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Weed Wizard - get stoned and do magic!

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kage23
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Joined: 05/13/2019

I have a game I've been working on developing, called Weed Wizard. The idea is that the players are all wizards who each have a garden in which they are growing cannabis. Upon consumption of the cannabis, the players receive Highness points which they can spend to either research or cast magic spells. The spells can have varying effects ranging from increasing the amount of weed in your stash, making plants in your garden grow better/faster, apply harmful effects to your opponents' stashes and gardens, etc. In its current conception, it's a dice-and-cards game. Magic spells are cards that you hold in hand (subject to a hand limit), as well as a few always-available spells that don't require the player to hold a card. Players roll dice to determine how high they get when they smoke; this roll is based on what strain they're smoking. For example, one strain might grant 1d4 Highness and another strain might grant 2d8 Highness. When harvesting a plant, players roll dice to determine the size of the harvest. Players maintain a dice pool, which gets rolled at the end of each round to determine plant growth. The plants are all on a seven-column track (numbered 1-6, and H for Harvest), and in order for a plant to grow into the next column, you must roll equal to or higher than the column it's currently in. (Once it reaches the H column, it is immediately harvested.)

Anyway, I'm not sure what else to say about it at this point. I've got a working prototype but I need to create more spell and weed cards, and I'm sure I'll need to do a ton of balancing. And I need to figure out an Objective. Currently, I'm thinking something along the lines of "Be the first player to harvest X different strains of weed" or something like that.

I'm sure I'll have more questions as I go through the design process! And in the meantime, I'm happy to hear any thoughts on this idea!

let-off studios
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Thoughts

So the wizards grow and smoke their herb, just so they can cast spells that help them grow more? You've created a weird world in this game. :)

That being said, it seems like a fun, casual game that nearly any grown-up can appreciate, as long as they're not too uptight. Seriously, it seems like something a few friends will play during a game night at home or at the pub, as a light warm-up to a heavier game.

It's also an interesting coincidence that there are two cannabis-themed games described here at BGDF in the same week! I think that's a historical mark, if nothing else. :) But where I suggested for the other game that they take a more realistic and strategic approach to game design, it seems like this concept can benefit more from a lighter, more humorous take on the subject matter.

The thing I like the most about the game you describe here is that you've set up a system where the Highness points are a form of "temporary" energy. The player must use it, or lose it, when they receive them. So there's a tension on using the herb to earn the points, but at the same time they also need to have a decent hand of cards when they choose to collect their Highness points. This seems to create a highly-tactical game where timing and luck are both vital to success.

Also, in all seriousness, I think that you ought to develop the economy a bit more. Having a wizard feed their own habit, and compete against other wizards who are doing the same, just sounds weird and inconsistent. I'd include some kind of customers instead, who are buying the herb from the wizards that grow it. The resources collected could represent spell components consumed when casting spells.

Of course, this moves the game concept further away from what seems to be your original intent, so you may not want to consider that route. But it opens up the possibility of not only additional mechanics and tactics to explore, but also the potential for determining an end-game state or objective, which you've also admitted you're having trouble determining.

Best of success to you while you continue to develop this idea! It sounds like a fun game to play.

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
hi. as i mentioned in the

hi.
as i mentioned in the other weed game thread (i wont completely repeat myself) in the same way drinking game rules are written for drunks, weed games need to written for stoners and their... "relaxed" state of mind. so keep it easy enough to play when half asleep.
your game looks, at first glance, like a good one. but stoners are not a huge demographic. its would probably been seen as a novelty game. an easy fix is to simply change some of the weed to other plants and just make it an herbal alchemy theme. you can still have weed, its a legitimate shaman/witch doctor type thing, along with other drugs like peyote. but you can add other plants, real or fictional, to make it more family friendly. having more plant variety also opens the door to recipes (more complex set collection).
you can always lean into the drug side later, the way fluxx made a stoner fluxx version.

apeloverage
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Joined: 08/01/2008
From your description, it

From your description, it sounds like it's meant for gamers, and too complicated for stoners. Is that correct?

SDHokie
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Joined: 04/18/2019
Reply to u/kage23

Hi u/kage23, so funny that two marijuana-themed games have made it into this forum in the past few days. See my post about a grow op game I have been brainstorming..

Honestly, I hope to see a this as a "budding" theme in boardgames, considering the farming/harvesting aspect can be used in the same way as other plant applications.

I'll just bullet out my responses to your post.

