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1
Weekly Design Contest / Weekly Design Contest #199: Composition in Blue
« on: September 19, 2023, 12:12:44 pm »
The objective is to design a split pile - of any format - where at least one of the cards in it is a Reaction. With fewer available copies of the Reaction(s), perhaps this could be an interesting challenge...

Add in whatever other mechanics you like. I will judge based on how interesting the pile will be to play long term.

The contest will close at Tuesday 26th September 04:00pm forum time.

2
Variants and Fan Cards / Fan Mechanics Week 58: Be Resourceful
« on: February 18, 2023, 04:36:10 pm »
Resources, like Ruins but useful. For mock-ups, see 2 posts down.


Quote
Fruit - Action Resource, cost.
You may play an Action card costing more than this from your hand. Then, +2 Cards.
Quote
Fur - Action Resource, cost.
+1 Card
+2 Actions
Quote
Ore - Action Resource, cost.
+1 Action
+
Quote
Wood - Action Resource, cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action
+1 Buy

-
When you gain or trash this, +1 Buy and +.

These are an added pile of buyable cards, 10 of each in a pile of 40, shuffled together at game start and put face down with the top one turned over.
They are included whenever a card refers to Resources, not with a type, just like Loot.
Unlike any other pile, when you buy a Resource, you may first rotate the pile before gaining one. (If an effect gains a Resource, you have to gain the top one).

I think that's it for rules. In terms of design, they're made to not work very well together. A deck of purely Resources would be boring if it worked.

I will say no more and let you decide how this mechanic may be best used. I have toyed with it a fair bit, making an expansion around it (Wilderness; the Wilderness thread isn't up to date.)
Contest closes February 26th 4:00pm forum time.

Edit: Resources changed from these variants:
Quote
Fruit - Action Resource, cost.
You may play an Action card costing more than this from your hand. Then, +2 Cards.
Quote
Fur - Action Resource, cost.
+1 Card
+2 Actions

Discard a card.
Quote
Ore - Action Resource, cost.
+1 Action
+
Quote
Wood - Action Resource, cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action
+1 Buy

3
Variants and Fan Cards / Fan Mechanics Week 54: At the Border
« on: January 10, 2023, 05:51:30 pm »

The Border mat, a space for tracking gains and trashes each turn. Each player gets one. Every gain goes to Incoming, unless something moves it somewhere else, so cards will come into the deck after Clean-up draw rather than before it, so a bit slower. Every trash goes to Outgoing, to be put in the trash pile start of next turn; they don't interact with effects concerning the trash until then.
Other rules:
  • When-gain abilities trigger when the card goes to Incoming. When-trash abilities trigger when the card goes to Outgoing.
  • If a card moves off or onto a Border for any reason other than gaining or trashing, it does not count as a gain or trash (like Exile isn't gaining).
  • Discarding from Incoming and moving Outgoing to the trash are two separate effects to do once each first thing at start of turn. If Donate is in the game, choose the order you do the three effects in.
  • The Border mat is included whenever a card's instructions refer to the "Border", "Incoming" or "Outgoing". I might be persuaded by using a type though.
So, its main purpose is a tracking aid, enabling effects that would otherwise require memory that not everybody has or wants in their games of Dominion. Abilities concerning your own Border are fine, but ones concerning the other players could be an interesting area. Or a card could move around Borders somehow, if that's interesting?

An example:
A Smugglers that can work on any player, both gains and trashes. The card it gains goes on your Incoming, so all the other players' Smuggler cards can gain a copy of it until your next turn.

I haven't tested any card ideas out for this mechanic, only brainstormed. Your ideas, should you wish to enter, could easily be more interesting than mine.
I will close the contest in 7 days, January 17th 04:00pm forum time. Until then...

4
Rules Questions / Buried Treasure - Watchtower
« on: December 22, 2022, 06:13:05 am »
If Buried Treasure's default location is in play rather than the discard pile (because it's forced, not optional), does Watchtower expect to find it there so it can move it? Does that then mean there's an invisible +1 Buy + $3 next turn?

5
Rules Questions / Highwayman + Specialist
« on: April 26, 2022, 02:05:32 pm »
"The first Treasure played does nothing", does that affect every time it's replayed as well? If Specialist attempts to play a Gold twice (no other Treasures played), does it get $0 or $3?

6
Variants and Fan Cards / Fan Mechanics Week #33: Trial By Fire
« on: March 29, 2022, 06:58:50 am »
Here's an idea that I've termed burn abilities. Only playable portrait cards can have burn abilities. While a card with one is in play, its burn ability can be activated at any time for an extra effect; in exchange, the card is set aside a la Encampment (no longer 'in play', but still there to help tracking) to be trashed at Clean-up. All these rules are indicated by a below-line flame symbol.
So like this:


Quote
Mining Village - Action, cost.
+1 Card
+2 Actions

-
[flame]: +
You could play this exactly like the official Mining Village, using the burn ability straight away. Or you could wait and see if that + will be necessary to hit the desired price point, using the burn ability at the Buy phase after your Treasures are played. It's strictly better than the official card, so costs .

Two design points that came to mind:
  • Putting a burn ability on a Duration expands the time window and available effect options nicely. Outside of turn, similarly to Reactions, the Duration will be set aside then trashed at the next Clean-up. Later turn on-play effects should always check the burn ability hasn't been used though, to keep tracking clean; so you choose between which effect you want. On the other hand, the non-Duration window limited to your turn can be simpler and more interesting.
  • The above example can feel a bit easy to play, and the official Mining Village is probably the more interesting card. So a good burn ability might be one that creates a challenging decision.
I haven't delved much into this design space myself, but I will do as I consider your entries.

As usual I won't require mock-ups, but if you want to, here is the generator set up with the flame symbol.

Please don't feel restricted to fiery, combustible flavour, the flame can just be a generic symbol on any theme of card.

I guess since the next weekly contest started just before this, I should extend the time a bit. I will close the contest for entries on Wednesday 6th April 02:30pm forum time.

Edit: other points raised;
  • A burn ability can be used in the middle of resolving the card's on-play effects; they carry on being resolved afterwards, and are not stopped (unless they're later turn Duration effects). So an on-play effect that checks it's in play or trashes itself for benefit won't work.
  • A Duration burn ability won't work with the trash-at-next-Clean-up rule, creating confusion.
  • Added making mandatory checking burn abilities haven't been used to on-play Duration effects.

7
This contest focuses on card costs.

Instead of paying $, debt or Potions, you pay with the cards you own. It's another type of currency to mess Chariot Race around. There's a card icon (you can type it like [ ]) in the bottom left, and a description of the cost in the card's text.


Quote
Campsite - Action, [ ] cost.
+1 Card
+2 Actions

-
[ ]: discard 2 Victory cards, revealing them.

So at the Buy phase, you declare you use a Buy on Campsite. You first pay the price, reveal and discard two Victories. If you did, then you buy the card (when-buy effects trigger, -1 Buy) then gain a Campsite (when-gain effects trigger). You can't pay the price of an empty card-cost pile.

To clear up Chariot Race: each different card cost counts as a different currency, so they can't be compared. If there are two cards with the same card cost (e.g Campsite and a Smithy with '[ ]: discard two Victories...'), then they tie. I.e., pure card costs never win!
And so, nothing that gains cards costing up to $, debt or Potion can gain a card cost card. (And since the expensiveness of card costs vary so greatly - like Campsite is cheap and 'trash a Gold from your hand' is expensive - I don't recommend creating one.)

Let's bring Animal Fair into this too. It could easily have been '[ ]: trash an Action card from your hand'. Because it costs $7*, it can be made into a Province with Way of the Butterfly and also be bought with $7, extra functions that it benefits from.
So, it would be nice to see designs that benefit from being limited to just the card cost. With Campsite, I feel it benefits in that it's distinguished from the standard Village and calls for a different kind of engine.

Discarding and trashing your cards will be the most likely costs, but technically, you could also make a card cost out of a certain condition your cards in play need to meet, like '[ ]: have 5 Actions in play'; think how much of a cost it will actually be.

You can combine the card cost with other currencies! With Chariot Race, imagine the hypothetical Smithy with a cost of $1[ ] 'discard two victories'; that would beat Campsite. Also, you could Remodel/Upgrade/Butterfly a Campsite into it.


I think that's everything mechanics wise. I won't ask for mock-ups nor will I favour those who use them, but here is a link to the generator with the card cost icon set up if you so desire. (Just copy and paste the custom icon symbol.)

Contest closes on: Wednesday 28th July 20:30 forum time.

Please enjoy!

Edit: added more to $[ ] costs.

8
Variants and Fan Cards / Fan Mechanics Week #11: Acting Sideways
« on: May 27, 2021, 06:07:26 pm »
This week will be looking at Acts. They're just like Events, but you spend Action on them during your Action phase to activate instead. They also follow the same inclusion rules; shuffle Acts in with the WELPs and draw out 2. You could choose to play with 3 or more Acts, but that won't be the standard rule.



With this basic premise, Acts can be diverse. These 5 examples are here to demonstrate the possibilities (and not crowd out your potential for ideas I hope!).

Descend gives players one optional Lab draw each turn, at the cost of a VP for balance. The card to draw is first discarded in case it's bad and the VP giveaway would sting.

Hire is an Attack. It triggers all concerned Reactions and Attack blocks; it is 'playing an Attack card' even though it doesn't become an Attack card in play.

Recall is once per turn so it can't infinitely loop playing Village for infinite draw.

Ambush goes onto Supply piles, moving around for an Action each time.

Declare is a Duration, so it follows very different rules. When you spend an Action on an Act Duration, move the Act card to the top row of your play area, move it down next turn and then return it to the middle at turn end. Whilst it stays in your play area, other players cannot use it. Declare mitigates any potential harshness from this by giving a global effect.
So because the card must move, Act Durations are innately once per turn. You do not need to say they are in their instructions, since it comes with the Duration type.


So some general design rules to think about. They are easier to activate than Ways are, so power wise are a bit weaker. (Descend is potentially a free Lab each turn, but needs the VP giveaway to balance it.)
On the other hand, they can use not needing an Action card in hand to their advantage, also being once per turn (Recall can't do crazy Adventures token tricks like an Action with the same effect could).
They can be used on the opening turns! (Hire avoids hitting Treasures for this reason.)

I won't ask for mock-ups, but here is a link to the generator with the colours all set if you so desire (just select secondary colour Duration if you make a Duration). I had to use GIMP/Photoshop to get the types on two lines.

Closing time: June 3rd 2021, 16:00 forum time. I will aim to have results up by then, but I'll say if I need more time.

Please enjoy, and feel free to ask questions/offer suggestions.

Edit: fixed example cards and explanation of the mechanic to incorporate multiple uses per turn.

9
Variants and Fan Cards / Dominion: Wilderness
« on: January 29, 2021, 05:19:55 pm »
Dominion: Wilderness 

Most of my forays into card design have been focused on high skill cards aimed at experienced players. Then I was seeing the advantages of player interaction and randomness; they make a game constantly engaging. With my set Dynasties focused on analysis of the kingdom before the game starts, heavily strategy-oriented, I felt little urge to play games through. Once the story of the game was sussed, that was that.
So could I make a high skill set involving player interaction and a touch of randomness? I took some mechanics that seemed to fit this brief, gelled them together, and now they've almost turned into an expansion.

The result is Wilderness, an ultimately 400-card expansion with the central theme of adaptation to changing events. There are useful Resources adding a light sprinkle of randomness, Acts giving you alternatives to spend your Actions on, 3 cards with a cost, and the return of Heirlooms, the Tavern mat and VP tokens.

I have playtested the cards, but not actually with other people. I simulate two players myself, giving each one a different priority. Just going through this process gives me refreshment and stimulation when I need it, observing plenty of exciting possibilities for actual games. This gives me some confidence and satisfaction with the set.

The list of cards is just below the explanation of the new mechanics.

Composition
- 28 kingdom cards
- 7 Heirlooms
- 28 Resources
- 20 Acts
- The Tavern mat
- VP tokens


NEW MECHANICS

Resources

Quote
Fruit - Action Resource, cost.
You may play an Action card costing more than this from your hand. Then, +2 Cards.
Quote
Fur - Action Resource, cost.
+1 Card
+2 Actions
Quote
Ore - Action Resource, cost.
+1 Action
+
Quote
Wood - Action Resource, cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action
+1 Buy

-
When you gain or trash this, +1 Buy and +.
Like Ruins, but useful. There are 7 copies of each, shuffled together and kept face down except for the top one. All 28 are used in every game, no matter how many players there are. They're added to the game in the same manner as Loot, whenever a card mentions Resources. They can be bought.
There's an additional unique global rule with this pile: once per turn, at the start of your Buy phase, you may rotate the Resources.

So Resources bring all the important engine components into the game, and their randomness can also be interesting.


Acts
These are landscape cards just like Events, only they're triggered by spending an Action (Action, not Action card) during the Action phase rather than buying them.

Differences from Ways:
  • An Action is spent, not an Action card. So they can be used in the opening turns.
  • The overall power level is thus a bit weaker.
  • They can potentially only be used once per turn.
  • Design space advantages include independence on what's in your hand and effects broken on an Action card.
  • You can use two of them in a game.
Some Acts can only be used once per turn. To track their use, you can move the Act into your play area, then put it back at end of turn.


