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1 currency or 2? for dark fantasy game...

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devaloki
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Hi all,
Been continuing on making my game and I've run into something I'm having a hard time deciding upon.
In my game you defeat enemies and explore locations and do (some) quests to acquire "essence" (DE); you encounter these things by exploring around and adventuring on a board which represents the world in the game.
Each player controls one character, the character has various attributes (stats) such as Strength, Resolve, Willpower, etc. The attributes range from 1-6. They also have different Power cards which represent different abilities such as spells, melee skills, static buffs, etc..they can get.
Each player's character also has a Specialization, and this allows you to buy Power cards of a certain type cheaper than the other types. You buy Power cards with DE. So for instance, someone with a magic specialization would only have to be 250 for a spell, whereas someone that lacks that specialization could still get the card but it would cost 300.
You can also use DE to "level up" your character and increase one of your attributes. Attributes may not be increased by +2 to any single one, and the cost to raise it depends upon what the new attribute would be. I'm not sure if you could do this when you want or if you'd have to find some sort of location you can "train" at to have the opportunity to increase the stat.
DE can also be used to buy items and other things.
I did make another post concerning how Power cards would be displayed and also how they are acquired.
But what I'm wondering about now is whether or not such a universal currency system (i.e. DE paying for everything) would be broken or if it could work? I'm concerned about the possiblity of players exploiting how they spend DE in the game to get ahead super quick.
A lot of games do split currency into two forms: Gold and XP...But on the other hand, I really like the idea of there just being one currency in the game (DE) from a thematic standpoint with the story of the game.
So what are some ways in which I can make sure in this type of system for players not to be able to exploit such a system? Perhaps I should limit when and where they can spend the DE on different things INCLUDING attribute boosting etc.?

X3M
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Interesting thought that XP

Interesting thought that XP is also a currency. In a way, it is true.

If I compare with other games. XP is often the only currency to buy things called skills. Some times you still have to add a little gold though (or other material).

Perhaps dividing skills from other additions. Where skill is XP only. But additions like a shield, costs gold (and perhaps a bit of XP as well for knowing how to use the shield). Magic on the other hand might once again cost XP only? But then again, if it is thought to you, then you will be paying gold to the teacher.

It is up to you, but you have to make a decision first. 4 choices:
- Only one currency; in your case, gold.
- Having 2 currency. But keeping gold and XP completely separated. XP can not be bought with. Nor can gold be bought with XP. Nor can you buy things with gold if they cost XP only. In other words. If armor costs gold, you cannot buy armor with XP.
- Having 2 currency. Still completely separated. Except: armor can now be bought. But you can also spend XP on armor in a different way.
- Gold and XP are often paid together. A certain shield provides armor, it costs for example 300 gold AND 150 XP.

Work on what you choose to think is best for your game. And keep your choice in mind.

The consequences:
- With one currency, you need to find the balance. Once you have found the balance, it is easy from that point.
- When having gold and XP completely separated. You have 2 systems that have to be balanced on their own.
- Once you have the 2 currency possible for the armor example. They are actually intervened. This is very rare. And a choice quickly falls on the 4th choice.
- You need to find a way to balance the 2 currency as if they are one and the same. Not only that. But you need to balance the amount for the entire game.

Let's just say, 2 currencies are 4 times as hard to balance than just 1. If this is your first time making a game. Keep it on 1 currency, or a complete separated two.

(I got the third choice actually, now that I think about it. 1 Credit is worth 6 XP)

devaloki
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"Perhaps dividing skills from

"Perhaps dividing skills from other additions. Where skill is XP only. But additions like a shield, costs gold (and perhaps a bit of XP as well for knowing how to use the shield). Magic on the other hand might once again cost XP only?"

But that's the type of system I wasn't going to use. As mentioned in my starting post, DE would be a universal currency that is spent on everything, from both buying items, to levelling up attributes, and purchasing Power cards (skill cards and magic). From a thematic standpoint, DE is a creative energy that dwells within intelligent life and can be separated from said life, and by acquiring it you can make yourself stronger. Beings in the world all seek it so that is why they trade/sell items for it.
Magic in my game counts as a skill. Skill cards, of whatever type, are collectively known as Power cards.
I do like the idea of paying a trainer on board to be able to spend XP.

