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Author Topic: [The Great Rat Raid] Ronnies feedback  (Read 1635 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: October 03, 2005, 10:48:49 AM »

Hello,

Seth Ben-Ezra's The Great Rat Raid has a lot in common with Ratpack, in terms of rats roaming about and having adventures. Play seems like an interesting cross between Dungeoneer, building the rooms through cards, and choices about the individual/greater good. I really like the gift dice, in that you have to "give to win." All this puts the game into the category I mentioned in the general thread, so well done by Cheapass Games. If this one were packaged in a little envelope with fun cards and some nice rat clipart, it'd be really cool.

I consider the character creation to be clunky and marred by a lot of re-rolling. Just how nuanced to you really need characters to be? Also, a very minor point: on the character creation table, the multi-option boxes are 11/12, not 10/11.

Here are a couple of questions that I found myself asking, though, and in some ways, they're more than questions, rather problems.

1. The whole concept of winner/leader has no meaning. After all, when it's determined, the game is over and he cannot now actually lead. This was a bit of a deal-breaker for me.

2. How do you find/reveal the Cat? I couldn't figure that out and it made me wonder what else wasn't there, or that I was missing.

3. Can Stored Crumbs really translate into enough Glory to contribute to winning? That's going to be a tricky balancing act in terms of design.

Well, that's that! Seth, it would be quite nifty to scrub this one a little cleaner and see it in an envelope.

Best,
Ron
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GreatWolf
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Posts: 1155

designer of Dirty Secrets


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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2005, 11:31:08 AM »

First, thanks for the feedback.  I appreciate the time that you've put into this.

The theory underlying this game was that the rats need to work together in order to gather Crumbs, but it is beneficial to each player for the other rats to die so as not to share in the shared victory points.  I was thinking a lot about Rune when I wrote it.  In Rune, you need the help of your fellow players to avoid being completely destroyed, but at the same time, you want to shine all by yourself.  Gameplay then tends to involve a lot of positioning, hanging back a bit while the other PCs take the initial brunt of an assault, then jostling other PCs out of the way for kill-stealing.  Knowing when to hang back and when to rush in was key to playing Rune, and that's what I was shooting for in this game.

In other words, I wanted a simple Gamist romp.

Now to address your specific points.

Quote
I consider the character creation to be clunky and marred by a lot of re-rolling. Just how nuanced to you really need characters to be?

This seems to be directed primarily at Abilities, which makes sense.  I was thinking that each rat needed to be differentiated by more than merely stats.  Therefore, by introducing Abilities that not every rat has, I figured that PCs would be more useful to each other, thus adding to the tension between "trying to use my enemy" and "trying to kill my enemy".  As I'm thinking about this, an easier method might be to have the Abilities already on cards and simply deal them out.  This would prevent duplication (or limit it to the card mix) without having the reroll issue that you mention.

Quote
Also, a very minor point: on the character creation table, the multi-option boxes are 11/12, not 10/11.

Nervous laughter.

Oops...

Quote
1. The whole concept of winner/leader has no meaning. After all, when it's determined, the game is over and he cannot now actually lead. This was a bit of a deal-breaker for me.

Obviously, the reality is that it's an excuse to have victory points and therefore have a measurable victory condition.  The "being the leader" text is weak, I'll admit, especially after I decided that a dead rat could still win.  Works well for mechanical purposes, but not for thematic purposes.  Would some other goal ("Being the most heroic rat") remove this concern for you?

Quote
2. How do you find/reveal the Cat? I couldn't figure that out and it made me wonder what else wasn't there, or that I was missing.

It's under the rules for Exploration

Quote from: The rules say
The player will then place dice in the Cat pool equal to the Opportunity of the room and roll to see if the Cat is in the room.  He does this by rolling 1d10.  If he rolls greater than or equal to the number of rooms in the house (including the Hole), then the Cat is not in the room.  Otherwise, place the Cat token in the room, marked to indicate that it is asleep.

This method was inspired by The Great Brain Robbery, so your comparison with Cheapass Games is more than apt.

Quote
3. Can Stored Crumbs really translate into enough Glory to contribute to winning? That's going to be a tricky balancing act in terms of design.

That is a critical point, and only playtest will tell.  However, clearly, if Stored Crumbs are not a significant source of Glory, then the entire game fails.

Since submitting the game, I've wondered if The Great Rat Raid would work better as a straight board game.  The reality is that all the narration is purely Color, so I'm not sure how critical it is to enjoying the game play. 

Again, thanks for the feedback, Ron.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
tygertyger
Member

Posts: 45

Ever unscrewing the inscrutible


« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2005, 09:46:55 PM »

This is one that I actually look forward to playing when it's finished.  My one criticism is that it doesn't seem (to me) to work as an rpg -- but it would be one kickin' board game.
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Currently working on: Alien Angels, Dreamguards, Immaculate
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