4e + A boardgame = The Evolving Carcassonne Campaign

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For those of you who aren't familiar with Carcassone, it's a game where you essentially build a medieval world and score points for it. It's tile-based, each tile having maybe a road, a city wall, the inside of a city and so on.

Anyways, awhile ago my friend tried to make a campaign out of it but he dropped it due to it being really complex. I think he wanted to do a proper world gen for it but the amount of detail work was daunting.

However, with the advent of 4e, and the fact that I finished my last final and was pacing in my room, I came up with my own adaption:

Carcassone, the city, is created as normal. The players choose a direction to go to, draw a tile from a bag and lay it down, obeying all the rules involving connecting tiles together. However, if they draw a city tile and it can connect, then they must continue drawing tiles until the city is completed. Any tiles that aren't city tiles are simply put aside until the city is finished, in which case the non-city tiles are placed back in the bag.

Now, all cities have three stats: Intrigue, Action and Combat. Intrigue is to represent social type stuff: role-play centric, social skills etc. Action represents non-combative adventuring: trap finding, stealing treasure etc. Combat is combat.

Each player has three tokens. They put two into their primary preference and one into their secondary. So as a player, if I wanted Combat as my primary and Intrigue as my secondary, two of my tokens go into the Combat pool and one goes into the Intrigue pool.

The tokens are then tallied up. The tallies then indicate what kind of city the newly created city is: a city with a large Intrigue pool is an Intrigue city and so on. These tallies are noted down and affect the kind of 'quests' that come up when the PC's are in the city. 'Quests' have a primary description and a secondary description. The primary description is the highest value for that city. Secondary description is the second value. After the 'quest' is done, the primary pool is decremented by 2, the secondary pool left alone, and the tertiary pool raised by 1.

So let's say I have a city with C:12 I:5 A:7. From this, I can tell that my players want this to be a more combat heavy city. So the first quest I give them is a Pr:C Sc:A. So in this case, I decide it's a gang-war and the PC's have to stop it by assassinating one of the leaders. While it's combat heavy, there's some scaling walls, some stealthy bits and so on. After the 'quest', the city's new values are C:10 I:6 A:7. If the players stay in the city again, then it's another Pr:C Sc:A quest and at the end, C:8 I:7 A:7. In case of ties, I'd probably dice off. Maybe another Pr:C Sc:A quest occurs, the values then become C:6 I:8 A:7. So now the next quest is an Pr:I Sc:A.

The decrementing and raising is to make sure that if there's at least some variety, with variety depending on how into players are into a particular thing. As for world justifications: A drop in C means that there's just less enemies to kill, for whatever reason. A drop in A may mean that you've stolen a lot in this particular city and nothing is worth taking at the moment. A drop in I means that people are being more guarded about things so there is less socializing going around. A rise in C may mean that new blood is moving in or maybe the PC's ****** off the wrong people. A rise in A may mean that PC's dealing with a particular person was favourable and they want the PC's to do something for them. A rise in I may mean that the PC's have gotten some notoriety and they might want to talk their way out of it.

Once all values are equal or below 0, the pools reset to their original levels. This keeps combat cities combat-y and so on. Pools however only reset when they venture off to another city and take at least one quest there.

Also, once a city's values have been set, an appropriate name is given to it by the players. DM has veto but can't set the name himself.

Carcassonne primary pool is equal to the # of players + 1, secondary pool equal to the # of players and a tertiary equal to the # of players - 1. Players vote on which trait gets what pool.

If a certain type of tile runs out, I'll just buy another set and add to it.
Anyways, I'm done my ramblings. I probably mixed terminology up but I still have to run this past my friends to see if they are interested. Players have a lot more creative control in terms of dictating the campaign and DM's probably need to be really flexible for this campaign.

Sounds like an interesting idea to try. Warhammer Quest was a game along those lines I liked back in the 80's. It involved players drawing random dungeon tiles to explore and encountering random monsters, treasures and traps. It also had a relatively complete system for leveling up the characters and a good number of classes. Along similar lines was the boardgame Talisman, where you move around the board game's world drawing adventure cards.

Personally I'd love to see a variant on Warhammer Quest or Carcassone or such that uses D&D as its underlying mechanics. It'd probably be fun for quick games where you're just looking to do a lot of hack and slash without having to worry about a lot of pregame prep.
Interesting, but far too complex to use at the table (IMHO). However, I WILL consider using a carcassone game to generate a part of my world... I hadn't thought of that
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