"Fortune and Glory" Transformers Game?

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"Fortune and Glory" Transformers Game?

Postby Caelus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:22 am

This might make sense to put in Transtopia... I'm not sure, so I'm putting it here for now. Apologies if that's a bad decision.

Va'al's post got me to thinking about the up-sides to fandom, and the sorts of interactions I actually do miss not being on here. I stay pretty busy writing fiction, working on research, and doing housework, but outside of Heroclix maybe once a month and exchanging emails about stats with a researcher in Canada, I get little to no opportunities to socialize.

So, in the spirit of 'doing' something that's NOT important or necessary, I'm wondering:

(1) Has anyone else played Flying Frog's Fortune and Glory board game?

(2) Has anyone else thought about making a Transformers game built on the mechanics?

Fortune and Glory is a board game inspired by 1930s pulp-adventure radio-serial type fiction, and all of the ridiculous things it has inspired (most obviously, the Indiana Jones series). I got to thinking about it, and the writing/structure of old G1 cartoons FEELS exactly like an old radio serial. I mean, characters constantly say each other's names every three lines, so you know who is talking, and they can't make it more than seven and a half minutes without encountering some outlandish peril, with a pronounced musical flourish and a commercial break. It's a perfect fit

I've made tons of custom "Danger" cards for FANG because I got a hold of the template and broke it down into Power Point, but could never reproduce any of the other cards. Giving the game a full makeover into a different IP resolves that problem, though - I can scratch build the templates, so I can POTENTIALLY create a full set of printable cards for a playable game.

Even if I can never print off a copy myself, it feels like a fun thing to make and have out there; it's one of those things where "The journey is more important than the destination" - and maybe if this drums up interest in the actual Fortune and Glory game, that's a bonus - it's incredible fun, either for a big group of rowdy friends, or for a geeky couple with a lot of quiet nights and an otherwise empty home.

Anyway, I'm going to post my ideas here, and just let anyone intrigued dog-pile in with thoughts and suggestions.

I wrote up a document (1) explaining Flying Frog's base game for anyone who hasn't played, (2) explaining what I intend to modify, and (3) outlining what I would enjoy having help with.

That document came up to about six pages, though, so I'm going to knowingly break a forum rule and multi-post, so that it's all right here at the beginning of the thread, but separated out so it doesn't become a solid wall of text.
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Re: "Fortune and Glory" Transformers Game?

Postby Caelus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:32 am


This is a delightfully complicated game, but I feel it bears a decently full explanation for anyone interested, so this is going to be really long; sorry!

In Fortune and Glory (FANG for short), players choose an adventurer, and travel around the world braving a variety of dangers to recover ancient artifacts, racing against each other (competitive) or against mobsters, Nazis, or occultists (cooperative). This game will use the same basic mechanics with a few twists to accommodate the Transformers theme.

FANG is played with a board/map, miniatures, dice, and several decks of cards.

Three of these decks are the ADVENTURE deck, the ARTIFACT deck, and the LOCATION deck. Pulling one card from each deck creates a randomly generated ‘story’ inspired by 1930s radio serial adventures. For example, you may pull something like Temple (Artifact) of Doom (Adventure) in India (Location). The location, of course, determines where on the map you must travel to, the Adventure determines the number of DANGERS you must overcome, and the Relic determines a few extra game effects (e.g., additional hindrances while on the Adventure). If you overcome enough dangers, you recover the Artifact, and can then take it to a city and sell if for Fortune (in the form of gold coins). You win the game by reaching a set amount of FORTUNE (based on the number of players or the time constraints of the evening).

The dangers you must overcome are pulled at random from a deck of two-sided cards. Most dangers involve either successfully evading a booby trap (e.g., a giant rolling boulder) or surviving some cliché plot point (e.g., rendezvous in a night club). Dangers are usually defeated by passing some sort of TEST.

The tests mostly consist of rolling dice to beat a challenge. The randomly drawn danger determines the roll necessary (usually ranging from 4+ to 6), the number of rolls (ranging from 1 to 4) requiring that result, and which of four dice pools (Combat, Lore, Cunning, or Agility) you use to make the roll. For example, a “Lore 5+ XX” test requires you to roll your “Lore” dice and have at least two of them come up as a 5 or 6. If you succeed, you collect the danger card and make progress towards recovering the relic. If you fail, your turn ends and you flip the danger card over, to reveal a CLIFFHANGER which presents another danger you must overcome at the beginning of your next turn. Failure to overcome a Cliffhanger gets you badly wounded, and sent back to your hometown.

