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Independent Game Forums => Bully Pulpit Games => Topic started by: oliof on October 23, 2006, 07:45:44 AM

Title: [Roach] Rules additions and game handling propositions.
Post by: oliof on October 23, 2006, 07:45:44 AM
in some conversations at Spiel Essen I talked to people that played the Roach and complained about it being too random. I gather this is because of some things:
  • Reputation is 'only about winning in the end'. Reputation should have some in-game effect that is desirable by the players. One idea we came up with was to say that the person with the higher reputation wins a conflict on tied dice rolls. It's unfair, yes, but such is the game of reputation in academics. If the contestants have equal reputation, take their reputation reduced by stakes.
  • Another way to improve the awareness of reputation is to have a 'vignette' about reputation after each event that reflect how the rise and fall of the staff's reputation affects their standing in the world of academics (not unlike some of the opportunity cards). Rules for this need to be created if it' s not just the game's host doing it for the entertainment of all players.
  • The basically unlimited number of NPCs one can pull out of the proverbial hat. Some people remarked that they would have liked to have some ready-made NPCs like the NPC cards I did for the roach demo. Making thirty of those in addition to the mandatory Permbertonians would provide a big pool for variety, and the limit would lead to some more continuity. This would probably cut into the killing or ask for more creative game play if the already killed Permberton Panthercats Mascot appeared for the third time.
  • Likewise, some sample scenes for the various events in the form of a stack of cards to draw from (or a table to *gasp* roll for a random scene) might also help the game going
  • Visual tracking of events and scenes would also help showing the people the flow of the story. This would probably need a board, which could be used for other things
  • I heard comments about the varying results of the cards provided with the game. While I think they do their job fairly well, a collection of DIY cards people think might improve the game (or put some spice into it for people who played the game often enough to speak sumerian fluently). Yay for expansion packs!

Altogether, it seems I want the Roach Boardgame. I might just build one for my enjoyment, but everybody else has to live with just the book.

Of course, some of these ideas could be provided to the owners in the form of some more nice downloads (nudge, nudge).

Title: Re: [Roach] Rules additions and game handling propositions.
Post by: Jason Morningstar on October 23, 2006, 08:19:50 AM
Those are good notes, Harald, and thanks for them.  The randomness isn't there by accident, but it can get in the way if the group isn't really in the same frame of mind.

Using Reputation as a tie-breaker would work fine, but I fear it would lead to an upward-spiral of success.  It'd have to be playtested.

I've gotten other requests for more structure, and particularly a defined NPC pool.  Putting up the demo cards is definitely possible; it's held up by two photos I used by mistake that I don't have rights to.  I really feel that a defined cast of NPCs will make the game less, rather than more, fun though.  Again, it'd need testing as an alternative.

I'm not sure what you mean by DIY cards - blank cards?  Extra Sumerian phrases?  Completely new card sets? 

One of my secret plans is to release a whole new deck of cards - they are, in fact, already written.  Along with a bunch of new settings.  Some time in 2007, I'm guessing.

Title: Re: [Roach] Rules additions and game handling propositions.
Post by: oliof on October 23, 2006, 11:05:19 PM
DIY cards: blank cards, ideally as a pdf form. Extra sumerian phrases would also be great.

Regarding the defined cast: It'd depend on the number of prepared NPCs, and you'd still have the opportunity to invent/redefine NPCs on a whim.

For some people the free-wheeling randomness that's part of the current design is putting too much pressure on them. Or, as one gal from the booth put it: "There is too many new concepts and mechanics in the game, so some people easily lose track of what's going on and lose the fun." For them, the game would benefit from some outside structure.

Nota Bene: The Roach is a great game as is, for me. I am eagerly awaiting the new cards!