Trouble In Fabletown

Collaborated with:
Anthony Cheang
Sammy Chuang
Carsen Decker

Trouble in Fabletown is a card game based on the beloved comic series Fables. Players play as fairytale characters in Fabletown, the New York City community in which many fairytale characters have fled to. By competing with each other for scarce resources and survival, players experience dynamics in a gang fight and are stimulated to come up with strategies under different circumstances.

See Full Ruleset.

Design of T.I.F.

Cards As Resources

Item cards in Trouble in Fabletown have multiple functions. When recruiting “Followers”, item cards serve as currency. The “Glamour” value on each item card determines how much that one card is worth. When dueling, item cards become your weapons. Their attack and defense values as well as their special effects apply in duels. When placing them in the “Glamour Pools”,  the “Glamour” values on item cards count as Victory Points.

The different functions of item cards distinguish them from generic playing cards. They are, of course, specific cards that you can play in your turn. But they are also a type of resource possessing certain value that is relevant to gameplay.


50 Unique Item Cards with Effects

We came up with 50 unique Item cards in order to add in more vectors and make this game messier. Most of these cards have a special effect usable in duels.

We had to first pick 50 unique items from the comics, and then design effects that thematically fit in. For items that already had special use in the comic series, we designed around that specific function.

For example, we had “Book of Fables” which in the comics is a book where people can look up any fairytale character. In our game we made its effect peaking and obtaining cards from top of the pile. There are, however, many other items that appeared in the comics but didn’t have any specific attribute. With those items we came up with more generic effects that mess with stats.

Apart from dealing with stats directly, we come up with effects that mess with hand size and piles as well. Some effects make you draw new cards or get rid of cards from your opponent. There are, of course, cards with very OP effects, too. Those effects, however, require rare conditions to use. For example, we have “Goldilocks’ Gun” and “Silver Bullets” that if used together will automatically win the duel. But there’s only a small chance that one player can have both of these two cards at hand. And if players use those two cards separately they each has 0 stats.