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Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #164: Read the Fine Print
« on: September 27, 2022, 03:14:44 pm »
It will be fine in most games, but I don't like that the penalty will unnecessarily hose other cards that use the Tavern Mat, especially things like Miser, Ratcatcher, Distant Lands, and Wine Merchant which all encourage putting multiples of themselves (or Coppers in Miser's case) on the Tavern Mat. The simplest fix would be to just create a separate mat that's used just for Mad Alchemist. You also could then put the scoring instructions on the mat and eliminate the need for States.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #164: Read the Fine Print
« on: September 21, 2022, 03:06:34 pm »

City of Gold is a pretty straightforward alt-VP card, like a Feodum that counts Golds instead of Silvers. You get a nice 1:1 ratio vs. Feodum's 3:1, but each one you gain lets your opponents gain a Gold (and making their Cities of Gold worth more).

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #163: Cleaning The Banlist
« on: September 12, 2022, 09:00:05 pm »

I still don't understand how Bureaucrat survived into the 2E Base, but man that card is so bad, even worse than some of the 1E removals like Woodcutter and Feast, which sure were boring, but at least usable on most boards. Bureaucrat usually just means a 9-card Kingdom.

Since Clerk from Prosperity 2E is already basically a "fixed" Bureaucrat, Scrivener is a more exotic variation as a cheap one-shot Attack with a non-terminal Armory on top (letting you gain more than just Silver) and then Clerk's same half-Ghost Ship attack. Opening with Scrivener kind of allows you to open with two $4s (though one will often miss the shuffle), with a mild Attack thrown in.

And hey, if you ever miss Bureaucrat, Scrivener can even do an imitation by topdecking Silver and forcing opponents to topdeck VP cards, except it's way better because afterwards you don't still have a Bureaucrat in your deck.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #162: You Can Trip at $5
« on: September 02, 2022, 04:05:11 pm »
An empty deck/discard with a Sewing Circle and at least one other cantrip in hand can empty the pile instantly which I'm never a fan of. That said, I still think it's a neat idea. The card it reminds me most of is actually Groom, which can also cantrip gain, can gain and play copies of itself (it loops pretty easily with +Actions, Groom+Horse can gain Groom+Horse, etc.), usually ends games in 3 piles, and it only costs $4. The biggest issue is that it's way easier to multiply these that to multiply Grooms since you don't need the +Actions. I wonder if adding a "(if you haven't gained one this turn)" after the "gain a Sewing Circle" might be enough to mitigate the autopiling issues.

I'm not sure that's correct. Because SC gains after it draws, there has to be one waiting in the discard pile when you play another. Otherwise, you could pay a SC (drawing nothing because your deck/discard is empty) to gain a SC, then play the other cantrip to draw the 2nd SC, but when you played that, it wouldn't draw anything, and the other SC would be stuck in your discard. To autopile, you'd either need 2 SC in your hand or 1 in hand and there other one to be the only card in your discard/deck. (Rats works exactly the same way, but it also trashes cards). There's a fairly big difference between needing 2 of them and needing just 1, but there is still the possibility of autopiling. (You can also simulate having 2 SCs with a throne variant, and you can accomplish the chaining by playing a card that lets you topdeck on-gain [Tracker, WotSeal]).

I hadn't thought of the autopiling issue. I may have to come up with something to deal with that.

Ah yep, that's right, I forgot the gain happens after cantrip, unlike Groom and Hill Fort where it happens before. Yes, you would need two SCs in hand or one each in the hand and in the discard pile to pile out.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #162: You Can Trip at $5
« on: September 02, 2022, 03:02:45 pm »
An empty deck/discard with a Sewing Circle and at least one other cantrip in hand can empty the pile instantly which I'm never a fan of. That said, I still think it's a neat idea. The card it reminds me most of is actually Groom, which can also cantrip gain, can gain and play copies of itself (it loops pretty easily with +Actions, Groom+Horse can gain Groom+Horse, etc.), usually ends games in 3 piles, and it only costs $4. The biggest issue is that it's way easier to multiply these that to multiply Grooms since you don't need the +Actions. I wonder if adding a "(if you haven't gained one this turn)" after the "gain a Sewing Circle" might be enough to mitigate the autopiling issues.


