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Need *game* ideas

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questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011

Hi all,

Posting here has got me wanting to rethink not publishing a Second Edition of Quest Adventure Cards. The version that I have (which is a working prototype) encapsulates all the changes from players of the First Edition.

So what has changed:
1-No more *quest* cards.
2-No more discarding cards to the treasury.

The problem I have with the game is that is is *too simple*. Well maybe it is AGE appropriate which is 9+.

So I will explain what I have (in the Second Edition):

1-Set collection: players follow 2 simple rules and try to mix and match cards to satisfy them.

A: Hero (card) + Item > Monster (in terms of points)
B: Monster + Lair > Treasure + Character (again in terms of points)
(Players score +3 points for each pair, if Hero-Item, Monster-Lair or Treasure-Character are of the same color)

2-Two hands: the player's hand (which you draw 2 cards per turn) and a treasury.

C: The treasury contains *Tribute Cards* which can be earned using various Event cards.

3-Various "Event" cards.

I was wondering if anyone has any ideas as to what I can *ADD* to the game.

Many thanks for comments and replies.

MarkKreitler's picture
Joined: 11/12/2008

Hey Quest,

When you say the game is "too simple," what exactly do you mean? Can you be more specific about what you feel it lacks? Could you also include what your target playing time and complexity is, and give an example of 1 or 2 games that have the feel and complexity you're after?

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Some answers

MarkKreitler wrote:
Hey Quest,

When you say the game is "too simple," what exactly do you mean?

Well when I say *too simple* it is because the game is a lot about luck. Of course you have "Event" cards to be able to steal a card from any opponent, force a player to pay you a certain amount of points, skip a players turn, earn tribute cards (for your treasury - which can help you from losing Score cards which are cards in play and score points for a player).

MarkKreitler wrote:
Can you be more specific about what you feel it lacks?

I'd like there to be more strategic game play... I know "Uno" is a lot of luck also because you draw cards (and it depends what cards you get).

MarkKreitler wrote:
Could you also include what your target playing time and complexity is

Takes about 15-30 minutes for a game to play out (from what I can remember - haven't playtested it for a while... It kinda has been on the back-burner).

MarkKreitler wrote:
give an example of 1 or 2 games that have the feel and complexity you're after?

Not really sure. Like its predecessor, I wanted the game to be about *completing quests*. How it works in the Second Edition, is you basically have to have a Hero that can beat the Monster (points higher). If he cannot beat the Monster, he can use/equip an Item. Those 2 cards need to beat the Monsters (points). Then the next step is that the Monster needs to be able to carry the Treasure (points higher again). If not, the Monster can rely on a Lair to hide the Treasure (so both Monster+Lair > Treasure - always in terms of points). Lastly the optional card is the Character and it allows players to score additional points. Monster+Lair must be greater that Treasure+Character (and the character is trapped within the lair...)

Those 6 cards kinda tell the *Story* of the Quest:

Example: The "Champion" with his "Justice Sword" has slain the "Giant Ogre" who was hidding in the "Castle". The Champion found the "Gold Chest" and rescued the "Royal Guard". (That is when all 6 cards are in play - as an example)

Note: In the example, all cards are PURPLE in color (Just Cause) and therefore the player would earn +9 points (3x +3 points = Hero/Item, Monster/Lair and Treasure/Character) for the matching cards/colors.

MarkKreitler's picture
Joined: 11/12/2008

Hey Quest,

Thanks for the answers -- they helped a lot.

I've got a suggestion or two, but they're more "reformulations" than additions. I throw them out in the spirit of brainstorming rather than "have you tried exactly this?"

The idea is to change the basic mechanics a bit to reinforce more strategic gameplay, but still keep things simple. It works like this:

-- Have 1 (small) character pile, 1 quest pile (containing monsters, treasures, "areas" (formerly lairs) and events), and 1 "equipment" deck.
-- Deal the equipment evenly to all players.
-- Blindly select 10% of the cards at random from the quest deck and discard them (don't look at them).
-- Shuffle the remaining quest cards and place them face down.
-- Shuffle the character pile and place it face down next to the quest cards.
-- Play starts with the player to the dealer's left.
-- The active player starts a new Quest by flipping over the top Character card. All characters have a "strength" number.