The four different types of ways you mentioned for using currency is a handy thing to look at and reference. I would find it odd though , if there was a system that had 2 currencies, to use both XP and gold on items like armor.

The vast majority of games use the 2 currencies system, where you get XP automatically from doing things, and gold you get but you can't increase your level with gold. It seems to be the easiest to balance.

If you haven't played it, look into the game "Demon's Souls" it uses only one currency and I like how it's handled in there. I'm not sure if it'd work for a boardgame though, but I'd like to try.

"The consequences:
- With one currency, you need to find the balance. Once you have found the balance, it is easy from that point."

See, that's what I want help on though, is how to balance a system that just uses one currency. Like, ways and ideas to implement things in the game so players can't just powerlevel super quickly by focusing on just one thing to spend DE on.
One idea I had thought to do just that would be to have it so that when you raise an attribute you have to first 1. find a trainer that will allow you raise it and 2. The DE cost would depend on what you are raising the stat too. So raising a 1 stat to 2 would cost only 25 DE, whereas raising it from 4 to 5 might cost 100 DE for example.

"Let's just say, 2 currencies are 4 times as hard to balance than just 1. "
I don't know man...it seems that balancing 1 currency would be harder than 2.
I'll follow by your last bit of advice for sure though since this is my first game I'm designing.

So you are using the third choice for that one game you are making currently?
1 credit being worth 6 xp...
perhaps I could do something similar where it costs more to spend DE to raise attributes than it does to buy gear/items and Power cards with it.

let-off studios
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One Question, One Option

FIRST OFF: I have no idea how I could write so much on something so disconnected from me. But something in your initial question started my brain off and running. My apologies. If it's Too Long and you Don't Read, skip to the last paragraph.

One big question: have you playtested anything yet? I don't know anything about your game, but perhaps your fears are unfounded and the system can be balanced with one or both currencies with little effort. If you've not done it, then try one option you've seen explained, and then assess it. Trying to work things out in your head is much less efficient than putting it out on the table to see if it works - particularly when you realize very quickly that the mechanics are broken.

In any case, I have a suggestion for you to try, should you still be considering other options. Keep in mind that I have absolutely NO WAY of knowing just how your game plays out, and my examples below are complete hypotheticals in terms of scenarios. However, the math still holds up, and I hope the principle is clear.

I like the idea of a Fibonacci series used to calculate this. In what I'll nickname the "F series," numbers advance by adding together the previous two numbers in the series. So here's the typical advancement:

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, etc.

Set up a single player's turn to allow them to purchase any skill, spell, item, or whatever on this scale, modified by the magnitude/"level" of the aspect.

For example, basic items would follow the original F series. The first weapon, armour, tool, or other mundane thing the player wants to purchase would be 1 DE. The second would cost 2 (or 1+1). The third item they purchase at the time would be 1+1+2, or 4.

However, advanced items would start DE pricing further up the scale. Perhaps spells cost their Spell level +5 ranks on the F series. A Level 1 spell would cost 5, a Level 2 Spell would cost 8 DE, Level 7 costs 13 DE, and so on. If they purchase an additional spell of the same level, it increases on the F series by one rank. Buying a second Level 1 Spell would cost 8, then a third would cost 13, and again so on.

You can even combine the two purchase scales together, which may prevent the extreme power-up scenario you anticipate. Here's an example, hopefully not too complex.

Say for example there's a typical magic-using character, who has picked up a small amount of DE, or perhaps they're granted DE at the outset and want to start their adventures. They stop by the general store and wish to outfit themselves with some basic equipment: a protective Robe, a Torch, a Dagger, and a Scroll With Ink & Quill. Each of these is a mundane item. The total cost would be 17 DE. The breakdown is as follows:

Robe 1 DE
Torch +2 DE
Dagger +4 DE
Scroll Kit +10 DE

Buy any 3 mundane items for 7 DE, and any two mundane items for 3 DE.

Fast forward a few adventures...

