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Themestorming for Exhibit: Artifacts of the Ages

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sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

I have a game that's about finished - all that's left is to add some thematic flair to some of the components. In this case, there is a certain type of tile which players can win at auction that gives the player a special ability. Some of these tiles already have some thematic names and flavor, but others simply have the ability. I need to make sure that each piece of the game has a strong thematic tie to the rest of the game.

To this end I'd like to start some Themestorming. One thing I'd like to do is schedule a G+ Hangout Themestorming session to discuss ideas with whoever would like to show up. In the meantime however, I might as well request help here...

The game is called Exhibit: Artifacts of the Ages. The storyline is that an old, eccentric archeologist has died and his private collection, rich with a variety of artifacts of various types from various Cultures and Eras, is being auctioned off. These artifacts have not yet been assessed, but as a museum curator, you don't want to wait for that - you do your own research and armed with partial information, you bid based on what you think the item's value might be. Once all bids are in, the artifacts will be assessed, and any bid that's higher than the actual value will not be approved by your board of directors. So for each artifact, the highest bid that is not greater than the actual value will win the auction.

I have a list of the 9 special tiles which need thematic names. Some have a name already, but I'm open to suggestions for better names:
#1 - Government Grant - Discard to win an auction in which you have overbid by as much as 2, helping you win any 1 auction later

#2 -Research Assistants - Gives you 2 additional dice to roll, thereby giving you more information.

#3 - Expert? Consultant? Expert Consultant? - This tile allows you to set the facing of any 1 die each turn (after rolling but before bidding).

#4 - ??? Backroom Deal? - This tile allows you to swap it for any tile in the auction blocks. This tile becomes up for bid and you claim the tile that would have been up for bid. This tile is worth 2vp at game end since it's not useful in the last round.

#5 - Expanded Storeroom - "Hand size +1" - this tile allows you to store 2 additional artifacts, but it takes up 1 storage slot itself, thereby giving you net hand size +1.

#6 - ??? - This tile makes opponents outbid you by at least 2.

#7 - Angel Investor? - This tile acts like a weapon for all colors, including purple. Weapons allow you to overbid by 1 and still win the auction.

#8 - Fancy Display Case - this tile can go into any set. This is really good, and is frequently worth 4, 5, or 6 points if used to increase a set to 4/5/6 tiles. I think of it fancy display case because it can go with any Exhibit.

#9 - 5vp. Things that are worth straight VP are Art, so maybe some kind of famous or unique art item? Since this has no game use, it's always the last tile on the stack (it comes out in round 9 every game).

Joined: 02/26/2012
Sounds like an interesting

Sounds like an interesting game. Some ideas:

1) Research Grant/Government Grant
2) Research Assistants
3) Museum Consultant
4) Broker/Art Broker
5) Museum Expansion/Storeroom Expansion
6) Preferred Museum/Preferred Historian/Expert
7) Philanthropist - maybe interchage names with #1
8) Display Case/Marketing/Ticket Demand
9) Holy Grail/Real McCoy

Joined: 11/10/2009
Grabs hat & bullwhip....

Getting a lovely Egyptology vibe here. You've definitely put the Curio in Curiosity. I wish I knew more of how the game played, especially in rolling and appraising.

1) A Donation With Strings - There is a gentleman here with a deal for you....
2) Bump Into An Old Friend - And of course! He'd be glad to give whatever it is a look.
3) The Nose - Sometimes people just know things. Somehow.
4) Prior Claim - The old archaeologist always dreamt of finding a particular piece, to the point where he stipulated that anyone that could provide it would have their pick of any other piece of his collection.
5) Deluxe Vault - Extra large, on the outside!
6) Whisper Too Loudly - You didn't mean to be overheard, did you? No, really, did you?
7) Special Dispensation - The Board of Directors is not pleased with your exuberance, but they have accepted your explanation and are willing to make an exemption. Tread carefully.
8) Dedicated Wing - These will go perfectly with the rest of our collection!
9) Mysterious Artifact / Proof of Atlantis? - No one knows what this really is. They only know that they've never seen anything like it!

Joined: 10/13/2011

1) Complete the Collection - it's the only missing piece; cost is no longer a consideration! Maybe this is better for #7
2) -
3) Appraiser?
4) Swap Lot Numbers? or Lot Number Error?
5) Dedicated Museum Space? - Expanded Storeroom is solid though; I can't see a reason to change it
6) Serious Buyer - the only way to beat them is to waaaaay overbid
7) see #1
8) - (this is my favorite; great use of theme)
9) Signed by Artist? Hidden Drawing? (and on the back of the painting is a one of a kind, hand drawn sketch!)

Good luck with your design!

Joined: 10/05/2011
Some ideas

Interesting idea and theme for a game! Here's some quick thoughts

1) Company Credit Card / Pork Barrel / Taxpayer's Tab / Expense Account - Spend all you want!
2) Sneak Peek / Cracked Crate - If the others only knew what I saw!
3) Consult the Master / Reference Librarian - You must have seen something like this before
4) Switcheroo / The Sandbag Switch - Make sure you get the weight just right.
5) Spare Pedastal..
6) Intimidating Glare - They can see it in your eyes...
7) Mumbled Bid - They must not have heard you right.
8) Flattering Lighting.
9) The Hidden Gem

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
G+ Themestorming session yielded these results

After a discussion with Clive and John over a G+ Hangout, here's what I've currently got for the names of these 9 special tiles:

1) Government Grant
2) Research Assistants
3) Professor Emeritus
4) Antiquities Broker
5) Expanded Vault
6) Deadbeat Shill (maybe there's a better name for this)
7) Philanthropist
8) Premium Show Case (or Premium Display)
9) Holy Grail

Joined: 02/26/2012
I think it's a good list (and

I think it's a good list (and I feel like I have now contributed something to this site). I like Showcase over Display in #8. Not sure about #6 either, but my suggestions for that one were pretty weak and I'm drawing a blank for anything better.

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