Dominion Strategy Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: 1 2 [3]  All

Author Topic: Weekly Design Contest #167: Monster Mash  (Read 4270 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Minion
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 542
  • Shuffle iT Username: Chappy7
  • Respect: +659
    • View Profile
Re: Weekly Design Contest #167: Monster Mash
« Reply #50 on: November 10, 2022, 12:04:30 pm »

New contest is up.  Have fun.


  • Jester
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 787
  • Respect: +1383
    • View Profile
Re: Weekly Design Contest #167: Monster Mash
« Reply #51 on: November 11, 2022, 05:27:00 am »

Weekly Design Contest #167: Monster Mash

Sorry this took so long to get out. Here is the judging on all of the submissions.

Devil's Gift
Boon - Hex
Choose one: discard down to 4 cards in hand; or gain a Curse.  Each other player does the unchosen one.

Devil's Gift by majiponi

Devil's Gift is a Boon/Hex, which lets a player choose between two harms, giving the other to the other players. In the vast majority of cases, a player will choose to discard and curse their opponents until the Curses run out, at which point they will almost always choose to take the Curse (which will fail) and handcard attack their opponents.

While I appreciate the creative instict of combining these two, I'm not quite sure how this would eve work. Where does this go? In the Boon pile? In the Hex pile? Both? However you do it, it creates a number of problems. The main one is that it opens the door for attacking an opponent without having played an attack. Neither Boons nor Hexes ever harm other players who did not receive them. But that's exactly what this does. If a player plays a Leprechaun   and gets the Devil's Gift, other players have no way of blocking it. On the other hand, in a multi-player game, you could end up playing a Werewolf or Vampire and having the result be that you gain a Curse per opponent.

I could imagine their being an entirely different Boon/Hex pile (or, more reasonably, a pile with a 3rd type), which is a mix cards like this (2 attacks, one of which a player takes and the other an opponent takes) and similar pairs of bonuses. But I don't think this really works.

Séance - $3
Event - Project - Liaison

+1 Favor per differently named Action in the trash.
At the start of your Buy phase, you may trash an Action from your hand for +$3, +1 Buy.

Séance by faust

Séance gives you two options for how to use it: the project lets you trash Action cards for Coins and an extra Buy, while the Event gives Favors (if there are Action cards in the trash). Players are (generally speaking) forced to choose one option or the other, because of a rule you are using:

This is an Event/Project. You may buy it in either form; for the Event you get the top effect, for the Project the bottom. Once your project cube is on this, you can no longer buy it, not even for the Event.

I don't like this rule. I think it significantly narrows the Event - Project design space. It eliminates those designs where having bought the Project improves subsequent uses of the Event. Conversely, it's not necessary to accomplish the effect: you could expressly bar using Event after the Project was bought (e.g., "If you don't have a Project cube isn't here, +1 Favor per differently named Action in the trash.").

Setting the rule decision aside, I still don't like the limitation. In the vast majority of games, it makes the Event/Liason ability a kind of punishment for using the Project. This takes away a lot of the fun of the Ally/Liaison mechanic, as it takes the choice to pursue it as a strategy away from players and gives it to their opponents. It also runs the strong risk of being self-defeating. If the Ally is really good, the penalty for using the Project is too high, so players won't use the Project, meaning other players can't use the Event (absent some other way of getting Action cards into the trash), meaning they have no Favors for the Ally. If the Ally sucks, then players won't want to use the Event/Ally.

There's also an inherent problem in making a landscape a Liaison, which is that (unless there’s another Liaison in the Kingdom), it renders and unusable. While here that would mean that only the Project is usable, I don't like doing the idea of having an Ally that is literally unusable.

Finally, I’m not sure how useful the Project itself is. The game broadly assumes that trashing Action cards is a big downside, and either gives you a big bonus for it (e.g. or does it in conjunction with something that will benefit you from having put things into the trash (e.g., Necromancer). Here, the opposite is happening, and everyone but you is benefiting from the card trashing. Absent Cultist or Fortress (or some other way for you to be using/gaining trashed cards), I’m not sure the Project is usually buyable even without the drawback.

I do like the overall concept, but I think it's too limited to get much use. I would suggest maybe changing the rule to let players buy the Event after buying the Project, and maybe add a non-Supply one-shot that is also a Liaison. Maybe a 1-shot this-turn-Dungeon that gives a Favor for each Action discarded (and would trigger for LoS and CoW).

Blood Oath • Way - Landmark
Exile a Curse from the Supply and a card from your hand.

