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Author Topic: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped  (Read 2531 times)

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emtzalex

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Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« on: February 18, 2022, 01:05:05 pm »
+10


This week we are doing Pair Cards. Pair Cards are a fairly simple concept: they are two Kingdom Cards in two Kingdom Card piles with one randomizer, meaning that they always appear in a Kingdom together. That's it. Here is a (not great) example:

     

The two Pair card piles count as two Kingdom Card piles for all purposes: towards the 10 Kingdom card pile total at the start of the game, and towards the 3 (or 4) pile game ending.

This week's task is simple. Design a set of Pair cards. You should make 2 Kingdom cards that each go in their own Kingdom card pile. No split piles or Knights/Castles mixed piles. But feel free to use supporting cards (non-Supply piles, Heirlooms, etc.) or landscapes (Artifacts, States, Conditions, etc.) and to incorporate any fan mechanic.

Since the main purpose of the contest is getting two cards that work well together, free to submit a card that you have submitted for a previous contest (or one that you considered submitting), along with a new card that pairs well with it. However, you need to submit 2 fan cards.

Since the cards will always be together, I will be judging them as a pair, using my regular criteria:
  • balance -- the cards are useful, but not overpowering (both in general and in a variety of kingdoms)
  • playability -- the cards are fun to play and work in more than one type of deck
  • simplicity -- this doesn't always mean fewer words; a card with lots of text that, once you understand it, can be easily and intuitively be played is better than one with four lines of text that is hard to understand
  • topicality -- the cards use the mechanic in an interesting way
  • theme -- the cards fit the overall theme of Dominion (this is the least important)
I will have a follow-up post with some additional design/judging notes.


The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 25, 2022 at 1:05 p.m. Eastern (Forum) time / 18:05 UCT.
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emtzalex

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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2022, 02:00:11 pm »
+5

So, the reason I participate here is that I find it all really interesting, and have a lot of thoughts. I know that that often translates to my posts being unreasonably long. I've decided this week that I'm going to have a short(ish) OP, followed by this much longer post that says everything I want to say about the mechanic at the outset.

Reading this post is optional, and if you just want to get to work designing your submission, please feel free to do so. That said, please do read this post before sharing your thoughts about the mechanic itself (since I hopefully address some of them here).


What is the point?
As I see it, the mechanic allows you to design cards that need some outside assistance to really work properly. Of particular interest to me are card designs that don't work in the absence of a certain element that is not in every game. For example, a design that needs a village or +Buy or trashing. One example card I submitted (Dawn Raid) needs some other card that can put Action cards into the Queue.

It's not uncommon for this to happen. Someone (especially someone relatively new) designs and submits a card, only to receive the feedback that the card doesn't work on boards without, for example +Actions. It's definitely happened to me (and I still have the ideas, but now realize they aren't good submissions). This mechanic allows you to design use such a card, because you can Pair it with a card that provides the needed element, ensuring that the first card won't be useless.

There may be other uses for the mechanic as well. Some players don't like games with Attack cards and no defensive Reactions. One design might reference the other. Or there might be some other reason why two cards should always be together.


Potential Problems
Of course, there are some real issues with this mechanic, of which I am aware (you all may point out additional issues). One of the most fun/exciting/interesting parts of Dominion is the randomness of the kingdoms, and the interaction that creates. The fact that Peddler is sometimes on a board with Worker's Village and Margrave and sometimes on a board with no +Buy greatly changes the value of the card. This means that there should (ideally) be a strong justification for the Pair design. Just having a village and a terminal draw probably won't cut it.

Similarly, the Pair design takes up 2 Kingdom card slots. This means that if the cards aren't worth buying in a given game, twice as many slots are "wasted" as with a regular design. This suggests that if the cards are unusable in any but the rarest of circumstances, it is a big design flaw. For example, if the primary purpose of the design is as a trasher, but (even together) the cards are almost always weaker than Chapel, Forager, and some other trashers (meaning that if any of those are on the board, a player won't go for your design), that's going to be a serious downside. But the fact that you have 2 cards to work with should mean that you can set them up to justify using them (after all, Chapel can't trash itself).


Comparison to other mechanics
Another issue is that there are a number of existing mechanics that offer solutions to the problem of a card design needing an element, such as split pile or Heirlooms. To use examples of cards I've designed from past contest:

   

Fishwife provides the +Buys that Townspeople needs to spend. Making it a split pile has the benefit of delaying players getting  Townspeople and limiting the number available. On one hand this could be an argument against using the mechanic. But it's also a potential source of inspiration. Is a design you made using one of those other mechanics better implemented through Pair cards? Here, I don't think so. As I said, I like that a player can't get 10 copies of Townspeople and have a crazy engine.

On the other hand, there is this design from a post I did about the Heritage mechanic:

 

Quote
Farrier $5 Action
+3 Cards
You may play a Horse from your hand.
[Heritage: Equestrian Estate]

Equestrian Estate $2 Supplier - Victory - Heritage
$2: Gain a Horse. Once per turn, +1 Buy.
----------
Worth 2VP if you have at least 3 Horses (otherwise worth 0VP).

I never loved Equestrian Estate. It makes the opportunity cost for getting Horses too low. Thus, it's a good candidate for a Pair card design.

Quote from: Stable Hand
Stable Hand $3 Action
+1 Action
Discard any number of
cards. Choose one: gain a
Horse per card discarded;
or gain a Horse.
Randomizer
Quote from: Farrier
Farrier $5 Action
+3 Cards
You may play a Horse from your hand.