  • What is the research for, exactly? What is/are the outcome(s)?
  • Have you playtested your prototype to any extent? I would like to hear how it plays, even if it is very much preliminary.
  • If you are to stick with a theme of Wizards keeping their gardens, I'm imagining humorous art, a little on the cute side, but of course not to attract people too young.. What pictures do you have in your head?
  • So the players always have 7 plants, and the tracker is more of a time-to-harvest scale? Do the dice then determine whether you harvest up to 7 plants?
  • So far, this doesn't sound very complicated, which is a good thing. In the comments to both of our posts, stoners are being discussed in a very stereotypical style. Well, not all stoner groups playing will be "half asleep" or out of their minds in any sense. A functional group (who may not even be stoned!) would have fun with this game. Especially if someone already knows how to play, it won't take much effort to get this game going. I guess my point is that this game does not sound too complicated so far so that any group, high or not, would have a great time with this concept.
  • What games inspired your design?
  • As for the objective, perhaps it can be elimination rounds. The concept itself makes the game seem like it is quick in a race/battle sense. If so, then players can choose 3 out of 5 wins in a group of 4. Harvesting X strains of weed is making the objective more dependent on the luck of dice rolls. At that point, I'd say players should have a choice on using their unharvested plants (e.g. the leaves) to make spells (moving back one column) or allowing them to grow to harvest the buds later. That would put a little more strategy toward how fast you want to get to the harvesting phase.
  • The way I'm seeing the game, I am thinking that plants themselves can be used like ingredients for spells, or they can be harvested to smoke and gain Highness, improving the strength of the spells. That is a great way to introduce difficult decisions - "Do I make a spell with this plant, or should I harvest and smoke it for Highness? But I really need another harvest, so I can't really make another spell right now..." and of course, "Wait, what am I trying to do again?" ;)

Anyway, thanks for sharing and I'm looking forward to an update or another post sharing more ideas.

kage23
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Joined: 05/13/2019
More info!

Thanks everyone for the thoughts! It's definitely interesting to see two different cannabis-themed games popping up so close to each other, and such different games, too. SDHokie's sounds a lot more serious and strategic than mine!

That said, I don't think Weed Wizard is necessarily too complicated for stoners; I partake of the herb myself and I came up with it. ;P I think it could be a fun game to play with a group of high-functioning (haha) stoners, and/or open-minded gamers. I'll talk a bit about the background/origins of the game, and then go into some more detail on how it actually plays, and hopefully that will address most of the questions that have been asked here!

I'm a web developer, and a gamer, and ever since I first played Cookie Clicker, I wanted to make a similar browser game. I came up with the name Weed Wizard first, and then came up with the idea of growing weed in order to smoke it in order to gain magic powers and cast spells to help you grow more weed, faster. (In the browser-game version, I didn't need to come up with a game objective or win condition; you just play it forever!) I got partway through making this game, but never really finished it. You can check it out, FWIW, here.

Then one day, I had some friends over, and we were playing Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Rumble at Castle Tentakill and I was telling them about the Weed Wizard browser game, when it occurred to me that it might be a pretty fun and interesting board/card/dice game! So I started working on it. So it is somewhat inspired by Battle Wizards, and parts of the mechanics are also inspired by Terraforming Mars, which I've been playing a good amount of recently. There also might be bits of Tiny Epic Galaxies and Alien Frontiers in there...

Here's some more detail about how the game actually works. Each player is a Wizard, and they each have a playerboard. The playerboards each have a track from 0-10 representing the player's current Highness, a "garden" area with six tracks from 1-6 (then concluding with 'H' in the 7th spot of the track) representing the plants the player is currently growing (you can grow up to six plants at a time), and a "dice pool" with two tracks representing the player's base dice pool. One track is numbered from 1-6, and the other has dice sizes on it - d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20. The playerboards also have six designated card-sized "slots" representing the garden. The tracks are where you place a token representing the plant, and the slots are where you place the card itself that the growth token represents. I'll go into more detail on this further down, hopefully it will all make sense.

Each player also has, separate from their playerboard, a die or pile of dice (their dice pool), a hand of spell cards (subject to a hand limit), and a "stash" area of weed cards that they have harvested, with each card having a number of counters on it representing how many bowls of that strain the player has available to smoke.

