Winter is Coming

Winter-is-ComingWell I don’t normally like to post memes on here, but I figured if I’m going to I may as well go ALL OUT. So handless Philosoraptor on the body of a Game of Thrones meme. What a world!

Anyway I wanted to take today to talk about a few v2.1 brainstorms. That’s right, the update train just keeps on chugging! Certainly no core revisions as sweeping as the jump from v1.0 to v2.0.

  1. One fix (compared to a new feature) I’ve wanted to do so far is the Wound/Injury table effects. They are a bit inconsistent and some are poorly worded, and some don’t even make sense (like “Broken Tail” for the dinosaur, since they ignore Difficult Terrain already). Unfortunately I didn’t realize all this before I released v2.0! I was too focused on making sure the mechanics themselves were sound, avoiding the death spiral, etc. instead of grammatical touch ups.
  2. The other fix I would consider is calculating the value and statistics of weapons based on a mathematical formula. I did that for Improvement Points and statistics, and that worked well. So somehow quantifying Attacks, Damage, Distance, special abilities, etc. into the overall cost and balance of the weapon.
  3. Speaking of equipment I’ve considered a ranged Medical Device. I can’t help but think of the medgun from Team Fortress 2, but I’m sure I can come up with something more suitable to the Dinosaur Cowboys theme. Similarly healing “generators” that can be dropped/setup on the ground to heal in a radius could be fun.
  4. Finally I wouldn’t mind revisiting the Trait list and making sure that all of them have a use, and are somewhat balanced against each other. There will probably still be obvious winners, but it’d be nice if I got rid of some obvious losers too (for example I don’t see a ton of value in Sniper Shot or Tracking Shot when you could just get Skilled Shooter instead). I know my original intention was for players to take some of the better Traits first, then if they REALLY wanted to specialize take some of the less good Traits. So go for Skilled Shooter I and II, but then circle back and also take Tracking Shot or similar.

For rulebook formatting I still am considering trying to go to a 2-column format, and add a bit more design art inside. Maybe small little images of cacti and dinosaurs in the footer, for example.

Snowdrift-and-FencesFor new Features, and related to the title of this post, I really want to get some Seasonal features. Such as snowdrifts, snow, hail, slippery ice, cold weather, biting wind, etc. Similarly blinding and burning sun rays, high temperatures, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, dehydration, etc.
This is the perfect real world time to start on these plans because this morning my car had ice on it for the first time this year. So the phrase “Winter is Coming” is certainly apt. I could see playing a few matches on a snow-based table by taking my normal terrain and messily sprinkling it with fake snow of some sort.
So besides Features based on the season and weather, I want to add a few more general Features too! I think the Features are a great aspect of the game. Basically players can choose various Features that affect how the table is setup or how the match will go. Some are small changes (like Gusting Winds) and some are big changes (like Shield Generators or Volcanoes). And having dozens of options to choose from will just add variety to campaigns. Because they affect everyone on the table I don’t have to worry as much about balancing, and can just go for neat and thematic rules.

Some possible examples of new additions:
– Blinding Sun and Burning Sun
— Blinding Sun would start on a random table edge and move throughout the battle, shooting towards that edge (into the sun) gives a penalty
— Also maybe have one effect that disallows Long Range
— Another that allows ANY range but a max of 15″ or something
— Burning Sun would do a 1A-0D attack to everyone not adjacent to a tree (shade)?
– Rivers
— Some push, some drown, some are full of vicious dinosaurs, some are swampy and slow, etc.
– Propane and exploding barrels
— Needs to do somewhat good damage to be worth shooting
— Or have a useful effect (like an acid barrel that does damage over time)
– Have winter rules for Christmas
— Perhaps get colder as entity does more Activations
— Can warm up with items? Or by ending Activation by a geothermal vent?
—– Sort of like Don’t Starve with huddling around a fire in winter

Poker-SaloonThere is also a set of Initiative rules I’m considering. They probably won’t make it into the rulebook as a Variant because they are rather more complex and involved than most Variants, but I do want to try them sometime. Basically:
– Option for standard playing cards for Initiative
— Get 3 playing cards to begin with, draw 1 per activation, draw 3 more if hand is ever empty
— Players both put a card face down, flip at the same time, higher wins init
—– On tie discard both cards and redo
— The idea is to give a bit more control over when you try for initiative
— Since you could just “throw” a low card when you don’t care
— Face cards naturally beat numbers, just like a normal card game
— Could also draw the 1 card / player face UP instead of face DOWN
— This would introduce a bit of bluffing, because you could pay attention and start to figure out what the opponent has available

Oh and finally I thought I’d just drop this brainstorming tidbit…
“Circus” Allegiance
— Random positive and negative stat modifier?

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