Countess is a simple cantrip Duchy gainer. How many Duchies did you want anyway? Priced at $6 to ensure it's not too easy to rush these and Duchies.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion: Plunder
« on: August 29, 2022, 09:41:08 am »
I'll never say no to more Dominion, and sounds like will be the BIGGEST expansion we've seen so far--40 Kingdom cards! Along with Allies and the 2Es, that's almost 100 brand new Kingdom cards in one year.

I'm guessing Traits will modify piles universally for all players vs. Adventures tokens only modifying the pile for each player. Not sure if they'll be things like Obelisk or Young Witch with Setup instructions where cards from this randomly chosen pile have an additional passive ability for this game, or if they'll turn on and off at different times throughout the game (perhaps through Events or other cards).

We already have Spoils and Horses, so Loot will probably be something different than just another pile of one-shots (and they probably won't be tokens either). My prediction is they'll be unique non-Supply cards like Prizes that can only be gained through other cards. Not sure if they'll be singletons like Prizes or have their own piles like Spirits (perhaps there's different Loot cards that rotate in and out for each game).

With Kingdom cards and randomizers taking up 440-446 cards and Events likely taking up another 14-20, that leaves 30 to 40ish cards for Traits and Loot.

Minor update to my submission: I felt like Chateau was a bit weak for $6, so I increased the non-conditional payout from +$1 to +$2. Now it hopefully won't be so sad with no VP cards in hand (see OP here).


Here are the Lodges, a multicolored split pile!

Farmhouse can rotate the Lodges and is a now and next turn mini-Shepherd. Chalet is a VP card that rewards you for getting all four Lodges; it also rotates the pile upon gain, making a lot harder to get multiple of these at once. Mountain Hall is a sort of Lab meets Mountain Village, great when you've got things in the discard to choose from, but sad without a discard. Thankfully, it also has a neat reaction that lets you discard it at the start of your turn for a big draw. Finally, Chateau is a Treasure that rewards having lots of Victory cards in hand.

There are some light interactions between them all. For example, Chalet helps Farmhouse and Chateau; Mountain Hall can pick up VP cards for Farmhouse and Chateau.

*Edit: Upped Chateau's non-conditional payout from +$1 to +$2.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #160: Two Base Cards
« on: August 15, 2022, 04:18:43 pm »
This is good in a Gardens game. This can be good in a Shepherd game. This would potentially be OKish in a Silk Road game if Silk Road were any good.
I donít see any other situation in which this is any good.

A card doesn't need to be always "good" to be interesting or create interesting decisions. Beggar is not "good" most of the time but it is definitely interesting. Gang of Pickpockets is objectively harmful, but it's still a really fun Ally that makes games more interesting and brings something different to Dominion. This Ally leads to interesting decisions like taking the Copper in the opening to hit $5 (Banquet, Borrow, and Desperation all do a similar thing) or trying to earn Favors for a bunch of free Estates in the late game. Personally, I'm not sold on the "Repeat as desired" clause here as there a few Liaisons that could allow for instapiling the Estates which I don't like, but aside from that, it's definitely an interesting Ally.

If the goal of card design was always to only make cards that were always objectively good in all situations, Dominion would be a very boring game.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #160: Two Base Cards
« on: August 14, 2022, 03:09:17 pm »

Crook is an Attack card that offers the player a choice of thinning two cards or gaining a Silver to hand, while turning a card in each other player's hand into a Copper. Early on, the attack won't hurt much and may actually help if they trash Estates or Curses, but it will get more painful as the game goes on and players trash their starting cards. Since the Coppers gained to hand can be repeatedly trashed, the attack usually won't stack more than once. Especially brutal if you can hit opponents with a discard attack beforehand.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #159: Some Nights
« on: August 01, 2022, 08:36:49 pm »

I'm updating my submission (OP updated here) for this week to Wolf. Similar top as Coyote, but now with a simpler and more interactive Reaction that essentially allows you to play this as an Exile Smugglers. When one Wolf howls, the rest can join in! Name/image change for thematic purposes (I don't think Coyotes howl together, right?).

