3 successes on them subsequent successes will dmg the heroes)
I totally hear you from a complexity point with regards to the stats, but I think the power and regen mechanic might be easier to manipulate than the additional card mechanic. Its used in games such as Descent (with fatigue being required to use abilities) to great effect, you'd simply have one cube on a track measuring total power and a second cube measuring current amount stored. If you went to the card mechanic then intrinsically the cards would have to be of similar power, I like that some powers are super strong but require a lot of energy to use. It might be more worthwhile for a hero with heavy hitting cards focus on building up their energy store rather than regeneration with a view that they'll crunch in the crimes they visit but they wont be able to visit all of them.
My earliest designs had me have a pool of generic powers and one power specific to each char. However since playing sentinels of the multiverse I've realised how important it is to have a coherent theme for a hero. It would make art and backstory all the more relevant as well.
In order to minimise the complexity of the evolving board I envisage two mechanisms. Simple blocks of cardboard will shut off benefits of certain areas. The hospital will heal two dmg if visited. On the turn its damaged (by a zombie plague in the current crime deck ;)) you cover over one of the images of the health. So the board is clear at showing whats occurred. Some bigger events (such as kidnapped relatives) will require the tile to flip and then spaces will have changed. You can no longer visit the relative space (its not a space anymore just a burnt out building) and now a new graveyard space is available (pretty dark!)
Sounds like you've worked it all out.
To be clear, I wasn't suggesting generic powers in the "all cards" mechanic. Each hero would have it's own deck of Powers, which would allow you to make some cards significantly more powerful than others. One can balance this by making their untapped conditions more difficult to achieve.
It's all moot, though, as it's not a literal suggestion, but an example to illustrate the broader point of streamlining.
That said, I didn't understand the integration of dice and powers. Your least post cleared that up. It provides the player with many interesting choices and could well be worth the intricacy.
Good luck with the iteration!
Hey blunder, when trying my hero game I felt like the dice really slowed down the game play. Did you feel the same? What are you doing to resolve the crimes?
I'll be honest the power / dice mechanic has seemingly worked very well for me. The feedback was really positive! :D
can you give me some ideas of how you incorporate the dice into it? I'm using a mechanic in which the dice for the crimes are usually better then the ones the heroes have, therefore making it harder for anyone to win on their own forcing them to work together if they don't want to loose entirely. Most of the powers on my game either affect the board keeping things from being destrroyed, help you get an upperhand on someone else, or get you to roll better dice or reroll what you already have.
what are you using?
I think we might be looking at two different problems, in my game heroes work together to solve crimes, and this done by achieving sufficient mental and physical successes. They all have energy which they can either use to gain physical and mental dice or use for their powers, some powers give a better dice ratio (i.e. haymaker gives 3 physical dice for 2 energy) some are totally weird that might buff other characters, debuff villains, one even warps reality and means the crime simply ceases to be!
i think you're right.
on mine it's semi-cooperative. There is a way for the game to win, but there is supposed to be a clear distinct winner between the players. They can team up and tackle the bad guys. I think my game is in need of a serious restructuring. I', debating forgoing the dice and going for a straight card system. where each player picks a hero, and they all draw from a common pile. they will only be able to play from certain "suits" but they will try and add two cards together to form either plane moves, adjectives or play them together as a power move. The aim will be to get a higher number this way then the crimes going on. IDK just how yet, but i feel like i need to change something drastic on my game. I think i'll put on the back burner for now though, i have a couple of ideas that don't have a road block right now.
I'm thinking of some kind of card draft mechanic. Like castle panic, where players draw from a common pile but htey have an individual smaller pile where they can draw from that will have things that are beneficial or maybe not so much.