Mad Alchemist

I do not recommend making a board game for 7DRL.

Making a board game is actually a lot more work than it looks. Sure, prototyping is fun and you get to scribble and draw. But cutting out proper tiles, buying accessories and writing the rule book is hard work. Especially the rule book because it’s worse than programming – computers don’t second guess your rules. So I’ve got a rule book, and I’ve made a prototype. As for printouts for you to play yourself, you’ll have to wait because it’s a lot more effort than I’ve had time for this week.

For this game I wanted a real Ameritrash genre feel, like playing Hero Quest. But Aaron, I was expecting some Eurogame offering after your slew of puzzle games. Nonsense. That’s for someone else to try, I wanted pure gambling fun. Every move a risk.

I started with taking the tile revealing mechanic from Carcasonne to make a dungeon building sub-game to move your pawn through. This was a bit crap because it was too easy to exploit. But locking it to vision suddenly revealed the roguelike charm – entering a tile became a risk because it automatically revealed traps. I simplified combat down to one die for everything (I would use coloured dice as markers, because it’s so much easier to grok that it’s just a score to roll over), then simplified the items down to potions. I handled the much loved identification game by laying down effects cards and covering them with symbol cards to represent potion colours – this bit probably deserves its own card game. There’s some interesting psychology on what potions to identify when others have the same potion.

The name of the game comes from the encounter card Mad Alchemist. He is a barrier that starts throwing potions at players. This really gets the identification game going.



So, um,  yes. If you can find me, then you’re welcome to have a game of Mad Alchemist. I have the 64 tiles plus cards and 20+ coloured dice required to play.

The depressingly unillustrated rule book is here:

If you’re an artist and you want to make a lot of art work for the game then yeah, I’ll cut you in 50% on what’s uploaded to In the mean time I will try and make some print outs. It’s been a while since I last used Illustrator.

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