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Messages - Fragasnap

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Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: October 19, 2020, 05:10:13 pm »

Types: Action
Cost: $3
+1 Card, +1 Action. If the total cost in coins of cards you have in play is from... $10 to $19: +2 Actions. $20 to $29: +2 Cards. $30 to $39: +1 Buy and +$2.
Sycophants do different work for you depending on how wealthy you appear to be.  They go from cantrip, to Bustling Village, to activated Menagerie, to Grand Market.  Without cost-reduction shenanigans, you can play 4 as "+3 Cards and +1 Action" and 3 as Grand Markets, or the opposite.  It costs $3 so it does less to activate itself if you're just pile-driving it: Do something else, will ya?
Obviously combos with expensive cantrips like Market, Baker, Bazaar, and Laboratory.

Changed threshold values to make adding easier.  Added upper threshold to Grand Market function.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: September 29, 2020, 07:00:56 am »

Types: Action
Cost: $4
+$2. You may play an Action from your hand costing at most $3 and an Action from your hand costing at least $5 in either order.
Caste is a Conclave variant (+2 Actions and +$2) that can play repetitive Actions, but they have to be at myriad price points.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: September 10, 2020, 06:38:16 pm »

Types: Action
Cost: $4
Trash a card from your hand. Gain a Horse per $1 in the trashed card's cost.
When you gain or trash this, gain 2 Horses.
Trash-for-benefit, benefit being Horses, so like a terminal Apprentice.  Agistors come and go with extra Horses so you can get additional Agistors to trash to each other (Agistor trashes Agistor for 6 Horses!).  Coming with 2 Horses is similar to Experiment, but Agistor costs more and comes with Agistor, obviously.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: September 08, 2020, 06:46:16 pm »
Types: Action, Duration
Cost: $3
+1 Action. Choose one: +1 Buy and +$1; or at the start of your next turn: +1 Card and +$1
When this is your first gain in a turn, you may set it aside. If you do, play it.
I decided it was worth adding a "when this is your first gain in a turn" clause to my own submission Sailor.
Emptying a pile all at once by reducing it to $0 is now an unfortunate happenstance rather than an untouchable design sin with 3 existing piles that can be so emptied.  However, emptying those 3 existing cards without cost reduction requires $31 (Villa), $40 (Cavalry, discrediting its draw), and $50 (Forum), where Sailor requires a mere $21, which might not be enough considering the pile will not necessarily be full.
The on-gain only triggering when it is your first-gain still lets Sailor do a lot of the fun things it wants to do without making it a constant pile-threat.  Does anyone think it dumpsters the card or does that sound reasonable?

Types: Event
Cost: $1
+1 Buy. Put your deck in your discard pile.
I like this a lot, but I don't know that it really influences the opening in a fun way.  Do I buy Steward and Fold on a $4 turn 1 and just hope against hope to draw that Steward on turn 2?  That would be strong, but will miss around 50% of the time.

Smuggled goods
Types: Treasure
Cost: $1
When you buy this, gain a card costing up to the number of cards in your hand.
This has fun functions with +Buys, but I'm not sure I'd buy it in the opening except on a $2 turn, and I don't know if it is good for $5/$2 to have such a boost when the Copper can be stomached.

Types: Action, Attack
Cost: $3
+$2. Each other player discards a Lure card (or reveals a hand with no Lure cards).
Setup: Add an extra Kingdom card pile costing $5 or more to the Supply.  Cards from that pile are Lure cards and cost $1 less during the Buy phase.
This is clever.  I worry that Glamour itself looks weak as a terminal Silver.  It is not likely enough to hit the chosen card unless the Lure is a card desired in large number like Governor, Laboratory, or Minion.

Types: Action
Cost: $4
Trash a card from your hand. You may gain a card costing up to $1 more than it.
When you gain this, look at the top three cards of your deck. You may trash any number of them. Put the rest back in any order.
This feels dangerous around $3/$4 ordered openings due to the chance of it finding itself and your buy from your $3 turn.  I like the $4-cost because it allows you to buy multiple Renovates and trash them for $5-cost cards.  I recommend having it trigger on Buy and look at the top 4 and trash up to 3 of them to alleviate the issue.

Types: Event
Cost: <5>
Gain a card costing up to $5. Each other player gets +1 Coffers.
Succinct, wonderful event. It even helps reduce 1st player advantage. And it synergizes in a good way where debt is about saving cost for later and coffers are about saving money for later. Really nice work.
A big problem is the way that giving Coffers to other players accelerates multiplayer games with a form of consistency that isn't present with the similar Bargain.  If A and B buy Negotiate, C gets 2 Coffers in the same amount of time.
If Negotiate is only ever relevant in the opening then it probably won't matter so much, but I don't think that will be true.  It might cause some pretty weird issues in multiplayer end-game scenarios with it gaining Duchies, too.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: New Player Looking for Edge in Noob Game
« on: September 07, 2020, 09:29:23 pm »
I think some important core ideas to understand:
1) Recognize cantrips
Action cards that give at least +1 Card and +1 Action are called by the community "cantrips."  Because playing an Action costs 1 card and 1 action, a cantrip is a card that functionally replaces itself in your hand.  A card that reads "+1 Card and +1 Action" is practically like a thing that isn't in your deck.  Village and Merchant are two of the earlier cantrips you'll see in the game.  Note that Village gives you 1 additional +Action and Merchant can give you +$1 if you meet a condition.  Both cards are useless if you aren't able to leverage the additional effect that they give you.

