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Variants and Fan Cards / Set Expansion Contest
« on: September 22, 2020, 02:22:37 am »
This contest has the same format as the Weekly Design Contest. The objective is a bit more specific though: to take one of the official sets each week and design a card to add to it. Some weeks may call for a specific kind of card that the contest host feels the set is lacking in. Submitting a card entered into the WDC is absolutely fine, as we're thinking about how our fan cards interact with the official game here.

So let's get right on with it!

Contest #1: Base Set

I have no other requirements here. Make a card that adds to the base set whilst keeping to its themes: simple to understand, no extra mechanics, maybe introduces a basic play aspect of the game.

Judging: 28th September 3:00pm forum time

Dominion General Discussion / Weekly Kingdom Design Contest?
« on: May 16, 2020, 05:55:28 pm »
Over on the Variants forum we have a weekly contest to design fan cards, and I thought we could easily have just the same for designing really interesting kingdoms (of official cards). Dominion is that big and expansive now that it could be fun.

So how it would work: each week, somebody thinks of a central theme or concept they want to see in a kingdom, then others try to design a kingdom to fit the brief. Then the contest setter judges each kingdom design and chooses a winner, and that winner gets to pick the brief and judge for next week. Time rules aren't rigid, of course, because life.
The spirit wouldn't primarily be about winning weeks, but to come up with games that people look at and want to go and play at their next games evening/online/etc.

Would this be interesting? Would it help to create more fun Dominion? Is it already done somewhere, like on Discord (I'm not on there)? Or is there a better format?

Variants and Fan Cards / Up to Date Guide to Fan Card Creation
« on: January 06, 2020, 05:37:32 am »
The stickied guide by rinkworks highlights common pitfalls to avoid, costing your cards, and how you can make and print your ideas. It is completely right in its introduction:
The first rule about creating custom fan cards for Dominion is that you can ignore every single rule about it if you want to. Dominion is a game. Its purpose is fun. If you've got a card idea that sounds fun, do it. Playtest it. If it remains fun after scrutiny, keep playing with it.
This is kind of an update and fork from that guide. It covers all the present mechanics, and describes the whole design process for those new to fan card creation.
If you just want the mechanics know-how, go straight to the Research section.

Spineflu wrote a fusion of these two guides, with some extra details, here on the wiki.

Dominion is a very simple, highly flexible game model, and it's very easy to add to. With that flexibility, though, is the potential to land upon uninteresting ideas. Whilst they may not break the game and be imbalanced, your ideas could get to be disappointing in some way after playing with them for a while. Particularly disappointing if you went through the trouble of getting them printed out.
This guide offers suggestions for making your good ideas into great ones for the long term before the final send-off to print, big reveal to your friends, etc.; it goes through the design process, identifying where people can take a bad turn, aiming to help refine your card ideas to be just what you want them to be.
You might be designing a whole expansion of cards, an extra level of interest that involves more depth than making individual cards. Parts referring to expansion design will be in this font.
  • Be open minded. When you get an immediate good feeling for an idea, note it down straight away.
    Know the rules and makeup of Dominion well (but you don't have to be a top pro player). Refer to the Research section for help.
  • You will want to break away from your projects occasionally. Don't try to battle through if you're on a time constraint - the end results will not be of the best quality - rather factor them in to your schedule. Keep clear notes so you know what you're doing when you come back.
  • To make a design fun to play long term, focus on the mechanics first, then its theme. The more open it is to interactions, whilst having a definite primary function so it can't do everything, the more replayable it will be and hence interesting long term.
  • Design briefs for individual cards should specify something relating to one or more of its properties or needed mechanics, and be understandable to another person.
  • Each card you make should be on the same power level as the official ones and a fun or interesting play experience.
  • Before doing any playtesting, imagine your ideas in the game as you create them. See how one change or addition affects every other aspect of it. Running a few solo tests may help.
  • You should be able to sum up what your ideas do in one quick sentence.
  • For testing simplicity, get another player to explain what your ideas do.
  • Upvotes on this forum show a good first impression, not necessarily a good overall design.

A note from the author
This guide may look like a rather serious, studious look into the field of Dominion design, but I'm well aware this isn't the most important thing in life. I just settled into playing and learning the game, the idea of making custom cards came up some day, and I fell in love with the thought instantly. I like designing, and Dominion is a simple yet diverse game that is amazingly expandable. This guide is the product of about 3 years casually exploring the field, written through personal interest and seeing how the forum is continually active.

Flavour and theme are used interchangeably to refer to a card's name and its story, and how the other properties of the card connect to it. Mechanics and functions/functionality refers to everything the card can do. A card's properties are its name, abilities, types and cost.
Direct payload refers to anything that can directly help getting ahead on VP, so $, +Buys, VP tokens, gaining Victory cards and sometimes cursing Attacks. Drawing cards, gaining non-Victory cards, other Attacks, and in a way trashing would all be indirect payload.
Terminal Action effects are those that use up an Action, to potentially terminate your Action phase. Any that give +1 or more Actions, or that are on Treasure or Night cards, are described as non-terminal.

Situation (your audience, aim, motive)
Design Brief (the project's aim)
Research (Lots of really useful stuff to know all in one place)
Specification (checklist for your project)
Design Ideas (putting card designs together)
Testing (proving your cards balanced, fun, simple)
Final Outcome (ways to publish)

So now let's follow the order of the design process and apply it to Dominion. No matter how you make your ideas, with paper notes or mental ones, casually or organised, you're going through the same process to get to your final outcome. So even if you have ideas down already, it's still beneficial to backstep and look at the basics, in case you struggle to refine or add to your ideas. And should an idea you have turn out bad at some point, it isn't necessarily a lost cause; you can step back and tweak things to try and save it. You can also answer really deep design questions you might come across easier when you break the whole process down.

Important points are highlighted in bold.