I don't like Stable Hand that much (tbh I would rather pair Farrier with Livery) but I do like requiring the player to buy a card to gain the Horses needed to fuel Farrier's engine.


Randomizers
Don't worry about these (and don't feel the need to mock them up unless you want to). They are the way they are because of an obscure rules issue with certain Events from Adventures. Specifically, events like Lost Arts and Training refer to "an Action Supply pile" which the rules say is based on the randomizer. So the Castles pile is not an Action Supply pile (even if Small Castle is on top), while the Encampment/Plunder pile is an Action Supply pile (even when Plunder is on top). For Pair cards with (for example) an Action and a Treasure, it is important that the pile with the Action is an Action Supply pile, while the pile with the Treasure is not. Hence, Violet CLM's double-sided cards.





Judging Notes
While I'm judging the cards as a pair, it is important that each card be interesting and useful on its own. A card that exists just to enable the other card isn't worth much (it's more like a part of the first card's design). At the extreme, it might look like this:

Quote
Night Swimming $2 Night
You may play an Esprit de Corps from your hand.
Quote
Esprit de Corps $3 Action
+1 Villager per Action card you have in play (counting this).
+1 Coffers per Treasure you have in play.

Obviously, this is an extreme example (so much so that I did not bother mocking them up). But even if your second card doesn't literally just exist to play the first, it will still be important that both cards are interesting. For example, if you have a really excellent design that needs extra Actions to work, and you design it along with the most boring village I have ever seen, that village will count heavily against you, and even if the first card is the best individual card submitted, you are likely to lose to a pair of interesting (if less than perfect) cards.

All of that being said, I am not actually going to disqualify anything, as long as there are 2 fan-made Kingdom cards.
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mathdude

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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2022, 10:27:01 pm »
+3

This is a very good idea for a fan card design contest, but it's also very difficult.  So often, fan cards do lack something important, where the card is either overpowering or useless in some kingdoms because the kingdom is missing something.  So ensuring they were able to do such, with a pair-card, would be a great way to improve some such cards.

The design problem then is either finding one of these broken cards and designing something to go with it, or to create 2 such cards that don't necessarily work alone but work great together.  (I suspect some design submissions may be one card that doesn't work alone, paired with an enabler that could work alone, rather than both being useless alone).  And on top of that, making a design that is is notably different than putting the 2 designed cards into a split pile (i.e. it makes sense that they are both available immediately, or it's necessary that one or both have 10 available rather than just 5 each).

There's a lot to think about to come up with a good design for this contest.  I hope to enter something, but don't have the time to work it out at the moment.

For anyone lacking creativity, start by looking at some reaction cards.  Often, the reaction (e.g. "when this is revealed, using the word reveal") either doesn't significantly change the value of the card regardless of whether it can be activated or not in the game... or else the card itself enables such a reaction to happen.  You could have a card that the main point of the card triggers when something is trashed, but that card itself doesn't trash anything - the other one does.
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LibraryAdventurer

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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2022, 03:20:09 am »
+2

Quote
Puppeteer
$5 - Action - Attack
+$2.
Each other player reveals their hand and plays an Action or Treasure from it that you choose. If they then have less than 5 cards in hand, they get +1 Card.
Quote
Puppet
$2 - Action
If you didn't spend an Action to play this, +2 Cards. The player whose turn it is gets +$1, +1 Buy, and may discard 2 cards to play an Action card from their hand.

I usually don't like being the first to post in one of these contests, but I'd like feedback on Puppet. Do you think it's too confusing?

Usually, Puppeteer's attack will be similar to Pillage because a lot of card effects don't do anything when it isn't your turn. But if they have a Puppet in hand, you can choose to give them an extra card in hand in exchange for +$1 and +1 Buy. Is it worth it?
EDIT: I think having another player play Puppet with Puppeteer will be better (for both players) than having them play a card that'll be a dud since it isn't their turn.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2022, 03:31:15 am by LibraryAdventurer »
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emtzalex

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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2022, 01:35:02 pm »
+3

Thanks for the feedback, mathdude.

(I suspect some design submissions may be one card that doesn't work alone, paired with an enabler that could work alone, rather than both being useless alone). 

This is what I'd expect as well. It'd be extremely difficult to design 2 card that need an outside element to function for this contest. Even if you had a village that needed +Buys and an +Buy card that needed extra Actions, neither solves the other card's problem because you are in an chicken-and-egg scenario where you need card A to use card B and card B to use card A. 


The design problem then is either finding one of these broken cards and designing something to go with it . . .

If folks want to look back over their old posts to try to find a design they got this kind of feedback on, they can click on "Profile" at the top of the page, then on the left side click "Show Posts" to see all of their posts on the board.

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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2022, 10:23:11 am »
+6

My entry, Retreat & Regroup:



I resisted the temptation to make an oven-ready combo; but these cards hint at a start-of-turn dtx synergy.
Regroup should quite often be a strong gainer opener. I contemplated gaining one of regroup's cards to hand, but I suspect this melts piles too often.
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2022, 01:08:45 pm »
+2

My entry, Retreat & Regroup:



I resisted the temptation to make an oven-ready combo; but these cards hint at a start-of-turn dtx synergy.
Regroup should quite often be a strong gainer opener. I contemplated gaining one of regroup's cards to hand, but I suspect this melts piles too often.

