ESCAPE POD
04-01-2016, 10:29 AM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2016 07:35 PM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #1
ESCAPE POD
Greetings all!

For a while, I have been toying with a game idea, called ESCAPE POD. Originally I imagined it as a video game, but recently, I have changed my mind. A lot of things are still open, and basically nothing is set in stone. I don't have many mechanics yet done, mostly flavour. So, lets dive on in!

The premise

"Attention! Attention! The Overlord E. Will. has been taken out by an unknown agent of Justice! His underwater science castle is going to explode in *bleep* five *bleep* minutes. Please proceed to the Escape pods. Sorry for the inconvenience."

What are you waiting for? Head to the escape pod!

Inspiration
Definitely the self destruction scene from Space Balls, with various strange and amusing folks running to the various escape pods.

The Goal

My original goal was to explore the deteriorating base, until you found the escape pod, and maybe save some people along the way. However, I realized this wouldn't really work, since this would make the game an endless chain of running forward, and if you do need to turn back, backtracking would be annoying.

The current goal is that the team starts at the escape pod. However, it doesn't launch, as evil company policies dictate that it would be inefficient to launch it without it being full. Now, you must explore the place, looking for survivors, so the dang thing would finally launch. This is a co-op game, everyone wins and looses together.

Player characters

I would say, three players would be the best, but maybe it can be tweaked to work with two or four. Each player would pick one of the characters in the spoiler section.

They would have special powers to help them survive, which could be categorized as Muscle, Science, Utility and General. The exact meaning and details of these are not really relevant for now, and the names of these categories are a subject to change.

[Image: EscapeMuscle.png]

The Heavy Guard(Muscle/General): STRONG, with a(n out of ammo) gun.
The Surveillance Tech(Muscle/Science): has a camera drone, and a case of paranoia
The Field Operative(Muscle/Utility): disguised as a boy scout, badly

[Image: EscapeScience.png]
The Simulator(Science/General): golem hired to run thought experiments (those are cheaper)
The Electrician(Science/Utility): carries a strange device, and stranger tools
The Geneticist(Science/Muscle): SCIENCE SMASH

[Image: EscapeUtility.png]
The PR Agent(Utility/General): promotional toys and ads of EVIL
The Janitor(Utility/Science): totally normal guy, who is good at his job
The Caterers(Utility/Muscle): distributors of a balanced breakfast!

The Map

The map would be a lot of square shaped rooms. The map starts with the ESCAPE POD room, and one adjacent room on each side. The map would be explored as the game commences.

Mechanics

Mechanics will be discussed later in detail. Some initial ideas can be found in the spoiler.
Players would have a number of action points each turn, which they have to use up to recon the area, clean up hazards, scare away monsters and drag survivors to safety.

Exploring and random catastrophes: horrible things will happen either if you step into new rooms, or at the end of your turn, I am not sure. The bad thing card would be the bad thing itself (such as Horrible Tiger Monster or Electric Field), or would be a set of instructions like "Draw a card from the Hazard deck, and draw a card from the Monster deck"). There would be probably useful tools too, which would aid you in your quest, they would definitely have their own decks.

There would probably have an arkham horrorish Doom Counter, with a final attempt to win.

First matter of discussion
Actions, and mechanics of exploration.

First, we have to figure out the exploration mechanics, which should set the pacing of the game. Let us assume that people would have 4 actions a turn (this is totally a random number). Probably for an action, people could step right into the Unknown, or they could spend an action or two to peek ahead?

It is time time
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04-01-2016, 11:14 AM
Post: #2
RE: ESCAPE POD
Hi PL!

This sounds like a fun concept full of potentially hilarious situations. The way you are describing it kind of reminds me of munchkin, but with a gameboard, different mechanics and some other hijinks? Actually come to think of it, is it supposed to be a team-based game, or is it everyone for themselves?

About the actions... I like the idea of actions per turn being a stat, that you can actively choose how to spend those actions on being careful or rushing headling, and the way all that would interact with other effects reducing or increasing your actions... but if a player were to choose to explore a new area four times in one turn, how would that work? Because that is probably not a good idea- makes more sense to end a players turn immediately after discovering a new tile and going through whatever effects or events or whatever pop up from that, which in that case would mean that a player would have the choice of moving 3 steps through already explored territory, then heading into an unexplored area, or they could move 1 step, peek, then step inside, or they could stand still and peek into two rooms, provided he is on a square that has two unexplored rooms. Also, what makes peeking advantageous if it is more costly? I assume you will want encounters or events or whatever that are simply punishing or disadvantageous to the player in order to make people want to tread carefully, but how will you punish the player if they waltz into one of these, exactly?

