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Blog : Special Markers

By [Nuuh] November 23, 2016, 15:54:19

Hi everyone!

I’m here to talk you about one of the mechanics introduced in Krosmaster Cemetery Park: the special markers.

As a quick reminder, this mechanic available on two different characters uses tokens to mark a specific Krosmaster, in order to apply an effect to it (through a power, most of the time).

Here’s an example of a character using those markers:

Why did we add this rule?

You should know that one of the most dangerous pitfalls in collectible games is complexity. This kind of games is always growing, with new content regularly added, and layers upon layers of rules and mechanics tend to pile up. It is necessary to constantly work on this aspect; new things should not be forbidden, but easy to use, understandable and not destined only to an audience of seasoned players.

Of course, there are already some Krosmasters with capacities that require you to remember an effect is currently applied, like spells that can be used only once (red name). If it’s something akin to Kriss Krass’ “Fraud” spell, it’s not such a big deal:

- The effect only works during the turn it’s used.

- The player who activates it tends to remember it, as it is part of his own game plan for the turn.

But trouble become apparent when this kind of effects add up: you need to know exactly what each of them do, the target they apply to, and the length of time where they’re active. The longer an effect stays active, the easier it is to forget that it’s there.

Special markers were designed to answer this problem: offering to players a visual reminder that not only there’s an effect currently at work, but also who’s the character affected by it.

And one of the things I like the most about this mechanic is that it opens a lot of design space for us. There are numerous ideas that we could make reality by using that mechanic. Players just have to learn of few simple rules, a clear denomination (the “Name” marker), and will be able to understand every variant afterwards.

In this aspect, I’m rather satisfied – or rather, at this point in time, optimistic – for this mechanic, compared to another like, say, Prospecting. Prospecting is an example of a very rigid mechanic: players have to know its effects by heart, it has a high complexity (especially because it’s cumulative) and it opens very little design space for the design team, which can’t really be creative with it.

During the creation of the special marker rule, we decided to apply further design constraints on it, to keep the mechanic clear and simple:

· Only one Krosmaster per team can apply and manipulate a marker with a specific name. This is why you can only find the mechanic on “rare” characters (no duplicates on the team). We don’t want players or judges to ask themselves if the marker was there because of common Krosmaster A1 or A2.

· A special marker can only be applied to either opponents or allies, not both. We went even further for the first batch of marker-users: they can only affect opposing Krosmasters. We did so in order to make sure the players would know which team has control of the marker. This way, you know that if there’s a “Bleeding” marker on one of your Krosmasters, it belongs to your opponent’s Puny vampire. Maybe in the future, we could imagine some Krosmaster (like those belonging to the Feca class) putting “Shield” markers exclusively on their allies.

· A special marker can only be applied to a Krosmaster. This is actually a decision linked to a material problem: as special markers are a slightly big, putting them on summons tokens could be troublesome!

These are the rules we imposed ourselves during design, and which, I hope, will help us understand what we wanted to do with these markers.

In the future, we will push for mechanics that open doors for us, and offer more variety to you, the players. I hope special markers will become an example of such mechanics.

Now that we’ve made a quick overview of this mechanic and what the design team thinks about it, let’s get to the second objective of this blog: getting your feedback!

We’d like to have feedback from those of you who have tested this mechanic, how well you have managed it, or any roadblocks you may have found in your learning.

Everyone’s opinion is welcome, at all levels of play (from seasoned veterans of tournaments to casual gamers). Don’t hesitate to ask the question to other players around you if you haven’t used it yourself.

Thank you for your attention, and see you next time!

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I haven't used it myself, but I love the idea. I'm quite sure you can go a long way with this new mechanic.

I only don't understand the second restricton (only enemies or allies). I can imagine special statuses that would apply to all krosmasters for example in a range around the target or caster, like a weakened state or an empowered state or something like poison or sleep. This way you can create more powerful status effects but with the downside of affecting your allies as well, making them less useable in some (close quarters in this example) situations.

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