• Alternate Format: Riddler's Rumble


    So, sometimes you get worn out of the continual grind of new releases, competitive events and rules changes and updates. Sometimes you just want to enjoy Dice Masters in a limited format and just hang with your friends. But what do you do if there are 3 of you? What do you do if your store doesn't have any product to draft, or you own every card? You need a fun limited format to enjoy.

    Today i'm going to highlight a format I've designed, inspired by Magic the Gathering's Momir Basic. For those of you who aren't aware, Momir is a format where you don't actually build a team, you buy random characters from a pool, based solely on their purchase cost. The randomness and hilarity that result are pure entertainment, and the same effect occurs when you're buying random DM characters.

    First, let's talk about the format. Riddler's Rumble is effectively a cube like limited format, with an alternate drafting mechanic, that distributes cards at a high amount of randomness. I've written up the Rules for Riddler's Rumble and uploaded them to Google Drive, to make them easy to share. Feel free to click the Drive link above and read along.

    Riddler's Rumble is designed to play with 2-6 players, and the more the merrier. Each player needs 7 sidekicks, 1 Riddler die and a common Riddler card. In addition, they will be dealt a random BAC from a pool of all available BACs, and they will put 6 dice on said BAC. After this set up, Players begin play as normal, with the exception that Riddler's character text is replaced with the following global:
    “Global: Pay X generic to draw a random card with cost X from the box and place it on your team. Place one matching die of selected card in your used pile. Limit, usable no more than twice per turn, no matter how many copies of Riddler are in game. Each use in a turn must be for a different value of X.”
    So, on your turn, you buy a 4 cost character, who is randomly drawn from the 80+ 4 cost characters in the pool, then add his die (also from a pool) to your used. What's the pool you may ask?



    This is mine. It's every non-starter common card in the game, and one die to match. Oddly enough, that fits comfortable in a medium cad box, and a collectors box for dice. Your pool can consist of all uncommons, all rarities of all DC characters, or what ever combination of cards you think you would want. What ever assortment you decide upon, ensure a high amount of randomness by including at least 20% of the cards you own for each cost category (2 cost, 3 cost, 7+ cost, etc.) Minimum numbers are listed in the rules document above.

    So, putting it all together, you have 8 dice(one is Riddler) a random BAC (from the 100+ available) with 6 dice, and each turn you can grab up to two random characters from the pool. You fill your team up with random characters, then can replace the really bad ones, but the rest of the game is about diplomacy and negotiations to allow you to attack your opponents, but not immediately leave yourself open for retaliation by the up to 5 other players in the game. Over all, it's one big party game. To ensure games don't drag on to infinity, after each player has filled their teams completely, each player begins losing 1 life at the end of their turn. This ensures that once the game is up and running, action doesn't stagnate, and the pressure slowly builds.

    In the end, the format is meant to be fun and random. If your group starts to figure out what the power cards in the format are, change the pool! the high randomness, the ease that it's possible to change the meta, it all means that the format shouldn't stagnate and boredom should never ensue. So, while you're waiting to use your Bard teams against their counter bard teams at your next constructed event, or waiting for Civil War to drop, pull out your assembled Riddler's Rumble Box and just have a random afternoon!
    Comments 20 Comments
    1. KennedyHawk's Avatar
      KennedyHawk -
      Looks fun. Is it clunky to find the cards that match the dice each time someone purchases a character?

      We'll be trying this in home this week hopefully
    1. Wargfn's Avatar
      Wargfn -
      This is a very interesting party type game. I can't wait to see if I can get the guys to try it.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by KennedyHawk View Post
      Looks fun. Is it clunky to find the cards that match the dice each time someone purchases a character?

      We'll be trying this in home this week hopefully
      You draw a card at random, then my dice are organized by set, so really you're looking at 1/40 dice each time, and the collector's boxes let you see every die all in one layer, so not too clunky. Also, you're searching for at most 1-2 dice at a turn, so it's not terrible. In addition, the die goes to used, so you can usually do that while the next person is taking their turn.