Also, what would be some alternate ways of spending actions? Items come to mind, but what items would be good examples of something a player would want to spend actions on instead of keeping their momentum going? After all, if you are racing the clock you probably want to spend your time efficiently, so say some items could be intended to be used more or less only when the player has an extra action point to spare while moving between rooms or in niche situations (like say they cant reach a new unexplored room at all, so they use an item that gives them more actions in order to do so), but other items could offer a legit choice between efficiently exploring rooms and using the items - for instance, an item that revealed everything within two squares of the character or so, but immediately ended your turn. That would let you pick the best time to scout, but if you do it too late or in an area that is already mostly explored, you wont necessarily benefit much from it. I dont know, im not sure exactly what you are going for?
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04-01-2016, 11:15 AM
Post: #3
RE: ESCAPE POD
I still really like those character designs, especially the ones for team SCIENCE and the Spider Janitor.

I feel like giving players the option to peek ahead every turn sort of cuts into the frantic, emergency tone of the game. This shouldn't be a game where the players are taking long periods of time to plan out their next move, I think it's better if they just run in and have to deal with whatever the game throws at them. Peeking should either be fairly expensive, or maybe non-existent IMO.

Tumblr/Steam
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04-01-2016, 12:43 PM
Post: #4
RE: ESCAPE POD
Peeking could be a unique ability for one of the characters, maybe as a once per game thing (or have some other restriction). I agree that it should be very limited if included at all.

Since a big theme of the game seems like it will be rushing around, it could be cool mechanically to force players to only move once per turn - and put as many actions into it as they want - and rush through however many rooms they devoted actions to while dealing with the horrible things that come up.

As a brief aside (while I'm thinking of it) I think you could pretty easily have both of the 'bad thing' draws - the one for entering a new room being specific to that room and maybe those around it and the end turn one being a larger effect that helps or hinders players everywhere for the whole turn.
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04-01-2016, 02:53 PM
Post: #5
RE: ESCAPE POD
PR AGENT USED PEEK!

*A disembodied head goes flying through the nearby door.*

Tumblr/Steam
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04-01-2016, 08:03 PM
Post: #6
RE: ESCAPE POD
@chimericWilder: It is a cooperative game. Also yeah, I have taken some ideas from Munchkin Quest, regarding board layouts.

Entering a room ending a turn could be a good idea. Or perhaps, if people had only two actions a turn, running ahead wouldn't be much of a problem. Alternatively EVENTS would prevent you from leaving the room on the turn you enter (you can still escape from the horrible HELL PIGEON at the start of your next turn).

About actions: perhaps some rooms would have special abilities too, fuelled by an action.

@coldblooded:

Ah. You are right, I haven't thought of that. Yeah, it would feel better in a game where you are on a rescue/extraction themed mission. So I'll make it rare.

@Palamedes

So, two decks: the Encounter Deck and the COUNTDOWN deck, perhaps.

Reply idea summaries:

TEAM, ROLL OUT
Co-op game, everyone wins and looses together.

Action And Time Management
Are important core mechanics to the game.

Room actions
Perhaps all, or some rooms should have an ability fuelled by actions, like cooking a pizza in the Kitchen or getting supplies in the Cargo Bay.

Stepping into hazards prevents you from continuing moving that turn
Maybe only new hazards? Maybe you can still use *ESCAPE ROPE* ?

Move only once, or flat out "No repeat action".
Either you could add more actions to make you move more rooms, or a single move action would allow you to move up to two rooms (in both cases, the stepping into hazards stops you idea might apply).

If you are running frantically, why would you stop to cook a pizza, and then continue running?

If we took no repeat actions, a specific powers could be used only once per turn, but you could still use any items, just each of them only once per turn.

Scouting things
No base peeking. There might be items and powers for distant scouting, perhaps a unique power of the Surv. Techie.

Encounter deck
Happens when you enter a new room, or in specific scenarios! Possibly can reshuffle the discards when it runs out.

COUNTDOWN deck
Happens at the end of all players turn, pretty major effects. Don't let it run out of cards.

How do these sound like?

It is time time
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04-01-2016, 10:32 PM
Post: #7
RE: ESCAPE POD
I think Pala's idea of being able to explore as many rooms as you have actions for is fitting thematically, but probably not a good idea mechanically. If we assume this will be a board game or a forum game or anything like either, being able to explore multiple rooms at once would result in each player turn taking a hell of a long time (atleast, if the encounters are of a nature that requires you to make some kind of decision or whatever) and would probably just leave the other players bored for long stretches while it isnt their turn.

Im not really sure about your alternative ideas for movement though, Pl. If managing actions is to be a central mechanic, having only one or two actions doesnt leave much to manage, and also if a player found themselves far from any unexplored rooms, itd take them a while to get back in the action.

That said though i like the idea of letting the players pick their battles- say one player encounters. So say theres a dissatisfied alien who absolutely will not settle down until they get some pizza, and unless you are the caterers or have a pizza, they wont let you pass or go to the escape pod. They might even do mean things to you if you cant satisfy them a la munchkin bad stuff, i guess, such as skipping your next turn. Thats when the escape rope comes in handy, and the scouting to let you know ahead of time. But those items are limited, so you must know when to use them and when to suffer the consequences.

There might also be an item that lets you move to anywhere on the map, to be used when one of your allies need you or you find yourself in a dead end.
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04-01-2016, 11:26 PM
Post: #8
RE: ESCAPE POD
This is going to be a boardgame, I am going to build it in Tabletop simulator, so we can test this out, once we are past the conceptual phase.

