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Variants and Fan Cards / Yuletide - A Fan Expansion Idea by Tejayes
« on: November 08, 2018, 12:00:28 am »
"It's the most wonderful time of the year," sang the owner of a little mercantile with a lot of debt. For the kingdom's children, it is a time of wonder, a time of giving, and a time of cheer. For their parents, it is a time of work, a time of spending, and a time of breaking one's hip on an icy patch. Still, it's all worth the time, money, and risk of influenza to finally bring family and friends together in peace. Even if it's just for one cold winter's night. Even if it all goes away next morning over a fight for the last bite of pudding.

It's November now, which means the holiday season had just begun... approximately two months ago right after Labor Day. Still, what better way to get ready for the holidays than with a vaguely-non-denominational-holiday-themed fan expansion of the greatest card game on ShuffleIT.

Naturally, there is a winter/holiday flavor theme to this set of mine. As for mechanics, I have three core mechanics at the heart of my idea:
  • Crafting: This is the idea I "submitted" for the Create-a-Token contest in the Weekly Design Contest thread (yes, it was my contest, so I couldn't actually submit, but still...). It has been tweaked since then.
    Crafting is now a new phase between the Buy and Cleanup phases. If you have at least one Crafter token (i.e. a regular coin token on your Crafters mat) you may spend them all at once to gain a single card costing up to $2 per token. If you have 4 Crafters, that's effectively a free Province. If you have 8 Crafters... that's effectively a free Province. For the most part, cards will only give one Crafter at a time, and may be significantly gimped if they can give more than one.
  • Helping Your Opponents: Peace on Earth, goodwill towards men, and all that jazz. Much like Council Room or Bishop, these cards give you something really good for the cost, but offset this by giving your opponents a little love as well.
  • Winter Weather: I know that there have been attempts at Weather cards by other users (Aquila especially), but this is my take on it. My set will have a total of 25 weather cards (9 each of Calm, 2 each of the 8 others). The Weather effect changes each round, just before the first player starts their turn (the first turn is always Calm). When all 25 Weather cards are discarded, the discard pile is shuffled and starts anew. Weather only appears in games with at least one Forecast card in the Kingdom (or available through Black Market/Curiosity Shop (see below)). These Forecast cards can make use of certain conditions, protect you from the Weather, or even control the Weather to an extent.

I will be updating and replacing cards over time (maybe adding, but I already have 25), and I need as much commentary on these as possible. I don't have much opportunity to playtest my cards, and I'm not asking anyone to do so unless you really want to. Still, any feedback is monumentally appreciated.

Kingdom Cards: (click to embiggen)

Weather Cards: (click to embiggen)

Variants and Fan Cards / Card That Name! -- Episode 2: Blood Money
« on: October 04, 2012, 10:22:19 am »
Like Assassin, this card name shows up very frequently in fan card ideas. In most cases, it's basically the opposite of Ill-Gotten Gains, which is an expensive, weak Treasure that Curses your opponents.

In other words, most Blood Money cards carry these traits:
  • A Treasure, usually at least as powerful as Gold.
  • Rarely costing more than $3.
  • Either causes its player to gain at least one Curse or is a Curse card itself.

The main issue with making Blood Money a Curse-type is that it likely makes the card gainable via Cursing Attacks. Fan card creators have tried to circumvent this by either renaming the type or shoehorning it into a Victory card. Or, you know, by gaining a Curse whenever this is played.

Now, it's your turn. What does your ideal Blood Money card look like? Is it a Treasure like most cards with similar names, or do you dare try making it an Action card? Does it hurt your score for big financial gains, or does it do something entirely different? Does it deal with Curses at all?

Here's an idea that hurts VP acquisition without Cursing...

$5 - Treasure
Worth $3
While this is in play, you may not gain Victory cards.

Since it's still good for acquiring Treasures and Actions, this would likely be too strong at cheaper costs.