-- The active player replenishes his hand to 5 cards.
-- The player flips over a single Quest card.
-- If it's a treasure, the player does nothing until the end of the turn (see below). All treasures have a Gold Value. Some have a Special Power (see below).
-- If it's an Area card, perform the action indicated. For example: Swamp -- player loses 1 Equipment card at random.
-- If it's an Event card, perform the action indicated. For Example: Lost! -- player's turn ends immediately. Quest continues with next player.
-- If it's a Monster, add its strength to that of all monsters previously played in this Quest. If the monsters' strength exceeds the characters, the player may play a single Equipment or Treasure card to save the character. Most equipment has a strength that is added to Characters, but some may be spells like "Fire Shield" ("ignore all damage from any blue creature) or "Dodge" (ignore all damage from monsters with strength < 3). Players may only play Treasure cards that they have earned from previous quests, and then only if the treasure has a Special Power. Playing the Treasure destroys it (remove from play), but activates the Special Ability. Example: "Jump Gem". Worth 5 gold, the player can shatter this to discard the last monster drawn.
-- If the total Monster strength exceeds the total strength of the Character and all Equipment cards, the Character has been defeated and the player's turn ends.
-- If the Character remains undefeated, the player may choose to turn over another Quest card, or may stop the Quest.
-- END PLAYER'S TURN LOOP (player can repeat the loop until his hand is empty, the Character is defeated or the Quest otherwise interrupted, or the player decides to stop).

-- If the player exhausts his hand or decides to stop playing cards, the Quest continues with the next player, who can choose to continue the Quest or start a new one.
-- If the next player starts a new Quest, the previous player collects all the Treasure associated with the previous Quest and discards the used Equipment and Quest cards into separate piles. The previous player then lets any players who participated in the previous Quest randomly choose 1 Treasure, then keeps the rest for himself.
-- If the next player continues the old Quest, he immediately enters his TURN LOOP, by flipping over a new Quest card.

-- Play continues until the Quest deck or the Character deck is empty.


So, this formulation uses a "push your luck" mechanic to force players to use cards strategically. It also lets players risk some Treasures to gain advantage via Special Powers. If you give the monsters "colors" (i.e., suits), and the characters "Classes," you can make interesting equipment cards that are class specific, and Area and Event cards that affect only certain monsters.

The "blind discard of 10% of the Quest cards" makes card counting much less effective.

To make all this work, I imagine players placing all cards in a matrix as they build the active Quest. Each new player starts a new row, so everyone can track who has contributed when it comes to dividing treasure.

While there will still be a lot of luck, the game should feel much more strategic.


MarkKreitler's picture
Joined: 11/12/2008
Wall o' text

Hey Q,

Sorry for that earlier post. I tried re-writing it a couple of times, but it kept getting longer.

Here's the gist: do you know the game 10,000 (or Farkel):

It's a dice game where players compete to be the first to reach 10,000 points. On the active player's turn, he can choose to start at 0 points and roll all 6 dice, or try to build on the points earned by the previous player by rolling fewer dice. He then rolls once and looks at the dice. If any dice score points, the player can set some or all of those dice aside and add their score to the points in the pot. If, in a single roll, all the dice score, the player can set them all aside, in which case he gets to roll all 6 dice on the next roll (I call this 'rolling over' the dice). If none of the dice score after a roll, the player loses all points and passes the dice to the next player. Otherwise, the player then decides whether to roll again without the dice set aside, or take the accumulated points and pass the remaining dice to the next player.

This game is fun, easy, and both strategic and random, thanks to its two main mechanics:

1 -- "press your luck" -- the player is encouraged to keep rolling, but as he does, he's rolling fewer dice, making it harder to score, unless he gets lucky and "rolls over" the dice.

2 -- "piggybacking" -- if a player runs up a large pot, the next player can try to build on the pot. To do so, she must roll only the "left over" dice from the original player, which adds great tension -- especially when several players successfully build the pot up in a row.

So, my idea is to adapt the mechanics of 10,000 to your game by doing the following:

a) Let a Quest consist of any number of combined Treasure, Monster, Event, and Lair/Area cards.
b) Let longer Quests accumulate more "value," but get correspondingly harder to complete.
c) Give the players a choice to play multiple cards into the Quest on their turn (I didn't include a "roll over" mechanic, though).
d) Give players a way to "continue on" with the previous player's quest.

So, the idea is, as the current player, I want to pump up the Quest's value as high as possible, but leave it in a state that makes it very risky for the next player to continue (not sure the "design" above achieves this).

Also, I wanted to create a "press your luck" mechanic, whereby playing too aggressively would mean the end of your turn (also not sure the above design achieves this).

