(Most) Every Wednesday, I make a brief development blog on my card/board game, Dead Parents Dungeon (DPD). It’s a fantasy-themed, light-hearted game about families and dungeons.

Progress: Second Rules Draft

The Turn
Each turn has two phases: the Village Phase–where families search for rumors, raise their children, and plan for retirement–and the Dungeon Phase—where adventurers look for rumored dungeons and fight the monsters inside.

The first part of every turn is creating babies. Adventurers with a free space in a lower generation of their family draw one baby card from the baby deck and put it into a free space below them. Free spaces that are in a higher generation are filled before free spaces in a lower generation.
Then, players take actions, starting with the first player. During each player’s turn, they may take one of four actions. Some cards may create additional actions late.

Train – A player may play an Adventurer card from their hand onto a baby in their family. That adventurer keeps the baby card—and its die—underneath the Adventurer card.
You cannot train a baby if there is an untrained baby in a higher generation in your family.

Retire – The player plays a retirement card and chooses an Adventurer from their oldest generation. They then remove the retirement card’s cost from their family’s hoard and place them into the monster discard pile.
The chosen Adventurer transfers all of their baby cards to Adventurers of the next-younger generation in any way they see fit.
This retiring Adventurer is placed on the retirement card, and the family tree shifts, just as if that character had died.
Then, check for victory. If a player’s total points from all Retirement cards is greater than or equal to 10, they win the game.

Rumors – The player plays a Rumor card. Then all players bid monsters for the right to send their adventurers into the dungeon. Then, for each winning bid, each player marks one of their adventure as going into the dungeon. Those Adventurers cannot interact with any other Village Actions this turn and are not affected by any Village Actions.
If a player has played a Rumor card, after the Village Phase there will be a Dungeon Phase. Only one Rumor card can be played per turn. If there are 6 or more players, a second Rumor card can be played, but an Adventurer can only enter one Dungeon per turn.

Go into The Village – Take a card from the Village and replace it with the top card of the Village Deck or draw 2 cards from the village.

Last Card Type: NPCs. NPCs give abilities while in the Village and can be removed with an action, often times, to be replaced with a card from a player’s hand.

(Most) Every Wednesday, I make a brief development blog on my card/board game, Dead Parents Dungeon (DPD). It’s a fantasy-themed, light-hearted game about families and dungeons.

Progress: Second Rules Draft

I rewrote the rules again to try to align everything to how it ought to be. I’ll add those new rules–with notes–over the next few weeks. I’m going to start with Setup, then The Turn, Dungeons, Combat, and finally Looting.

The Setup

Shuffle the Village Deck, the Monster Deck, the Baby Deck, and the Deck of Family cards.

Each player draws and plays a Family card.

Each player starts with a hand size of seven cards. Each player draws 5 village cards, then draws monster cards until their hand is full.

This is a core rule. When a player has fewer than their hand size in cards in their hand, they draw up by drawing Monster cards until their hand is full. Don’t draw if you’re in the middle of something a card is telling you to do. If you are instructed to draw cards, draw those cards and then discard card until your hand is at your hand size again.

Then the top three cards of the Village Deck are turned face up and laid out beside each other by the Village Deck. These cards comprise The Village.

Players then play Adventurers to fill out the roles on their Family cards. They have to play a Theytriarch first and have at least one Adventurer in one generation before the play an Adventurer on a lower generation.

Example: Arthur draws the Dorgin Dynasty as his family card. The Dorgin Dynasty has a Theytriarch with one descendant who in turn has one descendant. Arthur then draws five Village cards and two Monster cards.

Arthur has two Adventurer cards in his hand, a Ranger and a Fighter. He has to play one as his Theytriarch. He plays the

Ranger has his Theytriarch. He may then play the Fighter in the next generation of his family.
If a player doesn’t have any Adventurer cards, they may take an Adventurer from the Village and play it as their Theytriarch.
Players then compare the luck numbers of their families. The player with the Adventurer with the highest luck number among all Adventurers is the player who goes first in the first turn.


Keyforge, pt I

So Richard Garfield and Fantasy Flight Games are releasing a card game called Keyforge, colon no one ever gives a damn what happens after the colon.

It’s your standard, proto-Magic: the Gathering game. I guess when you invent the Customizable Card Game genre, people will care about what comes after the colon.

You play creatures and artifacts, tap them to attack and work to get enough points to win the game. It’s not a knock-off and I don’t want to leave you with the impression that it is. Creatures tap for points(amber) and they attack one another to stop your opponents from getting points. The rock/paper/scissors interaction of Magic removal is one of my complaints with it and I like this system. In the Battletech CCG, anything could be attacked—even ‘event’ cards.

Here’s all the tokens and accessories. Man, I hope that’s all of them.

You use amber to forge up to three keys—hence the name—and the third one wins you the game. It’s similar to Magic’s life system, but it’s probably a bit more interactive; the rules extensively cover creatures temporarily stealing amber and some cards’ effects depend on which of your keys have been forged. I prefer the card-based progress systems of Pokemon and Duel Masters, but that interactivity is good.

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The Most Toys

I fell off of making these and need to get back onto it, but even when I did make them more regularly, I never shared them here.

I think I scaled this one down too much for the amount of ‘growth’ I added for the white border. It’s a process.

I just got through watching season one of The Good Place on Neflix. There were enough .gifs and video clips on the internet that I knew the general beats, but even knowing most of the twists, I was really impressed with this show.

