Dung & Dragons is one of those long, slow marinating ideas that occasionally needs to be stirred before being put back on a low heat. Right. To catch up newcomers: The game tentatively titled Dung & Dragons concerns a hippie collectivist farm that raises and cares for dragons, who in turn poop gold that keeps the farm self-sustaining.
The whole idea came from an episode of Firefly where the crew was bartering various chores as currency. This struck me as a very cool idea for a game, trying to get the jobs you like while also maximizing the effect of those jobs by negotiating with the other players. Love it.
I've gone through a few different models for how to design a game around this idea, but this week's exploration of trick-taking games has me thinking about a new way of doing things. Let's run through the basics.
Above are the nine basic action cards. There should be one of each per player in the action deck. Shuffle and deal a hand of nine to each player. Each player takes turns choosing one card from her hand and playing it face down in front of her. Then all players reveal their choices.
Each player gets to do the action noted on his or her card, in numerical order from lowest to highest. Actions may also get a bonus if the sum of numbers on all chosen cards is greater (+), equal to (=) or less than (-) the Pivot. The pivot is a big number in the center of the table, which varies depending on the number of players.
At the end of the turn, discard chosen cards and pass the remaining cards to the left. The round ends when seven cards have been discarded from each hand. (This represents a week's worth of labor on the farm.) In the new round, shuffle and deal the action cards all over again. The game lasts four game weeks.
Most of the actions are simple resource acquisition, but Build and Upgrade refer to creating and improving structures. Each level of improvement has a cost, noted below that level. The costs vary depending on whether the sum was +, =, or - in that turn. Hatch and Raise are similar, but they refer to dragons.
I imagine there would be plenty of Dragons and Buildings available. They'd add the variety and replayability to the game.
Anyhoo, that's where my head is at right now.