Sunday, November 18, 2012

For Glory!!! The Cards...

After two play-tests of the demo set, I'm pretty happy with the way the game is coming together. The first test resulted in a revision of the combat system and the second went swimmingly with the players all having a good time, even though it was a limited game with only 1/3rd of the cards in play. As the rules seem to work well, I'm now working towards finishing up the remaining cards before end of term. That being the goal, I think I'll talk about the cards themselves and how they factor into the game. 

The cards for the game come in a wide variety to represent the encounters, rewards and extended quests that Heroes will come across during their travels across the map: Encounter Cards, Reward Cards and Adventure Cards. Again, these are rough prototypes to show the general direction of the design.



The most common card in the game is the Encounter card, which represents a single specific heroic encounter that will be worthy of mention when the scribes and poets of the future recall the Hero's saga. The are split into six, specific terrain decks (Plains, Jungle, Swamp, Ocean, Mountain, Desert) and include three sub-types (Challenge's, Events, and Combat Encounters).

At the top of the card we have the relevant Attributes and Difficulties associated with the Encounter along with name the scribes will attribute to he event in the future. A smaller sub-heading describes the type of encounter.

In the middle we have the details of the encounter, and along the sides, all the stats needed to run a combat with opponents within the encounter, if applicable. The red text denotes the results of failing a Challenge and the Blue Text denotes the additional benefits of a Mighty Success when completing the challenge.

At the bottom, we have the rewards for successfully completing the encounter in the form of (from left to right) Glory, Treasure, Companions, and new Sorcerous knowledge. To the far right is a moon symbol, which tells the player how long the event lasts, in Lunar Cycles, if applicable.



Equipment Cards are exactly what they sound like, tools to help the Hero complete Encounters and Adventures. They are pretty basic, with a title and a description as well as a Trade Value located at the bottom of the card in the Gold Coin icon. The value of objects varies from 0 (a Sling) to 5 (a ship complete with crew and supplies for months of travel).



Treasure Cards are rewards that can be earned for the completion of Encounters or Adventures where rare items of great power and antiquity might show up. Like Equipment Cards they have a title (running down the side to help differentiate them) a description and a Trade Value.



Companion Cards are another form of reward card, this time representing allies and boon companions who follow the hero for various reasons, but mainly to share in their glorious adventures (like Moonglum from the Elric series, Prospero from Conan, etc.). They give the Hero bonuses depending on their areas of expertise. There are three types, Minoer (with a single simple bonus), Major (with three bonuses) and Special (off the wall companions like the Antidjinn or the Cerulean Panther above).



In the game, there are two levels of sorcery. The first type, representing the lower level cantrips and 1st magnitude spells of the BoL RPG which represent quick off the cuff magic, is a general catch all mechanism for accomplishing challenges, tasks and combat which I will explain later. The second, representing the 2nd and 3rd magnitude spells of BoL which take massive amounts of preparation and resources, is represented by the spells on Sorcery Cards, which can be earned in the same way as Treasures and Companions.

Spells on cards are major affairs and are not only very difficult to cast (as indicated by the number in the triangle at the top) but also cause a massive drain on the sorcerer's arcane power, represented by the number on the book in the top left corner. Whereas the power used in the casting of minor spells returns almost immediately, the drain caused by the spells found on Sorcery Cards returns very slowly, over many game rounds.

In addition, these major incantations also require some form of personal sacrifice, indicated by the icons at the bottom. It might require (from left to right), self mortification (loss of Life Blood), the expenditure of valuable objects (Treasure Cards), the sacrifice of those closest to you, either figuratively or literally (Companion Cards), or the complete and absolute dedication to a ritual that takes an entire lunar month (the sorcerer misses an entire game round, not even recovering Life Blood, Arcane Power or Hero Points). 

All of these spells are powerful and most will have some permanent effect on the map, up to and including the destruction of entire spaces. They are always extremely costly, however and the results of failure can be equally catastrophic to the caster. This is intentional and highly representative of the Sword & Sorcery literature on which this game is based. Ultimate power comes at a price: treasure, time, physical well being, humanity, and ultimately, the caster's soul.



The final set of cards are the Adventure Cards. These represent grand quests made up of multiple tasks, smaller set Encounters, that are scattered across the map and must be completed in order. Adventures are the best and most productive way of earning glory, garnering double that of a normal encounter. Adventures are the heart and soul of For Glory and drive the Heroes towards concrete goals instead of wandering randomly across the landscape pulling Encounter cards (although they may pull plenty of these as they move from Task to Task).

Each Adventure also has a Failure Result that is triggered if the third and final  task on the card is failed or not completed within a certain amount of time ( represented by the moon symbol in the bottom right corner, if applicable). These effects can be global, and this means that certain adventures will affect every hero if failed, causing the Heroes to interact and even cooperate at times in order to complete them and stave off destruction.

In my next post, I'll talk about characters in the game, and after that, we'll look at how the game plays...

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