All is well and good. The magic user has done some adventuring - acquiring some DE along the way - and during their travels has stumbled upon a forgotten, musty library. They decide to perform an in-game action: study the ancient books. The player draws a handful of cards or whatever, and uncovers the following:

Level 1 Spell: Magic Dart
Level 1 Spell: Finger of Flame
Level 2 Spell: Spider Web

Following the suggestion I made above, here are a few options for the player to pick up these new spells for their magic using character.

Acquiring either one of the Level 1 Spells would cost them 6 DE.
Acquiring both of the Level 1 Spells would cost them 22 DE.
Acquiring the Level 2 Spell would cost them 14 DE.
Acquiring one Level 1 Spell and one Level 2 Spell would cost 23 DE.
Acquiring both of the Level 1 Spells and the Level 2 Spell would cost them 37 DE.

How the hell do we come up with those totals?

One Level 1 Spell = 1+1+2+3+5 (from the F series) +1 (from the spell level)
Two Level 1 Spells = 1+1+2+3+5+1 (for one Level 1 Spell, as above) +8+1 (for the second Level 1 Spell)
One Level 2 Spell = 1+1+2+3+5+2 (the F series plus spell level)
One Level 1 Spell and One Level 2 Spell = 1+1+2+3+5+1 (the Level 1 Spell)+8+2 (for the F series plus spell level)
All three Spells = 1+1+2+3+5+1 (first Level 1 Spell) +8+1 (the second Level 1 Spell) +13+2 (the Level 2 Spell)

Let's make it even more complex by combining the mundane items with spells. It just might still work.

The magic user is in a burning mansion. There's smoke all around. They have only one chance to loot the burgomaster's den before the ceiling comes crashing down in flames. Frantic - hoping to find some good loot but also terrified about dying in the attempt - the player draws three cards:

One Level 2 Spell
One Grappling Hook & Rope
One Healing Potion

Where to begin...

Let's say that Magic Item Cards are an F series Rank 3 card. They're a single use item that cannot be recharged or replenished by conventional means. The Healing Potion falls in this category.

The Grappling Hook & Rope is a mundane item. The Level 2 Spell is as outlined above.

So let's calculate:
The Level 2 spell on its own would cost the magic user 14 DE. 1+1+2+3+5+2

The Grappling Hook on its own costs 1 DE. The number 1 is the first entry in the F series.

The Healing Potion on its own costs 4 DE. Three ranks in the F series = 1+1+2

The Level 2 Spell and the Grappling Hook would cost 22 DE (the next level in the F series = 8 ). 1+1+2+3+5+8+2.

The Level 2 Spell and the Healing Potion would cost 56 DE (eight total levels in the F series plus 2 for the Level 2 Spell = 1+1+2+3+5+8+13+21+2)

The Grappling Hook and the Healing Potion would cost 7. The first four ranks in the F series = 1+1+2+3

All three items in the burgomaster's den would bring the total to a whopping 145. That's nine total levels in the F series added together, plus 2 for the Level 2 Spell. 1+1+2+3+5+8+13+21+34+55+2

...But the player's character may need all of that stuff right now, which would justify the cost. That's "player choice" for ya.

Another option is to calculate all the different items separately. Say for example the player wanted to buy two Level 1 Spells, and we follow the same formula and series.

If you want to calculate the cost for a spell purchase individually, each Level 1 Spell would cost 6 DE each, and if you bought both at the same time it would be a total price of 12 DE.

If you wanted to STACK the costs together (which I find incredibly expensive), two Level 1 Spells purchased at the same time would equal out to 234... That's adding 10 ranks in the F series, plus 2 for the spell levels. I don't think that would work, personally. In addition, I don't feel like doing more math for such inflated and unattractive (IMO) costs.

Now this was a fun little mental exercise for me (honestly!). But would it be useful for you? I suppose that's the big question to consider now.

The bottom line is that using a graduated series of numbers forces (or at least strongly recommends) purchases to be spread out over several turns, instead of all at once. Furthermore, the same cost scale (and presumably the same currency) can be used to buy all stuff, although my examples above might stretch the theme a bit much.