Card costs
3 of the cards in the set have a card back icon in their cost, and a below-line description of that cost. Animal Fair has an optional cost of trash an Action card from hand. A cost of ": trash an Action from your hand" is not optional; if you don't have an Action in hand, you can't afford that card.
Each different cost is unique and incomparable to others; so if Provisioner, Fissure and Sponsor were all revealed for Chariot Race, none of them would win. That said, a cost is a definite extra cost, so Sponsor would beat Laboratory; it also can't be gained by Artisan, and Stonemason can gain Laboratories from trashing it.

It may seem awkward to have a new mechanic be on just 3 cards. I feel that because costs can change the game radically, since is such a core mechanic, having just a few in an expansion is enough.


Heirlooms are also in the set. The rule I would impose for when 8 or more different Heirlooms are selected is to randomly choose 7 of them.
None of these Heirlooms intrinsically require their host Kingdom card. Players can feel free to add them into games however they wish; the host cards here can be seen as suggestions.

With Acts and Heirlooms together, there is a lot more going on in the opening turns!



CARD LIST









THE CARDS INDIVIDUALLY
I explain each of them, give my positives (+) and negatives (-) on its design, then give its history. If you want more history, or potential inspiration, the outtakes are listed at the end.


Quote
Resources
Some cards use these to help build an engine, and some use the ever changing top card to make a varying effect that players can control.
+: They create replayable games. They do not make a good deck by themselves, but rather they support the kingdom cards.
-: The same issue as Donald had with Horses could arise, that a large number of gained Resources lengthens play too much.
History:
Flavour-wise, they were first called Trinkets, and they were Codex, Garment, Jewellery and Crate, respectively. Things you could find when razing a settlement. Too much of that in Dominion already, so I thought again, landed at Resources, and from there the whole desert theme developed.
They were added to the game with a type, Gatherer, like Ruins were. Then Plunder came out and set a precedent for an extra pile with no type in Loot; it has landscape cards that use Loot, and this set had Acts using Resources, so the type left to prevent rules confusion with 'Act - Gatherer' cards.
There was a fifth Resource:
Quote
Water Source - cost. +1 Card, +1 Action. If you have exactly 5 cards in hand, trash one of them.
The only reason I put it there was to be symmetrical to the Ruins pile. Resources are useful unlike the Ruins, so they don't need a deck controller to soften them. It wasn't useful throughout the game; going late, Water Source on the top of the pile was a useless or even harmful card, which felt awful. It didn't belong.
All the Resources cost at first:
Quote
Fruit - +2 Cards. Discard any number of cards. Draw until you have 5 cards in hand. You may put a card from your hand onto your deck for +1 Action.
Fur (was called Refuge) - +1 Card, +2 Actions. Discard a card.
Ore - + . If you have a Resource or Gatherer in play, +1 Action.
Wood - +1 Card, +1 Action, +1 Buy.
This version of Fruit was always draw to 5 and had those extra add-ons over time. It was making the Resources too independent, too strong by themselves, which would be boring; the kingdom cards could contribute little. So I changed it to the current weak lab (at ) to reverse this. Ore was similarly making the Resources independent. So it became plain Action Silver; OK at .
What prompted the change to cost, and the buff to Fur and Wood, was the Fan Mechanic contest on Resources; that exposed the wide difference in power level between them.
The last change was thanks to Allies introducing the rotate keyword; rotating Resources could definitely happen, and I finally settled on the global rule. Some outtakes tried other ways.


Quote
Ancient Ruins - Action, cost.
Reveal your hand; the player to your left picks one of the cards. Trash it to choose two different things: +2 Cards; +2 Buys; +; +2.
The best card in your hand (probably) will be trashed for benefit, and you get to pick a nice reward.
+: A different spin on trashing to thin that is challenging but rewards well. You can get a big payoff early, but then see this become dud more quickly than other trashers, especially if Treasures are the principal payload.
-: I can't see too much wrong with it. It's sad when it doesn't work out, but you can plan around that.
History:
Trash variable card for variable benefit was always the premise, you can make up what you lost.
Quote
cost. +1 Buy, +2. Trash the top card of your deck. Choose either +Cards or + equal to its cost in .
I was trying for casual randomness. Then I liked the randomness less, and reduced the reward to 1; it wasn't nice to have players get ahead by taking gambles. When I tired of it, I changed a WDC entry I did with the premise of the player to the left choosing a card in hand, replacing top-deck trash with it.
Quote
cost. +1 Buy, +1. Reveal your hand. The player to your left picks one of the cards. Trash it to choose either +Cards or + equal to its cost in .
More control over the card trashed, but here was a good design lesson: the decision for the player to the left wasn't interesting. The better the card they had trashed, generally the better the payoff you got, so they had to weigh things up, using mental effort not related to their own strategy. So, the benefit had to be a constant. It became the current version.
With further playtesting, the cost was reduced from to because it was proving so fiddly to use. Then again from to .


Quote
Astronomer - Action Reserve, cost.
+1 Action
Put this on your Tavern mat.
-
When you shuffle, you may call this, to first pick one of the cards and put it into your hand.
This triggers on a shuffle, letting you pick any card to draw, so it's like a delayed cantrip. In exchange for the near immaculate reliability, it misses the shuffle.
+: It's simple and elegant. I have seen plenty of moments where the decision of what to pick is very meaningful and interesting.
-: Some could find it trivial, a that can help any deck.
History:
It's an old card, like back from WDC #3, but it conceptually hasn't changed. The wording has improved over time though. When I decided to do this set, it was one of the first cards, helping to create the adaptation to immediate needs theme. I did briefly try a variant when there weren't many s in the set:
Quote
cost. +1 Card, [same effects]
There were times I felt the current version was a bit weak. This could trigger a reshuffle before going to the mat, and it was just less elegant.


Quote
Boundary Marker - Action Reserve, cost.
+1 Action
+1 Buy
+
, or if you have another Boundary Marker in play, +.
-
When you gain this, you may put it on your Tavern mat. while it's there, when you gain a Victory card costing or more, +1 per empty Supply pile.
These have two ways of playing them, either put them in your deck to get payload, or put them on your Tavern mat to provide a late game passive boost to gaining Victories.
+: The player interaction with when a pile empties (often itself) and how easily one can get points should be engaging. The choice of how many copies of each play mode to get is new and interesting (to me).
-: The Tavern mat mode can be similar to Duke but stronger.
History:
The initial premise was, tokens were in the set, could I create powerful alt VP akin to Goons?
Quote
Action Reserve, cost. Gain a Silver. Put this on your Tavern mat. / While this is on your Tavern mat, when you gain a card, +1.
It didn't feel different enough to Triumph or Goons. So I changed it to 2 for Duchies. Then I saw how an extra on-play effect with optional gain to Tavern mat created two modes and added on-play Estate milling for VP to stick to the Victories theme. The Tavern mat mode opened up to Victories costing -, because Mirage Island is in the set.
Quote
Action Reserve, cost. Choose one: gain an Estate; or trash an Estate from your hand for +2. / When you gain this, you may put it on your Tavern mat. While it's there, when you gain a Victory costing from to , +2.
Then I liked the idea of adding empty Supply pile relevance to the set - for the player interaction theme - and changed the Tavern mat mode to 1VP per empty pile as it is now. This wanted to work on Provinces, so the cost range became +.
The Tavern mat mode was the clear preference to the Estate milling; it was better than a cantrip, whilst the Estate milling was non-drawing terminal and not very collectible. When a WDC favoured cards about empty piles, I twigged non-terminal Bridge, put it on and entered it. It didn't do that well because balance was hard to assess, but the cost reduction clash with the Victory cost range was brought to attention and I decided to reduce + to +.
Quote
Action Reserve, cost. +1 Action, +1 Buy. This turn, cards cost less. / When you gain this, you may put it on your Tavern mat. While it's there, when you gain a Victory card costing or more, +1 per empty Supply pile.
The two modes clash, and that inflexibility between how many of each copy is best could open up. It became the current version.
So, the premise changed somewhat from crazy alt VP to dual-mode card.


Quote
Copse - Action Reserve, cost.
+1 Action
Put this on your Tavern mat.
-
At the end of your Buy phase, you may call this, to choose one to gain: a card costing up to from a pile with 5 or fewer cards in it; or a card costing up to , and if it's a victory card, +1.
After your Buy phase, when you may have run some piles down, you can call this gainer that's particularly good mid to late game.
+: Sometimes you want a Workshop to sit out of the deck.
-: a new card without much testing. It could be too strong looking at Duplicate.
History:
A newer card. There was only Provisioner as a gainer, and I could have done with more Reserve cards.
Quote
Put this on your Tavern mat; you may immediately call it. / At the start of your turn, you may call this. When you call this, choose one to gain: a card costing up to from a pile with 5 or fewer cards in it; or a card costing up to , and if it's or less, +1.
Late game comeback potential was the premise. The change to end of Buy phase call enabled more control over how empty piles were; you could get a pile down to 5 cards, then they're all gone by your next turn. The + with all -s was too much potential, so I made it work on -s, then just Victories since there's still a lot of Silvers and Resources. It got +1 Action because it likes stacking up a lot.


Quote
Craft - Action, cost.
+1 Action
Trash a card from your hand. If it was a Resource, +2VP. Otherwise, gain a Resource.
Change junk into Resources, or Resources into .
+: Resource trash-for-benefit should be fun and possibly challenging since they're useful. Swapping junk for Resources is random fun but always useful.
-: +2 may be too generous.
History:
The premise never changed.
Quote
Action Gatherer, Cost. +1 Action. Trash a card from your hand. If it was...Fruit, gain an Action; Ore, gain a Treasure; Fur (Refuge), +4 Cards; Water Source, +4; Wood, +; none of these, gain a Resource.
If you were choosing to lose a Resource, what would you want instead? But between trashing Resources and simply playing them this was having you remember and weigh up 11 different possibilities! If I ever needed a card that causes analysis paralysis, I succeeded here. It became:
Quote
Action Gatherer, cost. Trash 2 cards from your hand. If both were Resources, + and +2. Otherwise, gain 2 Resources.
Unnecessarily clunky, so it became the current version at . It went up to when Resources went up to .


Quote
Despoiled Village - Action, cost.
+1 Card
+2 Actions

-
In games using this, when you gain a card other than Despoiled Village, you may reveal a copy of it from your hand to gain a Despoiled Village.
Anything you gain can come with a free Village provided you have a copy in hand.
+: Simple with a few neat uses and tricks. Cheaper cards are not so good for the deck, while more expensive ones are, so there is an elegant balance.
-: Maybe a bit uninteresting, or it could empty too fast.
History: I wanted a Village that doesn't like Resources, to contrast Hostile Village.
Quote
cost. +1 Card, +2 Actions. / If this is the first Despoiled Village you've gained this turn, each other player reveals their hand. Gain a copy of a revealed card costing up to .
Interactive, and Resources reduced the chance of hitting something nice. But the mirror play impetus wasn't too fun.  So it became
Quote
[top same] / When you buy this, you may reveal a card from your hand costing up to to gain a copy of that card.
I later let it gain s to try making it more exciting, but it was still bland; it liked you drawing terminal collisions and playing clumsily. So I changed it to:
Quote
[top same] / In games using this, when you gain a card, you may discard a copy of it to gain a Despoiled Village.
Switching the gain parts around to gain the DV extra instead, so discarding cheap copies becomes more of an option. The current version opens up more viability.


Quote
Fissure - Action, cost.
+5 Cards
+1 Buy

Change all further +Cards you get into + for the rest of the turn.
-
: return a Duchy from your hand to the Supply.
Heirloom: Climbing Rope
Quote
Climbing Rope - Action Treasure Heirloom, cost.
+2 Cards
+1 Action

Put a card from your hand onto your deck.
Fissure is a draw version of Snowy Village, converting all further +Card draw into for the rest of the turn. It's bought in two stages, first get a Duchy, a blank essentially, then swap it for this. Climbing Rope can help you dance around this change in various ways, like putting a collided terminal back or turning into +.
+: Fissure has interesting interactions with cards in this set. The conversion is elegant - one wants to draw into payload - and timing it right during the turn can take good skill.
-: it's maybe a bit too dependent on shuffle order being right, even with Climbing Rope to help. CR takes starting deck economy away a little. The cost is new and may not be well balanced.
History:
Fissure was a WDC entry:
Quote
Action, cost. +4 Cards. Change all further +Cards you get into + for the rest of the turn.
This was quite swingy depending on shuffle order. I then had a Reserve variant here in note form that called at start of turn for big draw that changed the rest to +, but that could kill the fun of the turn. Repository took its place. Then while thinking about another terminal draw card I came back to the original version, thought how an Heirloom could help the swinginess problem, and made Rope:
Quote
Action, cost. +3 Cards, +1 Buy. [same convert effect].
Rope: Treasure Heirloom, cost. [same effect]
Rope becoming an Action Treasure made sense soon after, and Plunder made it a Climbing Rope. I preferred the bigger draw on Fissure, as that was a large defining part of the premise. That would have to cost a fair bit more than , and the answer came when I decided to add costs. Before the current version, I tried putting the Duchy on the Tavern mat; then I compared that to Distant Lands to see that was too strong.


Quote
Footman - Action, cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action
+

You may trash this to gain a card to your hand costing up to .
Heirloom: Sedan Chair
Quote
Sedan Chair - Treasure Heirloom, cost.

