Wall of text, ahoy!Posted: June 8, 2012
So over on Board Game Design Forum, they run monthly design contests. These competitions last only a week, but they only require a description of the proposed game. This means that while the work is minimal, the density of thought needs to be very high. On top of that, the word limits mean that ideas need to be refined, condensed, and disciplined. This month, the theme was convention meta-games, and the following wall of text is my entry.
Con Ahoy! is a massively multiplier convention game. When checking into the convention, players may opt into the game, and will be given random “Allegiance” and Skill cards. Vendors who choose to participate will be given a set of colored flags, and will be expected to bring a standard deck and a selection of dice (d6 – d12).
Each area of the convention will have a name/symbol. The allegiance cards show each of these symbols, and the color of the symbol denotes that player’s allegiance in that area. Skill cards list three skills, ranging from level 1-4. These skills are Fighting, Navigating, and Drinking.
When out on the floor, anyone who is playing can turn to another player and challenge them to a duel. Both players check their allegiance to make sure that they are not allies in that area, and if they are not, they play a best-of-three game of Round-Pistol-Saber (Rock-Scissors-Paper). The winner of the duel can then look at the loser’s skill card and may choose to switch cards with them.
When players find others of their own allegiance, they can come together and form a crew. Crews can be up to four players. Players cannot duel as a crew, but if one member of a crew is defeated, their allies are allowed to immediately challenge the winner and win their skill cards back.
Vendors represent islands. Crews, or even individuals, can approach an island and attempt to claim it. To conquer an island, you must win at least two of the three challenges. Each challenge corresponds to a stat on the player’s skill card.
To complete the Fighting challenge, each player on a crew rolls one die, the type of which is determined by that player’s Fighting skill. Level 1 is a d6, level 2 is a d8, and so on. The rolls of the crew are summed and compared to the current challenge value. If it exceeds that value, the challenge is won.
The Navigating challenge is card-guessing. Players guess a standard suit, and a card is drawn from a standard deck. If the guessed suit matches the drawn suit, the player scores a point. Players get as many guesses as their Navigating skill level. The number of correct guesses must exceed the current challenge value.
Finally, the drinking challenge is a coin flipping game. A player flips coins, counting the number of heads flipped. If a tails is flipped, the player “stumbles.” A player can only stumble as many times as their level allows (1-4) before they pass out and are out of the challenge. The amount that the crew can drink before passing out is the challenge value.
The crew must attempt every challenge, but only has to win two of them. If the crew is successful, the vendor hoists their color’s flag, and records their challenge values as the new standards. After a crew raids an island, the “tides” come in and a new crew cannot challenge the island for a few minutes (the vendor can set a timer or just wait a small period of time).
In addition to the rooms deciding allegiance, at the end of the convention, or potentially at the end of each day, the vendors in each room will determine who the winner of that area is. Players can come forward and present their allegiance cards and claim either small prizes or points. The player who manages to have the greatest amount of winning allegiances will either have accrued the greatest amount of prizes, or will be recognized as the winner at the end of the convention.
This description leaves out many of the things that I had thought of, but that’s the way it goes when you have a word limit. What this really struggles with is thematic depth, since it barely acknowledges the fact that it makes everyone pirates. In fact, I really should have mentioned that the areas are “seas.” Either way, if people like this game and it wins, it could be played (in some form or another) at a real, upcoming convention. I’m not expecting anything, but I will admit that I’ve had some thoughts about graphics. I guess I’ll keep my finger’s crossed.
I really have no idea what I’ll be working on in the near future, so anything could be in the next post. Hopefully some graphics. Posts like this bum me out.