Hope this has your gears turning. :)

devaloki
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Hey studios, I'll be writing

Hey studios,
I'll be writing a more detailed reply when I have time, but i just want to say thanks! Your post is exactly the time of thing I was looking for and it's definitely started turning some gears. I think having just one currency could work out by following your tips. I'll respond in more detail soon

let-off studios
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And um yeah, I realized my

And um yeah, I realized my calculation for a single Level 1 Spell was incorrect. The cost would be 13 for one Level 1 Spell. I have no clue why I made that error (or what math I was using, for that matter).

devaloki
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"One big question: have you

"One big question: have you playtested anything yet?"

I haven't moved to that stage yet but getting very close to starting playtesting.
I know I shouldn't get attached to mechanics at this point, but I wanted to make sure I have a good framework to work/start upon first. So it was mostly theoretical issues that could come work was what I was concerned about it.

"They decide to perform an in-game action: study the ancient books. The player draws a handful of cards or whatever, and uncovers the following:

Level 1 Spell: Magic Dart
Level 1 Spell: Finger of Flame
Level 2 Spell: Spider Web"

Yeah that is the type of thing that would be in my game. The cards you draw from would be Power card decks (which represent skills, spells, buffs, etc. you can acquire/learn). Your Intelligence attribute in the game would determine how many cards you turn up before choosing which to buy.

"I like the idea of a Fibonacci series used to calculate this. In what I'll nickname the "F series," numbers advance by adding together the previous two numbers in the series. So here's the typical advancement:

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, etc."

IS there a way I can translate that to a system where 100 DE is kind of the standard? Like, what I mean is, I'd like to units like 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150 DE etc...I'm not attached to those specific numbers, but I think having it "percent based" like that (in reference to the base number 100) is an easy way for players to associate general costs and power of things.

"Buy any 3 mundane items for 7 DE, and any two mundane items for 3 DE."

Hmm, I'm not so sure I like that aspect of it now that I've had time to really read over and reflect on your post. The cost for items shouldn't be dependent upon the mere quantity of them that you buy imo. Though I do get your point that you made at the end of your post that using this type of system would make so players have to spread things out over turns. It may be a very difficult type of system to design though and for players to understand as well...

I'm not understanding how you chose 13 DE to be the cost of Level 1 spells. Did you arbitrarily choose that as the cost for it? Or did you have a reason for it?

"Let's say that Magic Item Cards are an F series Rank 3 card. "

So the F series Rank should correspond to the general power level of cards then in determining what they rank at on the F series in order to determine their cost yes?

Using the F scale thing can help with coming up with costs of items though when designing the game so I still appreciate it.
Also when you mentioned different levels of spells, that made me think what I will do to make game more easier to balance will be to have DE cost of things based upon the level rather than the individual card itself.

X3M
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Ehm, I suggest that you kinda

Ehm,
I suggest that you kinda play test every part of your game.
Really, every part.
Your game has a lot of assets just like my war game.
And when I play tested one part, I had to change it at least twice.

Because, when you start play testing. And the game doesn't feel right. You don't know where to start changing. And you can only change one thing at a time for knowing the results.

It also could give you a good feel of how much items and such should cost.

---

After reading the gear running post. I think I know what you are looking for. A list of DE, where 100 is some sort of standard. So in other words, 100 should be achieved simple for your main power, and everything beyond that is harder. But before is kinda easy.

Triangular could be the best solution.
10, 30, 60, 100, 150, 210
100 DE on level 4, while you already have paid 100 DE in total for the first 3 levels
The total payment:
10, 40, 100, 200, 350, 560

That for the primary statistic?

A secondary could simply be 1 level harder.
30, 60, 100, 150, 210, 280
100 DE on level 3, while you already have paid 90 DE
And the total costs:
30, 90, 190, 340, 550, 830

Your tertiary:
60, 100, 150, 210, 280, 360
And a total costs of:
60, 160, 310, 520, 800, 1160

You can keep expanding like this.
If you want numbers like 25 and such, perhaps multiplying all numbers by 2,5.

