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Miskatonic Valley


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#1 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:37 PM

EDIT Full rules and better pictures later on in the thread!

I've decided I'm going to devote my empty-brain time to trying to develop a LEGO game that looks nice and is fun to play. That sounds easy, right? Now, most LEGO games are... let's say simplistic. They're really pretty basic, for the most part. But there's a certain charm to that, and I'm not entirely interested in making something complicated for complication's sake. So there's a certain amount of the LEGO Game design ethos I want to maintain. It shouldn't be dumb, but it shouldn't be convoluted either.

The theme I want to try and capture is Lovecraft and the Cthulhu mythos. Sure, there are dozens and hundreds of games out there with this theme. It's not really something that needs another game. But, as I touched on above, I find many of them to be so very complicated. Part of that is the point, I guess, but I want a game that is actually fun and easy to play. Basically, I want to take Heroica, add in a dash of City Alarm [my current favorite LEGO Game], and smother it in the trappings of every other Lovecraft game ever. But here's where I'm asking for input or involvement or help. I have some very loose ideas as to how the game could work, but I'd love a collaborator who's into this sorta thing to aid in the development of the various parts.

Here's what I've got so far: basically set up like Heroica, with a character and a Hero pack. Add blue cones for Sanity, 'cause that seems required.
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The point of the game, such as it currently is, is to travel to various locations collecting pages of the Necronomicon. This would be represented by micro-scale buildings, like this, that may or may not be Miskatonic University.
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Before the game begins, players would randomly insert tiles into book pieces, and then randomize and place the book pieces either inside the buildings [the roof comes off] or behind them or whatever [they could be simple facades to save on the piece count].
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Pieces would either be the Necronomicon page you're after, or something to trigger a monster or somesuch. I haven't quite gotten to that part yet. Perhaps you'd need to collect the right number, or however many you have would help you to battle the final monster... that will require some experimentation.

The map would either be all of Lovecraft Country with each stop representing a location [more like City Alarm] or design it more like Heroica, with each location being a smaller map. That would be more work, but could be more fun, and offer more interesting monster options.
Monsters themselves could be decorated microfigures, or larger, brick-built things, or more abstract representations:
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Obviously, there's lots to brainstorm and figure out, but that's the starting point. And so again, I ask if anyone who thinks this isn't a ridiculously terrible idea and wants to help make it the best game it can be, here's your time to chime in!

Edited by IAmWillGibson, 01 November 2012 - 01:35 PM.


#2 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 05:06 AM

I was thinking it through a bit more, trying to iron out the key points of the game itself minus the theme, and I've gotten it down to a Heroica framework of moving and fighting but with an added wrinkle of memory and bluffing.

[EDITED OUT, see below. I've added the "full" rules as they currently are.]

Edited by IAmWillGibson, 30 October 2012 - 02:58 PM.


#3 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:56 PM

MISKATONIC VALLEY
Welcome to Miskatonic Valley, a place of mystery, magic, and monsters.

Investigators, Investigator Pack, Monsters, Ancient One [Big bad monster], Store, Items [Revolver x2, Axe x2, Needle x2, Turkey x2], Books, Bookshelves [slope65 2x2x2 + panel 1x2x1], Pages [white 1x2 tile], Curses [black 1x2 tile], Space, the Star Chart, Stars, LEGO Dice

AIM: Race through the Miskatonic Valley on a mission to gather the pages of the Necronomicon, and avoid collecting curses. Once the Ancient One awakens, do whatever you can to destroy its physical form before it reaches Sentinel Hill!

BUILDING THE GAME: Before you start playing, build the board using the building instructions.

Miskatonic Valley uses two LEGO dice; the Investigator die and the Monster die. Build them using the tiles shown below:
INVESTIGATOR DIE: Elder Sign, Hit/6, Hit/6, Skull/5, Skull/5, Hit/Skull/4
MONSTER DIE: Worship, Summon, Red tile, Blue tile, Red tile/Blue tile, Red tile/Blue tile

Place the following items inside the books, 1 per book: 5 Pages and 4 Curses. Close the books, shuffle them, and place one at each location that has a bookshelf.

