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Author Topic: The Secret History of Prosperity 2E  (Read 4066 times)

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Donald X.

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The Secret History of Prosperity 2E
« on: June 01, 2022, 03:59:25 pm »
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I started working on this and Seaside 2E at the same time. Prosperity also badly wanted to get rid of some cards. If we could revisit Seaside we could sure revisit Prosperity.

As with Seaside it lost 9 cards and gained 9, only it had no blanks to take one of those slots. Let's look at what left.

Contraband: A cool premise but very weak card. There are games where you can get it, but.

Counting House: Once upon a time, the plan was to do one very narrow card every two expansions or so, for the thrill of winning with a card you can rarely win with. It turns out I make those cards without trying to; I don't need to put flaws in the rug myself. This one is well very weak except for a few combos where it's significant.

Goons: Initially I thought this would stay; a classic card that's been lots of fun, even though it's so sad that it has Militia stapled to it. When I went up to 9 cards, I saw my chance to replace it with a new Goons sans Militia.

Loan: This is a fine card that just isn't liked much by casual players.

Mountebank: This is a monster of swamping decks with junk. One of the cards I most wanted to replace.

Royal Seal: What it does is nice, as you've finally learned from e.g. Bauble; it just isn't worth spending $5 on it. Again I could just make a new one.

Talisman: This only left when I went up to 9 cards. It was going to get errata'd multiple ways, and it was nice to just replace it with something related.

Trade Route: A very weak trasher, which also requires including coin tokens in the expansion.

Venture: One of the more fun cards here for casual players. I had a replacement lined up that was Loan plus Venture plus better.

And here are the new Prosperity cards:

Anvil: The Talisman replacement. It just gains a card directly. I was testing something that was closer to Talisman, but it already said "once per turn," and well a straight Workshop is like that but way simpler. Matt suggested "You may discard a treasure to..."

Charlatan: Several times over the years, I've tried and abandoned attacks that give out Coppers (some can do it, e.g. Jester, but you know, not every time you play them). They vary a lot based on the number of players and thus size of the Copper pile, which turns out to be a problem. I tried another one here, man, still didn't work, go figure. But wait, I could set the size of the Copper pile, by making it the Curse pile. And thus, Charlatan. It's sometimes very fun that the Curses are Treasures.

Clerk: Long ago, Prosperity had a card called Bureaucrat: +$2, each other player puts a card from their hand onto their deck. It's broken because you can play five of them and lock them out of the game. I fixed that by having you also gain Silvers with it, and it's in the main set, though the story is a little more complex than that (see other secret histories okay). Now Prosperity gets it back, this time with a perk that lets you play it sometimes without spending an Action on it. The hand size check of course solves the lock-out problem. Seaside was losing Ghost Ship; here is the new one. Hopefully not the new most hated attack ever.

Collection: The new Goons. It only triggers on gaining Actions, just to make it play a little more differently and interestingly. And it's a Treasure because that's fun, and well not a Militia, that was the important part. The first version was a terminal action; then there was a Treasure that only made $1, and then a Treasure that made $2 but gave VP for cards you hadn't gained copies of yet that turn, instead of Actions.

Crystal Ball: It's the combination Loan-Venture you never knew you needed. It started life as an Allies card, with no trashing. I dropped it, then was looking for new Treasures for Prosperity, and added the trashing to spice it up. Finally it got the discarding option for an extra nudge.

Investment: The Trade Route replacement. Gets in another use of VP tokens. It wanted to count Treasures in play, but it was too confusing to do that while trashing itself, so it looks at your hand instead.

Magnate: In some sense the Counting House replacement. They both care about Coppers; Magnate doesn't exclude other Treasures, and does something you're more likely to want. It leapt into the expansion fully-formed.

Tiara: Original Prosperity had a Treasure Throne Room, for $4; it died because somehow it had no fans. It was a surprise to me but well, no fans, I took it out. I saved it by adding trashing and a Buy to it, and there it is as Counterfeit, a happy ending. But here we are back on Prosperity, and well probably there was another way to rescue it. Older and wiser, we still actually didn't like the basic Treasure Throne Room enough, man. I tried a version you could save for the turn you wanted it, but it was a crazy combo with Magnate, found by JNails. Then I tried putting Royal Seal onto it, and there it is. I also tried one that gained a copy of the Treasure, and let other players gain a cheaper Treasure.

War Chest: The new Contraband. It gains a $5; probably that will be good, even though they can block what you most wanted. I tried a smaller one first.
And Prosperity got some tweaks, let's look at those:

Hoard: Dropped "while in play" in favor of "this turn"; now triggers on gains not buys, though it still only works on cards you bought. This is a general change; when-buy triggers confuse things for casual players. Why not just "when gain"? The issue is loops. Hoard can happen multiple times a turn, and lets you go up in value - you gain an Estate, it comes with a Gold. Reasonable-looking cards - and I've playtested multiple cards like this - can loop with Hoard, so that you empty the Estates and Duchies. Well those cards don't exist so who cares? I decided in the end that I cared.

Mint: Triggers on gain not buy. Here I thought I could just change the functionality and it would be okay. Also no longer works on Durations, so that there's no tracking issue there. Yeeha, you can get a Mint and not lose that Astrolabe.

Quarry: Dropped "while in play" for "this turn." Another thing about this change, for Prosperity in particular, is, I was adding Tiara, and well you want to be able to Throne all the Treasures in Prosperity.

I guess I can talk about a few outtakes.

- "Trash up to 2 cards from your hand. Then if you have no cards in hand, gain a Gold." I liked it. It's true that it didn't proc very often. It tried out for Allies too.
- "+1 Buy, If you have at least $7, +$3 and +1 VP." A Treasure for $2. If the cards just had to look pretty when you read them, it would have been a shoe-in for the set. Sadly they also have to play well.
- Some treasures tried to get out of the way of your draw, until you wanted them. There were multiple approaches here that did not fly.
- There was a Bridge Treasure for non-Actions. A counterpart to Quarry.
- There were Mine variants. There was a Changeling Treasure. There was a one-shot Copper that turned into a Gold (another throwback to a card from early versions of Prosperity). There was a Treasure with a built-in Event ("may pay $ to...").
- One I especially remember was a $5 Treasure worth $4 that gained a Copper onto your deck. It turns out that +$4 is a lot.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2022, 12:59:30 pm by Donald X. »
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