So a number of years ago a friend of mine and I developed a Web comic called Black Rabbit about a team of female commandos doing Black ops missions for the US government. Web comic never came to fruition so I’m working on a game idea.
Game takes place in Castle Blackstone located and some dinky little Eastern European country with whom we have no diplomatic ties. World renowned virologist, Dr. Elsa Zayana is planning to launch a number of rockets filled with a deadly virus of her own creation into several European cities as revenge for the death of her husband and son at the hands of a group of terrorists. The commandos must infiltrate the castle, overcome the numerous hired henchmen of varying degrees of skill and prevent the doctor from wiping out the human race. There are five objectives that can appear in any order:
Prevent the rockets’ launch
Secure the virus
Find the vaccine and bring it back to the base
Apprehend Dr. Zayana
Destroy the lab and all its contents
Players divide into two teams, the castle team and the commando team. Castle team sets up the board which is a set of tiles representing rooms and hallways in the castle along with locks, traps and other obstacles, and the commando team who has a deck of five objective cards. The objective cards are shuffled and then dealt out in random order, the first one being the primary objective. To win the game the commandos must complete the primary objective. They also gain points for completing other objectives along the way. The castle team’s only goal is to prevent the commandos from completing their primary objective, although they don’t know what that is at the beginning of the game. The castle team also gains points for inflicting damage on the commandos. It would be possible that the commandos complete their primary objective but don’t gain enough points to overcome the Castle team’s score.
Commandos have the option of various weapons, Kevlar vests and helmets. More equipment means more weight and slower speed, less equipment means fewer hit points and less fire power but a higher move speed.
I’m wanting combat to be quick as there are also numerous puzzles to be solved. Combat will be 2 D10s with modifiers based on weapon and PC ability. Most henchmen will have a modifier ranging from -3 to +3 while the commandos will tend to have either a +4 or +5. The same method will apply to attempts by the commandos to enter locked doors and overcome other obstacles inside the castle.
Commandos can take damage in six categories:
Cuts and lacerations
Blunt force trauma
10 hit points in any one category is lethal and each player has a maximum total number of hit points they can take before slowing down, going unconscious and then dying.
In addition to finding keys, combinations and other clues, the commandos will from time to time have to draw from a deck of “situation cards“. These could be anything as minor as walking into a spiderweb in the dark to twisting an ankle or having a weapon jam. There will be a few lucky cards in the deck as well, like finding a loaded .357 mag in an otherwise empty cabinet. Still working on a mechanism for triggering the drawing of these cards. Would like to stay away from playing in “turns“ so the gameplay continued more like real time. Any suggestions on how to do this are greatly welcomed.
I already have seven other scenarios outlined for this game all in this location. I’m planning to put this out as a print and play for easy game testing and to see if there is a potential market for a production game. It would lend itself very well to minis and possibly even full electronic puzzles and other escape room goodies.
I am a new Game Designer so any input on any mechanisms that would improve the game is more than welcome. One of the attractions to the game will hopefully be full dossiers and back stories on all of the main characters. All of the women in the Black Rabbit commandos have had rough lives and overcoming their pasts is part of the challenge of the game.
My original partner in the web comic project is a tremendous artist and I’m hoping to tap his talent once the mechanics of the game have been worked out. I’m very excited to find a community dedicated to this hobby as I have wanted to design a board game for quite some time. Once again thank you for any input and direction.