Design Diaries Table Top

Board Game Design Diary – Building a Character

Alright, let’s start getting into the details of this game. I’m not going to build everything out in front of people, but I do want to start and give some idea of what characters and levels are going to look like in practice. Eventually there will be a lot more to pull from than what I show here, and I’m sure a lot of iterations. But for now, I want to move onto the details.

The Premise

The Characters

The Bosses

The Guilds

The Levels

The Boards

Cards vs Dice

Character Leveling

Skills, Weapons and More


In Town Activities

Level Events and Monsters

Boss Battles

Building a Character

So, this really should have more of a graphical component to it than it will. I would love to show some art, but I don’t have that, to give a sense of the design, or a layout of how I think the board is going to work, but we are in the super early phases of this design. What’s really going to happen is that I’m going to move this over to a spreadsheet and create a number of different characters based off of that so that everything is formatted the same.

The Real World Character

Male – Age 26 – Office Drone

A recent graduate with high hopes and now nothing more than an office drone. Changing the world was the dream, and now it’s changing numbers in the spread sheet. Friends moved away and not enough energy after working overtime to make that many more. At least the people he works with are nice enough, and the coffee isn’t bad.

“I’ve been waiting for this game for months, I know some old friends have too, it’ll be just like old times.”

Keywords: Gamer, Business

In Game Character


Strength: 5

Agility: 5

Vitality: 5

Allure: 5

Guile: 5

Currency: 100 Gold

Oddly enough, that’s about it for a character when you pull them out of the box. The real nuances to a character are going to come with how you allocate your 10 extra points for the stats.

The Other Stuff

I think it’s important to talk about what else you’ll have right away, even though it might not be pure character creation stuff. Such as what sort of weapons will you be able to find, and what sort of skills can you pick up. You will be dropped into the world without any gear, just normal commoners clothes, and no skills, just basic attacks that you can do, so that’s why you get 100 gold to start. You can save it up, because there is better stuff you can get on level 2, but you might not live that long.

For armor, and this could have really been it’s own section, you’re looking at two types of armor.

Leather – No movement penalty, +2 defense

Chainmail – Minus 1 movement, +4 defense

Something along those lines. the advantage with chainmail is that you are going to be taking considerably less damage. When an attack might only get through on leather armor at 2 to 4 damage, that means chain might mean that you take no damage. But it does mean that the enemy is going to be more apt to focus on you, because you are going to be the closest with that slower speed, so it’s a trade off. Numbers are not final at this point obviously, but for an example.

Weapons then, you’re going to have much more of a choice. You will have two handed swords, short swords, daggers, bow and arrow, axe, crossbow, and maul at least all available at the start of the game to buy.

As for skills, we’re looking at pretty simple ones that would be available. Something like sweeping attack, bash, counter attack, rush, disengage.

Plus there will be items as well, health potions probably being the biggest of those items that the players might want to buy.

Now, with getting items, I could be really nice, I could be really mean, or I could do something between that. What do I mean? If I was really nice, you’d have a catalog of items that you could pick from and purchase without it costing a turn. If I was really mean, I could make those places four separate shops and make players almost have to decide to shop at least 3 times in a row before doing anything else. I’m going to be less mean than that, I don’t want to hand out gear, and players can do other things on their first turn, but on the first level, there is just going to be a bazaar that’s the shopping area, so you can go and shop once and be done with it, unless you decide that you need more and then you can come back again. The first level is going to play a bit differently than others, I think, and I will delve into what I’m thinking when I start building a level, though I probably won’t build the first level.

Character creation, pretty simple, basically all a player would need to do is allocate those points and fill in the player name and the character name. The character boards, for the stats, might be more like a character sheet, and then a side board. Or I might go with dials that keep track of stats, that’s too be determined, with a save sheet so if the dials get bumped it isn’t the end of the world. Or with a save sheet, maybe I’d do a dry erase player board, that’d be pretty cool and useful.

What do you think of character creation, it should be extremely simple. Obviously, the keywords I handed out this time were pretty generic, but I want to create more unique real world people than just what I wrote for this one, someone might run a greenhouse so they’d know about plants, or maybe a chef, give people a ton of different backgrounds.

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