MAGIC MAELSTROM: A QUICK OVERVIEW
UPDATE 2 (January 2013):
Significant progress, Draft 2 with proper printed cards and more.
See the blog for progress, rules, stuff on the design of the game and graphics etc.
The resource cards:
Updates to the geek entry for the game to follow soon.
Any feedback appreciated.
And now a draft set of rules.
Moderate sized PDF here:
Draft 2 (11/06/2012)
Game Title: Magic Maelstrom (or ‘Maelstrom of Magic’ or ‘Mists and Magics’ or ‘Once Upon a Time in the North’)
Playing Time: Target of 1-2 hours basic game, must be playable in an evening. More for advanced rules or expansions?
Number of Players: 2-4, more with advanced rules or expansions?
Each player is a shadowy presence, subtly manipulating events in the misty lands surrounding the Magic Maelstrom to gain the most power. Guide the competing forces of Ice, Light, Dark or Fire towards control of all. The Norns sit spinning their web of fate and sometimes the ancient deities take an interest in mundane affairs. Either way, it may or may not be good for you.
Players control units on a board to generate resources and fate cards.
Resource cards have variable, competing uses:
a) Store in hand at full value to count towards hidden victory points.
b) Trade in for a lesser value to move your token up the victory point track.
c) Trade in combination to build new units.
d) Play required colour to allow either deployment or movement in a map area of that colour.
e) Where available, use a special effect of the card.
Fate cards have a variety of effects, from the ordinary – it’s raining again – to a range of creatures, devastating events and strange occurrences that may help or hinder your cause.
Resource and fate cards are held in a limited hand – you may only retain a certain number of cards once you have finished your turn, so decisions must be taken on what to keep to build on and what to discard if you are not playing them.
All discards are face up and some discarded cards may be affected by those held in other players hands.
BRIEF DESIGN NOTES
Game design and content is inspired by Scottish-Norse mythology and history, but should not be taken too seriously.
Luck should be kept to a minimum and used to create uncertainty, not certain victory on the roll of some dice.
There should be the option to win the game either through careful generation of a winning hand or by conquest of territories on the board, both requiring complementary points on the victory track.
Difficult, but not brain-melting decisions need to be taken about how to use your hand of cards. There should always be a tension between keeping or playing either high victory point cards or cards that would allow the building of useful units.
I have had a wide and varied career, starting with managing games shops in the early 1980’s, then a freelance sculptor with my own miniature design business and then on to a career in an earth science organisation doing graphics, mapping, science and information management. Played all sorts of games since I was a youngster.
Inspiration for this game comes from, in no particular order, Theodor Kittelsen (Norwegian Artist), John Bauer (Swedish Artists), Albion: Land of Faerie (SPI Game), my family, Raiders and Traders (Chaosium Game), Norse and Scottish Mythology.
Resource Cards (160 cards of 6 types, colour coded to match the areas which generate them or are required to take an action in that area)
Fate Cards (160 cards, colour coded to match the areas which you may want to take an action in)
Dice of doom = 3d6, two white, one red (or other colour combinations at 2:1 colour proportion)
Player summary display area
Game turn marker
ADVANCED COMPONENTS / RULES
Unit maintenance costs (?)
Variable setups / scenarios
PEOPLE AND PLACES
SPELLS AND STUFF