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Action - Duration

Trash a card from your hand. Look at one card from the top of your deck per $1 the trashed card cost. You may set aside a revealed Action card under this. If you did at the start of your next turn play it twice. Discard the other cards or put them back in any order.

- Has synergy with a whole host of things, can help Treasure Maps find each other, help set up draw for Torturer, etc.
- I found this quite a difficult challenge. When refining ideas often one letter will change. It does make you think so it is a good theme.
- Unsure if this should cost 5 or if it can get away with being a 4. I am erring towards the latter.

In the second sentence, you probably mean to “reveal” instead of “look at,” because you mention revealed cards in the third sentence.

I think that card technically starts with an A for Action

It probably doesn’t need the +2 Actions, since it has a way of providing Villagers.

It either needs the Duration type, or it needs to say “the next time… this turn”

It should also probably have a way to trash cards, in case there is none in the kingdom.  Fortunately trash starts with “T”


Mother series.

“The next time another player plays …”


Tithe Collector
$4 - Action - Attack

Each player with 5 or more cards in hand trashes a Treasure from it (or reveals they can’t).  If anyone trashed a Copper this turn, +$3.

Early on, it’s Cutpurse that trashes instead of discarding.  Like Thief and Pirate Ship, it helps opponents get rid of their junk, but maybe you need to quickly afford something expensive.  Later when you have an engine going, you can get in on the trashing.  In multiples it can be a cheap terminal Gold, which is sometimes useful, but be sure to keep a Copper around to trash.


$5 - Action - Attack

+3 Cards
+1 Buy
Each player with 5 or more cards in hand Exiles a card from their hand. You may put a card you have in Exile into your hand.

Locksmith is a Smithy variant pseudo-trashing and handsize Attack that affects everyone.  Like Thief and Pirate Ship, the “attack” actually helps opponents early on, so it’s better to compare Locksmith to Council Room or a mandatory Bishop.  Early on, you will leave your junk in Exile.  As your deck is thinned,  good cards will end up in Exile, and then you start to use the last part to get them back.  In the endgame you could even Exile green and unlock those stashed Coppers for one final use.


Honestly, I'm surprised this hasn't been done before, considering Plaza is a thing.

Maybe the wording can be modeled after Way of the Chameleon:

You may play a Treasure from your hand; each time it would give you +$ this turn, you get +Actions instead.

The “this turn” is important so that there are no tracking issues for Treasure -Durations like Astrolabe.


$4 - Treasure - Victory

Reveal your hand for +$1 per differently named Victory card you have there or in play.
Worth 1VP per 2 differently named Treasures you have (round down).

For Contest #178: Another Person’s Treasure, my submission was the only Treasure - Victory card, and man, I don’t have it in me to make another one so soon, so I’m submitting an updated version.  The feedback on that post was to count all Victory cards and not just differently named ones.  That was actually an earlier version I tried.  It wasn’t much different early on or in big money strategies, but in deck-drawing engines, it would scale to crazy levels.  At least the crazy didn't last long, as long as there was +Buy in the kingdom.

One thing I tried to do but didn’t get at first was to make all Atlases be worth the same amount in a given turn, excluding weird edge cases.  Including Victory cards in play does that.  It also allows for synergies with Action - Victory cards that don’t remove themself from play.

This will be better than Harem most of the time, although the times that it is not means that Atlas is not strictly better overall, kind of like how Tiara compares to Royal Seal.  In particular, Atlas requires having many Treasures and Victory cards, which tend to be stop cards.  Planning to navigate that difficulty is how you get the most out of your Atlas.

Edit: typos


Just curious.  Is there a reason you’re using a new Jargon mat instead of Exile?

It seems weak compared to something like Forager.  Maybe it could cost 3 and/or “gain a Loot to your hand,” or something else.


$5 - Night - Duration

At the start of your next turn, trash this and 3 Loots from their pile, then gain a Loot from the trash and play it.