Perhaps there would be more actions, combined with Pala's idea on movement, hm.

Yeah, that is why I wanted to add scouting as an average element, instead of a rare thing, to make barging into Bad Things less painful. Perhaps the Bad Things would allow you to back out into the previous room at a cost (or not cost, depending on severity), so at least you have achieved uncovering something. Or perhaps, instead of backing out, it would allow you to back out into any neighbouring explored rooms.

Hm, scenario idea, mostly random stuff that references mechanics that may or may not exist:

You step into an unknown room. You draw Generic Room.
You also draw from the Encounter deck, and you draw the following:

THE FLOOR IS LAVA(Hazard)
At the end of everyone's turn, everyone present looses two HP.
Avoid: Move back to the previous room, or spend a HP to move to any adjacent explored room
Neutralize: throw an item at the floor heating control. Discard the item and this hazard.

One could perhaps stay inside, and soldier out the damage, but next turn they could continue exploring, as they jump across the rubble. They could sacrifice an item, to help out everyone, but items are quite rare. They could also go back to the previous room, or sidestep into an explored junction.
Also, the Avoid clause should handle scenarios when the Hazard spawns in the room you currently are, and would give you a chance to move away.

It is time time
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04-02-2016, 02:02 AM
Post: #9
RE: ESCAPE POD
How would you handle situations where the players have rescued enough NPCs to leave, but one player is dead/can't make it back to the escape pod before the time limit is up?

I think a better way to phrase the win condition might be that everyone personally wants to survive and that teamwork makes their survival much more likely. (Every other player that survives means one less NPC that they have to rescue before the time limit is up.)

So how long do you expect a single game to last anyway? About how many NPCs need to be rescued before the pods can launch?

Tumblr/Steam
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04-02-2016, 03:22 AM
Post: #10
RE: ESCAPE POD
Well, first things first, I don't think players would be able to die. They would probably loose all their items in panic, or they would be perhaps crippled, limiting their actions or movement.

If they have to physically be in the escape pod, then there would be some sort of Last Second Panic Rush before the game ends. Perhaps each item destroyed would allow you to run an extra room, as you dash dramatically to the exit. The other option is that they flat out loose. Last Second Chance is a thing that Arkham Horror uses: if you run out of time, you have to fight an Elder God, with low, low chances of winning. Pandemic uses immediate loss. We lost two games because time ran out, the last game where we were one turn away from inventing the final cure....

That rephrasing sounds rather better than my version.

I would imagine it as a game lasting 1h-1h30min. So, perhaps 15 turns? Assuming a turn of all players takes 10 minutes, that would go up to 1.5h. This should also limit the number of rooms that can exist.

The number of NPCs is up to testing! But I think there should be about Player Amount + 2, so the players have to make more choices? Perhaps we should figure out how to distribute them first.

One option is to do something similar to how Pandemic uses the Epidemic cards. Split the event deck into <number depending on difficulty> equal parts, put an Epidemic card in them, shuffle each mini deck, and then stack them back into a single deck. Perhaps events spawning survivors would be distributed in a similar, although less evenly distributed manner.

It is time time
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04-11-2016, 08:28 AM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2016 08:29 AM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #11
RE: ESCAPE POD
So, anyways, the current setup we have is:

Characters:
Characters have a collection of stats, powers.

Mechanics: Spending actions, moving on a board, impending doom, avoiding die rolling

Decks:
Room deck: used to build the board. Stepping into a new undiscovered one will end the your movement for your turn. The room might have an action opportunity in them

Hazard Deck: monsters and risky environment, drawn when a room is entered. Can be dodged, sometimes at a cost.

Countdown Deck: bad things that happen after every player had a move.

Item Deck: give bonuses, can have actions be spent on their uses.
_____________

Things still needed to discuss:

Survivors: Are survivors in the Hazard deck? Or spawned by the countdown deck? Are they generic tokens, or are they unique with powers? Perhaps there is a deck of them too?
Personally: I would make them either spawned by the Hazards. The card would ask you to draw a random survivor from the Survivor deck.

Hazards and monsters: is the dodging/rushing across idea alright?
How would monsters move around on the board? Would die throws dictate where they move, or would it be like Arkham Horror (e.g.: the end turn card says that monsters with the moon symbol move along a Black arrow, if any).
Personally, I would prefer something that could be contained on the monster card themselves. Perhaps they just chase whoever visited their room last, or "moves directly away from the nearest player", or "teleports to the player whose comes first next turn".

Player stats: is there a stat needed besides Health? Should action count and health uniform?
Personally: I would just make everyone have uniform amount of health and actions, with rare character specific exceptions.

Rooms Should all rooms be a room with four exits? Should all room spawn with an Item?
Personally: I would make them spawn with four exits, anything less and you would have to keep turning the card around to have them link up with the room you just came from, and the card text orientation would be all over the place.
Perhaps there could be room effects that makes traversing rooms harder.

