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Dear Me...I sure need a Theme

8 replies [Last post]
infocorn's picture
Joined: 07/30/2008

Hi all.

First off, this is x-posted at BGG.

Here's a rough run-down of the rules and game play. Bear in mind, I'm a rules-first/cards-follow kind of designer and am still hammering out that rules document...

Players will use a common deck (as in games like the various Munchkins) and their own set of 5d6. Card types are permanents and fast-effects. At the moment, the 5d6 are resource generators in two ways. Most turns, the 5d6 will be rolled for a resource-point influx. Players may sit on up to 30 resource points which can carry turn-to-turn (as long as you're under 30). Additionally, more powerful cards can enter play by paying a d6 to a common pool. My thinking here is that the strategy becomes "can I risk losing the points-generator for this Heavy Hitter?"

After being chipped into a common pool, the dice take on another role. They're off limits for resource points, but when the common pool reaches a critical mass, the entire shared pool is rolled. Most permanent-type cards have a dice pool effect: destruction, victory points, etc.

So here's what I need:

1) A theme. I've toyed with the follwing (but others are more than welcome):
-- first contact (with alien civilization or a marooned base looking for rescue);
-- solar flares (cooking satellites and ground-based tech);
-- bridging alternate universes;
-- World War I's insane overlapping alliances being a powderkeg for war;
-- counterterrorism (the dice pool being a "plot" in generic terms avoiding bombing or specific violence);
-- Revolt/Election bringing changes to a country (the dice pool)

2) A specific critical mass for the dice pool. I had thought maybe if a player had chipped in more than half of their dice, or a total of X, etc.

3) Should the dice be all d6 or a combination of dice types? My original idea was for d4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 but thinking about that made we wonder if that'd make it a mess of paying for bits.

jojodio99's picture
Joined: 10/30/2011
Theme idea - A magical portal opens

I thought about your basic game mechanics and I think I have something, along the lines of one of the ideas you proposed, the alternate dimensions. The game could be magically/fantasy based, where players are gathering magic or "mana" points with the 5d6 resourcing rolls, and using the points to build up spiritual power cards to "call" their deity to Earth, this game would require different alignments for all players. If they sacrifice a die they can collect a mythical deity, the more die sacrificed the stronger the divinity invoked, there would have to be numerous types available. When the die pool reaches 5d6 total, the die pool is available to the players with deity cards in their hand, enabling stronger magics, and it can also boost permanents/instants in all the player hands. The other players can spend their resource points building spell hands(instants) or artifact hands(permanents), towards banishing or destroying the deity cards which will eventually come into play, for this idea all 6 sided dice only.

Joined: 10/23/2011
I'll just weigh in on item 3

I'll just weigh in on item 3 here:

If you can use all d6's instead of multiple dice sizes for the same purpose, you should absolutely do so. Uniformity of dice is a good thing to have. People don't get confused about what die they should roll next, and people who aren't D&D players (or me) will find it easier to playtest your game.

sounde's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
This wasn't totally clear

This wasn't totally clear from the initial description...
Would each player have recognizable (different colored) dice such that it would be clear who had contributed what to the common pool?

sounde's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
This wasn't totally clear

double post

War Prime
Joined: 11/06/2011

Hey there,

Since I tend to think of themes before mechanics maybe I can help you out. Ill just toss a few ideas out there off the top of my head and feel free to keep or toss them.

Talking about the critical mass made me think of the big bang. So what if you are all celestial beings pitching in to creation. The end result being the big bang that crates the universe.

You are all scientists working on the Atom Bomb. While you are all working together to create the final product, only one of you can be the Einstein who gets the credit. (This could be any scientific goal, FTL, Time Travel, etc...)

The end is coming, will you achieve your goals before it arrives? (Alternately you could do this with the city of Pompeii as well). No sure what the objective is... Save the most people, gather wealth and artifacts, ensure your rivals are buried in the rubble instead of you.

I like your thought of bridged Alternate Universes...what if there was some kind of accident with experimenting with that and the goal is to separate the two. Or you could do the Accident as the first game and the separation as an expansion or the second game.

OK, thats enough of my ramblings. Best of luck!


hotsoup's picture
Joined: 08/28/2009
Your mechanic got me thinking

Your mechanic got me thinking of things that "tip."

Black Holes - Dice could be planets that are getting thrown into a star, which tips into a black hole/supernova/wormhole.

Sentience - The pool could be a computer system or ecosystem or sleeping god that eventually tips into consciousness.

Revolutions - The pool could be the anger of the people against the government, which would periodically boil over.

Insanity - players could all be alternate personalities in a person's head, but when they've caused enough havoc, the person (pool) goes crazy.

Joined: 02/03/2009
A theme

I think I understand the mechanics and will try to help applying a theme. How about an arms or technology race? Each player is a race/civilization/research group vying for technical superiority. Think of a multiple player cold war scenario with a common set of technological goals. Each card represents a certain technology and requires different combinations of technological levels to be grabbed by the player according to their roll of the dice. Each player would have their own advancement track and would advance individual tech types according to their die roll. The players could allocate varying numbers of dice to each technological "avenue". If you made 5 technological avenues the players are always going to have to decide whether to spread the dice or focus on some more then others. It would get even more interesting if you chained the cards in a way that they built upon one another. I do think it would be a cool design aspect for the first player to get the right combination gets to snatch the technology up first from a mutual pool in the center of the table. When snatched all the players would then have to pay more than the original value to nullify the card after it has been played, a sorta extra "retro engineering" or "countermeasure" cost to stay competitive in that field.

Two ideas for reserve dice pool idea. One is that it is used for secret projects. The reserve dice pool points can be used to purchase one card in a generic fashion, or sorta secret research group.

The second idea is that it is a mobilization pool. This pool represents the player gearing up and equipping for war. It's going to make everyone at the table very nervous when the player starts reserving dice for this because no matter how good your technology may be it's not going to matter if you haven't mobilized, you lose by default. The limited span of turns means that the gearing up is likely to happen. The players are then going to try decide to match the mobilization or try to get that last technological advantage. Hope this helps.

infocorn's picture
Joined: 07/30/2008
:-( on me

I feel really badly that I never checked back in here. Some AMAZING ideas. I might cherry pick a couple for later games as there are some winners here.

Sorry again to my contribs here! See my thread here about "Chron-Illogical" for more information and a tentative rules doc.


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