Starting with the youngest player, each player chooses an investigator and takes the matching Investigator Pack with 4 Health [red cones] and 4 Wits [blue cones] on it. Place your investigator on the plate in front of the Sanitarium.

LOCATIONS: There are two types of locations in Miskatonic Valley, those with bookshelves and those without, and are located in one of three regions. The following locations have bookshelves:

ARKHAM Miskatonic University, Historical Society, Witch House
DUNWICH Sentinel Hill, Whateley Farm, Marshland
INNSMOUTH Devil Reef, Order of Dagon Hall, Gilman House

Each region also has a special location that does not have a bookshelf, but does have another effect; see below.

PLAYING THE GAME: The youngest player goes first. Play then continues clockwise.

THE STAR CHART: At the start of the game one star is placed on the last space of each arm of the Star Chart. After each investigator has taken a turn, move one star one space closer to the center of the Star Chart.

MOVING INVESTIGATORS: On your turn roll the Investigator die and move your investigator up to the number of spaces rolled. You can't move into a space you've already been in this turn.

Elder Sign: Move up to 6 spaces AND move one star away from the center of the Star Chart.
Six: Move up to 6 spaces.
Five: Move up to 5 spaces.
Four: Move up to 4 spaces.

If you end your move in a space occupied by another investigator, move your investigator forward to the first available space.
If you move into a space adjacent to a monster, you MUST end your move in that space and fight the monster.
You may not move diagonally.

MONSTERS: There are different kinds of monsters in Miskatonic Valley. Deep Ones are common, and have 1 Health. Shoggoths are much more rare, and have 2 Health.

At the end of your turn, choose one monster and move it 1 space. You can't move it next to an investigator. If there are no monsters on the board, add a 1 Health Monster in front of a location, but not next to an investigator.

FIGHTING MONSTERS: If you fight a monster, roll the Investigator die again to find out what happens.
Elder Sign: The monster loses 1 Health AND move one star away from the center of the Star Chart.
Hit: The monster loses 1 Health.
Skull: Move back 1 space away from the monster and roll the Monster die.
Hit/ Skull: The monster loses 1 Health AND move back 1 space away from the monster and roll the Monster die.

If the monster's Health is less than 1, you've defeated it. Take it off the board. If it still has Health and you are still next to it, you must keep fighting it!
If you are adjacent to two or more monsters at the same time, choose which one to fight first. If you win, immediately fight the next monster.
You may not fight diagonally.

THE MONSTER DIE: If a Monster wins a fight against you, roll the Monster die to find out what happens.
RED: Lose 1 Health.
BLUE: Lose 1 Wits.
RED/BLUE: Lose 1 Health AND 1 Wits.
WORSHIP: Move one star closer to the center of the Star Chart.
SUMMON: Add a 1 Health Monster to the board in front of a location, but not next to an investigator.

HEALTH AND WITS: If your Wits are reduced to 0, any Wits you lose must instead be lost as Health.
If your Health is reduced to 0, move your Investigator to the space in front of the Sanitarium.

If you start your turn in front of the Sanitarium, instead of moving, you may roll both LEGO Dice. The Monster die tells you what you heal [Red = Health, Blue = Wits, Red/Blue = both, Summon or Worship = you pick Health or Wits], and the Investigator die tells you how much [heal the number rolled MINUS 3; if you roll the Elder Sign, heal 4]. You can't leave the Sanitarium if your Health is 0.

COLLECTING THINGS YOU'LL NEED: When you stop moving in front of a location with a bookshelf, if there is a book there, collect it. If there is no book on the bookshelf, you may take one from another player, but you must give them one of yours if you have one. When you take a book from a bookshelf, you can look inside it for free, but don't show anyone else what's inside! During your turn you can look inside any books you have collected, but you LOSE 1 Wits for each book you open.

