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Donald X.

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The Secret History of the Hinterlands Cards
« on: November 02, 2011, 04:04:30 pm »
+12

Originally, there were just some cards. One day I split up the cards into a main set and two expansions. I divided the expansion cards by themes; the first expansion got one-shots, decision cards, and cards with two types, while the second expansion got cards that did something on your next turn and cards that did something when you gained them.

When I showed the game to RGG, I had five expansions. During development of the main game, I briefly tried out the expansions in 16-card versions. As part of doing this, I split up the second expansion into two expansions - one for the next turn theme, another for the right now theme. Both themes seemed good enough to support an expansion. Later, when I turned everything back into 20-card expansions (which became 25 during work on Intrigue), I kept those two themes separated. The next turn theme came out as the actual second expansion, Seaside, and now finally we have come to the when-you-gain-this expansion.

A few of these cards date back to 2006, and the original expansion with both themes. More are from when I split up the themes, then more got added to get back up to 25, and of course some cards are more recent, due to the usual process of getting rid of duds and trying new things.

For most of its life, this has been an ordinary expansion. For a while there though, I was thinking maybe it would be good to do another standalone. There are various virtures to standalones; someone else can talk them up, as I know there are other people who will argue against them. Anyway it seemed good to me. And so for a bit I focused on trying to make sure the set wasn't as complex as the couple sets before it. It gets some simplicity from the when-gain theme, although some of those cards still look complicated because they need text for both the normal and when-gain abilities. This focus helped protect a few of the simpler cards, and then late in the going Jay decided it would be a normal expansion after all. So the set is 300 cards, with no tokens or anything, and had that extra push towards simplicity, which is nice. And for those of you who were wondering, this is also why the rulebook has an unprecedented number of recommended sets of 10.

Some of you are thinking, simplicity lol. No really; whatever strategic complexity the set has, it does have some simple, easy-to-play cards; it's simpler than Prosperity but more complex than Seaside. You can sit a new player down with Nomad Camp and Crossroads and so forth and while they may not know what they're doing, they won't be confused by their cards.

The when-gain theme was always the focus of the set. A few of the cards are when-buy instead; this was necessary, as I will explain for those cards. I have a few cards that latch onto when-gain from different angles, rather than just doing something when you gain them. And then, when-gain abilities are good fits for victory cards and treasure cards, so the set got three of each. Some of the victory cards died and were replaced by other ones without when-gain abilities, but there are three, see for yourself. With three victory cards and three treasures it seemed cool to have three reactions, and towards the end I managed to squeeze in a third one.

Some of you who are word people or have internet access may note that one meaning of "hinterlands" is, the land behind the coast. So even the flavor is a complement to Seaside.

The cards:

Border Village: From when Hinterlands was first its own set. Originally it cost $5. I made it better by charging more. There's a trick you can't usually do.

Cache: One of the oldest cards in the set, dating back to the 2006 version, and I never changed it.

Cartographer: This started in a later set. I moved it here because I wanted another $5 that was conceptually simple. It never changed.

Crossroads: The first version was +1 Action, +1 Card per Victory card in hand. It looked crazy but wasn't very good. Then for a long time it was, +1 Card per Victory card in hand, +1 Action per Action card in hand (you revealed a second time, so ones you drew counted). People were sad to see this go, but I could not justify having a card that meant you sometimes had no clue how many Actions you had and no way to figure it out either. Then it gave +2 Actions, but that version was too strong. Giving you +3 Actions just the first time is cute, and means you can't go too nuts without other cards helping.

Develop: A card from late in the going. I had had other Remodels not work out, and didn't think Farmland was completely filling that slot. This seemed cute and worked immediately.

Duchess: Free with any regularly priced Duchy! There was a card that gave you +1 Buy when you bought it, because, why not try that. You could buy out the pile if you lowered the cost enough. Some people thought this was hilarious but some people hated it, and it wasn't hilarious enough to justify being hated. Then I thought, well, what about a card that you can just take? "In games using this, at the start of your buy phase, you may gain a copy of this." But you don't want to have to make that decision every turn. So I went with, a card that was just free with a particular other card, one that was always out of course, and picked Duchy.

It had to be a cheap terminal action, to not get taken automatically. I had been wanting to get a friendly Spy into the set, because I wanted to add that small amount of additional interaction. So, +$2, friendly Spy. As a terminal Action costing $2, it's no hot ticket, but it's an interesting option on turn one with $2, and then when you buy a Duchy, well hey, have I got a deal for you.