If you want to know, blood money is often another word for "restitution", paid to the family of a victim by the murderer, slave owner, or whatever-they-did-er after the victim has already passed away. In that sense, here's how I envision a Blood Money card:

$3 - Treasure
When you play this, reveal your hand. The player to your left chooses a card for you to trash from your hand.
This card is worth $ equal to half the cost of the trashed card (rounded up).

Not the best idea, to be sure, but it'll hopefully help get the ball rolling.

With all that said, Card That Name!

Variants and Fan Cards / Card That Name! -- Episode 1: Assassin
« on: September 25, 2012, 12:36:55 pm »
For the first "Card That Name" exercise, we'll be using a very popular fan card name that has yet to be included in the official expansions.

What do you think of when you think "Assassin card"? I don't have a card idea myself (not yet, anyway), but I do have some general thoughts:
  • It would almost certainly be an Attack card.
  • It would probably involve trashing in some way, likely trashing Actions.
  • Since such an attack would be very strong, there would have to be some way to keep it balanced (high cost, no additional abilities, limited use, some sort of penalty, etc.).
Now it's your turn. How do you envision a card named Assassin? Do you agree with my thoughts or the ideas of others? If so, why? If not, why not?

Have fun!

Variants and Fan Cards / Card That Name! -- An Introduction
« on: September 25, 2012, 12:28:05 pm »
While working on my entry for rinkworks' Mini-Set Design Contest #16: Treasure Card, I ended up not working around a mechanic but a name. "Hourglass" got stuck in my mind, and I couldn't think of anything unless it fit that name. Eventually, I came up with a card that starts "empty," then fills up quickly, slowly empties, rinse and repeat. It didn't do as well as I hoped it would, but it remains a favorite of mine simply because of the thematic fit.

That's why I'm introducing the Card That Name series. In each 'episode,' I will give you all the name of a card that has not yet been officially used (count me as those upset that Mercenary received such a meh card). This won't be a contest like rinkworks' series. This will simply be a fun exercise and discussion. If you have a card idea for the name given, share it. If you like a posted idea, but think it could use a tweak here or there, say so. If you think a current idea just isn't that good, let us know but be polite about it, please.

Also, if you know of any frequently-used fan card names, let me know in this thread. Or, if you just have some suggestions for names that you'd like to see, that's great!

Worth $1
When you play this, gain a card costing less than this.
When another player plays an Attack card, you may discard this from your hand. If you do, gain a card costing less than the Attack card that is not a Trust Fund, putting it into your hand.
$4 - Treasure/Reaction


Another decent placing in this contest, so I'd like to know what can be changed to make this card better.

In reality, I just kind of threw this card together so I could submit something :). I wanted to come up with a different kind of Attack defense, but then I thought, "Doesn't it suck to have a good counter not in your hand when you need it?" That's how I came up with the gain-a-card reaction. Of course, one attack could drain the Trust Funds, so the "can't gain Trust Fund" caveat was added.

Next came what to put on the top half. I wanted a gain ability to fit with the reaction, so this had to be a Treasure. At first, it was "Worth $0; When you play this, gain a card costing up to $4." However, I didn't really want it to be able to stock up on Trust Funds so easily. Thus, it became "less than this" and the $1 was added. After I submitted it, I started thinking about its comparisons to Talisman and that, while Trust Fund doesn't have the commitment issues of Talisman, Talisman's cap at $4 instead of $3 and the fact that it combos with Bridge and Highway while Trust Fund doesn't made Talisman much stronger. I'm thinking now that I should have said "Gain a card costing up to $3." Or maybe, to better fit with the reaction, add "putting it on top of your deck."

Also, when debating a price of $4 or $5, I priced it at $4 to better provide protection against your opponent's 5/2 opening.

What do you guys think?

+1 Card
+2 Actions
You may put a Victory card from your hand on top of your deck. If you do, +1 Buy, +$2.
$4 - Action

With this card giving me my best showing yet in the Design Contest (I thank my post explaining how it works  :P), I thought I'd start a topic to discuss how this could have been better.

