Category: board games

Star Wars Descent

Here is the Star Wars Descent mashup I promised you. This was a one day project, a quick thing I threw together just because I could.

* I changed the Magic trait to Special. It is used for Force powers and grenades.
* Everybody have fixed starting skills and gear (usually 1 Silver and 2 Copper treasures)
* No swapping of gear between heroes.
* There are no treasures on the maps, but there are Checkpoints (Glyphs of transport). Checkpoints give Conquest as normal, but they cannot be used to travel to town.
* When a heroes is knocked down to 0 Wounds he falls unconscious in the square he is in. Another character can restore him by moving adjacent to the fallen hero and use the First Aid ready action.
* First Aid ready action. You move adjacent to a fallen hero and declare that you are using First Aid on the character. If you are not interrupted by an enemy attack, at the start of the next hero turn, pay the heroes Conquest Value and restore him to full Wounds and Fatigue.
* The heroes lose if there are no alive heroes on the board.


I began my work on the heroes by thinking up some Star Wars archetypes: a force user, a powerful soldier, an infamous bounty hunter, stuff like that. I decided that each character would start with good gear and suitable skills, and that they cannot swap or gain any more during a mission. I am note sure about the balance between character or how many potions each character should have, that’s something that needs some actual testing.

Jedi Guardian
Stats: 12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Traits: 2 Melee, 1 Special
Ability: Enemy figures within 3 spaces of you suffer –1 range and –1 damage.
Equipment: Lightsaber, jedi robes, force strike
Skills: Knight, Acrobat, Counterattack

Jedi Consular
Stats: 12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Traits: 1 Melee, 2 Special
Ability: Each time a glyph is activated, you may restore up to 3 wounds, split however you like, between yourself and any other heroes within 3 spaces of you.
Equipment: lightsaber, jedi robes, force lightning, force strike, Greater Healing
Skills: Telekinesis, Deflect Arrows, ???

Stats: 12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 5 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Traits: 2 Ranged, 1 Special
Ability: Once per attack, you may spend 1 fatigue to re-roll one attack die showing a miss result, but you must keep the second result.
Equipment: light armor, heavy blaster pistol, grenade, elven boots
Skills: Lucky, Marksman, ???

Stats: 8 Wounds, 5 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, Conquest Value 2
Traits: 1 Ranged, 2 Special
Ability: At the start of your turn, all other heroes within 3 spaces of you gain 1 fatigue.
Equipment: light armor, blaster pistol, emp grenade, thermal detonator
Skills: Droid (familiar), Cautious, ???

Stats: 12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Traits: 2 Ranged, 1 Special
Ability: You have Command 1.
Equipment: medium armor, blaster pistol, EMP grenade
Skills: Evasion, Blessing, Leadership

Stats: 16 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 2 Armor, 3 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Traits: 3 Ranged
Ability: You have one extra die in your Ranged trait.
Equipment: Heavy Armor, Heavy Blaster Rifle
Skills: Rapid Fire, Precision, ???

Bounty Hunter
Stats: 12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 2 Armor, 5 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Traits: 2 Ranged, 1 Special
Ability: You receive 1 extra surge on each of your attack rolls.
Equipment: 2 Blaster Pistols, Medium Armor, thermal detonator
Skills: Fly, Rapid Fire, Pickpocket

When I had finished with the basic stats, abilities and gear for most of the heroes, I got the idea of maybe splitting up the hero sheet into two parts; race cards for the basic stats and class cards for traits, abilities and gear. I ultimately scrapped that idea, the game already have a ton of stuff for you to keep track of, but I’ll include my notes on it anyway.

Human, 12 Wounds, 4 fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Wookie, 16 Wounds, 4 fatigue, 0 Armor, 4 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Jawa, 8 Wounds, 5 fatigue, 0 Armor, 5 Speed, Conquest Value 2
Rodian, 12 Wounds, 5 fatigue, 1 Armor, 3 Speed, Conquest Value 3


Most of the gear used is simple existing stuff with another name. I don’t have much experience with creating entirely new gear, so I don’t know what dice to give the grenades or the Force powers.

