It's been a couple months since my last post. A busy couple of months. It's surprising how much time moving an entire household across town can consume...
There have also been some major changes to the game mechanics, and those changes have me going through yet another revision to the encounter cards.
I was thinking about the episodic nature of comic books and sic-fi tv shows because if Chronicle is successful i'd like to use the same engine to make storytelling games for different genres. Specifically I would like to make a comic book version and a space opera version.
While meditating on the A story - B story construction of shows like Star Trek it occurred to me that I could change the single encounter deck format I'm using in Chronicle to a two deck system. A two deck system could consist of a threat deck and a complication deck. With the two deck system you would always have a threat (the equivalent of a monster, or say a Klingon captain with a grudge against the federation) with conditional complications (a warp core coolant leak, an alien impersonating your first officer, etc.). Using this type of system means you you have something that tests your abilities as a starship captain every turn, but you could also end up needing fix your ship, negotiate a peace treaty, etc., which makes the threat more difficult.
And then it occurred to me that this same system could fix one of the last problems with my encounter deck. No one wants to get that red dragon on their first turn and get blown out of the water, but no one really wants to get the market day event on their first turn either. So I'll have two decks: a monster deck and a complication deck. This way you fight a round of combat every turn. Is your level higher than the monster's? Draw a complication. Did you decide to go into the inner ring of tiles? Draw a complication. Did you decide to land on the standing stones tile instead of the hills tile? Draw a complication.
Each complication is it's own thing: an event (the plague), a plot (the missing princess), or even another monster. But each complication also adds dice to the Monster's attack. Suddenly you have a lot more control over how hard a monster is to beat.