Your starting deck has about a 1/6 chance of producing $5 on a turn, so if you are only buying useless cantrips in your deck, that chance isn't going up.  The average game of Dominion lasts around 15 turns, so waiting to roll a 1 in 6 to buy higher-cost cards is really bad.  Playing 5 Villages and no Actions that actually use the +Actions you've accrued means you've wasted time buying so many Villages that you haven't gotten to use.  You should think about what your cards are going to do for you the first time you draw them, as there is usually enough time to acquire what you eventually need later.

2) Appreciate terminal space
Cards like Council Room and Library and Mine are what we call "terminal Actions" because they do not give back the +Action it costs to play them.  Regardless of how much each Action in the game costs to buy, every Action costs 1 +Action to play.  Because you can only play 1 Action each turn without something giving you +Actions, you should carefully consider where that 1 Action is going to go.  If cards like Village or Festival or Throne Room appear, you can play many terminal Action cards in a turn, but if you only have +1 Action cards like Cellar or Market or Harbinger, you can only play 1 terminal Action and so should choose that terminal Action carefully.

If you buy too many terminal Actions based on the +Actions in your deck, you'll find yourself drawing cards you can't play: Which means not only did you lose time buying that card, you've also lost the opportunity to play it that shuffle (may as well have bought a Curse!).

3) Don't undervalue economy
If there is an important, powerful $5-cost card in the Kingdom like Witch or Sentry, one of the first two cards you buy should probably be something that produces at least +$2, like Silver or Militia or Moneylender.  As stated previously, your starting deck has only about 1/6 chance of getting a $5-cost card, so a source of $ as described kick starts your economy and gives you a very good chance of buying a $5-cost card on turn 3 or turn 4.

On a mathematical way of thinking, you can imagine +Cards in terms of +$ value.  This is a concept we call money-density: Your starting deck has $7 across 10 cards, making your money-density $0.7 per card.  Therefore, drawing 2 cards from your starting deck (like with Moat) expects to produce $1.4, while drawing 3 cards (like with Smithy) expects to produce $2.1.  If you add a Silver to your deck, you will expect $1.6 and $2.4 respectively.  If you added another Action like Workshop to your deck, you would actually reduce your money-density ($7 across 11 cards (excluding the drawing card)), expecting $1.2 and $1.8.

4) Don't overvalue stop-cards
Any card that does not allow you to draw more cards is called a stop-card.  Coppers, Estates, Curses, and Provinces are all stop-cards.  The more stop-cards you have in your deck, the more likely your 5-card hand will stop before you get to all the cards in your deck, where non-terminally increasing your hand size (such as with Laboratory or a combination of +Action cards like Village and +Card cards like Smithy) lets your deck theoretically function with more stop-cards (though less consistently0.  Because the cards you add to your deck tend to be better over time, seeing all of them every turn is ideal (until you start buying Provinces).

This is primarily what makes Copper and Estate such bad cards and cards that give out Curses like Witch so powerful: If you're going to be stopping one of the 5-cards you get each turn, you may as well get something better than +$1 or even nothing in the case of Curse and Victory cards.  The weakness of those cards is why trashing them is so, so good.  If your deck has only 4-stop cards in it, you will see every card in your deck every turn (assuming you haven't bought more terminal Actions than you have +Actions to play).

If you're a step ahead of me, you may notice that Silver, Militia, Festival, and even Gold are also stop-cards.  Interesting, that.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion: Urbanisation
« on: September 05, 2020, 01:29:41 pm »
But while adding more mechanics to a card makes it more strategically rich, it takes away from the simple and elegant design of the card.
Comparing two variables on Appraiser is much more complex than comparing against a fixed list.  The sample I posted gave +3 of any given benefit because it's easier to remember.
Part of the suggestion was also to strip the clumsy VP tokens from it that are certainly making it less elegant.  Whatever you want if you're attached to having one card that uses VP tokens in an incredibly niche way.  Sacrifice and Bishop cover much of the "+VP for trashing" concept and in a more compelling way, the former adding other tempo-trashing options and the latter focusing strictly on the VP-tokens.

This way, my opponent will never get a Witch themselves, out of fear my Informer hits it, hehehehe!
Yes, obviously I won't be stupid and not buy any Actions when Actions are good.  The point isn't that I buy only money, it's that I play a more money-centric strategy:  BM+Gear is pretty fast, but other things could be faster.  A player taking Informers will make their deck weaker against BM+X strategies because failed Informers are really bad, so if you are buying Informers I'll lean more into good money strategies if they are available.  Additionally, because it targets the player to your left, multiplayer games get strongly political as Informers also counter Informers.
Informer won't always be beaten by any given BM+X, but any chance of pushing the game in that direction is too much as far as I'm concerned.

