Village Life Stories

Here’s some stories that came out of oir village life playthroughs!

The Wheat Queen Vithusha’s Confidence

She was new to the land, new amongst others who knew the ways of Village Life. She explored and built. Wheat fields, farms, estates. Whilst others ventured deep into the mountains and forests, she grew. She was good at it too; a couple of bushels turned into a steady, strong income and before you knew it she had cornered the market. You wanted food – you went to her. Fame and power came quickly – riding up the ranks to nobility, and with it – honour. Everyone wanted to take her place, but she held the basic need that everyone wanted; food. With it she would take on the world.

Suddenly fire! Alarms rang out, all was lost. She would have to try her luck another day. (Fire alarm rang ending the game!)

Wilbert’s Revenge

Wilbert complained. He complained a lot. He wasn’t a popular town guard. Never arrested anyone, just collected the paycheck. He preferred to spend his time amongst the smithies and mills he had built up. He didn’t need the extra money and fame that came with better positions. This made him resented by the others, but it also made him rich. Whilst they were squabbling away he made and stored his goods until the time was right. 

An exchange took place – all the goods sold. Money exchanged and given to the townspeople. They hadn’t seen it but in one quick move the game was won. Wilbert finally had his honour.

Orla the Noble

She was the first to build the city, spending all she had on upgrading it’s buildings. She rose up the ranks to be its first Noble woman and held it with an iron fist. Want to be my underling? Pay me first! Pay me second! Pay me taxes every day! She may have had honour, but it wouldn’t protect her for long. Others were biding their time, building their economy. Eventually they would take her position, but would it be too late? 

Want to make your own village stories and help our tabletop club stay open? Check out our Patreon page! 👍👍

Complex or simple economy?

Just a quick poll – do you think a simple or complex economy in a board game is better and what are the pros and cons of each?

Also which do you think young teenagers would prefer? What do you think is needed to keep teenagers entertained in a board game, that might be different from adults?

Let us know!

Challenge: Day 30/30

Day 30 of the 30 days, 30 ideas challenge where I create 30 ideas for games over the next 30 days. See other days here.

Final day! Lots of 30’s in that sentence!!

Desert Island Escape

Game type: board game, 1-4 players, any age

Length: 60 mins

Idea:

Players start washed up on an beach on a desert island surrounded by “unknown” tiles. Players must race to survive the island by exploring the tiles and collecting the resources found there.

Different situations are triggered each day (end of players movement) so they have to make sure they are back at camp etc. 

The tiles are turned over as they explore the island and in doing so players can harvest the resources there such as wood, food etc.

Players can win in three different ways; fix the radio, make an SOS and survive until rescued or complete a raft and escape.

Fancy helping our tabletop club survive? Want to get full games when they are completed for a tiny price? Check out our Patreon page! It really helps to fund the club!

Desert island, explore and conquer!

Not much room to explore on this island! Must be in hard mode…

Challenge: Day 21/30

Day 21 of the 30 days, 30 ideas challenge where I create 30 ideas for games over the next 30 days. See other days here.

A Dictator’s Power

Game type: card game

Length: 30-60 mins

Idea:

One dictator has to control political and military/security to stay in power

Other players represent other areas of the government under the power of the dictator. They play cards to gain influence, political power, control over the military etc.

Game ends when the dictator is ousted from power to install a new player as dictator, or manages to remain in power for a certain number of turns

Cards/players could include

Political cards

External influences eg UN

Security/terrorism 

Media influence

Corporations 

There could also be situations that come up overtime to add a little randomness to the game.

Dictator cards - student fun and games

Classic student gaming!

😀

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Challenge: Day 20/30

Day 20 of the 30 days, 30 ideas challenge where I create 30 ideas for games over the next 30 days. See other days here.

Garden show

Game type: board game

Length: 60 mins

Idea:

Players place pieces together on a board to fill out a garden/auto/etc show/mall/etc

Pieces could include different shops or parts of the show, with similar ones creating extra points. 

Player with the most points at the end wins! 

Simple!

Chelsea Garden Show roses photo

A photo of some roses for you!

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Focus on: 8 versions of SS Sandbrook

A little review of some of the changes to the SS Sandbrook game over the last year of playtesting and updates.

Beginnings

The game started as an offshoot from a defunct game called “Sandbrook Museum”, a board game where players work to either place 6 artifacts and two ritual objects before daybreak (10 rounds) or prevent this from happening. Sandbrook Museum also started the Sandbrook series of game, based in a small town with a steam punk and Lovecraftian theme.

Placing artifacts on the board also caused players to become confused or go mad, causing different effects such as making good players place more artifacts etc.

Good players could also end the game early by placing 7 research cards onto the board before the final artifact was placed.

Sandbrook musem game board

A later version of the Sandbrook Museum game board

Playtesting revealed that, whilst fun, players were confused as to when to play the different cards and felt that it was too obvious who the good and evil players were within a couple of rounds.

Sandbrook Museum was later developed into a card only game following feedback that it would be nice to have a portable / card version of the game. The game worked better as a board game though so the idea was quickly scrapped, however the ideas and characters involved in it were taken and used to develop later into SS Sandbrook and Sandbrook Heist.