Variants and Fan Cards / Dominion: Dynasties
« on: May 10, 2018, 12:12:24 pm »
Here's a set in progress that aims to add focus on replayability and start-of-game analysis, great for people who like Dominion as a strategy game and play it often. It's been designed to play well by itself (repeatedly) and mixed with other expansions. It follows a rural tribes theme, kinda like Scottish or Germanic clans mixed with a bit of medieval MMORPG.

Set play themes: the discard pile, the Buy phase, careful ordering of playing cards, different routes to victory.

Mechanics: VP tokens, a few Night cards, and two new ones: a type that when added to a game selects 2 other piles and gives them this type, so that interactions are established between them; and achievements that give a reward when completed. More explanation below the tl;dr.

TL;DR card list
All the cards are listed right here. New mechanics explained below. Click on one to enlarge.

Kin cards

Other kingdom cards:

Split piles (tentative):


(A note regarding the use of internet images: the only intended purpose of these card mock-ups is to present the ideas on this forum in an easy-to-understand format. If I later wish to post them anywhere else or print them out, I will make my own artwork.)

The Kin type, making part of the kingdom a Tribe
The core mechanic, giving the set its name. Some of the cards are Kin type. You choose one or two of these for a game; when you do, 2 random other non-Victory kingdom piles also get the Kin type, and the sideways Kin Markers go under them like the Bane card to show this, to effectively turn part of the kingdom into a Tribe. All in a unique turquoise so everything's easy to see. The original Kins will interact with them in some way, to make synergies that will be good or bad depending on what the rest of the Tribe is.
Not much change to gameplay, but extra dimensions to think about and more things to analyse. What kind of strategy does the Tribe make? How effective will it be? Are normally strong cards actually strong in this game?

Tasks, quests you can try to complete during the game
Add a quest board to the game, in which the kingdom's locals post up requests for players to complete for a reward. They're landscape cards that you keep in a deck by themselves, shuffle, then draw 3 out at random for the game. This group will count as 1 of the 2 landscapes recommended for games.  Each player also gets 3 tokens of some kind (let's call them Accomplish tokens) in their colour. Each Task has an Objective and a Reward. During the game, in a similar manner to using a Reaction effect, a player may interrupt game flow and declare they have completed the Objective on one of the Tasks, prove it to the other players if necessary, then put one of their Accomplish tokens on the Task card and get the Reward straight away. A Task can only be accomplished once. A player does not have to immediately declare a Task is accomplished the first time they can do so; there are cases for waiting until a later time, and accountability issues are avoided.
So, how these affect the game: whilst the Kin cards call for analysis at the start to determine the best combos, the Tasks can have a bearing on the route players take their decks through during the game, to have them think ahead.

A completely random kingdom:

So Banner and Piper were selected. After the whole kingdom was chosen, the two Kin Markers were randomly put under Shanty Town and Pirate Ship. That means Banner, Piper, Shanty and Pirate are all Kin type. Banner will give VP for Banners, Pipers, Shanties or Pirates in the deck, their total number /3 and rounded down; Pipers aren't affected by Banners, but can be played immediately after Shanties, Pirates or other Pipers, and/or play one of these from hand.
An unassuming tribe living the low life in slums with a strong heritage of music by wind instruments. Behind this visage lies sinister truth; they ruthlessly seek to claim more influence under their banner by resorting to piracy for wealth.
It can be fun to tell the story of each game. But for the strategy gamer, some initial analysis might go like this: Banner likes a deck filled with Kins. You can put a lot of Pipers in the deck comfortably, Shanty Towns maybe but not ideal, and Pirate Ships would have to be the main payload. Piper could help play a chain of Pirate Ships, and the odd Shanty Town, and an effective engine be built with Develop trashing and Secret Passage helping to line the Piper chain up. Overall a tribal deck might work out here. But outside the Tribe, Passage-Mystic is a combo to consider, and Sea Hag will mess things up as usual but especially Pipers.
Now let's factor in the 3 selected Tasks. Investigate should be easy to complete with Passage. Also, if during drawing with Passage (or Shanty or Piper) you get a hand of 5 or more different cards, you may interrupt the draw, declare and complete Investigate, then carry on drawing. Build may not be very doable with the above mentioned strategies considering the Kins alone; but with Develop, Hoard and Expand, it's certainly worth considering. Gather could be done with a well-built Pirate engine, so encourages that route a bit further.
So, you've considered the interactions of the kingdom and the game ahead. Now it's down to playing it through to see if you've analysed the game best, whilst dealing with the chance element thrown at you.

I give my positives (+) and negatives (-) on each design, not out of lack of confidence but for modesty. It is a set, so there are combos I'll keep quiet about so you can have the fun of finding them.

Original Kins

Banner - Victory Kin, $5 cost.
Worth 1VP per 3 Kins in your deck (round down)
It makes an alt VP strategy that will be different each game. The more collectable the other Kins are, the better it is.
+: one of the first simple ideas that clicked, it feels safe yet compelling.
-: hard to conclude balance.

Festival Grounds - Action Kin, $2 cost.
+2 Actions
+1 Buy

In games using this, when you gain a 3rd differently named Kin on your turn, you may gain a Chief.
Chief - Action Kin, $0* cost.
Draw until you have 6. cards in hand.
Gain an Estate to your hand for +2VP.
For every 3 cards you have in hand (round down), + $1.
(This is not in the Supply.)
If you can get three different Kins in the same turn, you win the respect of the Chief, a free payload card that plays a little differently in different decks. How hard will he be to get, what kind of deck would be made, and is it all worth it?
+: all the analysis involved here is great.
-: perhaps Chief is too strong, and the $ effect should probably go first so it's more a case of $ or draw.

