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Messages - The Alchemist

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1
Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #136: ‘Tis the Season
« on: December 02, 2021, 06:17:27 am »
We've already had a design contest with this name btw: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=20842.0
Of course, there's nothing wrong with doubling up, that contest was about Season cards!

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Congrats emtzalex! I believe that makes it your fourth win!

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Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #135: Go Big or Go Home!
« on: November 24, 2021, 05:17:26 am »
I made an entire half-expansion with basically this premise here haha: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=20619.0

If you will permit me to use a card from it, I choose this:


Here's the flavor text:
"Are all your action cards too complicated with all their "mechanics" and "words" and what not? Well refine them down into plain ol' vanilla! Turn your 10 native villages into regular, normal, not-a-novel-of-a-description villages! Or peddler variants, or even labs! This card is unique in giving a choice that doesn't need to be unique. Choose +3 cards, or $3, or +1 action and +2 buys if that's your thing. The new bonuses are considered instructions, so playing a second refinery and naming the same card again overrides the effect of the first refinery, so they don’t stack."

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Okay so I don't know if this is allowed, but I made a similar concept called Traits with different rules than Laws, but I realized the card names/art and effect could easily reinterpreted to be laws. I don't have time to re-format these cards, so if you would oblige me, ignore the types on these cards and pretend they say laws. Naming-wise they are similar to your laws in the OP, but I agree they sound more like the names of policies than laws. The effects are also all intended to be significantly weaker, weaker than even one vanilla bonus per turn.

How many of these cards are you proposing would be available in each game?  All of them, or would you randomly select a certain number to be used?

In their original implementation, it was number of players +1 set out (randomly selected out of 12, 2 copies of each trait), and the players would draft them at the start of the game in reverse turn order. Since your rules say a set consists of 4 laws, I guess you would just randomly pick 4 out of the 6 at the start of the game.

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Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion: Arcadia
« on: November 18, 2021, 03:46:27 pm »
Is the gaining effect for Cliffside Village optional (i.e. can you choose to gain neither a Silver or a Copper-to-hand)? I think it is a bit ambiguous  with this language. If the gaining is mandatory, I would suggest

Quote from: Cliffside Village
Choose one: Gain a Copper to your hand; or gain a Silver.

It is slightly shorter and uses the "Choose one" syntax of many official cards. If it's optional, you might want to add "(or neither)" to the end, although I don't know if that is necessary.

Yes, it is optional to gain nothing. It starts off with "You may gain" like artificer and other cards, its just what you may gain is itself an entire clause, which is not unusual, since its the same for forge, or zombie mason, its just this particular either clause has never been used this way. This is novel, but I don't see a need for a "neither", since its implicit in "may". A simple FAQ clarification would suffice.

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Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #134: This is Worthless
« on: November 18, 2021, 05:51:01 am »

Smog: Smog is a junk card I created for my Industrialization fan expansion, a Curse for the new era! It requires another smog in play to remove, meaning once you have them, you're always gonna be stuck with at least one unless you trash them with something else. There are 30 cards to the pile, similar to Horses. Here are some of the cards that produce Smog:

     

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Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion: Arcadia
« on: November 18, 2021, 05:39:19 am »
Outtakes:
These cards are still under consideration but ultimately removed, either for being too similar to a card above, exceeding 3 lines of text, or being just too bland. Two are actually just cards made by others that I infact started to make myself only to find they'd already been made, and happened to fit the theme (Credit: Gubump and LastFootnote). Feedback on the outtakes would be appreciated as well but less of a priority, as well as any argument in favor of one over any of the ones above.


Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!

8
Okay so I don't know if this is allowed, but I made a similar concept called Traits with different rules than Laws, but I realized the card names/art and effect could easily reinterpreted to be laws. I don't have time to re-format these cards, so if you would oblige me, ignore the types on these cards and pretend they say laws. Naming-wise they are similar to your laws in the OP, but I agree they sound more like the names of policies than laws. The effects are also all intended to be significantly weaker, weaker than even one vanilla bonus per turn.


Also, pretend sagacious says "once per game", it was a change I was going to make anyway, but as I said this week is too buys for me to reformat these.

