JOURNEY INTO THE GAME DESIGNER’S MIND
When we began designing Perdition’s Mouth, it was clear to us that we wanted dice-less mechanics, a fast game, an easy learning curve, and an emphasis on skill over luck. Of course, a certain amount of luck is inherent to any dungeon crawl. During game testing, we realized that explaining some of our choices helped players understand how the game works. So read on!
In real-life and in tactical games, situations vary. We designed the rondel mechanic to portray different situations while keeping the game fun, fast, and tactical. The rondel balances the game for different numbers of heroes, since it’s harder to take the action you want when there are more heroes’ pegs on the rondel. We assume that combat in dark dungeons is hazardous and unpredictable. The rondel prevents you from staying put and taking the same action every turn. It also forces players to discuss their actions and work together as a team.
All of the rondel’s actions are viable options for every hero, while still supporting the heroes’ different strengths and weaknesses. We believe the rondel is easy to learn, very tactical, and allows players to rely on good choices and teamwork instead of hoping for lucky dice rolls.
Perdition’s Mouth provides tactical choices on many levels. The game’s luck aspect is, on purpose, smaller than it is in similar dice-driven games. Randomness mostly occurs with card draws, and most card decks are small and predictable. This gives players the choice of when to perform their most heroic feats, including sacrifices for the good of the team. However, no one hero can excel on every round—they must mix grand actions with lesser feats.
Each of the heroes in Perdition’s Mouth possesses unique hero cards and abilities, and thus each requires a unique set of tactics. Players can create new experiences in the game just by playing different heroes and learning to play them correctly. But the heroes are balanced to work as a group, and no one hero can conquer the dungeon alone.
In a campaign, we heavily recommend that you choose heroes to fit the needs of a particular scenario, that you don’t just choose your favorite heroes for each encounter. The tactics that work for one team in one level may not serve you as well when facing a different group of enemies.
HORROR / FANTASY
One of our goals was to design a game with grit, where hardship and fear would emerge from the game itself. We dislike the idea of a world where heroes are tidy knights in shining armor, with all the valor in the world. We also feel that most dungeon-crawl games actually tell scary,
horror-tinted stories, but they do little to convey that horror with mechanics or theme. We believe we’ve succeeded in bringing some of that into Perdition’s Mouth, but we’re well aware that horror is a hard genre to master, and we would love to hear your comments about the game.
We designed Perdition’s Mouth to be a difficult game, even when everyone plays to the best of their abilities. We designed the heroes to show off their backstories and personalities. However, as role-playing game veterans ourselves, we wanted something even deeper.
At PerditionsMouth.com, you’ll find the rules for Immersion Mode, which adds another layer of depth and difficulty to the game.
This mode gives personality traits and flaws to the heroes, which affect their decisions.
Instead of acting for the benefit of the party, you jump inside your hero’s skin and act accordingly—for better or for worse.
Be warned: Immersion Mode makes the game very rewarding, but almost impossible to play through.
The heroes are here to accomplish a mission, but they are not necessarily friendly with each other...