Legend - Treasure Kin, $4 cost.
+1 Buy
When you play this, choose one: gain a Kin; or trash a Kin you have in hand or in play, for + $1 per $1 it costs.
In games using this, when you gain a Kin, each other player gets +1VP.
Every Kin you get leaves a permanent mark against your score, yet whilst you might look for Kin free strategies this can make them still options. Getting Kins no matter how expensive can be a breeze if you so desire, or you can Salvage them non-terminally. Failing all else this can self trash for a spike of $4.
+: This supports dabbling a little into the Kins, which the bottom part implies.
-: no real testing yet, could be imbalanced.

Mead Hall - Action Command Kin, $5 cost.
Trash this. If you do, set aside two Kins from the Supply that aren't Victories, Durations or Commands. Play them in either order, leaving them set aside. Return them to the Supply at Clean-up.
Fuse two Kins into one powerful one-shot card, including Treasures or Nights. Double up one of them, or form some amazing combo.
+: it has the feeling of being great fun sometimes.
-: some combos could be broken? And of course in some games this can do nothing.

Pillar - Action Kin, $4 cost.
Trash a card from your hand. +1VP for one type it has, and +2VP for each extra type.
In games using this, one empty Kin pile does not count toward the 3 for game end.
A more curious one. Trash the right targets to get the most points from this. Kin counts as a type, so will give more points. To prolong the game a bit and make this more viable, you can safely empty one Kin pile; this can have its own effects on the game even if Pillar is ignored.
+: the two effects relate but not too closely; heavily implying pile emptying isn't good.
-: is the top balanced, or should it give just 1VP per type? Is it too weird, being an Action doing nothing but VP and making slow play?

Piper - Action Reaction Kin, $5 cost.
+2 Cards
You may play an Action Kin from your hand.
Directly after resolving an Action Kin, you may play this from your hand.
Make an engine by playing chains of Kins.
+: simple yet compelling.
-: maybe too strong in some cases. There's no real negative side to it unlike the other Kins, so it's less about analysis, so it feels kinda misfit.

Reassign - Night Kin, $4 cost.
You may trash a Kin you have in play, to gain a Kin costing up to $3 more than it.
You may move your Ally token onto a non-Victory, non-Kin Supply pile of your choice. (During your turns, cards from that pile are also Kins.)
The Ally token lets you choose a pile that counts as Kin type just for you, which sometimes will be very desirable with a second Kin card. Reassign itself lets you quite freely exchange kins around, so you can make good upgrade paths; but note that the trash happens before the token can be moved, so there's a limit to the flexibility.
+: this hopefully opens up a new compelling area of remodeling, and the Ally token a new strategic concept.
-: The upgrade could be too strong even if narrow. Nights are in the set almost entirely because of this; is there a better effect than the upgrade that could be used?

Rivals - Action Attack Kin, $3* cost.
+2 Cards
Each other player may reveal a Kin other than Rivals from their hand. Those who don't take Taunted, or if they already have it turn it over to Twice Taunted.
In games using this, Kins cost $1 more.
Taunted - State
When you next play an Action that has +Card, +Action, +Buy or +$ amounts in its instructions, choose one to reduce by 1, resolve it, then return this.
Twice Taunted - the same, but instead of returning it flip it over to Taunted.
Their presence makes the Tribe more expensive so generally worse (this basically costs $4, a sensible price unlike the others), and the worse they are the better this is. Its Attack will more likely land, weakening the next Action vanilla they get; two stacks, using a two-sided State for each player. Taunted reduces a number in the next Action's instructions, so Hireling would be made useless, and because you choose a number then resolve, Pawn is a counter to it.
+: it achieves the intended purpose of making Kins that are bad in a kingdom relevant.
-: How easy is it to remember the Kins cost $1 more? Is Taunted foolproof?

Travelling Merchant - Action Kin, $4 cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action
+ $1

This turn, cards cost $1 more if you have a Kin other than Travelling Merchant in play.
When you gain this, if you have any Kins in play, trash it.
You have a choice: either use these Peddlers, or use the other Kins. These only cost $4, but you can't gain them at all if you have one in play.
+: A simple but interesting matter to analyse in the game.
-: the bottom part could make this pretty bad, yet if it wasn't there it would probably be too good.

Other cards:
These aim to be simple and flexible to be most effective with Kins and Tasks, whilst forming combos using discarding, careful play order and the Buy phase as common themes.

Ambush - Action, $3 cost.
+ $2
You may trash this.
When you gain this or play it, move Targeted onto any non-Victory Supply pile.
Targeted - State
When you gain a card from the pile this is on, trash it.
You're blocking off access to a pile of your choice, though if you can gain a card elsewhere you can evade the ambush. There's good flexibility with moving Targeted around so players can't be left completely crippled, only forced to gain a weak $3. You can also trash this on play if it will improve the deck and you don't need so much Targeted control.
+: this should introduce a welcome interactive strategy to games, as well as a few neat tricks.
-: it may be too oppressive as an opener for players after the first, as predicting their second buy can be easy. Counters first player advantage though, so...

Armoursmith - Action, $4 cost.
+4 Cards
If your deck and discard pile empty while this is in play, trash this.
You can't buy this unless you have a more expensive card than it in play.
Simple draw that can't be put in a full deck-draw engine so easily. It's rather strong early game, so you need to get more expensive cards or gainers first.
+: two pleasant twists to think around.
-: could easily be too strong with gainers.

Bridleway - Action, $6 cost.
+1 Buy
This turn, cards cost $2 less unless you've gained a copy of them during the turn.
Everything gets Princess-ed until they're gained; even if you gain something then play a Bridleway the cost isn't reduced. Effective if you get different things on your turn.
+: simple, powerful yet kept in check.
-: feels about right, I don't think there's anything bad with this?