Regroup looks interesting for end-game scoring as well; you could try to build a deck where you could gain two Provinces each turn with this.  With Village Green, you could possibly do better, although it won't be easy to pull off.
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2022, 02:03:33 pm »
+1

Very cool idea. I also wonder: how would Sauna/Avanto be if Sauna and Avanto where pair-shaped and Sauna dind't have the trashing effect (in exchange for a lower price)
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jakav

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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2022, 04:49:52 pm »
+4

Quote from: Living Tower
Living Tower
Action
Cost: 5
Reveal cards from your deck until you have revealed three Action cards. Put those into your hand and discard the rest.

Quote from: Fairy Village
Fairy Village
Cost: 3
Night - Action - Duration
If it is your Action phase:
+1 Action
At the start of your next turn:
+1 Action
+$1
                           
When you gain this, put it at the bottom of your deck.

My submission for this contest is Fairy Village / Living Tower. Living Tower is a Smithy variant, but it will only draw action cards so it is of limited use to big money. The main problem with it itself is that it is completely useless without a village. Fairy Village serves that purpose. It is a village that provides a bit of payload, and has the action type so it can be drawn with Living Tower. You could also play Fairy Village as an action if you desired. Fairy Village also provides a bit of payload, so Living Tower is never useless on a board.

Fairy Village itself is an intriguing village, it provides payload, and also stops terminal collisions on your next turn, it has varying uses.

Potions are good with pair-shapes, so there is a bigger reason to buy one, since there cannot only be one potion card on the board. Living Tower and Fairy Village both cost potions. Living Tower is slightly better than a smithy, though it is restricted, so it should cost 2P (approx. 4.5). Fairy Village can simply cost a potion, about 2.5. Both cards go with the Alchemy theme.

Feedback is appreciated.

Edit: removed Potion costs because of Commodore's suggestions, changed Fairy Village a bit. It is slightly more complicated but still should be fine.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2022, 12:44:24 pm by jakav »
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2022, 07:15:09 pm »
+2



Quote
Bricklayers - $2
Action
You may spend an Action (not Action card) to trash a card from your hand. If you do, gain a card costing up to $2 more than it. If you don't, +1 Card and +1 Villager.

Quote
Worksite - $4
Victory
1VP
----
When you gain this, +3 Villagers.
When you trash this, +2% and +1 Villager.

A couple cards that give you Villagers. Bricklayers is an optional remodeler if you spend another action on it, otherwise is gives you a Villager. Worksite is a simple Estate+ that has the added bonus of being better than an Estate if you can trash it. Both cards work well together, but can work even better with alternate Kingdom cards, or on their own if you so choose. I am thinking of changing Worksite to have an innate value of 1VP and cost $4 instead of $3, but there are a lot of $4 cost Victory cards. Not sure if I should change that. Feedback is appreciated.

Edit: Changed the cards a bit to try and make them a bit more appealing. Worksite may be a bit strong with Salt the Earth, but everyone has access to that. Bricklayers is a bit slow to accumulate Villagers, but it is at least a cantrip and allows you to remodel for cheap.

Old Version
« Last Edit: February 24, 2022, 06:27:11 pm by Xen3k »
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2022, 07:33:11 pm »
+5

Indolent Court
Action - $3
You may play an Action card cheaper than this from your hand three times.

Court Jester
Action - $2
+1 Card
+$1
+1 Buy

The two cards are weak and awkward on their own, but not necessarily useless.
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2022, 10:06:18 pm »
+2



Feedback appreciated. Xen3k is this better? I have updated my submission.


« Last Edit: February 25, 2022, 03:52:32 pm by Joxeft »
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2022, 11:02:59 pm »
+2


Feedback appreciated.

I like the ideas behind your cards, but there is a bit of feedback I have. Salt Mine is undercosted for the above line effect. See Butcher as an example. Being non-terminal and gaining 2 Coffers is very strong. Additionally, as worded the below the line text is strictly a bonus when buying it. Salt Merchant needs a wording correction for the Coffers removal effect, maybe missing "any number" after remove. Also, it seems really strong to pick the same thing for each Coffer you remove. Beyond that it seems more reasonable than Salt Mine. Hope that all helps, and glad you participated!
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2022, 03:28:49 am »
+4

Progress
Action/Reaction - $1
Trash a card from your hand. Gain a card costing up to $1 more than it.
_________
When you gain a card, you may return this, and then it, to the supply to gain a card costing
exactly $1 more than it to your hand.

Revenue
Action - $7
Gain a Gold to your hand

Premise:

The presence of cards costing $1 and $7 mean that an "Upgrade" type card is likely (but not certain, there might not be a $4) to be able to get you from Copper to Province.

It wouldn't make sense as a split pile with the Progresses returning to the supply so often

The card costing $7 synergises with the card costing $1, but other cards would combo better (e.g. gainers that don't already gain to hand).

Rules clarification: You can return a Progress you just gained to your hand to the supply. However because you don't return the Progress, then the card you gained (you did it at the same time), you gain nothing. May be a better way to word it that you only gain a card if 2 cards go back to the supply.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2022, 05:39:27 pm by NoMoreFun »
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2022, 10:00:35 am »
+2

I'm not going to mock up the pair-randomizer but


Quote
Wine Cellar • $5 • Action
When you discard this from play, +3 Coffers.
Quote
Wine Fraud • $4 • Action - Attack
+1 Coffers

Each other player gets -1 Coffers. For each player that could not lose a Coffer this way, +1 Buy.

You may play an Action that gives +$ from your hand.

This mechanic let me revisit a very early card I made that let you steal coffers from other players. Since that scales poorly, and requires coffers in the kingdom anyway, and since on the attack alone it'd have to give an inordinate amount of coffers to be worth pursuing (an induction step problem), this mechanic is a great means of addressing it.

