Designer Journal: UnderQuest #3



Well, there has been a few changes since the last post. The biggest change has been to the character tiles. Actually, they are no longer character tiles. There are a few reasons I moved away from the tile format. One, I heard from a few fellow designers and friends that the tiles looked a bit too much like the tiles from Above and Below from Red Raven Games, and I obviously want to separate myself from that. I have instead decided to use a bridge-sized card. This brings my second reason into the light. Using cards allows me to implement a deck-building mechanic to deal with the characters.

00000gjgjgjWith tiles, players simply started the round with characters equal to the number they were able to rest. Injured characters were paced face-down until they were either healed or they waited an extra wound to rest them. With deck-building in the mix now, players will draw cards, at the beginning of the round, equal to the number of characters they are able to house (which is four to start the game). If characters are injured during questing, they are placed face-up and a token in placed on them to show they are hurt. Other spent characters simply go into a discard pile. Injured characters need to be healed to be placed into the discard pile.

One more nice thing about using cards is that they are about four times larger which leaves room for much larger artwork and some flavor text.

Okay, that is enough about the characters for now. I really wanted to touch on encounters and buildings.


000prormnronronOne of the actions that a player may take on their turn is to build a new building. Each player starts with one building which is a shelter that allows them to rest four characters and also lets them earn an income of one gold per round. Add more buildings and structures to your base, allows you to build and engine that will influence your characters, gain you more income, earn fame, and more.

The plan is to have about 40-50 building cards, with of them being unique. Some will simply be a wigwam that will allow you to rest an additional character (basically allowing you to draw an extra card per round). This will equate to a lot of one of a kind artwork. There will be very few duplicate images in this game.

One path to victory will be to focus on building a lot of buildings, but you will also have to do other things to have a shot at winning. Buildings will likely be the source of about 1/4 of your fame points at the end of the game. Yes, I am leaning towards using the term “fame points” instead of “victory points”. Time will tell if that term sticks…


000promo131313Another change is that I have dropped the term “Dungeon Deck” and am now using “Encounter Deck”. I have done this for a couple reasons. First of all, so many games use Dungeon Decks and it sort of pins me into a corner, by making all encounters occur in a dungeon. Secondly, I sort of want the questing/exploration to happen outside in a deep forest valley. Dungeons have been done to death.

Another big change is the monsters themselves. I am ditching the traditional enemies you see in most fantasy games like goblins, trolls, and dragons. Those do hold a place in my heart, but I wanted UnderQuest to take players someplace new. Someplace a bit darker, but also odd and strange. Maybe a hint of horror without scaring kids away from the table.

So I have decided to create all-new monsters for this game that are a bit abstract and out-of-this-world in appearance. Perhaps a bit alien in nature. I hope you like them.

Well that is it for this time around. I am hoping to be able to discuss the treasure deck and entertaining in the next entry. Thanks for reading!

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One Response to Designer Journal: UnderQuest #3

  1. Aaron says:

    I love that you’ve stepped outside the traditional fantasy box.

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