Brute - Action Attack, $5 cost.
+ $3
Each other player who hasn't been affected by an Attack since their last turn reveals their hand and discards two cards that are the same.
This can be a nasty attack. Most of the time cards you have pairs of in hand will be useful, unless they're pure Victories in which case that hurts in itself. So, this can only work on those who haven't been attacked during the round of turns.
+: Definitely interacts with the set.
-: could be annoying in 3+ players when the player before you plays a different Attack first. Rules for 'being affected' by an Attack could be confusing; I'd have thought Pillage doesn't affect those who have 4 or fewer cards in hand since they're not its target. But with Rivals above everyone is a target, so they are affected whether they have a Kin in hand or not.

Caver - Action, $2 cost.
+2 Cards
If your deck is empty, + $2.
It can be a powerful +2 Cards + $2 when played at the right time, or it can be draw that changes its role once the deck is drawn.
+: Very simple, should be fun to try using well.
-: could be too strong for $2. Drawing it turn 4 when the other opening buy wasn't a drawer, so you draw the 2 cards that usually get left for turn 5, could make unpleasant random advantages.

Cooper - Action, $5 cost.
+1 Action
+ $1

Gain 2 Coppers to your hand. Then discard any number of cards and draw that many.
A fusion of Beggar and Cellar, making a flexible card that's initially powerful but slows down a little with the Coppers reducing how often you draw it.
+: Simple, diverse, has plenty of combos in the set, it fits right in but looks interesting out of it too.
-: some combos could be mundane (Engraver), and this has similarities to Goose.

Engraver - Action, $5 cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action

You may trash a Treasure from your hand. If you do: +1VP, or if you've trashed more than 1 Treasure this turn, +2VP.
A multipurpose card. A very desirable Copper trasher for an engine, or a dedicated VP strategy that burns through Coppers and the odd Silver.
+: it's simply nice.
-: games where players first empty out the Coppers and silvers before building to Provinces or 3-piling may not be pleasant.

Forester - Action, $4 cost.
+1 Buy
+ $2

Once this turn, when you gain a Treasure, you may play it.
A woodcutter that can easily inject money into the deck so that its +buy becomes useful throughout the game.
+: Really simple.
-: really boring maybe?

Goose - Action, $5 cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action

Choose one: +1 Card, discard a card; or + $1; or gain a Goose if you haven't yet this turn.
Fugitive or Peddler that can gain copies of itself slowly.
+: simple and effective.
-: it might be a little too much for a $5.

Highland Village - Action, $3 cost.
+1 Card
+2 Actions

Look through your remaining deck. Discard a card from it, then shuffle it.
How to make a plain Village interesting...? Here's one that works with the discarding theme, letting you get a key target in the discard pile or move some junk out of the way. 'Remaining deck' is what's currently in it after the +1 Card; if there are no cards in it, you don't shuffle the discard pile into a new deck.
+: simple, quite strong, fits the set but has plenty of use outside of it.
-: not for players who shuffle slowly!

Instruct - Action, $4 cost.
Do these in any order:
gain a Silver;
put a card from your discard pile into your hand;
trash a card from your hand and gain a card costing up to $1 more than it.
A fancy remodel that can do different things, from Workshop trash a Silver from the Supply, to remodel to hand with a Silver to bloat your deck, to getting generic good stuff.
+: Diverse remodel involving the discard pile.
-: maybe boring or too niche overall? Though some cards in a set need to be niche.

Neighbouring Village - Action, $3 cost.
+2 Actions
When you next play an Action from your hand this turn, add 1 more to each +Card, +Buy, +$ and +VP amount it gives you as you resolve it.
Village that likes careful thought as to play order, boosting the next Action you play from hand. Vault would be +3 Cards, discard any number of cards for +$1 each, then +$1 if you discarded any; you got a +$ amount then added 1 on to it, you did not add 1 to the instructions. 'Resolving' means the same as on Royal Carriage; Hireling doesn't give you anything as you resolve it so no bonus given, similarly to the VP from Goons and Groundskeeper.
+: it takes skill to use, careful lining up sitting well on a Village. It's unique especially with the VP niche.
-: the wording might be off, and the new mechanics confusing.

Potter - Action, $4 cost.
Gain a card costing up to $4. You may reveal an Action from your hand with the same cost as it, for +2VP.
A Workshop that can get you ahead on points if you play things right.
+: VP that involves some strategy and starting analysis.
-: Silvers may be points gained too easily with a $3 Action. 

Scrounger - Night Attack, $5 cost.
Gain a Gold. Put up to 3 cards from your discard pile onto your deck in any order, then shuffle the rest and put them at the bottom.
Non-terminal Gold gainer, but those Golds will come slowly as this and everything else in play miss shuffles. You get some control over how the discard pile disappears into the deck, which can make both simple and complex play.
+: it could make unique deck strategies.
-: too strong despite missing shuffles?

Thane - Action, $5 cost.
Discard a card. You may play an Action from your discard pile twice.
Throne from the discard pile. Your handsize reduces in exchange for having a potentially large range of cards to search from, or if you discard your target from hand then it's of course Throne Room.
+: two effects that go together brilliantly.
-: some may not like the large search range to find a target, so that it's less skillful than other Thrones.

Tinker - Night, $5 cost.
Trash a card costing up to $6 from your discard pile. If you did, trash a card you have in hand or in play and gain a card costing exactly the total cost of the trashed cards.
Find a card in the discard, maybe something you just bought, and Forge it with one other card.
+: it can be fun and possibly skillful to use.
-: trashing the second target from play could be too strong, and makes it rather similar to Reassign but better (though it could be the card to change).

Weaponsmith - Action Attack, $5 cost.
+3 Cards
Discard two cards. If they cost a total of $5 or more, each other player gains a Curse.
Discard something useful, more than 2 Estates, to launch an Attack.
+: It's a curser that works better later on.
-: it may be better if the discard were optional.