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Variants and Fan Cards / Dominion: Arcadia
« on: November 18, 2021, 05:26:18 am »
Dominion: Arcadia


Arcadia: "n. a place of rustic innocence and simple, quiet pleasure". As a concept, Arcadia is like Utopia, but one focusing on harmony with nature and simple living, not a technocratic man-made paradise. This is a half-expansion consisting of single-type, simple cards, with a maximum of 3 lines of text at 10 pt font (the max font), not including vanilla bonuses. A subtheme is gaining cards to your hand, namely Treasures. Art/Name-wise, they are pastoral cards featuring countrysides and tradesman, people making a living with their hands in honest labor.

 

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How many laws are set out per game? N + 1? All of them?

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Oh boy, another new landscape. These are always the hardes to make good ones for. And aren't these just edicts with extra steps?

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Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #133: A Time to Feast
« on: November 11, 2021, 05:37:39 pm »
What is *Short-List* ?

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Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #133: A Time to Feast
« on: November 04, 2021, 06:01:03 pm »


Joining the ranks of Artisan is a new vanilla $5 gainer, Spinster! Get a high-quality artisinal piece of luxury clothing, or settle for a cheaper quickly-sewn-together article of clothing for a discount! I considered whether a $5-cost $5 gainer was balanced, to me Vampire shows that it can be, it has two upsides over a straight $5 workshop, namely the attack and the non-terminality of being a Night, but also two downsides, that it cant self-gain and that it has half the normal potential plays like a duration. I think those cancel out, and that the only reason a $5 workshop doesn't exist is that it would just be boring.

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Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #133: A Time to Feast
« on: November 04, 2021, 05:47:41 pm »


Quote
Mill Town: Action, $5
+1 Card
+2 Actions
You may play one or more Treasures from your hand to gain a card, costing up to $1 per Treasure played.

"You may play one or more Treasures" still sounds awkward to me. I've made this suggestion before, but I still think you should mirror's Artificer's text.
"Play any number of Treasures from your hand. You may gain a card costing (up to/exactly) $1 per Treasure played."
Same exact text as Artificer but replacing discard for play. Sounds more natural to me imo.

15
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 21: Curse you!
« on: October 25, 2021, 04:18:32 pm »
Sorry for the late judging! In my business this week I wrote a draft but didn't realize I never actually submitted it! Apologies!

However just in time for halloween, I'm glad to see all the spooky and interesting ideas y'all came up with!

Timinou's Dock:

I like the non-attack player interaction aspect of it. I mentioned the problems with the wording in another reply, but that can easily be fixed with a different timing, like "end of your buy phase", so I won't count it against you. The downside for take a duplicate card is a little too light, I think the right move would be to take it just about every turn until you think you're about to end. The underline is a nice fun addition to dissuade taking too many (and I agree 6 is a better place to have it than 10), and there may be some fun dancing around it however, so its tough to see how it will play out. Name is very fitting to a landmark, but I don't see much of a connection to the effect, so as much as I like the simplicity of Dock (and the picture is quite nice as well), you don't get full points for theme.

Spineflu's Haruspex and Omen:

Seems a bit slow. You have to play a terminal Haruspex, and then draw into the Omen, and then wait to draw the card you actually want. All that on a card that could potentially balloon to an expensive amount. I really like the underline effect, but I'm not sure if this is the card for it. Omen is a nice way to do gain any card from the Supply without it being busted, something that really needs the Curse token to be viable to temper gaining Provinces, so really good implementation of the fan mechanic there, probably one of the best. However for a card that's a flipside of wish, it is pretty long text-wise. I like the topdecking of victories but with the other downside it may be a bit much. There's just a lot of complexity going on in the combined two cards, and a lot of it seems a bit tacked on. Theme-wise I love it though. I've never heard of a Haruspex, but apparently they had a very similar role in the Roman empire as Augurs (which would actually be a better name since it more fits in with your picture for Omen, Haruspices divined entrials while Augurs divined birds). The interplay between the two and with the Curse tokens is a huge plus, probably the best theme here.

Violet CLM's Embargain:

The event in general seems very weak. $6 is not an easy pricepoint to hit, and all I'm getting for it is a $4 and a very minor attack for the opponent, except one that's just as easily likely to hurt me as well. The opponent gets +1 card which honestly is often totally worth a -1 VP, giving opponents horses is pretty good, Bargain let's you gain a $5 for it, whereas this costs more and gives you a worse card, just to put a temporary embargain token on the horse pile. As for the theme, its not my favorite to be honest. A portmanteu of two already existing cards is clever, but more a joke than an actual design, and on top of that, the picture doesn't really fit. It could have gone on any event using horses and it would be equally relevant.

