Welcome to the first in my series of board game concepts inspired by RPG series. These are random ideas that I’ve come up with over the past little while, and thought they would be fun to share. While I am not actually designing any board games, I do enjoy them and tend to think of different ideas. It’s just an interesting way for me to pass the time.
For my first board game, I have decided to base it on Gust’s Atelier series. With all the flavor and characters that exist within its universe, it would not only offer a fun and engaging experience, but could open the door for expansions based on other trilogies in the series.
So let’s break it down, shall we?
Objective of the game
Like most of the Atelier games, your goal is to create an item based on a challenge assigned to you. The higher the quality of the item, the better your score. Using two or more players, this would be a competition. The winner would be the alchemist with the highest score at the end of the game.
The way I see it, this can be done in two different ways. For a shorter game experience, you have just the one goal to accomplish, and then work towards that one singular item. This would allow for a shorter game. A longer experience could include several rounds of items and deadlines, and the highest combined score out of all synthesized items would be the winner.
Types of cards/game pieces
Alchemist cards are what define the player. Players will assume the role of a famous alchemist from the Atelier games. Each alchemist will have a synthesis specialty. For example, Arland’s famous alchemist, Rorona, would have a bonus for synthesizing pies and/or baked goods. If a challenge comes up where a Pie needs to be made, Rorona would have a slight edge on everyone else (not enough to make it unfair). Alchemists will also have a base strength score, which will help them while gathering in the field and a base gathering score, which determines how many materials can be gathered.
Ally cards can be recruited during the game. To recruit one, alchemists must pay their recruit cost. Once in the party, their strength score will be added to the alchemist’s total. Some allies will have a special effect that will help in the field. If your ally has a penchant for cooking, then you may get to draw an additional food material card when gathering.
Material cards will come in different categories, each in their own separate decks: Ore, food, plants, and mystic. Each material card will have a quality value that will help with your synthesizing. A cole value will be included if you are given an opportunity to buy one in the shops.
This deck will determine what materials are gathered when out adventuring. Each turn, you will be able to gather as many times as your party’s total gathering score. When gathering, you flip up the top card of the gathering deck. If it’s a material, you take the top card from the corresponding material deck. If it’s an encounter, you face off comparing your party’s strength score against the monsters strength score. The monster card will also yield materials as defeat rewards. Stronger monsters will provide better rewards.
These cards will provide the item, needed materials, and deadline.
At the start of the game, an assignment will be turned up from a randomized deck. That will dictate an item that has to be made, and a specific number of rounds allowed to turn in your item. The shop area of the board will have one material from each category in the shop for sale, and three ally cards will be available to start. Each alchemist will be given a starting amount of cole to either buy allies or materials if they so choose. Once setup is complete, the round begins starting with the action phase.
During the action phase, alchemists may select one action. The actions include shopping, recruiting, Gathering, and synthesizing.
Shopping lets you use this part of the round to buy materials from the shops. While gathering will be a faster way to get materials, shopping will help you in a pinch. Any time you purchase a material from the shop, immediately refill that spot with a material of the same type. You may also sell any unwanted materials for half their printed cole value to the shop, or to any other player who chose to shop that round.
The recruit action will allow you to recruit allies for adventuring. As with materials, you can get as many allies as you have cole. Once recruited, add another ally from the top of the ally deck to the roster. A player may have no more than two allies with them at any time. To recruit a new member, they must return one ally to the bottom of the ally deck.
The gathering phase lets alchemists go out with their parties to gather materials. They may draw one gathering card for each gathering point they have in their total. Each gathering card is resolved before another is revealed. In the event that an encounter fails (ie. a monster wins a fight), you are sent back home with what you have gathered, and you must send one ally back to the bottom of the ally deck.
Lastly, you may take the synthesize action when you feel you have the best possible materials to create the required item. Note that once you create your item, it is submitted immediately after it is made for scoring. You may only submit one finished product, unless an assignment says that additional items may be submitted.
In order to synthesize, you discard the required ingredients, and add their quality totals together. You may also add any bonuses associated with the materials, or alchemist bonuses if they apply. These totals will be the final score for the item, and will determine your chances of being the best alchemist in the world.
For now, I think that about sums up my concept. I’d love to hear what everyone thinks about it.
Stay tuned for next week when I talk about Disgaea: The Board Game!