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Dungeon Draw (micro PYL card game)

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JewellGames
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Rules | Cards

Last year I was working on a push your luck card game of the same name. It had about 36 cards and a lot of different mechanics. But, there were still some issues with the design...and development stalled.

For the new design contest over at BGG, I have revamped and simplified the game to appeal to kids and casual players. So, I hope you have a chance to take a look and provide feedback. Thanks!

This is an entry for the 2015 Children's Game Print and Play Design Contest.
JewellGames
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All 18 cards

Here is a preview of all 18 cards (coins, items, monsters):

Click to see full size image.

JewellGames
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Changes

I changed the skull on the coins to a "1". This way, players know a coin's value (and in case I ever add higher value coins).

Someone said that there really isn't much tension until you have 2 monsters in the dungeon so I'm considering changing it to 2 monsters = bust instead of 3.

This would also change the Sword's power to, "Guess the next monster. If you're right, discard it." to add more excitement.

Thoughts?

let-off studios
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Sword + Torch = ?

Does the Torch negate the Sword's ability, or would the Torch guarantee the discard of a Creature via the Sword? Secondly, if the card drawn after a Sword isn't a Creature, does the player still have a chance to guess the next Creature? I'm not certain how the Sword's ability can be resolved immediately (as stated in the rules) in all situations.

For example: a player draws the Sword. They guess "Spider." Instead, the next card is the Torch. They look at the next card before drawing it (by using The Torch's ability) and see that it's the Ooze.

QUESTION: Which of these scenarios happens?
- The player's guess is wrong, so The Ooze is not discarded and adds to that turn's Creature count.
- The player may guess again, and choose "Ooze" after being assisted by the Torch, to discard The Ooze card when it is drawn.
- The Sword is ignored, as the card drawn after the Sword wasn't a creature (or for some other reason). The Ooze stays in the dungeon as per normal.
- Something else I hadn't mentioned.

JewellGames
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I may need to reword the

I may need to reword the rules then. The part of the Sword that needs to be resolved is immediately guessing the next monster (not the next card). So, the next monster could come several draws later and I guess that's when the entire Sword power would be resolved.

The Torch has been reworded in the official card file and reads, "Look at the next card before deciding if you want to draw it."

So, if I look at the next card and I don't want to draw it that means I must end my turn since I am not continuing in the dungeon. The Torch no longer offers the option of discarding the unwanted card (this will be a hero ability later though).

How it should play out:

Player already has 2 monsters in the dungeon.
Player draws the Sword and immediately guesses "Ooze".
The next card is the Torch.
The player looks at the next card and sees it is the "Ooze". Normally they'd probably want to stop there because they'd bust otherwise. But, since they guessed Ooze earlier with the Sword, they can draw it and then immediately discard it.

As you see you only guess once when you first draw the Sword, hence why I said resolve it immediately. But technically the next monster could be several draws later.

JewellGames
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Cards

I have made a few changes, here are the current 18 cards:

Click to see full size image.

let-off studios
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Lost Coin

If the player has the Lost Coin and then the Key and Chest, does the named player lose 2 Coins from their total?

Meanwhile, I really like the creature powers when combined with the Trap! :)

JewellGames
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reply

Nah, the Lost Coin's power is just the -1 coin when you draw it. But, then scored twice at the end of your turn with a Chest/Key in the dungeon.

And I am still on the fence whether I want the "lost coin" mechanic in there at all. It is fun, but also an oddball for the coin types which adds a little confusion.

I will probably add "trap" powers for all monsters but am just playtesting these 3 right now.

Other monster trap power ideas:

If this monster is drawn by the Trap, draw another card.
If this monster is drawn by the Trap, shuffle the Trap back into the deck.

let-off studios
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Torch Utility

You may also want to add an ability to help out the Torch. For example, I can imagine the player using the Torch to burn the Spider's webs. Write on the Spider's card: "If revealed with the Torch, immediately discard The Spider." Not too-overpowered, and is just as likely as the Dragon's special ability.

Hook
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great little game

First let me say its a super nice little game you made. I think the graphics works good and I like the overall minimalistic style and the "gamey" font. I would love if the icons where more like small illustrations - but thats a subjective feeling.

