Hooded Magpie Playtesting

On The Road Playtesting


Wonderful little game – could be “buttonshy quality”. Certainly, i enjoyed the game more than some of their titles. So overall great.

Forgive me if many of these things have already been discussed; i haven’t had the time to read the entire WIP thread :slight_smile:

Things I Found Annoying

Personal issues… make of them what you will.

Formatting of Enemy outcomes – it drives me crazy that these break over multiple lines.

Formatting of “Witness” outcome. I’d prefer to see this under the card title so that i can stack the cards in a little pyramid and always see what the penalty for the witness card will be when trying to determine if i go trickery or force.

Formatting of “Ally” benefit: would be ideal if this were isolated at the bottom of the card, clearly separated from Failure so i can stack the allies and see what options i have.

Game is too long, or at least not varied enough over the course of 4 rounds… have some suggestions below.

I much prefer an opinionated design than “variants”. Have “easy mode” without decrees, and normal mode with decrees. Add a decree each round. Totally get that its a prototype finding its way – just thought i’d mention it for the final game.

I did not understand the final showdown option at all.

Rules Queries

I found the rule book a bit hard to follow. I needed to watch the playthough to get a handle of what was going on. Once it clicked all was good and i barely needed to refer to the rules.

“On A” outcomes: I assumed that you do not look to the Enemy dice “On a” outcomes until AFTER you have applied all information “adjustments” and tool “re-rolls”. I think in the playthrough you may have been applying these prior to mitigation but i can’t remember.


I understand the beauty to the symmetry of the game card numbers… four remaining cards, four rounds, four decrees, equal balance to the rounds with enemies face up and events face up. However, i think the game is too long at four rounds and too short at two rounds.

Three rounds…

Firstly, i saw some talk of removing or replacing decrees… don’t be so hasty. the “Decrees” are a good mechanism for varying the nature of the challenge from game to game. What is missing is an overalll objective to the game, not a round by round objective.

Consider… replace one card with a Magpie “quest” or “objective” card (perhaps its 4 different objectives; each half a card that can be tucked under the magpie tracker).

Now you have exactly three left over cards, ergo three rounds with three decrees. And the extra decision space of the "objective’.

An objective card might offer game play variables such as: starting resources for magpie, starting resources for usurper, enemy/event sequencing for rounds, special ability for magpie, specific conditions for “climatic showdown”.

For example…

Classic Robin Hood, rob from the rich give to the poor.
Lots of bad things happening in town… blah blah. Rounds go Event/Enemy/Event
If you make wealth hit 0 then -2 Fear -2 Clout

Classic Assassins Brotherhood trope
Lots of bad guys in town… yadda yadda. Rounds go Enemy/Event/Enemy
If you make Fear hit 0 then -2 Wealth -2 Clout

Anyway, hopefully you get my drift. An objective adds a lot of options for varying the decision space, making it more thematic and a reason for repeat plays to defeat each objective. And you can balance the objective by varying the starting resources of magpie/usurper.

Then… if i understood the “Climatic Showdown” that might be the perfect conclusion to a three round game.

In Built Round Counter