      I COULD probably label the sets along the plastic trays, would make clean up and finding easier....
    1. KennedyHawk's Avatar
      KennedyHawk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmeld View Post
      You draw a card at random, then my dice are organized by set, so really you're looking at 1/40 dice each time, and the collector's boxes let you see every die all in one layer, so not too clunky. Also, you're searching for at most 1-2 dice at a turn, so it's not terrible. In addition, the die goes to used, so you can usually do that while the next person is taking their turn.
      Thanks for the clarification.

      Making a cube of this tonight
    1. IsaacBV's Avatar
      IsaacBV -
      I love this idea, I think it might even get some of the ''non-DM'' boardgamers interested in playing with the cards and dice. Great job @Shadowmeld
    1. SarkhanMad's Avatar
      SarkhanMad -
      I think this would play well with teams. Not necessarily the doubles format, but even just "pairing up" players before starting. Then when you draft a card, you can choose to either add it to your team, or swap the card AND die with one of your teammates card AND die. As long as one of the teammates win, your team wins. (essentially, one player would be a "farmer")
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by SarkhanMad View Post
      I think this would play well with teams. Not necessarily the doubles format, but even just "pairing up" players before starting. Then when you draft a card, you can choose to either add it to your team, or swap the card AND die with one of your teammates card AND die. As long as one of the teammates win, your team wins. (essentially, one player would be a "farmer")
      That would be a great Variant Variant :P

      But yeah, this format hasn't gotten ALOT of testing, so if you find any tweaks, please let me know what works best for you. I'm excited to see some folks at Origins, DTC and even WKO2s and maybe get a game of this in!
    1. SarkhanMad's Avatar
      SarkhanMad -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmeld View Post
      That would be a great Variant Variant :P

      But yeah, this format hasn't gotten ALOT of testing, so if you find any tweaks, please let me know what works best for you. I'm excited to see some folks at Origins, DTC and even WKO2s and maybe get a game of this in!
      You've essentially created a singleton cube with an in-game random draft. I'm afraid that is going to lead to some very un-synergistic teams. Which is fine, because it sounds like your intentions where for "fun", not competitive. But from my experience, this type of cube creates teams that end up NOT being any fun to play (similar to a poorly drafted rainbow draft team). Putting more thought and work into your pool of cards can help with that, in addition to having teammates working together to build 1 power team (and 1 or more "support teams" ????).

      But yeah, anything that makes use of those extra dice and cards in a limited format is awesome! So thanks. I'd like to see more of that...
    1. SarkhanMad's Avatar
      SarkhanMad -
      I think the biggest obstacle with this is still converting a 2 player combat game into a multiplayer game.

      Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmeld View Post
      Each player may attack any other player(s) but each player may only block against attacks made against themselves.
      Have you tested allowing players to block for other players?

      Edit: Or even allowing players to field their characters onto others field? Placing continuous action dice onto other players fields (idea stolen from xenoshyft onslaught)

      Edit again:
      If you think about a 4 player, 2 team game. If seat 1 attacks, they leave themselves open to seat 2 (that's normal DM gameplay). But if their teammate (seat 3) is allowed to either block for them AND/OR field some chump blockers onto seat 1's board, then seat 1 wouldn't be as vulnerable against seat 4.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by SarkhanMad View Post
      I think the biggest obstacle with this is still converting a 2 player combat game into a multiplayer game.



      Have you tested allowing players to block for other players?

      Edit: Or even allowing players to field their characters onto others field? Placing continuous action dice onto other players fields (idea stolen from xenoshyft onslaught)

      Edit again:
      If you think about a 4 player, 2 team game. If seat 1 attacks, they leave themselves open to seat 2 (that's normal DM gameplay). But if their teammate (seat 3) is allowed to either block for them AND/OR field some chump blockers onto seat 1's board, then seat 1 wouldn't be as vulnerable against seat 4.
      These are all valid points, but part of the intent of this game is for everyone to start on the defensive, then slowly chip away at each other until everyone dies form one person hitting the Mutually Assured Destruction button. Sure, someone could get lucky and have a Wonder Woman and another JLA character, or someone could get dealt Imprisoned and everyone starts capturing the WHOLE FIELD, but in the long run, that's the point. to allow cards that COULD be power cards, to be power cards by eliminating the limitation of having to build competitively. There's VERY LITTLE choice in what type of synergies you get, and so yes, someone will get a really good combo, and that will win in the long run, but then everyone else will likely team up to slow them down.

