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Escape from Arenaworld

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Joined: 12/31/1969

Since I put up Song of the Dwarf Lords and got such interesting suggestions (and so far only Sedjtroll has responded!) I thought I'd put up the other game I'm taking home over Thanksgiving to playtest:

Escape from Arenaworld!

I've mentioned this game here before. The story/concept is that the players are stuck on a planet with only two activities: gladiator fights and betting on gladiator fights. The players, naturally, are gladiators...but they want to get off of Arenaworld.

A player can escape by three means:

1. Money. Accumulate enough money and you can buy your way offworld. Players get money by winning matches, by betting on matches and through their popularity (product endorsements).

2. Skill. Become good enough in the arena and you can tour other planets. Players can win skill by winning matches, although there is (currently) no guarantee. There are also a few copies of a "training" card that lets you skip your match and gain a skill.

3. Popularity. Win enough fan popularity and you'll be taken on a promotional tour offworld. (Popularity is also valuable as a money generator, as you get $1 per turn for each popularity card you have.) Popularity can be won with different distinct fan groups (each one with its own criteria) and is represented by cards (could be tokens) for each group.

On each player's turn, he draws (draw two cards then discard a card -- this way I can use situational cards without players getting stuck with them), collects sponsorship money ($1 per point of popularity) and then may challenge another player or one of several non-player gladiators (NPGs) to a match.

In a match both gladiators have the option to fight or take a dive. (NPGs will fight unless a Bribe card causes them to take a dive.) If a match is FF, each gladiator adds a d6 to their skill with the higher total winning. If FD, the F wins but doesn't get a "gain skill" roll. If DD, no one wins and there is an investigation into the match. Thus, there is a natural incentive to Fight. However...

Before players know what the gladiators are doing, they each do two things in secret. First, they commit cards to play on the match. Each player has a "do nothing" card which cancels all other cards, so you can put down three cards if you want to do nothing but not let other players know you're doing nothing.

Players also bet (if they wish). The trick is that the payout on bets isn't known until after all bets are revealed. The more players bet on a gladiator, the lower the payout gets. So, for example, if you and I are both skill 4 and the total bets on you are $10 more than on me, bets on you pay 1:2 while bets on me pay 7:2. (The matrix is version 1.0 but you get the idea.)

(As an added incentive to bet, players who bet at least $5 and win get to draw a card.)

So if you take a dive you can't win the prize purse and you can't gain skill and you MIGHT get investigated...but if the other players thought you were going to Fight and win and bet on you, you could bet against yourself and make a fortune.



sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Re: Escape from Arenaworld

This sounds better to me than it did the last time. I don't have time to comment on it now, but perhaps later...

- Seth

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