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Fun way to do programmable movement ?

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Milostnik's picture
Joined: 03/11/2017

Hi everyone.

In advance - thanks for all the great suggestions, you all help so much when I hit a roadblock and need advice.

So Thanks!!!

The concept: All the players are controlling the pawns on the board to escape the labyrinth from the minotaur.

I've settled on the idea that players have to roll from a pool of anywhere between 4-8 D6's so seen what actions are available in their turn.

I recently thought about the idea that the players can choose which direction the pawns move from hex to hex, and instead, it's an "If you roll Up, Down, Left, Right" those are the programmable movements you can distribute to your pawns in any order. Kinda like Magic Maze. E.G attached.

However, if a skull comes up on one of the faces on the D6, then that dice is removed from the game till a player sacrifices their turn (or rolls the opposite to a skull) to get that dice back.

This leaves me with the problem of having to convey which side a pawn can leave a hex, with 4 or 5 faces on the dice.

I wanted to ask what you think would be an interesting way of implementing that mechanic so its programmable movement, but also a push your luck system that effects other players turns.

Doesn't necessarily have to be dice. I'm open to other components.



Joined: 12/22/2015
hexes have 6 sides

Have you considered using custom 8 sided dice with a skull and your "opposite of a skull" and the numbers 1-6 on it to keep 6 directions?

(For playtest just declare an 8 to be a skull and a 7 to be its opposite)

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Tiles & Dice

I have a suggestion, depicted in an image here:

To summarize: The player places tiles on their player board in the direction they want to go. Then they move their piece in the maze in the programmed directions, from left to right. Then they throw their detection dice to determine their Minotaur threat.

All positive detection result dice are placed on the player's board, from right to left. Any tile overlapped by a detection die is removed from the player's pool of tokens until they spend a turn hiding/recharging/whatever.

This adds much more player control to turns, so they make purposeful moves, but need to balance the risk of moving a lot in a single turn with being detected and potentially losing a turn while they hide again.

Hiding isn't really fun, but hopefully there will be things the player can do during their turn which will make it all worth it.

You can also add in different tiles to the player's assortment as they pick up equipment: "Attack" tiles with weapons, "Search" or "Pick Lock" or "Climb" tiles for other equipment, etc.

Milostnik's picture
Joined: 03/11/2017
This is a great suggestion!

This is a great suggestion!

I was wondering what you think might be a good plan to battle the whole "players taking ages to plan their turn" thing. The advantage of rolling dice would be a quick way of having your turn laid out for you (to some extent), without having to take time to plan it.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Loss of Control

Unless you want to factor in the completely random "bad roll" that gives the player the choices of "pass my turn" or "arrange my dice in an order that doesn't take me too far away from my next objective," then I don't recommend you depend on the dice to sort player directions. It's like throwing the dice, and simply hoping that the proper result(s) result from it. There's no player choice when depending on dice, and the possibility of a sub-optimal outcome is high, as it is with disappointment and frustration.

If you allow players to mitigate bad rolls (using special abilities or equipment or what not), this only adds to turn time.

Regarding analysis paralysis when planning turns with tiles: I imagine throwing dice and trying to arrange the results as close to an optimal move would be just as taxing (if not more) on brains and time. The upshot I can see from here is that the player has maximum control of the outcomes, with the exception of the Minotaur's behaviour - which should not be in their control anyway.

If you attempt to use the tile method and it still seems like players are taking too long to determine their tile placement, then your game may be suffering from unclear objectives. AP can also come from players not understanding what their "next best move" would be at any given time:

  • everything seems to have the same benefit and no choice seems better than any other
  • all consequences for failure are steep and the choice is too intimidating
  • they feel they're losing and have no way to catch up, and become disengaged
  • etc.
Joined: 06/09/2017
good idea, have you

good idea, have you considered extra monsters? if each hex has more than 1 arrow, of different colours, you could have many monsters moving on several different paths, eg a minotaur follows white, a mummy follows red etc. i dont know if this fits the theme but it would add extra (optional) complexity and difficulty.
building on the idea of a monster die, you could have one monster that travels 6 possible ways according to dice throw, or 5 ways and a no move. again in colours or a number system to save on components

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