Jun 29, 2006

Weighted Dice

How much randomness is good? I have a brand new design (although you could argue it was born out of the ashes of Black Market) that is about commodities production and its got some pretty complex stuff going on. Right now, however, the game is entirely lacking in randomness. I'm considering adding event cards that affect the market for the different goods in positive and negative ways. Is this a good idea? I want this to be a serious gamer's game. So, the question is, should I leave out the random event cards or would they add to the fun?

Feedback on this one would be heavily appreciated.


  1. Anonymous1:53 AM

    In my opinion, a game without randomness can be boring. Not saying that it will be, but can be, unless the game plays differently every time. However, adding randomness gives you that extra element of surprise because you can sometimes predict how your opponent will act, but you can never tell what the cards will be. Whatever your game is or planned to be, an event deck could be an option to be played with or left out for a different experience on play. If used, each player can have a hand of a few cards. Maybe three or four of which one must be played at some point during the turn or one must be discarded. Or the deck can be set aside, nobody with any cards in their hand, but at the end of each players turn one card is drawn and the effects of that card are taken. Just a few of my ideas. Good luck.

    Matt K.
    Matawan, NJ

  2. Anonymous12:31 PM

    Hmm... an interesting idea. It brings me to mind of the chance and community chest cards of Monopoly. Whether you are a fan of the game or not, and I assume from past posts that you are not, the random cards held an interesting element of risk to them. As your game seems to be based on economy, there are always random elements and effects that influence products and commerce. A dought can adversely affect farms. An oil well can run dry. An earthquake or storm can damage roads and buildings. I think this could add an interesting element to the game, and would enjoy exploring it in the next couple playtests.

  3. I'm a fan of randomness in games, as long as you can still strategise around it. As long as players can cope with the randomness (i.e. it doesn't wipe a player out) and the randomness isn't so prevalent that it make strategising impossible, I vote for randomn events.

  4. Reminds me of the Demand chits in Avalon Hill's classic Merchant of Venus, or of the sliding scale market in Fische Fluppen Frikadellen (probably mis-spelled).

    You might also want to take a look at the loan market in Jacob Marley, Esq. - in spite of the inexpensive status, it's one of the most fascinating Cheapass titles.