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  #1  
Old 12-02-2017, 06:48 AM
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Default Deck of Many Dungeons

Hello everybody! I am making a game made out of cards with a title that is so awesome that it could only have been supplied by Destil.

What is this game about

Deck of Many Dungeons a dungeon-crawling adventure for 1-2 players. The game is centered around two decks. The first is the Hero Deck, which contains 25 cards: 5 suits of ranks 1-5.



The second is the Encounter Deck, which, due to space constraints, only contains 20 cards: still 5 suits, but ranked 2-5. Here's an example card:



Will-o'-the-Wisp is a combat encounter. He is a happy little ball of light because my artist is busy and will probably not give me illustrations for a couple of months. But never mind that! Let's take a look at the card.

When you enter a combat encounter, you draw five Hero Deck cards, then you draw the top card of the Encounter Deck and stick it under the enemy so that the top of the new card is peeking out. That card is the action card, and it'll determine what the enemy is trying to do this round. If we drew a red 4, Will-o'-the-Wisp would use Ball Lightning, attacking one hero for 3 and another for 2.

But before that happens, you get to execute your own attacks. You've already done the Draw Phase. Now comes the Discard Phase, where you get two chances to discard as much of your hand as you want, drawing an equal number of cards each time. You want to arrange your hand so that you're set up to execute some really nice attacks in the Attack Phase.

Your heroes come with a few attacks out of the box, but since we're not looking at a hero card, let's look at the Counter ability at the bottom of this card. Counter is an ability the Paladin can learn. To execute it, you need to play two yellow cards of any rank from your hand onto the Paladin (as indicated in the top right of the ability box). That leaves you with three other cards, which you can assign to your other heroes to give them something to do. Will-o'-the-Wisp has a special power that makes it immune to any of your attacks that use cards of the same rank as the action card, so if one of the cards we played on the Paladin was a yellow 4, the Paladin would get the damage reduction from Counter but wouldn't be able to deal damage in return. (Most enemies don't care what cards you play, of course.)

At the end of the round, you discard the action card, you shuffle your Hero Deck back together, and you start over again until you win or lose. If you win, you'll take the encounter card as spoils. If you're using the Paladin, you could learn Counter. If not, you still have other options to benefit from this battle, such as adding this card's yellow 4 to your deck.


But wait, there's more

That's just a high-level view of some of the gameplay in Deck of Many Dungeons. I didn't mention event encounters, bosses, or the various heroes you can choose from.

If you are interested in playing such a game, good news! I am looking for playtesters, and you will be able to play it either by printing the cards or via Tabletop Simulator. Check out this post for details.
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2017, 07:40 AM
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Looks intuitive so far!
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2017, 08:57 AM
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Looks neat. Does this all fit within a 54 card deck for economy reasons? It seems like it would be a much stronger game with 2 decks worth. If you had two players using both redraws every round you would be able to go through nearly all 25 cards every time and get most of the good ones right? With more hero cards you could have duplicates of the lower power ones and introduce some rarity and mechanics for more varied hands.
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2017, 09:41 AM
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It fits in 54 cards for contest reasons. I would really love 60 cards to work with, which would give me two full decks and five cards each for heroes and bosses, but I have to work with what I've got.

The contest sponsor is also looking to publish some of the entries, and if he ends up interested in this, I'm going to push for 60 plus damage counters. My solution for damage tracking is innovative but wanting.

The two player game uses two 3-card hands, plus some minor differences. In any player count, you can go through most of your deck in a round, but some testing has shown that it's still not easy to get the hand you want. I ended up revising many of the ability costs to make them easier to fill.
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2017, 10:45 AM
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What contest is this? :O
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2017, 11:27 AM
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This one. The component limitation is literally the entirety of the contest format, so it's not really negotiable in this case.
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2017, 11:44 AM
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This has done nothing to dissuade me from volunteering my soul my TTS time for this game.

Just tell me when.
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2017, 06:24 PM
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Don't know about play-testing but some feedback I have:
I had a bit of an issue matching the cards to the symbols for the counter ability. I get it now but it was hard to tell at first. Maybe something to watch out for.
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2017, 06:58 PM
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Yeah, I was concerned about that. 30x30 pixels is not a lot of space. I'll experiment with enlarging it slightly.