The +$ non-terminality on Wine Fraud is so in a 2p game, where it doesn't hit, it's roughly Candlestick Maker equivalent (+1 Coffer, +1 Buy, +1 Action). Also, i thought making soft terminals along the lines of Imp (where it dictates uniqueness or card content) was kind of interesting.
The Wine Cellar is sort of a Snowy Butcher. It's probably fine on its own.
Themewise, I picked Wine Cellar because while it's the correct term, "Cheese Cave" doesn't seem thematically appropriate and I wanted something that implied an aging process for goods.
and then I picked Wine Fraud because I played Viticulture recently and "Counterfeiter" is too close to Counterfeit imo.

I think a danger of this mechanic is having two dead piles in the kingdom, instead of a single one. I'm not sure if my own entry passes muster on those terms.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2022, 10:24:38 am by spineflu »
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2022, 01:14:01 pm »
+4


Quote
Duality Moon
$4
Treasure
+1 Coffers
When you play this, you may play a Action from your hand twice.
Quote
Duality Sun
$4
Action
+1 Villager
You may play a Treasure from your hand twice.

I think these cards are at a reasonable power level individually and combo with some different effects though they do overlap some synergies. Hopefully they are compelling to players since throneroom effects are fun. These cards do force players to play cards in off phases which result in strange sequences which sometimes is great as having a treasure being in play during the action phase like a quarry can be great, or having action effect being used in the buy phase is broken or useless, which seems like with two piles it doubles the odds something cool happens. They combo together as a set since you can go Duality Sun and play Duality Moon (or vice versa for 2x2 treasures) and it acts similar to a double throne room but you get a few extra tokens for the effort.
Duality Sun should work well with draw-to-X cards as getting a treasure out of your hand for value is no often easy.
Duality Moon should work well with draw-to-X cards as getting to draw cards in the Buy phase means your hand should have few cards in it given all your other treasures are in play, but copying a draw-to-X is effect has demising returns on the second cast.

On a side note the OP's rule of these taking two of the kingdom's 10 slot feels wrong and almost all together worse then the opposite rule. (1 odd question already is what if this is the 10th card drawn do just discard it and go to the next?) So at least when I play these paired cards, pulling the 1 randomizer card it puts two supply piles into the supply resulting in a 11 pile kingdom, similar to Young witch and her Bane.
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2022, 07:30:44 pm »
+2

Quote from: Living Tower
Living Tower
Action
Cost: 2P
Reveal cards from your deck until you have revealed three Action cards. Put those into your hand and discard the rest.

Quote from: Fairy Village
Fairy Village
Cost: P
Night - Action - Duration
At the start of your next turn:
+2 Actions
+$1

I like this idea. I think Fairy Village needs work though. I'm not seeing any reason to play it in the Action phase instead of the Night Phase, because you'll use up an action and still need to wait till next turn to get the benefit. I would drop the Night type, and maybe add something else to connect it more with Living Tower. I would also drop the Potion costs, as those don't add anything.
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2022, 12:47:32 pm »
0

I like this idea. I think Fairy Village needs work though. I'm not seeing any reason to play it in the Action phase instead of the Night Phase, because you'll use up an action and still need to wait till next turn to get the benefit. I would drop the Night type, and maybe add something else to connect it more with Living Tower. I would also drop the Potion costs, as those don't add anything.

Thanks! I have updated my submission by removing the Potion costs (potion cards would be good as pairs but even still they are not necessary). I have also fixed Fairy Village a bit, now it acts as normal village for your next turn instead of a double village. The gaining to the bottom of your deck should add some strategy and make it slightly better to justify the new cost.
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2022, 02:09:58 pm »
+3

Contest Closed!!!

I will try to get the judging done this weekend. There are no new posts since the 24 Hour warning, so that will be my list. Please check it to make sure I have included your entry.
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2022, 04:07:31 am »
+2

Sorry this is taking a bit longer than expected. I am nearly done and hope to have something posted later today.
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emtzalex

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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2022, 02:05:45 pm »
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Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped






Quote
Puppeteer
$5 - Action - Attack
+$2.
Each other player reveals their hand and plays an Action or Treasure from it that you choose. If they then have less than 5 cards in hand, they get +1 Card.
Quote
Puppet
$2 - Action
If you didn't spend an Action to play this, +2 Cards. The player whose turn it is gets +$1, +1 Buy, and may discard 2 cards to play an Action card from their hand.



While I don't think Puppet is confusing, it probably needs an FAQ to deal with the ambiguity of the first sentence. There are some instances where it clearly triggers, like an opponent's play of Puppeteer or when revealed by Piazza. I presume it would also trigger with the likes of Conclave, Imp, or throne variants, but since you had to spend an Action to play those initial cards, that could be open for interpretation. Arguably less clear are things were you are only spending an Action to play a card to only play it, as in the case of Command cards / Necromancer / Inheritance. I still think all of those would trigger it, but I am not 100% sure. Even less clear would be Way of the Turtle. You spent an Action to play it using WotT, which then causes it to be played the following turn. Does that trigger it? What about Citadel? Obviously the first play would not trigger the +2 Cards, but the second play might. Thus, I think an FAQ is in order.

Overall it's a pretty interesting design, but with some concerns. One issue I see is that, absent a strong synergy (either a card that will play Puppet and trigger its bonus or something that benefits from the discarding, like dtx or an on-discard reaction) there is very little incentive to buy Puppet. It is almost strictly worse than Candlestick Maker (absent those situations where discarding is good). Puppeteer doesn't provide the synergy for you, only for your opponent (unless you think that your opponent is bad at the game, and having a Puppet will lure them into make a strategically disadvantageous decision). Thus, I don't think Puppet will be bought in most games.

