[Boardgame] Haven Notes.

What you're about to read is the turn order for a board game. The board game in question is also intended to eventually act as a frame for a roleplaying/improv game, and as a campaign system for a combat game. However, it should also work as an actual boardgame without either of those.

Players taking on the role of dragons who rule an island, as a group. A turn is a season.

While you read, I'd like you to look for: What kind of play do you think this would create?

Here's the turn order:

1. Primacy Challenges
The draconic laws of the Reach limit all challenges for dominance and position on an island to the first day of the season. So, on the day that the season changes on a given island, dragons may buck and manuever to take on the roles of Prime, Fisher, Shaper, Quickener, Seeker, Shepherd, and Walker, each of which has it's own advantages (Prime beign the biggest).
[Mechanism here]

2. The Prime Assigns Population And Duties
The player of the Prime picks up dice to match the 'population pool', and assigns these to the various dragons (including themself). They then state what they want that dragon to do as their duties, within their role - a seeker, who rules any mineral deposits, could be told to mine gold for the communal hoard, or to build stone walls on the hills, etc. Each dragon also has a set number of dice to start with, depending on how well their dragon matches their current duties.

3. Everyone sets closed action, and closed effort - and reveals the effort.
Each player grabs a slip of paper, and notes down a project they're undertaking that is not part of their duties, placing this face-down. They then (behind their hand) put some of their dice on this slip to indicate how much of their oomph they're putting into it. Dice (population and effort) that are left off this slip of paper are dice the dragon is using towards the duties of their role.

4. Duties are resolved
Everyone rolls dice for their actual duties, and resolves the effects on the island. Stuff is built, resources gathered, and so on.

5. Events are resolved.
Any die pool that comes up with doubles or triples or four-of-a-kind generates an event. Some events are just color; some are trade offers, others are combative, and still others are roleplay-ish. This have simple mechanistic effects, except where the related games are plugged together (in which case, this becomes by far the longest step of the game).

6. Closed events are revealed and resolved
Everyone rolls dice for their pet projects. Influence is gained, loyalty swayed, personal (on-communal) resources generated.

7. Maintain the people.
Food and such are dealt with, and any other 'clean-up' occurs.

..................

The game ends after a set number of turns.

The winner is the player with the best personal resources.
However, if the communal resources are not significant enough, everyone loses.

..................

How does that hit you? How do you expect you'd play it, and what would you hope to see in that mix?

Comments

  • edited September 2009
    My first question, which would frame a lot of my answers:

    Is this game intended to be competitive? Do PCs compete against one another, or are they reaching for a different kind of goal?

    EDIT: Nevermind. Totally missed the end there where you outlined the winning requirements.
  • Posted By: Charlie GilbEDIT: Nevermind. Totally missed the end there where you outlined the winning requirements.
    Yeh. Possibly I should have put those up front.

    Knowing those?
  • A few things:

    -I am not sure the 'everybody loses' thing would work in the context of a boardgame like this. Though maybe that's just a personal preference. It seems to me that once a player (or a few players) found out they had no way of catching up on personal resources, they could very easily sabotage the game and 'bring everyone else down with them'. Once someone gets behind, their choices become You Lose or Everyone Loses. Suddenly, they have no incentive to do put any effort at all into their duties. Is that an effect you want? Now, if there was always a way to catch up, no matter how far behind you are, that would help.

    -I would hope to see a way for players to interfere or help with other players' personal goals and duties, and provide incentives or consequences for doing so.

    -Maybe some of the event cards also provoke action from a few different players, make it so their duties work at cross-purposes. I think a more detailed explanation of the different positions would be helpful, in order to give examples here.

    -Are players able to refuse duties assigned to them?
  • Success at your duties should roll into effectiveness at winning Primacy. That way there's an incentive to do what you're told. Whoever has the most effectiveness (plus some random factor) gets to choose first. You can trade resources in exchange for promises about what people will choose, but they're not binding.

    What are Prime's duties?
  • Posted By: Simon CSuccess at your duties should roll into effectiveness at winning Primacy. That way there's an incentive to do what you're told. Whoever has the most effectiveness (plus some random factor) gets to choose first. You can trade resources in exchange for promises about what people will choose, but they're not binding.

    What are Prime's duties?
    Interesting. So, rewarding togetherness is what you'd want?

    The Prime's duties are the division of labour. They can also hold one of the other posts, which are resourcey stuff.
  • edited September 2009
    Posted By: Charlie Gilb-I am not sure the 'everybody loses' thing would work in the context of a boardgame like this. Though maybe that's just a personal preference. It seems to me that once a player (or a few players) found out they had no way of catching up on personal resources, they could very easily sabotage the game and 'bring everyone else down with them'. Once someone gets behind, their choices become You Lose or Everyone Loses. Suddenly, they have no incentive to do put any effort at all into their duties. Is that an effect you want?
    At the moment, I think that it is. The mechanisms of this setup are meant to go in line with the idea of "make culture by solving a collective action problem", which is another thread I started.

    The game is framed in my head as including the fact that the society can fail.
    Posted By: Charlie Gilb-I would hope to see a way for players to interfere or help with other players' personal goals and duties, and provide incentives or consequences for doing so.

    -Maybe some of the event cards also provoke action from a few different players, make it so their duties work at cross-purposes. I think a more detailed explanation of the different positions would be helpful, in order to give examples here.

    -Are players able torefuseduties assigned to them?
    This is good stuff.

    And, well, you can't refuse your duty. But you can just not put effort into it.

    In which case... People can starve, the island can die, the group can fail to progress as a whole, and so on.

    As my notes are set up, every duty has a carrot or a stick for everyone else. The Prime has the biggest ones, is all.
  • Posted By: Levi-Who-Babbles.Posted By: Simon CSuccess at your duties should roll into effectiveness at winning Primacy. That way there's an incentive to do what you're told. Whoever has the most effectiveness (plus some random factor) gets to choose first. You can trade resources in exchange for promises about what people will choose, but they're not binding.

    What are Prime's duties?
    Interesting. So, rewarding togetherness is what you'd want?

    The Prime's duties are the division of labour. They can also hold one of the other posts, which are resourcey stuff.

    Nah, I'm just saying that to work as a board game, there needs to be some reason to do what you're told. If there's a cycle of do what you're told --> get influence --->get to do what you want, then that seems like a functional system. Otherwise, I'm not seeing how the game works.

    If I'm playing a board game, I'm playing to win. I'll do as much of my personal project as the game lets me. If I'm losing, and I can't win, then I work to make everyone lose, unless the game prevents that.

    I see the fun potential in this game as being about how much you can wrangle doing what you're told to also work towards doing what you want, either by making deals with the Prime in exchange for influence, or by becoming Prime yourself. Prime can't win influence by obeying instuctions, but Prime can win influence by telling people to do stuff that they want to do.

    But this is me indulging in my habit of designing other peoples' games for them. Do what you want.
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