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All For One

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sedjtroll
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As I may have mentioned, Scurra was kind enough to send me a copy of his Three Musketeers game: All For One.

I Can't get over what a good idea I think this game is, and I'm excited to playtest it- hopefully tomorrow. I will keep you all posted as to how the game goes, but in the meantime I've been pondering it a lot and playing some solo games (controlling all players in a 3 player game) to make sure I've got the rules right. I've been asking Scurra a thousand questions to make sure I'm clear on how it goes. Finally I think I've got a handle on the rules of the game, and we will be playing by those rules tomorrow to see how they go.

Just from thinking about it and my solo tests though, I suspect there will be some suggestions from my friends along these lines... First I'll summarize the rules, then I'll post the probable suggestions. After playing the game as written it may turn out that those suggestions do not come about.

On their turn players choose one of the 6 characters to play as for the turn, and there's a small penalty for choosing the same character the last guy chose. Players have a secret loyalty to either King Luis or the Cardinal, and they can pay a price (a turn and a VP) to change that loyalty. In the endgame there are bonuses based on which faction you are loyal to. Mission cards (which double as Dueling cards for combat) describe items located around the board that need to be taken to certain locations, and completing these missions scores VPs for both the player and the character. Movement is restrictive, and running into another character ends your movement. There are also NPC Guards which serve to not only stop the movement of a musketeer, but also forces them to Duel via a Rock-Paper-Scissors based mechanic. So the point is to complete missions, and to do so with characters of the faction to which you are loyal.

The changes I see as likely to be suggested are as follows:
1. Instead of loyalty bonuses and scoring the VPs that 'your team' scored, deal out characters (face down) to each player and let each player's score be his VPs plus the VPs on his secret character.
2. Change rules for healing injuries- make it an action that can be taken only at certain locations and seperate it from the Move action (rather than replacing the move action and teleporting the Healed character to his home base).
3. Just thought of this- maybe reduce movement by 1 for each wound...
4. Change Incapacitation rules (for when a character takes too many wounds in a duel)- An incapacitated character drops all his stuff and 'respawns' at his home location. this would end his turn. This would be instead of the character dropping his stuff and having to wait until a player chooses that character and uses a Heal action to get that character back in the game.
5. Make the Pickup/Drop Token a free action as opposed to using an action for each token dropped or picked up. Or at least let 1 action cover all the dropping and picking up at a location. I don't think it should cost 2 actions for a character to drop an item and pick up a different one (like if they're at capacity for example- and can't pick up any more stuff).
6. No suggestion will likely be made about the duels, although I still think the Rock-Paper-Scissors mechanic is a little iffy, making the duels largely luck-based. There's really very little way of giving yourself an edge in combat. In a thread before I suggested a different mechanic wherein a player could set it up so they have a better chance to win a fight, and I still think something like that might be appropriate. But that would take more changes to some of the other rules and components (my suggestions above can be implemented within the game system as is)

So as I said, we'll be playing the game as written first, and I will post the results here.

- Seth

jwarrend
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Re: All For One

sedjtroll wrote:

So as I said, we'll be playing the game as written first, and I will post the results here.

Just a quick question -- do you have Scurra's permission to do that? I think playtesting swaps are a great idea, but just make sure you've gotten the green light to spill the beans on the game. I don't recall if Scurra has posted full details about the game yet, so I'm not sure where's he at in terms of "disclosure" in this one.

(If the answer is "yet, scurra said it's ok", feel free to delete this note...)

-Jeff

FastLearner
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All For One

I know that I was very pleased to have sedj's many great notes about his playtests of Everest, though I would have preferred if the results weren't publicly posted. I'm moving the game towards publication and I become more "closed" about the game's rules and changes as that happens.

Obviously Scurra will speak for himself, but he may feel the same way.

-- Matthew

sedjtroll
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Re: All For One

jwarrend wrote:
Just a quick question -- do you have Scurra's permission to do that?

That's a good point. I guess since it's been discussed on here and in his journal I figured this wouldn't be in issue. Actually that's not true- honestly I didn't even think about weather it was an issue, because I don't think like that. But you're right, I'd better at least check with the auther before posting my thoughts on his game. Until then I'll keep it private. Since my synopsis isn't anything that wasn't in Scurra's journal I won't delete this thread just yet.

- Seth

Scurra
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All For One

Hmmm. I am a bit in two minds over this.
I think it's a very solid design (natch :)), and (once the tuning is sorted out), I expect that I shall be submitting it to companies.

Which is partly the reason why I didn't publish a ruleset for the game (nor is one hidden on my website anywhere!) but discussed some of the development process instead.
And also means that the comments Seth makes are going to be a little difficult for people to follow really: without access to all the component parts, commenting on aspects of the rules will be somewhat tricky to follow.

But although it feels wrong to "kill" a thread somehow, I don't really want this game discussed further in a public forum (albeit a friendly one.) That doesn't mean I'm unwilling to discuss it further with a wider group, but this is not the place for it.