Puppeteer, on the other hand, seems overly strong. By making you opponent play one of their Action or Treasure cards on your turn, you are effectively making them waste that card (unless it does something useful not on their turn), which is the equivalent of discarding it. The obvious comparison is to Pillage, which costs the same, but is a 1-shot with a delayed payload. The attack is not quite as strong, as you can't use it on most draw cards, gainers, or attacks, and the +1 Card means it doesn't (usually) reduce the handsize. On the other hand, it is occasionally stronger than Pillage's attack, if playing the card benefits you (e.g. with Bridge) or harms them worse than just discarding it would (e.g. by making them play Horn of Plenty with no other cards in play, and gain a card costing up to $1). Even without that bonus, trading the best card in their hand for a random card from their deck is a pretty strong attack.








Quote from: Retreat
Retreat $4 Action - Duration
+1 Card
+2 Action
You may set an Action card aside from your hand. If you did, at the start of your next turn, play it.
Quote from: Regroup
Regroup $4 Action
You may discard your hand.
If you did, gain 2 cards, each costing up to $1 per card discarded.



First, I love the names. Retreat and Regroup sound like 2 things one would do in succession, but in this case "Retreat" seems to refer more to the noun than the verb.

Retreat is a village with an optional Delay effect. Often, the reason to put off playing a card until next turn is to avoid terminal collisions (think Barge, or using Way of the Turtle). But Retreat is a village, so players will usually have plenty of Actions available to play whatever they want. That makes Retreat more useful for the second reason to delay playing a card, which is trying to get a beneficial collision or combo. For example, WotT makes Treasure Map a much better card. You can play the first one as soon as it's in your hand (you don't even need to have gained the second one), and keep Turtling it until you have the second one. Retreat is not that flexible, as it makes you play the card next turn (like Delay). But if you have a Moneylender and no Coppers in your current hand, you may want to set it aside and hope to collide the following turn. It is nice that you make the choice of setting aside before playing.

There are some other benefits to playing a card at the start of the turn. In a pinch, Captain can turn a cheap non-terminal (cantrip or disappearing money) card into a village, if played at the start of the turn. Indeed, by playing a card at the start of the turn you are getting virtual village (with a net effect of a virtual +1 Action), so if you use Retreat's set aside ability, you are getting two villages (at the cost of delaying playing the second card). This also probably allows you to have slightly fewer Retreats proportional to the terminal cards it supports.

Regroup is interesting as well. Early on it can kind of serve as a virtual +Buy, turning the rest of your hand into Coppers but then letting you buy with them twice. From a regular hand it will gain you 2 cards worth up to $4, making it not dissimilar in terms of power level from most gainers (e.g. Workshop, Ironworks, Armory). If you can collide it with Retreat and play it at the start of your turn, it can get you 2 $5 cards, which (depending on the Kingdom) is a strong play well into mid-game (and, at the very end, gives you the choice of 2 Duchies on your next turn). The start-of-turn hand discard also has some interesting synergies, the most obvious being Guide. But if you can Retreat both a Regroup and a DtX, that will also work.

These are two very solid entries. While I don't think they need to be together, it certainly creates some interesting synergies.







Quote from: Living Tower
Living Tower
Action
Cost: 5
Reveal cards from your deck until you have revealed three Action cards. Put those into your hand and discard the rest.

Quote from: Fairy Village
Fairy Village
Cost: 3
Night - Action - Duration
If it is your Action phase:
+1 Action
At the start of your next turn:
+1 Action
+$1
                           
When you gain this, put it at the bottom of your deck.



First, although the design you ultimately submitted didn't use Potions, I think doing so was a good thought. The fact that, with the huge (and soon to be even bigger) number of potential cards in a game of Dominion, if a Kingdom has a Potion card, it tends to be solo. This means that the Potions have to be bought for that card alone. The Pair card mechanic is one way that you can ensure that at least two Kingdom cards use Potions.

Living Tower is an interesting card, that obviously needs a village (or some source of +Actions) to be of any use. That being said, I'm not sure whether it so plainly stronger than Smithy that it should cost $5. While it is a powerful engine component, absent payload from Action cards you will always need other sources of +Cards or it will be useless. I suspect that this could be priced at $4. It could definitely go for P$2. More of a concern is the fact that, as mentioned, it needs a solid source of +Actions to work, and Fairy Village is not that.

Fairy Village an extremely weak card, bordering on unbuyable. The obvious comparison is with Fishing Village. However, that card enables you to play other Actions both on the turn it is played an the following turn (and adds to payload on each). By contrast, Fairy Village (which costs the same) provides no benefit on the current turn. It's only advantage over Fishing Village is that it can be played when you are without Actions. However, I don't think that nearly makes up for the downside. (It can also be compared, unfavorably, to Ghost Town, which gives an extra card rather than $1).

I think this design has a ton of potential, but as is I think in many games neither card will end up being bought.









Quote
Bricklayers - $2
Action
You may spend an Action (not Action card) to trash a card from your hand. If you do, gain a card costing up to $2 more than it. If you don't, +1 Card and +1 Villager.

Quote
Worksite - $4
Victory
1VP
----
When you gain this, +3 Villagers.
When you trash this, +2% and +1 Villager.