NoMoreFun's Fire Witch:

Pretty weak attack all things considered. This gives the opponent two upsides, namely an effective +1 vp and a trashed card, in exchange for either a Curse or -2 VP. Very clearly weaker than an Old Witch that gave +2 cards. May even be weaker than young witch. A -2VP is much prefered over a Curse (see miserable), and really its only -1 VP since this Curse tokens the attacker as well, which honestly is a pretty sweet deal to get to trash a card from my hand. With two plays of this attack, the opponent trashes a card to gain a curse, then can trash that curse, and both players end with the same -2 VP. So really in the long run this card is helping your opponent. I think you could easily drop the self-curse token gaining and it would still be a fine attack. Anyway I'm not one for making attacks stronger anyway, so on to the theme. Its pretty straightforward actually, its a curser so its a witch but with the flame's gift on top. Simple is nice.

Emtzalex's Halloween Town:

Really neat effect, I quite like it a lot! It depends on how many Curse tokens you have, which makes the token unique and implements it well, as well as making it more interesting than just a simple effective VP for your opponent, which is exactly what I'm looking for here. It incentivises you to take Curse tokens, but not too many, which is excelent. The balancing on the amount (2 per card) seems good to me as well, though an argument could be made for 3 (its pretty good as it is I think, especially with any other cards that give curse tokens). The on-gain is a nice touch as well. Overall nice, simple, clean card. Unfortunately, while innocent enough, I don't like the idea of taking someone else's IP for a card theme. Halloween town is pretty clearly Disney's, and I would have preffered something more original for a theme. "Haunted Town" seems close enough to me and quite fitting.

Mahowrath's Midas Curse:

Very interesting concept! I personally like vanilla Dominion concepts with a new twist, and a mirror of Mountain Pass is just excellent! Good eye on realizing that since debt functionally works as an opposite to coffers, Curse tokens would be a great mirror to the VP tokens of MPass. The actual numbers may need to be modifed though I think, but that balancing could be resolved with playresting. I could see it working just as well using only VP given to the opponent instead, but the Curse token is justified in a thematic sense as a counter to the debt/coffer split. I am really curious what bid people would naturally find an equilibrium at, since I don't think it would be 14 like MPass. My only nitpick is I think it should be on-buy for Gold, otherwise the trigger can happen a bit too early in many games. The curse of Midas has also got to be one of my favorite Greek fables as well, and the tie in to gold is just perfect. Ties in to curse tokens as well! All around perfect theme-to-effect matching. "Midas Touch" may be a better name though, since it has an idiomatic meaning in English that doesn't necessarily refer to the myth, like "Achille's Heel", and therefore could fit in the lore of Dominion better.

Xen3k's Occult Market:

Interesting concept, but I'm not sure how it will work out in practice. Its pretty useless the first two times you play it, and even then its at best a baker or delayed lab on the thrid play. Not as slow as pship/miser, but then again you should be aiming for stronger $4's than those. On top of that, when you play this, you actually doubly help your opponent. You assist them in building up their occult markets faster, and they will almost surely get a +1 card from it every time you play it (except maybe the first time where you might just get +1 Action, every play after that will likely take +1 card as a choice most games). I think the person who buys it first just loses out, because they took what is basically a junk card for 2 shuffles, and the other player can just wait until they've stacked up 3 curse tokens from the first mover's markets before getting their own. What that will usually look like is neither player ends up buying it for fear of helping the opponent, just like pirate ship. On this card, until you exceed 7 curse tokens, the -1 vp is negligible and you want those 7 crows ASAP. I also think there are too many options, choosing between 7 things each time seems headachy, and it tooks too much like scrap. I don't think there should be +1 cards *and* gain a horse on this, because that basically turns this into a delayed lab, and I think you'd pick that effect over the intended market-like effect every time. I do like how its Coffers instead of coin, since your opponent can make do of coffers gained on your turn (whereas coins and actions are useless), so nice catch there, but why not go a step further and have villagers? Coffers and villagers come on the same mat anyway now, so its not any additional component, and that way they can make do with that option as well. I think a better set of options would be +1 Villager, +1 Coffers, +1 Buy, Gain a Horse, -2 Curse token. 5 is much more manageable, and it makes that -2 Ctoken option usefull significantly earlier, which is great because I like how that option is a good way to have +1 VP on a cantrip, and with these options the opponent won't just take +1 card every time. The theme is good, its a market and it definitely is occulty with all these curses flying about.

