The Game Roller

This page is meant to be used as a tool to generate game design ideas. Each load, it grabs two random mechanics and two random themes.

Mouse over the mechanics to get a description, and either click the die or reload the page to get a new combination. Mechanics and subjects are taken from Board Game Geek.

Area-Impulse / Variable Player Powers
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Miniatures / Civilization


Players subdivide turns into impulses alternating between players which repeat until both players pass (or in some cases a sunset die roll ends the impulses catching one or both players off guard). In those impulses a group of units is once activated or gets to act collectively. However instead of the activated units being grouped by a certain radius from a leader the units activated are in an area (and thus the need for the impulse system to have areas) The areas exist to define scope of activation on an impulse (as well as restrict what can be done on that impulse with respect to attack and movement range). Finally before the next turn of impulses units are reset regaining the ability to act.
Variable Player Powers is a mechanic that grants different abilities and/or paths to victory to the players. To illustrate, here are some notable examples. In Ogre, one player controls a single powerful piece, and the other plays many weaker units. The net effect is a balanced game. In Cosmic Encounter, each player is assigned a random special ability at the beginning of the game. Although each player has the same victory goal (control five non-home colonies), their abilities enable differing means to the end. In Here I Stand, each player controls a political power with unique ways to score victory points. Some focus on military conquest, some on religious influence, etc.