Items: Perhaps when you open a new room, it would have an item in it (put a facedown Item card there). You could pick it up for free, at the cost of getting hit by whatever is there. This might make rooms too crowded though, since rooms need place for the Active Hazard and player standies.
Personally: the easiest solution is to gain a free item for defeating a hazard, albeit that is a bit munckin-y, it does however reward the player for clearing the way for others.

It is time time
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04-24-2016, 03:36 AM (This post was last modified: 04-24-2016 03:36 AM by chimericWilder.)
Post: #12
RE: ESCAPE POD
Hi sorry for taking a while to respond, things happened.

I was thinking survivors could come from a lot of different sources, including from hazards, on some specific room tiles and from various countdowns. For instance, one countdown could spawn a survivor on a far-away tile, and the team would then need to get to them quickly to save them, making it a choice between going for them or exploring new rooms. Likewise, some tiles might have a survivor locked away to await rescue, and you'd need a special item or character power to help them out.

In regards to monsters and stats... Honestly, i dont have much experience with board games at all, so im not sure what options really work well? Whatever goes to emphasize a gameplay that is about avoiding and staying ahead of the monsters, really. It doesnt seem to be a game about fighting everything that shows up, so maybe only encourage the muscle characters to take on most of the monsters directly. This is something stats can help define, but if actions and health are the only stats, its kind of hard to tweak them for each character to be unique (and that doesnt seem to be the point of having the different characters, anyway), so maybe uniformity is fine.

I think rooms definitely need to have mostly three-way exits, with the occasional two or fourway or even a very rare room with only one exit. It kind of takes away from exploring this hazardous space-maze if you can just run in any direction you like, and since a lot of focus will be on players splitting up intelligently and making navigational choices, i dont think having tons of freedom in regards to which direction you can run would be helpful. That would just kill the choice by making it obvious how you should react if, say, your teammate discovers something they need your help with a bunch of rooms over: just run in a straight line, possibly avoiding any hazards that might slow you down. If, on the other hand, you would have to do a ton of backtracking in order to reach the corridor where your friend needs you, you have the choice of either going all the way back, or pushing forwards in the hopes of finding a tile that'll give you a shortcut to the area you need to go to. Additionally, one can have tiles with (possibly faulty) teleporters that let you immediately relocate to anywhere on the map, or tiles where one or more exits require security clearance to unlock, opening up additional exploration in a new direction for players with a certain item or character.
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04-25-2016, 09:40 AM
Post: #13
RE: ESCAPE POD
Hm. Perhaps instead of building the base as you discover, the room tiles would be laid out in specific way, and flipped over as you step on them? Rooms arranged in an O shape, threeway intersections, T shaped areas, etc.

This would avoid the problem of "just go straight ahead" and could designate certain tiles to contain things.

It is time time
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04-25-2016, 11:05 AM
Post: #14
RE: ESCAPE POD
Sounds like a hassle to set up ahead of gamestart, not to mention that if they follow a specific pattern every game, there might be a lot less variation from game to game.

While it would definitely suck to constantly run into dead ends or getting a layout that doesnt connect the different hallways together, i dont think it would be something that would really cause huge issues for the game?
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04-25-2016, 07:19 PM
Post: #15
RE: ESCAPE POD
To clarify, I didn't mean that the setup of the whole board would be chosen from pre-sets, but rather several sections that would make up the whole map. An advantage of this one is that this also allows the placement of specific spawn points, besides the starting area.

If we go with the Explore As You Go mechanic, dead ends and bends would be needed certainly, to avoid people from making a borking straight line. However, there should be some sort of a limit to the number of tiles that exist, hm.

I'll try to make a mockup in tabletop sim today, if I have the energy.

It is time time
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04-26-2016, 09:39 AM
Post: #16
RE: ESCAPE POD
[Image: 018D78DB1141A0FF10802F9995DC9FF98857C9A3]

There we go! Figured out how decks work in this simulator. This would be a hypothetical scenario for an Endgame, probably.

It is time time
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04-26-2016, 10:11 AM
Post: #17
RE: ESCAPE POD
Ah, yeah, i think i see what you mean. Guess that could work, but wouldnt it serve to complicate things, having to figure out where no new rooms can be placed? (is that how it would work, or did i misunderstand?)

One could probably have different, unconnected tilesets though, similar to Betrayal's floor/basement. Not sure how that might play in with the rest of it, though
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04-26-2016, 10:34 AM
Post: #18
RE: ESCAPE POD
So, to re-summarize what we have so far: the current exploration system ideas are:
  • layout determined at the start of the game, flip over tiles to discover. Pro: balanced; Con: how does the map get generated? Impassable walls can't be made fairly.
  • when you step off the map, add a new tile. Pro: dungeon formed by the players Con: Is there a tile limit? Needs labyrinthine tile exits

How do the Betrayal's tileset work?

