Author Topic: House rules: The Princess & the Dragon (Pompeii)  (Read 1166 times)

Offline Professor

  • Vagabond
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Merit: 1
  • I haven't updated my profile yet!
    • View Profile
House rules: The Princess & the Dragon (Pompeii)
« on: April 07, 2023, 05:16:19 AM »
Hello everyone,

I just wanted to share with you the customised and simplified rules I use when playing The Princess & the Dragon with younger players (6-7 years old). We do not play with all the rules (they are still learning the basics), but we use the tiles from the Princess & the Dragon expansion, so that the game gets longer. We do not use the dragon and the fairy figures (they make the game too complex and competitive), but we respect some symbols (princess and magic portal), and make up some new rules with the remaining ones (volcano and dragon). Because of this, I call this variant Pompeii. The rules are as follows:

  • Volcano tiles are placed as regular tiles, but no meeples can be placed on them because they are "active" and it would be dangerous.
  • When a player draws and places a dragon tile, the player decides which volcano erupts violently. When a volcano erupts, all the meeples on the current adjacent tiles (even diagonally) are "destroyed" (they go back to the owners' supply).

And that's all. It's a simpler way to play with the art of this expansion and things get easier for learning players. Uncompleted features that have been devastated can be re-claimed thanks to the magic portal or by placing the meeple in another part of this feature (far from the volcano). In this way, volcano and meeple placement become more strategic. I guess that there may be more considerations for the adjacent tiles, figures and tokens, especially if they are combined with other expansions:

  • I feel that most meeples and tokens must be destroyed when a volcano erupts: abbots, large meeples, mayors, wagons, pig, sheep... (probably, there'd be some exceptions, depending on the rules of each expansion).
  • Some buildings and items should be removed (towers, big top, ingots, bridges...), some tiles should go back to the stack (a tile with a bridge, monasteries, little buildings, castles...) and other features should be reset or incapacitated (tunnels, fruit-bearing trees, crops, inns...). In any case, new meeples and tiles can be placed in devastated spaces (representing how landscape changes after a volcanic eruption).

I hope you like this, and I'm looking forward for your feedback and consideration for the "House rules" section in the Wikicarpedia.

Have fun!

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=6334.0

Offline kothmann

  • Viscount
  • ****
  • Posts: 813
  • Merit: 94
  • Oh! That’s interesting...
    • View Profile
Re: House rules: The Princess & the Dragon (Pompeii)
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2023, 05:27:25 AM »
Hello everyone,
Hello @Professor.  Welcome to the Forum!

Quote
I call this variant Pompeii. The rules are as follows:
I love the name and the rules.  I think it is much better than my many attempts to make dragon / volcano variants (here and here).

A few comments…
  • The rules say, “after the tile is placed”, so the volcano eruption happens at the end of “part 1” of the turn?  In other words, if I place a dragon tile that joins your city, then erupt a volcano and kills your meeple, can I now place my meeple in your city?  I think it would be more interesting if the eruption happens after meeple placement, so by causing an eruption, you leave a feature open that the next player can claim.  This is also the point in the turn when the dragon normally moves, so the rule would be closer to the official rules, which can be nice.
  • In general, I try to avoid rules that allow one player to inflict significant harm on another player of their choosing.  It’s why I don’t like the official rules for Belagerer, for example, because you just take points away from an opponent.  Pompeii is better than that, because the region of danger is very clear, so players can try to avoid it, but they may have previously placed meeples in harms way.
  • I assume that each volcano can erupt multiple times?  I like this because it is simple.  But it seems like it would be very destructive!  Wiping out all meeples in a 9-tile region 12 times during a game seems like a lot!  it also makes the decisions pretty simple: erupt a volcano that is near the player you think is winning, or a player who has a lot to lose.  What if you placed a “dormant” token on a volcano after it erupted, and then all neighboring tiles count +1 for scoring, because of the lush volcanic soil?  Again, this adds complexity to the eruption decision, because now there will be a dormant volcano that someone else can occupy and it will be valuable territory.  It also limits the extent of destruction.  Obviously, you now have twice as many dragons as volcanos, so sometimes the dragon tile doesn’t do anything?
  • Oh here’s another idea!  Put the dragon on the volcano that just erupted.  The volcano with the dragon can’t erupt.  This prevents any single volcano from erupting twice in a row!  Oooh, I might try this one.