Bricklayers provides the player two options: either a remodel variant for -1 Action or a cantrip that gives a Villager instead of an Action (allowing the player to "store" their extra Action if they don't need it). The card has a kind of self-synergy, with that villager potentially providing the extra Action needed to resolve the second effect. On one hand, a basic remodel every-other-shuffle is not exactly that great. On the other hand, $2 is a unique price point (since a player is not forgoing anything) and even a cantrip-that-may-be-useful can fit reasonably into a number of strategies, meaning that the card might even be reasonable without the remodel effect.

Worksite is a Victory card that is worth more trashed than in a player's deck. This is an interesting concept, one that I have looked at before. And, it is one which is "enabled" to work by a trasher. By itself, Worksite feels like it might be slightly on the strong side. The +3 Villagers it gives on-buy are comparable to those that a player gets with Acting Troup (if the player want to play another Action card that turn). Presuming you are only getting Worksite to trash it, they ultimately end up in the same place, but with Worksite you are +2VP. On the other hand, AT trashes itself, while Worksite is a dead card unless it collides with a trasher.

When it does collide with Bricklayers, it is a solid combo. The Worksite gets replaced with a Gold (or other $6), the player's score increases, and the Villager that was (presumably) used to trigger the combo is replaced. Also, even when the collisions miss, Bricklayers can be used to turn Estates in Worksites, setting up the subsequent conversion. The extra villagers from Worksite can also enable additional terminal cards to be played (or just smooth out what a player is otherwise doing).

That said, I don't think either of the cards or the combo of the two are broken or even overly powered. It is not at all obvious to me that players would want to open Bricklayer - Worksite (on either a $3/$4 or $2/$5 draw) with any regularity (although Bricklayers will frequently be bought on a $2/$5, but that is common for $2 cards). I'm also very impressed that you've pulled off a double-enable.







Indolent Court
Action - $3
You may play an Action card cheaper than this from your hand three times.

Court Jester
Action - $2
+1 Card
+$1
+1 Buy



Indolent Court is an interesting throne variant, playing a card 3 times, but only if it costs less than IC's $3. It is one of those designs that is actually nerfed by being as cheap as it is (a $4 Indolent Court would be significantly better). This obviously needs a $2 (or less) Action card to work, which makes it an interesting candidate for a Pair card. Here, it is enabled by Court Jester (discussed below).

The biggest weakness of throne variants is the risk that they get drawn with no other cards they can play. That's why Crown and Royal Carriage make the significant jump from $4 to $5 despite, when they are used (on an Action), having no more of an effect than Throne Room. That problem is exacerbated greatly when a design is ineffective if drawn with any but a single other card (presuming there are no other $2 Actions). Thus, in order for it to be worth playing, there will need to be a strong $2 Action, and some ability to get them (probably via +Buy).

Here, the card it is paired with is Court Jester. Court Jester is another card that is hard to buy on its own. There are basically no terminal actions that give +1 Card (not counting Ruined Library), since drawing a single card dead is a pretty harsh outcome. Court Jester adds to that risk a terminal Copper and a Buy. The Buy itself will make the card worth getting in some contexts despite the other bonuses, but otherwise this is a hard sell to add to most decks.

If you do manage to collide them, the effect is strong, but I'm not sure its strong enough to justify buying both cards. It only nets +1 Card (terminally), although it does provide +$3 as many Buys as you are likely to need. But given that it is terminal, it is hard to have multiple copies in your deck, without which it will be hard to make them collide. I could see these being a part of a larger engine. But without a village, I don't know if even the combo is worth going for. (It would also work well with certain Ways).

I do think there are $2 cards that could make Indolent Court worth buying. Pawn might actually be enough to do that, as over the course of the 3 plays you could give yourself +3 Cards, +1 Action, and 2 more vanilla bonuses ($2 if you just want payload, $1 and 1 Buy; or $1 and an Action if you want it to be a Lost City instead of a lab). Obviously you couldn't have submitted Pawn, but maybe there is a way for Court Jester to give +1 Action some of the time (like, the 3rd time it's played in a row). Inheritance would also work very well (if there was a solid card to inherit).

I think there is something to the overall idea, but I don't think the cards are strong enough, alone or combined, to make this version of it really work.









Quote from: Salt Mine
Salt Mine $4 Action
+1 Action
+1 Buy
+2 Coffers

When you gain this trash a non-Victory card from your hand or in play costing at least $2 (Or reveal you can't and trash this).

Quote from: Salt Merchant
Salt Merchant $4 Action
+1 Action
+1 Coffers
You may remove any number of Coffers then for each one you removed choose one +1 Card; +1 Villager; gain a silver.; Cards cost $1 less this turn.



Salt Mine is disappearing money that gives +1 Buy and +2 Coffers, but requires the player to trash a card on gain, usually a Silver they have in play. Salt Merchant starts as disappearing money, giving just 1 Coffer, but then can convert Coffers into a variety of other bonuses.

By itself, Salt Merchant seems overpriced. If you convert the Coffers right away, while it does allow a variety of options, none of them are that strong: either a cantrip, an Action and a Villager; a non-terminal Silver gainer; or Bridge without the +$1. If you stored up Coffers, you could get a more powerful effect, but then on the earlier plays you have a Ruined Village. With an additional source of +Coffers, the card potentially becomes stronger. Since it does not say "The choices must be different" you can (presumably) choose the options more than once. This seems to be where the card has the most potential. If you can save a number of Coffers and combine it with a source of +Buys, you can take the discount option multiple times. Alternatively, you can get multiple +Cards to power (or serve as) an engine.