Embassy: I had had "draw five discard three" in Prosperity a long time ago. It had been too strong, but it didn't seem like it needed much to make it acceptable, so a when-gain penalty was a good fit. Giving the other players a Silver doesn't matter much in the long run, but on turn one it's significant.

Farmland: Another very old card, from before I split Seaside and Hinterlands. Originally it triggered on gaining it. This can cause some confusing chaining - buy Farmland, trash a card costing $4, gain a Farmland, trash another card costing $4, gain a Farmland. I might have left it as when-gain anyway, just to have everything be when-gain (possibly also limiting what you could gain to non-Farmland), but Noble Brigand had to be when-buy, so there wasn't a sufficient benefit to having this be when-gain. So the less confusing when-buy prevailed.

Fool's Gold: The top started out as worth $1 per copy you had, on a version of Ill-Gotten Gains. It needed a tortured wording to have it be that if you played three you got $3 for each, since you play them one at a time. Bill Barksdale suggested having it be $1 and then $4, which was much simpler. It's stronger when you have just two, and weaker when you have more than three, but that all worked out. Meanwhile the bottom started on a card in a later set, and bopped around a little before ending up here. At one point the Gold didn't go on top of your deck, but it's so late, it has to go there.

Haggler: From when Hinterlands was first its own set. Originally it could gain you Victory cards. Buy Province, gain Duchy, you don't need to see that too many times. And hey you can still have that experience with Border Village as an intermediary. Also originally it triggered on gaining cards (other than via Hagglers), not just buying them. So you would sometimes get what we called "Haggler explosions." Play Haggler, buy Border Village, gain a Lab via Haggler, gain a Lab for Border Village, gain a Silver for Haggler for that. Woosh, four cards. Combined with the original Farmland, you could go further. I enjoyed Haggler explosions, but they were too confusing, and the simpler version still gives you plenty of bang.

Highway: There was a point working on the set when I wanted another $5 that you could chain. It had to be simple and compelling. Bridge and Princess are old news, but Highway plays a lot differently. All those tricks that you come up with for Bridge that you never actually pull off, you can pull off with Highway.

Ill-Gotten Gains: The very first when-gain Curser was a weird action card that gave out two Confusions (blank cards, like Curses without the -1 VP, that were in the main set originally but did not survive). It didn't work out, and I changed it to a treasure worth $1, for $3, that gave out a Curse when gained. It was like that for a while, before I became convinced that it was dominating games too much. I tried it at $4, and as a Silver for $5. That version again lasted a while, but was too good. Briefly it made $1 per copy you had in play, which I moved to Fool's Gold and fixed up. Now you get $1 or $2 out of it, depending on whether or not you want to water your deck down a little. There were two versions that gave you +$1 and had you gain a Copper to your discard pile, rather than having you gain a Copper to your hand (one failed when the Coppers ran out and one didn't). Gaining Copper to your hand ultimately seemed simpler.

Inn: Long ago, there were two similar simple cards for $4 in different sets. The first was +2 Cards, +1 Action, discard a card; the second was +2 Cards, +2 Actions, discard 2 cards. For a while they both seemed fine, but eventually I decided the first one was too strong, and it is no longer with us. The second one was Inn. It was fine, it was never changing. But one day I came up with the bottom part, and needed a card to graft it onto. Inn fit and was simple enough and there it is. I briefly tried it for $6 without the discarding.

Jack of All Trades: This started out in Cornucopia. The premise, which some of you may have been wondering about, was to make an after-the-fact Moat. Did they make you discard? Draw up to five. Are they giving you Curses? Trash one. Did they muck with the top of your deck? Let's just fix that. Are they trashing your cards? Well, here's a Silver. That's how they all fit together. The original version could trash any card, but that was too strong. Also it put your deck into your discard pile rather than letting you discard the top card; again, too strong. The order of abilities also changed.

Mandarin: The top was an obvious simple thing I just hadn't done yet. I tried several different bottoms before settling on this one. One version around for a while put a card from play on top of your deck when you gained it. That has issues that Scheme cleverly resolved but I didn't want to propagate that wordiness.