Here's a quick redesign, very high level:

Players start a Quest by turning over the top Character card, which has a "Power" rating.
The active player replenishes his had to 5 cards.
The active player then starts flipping over Quest cards: monsters, treasures, events, and areas.
-- Every Quest card has a color (suit) and Power rating; many have Gold ratings; some have Special Effects.
After flipping over each Quest card, the player may play 1 Equipment card. All Equipment has a color (suit) and Power rating. Some have a Special Effect.
-- If, after playing the Equipment card, the player's total Power is greater than or equal to the Quests's total Power, he can end the Quest (which ends his turn), or continue his turn (assuming he has cards to play).
If the player loses his turn, the next player can choose to continue the Quest or start a new one. If he continues, he starts at the deficit left by the previous player, adds a new Quest card, and must successfully raise the Character's total power to match or exceed the Quest's. If he fails to do so, his turn ends and the Quest fails.

-- Scoring: this is tricky, and I haven't worked out the details, yet. 10,000 works because you get all the points in the pot when you stop. My previous post's rules don't work that way, which breaks the design. This area needs work, since it's crucial to establishing the "risk vs reward" that drives both the "press your luck" and "piggybacking" mechanics.

These rules are rough and have problems, but hopefully get the point across well enough for brainstorming. I'm going to noodle them a while longer, because I think there's a workable, fun game in there somewhere, and now I'm sort of interested to dig it out.


questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
I sent you a private message

Hi Mark,

WOW... That is *interesting*. I have sent you a "Private Message" since I figured it would be best not to clutter the thread with questions and explanations.

One thing, I'm not certain about "area" cards. I liked the "Lair" cards and would like something similar...

Still need to think about it.


questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Okay so I can maybe point a few things out...

There are a couple of "hiccups" in the original design:

1-That the player who continues an unfinished Quest, could stand to win more than just 1 random Treasure card. Maybe he could STEAL the other players points by continuing (risky business) the Quest. Same would go for the next player after... Very risky but yields a possible invaluable reward. If he fails to do so, he ends his turn and the Quest is complete (or it is complete when a player decides NOT to continue it)... This sounds more like 10,000 (or what you are trying to achieve).
2-Scoring should be about more than just treasures... Not sure how - yet.
3-"Area/Lair" cards are not very good (design-wise) because there isn't much you can do with them.

MarkKreitler's picture
Joined: 11/12/2008

You're right about the scoring. The problems you point out are exactly what I was thinking when I said scoring was broken in the second post.

Stealing is an interesting idea -- have to think about that more.

Alternatively, I've been thinking it should work like Farkel in that you get all the points accumulated up to that point, but that could be tedious to compute.

I also agree that scoring should be about more than just Treasure. I have a couple ideas about that which I'll PM you.

As for Lair/Area, I agree that Lair is better than Area, but once I dropped set completion as a mechanic, Lairs got weird. For instance, you could have a Quest with Lairs but no monsters.

On the other hand, I think the Lair/Area cards could be interesting. For example:

Area: Enchanted Forest
Color: Green
Power: +1 for each Green Monster in the Quest.

These are the cards that make it very risky to continue a long Quest.

Going to read and reply to your PM now.

MarkKreitler's picture
Joined: 11/12/2008

Whoa -- just had an idea that might fix both the "too much math" and scoring problems.

Instead of beating the Quest's current total value, you only have to beat the last Quest card drawn -- but Quest cards express power in terms of cards already in the Quest. One example would be the Enchanted Forest, which has a Power equal to the number of green Monsters on the board. Here's another example:

Power: 4
Special Ability: Power doubles for each Black Area in the Quest.

You could do something similar for Treasure, having their value depend on earlier Quest cards.

Not all Quest and Treasure cards would behave this way, but those that do provide a risk/reward that scales with Quest size. Those big payoffs and penalties function like a slot machine, encouraging the player to go for the big pot.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011

Okay so here is my thought on scoring:

Monsters and Lair are RED cards and NEGATIVE scoring to POWER.

Treasures and Equipment are GREEN and POSITIVE scoring to POWER.

So let's say I am a Mage with POWER = 15.

The first card I draw is the "Diamond Pendant" [Treasure]: +3 POWER, so my POWER = 18.

The next card I draw is the "Black Dragon" [Monster]: -6 POWER, so my POWER = 12.

