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Want feedback on an encounter resolution mechanism

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larienna
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To put you into context, it's for my Eldrith Express sequel. I already asked before for some insight, but new ideas came in after playing One Deck Dungeon. The mechanic will be used to resolve an encounter (Think Eldrich/Arkham Horror style encounter). The objectives are:

  • Offer players a choice of the skill to use where both are meaningful path. So the player does not necessarily only take his strongest skill.
  • Offer negative and positive side effects independently of success.
  • Offer players some manipulations of the randomness for more strategic decisions.

The new system goes as follows, on each encounter card there is a row of 4 boxes with a casualty icon and a die number in each box (like one deck dungeon). And on the second row, there is 2 double boxes with a bonus reward icon. In the left box, it's written "odd", in the right box "even".

When a player reach an encounter he draws a card and must now chose between 2 skill. Each choice has a different difficulty level. Generally you have the easy choice which is 1+ or 2+. Then you have the hard choice which is 3+ or 4+, but if you succeed the hard choice, you get the asset on the card. Failed encounter will remain there making it easier for other players to plan for it.

The player will roll 2 set of dice. The player roll X (2-5) white dice, where X is the value of the skill he wants to use. Then the player can roll X (0-3) red dice which is given by various equipment, skills, expendables, etc. No more than 8 dice can be rolled.

The first step is to verify success. Player roll all dices and he must get a pair with his white dices. If the number on the pair is greater or equal the difficulty level of the encounter (the 1+ to 4+ value) he succeed.

The player will be able to spend exp to increase the value of a die by 1 point. There might be some skills or items that gives re-rolls.

The second step consist in either covering the top 4 square with dice (white and red) where the value exceed the number in the square (like in one deck dungeon), or place 2 odd or even dices in the double boxes on the bottom line to get a bonus reward.


If I criticize my own system to find some of it's flaw:

  • Both choices seems interesting, but the skill level of the player could dictate the choice if their value is not similar. For example, if a player's skill is strong in the easy choice, and weak with the hard choice, he should obviously take the easy choice. Still, it will not happen in all encounters.

  • The probabilities for rolling any pair can be a bit hard when the number of dice is low. Then it rise pretty fast when the number of dice rolled increases.

2 Dice = 16%, 3 Dice = 44%, 4 dice = 72%, 5 dice = 90%

The probability for a 4+ pair is half the above. Still, a player with only 2 dice, could focus before the encounter to get an extra die. And there is still manipulation by experience points. I also think there is 3-4 characters out of 12 with a stat of 2.

  • I played 2 games so far of one deck dungeon and the dice placement feels more like a puzzle than a strategy mechanism. You try to find the optimal way to get the less casualties. Here it's a bit different, you can still choose your casualties, but you can also try to get rewards instead if you are willing to take the casualties.

I'll give it more testing, if you have any comments let me know.

larienna
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Somebody on BGG complained

Somebody on BGG complained that is was not clear and that an illustration would make it easier to understand. So I decided to make one:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/4857452/larienna

questccg
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I think it's too complicated - for me anyway

Usually if you create such a "diagram", you use NUMBERS to help the reader understand how he/she should READ it. And then ADD some explanation below like #1: ... This is what it does, #2: ... This is how you use it, etc.

I must admit, you level of Intellect is far superior to mine and I personally didn't get what you were trying to explain (as I read your OP but did not comment).

Don't feel bad about it. There are more "complexe" games that exist. Take Lorenzo il magnifico... I saw 4 players play this game... And I could not figure out HOW to WIN this game. There was SO MUCH going on (like your diagram) that someone would have to explain to me HOW TO WIN, not how to play! (LOL) I prefer simpler games... And if they are well design they can be as FUN or more to play.

Anyhow I'd take a 2nd look at your diagram if you put some numbers and add some further explanation.

Best of luck(!?) with your game idea... (And I'd have another look if you added some more explanations... I don't mind helping, but I need to understand what it is you are trying to do FIRST!)

larienna
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There is nothing ingenious in

There is nothing ingenious in what I did. Half of the mechanics are taken from "one deck dungeon". You might want to take a look at this game instead.

let-off studios
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How Very ODD

You and I have chatted briefly about how much I personally enjoy ODD, so I won't reiterate that here. But I do have some thoughts on how you've implemented the dice-puzzle format.