      It's more a group dynamic social party game than a game that has to feel balanced. I mean, all those characters that reduce purchase costs.... are essentially blank text cards, but they add variety to the play experience by giving you that "ugh, not a vixen" draw. Sure, you could make a more compelling pool of cards, and honestly that probably deserves refinement. However, I wanted to get talk about that going by introducing the format and letting each local scene decide for themselves what cards to put in that pool of characters.

      Remember, I made this up, so make it your own, don't believe that there is any gospel on how it has to be run. However, use the framework I've set out, and adapt your pool. If you find the game plays to slow, up the life loss to 2/turn. Too fast? delay the life loss. Not enough Chaos? Deal 2 BACs each! have fun with it.
    1. SarkhanMad's Avatar
      SarkhanMad -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmeld View Post
      everyone dies form one person hitting the Mutually Assured Destruction button.

      I like this! I can envision a cascading casualties effect here. With the player who actually hit that button being among them!
    1. Ressless's Avatar
      Ressless -
      Do you have every card only once in this box?

      I think i would just add some additional cards i have just for this purpose.

      Thanks for this interesting cube mechanic. I tried a while ago something similar like the Hearthstone Arena Mode, but i guess it is easier just with dice and areas to draw from !!!
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ressless View Post
      Do you have every card only once in this box?

      I think i would just add some additional cards i have just for this purpose.

      Thanks for this interesting cube mechanic. I tried a while ago something similar like the Hearthstone Arena Mode, but i guess it is easier just with dice and areas to draw from !!!
      Yes, one card only of each die. More random chance and less predictable result is better for the game play.
    1. Mausphart's Avatar
      Mausphart -
      Any special reason you picked the Riddler? I can't imagine that it would matter that much if I changed the starting character would it?
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mausphart View Post
      Any special reason you picked the Riddler? I can't imagine that it would matter that much if I changed the starting character would it?
      In part I picked Riddler because he is new, his stats are highly defensive and, lastly, there is no Arcade or Mojo in Dice Masters, and to me, Riddler is pretty similar.

      Yeah, you could Swap out for any one else, but I recommend an average Fielding cost, a purchase cost of 4 and mostly defensive stats. Rolling an early character face shouldn't give a player a significant advantage if they swing with their character.
    1. SirFrankus's Avatar
      SirFrankus -
      This sounds like so much fun!

      I have some tweak/variant ideas I might make when I try (or trouble shoot) this to cater my group:

      1. Is only 1 die enough?
      I might suggest adding another card of each character (UC or C depending on preference), just to get more abilities/dice out there. If I stuck to only one IP (Marvel/DC/D&D) I think it'd be a must.

      Another potential way to get another dice for a card is some rule that let's someone buy a 2nd die of the associated card on a subsequent turn (but all cards are max:2).
      There are just too many cards that work much better in numbers (many of the cheap ones especially).
      I understand you'd need twice as much storage (2 of each die). Again narrowing down to a single IP would help here.

      I'm not sure If I'd bring a full fledged "EVERYTHING I HAVE" cube to a store. An event of that magnitude might just have to be at my house, where all my dice are just sitting in their appropriate containers on the shelf next to my gaming table, easily allowing us to find multiples. If bringing to a store however, a nice compact version would probably serve just fine.

      2. Not enough PVP going on? Lots of picking on the little guy or ganging up happening?

      This one is a big'un....I've borrowed some ideas from a multi-player variant I read on BGG (or maybe reserve pool).
      (Familiarity of the game "Smash Up" may help understand this crazy convoluted idea.)

      -Have a powerful BAC/AC Serve as a BASE in the middle of the table.
      -You don't attack each other, you attack the BASE (BAC).
      -After you declare attackers, your opponents defend the base through assigning blockers.
      ---*Going clockwise from the attacker, each player gets one opportunity to declare as many blockers as they want from their field.
      ---(Maybe no gang-up blocking would help speed this up...all blocks are 1 for 1 unless a card's ability says otherwise?) Definitely no multi-player blocking a single die.
      --------(This defending could also be negotiated, but I feel that could get messy.)

