Balancing has been an ongoing process for me that’s been very delicate. Its also given me a lot of insight in how hesitant I am to change and how attached I get to some ideas. Even when I am told that the game feels clunky, it’s still very hard to let go. Games will go through many many revisions. Some of them will be big, some of them small. It’s vital to keep track of those changes so you never find yourself repeating mistakes. Documentation also helps you keep going the right direction and seeing the big picture. I used google sheets to keep track of all my changes as I kept balancing the game.
Stats of the different characters and the composition of the cards.
By tallying the total number of points of each stat character had, it was much easier to see where a balance is struck. At first I had two characters that were overpowered which made the game not fun for other players. Eventually I found a number I was happy with and stayed with that. But later on, I found a trend where some stats were more valuable than others. In a game where players must correctly navigate through a hidden maze, movement was the most valuable resource. Players with a lot of health but slow movement found themselves trapped way too often and the monster simply wore them down while players with consecutively high rolls of the dice for action points found themselves avoiding the monster completely.
The cards also were very imbalanced. At first players felt the cards were just doing them harm and were very wary of drawing. After changing that, players found that gold was too easy to get from the cards. This made exploration pointless. Some players even would forecast their next draw was gold and they were mostly right. Looking at the sheets, it was no wonder. Over 50% of the cards were giving players gold.
By using percentages and weighted tables to tally ability scores, balancing has become much easier. It’s much easier to tell if I have too much of a good thing or too little. It also helps greatly in understanding quickly what direction I want to go in. By adding a few cards, the sheets make it very easy to see how the percentages of each card is immediately changed by the addition of new cards, thus the probability in which it might be drawn.