Design Diaries Table Top

Board Game Design – Level Events and Monsters

So two last things that you can do on the level to talk about. Obviously there is a whole lot more work to do in terms of balancing these things, but I want to get the framework down on two last things. The first is Level Events followed up by Monsters.

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

Level Events

So I’ve talked about these a little bit before, as they are one of the timing elements for a floor. Let’s go over that again, with how it’ll work. There will be a deck of 10 cards for each floor. The top 7 cards will be specific to that floor, quests, one time events, stuff like that. I’ll get into those more coming up here, but after that you will have 3 cards that you are told to shuffle and put at the bottom. Depending on the floor these cards will change, but they will be pulled from a general deck. These cards are basically a timer before you start to lose a lot of guild members. Guild members will leave generally on the previous cards, but the bottom, printed on the level itself, will be a harsher penalty, like basically a cost of money, morale, and loss of guild members to stay there longer.

But let’s assume that you won’t spend all your time there frittering away the guild members and morale, what can you do with these events?

The fun thing about these events, at least to me, is that these evens will only happen at a certain time. The level events are going to be in a specific order, not shuffled, so that we can have the NPC’s provide information about them, but you have the choice the day turn of the event to do that event, after that, it’s gone. So you might decide to abandon a quest in the middle of it, if the event is something that looks/seems important. I want skipping an event also to have some negative. While skipping a quest might not be that big of a deal, a floor event is something specific to that place, and should be important to it, and while not all of them will be that negative, maybe a slight drop in morale or someone leaves the guild, that sort of thing, some of them might be fairly big dings to player reputations, guilds, money, etc, but it should be pretty obvious when that is the case.

So what sort of things might there be?

I’m going to go stuff as basic as a good sale at a shop that you have to commit to, this might be why you end up at a shop again. There might be some epic quest that is brought out that you can do. This is kind of like the Christmas quest in Sword Art Online type of thing, it gives you something awesome and rare. There will also be bigger level events that might require multiple people or a hero and guild members to do. Going back to the quest section, I talked about having Trolls attack, well, that event is going to come up sometime and if you’ve done the other quest, you get a benefit, but it’s going to happen, and that wouldn’t be a required event to take part in, but something like a troll attack would definitely ding morale, guild size, etc. a lot.

Beyond that though, there are going to be some floor events that aren’t actually related to the programming of the MMORPG, they are going to be related to the PC’s. Let me lay this out very clearly, these will always be a big deal. The reason I say that is going off of the premise that you are stuck in the game and it’s life or death, player conflicts could easily lead to death. There is going to be some that happens in the game, you will have guild members die, you will see the population track lower in the game no matter what you do, because you aren’t the only group who is fighting through, but when it’s a floor event, it’s going to be public, noisy, and will set conditions that could come back to haunt you later.

All of these will follow the standard flow of things, the quests inside the quest will behave like a quest. When dealing with an NPC or a shop, it’ll be similar to that. When dealing with a PC, it’s going to be the same as that. The only thing that might be different would be something like the troll attack example, that’s not really a quest, that’s just something you can commit some people to. There might be multiple ways that you can help deal with that, but that will be an event that is there that day and probably the next.


Monsters, on the other hand are going to be simpler. They are going to be a pretty straight forward battle, but they don’t take place in town, hence not using them in the last game design post.

Fighting a monster will have you going out, and there will be up to three areas to fight monsters. Monsters for a level will fall into three categories, easy, medium, and hard. Easy will give you a little bit of XP and gold, medium will give you more, and hard will give you a lot. You won’t know what monster will be coming up though, so you can flip from any of the decks, and it might be that you hit a harder monster than you were hoping for, but you’ll have an idea of the range.

Monster combat is going to be quite simple, you will flip the monster and compare your attack skill to it’s defense, and if you do enough to kill it you do, if not, it can hit you back. The advantage you have is that once you flip it you can certainly modify your attack to do more damage. Most of the time you won’t be tracking hit points on these monsters, it’ll just be, do you hit them, if you hit them you kill them sort of thing. There will be some monsters that will, for sure, hit you back, because you’ll need to hit them twice.

So what do you get from killing monsters, the two big things are XP and gold. Some of them might drop an item, but these are going to be things like health potions or trinkets stuff like that. Maybe in the hard deck will there be one especially hard monster that would drop a skill or something along those lines. When a player character is out fighting monsters you are going to get more XP and less currency versus the guild out there fighting monsters.

They are going to get more currency simply because they are going to have “killed” more things. The guild will have a fourth option to pick from and that is basically a “farming” option. By that I mean that they’ll go out and kill a lot of really really low level things, things that wouldn’t bump up XP really much at all for a player, but those will be the way to get a good chunk of currency for the guild.

So that was a bunch of digest there. Monsters are going to be very straight forward but the floor events, I think there is an opportunity for a lot of story there. And I really like that about them, I think they are going to be something people will want to do, though sometimes might feel like they have to do them, but I never want it to seem like there isn’t a choice.

Email us at
Message me directly on Twitter at @TheScando
Visit us on Facebook here

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.