Farrier - Action, $3 cost.
+2 Cards
+1 Action

Discard a Copper (or reveal you can't.)
Rider - Action, $5 cost.
+1 Buy
+1 Card per Farrier you have in play. Discard any number of cards. + $1 per card discarded.
Farrier is drawing cards for you somehow, either as a late Lab or as fuel for Rider's draw, and the Rider himself Vaults the draw away for payload. Besides other things.
+: Farrier relates to Rider but can also be used apart from it, and should create competition to get the most of them. So it should make a good split pile.
-: Rider could be too dependent on Farrier, and the combo could be too strong a deck with only a few Villages.
Do split piles really belong in the set...? They let more different cards be Kins, that was my first thought behind including them; but winning splits competitively goes against the heavy strategy and analysis theme of the set.


Appease - Task
Objective: have 2 Duchies in your hand, revealed.
Reward: +4VP
Bring 2 Duchies together in peace. This may affect when you would normally get Duchies, as effectively bringing them up to 5VP each can be worth it.
+: A good way to make Duchies more relevant more often, and help deviate gameplay away from typical Province rush.
-: hard to find specific bad points with this one...

Build - Task
Objective: gain 4 cards on your turn.
Reward: +3VP; at the start of each of your turns, +1 Card.
Project effects can work as rewards, the Accomplish token serving the same purpose as the Project cube. Can you gain a big load of cards at once this game?
+: There are several different possible ways to complete this, to be a different experience each game.
-: it depends entirely on +buys or gainers being in the kingdom.

Demolish - Task
Objective: trash 4 cards on your turn.
Reward: +4VP, gain a Gold.
Can you trash a big load of cards at once this game?
+: There are several different possible ways to complete this, to be a different experience each game.
-: it depends entirely on a trasher being in the kingdom.

Explore - Task
Objective: have 8 differently named cards in play.
Reward: +5VP
The Horn of Plenty experience without the kingdom Treasure being there. How will the kingdom let you do it?
+: Some games will call for a variety strategy, a nice thing to let randomness decide.
-: sometimes impossible. Maybe not that fun. Investigate below might be enough of variety.

Gather - Task
Objective: produce $15 or more.
Reward: +1 Buy, +3VP
How easily can you get a big spike of money this game?
+: Always possible yet can take very different paths to get to.
-: if a double Province route is possible you'll probably go down it anyway.

Impress - Task
Objective: complete 2 other Tasks on the same turn.
Reward: +5VP, gain a Chief.
Extra points if you can complete the 2 other Tasks drawn together. You may want to wait declaring accomplishment for one so you can do this.
+: A simple extra twist to add.
-: how often will it be doable?

Investigate - Task
Objective: have a hand of 5 or more cards with no copies in it, revealed.
Reward: +3VP
Get a big enough hand of all different cards.
+: Always possible.
-: can be quite hard to remember.


Telltale was too dependent on the rest of the tribe, and could often do nothing. When it did work, it wasn't a pleasant play experience.
Gamekeeper was one 'in games using this' effect too many, and not too fun.
Exile was the first attempt at being better with a bad Tribe. This was too oppressive, and needed watering down. Now it's split into Secret Keeper and Rivals.
This Kin Highland Village could exist fine, it's just not the most exciting use of the Kin mechanic.
This old Mead Hall could again exist, but adding a passive bonus like free trashing isn't the best idea.
Runner is waiting to be a Kin that entirely supports other Kins. This form isn't quite right yet.
The first form of Rivals didn't quite hit the 'bad Kins are good' premise safely.
Reassign was an Action for a while when I couldn't think of any other Nights; it works much better as a Night.
Secret Keeper didn't quite hold its bottom part quite right, you had to get rather a lot of Kins for it to work and connect them, rather too similar to Piper's role.
Pearl/Travelling Merchant was a split pile trying to establish a choice between using the other Kins or using the pile. It was too useful for other things. The new T Merchant is more emphatic at the intended premise, and Pearl took S Keeper's bottom and changed a bit to become Legend; you don't have to get lots of Kins for it to do stuff, but you can still choose to.

Nothing stops you from playing with 3 or more of the original Kin cards, just too many can lead to analysis paralysis and too much going on. Having 2 opens up a fun interaction between them, just enough, or one can be influential on its own. I've tried to cover a wide variety of different relationships with them; one thing that's somewhat missing is one that completely supports other Kins. I'm working on it. At the least I hope I've got across the feel for compelling diversity and replayability I get with the Kin mechanic. But I have struggled with sound execution of it; maybe some of the ideas here still use it poorly. You be judge.
The Tasks are very much a work in progress. They're not very well designed for all random games (not necessarily a bad thing) and the rewards are likely not balanced. 3 seems like a sensible number to comprehend each game, but nothing says you can't do more or less.
If you have any ideas, feel free to post them; I don't pretend to know everything about the dos and don'ts of these mechanics.

Variants and Fan Cards / Dominion: Revolution
« on: March 10, 2017, 03:30:48 pm »
The Industrial Revolution followed and built on the Renaissance. So does this fan set, borrowing Renaissance's mechanics with the aim of making cards calling for good skill. You can put it with any of the official sets, though you'll probably want Renaissance for its components.

Set Play Themes: resource control, mega turns

Mechanics: new ones in -1 Action, card costs, and landscapes you buy once that do something only right away. Also Durations, Coffers, Villagers, Artifacts, overpaying.
Unlike Renaissance, simplicity hasn't been a focus. New mechanics explained after the list of cards below.

TL;DR Card List
Click a card to enlarge it. The images may load up slowly, because they're PNGs.

Landscape cards:

(A note on the use of internet images: they are only here on a temporary basis whilst I produce my own art for them. The purpose of the mock-ups still using internet images for illustrations is just to present the ideas in this thread in an easy-to-understand format. I do not intend to print out or post any of these mock-ups elsewhere.)

