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More event card fun

After we’d settled on a nice set of numbers to be using, we had another nice idea, which threw them out again.  We thought it would be nice if, when you drew a card, you could choose to take the top card of the discard pile instead.  This added another element of tactics to the game, and after playtesting it a couple of times, we found we really liked it.  There were a couple of issues to be worked out, but we fixed most of them with one fell swoop.  The main problem was this: We have event cards that have an effect, and then let you draw a card.   For example, one of our most basic event cards, “ZAP!”, injures one adventurer, and then you draw a card.  We had one playtester try to play “ZAP!”, injure an adventurer, and then pick “ZAP!” straight back up again.

Obviously this is ridiculously broken.  We fixed it easily by saying that event cards don’t hit the discard pile until they have completely resolved,  thus preventing that sort of abuse.  It did leave one door open though, and that was for chains of event cards that let you pick up cards.  This wasn’t much of a problem, as several of them also made you discard a card, which clogged up the discard pile and made it harder to pull off silly combos.  Those which didn’t, we fixed by changing the card.

Event cards had just become significantly more fun to play with, as there was a lot more opportunity to use them.  One in particular, “Salvage”, made at least 5 appearances in one game.

Categories: It's a Trap Tags: , ,

Save vs Plot

So we had this idea.  You remember 1st/2nd edition Dungeons and Dragons?  Those were great games.  You remember the old, “Save vs poison or die” mechanic?  That rocked.

What am I talking about?  Well, we think that the “Save vs X” mechanic was really good.  We aren’t 100% happy with the new way 4E does the same sort of thing.  So, instead of playing 1st/2nd/3rd edition D&D, we’ve decided to create our own system, based ENTIRELY off the “Save vs X” mechanic.

More to come later.  We’ll keep you posted.

You think we’re crazy?  WE’LL SHOW YOU! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Hmm… We’re missing something…

23 February, 2010 Leave a comment

We liked our game.  We thought it worked well, and other people liked it too, and wanted to play it again.  Even so, we thought it was missing something.  Well, several somethings.  We’d had ideas for other types of cards, and decided to try them out.  There would be two new types of card.  One type would act as a normal trap component, but would deviate from the ADJECTIVE NOUN standard.  We call these the “of” cards, because their names all follow the pattern “of X”, such as “of DOOM!” or “of exploding!”  You could only have one of these on a trap, and at that point, that’s where we left it.  We didn’t think much more of it than that, though these cards later developed into something nicer.

The second type would be the major change – event cards.  These wouldn’t add to a trap at all, but would instead do something completely other.  The first ones we came up with were “save yourself” cards, which would get you out of a tight spot if you needed it.  These were cards like “Zap!”, which let you automatically injure one adventurer.  Though useful, these weren’t all we were looking for.  We wanted a way to make the game more interactive between the players, and in our minds, that meant players being cruel to each other.  Thus came cards like “Illusionary”, which converted all of a traps kills into injuries for that round.

The idea was that event cards could be played at any time.  This lead to more than a few rules debates, when cards would be played in the middle of a trap firing, but we eventually sorted out a standard system for it.  The biggest card to cause this discussion let you switch the positions of any two traps.  That’s fine, you say.  Then you think more closely.  Say your opponent’s trap has just rolled a 6.  You’ve got a trap sitting elsewhere in the queue that gets lots of kills on a 6.  Can you switch the two traps after the number has been decided, but before the effect takes place?  We decided that yes, you could.  We did say, though, that you couldn’t play the card once you’d already started resolving the trap’s effect.  These cards were later deemed to be played at “interrupt” speed.

Categories: It's a Trap Tags: , ,

Prototyping

12 February, 2010 Leave a comment

Now that we had our idea, we had to test it out.  Unfortunately, we’re really quite lazy.  Thus, we didn’t actually get around to doing anything about it for another several weeks.  We kept discussing it, and coming up with new ideas and theories, but they were normally discussed on the walk home after a gaming session, and then we’d both run inside, and try and write down as much as we could remember.  I think we got most of it.  At first we used the society forums to record the info, but we soon set up a wave so that we could discuss it more easily.  We’d decided that you’d create traps by playing multiple trap cards together, and that the more you played, the more powerful the trap would be.  So if you played a “Pit Trap” card with a “Sharks” card and a “Lasers” card, you’d end up with a “Pit Trap with Sharks and Lasers”.  

And so, we grabbed some index cards, ripped them in two and started writing. Two copies of each card we could come up with to pad out the deck, and so that later when we had enough cards we’d each have a deck. Forty cards later, and much gnashing of teeth over names (already!), we had a deck; so we grabbed some ubiquitous d6 and started playing. And it worked! We were even kind-of shocked ourselves!

Categories: It's a Trap Tags: ,

Beginnings

12 February, 2010 Leave a comment

I saw a game once.  Well, I call it a game – it had a winner, but that was about all that was similar to any other game I’d seen.  It was called, “It’s a Trap!”.  Star Wars may have been watched before it’s creation.  In this “game” each player took a rack of scrabble tiles, and took it in turns to take a random tile from the pool.  If the tile you picked contained one of the letters from the phrase, “It’s a Trap!”, you added it to your rack, otherwise you returned it to the pool.  The first person to complete the phrase was the “winner”.

This sounded crap, and we thought the name deserved more.  We decided to take it upon ourselves to do better.  You know, in between lectures, when we had a few spare minutes.  Half an hour later, we had our working principle.

Build a dungeon.  Fill it with traps.  Kill adventurers, before they kill you.

Categories: It's a Trap Tags: ,