Force Strike – Breath, Knockback,
Force Lightning – Breath,
Healing – Spend 1 movement point and 1 fatigue to heal 2 wounds to yourself or an adjacent figure. You may use this ability multiple times, paying its cost each time.
EMP grenade – Blast, Stun, low damage
Grenade – Blast, high damage
Thermal Detonator – Blast, Burn, medium damage
Lightsaber – Red Green Green, When making Melee attacks with this weapon, you gain 1 free surge, S: +1 damage, S: Pierce 2
Jedi Robes – +1 Armor, When you suffer 1 or more wounds, roll 1 power die for each wound suffered. Cancel 1 wound for each blank you roll.
Light Armor – +2 Armor
Medium Armor – +2 Armor, You recover 1 fatigue at the start of your turn.
Heavy Armor – +3 Armor, Your base speed is reduced to 3
Blaster Pistol – Blue Green, S: +1 range, SS: +1 damage, Off-hand: +1 damage
Heavy Blaster Pistol – Blue Green, Sorcery 1, S: +1 range, SS: +1 damage
Heavy Blaster Rifle – Blue Green Green, Sorcery 2, S: +1 range, S: +1 damage


All master versions have Command 1
B1 battle droid – 3 Wounds, 0 Armor, Speed 4, Blue Green, +1 Range, occupies 1 square
B2 super battle droid – 5 Wounds, 2 Armor, Speed 4, White Yellow, Sorcery 3, occupies 1 square
Droideka – 8 Wounds, 5 Armor, Speed 6, Blue Green Yellow, Quick Shot, occupies 2*2 squares


There are a lot of pieces missing, but this was a one day project and this was what I got. Will I go back and finish this someday? That’s not really likely, unless people specifically ask me for it. I will now move on to something else


Final Fantasy IX Decent

Here is the infodump for the FF9/Decent crossover I made. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

* All heroes share inventory and money.
* No free re-equips. Re-equipping a piece of gear costs 2 movement points.
* Dead heroes does not automatically resurrect in town. They stay dead in the square they died until another hero resurrects them using the new Use On Other ready action. The Overlord does not collect Threat for dead heroes. The heroes lose if they run out of Conquest tokens and there are no living heroes.
* New ready action: Use On Other. You may use declare that you’re resurrecting or using a potion on another hero. The effect will happen at the start of the heroes next turn.
* The Overlord may spawn melee monsters as if the event Gust of Wind is in effect.
* Healing Potions cost 25 gold
* There is no town. Any shopping will be done at a moogle placed somewhere in the first half of the level.
* You may buy an additional trait die at any time.
* Heroes have specific starting equipment.


12 Wounds, 5 Fatigue, 0 Armor, 5 Speed, 2 Conquest
Melee 3, Ranged 0, Magic 0
Fighting 2, Subterfuge 1, Wizardry 0
Traps cost 1 extra threat to play in response to your actions. When rolling dice to avoid or reduce the effects of trap cards, you roll one extra die.
Gear: Sword, Dagger, Leather Armor, 100 gold

12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 0 Armor, 3 Speed, 3 Conquest
Melee 0, Ranged 0, Magic 3
Fighting 0, Subterfuge 0, Wizardry 3
You have two extra Magic trait dice.
Gear: Tunic, Sunburst, 25 gold

16 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 2 Armor, 3 Speed, 4 Conquest
Melee 2, Ranged 1, Magic 0
Fighting 3, Subterfuge 0, Wizardry 0
When an adjacent friendly figure is attacked, before the dice are rolled, spend 1 fatigue to swap places with that figure. The attack targets you instead.
Gear: Axe, Chainmail, 50 gold

12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 0 Armor, 4 Speed, 2 Conquest
Melee 0, Ranged 1, Magic 2
Fighting 0, Subterfuge 1, Wizardry 2
At the start of your turn, all other heroes within 3 spaces of you gain 1 fatigue.
Gear: Wizard’s Robe, Mage Staff, 25 gold

12 Wounds, 3 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 5 Speed, 3 Conquest
Melee 2, Ranged 1, Magic 0
Fighting 2, Subterfuge 1, Wizardry 0
You receive 1 extra surge on each of your attack rolls.
Gear: 2*Sword, Leather Armor, 50 gold

8 Wounds, 3 Fatigue, 0 Armor, 3 Speed, 2 Conquest
Melee 0, Ranged 0, Magic 3
Fighting 0, Subterfuge 0, Wizardry 3
Each time a glyph is activated, you may restore up to 5 wounds, split however you like, between yourself and any other heroes within 3 spaces of you.
Gear: Wizard’s Robe, Blinding Light, 25 gold

12 Wounds, 5 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, 3 Conquest
Melee 1, Ranged 0, Magic 2
Fighting 1, Subterfuge 1, Wizardry 1
Enemy figures within 3 spaces of you suffer –1 range and –1 damage.
Gear: Hammer, Ghost Armor, 0 gold

12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, 3 Conquest
Melee 2, Ranged 1, Magic 0
Fighting 2, Subterfuge 1, Wizardry 0
You have Command 1.
Gear: Walking Stick, Chainmail, 75 gold