The New Mechanics

-1 Action: Exhausted

Exhausted - State
When you next have unused Actions (Actions, not Action cards) during your Action Phase, immediately return this and -1 Action.
Villagers make getting +1 Action much easier. So here's the opposite, -1 Action; just like the -$1 token but for Actions. After you take Exhausted, whenever you next have 1 or more Actions left during your Action phase, you immediately lose one and return this, whether you're in the middle of resolving an Action or not. If you end your Action phase still having Exhausted, it will stay over to next turn, and be returned right at the start to take away your starting Action. You could spend a Villager at any time during your Action phase to return this at any time; this can be quite important to pay off Exhausted at turn start to enable the Action phase. And you're only allowed one Exhausted at a time, for simplicity and balance reasons.

Card costs
Instead of or as well as a coin symbol, some of these cards have a card back where the cost is. It means that instead of or as well as $, your cards are involved in the cost. They could in theory be from anywhere so long as you own them, but in this set each cost comes from hand since it's more of an actual expense. Below the line, there will be a description of the cost.
You might think of Animal Fair having the option of an Action in hand as a cost. It's an option, card costs are not.

Just like Projects, they're effects you buy once and then put a cube on. But unlike Projects, they are one-offs that happen straight away rather than effects that last for the rest of the game. So the cubes are used to track that you have bought the Prospect and can't get it again.
In other words, they're all like Seize the Day, but the rules require the cube to track buying them.

An explanation of each card, then my thoughts on its design positives (+) and negatives (-). I have confidence in every card here; I only mention the negatives to keep modest and realistic, and maybe they raise helpful points. There are plenty of interactions between these cards (it's a set), which I keep quiet about so you can have the fun of finding them out. Some reflect Renaissance, others don't.

Advancing Village - Action Duration, $3 cost.
+2 Villagers
At the start of your next turn, +1 Card.
This first card has gone through many variations. I wasn't going to make a set called Revolution and not have an Advancing Village, it's what villages do during an industrial revolution. Here's some simplicity that you're not going to see further down; get some Villagers, keep some for next turn when you get a bigger hand.
+: it's a Village that advances to next turn, more flexibly than Village Green.
-: it might be favoured as a Caravan variant too often.

Campsite - Action, [ ] cost.
+1 Card
+2 Actions

[ ]: To buy this, reveal and discard 2 Victories.
Well here we have it, both Villages come first alphabetically. This one sets itself apart by being a card cost; have 2 Victories in hand, which you need to discard, to afford it. Campers need green space.
+: When you get a dud hand filled with green, you don't mind picking up an extra Village. It's useful, but doesn't improve deck power by itself so it's not easy mode.
-: it may be too easy to get.

Chemist - Action, $4 cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action

Choose one: discard a card for +1 Villager; or spend a Villager for +1 Card and +1 Action.
Chemical industries improved significantly. This has two modes, shrink hand to collect Villagers or enlarge hand by spending Villagers. This Villager spending gives the Lost City effect, and is separate from spending Villagers normally.
+: it's simple resource management and mega turn draw potential.
-: could there be a better way to use Villagers to draw?

Colliery - Action, $6[ ] cost.
+1 Buy
Take Exhausted. If you do, + $1 per Action you have in play.
[ ]: To buy this, trash 2 copies of a card costing $3 or more from your hand.
Coal mines fuelled the factories, with an infamous amount of manpower. Here's the first card using Exhausted; it's effectively a double Action, one card that uses two Actions on play. If you play it and already have Exhausted (that'd be by Thrones or by playing it at the Buy phase), you just get a Buy. Played 'properly' it can give impressive payload, but can be hard to play well in multiples.
There's a dual cost too. You need both $6 and two cards costing $3+ to Treasure Map to afford this.
+: powerful payload strategy that can possibly exist and be balanced with a big card cost and Exhausted.
-: the cost may be a bit extreme as is.

Dismiss - Action, $5 cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action

You may discard a card, to reveal cards from your deck until you reveal a card that shares a type with it but has a different name. Put it into your hand and discard the rest.
Change a card in your hand for one in your deck that you need more right now, be it an Action you need to play earlier in the turn, or a better Treasure, or an actually useful Victory, etc.
+: a card that will help any deck and is failsafe to pick up, but better skill enhances how useful it is.
-: it's wordy.

Entrepreneur - Action Reaction, $2 cost.
+1 Action
+ $1

If the Entrepreneur Supply pile is empty, +1 Card.
When another player trashes a card, you may return this to the Supply, to gain a card costing up to $5.
He starts out as a Copper in Action form. But you invest with him; if either the pile empties or you catch someone else trashing with him in your hand, he can become a much better card. There's a catch to be aware of. When someone reacts with him, the pile is filled up more. Players are kept on their toes as the entrepreneurs seek out their next venture.
+: this weakens trashing whilst adding player interaction, two great things.
-: there's the potential for frustration with some players. And in this set, card costs lessen the likelihood of trashing and the usefulness of gaining a $ cost.

Farm - Action Duration Victory, $5 cost.
+1 Action
Set aside any number of Victory cards from your hand face up. At the start of your next turn, put them into your hand.
2 VP
Make your expanding green space fit your engine, tucking it all out the way. You'll need several of these to keep it up.
+: it's a nice thing to collect, a Victory card that can fit into the modern engine meta.
-: you can already do what this does with plenty of official cards, just not increasing your score at the same time. No testing yet, the cost or terminality may be issues.

Furnace - Action, $4 cost.
When you gain this or play it: trash a card from your hand. If it costs $4 or more, +2 Coffers. If it isn't a Treasure, you may trash another card from your hand.
A trasher that works on buy for immediate use. Good cards can become Coffers, and non-Copper junk fuel to burn more junk. When a Furnace trashes itself, you get both Coffers and more trashing.
+: some interesting decision making involved.
-: possibly too strong or doing too much.