Salt Mine provides double the Coffers and a Buy, but comes with an added cost: when it is gained, the player gaining it has to either trash a non-Victory card costing at least $2 from their hand or from play (and if they can't, Salt Mine gets trashed). Among other things, this prevents players from opening with the card. As previously mentioned, I suspect that in the vast majority of cases, players will end up trashing a Silver they have in play, which (in effect) means that their ultimate payload is not really increased: instead of a Treasure that provides $2, they have disappearing money that provides 2 Coffers and a Buy. While this is clearly better, I'm not sure it's better than having 2 Silvers, especially early on.

Ideally, you would use the extra Coffers from Salt Mine to power the abilities of Salt Merchant. A player could open Salt Merchant - Silver, then use the Merchant to gain more Silvers, which they convert into Mines. A hand with 4 Salt Mines and 1 Salt Merchant would yield 9 Coffers and 5 Buys, which is enough to take 5 Provinces and net 1 Coffers. But that requires what is basically the perfect hand, which a player is not likely to get. The odds of getting there could be improved with good trashing, which has the potential to help the combo a lot. Thus on one hand without some further support, I don't know how viable either of the cards are. On the other hand, a strong engine could get a player 8 Coffers and a Salt Merchant fairly easily, potentially enabling a megaturn much sooner than most existing cards (especially with an outside source of +Buys). Thus, while I think the cards might tend to be a bit weak in most situations, the could actually be overpowered in some narrow circumstances.

Since both piles involve disappearing money, the Pair is strong with those cards that combo well with it, such as draw-to-X or Tactician. Given that, one solution to both your problems might be to add a "The choices must be different." limitation to Salt Merchant's ability, but then change the +1 Card to "draw until you have 5 cards in hand." It's still only a cantrip from a 5-card hand, but if you can get multiple copies of the cards, it becomes a lot strong. Maybe add a choice of "+1 Buy" to that list as well.

Copy editing:

Quote from: Salt Merchant
You may rRemove any number of tokens from your Coffers. then fFor each onetoken you removed, choose one: +1 Card; or +1 Villager; or gain a sSilver.; or Ccards cost $1 less this turn.
If it's "any number" you don't need "may" (see Chapel; you "remove tokens from your Coffers" per Butcher; there is a colon between "choose [X]" and the list items, and those items are separated by a semicolon and the word "or" (see Courtier).







Progress
Action/Reaction - $1
Trash a card from your hand. Gain a card costing up to $1 more than it.
_________
When you gain a card, you may return it and this to the supply to gain a card costing up to $1 more than it to your hand.

Revenue
Action - $7
+1 Action
Gain a Gold to your hand



This is sort of an odd design. While the concept of (usually) covering every value from $0 to $8 is interesting, I'm not sure how much of an impact it would really have on a game. Absent some insane engine that ends up drawing the entire deck with 7 plays of Kings Court still available, it is hard to imagine using Progress or Upgrade on a card 8 times.

All that being said, I think Progress is pretty strong at $1. It's an odd price point, as the bigger issue will often be the need to spend a buy, rather than the $1. However, in the presence of +Buy, it is quite strong. It turns Estates into Silvers, and even if it gives copies of itself when $0 cards are trashed, that isn't really more junk. If you end up with them dead in your hand, they are easily gotten rid of during your buy phase by trading them in to get a $1 better card [even if you didn't want that, you can always buy a cheaper card and return it to trade up; in that sense covering all the price points could be important]. Additionally, having Progress in your hand acts as a complete defense against being junked with $0 cards: Curses, Coppers, or Ruins. When you gain them, you can react with Progress, return Progress and the junk, and gain the Progress back to your hand. This works when you're junked with multiple cards (e.g. from Mountebank), and even from self-junking effects like Banquet or Cache.

I would also point out that Progress's Reaction needs to specify from where you return Progress to gain the better card (I presume your hand, but it should specify).

Revenue is a strong card as well. Unless you draw it terminally, it is effectively a Gold that gains another Gold every time you play it. It reminds me of Reap, in that if you have $7 and would otherwise buy a Gold, it is almost self-evident that you should buy it instead. But the amount better Reap is than Gold is far surpassed by Revenue. While there are some exceptions, in the large majority of games there is not really a point at which you want to stop gaining Golds. Thus, this is also a little on the strong side.

Overall there is some interesting potential going on here, but I'm not sure that it really comes together, and I think both of these cards are a bit on the strong side.









Quote
Wine Cellar $5 Action
When you discard this from play, +3 Coffers.
Quote
Wine Fraud $4 Action - Attack
+1 Coffers

Each other player gets -1 Coffers. For each player that could not lose a Coffer this way, +1 Buy.

You may play an Action that gives +$ from your hand.



The idea of using Pair cards to provide the target for an attack that takes away Coffers (or some other element not present in every game) is an interesting one, as it could go either of two directions: it might enable a card like Wine Fraud to work (which is the aim of this and many Pair card designs), or it might lead to players passing on both cards (which, as you pointed out, is perhaps the biggest potential risk of Pair cards).

To me, the answer to this conundrum would be to make the enabling card (here, Wine Cellar) so good that players would still want to buy it even if they know they will be subject to being attacked. This may mean that the card is too good to exist in a Kingdom without the attack, in which case the cards potentially cross-enable. The provider (Wine Cellar) gives the element (Coffers) that enables the attack (Wine Fraud) to work, while the attack weakens the enabler so that it isn't broken.