Margrave: A later set for a long time had an attack that made everyone else discard down to two, then draw a card. Mathematically it seems equivalent to Militia: you discard down to three, then you discard the worst card, which on average is average for your deck, being the middle card out of five; then you draw a card, which on average is average for your deck. That math is tricky but run through it a couple times if you have to. It's the same as Militia. Well in practice it hurts way more than Militia, like you might have thought. Militia lets you keep three cards that could be a fine hand. This only let you keep two, which is rarely enough to have a good plan, and then you draw a random card, which could work out but often does not. Anyway it was around for a long time but eventually died and everyone rejoiced. Vinay Baliga suggested flipping it - they draw one then discard down to three. Sounded good, I tried it, it worked out, there it is.

Noble Brigand: First the set had a Thief variant that gave you coins instead of the Treasures. It only gave you coins for one of the Treasures, to keep it from going nuts with multiple players. So if the best Treasure you trashed was Silver, you got +$2. Well this has wording problems. Some Treasures make variable amounts or do weird things. At the same time, it was weak. So it died.

I replaced it with a card I stole from a later set. "A later set." There are only two sets after this one, and one of them is a latecomer with its own special thing going on. When I say "a later set," I mean the 8th set, which was originally the 4th set, back before I showed Dominion to RGG, when there were only five expansions (then Hinterland and Seaside were split up, and Alchemy and Cornucopia were split up, and that accounts for seven). You might think, with all the cards I stole from "a later set," that it would be hurting for cards, but man, it is not. Anyway. I stole this from "a later set."

The premise is of course Robin Hood. Steals from the rich (those with Silver and Gold), gives to the poor (those with no Treasures at all). Ignores the middle-class (those showing Copper or special Treasures) (yes the middle class includes those with Platinum, Robin Hood does not realize how valuable Platinum is okay, he lives in a forest, they don't even have Platinum there). By not trashing Coppers, it avoids being horrible, and it can even give out Coppers, although don't expect that to be too common except you know against decks that trash their Coppers.

Noble Brigand comes right out of the gates attacking. This was a fun thing that I wanted on more attacks but it only survived here and on Ill-Gotten Gains (technically not an attack, but we all know a Witch when we see one). Maybe it's for the best that you'll never experience the joy of a when-gain discard-based attack just sitting there, promising that any hand you draw might be taken away, even if no-one has even bought the card yet.

Noble Brigand triggers on buying, not gaining. This was because you could get situations that forced you to play all further attacks in slow-mo. Jester is a good example. I play Jester, I hit your Noble Brigand, oh I want one of those. Only, everyone else has already revealed their card for Jester, no-one is wasting time. I know some of the cards Brigand will hit. Maybe normally I wouldn't take Brigand, I'd make you take another one, only, there's a Gold showing over there. Okay we have to play Jester in slow-mo this game to get rid of this situation. And well that's no fun. So, it triggers on buying.

Nomad Camp: In its earliest days the set had a Woodcutter that gave you +1 Buy when you bought it. Then it gave you +$1 and +1 Buy on the turn after you bought it, and then I just put it on your deck. Duchess is what happened from taking this the other direction.

Oasis: An old card from when Hinterlands was first its own set. Never changed. Some of them have to be simple you know.

Oracle: Originally there was a card that had you look at your top two, trash them or discard them or leave them, then draw two. It was too strong, so I axed the trashing and made it a Spy-like attack. At first that had you always pick one for them to discard, putting the other back, but I found it less oppressive when they had to leave both or discard both. I tried a few when-gain triggers on this card - there was one that trashed a card from your hand when you gained it, one that Navigator'd once, and one that Chancellor'd. The Chancellor thing was cute, but made the card too attractive just for the when-gain - meaning, people bought it for that, then happened to be attacking you. The attack was just too annoying to have people buying it when they didn't really mean it.

Scheme: An old card. The premise was always the same, but the exact mechanism has varied a little. The important thing was not to have any weirdness with one-shots or duration cards or Throne Rooms played on duration cards. That's why it only works on cards that are discarded. Sometimes Scheme could work on itself, sometimes it couldn't, depending on what phrasing seemed simpler. It ended up working on itself; you can just be planning that Scheme for a while.

Silk Road: In the early days of Hinterlands being its own set, it kind of had a Victory cards sub-theme. It had four Victory cards - they were just a cute vehicle for when-gain abilities. And it had a few things that interacted with Victory cards. So naturally it got the Victory card that counts Victory cards. It never changed.

Spice Merchant: Originally this gave +1 Action +1 Buy, choose between +2 Cards and +$2. That was too strong. Then for a while it was like it is now, and then I tried it without the +$2 +1 Buy option. There had been some worries about power level, but if it was over the top it wasn't very far over, and we were picking the Lab a lot more than the Woodcutter anyway. And remember I wanted simple cards, to make the set a standalone. Well some people were very sad to see the +$2 +1 Buy option go, and it did not appear to make the card too strong after all, so there it is.

