Thursday, 13 August 2015

Optional rule: Variable game length

I've come around to the view that the game having a set end, while not strictly necessary, will probably improve the game by focusing things on treasure hunting and avoiding the last few turns dragging out.  However I'm also not terribly keen on anybody ever knowing for sure that they are on their final turn as this will inevitably colour their decisions.  More uncertainty = more decisions and gambles = more fun.

So I'm proposing this to my game group:

Variable game length optional rules

We looked at the glittering pile of treasure just beyond the ruins to our left, we looked at the band of archers hunkered down in the building to our right, we looked at the ominous snow clouds forming thick and black on the horizon, then we turned our back on it all and headed for the warmth of home.  Gold has little value unless you live to spend it.

The weather in Frostgrave is unpleasantly chilly at best and extremely hostile at worst.  In a moment a blizzard can descend on an otherwise sunny day and all thoughts of treasure and fighting are swiftly forgotten in the rush for shelter and warmth.  These rules are optional, but as they encourage a focus on treasure gathering over fighting, the lowest level wizard in the game should get the deciding vote if there is any disagreement over whether to use them or not.

Starting from the end of turn 5, at the end of every turn roll a dice.  On a 1-10 conditions hold, play another turn as normal. On an 11-20 hostile weather closes in and the battlefield must be abandoned.  Treasure left on the table at game end is lost.  Treasure held by a figure still on the table at game end must be rolled for.  On a 1-10 it is lost as the figure battles through the blizzard for shelter.  On an 11-20 it is successfully recovered by the figure.

This means 50% of games end after turn 5.
75% of games have ended after turn 6.
88% of games have ended after turn 7, and so on.

I welcome any thoughts or feedback on the matter.


  1. Re: Treasure held by figure.
    My feelings are that some mechanic about distance from table edge would be good here. Something like D20 + inches from table edge = under 20 (off the top of my head). This way players who've spend 3 turns dragging treasure along have a better chance than someone who stands near treasure shooting for 2 turns and then picks it up in turn 5 (as an example).
    This may be as I'm using Dwarves with fan made rules,including -1 movement, so they are very slow when dragging treasure.

    1. I'd had a similar idea bouncing around my head, but more for a specific scenario with an encroaching storm. A slow ramp up of worsening conditions and associated penalties, followed by a blanket white out and a chance of being injured depending on how far from table edge you are. These rules were intended for more general game use so I wanted to keep them as simple as possible.