Superhero Audition Card Game


You're voting for your city's new official superhero! You'll test each candidate in a series of elimination rounds until only one hero is left! Vote wisely!
» Development Status: Beta
» Design Notes

Stuff You Need
1-6 Players
10-20 Minutes
A pencil and paper to keep score
A token to mark the First Player
A deck of Superhero Audition Cards



Setup
Each player gets their own set of three cards. One card has a star, the second card an X, the third has a robber. Keep your cards hidden so no one can see what's in your hand. Shuffle the hero cards and lay out a row of seven cards with the hero-side facing up. Place the remaining deck at one end of the row with the crisis-side facing up. The First Player token goes to the oldest player.



How To Play
Step 1: The Debate
There is a crisis afoot in the city! Consider the question on the crisis card and debate who you think the other players should vote for or against. You have no real information about the heroes except what's on the cards, so feel free to infer details. Example: Household pets are rebelling against their masters! Who can make peace between the species?



Step 2: The Vote
The player with the First Player token votes first. Turns continue clockwise around the table. On your turn, use your star to vote for a hero OR use your X to vote against a hero. Make sure your cards are face down so no one can tell who you've voted for or against. After voting, pass the First Player token to the player on your left. Example: After some debate, the players cast their votes as shown above. Player 1 voted first, followed by players 2, 3 and 4.



Step 3: The Results
Once all the votes are cast, turn the player cards face-up. You will score one point for every vote on a hero that matches your own. Any opposing votes on that hero will deduct from the available points. If you're the only one to vote for or against a hero, you'll score one point for that hero. Example: The players reveal their votes and score points accordingly...


Player 1 voted for Vampire Matt [STAR], but another player voted against [X]. Those votes cancel each other out, meaning there are zero points available to Player 1 from Vampire Matt. Player 1 voted against Professor Pharaoh [X], but another player voted for [STAR]. Those votes cancel each other out, meaning there are zero points available to Player 1 from Professor Pharaoh. That's a grand total of +0 points for this round. Ouch.


Player 2 voted for Professor Pharoah, but another player voted against. Those votes cancel each other out, meaning there are zero points available to Player 2 from Professor Pharaoh. Player 2 voted against Baby Hands McGee and there were no other votes for or against, so Player 2 gets 1 point from Baby Hands McGee. That's a total of +1 point this round.


Player 3 voted against Vampire Matt, but another player voted for. Those votes cancel each other out, meaning there are zero points available to Player 3 from Vampire Matt. Player 3 voted for Zoobot and another player agreed, so Player 3 gets 2 points from Zoobot. That's a total of +2 points this round.


Player 4 voted for Zoobot and another player agreed, so Player 4 gets 2 points from Zoobot. Player 4 voted against Scotch Ape and there were no other votes for or against, so Player 4 gets 1 point from Scotch Ape. That's a total of +3 points this round.



Step 4: The Elimination
After scoring, the hero who got the most stars moves to the end of the row closest to the crisis deck. In case of a tie, whoever is already closest wins. The hero who got the most Xs is eliminated and their card is placed at the bottom of the crisis deck. In case of a tie, whoever is already farthest wins. (Well, "winning" is relative in that case.) If a hero got opposing votes, those votes cancel each other out. Example: Zoobot got the most stars, so she moves to spot closest to the crisis deck. Vampire Matt, Professor Pharaoh, Baby Hands McGee and Scotch Ape each got one X, so let's sort this out. Vampire Matt and Professor Pharaoh each got a star, canceling out their Xs, so they're both safe. That leaves Baby Hands McGee and Scotch Ape, each with an X against them. Unfortunately for Scotch Ape, he's farthest from the crisis deck, so he's eliminated. His card is placed at the bottom of the crisis deck.

This ends the round. Play continues with a new round from Step 1, with a new crisis revealed on top of the crisis deck.



The Robber Card
During the voting step, you can use the Robber card as your vote. The Robber itself isn't worth any points. Instead, The Robber gives all the available points from the chosen hero to you and no one else. If multiple players place a Robber on a hero, they both get the available points from that hero. However, multiple robbers on the same hero do not count as matching votes. So, if a hero only gets Robbers, it is not worth any points. Example: The example above shows the results of a later round of play. Three players all voted for Vampire Matt. Under normal circumstances, those three players would all get 3 points, but because Player 1 has used his Robber on Vampire Matt, only Player 1 gets those points. In addition, he scores 2 points because he voted against Baby Hands McGee and another player had a matching vote. That's a grand total of +5 points. Good comeback!


How To Win
The game ends when there is only one hero remaining in the lineup. The player with the most points wins!


Design Notes
You can see some influences here from Apples to Apples, the Resistance, and Dixit. It all blends together shockingly well. The one thing I like most about the game is that you can use your old superhero cards or just about any other card from any other CCG as long as it depicts a person or creature of some kind.