Guildry Symbol
$7* - Treasure - Loot
+1 Buy
This turn, when you gain a card, you may pay $1 for +1 Buy.

Procurement lets you hunt for specific Loots more easily.  At first I tried to come up with wording where you would reveal 3 Loots, pick one, and then put the others on the bottom of the pile (kind of like Black Market), but it was easier and more fun to use the trash.  It also lets you play a Loot at the beginning of your turn, which leads to some interesting interactions.  Notably Endless Chalice is a little better (you get the $1 and Buy both now and later this turn), and Prize Goat is a little worse (you might have fewer options for trashing).  Once Spell Scroll has been found, it is always an option.  Playing a Treasure at the start of your turn also has a very nice synergy with Landing Party.

Loots are often significant in kingdoms with no other +Buy, so it’s sad when you’re hunting for that and can’t get it.  Yet none of the existing Loots give you lots of Buys, so I figured I would do that. Guildry Symbol is the other half of Travelling Fair that Insignia didn’t take.  Originally I had it provide $4 and no initial +1 Buy, but I changed it to bring it more in line with the other Loots and focus its identity.  In the end, it’s a lot like Amphora and Orb.  Sometimes they can do something special, but often they are just +1 Buy and +$3, and I’m OK with that.


$7 - Victory - Reaction

4 VP
When another player gains a card, you may discard this from your hand, to gain a card costing less than that card.

Frontier is Tunnel’s big brother.  Your opponent’s Province gain could let you expand your Frontier.  But beware; if they have Frontiers of their own, they can react to that gain, scoring Duchies.  And that’s just the possibilities involving Victory cards.  It uses wording modeled primarily after Duplicate.

A vanilla Reaction! Can be a Copper or a Loot! Can protect you against junkers! Lets you buy a Grand Market using Coppers! Is this a good idea? Who knows! (though Hovel does already come close)

Update: use exchange mechanics [original]

Very minor suggestion, but instead of using the new word "precisely," you could use the word "exactly," which is used in official cards like Remake and Upgrade.


This is really neat!

Very minor formatting change: “choose one” cards, even those with only 2 choices like Specialist, use a semicolon to separate the choices.


$4 - Treasure - Victory

Reveal your hand.
+$1 per differently named Victory card revealed.
Worth 1VP per 2 differently named Treasures you have (round down).

Atlas is a Treasure - Victory card where the coin depends on Victory cards and the VP depends on Treasures.  The initial comparison is to Harem.  It’s fairly easy to get this to be worth 2VP, and in many games that will be the max.  While it’s possible for this to make $2 or more, most of the time it will be worth $1 or even nothing; and in that sense it’s comparable to gaining a Humble Castle.  But in kingdoms with many different Treasures (such as those involving Loot), or those with many different Victory cards (such as the Castles), this really has the opportunity to shine.


edit #1: excluded durations
edit #2: added +2 buys

At first I interpreted “If you did trash two cards” as “If you did, trash two cards,” and I was wondering where you trash the two cards from.  That can be avoided by using Treasure Map’s updated wording “If you trashed two cards.”

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #177: Groundhog Day
« on: February 07, 2023, 12:35:59 pm »
I don’t see why this needs a non-Duration restriction. The card does not seem like a powerhouse so it might also be OK at $3. Crypt might be a rough benchmark: does not provide extra virtual Actions like this does but it keeps the stuff you don’t want out of your deck for some time.

Overall it looks like a cool splitter.

Royal Galley is probably the most similar official card.  Like Royal Galley, Vortex needs the non-Duration clause to prevent Durations from being removed from play before their time.  Royal Gallery has the extra +1 Card, but I think that is countered balanced by Vortex being gained to hand.  $4 is probably fine.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #177: Groundhog Day
« on: February 05, 2023, 12:58:24 am »
How about avoiding the negative?

"At the start of Clean-up, you may reveal a Curse from your hand. If you do, at the start of your next turn, +1 Action and put this into your hand. Otherwise, each other player gains a Curse."

