What boardgame ‘mods’ would you want?

Do you modify your boardgames? Swapping out different physical components, making custom cards, adding new resources? There’s a few common reasons to do so, and you may recognize some of these.

  • Rejigging your storage methods (Gloomhaven being the most obvious example, but pretty much every game has something changed)

  • Physical components for ease of use (the most infamous being the Terraforming Mars currency mat or the Star Realms health tracker)

  • Scoring rules for fun or balance (like the all-or-nothing Carcassone rule)

  • Adding new fanmade content (like custom D&D classes)

  • Changing art for the sake of personalization or classiness (like altered Magic: the Gathering cards)

Deep and robust.

Deep and robust.

But compared to the deep and robust modding community for videogames - especially games like Skyrim or The Sims - boardgames tend to be a lot less popular to mess with. We swap components and make house rules for scoring often, but don’t often go mechanically deeper than that for the majority of our games. Only in tabletop RPGs do custom classes, custom enemies, custom storylines and scenarios get created and shared. Why not other boardgames? I believe there is one main reason:

There’s no unified infrastructure for sharing board game mods.

For example, there’s no primary website for sharing such information. Most board game sites don’t have a section to host fanmade content, and usually the ones that do tend to be ‘competitive house rules’ for balancing (no Rusviet industrial, etc) - there’s little in the way of new classes, campaigns, actions, rules, etc without lots of digging. There’s also little in place to easily print out or acquire any new components that may be necessary for a mod to work.

And it’s a shame! If we had better methods of sharing information about board game mods, I believe the compounding knowledge would encourage creators to put more time and love into making modifications - knowing that your work may be beneficial and appreciated by others can be a powerful motivator, and can help us get more longevity out of even our oldest boardgames.

If there was a more unified place to share board game mods, what would you look for?

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