Since english is not my first language you might just ignore these rule comments/questions but:

1. First i thought the end condition about "treasure" ment coins and items.

2. Related to my first assumption I am not sure when you write collect all cards if they should be discarded, kept or handed along to the next player (for ex you keep the key until next play.). Then I figured since there are not so many cards that you hand them over.

3. Do the effect of the lost coin happen immediately? Because it is a coin...

Well it is only details in a game I would try with my kid. Cheers.

//Hoek

JewellGames
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I plan to either mark all

Updated the rules to cover issue 1 and 2.

For 3, yes, it happens when you draw it. The final rules will have a synopsis for each unique card that explains when it triggers and when it resolves.

MarkJindra
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Flavor

Flavor wise it is quite good but if you are targeting kids you should consider changing out the mimic and the ooze for monsters that are more recognizable to kids. Maybe look at fairy tales for inspiration. Troll, Goblin, Snake all come to mind.

Also it seems like as the game went on you might be able to deduce what cards are left in the deck. Would it radically alter the game to set aside the top two cards of the deck with ought looking at them so that you don't know whats in the deck every time? Or at least add it as a optional rule?

=MJ=

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MarkJindra wrote:Also it

MarkJindra wrote:
Also it seems like as the game went on you might be able to deduce what cards are left in the deck. Would it radically alter the game to set aside the top two cards of the deck with ought looking at them so that you don't know whats in the deck every time? Or at least add it as a optional rule?

Personally, I wouldn't recommend this. I've playtested the PnP version a fair amount lately, and I still find myself at a decision point whether to continue even if I've found all six coins (my sense of greed kicks in). The inclusion of the Chest and Key give me a sense of wondering if I'll be able to find them both and double my score for that round if I keep going. As soon as all six Coins, the Key, and the Chest are found, I'm out of there with a max score (this is quite rare, by the way).

If two cards are removed from the deck at the outset, there's no way of me knowing if one or both of those special cards is missing from those remaining in the deck. If there's a special effect created for an item to compensate for this, then it just bogs the game down with some less-dramatic result, and or I would have to pay a Coin or two to make it happen. Neither one of those results seem worth it to me.

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I am looking for monster trap

I am looking for monster trap powers for all 6 monsters so I am not opposed to changing them to more iconic monsters.

Also, someone suggested changing the key so you can either unlock the Chest or disarm the Trap (which will be more menacing when all 6 monster have Trap abilities).

I am not sure if I will make this change yet but here is what it would look like:

So, I am open to new monster ideas combined with Trap abilities.

Example: Golem - If this monster is drawn by the Trap, discard the Shield in the dungeon.

JewellGames
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double post

double post

JewellGames
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I know leftoff mentioned

I know leftoff mentioned buffing the torch. I really like the spider webs idea but then it wouldn't have a trap ability which I hoped for.

One idea was either to let you discard the revealed card if you wanted (like it used to be) or let you draw two cards on your next draw but you must play one and discard one which could be a tough choice if both are good cards.

Both definitely add complexity to the game as they interact with other cards so I'm not sure if that's worth it.

Thoughts?

JewellGames
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[Poll] Monster Trap Powers

I am running a poll over at BGG seeking your top 6 monster trap powers if you would like to participate. And, I am open to new ideas too!

I think my favorite so far is the summoner type power.

WIP Thread at BGG

The next step will be matching the top 6 voted powers to iconic monsters.

Then on to possibly reworking the Torch.

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Update

This game will probably be dropped from the children's contest and instead entered into the 18 card contest.

The 6 powers have been chosen.

  • Trap: The {monster} counts as 2 monsters!
  • Trap: Look at the card on the bottom of the deck. If it's a monster, draw it.
  • Trap: Discard the next card without looking at it.
  • Trap: Discard a coin in the dungeon.
  • Trap: You may discard a coin in the dungeon to shuffle the {monster} back into the deck.
  • Trap: Shuffle the Trap back into the deck.

    The next step is matching a monster to each power. I am open to suggestions!

