The WEGS Fray

WEGS Trove Rolling | 2019+2020

By the bright beard of Ogma, it’s the year-end rolling of the trove! We’re doing twelve rolls on the fabled TABLE I: TROVE PILE GENERATION…

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Please excuse our appearances here… We are in the process of updating our website! The server we were on was being retired, and our service…

Shuffling Horrors!

Innsmouth 32 | Meet The Cast #4 | The Students

This Miskatonic University trio has the misfortune to be on the bus hijacked by the bootleggers. Do you think they have what it takes to…

Oh Schrute!

December 10th, 2018

During a game of PITTSBURGH 68, a player commented that the Jack of Zombies looks a bit like Dwight Schrute from The Office – that added a bit of fun to that game for sure!

PIC-SH-News-600-FTV-Schrutes

When the cards above appeared on the movie screen during a recent game, I commented, “What’s better than one Schrute…” These twins reminded me of an original playtest rule that allowed the Director to gain bonus attacks for a throng built with matching cards. A throng with a pair of Schrutes got you two attacks for that throng. Three of a kind got you three attacks from that throng.

A long forgotten rule from the vaults!

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Old Throngs

July 9th, 2015

P68-D-2LoneZA game system like Shuffling Horror is a tricky game to playtest. There are so many variables with the flow of the cards and the rolling of the dice. Add in the choices of the players and it’s impossible to state: “That’s Exactly How This Game Is Supposed To Play”. Who wants that in a game anyway!?! It’s a big advantage for a game that wants to give the players unexpected twists and turns every time they play.

It’s all part of the game’s wicked charm.

As a game designer, it is easiest for me to build the game big and then scale back the parts that are overwhelming. For example, in the very first play test of Shuffling Horror: Pittsburgh 68 (Oct 2011), zombie throngs were granted a damage bonus based on their total strength. That made total sense from a cinematic standpoint: the bigger the throng, the more danger it possessed.

P68-D-4LoneZA “throng” is a grouping of individual zombie cards. In the initial playtest, for every point a throng accumulated above 10, a +1 damage bonus was granted. A throng with a base value of 11, gained a +1 damage bonus, a 12 base granted a +2 bonus, a 13 a +3 bonus, and so on.

Easy to remember rules. Gotta love ’em!

This rule allowed the Director to factor some strategy when building throngs. However, giving the Director more power was the last thing this game needed. While it was a fun and simple rule to implement, it was also an easy rule to toss out the window…

Just like a rotting zombie corpse!

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Two Lone Zombies

April 24th, 2015

P68-D-2LoneZ“Two lone zombies by the apple tree,
A Postman came upon them and then there were three…”

Thus begins the grim, little nursery rhyme on the back of the Shuffling Horror: Pittsburgh 68 box. In game terms, the Two Lone Zombies are the weakest zombie card in the playing deck. The card’s face value is 2 and, to succeed their attack, they must roll a two or less on a pair of dice (which means they only ever succeed by rolling Snake Eyes). Not very likely.

A 1-in-36 chance for those of you who like to play the odds.

There’s many great scenes from zombie flicks where the lone zombie prevails – so this fits in perfect with the cinematic flair of the Shuffling Horror system. In  George A. Romero’s classic “Dawn of the Living Dead” (1978) the character Roger is trying to hotwire a truck when a lone zombie shuffles up and bites down on his leg. More recently, in the Walking Dead TV series, it was a lone zombie who snuck up on a distracted Tyreese and grabbed hold.

Less zombies does not mean less danger!

An additional kicker in Pittsburgh 68 is that whenever any zombie attack rolls snake-eyes, the victim is instantly zombified, immediately becoming an active zombie card under the control of the Zombie Master (the person running the game). This applies to all zombie attacks, but is most shocking when it occurs at the hands of the least effective zombie in the deck. Some players get a good chuckle at that.

From a game standpoint, it gives the Zombie Master that glimmer of hope that, even if they have only one attack to play on their turn, they still have a chance to “go viral”. This zombification rule also allows some unexpected plot twists to enter the movie.

Even the weakest zombie can do great things…

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