Fortunately, the suit icons are pretty distinct even at that size, but it's a definite obstacle for a starting player as it stands.
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  #10  
Old 12-02-2017, 07:05 PM
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It's just as well -- I had the cost wrong anyway.



I'm quite a bit happier with the cost icons at this size.
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  #11  
Old 12-02-2017, 07:31 PM
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Any reason you're disinclined to colour-code them? Obviously that's not a help to colour-blind players, but I'd suggest leaving them white on the hero deck cards (to help them stand out), as they are now, but colouring them in on the other cards to indicate which suit they are.
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2017, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
Any reason you're disinclined to colour-code them? Obviously that's not a help to colour-blind players, but I'd suggest leaving them white on the hero deck cards (to help them stand out), as they are now, but colouring them in on the other cards to indicate which suit they are.
Color-blindness is one thing (and it's why everything is icon-based instead of mentioning colors), but then you also have to remember that many players will be print-and-playing this, and many of them will be printing in black and white. The white-on-black contrast is going to be more helpful for those players, especially at this size. (It would also be a lot of work, which is a significant factor but not the deciding factor.)

I'm toiling away at churning text into cards right now, so here's a sneak peek at another combat encounter. This encounter sees your party facing off against multiple targets and forces you to think twice about the damage you deal. The Bard ability on this card is a powerful control tool. (In news that you will be less excited about, this card also shows a layout with three enemy abilities, which took a lot of rearranging. Do I have a newfound respect for graphic designers? I don't know, but I'm suddenly glad that's not my job.)
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
I'm toiling away at churning text into cards right now, so here's a sneak peek at another combat encounter. This encounter sees your party facing off against multiple targets and forces you to think twice about the damage you deal. The Bard ability on this card is a powerful control tool. (In news that you will be less excited about, this card also shows a layout with three enemy abilities, which took a lot of rearranging. Do I have a newfound respect for graphic designers? I don't know, but I'm suddenly glad that's not my job.)
I'm slightly confused by the Dissolution wording. Say that 14-HP Slime uses Split and takes 1 damage. It's now at 13 HP. And since it took damage, a new Slime is formed. But is the new Slime at 1 HP, equal to the damage taken, or 13 HP, equal to the originating Slime's remaining HP?
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:36 PM
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Ooof. Slimes.

ETA: Turtle, I was assuming the latter, but now that you point it out I agree that the wording could stand to be a bit less ambiguous, as I suspect that the earlier interpretation is the correct one, since that seems far less punishing.
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  #15  
Old 12-02-2017, 09:02 PM
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The more I think about it, the more I'm thinking it's supposed to be HP equal to damage taken. Mogri said it 'forces you to think twice about the damage you deal'; hitting it for 5 means that you have a 5-HP Slime pop out, which you'd have to hopefully pull out another 5 to kill. But if you hit it for only like 2 or 3, completely finishing off the offshoot isn't so hard at all.

Then there's Recombine. Continuing the example before where the 14-HP Slime uses Split to make a second, then after Recombine, it would make sense for the Slime to be back at 14 HP again. If it's the other interpretation, though, that would put it at 26.

tl;dr, screw slimes forever
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  #16  
Old 12-02-2017, 10:03 PM
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The rulebook clarifies that HP refers to a creature's remaining health; the abbreviation is used to reduce wordy card text. Every Slime has the same maximum health.

If you deal 5 damage to an undamaged Slime, you should have two Slimes with 5 damage. (The appendix goes on to explain that a multitarget attack can immediately hit the new Slime.) If that's not clear, I need to revise the wording.

In any case, all the cards I'm showcasing are subject to wild rebalancing. I've done one test fight against the Slime, and it wasn't terrible, but I might have been very lucky.
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  #17  
Old 12-02-2017, 11:25 PM
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so jbear's original interpretation was right?
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  #18  
Old 12-04-2017, 08:05 AM
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Yes, I've revised the wording to "When a Slime takes damage, add a copy of that Slime to the enemy group." That means I'm also changing the ruling on whether status effects carry over to the new Slime, but I'm OK with that. I've also added "2 damage" to Confusion and docked 3 health from the Slime, if you're wondering how much is still up in the air here.