Any time a book is opened, move one star one space closer to the center of the Star Chart.
If you stop in front of the Dunwich General Store or Innsmouth First National Grocery, you can take one Item from the Store that you don't already have and put it on your Investigator Pack.

ITEMS:
Revolver Instead of moving, you can shoot [see below]. After you use this item for the second time, return it to the Store.
Axe When you roll an Elder Sign, you can move your investigator up to 4 spaces and automatically hit an adjacent monster. If you lose Health, return this item to the Store.
Needle At any time, return this item to the Store and restore 1 Wits. Whenever you roll an Elder Sign while you have this item, restore 1 Wits.
Turkey At any time, return this item to the Store and restore 2 Health.

SHOOTING: If you have a Revolver, you can shoot. Roll the Investigator die; the number rolled MINUS 3 is the number of spaces away from you that you can shoot [you can shoot 4 away when you roll an Elder Sign]. If a monster is within that distance in a straight line, it loses 1 Health.

WHEN THE STARS ARE RIGHT: When all four stars are in the middle of the Star Chart, the Ancient One will awaken and begin its terrible march across Miskatonic Valley. Place it on the board in the brown space in front of Devil Reef, and place the Star Chart in the box [you won't need it any more]. Every player now opens any books they have collected and places the revealed Pages and Curses in front of them.

At the end of each player's turn, the Ancient One moves two spaces closer to Sentinel Hill. If it would enter a space occupied by another figure [investigator or monster], that figure is moved to any space 1 space away from the Ancient One.

Once the Ancient One is awoken, the Monster die behaves differently. If WORSHIP is rolled, add a 2 Health monster to the board in front of a location.

FIGHTING THE ANCIENT ONE, PAGES, & CURSES: The Ancient One can be fought like a monster, but it is bigger and tougher. It begins with 6 Health, and during each fight, it IGNORES the first time it is hit.

If an investigator who has at least 1 Page rolls an Elder Sign, it counts as a hit, AND the Ancient One loses 1 extra Health.

Once during each fight, an investigator can put one of their Pages in the box to re-roll the Investigator die if they don't like the result.

When the Ancient One hits an investigator, after rolling the Monster die to see what happens, that investigator ALSO loses Health and/or Wits equal to the number of Curses they have [you can choose how many of each you lose, as long as the total equals the number of Curses].

If the Ancient One reaches Sentinel Hill, the game ends and all investigators lose.

Edited by IAmWillGibson, 01 November 2012 - 01:25 PM.


#4 Gryphon Ink

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:06 PM

This sounds very cool.  Certainly more interesting than most of the Lego games I've seen, and more accessible than the average Mythos game.
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#5 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:47 AM

View PostGryphon Ink, on 30 October 2012 - 03:06 PM, said:

This sounds very cool.  Certainly more interesting than most of the Lego games I've seen, and more accessible than the average Mythos game.

Thanks, dude. That's the goal. I updated the above rules a smidge, adding more stuff about monsters that I'd forgotten to include. Now to build a protoype and try playing it out with these rules. ONly thing I'll need to fudge is the page/curse thing, because I don't have that many books and it's sort of a fundamental mechanic.

#6 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

My gerbil-powered computer finally spit out an attractive render. Here you can see the board layed out as it currently is, most of the buildings, and mighty Cthulhu rampaging from Devil Reef towards Sentinel Hill. There are a few investigators trying to deal with the Deep One and Shoggoth. Sorry if it's a huge picture.

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I'm happy with the state it's in, although I'm toying with switching the rather generic "marshland" to either a cemetery [hard to do at this scale] or "cabin in the woods" [not really from the source material and a little on-the-nose meta, but almost too tasty to pass up]. I also really like the Shoggoth.