Stables: Originally you drew the cards, then discarded a Treasure. If you had no Treasure to discard, yeeha. That version was too strong.

Trader: This is two cards welded together. The bottom part was originally its own card, in the original 4th expansion. It went through many versions that tried to be good enough. It had +2 Cards on top; it was a Treasure worth $1; it was a pure Reaction with a when-gain trigger (similar to Secret Chamber's reaction). In the end it could not carry a card by itself and so I stuck it on another card that it fit well with. That other card, the top part, I made specifically to replace Apprentice. When it turned out Alchemy would be a small set, I wanted something slam-dunk awesome for it that cost $5 and had some useful interaction with Potion, and chose Apprentice, which was in this set. Obviously Apprentice does all sorts of cool things with Hinterlands cards. So when I took it out, I wanted to replace it with something else in the Salvager family that I hadn't done yet. Gain a pile of Silvers, there you go.

Tunnel: At one point the main set had a card that had you draw a card if you discarded it. It was too wonky of an ability for the main set, and the card was bad anyway, so I cut it. When Hinterlands became its own set, I made a new card with that ability, this time a Witch variant. I ended up cutting that one because I didn't want two ways to get Curses in the set, and preferred Ill-Gotten Gains.

Late in the going, I wanted something else in the set that was exotic, and decided to try another do-something-when-discarded card. This time I had you gain Gold rather than draw cards, which slightly reduced possible confusion. It was immediately popular, but there was the question of what the top should be. It had to be simple. It couldn't be say +$2 because then this would be flat-out worse than Silver in most games that had no combo. It was +2 Cards for a bit, which seemed okay.

Then it turned out Hinterlands wouldn't be a standalone after all, which gave me space for 9 more cards. A standalone only has room for 291 kingdom cards and randomizers; a normal large set can hold 300. I was already using 290 cards. So I couldn't quite fit another kingdom card, but an existing card could turn into a victory card. And I had been wanting to have a victory-reaction in the set. So I changed Tunnel to be worth 2 VP. It seemed like that might be crazy at $3, but what, why not try it? As you can see, it worked out.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 05:10:02 pm by theory »
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Donald X.

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Re: The Secret History of the Hinterlands Cards
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2011, 04:04:41 pm »
+3

Endless outtakes:

- Long ago, the set had a one-shot that let you buy a card and set it aside until the end of the game. That card was weak, but I stole it for Island in Seaside and fixed it up. Later I tried to revisit the concept here. First I tried some Woodcutters that let you buy cards other than to your deck, either while in play or as a reaction. Those were crazy. Then there were three versions of a victory card with a when-gain that left bad cards in your discard pile - one shuffled all non-victory cards from your discard pile into your deck, one shuffled all but 5 cards from your discard pile into your deck, one shuffled actions and treasures from your discard pile into your deck. It always took too many words and it was never clear that it was interesting enough. So none of those made it, but I saved part of the concept as the when-gain on Inn.

- There was a victory card for $6, worth 1 VP, that came with a Duchy. It had started as a 2 VP card you got two of, but that pile runs out twice as fast, which I preferred it not doing. This card was cute but space was limited, and it stopped seeming as necessary when Border Village switched to costing $6.

- Another old victory card was 2 VP for $5 and came with a Silver. On some early pass it didn't seem good enough and exciting new cards were trying to get in.

- To go along with the victory cards, there was a card that let you discard victory cards for $2 each. It just wasn't interesting enough.

- There were a bunch of cards that tried to be when-gain card-trashing attacks. The oldest one trashed your choice of each player's top 2 cards (including your own), both when played and when gained. From back when trashing attacks were crazy. Most of the other versions trashed your choice of the top 3, but at least limited you to cards costing $6 or less, and only did it once. One version was a one-shot, which was Bill Barksdale's idea - it was a one-shot with a when-gain, so it wasn't normally in your deck; really it was just, you could use your buy to make this attack happen. That seemed cute but well like many versions of the card, it made the game have a sub-phase in which we bought out the stack, before getting to play the real game. There was a version that was a treasure worth $2 that only attacked when you bought it. I especially liked that one, though of course it had the sub-phase problem, and could shut someone out of the game. There was also a version that whiffed if the top card of their deck was Copper, but attacked repeatedly.