12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 2 Armor, 4 Speed, 4 Conquest
Melee 3, Ranged 0, Magic 0
Fighting 1, Subterfuge 0, Wizardry 2
You have +2 armor. You may not equip runes or armor. You are immune to Aura, Bleed, Pierce, Poison, and Sorcery. In addition, all damage dealt to you by Blast, Bolt, or Breath attacks is reduced to 0.
Gear: Axe, 150 gold


I also made some custom monsters for my Ice Cave scenario
Black Waltz 1: 5 Speed 5, 8 Wounds, 4 Armor
Black Waltz 2: 5 Speed 5, 10 Wounds, 5 Armor
Black Waltz 3: 5 Speed 5, 14 Wounds, 7 Armor
Undying, Sorcery 4, Fly
Heal, may only be used on another monster, Red
Breath of Fire, Burn, breath, Blue Yellow Black
Ice Blast, Stun, White Yellow Black

Sealion: 4 Speed, 20 Wounds, 8 Armor
Body Blow, Knockback Sweep, Red Green Green Black
Water Wall, Breath, White Green Green Yellow Black
Rage, If Black Waltz 3 dies then Seallion gains Aura, Sorcery 3 and loses 3 Armor


1st Copper: 100 gold, 2 Conquest, 1 Curse
2nd Copper: 1 Copper, 1 Curse
1st Silver: 100 gold, 2 Conquest, 1 Curse
2nd Silver: 1 Silver, 1 Curse
1st Gold: a free skill


None of this have been playtested in any way, so I’m not sure about the balance of things. Some of the gear is taken from various expansions. More information about Descent gear, skills and monsters can be found at Descent in the Dark.

Long time, no blogging. Some medical stuff happened, but now I’m back again!

So, let have a look at what’s been on my workbench lately:

* My Final Fantasy 9 version of Descent is, maybe not dead, but frozen solid. I wanted to do a playtest of this before I made a post about it, but that all fell through. I’ll try to make a larger post about it tomorrow.

* I had some ideas for a furry RPG, but only one person showed any real interest in the idea (furry supernatural high school mystery drama) so that project is also shelved.

* I recently got back in creating maps for Warcraft 3. I’ve been looking at my old (6+ years) stuff and I’ve been thinking about maybe finish some of my old levels.

* A friend of mine recently mentioned that he wanted to run a Star Wars campaign, but he dislikes the systems in the existing SW RPGs. He does however like the new World of Darkness rules a lot, so I’m helping him to modify those into something suitable for fun and exciting action in a galaxy far, far away.

* This morning I got the idea of making a Star Wars version of Descent. I decided to make this a One Day project, to force myself to get things done quickly. It’s a simple thing to do, will have stuff on the blog later this week.

Winter is finally here and with it the return of my gaming nonsense! I have a lot of things to talk about so let’s get going. These are some of the things that has happened in my gaming life since my last blog entry.

* The IRC Exalted game I was looking forward to kinda imploded, so no Exalted for me. That game has been on my list of roleplaying games to try for many years, but something always comes up and it all ends up being nothing…

* I was invited to an underwater Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 campaign, but had to turn it down because of the difference in time zones. It did however inspire me to sit down to create a swashbuckling octohuman. Being able to use five fencing blades at once is cool.

* The game File 13 was mentioned a couple of weeks ago by my buddy Mike on his podcast Nerd Pride Radio. File 13 was a little game that came with an issue of the Dragon magazine back in 80s. The idea is something I’ve toyed around with before, it’s a game about creating games.

* A couple of days ago I got wind of a rules-light fantasy rpg called Warrior, Rogue and Mage. After having read through the 4-page version I found out there was a pulp version called Resolute, Adventurer & Genius so I had to look at that too. Then inspiration hit me and I began to twist the rules engine into a superhero game. The working title for it is Paragons, Gadgeteers & Mystics.

* I listened to a book review while out walking a couple of weeks ago and was reminded of Era, an old rpg a friend and I made back in the mid 90s. I was able to find my old character sheets, some info on how to write spells (if was very much like programming in BASIC) and what dice to roll to generate stats for the different races, but most of the rules are still missing. I’ve been thinking about recreating the missing information, or perhaps redoing the entire game from scratch, but that will depend on if I can get people interesting in it or not. I did remember that the campaign we played was heavily influenced by the Artifacts of Power series by Maggie Furey, so I’ve been trying read my way through that.

* I have once again fallen into the time-devouring abyss that is the Final Fantasy game series. I am once again replaying Final Fantasy IX, all thanks to a Swedish retrogaming podcast that I listen to.

