Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Runed Keg

When thinking about board game concepts and mechanics one of the fun ideas that still has some solid legs is the concept of adventuring dwarves in a fantasy setting who gain power through drinking special ales, brews, beers and such. These dwarves love their drink, but with each power-boosting pint, they also become more ... well drunk. So players need to manage the flow of drink into power and then various levels of intoxication.

This idea needed something to bind this logic into something that felt like a tighter story and adventure suited to a board game session. Thus was born The Runed Keg Inn. This special dwarven wayhouse is built in the midst of a long abandoned and ruined dwarven lands that are now inhabited by all manner of friendly and definitely not friendly creatures. One of the cool things is that the dwarven ales are extremely resistant to the ravages of time, indeed the runes scorched into the barrels imbue the content with more power as time passes. So beneath their feet and occasionally hidden in an above-ground ruin are the left behind riches of these dwarven lords - beer.

The players job is to work together to delve into a now infested dwarven ruin and bring back the required barrels for the inn. While the pay isnt too good, the amount of free beer more than compensates for the insane danger of the task. The first playable set would be The Runed Keg: Nest - this would feature a ruin that is now the home of many spiders and other denizens. The issue of dealing with webs, many an eight legged creature and all those eggs will set the starter set apart from any expansions which will introduce further thamatic adventuring areas.

Our heroes are chosen not just because they like adventure and drinking, but they are strangely attuned to the runic power of these ancient ales - so much so that drinking them imparts with almost magical powers when consumed in large quantities.

I certainly havent fleshed out the mechanics in any detail yet and I am keen to develop the idea with friends - collaborate on things. I like the idea of adding drinks to a track which drops off the older drinks over time, but also fills up adding to your intoxication level. The game is chock full of theme and supports multiple playable heroes very easily. I can see the game supporting a fair amount of randomness to suit the theme - esp with rising levels of drinking. The games Political Correctness is questionable - but the fun should outweigh this if done well. I havent played Red November, but that has a grog mechanic and is coop as well, one to check out for 'research purposes'.

I will post more on the idea as we put some flesh on some interesting bones. Plus there is another game in the design stage that I will post about soon that will see some real progress by the time I post.

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