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Playtesting and Rules Update

Last night I playtested my new rock game and the Weather Deck expansion with semi-finalist of the 2022 PAX Unplugged Tournament Matt Fries, his girlfriend Amber, and his friend Tim. We all had a lot of fun, a lot of junk food, and some good cheesesteaks.


We started with the new game I’m working on, Rock Hound. We simplified the rules (IE got rid of money, which would be wonderful if that worked in the real world too.)

Halfway through we made another change. I believe Matt Wolfe mentioned adding two symbols to secret goals at Unpub but I didn’t understand why I needed two on each secret goal. (I don’t, I need them on the main objective cards, that’s what he meant.) I’m going to need to redo them all because I am not good at fast math during playtesting. I’m also not good at math any other time but that’s besides the point.

The last thing I learned is that I will definitely need to remove quartz rocks that have any cracks, even though the cracks are pretty.

This was one of my favorites because it has pyrite, fools gold, on one tip. The other rocks in the bag ganged up on it and it broke.


We decided to play the Weather Expansion after Rock Hound, which may have been a mistake considering how long we spent having fun with rocks. As you can see, I somehow managed to end up with three ‘Ropes’ after someone else drew ’Fog’ from the Weather Deck which shuffles all Backpacks together.

I learned A LOT during the playtest. Amber was a first time player (who won with a Leave No Trace Behind), Matt had played at the tournament, and Tim had won the extra copy Matt had gotten from a Board Game Booster Box at PAX Unplugged. (Matt had held a mini tournament to see who would get the game.) So, we had a few different levels of experience and based on the two Ascents I did with my awesome playtesters I’ve added some new rules for the Weather Deck. Anyone playtesting should take note.


1. There are a few occasions when the timer will be laid on its side.

  • When the cards ’Lost your Lunch, Trouble at the Airport, and Pickpocket’ activate.

  • When someone is retaliating.

  • When explaining rules.

The timer does not lay down when you Peak or pick up your cache, it will flip when you place your meeple on the peak token to end your turn.

2. As stated before the timer flips between TURNS, that means that if someone gets an

extra turn, the timer flips between them.

3. I’ve decided that the card Avalanche will cancel out the effects of the card it

covers. So if you have a card that makes you skip a turn, take an extra turn, go

sideways, go up, those effects don’t happen. For it to affect a take another turn

card effect the timer must run out between the first turn and the second and

placed on the card on purpose by the person who drew it. Perhaps covering up

those Yangs is more important than that extra turn.

The other rules are the same. The timer flips after the first round of play, then between turns. When it runs out it draw a card from the Weather Deck. Don’t reset between Ascents, wait until there are no more cards to draw.

So, all in all, great night, lot of progress. Thanks Matt, Amber, and Tim for having me. I look forward to playing more games with you! I’m excited to hear about everyone else’s playtesting sessions as well. The last copy of the expansion has been claimed by Jasmine, a finalist at J1 Con last year. (I’ll send out the copy soon Jasmine.)

Thanks for reading everyone, and as always, keep on climbing!


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