When scoring, 1VP per three cards you have in Exile

Blood Oath by Chappy7

Blood Oath is a deck-thinning Way that Exiles a card from your hand instead of trashing it, while also Exiling a Curse from the Supply; combined with a Landmark that gives VP for cards in Exile. The Landmark functions to change the Way’s effect in most cases, although if players have other ways of Exiling cards, it can also work independently.

As a thinning Way, the obvious comparison is to Goat. Both require one terminal play of an Action card to thin a single card in your hand from your deck. The only difference between the two (aside from how you would get them back, which, generally, you wouldn’t want to) is their effect on your score. For example, if you thin 3 Estates with WotG, the net effect on your score is -3VP; with BO, it's +1VP. By contrast, thinning 3 Coppers with WotG has no impact on your score, while doing it with BO is worth -2VP.

Of course, this math changes when the Curses run out, which adds another wrinkle, as does the fact that you could discard the Curses from Exile (by buying another one) if you had trasher and wanted to try to get rid of them (while preserving the Victory cards you exiled).  All of this makes Blood Oath a much more interesting twist on a thinning Way than WotG. (The fact that it is probably stronger is not, imo, that big of a problem; unlike kingdom cards that, if strictly better at the same cost could make a different card unbuyable, Ways are never in the same game as each other).

Summoning Circle
Way - Project - $5
Play the card you set aside, leaving it there.
You may set aside a non-Command non-Duration Action card next to this from your hand costing up to $4.

Summoning Circle by Commodore Chuckles

Summoning Circle is a mix between Inheritance and Way of the Mouse. A player can buy the Project to set aside an Action card, which they can then play using the Way.

I'm not sure that this should be a Project. A player could buy this on a Possession turn and lock their opponent out of using it. With an Event that says "Once per game" like Inheritance, that couldn’t happen. Also, it’s important to clarify that you can’t play the set-aside card using the Way. Otherwise, someone could stick the +1 Card or +$1 token from Adventures on it, play it an unlimited number of times. This is already the rule for WotM, but I think you need to specify. On the other hand, I don't think you need the non-Duration exception. Both Way of the Mouse and Inheritance can set aside Duration cards, and the card playing them stays in play like the Duration would.

The obvious comparison here is to Inheritance. Unlike Inheritance, the card has to be set aside from your hand, which is much harder than setting aside a card from the Supply. On the other hand, the cost of $5 is considerably less than Inheritance's $7, and there is the possibility of using non-Supply cards like Horse or (with discounting) Disciple. There are both pros and cons to being a Way versus having Estates play it. On one hand, the Estates can be cheap engine components (or whatever) that also provide VP while not clogging up your deck; on the other hand, making it a Way means you don’t need to get any new cards, and it can seriously enhance the chance of getting the card you want when you want it.

For example, a player could buy only terminal draw cards, and a single village (plus some payload). It likely wouldn’t be hard to hit $5 and the village, at which point all of those terminal draw cards become both (this already exists to some extent with WotOx, but the fact that it doesn't draw is a huge weakness).

This is definitely a fun idea, but I think you need to playtest the price. I think maybe $6 is more reasonable to keep from hitting too easily.

Bribe • $3 • Event - Landmark - Liaison
+2 Favors

When scoring, 1VP per 2 Favors you have.

Bribe by Augie279

Bribe is an Event – Landmark – Liaison that lets players buy Favors, and also makes those Favors worth Victory points.

As mentioned above, a landscape Liaison doesn't work with Circle of Witches or League of Shopkeepers, which are literally useless unless another Liaison is on the board. Whether because of that, because the Ally was useless in the game (e.g. Market Towns on a board where you don't want any terminal Actions) or becomes so (e.g. Peaceful Cultists after you've trashed all your junk), at some point in most games, player are going to have no more use for Favors. At that point, the 2 Favors the Event gives become the functional equivalent of a single VP token. At that point, there is a significant risk of the game getting to a state where no one wants to buy cards and advance the game towards the end, they, just want to keep gaining Favors (e.g.VP tokens). Note that of the handful of Events that give VP tokens, nearly all do so contingent on you gaining a card (Triumph, Ritual, Conquest, Dominate). The two others are Salt the Earth, which trashes a Victory card from the Supply, thus moving the game towards a conclusion, and Wedding, which is expensive and which gives you a gold which you can use to buy Victory cards to end the game. $3 for 1VP is too likely to lead to players piling up as much of it as they can.

Also, this should say "(round down)" at the end of the Landmark part of the card.

Way of the Imp • $4 • Way - Project
If you have a project cube here, +2 Cards, otherwise +1 Card. Either way, you may play an Action card from your hand you don't have a copy of in play.