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #159: Some Nights
« on: July 28, 2022, 03:49:09 pm »

For Menagerie, Wolf is a Duplicate and Smugglers variant that can Exile another copy of a card that was already gained this turn. Early on, you can Exile a copy of an Action card you gained to pick up later like with Camel Train. Unlike Camel Train, it can Exile Victory cards from the Supply, so you can gain a Duchy and then Exile another one with your Wolf. The Reaction lets you play it whenever someone else does and gain Exile something they gained on their turn (sort of like Smugglers). When one Wolf starts howling, the rest can join in.

Wolf is a light update to my old submission, Coyote, keeping an almost identical top and making a simpler and more interactive Reaction. Name change for theming of course.

Previous submission:

Fantastic contest prompt and great comments, Commodore Chuckles! 
One small note on Savings in response to your feedback:

Savings/Benefactor/Ancestral Home by 4est
I feel that Savings sort of negates the purpose of Debt. The whole point of the mechanic is that you have to pay it back later, but Savings says, nope, you kinda donít!

In most cases, Savings actually only works if you're paying off Debt on subsequent turns. If you have no Debt when you play it, it does nothing, and doesn't help pay for any Debt you incur that turn (e.g. play Savings, buy Overlord, you still get 8 Debt and Savings doesn't help you since you played it before getting Debt). You have to have Debt for next turn and then Savings helps you pay it off (it's a real life lesson in personal finance where uh you shouldn't spend your savings unless you're in Debt.

Anyway, congrats to emtzalex!

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Ways but for Treasures
« on: July 26, 2022, 01:15:46 pm »
Gold-Paved Road is way too automatic, everyone just trashes all their Coppers in the opening and still buys what they want normally. What would be more interesting is if it didn't give the +$1, and you had to decide if you wanted the economy or to trash it. You still can trash all your Coppers, but players will need to think more about when.

It's strong, but it's not particularly nasty (you're just getting lots of extra turns for yourself rather than doing damage to your opponent).

I've had Possession/Way of the Horse. Now that one is nasty.

wow that would be nasty. tossing back your opponent's possessions oof

Well that, plus literally all of their other Actions.


Looks like xyz123 beat me to the punch for Empires-themed Shelters, but here are mine anyway. I tried to create cards that don't affect the opening most of the time, interact with the two main themes of Empires (VP tokens and Debt), and have some light interactions with each other. We're sticking with the name Shelter since all of these things do in fact Shelter you from stuff kinda.

Savings is a Gold, yeeha, but only if you have Debt. Nice for paying off those expensive Debt cards/events on the turn after you buy them, but not very useful otherwise.

Benefactor is a Reaction that lets you discard it from your hand for +1VP anytime you take VP or Debt tokens. It's tricky to line up, but it might be worth keeping around for the occasional extra VP.

Ancestral Home is my attempt of a sort of Attack Shelter. When you trash it, you get +1 VP, and everyone else takes 1 Debt (which is sort of like taking your -$1 token). To keep from being too oppressive, the Debt attack can't stack on top of other Debt, and Savings and Benefactor may make players actually thankful for the Debt anyway.

The idea is cool but there is a serious bootstrapping problem due to the positive externality. It only becomes worthwhile once 4 or 5 tokens are on it, but unlike the official Gathering cards, the card does nothing until then. So why be the fool who does the costly build-up work for soon-to-come leechers.

The solution is to make the card actually do something else. As a Peddler for $5 it could be too strong but something like that might do the trick.

Excellent feedback, thank you. I prefer it not produce $ so it doesn't help pay its own Debt. I've made it a village instead, which are always desirable even apart from the gaining, and I've increased the price to $5.


Architect is a Village gainer that gathers Debt tokens onto its pile with each play until someone decides to take the Debt and gain two cards costing the amount they took. You get two cards for the Debt-cost of just one, not a bad deal, but you also have to be careful that your opponents don't snag the Debt first. As a Village, you'll likely want these in your deck anyway, and having more will increase your control over building up the Debt pile and choosing when to take it. While this works similarly to a Gathering card, it doesn't have the Gathering type since it uses Debt instead of VP-tokens.