DETAIL: Most of the time, you don’t have to get all of your successful die rolls in one roll. For example, on a “Cunning 5+ XXX” test, if you roll your Cunning dice, and only get one five, that’s fine – you roll again, and if you get two more, you pass the test; you only fail if you don’t get any successes. Basically, you’re disarming a trap in increments, and you’re fine so long as you don’t set it off. Occasionally, though, you run across something like an “Agility 4+ XX" - this is a DEADLY test – like leaping across a collapsing bridge – you only get one chance to make the roll. On Deadly Tests, Cliffhangers, or when adventuring with another player, you can also EXERT yourself, by taking any number of WOUNDS and adding that number of dice to a roll being made for a Test.

Sometimes a Danger, Cliffhanger, or other game effect will give you the choice or require you to fight an ENEMY, usually drawn from one of two other decks (depending on who you’re playing against). Fighting enemies essentially amounts to passing a 4+ Combat Test a number of times equal to the enemy’s Wounds, except failing to score any hits during a roll does not automatically fail the test (you just don’t hit with that roll) and your enemy can roll back against you, based on his/her own combat score, and attempt to knock you out (based on your Wounds). Usually rolls are resolved simultaneously, and you both roll until one of you is out of Wounds. Usually you also have the option to “Escape” an enemy by passing some sort of test (usually Cunning or Agility) but almost no one ever does that.

In running around and doing all of this, you have six important numbers. Your "Wounds” determines how many times you can be hurt before you’re knocked out and have to go home. Your “Defense” determines how many of an enemy’s hits you can ignore during each roll of a fight. Your four skills determine how many dice you get to roll when rolling for different test. Your combat skill is also used to determine your fight dice (but a fight is basically just a Combat skill test, so ‘no duh’).

Your chosen character determines these numbers at the start of the game, with different characters being suited for different play styles. Characters’ starting Wounds range from 4 to 6, their Defense from 0-1, and their skills from 2-5. Characters also have traits that give them special abilities or handicaps – for example, a scientist may have a high combat skill, but in a fight only succeeds on a 5-6, rather than the normal 4-6. The martial artist may have a low number of Wounds, but be able to reroll her enemy’s fight dice to avoid being wounded. A pilot may not have an exceptionally high agility, but may get to roll extra dice when completing a danger that involves flying an airplane.

Completing dangers and defeating enemies also gains you GLORY – essentially reputation points you can spend to gain ALLIES or GEAR, drawn from other card decks. These Ally and Gear cards provide various bonuses and abilities that essentially improve your character over the course of the game, allowing him or her to more easily overcome harder tests and beat more difficult enemies. Having an Occult Book, for example, can increase you Lore skill by +2 (i.e., you get to roll two more dice on a Lore test). Having a survival knife can increase your Combat skill by +1. Having dynamite can let you instantly deal d6 damage to an enemy, or automatically pass certain dangers (e.g., rubble blocking your path), but must be discarded after you use it. Allies offer the same types of bonuses, just with a bit of extra flavor, and occasionally with a chance to run away, get kidnapped, or betray you, based on certain game conditions. Usually you can have a maximum of 3 gear and 3 allies. Allies are drawn at random from an Ally deck (5 glory a card), while Gear can be drawn at random from the Gear deck (5 glory a card), or purchased in a city (prices range from 1 to 25 glory, depending on the item).

There are also EVENT cards, which you pull at various times in the game. Most of these cards represent plot twists like sandstorms and volcanic eruptions, which you can usually choose to play at any time to help or hinder players or villains. Event cards are drawn when you roll a “1” for initiative (which determines the 1st player each turn) or movement (which determines how far you can move in a turn). You may also draw (based on house rules) when you ‘pass’ a turn without adventuring (e.g., on a roll of 1-2 you draw a random enemy card, a roll of 5-6 you draw an Event card). You also draw special CITY EVENT cards whenever you enter a city, which can have a variety of consequences (e.g., a ticker-tape parade or a rooftop chase).

