Working Title: Countdown Quest

Working Description: A group of adventurers embark on a perilous quest, full of astounding risk and fabulous reward. But be careful, once you step foot on a journey, you must see it through, all while the clock is slowly ticking towards an inevitable end.

Build: The game is inspired by various tabletop RPGs, most notably Dungeons and Dragons, but with some elements of games like Blades in the Dark. It’s a fusion between a fantasy tabletop RPG and a race-style game, where you only have so much time to complete your objective.

The game is run by a Storyteller (the Dungeon Master, in other words) who creates the subject of the quest as well as the layout of the current dungeon. They’re also in charge of all of the NPCs, both friendly and antagonistic.

Players build characters for this game, which can either be carried along through various new quests, or simply replaced once a new quest begins if they so wish. The character mechanics are based around 3 core Classes – Fighter, Mage, and Rogue – as well as 3 core Stats – Guts, Smarts, and Will.

Phase 1 of the game is setup for a current quest. It involves some exploring, talking to NPCs to get more information, or simply finding supplies as you prepare to set out. This part of the game is relatively low-stakes and is mostly used to get the players immersed into the world and ready to start the next phase.

As Phase 2 of the game starts, currently referred to as the Crawl (Dungeon Crawl, specifically), the timer is set and the quest’s countdown begins. You and your adventuring party have a set amount of time, currently 1 hour, to complete the dungeon. This phase involves combat and map exploration as you fight toward your goal.

An example of a quest would go like this: You are investigating some ancient ruins in the forest somewhere outside of a town. After gathering materials and information during Phase 1, you enter the ruins, starting Phase 2. The timer starts and you have to find the treasure or equally tantalizing McGuffin somewhere within, all before the time runs out. If time runs out when you’re still in the dungeon, there will be consequences the players have to deal with.

Things I am working on balancing:

  • Stats and Stat Abilities need to be balanced.
  • Balance the timing of the dungeons. I need to test if 30 minutes would work better as a single quest time, but maybe having so little time would put too much stress on the players.
  • Work out the map grid style. Currently debating between interlocking triangles or a simple square tile setup.
  • Refine the leveling system for characters. If the players want to build an extensive world and story over numerous quests, there needs to be a good way.
  • Create a good standard for the terrible consequences if you fail a quest.

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2 thoughts on “Game Pitch

  1. I think the idea of a timed tabletop rpg is an interesting concept. I can see where the timed mechanic of the gameplay could create some obstacles for you as the designer mainly because this genre often has an open ended flow of time for player decisions. One thing you may want to consider to help create a sense of urgency that I learned from my time with Miami’s Game Design Club is the idea of subdividing that larger time frame into smaller time sections. With each section you could introduce a new twist or change to the environment or by giving the enemies a temporary advantage for the players taking long on their turns. All of these are just things to consider so feel free to take them as you will. I am curious to see where you take this. Good luck.

  2. Hi Madison, I like your ideas, it looks like an interesting game, and I love adventures, can’t wait to see you set up the game cards and everything in the future. I’m wondering if you have rules when the player loses, what is the punishment, like do they have a chance to revive, and the relation between the three core classes, are they play individual during the game? Overall I think your game perfectly meets all the requirements. I think it would be better to extend the time, and thirty minutes probably seems to compress because I think the player needs time to understand and plan ahead of the information they get during each phrase.

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