*Edit: changed from cantrip to village and increased price to $5.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #156: When Gain
« on: July 05, 2022, 11:58:33 pm »
WDC #156: When Gain

Commentary & Results

Thanks everyone for the submissions, there were some really great entries and I enjoyed seeing the many different directions people went with this one.

OPs are linked, shortlisted entries are bolded, enjoy!

Healer by Gubump
A clean and simple terminal Silver that can trash from hand when you gain a card. A lot of similarities to Priest which I think is the more interesting card usually with its $2 bonus for later trashes, but I like Healer a lot too. It's nice you don't have to trash right away, which often lets you play out the rest of your hand and trash when gaining cards in your Buy phase. Obviously plays nice with gainers, +Buy, and other when-gains. Nice one. 

Junk by kru5h
A new take on Borrow and Desperation, but as a card, which becomes temporary junk (literally). Essentially, this can net you an extra +$1 or +$3 depending on if you buy it or just gained it. The "first time" clause is key here to prevent autopiles. Generally, I feel like this idea is best suited to an Event after all rather than dedicating a pile of 10 cards to it. That said, it does get a lot more interesting with gainers like Workshop especially, as that's something Borrow/Desperation can't do.

Gardener by Joxeft
Exiling VP on-gain is always the dream, right, though I think this is way too strong, and it's feels weird that it's a cantrip that you only actually need one of to get the full effect. I think this would be much more interesting if the VP exile only worked on one VP card (with a "once this turn" clause) which would require players to buy multiples if they planned on buying multiple VP cards a turn. Making it terminal with a different bonus could make for a more interesting card as well--as is, Gardener just feels too automatic. 

Pawn Shop by Builder_Roberts' brother
You can tell your brother I like this card and we'd love to see him join the forums for more contests! The on-gain Salvager which is something I've never seen before and works brilliantly as both a Copper/Estate trasher but also as late game payload. You'll need a gainer or +Buy to make it work, which the on-play nicely provides. I don't totally understand the on-play discard which feels unnecessary and weakens this card significantly, I think Woodcutter would have been fine, although that would be quite similar to the new Nomads. All that to say, I like it. 

Barrows by MochaMoka
I've never gotten the Farmland hate, it's a narrow card to be sure, but I still think it's a really interesting VP card that's different from most alt-VP, and the new errata makes it even better. Barrows has definitely got Farmland vibes, but they actually play pretty differently, since this often requires you to trash an engine piece for the Duchy gain, and can't mill copies of itself (it can also trash a stray Curse or Copper). Barrows can truly function as a Province alternative for the engine player trying to catch up. My one suggestion is that 4VP feels like a lot for $6 especially alongside the Duchy gain, perhaps 3VP (or maybe even 2VP though that might be too close to Farmland) might be a bit more balanced, but even still, this is a really neat one.

Incredible Workshop by fika monster
Missed opportunity to call this "Impcredible Workshop" haha. This isn't quite a traditional on-gain effect, but I'll take it nonetheless. It's a pretty powerful gain and play, and can often be a stronger Sculptor, though it loses its luster the later in your turn you play it, unless there's a wide variety of cards you want to gain. Also like Sculptor, gain Silver, +$2 is a strong base option, though you don't get the Villager. 

Hound by X-tra
Hound's on-play is fine if a little boring, but of course it's the wacky below-line that makes it so interesting. Games with Hound have a sort of permanent Swamp Hag on all non-Action cards unless you have a Hound in your hand. It's really nice that Curse tokens don't junk your deck, but the negative VP sure hurts, and makes you think twice about opening Silver (Hound can conveniently go get your Silver for you instead). The tricky thing is you'll have to keep at least one dead Hound around that you don't play until your Buy phase if you want to avoid the Curse tokens (and you can always avoid by just buying more Actions). There's definitely going to be boards where your deck simply can't support the necessary Hounds to stop the tokens once you start greening, but I think Hound definitely creates plenty of unique decisions to think about in most games. Bonus points for another blue dog.