The next card I draw is the "Giant Ogre" [Monster]: -5 POWER, so my POWER = 7 (Getting risky)

The next card I draw is the "Dwarven mine" [Lair]: -3 POWER, so my POWER = 4 (Risky but you still have ONE Equipment card you can play)

The next card I draw is the "Assassin" [Event]: End your turn.

The next player sees that the POWER is 4, risky but he can play an Equipment card... So he decides to continue.

The next player draws an "Enchanted Mirror" [Treasure]: +4 POWER, so the POWER = 8... etc.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Starting POWER a little too high

questccg wrote:
So let's say I am a Mage with POWER = 15.

So maybe this value (POWER) should be LESS than 10... This reduces the amount of cards that will be player per player.

Maybe ONE equipment card PER QUEST... (across all players)

I was also thinking that instead of having Equipment, we could have RELICS. And the Character CHANNELS the POWER of the relic... 5 different circles of relics:
-Terra (Earth), Ignis (Fire), Aqua (Water), Solis (Sun) and Lunae (Moon).
-Corresponding COLORS: Green, Red, Blue, White and Black.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Lairs ONLY (Example)

MarkKreitler wrote:
As for Lair/Area, I agree that Lair is better than Area, but once I dropped set completion as a mechanic, Lairs got weird. For instance, you could have a Quest with Lairs but no monsters.

On the other hand, I think the Lair/Area cards could be interesting.

Well if you only have "Lairs", what it means is the Character has spent ENERGY (think POWER) to search for an enemy Monster - but found NONE. It still uses up some of his POWER (Not as much as an encounter). If you have 3 "Lairs" in a row with no monster, well the Character's POWER will go down say like 10...

Another scoring example:
A Fighter with POWER 7, draws a "Haunted Castle" [Lair]: -3 POWER, = 4 POWER.
Next he draws an "Ancient Ruins" [Lair]: -2 POWER, = 2 POWER. (Risky).
Next he draws a "Giant Pyramid" [Lair]: -4 POWER, = -2 POWER... Now he needs to play ONE Relic...
He channels the power of his "Justice Sword" [Relic] and releases +3 POWER, so now he is a +1 POWER.
Next he decides to END his turn.

Scoring VS. Gold:
In the above example, the player scored 0 Treasures, however "Lairs" should contain treasures or gold. So each of these lairs could have a gold value ALSO... POWER and GOLD.

MarkKreitler's picture
Joined: 11/12/2008

These are neat examples. Feels like you're coming up with an easy-to-understand system that gives players a clear choice with each card (continue vs stop). And you've simplified the origin brainstorming design, which is great.

What is your take on scoring for a player who continues the existing Quest?

MarkKreitler's picture
Joined: 11/12/2008

Thanks to this thread and your PM, I've been able to refine the design. It's diverging from the original idea a bit, and hence from your examples above, but that doesn't imply any criticism of either direction. I think you're on to some good stuff. This may be, too.

Anyway, the refinement:

Object: have the most points after playing once through the Quest deck.
-- 1 small deck of Characters
-- 1 large deck of Quest cards (Monsters, Realms, and Events)
-- 1 large deck of Adventure Cards (Weapons, Items, Spells, Skills, and Luck).
-- 1 medium deck of Treasures

Monsters, Realms, and Items come in colors representing "elemental" spheres like: holy, unholy, wood, fire, water.

Shuffle each of the 4 decks separately. Deal 5 Adventure cards to each player.

Play Summary:
-- The game starts by flipping over the top Character card. Play starts with the person on the dealer's left.
-- The active player flips over the topmost Quest card, which will have a Power value, a Treasure value, and possible a special effect.
-- The player must then play one Adventure card (or a single comb of cards) whose total Power equals or exceeds the Quest card's Power value.
-- If the player succeeds, he draws Treasure cards equal to the card's Treasure value. If he fails, the Quest ends, along with his turn, and play proceeds to the next player, who begins by flipping over a new Character card.

Example -------------
Dave, Diane, and Drew start a new game. They flip over the first Character:

Njordalf the Dwarf
Special Power: +2 Power when using a Weapon
Limitation: may not use Spells

Dave starts his turn. He flips over the first Quest card:

Realm: Burial Mounds
Color: black
Power: 0
Treasure: 0
Special: Draw Again

Seeing the Special Power, Dave draws a second Quest card:

Event: Thief!
Special: discard 1 Treasure or 2 Adventure cards to continue your turn.

