@tim, this would be a great project to build an egnine around, since the mechanics are actually fairly simple (I generally discard mechanics that add non-fun single-player thinking(.
Okay, I really like Ascension-style center row deckbuilding games. It is basically about drafting a personal deck while buying better cards that appear in the row.
Well, I took some conceptual inspiration from how Spellfire worked, which is very conceptual, since I’ve never seen or read of a Spellfire game being player, just the description of the gameplay and I read the rules in the 90s.
Finally, I wanted a game that really catered to the way I play games, which is to say, very particular about the order of things, and how rules interact with each other. But! I wanted to it appeal to more than just “blue mages”, so the order of events is actually part of the appeal: play to discover what happens next!
When I made this about Dungeons, I called the deck the “Dungeon Maker”, so I could write things like, “…put the cards back and shuffle the DM.” For now it is just the deck.
There is one deck, all cards have the same backs. There are card types:
I think that’s it…
The idea is that you have 6 card slots, and start the game with three Home Steadings.
Game play is based around a set of simple rules on how cards play, and many cards explain what to do in plain speech.
Imagine a game like Flux solitaire. A Steading will say how many cards are drawn when it comes into play. It also have a Favor, which all players benefit from, if no cards are on the Steading.
All the cards drawn are placed on the Steading, unless they say otherwise (we’ll get to that!). This happens whenever a steading is played the first time, it’s how it becomes populated.
During a player’s turn, they draw a card from the deck:
- Equipment is played on Steadings, and become available for purchase and/or loot
- Adversaries are played on Steadings, or an empty slot if available (these are one off wilderness encounters)
- Adventurers are played on any slot
- Events have special instructions on where they are played (for instance, the most dangerous, or the most Eq, etc.)
Now they play their cards, which consists of starting gold and basic adventurers. They play adventurers to form a party, with some simple stats on each card. But adventurers are also tagged (similar to card subtype in M:TG), so you might have an Arcane Defender or Elemental Healer. A list of tags is used to activate Eq cards on characters. You might find a particular item, spell or weapon that can be used by that tag.
I was actually thinking of making this one-to-one, so any rule based on a tag/keyword is consistent. If a resource card is “Arcane Elemental” either of the examples I gave should be able to use it.
After prep, the player send the party to one of the locations/slots. These will be between one and a bunch of cards (we might need a limit). The player basically looks at the cards in the location and decides how to process them, either by fighting adversaries, buying eq, completing events, or whatever.
The strategy comes from the cards doing stuff when processed. Some things are easy: buy a sword, it goes into your personal deck. But adversaries will have tactics, which change the game, and could affect the other players or the current adventure run.
Tactics might include moving adversaries to or from the steading, drawing cards, causing the player to discard, etc. Tactics are activated at different times, but are explained on a card by card basis.
There are tons of details I haven’t jotted down here, or haven’t worked out. For instance, there are about 4 different win conditions, but none I’m happy with. I’ll update this as it occurs.