* I have finally gotten a chance to play Descent: Journeys in the Dark. The game has been described as a tabletop version of Diablo or a WoW instance, and that I can agree with. The Hero players run around in a dungeon with the goal of slaying monsters and grabbing treasure while the Overlord player tries to kill the heroes with monsters, traps and other nasty things. The biggest downside to the game is that it takes a long time to play even a simple quest.

* I am currently working on a FF9 version of Descent for an upcoming weekend thing at my local gaming club. Creating custom characters and monsters for Descent is relatively simple, but I’m not sure how much I dare to change the rules regarding revivification and the handling of money and items.

Alien Abductions – Who wouldn’t like a board game in which you pilot mysterious crafts, abduct humans and mutilate cattle?

Doctor Who – Board games based on Doctow Who have been done before, but mostly just for kids. I want to make a serious game for grown up gamers.

Final Fantasy RPG – My collaborators finally have time over to work on this now.

unnamed project – Modern media and mythology merges.

As you might have noticed, I’ve haven’t really been updating this blog very much. I have unfortunately been keeping busy with other things. Here’s a quick update:

I have made zero progress on my Final Fantasy board game. I have pretty much put it on ice for now. I have no ideas on how to develop the gaming board and making it an interesting part of the game and nobody is showing any interest in the project.

I have become sidetracked by two TV-series: the HBO show Game of Thrones and the anime Fairy Tail. I’ve been in a fantasy mood for a while and now I get to indulge in it.

Earlier tonight I voiced the idea of creating a custom expansion for Dominion to some people at my local gaming club, and I got a lot of positive response. I personally don’t like the game any more, I have played it too much, but it is a favourite as the gaming club.

There has been talk about getting together a group for some Call of Cthulhu. The campaign idea that have been tossed around is a kind of mix between Men in Black and Warehouse 13.

My gaming recently has consisted mostly of older games like Diablo II, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and old NES games like the Mega Man series.

Information Overload

My Final Fantasy board game just keeps growing in complexity. The more I work on it, the more cards and tokens I need to keep track of everything. Thing’s might get out of hand soon.

Let me give you an example: This is what a midgame character probably would look like. On the top row we have two quest rewards, a race and a class card (not finished yet), some tokens for keeping track of health and mana, four coins, a weapon, an armour and an accessory. On the lower row we have four abilities, a die and two currently unused items. What is missing from the picture is action point tokens and tokens to keep track of bonuses to might and magic. I’m working on getting some.

When a player need to keep track of a dozen cards and a dozen tokens at the same time, things can get a bit messy. I want the players to have the tactical element of picking the right weapon or the right ability, but I don’t want to risk them getting caught in analysis paralysis.

So what’s my plan for solving this issue? The answer is colours! I am going to colour code everything; normal items will be green, abilities orange, races and classes grey, story quests white, dungeon cards purple, monsters red and quest rewards yellow. I hope this will help everybody to keep track of everything in the game.

I have finally made some progress with my Final Fantasy board game.

I want to keep combat simple yet tactical. I want a very quick and simple mechanical system, and I am currently going with Stat+D10 vs Stat+D10.
I also want to give each of the players a number of options to pick from. Each player starts with a physical attack, a magical attack and a class-based ability. As you advance through the game you gain more and more abilities, making the characters more powerful and versatile.

Abilities & Gear
The only fixed abilities right now are the class-based ones, the rest are open to the players. I am designing a system where you gain ability cards that you can combine to create your own abilities; Fire+Fire to create a powerful fireball or Thunder+2*Additional Target to create a lighting spell that attacks three monsters at once.
I am using a similar system for the equipment. There are weapons with different damage modifications, armours to defend against attacks and accessories to help you against status effects. If you have the coins for it then you can combine items to create even better gear for you.

Story Cards
I have also found a solution for my story problem. The games big quests (the starting quest, the main quests and the final quest) are all drawn from randomized decks of cards. I hope this modularity will enhance the replayability and reduce the predictability of the game.
The starting quest is a short and simple adventure to give the players a chance to try out their characters and to find their roll in the group.
The main quests are the bread and butter of the game. They are the big adventures that make up the larger story of the gaming session. I think a normal game will require the players to complete about 3-5 main quests cards, depending on how long they want to play.
The final quest is the big one, an event that change the world in a major way.

Game Board
I had a fixed board layout planned, but I have recently started experimenting with a modular game board, so that the world map would change every time. This is mostly for aesthetic reasons.
The map is composed by a number of large general areas (grasslands, forest, coast) with a number of smaller specific locations in each. When the players enter a location they draw a random encounter card and may face either a combat against monsters, meet a helpful person or find a sidequest.