Dave discards 2 cards and flips a third Quest card:

Monster: Orcs
Color: grey
Power: 4
Treasure: 1

Dave plays his "Short Sword" card, a Weapon with Power = 2. Since Njordal has +2 Power with Weapons, the total power is 4, which matches the Orcs' 4. Dave draws 1 Treasure and places it on the Orc.

With only 2 Equipment cards left, Dave decides to stop. He takes the Treasure and places it face up in front of him in his Treasury.


The next player can continue Njordalf's Quest, or start a new one. If she starts anew, she discards all of Njordalf's accumulated Quest cards. If she continues, she leaves them on the table, adding Quest cards to them as she plays out her turn.

Some Adventure cards can be "comboed" for increased effectiveness, allowing players to place multiple cards in a single play. Players may make only 1 play per Quest card, however.

Example -------------
Diane begins her turn. She decides to continue Njordal's Quest and flips over the next Quest card:

Monster: Skeletons
Color: Black
Power: 2 + 1 for each Black Area in the Quest
Treasure: 1

Because there is 1 black area in play (the Burial Mounds), the Skeletons have a strength of 3. Diane plays "Dagger" -- a Weapon with strength 1 -- using Njordal's +2 Power to bring her total to 3. She defeats the monsters, draws 1 Treasure, and places it on the Monster's card.

She decides to continue and flips over the next Quest card:

Monster: Ogre
Color: grey
Power: 8
Treasure: 2

Diane plays the following combo:

Item: Scroll
Color: grey
Power: 0
Special: allow anyone to use a Spell at full power

++ plus ++

Spell: Fireball
Color: red
Power: 6

++ plus ++

Luck: Lucky Shot!
Special Effect: combo to double an attack's Power

Her total of 12 beats the Ogre's 8 and she collects her 2 Treasures, placing them on the Ogre.

With only a single card left, Diane decides to stop, moves her Treasures face up in front of her.


Players can continue to draw Quest cards until they fail to overcome one of the cards' Power or decide to stop. If a player empties his hand successfully overcoming a Quest card, he can replenish to 5 and keep going.

If the player fails to overcome a Quest card, he must discard all Treasure earned during that turn.

Example -------------
Drew opts to continue the current Quest and flips over the next Quest card:

Realm: Enchanted Forest
Color: Green
Power: 4
Treasure: 1
Special: you may overcome this card by discarding 1 green Adventure card

Drew discards a green "Heal" spell and collects 1 Treasure, which he places on the Realm card. Then he draws again:

Monster: Wild Elves
Power: 4
Color: green
Treasure: 1
Special: Double Power if last Realm is green

Drew plays the following cards:

Luck: Surprise Attack!
Special: Combo with Any Card for +2 Power

Miscellaneous: Oil of Pain
Special: Combo with Weapon for +2 Power

Miscellaneous: Perfect Specimen
Special: Combo with Character to double Special Power

Weapon: Short Sword
Color: grey
Power: 2

Drew must overcome 8 Power. His combo results in 2 for the dagger, +4 for Njordal's special power (doubled by "Perfect Specimen"), +2 for "Oil of Pain" -- for 8 points. He succeeds, and uses all his cards to boot.

Drew draws 1 Treasure, places it on the Wild Elves, and replenishes his exhausted hand to 5 cards.

Flush with victory, he draws another Quest card:

Event: Unholy Rite
Special: If any black Realms are in play, revive the last monster defeated, treat it as black, and double its Power.

Drew looks at the Raised Wild Elves, now strength 16, frowns at his hand, and announces his defeat. He discards his accumulated Treasure (1 on the Enchanted Forest and 1 on the Wild Elves), discards all current Quest cards (since he failed, the Quest failed), and passes play to Dave.


Some Treasures', called "Artifacts", have variable value, depending on cards played previously in the Quest. Such Treasures have a unique value printed on each border, signifying four "levels" of possible Value. When a player successfully ends a turn and collects his Treasures, he rotates all Artifacts when placing them in the Treasury such that the correct value as at the top of the card.

Example ---------------------
After defeating the Ogre, Diane drew two treasures, one of which was:

Artifact: Necronomicon
-- Level 1: 2 (0 black Realms in the play)
-- Level 2: 4 (1 black Realm in play)
-- Level 3: 8 (2 black Realms in play)
-- Level 4: 16 (3+ black Realms in play)

Since 1 black Realm was in play when she defeated the Ogre, she turns the card so that 4 is along the top when moving it into her Treasury.

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