A relic hunt by Jeff Warrender and Steve Sisk

Friday, August 5, 2011

Local rumors

Although the game has done a pretty good job capturing the idea of interviewing experts to accumulate information about the nature and whereabouts of the Lost Temple and the artifact therein, it never had an element of going to a locale about which you have a hunch, and investigating the situation to see if there are rumors about the temple being in that city.

I think there's a perfectly easy way to achieve this, mechanically. Just like there's a 12-element (3x4) solution grid on each card that lets you test a location to see whether the temple is there or not, we could equally well put a second solution grid on the opposite end of the card, to check for local rumors. The key question is what form that information would take; space in the grid is tight and it would be limited to a several-letter clue at most, or more likely, an abbreviation.

This scheme would integrate well with the "climbing" approach to giving location clues. In such a scheme, the several levels of clues about the temple's location would track the progress of the artifact that rests in the temple, from its origin at some location through several additional cities (or not, keeping in mind that sometimes, the clues don't "climb" at all, and Level 1 or Level 2 knowledge is the end of the line...) If there's an additional guideline imposed that prevents the artifact from "jumping" more than two cities away between links in the chain from clue to clue, then local rumors could say simply whether the artifact passed through that particular city or not. Based on your other knowledge, you could judge where such a result points to the temple potentially being located; maybe additionally, digging in a city that does test favorably for local rumors, even if the temple isn't there, at least authorizes you to look at a clue, so you at least get something for the knowledge.

Like so many other things, this feels a bit like one thing too many, but at the same time, I like the idea of letting players assemble information in different ways and from different sources. It's probably important not to have the "temple location" category work in this same way in every scenario, lest it get stale, but it may have some potential. (Actually, the bigger concern I have is just with the physical component itself -- will a player inadvertently put the wrong end of the card into the board, thinking he's checking local rumors but in fact checking for the temple?

1 comment:

  1. Might there be a problem coordinating the validity of the rumors in one city with clues from other cities? Maybe I'm misunderstanding something, but either these rumors sound like they'd require a specific set of theme cards, or else looking at a rumor is just the same thing as looking at a clue on the same card (and if they're the same thing, then why the complexity?)

    I think it's likely I'm missing a piece of the puzzle here. Maybe I should have gotten more check marks before reading this blog post...