It is time time
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04-26-2016, 11:07 AM
Post: #19
RE: ESCAPE POD
Its got three separate floors that are linked only by the main tilepiece and various events and tiles that allow you to switch floors, but otherwise they are essentially their own disconnected map to the others. When drawing tiles, some tiles can only be placed on the upper or middle floor, for example, while others only belong in the basement and so on. This serves to split the players up, and adds additional navigational consideration, and while i think those might be cool elements to have in the game im doubtful if it would work well. Like, is there an entire level on the outside of the space station or what? If seperation is the goal, it might work better to just have two spawn locations for the players, and then have them work towards reaching each other later on in the game, so that they can help solve each other's problems.

Im not sure if any of that makes sense to you.
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04-26-2016, 07:34 PM (This post was last modified: 04-26-2016 08:40 PM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #20
RE: ESCAPE POD
Disconnected extra floors could work, I suppose, but for now, lets do without them. They would be more of an expansion thing probably.

What if there was a board, and the room tiles would be placed on them? This would prevent the place from stretching out pointlessly forever. Also setup is much neater: just fill up the board with tiles, with the pod in the center. And also declaring some Inaccessible Tiles? I'll do a TTS mockup later. Not sure if this a good idea or not.

It is time time
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04-26-2016, 11:08 PM
Post: #21
RE: ESCAPE POD
that plays into my earlier concern though, that games might be too much alike between different sessions, since with that design there will always be a pattern to the layout of the map. Besides, i dont think its a problem if the gameboard has the potential to grow to large proportions. after all, the game is limited by time and survivors anyway, aswell as tactical decision keeping players close. If it amuses someone to use all ten of their turns or however they get to explore ten tiles in one direction, then hey let them
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04-27-2016, 01:17 AM
Post: #22
RE: ESCAPE POD
So how are you going to justify the fact that these characters apparently don't even know the layout of their own workplace? Was this their first day on the job? Did they hit their heads? Are they just very bad employees?

I imagine that this station probably has a very high turnover rate.

Tumblr/Steam
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04-27-2016, 02:21 AM (This post was last modified: 04-27-2016 02:23 AM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #23
RE: ESCAPE POD
I was thinking about that, yeah that causes narrative issues. Clearly they were assigned to a different floor, and the pod was a floor below.

The proposed solution to this problem is the following: the map is visible, but every room has a DANGER token. When you step into a room, the DANGER token is discarded, replaced by an uncovered Hazard. Actually this could work for spawning new hazards via the countdown deck: "What was that sound?: the current first player places a DANGER token into a neighbouring room."

Alternatively, to tie into the Exploration variant: the place is extremely modular, and the walls have shifted around, trying to contain the hazards, but there was too many of them.

It is time time
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04-27-2016, 02:26 AM
Post: #24
RE: ESCAPE POD
Eh. I'd say that game logic trumps actual logic - its more interesting to have an evolving gameboard than one that merely reveals new dangers, even if none of that makes sense. Especially since the design idea seems to be to run into the dangerous unknown and frantically dealing with whatever issues arise from that. Having a set floorplan would detract from that, i think

i could be wrong about that though
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04-27-2016, 02:31 AM (This post was last modified: 04-27-2016 07:05 AM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #25
RE: ESCAPE POD
Perhaps. I do like the DANGER tokens idea for delayed spawning of things though...

Other explanation about not knowing what is in each room: perhaps the rooms are mostly empty corridors, but there are holes in the floor that conveniently lead to a kitchen, or smashed open crates are lieing about. In tiles with less than four entrance, the walls are probably not walls, but insurmountable barricades (too much rubble, waist high fences).

Edit:
Anyways, for now, lets leave the rooms as "explore as you go".

Also, a purely hypothetical random thought: would, besides health, some kind of sanityesque resource work? Like, Bravery? This could allow players to have a choice in dealing differently with the same scenario. Perhaps instead of acting like a different healthbar, it would be currency for certain actions? Perhaps you could extinguish a fire by either by spending some HP to pat it out, or you could alternatively spend Bravery too? I think a resource like this could make meaningful choices: use it right now, or save it for later...
Regain it by saving survivors, drinking beer and hugging teddy bears.

If you rush into the unknown, you should be rewarded for doing so!

It is time time
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04-27-2016, 08:07 PM
Post: #26
RE: ESCAPE POD
On a further thought, running out of Bravery should have no Bad Effect, it would be a thing that should be carefully considered spending.

Perhaps I should rename it to Heroic Action.

It is time time
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04-27-2016, 09:52 PM
Post: #27
RE: ESCAPE POD
That sounds like a damn good idea!
I dont really have anything further to add to it, i think.
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04-27-2016, 10:41 PM (This post was last modified: 04-28-2016 04:56 AM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #28
RE: ESCAPE POD
Alright! We will return to Bravery when we finalize Hazards.

Meanwhile: trying to come up with 31 rooms + pod in true boredom.

This is all just random musing and brainstorming, referencing mechanics that might, or might not exist. Mostly just an exercise in theme.