This card was basically ripped straight from my now long-forgotten Locomotion fan expansion, where it was named Depot Village. That version did not have the extra buy. I put it on and thought that with the requirement to put a usually-crap card back on your deck, the net effect is exactly the same as Festival. Also, since you have to have the crap to put on for the effect, I decided that Festival was almost strictly superior. That's why I kept it at $4 and renamed it Holiday Village for its festivity.

What do you think? Do you think it is a better $4 card without the +Buy? What else could be altered to keep the holiday flavor alive?

Dominion World Masters / How best to run a 3-player tournament
« on: July 16, 2012, 11:30:20 am »
Hi, guys! I'm fresh back from the US Dominion Finals (don't ask how I did, though...), and the basic agreement is that, sorry Jay, but your format needs work.

This topic is meant to gather ideas for improving the kind of tournament that Jay wants for the Dominion Regionals/Nationals/Worlds/Universals? (any aliens playing this game?). Don't just say "Make it a 2-player tournament" because, as much as I know how most players prefer 2-player games, Jay has made it clear that he wants 3-player as much as possible.

Here's a reminder of how Nationals worked: For preliminaries, each player played three games, once in each seating position. You get 5 points for a 1st place, 3 for a 2nd, and 1 for a 3rd. Ties get a split between positions (e.g. a tie for 1st gets 4 points each). Once everyone plays their three games, the top nine (yes, we played three games each just to eliminate two players) start the process again with a clean slate.

Ideally, the player with the most points would win. That did not happen. There was a tie for first place, and Jay did not want a 2-player tiebreak. He wanted to put the third-placer in the tiebreak game, but there were two of them, too! After a heated discussion, we just did a 4-player final game that was overly Witch-centric. Not the best way to end a tournament, for sure.

After that final game, we talked about how tournaments should progress in the future. Jay firmly established that the format should stay 3-player, and I agree. ednever talked quite a bit about implementing a veto mode of sorts, from the standard veto format to one that favors the third player a bit more. I brought up a few ideas for a seeded elimination format, at least for the post-prelims, that uses the same point system to determine a single player to advance out of a group of three. I don't really remember the rest of the discussion, so if anyone who was there can help me out, I'd appreciate it.

Now's your chance to say whatever you want. Here are a few points of discussion that I want to focus on the most:

  • For the point games, should there be more games? Obviously, the more games you get to play, the less likely a tie at the top will occur. To me, this seems like a no-brainer, but if people with brains have an objection, make it known.
  • If there is ever a tie for qualification or the title, how should it be resolved? Three-way ties are optimal for the format, but how often would that happen? Larger ties could use the point system again, even though it'll take a long time, perhaps. Two-person ties are the big issue, due to the lack of desire to host 2-player games here.
  • If we do use a seeded elimination system, how do we group up the seeds? I mentioned in a topic in the IsoDom board that I've been working on two such formats: double underdog (1-8-9, 2-6-7, 3-4-5), and what I now call "Magic Square" (1-5-9, 2-6-7, 3-4-8). One person at the tournament (I can't quite remember his name, so I'll just call him "Mr. Vegan") suggested sort of a split difference between the two that would look like this: 1-6-9, 2-5-8, 3-4-7.
I would like to host some test 3-player tournaments on Iso to help determine what would work best. This will be after I get more input, of course. So please, start discussing! And thank you in advance!

I just played/rage quit a game using Navigator and Inn (by the way, if my opponents are reading this, I sincerely apologize for my behavior afterward). One turn, I played Navigator, saw that I had Witch among the top five cards of my deck, and decided to keep them. I then bought an Inn, and since I didn't want to shuffle, I opted not to shuffle that Inn into my deck. It was the only card in the discard pile at the time, too. However, I see that my next hand has no Witch in it. I didn't accidentally discard all of my cards, as after one anger-filled turn, my Witch shows up -- just before a reshuffle will force it back another few turns if I decide to play it. That was when I... um, did things I would rather not retell, if you don't mind...