    I wanted the design to look more dungeon-esque so I reworked the border. Now I need to determine which of these 3 layouts I want:

    Which one do you like?

    Lastly, I am working on the coins. I am not sure yet if I want to add more powers to the coins or not. But here are some tentative ideas:

  • The "Lucky" Coin: You may flip this card like a coin. Face Up: It's worth double. Face down: It's discarded.
  • The "Dragon" Coin: Worth double when the Dragon is also in the dungeon.
  • The "Skull" Coin v1: If you bust, remove a coin from your overall score.
  • The "Skull" Coin v2: If you bust, remove a coin from each opponent's overall score.

    Have any other coin ideas?

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    Player choices

    If I was going to put powers on the coins, I'd try to make them so that the player has a choice and/or the combination of coins forms part of the risk/reward decision on whether to continue in the dungeon or not.

    E.g.:
    Coin A: If you ever have A and B in the dungeon at the same time, discard B.
    Coin B: Worth double points if Coin C is in the dungeon.
    Coin C: You may discard this coin to discard the next card after you draw it.
    Coin D: You may look at the next card before you draw it (usable only once).
    Coin E: You may activate this coin. If you do, it is worth double points and you must immediately draw 2 cards, discarding any coins you draw.

    Regards,
    kos

    JewellGames
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    Final Design

    The archway design won the poll, I added small torches. This way I can change that design for expansions or different dungeons.

    JewellGames
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    Changes

    The game has evolved where monsters and some items cause wounds. If you suffer wounds equal to your health, you are defeated. This replaces the previous 3 monsters in the dungeon = bust.

    An example of a player's turn during round 1 where it ends in defeat:

    click to see full image.

    So the starting "Health" card combined with the round tracker card displays the total health every player has during their turn of that round. In this example, the starting health of 6 plus 1 health from round 1 equals 7 total health. If the wounds caused by cards in the dungeon matches or exceeds this total, the player is defeated and scores nothing.

    In the example above, had the player drawn the Spider without the Trap, the Spider would've only had 1 attack and the player would be at 7 wounds instead of 8. In that case, the player could've quickly discarded the Skull Coin to drop back down to 6 wounds and continue their turn if they wanted.

    Either way, the player still scores 1 Coin due to the Shield's power.

    let-off studios
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    Health Points

    I like the health points idea. It increases the flexibility in the Trap card as well as with monsters and an entirely new class of items.

    With all these new variables, I'd suggest adding icons to the upper left/lower right corners. I've been playing your initial version a fair amount, and in some cases I don't have much table space. I'd like to be able to play the game while "shingling" the cards, and having corresponding icons in the upper left corner will allow players to do that and still see the card effects at a glance.

    An alternative would be to shingle the cards vertically (like you have the health points in this example graphic) so that symbols detailing the ability of the card are still available if you lay them in a vertical column instead of horizontal row.

    If you go with this graphic design, then I'd suggest you stay consistent with it: either everything shingles left-right, or everything shingles top-bottom.

    Regarding other developments... The multitude of uses of the Trap card seemed fiddly to me at the outset and you were about to lose my interest, but after your acknowledgement of making the game more complex ("not for kids," or whatever), then yeah, the game would benefit from more complexity. I think the addition of health points instead of a "three strikes you're out" plan makes the game much more tactically-interesting, with dilemmas similar to my personal favourite of yours: Stop Glop & Roll.

    Keep up with the tinkering. The game is looking very nice. :)

    christof
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    Nice work

    Hey, I've been loosely following this game since you entered it in the BGG card game contest last year. I really like where you've taken it, both with rules and graphics. I'm glad you haven't stopped development on it.

    A small quibble with the text on the Chest card--some folks may say to themselves, "How do I unlock the chest with the key? I have both in the dungeon, but how do I unlock it?" Also, it's unclear if I have to draw the Key first, then the Chest, or if the fact that both are present in the dungeon is enough to trigger the effect. I understand the flavor of unlocking a chest, but it would be more clear to say something like "When you score, if the Key is also in the dungeon, coins are worth double."

