Monday, July 19, 2010

Workshop Yesterday: Playmobattle

First Draft
The once-tranquil town of Playmoville has been torn asunder. Rents through time and reality have turned the quaint metropolis into a warzone. By now, previous allegiances mean nothing; emergency workers, warriors from across history, and common citizens fight side by side to determine who will control the Playmoville of the future. But at this time, there is only playmobattle.

The Rules
Playmobattle is a simple strategy game using shelves of Playmobil as pieces and board. There is one rule that deserves mention above all others: THIS GAME CANNOT AND WILL NOT EVER EVER EVER INTERFERE WITH THE OPERATION OF THE STORE. DO NOT PERMIT THE GAME TO DISTRACT FROM YOUR JOBS! This is so incredibly important that I will elaborate further. If there are customers in the store, cleaning or restocking to be done, or if closing is within one hour, the game is done and forgotten. As an extension of this, no part of the game can upset the organization or neatness of the shelves. Failure to follow this, Rule One, will result in immediate and permanent cessation of the game and all future games. Understand?

Beginning the Game
Players begin the game with an agreed-upon sum of money. Games using less of the shelf should begin with less money. Randomly determine a player to make the first purchase. Players take turns purchasing units until all players pass consecutively. Then the first round begins.

The Round
1. Refresh all units- Remove activation markers from all units.
2. Determine first player- The first player is the player with the most money in reserve in this step. Play proceeds in alphabetical order by last name.
3. Perform Tactical actions with Locked units- Starting with the first player, all players may perform one Tactical action with each of their Locked units in any order. This does not grant an activation marker.
4. Unit actions- Starting with the first player, players activate units one at a time. Activated units may perform up to one Tactical Action and up to one Attack action with the active unit. Play progresses to the next player in the turn order, who may activate a unit or pass. Once all players pass consecutively, the recruitment phase begins.
5. Recruitment- Starting with the player with the least reserve money, players may take turns purchasing new neutral units. Only neutral units adjacent to friendly units may be purchased. Once all players pass consecutively, the round ends. Repeat from Step One.

Each of the four digits of the part number is a statistic. In order: Influence, Combat, Agility, and Willpower. Each statistic has an associated Tactical and Attack action. Attack actions require a “Test”. A Test is successful if the acting unit’s relevant stat is higher than that of the target unit.

1. Influence is a unit’s social power and pull in the world of Playmobattle. The Influence actions are Collect and Manipulate: “Tactical: Collect this unit’s Influence in dollars”, and “Attack: Influence test: If successful, place an Activation Marker on an adjacent unit.
2. Combat is a unit’s capability to survive and succeed at physical violence. Combat actions are Guard and Strike: “Tactical: Give an adjacent unit this unit’s combat value for the purposes of resisting Combat checks”, and “Attack: Combat test: If successful, deal this unit’s Combat in damage to the target.”
3. Agility is a unit’s speed, wits, and maneuverability. It can be used to Move and Evade: “Tactical: Make one valid move with this unit to a space within (Agility) spaces”, and “Attack: Agility Test: Move the target a number of spaces equal to the amount the Test succeeds by.”
4. Willpower is a unit’s strength of spirit, and conviction. Willpower actions are Focus and Intimidate: “Tactical: Distribute a number of points equal to this unit’s Willpower among this unit’s statistics”, and “Attack: Willpower Test: Reduce the target’s statistics by a total number of points equal to this unit’s Willpower, distributed as you choose.

Additional Rules

Adjacency: Units are adjacent if they touch at points along the sides at any point. Units touching exactly at corners are not considered adjacent.
Movement: Movement results in exchanging with the unit in the target space. This cannot break Rule One. If either the moving unit or the unit in the target space does not fit in the intended space, the move is invalid. Movement paths may only be drawn across adjacent spaces. Movement paths may not cross themselves or backtrack. If a path results in unusable movement points, the acting player may choose to Lock the moving unit.
Hit Points: A unit’s hit points are equal to its cost in dollars. They cannot be recovered.
Locked Units: Locked units may not perform or be targeted by Agility actions. At the beginning of each round, all Locked units may perform one Tactical action. This does not require activation.
Specials: Specials are considered adjacent to all units. Any Attack action targeting a Special returns them to Neutral status.
Mercenaries: Units on sale cost their sale price, but have hit points equal to their regular price. In subsequent recruitment phases, other players may attempt to outbid the unit’s current owner. The unit will switch sides only if the owner’s bid is beat by $5 or more.
Large Units: Large units on the top shelf are considered adjacent to all units directly underneath them. Large units are permanently considered Locked for all purposes, but may not ever move or be moved, even by a Red unit’s Authority ability. Large Units may perform two Tactical actions when activated.
Customer Activity: Units moved by customers count as moved. An honour system is the only mechanism for ensuring that when shelves are cleaned, a player will not twist positions to his or her advantage. Units purchased by customers are considered casualties and are gone for good.

Special Unit Abilities: A unit’s colour determines its original intent, and grants it a special bonus.
1. Red units are often emergency personnel or other legitimate installations. They have the power of Authority, allowing them to use Evade actions on Locked units normally. Locked units that would become Locked again are destroyed and become neutral.
2. Orange units are construction vehicles. They have the power of Fortification; they are always considered Locked, no matter where they are. They may be affected by a Red unit’s Authority power. Furthermore, Orange units have an additional Tactical action: “Tactical: Lock or unlock an adjacent friendly unit”.
3. Yellow units are equipped with rapid vehicles, capable of the power of Mobility. This grants an additional Tactical action: “Tactical for the remainder of this turn, this unit may use Attack actions against units two spaces away instead of one.”
4. Green units are masters of the outdoors: farmers, forest rangers, even wild animals. Their mastery of resource management expresses itself in the Logistics ability. When a Green unit uses the Focus Tactical Action, the bonus points may be spread among adjacent units as well as the acting unit.
5. Purple units are the fiercest warriors history has to offer: pirates, knights, Napoleonic legions, and Roman legionnaires. They have the Ferocity power; they are always counted as having Combat 9 for the purposes of Combat Tests only. This ability does not enhance damage or the Guard action.
6. Pink units are the aristocrats of Playmoville. Their wealth and holdings ensure that their power remains undiminished in the era of Playmobattle. A Pink unit’s Resources power allows it to earn $10 each time it uses the Collect Tactical Action.
7. Grey units are the blue-collar workers and possess the majority of the industrial resources in Playmoville. Their Infrastructure power reduces the cost of purchasing adjacent units by the Grey’s Influence rating. Multiple Greys can discount the same unit, but the minimum cost is always $1.
8. Blue units are the common folk of Playmoville, mobilized in an effort to cleanse the chaos from their beloved home. Though seemingly weak, their spirits are strong. Through their Solidarity power, they add one to the difficulty of Attack actions targeting them, plus an additional one for each adjacent friendly unit.

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