Ludum Dare 33 — August 21st-24th, 2015 — Theme: You are the Monster

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by Nilix - Compo Entry

This is a card game. You will have to download and print the cards out to play. I recommend printing out at least two copies because 38 cards in a deck really isn't much. Duplicates aren't a problem.
Is that a hassle? Well, I'm sorry.

I sure am the monster.

====== RULES =======
Object of the game: Be the last player remaining with any Prestige.

Four to six players.
Start with (20) prestige and (1) propaganda and a Character Type:

Character types are as follows:
Service Worker

One player starts as the Monster.
All other players are Human.

Each round starts choosing a card to place face down. After you place a card down, you draw a card.
When all players have a card face down, flip the cards up.
The monster player uses the card effect of the monster half of the card.
The human players use the card effect of the human half of the card.

Order of cards played is determined by the following hierarchy:
1. Human Persist or Static
2. Monster Static
3. Monster Priority
4. Human Priority
5. Monster
6. Human

If more than one of the same type of card is played, order starts from the monster's position and goes clockwise.

After a Monster plays his card, he or she chooses a player to Attack. The attacked player loses Prestige equal to the Propaganda of the Monster. If that player's Prestige falls to zero or below, they are eliminated.

When a persist card is played, it is placed in front of the player who used it until its effect ends. When it ends, add it to the discard pile.

After all cards are played, the turn ends. If you have more than seven cards in hand at the end of the turn, discard cards until you have seven. Then the next turn starts. The player clockwise from the monster becomes the monster for the new turn.

======End RULES======
And yes, the name of the game is some really bad pun of Lycanthrope. Bad puns make for great titles.

Downloads and Links




heatherketten says ...
Aug 24, 2015 @ 6:00am

Hi, other card game! I've read through the rules and had a look at the cards, and I have a few questions, were I to play:

1. Can players be a character type *and* the monster at the same time? (seems so)
2. How is the hierarchy of a card determined for the order of the cards played?
3. How many cards does each player start with? Do they draw a card, put it face down, then draw another card, or...?

It is a really interesting concept. Do you have a back story or inspiration you drew from?

Nilix says ...
Aug 24, 2015 @ 7:04am

1. Yes! You are your character type while also the monster. You can be a Rich monster, a Peasant monster, Idolm@nster, you name it.
2. The hierarchy is determined by what's written on the card themselves. Static and Priority would be written on top of the card. If a card says Static, then its effect takes priority over all other cards. And I will be honest, there are a number of cards where I DID FORGET to write them on. Bull Market should be Static. Living Wage should be Persist. There are a few others. Honestly, I didn't get time to playtest until after submitting. Making cards takes a lot of time if you work by yourself.

What ended up happening during testing was that the players with Static or Priority cards would announce they were Priority or Static immediately after flipping the cards up.
3. Wow. I didn't write that in.
Four cards to start.
Each round starts choosing a card to place face down. After you place a card down, you draw a card. If you have more than seven cards in hand at the end of the turn, discard cards until you have seven.

As for backstory, it was honestly all a whim. I was just going to hang out with my friend for a bit and then I ended up designing this. He was being productive so I decided I would be too.
Concerning inspiration and concept, the design of the game EVOLVED a lot over time. The original idea was just going to be a reverse Old Maid. Instead of one loser with the Old Maid card, the object was to get the Monster Card, keep it, and have everyone else lose cards in hand. But that wasn't very interesting because you can just play Old Maid with reverse objectives. Then I had the idea of "turning" into a monster like a werewolf (lycanthrope), and it rolled forward.

A lot of inspiration afterwards came from Magic: the Gathering. The design of the card is like a mix between the Split Cards and Double Sided cards from MtG. Two cards side by side, where one side is much stronger than the other. I had the Character Types a lot more Fantasy oriented like Healer and Magician. There were also actual monsters you would turn into like a Vampire.

When I started naming cards though, I decided to keep it more to reality. I made a few sample cards in the beginning and started to name them. When I looked one of the effects that gave everyone benefits except for the monster, the name "#SomeLivesMatter" popped up. It was done very tongue-in-cheek but it got quite the reaction out of some of the people around me so I decided to make card names more oriented towards Current Events or Contemporary Ideas.

After the first playtest, I've witnessed a merchant exploit the Bull Market with Philanthropy, giving away all her cards for Prestige and Propaganda. She then used Extended Media Coverage to destroy everyone. The only one who could withstand the onslaught was the Idol with a Popularity Cushion and Diplomatic Immunities but even that ran out over time.

With a story like that, I feel like I nailed the theme down. Some things are unbalanced, but for a game that wasn't tested before release, I'm okay with that.

Aug 27, 2015 @ 7:35am

Core game mechanics look like they're pretty balanced. Maybe adding art or detail to the cards may make this more distinct and unique as a game. Not all the card names lined up well with their actual effects.

kalinova says ...
Aug 31, 2015 @ 5:17am

I had the privilege of being part of this game's first playtest at Babycastles, and it was a blast! Looking back on things, here are a few suggestions I thought of:

1. Some direct-damage cards could be useful, since (as was made evident during the playtest game) it takes forever to actually kill someone unless everyone gangs up on him/her. Maybe a card that only damages whoever is the monster at the time, or something like that?

2. Should players be stuck as one character class for the entire game, or should there be cards that can swap classes? It would make some sense, like a rich person becoming a politician, for example. It would also serve to nerf the broken Merchant class, since everyone would want it and it would be swapped around a lot. This would also make the Peasant and Commoner classes useful: they could be "penalty" classes that could be given to players as an offensive tactic, and there could be cards that damage Peasant/Commoner players more (like regressive taxes, for instance, that hurt the poor more than they do the rich).

3. Some of the prestige gaining cards could be toned down a bit. This also makes the game last longer, since players are that much harder to kill (as evidenced in our playtest game).

I really hope I get the chance to play this game again! It's awesome!

cjke.7777 says ...
Aug 31, 2015 @ 5:19am

Hmm, well this was very innovative! Really thinking outside the square. Welldone

superfreak says ...
Sep 13, 2015 @ 1:31pm

Thoughtful game! Took a fair while to get set up with all the printing (you monster) but totally worth it! Interesting stuff :)

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