Thanks to all of the Diablo 3 I've been playing lately and my 5 year old interested in playing the D&D board games, I've been batting around the idea of building my own dungeon crawling game again. I've tried my hand at this a few times in the past, but it always seems to fall apart. This time however, I think I may be onto something. I'm going to use a parred down form of 4th Edition D&D. Why 4E? Well, it already plays very much like a tactical board game, so much so that I think WotC was onto something when they came out with Castle Ravenloft. So why not just play Castle Ravenloft/Wrath of Ashardalon/Legend of Drizzt? I do, and especially while my son gets his "sea legs", so to speak, I will continue to do so as the games are pretty easy to grok. However, my only real gripe with the games is that they simply aren't very deep. One of the reasons I love Warhammer Quest is that there are 10 levels of play. The D&D games really don't have a good set of campaign rules. There are variants up a Board Game Geek, but they only go so far. Plus, I've got a crap-ton of 4th Edition material collecting dust. I want to find a reason to get them down off the shelf!
D&D 4E does have some issues, however, that need to be ironed out. First off is speed of play. Combat in 4th edition can be a boring, drawn-out affair. It really doesn't need to be that way. Hit Point totals for characters and monsters will need to be reigned in. I'm not going the route of the board games and only having a hit point or two for HP totals, but there's no need (or fun) in hacking away at a beast with 500 hit points.
I'm tossing out skills...maybe. The focus of this game is largely going to be about killing things and taking their stuff. Plus, I intend to keep the co-op mode of play, so a lot of things are going to be essentially automated by the game. If skills still play a role in the game, the skill lists will be greatly truncated and probably won't play a huge role in the game.
Feats are possibly out as well. I need to do some more brainstorming on that.
So what will the characters consist of then? The six core stats, their gear, and their powers. Powers will break down as Class and Race powers, and those powers will break down into the usual At-Will, Encounter, and Daily groups. Daily powers can only be used once per adventure. I'm thinking of making each class start out at a static point (stats set, gear bought) with the player needing only to select a race and powers in order to start play. The character and race lists will likely be the standard fare.
Treasure will be random. Not sure how I'm going to do that yet, whether by cards or by charts...
I'm going to pull monsters in from the D&D board games, Hero Quest, Descent, D&D Minis, Warhammer Quest, and a few others I have in the collection. I want a game that will utilize what I have on hand.
As for dungeon generation, I'm not sure yet. I'll likely go with either Warhammer Quest's card and tile based system or with CR/WA/LoD's tile draw.
Not sure yet how I'd generate quests. I like Warhammer Quest's system, but it would have to be greatly expanded to to keep the game feeling fresh. I still need to ponder this.
So, is this just another idea doomed to failure? Probably, but I do think it could work.
Now, I realize I haven't posted much of anything about Mythic Space in a while. I promise to get back to that shortly. I've got a few posts in various stages of completion. I just haven't felt inspired to write much lately, and I really don't want to churn out crap for the sake of keeping up a post count. So never fear, sci-fi will return to this blog soon.