The game consists of a number of rounds, and each round consists of the following phases: Smoking Phase, Magic Phase, Growth Phase, Reset Phase. I'll go into each phase in a bit more detail, but here's the quick overview. During the Smoking Phase, players smoke weed from their stash to gain Highness. During the Magic Phase, players spend their Highness from the Smoking Phase to research and/or cast spells. During the Growth Phase, players roll their dice pools and allocate the dice to plants in their garden to grow and hopefully harvest those plants. During the Reset Phase, players reset their dice pools to their bases, and double-check that they are not exceeding the hand limit.

Weed Cards - There is a deck of different strains of cannabis. Each strain has two important values - its strength and its size of harvest. These are both represented by dice rolls (i.e. 2d4, 1d8, etc).

Spell Cards - There is a deck of magic spells. Each spell has an effect, as well as a cost (in Highness). Some spells may have temporary/transient effects and other spells may have permanent/lasting effects.

Smoking Phase - If a player has any weed cards with bowl counters in their stash area, they can spend one of those bowl counters to smoke a bowl of that strain. Remove the bowl counter from the card, roll that strain's Strength value, and adjust your Highness counter up that many spaces. (Note: Highness maxes out at 10. Even if you're smoking a strain with a strength of, say, 2d8, and you roll a 16, you still only get 10 Highness points.) Players can smoke any number of bowls from their own stash during the Smoking Phase. (For example, if that 2d8 roll only got you a 2, you can smoke/roll again if you have another bowl counter on that weed card.) If a player does not have any bowls in their stash, they can "bum a bowl" of Schmendrick's Schwag, which has a strength of 1d4. They only get the one bowl, though. (Note: for the first few/several rounds of the game, no one will have harvested anything yet, so everyone will be bumming bowls of schwag, and things will progress pretty slowly until players start harvesting a handful of rounds into the game.)

Magic Phase - During the Magic Phase, players take turns spending their Highness points to research and/or cast spells. "Researching" spells is simple - just draw cards from the Spell deck into your hand, at the cost of 1 Highness per card. To cast a spell, play a card from your hand, adjust your Highness down by the cost of the spell, and perform the indicated effect. There is a hand limit of 4 cards, but it only applies when you are no longer high. So for example, you could have a Highness of 10, spend 9 of those Highness points to draw 9 cards from the deck into your empty hand, and then spend your last Highness point to cast a spell that costs 1 Highness. At that point, you would no longer be high, but you would have 8 cards in your hand, so only at that point would you have to discard down to 4. Here are some sample spell effects:

  • Add 1d4 (or 1d6, 1d8, etc) to your dice pool.
  • Remove 1d4 (or 1d6, 1d8, etc) or smaller from an opponent's dice pool.
  • Increase the size of (1, 2, 3) dice in your dice pool. (i.e. turn a d6 into a d8)
  • Decrease the size of (1, 2, 3) dice in any dice pool(s).
  • Advance a plant in your garden by one step.
  • Immediately harvest a plant in your garden.
  • Swap a weed card in your stash with the top card of the weed draw deck.
  • Steal a random spell card from an opponent.
  • Increase your base dice amount. (i.e. move your amount token in the base dice area of your playerboard up one step, say from 1 to 2. Don't touch your actual dice pool itself for now, just adjust the token on your playerboard.)
  • Increase your base dice size. (i.e. move your size token in the base dice area of your playerboard up one step, say from d6 to d8. Don't touch your actual dice pool itself for now, just adjust the token on your playerboard.)

There are also a handful of spells that are always available (i.e. you don't need a card to cast them, although there might be cards allowing you to cast them for cheaper, or for stronger effects).

  • Plant an unknown seed in your garden. (Draw the top card FACEDOWN from the weed deck, move it to an empty garden slot on your playerboard, and place a token in the 1 spot of the corresponding garden track on your playerboard.) Costs 1 Highness.
  • Plant a known seed in your garden. (Same as above, but draw/place your weed card FACEUP instead of facedown.) Costs 2 Highness.
  • Reveal a garden plant. (Turn a facedown weed card in your garden faceup.) Costs 2 Highness.
  • Advance a plant in your garden by one step. (Move the token for one plant one step along its track on your playerboard. If you move it into the H space, immediately harvest it.) Costs the current step of the growth track that the plant is on. (See Growth Phase for details, I know this is probably confusing!)