[Duality]’s a Village that does not look like a Village at first glance. But it is. It’s a Village where the +1 Card is going to be an Action card.
It seems both time consuming and complicated if you're worried about beginner players parsing card text, let alone that it has a +Card and +Action hidden in that paragraph.  It would be much easier to understand if it put the card into your hand and gave you the +2 Actions directly.
I imagine it is strong, but even if I am wrong I would not want to play a game with a large number of Dualities being gained.  Similarly time consuming cards like Advisor and Hunting Party are not cards you are gaining in multiple just because you need them to play additional Actions.

Pretty sure that [Arid Village] is too weak. Snowy only hurts non-terminals, i.e. you can play your Smithies afterwards. Arid on the other hand hurts all drawers, i.e. your villages and your Smithies.
I think fundamentally you just can't play Arid Village in a drawing-engine, which makes it quite unique.  Certainly among my favorites here since it requires you build your deck so differently when it is relevant.

About Suburb: Couldn't the wording be simpler? For example: 2 Suburbs you have are worth 5 VP together (round down).
A snappier wording might run into issues.  If I have 5 Suburbs and each Suburb tells me I get 5VP for 2 Suburbs together, do I get 10VP per Suburb for 50VP (because the Suburbs are each giving me 5VP/2 Suburbs)?  The longer wording is more specific and thus preferred.
This comes down to the matter of semantic complexity versus word complexity.  More words do not make a concept more complicated.
I like Suburb.

[House]’s an almost Conspirator-like behaviour.
I think we have a fair number of cards really incentivize laying down strings of cantrips, let alone that cantrips are often better than stop-cards generally.  I might like House better if its benefit were flipped and it instead gave a stronger bonus for having fewer cards in play.  It is likely roughly on-par with Squire (Squire's primary advantage being its +Buy option), so I would guess it balanced enough as is.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: September 01, 2020, 06:58:19 pm »
Types: Action, Duration
Cost: $3
While this is in play, each other player draws only 4 cards during their cleanup phase (instead of 5) for their next hand. At the start of your next turn: +1 Card, +1 Action, +$1
When you gain this, you may play it.
How does this interact with Outpost?  The "while this is in play" wording is awkward in its position, and I think prevents it from being an Attack for timing issues maybe.  This should probably just use the -1 Card token and be an Attack.
As a technicality, the card should be set aside and then played to avoid tracking issues with top-decking effects like Watchtower and Tracker (per Innovation).

Types: Treasure
Cost: $2
$1, +2 Cards.
When you gain this, put it onto your deck.
If you have no Actions in your deck, this is Laboratory+Peddler in one card which will turn some heads at its printed cost of $2.

Types: Event
Cost: <4>
Gain a card costing up to $4. Set it aside. If you did, put it in your hand at the start of your next turn. Each other player gains a copy of that card.
Pile sizes are a big problem in multiplayer games.  An important part of Messenger's on-gain ability is that to use it you have to gain Messenger, which is actually a pretty garbage card so you don't usually want to buy lots of them.  I'm not sure if delaying the effect by one turn really fixes how fast 4-player games can be 3-piled.

Types: Victory
Cost: $3+
Worth 3VP if you have at least ten Action cards.
When you buy this, you may overpay for it. Gain a Spirit costing less than the amount you overpaid, onto your deck.
Your expectation here is
  • $3 + $0 = $3 => Mausoleum (can't overpay by $0)
  • $3 + $1 = $4 => Mausoleum + Will-o'-Wisp
  • $3 + $3 = $6 => Mausoleum + Imp
  • $3 + $5 = $8 => Mausoleum + Ghost
Yes?  I think $2+ might be a better cost for Mausoleum to allow Will-o'-Wisp to draw it, and it brings Ghost down to a more reasonable $7-cost price point.  I concur with Gubump that its VP condition is trivial for a huge number of points.  The condition should probably be harder or else you may as well write the number it is worth on it.  I'd consider making the condition "3 differently named Spirits."

Types: Event
Cost: $1
Set aside an Action card from the supply and take <debt> equal to half its cost (rounded up). At the start of your next turn, play the set-aside action. When it leaves play, return it to the supply.
This is cute, but I think it will have boring play patterns where it's most commonly used on a fast trasher or strong curser and almost never otherwise.

Haunted Cruise
Types: Event
Cost: $0
Once per turn: +1 Buy, and Exile and Curse and a Copper from the supply. At the start of your next turn, put a card you have in Exile into your hand.
Think of how often you buy beggar just for the +3$ even though the junking effect is three times as strong and you have to invest in a card to do it.
I virtually never buy Beggar outside of its most explicit combos.  You should really be comparing Haunted Cruise to Banquet (which is also bad).  If it is so good to use Haunted Cruise to get a $3/$5 opening, what about the ~42% of games were you're stuck with a $4/$3 opening?  Is it okay to be hosed that regularly?