Of course, this is your expansion, and it sounds like you have play-tested it with success, so feel free to ignore my comments. 

+1 merit from me for sharing such a cool idea.

Offline Professor

  • Vagabond
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Merit: 1
  • I haven't updated my profile yet!
    • View Profile
Re: House rules: The Princess & the Dragon (Pompeii)
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2023, 05:07:28 PM »
Hi @kothmann Thank you for your feedback!

As you may have noticed, I'm new here and perhaps this post should have been somewhere else (Variant Workshop?). Maybe we can work towards a more complete variant worth posting on the Workshop section or your blog. First, I want to remind you that I keep the rules of this variant quite simple because I play it with very young players (even younger than the age recommendation on the box), but I'm glad it can appeal to a more adult demographic. In any case, I feel that some issues must be adressed, since when deciding on how to resolve some conflicts, I don't find any kind of resistance or rebuttal on behalf of my young oponents.

Quote
I think it would be more interesting if the eruption happens after meeple placement, so by causing an eruption, you leave a feature open that the next player can claim.

I have to admit that I've been very inconsistent in this department. The order you propose (meeple placement and then volcano eruption, and finally scoring) seems the most logical one and in line with the official rules. Once, I claimed a city whose knight was destroyed by the eruption, in the same turn I placed the dragon tile. Retrospectively, this looks very unfair and, for the next games, I'll try to stick to the order you propose.

Quote
it seems like it would be very destructive!  Wiping out all meeples in a 9-tile region 12 times during a game seems like a lot!

As I told you above, I use this variant with young learning players (we've just introduced the farmer feature) and we do not follow these rules very thoroughly. Early in the game, when a volcano can erupt, it is not always surrounded by the eight tiles and the damage is not that devastating. Also, players may draw a dragon tile when there aren't any volcanoes on the board. We place it with no consequences, but, according to official rules, it should be put away and reshuffled to the stack once the first volcano comes into play.

Quote
Put the dragon on the volcano that just erupted.  The volcano with the dragon can’t erupt.  This prevents any single volcano from erupting twice in a row!


I also think that, due to dragon and volcano tiles distribution, volcanoes shouldn't erupt more than twice (but it is quite difficult to track which volcanoes have already erupted and how many times). But as I said before, this can become tricky when players draw a lot of dragon tiles and there aren't enough volcanoes on the board. A way to solve this could be by putting away the dragon tiles and shuffle them in the stacks just after the second volcano has been placed. In this way, the dragon figure can be used to prevent a volcano from erupting twice in a row (and it moves to the next erupting volcano). In any case, it becomes very funny when players try to re-claim devastated unfinished features (via magic portals or by placing meeples on the remaining tiles around a volcano) and the volcano can erupt again (so limiting the times a volcano can erupt may result somehow in a killjoy, especially when a war for unfinished devastated features has begun). Also, I thought that the volcano that has to erupt could be randomised, but I can't think of a non-conflicting way of doing it.

Quote
What if you placed a “dormant” token on a volcano after it erupted, and then all neighboring tiles count +1 for scoring, because of the lush volcanic soil?  Again, this adds complexity to the eruption decision, because now there will be a dormant volcano that someone else can occupy and it will be valuable territory.  It also limits the extent of destruction.

I love this idea and I want to test it with grown-ups immediately. Maybe, the fairy figure could be used as a dormant token and you can only place it on a volcano that has already erupted and if you haven't taken any other action in the Placing a Meeple phase (even erupting a volcano). In this way, other players can change the status of other volcanoes, specially if they have valuable assets around them. The +1 scoring feature will only be available for those tiles neighboring a volcano when a feature is completed and the fairy is still on that volcano. I can see a lot of potential and fun here. Please, if you try it, let me know how it goes!