For the most part, other game effects are based on the villains you choose to play against and whatever house rules you make up for your game – cards are loaded with “keywords”, many of which aren’t used anywhere in the official rules, and are just there for you to make up additional rules at home.

There are three VILLAIN factions which vastly alter the style of the game. Playing against Nazis gives you a combat-heavy game with soldiers spreading across the board you have to fight, secret bases, tanks, and even a moving zeppelin you can raid. Mobsters provide a smaller number of enemies, but make things cost more, and occasionally take your allies hostage. The cultists will occasionally corrupt Allies (the chance is based on their LOYALTY score, printed on each Ally card) causing them to betray you (deal you damage, and then be discarded). The Nazis are the most fun in co-op, and I assume the other two work better when you’re playing competitively with other players. My wife and I always play co-op, but we leave the game set up overnight and will play for several evenings in a row, disregarding the fortune ‘goal’ and just going until we’ve maxed out our characters’ awesomeness or completely run out of enemies.

Believe it or not, that’s a pretty concise explanation of the rules for the base game. That’s a long read, I know, but if this is of any interest to you, I figured it was necessary to explain the basic game before talking about a Transformers adaptation in even the loosest of terms.
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Re: "Fortune and Glory" Transformers Game?

Postby Caelus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:34 am

As you might imagine, most of the differences will be aesthetic in nature. “Fortune” and “Glory” will obviously be replaced with something else – since the classic battle was always over collecting the most Energon, “Fortune” will probably be “Energon”. I don’t know what a good substitute for “Glory” would be – “Shanix”? Or maybe it should just be “Energon and Glory”.

The map is simply a question of artistic ambition and scale. Adventures could easily be played on FANG’s vanilla map, if you want to play a game inspired by the first season of G1, Bay’s movies, TF: Armada, or TF: Prime. You could potentially make a map of Cybertron if you want to play something more in the theme of the Activision games or the IDW prequel comics. Or you could be really ambitious and create a map of the galaxy if you want to play a space epic like MtMtE/Lost Light, TF: G2, or TF: Cybertron. All that matters is that you make Location cards to match the map.

Transformers cartoons and comics of every era have had a number of ridiculous plots and cliffhanger (we’ll be right back!) moments to pull on, some of which are already in Fortune and Glory (“The Heart” “Of Darkness”). My wife has already insisted I retain “Of Doom” as an Adventure card, but add “Carwash” as one of the Artifacts. I mean, Artifacts for Transformers are pretty obvious (e.g., “Enigma”, “Hammer”, “Matrix”, “Ruby Crystals”) as are Adventures (e.g., “Of Combination”, “Of Solus Prime”, “Of Leadership”, “Of Burma”).

Granted, you’ll occasionally get nonsensical combinations like the “Enigma of Burma in Central Europe,” but potential ridiculousness is part of the game’s fun. I mean, in one Fortune and Glory game, I ended up in a secret base in a Volcano, fighting a Rhinoceros aboard a submarine. AND IT WAS AWESOME. (But if you don’t have a sense of humor and a bit of imagination, this game is not for you.)

I plan to replace the four skills with the four stats used on Hasbro’s collector cards – they aren’t direct analogues to the skills in Fortune and Glory, but they still work for the basic game mechanics. So instead of Combat, Cunning, Lore, and Agility, the characters will have Fireblast, Intelligence, Strength, and Speed. Fireblast will be used in most fights, though a few special occasions or characters may use Strength to determine their fight dice. Intelligence will be used for dangers like solving puzzles, disarming bombs, etc. Speed will be used for dangers like dodging lasers. Strength will be used for breaking down barriers and such.

I’m also planning to let players choose characters other than Autobots, and have the optional “Villains” of the game be the big antagonists that were threats to Bots and Cons alike. For example, Jhiaxus and the G2 Cybertronians, the Quintessons, Unicronians like Sideways, Nova/Nemesis Prime and other Dead Universe characters.
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Re: "Fortune and Glory" Transformers Game?