When you take a look at the total costs at level 6. You have:
560, 830, 1160, 1550, 2000
So your 5th power is about 4 times as hard to upgrade then your first. For 6 levels. (less steep than Fibonacci)

Upgrades (by having weapons/armor or such) and skills, should be combined in the costs. Having a skill card for armor in combination with a shield. One of the 2 would cost the next level.
Thus you pay more for the combination if you will.

devaloki
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I understand the importance

I understand the importance of playtesting it over and over, I just haven't got to that point yet. I'm still mostly at a stage of coming up with ideas and making the core framework of the game first, then I'm going to start testing things once I have a basic ruleset written. I'm going to try to get to the playtesting stage as soon as possible, because as you pointed out it's the best way to be able to tell what works and what doesn't.
And by 100, what I meant was is that 100 would be kind of like the MEDIUM cost of things in the game in general.

devaloki
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"Upgrades (by having

"Upgrades (by having weapons/armor or such) and skills, should be combined in the costs. Having a skill card for armor in combination with a shield. One of the 2 would cost the next level."

If they are purchased at different times though it might be too overly complicated of a system to make it so that a Power/skill card would cost more to acquire if you own a certain weapon.

devaloki
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"Triangular could be the best

"Triangular could be the best solution.
10, 30, 60, 100, 150, 210
100 DE on level 4, while you already have paid 100 DE in total for the first 3 levels
The total payment:
10, 40, 100, 200, 350, 560

That for the primary statistic?"

I like the DE costs you mentioned in the triangular framework.
But when you say about paying for the first 3 levels...let me be clear, you don't level up Power cards, you simply purchase them.
The cost would be dependent upon the LEVEL of the card.
Raising Attributes (the character's stats such as Strength, Willpower, Exploratory...stats that determine how good you are at certain things) costs more to do so depending upon what the attribute will be raised to. Attributes range from 1-6 with their values.
I could implement cost values for it based upon one of the tables of numbers you've posted here if I go with a system where "100" is an average/medium cost for things in the game.

X3M
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Well, if it isn't levels.

Well, if it isn't levels. then simply for the attributes.

How many different attributes do you have?
Armor/Health, etc.?

With an average of 100DE, and 3 attributes, examples:
You can have 25-100-175 for one soldier.
Yet 50-100-150 for another.
And 25-75-200 for a third etc.

devaloki
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X3M wrote:Well, if it isn't

X3M wrote:
Well, if it isn't levels. then simply for the attributes.

How many different attributes do you have?
Armor/Health, etc.?

With an average of 100DE, and 3 attributes, examples:
You can have 25-100-175 for one soldier.
Yet 50-100-150 for another.
And 25-75-200 for a third etc.

Perhaps I will have it for levels and have it so attributes can be raised as a part of the levelling process, that might make it so players can't just buff up all their lower attributes...

There are going to be between 5-6 attributes in the game. They affect things both in regard to your interaction on the Overworld (the board) as well as combat. Each attribute can affect multiple things.
Armor is not derived from an attribute, armor is from armor cards you get in the game.
Ones I know for sure will be part:

1. Exploratory: Affects how good you are at exploring areas, avoiding danger, and allows you to sift through more treasure cards when you acquire treasure.
2. Strength: Affects melee damage, affects number of Energy Points you have for combat, affects how much you can carry, may give minor Hit Points bonus...
3. Agility: Affects how hard you are to hit (some armor though limits how much of your agility stat you can use), affects some other things too...
4. Dexterity: Affects ranged weapon damage, affects accuracy of weapons slightly especially ranged ones...may be combined with the agility stat
5. Intelligence: Affects standard spells power, affects how many Power cards you can sift through when choosing which one to get when drawing from a Power deck, affects other things..
6. Resolve: Affects max number of Hit Points, max number of Overworld action points, amongst other things...

What do you mean by "soldier" in your example? It seemed like you were just referring to different sample costs one could do for attribute raising with 100 DE as an average/medium cost of things in game.

devaloki
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Also, attributes for

Also, attributes for characters start from 1-3. You mark they are upgraded by putting a counter on them, and they can't go past +2 with upgrades. thus to get an attribute to 6 you'll need a combination of upgrading the stat with gear or other means that boosts your attributes up.