When I started this project I wanted to make a game that was purely co-op, with all the players fighting together against the game. As the game grew in complexity and the monsters got more and more things you needed to track, I had to abandon this idea and assign a player to run them. To give that player something more to do I also gave him the responsibility to draw and read all the story cards and random encounters. This gives that player the role of a storyteller, and not just a monster master.

I have slowly been collecting my ideas on a wiki. I really like the format when brainstorming ideas. Playtesting is still a bit into the future, but I’m hoping to meet some of my playtesters this coming Sunday to get some comments on what I have so far.

During last Sundays playtest of Jönköping Horror the topic of making a Final Fantasy game came up yet again. We in my gaming circle have many times before talked about writing our own roleplaying game based on the series of games, but this time we had a new idea, to create a co-operative board game.

I have been thinking about it for a couple of days now and it has been hard to come up with something original. My best idea so far is something similar to the game Talisman. The board would have lots of low-level areas along the outer edge of the board with some high-level ones in the middle. You would run around and do quests, slay foul monsters and level up you character, all the typical stuff from that type of game. What I’m lacking is the overall story, the big reason why the heroes are out on this epic quest.

Last time we talked about a Final Fantasy roleplaying game I suggested we’d use Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition as our rules system. The FF games have lots of cool combat manoeuvres and few social skills, so DnD is a perfect fit. The rules system is made for tactical combat and everybody has a number of powers to use as they please.

Another suggestion I’ve had was to use the Savage Worlds rules. My biggest problem with it is that I haven’t yet played the system, only read it a few times, so I don’t really know how well it would fit.

I have spent a few hours today on a SW wiki and a FF wiki reading up on things. I’m not sure what will come out of this idea, but there is a chance that this seed will grow and blossom into many hours of entertainment.

Jönköping Horror v.1

Last year I wrote about making a custom board for the game Arkham Horror, and I have now returned with an update to that project. Last Sunday me and a couple of friends did a first playtest of the board and it was a complete success. We only ran into a couple of minor issues, things I expected people to comment on, so no big surprises at all. The game flowed smoothly and we had a lot of tense moments, and that’s exactly what we wanted from the game.

I was hoping to have more exciting things to talk about, but pretty much everything went as I thought it would. I guess I should be glad that all my hard work has paid off. Now I can focus on the new mechanics (public transportation, aquatic movement, companions roaming the board) I want to implement.

The basics of Arkham Horror is simple; gates to other dimensions open, horrible monsters invade the city, and the players do everything they can to stop it. That core is still intact in Jönköping Horror. I have messed a bit with the layout of the city, made the suburbs on the ends of the board feel a bit further away from the central part of the city. The location of the hot spots for gate activity are roughly at the same relative locations as in the original game, and they have roughly the same percental change to spawn gates.

Arkham Horror relies on a large number of mythos cards to control what evils the players will face. They control where gates spawn, what monsters will move where and what strange occurrences will happen in the town. Making 100+ cards was not an option for me, so I sat down and analysed the cards and looked for general trends and the frequencies of certain things. What I ended up with was a page full of random tables to control everything; where gates open, where new clues appear, what types of monsters move, how monsters move, what headlines occur, what environments happens. All the things you’d find on the mythos cards.

That’s not all the cards I’ve done away with. I have also removes the Arkham Encounters cards. When exploring the city you’ll have random encounters determined by cards. Once again I sat down and analysed and wrote small lists of 10 random encounters per location on the board, both for the 26 in Jönköping and the 8 Other Worlds. The layout of the new board and it tables was inspired by the game Talisman and it’s random encounter tables. Having the tables right there on the board gives the players a lot more information about a location, something only very experienced or really well-read players of Arkham Horror would know. This was something I got really positive feedback on. People like it when they can know what dangers they might face in the game.

Lastly, there are the custom investigators. That is where everything started actually. After playing Arkham Horror for a while I got the idea to make versions of myself and my friends for use in the game. After some searching around on the web I found a really good system for making your own investigators, a system I have used to make over a dozen new playable characters. Playing yourself in a game like this is fun, playing yourself trying to save your own home town is even better.

I have looked around on the Fantasy Flight Games forum for custom creations for Arkham Horror. There are tons of new investigators and ancient ones there, but custom boards are quite a rare thing. I can see why, they are a ton of work to do. I’m planning on making a post similar to this on the fan creations forum in the hopes that it might encourage people to take the leap and and create something as elaborate as a custom board.

If you want to know more about Jönköping Horror then go ahead and take a look at the wiki I have been using while developing it. It might not match up 100% with the finished product and it’s rather ugly, but it has all the information you’d want.