Since I’m posting this after midnight it is now December and NaGa DeMon is over . How did I do? Well … err … uhhmmm … it’s not my fault. (Yup here come the excuses) As I was in the middle of printing some of the components my no good yella-bellied computer up and died on me. No foolin. Dead – stone cold dead. It was like being shot square in the back. I dragged its carcass down to the electronic undertaker/mad-scientist who assures me that all (most?) of my files can be salvaged. When he brings me my files he will be paid a handsome reward. KenMGames most wanted will not get away that easily!
So where does that leave Freedom Springs? Cooling its heels behind bars for a few more days at least. I’ve been reworking some of my backups but it will take time so I ask you all to be patient with me. I will make it available soon. The game exists, and it’s not even half-bad for a rough prototype. (Not that I’d go so far as to say its half-good though). So in the meantime I will keep on playtesting and rules tweaking and for you I put together a picture of me having fun with the game – consider it a consolation prize from me to you – or consider it a little salt in yer wound, a little spit in yer eye … enjoy!
For the past couple of days I’ve been crunching some numbers (trying to balance certain character elements). It’s fun for me but kind of dry for you I’m sure. It’s all about finding a good balance where every character seems a little different, but no one of them is so lop-sidedly powerful that everyone who wants to win will take him/her.
Much of this number work has been broken up with scanning pictures from old library books, reading up on the Old West, coming up with some very brief back stories for the characters, and working on an initial design for the character cards. Here for your viewing “pleasure” is a mock-up of a sample character card front and back. Things may yet change and Lloyd may not make it into the game, or at least not quite like this … consider this a proof of concept that I’m still working on seeing this game completed by the end of November!
OK, I have my basic theme, I have stalled for time, I have played hooky and I have run out of excuses … so let’s get down to business. The basic structure of the Game. I envision what basically boils down to a gambling game Old West style. (Anytime gunfights are involved I figure it is a huge gamble). 2 to for players seems like a good range to work with. Each player will be given (at random) or will choose three outlaws who will team up to try and win enough money to buy their freedom from the good townsfolk of Freedom Springs. They will use one of these three characters each over three distinct rounds. Some will be better at the gambling. Some better at the shooting. Each will have a price on their head that must be paid off for the team to win their freedom. Some will be small potatoes (not as good at things but not in as much trouble with the law so less to pay at the end). Some women but mostly men (women generally have better sense than this). Each player will have a special ability (or two) that will allow them to “bend the rules” a little at some point in the game. Each will also begin with varying amounts of money to their name.
Each round will begin in the Saloon with a hand of (slightly modified) Texas Hold’em. The object in this turn is to win as much money as you can at the expense of the other players. At the end of the showdown the action moves out into the street. Any player character involved in the card game can call out another player for a gunfight. You don’t have to call someone out, but you can’t refuse anyone if you are called out. The gunfight is resolved with a round of (again, slightly modified) Blackjack. [I’ve always thought that Blackjack has one of the most tense reveals in cards – just like the building tension and split second reveal of a gunfight] Through the scoring of the Blackjack hand characters may come out unscathed, wounded or dead. Additional bounties (rewards) may be paid out, again going toward ransoming your teams freedom. Problem is you still got to pay for your dead partner’s amnesty (them’s the rules). At the end of three rounds the player who has made enough money to buy the freedom of his outlaws (assuming they are still alive) wins the game.
Components for this game will then require a deck of cards, lots of poker chips / play money, and at least 12-15 outlaw characters (which will need to be balanced in what they can do and what they will cost) with some little back story for each.
Well that’s the skeleton of the game. Look for me to begin fleshing it out over the coming few days. Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear what you think. Let me know.