      -Once the final person makes their blocking decisions, carry on and resolve combat.
      -Any dice that get through the defenses are placed onto the BASE (BAC).
      -Once the BASE (BAC) Fills up to the appropriate amount (or BREAKS for SMASH UP fans), who ever had the majority adds one of those BAC's dice to their used.

      Game could end after all Dice are purchased from the card, with the winner being whoever had the most copies of that BAC die.
      Basically the BAC Dice associated with the BASE are victory points.

      Notes -
      Not sure how to resolve overcrush abilities. (tokens equal to the mount of Attack that got through placed on BASE?~too fiddly for me)
      Not sure how to determine what to use as the unit to measure the BASE strength...i'm going with purchase costs (sidekicks getting a 1 for the purposes of the variant) or total attack value.
      Other ways to measure BASE strength (breaking threshhold) could be...
      1. Attack values must equal or surpass purchase cost on card
      2. A set value (like 10) always resolves a break, where someone gets a die (VP).
      3. Maybe a VP gets given out after everyone gets one turn/chance to attack.
      4. Not sure how to break ties...probably just keep going until someone has majority.

      Would you pull out a new BASE after all the dice were purchased from it?
      Would you just have a certain number of BAC Dice on the Base depending on player count?
      Multiple bases at once?
      Making that BASE BAC "End of Days" or "Imprisoned" would make for some crazy fun!

      Again, I hope I'm not overstepping. I just really like this idea and want to brainstorm ways to get it to adapt to a variety of groups.

      P.S. - I totally thought of MOJO while I was reading this!
      We had a GALACTUS solo-variant, we really need a MOJO multiplayer melee variant!
    1. Yort's Avatar
      Yort -
      I love all the alternate format ideas that come out. We have a local store here that's been doing themed campaign cooperative modes (started with D&D, now doing a World's Finest and X-Men Danger Room version) that I'd really like to try.
      At one point in time, I created a Google Doc to track all the variant ideas, freely editable by anyone. I added this one as well, but is there a spot on TRP for this type of alternate format?
      http://tinyurl.com/hrwatdt
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by Yort View Post
      I love all the alternate format ideas that come out. We have a local store here that's been doing themed campaign cooperative modes (started with D&D, now doing a World's Finest and X-Men Danger Room version) that I'd really like to try.
      At one point in time, I created a Google Doc to track all the variant ideas, freely editable by anyone. I added this one as well, but is there a spot on TRP for this type of alternate format?
      http://tinyurl.com/hrwatdt
      Any time you're looking to collect information like this, the Wiki is the place to go. However, if you want it to have a more public face, perhaps post it in one fo the forums that's appropriate (General perhaps) then report your own post, requesting a sticky. If we think it's relevant we'll toss you a stick. Collecting Alternate formats is a great stick worthy excercise. @pk2317
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Wow!

      Acannavino did an amazing job tooling out a flier for Riddler's Rumble!
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1P...w?usp=drivesdk
    1. SirFrankus's Avatar
      SirFrankus -
      I ran this at my FLGS yesterday. I called it "Marvel Melee" because I only used the Marvel sets (2 common and 1 UC of each character, 3x common versions of starter characters when applicable). I did two 2-player games where we just tried bringing 20 life to zero, and once 3 player with my "BAC-Assemble" being a "base" with each die representing a VP...1st to 2 VP wins.

      Both versions worked really well. But I have some notes.

      Common Namor and common Silver Sable kinda broke this thing, as did the "Betrayal" BAC. In a "one of each" format, these cards are more unlikely to show up, but I still thought I'd mention it.

      If there wasn't a strong win-con card out, we all just sort of walled up and chipped away. Chipping away was even more difficult since there was more than 1 opposing field. I'm brainstorming ways to speed up the end-game so it doesn't stall out. The rule where we all take a damage if we have 8 cards didn't come into play, because I was churning the same 6 dice over and over.

      Also, does the Riddler card count as one of your 8 limit? If you decide to replace him, you can and still use your opponents for the global?

      Is there a "variant" thread in the forums?, or do we keep discussing this stuff in the article?

      Again, kudos to Shadowmeld for devising such a nifty format! Everyone at my FLGS really enjoyed it!