The Knights Oaths

I created the rules for a board game as my unassignment, this was inspired by how our most recent readings at the time had been about knightley morals. The game, which I am currently calling The Knights Oaths, makes you create a honour system for your knight, you are rewarded for following some aspects, but punished for failings in others. Adhering to this honour system may lead to what would be considered stupid decisions if not accounting for the rewards. This makes it easier to look at the way knightley morals make people behave by seeing how these morals encourage one to react to different challenges, be it a great beast or a sticky social situation. Many different types of knights in the past would respond to these challenges in different ways that are affected by the morals they pick up in life. These create different views on honour and overall mortality as they experience life and test their faith in these different values. It allows you to see how the perceived benefits of an honour system affect decision making, and works especially in the case of knights where this code is meant to be at the forefront of every choice they make.

This work reflects back on the literature by looking more deeply at how honour and a ridged moral code can effect you. It would be difficult to create a game where failure to follow a moral system completely destroyed you the game shows the strength of these ‘convictions’ and demonstrates how following them makes one feel better when it is followed and worse when they fail to. This project allowed me to nicely take a small hobby that I don’t always indulge in and use it on a creative assignment that grabbed my attention for the most part.  This game certainly will have plenty of humorous looking items and challenges to engage players in an amusing version of this moral lesson about the strength of some peoples morals. Puzzling out how to create a game mechanic for a knight’s oath, while simple enough itself was fun to explore as I more fully fleshed out the system. 

The Knights Oaths

Part 0 – The Pieces

Like most board games it both includes a board and a number of cards as well as other pieces.

  • 4 Character Small Cardboard Cutouts
  • 4 Plastic Stands
  • ~20 Challenge Cards
  • ~50 Item Cards
  • ~30 Trap Cards
  • ~20 Honour Cards
  • ~20 Complexe Honour Cards
  • ~15 Final Challenge Cards
  • ~5 sets of Challenge tracking markers (a set is two identical markers)
  • Scorekeeping Padlet
  • 6 six-sided dice

Phase 1 – Honour

During this part of the game players pick the determined number of Honour/Complexe Honour rules that will affect how they play game 

Honour rules give points for following them (Usually 10 per success)

Complex honour rules are rules that remove points for violating them (5 or 10 per failure)

To make the game simpler play with only 1-2 Honour Rules

If you play with 3 or more honour rules it is suggested you use the table below to determine how many complex honour rules you use 

(playing with more than 5 rules is not recommended in base game in case of conflicting rules)

Total RulesComplexe Honour Rules
1
2
31
42
52-3

What Honour rules you may use will be affected by their tags

Tag: Core

You must have 1 Honour ,rule with this tag

Tag: — Dichotomy

You cannot have another Honour rule with the same Dichotomy as this one 

Once this step is complete you move on to actual gameplay

Phase 2 – The journey

An important note for this section is that when a dice is rolled in this game you either succeed that dice roll or fail it. A die succeeds on a 4,5 or 6 and fails on a 1,2 or 3. Any card that asks you to roll a die in this game that does not specify numbers is asking for a success or failure roll.

There are 4 types of tile on the board

  • Plain (nothing happens)
  • Item (Gain an item card)
  • Trap (a negative consequence)
  • Challenge (a test of your power/wit/skill)

On a trap space you draw a trap card and determine what happens to your character based on the card’s text.

On an item space you pick up an item card, you may have 3 items cards at a time, unless one or more cards state otherwise.

Item cards can help you in a number of situations and each one has a trigger determined by having one of more of the following tags

Trap – Used in reaction to a trap space being triggered, usually one you triggered

Challenge – Used in reaction to a challenge space being triggered,  one you triggered

Defence – Used in reaction to an item card or trap space targeting you

Offence – Used to harm another player, during your turn

Supplement – used to aid you or another player during a challenge any time a challenge is active.

When you land of challenges, you have 3 options

Face – Attempt Peaceful resolution

Flee – Avoid the obstacle due to lack of resources

Fell – attempt to kill or otherwise violently deal with the issue

When you chose a course of action you roll a number of dice called out on the copy of that action shown on the challenge card, accounting for dice changes caused by items used by you or another player. The challenge card will tell you how many successes are needed to complete the challenge, some actions will be easier to pull off than others due to the different natures of certain challenges

When a challenge is Faced or Felled you place a marker on it showing that the conflict was resolved and the challenge space ‘vanishes’ (no other player can face it now and it doesn’t get replaced by another challenge) also record how you dealt with it and the honour points you gain/lose if applicable.

If the challenge is defeated you lose an item or take a mark of damage (At 3 Damage your character reappears at starting position.)

If you flee like the other options your turn is over but now the challenge is set (you keep track of this by keeping the challenge card out and placing a challenge tracker marker on the card and its twin on the space the challenge was activated on) (if another player lands on that challenge tile they face the same challenge) and you must circle round to face it again.

Phase 3 – Scoring/Finale

To finish the round you enter the middle circle and face the Final Challenge like normal challenges. It is randomly determined by drawing from a deck and is run like a normal challenge. Resolving the Final Challenge gives you 50 honour points. Defeating the Final challenge also gives all players a bonus related to the way it was defeated according to its defeat text (Usually this gives players that defeated a challenge in a certain way a bonus).

Once this is finished, count up the honour scores for each player, the player with the highest score wins. On a tie look at the items you have in your hand (a.k.a. ignore all non-hand items, unless stated otherwise.) and calculate their score. The person with the lowest score wins.

Work Cited

Allsburg, C. V. (1981). Jumanji . Houghton Mifflin. 

Darrow, C. (1935, November 5). Monopoly (Board Game). 

Jackson, S., & Kovalic, J. (2001, September). Munchkin (Card Game). 

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