It’s a network sitcom. It’s got all of the characteristics of a network sitcom: bright colors, characters who kind of like each other and kinda don’t, and Ted Danson.

The premise is that our main characters–Elanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jianyu are dead. They and 318 other dead people go to a personalized neighborhood in The Good Place to enjoy eternal happiness.

The kink in that plan–at least initially–is that Elanor doesn’t belong in The Good Place. A clerical error gave her the points (karma, basically) of another person. And if she’s found out, she goes to The Bad Place.

Elanor isn’t evil; she’s just a bad person who’s embrace an life aggressive immorality and selfishness. When disasters that reflect Elanor’s shitty behavior beset the neighborhood, Elanor has to learn to become a good person before the neighborhood’s all-powerful architect, Michael, can connect her to the disasters.

In true sitcom style, the ring of conspirators in Elanor’s misplaced status widens and the situations get wilder, but the tension never releases: the season’s penultimate moment is an emotional roulette wheel of characters arguing over trips to The Bad Place to save each other.

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People talk about Patrick Stewart coming back to Star Trek. They don’t want a send-off for Captain Picard (We had one of those and it was called “All Good Things…” They want more TNG, just TNG for a million years. www.TNG.com.

That’s not going to happen and if we ever—god forbid—see the TNG cast together in some kind of production, it should be a really real super sendoff. My initial impulse for that was something grimdark; ‘Fall of The Federation’ or some bullshit like that. Everything breaks. The universe is reset. Everybody dies.

Because of course everybody dies. But that’s not want people want from TNG either. They want the people they like to be happy and to grow and change. The grimdark story is a lot easier to pitch, but it seems fair to start with the happy ending rundown and then say “but that’s not interesting” and do the stupid, grimdark lazy story.

So what’s that happy ending look like?

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I’ve been playing the new turn-based Battletech–the one I trash talked earlier this year–because it’s actually pretty good. It has all of the things I wanted out of a Battletech game. I do not say that lightly. It has the financial mechanics, pilot management, ‘mech repair and customization, and meat ‘n unseasoned potatoes story I want.

Mission: The Second Convoy Strike


I started in the south of a mesa environment with the convoy on an elevated road just north of me. The road twisted around and passed by a slope to the east of me. It was a direct shot for me, but the road was long enough I could beat the vehicles to it and interdict the convoy at a hairpin turn.

Destroying the vehicles and stopping the convoy were two different objectives, so I assumed I could physically stop them, possibly by destroying the cave at the very end of the road, north of the turn. I also had to deal with the escorts.

The escorts were led by a Griffin, with a large laser in its left arm. It entered sensor range with its left arm to me and since its main weapon was on its left arm, I took the opportunity.

Shadycator went east to intercept the convoy. The Shadow Hawk’s missiles would make it strong enough to take down vehicles and the Vindicator’s PPC would pack a punch for the heavier ones. Centaurjack moved in and hit the Griffin with everything they had, snapping its arm off.

But I split my Centurion and Blackjack across a rock formation. Three more enemy ‘mechs appeared, and with the Griffin, they pounded first the Centurion, then the Blackjack while I couldn’t focus my fire. My options were to pull back–away from Shadycator and my targets–or to fight with one ‘mech while the other joined it. The second option put my heavier ‘mechs in the position to support and regoup with my entire lance, so I took that.

My Blackjack took a pounding and hugged its heat curve tightly until the Centurion caught up. I took a lot of structure damage to keep up the damage output and I’m not sure if that was worth it in retrospect.

Meanwhile, even sprinting was barely enough to get Shadycator to the hairpin turn before our enemies. If they’d arrived later, instead of being able to focus fire on each vehicle as they passed through a chokepoint, they would have been in a line abreast and been able to focus fire on my guys.

It was still ugly. The Shadow Hawk arrived first, destroying an enemy vehicle that had already passed the chokepoint before being blindsided by a Manticore. The Manticores I went up against in the Quick Extraction didn’t seem this big, intimidating, or well-armored. I’d walked my Shadow Hawk too far forward and given the other two vehicles line of sight to fire on it through the chokepoint. It had taken some fire in its mad dash over and after a volley of SRMs from the SRM Carrier, it was downed and looking tattered.

The Vindicator’s timely arrival didn’t seem to dent the Manticore’s armor and Centaurjack was on the ropes too far away to help. In an act of desperation, I jumped the Shadow Hawk onto the Manticore–and killed it–but my shot up little Shadow Hawk lost a leg and fell again. Between the falls, and the SRM volleys, its pilot, Graceland, was also hanging by a thread.

The Vindicator took a clutch shot against the SRM Carrier to save its friend…and missed. The next round saw the SRM Carrier unload a full salvo of SRMs into the side of my downed Shadow Hawk. It was impressive to watch…and lethal to experience. Graceland did indeed move on to a land of grace.

An untimely spread of LRMs from my Centurion landed through a break in the road’s cover and eliminated the SRM Carrier. The mop-up was easy and cathartic, but the damage was done.

Graceland was dead. He’d been with me since the start and was my second plankowner to die. The contract covered repair costs, but between pilot damage and ‘mech refits, the 50 days of downtime were going to put VanVelding’s Marauders into the red for that mission.

In retrospect, I should have tried to move my entire lance to the east. Centaurjack could have guarded the six of Shadycator and both could have shifted to support the other as necessary. Ultimately, I made the choice to move in on the Griffin’s vulnerability on turn one. I tried to have my bone and get the bone from that dog in the lake too.