Dungeon Quest – Drafting Part 2

Picking up where we left off, there are 2 things I want to talk about. First, four posts in 2 weeks? It’s like 2005 here at the Star Frog home base. The other is picking up the discussion of drafting in Dungeon Quest.

Another draft option that we considered after we moved DQ into a purely card based economy model. When I use the term “card based economy” I mean how the game determines rewards, and what the costs for acquisition of new cards is. In the original incarnation of the game, enemies had XP values, and Equipment had gold values. These 2 things were synonymous, and after the first playtest everything was instead given a gold value.

Now, in the card shop, cards had different gold values depending on how good they were and you could trade a combination of enemy cards that you had collected, and unwanted equipment to add those cards to your deck. In this model, the total number of cards that were revealed from the 3 decks was standardized at 3 of each color. The amount of gold players had to spend was the limiting factor, but like I mentioned previously that whole system was sorta awful for a lot of reasons.

With that, I made the adjustment to the card based economy and added the defunct Level mechanic. I won’t bore you with that (I’ll bore you all with something else instead). So now, all enemies had a value for number of cards that they would reveal from the shop, and how many Loot cards they are worth. Something like a Goblin mook might be worth 2 cards and 0 loot. So at the end of the combat, the players add up the total number of cards and then they reveal cards in the shop for the draft section.

This led me to ask the question – what if all of the cards were put together and a “package” made? Then each player could take a card and pass the rest? This, method stuck with me, since it could be really fun for advanced players. But I decided that an open “rochester” draft model was the best, since it would allow new players to ask questions and coordinate. Now, Loot cards on the other had, are all kept separate. When you get those, the first choice belongs to you, and you pass the rest in secret. After all, it’s your loot.

A more advanced method still, would be to add all of the cards together (including the loot) and then doing all of that in a draft. These, of course, are in the design document as alternative methods. But the standard is Rochester Draft the shop cards, and pass draft the rest.

Now, the hidden Loot mechanic is actually designed to prevent fighting. You could pass your loot items without drafting anything, but since the loot cards are attached to the enemy that a player personally killed, they have ownership. It creates fun tension, since a player wants to keep their stuff (since they felt like they earned it) but it might be better for the team if somebody else gets it. BUT! That since the cards are passed and drafted without communication, there’s nothing to prevent the next player from just picking the items and spending them for additional cards.

Next time, we’re gonna talk about damage, and I’m going to put together the rulebook instead of just working from the Design Document.

  • Exciting news. With the new website we are now, officially, once again the top listing when you type the words Star Frog Games into google. That feels good since there is a story behind that for another day.

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