This turn, you may put this and/or a Resource onto your deck when you discard them from play.
Peddler that can be downgraded for immediate power, be it a Resource or something else. Sedan Chair puts Resources in the game, and can Scheme one and/or itself.
+: Footman seems like a simple but effective premise that Resources always make relevant. Sometimes the top Resource provides the perfect immediate need. Sedan Chair offers mild adaptability or engine consistency, negating the repetitive feel of the card Scheme with a single copy in the deck.
-: it could be just too strong for , no dedicated testing of this.
History:
Not a lot for Footman; it was first gaining s to hand when Resources were . Sedan Chair had 2 other versions before this one:
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Treasure Heirloom, cost. Choose one: move a Resource from its pile onto a kingdom pile with no other Resources on top; or rotate any Supply pile.
Rotating opened up this interactive possibility. With Resources being decently useful, it may not have been overly harsh. But I felt that it was when a player's one copy of Sedan Chair wasn't in hand at the crucial moment.
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Treasure Duration Heirloom, cost. Choose one: +; or at the start of your next turn, play a Resource in the Supply, leaving it there.
A bit strong for starting with, but it inspired Mineral Deposit.
The current version just clicked.


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Hollow - Action, cost.
Choose one: trash all but 3 cards from your hand; or draw until you have 6 cards in hand.
Heirloom: Torch
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Torch - Action Treasure Heirloom, cost.
+
If its your Action phase, +2 Actions.
Trash down from a big hand, like with Count but saving 3 cards. Or, draw up from a small one. Torch is Heirloom Necropolis; I know, you already thought of that card yourself.
+: working both modes well can be tricky, developing the adaptation theme.
-: the potential to be strong trashing like Chapel that also pivots into a draw card can be very centralising, though it takes some Kingdom support. The Heirloom might be giving it an unnecessary buff.
History:
I desired a draw to X card; it would have neat interactions with the set. I quickly came to:
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Action Duration, cost. Either now or at the start of your next turn, choose one: draw until you have 6 cards in hand; or discard any number of cards for + each.
The self synergy was strong, particularly when Throned, so the discard for each became gain a card costing up to per card discarded. This didn't address the issue of analysis paralysis with 4 different play options; an issue to me at least.
I changed it to the current version partly inspired by the lack of a multiple-trash card in the set. I thought of the Heirloom separately, to work nicely with Acts, then put it with this for the draw to X synergy.


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Hostile Village - Action, cost.
+3 Cards
+2 Actions

Trash a card you have in play that would be discarded during Clean-up this turn.
Heirloom: Trail Mix
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Trail Mix Treasure Duration Heirloom, cost.
Either now or at the start of your next turn, +.
Hostile Village is a super powerful card, but at a hefty cost of trashing something in play; this will always mean itself if nothing else can go. Trail Mix is a now-or-next-turn Copper.
+: Hostile Village is elegant and can create skilful play. Trail Mix can make the opening split more flexible.
-: Hostile Village was always going to be a fan card with the tracking issue of cards removed from play while having done something for the turn.
History:
I made Hostile Village for a WDC and felt compelled by it; the current version without an Heirloom. I added it to the early stages of this set and liked what I was seeing, driving me further. I later added the outtake Creed, having thought of it separately, then moved the Heirloom from the outtake Sheikh here where it made more sense.


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Key to the Past - Action Reaction, cost.
+1 Action
+

If any Supply pile is empty, +1 Card.
-
When another player trashes a card, you may exchange this from your hand for a card costing up to .
Its power is unlocked either by an empty pile or by reacting to an opponent's trashing. Exchange means this could refill its own pile.
+: it's a good comeback card that involves adaptation and player interaction.
-: the more relevant early trashing is, the more relevant the reaction is early, to potentially exaggerate an already scripted situation.
History:
this was in my first set project Revolution for a long time. I moved it here since the nature of the trashing here suited it more. Countering trashing was the initial premise, then the top part was formed around the Reaction. It first just checked if its own pile was empty.


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Mineral Deposit - Treasure Duration, cost.

+1 Buy
At the start of your next turn, play a Resource in the Supply, leaving it there and ignoring +1 Action.
A +Buy now for a constant purpose, then a variable bonus next turn that opponents can control. Fur will still give +1 Action, and nothing different happens with Fruit. This card declares that there shall never be a Command Resource.
+: high skill players may like leaving the least helpful Resource on top for opponents, while low skill players may like to wait and see what bonus they get.
-: the randomness may sting sometimes, if a player buys a Resource to expose a strong one. It's probably rather similar to Rope; I don't have it.
History:
Very new. The first Sedan Chair inspired this. It could become a Kingdom pile and cover the premise of the outtake Survivalist cleanly, to command a Resource for a random effect.


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Mirage Island - Victory Reaction, cost.
2
-
When another player gains a Victory card, you may put this and any number of Victory cards from your hand on your Tavern mat for +1 each.
Victory that can move Victories out of the deck when it reacts, scoring at the same time.
+: There is the potential to make dynamic turnarounds.
-: preparing a hand with lots of Victories in is very risky and may not be viable very often, so that the points potential on average is rather low.
History:
it was a WDC entry (winner) at cost, only using the Island mat instead. I did try just setting itself aside for 2, i.e a Distant Lands variant; it seemed to be more viable for points within the context of this set, but less different. So I retained the current version, and then testing and design theory suggested going down to cost was OK; opening with two isn't the strongest move that often, and being more accessible helps the reaction work more.


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Pennant - Action, cost.
If you have 2 or more Resources on your Tavern mat, play 2 of them in either order, leaving them there. Otherwise, put 2 Resources from your hand on your Tavern mat (or reveal you can't).
Fuse two Resources together by lining them up with this to create a customised -cost powerful engine piece.
+: A Treasure Map mini-game that favours engines feels satisfying to pull off. Especially when it combines the desired 2 Resources.
-: There is still some Treasure Map swinginess. Sometimes any 2 Resources will have to do if the game goes too late.
History:
I held the premise of T Map for engines right back in Revolution. There were Components that combined into special non-Supply piles. I dropped them because each of those piles wanted to be their own kingdom pile. After toying with the premise of putting Resources on the Tavern mat for a customisable card, Pennant clicked, this current version.


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Provisioner - Action, cost.
Gain a card costing up to onto your deck, then gain a Resource onto your deck.
-
: discard a Silver.
You get two cards on your deck, a card up to paired with a Resource. Being a bit over -strength, a Silver must make up some of the cost.
+: It can call for adaptation to the top Resource.
-: The Silver cost may not be the best.
History:
It started as simply the top part at , quite an early addition into the set, but then it seemed to be deciding a few games if one player opened with it. So I tried:
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Action Reserve Gatherer, cost. [same on-play effect] Put this on your Tavern mat. / During your turn, whenever you have any unused Actions, you may discard this from your Tavern mat for -1 Action.
Sometimes you wanted it to stay on the mat, other times you wanted to get it back, which may have made an interesting decision with Acts. But you could play it multiple times during the same turn, and it wasn't strong enough to have to skip turns out of the deck; so a cheap cost to delay it from the opening was the answer.

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Repository - Action Reserve, cost.
Put this on your Tavern mat.
-
At the start of your turn, you may call this, to discard any number of Treasures, revealed, for +2 Cards each.
Heirloom: Locket
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Locket - Treasure Heirloom, cost.
+, or if you have another Locket in play, +.
-
When you trash this or discard it from play, if you haven't played a copy of it during the turn, put it in the player to your left's discard pile.
Repository is Reserve start-of-turn draw that varies with the number of Treasures in hand, discarding them out of the way. Locket is an Heirloom that passes around players; passing it on thins the deck, but keeping hold of them can make good payload.
+: Discarding Treasures can mean a worse hand after the draw, so Repository isn't trivial to use. Locket adds some quaint player interaction.
-: Possibly Repository is strong. Lockets can cluster together in a player's deck unfavourably by pure shuffle randomness.
History:
I was looking for another terminal draw for the set, and something that liked Treasures because of the Heirlooms.
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cost. Put this on your Tavern mat. / When any player plays an Action card, you may call this, [same effect].
There could be adaptation to a new situation in an instant. It's a nightmare to program online, I guess, and also in solo tests I just ended up doing them at the start of the turn and that worked fine. It looked a bit weak for . I tried one extra twist...
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cost. Put this on your Tavern mat; you may immediately call it. / At the start of your turn, you may call this. When you call this, [same].
...before Magnate was released, scaring me into the current version.
The outtake Permit was here first. Then Locket was made from the outtake Rook and put here.


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Seize - Action Attack Duration, cost.
At the start of your next turn, +. Until then, as long as there is a Curse in the Supply, each other player trashes the first card they discard from play on their turn to gain a Curse.
Attack downgrading a card into a Curse. Players only trash if there is a Curse in the Supply, and gain a Curse even if the card visits the trash but is moved.
+: the decision of what to trash can be interesting. The potential harshness is neutralised by being a Duration hitting once only.
-: not much testing yet. Being hard countered by two Scheme variants in the same set might be a bit silly.
History:
It started from the outtake Ravage. I first went to:
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Action Duration Attack, cost. Set aside a card from your hand. At the start of your next turn, trash it and gain a card costing up to more than it. Until then, each other player exchanges the first card they discard from play on their turn that costs or more with a Resource.
I liked the Duration Expand concept, and may keep it by itself sometime. The Attack again rarely hurts, even though it will more likely hit. Or it forces decks into not-very-fun good stuff strategies.
The change to the current version came via thinking of the outtake Impostor.


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Sponsor - Action, cost.
+ per you've produced this turn other than with Treasures or Sponsors.
-
: trash a Resource from your hand.
It replicates the produced during the turn, ignoring Treasures and copies of itself. The cost adds Resources, and they guarantee that it can do something in every game. Each Resource supports it somehow, but the kingdom will still do the heavy lifting.
+: a payload strategy that feels fun to build, making large on Action-heavy engines. The cost can be interesting to pay.
-: perhaps too wild; when it's good, it's really good, and when it's bad, really bad. Fortune by comparison can consistently pay well in most Kingdoms.
History:
the initial premise was creating a mini-game of collecting all the different Resources.
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Curator - Action Gatherer, cost; +1 Buy, + per differently named Resource you have in play.
It wasn't reliable enough, so I tried adding +1 Action. Still not there, so then a Treasure; the outtake Display Case.
The Action Fortune premise enabled by Ore started with a WDC entry:
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Subsidy - Action Gatherer, cost. +1 Buy. Double your . / When you gain this, gain a Resource.
It similarly likes collecting all the Resources. But it was crazy strong. Doubling all was quickly changed to ignore itself. Then the +Buy left; Wood is also in the game. Then the when-gain was too generous:
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Sponsor - Action Gatherer, cost. + per you've produced with Actions other than Sponsor this turn. / When you gain this, you may trash a Resource from your hand.
This still had scary moments. Adding costs to the set addressed the low cost and the clumsy inclusion of Resources at the same time. The wording change of the on-play let from landscapes be included and Action - Treasures not included.


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Street Market - Action, cost.
+1 Buy
+

This turn, when you gain a card, you may put it at the bottom of your deck, and when you discard one of your cards from play, you may put it at the bottom of your deck.
Woodcutter with Scheme to bottom of deck and optional putting gains at bottom of deck.
+: This bottom-decking itself is not always the right thing to do. With that and needing to know the deck and the current shuffle state, it's fairly high skill.
-: Could be too much utility for engines drawing themselves every turn, although that takes effort and makes fun more fun.
History:
This current version was in my notes for a fair while at , then I added it to the set part way through realising how it fit with the shuffle control sub-theme. I had a go with it at giving + once, just in case the set needed another cheap card; it felt less interesting. And then cost seemed balanced.


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Tinker - Action Reserve, cost.
Put this on your Tavern mat.
-
When you gain a card, you may call this, to trash that card and a card from your hand, then gain a card costing exactly the total cost of the two trashed cards.
It's a Reserve that triggers on a gain, Forging that gain with one other card in your hand. This gain could trigger another Tinker.
+: A simple and stackable effect, elegant and powerful.
-: Province milling with them can be a killjoy. Perhaps it's strong.
History:
it's quite old. It came from the Tinker card I had in Dynasties, which also Forged 2 cards together but was a Night and looked in the discard pile for the first trash. It could hit things you bought, but it wasn't as reliable as this Reserve version.


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Turban - Treasure Duration, cost.

At the start of your next turn, reveal cards from your deck until you reveal an Action. Discard the rest, then play the Action.
Treasure that digs for and plays an Action at the start of next turn.
+: simple, and fits into set themes. Building a Turban-focused deck is quite different and fairly interesting.
-: maybe a tad strong. Similar to Ghost; I don't have it and never will.
History:
it was another WDC entry that compelled me, and it became one of the set's first cards. It was worth - I thought it would be a nice builder card - but that proved too strong.


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Vandal - Action Attack, cost.
+
Each other player discards a non-Victory card or loses 1, their choice. (They may pick an option they can't do, revealing their hand if the former.)
-
Setup: each player gets 8.
A Torturer variant where the choice is discard a useful card (or Curse) or lose a . A hand full of green or having all tokens taken prevents the attack.
+: the attack should often be interesting to play against. Taking tokens is a new attack concept.
-: stacking is meaner, unlike Torturer, although harder.
History:
This came when trying to make something better from the outtakes Redoubt and Rook:
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Action Attack, cost. +. You may discard a Rook for +. Each other player discards a non-Victory card costing or more or loses 2, their choice. / Setup: each player gets 20.
If two Rooks came together in one deck, in one hand, the loss was more likely. Still, Rook wanted to be Locket and take the bonus onto itself. The rest was preserved and toned down in the current version.
The starting went down to 8 when I came up with Negotiate.