That is something I considered.  Every official Duration card positions any effects that happen only on the turn your play the card before the effects that happen later.  So while the negative isn't ideal, I think it's the lesser of two evils when compared to having Duration effects before normal effects.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #177: Groundhog Day
« on: February 03, 2023, 09:17:55 pm »

$5 - Action - Duration - Attack

+1 Card

At the start of Clean-up, you may reveal a Curse from your hand. If you do not, each other player gains a Curse. Otherwise, at the start of your next turn, +1 Action and put this into your hand.

Initiate tells the story of a new magic user.  She starts out as rather ineffective Witch, but after feeling the sting of another Witch’s Curse, she can change her ways (much like Phil Conners) and turn to the side of good, in this case becoming a Lab of sorts.

It’s all thanks to the conditional Duration effect modeled after Conjurer, but this time coming with a free Action.  The overall effect of continuously playing Initiate is comparable to that of Hireling, but much like Alchemist and Potion, you need to draw a Curse each turn to keep things going.  Otherwise, you could end up with a bunch of Ruined Libraries in your deck. In that sense, it is mechanically similar to Taskmaster, with some differences.  For example, Initiate is a better target for Adventures' vanilla bonus tokens.

I took inspiration from Donald X.’s Cultist retrospective and made it so that each play of Initiate can either junk or set up the Duration effect, but not both. Players can choose to not reveal a Curse when they have it.  The Duration effect has the added advantage of allowing you to play more powerful terminal draw first in hopes of getting villages before playing the Initiate again.  You can even use the extra terminal space on terminal payload instead of playing Initiate, but doing so sacrifices the Duration effect for the next turn, assuming the game doesn’t end before then.

Edit: Encampment uses "do not" instead of "did not."  While that's super minor, I switched things to make it more in line with that official card wording.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #176 - Game Changer
« on: February 02, 2023, 06:19:16 pm »
I brought up the comparison for its powerlevel; I agree the cards are not similar.

Using this on a Copper is 1$ better than Storyteller, and storyeller is a medium strength 5$. And you use Storyteller on Copper all the time.
Last time I checked, Peddler is worse than Lab.

When playing a Copper with Storyteller, you turn the Copper into a cantrip, not a Lab.  And Peddler is better than a vanilla cantrip.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #176 - Game Changer
« on: February 02, 2023, 10:34:49 am »
Local stable $4
+1 action
Play up to 3 treasure.  +1 card per treasure played this way
In games using this, whenever an player gains an victory card, they gain an copper.

Might look strong, but it is an conditional libary, with some potential upside.

I assume it's supposed to be "play up to 3 Treasures from your hand?"

Also, the below-the-line part can base its wording on Duchess:

In games using this, when you gain a Victory card, gain a Copper.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #176 - Game Changer
« on: January 27, 2023, 09:54:56 pm »

Forsaken City
Action ($3)

+2 Cards
Discard 2 cards.
In games using this, when you discard an Action you don't have a copy of in play other than during Clean-up, you may reveal it to play it.

... If anyone has a different wording to get the same idea across, that would be greatly appreciated (since I know the current one is a little long).
Is it intentional that if you discard 2 of the same Action you don't have copies of in play, you can play both of them, since you had no copies in play when they were discarded?
No, I had intended for them to be resolved separately, 1 at a time (which would prevent doubling up on the same action). I’m not sure how to reword it to reflect that though.
Even though it sounds like it means the same thing, I believe that "In games using this, when you discard an Action, if you don't have a copy of it in play, you may play it" would check the condition when you'd potentially play the cards rather than when you discard them.

Don't forget the "... when you discard an Action, other than in Clean-up, ..."