26 comments:

  1. Really neat. You could use sports cards too, coming up with say, baseball scenarios or whatnot.

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  2. You know, this would probably be too much for most people, but my first thought was that I wanted to make up one of the heroes.

    That's how I'd want to play, but most players would probably feel overwhelmed with that open ended prompt.

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  3. That's something I would definitely incorporate into a kickstarter campaign.

    -- Daniel

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  4. Oh yes! You could even retheme the crises to be more about drafting a fantasy baseball team.

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  5. If you Kickstart this, I will pledge.

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  6. Any particular kickstarter rewards you would like to see?

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  7. Hm...Well, definitely the opportunity to name a superhero, and at a pretty low-level perk, too. I mean, your backers could end up making the deck double or more in size, which to me is always a good thing. Additionally, you could have each person (or yourself) come up with a crisis for whom that superhero is the obvious choice to solve it, and make it that hero's card back. That way, it's never a super-easy choice whom you should vote for.

    Also, should you end up Kickstarting this, PLEASE have James Stowe (of D&D for Dads) do the character art, because his art is awesome, and totally fits the lighthearted theme.

    Sorry for not noticing this reply for three weeks.

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  8. James is great, if you can afford him! He's in high demand these days. :D

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  9. Also, I'd like to see this printed out entirely on plastic. Like credit cards, A la Imperial Crusade Armada.

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  10. Hm! I've never played a game with plastic cards. Is there an advantage over chipboard or paper?

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  11. They are waterproof and don't blow away as easily in the wind. Additionally, you could use scorekeeping cards with an included dry erase marker, and have a rules card. For extra points, sell it in a nylon bag or a plastic box. Then you can play it ANYWHERE.

    In short, I am for mountain dew, but against spilling it.

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  12. "Step 2: The Vote"
    What order do players go in? It seems like there would be a big advantage to seeing what heroes had lots of cards put on them, even if you didn't know what those cards were.

    It also seems like a really good strategy to try to be "alone" at a location, because then you can't be negated or robbed. I'm not sure if that was your intention, but a player playing to "win" seems to have a well defined strategy that doesn't depend on the crisis cards or the heroes present.

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  13. Ah, playtesting will help with this quite a bit. I'll clarify turn order on Step 2 and see how it plays out in actual testing.

    As for the loner strategy... That's perfectly doable early in the game, but as the heroes get eliminated and the lineup dwindles, there will be unavoidable overlap between votes.

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  14. Okey dokey, added a First Player token to the setup and noted the turn order in Step 2.

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  15. Whoops! So I took the PDF to Office Max and while I was cutting the cards, I noticed something one might not notice until after printing: You forgot to reverse the order of the card backs! :P Would you mind updating the PDF to reverse them so that, i.e. player 1 doesn't print to the back of the player 3 cards? Thanks! :)

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  16. Additionally, do you think you could possibly whip up a quick and dirty rules PDF with those handy explanatory graphics on it? It would go a long way towards showing my fellow players how the game works. Consider feedback promised the moment it gets played!

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  17. D'oh! Thanks for pointing that out. The cards PDF is now updated.

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  18. Just shared a Google Doc with you that you can edit. As you playtest, feel free to make notes or add questions. Thanks very much!

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  19. Great, thank you!

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  20. No problem, thanks for the doc! I'll be printing a couple out on magazine stock for my players to pass around the table in order to make things easier. Also, it occurs to me that if you can put the gist of the rules onto a card (front and back), you could just make six of those and sell the whole package in a handy tuckbox!

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  21. That would certainly be ideal! Card games are so art-intensive that finding budget for any more packaging would be a problem. :P

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  22. So my first impressions after a thorough read of the rules and having a proper set of printed cards are that it looks fun!

    Two things I would change right off the bat are:

    1. Instead of having to produce a token to show who is the 1st player, just use the number order on the cards. Then at the end of each round, add a step where the players pass their vote cards to the player on their left.

    2. Instead of tracking overall points, just give the card of the eliminated superhero to the player who earned the most points in the round. In the case of a tie, the player who played earliest wins (since the player who plays last has the advantage of having seen where the other cards all were played). Whoever has the most superhero cards at the end wins!

    The reason for those changes is that if you make them, you will then need ZERO other objects to play. Just the cards, the rules, and the players! Get the rules onto a couple handy, distilled cards, and you can get everything you need into one little highly portable tuckbox. :)

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  23. You, sir, are a very clever man. Have you actually played the game yet? I'm very curious to see how it turns out.

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  24. The local friendly game store has an unofficial "playtest your stuff" night on Tuesdays, so I'll be bringing it there on Tuesday. I plan to implement my two changes.

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  25. reposting to subscribe

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  26. Edited the Google Doc to reflect the rules changes and to clean up a small bit of potentially vague language.

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Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.