High level design concept for a Fangbone! tabletop game

This is really just a broadside, where I’d start if I were to make a Fangbone! tabletop game. Needless to say, there’s no nitty-gritty, yet, because I just came up with this in the shower the other day – plus, since it’s a branded IP that I’m not affiliated with in any way nor being paid to design for, fleshing this out into something playable is extremely low on my list of priorities. Still, I thought I’d share.

Fangbone!_production_art

2-4 players

Character-deck based, similar to Red Dragon Inn.

Players:

  1. Drool
  2. Fangbone
  3. Bill
  4. CID

Note that for 2 players, player 2 controls both Fangbone and Bill characters/decks.

Game starts with the Fangbone player in possession of the Toe of Drool.

Drool player plays monsters, cards to enhance monsters, and cards that directly affect human players.

Drool player’s objective is to a) gain the Toe, b) open portal to Skullbania and get the Toe through. A monster gaining the Toe leads to a “sudden death” of X rounds before the Toe is lost and Drool player wins.

Fangbone/Bill player(s) goal is to defeat X number of Drool’s monsters while keeping the Toe between the two characters/players. Fangbone/Bill players always win and lose as a team (b/c battlebros). Certain cards may enable trading the Toe between characters – e.g., a monster seizes Toe from Fangbone, Fangbone player has a card allowing him to pass the Toe to another character to keep Drool player from capturing it.

CID player’s goal is to be in possession of the Toe when Drool’s final monster is defeated in the round. CID player may actively help or hinder Fangbone/Bill player(s) throughout the course of the game, but will lose if Drool possesses the Toe and opens the portal.

Drool would have two decks; one would consist of monsters and minions with different strengths and abilities-a round would begin with Drool playing a monster/minion with which he will attempt to seize the Toe. The other deck would consist of spells and actions that would allow the monster to take the Toe, evade attacks, weaken other player’s characters. Monster would have its own stats and fixed set of actions it could take in addition to those played by Drool.

Human players would have cards similar to the monster, but actions would be limited to playable cards. Characters have a limited amount of “health” each round. If the character becomes KOed, they lose action(s) and the player/character/monster that KOed them takes possession of the Toe.

Fangbone’s deck would consist largely of offensive actions, featuring weapons, animals, and Skullbanian characters.

Bill’s deck would consist largely of defensive actions, featuring earth stuff, classmates, etc. Bill’s damaging actions would make up a smaller portion of his deck, which instead would provide assists, and combos to Fangbone and recover/prevent loss of the Toe. Slightly more health recovery cards.

Cid’s deck would consist of thiefy “Shadowstepper” tricks, largely to prevent damage, prevent loss of the Toe, and to take control of the Toe.

Note that for balance, a game featuring Cid or any other additional characters, Drool player may need additional cards/actions/monsters.

If I were somehow tasked with actual creation of a licensed Fangbone game, I’d almost certainly opt to take these design notes and approach experienced card game designers (Red Dragon Inn or Epic Spell Wars teams) with additional setting info, characters, monsters, cards, and go from there rather than try to build it myself from the ground up. But hey, the 1st stage thinky work is already done!

Fangbone

Been really enjoying this show. It took a couple episodes to grow on me, but there’s just something about it. The other night I found myself thinking that I couldn’t really imagine Fangbone having the sort of toxic fandom* that a lot of cartoon shows do, like Steven Universe or even, to an extent, Adventure Time. And I think I may have stumbled upon why.

Fangbone celebrates and reinforces classical masculine virtues.

The overarching theme of the show is brotherhood and camaraderie between two young men and how they learn important skills and virtues from one another: hard work, dedication, honesty, loyalty, martial prowess, etc.

Both main male characters have plenty of comic foibles, but neither is portrayed as dumb in the sort of broken and helpless way you so often see, despite the frequent use of fish-out-of-water comedic situations.

Fangbone may seem wild, weird and silly because he’s a Barbarian trying to fit in with a bunch of suburban school kids, but his biggest fault is not he’s a dumb barbarian but that he can be hard-headed. Yet part of why he is hard-headed is that he is very traditional, very honest, and very loyal. As the guardian of Drool’s toe, he is under a tremendous burden which, while many things in the show are played for laughs, is treated as a serious responsibility. So sometimes he can push others much harder than they can take and in ways that can alienate, but his “Battle Brother” Bill is always there for him to remind him that he is not alone in his burdens.

Bill is kind of the straight man to Fangbone. As the “civilized” character, he reigns in some of Fangbone’s more uncouth and abrasive behavior, just as Fangbone is able to pull Bill out of the comforts of modern civilized life to make him a stronger, braver and better person. Bill

But the typical “lesson” of the day for an episode of Fangbone?

-Strength is a virtue, Intelligence is a virtue, and they need not be exclusive

-It’s okay to push your friends to better themselves, but you can’t be a dick about it

-Honesty is the best policy

-One should not break an oath (even if it was an oath to a villain)

-Always be there for your Battle Brothers, and they will be there for you

The adult male figures who appear in the show are hardly role models (Bill is fatherless, the Barbarian wizard is a twit, and the Clan Leader is hardheaded and taciturn), but that ends up serving to reinforce how much Fangbone is a show about boys growing up to be men under difficult circumstances. Without role models, they can only pursue the ideals; despite the adversity they face, they do so admirably.

*:I’m sure I’ll be proven wrong on this someday.