#7 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 06:27 PM

I continue to report to the audient void: I've officially remove the nondescript "marshland" from the map, and replaced it with the Abandoned Cabin, which, while clearly from Evil Dead, I feel could also pass as a generic Dunwichian location. And it's also more visually appealing than the other option I worked out [mentioned above], which is a cemetery with crypt, a design that doesn't sell itself at the size it was at. Here's an image of the three options. Feel free to opine one way or the other or the other.

#8 Gryphon Ink

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:15 AM

Very nice map.  I think the micro-buildings are great.  Not 100% sure about the marshland, I think the cabin is a definite improvement.

Your "shoggoth" isn't really available in that color, is it?

Cthulhu himself is a GREAT microfig-scaled monster.  It looks like he would have a hard time moving past those buildings, though.  You may need to offset the buildings from the path to let him pass, unless the angle in that pic is deceiving me.

Overall, I think this is an awesome project.  I know it's a bummer to work on this kind of thing and post it and get no responses, but don't let that stop you.  Combining MOCing with game design is pretty cool.  I respect the creativity.

Long live the Mythos!
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#9 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:06 PM

Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, the marshland was always the weakest link, and I've been toying the the cabin to the point I'm pretty happy with it. There's also quite a few newly-coloured things in there that make the whole set not physically buildable at this point [the shoggoths and Cthulhu being main ones]. It's funny you point out the wingspan, as it was a concern. But I built this trying to remain as feasible as possible, so I tried to not use too many pieces just for the sake of it, and try and reuse as many elements in similar colours as I could. So it's perhaps a bit more cramped than it could be, but it was for the sake of trimming the parts-count. Also, Cthulhu himself is pretty bendy, especially at the wings, so he can squeeze by.

And yeah, the response is pretty chill, but on Cuusoo it's gotten better reaction than I thought it would. I know it's only a half of a percent, but getting 50 supports in a day isn't half bad by my standards. Now if I can keep updating and refining and find new groups of interested nerds... that's the hard part.

#10 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 03:27 PM

The game's now in the Top 10 for last week on CUUSOO, so that's awesome. I mean, yeah, it's only with a scant 85 votes, so that tells you how chill that environment has gotten, but ti's still nice to see it up there on the front page.

#11 Instructions archiver

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:03 PM

great game i must build one and play it
Nothing this is the word wrighted here.

#12 robuko

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:06 PM

This looks rather brilliant, Don't know how I missed it, Well done for persevering in the void. Your University is great. Supported.
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#13 Xenomurphy

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:02 PM

This is a wonderful idea and very professionally executed. I love your idea as much as the design.

#14 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:25 PM

I'm resurrecting this thread to keep track of the next phase of this project. As with pretty much all Cuusoo projects, mine has stagnated into a slow, one-supporter-a-month crawl. But I've since disassembled about 99% of my sets, moved houses, started organizing the bits, and have decided that my "big project" is going to be to build a quasi-Minifigure-scale demo version of this game. Which is to say the game itself will function exactly as planned, except each of the players will be Minifigs instead of Microfigs, the locations will be much larger, and the whole thing will eat up a bunch of space. But, ideally, it'll look impressive and would be something I could, perhaps, be proud to bring and play at a local LEGO gathering or convention or what have you. To drum up support, see. But really just for fun.

Regardless, it's going to involve designing and building 10 buildings, 2 locations, and a hefty Cthulhu figure. The scale might be a bit wonky, though. Not quite full Minifig scale [there's a hospital, hotel, museum, and university in there] but as large as my skills and parts will allow. Imagine a boardgame where the spaces you land on are all as big as the Haunted House...

Regardless, I will begin the process in earnest and will try to keep a record of my many failures [and hopefully few successes] here.

#15 col_bluff

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 06:38 AM

Nice to see a Cthulhu lego game.

#16 Kha-khees

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:18 AM

Any more development on this? I'm thinking of trying to get the parts together to make a set in the regular game scale.

#17 kermit

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:35 AM

You came up with a nice idea and nice rendention of it in lego bricks.



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