  1. THE POD: hazardproof, needs to collect people for victory
  2. Empty corridor: thankfully nothing interesting. Draw no hazards.
  3. Kitchen: search for a random food item from the item deck during discovery
  4. Observation deck: a large plexiglass floor, so you can gaze upon the fishes swimming around the base. Monsters won't move out of this room.
  5. Motivational Hologram: spend an action to listen to Overlord E. Will's prerecorded monologue, gaining a Bravery.
  6. Teleporter: Teleports to a tile of choice, costs an action
  7. Submarine drydock: you can spend an action to shoot a torpedo at a Monster that you have LoS to, destroying it
  8. Malfunctioning Teleporter: swap places with someone, costs an action and you can't move this turn
  9. Oubliette: you can fish out a Survivor at a large cost, by spending three items
  10. Workshop: search for a random tool item from the item deck during discovery
  11. Autodoc: you can spend an action to heal
  12. Inner sanctum: but.... if Overlord E. Will is dead, where is the body? No sign of struggle... This room has a direct one way shortcut to the pod...
  13. Trophy room: if there is a discarded Monster, you can put it back on the bottom of the hazard pile, and gain three Bravery, costs an action
  14. Break room: a relaxing room, gain one Bravery on discovery
  15. Caution taped room: on discovery, draw two face up hazards, pick one, and discard the other
  16. Fish processing plant: you may lure a monster here, at the cost of actions
  17. Replay Simulation: upon discovery pick a hazard from the discarded to hazards and play it here, if the discard is empty, draw a new one, costs an action
  18. Slot machine: draw three items, pick one, discard the rest upon discovery
  19. Camera terminal: upon discovery, you may discover another room, neighbouring any other room. Its on discovery powers won't trigger.
  20. Recycler: spend an action, and discard an item, draw a new item
  21. Dark Carnival: loose an Bravery on every entry, transfer it to someone else as they hear your terrified scream
  22. Coral Hedge Maze: dodging here is always a success
  23. Looted Armoury: gain a random weapon on discovery
  24. Cracked Vault: gain special rare item of your choice upon discovery (crown jewel, blessed idol or golden credit card) [whatever these do? A mystery]
  25. Pneumatic device: send an item for an action to someone else anywhere
  26. Loudspeaker terminal: moves another player a tile per action spent
  27. A chamber dedicated to walrus statues: nothing to see here, move along. On discovery, move back to the room you were before. Hazard still triggers.
  28. Time crystal: Moving into and out of this room costs no actions
  29. Early warning room: Look at the top two Countdown cards. Place them back in any order.
  30. Base reconfiguration button: upon discovery, you can discard a room, and replace it with a newly drawn one.
  31. Junkyard: gain two random items upon discovery
  32. Plan-o-matic: Move two discarded Hazards from the discard pile to the bottom of the hazard deck, and gain three Bravery


Also there might be more empty rooms, instead of just one room that is entirely empty.
Also item types are probably Food, Weapon and Tool

It is time time
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04-28-2016, 02:47 AM
Post: #29
RE: ESCAPE POD
For the rooms that activate "upon entering" or "on discovery", do they only work once ever, once per player, or every single time someone enters them?

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04-28-2016, 04:14 AM
Post: #30
RE: ESCAPE POD
(Upon entering was meant to be on discovery, fixed it). Upon discovery works only once, when the tile is attached to the map, before a hazard is pulled (which also happens on Discovery). Using the Terminal wouldn't trigger their powers, probably. I might have put too many Upon Discoveries though, should convert a lot of them to something that costs an action.

Again, these are just totally random ideas, but I might make a TEST ROUND with them soon.

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05-03-2016, 01:00 AM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2016 08:05 PM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #31
RE: ESCAPE POD
Anyways, lets try to finalize hazards.

Name: the name of the Hazard.
Type: the type of the hazard. Can be either Monster, or an Accident (fire, acid pool), Lucky Break (either nothing or something good happens).
Hurt: damage or bad stuff that happens if you START a turn with the hazard on it.
Removal cost: some combination of item types, or other resources.
Dodge cost: pay up this cost, to escape to a nearby explored room during discovery, or to move through a hazard. Most hazards don't have this one, only the most severe or silly ones.

You can avoid getting hurt during dodgeing or at round start by discarding a Bravery token. If you discover a hazard, your movement ends, but you can still dodge.

On the previous room list, Hazards apply to everything in the hazard deck, but monsters only apply to Monsters. However, some of the effect could be rewritten to explicitly refer to an Accident...

At the end of everyone's turn, the monsters will move around. For now, lets just say they move towards the closest player. They don't move on the turn they were discovered, otherwise if you dodged, you would be caught asap anyways.

The plan for the hazard deck is 32 cards, like the current room deck. About 16 accidents, 10 monsters, 6 lucky breaks.

Sounds good?

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05-03-2016, 06:16 AM
Post: #32
RE: ESCAPE POD
Seems perfectly reasonable to me, atleast!

I guess in the case of a monster, the card will just describe it if it follows a non-standard behavior. For instance one could have a monster that stole one of your items as it appears, running past you and effectively spawning on the tile you just entered from. Youd then be forced to chase it if you wanted the item back.
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05-09-2016, 08:50 PM
Post: #33
RE: ESCAPE POD
Yeah, definitely. Got to mix it up and have various effects.

Anyways: Accident wips.