Glassworks - Action, $2 cost.
+ $2
You may take Exhausted. If you do, +1 Coffers.
When you gain this, you may spend any amount of your $. +1 Villager per $1 you spent.
Glassworks range widely in size, from small domestic businesses to industrial scale. Bigger establishments come with more workforce. Overpay for Villagers on a cheap card, quite simple, only you can Workshop-gain it during your turn and it'll work too. The on-play effect can let you turn an extra Action into a Coffers. So it can in effect let you convert your Villagers info Coffers and vice versa.
+: Simple and effective, hopefully.
-: + $2 +Coffers could be too much for a $2 to give, especially if opened with.

Jailer - Action Attack Duration, $5 cost.
Each other player with exactly 5 cards in hand reveals their hand and sets aside a card that you choose. After they draw their next hand, they put it into their hand.
At the start of your next turn, +3 Cards.
Put one of their cards behind bars for a turn, but next turn it will be released into their hand of 5. Decimate their combos, do general damage, but do so carefully so as not to make their next turn too good. Keep in mind you can't lock someone up from a hand of 6 so easily.
+: an Attack needing some skill that fits right in the mega turn theme.
-: maybe too strong initially, the same as Pillage.

Local Art - Treasure, $5 cost.
When you play this, put a card from your hand onto your deck for + $2.
When you gain this, +4 Cards, +1 Buy, then play any number of Treasures from your hand.
An expression of the local area, drawing the people of your kingdom near. You can gain this to draw 4 cards; then you can play Treasures, which makes buying it not so bad, and overall gives it a lot of different uses depending on when you gain it and what kind of deck you have. The on-play is a weak Silver to balance this, though it's sometimes useful.
(There was a Foreign Art in the set that's now back in the works, explaining the name).
+: a lot of uses makes for a lot of different strategies available with this.
-: it's very radical and could easily be imbalanced.

Playwright - Action, $3 cost.
+1 Action
Look at the top 2 cards of your deck. You may trash one of them. Put the rest back in any order.
This turn, when you play an Action of which there's a copy in the trash, take the Pen.
Pen - Artifact
At Clean-up, you may set aside an Action when you discard it from play. If you do, at the start of your next turn, play it.
It just seemed cute to have writers squabble over a pen like treasurers a key, as well as extending the Renaissance theme directly. Play the Playwright and then a copy of an Action in the trash, and you get a better Prince. So players decide what Actions take the Pen, choosing carefully or adapting to what opponents trash so as to write the story of stronger turns more often than everyone else.
+: this seems like a nice way to get an Artifact.
-: perhaps too game defining, or not simple enough.

Revolters - Action Attack, $4 cost.
+ $2
Each other player may take Exhausted or lose a Villager. Those who do neither gain a Curse.
When you gain this, each player (including you) gets +1 Villager.
They've been worked too hard in awful conditions, and they want your opponents' workers to agree with them. An Attack that tries to take an Action away from the opponents. Forcibly doing this would be imbalanced, so they can instead have a crow for their troubles.
+: it adds a new decision for players to think about.
-: it's a shame that this is basically a curser, that trashing and the Curses emptying make the -1 Action part trivial.

Spinning Jenny - Action Treasure, $5 cost.
+3 Cards
+1 Buy

If it's your Buy phase, then for the rest of the turn, cards with no [ ] cost in the Supply have one that reads, "to buy this, discard 2 cards".
An invention that improved spinning threads to weave into fabrics, and this spins cards through your deck quickly. It can be terminal Action +3 Cards +1 Buy, which already exists and is useful, or it can be a Treasure for non-terminal Buy phase draw. If you do the latter, you'll have to discard cards to buy stuff so you can't use it all.
+: It gets you thinking resourcefully about your cards, and it's an Action Treasure which is also nice in the set.
-: Discarding 2 cards might be too harsh, but at 1 it's a bit too good in big money decks.

Steam Engine - Action, [ ] cost.
+1 Action
Do this up to 3 times: take Exhausted. If you do, you may play an Action from your hand twice.
[ ]: To buy this, trash a Gold from your hand.
The first steam engines could be attached to several different machines. That's what you can do here, Throne up to 3 of your Action cards for an extra Action each time. It's just like going Throne Room - play, Throne Room - play, Throne Room - play, only you need the one Throne card not 3. This powerful effect is expensive though, and you get it in two stages: first get a Gold, then cash it in for a shiny new steam engine.
+: it's an elegant and thematic effect.
-: could easily be too strong, or swingy; you really don't want to draw this dead!

Textile Mill - Action, $5 cost.
+3 Cards
You may take Exhausted. If you do, +2 Cards.
A big place needing lots of people, quickly spinning cards through the deck. Yes, I decided to make both textile industry things draw. This gives you a choice on how much you draw. If you want more, you'll use an extra Action for it. There are times you want less.
+: one of the simplest things to do with Exhausted, and it's effective. It could take on an Artifact too, as an alternative Exhausted option.
-: could either be weak overall or too good with big money.

Timepiece - Action Duration, $4 cost.
+1 Action
Now and at the start of your next turn, look at the top 4 cards of your deck, discard any number and put the rest back in any order.
One plans ahead much better when they know the time. Sort out the top of your deck to be vaguely what you need, and move things you don't want there on. What you need now can be different starting next turn.
+: this has many different uses, yet isn't useful all the time.
-: two sort effects on one card may be too much for some people.

Trade Circle - Action reaction, $4 cost.
Choose one: gain a Silver; or trash a Silver from your hand for + $4.
When a card moves to your deck or discard pile from anywhere except the Supply not during Clean-up, you may discard this to draw the card and get +1 Coffers.
You can get Silvers and/or trade them away for more money. This can be quite niche, so the Reaction adds more function. With the various ways to move your cards around during your turn, you can easily swap this for one such moved card get a Coffers bonus.
+: a new and hopefully interesting Reaction space.
-: possibly the reaction window is too open.