Postby Caelus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:44 am


I originally thought I’d do this focused on Transformers: Armada, having players scramble around the world to recover Minicons, and using them as power ups. I eventually decided I wanted something with broader appeal, and the potential for some hilarity crossing the eras of Transformers. Then, I started thinking about more ways to make this distinctly a Transformers game. This is what I’ve come to: Instead of limiting players to three Gear and three Allies, I’m just going to make it a total of six Upgrades. Some of the upgrades will be things like “Grappling Hook” or “Apex Armor” allowing you to create a one-bot powerhouse. Some of the “upgrades”, though, will be allies, and… drum roll… all the characters are going to be combiners.

You’ll be able to fight as a ‘team’ of characters as in normal Fortune and Glory, but in late game, if you collect enough (usually four) allies that ‘match’ your player character, you’ll be able to flip your player character’s card over and fight as a Combiner, using the fistfuls of dice that you usually need to beat the Villains at the end of a long Fortune and Glory game. Collect more than the minimum, and you’ll be able to make a more powerful combiner. With six cards allowed for each character, you’ll have enough slots left over to stylize your combiner a little, too. For example, Pyra Magna needs four bots to form Victorion, but can add a fifth Torchbearer for more armor, and use her last ‘upgrade’ to wield something like a “Fusion Cannon”.
I spent an entire morning working out the mechanics for that, and I’m still conflicted on some of my decisions, and am looking for feedback on the choices here:

1. I’ve considered actually requiring different minimum numbers of allies for different combiners, and balancing the strength of the combiner against how hard it would be to collect a full run of matching characters. For example, Silverbolt only needs four bots to make Superion, but has six bots to choose from, making him easier to play than, say, Scrapper, who needs five bots to make Devastator – the challenge of building Devastator would then be offset by him being stronger than Superion. Balancing that is really, really difficult, though, so I’m leaning towards fudging the source material, and saying all combiners only require four bots in addition to their leader.

2. I have also considered allowing ANY combination of characters to make a combiner, homaging the Combiner Wars comics and toyline, as well as the “Scramble City” concept. I’m actually still considering that, but I’d want there to be some sort of synergy in the “special teams” so that players are rewarded for meeting the challenge of collecting a matching set.

3. I have ALSO considered noting the specific limbs/components (arms, leg, armor, weapon) formed by each ally, but that level of detail seems like it would add difficulty/complication to the game without adding much play value. In IDW the combiners sort of ‘mash’ together as needed (e.g., Hook became a leg when Prowl replaced Scrapper in Devastator), so there’s certainly precedent for ‘dumbing things down’ there.

I’ve hemmed-and-hawed quite a bit about the starting, player characters. I tried lots of different things, but ultimately chose characters where (1) their associated combiner has a clear ‘core’ component to be the player, (2) their associated combiner has at least five characters (besides the core) as potential teammates, and (3) their associated combiner does not require more than four other characters to build – though rule #3 is easy to fudge, since it would only affect a few choices, and is actually pretty redundant with rule #2.

Currently, my line up of playable starting characters leans heavy on the G1/IDW:
- Silverbolt
- Hotspot
- Scattorshot
- Pyra Magna
- Onslaught
- Motormaster
- Snaptrap

I’m also considering (maybe for expansions?) broadening the list to include:

Characters who have fewer team-mate options
-> Hun-Gurr – if I can ‘deputize’ a fifth Terrorcon to maintain game balance
-> Razorclaw – If I can ‘deputize’ a fifth Predacon to maintain game balance

Characters who now have combining toys, even though they aren’t USUALLY combiners:
-> Cyclonus, Sky Lynx, Optimus Prime, and Bludgeon from Combiner Wars/Unite Warriors
-> Grimlock, Starscream, Elita-1, and Inferno from Power of the Primes

Non-G1 characters
-> R.I.D. Mega Octane
-> Botcon Sea-Clamp

Takara characters
-> Leozack
-> Megaempress

And I'm considering including player characters who cannot combine at all. They would actually have that as an in-game limitation, but be there for players who’d rather just max out a single bot with ridiculous upgrades.

For example, Nightbeat (who seems like a prime choice given the source material) could be upgraded with Apex Armor, the Skyboom Shield, the Star Saber, the Requiem Blaster, the Matrix of Leadership, and a Titan Master Ally. Ultra Nightbeat makes for a pretty funny mental image too.

