Rick and I have been working on a new superhero-themed game! I thought I’d take a moment to whet your appetite. As it stands, there are three phases to the game. Here are the basics:

First off, players will select a card showing opposing SECRET DESTINIES. Completing this destiny isn’t required to win the game but it will certainly help you along the way. Now that we have an inkling about where our character might be going, we move on to the first phase of the game.

During the ORIGIN phase, players are given the opportunity to select power cards, back story cards, ally cards, and item cards. This is done with a simple pick-and-pass method that gives players the opportunity to look at a small subset of available cards, choose one, and pass the rest. This phase of the game is the fastest and most rudimentary.

The next phase is called the ISSUE or DILEMMA phase (bear in mind that this is all still in flux). The idea here is to give players the opportunity to use the cards they picked up in the first phase in a format that resembles a standard comic book issue.

Players select one (1) to four (4) DILEMMA cards from the following dilemma decks: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual/mystical. They place the cards in whatever order they choose with the understanding that each subsequent card will be twice as hard as the last. For example: physical (1), mental (2), physical (4), emotional (8). The player can choose to create an issue with only one, two, or three cards but may have as many as four with a maximum point value of 15 available for any given round. I hope I haven’t lost you here! It’s much easier to explain with cards in front of you.

Now that the types of dilemmas are out there, players must use powers, allies, etc. to buy into the ISSUE. All the cards from the ORIGIN PHASE have corresponding point values for physical, emotional, mental and spiritual/mystical strengths. As soon as we know which players will be involved in this adventure, the cards are flipped over to reveal dilemmas like BANK HEIST, KIDNAPPING, AN ALIEN IS INHABITING MY GIRLFRIEND’S BODY, etc. Players may choose either the PRO or CON side for any particular dilemma garnering rewards, penalties and either hero or villain points.

There are a finite amount of hero and villain points and as soon as one of these piles is gone, the ISSUE PHASE is over. You have now battle-tested your character and determined their signature powers, allies, items, and whether they have heroic or villainous tendencies.

The EVENT PHASE is the final phase of the game (please bear in mind that this is still just a sketch)! Based on the amount of heroes and villains, certain scenarios will be made available. Players will choose one side or the other and will be given certain requirements for victory. Hero and villain points will be used as a type of currency in these scenarios. For example: Let’s say the final phase contains all heroes. We select an EVENT that tells us that a cosmic force is coming to destroy Earth. We have to work together to make sure that doesn’t happen. Within all this camaraderie, there are opportunities for gaining points and winning the game but ultimately no one wins if the world is destroyed. Another example: Let’s say we get half heroes and half villains. This prompts a terrible conflict that can only be resolved when one side or the other is either destroyed or incarcerated. This phase will still use cards but it will also have a map and movement. Each scenario or EVENT will be like its own mini-game within the greater structure of the game at large.

So, that’s the general idea so far. We are very busy working on cards right now. This has definitely been a new experience as far as game design goes because we are having to balance the different decks and make our explanations as elegant and simple as we can (to fit on each card!). In the future, we are hoping to hook up with some good artists to really bring the game to life.

I’m hoping to be able to show off the cards on the site some time soon so you can help us design them! Also, if you have any feedback or you’d like to help us on this project in some way, don’t hesitate to contact us!

In the meantime, we are also working on a prototype for a function on the website that we like to call GAME BELTS. For years now we have been arguing about the identity of the current reining champion of any given game. We’ve always put it in wrestling or prize-fight terms. The winner slaps on a big gold belt (mine often has a pretend spinner on it like the best jewelry often does). Our hope here is to create an elegant archive of every triumph and tribulation in your special gaming group. That way the world will know when a know-it-all game geek has eaten a belt buckle or succumbed to your masterful deception! Anyway, we’ll be playing around with that for a bit but I hope to have something to show folks in the near future!

Maybe next time I’ll coax Rick out of his man-cave and into the light of nerd-vana here in the blog. We’ll see!

Justin Waggle

Inventor, Designer, and Co-Founder of Gray Wolf Games