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Chris is me

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Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« on: September 09, 2017, 02:14:26 pm »
+6

I'm going through all the Dominion cards and making minor balance changes, simiplifications, and card tweaks for smoother play. Most of these are to deal with small edge cases, simplify text, slightly balance out cards, or just to try something new. All of these are works in progress and open to suggestion.

The idea here is that I'm printing these out onto shitty paper and sticking them into the sleeves of the real cards to provide a more playable alternate version. Unlike Donald X, I'm freeing myself of a few constraints that he had on his revision process (allowing mechanics to be borrowed across expansions, functional changes to cards, etc) and just sort of seeing how it goes.

Here's the first few for some examples.



This change greatly simplifies Bureaucrat and gives you at least some reason to use it on some boards. The silver gaining onto the deck thing is more annoying than anything else when playing an engine, so I got rid of that altogether. The attack always hits, once, and can't pin anybody anymore.



Sentry's big problem is that it's something you really need to open with, but not everyone can access it. I spent a lot of time thinking about making this cost $4, but I decided to try $3/2D out for a bit first. It should probably just cost $4 and be done with it. Now anyone can open exactly 1 Sentry, or two in a Baker game.



I stole this from LastFootnote. I think I even stole the new name of the card from LastFootnote. It was a good idea! Anyhow, Manor costs $5 instead of Harem's $6, that's the big thing, but also it's less gross.

I'll pop more of these out throughout today as I print them out, feel free to Share Your Thoughts
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 02:17:00 pm by Chris is me »
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2017, 03:06:14 pm »
+3

I'm not sure if Sentry needed the fix, but the -1 card on Bureaucrat seems really nice. If it's still weak you could try an optional silver gaining. Or an optional silver topdecking gain.
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Asper

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2017, 03:11:55 pm »
+5

I like the use of the -1$ token on Bureaucrat, but I don't like that you removed the Silver topdecking.

Chris is me

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2017, 03:45:06 pm »
+2

Here's part 1 of 2 of my Alchemy tweaks, which got more changes than any other set. I got a bit more liberal with changes here.



Transmute sucks and is very hard to salvage, but here I tried making its Treasure trashing way more useful. Now it is a potent trasher because it sort of does something, though that Potion cost still makes it sting. The +1 Buy is a further attempt to give it any relevance at all, because you have to get it so late that you might not have a lot of trashing left to do anyway.



This one is a cool idea that may need some balancing, but I really wanted to try it out. Philosopher's Stone is a really bad card - it is super slow, very niche, and not great. This tries to be compelling payload in an Engine that chains Actions. The whole theme of Alchemy is to chain actions, so of course this should reward that.


Scrying Pool may have needed a small nerf, but more importantly it needed to not be so fucking slow in multiplayer! Plus it makes everyone stay around and pay attention and eww, it's long and gross. This helps a little bit. LFN had a similar idea but took out the deck inspection altogether, which I didn't really like.

Edit: I didn't mean to make this a terminal, added +Action
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 02:21:38 pm by Chris is me »
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Polk5440

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2017, 03:53:26 pm »
+2

Ok, so how bad would it be, really, if Transmute gained an Action without restriction?
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Asper

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2017, 05:49:19 pm »
+3

Your redesign of Philosopher's Stone is arguably worse than the original. Yes, a theme of Alchemy is chaining Actions, but that's (partially) because Donald didn't want to have potion cards be awful on their own, and so he made sure you always want several of them. For your Philosopher's Stone redesign, the card actually gets WORSE the more you get of them.

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2017, 05:55:08 pm »
+1

Your redesign of Philosopher's Stone is arguably worse than the original. Yes, a theme of Alchemy is chaining Actions, but that's (partially) because Donald didn't want to have potion cards be awful on their own, and so he made sure you always want several of them. For your Philosopher's Stone redesign, the card actually gets WORSE the more you get of them.

I mean, yes more Pstones make each other worse, but I don't see how you wouldn't want several Pstones on boards where you would want them. It's just treasure payload with a fun effect.

After a quick test I'm trying 1 for every 3 action cards though. Why not get crazy.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 06:05:06 pm by Chris is me »
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Asper

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2017, 08:13:40 pm »
+4

Your redesign of Philosopher's Stone is arguably worse than the original. Yes, a theme of Alchemy is chaining Actions, but that's (partially) because Donald didn't want to have potion cards be awful on their own, and so he made sure you always want several of them. For your Philosopher's Stone redesign, the card actually gets WORSE the more you get of them.

