Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Should I include Emperor Avatars in Oblivion? Or make them a separate mini-expansion/promo?

A while ago I made something for Eminent Domain that I referred to as Emperor Avatars. These were tiles that players would draft during setup that confer some bonuses or abilities. They were intended to be an another Scenario sort of thing. I enjoyed them, and I think they worked pretty well, but I haven't done anything with them in a long time.

Now that I'm more actively working on Oblivion (PnP files are on BGG at the Tasty Tester's Guild!) I'm wondering if I should include them in that expansion -- possibly instead of Scenarios.

I recently added a host of Prestige planets and Prestige tech (for a while I wasn't going to include tech in Oblivion), and of course I already have Agendas and Clout tokens... Does the expansion really need more content? With the new tech existing it's likely I should make some Scenarios that use it, so maybe Emperor Avatars aren't necessary here.

On the other hand, I could make them into a promo item or mini expansion (or split them into a series of promos) and maybe give them away at conventions, use them as KS bonuses for Oblivion, include them in other games (perhaps Eminent Domain Origins?), or sell them for cheap.

What do you think makes the most sense here?


rag said...

Personally, I'm against mini expansions - they're hard to track, overpriced and just a general nuisance. If it's worth printing at all, it's worth putting in the game proper.

Igor Knop said...

Personally, the I don't like the embedding a game content in another one (even themed related).
When I join a kickstarter campaign, I like to "get everything" at once because shipping is costly and a big issue to us in Brazil.
Everytime a publisher splits a game content, their oversea fans get a huge logistic problem. :(
So, I'm more inclinated to argue in fovar for stretch goal in Oblivion.

Josh said...

Hey Seth,

as long as you can set them apart in a meaningful way from scenarios, I would be all for it. Maybe some small bonus scenarios cannot provide (I only know the base game scenarios right now (my Escalation and Exotica are still on their way...), so if there are more possibilities in there, I would not know about them), like if you research you may draw one role card (maybe a specific one, depending on the tech you choose?) or if you colonize a planet, you may trash a card from your hand, or, if you survey, you may discard 3 fighters to keep two planets (this might be very powerful, depending on playstyle).

Essentially, they should do some rather niche stuff you may not normally do. Then again, having a fitting avatar and scenario might be way overpowered compared to non-fitting ones. Maybe some drafting mechanism could be good here.

I am not a fan of kickstarter exclusive stuff, if it has some gameplay value, so I would love to see them just as a normal optional variant.

Glenn said...

Since Seth hasn't gotten a chance yet, here's the link to the post describing 'Avatars'. The dropbox link to the content 404's but the description should be sufficient to get the idea.


I was torn when I first read the post - I like the idea, but it's yet another 'new bit' that you need to explain when teaching. The base game is simple to teach as long as you resist the temptation to describe the entire tech tree; the expansions make the game deeper but each one seems to double the teaching time.

After thinking about it, I'm in the "in the box or not at all" camp. There are a couple of 'add-ins' that I have for my games only because a fellow club member bought a copy of a game that included them as 'giveaways.'