XP Academy (updated)

July 27, 2017

I’m doodling heraldry again…

(Also it’s for D&D again.)

Board with Life‘s Adventures in the New World campaign is coming to a close and the next campaign is XP Academy. A Harry Potter-esque school for heroes.

Of course, I couldn’t resist thinking about school arms, crest, and motto.

Update: I’ve put together a cleaner version (not including the supporters yet):

And the original sketch:

The arms were obvious. Four quarters (like our four Hogwarts houses) but for the four core classes: Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue. Sword, wand, hand and daggers to represent each.

For the motto I wanted something a bit clever. After dancing around a riff on hic sunt dracones for a while (and a brief dalliance with an XP/expecto patronum something or other) I got it: Solve for XP.

It riffs on ‘solve for x’ as a common maths question, has a sense of school patriotism (‘solve puzzles and challenges for XP Academy’), and literally describes what the characters will do. (Then Google translated into Latin cos, you know.)

For our crest we have a Dragon emerging from a Dungeon (for hopefully obvious reasons).

And for our supporters we have a Beaver and an Owl. The Owl represents knowledge, learning, wisdom. The Beaver represents hard-work, and reflects the story from medieval bestiaries where beavers would bite off their own testes to escape hunters (heroes: know when to run!). It was also an excuse to draw a heraldic beaver. They’re pretty weird.

Who knows if this is anywhere near what Donald had in mind! Luckily I won’t have to wait long to find out.

In the meantime I’ll maybe work this up from idle doodle to something a bit cleaner (that mantling needs work for sure). Update: I did!

Noughts and Crosses

May 4, 2017

A reply to “What’s the best hack/edit to make the boring Tic-Tac-Toe game more interesting?” on Quora:

  1. Each player starts off with 100 chips.
  2. Each turn (including the first), the players submit a silent bid for how many chips they are willing to spend for the right to make a move.
  3. The bids are revealed and the player who made the highest bid pays that amount of chips to the other player and then makes his play.
  4. Repeat every turn until the conclusion of the game.

This is brilliant (and, I imagine, not a game for the AP prone). A high bid can buy you the coveted centre space but now your opponent has a bidding advantage over you, at any given point how much is a given space, or even the opportunity to play a turn actually worth?

Modern board game design is ace.

Edit: Another reply mentions another version I’ve seen before and liked. Each square on the grid contains its own gave of noughts and crosses, winning that game wins you the square on the parent board. The twist is the mini-board on which you must play is determined by the square last played by your opponent. e.g. They place a O in the top left square of whichever micro-grid they’re playing on so you must play on the micro-grid in the top left square of the parent board.

I wrote another game

April 17, 2017

These are really fun! To write that is. I have no idea if these are playable or even Role Playing Games. They’re certainly storytelling games and you play a part in them so I guess they are, but they’re a far cry from XP and d20s.

This game is called Flesh of the Gods, it’s a way to collectively create a pantheon and mythology. A way for Gods to get involved in the affairs of Man both vital and petty, and for them to end up with strange combinations of domains (Behold! It is I! The God of Sunlight, Poetry, and, er.. Plague).

A pantheon of Gods tell tales of their attributes and patronage.

Each player writes a:

– Divine domain (e.g. Storms, Agriculture, Cats)
– A treasured possession
– Body part

Players randomly select one domain, possession, and body part to create their God.

Players also write three prayers (i.e. requests of a God), these are shuffled into a deck. Prayers can be as grand, solemn, trifling, or selfish as you like.

The starting God is whoever last ate an apple. The player opposite is the Village Elder this round and draws a prayer. They beseech the God for aid, the God must use the powers of their domain to answer the prayer. The God to the Elder’s left jealously intrudes and adds a complication. The God to the beseeched God’s left uses their possession to help overcome the complication. The beseeched God now gains an additional domain based on the prayer and the next God is beseeched.

Second time around it is the Gods to the right of the Elder and beseeched God rather than the left.

On the final round no other Gods intervene, the beseeched God must sacrifice their body part in order to answer the prayer.

Never Say Die

April 16, 2017

I decided to write a role-playing game.

It was actually really fun. I’ve been throwing around game design ideas for the best part of two years now but am yet to actually create any sort of playable protoype. The challenge of writing a complete, playable game in only 200 words was quite liberating actually.

The name (the title of this post) was a bit of a last minute throwaway if I’m honest, though looking at I think I quite like it. The game is designed to encourage using storytelling and teamwork to overcome challenges, I didn’t necessarily have a ‘world’ in mind but a band of plucky kids taking on traps and the mob to find long lost pirate treasure evokes that pretty well I think.

You can read the game below.

Each character is represented by three characteristics: Guts, Smarts, and Heart. Players assign a value to each from an array of 1, 2, 3. Each player starts with one help token.

Players agree on a goal and a number of successes required to meet that goal (e.g. Find One-Eyed Willy’s Treasure, 10 successes).

One player starts as the narrator, they describe a complication encountered by the player to their left. To overcome the challenge that player describes how they use one of their characteristics and rolls a d6. A roll equal or under their chosen characteristic is a success. Once rolled the player describes their success or failure then takes on the role of the narrator for the next turn.

Players other than the narrator can expend a help token to add additional dice to the roll before it is made. Players earn help tokens by using their weaker characteristics to attempt challenges: 2 for their weakest and 1 for their middle characteristic.

To complete the quest, players must achieve the chosen number of successes. If they accrue that many failures, or fail three times in a row, they fail to attain their goal.

Better Jenga

April 7, 2017

I love this.

Take one standard boring old #jenga and add the magical creativity of @amyjpeg Ta da! (Scroll to see more 👉👉)

A post shared by Ross 🇬🇧🎲🏆🎲🇬🇧 (@moregamesplease) on

Levelling up

November 30, 2016