DPDDB

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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.

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: Making the first set of twists.

Last week, I put out the first half of the Twist! cards I drafted up. This is a first draft and these cards (as well as the rules as a whole) are going to be scaled back and redesigned to make reasonable compromises for simplicity, flavor, and consistent play.

Battle of…This Village – Each family chooses “Sides” or “Survival” The five most screwed members of each family die, but:

“Survival” — The family rolls combat. For each C result, prevent the death of a family member.

“Sides” — Draw 3 monster cards and take their heads. If any of your family in the village are still alive, play a retirement card for free. If no members of you family in the village are alive draw and play two baby cards as orphans and play an Adventurer card from your hand.

Discard

Comment: Wow, that’s long. I’ll keep it to stress-test templating on test cards because that wall of text is a test. I should not evereverever branch options like in the Sides/Survival split followed with the Retiring Survivors/Free Orphans split. Blegh. The stated “Discard” instruction does not help. Are these kept by default or discarded? Which type of card is going to be simpler? If all the Twist! cards that hang around have C/M/H values to get rid of, do they all have to be things the party can get rid of? How many can be out at once?

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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: Making the first set of twists.

Things have been shitty. Not shitty enough to justify not updating, but still kinda shitty.

The reboot (DPD 2.0) has been focused on making Twist! cards give a more narrative direction to the feeling of the game, as more complicated mechanics get stripped away. I haven’t actually made any Twist! cards yet and I’m glad I waited to draft some.

My first take on things is the “spaghetti” draft, where I freewheel out the concepts I want those things to do and see which ones stick. Changes are made on the fly to make everything work out. I try to figure if how the changes ripple backwards and what the harm is to them. Hope you enjoy this pile of sticky Italian.

Pirates! – The largest family with a baby sets that baby to Kidnapped. That family draws 2 Monsters and keeps the heads.

Comment: This was my first card concept that used a baby status. The second was the Baby Lich monster which only worked if you had a baby set to Dead. “LOL, dead babies,” I guess. I’ve been hammering at this game for a long time.

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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.