I mean, yes more Pstones make each other worse, but I don't see how you wouldn't want several Pstones on boards where you would want them. It's just treasure payload with a fun effect.

After a quick test I'm trying 1 for every 3 action cards though. Why not get crazy.

Well, it's a variant for your own pleasure, so what I think isn't all that relevant. If your group wants Philosopher's Stone and Bureaucrat to be engine cards, that's cool for you.

I still think the effect you suggest would be better on a card that doesn't cost a Potion, as that forces yet another Treasure into your deck. <8> seems a better price point to me. Either way, it appears HoP started out very similar to your card, as can be read in its Secret History.

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2017, 07:03:10 pm »
+1

I think you've turned Bureaucrat from a card you don't often want but can be highly desirable in slogs into a card you pretty much never want. Not every card needs to be an engine card, and I don't think it's worth trying to shoehorn Bureaucrat into that role. I like your Harem variant, though.  ;)

If I were to tweak Sentry, I'd probably try a version that only trashed one card. Maybe only discarded one card too, for simplicity. "Look at the top 2 cards of your deck. You may trash one. You may discard one. Put the rest back in any order." Make it less swingy, you know? If the resulting card was too weak, I'd try "Look at the top 3 cards of your deck…" I would keep the cost at $5, regardless.

What Transmute really wants is to gain an appropriately powerful non-Supply Action card when you trash a Treasure. Some sort of all-purpose useful thing, i.e. a cantrip. And probably it should be a one-shot that gets returned to its pile so that you don't have to have a huge stack of them. Like, a one-shot Laboratory. Anyway, this was obviously a non-starter in the 150-card Alchemy box, but I think it would be best version for a full-sized expansion. Barring that, I think your Workshop version is about as good as it gets. The important thing is that you can turn your Potion into something you actually want, not another Transmute.
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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2017, 09:03:13 pm »
+1

What if bureacrat just says gain a gold?
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LastFootnote

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2017, 10:54:28 pm »
+5

What if bureacrat just says gain a gold?

Like, just, that's all the card does? I think at that point you've strayed so far from the original concept that you might as well just make a new card.

As for whether "Gain a Gold" is balanced at $4, I'm honestly not sure. I tentatively think it's too strong for $4 (and a bit weak at $5). Even if it's not technically too strong, though, I don't think it's a good kingdom card, since it would likely be too attractive to casual players, to the exclusion of more interesting cards.
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Chris is me

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2017, 11:04:50 pm »
+1

Some playtest results:

Transmute seems fine now. I kind of want it to say "gain a card costing up to 4P", though. It doesn't matter 90% of the time, but on boards where it does, it helps make up for skipping your Potion buy to get a Transmute in the first place.

Bureaucrat I may put the topdeck thing back onto, but there are plenty of times you would want it in an engine as it is. It can fuel Catapult, Salvager, Counterfeit, Forager, Apprentice, and the like, as any other Silver gainer does, and the attack is nice. In a test game it actually served as food for Transmute to trash in order to serve as reliable +Buy for an engine.

I don't like Pstone as it is, though. Hard to figure out what to do with a Potion treasure.

Scrying Pool is still sort of slow to resolve.

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LastFootnote

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2017, 11:05:43 pm »
+1

I might add that, before and during work on the second editions, I don't think there was any serious talk about cutting Bureaucrat from the base game. I'm not even sure anybody mentioned the idea! I mean that might have a lot to do with the base set having lots of weaker cards to cut. Anyway, I'm glad Bureaucrat wasn't cut; I like it just as it is. It's nice to have some narrow cards that are sometimes great. And I think it's a little better in games with more players; the attack hurts more when you're getting hit by it more often, since it sometimes makes your next hand vulnerable to Bureaucrats.

Like, Mine was almost cut (I lobbied hard to save it). Bureaucrat being cut was never even on the table.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 11:28:47 pm by LastFootnote »
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LastFootnote

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2017, 11:11:02 pm »
+1

Transmute seems fine now. I kind of want it to say "gain a card costing up to 4P", though. It doesn't matter 90% of the time, but on boards where it does, it helps make up for skipping your Potion buy to get a Transmute in the first place.