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion: Urbanisation
« on: September 01, 2020, 06:58:07 pm »
The name of the set is Urbanisation. It was named that way because that was the theme that emerged from the 30 Kingdom cards in this set. A lot of cards represent city stuff. A good chunk of them are also people doing various jobs. Therefore, Urbanisation, as a name, came to be. This set introduces no new mechanics, but rather, it borrows existing ones.
A set does not necessarily require any new mechanisms, but I believe it should have a mechanical theme at least to lend games using its cards a stronger flavor.  Hinterlands' "on-gain" effects were not necessarily new, but between it and the sub-theme of sifting and big-decks, Hinterlands has a strong flavor its own.
Do you have a functional flavor in mind?  One is not immediately apparent here.
Appraiser: Smaller decks; Card costs; VP tokens.
Informer: Player interaction; Choices
Vigil: Card names

[Appraiser]’s a Silver trasher that turns Appraiser into a Laboratory.
The key $3-cost Appraiser target is Appraiser.  Identically to Spice Merchant, trashing Silver is just sifting that eliminates the Silver when you don't want the stop-card and don't need the economy (non-terminally losing 2 cards to draw 2 cards).  Double Appraiser on the other hand gives you additional trashing early and then they eat each other for free.  I think Appraiser would be more exciting if it gave you stacking bonuses for trashing more expensive cards. 
Code: [Select]
Trash a card from your hand. If it cost at least...
$2: +3 Actions.
$3: +3 Cards.
$4: +3 Buys.
$5: +$3.

You have 5 cards Informer can hit. And if it doesn’t hit, well it’s a terminal Silver.
I'm always leery of Command cards the use other player's Actions for any possible circumstance that avoiding Actions becomes ideal.  In this case, if you've itemized for Informers too early, I can move towards a money strategy that will make all your Informers terminal Silvers.  I think the key is to make missing stronger than hitting, so rather than Informer giving some consolation prize for another player's Money strategy, the player's Action strategy should throttle Informer.
Code: [Select]
The player to your left reveals their hand. If they reveal any non-Duration, non-Command Actions, play one of them, leaving it in their hand. Otherwise, play a non-Duration, non-Command Action from the Supply, leaving it there.
It probably scales better in games with more players.
I like the terminal $4-cost version better.  The Attack is political in nature in multiplayer as I might play a Vigil, knowing that the player to my left has a Silver with the other 4 cards due to the player to my right's Vigil that missed.  You could reduce such instances by using a persistent effect (which is a notable buff to the Attack as you can initially fish for better Treasures) which would make it virtually never miss.
Code: [Select]
+2 Cards
This turn, when you play a card, each other player with at least 5 cards in hand discards a copy of it (or reveals they can't).
I'm not sure it needs such a buff in 2-player, though.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 31, 2020, 07:44:02 pm »

Types: Action, Duration
Cost: $3
+1 Action. Choose one: +1 Buy and +$1; or at the start of your next turn: +1 Card and +$1.
When this is your first gain in a turn, you may set it aside. If you do, play it.
Vanishing economy with a Buy or vanishing next-turn Laboratory+Peddler.  You get to play it when it is your first gain too, so you can make a Workshop-variant non-terminal with a Sailor.
  • Turn 1 $5: Buy a Sailor with +1 Buy and +$1 to get another $3-cost card (which could be a Sailor with its next turn effect).
  • Turn 1 $5: Buy a Sailor with its next-turn effect and get $4 turn 2.
  • Turn 1 $4: Buy a Sailor with +1 Buy and +$1 to get a $2-cost card.
  • Turn 1 $4: Buy a Sailor with its next-turn effect and get $4 (20% draw Estate) or $5 (80% draw Copper) turn 2.
  • Turn 1 $3: Buy a Sailor with its next-turn effect and get $5 (40% draw Estate) or $6 (60% draw Copper) turn 2.
Sailor looks really good when you gain it but is a Copper with a Buy after that (and don't forget that you'll discard it from play immediately if you choose that option), unless you can afford the drag to your economy when you draw it in which case you're spending the card on your next turn.  Combos with Highway, but Sailor is a net-stop-card, so take care.

Added "When this is your first gain in a turn," clause to reduce its pile threat.  The on-gain is still powerful and gives you some nice flexibility when you're using it.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 21, 2020, 08:22:49 pm »
Temple (Reference)
Types: Action, Gathering
Cost: $4
+1VP. Trash from 1 to 3 differently named cards from your hand. Add 1VP to the Temple Supply pile.
When you gain this, take the VP from the Temple Supply pile.
Heirloom: Offer
Offering (Heirloom for Temple)
Types: Treasure, Heirloom
Cost: $2
$1. When you play this, you may add 1VP to a Gathering Supply pile or Landmark.
When you trash this, double your VP tokens if you haven't yet this game.
Note: You can use Offering to add VP tokens to Landmarks that have no way to remove them (like Palace or Tomb), it just doesn't do anything.  It's not mandatory to add VP tokens, so the presence of Landmarks doesn't change play.

