Sunday, July 29, 2007

A New Endeavor...Dungeon Slam!

Having somewhat stalled out on writing up Blackfall as a campaign setting, I've been working on a new project since Origins--a board game.

Having gotten a good glimpse of several games while there (including Dragon War, which just about told me everything not to do, when writing a game), I found myself somewhat dissatisfied. There wasn't really a niche for the "dungeon crawling, backstabbing, cutthroat-competitive" sort of game that would make for a ton of fun.

I mean, I love Arkham Horror. The mechanics of it are particularly well-balanced (well, aside from the accidental loophole we stumbled on last night, which gave Kev every spell in the deck), and the encounters are unique, varied, and a ton of fun. However, there's no competition in the game, as you're all working together to stop the Mythos monster. Plus, there's a metric-buttload of playing pieces. The card decks alone are massive.

I really enjoyed playing Ebbs' Runebound, as well, but the mechanics are incredibly generic. All the characters feel the same, which makes for a very similar play experience every time. While the exploring is there, I can't stand the movement dice mechanic, and you rarely interact with the other people at the table. While the rules to combat each other are there, they feel shunted to the side, rather than featured.

I liked Order of the Stick quite a bit, but the game takes bloody For-Ev-ER to play, due to the massive stacks of boosted monsters you can end up with. One game, I recall, we had a room that held 18 monsters in it--Absurdity! While solid PvP rules were there, they only slowed down the game-play even more, as it was amazingly hard to actually Kill anyone. Plus, most of the room areas felt really generic, as the most found room was "Just Another Dungeon Corridor." Plus, the character balance is practically non-existent.

So, I decided to change that. And, since I doubt that any of the above games' creators would very much like some random yokel heckling their games, I decided to just go ahead and start putting together my own....the project I'm calling, at least for the time being...

Dungeon Slam! A Decidedly Non-Cooperative Fantasy Board Game for 3-8 Players

The premise of the game is simple. The mad archmage has finally died, so you (and several other adventurers) have decided to pick through his underground dungeon. Find enough wealth, and you'll be living on easy street for life. However, you also have to make it out of the dungeon with your gains....and your fellow players are probably more dangerous than the monsters!

Basically, I'm shooting for something that marries the beautiful mechanics of Arkham Horror (minus half of the playing pieces), the cut-throat nature of Munchkin, the explorer-fantasy feel of Runebound, and the claustrophobic dungeon-feel that Order of the Stick shoots for.

Thusfar, I've already developed all 12 character classes, including their skills, as well as the skeleton-outline for the weapons. Armor, Spells, Potions, and the other items come next...followed by the Room Tiles, then Encounter Cards.

If this sounds like something you might like....let me know! I'm accepting all input!

Edit: Oh, and by the way....I might just have a preview of one of the classes for you readers....all two of you. We'll see if I can pump that out this week.

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