Thursday, November 12, 2015

Monster Girl Card Game - Brainstorming IV

Previous Brainstorming - I, II, III

The Monster Girls - Yay!

Last up I was thinking about the "battlefield" the players (and their monster girls) were going to fight over.  Time to start thinking about the central hook - the monster girls themselves.  This is main focus of the game.  I want an excuse to put as much sexy artwork of succubi, lamia, and the rest on cards as I can.  Think of it as a playable version of the Monster Girl Encyclopaedia.

Each player's deck should contain plenty of monster girls.

The question then is - Will the player's deck be all monster girls, or will it include other things like spells?

For the monster girls we'll want various tiers.  The bottom tier will be the standard nameless "foot soldiers" (e.g. generic slime girl, generic imp).  Middle will likely be specialised variants of the basic types with some extra abilities.  Top tier is where we get named characters with a lot of power and abilities.  On the fluff side, creating these and giving them back stories should be a lot of fun.

Next step: what interactions will the monster girls have (assuming we're avoiding the obvious fight each other option)?

Here are some possibilities for interaction with the characters in the kingdom deck:

Bind (Very Easy)
Turn off a character's defensive abilities for a turn.

Heavy Bind (Easy)
As above, but the character is tied up until rescued in some fashion.

Kill (Moderate)
Remove a kingdom character.  Each player should keep a pile of which characters they've killed.  This opens up scope to create kingdom heroes with abilities that punish players for murderous behaviour.  And others capable of resurrecting fallen characters.

Really Kill (Harder than Kill)
No chance of resurrection.  No card left to provide suspicion.

Seduce (Hard)
Lure a character away into naughty behaviour.

Which can then lead to:

Generate resources from character.  Mechanically this could be represented by more energy to open up more powerful spells/summons.  Maybe bonus abilities.

This is where the sexy snu-snu is happening.  That's not so relevant for a physical card game, but if implemented as a computer game, this would be where we sneak in the H-scenes.


Turn/Corrupt (Very Hard)
Use the character in a way that advances one player's aims (opens up higher value characters to seduce and corrupt).  I'm still thinking on how this might work.

Going back to Drain, I think the player should be given some choice on soft or hard here.

A soft drain generates a steady stream of energy without risking the life of the seduced character.

A hard drain generates a big burst of energy at the cost of burning out the character.

Draining a character to death would have the benefit of giving a short term burst of more energy (for spells) and free up the succubus to attempt to seduce other characters.  It would have the disadvantages of losing that character (and the other bonuses they give) and increasing the number of characters killed (and the kingdom deck will probably have characters that care about number killed - e.g. police).

Straight off this gives some juicy gameplay tension as there will be lots of game states where the player will have to decide which choice better furthers their aims.

To make it more interesting we could add a random element.  The player has some influence over how much energy is harvested, but this can vary and too much will exceed a character's threshold and kill them.

Here's a rough example of how that might play out:

- Each card in a player's deck has a value of 1-3.
- The drain mechanic works like this:  The player reveals X cards of their library.  They gain energy equal to the total value of the cards. (and maybe another benefit such as choosing one of those cards to go into their hand)
- Each character has a value representing the maximum amount of energy that can be drained before they expire with a blissful smile on their face.
- Each succubus has a min and max value for the number of cards that can be revealed.

Now to give some actual stats.

Succubus.  Min 1, Max 3.
Soldier. Energy 4.

The soldier can give up four energy max before expiring with a blissful smile on their face.

The succubus allows the player to reveal 1, 2, or 3 cards (each having a value between 1 to 3).

Picking 1 card is safe.  The player will gain 1-3 energy depending on what is revealed.
Picking 2 cards will give more energy, but if the player reveals two 3s, or a 2 and 3 their captured soldier will expire (with a blissful smile on their face).
Picking 3 cards is if the player wants maximum energy and isn't too fussed about the seduced soldier surviving.  The soldier will survive on some combinations, but there are more where they don't.

This does introduce a RNG element that might be annoying, but also might be a lot of fun as well.  And it's not totally random - the player chooses which cards are in their deck and can vary the number of 1s, 2s and 3s to fit whatever strategy they're running.

This is now giving us something to play with.

Characters have variable energy.

Succubi have varying values for Min and Max.  This represents both power and control.  A low-level succubus would have low values in both.  A high-level succubus would have a high Max, but it might also have a high Min, making it much harder for a player to keep weaker "thralls" alive.  (It wouldn't be fun if the warlock had full control over his succubus...)

To increase the tension it would make sense for characters that provide other bonuses when seduced to have low values of energy (that old and feeble academic might boost the power of your spells, but they're not going to survive a heavy night with a lusty minotauress).

Making draining mandatory also throws in more tension.  A more powerful succubus might have a greater chance of seducing a character, but she's also likely to burn them out more quickly.

Next thing to consider is energy regeneration.  Options here are:

- Characters have a set amount of energy.  Once that's out, so are they (with a bang!).  THis is fairly limited.  The character is going to die anyway, so there wouldn't be much tension in picking Min or Max unless they had really strong bonus effects.
- Characters have a max and go back up to that at the beginning of every turn.  This is probably the most straightforward.
- Characters get some back each turn, but not all.  Work 'em too hard and they will eventually expire.  This might be nice, but is fiddlier and probably won't be that much better than the regenerate-to-max option above.

Hmm.  Some possible workable mechanics here.  And it gives me some ideas on how to link it with seduction.

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