(In passing I will note that some of the issues Seth raises had been considered during the deveopment process and not used for various reasons. The most notable one of these is the first one, the secret character thing. This is geared to be much more of a "family" game - and paradoxically, a notable feature of many family games is the ability to play badly without it looking like that; sometimes you have to do a less-than-optimal thing to ensure that everyone still has a good time, without them realising that you are "throwing" the game :)
Set against that, the mechanic also works on a "gamers" level, as there can be a lot of fun in the bluffing process. By restricting the game to two "factions", players have a much wider choice of characters and actions. But I reckon Seth will find that out for himself when he plays ;)
However, some of the others are interesting and I shall, of course, think about them.

Anonymous
Playtesting

I was able to playtest the game, and I found that I wanted to have more excitement on the fighting end, and playing with Seth's #1 I felt constricted to playing the character I was dealt.

-Michael

sedjtroll
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Re: Playtesting

DrMayhem wrote:
I was able to playtest the game, and I found that I wanted to have more excitement on the fighting end, and playing with Seth's #1 I felt constricted to playing the character I was dealt.

-Michael

This is the kind of thing I was referring to in the Disciples thread about players 'playing the game wrong'. Michael felt confined to playing the character he was dealt, and therefore only used the character he was dealt, and also did a lot of dueling with guards. As it turns out, he lost one game that way, and tied for first in another (though lost on tiebreakers- which is based on the number of missions accomplished).

Without getting into the game itself, the game is about doing missions, and dueling is a sort of side issue. It seems to me that the player that wins will be the player that properly balances using his own character vs using other characters (even if that means using an opponent's character), and properly balances dueling vs doing missions.

Mike: What would make the duels more exciting? What did you think they lacked?

jwarrend
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All For One

Question for the admins -- is there any way to make certain messages "private", or restricted to certain users? That way, in the present conversation for example, Seth, Scurra, DrMayhem and whoever else could have this discussion in full-detail rather than having to worry about an outside "audience".

Alternatively, if there were ways to PM more than one person at a time, then "group discussions" like this could also be facilitated.

Scurra
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All For One

jwarrend wrote:
Question for the admins -- is there any way to make certain messages "private", or restricted to certain users? That way, in the present conversation for example, Seth, Scurra, DrMayhem and whoever else could have this discussion in full-detail rather than having to worry about an outside "audience".

Seth suggested we used the Wiki because, paradoxically, it would be far more private (since no-one is using it) even though it's an even more public forum :)

sedjtroll
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All For One

Yeah, that would be good... I know there can be 'invite only' threads, like the wiki steering committee thing...

It would be great to discuss the game and our experiences playing different forms between the people that have played without disclosing too the info Scurra wants to keep under wraps. In this case there are actually a good number of people who have played the game here on the boards- Scurra, myself, Fastlearner, DrMayhem, DavemanUK...

Is it possible to get a 'private' thread?

- Seth

Anonymous
Re: Playtesting

sedjtroll wrote:

Mike: What would make the duels more exciting? What did you think they lacked?

Interaction with other players in some way, rather than the randomness currently involved

-Michael

sedjtroll
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Re: Playtesting

DrMayhem wrote:
sedjtroll wrote:

Mike: What would make the duels more exciting?

Interaction with other players in some way, rather than the randomness currently involved

Hmm... with players not controlling a specific character, does it even make sense to 'interact' with other players for duels? You aren't duelling another player, one character is duelling another character. Since the game is not about duelling, I think that's really the way it ought to be. Basically, duelling is a penalty- there are some things to make a duel either end up in your favor, skip the duel, or withstand having to duel, but for the most part duelling is a hinderance to doing the missions, which is the goal of the game.

To an extent you can use dueling as a way to get VPs, but for the most part it's not for that.

You don't think it's exciting looking at a couple possible outcomes and then trying to pick the right card to duel with (considering your odds of knowing the outcome get better for the second round)? Did you not notice that using a card to duel means you can no longer do that mission? That you also cannot score a VP for that card at the end of the game?

- Seth

Anonymous
All For One

Makes sense, no.

Yes I noticed about the VPs given up by dueling.

For some reason I just didn't care. I think without either a way to feel like I can do missions with any of the dudes (or most), or without exciting fighting... Then this game will be just a good game for me. Something I would play if that is what people want, but not something I would be super-gung-ho about.

-Michael

It just seems like without one of those two things I feel like I am running my head into a brick wall.

jwarrend
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All For One

Again, not to continue to carp on this, but until this thread is made "private", you guys are publically discussing aspects of the game that may or may not be ok with Scurra; I know you probably aren't giving anything major away, but still, I just think that if we're going to get to a point where we're playtesting each other's games (which is great!), we should really respect the designers' wishes as to how much can be discussed. Obviously, for me, I'm opening "Disciples" up to pretty much full public discussion, but not everyone wants to do that with their game, and it's up to them to decide...

Anonymous
All For One

Agreed. If Sedj would stop asking me questions. I just won't answer any of them anymore :)

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