Temple is very slow, so Offering lets you accelerate VP tokens onto Temple's pile (or keep a Landmark going) as well as double your VP tokens by popping it later in the game (which you can definitely do with Temple).  Other VP token sources make Offering especially explosive.  The wording prevents double-dipping Offering's on-trash with Treasurer or anything else that might let you retrieve Offering from the trash.
You might have your relevant Offering trashed with Bandit or Swindler and just lose the game, but that happens with Goat too ―\_(ツ)_/―

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 20, 2020, 08:44:06 am »

Types: Action
Cost: $3
+1 Card. Discard any number of cards. +1 Villager per card discarded.
Discard for Villagers.  A lot of existing Villager sources are limited: Acting Troupe pops; Lackeys, Patron, and Spice Merchant don't solve a desire for +Actions; Recruiter tends to eat most of its own Villagers to trash Coppers non-terminally; and Sculptor has to gain stop-cards.  It's only Academy where we regularly get to see how powerful huge numbers of +Villagers are.
Ideally you want to use Vintner as all your Villages at once each shuffle, but that might be kind of awkward, so maybe stock up a bit.  Skip a turn for +5 Villagers?

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: July 20, 2020, 06:11:53 pm »
Types: Treasure, Duration
Cost: $3
$1. When you play this and at the start of your next turn: +1 Buy.
While this is in play, when you gain or trash a card costing at most $4, you may Exile it.
A Copper with a Buy now and next turn.  Its in-play effect Exiles cheap Victory cards as you gain them, allows you to keep cheaper cards as you trash them for benefit or they are trashed by those rare trashing Attacks, and catches incoming junk cards.

It is capped at Exiling $4-cost cards because Exiling Provinces on-gain sounds silly, and Enclave suggests that exiling Duchies is pretty alright.  Throwing extra $2-Buys at +1VP seems pretty okay.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: July 14, 2020, 06:02:26 am »
Types: Action
Cost: $6*
+1 Card, +1 Action. You may play a Treasure from your hand twice.
During your turns, this costs $1 less for each Buy you have.
Heirloom: Pouch
Peddler variant.  Typically costs $5, but can cost less with +Buys.  It does nothing if you have no Treasures in hand.  It's very powerful with bigger Treasures.  The Pouch Moneychanger provides can reduce its cost to $4, or even $3 in concert with another Moneychanger.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: July 02, 2020, 05:31:03 pm »
Types: Action
Cost: $4
+1 Buy. If you have the Grand Lodge, +$2. Otherwise, +3 Cards.
While this is in play, when you buy a Treasure, you may take the Grand Lodge.
Grand Lodge
Types: Artifact
The first time any player plays a Freemason on each of their turns, +1 Coffers and +1 Villager.
I came up with a wording using tokens that will let Grand Lodge proc more normally across player counts
Grand Lodge
Types: Artifact
At the end of your turn, put tokens here until there are 3.
When any player (including you) plays a Freemason, remove a token from here. If you do, +1 Coffers and +1 Villager.

I can't imagine wanting to turn it into a Woodcutter for a few extra Coffers and Villagers very often
I'd swap the functions on Freemason, i think; Draw with a buy is Very Good at $4 and Still Desirable at $5; Woodcutter... well woodcutter was a $3. Even if you can stack some Coffers + Villagers doing it.
Both spineflue and alion8me's posts seem to identify Freemason for the Grand Lodge player being a Woodcutter.  For clarity, if you have Grand Lodge, your Freemasons also give you +1 Coffers and +1 Villager, so it's not Smithy+Buy versus Woodcutter: It's Smithy+Buy (that benefits another player) versus Woodcutter+1 Coffers+1 Villager.  Is there some way I can make that more clear?  Grand Lodge still procs a limited number of times, so I can't push all the words into Freemason.
If you were clear about that and still think Woodcutter+1 Coffers+1 Villager loses every time to Smithy+Buy+Other-Player-Benefit...
  • Would increasing +$2 into +$3 be too much on Freemason?
  • Would changing +$2 into +2 Coffers even address the issue?
  • Would changing the whole set of benefits into +2 Coffers on Freemason and +2 Villagers on Grand Lodge (or the opposite) be more tempting?

If +Cards was the Grand Lodge function, someone taking the Grand Lodge and turning your source of draw into a coin payload would wreck your deck, leading to a lot of the same unfun play patterns of Flag Bearer.  Swapping those would make fighting for Grand Lodge the only thing you ever do with Freemason, which defeats the point of the challenge.  My hope is to make a non-zero number of games where players form a truce in which one player gets tokens where others get whatever else Freemason can do.  In order to make that happen, Freemason's other thing has to be something worth playing when another player benefits from it: +Buy with draw seems like a good one.

