Old Throngs

July 9th, 2015
Pittsburgh 68, Shuffling Horrors

P68-D-2LoneZA game system like Shuffling Horror is a tricky game to playtest. There are so many variables with the flow of the cards and the rolling of the dice. Add in the choices of the players and it’s impossible to state: “That’s Exactly How This Game Is Supposed To Play”. Who wants that in a game anyway!?! It’s a big advantage for a game that wants to give the players unexpected twists and turns every time they play.

It’s all part of the game’s wicked charm.

As a game designer, it is easiest for me to build the game big and then scale back the parts that are overwhelming. For example, in the very first play test of Shuffling Horror: Pittsburgh 68 (Oct 2011), zombie throngs were granted a damage bonus based on their total strength. That made total sense from a cinematic standpoint: the bigger the throng, the more danger it possessed.

P68-D-4LoneZA “throng” is a grouping of individual zombie cards. In the initial playtest, for every point a throng accumulated above 10, a +1 damage bonus was granted. A throng with a base value of 11, gained a +1 damage bonus, a 12 base granted a +2 bonus, a 13 a +3 bonus, and so on.

Easy to remember rules. Gotta love ’em!

This rule allowed the Director to factor some strategy when building throngs. However, giving the Director more power was the last thing this game needed. While it was a fun and simple rule to implement, it was also an easy rule to toss out the window…

Just like a rotting zombie corpse!

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