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Warband - Action Attack, cost.
+3 Cards
Each other player with 5 or more cards in hand sets aside the top card of their deck face up, sets aside a card in their hand that shares a type (or reveals they can't), then puts the set aside cards onto their deck in any order.
This launches a random attack on opponents depending on the top card of their deck, like Clerk but with less control.
+: Its randomness can be mitigated by the effect on next turn. A top-decked Action means 2 Actions in the next hand/draw, often good; and a Victory top-deck means a slightly better immediate turn.
-: it can sometimes be nasty enough to determine games with a single play.
History:
It always was a random Attack. It started by applying different effects depending on the type of the card they revealed:
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cost. +3 Cards. Each other player reveals the top card of their deck. If it's an... Action, they may discard an Action from their hand, and if they don't they trash it; Treasure, they discard down to 3 cards in hand; neither, they gain a Curse.
If the top card reflected what was common in the deck, what would hurt? I thought of the current version before this got to testing; I favoured the elegance.
I have been weighing up whether this or Vandal should have +3 Cards. I decided on this as multiple plays on the same turn hurt less.


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Warden - Action Duration Reaction, cost.
+1 Action
Now and at the start of your next turn: +2 Cards, then put a card from your hand onto your deck.
-
When another player plays an Attack card, you may first play this from your hand.
This turn it sorts out the top of the deck, and next turn it also increases hand size by one. It can soften the blow of a variety of Attacks.
+: the way it defends against several different Attacks feels very fun, improving the hand and top of deck. It's a decent Caravan+ when there are no Attacks.
-: the immediate turn play can feel quite dull. The most fun Attack interactions are not in this set, rather the early official ones.
History:
It started without the Reaction. Then it was the current version at without the +Action. The first turn effect was feeling awkward, rather like terminal +1 Card, so it became how it is now.


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Yurt - Action, cost.
+2 Actions
+

-
When you gain this, set it aside. If you do, you may set aside a card you would discard from play this turn. At Clean-up, put the set aside cards into your hand after drawing.
On gain, it puts itself and another card in play that would be discarded into your next turn's hand. Strong immediate boost, but weak afterwards.
+: lots of set synergy, furthering the adaptation theme.
-: the when-gain might be confusing.
History:
At one point there was just Hostile Village, Despoiled Village and Turban as ways to play multiple Actions reliably. Not good for a set with Acts. The current version was recently added to my bank of ideas, maybe for Dynasties, then added here because of how it fit set themes.

Acts


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Abandon - Act
Once per turn, choose one: trash a card from your hand to put 1 here; or take all the from here.
Trashing in the opening is very strong, but how big will the VP pile be allowed to get?
+: Significant player interaction.
-: it could speed the game up too much.
History:
Once I tried Resources instead of ; too many piled up could hurt, so no one took them. The name was Maroon.


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Accommodate - Act
You may play a non-Reserve Action card from your Tavern mat. Once per turn: you may put an Action from your hand on your Tavern mat for +1 Action.
Once each turn, it can move an Action no longer needed out of the way or save one to play at a better time. It can play any number of saved Actions each turn, as if they were in hand.
+: It opens up more functionality to Actions, enabling more different strategies and combos.
-: The way it saves terminal collisions could make it boring.
History:
The premise was saving Actions to play at better times. I deleted the notes I had on previous versions of this, since this Act version is by far the best execution. I remember it was first a Way, before I started this set, something like:
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Way of the Cat - You may put this on your Tavern mat. You may play an Action from your Tavern mat.
Weird broken stuff could happen, like stacking up Adventures tokens easily. I then tried a cantrip Action, in this set:
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Action, cost. +1 Card, +1 Action. Choose one: put an Action from your hand on your Tavern mat; or play an Action from your Tavern mat.
The landscape form was reliable, there when the right Action to save was in hand or when the right time comes to play a saved one. I arrived at the Act version:
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Act. +1 Action. Choose one: put an Action from your hand on your Tavern mat; or play an Action from your Tavern mat.
This could just save everything and take deck control skill away. My first fix was taking the +Action off, but that was rarely useful. Finally it needed the non-Reserve clause added on for the likes of Wine Merchant.


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Accrue - Act
Choose one: put a token on your Tavern mat; or remove 2 tokens from your Tavern mat to play an Action from your hand twice, ignoring the +Actions.
Spend 3 Actions over time to Throne an Action card, ignoring all the +Actions so they can't just be Accrued straight back. Any kind of token will do, even the VP ones this set would provide, since no token goes on the Tavern mat otherwise. For tracking, the 2 spent tokens can be put on the Throned card.
+: A new spin on how Actions interact with Action cards, potentially enabling resourceful thinking.
-: when +Actions are very easy to get, this may not feel very strategic.
History:
Tokens on the Tavern mat was the starting premise:
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Choose one: add a token to your Tavern mat; or remove all tokens from your Tavern mat for + each.
Distinguished from Sinister Plot, and trying to involve + on an Act sensibly (I already had Descend for a +Card one). Too strong, so it changed to take 1 token off at once, so two uses got +.
It wasn't interesting because it was just free extras when spare Actions were around. + is direct payload that doesn't require the deck to be strong; why, even Village Idiots could win. The current version works with the deck.
The outtake Recall was the first attempt at a Throning Act.


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Ambush - Act
Move this onto any Supply pile. (It stays there.) Cards from the pile cost more (before reductions).
Spend an Action to move it onto any Supply pile, and it stays there to show that all cards from that pile cost more, for everyone, all the time. If you don't like where it is, it'll cost you an Action to move it on.
+: interactive and strategic, including self benefits if one doesn't want to be aggressive with it.
-: looking at Livery, it's possible that the official game will eventually get a card that prevents cost increase of the Supply from ever happening.
History:
I had an Ambush in Dynasties, a kingdom card that moved a State around non-Victory Supply piles that meant cards gained from the pile were trashed. It could be very rude, especially in the opening. This is a much gentler version.


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Ascend - Act
The next time you gain a Duchy or Province this turn, +1.
Convert Actions into , but not without building a decent deck.
+: a new method of winning the game that an Act cleanly accomplishes.
-: perhaps only occasionally interesting.
History:
I think I had straight-up +1 hovering as a silly idea for a long time. I only recently twigged attaching it to Provinces to make the deck need to be good, and Duchies could work too for more usage. Estates are too cheap and easy.


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Backtrack - Act
Once per turn: +1 Action. If your deck and discard pile both have cards in them, swap them over (shuffling your discard pile).
The deck becomes the discard pile, and the discard pile is shuffled into a new deck. Which is the better one to draw from next?
+: a new means of card movement that I have felt interesting moments from.
-: it may never get to be interesting in some games.
History:
I think it started with this?
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Way of the Fox - +1 Buy. You may put your deck into your discard pile.
A landscape with the Chancellor effect. It's weak enough for an Act, and timing it could be controlled a bit better. I think I had shuffle discard pile into deck as a hovering idea, not in my notes, because of the shuffle synergies in the set. Just how I came to swapping deck and discard over I don't recall.
+1 Action was a later addition since it very often wants to set up a draw played after it. Then it became once per turn for simplicity; with constant availability there's constant tracking of deck and discard throughout the turn, which can make analysis paralysis.


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Conclude - Act
Discard your hand. If you discarded any cards, +.
Conclude your Action phase (usually) by discarding your hand for some degree of profit.
+: There are various fun ways to incorporate this into an engine strategy, as well as odd occasions outside of engines.
-: it may be narrower than anticipated, not viable very often.
History:
I just thought of it about the time I made Fissure. Deciding on + to distinguish from Alms and make / opening splits less wild is the only point of interest. Late on I changed it from once per turn to checking for any discarded cards, just to squeeze in interactions with things that can get another hand from nothing.


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Create - Act
Once per turn: play any number of Treasures from your hand. You may buy a card, gaining it to your hand.
Buy a card immediately to potentially use immediately. A Treasure or Night is fine, but an Action needs you to have 2 Actions left, one for using this first. At the very least this is +1 Buy, just fancier.
+: It has several uses, with some exciting moments.
-: perhaps silly with big money or with buying Coppers in the opening.
History:
Right back to the early days of my first set Revolution, there was an Action, Innovator, which was all about buying a card to hand. I tried it in many forms before getting tired of it. I flicked through my old ideas for inspiration and found it again. Some of its problems could be addressed as an Act; it can wait until the time is right, it can be made weak enough, and there's only one copy available per turn for balance.


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Descend - Act
Once per turn: +1 Action. Discard the top card of your deck. You may put it into your hand; if you do, each other player gets +1VP.
One optional Lab each turn at the cost of a , getting to look at the card first in case it's bad. Or just move the top card of the deck on.
+: simple but effective, a bit like a +Cards variant of Desperation.
-: it can be swingy, especially since is involved.
History:
One of the first Acts. When I twigged how weak they would have to be, I saw that self-inflicted penalties could open the design space up and then this was obvious. It was a Smithy (terminal +2 Cards), which could make the openings too wild. Then it became plain +1 Card +1 Action; horrible when that card was bad, hence the current version.


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Devise - Act
+1 Action
Put a card from your hand onto your deck.
Scheme your next turn by saving cards for then, or use an immediate top-deck inspect effect.
+: Simple ability to add to the game that will always be sometimes useful sometimes not, according to shuffle randomness.
-: maybe it's boring, not suiting engine play.
History:
It just came like this and the first tests saw interesting use.


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Disguise - Act
Once per turn: discard an Action to play a Resource in the Supply, leaving it there.
A bit like a once per turn Way, change an Action into a different variable effect.
+: the variability creates adaptive play.
-: tracking might be an issue, even with moving Disguise into the play area.
History:
Play a Resource as a Way was a hovering idea. Because on average it would be stronger than the official Ways, it would need a nerf. Once per turn lets it be justified as an Act over a Way.


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Embark - Act
Once per turn: if the previous turn wasn't yours, skip Clean-up to take another turn after this one.
A lot of rules to clear up here, and I hope they're all correct! Cards played on the first turn stay in play, like with Journey; the hand is not discarded, and no extra ones are drawn; Actions, Buys and are lost at the end of the first turn, after the skipped Clean-up; if other extra turns are played on the same turn, Embark is triggered by choosing to skip the Clean-up of any of those turns. It has several uses.
+: it opens up unique strategies.
-: it may be confusing at first. The interaction with Hostile Village and Yurt isn't great; the intention is that with a HV played after Embark, something is still trashed even though it wouldn't be discarded this turn, likewise with Yurt setting something aside. They probably need to avoid their current wording because of Journey anyway.
History:
The first Expedition Camp outtake was the bonus turn giver of the set. There were a decent number of Durations, and I anticipated several more as the set grew. As the ideas for good bonus turns dwindled, a weak Act became a hovering idea: just draw 1 card at Clean-up; work if only -s were gained; if no cards were gained; use cards gained this turn as the hand; choose one card in the discard pile for the hand.
The closest idea was set aside hand, it becomes the bonus turn's hand. It was very limited. The current version came together piece by piece, and was only recently wrapped up in 'skip Clean-up', helped I think by Lich's skip.


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Envision - Act
After your Buy phase this turn, play up to 3 Action cards from your hand.
Like +3 Actions, but they only work between the Buy and Night phases.
+: another new spin on Action cards.
-: could be too niche to be interesting?
History:
I first had an Act that played all copies of an Action from hand, which then became differently named ones. The feedback was rightly 'it's just free Actions', too easy. So drawing inspiration from another fan card, alion8me's Lunar Ritual, I arrived at this less easy Village/splitter.


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Forage - Act
Gain a Resource.
When the right Resource is on top, you can prioritise an Action on gaining it.
+: Simple and effective.
-: sometimes one gets boring freebies.
History: it just clicked early on. More interesting than gain a Silver.


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Muster - Act
If you have more cards in play than in your hand, gain a Silver to your hand.
An option for economy to build especially for. One use makes getting the next one to work harder.
+: I find it fun and satisfying to make work.
-: perhaps a tad strong for an Act on average.
History:
An Act checking cards in play and one checking hand were premises in my notes for a while. Since they're not part of the deck and limited to using during the Action phase, there was potential for them. A fair bit later this fusion came together, with Silver being the reward since the set had no Silver gainers.


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Negotiate - Act
Exchange an Estate, Duchy or Province in your hand with a different one of these cards, getting or losing tokens to make up the difference in worth. (You can't exchange if you can't lose enough tokens.)
By controlling where they store their , players can control how near the game is to ending.
+: it can create really high skill games, or make slightly easier strategies with other sources of tokens.
-: just saying 'exchange a base Victory card with a different one' would include Colonies, but maybe someone has a fan-made base Victory pile worth variable . I've seen some on this forum.
History:
I think I had a time control card as a hovering premise, partly inspired by other ideas exchanging Victories around? Then using tokens clicked? It worked as an Act since its power is limited by no straight-up gain of payload.


Quote
Sort - Act
+1 Action
Discard 2 cards for +1 Card.
Repeatable sift decreasing hand size.
+: Simple and effective.
-: if repeatedly using it and drawing back up to size is the best strategy, it can be time-consuming.
History:
It just came together quite late. Why hadn't I done it yet? Card moving seems like one of the best design spaces Acts have.


The Set Overall
It's gradually coming together. Some of the older cards I'm feeling quite confident in, newer ones probably need balancing out.
+: I'm feeling definite, interesting interactions, and potential for skillful play! There's a good amount of potential variety in viable strategies, though some feel distinctly more dominant at present. Balance amongst different card functions (draw, village, payload, etc) feels right.
-: tracking is a prominent issue running through several cards here, so this set won't be for everybody. Swinginess and heavy alteration of the opening can impact games too much, taking more audience away. The first games can be very confusing.
History: as I mentioned at the start, I had focused my attention on mostly skill and serious play with my first 2 fan expansions, then decided to explore a focus on randomness and player interaction.
I tried Weather here, but concluded that there wasn't much potential to adapt to them, and often players would plan their next turn and they feel good, but then the weather makes unpleasant changes to that.
Acts had their start in Wanderers. They also used an Action to be activated, but there was a pile of them and the top one went to the bottom after it was finished with. They weren't once per turn, so they could take some of the relevance of the kingdom away.
Acts were all once per turn and their card was always moved into play; but with the Fan Mechanic contest on Acts, naitchman had the bright idea of multiple use Acts and now they are as you see them.



OUTTAKES
Some of these aren't necessarily bad cards. I've been quite focused on set composition here, and some just didn't fit. You might find some missed potential here.

Quote
Copse - Action Duration, $3 cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action

You may set aside a card from your hand face down. At the start of your next turn, if it's an...
Action card, play it:
non-Action Victory card, discard it for +1 Card;
neither, trash it.
Fine and balanced, it's just a bit boring. In this set especially, where there are a number of Treasureless strategies, meaning it hardly ever hurts to pick one up.
Quote
Expedition Camp - Action Duration Gatherer, $4 cost.
If this is the first Expedition Camp you've gained this turn and the previous turn wasn't yours, take another turn after this one, and you draw 5 fewer cards for your next hand.
At the start of that turn, you may trash this to gain 3 Resources to your hand.
I liked the different functions this had. The randomness of the strength of the extra turn killed the interest, and I took the Resource gaining out and changed it into Embark.
Quote
Expedition Camp - Action Reserve Gatherer, $4 cost.
Gain to your hand a Silver and 2 Resources. Put this on your Tavern mat.
-
After you finish playing an Action, you may trash this from your Tavern mat. If you do, each player with at least 3 cards in hand passes 2 to the next such player to their left, at once.
Double Masquerade is mean and often not nice to face. The top part is quite nice, sort of retained in Footman, and so is the two-shot concept.
Quote
Key to the Past - Treasure, $4 cost.
Cards in the trash cost $2 less this turn. You may buy a card from the trash.
-
Setup: trash a Gold from the Supply per player, and put an extra Kingdom pile costing $5 in the trash.
There's a fair number of tfb cards in the set, and this could add an extra pile and involve Gold, which nothing else did. This behaves a bit like Potion I guess, a stop card that only grants access to select cards, only it's worse. Even at $2 cost, I didn't like it.
Quote
Ravage - Action Attack Gatherer, $5 cost.
+ $3
Each other player discards a non-Victory card costing $3 or more from their hand (or reveals they can't) if there are any Resources in the Supply. Those who do gain a Resource to their hand.
Worsening a card in their hand into a Resource would often be a benefit, not an Attack. The Attack became Seize, the change card into Resource aspect became Disguise.
Quote
Redoubt - Action Attack, $3 cost.
+ $2
Each other player may discard a Curse. Those who don't gain a Curse.
Heirloom: Rook
Quote
Rook - Treasure Curse Heirloom, $3 cost.
$1
-1VP

-
When you trash this or discard it from play, put it into the player to your left's discard pile.
Rook always wanted to be Locket, a more meaningful bonus for keeping hold of them than unreliably blocking an Attack. Changing Redoubt as a Curser less than $5 is a work in progress...
Quote
Sheikh - Action Duration Command, $4 cost.
At the start of your next turn, play a non-Duration, non-Command Action from the Supply costing up to $5, leaving it there.
I like this, but this doesn't like a set with Reserves in it. It could move to Dynasties. Trail Mix was here simply because there was the text space.
Quote
Impostor - Action Attack, $5 cost.
Gain a Gold. Each other player gains a Curse onto their Tavern mat.
-
In games using this, when a player shuffles, they put a Curse from their Tavern mat into the shuffle. If they do, they discard an Action from the shuffle (or reveal they can't).
The set was missing a curser. For all its innovativeness, it didn't feel that different from other cursers. The Action discard bit was there to try making it more different, but the same Action could be discarded each time, a bit boring. It could try to take a random Action out of the shuffle, but wording that without tiny text...
Quote
Display Case - Treasure Gatherer, $5 cost.
+1 Buy
+$1 per differently named Resource you have in play.
It wasn't too hard or too interesting to power this up. Sponsor achieves similar gameplay in a more exciting way.
Quote
Survivalist - Action Reserve Gatherer, $4 cost.
Choose one: +1 Action; or move the top Resource of the pile to the bottom. Put this on your Tavern mat.
-
When you have 0 Actions left during your Action phase, call any number of Survivalists. For each one you call, play a Resource from the Supply, leaving it there.
This didn't quite achieve the best use of commanding the top Resource. It was good as a Reserve that stacked and waited until the right Resource was there, but the Village function detracted from that; sometimes whatever was top had to do, and the fun of the randomness was lost. Mineral Deposit replaced it; the consistency that cushions the randomness with MD is always getting some bonus next turn, often a +Card.
Quote
Vagabond - Action Attack Duration, $4 cost.
At the start of your next turn, +2 Cards. Until then, when another player trashes a card, they gain a card costing at most $2 less than it.
-
When you gain this, you may set it aside. If you do, play it.
Heirloom: Begging Bowl
Quote
Begging Bowl - Treasure Heirloom, $2 cost.
$1
You may let each other player trash a card from their hand for + $1.
I first thought an Attack countering trashing directly was something needed but missing from the game. Playing with it I saw why it doesn't exist; trashing is fun. Begging Bowl may well have added trashing to the game, but it was such a radical speedup with more players.
Quote
Creed - Treasure Reaction Heirloom, $2 cost.
$1
-
When you trash a card, you may trash this from your hand for +1VP per card you've trashed this turn.
This Heirloom was on Hostile Village so it always had trashing available. Trash it early to trim the deck, or keep it for more potential VP; it didn't work out that way, it was almost always going to be trashed asap, and that made it swingy as players sometimes got a free extra card removed from their deck and others didn't.
Quote
Permit - Treasure Heirloom, $3 cost.
You may trash this. If you do, gain a Treasure to your hand costing up to $1 per card in your hand -2.
This wanted a draw card to be bought to become a better Treasure, yet compromised $ needed to buy that draw. Not really worth doing. It was paired with Repository.
Quote
Adjourn - Act
+1 Action
For the rest of the turn, set aside any cards you draw from +Cards face down. Put them into your hand at end of turn.
This wants to be a Way for flexibility.
Quote
Declare - Act Duration
Name a type. Until the end of your next turn, when any player gains a card with that type, they get +1VP.
A possibility for Acts with other types. This wasn't worth all the inelegant rules confusion, with sometimes creating unfun ways to get ahead.
Quote
Hire - Act Attack
Each other player with 5 or more cards in hand discards a non-Treasure card (or reveals they can't).
Pure Attacks aren't popular. This could be made into a kingdom card with a self-bonus, though.
Quote
Improvise - Act
Once per turn: trash a card costing $3 or more from your hand. Gain a cheaper card; if you gained an Action or Treasure, you may set it aside, and if you do, play it.
Option overload, analysis paralysis.
Quote
Recall - Act
Once per turn: put a card you have in play that would be discarded this turn into your hand.
A bit like Throne a card for 2 Actions, but it becomes a free +1 Card with Village. Accrue is the fix.



Thank you for reading. I hope it was interesting in some way!

10
Variants and Fan Cards / Set Expansion Contest
« on: September 22, 2020, 02:22:37 am »
This is the second of a series of auxiliary Weekly Design Contests, each with the aim of adding a card to the official expansions.
The principal auxiliary contest series is fan mechanics, here.

Winners:

Base set
by gambit05

Intrigue
Quote
Heiress - $5
Action
+2 Cards
You may reveal a Victory card from your hand. If it is an...
Estate, +1 Buy, +$2.
Duchy, gain a Gold.
Province, +2 Actions.
Action card, play it.
by xen3k

Seaside
by aladdinstardust

Alchemy
by gambit05

Prosperity
by silverspawn

Cornucopia
by segura

Dark Ages
by silverspawn

Guilds
by grep

Hinterlands
by X-tra

Adventures
by grrgrrgrr

Empires
by gambit05

Nocturne
by Timinou

Renaissance
by grrgrrgrr

Menagerie
by Timinou

Promo
                by X-tra

Allies
So, I made a rotating split pile.

Pearl
Treasure - Gem - $4
+$1
Trash a card from your hand. +1 Buy for each $1 it cost. You may rotate the Gems.

Ruby
Treasure - Gem - $5
+$1
You may trash a Treasure from your hand. You may gain to your hand a Treasure costing up to $2 more than it.

Magic Crystal
Treasure - Gem - $6
+$2
When you gain this, each other player gains a Curse.

Diamond
Treasure - Gem - $7
+$4
by Commodore Chuckles



Contest #1: Base Set

I have no other requirements here. Make a card that adds to the base set whilst keeping to its themes: simple to understand, no extra mechanics, maybe introduces a basic play aspect of the game.

Judging: 28th September 3:00pm forum time

11
Dominion General Discussion / Weekly Kingdom Design Contest?
« on: May 16, 2020, 05:55:28 pm »
Over on the Variants forum we have a weekly contest to design fan cards, and I thought we could easily have just the same for designing really interesting kingdoms (of official cards). Dominion is that big and expansive now that it could be fun.

So how it would work: each week, somebody thinks of a central theme or concept they want to see in a kingdom, then others try to design a kingdom to fit the brief. Then the contest setter judges each kingdom design and chooses a winner, and that winner gets to pick the brief and judge for next week. Time rules aren't rigid, of course, because life.
The spirit wouldn't primarily be about winning weeks, but to come up with games that people look at and want to go and play at their next games evening/online/etc.

Would this be interesting? Would it help to create more fun Dominion? Is it already done somewhere, like on Discord (I'm not on there)? Or is there a better format?

12
Variants and Fan Cards / Up to Date Guide to Fan Card Creation
« on: January 06, 2020, 05:37:32 am »
The stickied guide by rinkworks highlights common pitfalls to avoid, costing your cards, and how you can make and print your ideas. It is completely right in its introduction:
The first rule about creating custom fan cards for Dominion is that you can ignore every single rule about it if you want to. Dominion is a game. Its purpose is fun. If you've got a card idea that sounds fun, do it. Playtest it. If it remains fun after scrutiny, keep playing with it.
This is kind of an update and fork from that guide. It covers all the present mechanics, and describes the whole design process for those new to fan card creation.
If you just want the mechanics know-how, go straight to the Research section.

Spineflu wrote a fusion of these two guides, with some extra details, here on the wiki.


Dominion is a very simple, highly flexible game model, and it's very easy to add to. With that flexibility, though, is the potential to land upon uninteresting ideas. While they may not break the game and be imbalanced, your ideas could get to be disappointing in some way after playing with them for a while. Particularly disappointing if you went through the trouble of getting them printed out.

If a house is going to be safe to live in and stand a long time, it has to meet high building standards. Some may meet those standards, but also be a bit boring or offer poor quality of living. Similarly, Dominion cards may be safe but not give a great play experience.
So just as with other areas of design, fan card creation (and by extension game design as a whole) calls for a bit of science and a bit of art. There is a science to making cards safe and balanced; we can't simply make whatever we like and add it to Dominion, because we might make it a completely different game. Cards have to follow the rules of Dominion and not change gameplay too much. Too different, and the correct thing would be calling our design a Dominion spin-off. If, though, we stay stuck to science, there is little room for flexibility, innovation, willingness to explore new ideas; that's where art comes in. Science is about doing things correctly, but there's no correct way around art. An idea we find really appealing may be really boring to someone else. So let's say this now: don't have the attitude of trying to please everybody with your ideas, as that's not going to happen! As we'll see later, modesty is essential when it comes to evaluating our designs.

This guide offers suggestions for making your good ideas into great ones for the long term, combining science and art, before the final send-off to print, big reveal to your friends, etc.; it goes through the design process, identifying where people can take a bad turn, aiming to help refine your card ideas to be just what you want them to be.
I talk a bit about expansion design. You might consider making one as an extra level of interest that involves more depth than making individual cards. Parts referring to expansion design will be in this font.
 
TL;DR
  • Be open minded. When you get an immediate good feeling for an idea, note it down straight away.
  • Know the rules and makeup of Dominion well (but you don't have to be a top pro player). Refer to the Research section for help.
  • Creativity blocks and lack of inspiration are possible with longer projects. Don't try to battle through if you're on a time constraint, rather factor them in to your schedule. Keep clear notes so you know what you're doing when you come back.
  • To make a design fun to play long term, focus on the mechanics first, then its theme. The more open it is to interactions, the more replayable it will be and hence interesting long term; but if it's strong in every game, it won't be interesting.
  • Put yourself in a player's shoes and see what mental skills and strategic thinking your design stimulates.
  • With designs incorporating player interaction, always let decisions opponents make involve them thinking about their own advantage.
  • Individual card designs start with a brief. It should state a required property or mechanic, and be understandable to another person. This should lead to an easily understood card.
  • Each card you make should be on the same power level as the official ones.
  • Imagine your design in a game whenever you make a change to it, to see how every other aspect of it is affected. Running a few solo tests may help.
  • You should be able to sum up what your card designs do in one quick sentence.
  • For testing simplicity, get another player to explain what your ideas do.
  • Upvotes on this forum show a good first impression, not necessarily a good overall design.
  • Be realistic. Dominion has flaws that fan cards can't overcome.

A note from the author
I describe myself as a passionate observer of Dominion design. I'm probably not a very skilled player, often preferring a creative and fun strategy to the boring one that wins. I have made fan cards and expansions in theory, but have hardly ever played them for real with others. Not long after getting Dominion, the idea of making custom cards came up some day, and I fell in love with the thought instantly. I like designing, and Dominion is a simple yet diverse game that is amazingly expandable, yet with traps to avoid. It's been such an interesting process!
It feels exactly the same as playing with Lego to me. The different mechanics of Dominion are like the different pieces in the Lego set, and the cards and expansions I've made are the models.
This guide is the product of several years of casual exploration, written through personal interest and seeing how the forum is continually active.

Glossary
Replayability refers to how well a design maintains its interest when played with in lots of different games.
Flavour and theme are used interchangeably to refer to a card's name and its story, and how the other properties of the card connect to it. Mechanics and functions/functionality refers to everything the card can do. A card's properties are its name, abilities, types and cost.
A play theme is a way of building a deck. A thin deck that plays itself every turn (an engine) or a thicker deck with lots of Treasures (called big money) are two example play themes.
Direct payload refers to anything that can directly help getting ahead on VP, so , +Buys, tokens, gaining Victory cards and sometimes cursing Attacks. Drawing cards, gaining non-Victory cards, other Attacks, and trashing junk would all be indirect payload.
All random games are those where all 10 kingdom cards and landscape cards are randomly selected.
VP is short for Victory Points. Alt VP cards are those that can provide alternative victory point options to the usual Provinces and Duchies, e.g Gardens.
Terminal Action effects are those that use up an Action, to potentially terminate your Action phase. Any that give +1 or more Actions, or that are on Treasure or Night cards, are described as non-terminal.
Cantrips are non-terminal cards that also draw.
Deck cycle time refers to the game time taken for a card to be drawn into hand. A card gained onto deck takes much less deck cycle time to get to hand than one gained to the discard pile.

Contents
Situation (your audience, aim, motive)
Design Brief (the project's aim)
Research (Lots of really useful stuff to know all in one place)
Specification (checklist for your project)
Design Ideas (putting card designs together)
Testing (proving your cards balanced, fun, simple)
Final Outcome (ways to publish)

Now let's follow the order of the design process and apply it to Dominion. No matter how you make your ideas, with paper notes or mental ones, casually or organised, you're going through the same process to get to your final outcome. Even if you have ideas down already, it may be beneficial to step back and look at the basics, to identify where design flaws actually are.

Important points are highlighted in bold.

13
Variants and Fan Cards / Dominion: Dynasties
« on: May 10, 2018, 12:12:24 pm »
Dominion: Dynasties

One day, I thought up the idea of a type on a kingdom card that gave other piles the type and interacted with them somehow. It looked pretty to me. What would work for flavour? Tribes seemed obvious. How would it play? Well players have to figure out what's going on before anything else. After dabbling a bit with this type, I made other cards to go with them, and then a set idea was born.

Dynasties has a playstyle theme of start-of-game analysis, focusing on that period just after the game is set up when you're thinking out your strategy. It should be great for people who like Dominion as a strategy game and play it often. It also seems to lend itself well to solitaire games.

Composition
- about 8 Kin-type piles
- 2 Kin markers
- 6 Induct markers
- at least 20 Tasks
- 10 Chiefs
- 24 non-Kin kingdom piles
- VP tokens

This makes for 392 cards. The remaining 8 can go on Tasks or more Chiefs as and when I'm getting to round the set off.


NEW MECHANICS
Below the explanation, I put up an example game.

The Kin type
Here's that pretty-looking type.

Quote
Kin Marker
When a Kin card is added to the game, put the 2 Kin Markers under different non-Kin kingdom piles after setup. This game, cards from those piles are also Kins.
Let's establish some terminology to avoid confusion: there are kingdom cards that have the Kin type on their bottom banner and a turquoise colour scheme. These are original Kins. If an original Kin is selected for the kingdom, get the Kin Markers out ready for after setup. No more than two original Kin piles should be selected; if you use randomiser cards, discard any original Kins drawn after the second and reselect. This helps to prevent analysis paralysis from too much interaction going on.

After setup - all ten kingdom cards and landscapes out, and anything extra they require done - each player selects a different pile that isn't an original Kin, starting with the player taking the first turn, for the Kin Markers to go under. If there are more than two players, shuffle a card from each chosen pile to randomly select two of them (returning those cards afterwards). Tuck the Kin Markers under each selected pile sideways, so the 'Kin' words show. Now, for the rest of the game, cards in those piles take on the Kin type; they'll all get one more thing for Courtier, and they'll all trigger Falconer.

So, the Kin type gets a new colour because it needs to give a clear visible reminder of what cards are affected by the original Kin's abilities. The original Kins will always affect themselves unless otherwise specified.


Quests
If Donald can reuse the name Menagerie, I can reuse Quest! It's the perfect word for these landscape cards. They have an Objective for players to complete, and a Reward for when they do. Players get some Completion tokens to put on Quests they complete (imagine coloured chits with ticks on), tracking similarly to Project cubes. A Quest can only be completed once. During the game, in a similar manner to using a Reaction effect, a player may interrupt game flow and declare they have completed one of the Quests, prove it to the other players if necessary, then put one of their Completion tokens on the Quest card and get the Reward straight away. A player can choose not to complete a Quest when they could do so.

The Quest cards should be kept separate from the other landscape cards you have, in two decks: one for Quests that can be completed in any game, and one for those that can't. 5 Quests (may change after playtesting) are put out per game, and they will count as one of the two landscapes recommended. They are always added to the game last.

Determining what Quests to include in a game when is quite liberal, since some Objectives require certain mechanics to be present in the kingdom (like 'trash 4 cards' requires a trasher), and players do well to pick all the Quests that are possible, shuffle them together, then draw 5 out. This is what I encourage.
For those who like following strict rules: some Quests could be shuffled into your WELPs, according to your desired odds of drawing one, and if one is drawn out randomly select others until you get 5. You might just shuffle all the Quests in, and if one of the first two is a Quest keep going through the deck of landscapes until 5 doable Quests are drawn out.
In addition to this, several of the kingdom cards in this set have extra banners on them, just like with Heirlooms, attaching a Quest to them. When one of these is selected, there will always be Quests. Shuffle all named Quest cards into the deck of possible Quests and draw 5 out (the named Quests may not appear; force them into the game if so desired).

* * *

So: the Kin type has players examine the interaction between all the Kin cards in the game, so they factor them in when deciphering their deck strategy. Quests give players recommended routes to take throughout the game, so there's planning ahead as well.

In terms of set design:
  • Original Kins give a positive and negative impact to the other Kins, so what interactions are strong and weak is not always easy to assess.
  • The other kingdom piles aim to be simple, so it's easier to see how Kins may affect them.
  • They're also diverse, so Quests can more likely be doable.
  • They also avoid randomness as much as possible, since strategy is the big focus.


Chiefs are a powerful non-Supply pile, obtained as rewards for various Tasks and other cards' mini-games.



Example game


CARD LIST





INDIVIDUAL CARDS
I give my positives (+) and negatives (-) on each design, not out of lack of confidence but for modesty. It is a set, so there are combos I'll keep quiet about so you can have the fun of finding them.

Original Kins
Quote
Banner - Victory Kin, $5 cost.
Worth 1VP per 3 Kins in your deck (round down)

It makes an alt VP strategy that will be different each game. The more collectable the other Kins are, the better it is.
+: one of the first simple ideas that clicked, it feels safe yet compelling.
-: hard to conclude balance.

Quote
Festival Grounds - Action Kin, $2 cost.
+2 Actions
+1 Buy

-
In games using this, when you gain a 3rd differently named Kin on your turn, you may gain a Chief.
Quote
Chief - Action Kin, $0* cost.
Draw until you have 6. cards in hand.
Gain an Estate to your hand for +2VP.
For every 3 cards you have in hand (round down), + $1.
(This is not in the Supply.)

If you can get three different Kins in the same turn, you win the respect of the Chief, a free payload card that plays a little differently in different decks. How hard will he be to get, what kind of deck would be made, and is it all worth it?
+: all the analysis involved here is great.
-: perhaps Chief is too strong, and the $ effect should probably go first so it's more a case of $ or draw.

Quote
Legend - Treasure Kin, $4 cost.
+1 Buy
When you play this, choose one: gain a Kin; or trash a Kin you have in hand or in play, for + $1 per $1 it costs.
-
In games using this, when you gain a Kin, each other player gets +1VP.
Every Kin you get leaves a permanent mark against your score, yet whilst you might look for Kin free strategies this can make them still options. Getting Kins no matter how expensive can be a breeze if you so desire, or you can Salvage them non-terminally. Failing all else this can self trash for a spike of $4.
+: This supports dabbling a little into the Kins, which the bottom part implies.
-: no real testing yet, could be imbalanced.

Quote
Mead Hall - Action Command Kin, $5 cost.
Trash this. If you do, set aside two Kins from the Supply that aren't Victories, Durations or Commands. Play them in either order, leaving them set aside. Return them to the Supply at Clean-up.
Fuse two Kins into one powerful one-shot card, including Treasures or Nights. Double up one of them, or form some amazing combo.
+: it has the feeling of being great fun sometimes.
-: some combos could be broken? And of course in some games this can do nothing.

Quote
Piper - Action Reaction Kin, $5 cost.
+2 Cards
You may play an Action Kin from your hand.
-
Directly after resolving an Action Kin, you may play this from your hand.
Make an engine by playing chains of Kins.
+: simple yet compelling.
-: maybe too strong in some cases. There's no real negative side to it unlike the other Kins, so it's less about analysis, so it feels kinda misfit.

Quote
Reassign - Night Kin, $4 cost.
You may trash a Kin you have in play, to gain a Kin costing up to $3 more than it.
You may move your Ally token onto a non-Victory, non-Kin Supply pile of your choice. (During your turns, cards from that pile are also Kins.)

The Ally token lets you choose a pile that counts as Kin type just for you, which sometimes will be very desirable with a second Kin card. Reassign itself lets you quite freely exchange kins around, so you can make good upgrade paths; but note that the trash happens before the token can be moved, so there's a limit to the flexibility.
+: this hopefully opens up a new compelling area of remodeling, and the Ally token a new strategic concept.
-: The upgrade could be too strong even if narrow. Nights are in the set almost entirely because of this; is there a better effect than the upgrade that could be used?

Quote
Rivals - Action Attack Kin, $3* cost.
+2 Cards
Each other player may reveal a Kin other than Rivals from their hand. Those who don't take Taunted, or if they already have it turn it over to Twice Taunted.
-
In games using this, Kins cost $1 more.
Quote
Taunted - State
When you next play an Action that has +Card, +Action, +Buy or +$ amounts in its instructions, choose one to reduce by 1, resolve it, then return this.
Twice Taunted - the same, but instead of returning it flip it over to Taunted.
Their presence makes the Tribe more expensive so generally worse (this basically costs $4, a sensible price unlike the others), and the worse they are the better this is. Its Attack will more likely land, weakening the next Action vanilla they get; two stacks, using a two-sided State for each player. Taunted reduces a number in the next Action's instructions, so Hireling would be made useless, and because you choose a number then resolve, Pawn is a counter to it.
+: it achieves the intended purpose of making Kins that are bad in a kingdom relevant.
-: How easy is it to remember the Kins cost $1 more? Is Taunted foolproof?

Quote
Travelling Merchant - Action Kin, $4 cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action
+ $1

This turn, cards cost $1 more if you have a Kin other than Travelling Merchant in play.
-
When you gain this, if you have any Kins in play, trash it.
You have a choice: either use these Peddlers, or use the other Kins. These only cost $4, but you can't gain them at all if you have one in play.
+: A simple but interesting matter to analyse in the game.
-: the bottom part could make this pretty bad, yet if it wasn't there it would probably be too good.

Other cards:
These aim to be simple and flexible to be most effective with Kins and Tasks, whilst forming combos using discarding, careful play order and the Buy phase as common themes.

Quote
Armoursmith - Action, $4 cost.
+4 Cards
If your deck and discard pile empty while this is in play, trash this.
-
You can't buy this unless you have a more expensive card than it in play.
Simple draw that can't be put in a full deck-draw engine so easily. It's rather strong early game, so you need to get more expensive cards or gainers first.
+: two pleasant twists to think around.
-: could easily be too strong with gainers.

Quote
Bridleway - Action, $6 cost.
+1 Buy
This turn, cards cost $2 less unless you've gained a copy of them during the turn.
Everything gets Princess-ed until they're gained; even if you gain something then play a Bridleway the cost isn't reduced. Effective if you get different things on your turn.
+: simple, powerful yet kept in check.
-: feels about right, I don't think there's anything bad with this?

Quote
Brute - Action Attack, $5 cost.
+ $3
Each other player who hasn't been affected by an Attack since their last turn reveals their hand and discards two cards that are the same.
This can be a nasty attack. Most of the time cards you have pairs of in hand will be useful, unless they're pure Victories in which case that hurts in itself. So, this can only work on those who haven't been attacked during the round of turns.
+: Definitely interacts with the set.
-: could be annoying in 3+ players when the player before you plays a different Attack first. Rules for 'being affected' by an Attack could be confusing; I'd have thought Pillage doesn't affect those who have 4 or fewer cards in hand since they're not its target. But with Rivals above everyone is a target, so they are affected whether they have a Kin in hand or not.

Quote
Caver - Action, $2 cost.
+2 Cards
If your deck is empty, + $2.
It can be a powerful +2 Cards + $2 when played at the right time, or it can be draw that changes its role once the deck is drawn.
+: Very simple, should be fun to try using well.
-: could be too strong for $2. Drawing it turn 4 when the other opening buy wasn't a drawer, so you draw the 2 cards that usually get left for turn 5, could make unpleasant random advantages.

Quote
Cooper - Action, $5 cost.
+1 Action
+ $1

Gain 2 Coppers to your hand. Then discard any number of cards and draw that many.
A fusion of Beggar and Cellar, making a flexible card that's initially powerful but slows down a little with the Coppers reducing how often you draw it.
+: Simple, diverse, has plenty of combos in the set, it fits right in but looks interesting out of it too.
-: some combos could be mundane (Engraver), and this has similarities to Goose.

Quote
Engraver - Action, $5 cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action

You may trash a Treasure from your hand. If you do: +1VP, or if you've trashed more than 1 Treasure this turn, +2VP.
A multipurpose card. A very desirable Copper trasher for an engine, or a dedicated VP strategy that burns through Coppers and the odd Silver.
+: it's simply nice.
-: games where players first empty out the Coppers and silvers before building to Provinces or 3-piling may not be pleasant.

Quote
Forester - Action, $4 cost.
+1 Buy
+ $2

Once this turn, when you gain a Treasure, you may play it.
A woodcutter that can easily inject money into the deck so that its +buy becomes useful throughout the game.
+: Really simple.
-: really boring maybe?

Quote
Goose - Action, $5 cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action

Choose one: +1 Card, discard a card; or + $1; or gain a Goose if you haven't yet this turn.
Fugitive or Peddler that can gain copies of itself slowly.
+: simple and effective.
-: it might be a little too much for a $5.

Quote
Highland Village - Action, $3 cost.
+1 Card
+2 Actions

Look through your remaining deck. Discard a card from it, then shuffle it.
How to make a plain Village interesting...? Here's one that works with the discarding theme, letting you get a key target in the discard pile or move some junk out of the way. 'Remaining deck' is what's currently in it after the +1 Card; if there are no cards in it, you don't shuffle the discard pile into a new deck.
+: simple, quite strong, fits the set but has plenty of use outside of it.
-: not for players who shuffle slowly!

Quote
Instruct - Action, $4 cost.
Do these in any order:
gain a Silver;
put a card from your discard pile into your hand;
trash a card from your hand and gain a card costing up to $1 more than it.
A fancy remodel that can do different things, from Workshop trash a Silver from the Supply, to remodel to hand with a Silver to bloat your deck, to getting generic good stuff.
+: Diverse remodel involving the discard pile.
-: maybe boring or too niche overall? Though some cards in a set need to be niche.

Quote
Neighbouring Village - Action, $3 cost.
+2 Actions
When you next play an Action from your hand this turn, add 1 more to each +Card, +Buy, +$ and +VP amount it gives you as you resolve it.
Village that likes careful thought as to play order, boosting the next Action you play from hand. Vault would be +3 Cards, discard any number of cards for +$1 each, then +$1 if you discarded any; you got a +$ amount then added 1 on to it, you did not add 1 to the instructions. 'Resolving' means the same as on Royal Carriage; Hireling doesn't give you anything as you resolve it so no bonus given, similarly to the VP from Goons and Groundskeeper.
+: it takes skill to use, careful lining up sitting well on a Village. It's unique especially with the VP niche.
-: the wording might be off, and the new mechanics confusing.

Quote
Potter - Action, $4 cost.
Gain a card costing up to $4. You may reveal an Action from your hand with the same cost as it, for +2VP.
A Workshop that can get you ahead on points if you play things right.
+: VP that involves some strategy and starting analysis.
-: Silvers may be points gained too easily with a $3 Action. 

Quote
Scrounger - Night Attack, $5 cost.
Gain a Gold. Put up to 3 cards from your discard pile onto your deck in any order, then shuffle the rest and put them at the bottom.
Non-terminal Gold gainer, but those Golds will come slowly as this and everything else in play miss shuffles. You get some control over how the discard pile disappears into the deck, which can make both simple and complex play.
+: it could make unique deck strategies.
-: too strong despite missing shuffles?

Quote
Thane - Action, $5 cost.
Discard a card. You may play an Action from your discard pile twice.
Throne from the discard pile. Your handsize reduces in exchange for having a potentially large range of cards to search from, or if you discard your target from hand then it's of course Throne Room.
+: two effects that go together brilliantly.
-: some may not like the large search range to find a target, so that it's less skillful than other Thrones.

Quote
Weaponsmith - Action Attack, $5 cost.
+3 Cards
You may discard two cards. If they cost a total of $5 or more, each other player gains a Curse.
Discard something useful, more than 2 Estates, to launch an Attack.
+: It's a curser that works better later on.
-: some may not like the choice to discard in games where there's no self-benefit.



Tasks
Quote
Appease - Task
Objective: have 2 Duchies in your hand, revealed.
Reward: +4VP
Bring 2 Duchies together in peace. This may affect when you would normally get Duchies, as effectively bringing them up to 5VP each can be worth it.
+: A good way to make Duchies more relevant more often, and help deviate gameplay away from typical Province rush.
-: hard to find specific bad points with this one...

Quote
Build - Task
Objective: gain 4 cards on your turn.
Reward: +3VP; at the start of each of your turns, +1 Card.
Project effects can work as rewards, the Accomplish token serving the same purpose as the Project cube. Can you gain a big load of cards at once this game?
+: There are several different possible ways to complete this, to be a different experience each game.
-: it depends entirely on +buys or gainers being in the kingdom.

Quote
Demolish - Task
Objective: trash 4 cards on your turn.
Reward: +4VP, gain a Gold.
Can you trash a big load of cards at once this game?
+: There are several different possible ways to complete this, to be a different experience each game.
-: it depends entirely on a trasher being in the kingdom.

Quote
Explore - Task
Objective: have 8 differently named cards in play.
Reward: +5VP
The Horn of Plenty experience without the kingdom Treasure being there. How will the kingdom let you do it?
+: Some games will call for a variety strategy, a nice thing to let randomness decide.
-: sometimes impossible. Maybe not that fun. Investigate below might be enough of variety.

Quote
Gather - Task
Objective: produce $15 or more.
Reward: +1 Buy, +3VP
How easily can you get a big spike of money this game?
+: Always possible yet can take very different paths to get to.
-: if a double Province route is possible you'll probably go down it anyway.

Quote
Impress - Task
Objective: complete 2 other Tasks on the same turn.
Reward: +5VP, gain a Chief.
Extra points if you can complete the 2 other Tasks drawn together. You may want to wait declaring accomplishment for one so you can do this.
+: A simple extra twist to add.
-: how often will it be doable?

Quote
Investigate - Task
Objective: have a hand of 5 or more cards with no copies in it, revealed.
Reward: +3VP
Get a big enough hand of all different cards.
+: Always possible.
-: can be quite hard to remember.



Conclusions
Nothing stops you from playing with 3 or more of the original Kin cards, just too many can lead to analysis paralysis and too much going on. Having 2 opens up a fun interaction between them, just enough, or one can be influential on its own. I've tried to cover a wide variety of different relationships with them; one thing that's somewhat missing is one that completely supports other Kins. I'm working on it. At the least I hope I've got across the feel for compelling diversity and replayability I get with the Kin mechanic. But I have struggled with sound execution of it; maybe some of the ideas here still use it poorly. You be judge.
The Tasks are very much a work in progress. They're not very well designed for all random games (not necessarily a bad thing) and the rewards are likely not balanced. 3 seems like a sensible number to comprehend each game, but nothing says you can't do more or less.
If you have any ideas, feel free to post them; I don't pretend to know everything about the dos and don'ts of these mechanics.

14
Variants and Fan Cards / Dominion: Revolution
« on: March 10, 2017, 03:30:48 pm »
The Industrial Revolution followed and built on the Renaissance. So does this fan set, borrowing Renaissance's mechanics with the aim of making cards calling for good skill. You can put it with any of the official sets, though you'll probably want Renaissance for its components.

Set Play Themes: resource control, mega turns

Mechanics: new ones in -1 Action, card costs, and landscapes you buy once that do something only right away. Also Durations, Coffers, Villagers, Artifacts, overpaying.
Unlike Renaissance, simplicity hasn't been a focus. New mechanics explained after the list of cards below.

(Card images have been removed from this post, a) because I want to improve how they look, and more importantly b) using internet images as I had could have infringed legal usage rights)



Landscape cards:
 




The New Mechanics

-1 Action: Exhausted

Quote
Exhausted - State
When you next have unused Actions (Actions, not Action cards) during your Action Phase, immediately return this and -1 Action.
Villagers make getting +1 Action much easier. So here's the opposite, -1 Action; just like the -$1 token but for Actions. After you take Exhausted, whenever you next have 1 or more Actions left during your Action phase, you immediately lose one and return this, whether you're in the middle of resolving an Action or not. If you end your Action phase still having Exhausted, it will stay over to next turn, and be returned right at the start to take away your starting Action. You could spend a Villager at any time during your Action phase to return this at any time; this can be quite important to pay off Exhausted at turn start to enable the Action phase. And you're only allowed one Exhausted at a time, for simplicity and balance reasons.

Card costs
(Shorthanded to [ ])
Instead of or as well as a coin symbol, some of these cards have a card back where the cost is. It means that instead of or as well as $, your cards are involved in the cost. They could in theory be from anywhere so long as you own them, but in this set each cost comes from hand since it's more of an actual expense. Below the line, there will be a description of the cost.
You might think of Animal Fair having the option of an Action in hand as a cost. It's an option, card costs are not.
For abilities that care about costs: this is another different kind of cost to join Potion and Debt. You can't remodel a $ cost card into a [ ] or $[ ] cost or vice versa, or [ ] into Debt or Potion costs. Each differently described card cost is also incomparable, no matter how much $, Debt or Potion is with them and even though some might be distinctly easier to pay than others. So you can't remodel a [ ] into a differently described [ ], but you could remodel [ ] into $1[ ] or $2[ ] if the described cost on each card is identical.

Prospects
Just like Projects, they're effects you buy once and then put a cube on. But unlike Projects, they are one-offs that happen straight away rather than effects that last for the rest of the game. So the cubes are used to track that you have bought the Prospect and can't get it again.
In other words, they're all like Seize the Day, but the rules require the cube to track buying them.


THE CARDS INDIVIDUALLY
An explanation of each card, then my thoughts on its design positives (+) and negatives (-). I have confidence in every card here; I only mention the negatives to keep modest and realistic, and maybe they raise helpful points. There are plenty of interactions between these cards (it's a set), which I keep quiet about so you can have the fun of finding them out. Some reflect Renaissance, others don't.


Quote
Advancing Village - Action Duration, $3 cost.
+2 Villagers
At the start of your next turn, +1 Card.
This first card has gone through many variations. I wasn't going to make a set called Revolution and not have an Advancing Village, it's what villages do during an industrial revolution. Here's some simplicity that you're not going to see further down; get some Villagers, keep some for next turn when you get a bigger hand.
+: it's a Village that advances to next turn, more flexibly than Village Green.
-: it might be favoured as a Caravan variant too often.


Quote
Campsite - Action, [ ] cost.
+1 Card
+2 Actions

-
[ ]: To buy this, reveal and discard 2 Victories.
Well here we have it, both Villages come first alphabetically. This one sets itself apart by being a card cost; have 2 Victories in hand, which you need to discard, to afford it. Campers need green space.
+: When you get a dud hand filled with green, you don't mind picking up an extra Village. It's useful, but doesn't improve deck power by itself so it's not easy mode.
-: it may be too easy to get.


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Chemist - Action, $4 cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action

Choose one: discard a card for +1 Villager; or spend a Villager for +1 Card and +1 Action.
Chemical industries improved significantly. This has two modes, shrink hand to collect Villagers or enlarge hand by spending Villagers. This Villager spending gives the Lost City effect, and is separate from spending Villagers normally.
+: it's simple resource management and mega turn draw potential.
-: could there be a better way to use Villagers to draw?


Quote
Colliery - Action, $6[ ] cost.
+1 Buy
Take Exhausted. If you do, + $1 per Action you have in play.
-
[ ]: To buy this, trash 2 copies of a card costing $3 or more from your hand.
Coal mines fuelled the factories, with an infamous amount of manpower. Here's the first card using Exhausted; it's effectively a double Action, one card that uses two Actions on play. If you play it and already have Exhausted (that'd be by Thrones or by playing it at the Buy phase), you just get a Buy. Played 'properly' it can give impressive payload, but can be hard to play well in multiples.
There's a dual cost too. You need both $6 and two cards costing $3+ to Treasure Map to afford this.
+: powerful payload strategy that can possibly exist and be balanced with a big card cost and Exhausted.
-: the cost may be a bit extreme as is.