segura's Haunted Docks:

Forget about docks, here are haunted docks! Combination of two concepts I've seen before yet together come quite well. I have made a similar card that gained a villager/coffer/horse for those 3 card types, except on discard instead of gain. Those three mechanics do work quite well together, and its a shame no official card combined villagers and coffers in this way, except silk merchant. If Livery is any indication, gaining a horse on a victory card gain is quite strong especially with multiple of these cards in play, so maybe Night-Duration is a good limitation. However, I can't help but think you could simplify the card with simply having a "this turn" and making the card a terminal action instead, since having this be a night duration makes stacking them incredibly easy. On the other other hand, being a night means it gets no benefit from gaining itself, which is good. It is unclear if "the card" on the second refers to any card that is gained, or is still nested in the conditional above it, i.e. you can only topdeck/etc. if it is a action/treasure/victory. If the former, I think the defensive aspect of this card is too good. With this in play, you could just exile any green cards you buy immedietly, and with the horses you gain from them, you don't even need an engine to never dud again. Not to mention curses just lose all of their junking power. Spending some reasource to topdeck or gain to hand a card just gained is a common effect that has even been tested by Donald X, so it is a neat effect that belongs on more cards, and using Curse tokens for them is a nice, unique touch that I very much like. However I think this card is doing too much for a $5. Both effects would be pretty good on their own (the second effect on its own would still be good on a $3 I think), but combined they synnergize so well that the card seems too strong, as well as doing a lot. I think it needs to be tempered in some way. I would either ditch the top effect entirely and save it for a different card, or change the bottom effect to just do one thing only. Theme fits pretty well to me, ties in with transport and other similar cards.

Amuzet's Cursed Cargo:

I agree that this is way too weak for $4. You have to get a curse *and* -VP for each card you gain with it. This has to stay out for 6 turns just to gain a $5, and costs you 6 VP and a junk card. I would rather just buy a silver and gain the $5 normally. It uses curse tokens in almost the exact same way as my Incantation, except instead of being on a cantrip, its on a terminal stop and gains a curse. It doesn't even topdeck the card or gain to hand, just normal gain. You're almost always just better off geting a card that just gives you economy instead. There are also problems with the wording as Gubump pointed out, I agree to ditch the line. The card is also a workshop variant, so I don't get the name cargo, and either way the image is not a picture of cargo at all, just some occulty items that you could say are cursed if you had to explain it.

grrgrrgrr's Pact:

Interesting, I don't know how I feel about champion as a Project, even with a pretty steep downside. We already have Academy, but at least that has at least a bit of unique twist. I think taking 1 vp a turn is a pretty good deal for a free village, so I think to not be an auto-buy project the price needs to be a bit steeper. Theme is on point.



Once again apologies for the late judging, but here are the winners!:
Honorable mentions: Haruspex/Omen, Haunted docks
Runner up: Halloween Town
Winner: Midas Curse!

Congratulations Mahowraith! Theme really pulled you through this week, good work! Close runner up with Emtzalex, probably the best effect so great designing to you as well! Overall I enjoyed the themes and your clever uses of the token everyone. Happy Halloween!

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Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 21: Curse you!
« on: October 18, 2021, 10:48:21 pm »
If you've played the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion of Lords of Waterdeep, you'll be familiar with Corruption tokens.  Players gain Corruption tokens when they do certain actions that are more powerful than normal.  At the end of the game, each Corruption token is worth a certain amount of negative VP based on the number of Corruption tokens that all players have taken.

This is partly inspired by Corruption tokens, although the amount of negative VP doesn't scale based on the number of Curse tokens (well, other than the -1VP each Curse token gives you):

EDIT: Changed this into a pure Landmark instead of a dual Event/Landmark and reduced the VP penalty from 10VP to 6VP:


Quote from: Original

EDIT: Tweaked the card to make it more relevant in Kingdoms without +Buy or gainers.

Not sure if you've noticed, but the rewording of the card means that you can't get a copy of the card you just bought. If I buy only one card in a turn and haven't gained any others, then Dock does nothing, because *when I buy the card* I haven't gained anything yet. It's always Buy card, all on-buy effects, then gain card, all on-gain effects. If you want Dock to be able to duplicate a card you just bought, it needs to be after the buy, which is why I suggested "At the end of your Buy phase".