X3M
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Quote: What do you mean by

Quote:

What do you mean by "soldier" in your example? It seemed like you were just referring to different sample costs one could do for attribute raising with 100 DE as an average/medium cost of things in game.

Ehm, yes.
You have different role's for the players. Each player has 1 "soldier". I don't know how to call it differently.

But if 1 attribute can be raised only 2 times. Then you need to have 2 numbers with an average. So 50-150 or 25-175. As simple as that. Of course you can increase the average for attributes that you consider harder to get.
So the primary attribute has an average of 100 DE
The secondary has 150 DE
Tertiary has 210 DE etc.
Just an idea.

devaloki
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X3M wrote:Quote: What do you

X3M wrote:
Quote:

What do you mean by "soldier" in your example? It seemed like you were just referring to different sample costs one could do for attribute raising with 100 DE as an average/medium cost of things in game.

Ehm, yes.
You have different role's for the players. Each player has 1 "soldier". I don't know how to call it differently.

But if 1 attribute can be raised only 2 times. Then you need to have 2 numbers with an average. So 50-150 or 25-175. As simple as that. Of course you can increase the average for attributes that you consider harder to get.
So the primary attribute has an average of 100 DE
The secondary has 150 DE
Tertiary has 210 DE etc.
Just an idea.

But why would it cost differing prices for different soldiers/characters
to level an attribute up? That makes no sense.

devaloki
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X3M wrote:Quote: What do you

X3M wrote:
Quote:

What do you mean by "soldier" in your example? It seemed like you were just referring to different sample costs one could do for attribute raising with 100 DE as an average/medium cost of things in game.

Ehm, yes.
You have different role's for the players. Each player has 1 "soldier". I don't know how to call it differently.

But if 1 attribute can be raised only 2 times. Then you need to have 2 numbers with an average. So 50-150 or 25-175. As simple as that. Of course you can increase the average for attributes that you consider harder to get.
So the primary attribute has an average of 100 DE
The secondary has 150 DE
Tertiary has 210 DE etc.
Just an idea.

"But if 1 attribute can be raised only 2 times."
Each single attribute can be raised up to 2 times is what I meant, not that only 1 attribute can be raised.
And each of the attributes isn't necessarily better or worse than the others, they all have advantages and are for the most part are equal. Their value, and which one(s) you want to focus on levelling up, is based upon what type of character you are trying to make as well as what treasure you have gotten (some treasure/weapons will require minimum of certain attributes to be able to wield).

BENagy
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I love the idea of only 1

I love the idea of only 1 currency, in that it forces more strategic decision making. You have to choose between alternatives to build your strategy.

Some thoughts:

1. You have to make the resource scarce enough that players are hesitant to use it on just everything, or without thinking. The game should be difficult enough to force them to use it almost immediately to keep surviving, but don't allow it to become a trivial thing.

2. Consider making every skill (Power) incrementally more difficult to buy. For example, you mentioned each ability has 2 possible "level ups". Instead of all level ups costing 5 and then 10 (as an example), each time you purchase ANY ability upgrade should move the marker 5, 10, 15, 20, etc.

3. Make sure you have player aids to support this. I'd use a cribbage board styled marker with numbers for each cost, so 1 square read 5, the next read 10, etc. Keeps it so players don't have to remember or count things later, and allows you to implement a cap on ability purchasing price (50, for example).

4. The resource should be scarce, but finding it should become easier. If killing 3 monsters in the beginning gets you those 5 points for your first ability upgrade, killing 3 monsters should give you the 10 points for your next upgrade in my example. These battles should be harder, but the way to focus that is to make these battles require more thought about how players will overcome these monsters in a new way, using their new abilities. This requires lots of playtesting, obviously.

devaloki
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Thanks for the input

Thanks for the input BENagy!

I am leaning towards using the 1 currency only for the game. In reply to your thoughts that you mentioned:

1. Yeah, that issue you brought up was something I want to avoid with my game for sure. I don't want the players to simply be able to farm enemies to make themselves good in everything and/or be able to buy everything.
Enemies in the game are meant to be obstacles that slow you down when you progress throughout the Overworld, and they also accelerate the spread of "darkness" in the game sometimes (which is what their main threat in the game is). I could simply limit the number of enemies on board/that the players can encounter so it's not too many and they can't farm them.