And after checking your rules for vulcan variations, now I'm convinced that volcanoes should affect scoring as well. Let's consider some options:

  • As you propose in a volcano variation, meeples may flee. They may score the incomplete features, but a condition should be met. One option is that players may pay one point per unfinished feature they want to score (so they are worth -1 point). Another option could be that, if players want to score their unfinished feature in full, they have to sacrifice their meeple (that is, instead of returning them to their supply, they just remove them from the game and they play with less meeples). Another option could be that meeples in the eruption area can score unfinished features only if a larger meeple is also found in that unfinished feature.
  • A meaner option could be that meeples wiped out by eruptions deduct points (thus representing the devastating consequences of actual volcanic eruptions). A point could be deducted per meeple wiped out by eruptions. Or they deduct the same points as the uncompleted feature they stand on is worth in the moment of the eruption.
  • A combination of the two previous options (this makes scoring a little bit more complex).

I'm really excited to check this variant with adult players. Keep the feedback coming please! Please, tell me if I haven't answered some of your questions, but, obviously, you can contribute with your own ideas and rules.

(btw, thank you for the merit, I don't know how to use this feature in this forum)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2023, 05:29:33 PM by Professor »

Offline kothmann

  • Viscount
  • ****
  • Posts: 813
  • Merit: 94
  • Oh! That’s interesting...
    • View Profile
Re: House rules: The Princess & the Dragon (Pompeii)
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2023, 11:00:02 AM »
I play it with very young players (even younger than the age recommendation on the box)
Lucky You!    :)

Quote
according to official rules, it should be put away and reshuffled to the stack once the first volcano comes into play.
Yuck.  I didn't know that was the official rule.  I thought you just played it with no action.

Quote
Also, I thought that the volcano that has to erupt could be randomised, but I can't think of a non-conflicting way of doing it.
I tried having a volcano erupt when the next volcano came out, but didn't really like that at all.  I have also tried not using the dragon tiles at all.  instead, I place the dragon on the first volcano that comes out, then have the dragon go on it's 6-tile rampage when the next volcano comes out, but at the end of the rampage, it flies to the new volcano.  So, you get the flavor of the dragon, but on a more limited scale that I think is also more interesting.  But then I need something to do with the dragon tiles... >:D

Quote
I love this idea and I want to test it with grown-ups immediately. Maybe, the fairy figure could be used as a dormant token and you can only place it on a volcano that has already erupted and if you haven't taken any other action in the Placing a Meeple phase (even erupting a volcano). In this way, other players can change the status of other volcanoes, specially if they have valuable assets around them.
Oh, nice!  Dormant volcanos are not extinct--they can erupt again! 

Quote
And after checking your rules for vulcan variations...makes scoring a little bit more complex.
I didn't end up loving those ideas when I played them.  I don't remember why, but complexity is often a problem for me.  Anyway good luck and please post results!

Quote
(btw, thank you for the merit, I don't know how to use this feature in this forum)
I understand it as a nice way to express appreciation for a valuable contribution to the community.   :(y)

Offline jacky1st2016

  • Villein
  • ***
  • Posts: 30
  • Merit: 0
  • I haven't updated my profile yet!
    • View Profile
Re: House rules: The Princess & the Dragon (Pompeii)
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2023, 03:47:34 AM »
https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=5264.0
You can check out my original rules.
Volcanic eruptions can be played better.
And can change the landscape again.


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via furl Share via linkedin Share via myspace Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via technorati Share via twitter

  Subject / Started by Replies / Views Last post
xx
Found thrift copy of Downfall of Pompeii by Klaus - Jurgen Wrede

Started by franks

7 Replies
4416 Views
Last post February 11, 2016, 09:29:14 PM
by Chuck
xx
House Rule for pig herd (River2+Dragon)

Started by OneEyedOwl

2 Replies
1396 Views
Last post April 20, 2022, 01:15:51 PM
by OneEyedOwl
xx
Must or may - The Princess (The Princess and The Dragon)

Started by Windekind

6 Replies
3857 Views
Last post March 11, 2019, 04:20:10 PM
by Meepledrone
xx
House Rules... a new fan =)

Started by AlbinoAsian

2 Replies
9839 Views
Last post August 14, 2013, 03:06:31 AM
by AlbinoAsian
xx
Best/Recommended House Rules

Started by cicerunner

6 Replies
3080 Views
Last post April 13, 2020, 08:00:46 PM
by dirk2112