Breakthrough • PP • Event
Move your Alembic token to an Aqua Vitae card with no tokens on it. (During your turn Potions are also Actions with 'If it's your Action phase, play the card with your Alembic token on it.')
Breakthrough • (randomizer)
Set Up: Include the "Breakthrough" Event in the Kingdom. Shuffle the Aqua Vitae Actions and place one per player, plus one extra, next to the Breakthrough Event; These are not in the Supply. Return the rest to the box.
Abyss • $5 • Action - Aqua Vitae
Trash a card from your hand. Gain a card costing up to $1 per uniquely named card in the trash. If it's a Victory card, trash all Potions you have in play.
Oust • $5 • Action - Aqua Vitae
+1 Card, +1 Action. Exile the top 3 cards of your deck. You may discard a card from Exile.
Radiant City • $5 • Action - Aqua Vitae
If you have an odd number of Potions in play, +3 Actions; otherwise +2 Cards.
You may spend any number of Actions (not Action cards) for +$1 each
Repair • $5 • Action - Aqua Vitae
Trash a card from your hand. Gain a card that costs up to $2 more than it. If both cards share a type, +$2.
Transfigure • $5 • Action - Aqua Vitae
Trash a non-Victory card to gain a card that shares a type with it.
Trestle • $5 • Action - Aqua Vitae
+1 Buy. Cards cost $1 less this turn. You may reveal a card from your hand that you do not have a copy of in play for +$2.
Abyss, Oust, Repair, and Transfigure are all very weak for the amount of effort the PP cost is.
Abyss is not a Horn of Plenty variant, but instead Altar variant that starts much weaker than Altar.  If Horn of Plenty were a terminal Action it would also be very bad.
Oust as a Laboratory that optionally exiled would likely be comparable to Sanctuary.  If you want the fast Exiling, you could make it more unique and much stronger by having it pull an Exiled card straight to hand.
Transfigure might work without the Victory restriction, but racing to PP would be frustrating when it was relevant.
Radiant City ends up trading invisible resources for other invisible resources, which makes tracking a bear.
Repair is functionally Remodel.  Sure it has a benefit attached to it, but you can't trash most Treasures into Treasures or Victory cards into Victory cards, so the only time it does anything is if you're trashing an Action you could play into another Action, which you don't tend to do very often.
Trestle has a lot of words attached to it considering any non-Potion Treasure and all Victory cards will typically fulfill its "reveal a card" condition.

Land Grant - <10> - Project
Once per game, place a cube in a Landmark of Land Grant set that has no cubes on it. When scoring, it applies only for you.
Setup: make a Land Grant set with the following Landmarks: Acreage, Barony, Bishopric, County, Domain, Grange, Virgin Lands and Yards.
County - Landmark
When scoring, 3 VP for different type of cards you have.
Domain - Landmark
When scoring, 3 VP for set you have of Province - Duchy – Estate.
Land Grant could be a "once-per-game" event that sets aside the Landmark in question.  You could minimize the wording by taking from Tournament and making the Landmarks into Victory cards with a special type.  Something like "Once per game, gain and set aside a Grant from the Grant pile." and then the eight cards are Victory-Grant cards that are not in the Supply.
County seems too volatile.  Many games have only 4 realistic card types, but some have 8 or more.
Domain looks much too weak compared to the others.

Move your +1 Action, +1 Card, +$1, or +1 Buy token to an Action Supply pile without the same type of token already on it.
5 Debt
You need a catch to ensure a single player can't put multiple of different tokens onto the same card, unless your intention is for each player to build different super-Laboratories every game or else try to stop each other from doing so.
Even then this looks like the ultimate first-player-advantage card.  <5> for a turn-1 Pathfinding that locks out other players' Pathfinding sounds crazy.
The +1 Buy token is the only token that works with this kind of function.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: June 30, 2020, 05:09:03 pm »

Types: Action
Cost: $4
+1 Buy. If you have the Grand Lodge, +2 Coffers. Otherwise, +3 Cards.
While this is in play, when you buy a Treasure, you may take the Grand Lodge.
Grand Lodge
Types: Artifact
At the end of your turn, put tokens here until there are 3.
When any player (including you) plays a Freemason, remove a token from here. If you do, +1 Coffers and +1 Villager.
Freemason is one of two cards based on your ownership of an Artifact: either +3 Cards and +1 Buy; or a +1 Buy and +2 Coffers that profits from the first three Freemasons played per round, ending with yours, with +1 more Coffers and +1 Villager.  Owning the Artifact is what makes Freemason into that payload, so there's no way someone else can turn your draw into coin.  It also always gives you +1 Buy so you can buy a Copper to take the Grand Lodge in a pinch.

Freemason changed to give +2 Coffers from +$2.
Grand Lodge changed from working once per turn to using tokens to make it work thrice per round.  This will normalize it in multiplayer and puts a single player relying on Freemason for draw in a tougher spot.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: June 22, 2020, 05:47:33 pm »
Types: Action
Cost: <4>
+2 Cards, +1 Action. Gain a Trinket from the Trinket pile.
A Debt-cost Laboratory that floods you with Trinkets.
Getting rid of a Trinket is -1 Card and -$1, which makes Scientist a bit worse than Fugitive if you're paying to remove the Trinkets.
The debt-cost means that Trinkets don't help you buy Scientists when you want a bunch of them.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: June 16, 2020, 08:45:22 pm »
Types: Action, Looter
Cost: $4
Trash a card from your hand. If the trashed card has at least 2 types: +1 Action and gain a card with only one type costing up to $5, putting it into your hand. Otherwise, gain a Ruins and play the Ruins twice.
An issue is also that it's very swingy in that case - if you draw it with 4 Coppers, that's basically game over.
The bigger issue is probably the swinginess in the non-Shelters case. Either the Ruins you previously gained is dead or you manage to convert it into an insta-5. That is a huge difference.
Thank you both for the commentary.
While I think Redistrict is held back fairly well through being unable to gain Attacks, putting the gained card straight into hand is a no-brainer benefit compared to receiving the circumstantial Ruins effect twice.  The card would be much more tactical if the benefit garnered when trashing a multi-type card was less immediate, so I will change it from a gain to hand to a gain to the top of the deck.  That way a hand of "Redistrict, Estate, Abandoned Mine, 2 Copper" will be choosing between doubling whatever Ruins by trashing an Estate or trashing the Abandoned Mine for a $5-cost card next turn.
Redistrict v2
Types: Action, Looter
Cost: $4
Trash a card from your hand. If the trashed card has at least 2 types: +1 Action and gain a card with only one type costing up to $5, putting it into your hand on top of your deck. Otherwise, gain a Ruins and play the Ruins twice.