2. This was something I was wondering about recently and I think it'd be a good idea to do it the way you mentioned. Because if I were to do it in the former idea, then players could simply boost all their attributes so that they have at least average ability literally in every attribute. Making it so they pay DE for a level up bonus that allots them an attribute up point would make it so they have to decide whether to maximize their main stats or if they want to improve one of their lesser stats; that way they can't have everything.

3. Mage Knight does that type of thing with the "Fame track." But I don't think it'd be necessary to have that type of side board in my game. You could simply count the number of "+ 1 attribute" tokens on the player's character card/sheet and you'd be able to know from that how much you'd have to pay to get another +1 attribute token if you'd want.
Besides spending DE on Power/skill cards and boosting attributes up, I'd like the players to be able to buy items like health potions (which would be represented by tokens most likely). If it's only one currency in the game it could work interesting...do you choose to buy a consumable health potion and possibly win a critical battle easier/earlier, or do you save up to permanently boost a stat or buy something more important?

4. I hear ya about the scaling thing. One idea I had originally was to have so weaker enemies are in the areas closest to the center safe area of the board but as you venture out further you encounter stronger enemies.
Perhaps I could also have it so that 1. some areas, through event cards or other circumstances, get a "danger token" on them that makes it so enemies are drawn from a stronger enemy card deck instead. or 2. The game has some sort of time mechanic and as the game goes on weaker enemies in general appear less frequently or stop appearing at all and are replaced by stronger enemies that take their place when spawning.

devaloki
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Although I'm not sure I

Although I'm not sure I understand what the cribbage scoring board type of thing is exactly...

BENagy
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I mixed it up. Forgive me,

I mixed it up. Forgive me, cribbage is very poor example. What I should have said was that you should have a trail of numbers that players move their marker across. A better example would be Pandemic. At the top right of the board (if you're unfamiliar and google it), they have circles reading 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4. Every time an event triggers moving the marker, you move it one space forward. In your case the event would be buying a skill, and the numbers would be (going back to my simplistic example) 5, 10, 15, etc.

On #4, I think you have the right idea. =) Here is how I would solve that, though already you've mentioned several others (the possibilities are endless):

You can have deck of cards for areas that have a finite number of monsters that they will fight against. In other words, if they want to farm the first area, they will have a maximum of, say, 10 monster cards they can battle. Once those are used up, they can no longer battle weak Area 1 monsters and must move on to tougher Area 2 monsters. The main issue with this strategy (or any of the others mentioned) is that it will always be beneficial to farm as much as possible. Thus, you need some sort of mechanic to push players forward. The two easiest ways I see this working are time based or push-your-luck based.

In a time-based approach, players must complete the game in a set time limit or number of turns, so they can't waste all their time just leveling up, or they won't move ahead far enough, quickly enough, to reach the end. Thus, players have to balance moving ahead too quickly and getting burned up, or farming for a while and risk falling too far behind. In the same category, you could also make an incremental difficulty based on time. So, for example, every 3 turns, ALL monsters, regardless of area get more difficult. This would mean players would have to again balance how fast they progressed through the game to make sure that monsters didn't become impossible because they wasted too many turns farming in Area 1.

In Push-Your Luck, there would probably be some form of combo with monster cards, so that when they were drawn, if a certain combination of monster types is drawn, the monsters become much harder without giving additional rewards. Thus players might not want to risk continuing to fight in a given area, as it becomes more and more likely that will run into one of these combinations. While viable, this method is much more difficult to work with, and harder to balance and conceptualize.

I'm certain there are plenty of even better ideas out there, but if you're stumped, this is how I would approach it.

