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A game of princesses creating complex plots in order to unseat their rivals and win the prince.

[Created for a game-chef style challenge competition.]
It didn't win (it almost completely missed one of the judging criteria) but the judges had nice things to say about it and I'm continuing development.
Indeed, it got Best Mechanics, Best Integration and Best Ingrediants Use.  Thank you for the presentation copy. --Pallando
Well, only from one of the judges, but yes.  You're welcome, and thank you for playtesting.  --Vitenka

More than slightly based on /FightOfDragons.

Available at:

Comments on pre-playtest rules

I think you may want to do some fine tuning on attack/defence and succession order, because currently spending all your turns creating defence cards, and letting the others attack each other and knock each other down the succession looks to be the optimal strategy.  Ie: if there are more than 2 players, there is no advantage to attacking.  --Pallando
Perhaps a successful attacker should jump the person ahead of them, or perhaps the loser should only go down 2 places?  --Pallando
I'm actually changing this so that winner chooses whether to jump to the front of the succession, or to push the loser to the back.  That way they always get something out of it.  --Vitenka
Or perhaps if a princess gets knocked out, the winner should get bonus cards/money as loot Alas, I turned up at bower of the Ice Princess too late to warn her of the secret police - she'd already been arrested.  Poor Madge.  But I couldn't let her adorable puppy starve, or her collection of poisoned knives be looted by philistines, so I bought them home.  Pretty, aren't they?  --Pallando
To create defence you have to know about the attacks, which means you need to do lots of spying.  Which wastes turns you could have been spending building attacks.  The only upside of defence is that it doesn't cost dowry.  I'm actually worried that defence is too weak, not too strong.  Certainly, as in all multiplayer political games, being the first to launch an attack is a risky strategy.  --Vitenka
But if everyone is fighting each other and one player sits out, that player can expect to get dogpiled.  --Vitenka

What effect would it have to be able to specify that a card is primarily attack or primarily defence.  If primarily attack, you add 50% onto its concealment value for attaching, and halve that value if using it in defence.  If a card has written on it that it is primarily defensive, you add 50% onto its concealment value for defending, and halve that value if using it in attack.  Alternatively, a time limited card - a concealment bonus for declaring it must be used within the next 3 turns. --Pallando
No.  Way overcomplex.  Way way overcomplex.  It's got too many rules already.  --Vitenka

To clarify (which I guess needs clarifying in the rules) : A defence is created against a specified card (at the time of creating the defence) - it's not a general 'defend me!  defend me!' card.  The advantage of this defence card is that it is a total defence against that attack, at no cost (other than using your turn)  - the disadvantage is that you cannot attack with it, or defend against anything ELSE with it.  (Which with an item card, you can.  Although the defence may be less perfect.)  --Vitenka
Ah, sorry, my mistake with terminology.  I should have said "create item cards each turn, which you stock pile up to use to defend yourself in case you are attacked" --Pallando
But there's a limited number of items you can ever create, since they cost at least one each.  Yes, it is better to create many focussed items over time than to create one big one, but that's slower and the tradeoff between time and cash is the main rules-side tension.  --Vitenka

Ok - playtest edition is written up.  No major changes, but a few little tweaks around the edge.  (Spying effectiveness changed, defence cards a bit better, penalty for losing a fight made slightly harsher; but each player can soak a bit more damage)  --Vitenka

First PlayTest? report

Playtest Report

We played with 5 players (no GM) only 5 dowry and 4 virtues.  4 virtues was a mistake, but 5 dowry had the desired effect of speeding it up.
Game was stoped at 90 mins, after one casualty and obvious alliance was going to win.

We NEED a quickref sheet.
Character sheet should have a grid for easy recording of what you dohn't have.

Drop virtues if I can't cvome up with a mechanical significance.

It was pointed out that a turn zero instadeath was possible!  Conclusion was that you could persuade other people to defend you so it shouldn't be a problem.

The game was, nonetheless, VERY fast amd vicious.

That there is no gain for putting a crippled player out worked to keep them able to play a bit - but they had no way to gain cash and so couldn't create items.

Spying is too SLOW to be functional, and there were always better things to do.

Rules don't say what happens to cards used in an attack - leaving them public was our choice, and was contentious.

Spies currently can't reveal defence cards - we decided they reveal defence at random once all else is revbealed to you.

Passion poisonous pony atack!

We wanted to bribe people, with cash.  We REALLY wanted SOME form of trade,

People kept askin about aiding during an attack - clarify this,  Attacker CAn be aided, but only once they are losing.
Or zero?

Really, it was WAY vicious.  People attacked a LOT, from the word go.

It was suggested to have little identifiable princess icons - these would be used for keeping track of score and to make it easy to say who your attacks were usable against.

Spy got used once.  It was useless.

Clarify whether attacks are just better once a princess is out, or not.

Option to nOT move score track when you win was desired, no reason not to add it.

Playing out to a timer was annoying.  Scire track and endinhg was too random.

Positive vomments:
The game was cool and fun NYWAY.  Everyone said "Would play agaon."
One comment: "Even if we DID have [roper rules, it wouldn't be any more fun than this."
They liked the casual aspect, comparing it to 100 balnk white cards, munchkin and cluedo.

Suggested rule: Only the people actually involved in the attack see EVERYTHING about the cards - everyone else knows who wa involve,d what the attack was on and hears the description - this leaves more room for deception and trading of information.

Diplomacy breakout sessions explicitly set aside to make plans and alliances; even when no GM.
Suggested several things that could be done during these to facilitate: rewarding and encouarging good cards; trading some kind of favor.

The background worked.
The casualness of the setting was good.More trading was needed.
Virtues wer emeaningles and fiddly, drop them.
Card construction was fun and simple.

Suggesiton: Formalise a reading of the will when you die; probably without revealing what the cards actually are, you give your surviving cards to whomeever you like.

The turn order worked ok, but it was suggested that maybe you should get to do 2 things in a turn: 1 'attack or build'one 'deend or spy'

Grudges optional rule was fiddly and pointless, drop it.

I don't suggest allowing people to aid attacks.  It would mean that people could be knocked out too easily.  It is balanced as is.  --Pallando

Release Edition Changes

Comments on CURS play.

Four players.  It was fun.
Even with the princess system, adding roleplaying is a dead-end.
Problem points, if I really want to do this: Turn order is too inflexible and system doesn't support non-combat actions.
Should have defined a target number of points, 20 perhaps.  The '+10' is too hard to reach when players play pull-down-the-leader.
Note that absolutely the most damage that can be done in one attack is 4+number of players.  And is more usually 4 or less.
The 'what you need' intro bit should include 'who gets what to start with'  I kept not being able to find that.
There's a few minor edits needed (the princess generator should be renamed Random Princess Generator) and the events section needs tidying, virtues removing once and for all, a typo here and there.
With four players, starting with 5 influence was good - but 5 spies was one too many, and 7 gems was 1 or 2 too many.  The game still took too long and went into sudden death (which makes gems worthless)
Then art and layout and it's done!

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Last edited November 28, 2008 9:42 am (viewing revision 18, which is the newest) (diff)