Goblin City
$5 Action-Atttack-Looter
+1 Card
+2 Actions
Each other player may discard an Action card from their hand. If they don't, they gain a Ruins into their hand.
This costs $1 less if you have any Ruins in play.
I think making splitters strong junking Attacks is a bad idea.  I have a weaker junking Village, but it self-junks to hold it back.

Wishing Fountain - $5 - Action
+1 Card
+1 Action
Name a card type, then reveal the top card of your deck.
If it has the named type, put it into your hand. Otherwise, you may either trash it, discard it or leave it on top.
This has a lot of additional words and complexity when it may as well just automatically name the Action type.

Types: Night, Attack
Cost: $5
Gain a card costing up to $1 per different card type (Action, Attack, etc.) you have in play. Each other player gains a Junk.
Setup: The Junk pile has as many cards as the Curse pile.
Types: Action
Cost: $0*
+$1. Trash this.
(This is not in the Supply
Hoarder is fun, but the Junk cards are so many cards that have to be printed for a single thing.  I agree that Cursing is too strong, and making it a Looter won't work on account of the number of types that sticks into it.  I don't know the solution, but I don't like the Junk one.

Types: Action, Command
Cost: <8>
Reveal a non-Command Action card from your hand. Gain and play a copy of it.
When you gain this, gain a Copper.
You could clean up the self-piling problem and reel in its general strength by taking a page from Imp and wording it "you may reveal an Action from your hand you have no copies of in play."  Then it can't target itself and further has a harder time gaining and playing whatever it wants: It could then lose the clumsy on-gain draw-back.

So, no, I simply don't see any support for your claim that one effect is always and clearly dominating the other. It is much more unclear and Kingdom-sensitive which is why I don't think that a price of $4 is necessary (not that there is a huge difference between $3 and $4).
I don't mean to claim that Cabin is always better than Village. My claim is that Cabin is significantly stronger than village a large percentage of the time. Even though $4 isn't strictly necessary, it feels bad to me to have two cards at the same price that have such a similar effect where one does its job significantly better than the other.
I agree with alion8me.  Shanty Town versus Village is a fair argument: Where most Kingdoms I prefer Village, sometimes I can get +Actions from other sources and leverage that to use Shanty Town as a less-consistent Lost City.  The only intrinsic reason (obviously pile control, differently named cards, and differently typed cards matter) I would buy Villages ahead of Cabins is because I am reliant mostly upon non-terminal draw, except that then I will likely have fewer terminal Actions in my deck and will therefore not buy many splitters anyway.

A card which targets a specific player with its reaction could have political issues in  a multiplayer game. One can choose to react to a player and not react to another player.
As if anybody would ever do that.
Maybe you don't play many multiplayer games IRL with casual players.
I mainly play 3P games. And none of us would ever Swindle one guy a Curse and another guy a Copper. That's simply irrational, it is a game and friendship has nothing to do with optimal play. I'd be insulted if a fellow player "gifted" me something in a game.
If fsome people behave like that, blame them and not the game.
Allowing a trailing player to accelerate the end-game puts the leading player in a better position.  I often take such things into account in multiplayer games, and people have certainly gotten mad at me before for such decisions.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: June 14, 2020, 04:26:59 pm »
Types: Action, Looter
Cost: $4
Trash a card from your hand. If the trashed card has at least 2 types: +1 Action and gain a card with only one type costing up to $5, putting it on top of your deck. Otherwise, gain a Ruins and play the Ruins twice.
Tempo-trashing Workshop like Altar, caring about the number of types (instead of specific types a la Sacrifice).  If you trash a card with a single type (like your starting Coppers and Estates), you gain a Ruins and play it twice.
If you trash a card with multiple types (like Heirlooms, Redistrict, or the Ruins you've gained from Redistrict) then you gain a single-type card costing up to $5 to your next hand.  It has to be only a single type so you can't run piles as easily (especially Redistrict into Redistrict into Redistrict... into Redistrict).  (Of particular note, that one-type restriction also prevents it from gaining $5-cost Attacks like Coven, Cultist, and Minion.)