After I calmed down, I took a look at the description of Inn from the Hinterlands rulebook. Here it is in full:

When you play this, you draw 2 cards, get +2 Actions, then discard 2 cards. The cards you discard can be one that were in your hand and/or ones you just drew. You discard cards if able, even if you were unable to draw 2 cards. When you gain this, you look through your discard pile (something normally not allowed), and shuffle any number of Action cards from it into your deck (leaving the rest of your discard pile in your discard pile). You do not have to shuffle any Action cards into your deck. You can shuffle the Inn you just gained into your deck; it is an Action card in your discard pile. Cards with two types, one of which is Action, are Action cards. You must reveal the Action cards that you choose to shuffle into your deck. It does not matter what order you leave your discard pile in afterwards. This ability functions if you gain Inn due to buying it, or gain Inn some other way.

There is nothing specifically saying that you must shuffle your deck when you gain Inn. The only reasoning I can see for the "shuffle anyway" deal is that "shuffle any number of Action cards into your deck" includes zero as a number (i.e. you are shuffling zero cards into your deck, but you are still shuffling). Still, I don't see why the deck must be shuffled if no discard-pile Action cards are going into it via Inn, especially if it's going to mess with the abilities of cards like Navigator or Courtyard or the like.

What say you, guys? Does the wording of the card require shuffling every time Inn is gained, even if its on-gain ability isn't really used?

Variants and Fan Cards / Create a card inspired by another game
« on: October 21, 2011, 12:03:50 pm »
With the release of promo card Governor, we now have two Dominion cards directly inspired by other board games. The aforementioned Governor contains mechanics seen in Puerto Rico, while Walled Village has a little inspiration from Carcassonne. Now, it's our turn.

In this topic, I want you to have some fun and create Dominion cards inspired by mechanics and themes from other games. They can be anything from BGG favorites (Twilight Struggle, Agricola, Brass) to well-regarded classics (Settlers of Catan, Go, Acquire) to mainstream hits that BGG despises (Monopoly, Candy Land, LCR). Heck, if you want, go with RPGs or video games or even sports as an inspiration.

Also, don't be afraid to take inspiration from a game already used by another person. Just because there is already one Caylus-inspired card on here, it doesn't mean there can't be two.

Here are three to get started.

+1 Buy
Each other player with more than 3 cards in his hand must discard half of the cards in his hand (rounded down). The player to your left discards the top card of his deck. If it's an...
-Action card, +2 Actions
-Treasure card, +$2
-Victory card, +2 Cards
The player to your right names a card. You cannot buy that card this turn.
Action/Attack - $3

This card is obviously inspired by Settlers of Catan. I have no idea what price would be good for this, but the point of this topic is not to be so serious. We can get serious with these ideas if we want, but it's not required.

Reveal your hand, then reveal cards from your deck until you have seven revealed cards total. Spell a legal English word using any number of the first letters of the cards revealed. If you do, gain a card costing up to the combined cost of the cards used to spell the word. If you use all seven cards, also gain a Province. Discard the cards revealed from your deck.
Action - $5

This is definitely a sillier idea, but what do you expect from a card inspired by a word game?

Each other player with more than 4 cards in his hand reveals his hand, then discards the most expensive card revealed.
When another player plays an Attack card, you may discard this from your hand. If you do, he reveals his hand, then discards the most expensive card revealed.
Action/Attack/Reaction - $4

To show that video games and whatnot are okay, here's a Street Fighter-inspired card. Definitely needs work, but that's okay.

Have fun!

