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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Fantastical Medicine

    - Danny Cowan

  • Steven Ostuni and Peter Daniel Berg, Elf Apothecary

    Premise: Deep in the magical forest, there lies an elf apothecary, which provides medicines and potions to those in need. But the veneer of healing and fulfillment lies a cutthroat battle for employee-of-the-month status. You each play as one of the elves racing to rack of the most points and impress their boss (and possibly get a promotion.) To do this, you will have to collect ingredients, make potions, and deliver them to customers before your opponents.

    Objective: Finish with more points then your opponents when the customer deck runs out.

    The Game Board: The game takes place on a Settlers-of-Catan-style hexagon grid made out of individual arrangeable tiles. The cluster of seven center tiles in the apothecary shop, and everything else is the forest. The board is arranged at the beginning of each game, to randomize the gameplay. Each tile has a spell material on it, such as a ring of mushrooms or a cluster of crystals, which corresponds to the material that can be mined from it. Additionally, there are two fairy mirror tiles, which players can teleport between.

    Gameplay: Players travel through the forest to hexagons of the appropriate type to collect ingredients. Then they bring them back to the apothecary shop, brew them into a potion, and present them to the customer who requested that potion. Players roll a dice to see the maximum number of squares they can travel for that turn (it may be one of the dice that goes from 1-3 with two of each number.) They can go where they choose within those confines, and pick one ingredient. When they have enough ingredients to make a customer's potion, they can bring them back to the apothecary shop. Alternately, they can create potions for themselves, which can yield effects like teleportation, harvesting ingredients from adjacent square (an arm extension potion for instance,) and so forth.

    There are three customers at the apothecary at a given time, and when one is satisfied, another takes his place. The satisfied customer goes to the hand of the player who game them the potion. Each customer comes with a certain number of points, but some have added bonuses. For instance, a little old witch will give you only one point, but will can a spell that will triple the points of the next customer you impress. (There may be bonus point cards you can add to your customer deck to more easily represent this.) Additionally, some customers may have additional gameplay effects. For instance, if a knight and a lady are in the shop at the same time, the knight will make a scene and insist that the lady has to be served first. The game then becomes a mad dash to see who can be the first to grant the lady's request. (Alternately, a player could go about stocking potions and leave her potion to someone else.)

    When the customer deck runs out, the game ends. Points are tallied up, and whoever has the most wins. Your elf gets the honor of being named employee of the month, and may even a receive a promotion!


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