Tutor - Action Duration, $3 cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action

You may set aside a card from your hand. At the start of your next turn, if the card is an...
Action, play it;
Victory, discard it and +1 Card;
neither type, trash it.
An education in efficient industry. Set aside a card and do something with it that benefits the typical engine next turn.
+: always a safe pickup but kept an interesting choice by how slow it is.
-: safe and balanced, nothing that wrong with it. There's a little clash with Farm in this set though.

Wastelands - Victory, [ ] cost.
[ ]: To buy this, trash 3 Actions and/or Treasures from your hand.
When this pile empties, it counts as 2 toward game end.
The more wasteland you own, the implication is the more productive your factories are. It rewards having few useful cards in your deck at game end, and has an on-gain that helps achieve this.
+: it makes a new way to win the game that takes strategy and skill. Opening it is bad most of the time, but can be done sometimes.
-: the VP could scale with the number of non-Victories in the deck (which it used to), so it's more defined as alt VP.

Just like Projects, they're effects you buy once and then put a cube on. But unlike Projects, they are one-off boosts that happen right now rather than ones that last for the rest of the game. So the cubes are there to track that you have used the Prospect and can't use it again.

Commission - Prospect, $2 cost.
+1 Buy
Return to your Action phase. Replay the last Action you played this turn that's still in play twice. (Put your cube on it, then on this when it leaves play.)
A single KC when you need it most.
+: it's simple, yet using it isn't always easy.
-: wordy.

Conscription - Prospect, $1 cost.
+1 Buy
Choose one: discard your hand, +1 Villager per card discarded; or +$1 per Villager you have.
Resource conversion to time optimally. Change your Villagers into economy once, so hoarding them can be a strategy. Or if there are no Villagers cards, you can change your hand into Villagers.
+: more new strategies is good.
-: some people may want to try using this twice?

Consumerism - Prospect, $0+ cost.
+5 Buys
You may overpay for this by $2 so non-Victory cards cost $2 less for the turn, or by $4 for all cards.
A big load of free buys with an optional Princess effect to pay for. Use for essential early purchases or build to a massive $ mega turn.
+: lets big spikes of $ by design or by accident always work out.
-: it will take a lot for the Victory cost reduction to be meaningful. $3 overpay may be more realistic.

Demonstration - Prospect, $0 cost.
+1 Buy
Each player (including you) discards their hand and draws the same number of cards. Return to your Action phase.
There are times a change of hand would be just right for you, and there are times when you know the opponents have a good turn. Choose how and when to use this best.
+: a one-time attack suits competitive players whilst not degenerating the game too heavily.
-: there are times when everyone has a good or bad hand, and this isn't advantageous then. Choosing who discards would help avoid this but also be too political.

Dividends - Prospect, $0 cost.
+1 Buy
If you have the same number of Actions and Treasures in play, +1 Coffers and +1 Villager per 1 of each type.
Count the number of times each type appears across the cards in play (Crown will be one for both), then if they're the same you get a Coffers and Villager for every Action (consequently every Treasure too) you have in play. Free tokens you might work to getting or take whenever it's convenient.
+: There are lots of ways this set and Renaissance can get the same number of each type in play, making hopefully compelling replayability.
-: could alternatively feel mundane, if one never works for lots of them.

Imports - Prospect, $4 cost.
Gain a card from the trash.
Setup: add an extra kingdom pile to the trash.
You can either gain a single copy of a unique card for $4, or if there's other trashing (really, tfb) you can regain a trashed Province for $4.
+: unrestricted gain from the trash is safe on a Prospect, and the added pile can be interesting.
-: it might be mundane too often.

Manufacture - Prospect, $2 cost.
+1 Buy
Choose one to gain: a card costing up to $4; a copy of a card you have in play; or a Duchy.
A cheap acquisition, because you make it yourself. It has a distinct early game option in gaining a $4 for $2, a late game boost in VP, and a middle game boost in gaining a copy of a good card you have in play.
+: it's an elegant way to get 3 different uses on the same card.
-: the late option in a Duchy might be comparatively weak.

Migration - Prospect, $1 cost.
+1 Buy
Trash an Action from your hand to put your deck and discard pile into your hand. Return to your Action phase.
Put your whole deck into hand at once, at the cost of an Action card. Time it when you have the right Action to lose and there's enough stuff in the deck.
+: A new means of card movement opens up new strategies.
-: maybe too cheap or swingy, if the Action to trash comes too late.

Prediction - Prospect, $2 cost.
+1 Buy
Put any number of cards you have in play that would be discarded this turn onto your deck.
Replay stuff next turn. When do you really need to do this?
+: an effective one-off.
-: it should work? Maybe it's a bit uninteresting.

Progress - Prospect, $2 cost.
+1 Buy
Take half the tokens on this (round up) as Coffers, the rest as Villagers.
When a card costing $4 or more is gained, add a token to this.
A passive accumulation of tokens that players have to time taking. When do you need them, can you take them away from opponents when they really need them, can you try waiting for more?
+: lots of strategy to consider.
-: can be hard to remember adding a token each time.

Stocks - Prospect, $1+ cost.
You may overpay for this. +1 Coffers per $1 overpaid.
Save some of your money from a turn for later.
+: overpay for Coffers can be achieved on a one-off.
-: timing may be trivial, that you always do it on a $3/4 or 4/3 start to get $5s.

Takeover - Prospect, [ ] cost.
Gain a Victory card.
[ ]: To buy this, reveal and discard 2 Actions.
One of your Provinces/Colonies this game is quite cheap. When will you get it?
+: simple.
-: possibly just a boring speedup to the game? Or it rewards bad play?

And that's the end. I hope you've enjoyed looking through these as much as I enjoyed making them. Maybe you've seen a mistake or flaw somewhere, in which case don't be afraid to tell. No design can be called perfect or final without criticism, and part of the thrill of the design process is identifying and making gradual improvements.

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