While Mosaic sits on the back burner boiling slowly but steadily, a lot of tangentially related ideas spring to mind.
The other day I had an idea for the Mosaic system that I quickly realized wasn’t quite suited to the game as it currently stands. Nonetheless, it caught my fancy and I think it could be fun to expand upon. The ramblings below may possibly be based on Wordfeud feverdreams (nick: LordXaras by the way, if anyone’s up for a challenge. Haven’t lost yet).
The basic idea is to build a very light roleplaying game based on scrabble tiles or something equivalent (tiles with letter and numerical values on them). The players draw random tiles and try to spell words with them - the resulting words have magical properties based on the points value of the tiles (and possibly the meaning of the word as well).
There would be two main forms of magic: enchanting and weaving.
Enchants are personal, played on equipment cards you draw. Basically each piece of equipment becomes a small scrabble board, and “better” equipment may thus have more open fields for long interlocking words. The spells you play on your equipment will have a continuous effect throughout the game, and allow you to smash increasingly difficult foes to bits.
Weaving is communal. The players play cooperatively, and in the middle of the table they share a “loom” board - more like a traditional Scrabble board in its form: rectangular and even. Each player may opt to play tiles on the loom instead of on his own equipment, connecting to the words other players have already lain down. On the loom, points matter little (if at all), and instead your effects come from the shapes you’re able to build with your words. A five-by-five even-armed cross might give everyone a +10 attack bonus, or a 4-by-4 square will give everyone a defensive buff.
The game would be card-centric. Equipment and loot are pulled from one stack, enemies and random enemy traits could be drawn from another…
The rules would be as lite as humanly possible, perhaps going the MTG route and only dealing with attack and defense values. You enchant your sword with a spell worth 25 points? You have a constant +25 attack for as long as you carry the blade. Enchant your armour or shield? Defensive buff.
As the game would be collaborative, there might even be room for trading enchanted equipment between players - allowing some to specialize in enchantment, while others focus on weaving. Having a common tile pool could be argued, but Scrabble games kinda rely on the players having as few tiles to chose from as possible.