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I don't really get this prompt.
like in terms of mechanics, or in terms of why you'd want to impose the restrictions?
Like, I'm not understanding the logic behind what's considered novel and what's not. There are several here that are still "for each $1 you overpaid" and I just don't get it.

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I don't really get this prompt.

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Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 21: Curse you!
« on: October 15, 2021, 09:13:54 am »
24 Hour Warning!!!

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Does this count as a novel way to overpay?



Bibliothecary:
Someone has to maintain the libraries! Archaic name for librarian, this card nets out to a terminal Discard 2, Draw 3, unless you've managed to shrink your handsize by playing non-draw actions first that is. And hey, here are some villagers to help you out with that!

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Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #130: Sidekicks
« on: October 08, 2021, 10:47:47 pm »


Farmer: Forms a split pile with Farmland. 5 Farmers then 5 Farmlands, independent of player number.

The on-play effect alone seems too strong for a $4 cost. At the start of a (non-Shelters) game, this effect is quite a bit better than Laboratory.

The on-play is a risky peddler that requires a collision with a victory. Even when it does collide, it's just a peddler with a single card restricted cellar effect, which is already a weak $2. The people on the discord in fact preferred the on-play priced at $3, not $4, so I don't think it's better than a lab in the open.

Do the people in discord know that discarding a victory card's not a real cost in early game, so it's better than a peddler? And how is it risky when it's always a cantrip, and when it's not better than that your hand is already really good? There isn't always trashing.

Also, without the coin, this is comparable to fugitive.

Yes, it is better than a peddler when it collides with a victory, let's say that's worth $5. It's also significantly worse than peddler with no collision, easily less than a $2. Making it $4 then, does not seem to be an issue. Discard first then draw is significantly weaker than draw first and discard, so fugitive is not a valid comparison, cellar is.

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Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 21: Curse you!
« on: October 08, 2021, 10:12:43 am »
I've decided to extend the deadline until the end of the weekend to give a bit more time for any last-minute suggestions, since there are still only a few submissions. You will know when I post the 24 hour warning.

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Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #130: Sidekicks
« on: October 08, 2021, 08:52:46 am »


Farmer: Forms a split pile with Farmland. 5 Farmers then 5 Farmlands, independent of player number.

The on-play effect alone seems too strong for a $4 cost. At the start of a (non-Shelters) game, this effect is quite a bit better than Laboratory.

The on-play is a risky peddler that requires a collision with a victory. Even when it does collide, it's just a peddler with a single card restricted cellar effect, which is already a weak $2. The people on the discord in fact preferred the on-play priced at $3, not $4, so I don't think it's better than a lab in the open.

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Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #130: Sidekicks
« on: October 07, 2021, 12:53:57 pm »


Farmer: Forms a split pile with Farmland. 5 Farmers then 5 Farmlands, independent of player number.

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Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 21: Curse you!
« on: September 29, 2021, 08:14:20 pm »
If you've played the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion of Lords of Waterdeep, you'll be familiar with Corruption tokens.  Players gain Corruption tokens when they do certain actions that are more powerful than normal.  At the end of the game, each Corruption token is worth a certain amount of negative VP based on the number of Corruption tokens that all players have taken.

This is partly inspired by Corruption tokens, although the amount of negative VP doesn't scale based on the number of Curse tokens (well, other than the -1VP each Curse token gives you):



EDIT: Tweaked the card to make it more relevant in Kingdoms without +Buy or gainers.

Why is it "Once per turn: You may buy a card" instead of just "+1 Buy. At the end of your Buy phase... " or any other timing (start of clean-up, end of turn, etc.)? To me "You may buy a card" is for letting you buy cards outside the buy phase, but on an event that's not relevant since you're always by default in the buy phase. Otherwise, you have to be careful to buy the event just before your last buy every turn.

Also this doesn't need the "You may take". The choice is already implicit in buying the event or not, if you move the choice to within the event, then there's no reason why one wouldn't just buy the event every single turn, and then at that point it can just be a pure Landmark (which is also a valid direction to take, and maybe preferable to avoid the awkward double typed landscape). The only counterpoint is maybe you'd change your mind in the time between buying the event and just after buying the card (maybe some on-buy trigger changed things), but that's a very edge case.

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