Trust by spineflu
Pouch on play, with an overpay effect that converts $ to cards, similar to Storyteller. I haven't yet seen a full, officially updated Guilds rulebook that talks through the new Overpay rules as of last week's errata, but as of yet, all official Overpay cards only allow overpaying when paying for a card during your Buy phase. Trust, as currently worded, seems to allow players to overpay when gaining it which is a bit confusing and I'm not totally sure if that actually works within the official overpay mechanic rules. Setting that aside though, I think on-gain Storyteller is definitely a neat idea worth exploring, however it's going to be tough to get this to work in a lot of situations, since you don't want +Cards in your Buy phase (rendering overpaying when you Buy it useless), and you have to have virtual money (unless this card's overpay rules allow you to play treasures when you gain it with e.g. Workshop?) in order to take advantage of the overpay ability. I think Trust needs some work on these issues, I likely overpay isn't the best implementation for this mechanic, and just a straight +Cards on-gain (or variable based on some condition), might be better. Arguably, a similar convert coins to cards idea already exists in Expedition.

County by mandicoa15
A cheap Province that trashes your hand, sort of like a big, mandatory Cemetery. This is a weird one in that it's an expensive but powerful trasher, so you want to try and spike $6 early (sort of like Mint or Forge), but it's also got a big enough amount of points that you're also thinking about it for the endgame, if the Kingdom allows for it. It's tricky though, especially once you start greening as you'll need a way to get Provinces and other Counties out of your hand so they don't get trashed by County gains. Many boards won't allow for this, but it sure will feel badass when you can build an engine that can consistently gain these without too much damage.

Silverbug by Augie279
Not sure how this small metal insect became a project, but that's okay! So this is a fascinating one, it's basically a permanent Coppersmith, but uh, for Silvers, turning your Silvers into Golds, but at the cost of turning your Golds into Silvers. Additionally, it works on gain, which effectively makes Silver cost $2 when you have this and Golds cost $7 (plus a money bonus or penalty for gainers). Obviously this likes Silver gainers (Masterpiece, Jack, Trader, Delve, and now Weaver all look REAL good with this) and hates Gold gainers, but even apart from those Silver combos, Silverbug seems like a potent Money enabler buy allowing players to forgo Gold entirely as payload. Hitting $7 is admittedly tough, but once they do, Silver flooding becomes a very viable strategy. There's some real Way of Chameleon vibes here, I like it!

Flea Market by NoMoreFun
A $2 Necropolis that can turn itself into Silver and play itself on gain. I like that this creates an alternate way to gain Silvers for only $2 (like Delve as you mentioned). The on-gain is a bit sad when there are no gainers, but it is really neat that these can get you some +Actions mid-turn and then immediately turn into payload you can draw later.

Seamstress by Xen3k
I don't like how small the text is here, but I like the idea, and it feels like there's maybe some ways to tighten it up and use a slightly larger font. It reminds me a bit of Hamlet, though it hurts that it doesn't draw unless you discard. The on-gain Anvil is cool, but wouldn't "gain a card costing up to $4 other than Seamstress" be simpler than the "$1 or $2 more?" More flexibility seems better, so long as you don't allow Seamstress gaining.

Books by Dubdubdubdub
A big Workshop Treasure that can gain any Action, nice. It's similar to Sunken Treasure, but without the in-play restriction. $6 is a lot though, and this becomes much less helpful than Gold once you start greening. The on-gain lets you play an Action or Treasure from your discard which can be really helpful, though it's dependent on A) having a discard pile, and B) having things worth playing in your Buy phase (since most games won't have ways to gain this in your Action phase). Without both of these, the on-gain won't be super helpful. One small wording thing, you no longer need to say "look through your discard pile" (see new Inn), and you can instead use a simpler "When you gain this, you may play an Action or Treasure from your discard pile other than this."