I’m really interested in potential player feedback here – given the options, would anyone ever NOT want to play as a combiner?

I'm also open to suggestions on the stats and traits for the seven starting characters, and the boosts offered by their allies. I’ve toyed with those a bit, but am not super-happy with the results – partly b/c I haven’t had time to go back and refresh my memories of the characters for things that would inspire their different aspects, and then reconcile that information with game balance concerns.

Some stuff is obvious, though – Onslaught should be high Intelligence, high Fireblast, low Speed. Snap Trap should have more armor than the others. Silverbolt should have ridiculously high Speed.

BUT I’m ignoring any stats Hasbro has given on their Tech Specs, because those are on a 1-10 scale and are not assigned with balance in mind. Playable characters need to have stats on a 2-5 range, and be roughly balanced against each other, so that each character has a flavor that determines their player’s strategy, but does not allow its player to consistently dominate the game the same way every time.
Last edited by Caelus on Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Fortune and Glory" Transformers Game?

Postby Caelus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:48 am

FINALLY, I’m totally open to help ‘filling out’ everything. I need to make an adventure list and an artifact list. I need to make a Gear list (epic upgrades pulled at random like the Star Saber) and a Common Items list (ordinary upgrades a player can purchase for different prices). An Allies list will be contingent on choices made above. An enemies list, with characters that both Autobots and Decepticons could reasonably fight, will also be helpful. The biggest things I’d need contributions for, though, is the Danger/Cliffhanger deck and the Event deck. These are the thickest decks in the game because they basically determine how much variety you experience, and that directly impacts how long you can play before the game becomes boring. I’ve made something like 60 custom Danger/Cliffhanger cards for Fortune and Glory, which I intend to get printed at some point to ‘reinvigorate’ our games at home.

When suggesting those, don’t worry about balance or mechanics if you don’t want to – I just need a very large pool of ideas pulling from 30+ years-worth of story-telling. Basically, these decks need to be so large, quantity is more important than quality.

ALSO, it helps with the ‘suspense’ of the game if every “danger” has at least two, preferably more, potential “cliffhangers”. So, in Fortune and Glory terms, when I get into a “High Speed Car Chase” and I fail, I don’t know the consequences of that failure until the dealer turns over the card. I could end up having to escape “Driving off a Cliff”, “Rolling down a Mountain”, or “Fiery Explosion” – the “Danger” side of the card would be identical for all three, but the “Cliffhanger” side would be different.

I figure I'll try to keep track of suggestions and add them to the end of THIS post.

- Silverbolt
- Hotspot
- Scattorshot
- Pyra Magna
- Onslaught
- Motormaster
- Snaptrap

- The Car Wash
- The Enigma
- The Matrix
- The Ruby Crystals
- The Magnificence
- The Sword
- The Forge
- The Hammer
- The Hand
- The Armor
- The Shield
- The Darts
- The Heart
- The Shadow
- The Orb
- The Crystal
- The Key
- The Mask

- Of Doom
- Of Combination
- Of Leadership
- Of Prima, Vector Prime, Alpha Trion, Solus Prime, etc.
- Of Sentinel Prime
- Of Zeta Prime
- Of Darkness
- Of Unicron

DANGER/CLIFFHANGERS (Most of what I have so far is pretty lame.)
- Mountain Chase - Landslide
- Mountain Chase - Off a Cliff
- Search the Forest - Enemy Ambush
- Search the Forest - Forest Fire
- Space Walk - Meteor Storm
- Space Walk - Zero-G Combat
- Aerial Surveillance - Dogfight
- Aerial Surveillance - Anti-air Battery
- Jungle Trek - Quicksand
- Jungle Trek - Surprisingly Aggressive Plant Life
- Scout Enemy Base - Smelting Pool
- Scout Enemy Base - Forced To Fight
- On Trial - Fed to the Sharkticons
- On Trial - Sent to the Allicons
- First Contact - Miscommunication
- First Contact - Captured
- Mysterious Discovery - Enemy In Disguise
- Mysterious Discovery - Enemy Attack
- Test New Invention - Catastrophic Malfunction
- Test New Invention - Thieves
- Investigate Lab - Trapped in a Computer Game
- Investigate Lab - Hostile Experiments
- Attack at the Museum - Space-Time Disruption
- Attack at the Museum - Trapped
- Burning Building - Massive Explosion
- Burning Building - Ensnared by Robot Fire Hose
- Followed - Cornered by Government Agents
- Followed - Cornered by Robot Hunters
- Recover the Energon - Unstable Energon
- Recover the Energon - Enemy Guards
- Investigate the Mine - Cave In
- Investigate the Mine - There's a Bomb!
- Mysterious Substance - Angolmois Infection
- Mysterious Substance - Furmanite Accident
- Test New Fuel Source - Sabotaged Fuel
- Test New Fuel Source - Compatibility Issues

