I’ve spoken before about different styles of co-op play and what I’d like to see in Dungeon Sagas. Well that was a while ago now, and things have moved on. At the moment, the Core game works like this:
- The game has two sides: the Heroes and the Necromancer. If you’re playing it with 2 players then it’s head-to-head. This is like the original Dwarf King’s Hold with one side replaced by a group of Heroes.
- Three or more players = pure co-op for the Heroes. As I defined the term before, pure co-op is everyone on the same side winning or losing as one. There is no infighting and everyone gets along famously. One player is the Necromancer and everyone else shares the 4 Heroes between them. How you split them up depends on how many people you’ve got playing. I’m sure you can work that out.
- The Advanced Game adds wrinkles. Exactly what these end up being depends on where we get to in the Kickstarter. Assuming, for a moment, that I’m left with a relatively free hand, this will include a variety of experience options for Heroes, and one of the ways they will earn that experience is by completing mini-quests. Whilst the Heroes will still need to co-operate to beat the Necromancer, they will also have some incentive to do their own thing. I personally think this introduces an interesting tension and adds depth to the play and the characters. It will, however, be entirely optional.
- AI may get added to control one or other of the sides. Again, this depends on the KS getting far enough. It would certainly be possible to write rules to play the Necromancer or the Heroes as AI. You’ll never get as interesting a game as you would playing against a real person, but it’s an option. The most amusing (to me) effect of doing both of these would be playing one AI against the other 😉
So far, in playtests, we’ve had the Hero players working well together, ganging up on the Necromancer (and they need to). They have still lost some of the games when the Necromancer has played well, as is appropriate. Once you’re past the initial couple of training scenarios (these are more concerned with illustrating rules rather than being “fair”) then the idea is that the two sides should have equal chances of winning. No free ride for the Heroes 🙂