Way of the Imp is a Way that you can improve by buying its Project element. Once you spend the $4 it becomes an Imp, but until then, it only draws one card (making it a conditional cantrip). I do like the idea of

Imp is underpriced at $2, so it can be gained by Exorcist. The effect is stronger in Way form, since you can hold back using it until you know you have a card available to be played. I’m not sure if the $4 cost is enough to allow such a powerful effect.

Way of the Dead • Artifact - Way
Choose a face-up, non-Duration Action in the trash. Turn it face down for the turn and play it, leaving it there.

Mummy • $5 • Action - Attack
Trash a card from your hand. +$1 per $1 it cost.
If it was an Action, take the Way of the Dead.
Each other player gains a Curse.

Way of the Dead (with Mummy) by 4est

Way of the Dead is an Artifact – Way that lets the player holding it play any of their Action cards as Necromancer. Players get the landscape using Mummy, a trashing Curser that refunds the $ value of the trashed card, and gives WotD if the trashed card is an Action.

A trashing junker is itself a really interesting design space. My first instinct would be that it would be self-defeating, since the trashing makes the junking less effective, leading players to skip the whole thing. But that’s clearly not the case here. A terminal, $5 Action that (when trashing a Curse) provides no additional benefit (aside from the Attack) is far too inefficient of a trasher to render junking meaningless. I really like this design, and how it fits the theme.

WotD is also interesting. Without the Zombies that Necromancer adds to get its ability going, its usefulness is going to be much slower getting off the ground (even with Mummy adding Actions to the trash). I think that’s fine for a Way, where the cards aren't limit to playing the Necromancer effect, which can work more as a supplement for their baseline abilities. The most obvious use would be in an engine, where a player could trash engine components to help make sure they had the right ones at the right time (e.g. villages, terminal draw, etc).

My main concern is that, with only Mummy to get you going, this might be very slow. This is especially true if you are getting junked by your opponent, and foregoing using your Mummy’s thinning to instead add Actions to the trash. I think you’d probably need to build a pretty decent engine first, but there could still be real advantages to having WotD.

The other thing to note is that Necromancers can chain copies of themselves in the trash. Since doing so just plays a different card in the trash (that you could've played anyway), this only matters with Conspirator and the tokens from Adventures. This gets slightly more powerful with a Way, since you could play different cards (with different adventures tokens), and trigger it with any Action card. But I don't think it's busted.

Way of the Cursed • Way - State
Return Way of the Cursed and gain a Curse onto your deck.

When you gain a Victory card, return it to its pile.

Warlock • $3 • Action - Attack
Each other player takes Way of the Cursed

Way of the Cursed (with Warlock) by Gubump

Way of the Cursed is a Way - State that prevents a player from gaining Action cards (returning them to the Supply) until the player removes it by using the Way and taking a Curse (if one is available). At the outset, it's not clear whether players can have multiple copies of Way of the Cursed. I presume a player can only have one at a time, but that should be made clearer.

Compared to a basic Warlock’s attack is generally weaker. Although the overall impact is worse, both because it gets top-decked and because it costs a play of an Action card. However, the effect is delayed, and a player doesn't need to trigger it until they want to start greening. However, it will keep players from using Kingdom Victory cards like Mill.

A much bigger concern for me is that this is way too strong at the end of the game. When players are greening, if your opponent plays a Warlock and you happen to not have an Action card in hand, you can't buy a Victory card. This is way too strong for a $3 terminal Silver.

On the other hand, there could be some cases when a player would want to have WotC (e.g. with Groundskeeper). However, these are far outweighed by the potential harm. Overall, I think the attack is way too harmful at the end of the game.

Ways and Means
Event/Way - $2
Gain a Silver onto your deck

Ways and Means by NoMoreFun

Ways and Means is both a $2 Event and a Way, each of which does the same thing: gains a Silver onto your deck. I really the idea of an Event/Way that does a single thing. The simplicity and elegance really hits a sweet spot for me.

In this particular case, I have a single concern about the design, which is its impact on an opening. Since players often open with Silver anyway, there is very little incentive not to buy WaM. Particularly on turn 1, this can be fairly disruptive. With a $2/$5, a player can be 100% guaranteed to open Silver - Gold. With $3/$4, there is a 20% chance of getting that, but otherwise they open with a Silver and a $5 card. This could be made even worse in a Shelters game with Necropolis. To me, this is too game-altering at an opening.

Dark Pact - $0
Event - Landmark

Return up to 5VP. Choose a different thing per 1VP returned: +2 Cards; +2 Actions; +2 Buys; +$2; return to your Action phase.
Once during each of your turns, when you gain a Curse; +3VP.

