Tuesday, February 2, 2016

More Birch, More Crown

The Birch Crown continues apace.  I know this is premature, but I've also knocked together an expansion.
An expansion?! you gasp, mouth agape and eyes agog, the veins standing livid in your forehead and your arms as your knuckles whiten on the table's edge, which groans within your grip.  Before you've even come close to middling, much less finishing, the "base game"?!
Let me cut you off before you can draw in a huge breath and shout "Blasphemy!" in my face.  The Birch Crown, as it stands, is already modular, and there's no reason suits can't be dropped into the mix, a la Daniel Solis' Trickster series.  But for POD purposes, I want to limit it to seven suits, so that you can have a pleasing 7-symmetry, and also so that the whole thing fits in all standard 54-card measurements (in terms of card sheets, box size, etc), with room for rules and title/cover.  I've had some other ideas for suits, and a few twists on rules, so yes, I'm working on an expansion.  When this is ready for production, I may just go with the most-tested, most-compatible seven suits, and continue working on the other suits to see what makes the cut for the expansion.
Oh, and once again:
Cards Against Humanity, Tides of Time, Chronicle, Trickster, The Decktet, The Draugr.  What an odd, odd mix of influences.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Birch Crown

Ahahahaha.  My last post was more than eleven months ago.  In that post, I made fun of the gap betwixt posts.  Some things never change.
Cowl & Mask has reached a point that I'm happy with but somewhat confounded by.  I think it's different and innovative (I shall shy away from the grailterm "original") but I haven't had much success in convincing people that it's actually fun, and I'm not sure where (if anywhere) to go with it next.  In the meantime, I've kept up a moleskine notebook of almost exclusively game design ideas, and I've chipped away at various projects.
The one I'm feeling best about at the moment, however, is The Birch Crown.  I was playing Cards Against Humanity last year (after a Stanley Cup playoffs game, I believe - and I think the Lightning won that one) for the first time in a long while, and one guy was just running away with the game, and I got to thinking about how to use the core A2A/CAH mechanic for a game.  Add in a dash of inspiration from Tides of Time (a new favourite) and Chronicle (an absolute classic), and I had a tableau-builder with suited powers.  Theme and suit construction drew from The Draugr (supremely excited that it'll be BGG's next microgame) and the Decktet (such a rich toy).
So yeah... a complicated little family history there.  But I think it's at least interesting, and while I have a creeping suspicion that it might be too mathy of a point salad, and prone to AP as a result, I think if I pare away more and more of the conditional/situational cards and promote ease of play, I could have a half-way decent little Gamer's Party Game here.
At the very least, I've printed it, cut it, gotten it to the table, and revised it once already.  I've made my own iconography, I think the first pass at the rules is decent, and at least one person likes it.  It should hopefully be low-art enough that if I can get a bit better graphic design in there, this could be a game I could produce on DTC.
We'll see!