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Looking for some help and critique on rules and characters

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 09/02/2014

Hello, my name is Eugene Helfrick and I am looking for some feedback on a rulesheet and characters I'm making for my passion project: Maestoso: To Burn A Kingdom. I use Google Docs for this project, so I will put the link below to the rulesheet.

Maestoso is a two player board game, where one player controls a team of 3 Heroes vs a player who is controlling a boss character. The basic idea is that the Heroes are playing more of a Role Playing Game, where the boss is playing more of a Strategy game.

Being a passion project, I've probably done about 80% of the work by myeself in my spare time, including writing this rulesheet and creating a unique universe for this game to take place in. I'm running into some huge problems with making this whole thing sound competent, so I was hoping to get some feedback on the rulesheet and the character sheets. The rulesheet right now feels bloated, running around 30 pages on google docs (but that also includes some bad optimization on docs) and my character sheets run 3 pages per character, adding another 30 pages to the doc. Obviously a 60 page document is not ideal, so I need to start trying to understand what should be cut out.

This game has meant a lot to me over the last two years. I'm a writer and creative at heart, so this project has been a culmination of all my passions. I realize that this game is likely unpublishable due to its' size for a first time project, but if the rules or characters catch your eyes on here, I've built a functional version in Tabletop simulator for play testing. I also realize this is my first time attempting a rulesheet, so this could also look terrible and need to be re-written as well.

Thanks again. Any and all feedback is appreciated.

ssm's picture
Joined: 04/06/2017
For me, it is too much. Too

For me, it is too much. Too long, too many actions(?) during a round.
It very much reads like a passion project.
I won't tell you to 'change your game', but I will say to try to find a way to make a quick-start guide. In writing a quick-start, you may find things to cut from the game, or refine.
Being a first game doesn't knock you out of the running for a deal. I would say being a first timer and the complexities, and (apparent) time needed, and maybe component cost combined would be the barriers.
The character sheets are too in depth for me personally, but others like that. Why have a 'how-to-play' this character guide? One of the great things about games is learning. IMHO, the character sheets should have the basic info for the player to eventually figure out the optimal way to play the character.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
I always called my project,

I always called my project, "a hobby". But a passion project is a nice way to call it.

I have some pointers:

Remove the strategy suggestions as much a possible. Part of the game is for players to find out what they can do. If you really want to hint something that players might not see for dozens of gameplays. Put it into a flavour text.

Keep it chronological. Game set up first. Then, how to play the round. Of course, an overview is helpfull. But then, every part needs to be adressed.

Don't worry about the lenght of the manual. But try to keep it <20. I once read a 160 pages manual. And while it was super simple to read. It was super long. I can promise you, no one has the time for that.
Consider this: number of pages to the power of 2 is the complexity of the game for new players.

PICTURES! often tell more than words. Try to see if somewhere, you can apply pictures.

TABLES! especially, when you have unit statistics in the manual. But better yet, remove unit statistics from the manual. And put them in a separate manual or table book. It also saves players time, for looking up information. And a table book can be openend at the same time as a manual. This could come in handy for when you want to give an example in the manual.

I am pretty sure, others can give much better suggestions then me, regarding your manual.

Joined: 09/02/2014
Thanks for the feedback. The

Thanks for the feedback. The 'How to play character X' was a recent addition, and is easily removed. I'm big on character depth, but thats just for atmosphere.

Yeah, I know it's too much right now. Too many pieces, too many ideas, and just too many rules. I started designing this game as a response to the games where you make a short turn then wait like 20 minutes for your next action with nothing to do (Things like castle Ravenloft, Some D&D sessions, hell even Descent.) It started out as a 3 Vs 1 game, but that was boring for the 3 players, due to turns taking too long. I wanted to build a game that was super in depth and required constant thinking and planning so you always had something going on. It's the kind of game I like so I just built a game that I wanted to play, for better or worse.

And I have wanted to make a quick start guide. Hearing your feedback, I will prioritize that. I think that's important to games that are super in depth like Mage Knight, and it could help ease people into the game.

Joined: 09/02/2014
Thanks for this advice. I am

Thanks for this advice. I am looking to find sections to cut out, and the 'how to play character X' was a new addition that I will remove thanks to various feedback.

What I am going to do is separate the rules into a Heroes and Boss manual to help make it a little more separated. It might help to even make a basics and set-up manual just for showing how the game is played.

A table manual or separate booklet is a smart idea to save on time. Making a quick reference guide would be a simple time saver for sure. Something like that I would never think of by myself.

Thanks again for some help. I'll take some of your advice and use it to refine the rules. Hopefully I will have something usable soon.

Gabe's picture
Joined: 09/11/2014
Here's everything I could

Here's everything I could find on writing rules. Maybe some of it can help you.

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