Version 1-3

SS Sandbrook developed as an offshoot, following on from the incidents that took place in Sandbrook Museum. The cult has found an inquisitor aboard a steamship and intend to take him out before he can report back. The inquisitor player must work with the other members of the ship to route out the cult before they are all turned against him, he is killed, or the ship is destroyed.

In the first version there were only the same characters as in Sandbrook Museum, the Inquisitor – though with new found powers (to actually do something!), the Mystic (formerly ‘the Seer’) , the Traitor, the Tycoon, the Tourist and the Doctor. They also discarded their names to become just titles based on feedback from players.

In version 3, Miss Waintrop, now known as the Tourist was dropped as unnecessary and not a fun character to play as (she could only play grey cards).

The Tourist player reappeared occasionally to add an extra player to the game when needed, but has officially not been part of the game since version 3.

Game character card

Wainthropp – Museum style

Tourist character card

Wainthropp – Steamship style

Party game card which makes two players skip their turn

Players were quick to point out that this just essentially means “pick up another three cards”

Chat game card which does nothing

Noone wants a chat anymore!

Some of the grey cards were also dropped as not being fun to play and therefore taking up space where more usable cards could be. These were dropped from the game.

Version 4-6

A redesign to the card layout removed the “in hand/pick up” icons and mechanic – players were often either confused by it or ignored it completely. When it was used it often also wasn’t fun. Eventually any cards that targeted the player solely because they picked it up were scrapped as players found that (unsurprisingly) becoming injured for picking up a card wasn’t fun.

This shows the importance of constant playtesting and updating your games -if something isn’t fun you won’t always recognise it yourself but others will!

New characters: the Shapeshifter appeared to take over other players’ lives. The Shapeshifter allowed another player to take part but as more of a neutral character than strictly good or evil. This character is also a slow burner, better for slightly longer games of over 15 minutes as the longer they are in play, the more powerful they become, eventually being able to kill others outright.

The Engineer and the Seducer also appeared alongside the shapeshifter, helping to fix the ship and turn people to their will.

Kraken character card for SS Sandbrook game

The Kraken! He has his own deck, own agenda and is out to get you all!

With version 5 also came the first iteration of the Kraken character, an admin role I originally created to be able to help run the games but without being one of the main characters. This character didn’t get playtests until version 7, and has changed little since except for taking a few of the more crazy cards out (like the one that changed everyone’s characters around – somewhat out of the games theme).

Call of madness game card, lovecraft themed

Funny – but a game ruiner. Discarded.

Between version 5 and 7, the markers for expansions were also discarded. You will be able to see on some of the cards a circle with “base”, “broken” or “Kraken” on. The base game and broken expansion (engineer/seducer characters) were rolled together and after version 6 were removed altogether as it confused players. In version 5 and 6 the card backs were also different to show the cards as from an expansion deck (I wanted it to be quick to playtest with and without the expansion). Playtests found they could work out who each others characters were by looking at the card backs, so this was scrapped for version 7.

Version 8 (Current playtesting version)

In version 8 the Kraken character made its proper debut as a playable character rather than an idea. With it came a few other characters which allows the playtests to get further play out of the game by changing how the dynamic works.

Apart from the Kraken (above), players can also chose from the Captain, the Cook, and The Collaborator. The Captain can work somewhat against the Kraken with the Engineer, the cook can defend other players but also poison players who are eating making that card much more dangerous. The Collaborator is a new version of the secret cultist with his own orange deck, the ability to play cultist cards and imune to one of the inquisitors powers. This is a powerful character, but has found to be fairly balanced and add a different tactic to gameplay.

A change to the cult has also been added, there are two cultists if there are more than 6 players – one secret (or collaborator) and one “known” cultist, making the cult more powerful.

Murdered players now also discard their cards on death, meaning that they cannot take cards out of the game as some players were doing on purpose and elimination cards also now take effect immediately to avoid confusion

Changes for version 9 so far are:

Need to sort out layout errors such as making captain the right colour (blue rather than grey).

Editing the rules to make more concise and change the order in which players are dealt characters to avoided having one over powered character.

I will continue to update this page as changes occur over time, but hope that this has been a little insight into how one particular game has developed over time through playtesting!

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Challenge: Day 1/30

Day 1 of the 30 days, 30 ideas challenge where I create 30 ideas for games over the next 30 days. See other days here.

Long live the Queen!

Game type: Social deduction, card game.

Length:10-15 mins

Idea:
Social deduction game where one player is the royal. This player is know to all other players, who are members of the castle elite.

Other players are trying to murder the royal to help install a different regent.

Two traitor characters: the Assassin and the Anarchist.

The Assassin must try to outright murder the Queen, whereas the Anarchist needs to play a certain number of “bomb” cards to win. 

Other players include:

The Queen: who uses her influence to assist other players and can hide

The Bodyguard: who protects the Queen

The Groundskeeper: who checks for traps and disrupts the Anarchist

Etc. Could fit in with the Sandbrook theme, or be a different theme all together. 

Other possible variants/characters could be swordsman, inventor, magician, cultist (of course!), Worker, farmer etc

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