Lumberjack by emtzalex
A Woodcutter variant that can be played as a non-terminal Silver, a straight Woodcutter, or +$2 and play the next Lumberjack you gain for free. The flexibility to keep these nonterminal or get the +Buy is nice, though I think the 3rd option will be less useful than it seems. It will work with gainers, but triggering after buying often won't net much for the player. The bigger issue here is this also feels similar to Nomads which I feel accomplishes what this is trying to do in a more elegant way.

Training Grounds by xyz123
Wow, that is a lotta Horses! It's a neat idea, a sort of permanent Livery, but like Livery, I might suggest putting a cost restriction on it (e.g. When you gain a card costing $4 or more), which would also eliminate the need for the "other than Horse" clause. Even still, I worry this will slow games a bit (gaining Horses is a lot slower than just taking a Villager or Coffer as with Academy or Guildhall). I could be wrong though, and especially with a cost restriction, it may be okay.

Christmas Tree by CaptainReklaw
A $2 cost Treasure that gains Gifts which are a randomized pile of non-supply, one-shot Treasures (I'm assuming these are supposed to be non-supply cards). In some ways, we sort of already have Gifts in the form of Spoils, which Gifts of course offer more variety, but that's at least a helpful frame for judging the strength of Christmas Tree. At $2, it doesn't provide any economy or benefit when you play it aside from the Gift gain, which feels right in terms of cost--a Treasure that just said "Gain a Spoils" could probably cost $2. I think it's okay, something you'd pick up for a spare Buy I suppose, but a bit boring with no other bonus attached to it. As for the Gifts themselves, most seem fine, some need some wording work (the discard VP cards one in particular, needs a from your hand and a reveal clause somewhere, etc. 

Bribe by jorikke
A $5 Treasure that gives $ depending on how many Attacks you have in play, sort of like Soldier, along with an on-gain that lets you get one of these for free when you gain an Attack. The biggest issue is how board dependent this is. Some games, you get Minion or Urchin or other ways to play a bunch of Attacks each turn and these become insane payload, and other games there are literally no attacks and this does nothing. I would recommend making this part of a split pile or making the card itself an Attack to ensure there's some way it can actually do something.

Burough by Jonasssss
A simple cantrip that can chain copies of itself for a Lost City effect and conveniently comes in pairs like Port. As with Port, winning the split is more lopsided (since it's 8 to 4 instead of 6-4) which I don't love about Port either, but a larger pile makes sense anyway with the on-gain. It feels real bad to not collide them, but they thankfully don't hurt your deck either. Clean and simple card, not a lot else to say about it!

Footman by AJL828
Choice of +2 Cards now, or next turn, and then the when-gain can get you a pile of Villagers or Coffers if you have a bunch of differently named cards. One question: can you get some of each? Like if I have Village, Smithy, Copper, and Silver in play, can I gain this and get +1 Villager and +1 Coffers? Either way, seems like an okay card, a sort of mini-Barge without the Buy. The Villagers/Coffers are certainly helpful, and with some support you can bring in a nice haul. 

Honorable Mentions: Healer by Gubump, Pawn Shop by Builder_Roberts' brother, Barrows by MochaMoka, Hound by X-tra, Flea Market by NoMoreFun

Runner Up: County by Mandicoa15

WINNER: Silverbug by Augie279

Congrats to Augie279 and thanks everyone for participating!

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #156: When Gain
« on: July 04, 2022, 09:25:54 pm »
I know I'm a day late posting this but:

Contest Closed for Submissions

I've listed all entries in the OP. Please let me know if I am missing your submission or its latest iteration.

Results will be posted by end of day tomorrow.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #156: When Gain
« on: July 03, 2022, 01:07:48 am »
24 hour warning

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #156: When Gain
« on: July 01, 2022, 09:00:14 pm »
It looks like you're using the normal Imgur URL for these, make sure you use the BBCode (Forums) one instead which displays just the image. Inside the image tags, it should be formatted like this:

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #156: When Gain
« on: June 30, 2022, 10:45:54 am »
As written, Books can play itself on-gain (just like Inn which can reshuffle itself on gain).

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #156: When Gain
« on: June 28, 2022, 06:18:19 pm »
Adding an "on your turn" clause should fix those edge cases.

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