In the category of "excellent news," my artist has arted me some art! Have a look at red 3: the Kobolds. Here, we get our first look at the Warrior, who boasts a high health total and big single-target damage.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:21 AM
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Wow, looks good! Do you mind if I ask how much you’re spending on art?
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  #20  
Old 12-04-2017, 08:36 AM
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My brother is doing the art. He is getting the art-related prize money, but I will probably also pay him beyond that because this is good stuff.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:45 AM
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So the Kobold card represents five Kobolds with 4 starting health each? I'm not sure that's immediately clear from the card in isolation, though if it's a standard game mechanic you'd quickly be used to it and it's fine.
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  #22  
Old 12-04-2017, 08:46 AM
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Yeah, it's hardly the only card that works like that. The rules make it explicit, though even in isolation, you'd be hard-pressed to figure out another way to make the card work.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
My brother is doing the art. He is getting the art-related prize money, but I will probably also pay him beyond that because this is good stuff.
Yeah, pass along my compliments.
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  #24  
Old 12-04-2017, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
When you enter a combat encounter, you draw five Hero Deck cards, then you draw the top card of the Encounter Deck and stick it under the enemy so that the top of the new card is peeking out. That card is the action card, and it'll determine what the enemy is trying to do this round. If we drew a red 4, Will-o'-the-Wisp would use Ball Lightning
I don't understand this part. Where is the extra card in this explanation coming from? You have the top card of the Encounter Deck which you stick under...the enemy card? But isn't the enemy card the card you drew from the Encounter Deck?
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:58 PM
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I don't understand this part. Where is the extra card in this explanation coming from? You have the top card of the Encounter Deck which you stick under...the enemy card? But isn't the enemy card the card you drew from the Encounter Deck?
You are correct on both counts. Of course the rulebook goes into more detail, but the idea is:
  1. Draw the top card of the encounter deck and place it on the table. In our example, this is a combat encounter; it becomes the enemy card.
  2. Draw the top card of the encounter deck. This is the action card. Put it beneath the enemy card so that you can see the top of the action card.
  3. At the end of the round, discard the action card. You will draw a new action card from the encounter deck next round.

For example, you might draw Will-o'-the-Wisp (yellow 4) as your first card. That would be the enemy card. Then, you might draw Kobolds (red 3) as the next card. You'd use that as the action card, so instead of encountering Kobolds, you'd be facing a Will-o'-the-Wisp who's about to use Ball Lightning for 2 and 1 damage.
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  #26  
Old 12-04-2017, 04:34 PM
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Okay, I get it now.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:07 PM
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Yeah, it's a clever way to get two uses out of the same part of the deck, I like it.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:15 PM
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Yeah, that's a big constraint and I'm impressed you're attempting to fit a fairly complex adventure game in a single deck. Creative solutions!
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:31 PM
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Today's card is the Ranger, our first hero card. The Ranger has the unique Nock mechanic: he (or she; I won't know until I get the art) deals very consistent damage but has to spend a turn preparing an arrow. Out of the box, the Ranger has Quick Shot and Aimed Shot. If you Nock a high-rank card and manage to pair it with a card of the same suit in the following round, you can deal quite a lot of damage. If not, you can at least fire off a Quick Shot for some guaranteed damage. The Ranger's low rate of card consumption makes him/her a good complement to card-hungry heroes like the Mage or Paladin.

The Ranger can learn additional abilities that allow multitarget attacks, even bigger damage, and even a Trick Shot that doesn't consume the arrow card. The Ranger just might be the most powerful hero in the game... if you can live with the slow rate of attack.

"Hey, did you know the Ranger looks like kobolds?' Yes, very clever.

OT: I also changed the look of the health indicator.
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  #30  
Old 12-06-2017, 09:24 PM
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Our sneak peek for today is blue 5, the Fountain. This is an event encounter. Some events give you a choice to make, others like this one simply let you choose whether to participate in the event, and still others spring something nasty on you.

Unlike combat encounters, you resolve events like this one by drawing a random card from the Hero Deck. This means you can't just check the Encounter Discard to see what you're likely to get, but on the other hand, if you've added a few cards of a suit to your deck, you can tip the odds in your favor.


At this point, I've produced most of the cards in the game. I am one really good monster idea short of finishing things up, though. If you come up with something that fits well in the constraints of the game, you could be immortalized in the credits.
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