General Discussion: Game Modifications PDF Print E-mail

Have you ever made or suggested modifications to an existing game? If so, what game, and how did the mods affect play?


Back in the dawn of time, before I moved to Earthquake-land, I lived in a Chicago suburb called Schaumburg, and my weekends were spent with a gaming group called The Wargamers' Guild. We played Battletech, Starfleet Battles, and various & sundry RPG's and boardgames, and we occasionally tinkered with the rules, just for fun.....




In Battletech, members of the Wargamers Guild created theirown mech designs and made special weapons for them to carry. I came up with autocannon rounds which spawned mech-sized bolas, short-range paint-missiles for fouling sensors, and long-range electrical discharge missiles which interfered with basic battlemech functionality and forced piloting rolls. (If a mechwarrior blew his pilot roll, his mech would fall down and damage itself.)


In our homegrown SFB variant, we had ships armed with special probes which, if detonated close enough to an opponent, would invert their shields so they would have to blast through them or drop them altogether to fire on other ships, in either case rendering them defenseless for a full turn. I modified the combat rules so that it was possible for a Federation ship to maintain continuous phasers on a target for a number of rounds equal to the number of phaser banks the attacking ship was equipped with. (Roll to-hit in the first round, then just roll damage for that many successive rounds. Very destructive...just ask Apollo or Vaal.)


We often played a grand-prix racing game called Speed Circuit (now, sadly, out of print). Ordinarily it took about 20 minutes to play a game, and we decided that was a bit boring so we modified it into Interdimensional Speed Circuit. You see, it was a boardgame, and the board had 3 racetracks laid out which, due to space limitations, overlapped at certain points. Players were intended to choose one track and ignore the others. We, however, inserted a rule that whenever any racer's progress carried him through one of the intersection points, he would roll once to see which track he ended up on, and again to see which direction he would end up driving on that track. One could conceivably end up reversing direction on the same track multiple times in one turn. It was maddening, and often hilarious, and the average game length grew from 20 minutes to around 10 hours. (Quick game of ISC, anyone?)


Here at LASFS, we once rewrote a dark ages card game called Plague & Pestilence, in which players jockeyed for improvements to their civilizations that would allow them to spawn more population, until the Plague Ship card turned up and loosed Black Death upon the land, whereupon the game became a race of attrition as each players' populace died off little by little. Game time averaged a paltry 15 minutes, until we tossed out the rule that said the Plague Ship was a one-time event. After it turned up, it was then shuffled back into the deck. If it turned up again during plague-time, all the plague rats and their fleas would board the ship and take a long ocean cruise, allowing players to regrow their populations. A game of P&P, once the Plague Ship became also the Miracle Ship, could take hours.


Tell us of some of the game mods you've made.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 July 2008 )
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