- Similarly there were several versions of a when-gain discard-based attack card. The longest-lasting one was a Woodcutter for $5 that made the other players (with 5+ cards in hand) put a random card from their hand on their deck when you bought it or played it. It's amazing how long that card was around, given how painful it made games. There was an earlier version that made players discard their most expensive card, or most expensive non-vp card. Then when I killed the concept, I tried a Militia with a when-gain that Militia'd your own next hand when you gained it - look at your top 5, discard 2, put the rest back. That seemed cute conceptually but I liked Margrave better and that's what you got here. I also tried an attack that gave the other players a choice between being Militia'd or Ghost Ship'd, which is pretty weak.

- There was an attack that was +$2, each other player puts 2 Coppers from his discard pile on top of his deck. For $3. It basically sucked but occasionally really annoyed someone. An earlier version put a victory card from their discard pile on their deck; Fortune Teller is a better take on that.

- There were a couple versions of a Remodel that had you discard a card rather than trash a card. Discarding Province to gain Province is crazy, so it was either "costing exactly $2 more" or "a different card."

- Then I tried a Remodel that had you draw two cards first. It's a simple card but seemed worth trying. The extra cards give you more of a chance for Remodel to hit what you want, you know. Anyway +2 Cards is a huge bonus to add to Remodel.

- There was a Workshop variant that gained you a card costing up to $3 plus the number of Coppers you discarded. It seemed innocent and kind of cute. It's fun to gain more expensive cards with your Workshop, and if you pull off gaining a Province with it, good for you. Well. Workshop is like +$4 +1 Buy, except you can't combine that with your other money. That hurts it a lot. This card could be combined with your other money, but only with Copper. Well with card-drawing you can base your economy on Copper. You draw cards, discard a bunch of Copper to this, gain a Gold or Province... then draw more cards and get those Coppers back, plus that Gold if any, and spend your money a second time. It seemed like it might not usually be overpowered, but it also seemed overpowered too often when the set was played by itself, and at the time it was looking like it would be a standalone.

- Where's the when-gain Chapel? I hear you asking. Right here dude. There was an Explorer (gain Silver to hand) that let you trash any number of cards from hand when you gained it, gaining that many Silvers, yes that was crazy. There was a Mandarin (the top half) that Chapel'd when you gained it; there was a Mandarin that trashed up to 2 cards when you gained it. There was +$2, put any number of cards from your hand on your deck, when gain trash up to 2 cards. Oracle also had a when-gain trashing ability once. It was a tough ability to balance; trashing cards is so good that you would tend to buy the card for its when-gain and then randomly have whatever it was in your deck. Anyway none of these cards worked out.

- I tried several cards that had a when-gain ability that Navigator'd everybody - look at their top 5 and either make them discard them or make them put them back. They had problems on early turns and late turns.

- There was a card that gained you a Silver per card the previous player gained. That may sound weak, and well it cost $2, but I have seen it gain a pile of Silvers. One trick is, it adds up if it keeps getting played - I play it for one Silver and buy a card, you play it for two Silvers and buy a card, I play it for three Silvers. I thought the card was okay, but the set at the time had too much Silver-gaining. People thought it was a theme. Some of that stuff had to go, and this was an easy one to drop.

- Another card was +$2, get the Ironworks bonus for cards the previous player gained. You know, if they gained an Action you get +1 Action, etc. It just didn't thrill anybody.

- There was a late card that was a one-shot double Workshop with a when-gain Chancellor ability. I liked it. For most people it just seemed okay though, not a hit, and as it happens this was not a great set for the card. Where are all the $4's you want a million of? Yes there's Silk Road. I would have just pushed this into another set, to further consider its merits there, but there are only two more sets and neither one could fit this. If there ever turns out to be a 9th expansion, just forget you read this.

- There was a card that was +1 Card +1 Action, while in play when you draw a card, first reveal your top card and you may discard it if it's a victory card. It was too slow and confusing.

- There was a Village with "when you gain this, you may put a card from your hand on your deck." I had a few cards that let you save a card for next turn as a when-gain, but it was never that interesting of an ability. Mandarin kind of takes up that space in a cooler way.

- A couple card-drawing cards had the penalty of when-gain, each other player may trash a card from his hand. These cards barely got tested, didn't excite people, and then I used a version of that penalty on Bishop.

- Farming Village started here for $2 with only +1 Action.

- It's only fitting that Masquerade got passed around from expansion to expansion. It was in Prosperity, it was in the original 4th expansion, and it was here once too. Mountebank was also briefly here, when it was missing from Prosperity.

