Sunday, June 07, 2015

Deities and Demigods - more ideas and alternate structures

Matthew Dunstan, designer/co-designer of such games as Relic Runners, Empire Engine, and the KdJ nominated Elysium (as well as the upcoming TMG title Frontiers), was kind enough to send me an email with some thoughts on this Deities & Demigods game idea, with some ideas and suggestions which have spurred at least 1 alternate structure from what I originally had in mind. It's not fully formed, and I'm not sure if it's better, but then I'm not sure my original structure was fully formulated either. Here's something more specific than I had before which might be a good direction for this game to go:

There's still a Pantheon of god cards, each with it's effect. The (central) deck is made up of 1 of each god card. The rest of the cards in the Pantheon are splayed such that there's a cost below the top-most card, and when that card is removed, there's a new cost showing for the next card (the costs would escalate, like 1/2/3/4...). I'll explain more about this later.

Around the Pantheon there's a Zeus track for recording turn order - this would work exactly like the turn order tracks in In the Year of the Dragon, Macao, or Ground Floor. The player who's marker is farthest along the track is first in turn order, etc.

You'll have a player board with Devotion tracks. Markers on these tracks record your devotion to each of the gods in the pantheon.

Each game turn, a card will be revealed from the shuffled deck. In turn order, each player will have a turn, which will look something like this:

1a: Buy Devotion to the god: Spending some amount of gold, you will increase your Devotion track for the corresponding god by 1 space. The cost to increase your Devotion to a particular god will increase as you go up the track.


1b: Resolve the god's ability: According to your current Devotion level, resolve the ability printed on the god card.

2. Optionally add 1 gold coin from your supply to the god's stack in the Pantheon.

If at any time the number of gold coins on a stack in the Pantheon is equal to the cost printed below the top card in the stack, then remove all those coins (back to the supply) and add that top card to the central deck's discard pile.Therefore, that god will come up 1 more time the next cycle through the deck.

That's all the specifics I have at the moment. I have some general thoughts on what some of the gods could do.

Matthew suggested an alternative where you either buy Devotion or else SPEND all of it to get the benefit of the god. So building up Devotion isn't an investment that will pay off all game, but one that will pay off only once.

That's a really interesting idea, that could lead to a lot of interesting decisions, and it's well worth considering as well.

Hmm... perhaps both ideas could be incorporated... for a smaller cost maybe you could up your Devotion, and as Matthew suggested, you could spend it all to get the effect... but maybe for a larger cost you could increase both your devotion and your minimum devotion, so when you spend your devotion, you don't drop all the way to zero. Maybe that's an interesting idea... it could be as simple as "You may pay $1 to increase your Devotion, then you may pay $1 to increase your Minimum Devotion. OR you may spend all of your Devotion to get the effect of the god (based on how much Devotion you had)." Could that work?

No comments: