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  Mechanic #128 - Falling Tower
Posted: 07/03/11

Drop rooms onto the tower, then fight through them to the top.

  Falling Tower



Fig 128.1 - Dropping a room onto the tower.


This is a collectible card game mixed with a dungeon crawl, with a little bit of Tetris thrown in for good measure. The basic premise is that you draw a card from the deck, then drop it onto a tower-like structure. In this example, the tower is three cards wide and five cards tall, for a total of 15 cards in the deck. At the very end, once you are out of cards, you place the Boss Room. And... that's pretty much it.



Fig 128.2 - A finished tower.


Once the tower is built, you travel up it, one floor at a time. You begin by entering one of the three rooms on the bottom floor. You complete the encounter (fight enemies, find loot, etc) and then travel up to the next floor. At the top of each card are three arrows indicating which cards on the next floor you may move to. Most cards have three arrows, allowing you to move up to the card directly above the current one, and one to either side. So, if you are on the far left side, you can only move on to the left two cards of the next floor. Some cards have the arrows grayed out, so you can move to the card indicated (in case there is no path, move directly up to the next card).

So, the basic goal of the game is to build a tower (in real time) to navigate, making sure that you keep the paths clear and put the best encounters where you can create a path to them. Finally, get to the top, beat the boss. Total your score. You are winner.

  Making It Complicated

  • You can create wider or taller towers. Just make sure there are more cards in the deck.

  • You can stack multiple decks on top of each other, making each boss room into a mid-boss before starting the next zone. Each zone up will be slightly more difficult than the previous one.

  • Encounters may have special effects, like pushing you to an adjacent card, or switching places with another encounter.

  • Encounters have compositional properties, where some rooms may modify neighboring rooms in some way. A strong enemy encounter, for example, may increase the difficulty of neighboring encounters. A treasure room may increasing the loot value of the room directly above it. Werewolves hate vampires, so putting them next to each other will decrease their effectiveness, while putting chocolate monsters and peanut butter monsters next to each other will increase deliciousness. Another monster's encounter will change the arrows to point to the worst of the three encounters directly above it.

  • Add chutes and ladders. A chute will drop you up to 5 encounters directly below it, while a ladder will move you ahead up to 5 encounters directly above.

  • Before you can get to the boss room, you must collect three keys from three specific encounters. When you reach the boss room without all three of the keys together, you must go back to the first floor and start again - this time from a different room than you started from last time. Defeated encounters remain defeated.



  • Copyright 2007-2014 Sean Howard. All rights reserved.