I condensed hurt and dodge data into the same row. Dodge is the same as hurt, unless noted.

1.
Name: Broken crate of fire
Hurt: 1 HP, free dodge
Removal cost: 1 Tool

2.
Name: Super Magnet
Hurt: 1 Item, dropped in this room. Items retrievable when the hazard is resolved.
Removal cost: 1 Tool

3.
Name: Flood (with sharks)
Hurt: forced to autododge on discovery, and if you start your turn here
Removal cost: 1 Tool

4.
Name: Monster nest
Hurt: -
Removal cost: 1 Tool
Special: The nearest monster starts moving towards it instead of the closest player. The monster that claims it has double damage.

5.
Name: Malfunctioning Turret
Hurt: 1 HP
Removal cost: 1 Weapon

6.
Name: Decomposing Bacteria
Hurt: 1 Food or 1 HP
Removal cost: 1 Food

7.
Name: Explosion
Hurt: 1 Item or 1 HP
Hurt only applies on discovery, room contents unusable permanently, leave on board.

8.
Name: Space time anomaly
Hurt: Move back to the escape pod
Hurt only applies on discovery, room contents unusable permanently, leave on board.

9.
Name: N4N0V1RU5
Hurt: Remove an item, place on board. When defeated, discard them and gain that many random items.
Removal cost: 2 Items

10.
Name: Gunlobby Bot
Hurt: 1 HP, free dodge
Removal cost: 2 Weapon
Gain 1 random weapon on removal

11.
Name: Hallucinogen Gas
Hurt: All bravery you have
Removal cost: 1 Tool

12.
Name: Tall 12 O'Clock Defense system
Hurt: 1 HP on another player of your choice, free dodge
Removal cost: 1 Weapon

13.
Name: Memetic imagery
Hurt: 2 HP, free dodge
Removal cost: 2 Bravery

14.
Name: Psiwave
Hurt: 1 bravery, or 1 HP if you have no bravery.
Hurt only applies on discovery, room contents unusable permanently, leave on board.

15.
Name: Broken freezer.
Hurt: 1 HP
Removal cost: 2 Tools
Gain one random food on removal

16.
Name: Localized tornado
Hurt: Drop all your items, and put them in a neighbouring room.
Removal cost: 1 Tool

"Hurt only applies on discovery, room contents unusable permanently, leave on board." prevents rooms with "On discovery" powers from activating.

These are totally randomly thought up, not much indepth thought put into them.

It is time time
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05-23-2016, 11:14 PM (This post was last modified: 05-24-2016 06:42 AM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #34
RE: ESCAPE POD
Had some card ideas.

Monsters
  1. Name: Small Skyshark
    Hurt: 1 HP, free dodge
    Removal cost: 1 Weapon
  2. Name: Big Friendly Hound. Too friendly.
    Hurt: no harm, but you can only enter their room if you pay their removal cost
    Removal cost: 2 Food,
    Counts as a civilian after removal.
  3. Name: Q-R10-S Gremlinbot
    Hurt: 1 HP, free dodge
    Removal cost: 1 Tool
    Removal cost:
  4. Name: Big Bertha Crab
    Hurt: -, hurts everyone in and neighbouring the room she moves in for 1 HP
    Removal cost: 1 Weapon
  5. Name: Burgling crocodilian gremlin
    Hurt: steal an item! This creature will now run away with said item. It will now try to get farther from the closest player.
    Removal cost: 2 Bravery. You get the stolen item(s) back.
  6. Name: Sniper shrimp
    Hurt: -, instead of moving, 2 HP to the closest player it can see in a straight line, free dodge
    Removal cost: 1 Weapon
  7. Name: Cheetah seasnail
    Hurt: 1 HP, free dodge
    Removal cost: 1 Weapon
    It automatically jumps to the first player when moving.
  8. Name: Regular Lobster Swarm
    Hurt: 1 HP
    Removal cost: any two items
  9. Name: Mossy Enigma
    Hurt: 1 Item, dodge cost is 2 bravery instead of 1
    Removal cost: 1 HP or 2 Bravery
  10. Name: Ghost kraken
    Hurt: 1 HP, all your bravery
    Removal cost: 2 Weapons



Lucky breaks
  1. Cracked gunrack: Gain two weapons
  2. Spilled toolbox: Gain two tools
  3. Abandoned fridge: Gain two food
  4. Tasty nanogel: Heal up OR gain up to three 3 bravery
  5. Nothing
  6. Nothing


I think this is the whole hazard deck.

Only Items and Countdown left, and we have all decks.

Sadly this game idea feels too random in retrospect, but i still want to finish it, for the experience...

It is time time
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05-24-2016, 02:05 AM
Post: #35
RE: ESCAPE POD
"Random shenanigans" was what I thought was the general idea for this thing, and theres nothing wrong with that! Im just not sure I have all that much more to contribute.