Dude. Those are the boards where Transmute doesn't even need a boost. What makes Transmute bad is that you have to buy a Potion for it and then your Potion is worthless; two buys and a dead card in your deck for one Transmute. If you're using your Potion to buy other cards, Transmute has a way, way lower opportunity cost. Anyway. It doesn't need to gain Potion-cost cards to "make up" for the buy you used. It makes up for it by turning Estates into Gold.
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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2017, 11:19:36 pm »
+4

Transmute seems fine now. I kind of want it to say "gain a card costing up to 4P", though. It doesn't matter 90% of the time, but on boards where it does, it helps make up for skipping your Potion buy to get a Transmute in the first place.

Dude. Those are the boards where Transmute doesn't even need a boost. What makes Transmute bad is that you have to buy a Potion for it and then your Potion is worthless; two buys and a dead card in your deck for one Transmute. If you're using your Potion to buy other cards, Transmute has a way, way lower opportunity cost. Anyway. It doesn't need to gain Potion-cost cards to "make up" for the buy you used. It makes up for it by turning Estates into Gold.

This is embarassing, but only now I realized that Transmute is the implementation of the classic Alchemist motive of turning stuff into Gold. Wow.

Chris is me

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2017, 07:19:03 am »
+1

Transmute seems fine now. I kind of want it to say "gain a card costing up to 4P", though. It doesn't matter 90% of the time, but on boards where it does, it helps make up for skipping your Potion buy to get a Transmute in the first place.

Dude. Those are the boards where Transmute doesn't even need a boost. What makes Transmute bad is that you have to buy a Potion for it and then your Potion is worthless; two buys and a dead card in your deck for one Transmute. If you're using your Potion to buy other cards, Transmute has a way, way lower opportunity cost. Anyway. It doesn't need to gain Potion-cost cards to "make up" for the buy you used. It makes up for it by turning Estates into Gold.

Transmute totally needs a boost on those boards, though. Skipping a Scrying Pool to get a Transmute early, for example, is basically conceding the Scrying Pool split. There's basically never a time where it's worth it to get a Transmute right now. I probably won't add the 4P bonus, but that's a really big disadvantage for a fairly marginal gain (unless you collide multiple Estates and Transmutes in a row)

The whole nature of Potion cards is that you can only get one per shuffle, so there's no way to make up for this huge loss in momentum.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 07:20:36 am by Chris is me »
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LastFootnote

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2017, 07:30:57 am »
0

Transmute seems fine now. I kind of want it to say "gain a card costing up to 4P", though. It doesn't matter 90% of the time, but on boards where it does, it helps make up for skipping your Potion buy to get a Transmute in the first place.

Dude. Those are the boards where Transmute doesn't even need a boost. What makes Transmute bad is that you have to buy a Potion for it and then your Potion is worthless; two buys and a dead card in your deck for one Transmute. If you're using your Potion to buy other cards, Transmute has a way, way lower opportunity cost. Anyway. It doesn't need to gain Potion-cost cards to "make up" for the buy you used. It makes up for it by turning Estates into Gold.

Transmute totally needs a boost on those boards, though. Skipping a Scrying Pool to get a Transmute early, for example, is basically conceding the Scrying Pool split. There's basically never a time where it's worth it to get a Transmute right now. I probably won't add the 4P bonus, but that's a really big disadvantage for a fairly marginal gain (unless you collide multiple Estates and Transmutes in a row)

That is a problem with Scrying Pool being too strong, not with Transmute being too weak. I'm often willing to sacrifice e.g. the Alchemist split for a Transmute, assuming there's any other source of draw on the board.

The whole nature of Potion cards is that you can only get one per shuffle, so there's no way to make up for this huge loss in momentum.

Other than, y'know, buying a second Potion. I'm not saying that's often the move, but it's totally a way to buy multiple Potion-cost cards in the same shuffle.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 07:39:20 am by LastFootnote »
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Jacob marley

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2017, 07:11:16 pm »
0



Scrying Pool may have needed a small nerf, but more importantly it needed to not be so fucking slow in multiplayer! Plus it makes everyone stay around and pay attention and eww, it's long and gross. This helps a little bit. LFN had a similar idea but took out the deck inspection altogether, which I didn't really like.

Edit: I didn't mean to make this a terminal, added +Action

I had a different idea for Scrying pool.  Replace spy attack with:

"If this is the first Scrying pool you have played this turn, each other player reveals their hand until the end of your clean-up phase."