- There is a card that started in Prosperity that was here for a while but now is in the 8th set. There are two cards that started here and have variations surviving in the 8th set. And there's an attack from Cornucopia that I tried a bad version of here before fixing it up for the 7th set. Hey I try to make these posts complete.

And that's how it happened.
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theory

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Re: The Secret History of the Hinterlands Cards
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2011, 09:57:29 am »
+2

Quote from: Donald X.
Cantabrian asked nicely for the secret history behind the card names. He may have meant for all Dominion sets ever, but man I am only doing Hinterlands.

Border Village: Villages got +2 Actions because they are groups of people, doing things for you. A Border Village is nice for the faraway places theme. Being on the border, you have better access to certain goods.

Cache: A bunch of treasure!

Cartographer: Your deck is a kingdom, and this is one of those cards that helps you find your way through it.

Crossroads: It's at the intersection of your victory cards.

Develop: I usually give Remodels a verb name, after the original. This name suggests improving land, to tie into the set theme.

Duchess: Just a name that relates to Duchy. I worried briefly that some people might be offended, but so far, so good. Just picture the Duchess as a babe, posing in front of a shiny new this-year's-model Duchy. Do you come with the Duchy lol? Yes, yes she does.

Embassy: The name is obv. just about how the other players get a Silver.

Farmland: Land with a suggestion of improving land. This card dates back to before there were expansions; the game was called Castle Builder, and I called this card New Wing. Then for a while it was called Hinterland, which had no special meaning relative to the functionality. Then I used that name for the expansion and had to rename it. Sure there's Alchemy / Alchemist and Cornucopia / Horn of Plenty, but Hinterlands / Hinterland, that's madness.

Fool's Gold: This name was on different cards at different points; it was a useful name. The original Fool's Gold was the action version of Diadem. This card was hard to name and this name seemed to fit, so here it is. It varies in value, and when people get desperate towards the end, they don't look as closely at your money.

Haggler: A tight fit; sure I'll pay $5 for that Stables, if you throw in some Fool's Gold.

Highway: As with Bridge, the idea is that improving transportation gets prices down.

Ill-Gotten Gains: Another tough one. The first treasure version of this was Bad Penny, then for a long time it was Cursed Idol. People would complain that the name sounded like it cursed the person who had it, and I would say yes guys, I will rename it eventually okay. This name tries to at least convey that it's evil treasure.

Inn: Digging through your deck kind of suggests travelling, and inns concentrate people mildly, which relates to the village aspect. And you know, people meet up at your inn, getting in the when-gain.

Jack of All Trades: He does four things, but none exceptionally.

Mandarin: The card is reminiscent of Bureaucrat, so this is a Bureaucrat from (to medieval Europeans) a far-off place.

Margrave: A margrave is the ruler of a border province. It was a good word to get into the set, wanted to go on an attack, and here was an attack it could go on. There's no real functional connection.

Noble Brigand: I needed a name that meant Robin Hood without being Robin Hood.

Nomad Camp: Vaguely conveys the idea of it showing up in your next hand. And the nomads trade.

Oasis: You can chain them, and you know, caravans travel from oasis to oasis. But you can only chain so many, due to the discarding, or harsh desert conditions, man I can read a lot into a nearly vanilla card.

Oracle: The original Spy was Spy, but often this kind of effect corresponds to seeing the future.

Scheme: You know, you've got your plan, it involves a Spice Merchant, you do a lot of Spice Merchanting. It was a satisfying name; it seemed kind of weird since it's an abstract thing, but I couldn't do better.

Silk Road: Land that's better if you have more land. That suggested a trade route. For a long time it was Orchard.

Spice Merchant: You pay for some stuff and then either turn around and sell it, or uh experiment in your Lab?

Stables: You pay for a steed to take you partway through your deck.

Trader: You sell stuff for Silver, pretty straightforward.

Tunnel: This was a tricky one. I looked at the cards that cause discarding. There were three categories that came up a bunch: 1) attacks; 2) storage-related things like Cellar; 3) navigation-related stuff. Tunnel can be an escape tunnel for the first, a tunnel off of your Cellar for the second, and it's a place you can navigate through for the third. Obv. many discard-involving actions don't fit these categories, but this was the best I could do. And then, in the tunnel you find a vein of gold.
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theory

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Re: The Secret History of the Hinterlands Cards
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2011, 01:59:31 pm »
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