Variants and Fan Cards / Fan Expansion: Locomotion
« on: July 17, 2011, 05:46:01 pm »
A new age has entered your kingdom -- the age of rail. New technologies allow travelers to make their pilgrimages much easier than before. Large quantities of materials and other goods can be transported at once, thanks to these beautiful, heavy-duty machines. Of course, all of this convenience comes with new costs. It's no longer enough just to buy improvements to your infrastructure -- they need to be fixed, updated, protected from those obnoxious vandals... And that's just the beginning. A foolish leader will invest in the wonders of the rails without considering what is needed to use them well. You're not that foolish... are you?

In other words, I'm working on a train-themed fan expansion with utilizes resource management as the primary mechanic. Yes, I know a lot of the rail transport-based card names will not fit in with the more medieval setting of Vaccarino's official originals, but whatever.

Originally, Locomotion was just a Treasure-card-based half-expansion, but I decided that that was too much like Prosperity, so I modified the cards I've been working on to fit the resource management idea a bit better. You'll still see some of my earlier thoughts in the card drafts I show you. Anyway, many of the cards will include some added cost beyond the initial buying price. Hopefully, the designs of these cards will allow for wise players to utilize these extra costs and show just how powerful they can be.

Each card idea will have the general concept I'm aiming for in parentheses afterward, along with edit history. I still need lots of playtesting done to make sure these are priced right and not too game-breaking at any price. Anyone who wants to help on their own is certainly free to do so.

Set aside up to two Treasure cards from your hand. If you do, each other player reveals cards from his deck until he reveals a Treasure card. They trash the revealed Treasure cards, then discard the rest. You may gain any trashed copies of the set aside cards. Trash the set aside cards.
Action/Attack - $4

(Concept: A more targeted version of Thief, but with a bit of a caveat added to keep the power level down.)
(Still debating the price of this card. It's similar to Thief, with the bonus of almost always hitting a Treasure, but the detriment of needing to trash your own card(s) to do so, not to mention only gaining copies of said card(s). Still, you could trash two Coppers easily with this card. What do you think?)

CABOOSE (New Version)
Reveal your hand, then immediately play all Treasures in your hand in any order. Buy a card.
While this is in play, if you have no Golds in play when you buy a card this turn, gain a Gold.
Action - $5

(Concept: Hopefully a good card for getting quick Gold power that quickly turns less than ideal once you actually want to play said Golds. Needs more testing for sure.)
(Edit 1: Added a single word to nerf this baby a bit. Just to clarify, each Caboose in play only gets you one Gold per turn.)
(Edit 2: I still want this card to allow a player to gain multiple Golds per turn, provided they have no Golds to play. Therefore, I added a mechanic that forces play of all Treasures in your hand.)

+1 Buy
When you play this, it's worth $1 for each token on your Coal Mine mat.
(Setup: During your Cleanup phase, if you have 0 Buys and at least $3 remaining in play, put a token on your Coal Mine mat.)
Treasure - $6

(Concept: A potentially powerful Treasure that requires quite a bit of setup to get that power. The question is, how do I balance this card out so that it is neither too easy to make stronger than Gold, nor so restrictive that it's not worth trying for?)
(Edit 1: Added a +1 Buy to the card, and added that you must have this card in play to get the token. Now I'm worried that it's too weak.)
(Edit 2: Removed the necessity to have the card in play.)

Each other player may reveal a Victory or Curse card from his hand. If he doesn't, he may discard a Treasure card from his hand, then gain a Curse, putting it into his hand. If he doesn't, he discards his hand.
Action/Attack - $5

(Concept: I've wanted to see if there was a way to have a full-discard attack without it being too powerful, as well as a card that makes Chapel decks less all-powerful. This card hopefully fulfills both roles.)
(Edit 1: I've been worried about the Treasure-discard attack and how it might be too much in 3-4P games or with TR/KC, so I added the Ticket.)
(Edit 2: Got rid of the Ticket, just made it a good old Curser, and added the Curse blocking power to the card.)

