Dead Parents Dungeon

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(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.

Babies.
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.

Actions.
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.

 

I’m still working on it. It’s taking a while to really quantify what went wrong with the Combat of the playtest. Mostly because that rolls into the larger problems and that naturally leads me into pitching solutions.

My deal is that even if solutions make more complexity, I’ll walk down that garden path a bit and pare it back a bit later. I mean, “wherefore equipment?” “seven stages of combat and only one card type affects each one” “dice for village actions” “theytriarch cards and you” “monsters should kill everyone because A) Monsters & B) It’s Written On The Box” “were coins that bad?” “If that’s a whole village, shouldn’t it have at least one consequential gameplay mechanic?”

It’s a process and I haven’t sat down and dedicated time to typing it all out.

(Most) Every Thursday, 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.

Current Progress: Set Skeleton (cont)

A set skeleton is a list of the cards being made and listed by function. The set skeleton for DPD needs certain themes to be present. It doesn’t mean that I need to nail down every card right now, just as long as I have enough cards to do the things I need to do. It’s just another part of trying to get the most out of playtesting before I have to completely rebuild every card after the first playtest.

This week it’s Rumor and Twist! cards, the adversarial cards. The Twist!s I had were flavorful, they didn’t do the work I needed them to do. They need to push cards and weed out parents. I mean, ideally parents would die in the dungeons, but I’m flexible on this point.

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(Most) Every Thursday, 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.

Current Progress: Set Skeleton (cont)

A set skeleton is a list of the cards being made and listed by function. The set skeleton for DPD needs certain themes to be present. It doesn’t mean that I need to nail down every card right now, just as long as I have enough cards to do the things I need to do. It’s just another part of trying to get the most out of playtesting before I have to completely rebuild every card after the first playtest.

This week it’s Heirlooms and Retirement cards, the places where you want to go and what you use to get there. While Heirlooms can still be played to improve other Heirlooms, I haven’t really delineated the abilities of the “prime” heirloom from what the “upgrade” heirlooms add. I’m currently leaning towards just lending a die bonus from upgrades.

That means abilities are either good early and late-game or they can be shuffled and replaced. Given the use of “draining” as a dungeon consequence which (basically) taps down cards and prevents them from being used until the dungeon is complete, it makes sense that upgrades can be used to protect the function of a main Heirloom. I can still have some equipment give a lesser bonus when they’re used as upgrades.

Still though, it feels like abilities stronger than the ones listed here should be used.

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(Most) Every Thursday, 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.

Current Progress: Set Skeleton

A set skeleton is a list of the cards being made and listed by function. The Magic: the Gathering guys are probably the best-known users of set skeletons. Of course, they’ve got a lot more factors to balance–creature size, spell cost, draft viability, ratio of sorceries to permanents, etc.–but the basic idea is the same.

The set skeleton for DPD needs certain themes to be present. It doesn’t mean that I need to nail down every card right now, just as long as I have enough cards to do the things I need to do. It’s considered penciled in and because I’ve never made a Magic set (despite making several individual cards), I don’t really know how the numbers balance out. It’s just another part of trying to get the most out of playtesting before I have to burn every part of the playtest for the first revision.

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(Most) Every Thursday, 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.

Current Progress:

Just want to get this done with. After literal years of kicking this idea around I want it done. Current status is “It will be good to finish because I’ll learn something for next time.”

At least I hope is that and not “This is gonna take some work.”

I’m actually in the part where I don’t want to make draft cards again because I already made draft cards and I hate, hate, <i><b>hate</b></i> repeating work. On the other hand, it was me who said I’d prototype everything then revise. On that first hand, I was unaware that “revise” in this context meant “repeat work.”

Se la vie.

(Most) Every Thursday, 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.

Current Progress: Uuuuuuuuugh

IDK. Like there’s a tableau of three village cards, but you can also dig two cards deep for a specific card as a village action. If your dig doesn’t get the one you want you can spend a monster head to dig an extra card. Retirement cards can improve these numbers to represent the services retired, experienced PCs can bring to a town.

All PCs have relationship arrows, and at least one has to connect a PC to a family. Your theytriarch might have two side arrows (brother/sister/partner) and an up arrow (parent), but they can still have a baby provided either: that baby’s PC card has an up arrow or that theytriarch has a partner who has a down arrow (child). When you marry someone you immediately roll for babies. At the start of each turn, babies age into adults, then ALL couples roll for babies.

PC cards have a die and one ability. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep the fighters like equipment, wizards use monster-head-as-spell-components, and thieves avoid suffering consequences themes. Because PCs now only add a single die and an ability to a dungeon, the motivation for taking multiple PCs into a dungeon (beyond double-dipping loot) is synergy between simple abilities. Equipment/heirlooms now do most of the heavy dice-piling.

Twist cards are gonna work parents and siblings hard (in a grave-ward direction) to push each family towards having only one heir per generation. Cousins might as well bathe in Smaug’s Best (TM) Ketchup. Fuck cousins. ALL GAME BALANCING WILL HENCEFORTH BE DONE ON TWIST CARDS, A CARD TYPE I HAVE NEVER EVEN PROTOTYPED.

Each family starts with a piece of equipment that doubles as a “family card.” Or maybe every piece of equipment has a “Family Ability” and the other equipment just give die bonuses. No, that’s boring. The “heirloom equipment” is the first one you play. It hangs out on top. All other equipment give a die bonus and an ability, but once you upgrade the heirloom with a new equipment, you lose the ability of the last non-heirloom equipment and only keep the die bonus. No more “village abilities,” just monster type bonuses, re-rolls, etc.

Monsters are going to kill, drain equipment cards, and probably force some draws of Twist cards (or activation of Twist cards in the tableau). Why not? Maybe they’ll have different colors so they’ll feel different.

Retirement cards previously had two costs (I don’t know why). They should definitely have only one.

There used to be only five Rumors, meaning the game was only five dungeons/turns long OR that it had several non-dungeon turns. Rumors are now less special and more plentiful.

Next Time: No bets guys.

Every Thursday, 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.

Current Progress: Rebooting

What is best in life? To see your family grow proud before you. To hear the lamentations of monsters. To retire responsibly to that little castle on the beach you always talked about.

Dead Parents Dungeon is a game where players take on the role of adventuring families who seek the money and fame which can only be found by defeating dangerous monsters in the many frightening dungeons of the world. Players manage marriages, children, and heirlooms between the life-threatening forays into the world’s darkest corners. The first player to put aside enough monster heads to earn a total of 10 retirement points has the most successful family and is the winner!

The new take on Dead Parents Dungeon keeps the dice. It keeps gear (now Heirlooms). It keeps Adventurers and Monsters, but dispenses with the class leveling and minion mechanics. It gets rid of the scars and silver currency and converts monsters directly into monster heads.

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