Oath | Developer Kit

Designer/Developer Diary, Oath -

Oath | Developer Kit

Hello everyone! Over the past few months, it's been so wonderful to see Oath in the wild. I've taken a lot of pleasure from eavesdropping on sessions reports and discussions of the game. There is no feeling in the world like seeing something you worked on shared and enjoyed by so many others.

Today, I wanted to celebrate the game by sharing a couple things with you all. First, I want to share a little Developer's Kit which contains many Oath assets you can use to make your own cards and variants. Second, want to share a variant you can use to start a fresh chronicle.

Developer's Kit

Though we packed Oath with nearly as much content as we could possibly fit in the box, we've already started to see people cook up their own ideas for new cards, roles, and modes of play. We though perhaps we'd help the process along by releasing a fulsome development kit, including all of the assets you need to build your own cards.

I've structured these files mostly as PNG's which are meant to be layered on top of each other and whatever art you cook up. I've also dropped in some vectors for all of the game's wooden pieces and icons. Have fun!

To download the files, click here.

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Starting Fresh

In Oath, players are welcome to continue layering generation upon generation to their heart's content. There is no predetermined end point. I'm happy to say that this was always a central element of the game's design, from the first pitch meeting to the game you might have on your table.

If you'd like to see how the game can change, take a lot at this chart from Lily Gould of MakeCraftGame:

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As you can see, the composition of the deck can swing in some interesting directions in the first 20 or so games. Generally the deck will develop into a “tilted” deck pretty quickly, but it takes a really, really long time for a suit to get fully pushed out and even that is rare. More commonly the suits will fluctuate, rising and falling over the course of several games. While I'd like to take some of the credit for this ebb and flow, I'd be the first to admit that most of it is controlled by the players. If players want to repress a suit or build one up, there's a lot they can do to stack the deck in its favor.

If you want to see more numbers from Lily's chronicle, check out her wonderful blog post here

This ebb and flow is one of my favorite things about Oath, and I think it's one place where the game is wholly unlike anything else out there. But, sometimes it's nice to start fresh. I especially like starting fresh if I've got some visors who know the game well and we're getting ready on playing several games of Oath over a weekend or small gaming convention.

There are basically two ways of doing this. First, you can take the game back to its “factory default” by following the card guide on our website. It can be done with tutorial, without tutorial, or be randomized. With these options, you are more-or-less starting the adventure over from the first step. The game will undoubtedly take different turns, but you'll be giving everyone a familiar starting place.

But players don't have to do this. My favorite way to start over is to create a balanced but fully randomized start. Here's how it works.

I. Select the Denizens
Shuffle all of the cards of the same suit together (minus edifices of course). Then I draw 9 cards from each suit and shuffle them together in a single deck.

II. Create the world
Shuffle all of the site cards and deal them out to the board. Then roll the D6 and flip over that many sites. Usually I flip them starting in the Cradle and moving outwards. If the site doesn't have capacity (like the Drowned City), replace it with another site and shuffle the Drowned City with the remaining facedown sites.

III. Create the Chancellor's Empire
Deal everyone 5 cards from the world deck and take turns placing cards on face up sites. Generally I only put 1 or 2 cards per site. As a variant, consider dealing out 10 cards from the world deck and then collectively decide which cards should be played to which sites.

Finally, return all of the cards not put on sites to the deck. Shuffle the deck and then prepare the game for play (placing relics on sites, stacking the world deck, etc).

That's all there is to it. And there are certainly other ways reset the game as well. The only piece of general advice I'd give to groups is to find ways to enfranchise your players in the resetting so that they will start with a stake in what happens next.

Edit: There's some small issues with getting the vectors for the pawns and wood. I'll put together an update within a few days or early next week.



- Cole Wehrle

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