That said, a lot of these monsters seem to just be basic variations of the same idea. You could probably have other critters that do more with unique mechanics, such as a monster that teleports away to harass another player instead, or a monster that blocks a specific exit in the room but doesnt cause any harm, or a monster that is really just a confused civilian who will need to be placated before you'll be able to get them to the escape pod. Could probably also do with more interactions with bravery, I think, rather than only the kraken!
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05-24-2016, 03:00 AM
Post: #36
RE: ESCAPE POD
Alright! I've stopped worrying about the randomness.

Good points, I did some edits based on the feedback, made them a bit more unique. I did leave in some genericker ones, to give a bit of breathing space.

I think the next part should be the Countdown deck. I am unsure how drastic they should be! I'll try to come up with them later. They will usually affect everyone, summon Special Beasts maybe, affect the First Player and maybe have some ongoing effects though.

Also regarding First Player, which should have some importance regarding countdowns: this is a mechanic i have seen in Arkham Horror, which means that the position of "first player to act this turn" is passed around to the player on your left at the end of the turn.

Other thing: should the survivor spawning cards be mixed into the Countdown deck or the Hazards deck? I think I prefer the smaller countdown deck, but i am not sure how to spawn them properly. Perhaps things like "a survivor is detected in the northernmost unexplored room"?

It is time time
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05-24-2016, 03:07 AM
Post: #37
RE: ESCAPE POD
Does "free dodge" mean that the enemy's first attack doesn't do any damage?

How close to you have to be to trigger an enemy's removal cost?

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05-24-2016, 03:13 AM (This post was last modified: 05-24-2016 03:19 AM by Coldblooded.)
Post: #38
RE: ESCAPE POD
Survivors would probably work better in the countdown section, at least thematically, but the main issue would probably be making sure that the survivor cards don't all end up right at the bottom of the countdown deck.

Hmm, actually having the countdown stack as the only measure of how many turns you have left might be an issue for most of the game. Maybe if there was some sort of countdown clock toy that came packaged in with the game that players could knock a number after each turn? It wouldn't do much mechanically, but it might help make the game feel a bit more unique?

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05-24-2016, 06:19 AM
Post: #39
RE: ESCAPE POD
I think free dodge means you get to walk back out of the room the monster is in if you cant pay the removal cost, while if you dont have free dodge you'll be stuck in the room with it, which hurts.

I think the survivors definitely should not be in the countdown deck, though - you generally want the players to be afraid of the countdowns, not looking forward to them, after all. That said, one could have a few events that spawn an endangered survivor in a far-away room, and if you cant get to them in time they will perish - that should add a sense of sudden urgency. Another event one could have in the countdown deck would be, say, an explosion that completely destroys a single tile, maybe at random or at the player's choice.
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05-24-2016, 06:39 AM (This post was last modified: 05-24-2016 06:40 AM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #40
RE: ESCAPE POD
Current definition of dodge is "Dodge cost: pay up this cost, to escape to a nearby explored room during discovery, or to move through a hazard. Most hazards don't have this one, only the most severe or silly ones. " This probably only have to be tweaked for monsters! Maybe you can not move through monsters at all, or i should make the Free dodge a "free dodge on discovery only" thing?

For the countdown deck's survivors, I was planning to take the mechanic of Pandemic's Epidemics. Basically there was an event deck, from which players were drawing cards at the end of their turns. There were three Epidemic cards residing in that deck, which were Really Bad Events. These were added in the following manner: split the event deck to three parts: add a single epidemics event in to each part, shuffle them, and then stack them on each other. This results in pretty even spacings! I propose something similar, with probably the bottom deck having no survivors, so you know when you entered endgame, and the last survivor being spawned in the bottom of the deck would never happen.

For example, with three survivors, and 16 cards, we would split the deck into four parts. Add a survivor into the first three parts. Stack the four parts on top of each other, with the bottom part having no survivors.

This is intended for tabletop simulator, you can see how many cards are left in the deck, or you can spawn a countdowner.

Would the survivor spawners be better in the hazard deck? Using the same distribution button, and they might be spawned anywhere on the map.

Perhaps there could be survivors in both countdown and hazards...

It is time time
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05-24-2016, 06:42 AM (This post was last modified: 05-24-2016 06:43 AM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #41
RE: ESCAPE POD
Also regarding removal cost: you have to enter the room to do it. Removing a hazard probably takes an action.

Sorry if these rules are all over the place, they still need to be consolidated...

It is time time
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05-27-2016, 11:46 PM (This post was last modified: 05-27-2016 11:46 PM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #42
RE: ESCAPE POD
Yeah definitely want to figure this out before making Countdowns.

Perhaps survivors would be spawned pre-game, instead of added to decks? Drawing a few cards at game start, which state like "Survivor detected: 3 rooms south, one room east from the Escape Pod"? When it is resolved, draw a new card, and spawn a new survivor. If the room has been discovered, simply add them there, otherwise spawn them on discovery. This would seperate countdowns from the main source of survivors.

Additional survivors are acquirable through certain events and items.

It is time time
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09-16-2016, 08:44 PM
Post: #43
RE: ESCAPE POD
HM, as I can't figure out a way to spawn survivors, I am putting this idea aside for now...

Meanwhile, go play THE CAPTAIN IS DEAD, it is a great game with a similar theme.

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