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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

KILLQUEST: the next reincarnation

For backstory on KILLQUEST, go here. It's one of my old blogs, which was stone knives and bearskins compared to this one, so there are no permalinks embedded, and you'll have to scroll down the page until you get to the entry titled KILLQUEST. (Nobody reading this is ever going to do this, but, hey, I put the link up, your unwillingness to click on it is entirely on you.)

As I mention there, the first KILLQUEST was created by Jeff Webb and I back in college, and ever since then, I have occasionally felt the urge to take the basic idea out and tinker with it again. Here's my latest concept for it:

There's a box, see. It's about, I don't know, seven inches square and three inches thick. It says KILLQUEST on it in big gaudy letters, and BASIC SET underneath that in somewhat smaller ones, and is decorated with graphics showing various different kinds of warriors and fighter types from throughout human history in combat with each other.

So you take the lid off the box and inside there are:

* 4 six sided dice

* 10 little plastic stands, 5 red, 5 blue, each of which has a number 1,2,3,4, or 5 on it. These stands are such that a normal playing card could be slid into the holder on top of them, and the playing card would then stand upright on a flat surface.

* 10 coin shaped markers, 5 red, 5 blue, each with corresponding numbers on them.

* 1 rules pamphlet

* 1 48" x 48" sheet of heavy paper, folded, with a different full color map/playing field printed on either side

* 2 decks of 85 cards each

The top 5 cards of each deck are blank except for numbers on each (1 through 5) and a question mark. 5 of these cards are printed in blue ink, 5 in red.

Underneath these cards are three other types of cards:

Character cards - There are 50 character cards. These feature on one side a picture of a generic fighter/combatant type. There are at least 100 of these different cards, combatant types include colorful character representatives from every era of human history: samurai, cavemen, pirates, ninjas, minutemen, gangsters from the Roaring 20s, Roman centurions, motorcycle stunt riders, baseball players, cowboys, Indians, banditos... anything and everything you might possibly conceive of from any point in human history that anyone might want to see fighting someone else.

On the other side of the card are listed statistics, like BARE HANDS ATTACK/DEFENSE, and any particular skills or ratings that combatant may have, like STEALTH: Roll 2d6; if a 5 or 6 is rolled on either die, this character cannot be seen by opponents unless they are in an adjacent square, or APTITUDE: This character may be equipped with a Tommygun for free.

Also listed will be the character's COST to play. The more useful a character is at game related functions, the more expensive that character would be. For example, the Spy would be Stealthy, but probably have poor ATTACK AND DEFENSE and no APTITUDES for equipment. The PRIVATE EYE would have some Stealth (probably not as good as the Spy) but would also have a better Attack and Defense and maybe would be able to be equipped with a .45 automatic for free. Because the PRIVATE EYE would be more versatile than the SPY, he would also cost more points to put on your team.

Equipment cards - On one side is a picture, on the other side is what the equipment does and what it costs. These would mostly be weapons, ranging from a KATANA for the samurai up through a TOMMYGUN for the Gangster. However, there could be other equipment as well, like a ROPE WITH GRAPPLING HOOK, or a MOTORCYCLE, or maybe even a JET PACK.

Happening cards - Things that change the way the game is played. These would be optional, and would have to be bought at the start with build points for your team, but could be played at any time during the game. These would be cards like SUDDEN DARKNESS, where suddenly all characters must make non-visual perception rolls before they can attack an opponent, or EVERYBODY WAS KUNG FU FIGHTING, in which no weapons can be employed, or NO WAY, JOSE cards, which would negate a card being played by an opponent.

So you buy the game and you agree with your buddy how many points you can each use to build a force and then you put your force together. You start with the question cards in the little coin shaped holders. You put the combatant cards face down next to the map, with one of the coin shaped markers on each of them so you know which question card represents which of your combatants. You start your question cards at the various spots on the map where combatants enter the arena. Each combatant will have a different move stat; each player takes turns moving one character at a time. When characters reach places on the map where they could see each other, you replace the question card with the corresponding combatant card, each player thus revealing one member of their force to their opponent. (Assuming, of course, that one of the combatants doesn't make a STEALTH roll, in which case, they would not be seen by the opponent, although the opponent would have to reveal the identity of the card the Stealthy enemy had seen.)

This is the latest version of KILLQUEST.

One more little twist -- while all you need is the basic set to play very enjoyable matches, you can, if you want, purchase booster packs containing randomly packed combatant, equipment, and happening cards... more interesting and effective cards than the simpler ones in the basic set. The characters would have proper names (instead of a generic Roaring 20s Gangster you might get Al Capone or Babyface Nelson) and better stats and more useful attributes; the equipment would be more varied and useful, the happenings more interesting and effective.

If this game proved popular, it could have any number of expansions. Robots. Monsters. Sword and Sorcery. Galactic Empires. Celebrities. Superheroes. Eventually, you could build teams consisting of a killer robot, a werewolf, a blaster packing starship pilot, Blackbeard the Pirate, and Paula Abdul.

Obviously, I couldn't create this version of the game myself; it's the sort of thing I'd need to sell to an actual gaming company to get a good working version of, or win a Powerball to capitalize myself. And I have no idea if anyone would really enjoy playing it. But I think it mostly captures the overall spirit of the original KILLQUEST.

Okay, I have to go to bed now.

1 Comments:

At 9:37 AM , Blogger Nate said...

I wants it so bad.

I wants it so bad it's driving me mad, it's driving me mad.

 

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