Dark Pact by SignError

Dark Pact is an Event – Landmark that allows players to spend VP tokens (and a Buy) to get various vanilla bonuses and return to their Action phase. The Landmark provides the source of those, giving a player 3 VP tokens for gaining a Curse on their turn.

The cost of the effect seems pretty high. If a player drew an Action card dead, and wanted only to go back and play it, they'd generally end up spending 3VP: one to get more Actions, one to go back to the Action phase, and (absent another source of +Buy), one to replace the Buy they used buying Dark Pact. That seems like a high cost for something very similar to what Villa gives you at $4 (albeit without having to keep the Villa in your deck).

Also, without +Buy or some other way to do it, players won't be able to gain the Curses to get the VP tokens without spending their only Buy to do so. That’s another huge opportunity cost. And, if there's a Curser in the game, they may have little to no opportunity to get those Curses on their own before they're all dealt out (even if there is a +Buy card).

I like the overall idea of spending VP tokens (I have even toyed an entire mechanic that does so), but I am not sure this is the best way to do it.

Project - Landmark

Set aside card from the supply next to this costing at least $3 and place your project cube on it.
When scoring -1VP per copy of a proscribed card you have that does not have your project cube on it.

Proscription by xyz123

Proscription is a Project – Landmark that lets players designate a card from the Supply to be worth -1VP (by buying the Project). While I see what you're doing here, I don't think it will have the impact you suggest. While you say you want it to push folks to try new strategies, I think it would actually do the opposite.

At its least punitive, it can cut off a strategy before a player has a chance to undertake it. More likely, since it can be bought at any time, it forecloses all strategies except the most obvious ones (or ones that require only 1-2 copies of any given card). I don't think this expands the possible strategies players can use, I think it massively shrinks them.

I do like the idea of a punitive Landmark (like Bandit Fort or Wall) paired with another landscape that lets players control (or maybe avoid) some of the negative VP points. But I think this makes it too easy to screw over your opponent, forcing everyone to play some version of Big Money every game.

People of the Pumpkin Patch
Ally - Landmark
When you gain a card costing $4 or more, you may spend a Favor.
If you don't, trash a Curse from the Supply and gain a Pumpkin.
When scoring, for each Curse in the trash, you may spend a Favor. Each time you don't, -1VP.

Carving Knife - $2
Treasure - Heirloom
You may trash 2 cards from your hand, for +1 Favor. If you didn't trash a Pumpkin this way, gain a Pumpkin.

Pumpkin - $0* (pile of 8 per player)
When you trash this, if you have Carving Knife in play and have not gained a Jack-O-Lantern this turn, +1 Coffers and gain a Jack-O-Lantern. Either way, return this to its pile.
(This is not in the Supply.)

Jack-O-Lantern - $3* (pile of 10 total)
+1 Coffers
You may trash a Curse from the Supply for +2 Favors.
Return this to its pile.
When you trash this, gain a Curse and return this to its pile.
(This is not in the Supply.)

People of the Pumpkin Patch (with Carving Knife, Pumpkin, and Jack-O-Lantern) by Xen3k

When I say that one of my judging criteria is simplicity, I really do mean it, even if my own submissions aren't always the most straightforward. There is a lot going on here: a new junk card called Pumpkin, an adverse Ally and Heirloom which deal it, and a new non-Supply one-shot that can reward you for dealing with them.

Not to be too harsh, but I'm already not having fun. I don't like that if the Carving Knife shows up in my $3 (or $5) opening I have to use it and get junked, while my opponent who got it in their $4 hand does not. I don't like that if it does't collide on the next shuffle, I get junked again. And I don't like that every time I am gaining anything better than a Silver I'm either spending a Favor (which I need to avoid -1VP) or getting junked again. Even Jack-O-Lantern is barely better than a junk card, and only until the Curses run out and it stops giving you favors. Then it compares unfavorably to Copper. While Gang of Pickpockets is annoying, this is way more oppressive.

Finally, I'm not sure this needs to be a Landmark. Plateau Shepherds provides the precedent that Allies can adjust the score on their own, and while I appreciate that this Ally does something else (and that the point of the contest is to combine two landscapes, which you did), it seems superfluous.


Coppers produces an extra $1.
When scoring, 1% per two Coppers you have.
Costs $7, Project-Landmark

Bronze by CaptainReklaw

Another interesting take, both allowing the player to double the value of Copper and get VP points for them. It feels a little too strong to me.