It sounds like a cool idea, though, and I'm excited to see more!

devaloki
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Interesting ideas, thanks for

Interesting ideas, thanks for the tips.
Here's some more info about my game, perhaps through me telling you more about it you can help me come up with more ideas:

There are 5 Regions that the players can venture into (the game is semi-co-op btw, you co-op till the very end of the game when the game is "scored"), the safe central area connects to the 5. In order to win, the player(s) (game can be played solo) must defeat the 5 Bosses that are at the uppermost area of each Region.
Each Region has locations (spaces), some are empty spaces whilst others are dangerous and can be explored (similar to how spaces are in Talisman, but with more of a design setup similar to Defenders of the Realm). Each Region is further subdivided into 6 subregions. Picture the region as a slice and within that slice there are spaces on it, and within the whole Region there are slashes that separate/divide it into 6 subregions (spaces are within each subregion).
You draw a world event card at the start of each player's turn and the card shows various things but one of the most important is where the "darkness" spreads to. Darkness spreads from the top subregions and makes it way down toward the center. "Darkness" is indicated by placing a "darkness" token on a location that it spread to. "Darkness" can spread into locations in subregions that are not in the typical order sometimes via enemies that inhabit spaces. So you'll want to clear the board of enemies to stop the spread. Also sometimes world event cards can indicate the possibility of the spread of the "Abyss", it will indicate which Region it can possibly spread to and you roll a d6, the d6 roll shows which subregion it can appear at, if there are any "darkness" tokens in that subregion then an "Abyss" token will be placed on one of them. If there ever are a certain number of "Abyss" tokens on board (based on the number of players) then the players lose the game as the world became completely ruined.
Spaces with "darkness" on them affect the game in three major ways: 1. It makes the "Abyss" more likely to spread. 2. It makes traversing areas that have "darkness" more dangerous. and 3. It functions as a game timer and makes it so that the Bosses power increases for each subregion that has "darkness" on it.

Now, perhaps what could determine which/when stronger enemies come out could be determined by the amount of "Abyss" tokens out. But I do intend for players to be able to remove darkness and Abyss so perhaps it'd be best to use a finite monster deck for each Region and maybe even have it so when darkness/abyss spreads it mills cards from the top of the monster deck so it hastens that deck running out of cards!...

"In Push-Your Luck, there would probably be some form of combo with monster cards, so that when they were drawn, if a certain combination of monster types is drawn, the monsters become much harder without giving additional rewards. "
I'm not sure how that'd work...
Perhaps I could put cards in the monster decks and/or world events deck at certain intervals similar to pandemic?

"In a time-based approach, players must complete the game in a set time limit or number of turns, so they can't waste all their time just leveling up, or they won't move ahead far enough, quickly enough, to reach the end. "
Mage Knight does that perfectly actually...

I need to reread the rules for Pandemic though...

devaloki
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Thinking about it more

Thinking about it more though, if I use that idea of milling the weak enemy card decks, the players could simply go to the other Regions and still farm the weaker ones...hmm...
Maybe I should just have two total enemy card decks in the game, one weak, one strong. I do want to have different enemies for each of the different Regions though to reflect what each Region is about. Perhaps I could still do that by having it so the enemy card deck lists each Region on it and tells you what main enemy card to use for battle depending on where you are; any other ideas on how I could handle this?
So to limit farming in general I'll limit the amount of enemies that are out/can be encountered and not have too many.

Another idea I just thought of is that perhaps "darkness" mills the weak enemy card deck, but when "Abyss" appears it mills both decks...thus there would be a limit on enemies appearing in the game at all.

devaloki
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Also concerning the currency

Also concerning the currency thing, I'm going to keep with and playtest/work on using just one currency thing, thanks for the tips everyone on it

BENagy
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I think I understand this a

I think I understand this a bit better. Here's an idea: At the start of every turn, "darkness" spreads, and a new tile becomes a "darkness" tile. This means that the monster(s) that you would encounter on that tile increase in difficulty. Now if that tile gets hit again, it becomes an "Abyss" tile, which means possibly even harder monsters, or else it's a "locked down" tile, that is permanently "Abyss." (And as you said, when a certain number of tiles become "Abyss" tiles, the game is over.) Thus, the balancing act for players is to determine whether they are strong enough to defeat a "darkness" square when it becomes one, in order to make sure it doesn't become an "Abyss" tile, or else just leave it alone and train on non-"darkness" tiles to get stronger first.

Does that make sense?

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