  • Is this a solo game? Maybe co-op? I can't recall where to read your original game description. If not, then I don't think ODD is the game to emulate here. In that game, the puzzle is the main draw. By focusing so much on not only the results but also the placement of the dice, your game also becomes a game all about the puzzle. If that's what you want to do, then go for it, definitely!
  • Your choice of using XP to increase dice results is very different - and perhaps a very difficult - choice, when compared to ODD. In that game, it wasn't so much a choice as it was an obvious optimization. In your game, players may agonize about whether they can afford to sacrifice their XP for a dice improvement, particularly if XP are used elsewhere in the game for valuable upgrades. Perhaps you can award one-off, consumable dice improvements - like in the old-skool dice-chucker Zombies!!!, which had bullets that were discarded to improve dice results on a 1:1 basis.

Otherwise, this looks very interesting! Integrating the boons into the different choices also provides for some repeat plays and various strategies to attempt over multiple attempts/character builds.

larienna
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Quote:Is this a solo game?

Quote:
Is this a solo game? Maybe co-op?

It is a coop game, it's the sequel of my eldritch express game.

What my mechanics adds that is not in ODD the the possibility to succeed or fail. I originally thought of having a large box to put success dice there, but I thought it would have removed too many dice from the pool leaving too few dice to cover casualties. But now that I added red dice that are only use to cover casualties I could return to that old idea. One of the "reward" box, will be replaced as a success box. You need to put 2 dice there to succeed the encounter.

Quote:
By focusing so much on not only the results but also the placement of the dice, your game also becomes a game all about the puzzle. If that's what you want to do, then go for it, definitely!

There is much less dice than ODD, so it might be less complicated. Still, there could be skill that manipulates the dice. Elder Sign is still partly a puzzle game and it's relatively fun. Here the goal is to have various options to handle casualties. The only issue I could have with being too puzzle-ish is the time it takes to resolve in a multiplayer game. Still, since it's a cooperative game, other players could make suggestions on the dice placement.

Quote:
In your game, players may agonize about whether they can afford to sacrifice their XP for a dice improvement, particularly if XP are used elsewhere in the game for valuable upgrades

So far, the experience would only be used to manipulate dices. Originally, it was a "pay the difference to succeed, or fail to gain more exp". I adapted the system by making you pay to change die value. The only issue is that there is more than 1 die to modify, so either more exp are gained, or 1 exp gives up to +2 to a die. There will be other stuff (expendables, skills) that can manipulate dice or give you red dice.

Another idea is that I can remove the difficulty value and make the B choice have more casualties box. Let say choice A has the 2 left casualty box, and choice B has all 4 casualty box. So the success probability is not changed, but the risk and reward are changed.

let-off studios
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Dice and XP

larienna wrote:
So far, the experience would only be used to manipulate dices. Originally, it was a "pay the difference to succeed, or fail to gain more exp". I adapted the system by making you pay to change die value. The only issue is that there is more than 1 die to modify, so either more exp are gained, or 1 exp gives up to +2 to a die. There will be other stuff (expendables, skills) that can manipulate dice or give you red dice.
One thing you may want to consider is to allow the player to use 1XP to change an -even- to any -odd- number, or vice versa. This adds maximum utility to the XP, and likely still fit with the theme, while still not providing necessarily a perfect result. Just something to consider for playtesting.

larienna wrote:
Another idea is that I can remove the difficulty value and make the B choice have more casualties box. Let say choice A has the 2 left casualty box, and choice B has all 4 casualty box. So the success probability is not changed, but the risk and reward are changed.
I like this a lot. Again, this provides a lot of choice to the player, as well as adds to the replayability. I think it's very fitting for a solo/co-op game.

You may also consider abilities or expendables/skills, as you mentioned above, that allow a player to throw the dice before deciding which choice to take.

larienna
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You may also consider

Quote:
You may also consider abilities or expendables/skills, as you mentioned above, that allow a player to throw the dice before deciding which choice to take.

Well since each choice requires a different attribute, the number of dice rolled will be different. Still all rolls will have a minimum of 2 white die, so I could have a special power (sort of clairvoyance) that makes you roll 2 white dice before choosing. Revealing a portion of your roll, but not your whole roll.

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