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 Copyright Eric Pietrocupo

E-Mail: ericp[AT]lariennalibrary.com

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Spellcraft: Rise of the Sorcerers: Expandable Edition

Page: GameIdea.GameIdea-SpellcraftROTSExed - Last Modified : Wed, 10 Sep 14 - 589 Visits
How much do you like this idea?

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Very Good (10/10) The game is very interesting, make it as soon as possible.
Good (8/10) Great idea but some modifications are required.
Fair (6/10) Interesting but a lot of things are missing.
Bad (4/10) Would need to completely redesign the idea in order to work.
Very Bad (2/10) It will never be interesting, abandon the idea.
Already Exist (0/10) Do not waste time on this game idea.

Status: CLOSED

  • The game will be converted as a single player game due to the depth required for spell casting.
  • Not sure yet about keeping the game expandable
  • Not much idea of the mechanics, will have to do some research

Progress: Partially Designed
Priority: High
Number of players: 1 - 5 players
Expected Play time: 180 - 240 minutes

Note: this project is a redesign of the previous game idea of the same name that can be found at the link below. The goal is to use a different approach than the previous version

Spellcraft: Rise of the Sorcerers


A board game version of the famous master of magic video game. Now this version try to break with the previous attemps by using an new expandable game approach. Some mechanics from the old system might be reused, but the look and feel is quite diffirent.


There have been so many work on the old design that lead nowhere that I decided to start fresh again. I want to use an expandable aproach in order to have a working game sooner, and add content to the game as it get's played. This way it makes the project less overwhelming and allows getting feedback sooner.

I might inspire myself from toy play games and piece pack so that more games and variants could be made with the same components. It should make the game easier to design this way if such flexibility is possible. So the expandability of the game, is simply to push the flexibility of the game and get a playable game even if incomplete. It should also have the possibility to have unique location, cities, events which adds a lot of variety like it's the case of many adventure games.


Master of magic and all it's clone like Age of wonders, warlock master of the arcane, Heroes of might and magic, etc. Nations board game and a couple of other civ board games could be a good source of inspiration.

Priority Evaluation

Theme vs Mechanics: I have a better core mechanics that could be working. Plus all he discoveries I made in the previous project.
Video vs Board Game: Can be played as a video or board game.
Single vs Multi player: Not essential, but considering single player pretty much. 2 player indirect could be another option
Rating = 6/12


The major improvement to the old design is that there are no maps anymore. The game now be a bit more centralised like it's the case of the "Nations" board game. Cities will be placed on cards instead of a map, allowing to use a smaller set of cities and making it more convenient to adapt the game to various number of players. I want to centralise more the design and make sure that larger territory empire are not that more powerful than smaller territory empire.

I intend to use a similar combat mechanics which is similar to the "War" cards game. Both players flip a card and compare. I might even add dice rolls to the unit duels since with less cities there should be much less battles.

There will be an action system with a variable amount of action, and non-plit resources to allow a huge variety of flexibility. I am not sure yet if I want the choose 3 or 5 focus system (Civilisation, Military, Empire, Magic, Politics). One of the reason is that I want to simplify civ management and give more space to magic, so I might not need a magic action anymore. I could simplify to (Civ, Military, Empire), maybe you chose 1 or 2 of 3. Maybe all actions get executed all the time, but their outcome is always random reducing the dominant strategy.

Magic: This is the biggest issue in the game, I intend to make player be able to set mana aside to maintain enchantments, Then unsued mana will be available for each battle (if you have 3 mana left, each battle has 3 mana). The idea is that all spells must be proportional to the whole empire, but it was complicated to achieve for non enchantement spells, so by multiplying the mana for each battle, it should solve the problem and allow direct attack spells again.

Problems that prevent development

In order to make the project advance, I am going to use a toy play aproach. I am going to try designing components without any particualr rule and mind, play with them and make up some mechanics. Then when I want to add a new concept, I create and addup new components to the lot and see how I can make rules out of them. It will be a completely different approach than what I am used to do.

News, changes and updates

September 10th 2014: I have a very nice deck building mechanic for building up a spell book. The thing is, that spells need to affect things in the game, and if there is not enought things to affects, theren you cannot design many unique spell. The folowwing idea is to make the spell book deck building the core of the game. The civilization management would be accessory or trivial. I could be managed by an AI, or you could specify the grand policies and the AI would take care of it.

But since that does not give you absolute control on what is going to happen, this is where spells come handy to fix the problems that civilization policies could not fix. I am not sure that I could make a 4X game this way, because expanding and empire is harder to manage with an AI than simply maintaining it. So maybe the game would be a empire facing many threath and using your magic to protect it.

By thinking about it, it's like Pocket Civ. You build your empire and try to survive the hazards, But this time you have spells. I always found pocket civ to be a bit dull, because it was only an hazard survival game, but that could be adapted to make it look other wise. You could enter contact with other civilization and build up relations with them to avoid such hazards.

So in the end it would be a solo or 2 player card game. It could look interesting and it could be very thematic by adding unique locations, events, etc. Well will see.

Related Threads

Board game Geek: Civilization & Magic: Proportional Actions and spells (April 2014)
Board Game Designer Forum: Civilization & Magic: Proportional Actions and spells ( April 2014)
Board game Geek: Flexible Game design: How and why (april 2014)
Board Game Designer Forum: Flexible Game design: How and why ( april 2014)

Development Log

3-May-2014IdeaI think I found the core system. Cities would give production level in each of the 5 focus to be compared to fullfil an action. You use the highest city level, so at a certain point more cities does not give you a stronger benefit.
3-May-2014IdeaAgain for the core rules, gold, mana and influence resources will be accumulated diffently again using cities. Larger empire will have more gold while smaller empire will have more influence. The resource total will limit elements of the game. For example: Gold restrict how many units you can have. But there will be maintenance space for each game element, so you could have up to X gold of units, armies, Heroes, etc. So addinng knew elements to the game does not split up the resource. Each spell type like enchantment, summon and combat spells might also have their own maintenance space.

Playtest Log

DateResultsPlay TimePlayersDescription
April 2014Neutral30 minSolitaireI made a quick improvised toy play test. It does not seems ackward, but i'll have to play with real components to facilitate the immersion. I'll start by designing cities and play with them to see what mechanics I can come up with. I want to set the civilization development system.

Back to my list of Board Games and Ideas

Prototype Pictures

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News, changes and updates

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