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Dismiss - Action, $5 cost.
+1 Card
+1 Action

You may discard a card, to reveal cards from your deck until you reveal a card that shares a type with it but has a different name. Put it into your hand and discard the rest.
Change a card in your hand for one in your deck that you need more right now, be it an Action you need to play earlier in the turn, or a better Treasure, or an actually useful Victory, etc.
+: a card that will help any deck and is failsafe to pick up, but better skill enhances how useful it is.
-: it's wordy.


Quote
Entrepreneur - Action Reaction, $2 cost.
+1 Action
+ $1

If the Entrepreneur Supply pile is empty, +1 Card.
-
When another player trashes a card, you may return this to the Supply, to gain a card costing up to $5.
He starts out as a Copper in Action form. But you invest with him; if either the pile empties or you catch someone else trashing with him in your hand, he can become a much better card. There's a catch to be aware of. When someone reacts with him, the pile is filled up more. Players are kept on their toes as the entrepreneurs seek out their next venture.
+: this weakens trashing whilst adding player interaction, two great things.
-: there's the potential for frustration with some players. And in this set, card costs lessen the likelihood of trashing and the usefulness of gaining a $ cost.


Quote
Farm - Action Duration Victory, $5 cost.
+1 Action
Set aside any number of Victory cards from your hand face up. At the start of your next turn, put them into your hand.
-
2 VP
Make your expanding green space fit your engine, tucking it all out the way. You'll need several of these to keep it up.
+: it's a nice thing to collect, a Victory card that can fit into the modern engine meta.
-: you can already do what this does with plenty of official cards, just not increasing your score at the same time. No testing yet, the cost or terminality may be issues.


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Furnace - Action, $4 cost.
When you gain this or play it: trash a card from your hand. If it costs $4 or more, +2 Coffers. If it isn't a Treasure, you may trash another card from your hand.
A trasher that works on buy for immediate use. Good cards can become Coffers, and non-Copper junk fuel to burn more junk. When a Furnace trashes itself, you get both Coffers and more trashing.
+: some interesting decision making involved.
-: possibly too strong or doing too much.


Quote
Glassworks - Action, $2 cost.
+ $2
You may take Exhausted. If you do, +1 Coffers.
-
When you gain this, you may spend any amount of your $. +1 Villager per $1 you spent.
Glassworks range widely in size, from small domestic businesses to industrial scale. Bigger establishments come with more workforce. Overpay for Villagers on a cheap card, quite simple, only you can Workshop-gain it during your turn and it'll work too. The on-play effect can let you turn an extra Action into a Coffers. So it can in effect let you convert your Villagers info Coffers and vice versa.
+: Simple and effective, hopefully.
-: + $2 +Coffers could be too much for a $2 to give, especially if opened with.


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Jailer - Action Attack Duration, $5 cost.
Each other player with exactly 5 cards in hand reveals their hand and sets aside a card that you choose. After they draw their next hand, they put it into their hand.
At the start of your next turn, +3 Cards.
Put one of their cards behind bars for a turn, but next turn it will be released into their hand of 5. Decimate their combos, do general damage, but do so carefully so as not to make their next turn too good. Keep in mind you can't lock someone up from a hand of 6 so easily.
+: an Attack needing some skill that fits right in the mega turn theme.
-: maybe too strong initially, the same as Pillage.


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Local Art - Treasure, $5 cost.
When you play this, put a card from your hand onto your deck for + $2.
-
When you gain this, +4 Cards, +1 Buy, then play any number of Treasures from your hand.
An expression of the local area, drawing the people of your kingdom near. You can gain this to draw 4 cards; then you can play Treasures, which makes buying it not so bad, and overall gives it a lot of different uses depending on when you gain it and what kind of deck you have. The on-play is a weak Silver to balance this, though it's sometimes useful.
(There was a Foreign Art in the set that's now back in the works, explaining the name).
+: a lot of uses makes for a lot of different strategies available with this.
-: it's very radical and could easily be imbalanced.


Quote
Playwright - Action, $3 cost.
+1 Action
Look at the top 2 cards of your deck. You may trash one of them. Put the rest back in any order.
This turn, when you play an Action of which there's a copy in the trash, take the Pen.
Quote
Pen - Artifact
At Clean-up, you may set aside an Action when you discard it from play. If you do, at the start of your next turn, play it.
It just seemed cute to have writers squabble over a pen like treasurers a key, as well as extending the Renaissance theme directly. Play the Playwright and then a copy of an Action in the trash, and you get a better Prince. So players decide what Actions take the Pen, choosing carefully or adapting to what opponents trash so as to write the story of stronger turns more often than everyone else.
+: this seems like a nice way to get an Artifact.
-: perhaps too game defining, or not simple enough.


Quote
Revolters - Action Attack, $4 cost.
+ $2
Each other player may take Exhausted or lose a Villager. Those who do neither gain a Curse.
-
When you gain this, each player (including you) gets +1 Villager.
They've been worked too hard in awful conditions, and they want your opponents' workers to agree with them. An Attack that tries to take an Action away from the opponents. Forcibly doing this would be imbalanced, so they can instead have a crow for their troubles.
+: it adds a new decision for players to think about.
-: it's a shame that this is basically a curser, that trashing and the Curses emptying make the -1 Action part trivial.


Quote
Spinning Jenny - Action Treasure, $5 cost.
+3 Cards
+1 Buy

If it's your Buy phase, then for the rest of the turn, cards with no [ ] cost in the Supply have one that reads, "to buy this, discard 2 cards".
An invention that improved spinning threads to weave into fabrics, and this spins cards through your deck quickly. It can be terminal Action +3 Cards +1 Buy, which already exists and is useful, or it can be a Treasure for non-terminal Buy phase draw. If you do the latter, you'll have to discard cards to buy stuff so you can't use it all.
+: It gets you thinking resourcefully about your cards, and it's an Action Treasure which is also nice in the set.
-: Discarding 2 cards might be too harsh, but at 1 it's a bit too good in big money decks.


Quote
Steam Engine - Action, [ ] cost.
+1 Action
Do this up to 3 times: take Exhausted. If you do, you may play an Action from your hand twice.
-
[ ]: To buy this, trash a Gold from your hand.
The first steam engines could be attached to several different machines. That's what you can do here, Throne up to 3 of your Action cards for an extra Action each time. It's just like going Throne Room - play, Throne Room - play, Throne Room - play, only you need the one Throne card not 3. This powerful effect is expensive though, and you get it in two stages: first get a Gold, then cash it in for a shiny new steam engine.
+: it's an elegant and thematic effect.
-: could easily be too strong, or swingy; you really don't want to draw this dead!


Quote
Textile Mill - Action, $5 cost.
+3 Cards
You may take Exhausted. If you do, +2 Cards.
A big place needing lots of people, quickly spinning cards through the deck. Yes, I decided to make both textile industry things draw. This gives you a choice on how much you draw. If you want more, you'll use an extra Action for it. There are times you want less.
+: one of the simplest things to do with Exhausted, and it's effective. It could take on an Artifact too, as an alternative Exhausted option.
-: could either be weak overall or too good with big money.


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Timepiece - Action Duration, $4 cost.
+1 Action
Now and at the start of your next turn, look at the top 4 cards of your deck, discard any number and put the rest back in any order.
One plans ahead much better when they know the time. Sort out the top of your deck to be vaguely what you need, and move things you don't want there on. What you need now can be different starting next turn.
+: this has many different uses, yet isn't useful all the time.
-: two sort effects on one card may be too much for some people.


Quote
Trade Circle - Action reaction, $4 cost.
Choose one: gain a Silver; or trash a Silver from your hand for + $4.
-
When a card moves to your deck or discard pile from anywhere except the Supply not during Clean-up, you may discard this to draw the card and get +1 Coffers.
You can get Silvers and/or trade them away for more money. This can be quite niche, so the Reaction adds more function. With the various ways to move your cards around during your turn, you can easily swap this for one such moved card get a Coffers bonus.
+: a new and hopefully interesting Reaction space.
-: possibly the reaction window is too open.


Quote
Wastelands - Victory, [ ] cost.
4VP
-
[ ]: To buy this, trash 3 Actions and/or Treasures from your hand.
When this pile empties, it counts as 2 toward game end.
The more wasteland you own, the implication is the more productive your factories are. It rewards having few useful cards in your deck at game end, and has an on-gain that helps achieve this.
+: it makes a new way to win the game that takes strategy and skill. Opening it is bad most of the time, but can be done sometimes.
-: the VP could scale with the number of non-Victories in the deck (which it used to), so it's more defined as alt VP.



Prospects
Just like Projects, they're effects you buy once and then put a cube on. But unlike Projects, they are one-off boosts that happen right now rather than ones that last for the rest of the game. So the cubes are there to track that you have used the Prospect and can't use it again.


Quote
Commission - Prospect, $2 cost.
+1 Buy
Return to your Action phase. Replay the last Action you played this turn that's still in play twice. (Put your cube on it, then on this when it leaves play.)
A single KC when you need it most.
+: it's simple, yet using it isn't always easy.
-: wordy.


Quote
Conscription - Prospect, $1 cost.
+1 Buy
Choose one: discard your hand, +1 Villager per card discarded; or +$1 per Villager you have.
Resource conversion to time optimally. Change your Villagers into economy once, so hoarding them can be a strategy. Or if there are no Villagers cards, you can change your hand into Villagers.
+: more new strategies is good.
-: some people may want to try using this twice?


Quote
Consumerism - Prospect, $0+ cost.
+5 Buys
You may overpay for this by $2 so non-Victory cards cost $2 less for the turn, or by $4 for all cards.
A big load of free buys with an optional Princess effect to pay for. Use for essential early purchases or build to a massive $ mega turn.
+: lets big spikes of $ by design or by accident always work out.
-: it will take a lot for the Victory cost reduction to be meaningful. $3 overpay may be more realistic.


Quote
Demonstration - Prospect, $0 cost.
+1 Buy
Each player (including you) discards their hand and draws the same number of cards. Return to your Action phase.
There are times a change of hand would be just right for you, and there are times when you know the opponents have a good turn. Choose how and when to use this best.
+: a one-time attack suits competitive players whilst not degenerating the game too heavily.
-: there are times when everyone has a good or bad hand, and this isn't advantageous then. Choosing who discards would help avoid this but also be too political.


Quote
Dividends - Prospect, $0 cost.
+1 Buy
If you have the same number of Actions and Treasures in play, +1 Coffers and +1 Villager per 1 of each type.
Count the number of times each type appears across the cards in play (Crown will be one for both), then if they're the same you get a Coffers and Villager for every Action (consequently every Treasure too) you have in play. Free tokens you might work to getting or take whenever it's convenient.
+: There are lots of ways this set and Renaissance can get the same number of each type in play, making hopefully compelling replayability.
-: could alternatively feel mundane, if one never works for lots of them.


Quote
Imports - Prospect, $4 cost.
Gain a card from the trash.
-
Setup: add an extra kingdom pile to the trash.
You can either gain a single copy of a unique card for $4, or if there's other trashing (really, tfb) you can regain a trashed Province for $4.
+: unrestricted gain from the trash is safe on a Prospect, and the added pile can be interesting.
-: it might be mundane too often.


Quote
Manufacture - Prospect, $2 cost.
+1 Buy
Choose one to gain: a card costing up to $4; a copy of a card you have in play; or a Duchy.
A cheap acquisition, because you make it yourself. It has a distinct early game option in gaining a $4 for $2, a late game boost in VP, and a middle game boost in gaining a copy of a good card you have in play.
+: it's an elegant way to get 3 different uses on the same card.
-: the late option in a Duchy might be comparatively weak.


Quote
Migration - Prospect, $1 cost.
+1 Buy
Trash an Action from your hand to put your deck and discard pile into your hand. Return to your Action phase.
Put your whole deck into hand at once, at the cost of an Action card. Time it when you have the right Action to lose and there's enough stuff in the deck.
+: A new means of card movement opens up new strategies.
-: maybe too cheap or swingy, if the Action to trash comes too late.


Quote
Prediction - Prospect, $2 cost.
+1 Buy
Put any number of cards you have in play that would be discarded this turn onto your deck.
Replay stuff next turn. When do you really need to do this?
+: an effective one-off.
-: it should work? Maybe it's a bit uninteresting.


Quote
Progress - Prospect, $2 cost.
+1 Buy
Take half the tokens on this (round up) as Coffers, the rest as Villagers.
-
When a card costing $4 or more is gained, add a token to this.
A passive accumulation of tokens that players have to time taking. When do you need them, can you take them away from opponents when they really need them, can you try waiting for more?
+: lots of strategy to consider.
-: can be hard to remember adding a token each time.


Quote
Stocks - Prospect, $1+ cost.
You may overpay for this. +1 Coffers per $1 overpaid.
Save some of your money from a turn for later.
+: overpay for Coffers can be achieved on a one-off.
-: timing may be trivial, that you always do it on a $3/4 or 4/3 start to get $5s.


Quote
Takeover - Prospect, [ ] cost.
Gain a Victory card.
-
[ ]: To buy this, reveal and discard 2 Actions.
One of your Provinces/Colonies this game is quite cheap. When will you get it?
+: simple.
-: possibly just a boring speedup to the game? Or it rewards bad play?


Conclusions
And that's the end. I hope you've enjoyed looking through these as much as I enjoyed making them. Maybe you've seen a mistake or flaw somewhere, in which case don't be afraid to tell. No design can be called perfect or final without criticism, and part of the thrill of the design process is identifying and making gradual improvements.

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