It is thematic, doesn't stack, and only needs to be Moated once.  The attack is weak, but really, you are buying SP for draw, not attack anyway, so a weak attack is fine.
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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2017, 11:46:32 am »
+1

I had a different idea for Scrying pool.  Replace spy attack with:

"If this is the first Scrying pool you have played this turn, each other player reveals their hand until the end of your clean-up phase."

It is thematic, doesn't stack, and only needs to be Moated once.  The attack is weak, but really, you are buying SP for draw, not attack anyway, so a weak attack is fine.

I would shorten this to: "Each other player reveals their hand until end of turn." It's so not worth adding "If this is the first Scrying pool you have played this turn" just to make it more convenient with Moat. Moat is one card, and you'll rarely see it together with this. In practice, people do not actually keep revealing their Moat; it's just understood that they're going to continue to block the attack.
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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2017, 03:11:36 pm »
+1

I don't really feel compelled to preserve the attack aspect of Scrying Pool. The card is already slow enough, and it doesn't need to be an attack to be super good or anything. Plus it avoids that very powerful interaction with Soldier.
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Jacob marley

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2017, 05:57:07 pm »
0

You are right that Scrying Pool does not need the attack.  From what Donald said in the secret history of Alchemy, was that the set needed another attack, and spy got tacked onto SP to provide that attack.  Thus, I came up with at attack that doesn't stall the game like the spy attack does.
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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2017, 06:32:56 pm »
0

You are right that Scrying Pool does not need the attack.  From what Donald said in the secret history of Alchemy, was that the set needed another attack, and spy got tacked onto SP to provide that attack.  Thus, I came up with at attack that doesn't stall the game like the spy attack does.

Well, it's not much more of an attack than "each other player shuffles their deck". There might be cases where it gives a disadvantage, but most of the time it's just an arbitrary effect that serves no purpose. That's to say I think Scrying Pool is better off without it.

I kinda get the urge to design an Alchemy attack now.

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2017, 08:03:59 pm »
0

Quote
Well, it's not much more of an attack than "each other player shuffles their deck". There might be cases where it gives a disadvantage, but most of the time it's just an arbitrary effect that serves no purpose. That's to say I think Scrying Pool is better off without it.

Well, I'd say it's less of an attack than "each other player shuffles their deck", but a very significantly more useful effect. Knowing what's in your opponent's hand makes all the difference in end game tactics, but obviously there's no reason why it would have to be labeled an Attack.

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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2017, 11:40:04 pm »
+3

  • I like Manor
  • I'm undecided on the change to Sentry.
  • I like the -1 Card on Bureaucrat, but I think it should keep the topdecking.
  • The Scrying Pool nerf seems fine.
My preferred Transmute variants:

             TRANSMUTE


     Trash a card from your hand.  If it is an...
              Action card, gain a Duchy
                   Treasure card, +($2)
              Victory card, gain a Gold

        Put any gained cards into your hand.

        ($3)          ACTION
             TRANSMUTE

                           +1 Action
     Trash a card from your hand.  If it is an...
              Action card, gain a Duchy
          Treasure card, gain a Transmute
              Victory card, gain a Gold

        Put any gained cards into your hand.

        ($3)          ACTION












EDIT: Added a second variant that I also like.  I like the first version because it lets you get rid of the likely-useless potion.  I like the second version because it's fast enough to get you to several Golds fairly quickly.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 09:40:47 am by Elestan »
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Re: Chris's Minor Dominion Tweaks
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2017, 09:08:16 pm »
0

You are right that Scrying Pool does not need the attack.  From what Donald said in the secret history of Alchemy, was that the set needed another attack, and spy got tacked onto SP to provide that attack.  Thus, I came up with at attack that doesn't stall the game like the spy attack does.

Well, it's not much more of an attack than "each other player shuffles their deck". There might be cases where it gives a disadvantage, but most of the time it's just an arbitrary effect that serves no purpose. That's to say I think Scrying Pool is better off without it.

I kinda get the urge to design an Alchemy attack now.
"Each other player shuffles their deck" would be an interesting mild attack on a card whose non-attack effect is some kind of deck-stacking (e.g. "Draw 2 extra cards during Clean-up, then put two cards from your hand onto your deck in any order.").
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