    On a similar note, it may be worth adding a bit of extra text to the beginning of the Trap card: "Unless the key is in the dungeon..."

    JewellGames
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    Delay

    I am currently deployed until Dec 1 and have been neglectful to update the rules since the new bust condition. That is something I really need to finish up. And with that, the clarification on the new card powers.

    And that was exactly what the Chest said before the Key became a dual purpose item. Perhaps I will reword the Key card to say, "You may place this on top of the Chest to unlock it, or the Trap to disable it."

    Ideally the Key will be placed (horizontally) ontop the card of its choice to show its been used. The Chest to unlock it or the Trap to disable it. Technically, the Key can sit there unused in the dungeon even with the Chest in play until you either draw a Trap and decide to use it to disable that or at the end of your turn with the Chest during scoring.

    JewellGames
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    Dragon Coin

    The only change to the cards I have recently been testing is converting a regular Coin to a Dragon Coin. By default, all coins are worth 1 unless stated otherwise. I'm trying to determine whether this coin's effect will be worth 2 or 3 (currently 3).

    let-off studios
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    Dragon Coin

    Does this mean the coin is worth 0 if the Dragon is not in the dungeon?

    If it's worth 0 without the Dragon present, then why not make it a "Dragon Egg" instead? :D

    JewellGames
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    Nah its worth 1 by default

    Nah its worth 1 by default like the others, it has been changed to "worth +2" to indicate its originally worth 1.

    I finally uploaded new rules and cards in the OP. The rules aren't at the level of clarity and detail I would like, but at least it has the correct bust condition and card references.

    Also, I have been toying with an optional Overlord monster for players looking for a slighting tougher game.

    Note the darker black border to easily distinguish it among the other cards.

    let-off studios
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    Game Night Playtest

    There's a long-standing local game night tomorrow evening at a pub not too far away. It's a perfect opportunity to print out a copy and bring this with me.

    I'll be sure to share any new developments or interesting finds after a few multiplayer games.

    JewellGames
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    NA

    Duplicate entry.

    JewellGames
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    Update

    I had a few playtesters try out the game this week and there were a few main points that commonly came up:

    1) Players want more cards!

    Originally, I made the game an 18 card game because that was a restriction of the contest. When I added the round/health racker cards that went out the door anyway. I have added 3 new cards for 21 dungeon cards (7/7/7). I wouldnt be against 24 cards but that would be the highest I would go and I am not sure what powers those cards would have if any.

    I added a Lucky Coin to counteract the Cursed Coin. I added the Torch back into the game. I added the Mimic and the Lich with a new scaling attack power.

    2) Add card types and better distinguish certain cards from others.

    I added a card type (treasure/item/monster) and changed the color of the Bad Juju (and Shield) and Skull Coin (now the cursed coin).

    3) Better distinguish when/how powers activate.

    Powers with the word "instantly" activate as soon as they are drawn. Powers with the words "Flip" can be activated at any time during your turn. For example, if you draw the Sword right away, you can save it until you draw a few monsters. Then, you can flip it over later in your turn to guess the next monster which increases your chance of guessing the right one.

    Individual Card Changes:

    The Cursed Coin no longer has the "Discard this coin at any time." since the Lucky Coin was added. I will further test this and see if it should be added back or not. IF it is added back, it has to be discarded BEFORE you are defeated, it can't be discarded to avoid defeat as it works now.

    The Sword can now be used at anytime instead of instantly when its drawn.

    The Dragon coin has been changed from worth +2 to worth double (+1).

    The new Torch allows you to flip it and reveal the next card. It'll then be up to the player to continue (and draw that card) or end their turn. So the Torch can be combo'd with the Sword - Use the Torch to reveal the next card and use the Sword to "guess" the next monster drawn.

    The new Lich gets stronger as more monsters are in the dungeon.

    Click the image to see it in full size.

    JewellGames
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    Bad Juju Change?

    I am also considering changing the Bad Juju. Right now, its an automatic 1 wound but removes a coin from your opponent's score. The new proposed idea gives the player a choice whether to take the 1 wound but remove a coin or remove the wound itself immediately but not allow you to remove an opposing coin.

    What do you think?

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