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Pirate theme, needs a story...

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 09/12/2013

I'm working on a game, called Seditio. It's playtesting very well, the artwork is 90% done, its just missing a couple pieces. One being a rulebook (everybody's favorite thing to right, yea?) The other is a story. Let me explain the basics of the game, and then this will make more sense.

In Seditio, you are a pirate on a ship. Together with your shipmates you work together to work your way through the "treasure trail". This basically means you need to complete quests in 5 of the 8 ports on the board. The ports you have to visit are decided by random draw of numbered tokens from a bag. Once the treasure trail is completed, a single player can win the game.

How to win the game... At the beginning of the game, each player is given three Secret Goal Cards: Secret Identity, Wealth Goal, and Rank Goal. In order to win, the character on your Identity card must be healthy, you must have an amount of gold equal to, or greater than, your Wealth Goal, and your character must be in the rank on your Rank Goal. I should mention that throughout the game you are allowed to use any one of the 5 pirates that are on the ship to complete actions... you are not limited to only using your pirate.

So... here's the challenge I'm up against... If you have a secret identity, why are you able to control anyone on the board? Friends have suggested that we, as players, are the "gods of the world" and we are controlling them all that way. A spin on this would be that the gods have placed some kind of "bet" on the game, and the winner of the game is the god that achieved his goals first.

This kinda works, but goes against what I set out to do in the beginning. My vision was more of a "one for all and one for one" kind of feel. "Sure, I will help out the group now, but I'm a pirate, and I'm looking out for me in the long run." It may be impossible to mesh the two, though... mixing "I'm a pirate" with the Secret Identity...

Thanks for reading. Any and all thoughts are welcome. And, if anyone is curious, I've posted pictures of the prototype print here:

Some Random Dude
Joined: 01/30/2014

There is a game called Quicksand form 2003 that has that mechanic. It's just an abstraction - I wouldn't try to shoehorn a "God" story into it.

Joined: 03/27/2014
I feel like I JUST saw a game

I feel like I JUST saw a game that played very similarly to this.

Some game where each player was a member of a pirate ship, and they'd try to bribe the captain into going certain places to complete their secret goals. Or each player had their own ship that they'd strategize to use certain mates.

Dread Curse?
Anyone know what I'm talking about?

Regardless, for your theme, perhaps frame it in a way that each of the pirates first met at a harbor and agreed to purchase a ship together in exchange for each pirate helping the others equally in their quests. In this way you're not really "controlling" the other pirates, they're simply holding up their end of the bargain!

Joined: 04/30/2013
Its a little strange to have

Its a little strange to have pirates doing anything other than treasure hunting, pillaging towns, and attacking ships. Maybe that's a stereotype you are trying to break? I dunno, just a strange part on the theme I feel.

If this was the pre-pirate time when they were still privateers maybe I wouldn't mind as much.

Secret identity...what secret identities are there? And what does it contribute to in play other than a goal?

Joined: 09/12/2013
I didn't mean to make it

I didn't mean to make it sound like there was no pillaging, attacking ships, or treasure hunting... there is all of those things :)

As for the identities, there are 5 pirates on the ship. There are also 5 ranks on the ship; Captain, First Mate, Bosun, Gunner and Surgeon. On your turn, you choose to use "John Smith" who is in the First Mate rank. Because he is First Mate, he has a specific list of Actions available to him. These actions include plundering, questing, repairing the ship, cooking food, healing the sick, etc. None of that relates to the actual Character (identity), but just the Rank that they are in. However, in the act of questing, or finding a treasure, etc the Character you are using could become sick. That effects the Character itself, not the Rank.

So to answer your question about how the identities contribute to play other than a goal, there are also Event cards that start a Mutiny. During the mutiny you bid/pay for ranks and move pirates of your choice into those ranks. You do this for 2 reasons.

1, obvious reason, to complete your goal. You need your pirate in the right rank in order to win.
2, you also have a Mission card that has an "if/then" statement on it... "If John Smith is Captain, then collect 15 gold" for example. So, if I can bid on the Captain spot to finish that Mission card and collect my gold.

There are treasure cards that allow you to move people around on the ship as well, and event cards that swap two characters... but the idea here is that you want to get your pirate into the right position at the right time... Too early (before the co-op goal is finished) and he might not stay there. Too late and someone else will win.

I do like the idea of the pirates just getting to know each other / all working together to hold up their end of the bargain. That definitely lends itself towards a reason for so many Mutinies... hahah

Thanks for the input!

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