I'm not sure if Wine Cellar is strong enough to work under that framework. While +3 Coffers is great, having to wait for them makes the card play (effectively) dead the turn you get it. I do kind of like the idea of giving Coffers too late to be used on the turn as a kind of quasi-Duration effect (in that you don't get to use the Coffers until later, but the card still gets discarded and is reusable that turn) and explored in in one of my WDC submissions, making it a Night card to achieve that effect. Making Wine Cellar into a Night-Reaction (or otherwise somehow make it better than a plain Night card that gives +3 Coffers) might be a way to strengthen it enough to make players want it despite the risk of Fraud.

There is also a bit of a rules issue. The phrase "When you discard this from play," only appears on official cards at the start of a below-the-line section (in Treasury, Herbalist, Alchemist, Hermit, the Traveller cards, and Capital). Way of the Frog does use the phrase as part of it's on-play ability, but clarifies "this turn." It's not clear if Wine Cellar still gives the Coffers if played using a Way, or if using a throne variant gives you additional Coffers.

The Attack in Wine Fraud could work anyway, as it give the players a Coffers as well. But an opponent could simply opt out of buying either, in which case WF is badly overpriced at $4.

I'd also note that while Wine Fraud is conditionally non-terminal, Wine Cellar doesn't meet that condition. While a terminal collision can be avoided both with villages or disappearing/cantrip money, that still creates a fair number of boards on which the cards can't reasonably be played together, making going after both of them more challenging.


Copy editing:

On Wine Fraud, I believe it should be "For each player that could not lose a Coffers this way, +1 Buy." Coffers is always plural, even if there is just one of them (you got this right twice on the card before).







Quote
Duality Moon
$4
Treasure
+1 Coffers
When you play this, you may play a Action from your hand twice.
Quote
Duality Sun
$4
Action
+1 Villager
You may play a Treasure from your hand twice.



This one gave me some trouble. At first I felt that these were mismatched, and somewhat imbalanced. Duality Sun is similar to Patron, giving a Villager and (effectively) some Coin. By throning a Treasure, it is effectively worth whatever that Treasure is worth, so if you have a Silver it is worth $2 (the same as Patron), if you only have a Copper it is worth $1, but if you have a Gold or better, it can be stronger than Patron. This would seem to advise against opening with it (as opposed to opening Silver/Silver, then buying DS once it has a better chance of colliding with at least a Silver.

DS is also the ultimate embodiment of disappearing money. While there is no advantage to the first play of the Treasure in terms of payload (since you would play it anyway during your Buy phase), it does have the advantage of playing the Treasure during your Action phase, non-terminally. Like all disappearing money, this has some nice synergies (mainly DtX and Tactician). And while Festival or Minion take themselves out of your hand, DS takes both itself and one of your Treasures.

At first blush I thought Duality Moon was a lot weaker. Playing Action cards during your buy phase tends to be a bit of a marginal activity (thinking of the likes of Gamble and Innovation): +Actions are (mostly) worthless, and Action cards you drawn (generally) can't be played. DM's on-play ability is better than the on-buy those landscapes (where Innovation is triggered by buying a card/landscape, rather than via a gainer), since you can still play gained Treasures. But it is still a limited activity. On the other hand, DM actually compares somewhat favorable to Scepter, which, while not amazing in every game, can actually be a fairly strong card. When you play Scepter's second ability, you are playing an Action card for the second time. DS does that as well, but without having needed the Action for the first play, and while also providing +1 Coffers. If you have more than one, it also has the advantage of allowing you to play those Actions you drew during your Buy phase, which Scepter can't do (unless you can use a Conclave or Imp). This makes DM combine really well with terminal draw cards. On the other hand, there are some downsides. With Scepter, the first play of the Action is during your Action phase, so with mixed useful/not-useful effects (think Festival), you get to use the +Actions (or whatever) from the first play during your Action phase. Also, when there is no good Action to use, Scepter can give you $2. (And because Scepter is strictly better than Silver, it probably has to cost $5). Still, in any kind of engine DM is a solid addition (especially since it can be gained by most gainers).

Together, they are even stronger. Having a Duality Moon and a Duality Sun in your hand compares favorably to having 2 copies of Crown: you can still double throne in either your Action phase (throning 2 Actions) or your Buy phase (throning 2 Treasures), but you also get 2 Coffers or 2 Villagers, respectively. On the other hand, you can split the two Crowns, throning a Lab/Smithy/Hunting Ground during your Action phase, then throne a Gold/Platinum during your buy phase. Still, in an engine the combo is powerful, fueling the engine's drawing when needed, but with the ability to shift and help with payload when not.

When I first saw these I didn't think I was going to like them. They don't really meet the model of enabling an otherwise unusable card (although that was not a requirement), but they actually seem like they would be a lot of fun. Ultimately, this is a deceptively simple entry that is actually both broadly useful (at least DS is), and create interesting synergies both with each other and with a number of other cards.

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Thanks to Shard of Honor for his Extended Version of the Dominion Card Image Generator, which I use to mock up my fan cards, and to Violet CLM, who made the original.

emtzalex

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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2022, 02:07:17 pm »
+1


Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped


The Results

Thanks to everyone who participated. Here are the results:

Runners up:

Bricklayers and Worksite by Xen3k

Retreat & Regroup by Mahowrath


Winner:

Duality Moon and Duality Sun by arowdok
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Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2022, 08:57:44 pm »
+1


Fan Card Mechanics Week 29: Gone Pair-Shaped


The Results

Thanks to everyone who participated. Here are the results:

Runners up:

Bricklayers and Worksite by Xen3k

Retreat & Regroup by Mahowrath


Winner:

Duality Moon and Duality Sun by arowdok


Thank you for the prompt and extended feedback.
I will have the next contest put up shortly
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