You definitely still need that to avoid issues.  Add that, and I think the rewording is much better.  No need to reveal, just like with Trail.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #176 - Game Changer
« on: January 27, 2023, 09:07:35 am »

I don’t think “at least $X less than it” is ever used to refer to card costs, so it’s difficult to tell for sure, but I think “at least” might be used incorrectly here.  The closest comparison I could find is Wine Merchant, which says “if you have at least $2 unspent.”  It works with $2 unspent or $3 unspent, or $7 unspent; any number greater than or equal to 2.

But that makes me think that for Pre-Order you could trash a card costing $2 less than it, or $3, less than it, or $7 less than it (e.g. a Copper for a King’s Court), and that’s not what we want.  So maybe it needs to be “costing at most $2 less than it” or “costing up to $2 less than it,” but with things reversed the way they are, it’s tricky to tell for sure.

Edit:  I just thought of the reference card: the removed Saboteur, which uses “a card costing at most $2 less than it.”

Edit2:  But Saboteur wants to gain cards costing less than or equal to the specified amount, while Pre-Order wants to trash a card costing greater than or equal to the specified amount.  So we definitely don’t want to use “at most.”  While “at least” isn’t used this way on any official cards, it should be what we want here.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #176 - Game Changer
« on: January 26, 2023, 12:08:53 pm »
What does it mean to have an effect? In a game with Tormentor, can I discard a Boatswain at the start of my turn?

I'm sorry, I do not quite understand the Tormentor question. A card that no longer has an effect is a card that is done doing anything, a card you'd discard from play this turn. It shouldn't be ambiguous in theory, otherwise, people wouldn't know which turn to discard their Duration cards as normal.

I think your current wording is understandable, but it would be nice to do it without adding new terminology.  The last part of your reply about knowing when to discard cards normally gave me an idea.  Maybe it can copy wording from Improve:

In games using this, at the start of your turn, you may discard a card from play that you would discard in Clean-up this turn.

Also, I removed the “s” from “at the start of your turn(s),” because that’s the way it is phrased in Shaman.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #176 - Game Changer
« on: January 25, 2023, 01:40:41 am »

Mystic Workshop - $4

Gain a card costing up to $4. If it costs less than this, gain a copy of that card; otherwise gain a Copper to your hand.
In games using this, the first time you discard a card from play during each of your turns, return it to its pile.

Wizards are unusual people.  They can perform grand feats of magic, but they still appreciate the small things that others would ignore.  They are wise beyond their years, and yet they constantly manage to misplace their belongings.

Mystic Workshop is the opposite of Shaman.  Shaman’s on-play lets you trash cards, but a card comes back every turn.  Mystic Workshop’s on-play lets you gain cards, but a card leaves your deck every turn.

It’s like a Cathedral that you automatically start the game with.  Cathedral is powerful, but it has two strong anti-synergies: games without extra gains/Buys, and handsize Attacks.  Games using Mystic Workshop will always have extra gains, and the card is removed at the end of the turn instead of the beginning, making handsize Attacks less painful.  Keep in mind that Mystic Workshop cannot remove your Estates or Curses, so other trashers can still be useful.

For wording, I copied Duplicate and Citadel. I chose to return cards to piles instead of trashing them to help prevent pile-outs.  That also provides unusual interactions with things that don’t have piles.  You can choose to discard Necropolis, a Prize or an Heirloom first to get around Mystic Workshop’s effect.  It can also be avoided by using cards that move other cards or themselves when they are discarded from play, such as Herbalist.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #176 - Game Changer
« on: January 25, 2023, 12:16:03 am »
Currently, I believe Duchess (which is 1e only), Charlatan, and Shaman are the only official cards that would qualify.

There's also Changeling.

Trash this. Gain a copy of a card you have in play.
In games using this, when you gain a card costing $3 or more, you may exchange it for a Changeling.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #175 - Super Expensive
« on: January 18, 2023, 09:40:56 pm »

Mineshaft - $9

When you play a Treasure, you first get +$1.
When you gain a Victory card, +1 Buy.

It’s a Coppersmith that you don’t have to play and works on all Treasures.  It got the +1 Buy so that it’s useful in games with no other +Buy.

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