Reveal your hand, then discard all of the non-Treasure cards from
your hand. Draw until you have seven cards in your hand. Each other
player may reveal a Victory card from his hand. If he does, he draws
until he has six cards in his hand.
Action - $5

(Concept: The set's Library variant, and I also wanted to add some more interaction. The bonus to other players won't usually be so great, at least when you compare it to the guaranteed +1 Card from Council Room. It could be much better when Militia'd with a Nobles you keep in your hand, but that's not very likely...)

+1 Card
+2 Actions
You may put a Victory card in your hand on top of your deck. If you do, +$2.
Action - $4

(Concept: Since every set needs a Village card, here's mine. Sort of like a self-imposed Bureaucrat.)

+2 Cards
You may discard a Treasure card costing at least $3 from your hand. If you do, +3 Cards.
Action - $4

(Concept: A Smithy-like card that can be more powerful if one is willing and able to pay the additional cost, but rather weak otherwise. So far, really only playtested against Smithy with Big Money decks, and Smithy has won every game. Expecting it to get much better with Villages.)

+1 Card
+1 Action
Each player (including you) may trash a card from his hand, then draw a card if he does. If any other player trashes a card, +$1.
Action - $3

(Concept: Originally, a card that becomes stronger in games with more players, since I believe this game needs to encourage larger games. Apparently, people don't like that. Anyway, this card is still better in larger games, but not to such an insane degree this time.)
(Edit 1: Added the ability to have the player trash a Treasure, but to no added benefit.)
(Edit 2: Removed most of the scaling issues, as well as the Treasure-only mechanic. It's still more powerful in larger games, but hopefully not ridiculously so. Also added the $1 if opponents trash and draw.)

+1 Action
+1 Buy
You may convert 2 Actions, 2 Buys, or 1 Action and 1 Buy into $1.
Action - $2

(Concept: A way to put those extraneous Actions and Buys to better use.)
(Edit 1: Added the +1 Action, so that the card by itself isn't completely useless. Now, with no other Actions in play, this basically becomes a $2 Silver that requires an Action to play.)

MANIFEST (Second New Version)
+1 Action
You may immediately play up to two Treasure cards from your hand.
You may spend $2 you have in play. If you do, +2 Cards.
If another player plays an Attack card, you may reveal and discard this card from your hand. If you do, gain a Manifest token. Manifest tokens can be returned to the supply for $1 at any time.
Action/Reaction - $3

(Concept A: A card where you must spend coins in play to use to its fullest potential.)
(Concept B: A reaction card that gives you extra coinage.)

+1 Action
Return a card from your hand to the supply. Gain a card costing the same as or less than the card trashed, putting it into your hand.
Action - $4

(Concept: Originally just a way to trade away crap cards for some instant gratification. Now, I can see a strategy of trading a high-cost card for something of the same or lesser value that will better allow you to use other cards in your hand. For example, got two Torturers but no Village cards in your hand? Repair one into a Bazaar or Worker's Village or something.)
(Edit 1: Instead of trashing, the card is now returned to the supply.)

If this card is played as an Action, +$3.
If this card is played as a Treasure, $1.
Action/Treasure - $5

(Concept: Since there hasn't been an Action/Treasure yet, this is my attempt at one. Why Steam Engine? Because to me, steam engines are so cool that they don't need to be in action to be worthwhile, but are obviously better when in action.)

TERMINUS (New Version)
Set aside a card from your hand onto your Terminus mat.
At the end of the game, this card is worth 1 VP for every Victory card on your Terminus mat. Trash all cards from your Terminus mat.
Action/Victory - $5

(Concept: The set's requisite big VP card. Yes, it's very Island-like, but whatever. Also, to clarify, any Terminus cards on the mat are not worth any points themselves, because they are returned to the deck AFTER your deck's Termini are valued.)
(Edit 1: Terminus-mat cards are now trashed, but you can put other cards on the mat to trash at the end of the game. I might add points for multiples of non-Victory card.)

Feel free to share your thoughts on yet another fan's attempt to get in on the creativity of this fantastic game.

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