- Hurricane
- Tsunami
- Earthquake
- Volcanic Eruption
- Blizzard
- Hate Plague
- Transmode Virus
- Cosmic Rust Infection
- Scraplet Infection
- Contaminated Energon
- Quantum Wave
- Spacebridge Accident
- Groundbridge Accident
- Personality Ticks
- Transwarp Explosion
- Reinforcements from Cybertron
- Restless Titan
- Transmetal Upgrade
- Powerlinx Upgrade
- Supercharge

- Weapons Demonstration to Benefit Mankind
- Unveiling of New Energy Source
- Charity Race!
- New Exhibit at the Museum
- Street Chase
- Followed
- ???

- Special Team Members (Depend on decisions about player characters.)
- Minicons
- Target Masters
- Power Masters
- Prime Masters
- Titan Masters
- Head Masters
- Human/Alien/Animal Sidekicks
- Cassettes, Minibots, and Micromasters

- Star Saber
- Dark Star Saber
- Requiem Blaster
- Skyboom Shield
- Apex Armor
- Vampiric Ribbon
- Magnus Armor
- Fusion Cannon
- "Briefcase"
- Super Mode/Battle Mode
- (Various Alternate Modes?)

- Personal Starship
- Airskimmer
- Transforming Trailer
- Pretender Shell
- Magnawheels!
- Energo Sword and other Weapons that are distinctively cool, but not 'uber'.
- Drones (TF:BM Diagnostic Drone, IDW D.O.C., etc.)
- Battlefield Repair Station

- Scrapmetal Swarm
- Scraplet Swarm
- Insecticon
- Sparkeater
- Feral Turbofox
- Freelance Peacekeeper
- Augmented Human
- Neo-Knights
- Mechannibals

FORCES OF EVIL/VILLAINS (Need at least three Villains for each faction)
- Quintessons?
- G2 Cybertronians? Jhiaxus, Liege Maximo, and...
- Tyrest? Chief Justice Tyrest, Starsaber, Pharma
- Decepticon Justice Division? Tarn etc.
- Dead Universe? Nemesis Prime, Galvatron, Jhiaxus
- Unicron? Hook, Line, Sinker; or Galvatron, Scourge, Cyclonus
- Reapers? Sixshot, Deathbringer, etc.
- ???

- Sharkticons (Quintessons)
- Allicons (Quintessons)
- Legislators (Tyrest)
- Sweeps (Dead Universe/Unicron)
- Cultists (Unicron)
- Terrorcons (Unicron, ca. TF: Energon)
- Vehicons (???)
- ???
Last edited by Caelus on Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Fortune and Glory" Transformers Game?

Postby Caelus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:24 am

Also, just to give some visual context, without potentially upsetting Flying Frog, I'll throw out some of my custom FANG cards.

When I made customs, I tried to have multiple Cliffhangers for each Danger. I also organized them by themes. I did a LOT of "Cloak & Dagger" cards that focused on spying on, dodging, and fighting the Axis powers, circa mid thirties.

FANG - Cloak & Dagger - Steal a Truck 1.PNG

FANG - Cloak & Dagger - Steal a Truck 2.PNG

But I also did an "A-Bombs & Aliens" set that stretched the game into 40s sci-fi, and (not surprisingly) some of those got outright ridiculous.

FANG - A-Bombs & Aliens - Steal a Truck 1.PNG

And here's a couple mock ups of Danger cards for this game:

TFANG DANGER Quintesson Trial 1.jpg

TFANG DANGER Quintesson Trial 2.jpg
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