October Challenge: condensing the quest-giving game

It seems that John’s quest-giving game is reaching a point where we can solidify it as a fairly simple game from beginning to end. Let’s boil it down to a series of steps of play to get an idea of where we might turn our attentions next. Note that this is skipping over a few basic things applicable to every game ever, like preparing materials and play space: this is just the unique procedural framework for this game.

Introductions: each player describes his or her adventurer character to the group.

Draw Tokens: each player draws the agreed upon number of tokens for their level.

Substitution: players have the option to trade in one or more renown tokens for infamy tokens before passing the bag.

Quest-Giving Phase: the player with the highest renown is the first quest-giver. He or she chooses another adventurer and describes that adventurer’s tasks (wagering a renown for each) and obstacles (wagering an infamy for each). Each player gets to be quest-giver in order of their renown, and can only give a quest to an adventurer that does not already have one.

Adventure Phase: adventurers narrate their quests in the same order as they were given. A player cannot use more than one sentence per level.

Intervention/Interference: during a player’s adventure, the other players may use their remaining tokens to interject in that narration. A renown token allows an intervention, which helps the adventurer overcome difficulty, while an infamy token allows an interference, forcing the player to either accept the new details or wager their own token to disavow it. Players may continue to escalate with tokens until one side capitulates, conceding the narration but taking the tokens.

Spoils: a player gets the renown wagered by their quest-giver for successful narration. Any infamy wagered may also be gained by specifically including infamous deeds in the narration.

[Here’s where we hit a timing question that had not yet been addressed: does the adventurer get the spoils immediately upon the conclusion of the quest, or do the spoils wait in escrow until all the quests are done? Immediate gain is pretty powerful, because it means going early in the adventure phase comes with a lot more ‘ammunition’ to get involved in subsequent quests. This is balanced by the potential of losing those tokens on a failed interference, though: you only get to count the level tokens that make it to the end of the game, after all. For now, we’ll say the gain is immediate.]

The round ends once all tales are told. Multiple rounds may be played. Everyone draws one additional token at the start of a new round. [This is an impromptu insertion to keep the economy from being static, and to represent time passing between gatherings.] Whoever has the most level tokens at the end of the last round is the winner.

Seems like the core’s done. Details will be fine-tuned during playtesting (at Metatopia, if nothing else). One game down!