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Author Topic: Tremors the Board Game?  (Read 4953 times)

Posts: 38

« on: November 02, 2011, 03:09:19 PM »

Oh man so I was watching everyone's favorite 1990s B-movie Tremors when I realized I should really make a simple, quick, totally encapsulated board game.

Here's my brainstorm so far: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=Mdqu1wzk

Basically the board would be a map (with squares on it) of Paradise, NV. Each player would choose a character from the movie, each with their own stats and a single Strength/Weakness  that is themed with the movie. The players would distribute a stash of Guns and Items amongst themselves, with 1 Gun and 2 Items per player maximum. The Graboids would be played "automatically" and would attack whoever causes the most Noise. Graboids are placed in a 1:1 relationship with the number of players (13 characters available, so maybe 13 players max?) The goal is to kill all the Graboids or escape in the blue truck. If a player is killed they can play as the Graboid that ate them, so there isn't any hurt feelings or flat out elimination.

Play rotates in turns, with the human players going first then the Graboids. The players all move and act at once, and can only do one action each turn (like Walk, Shoot, etc.).

Each character would have stats for Walk, Run, and Climb. Each action would generate Noise (which are D6s). For example Walking would be 1 Noise, so the player would grab 1D6 from the common pool upon doing that action. Any in-game planning or talking would generate Noise. At the start of the Graboid turn everyone rolls their Noise dice and whoever has the highest (or the most successes - still trying to decide) would be the target of the Graboids. Plus some logic around keeping the same target if it's close enough.

Average Walk (number of squares) would probably be 4. Run would be 4+2. Graboids move 8 to 10 squares, but maybe only in a straight line with one turn/pivot?

Shooting is based solely on the Gun used. The system I'm thinking of would be XD6 >= Y, where X is the number of D6s the Gun rolls, and Y is the number you're trying to roll greater than or equal to to get a success and hit the Graboid. So a Machine Gun might be 4D6 >= 5 (since it's high rate of fire but low penetration) whereas a Rifle might be 1D6 >= 3. Every success takes 1 Life (or Hitpoint or whatever) from the target Graboid. Maybe some simple rules for Reloading / Ammo. No range problems since the guns can shoot across the entire board.

Graboids attack automatically if they touch a player's counter on the board. They roll a D6 and damage that many locations on the player. The player has 6 total locations, so it's possible to 1 hit kill a person. The locations (and the hit order) are Leg x2, Torso, Arm x2, Head. -1 Walk if 1 Leg is damaged, no Run if both Legs are damaged. Torso has no effect (free hit basically). Penalty to shoot if 1 Arm is damaged, no Climb if both Arms are damaged. If the Head is damaged the player is dead. So a Graboid will hit the legs first (representing them pulling the person into their maw) and that will slow down the player's escape.

There would be some scenery elements randomly placed around the board, like the lawn mower they used in the movie to distract the Graboids. It would generate some amount of Noise per turn and if everyone is quiet enough it might distract the Graboids. Stuff like that would be generated before each game.

Annnnnnnyways as you can tell this is just a general brain dump, but I thought I'd get some community input early in the process.

My main concerns:

- The Gun/shooting system. I'm not sold on the XD6 >= Y. Other D6 based ideas that would scale well to multiple characters and multiple guns?
- Run. Right now it'd be a flat value you add to your Walk, but with a chance to add even more (representing the "horror movie sprint"). Like 4 Walk and 2 Run, then roll a D6 and if it's 3+ you double the Run, so 4+2+2. Also maybe Run should only be in a straight line?
- Some kind of Reload/Ammo system? Maybe roll a separate (differently colored) dice when shooting, if it's a 1 then you need to Reload? Does this add tension or just annoyance?
- Variety. I'm worried that the game would become pretty formulaic, as some cooperative games tend to. Randomizing elements in the town would help, but also maybe providing different maps, random objectives, Graboids with different features, etc. would help

Let me hear it!

Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.
Kyle Van Pelt

Posts: 22

« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2011, 07:29:35 AM »

This is something dear to my heart, because Tremors is awesome.

I don't have a great deal of input to share, just some ideas:

1. Perhaps not having all the characters available at the start is a good idea. Maybe have only 6 characters playable at the start, then have the others requiring rescue or some other trigger (a radio call or an amount of turns before they show up) to make them playable. Then, people can switch their active character when they like. This makes it so there are more objectives during play, and if someone dies, they can assume a different character's role.

2. The Firearms system you devised isn't a bad idea. Finding ammunition for the weapons and finding new weapons would be the main thing. Also, explosion rules would definitely have to come into play at some point. Gas cans, propane tanks, and other environmental items would be good random placements on the map.

3. Reloading could just be handled by a tracker. Think about having Weapon Cards or something similar with a number of shots it can use before needing a reload. I'm effectively stealing this idea from Frag, but having Ammo icons on the map would add something, since it would allow you to reload your empty weapon, but you might have to risk Graboid attack.

4. Another option for players whose characters are killed: have them control the Graboids. I don't know if this is what you're aiming for, but it would allow them to stay involved after they bite it.

I'll try to think of more, but this is something I would totally play.

My Blog detailing my games Kamui and Destiny Quest Adventure Saga: Record of Heroes. Your eyes do not deceive you, it really is never updated.
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