Growth Phase - During the Growth Phase, players roll their dice pools. The dice pools start each round as whatever the player's base dice pool is (initially 1d6), but dice can get added, removed, or modified during the Magic Phase. After rolling, players allocate the dice to plants in their garden. Each garden plant has a token on a track from 1-6, and then H. When a die gets allocated to it, it advances one step along the track. However, players can only allocate dice that are equal to or greater than the plant's current position on the track. For example, a newly-planted plant will be in position 1 on its track, and any die can be allocated to it. However, a plant with a token in position 6 on its track, nearly ready to harvest, can only be allocated a die that rolled a 6 or higher. If a player has three plants in their garden, one in position 6 and two in position 5, and the player's dice pool only has d4s, they will be unable to allocate any dice. Unallocated dice must simply remain unused. Thus the desire for larger dice in the dice pool. If my dice pool has d20s, I have better chances of rolling 6s or higher than if my dice pool has d6s. If a plant gets moved from the 6 position into the H position, it is immediately harvested. The player removes it from their garden area, turns it faceup if it is not already, places it in their stash, and rolls the Size of Harvest indicated on the card, then places that many bowl counters on the card in their stash, ready to be smoked next Smoking Phase.

Reset Phase - Players doublecheck their hands to ensure they are not exceeding the hand limit. (This is the rule's concession to the fact that stoners will be playing and might forget things sometimes. So it explicitly adds this callout/check here!) Players also reset their dice pools to their playerboard-indicated base dice pools. So, if you added dice to your pool during the Magic Phase, you lose them here. If your opponents removed dice from your pool, you regain them. If your dice changed size, they reset. If you cast a spell that increased your base dice size or amount, that spell did not have an immediate effect on your dice pool during the Magic Phase, but you do reap the benefits of it now.

And that's basically it! Repeat until either someone reaches the yet-to-be-determined endgame condition, or everyone is too stoned to focus, or you get bored.

A few more thoughts ... I do imagine this being a relatively quick game; it should last maybe 20-40 minutes, so a group can play a handful of games (like best of 5 as suggested by SDHokie), or they can play a quick game or two as a palate-cleanser in between heavier games, or whatever. I am imagining humorous, cartoony art. Maybe similar to Battle Wizards, but less "grossout" and more "funny". The playerboards can each have a different wizard design on it. There can be the Weed Wizard, the Stoned Sorcerer, the Dope Druid (or Dank Druid?), the Cannabis Conjurer, etc.

I have done a little bit of playtesting. I did a game or two of solo playtesting, where I played as multiple players, just to make sure it actually worked and stuff. And I've done one actual two-player game with a friend of mine who's helping me with ideas and writing and stuff. It went pretty well! He made a few suggestions that I have incorporated into the above, although haven't actually played with yet. I think it's a pretty solid design, and it's pretty fun to play. My main gameplay/mechanics concern is simply figuring out the endgame/win condition, and then doing a bunch of balancing. But if/when I actually go into producing this for the masses, I'm a bit concerned by how many dice it will require. Most people probably don't have sets of roleplaying dice laying around, and this game requires potentially several of each size of die. So I'm kinda thinking about making a mobile/tablet app to represent the players' dice pools. I don't know.

Anyway, that's all for now!

Tim Edwards
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Hi! Just thinking about Let

Hi!

Just thinking about Let Of Studio's point about the weirdness of the world - basically because everything is self-reflexive: they grow weed to smoke weed to get higher so they can grow more weed, etc

You might not want to change that. It's weirdly consistent with the lifestyle :)

But you might find it's fun to have a kind of external issue...something the Wizards have to keep a bloodshot eye on whilst maintaining their weed growing - Highness economy running.

For example, some fairly desperate King has actually given them their gardens and put these magical stoners in charge of guarding the realm against dragons - which pop up now and again. So, whilst the Wizards obsession is all about the weed (because that's the source of their power) now and again they are called upon to actually get up and do something.

I'm just wondering really if these guys need more in their life than smoking. Maybe not!!

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
hi.reading your rules i

hi.
reading your rules i think your off to a good start, but with lots of balancing and testing.
one little thing i noticed was (during the magic phase i think) i can plant an unknown plant for 1, a known plant for 2 or find out what an unknown plant is for 2.
can i do anything with an unknown plant?
if not then why would i ever pay 3 for a known plant instead of 2? ( unknown plant+ turn vs known plant).
if you can do things thats not relevant but if not you should either make the total cost the same or just have one planting option.

for the win condition i would have players trying to get a certain sized stash. this gives the option of concentrating on getting high or going for gold. it would also fit that the more you smoke the less motivated you are to win.

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