Way of the mermaid $5
Way - project - landmark
Put this card on the shipwreck mat
If you have your project cube on it, also recieve +1 action, +2$
+1 vp per card on your shipwreck mat

Way of the Mermaid by lompeluiten

I like this design a lot, and have actually made something similar, but without the Project part of it. That doesn’t seem to really be necessary, and a more elegant card could be produced by doing so.
I think the project part is a bit excessive
The syntax on the Landmark is wrong. It should read, "When scoring, 1VP per card on your Shipwreck Mat" and the Way should specify that the card moves to "your Shipwreck mat".

Überwältigende Lawine
Event / Project 4$
At the start if your turn, discard 1 card, for +1 card or +1 buy.
Return your cube. If you do, at the end of this turn +7 cards, then discard 2 cards.

Return your Project cube for a bonus is another interesting approach. This seems like it could set up something very interesting, but I haven't seen it yet.

Way of the Beast • Way - Ally
+1 Card per type (Action, Liaison, etc.) this card has.
You may spend any number of Favors to get that many +Actions.

I really like the Way ability which scales with the number of types the card has, especially when paired with an Ally, which nearly guarantees at least one Action card will have at least 2 types. Using the Favors for +Action is a great combo.

Trek • $0 • Event - Project
When drawing your hand, draw an extra card then discard two cards.

Trek by exfret

Trek is an Event - Project that adds sifting to the end-of-turn draw, at the expense of getting one fewer card in your hand.

You can buy it as an event (applies only that turn) or a project (applies for the whole game).
This is an interesting way to combine mechanics, and the only one here I hadn't thought of before the contest.

The effect itself is relatively weak, although there are various circumstances (discard attacks, dtx, Village Green, etc.) that make it stronger. Without +Buy, buying the event will be hard to square, but I could certainly imagine certain strategies in which the Project is worth getting. Although not the most thrilling entry, it is certainly a solid landscape that can have interesting uses in various games.

Ally - Event
Buy a card. You may trash a card from your hand, and an additional per card trashed this turn. You may pay 1 favor per time you have bought this this turn to buy this for $0.

[unnamed] by IlstrawberrySeed

I'm not totally sure what you were trying to do here. It seems like you wanted players to be able to stack these, but without a source of +Buy the can't. Otherwise, I'm not sure why this is all that different form Peaceful Cultists.

Way of the Beaver • $2 • Event - Way
Once per turn: +1 Buy and take a Dam token.

Trash a card from your hand. Gain a non-Victory card costing up to $1 more than it per Dam token you have.

Beaver is a remodeling Way that players scale up to make stronger. This is an interesting concept, but I worry that remodeling is inherently too strong an ability for a Way (although the non-Victory card limitation certainly helps). I also think this particular design scales up too quickly. For $6 (not spent all at once) you can turn every Action card into an Expand (a $7 card).

Halloween Town -$5
Project - Ally - Liaison

At the start of your turn, +1 Favor.
At the start of your Buy phase, you may spend 2 Favors to gain a Treat.

Treat- $3
Action - Attack
+3 Cards
+2 Coffers
+1 Villager

Each other player takes Trick.
Return this to its pile.
(This is not in the Supply).

At the start of your Action Phase, return this, and the first action you play this turn gets +1 Card and +1 Action instead of following it's instructions.

Halloween Town (with Treat and Trick) by nyxfulloftricks

Treat is certainly an interesting non-Supply card; a double Horse that also gives 2 Coffers and potentially a Villager (if you don't need the action) and an Enchantress attack. But Halloween Town just giving you one every other turn after you but the Project is not all that exciting.

Monster Mash
Way - Event
Play the two cards you have set-aside, in any order, leaving them there.
Setup: Make a Monster deck out of different unused Attack cards.
Once per game: Reveal the top 5 cards of the Monster deck. Set-aside 2 of the revealed cards. Put the rest on the bottom of the Monster deck in any order.

Monster Mash by arowdok

Another really fun idea, but one that I think is pretty busted. First of all, you didn’t clarify that players cannot play one of the set-aside cards using Monster Mash, which means they could play the cards an unlimited number of times. Even if that wasn't allowed, there is still (by my quick math) about a 50% chance that they will have access to an Attack card that gives +Actions, making them all non-terminal and way too strong, even before the attack (and even with the high price).

City Builders • $5 • Project - Ally
At the start of your turn, you may spend any number of Favors for +1 Action per favor, then if you have a cube here, +1 Card per 2 Favors you spent this way.

City Builders by D782802859

This is an interesting submission, and I like the overall idea, but I’m not sure if it is really that different from some existing allies.

There were lots of good entries with interesting designs.


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.
Pages: 1 2 [3]  All

Page created in 0.069 seconds with 22 queries.