Nerf "putting it on top of your deck" from "putting it into your hand" per discussion below.
...Makes choice of trashing more tactical and balances behavior of a missing Redistrict.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: June 01, 2020, 09:12:27 pm »
Way of the Kingfisher
Types: Way
Turn your Journey token over (it starts face-up). Then, if it's face-up, you may play an Action from your hand twice.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: May 26, 2020, 07:44:02 am »

This is a split pile. There are 5 Kitsune on top of 5 Aburaage.
Types: Action, Doom
Cost: $3
+1 Card, +1 Action. You may discard the top Hex. If you do, choose one: Trash this and a card from your hand; or +1 Buy and +$2 and receive that Hex.
Types: Treasure
Cost: $5
This is worth $1 for each type among the cards you have in play (Action, Attack, etc.).
Kitsune are the servants of Inari Okami, a Shinto god.  They are shape-shifting spirits known in latter-day folklore for being tricksters who prey on the prideful, and so, mirroring Pixies, are cantrips that possibly cost a Hex.  You can play them as cantrips with no effect, or otherwise flip a Hex on a gamble in which you'll either lose the Kitsune as a one-shot cantrip-trasher or get a Grand Market for the cost of receiving that Hex.

Aburaage is a special type of deep-fried tofu.  It is said to be a Kitsune's favorite food and is thus given in offerings to the gods.  Seeing that tofu is fairly bland on its own, it counts the types of cards you have in play. That will always include Treasure and will virtually always include Action: Maybe you'll have a Doom card as well?

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: May 14, 2020, 08:32:15 am »
I do agree this would be an issue - when designed a cost reducer for Events, it was a Project so that they could at most be $1 less.
The argument that reduced-costs are abusive is a reasonable argument against Bridge existing, too.
There are some instances that Comptroller will be very powerful, but those instances don't seem arbitrary: I think there's still plenty of playing to be done around the combos.

Gamble on the other hand requires no splitters or further extra Buys in the Kingdom to be broken with this.
Could you elaborate here? Without other +Buys, Comptroller + Gamble would let you flip the top 3 cards of your deck and play the Treasures and Actions before you run out of Buys, as you ignore Gamble's +Buys.

Can I get opinions on nixing the Reserve part of Comptroller and making it all on play? The "Events cost $1 less" can only appear alongside "Ignore any further +Buys" to avoid Event infinites. I'm not immediately convinced that it would make the card more fun looking at available sets of vanilla bonuses.
  • "+2 Buys, +$1" looks really bad next to Squire in the case that a Kingdom doesn't have a repeatable Event to abuse.
  • "+1 Card, +1 Action, +1 Buy" could be workable, but the "ignore any further +Buys" becomes immediately oppressive and puts a big dampener on the Market Day combo.
  • "+1 Action, +2 Buys" is passable in stronger engines and makes terminal +Buys play worse with it, but the lack of real economy on that makes it even more niche.
  • "+1 Card, +1 Action, +2 Buys" sounds like too much.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: May 13, 2020, 06:16:08 pm »
Types: Action, Reserve
Cost: $2
+$1. Put this on your Tavern mat.
At the start of your Buy phase, you may call this. If you do, +2 Buys, Ignore any further +Buys you get this turn, and Events cost $1 less this turn.
Market Day
Types: Event
Cost: $9
Comptroller: A Reserve that gives +Buys when you need it and Event cost-reduction.  Comptroller also causes you to ignore further +Buys so you can't go infinite with any +Buy Events like Delve, Gamble, and Travelling Fair.
Market Day: An Event that turns each extra +1 Buy into +$2 provided you meet the $9 threshold.  Most spammable +Buy doesn't build your economy much compared to competing cards, so there's a push and pull to that.
Combo: Comptroller + Market Day nets you +$6 from Comptroller's buys. You could get more coins by calling more Comptrollers, but the growth is only +$2 per Comptroller called as only the first Comptroller gives you +Buys.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: May 05, 2020, 09:15:34 pm »
New World
Types: Event
Cost: $6
Once per game: Put the cards you have in Exile into your hand. Exile all cards from your deck, your discard pile, and that you have in play.
Setup: Each player Exiles 2 Coppers, 1 Gold, and 2 Curses from the Supply, and the same set of 4 different unused Action cards.
Clarification: Each players' Exile mat begins containing copies of the same cards with the same set of 4 Action cards.  If Monument, Scheme, Sheepdog, and Torturer were chosen, each player Exiles copies of that same collection of 4 Action cards (along with the 2 Coppers, 1 Gold, and 2 Curses).

A silly setup Event.  You lose all your deck that you don't have in your hand (unfortunate happenstance that Duration cards still in effect get Exiled from play too, but that only applies for one turn per game (and should happen pretty early in games you want to trigger New World), so it shouldn't get too hairy).  You have an extra deck of 9 cards waiting for you in the New World with otherwise unavailable Action cards.  Because of the way the Exile mat works, you can of course bring the Gold from the New World back to the old world (the unused Action cards cannot be brought over without buying either New World or Transport because you won't be able to gain copies of them), or you can swap over to the New World and then start bringing lost cards from the old world over.  You could also grab an extra Copper or Curse before getting New World to clean up Exile first before making the swap.

The numbers might be all wrong for this thing to work.  Let me know if you think it's interesting or salvageable.  I'm not sure if it is.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: April 28, 2020, 07:29:26 pm »
Stable Master
Types: Action
Cost: $6
Reveal the top 3 cards of your deck and put them into your hand. Gain a Horse for each Action card revealed.
Hunting Grounds variant with a draw that modulates from 3 to 6-ish based upon how many Actions it draws.

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