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Author Topic: Imagining Dominion without Curses  (Read 878 times)

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EPluribus

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Imagining Dominion without Curses
« on: January 28, 2023, 05:26:32 pm »
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Curses have always felt a little awkward to me. To begin with, they're a regular part of the setup, but outside of explicit cursing attacks, which aren't too common already, the chances of being able to use them are very low (you've got a few cards like masquerade which give a good opportunity to use them, the rare circumstance of an opponent being "forced" to gain one due to no other options, or the ability to buy them out for a three-pile ending, but this is generally not advisable unless there's been some cursing going on anyway). Further, I've encountered many who hate them, and while I don't mind them I'm not sure they're interesting enough gameplay-wise to justify overcoming that negative perception.

Then Dark Ages came along and introduced Ruins, which I feel are way more interesting (and I'd also say work better thematically as an "opposite" to victory + kingdom cards), and then they disappeared again and we were only left with 3 Looters, not very ideal ones at that, as future sets could not include the Ruins again or assume everyone had Dark Ages, so we went back to cursers.

This led me to thinking a bit about how this could have played out differently.

We could imagine if Ruins had taken the place of curses, therefore letting them freely persist throughout all the sets, however I could see how they wouldn't be great for new players who would spend a lot of time pondering them "just in case" they might be able to use one when very frequently they can't. I think the simplest and most elegant solution to introducing junking in the base set would have been by giving out Coppers. Yes, the Copper pile would need to be adjusted based on the number of players, and yes it's also not as bad as getting a curse (but that's sort of part of the point for the base set, though you compensate slightly be simply being able to give out more of them), but ultimately I think it could have worked out well as the default junking attack which also wouldn't scare nearly as many beginners away.

This brings us to Ruins. To free them from their "Looter"-dependency, I would propose that your typical junking attack wouldn't call out any card in particular, but rather say something like "Each other player gains a copy of a card costing $0 that you choose." Suddenly, Ruins could become a part of your regular game like Platinum and Colony regardless of what kingdom you had out! Perhaps Ruins could also have the -1VP to begin with and then just have a smaller pile than Copper. This could even open the door for more kinds of "junk", like bringing back Curses instead of Hexes in Nocturne but still finding some way to jazz them up.

Anyway, these ideas are definitely not playtested in anyway, just my ponderings. Anyone else have any thoughts?   
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BryGuy

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Re: Imagining Dominion without Curses
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2023, 09:34:21 am »
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Some fans have made Curse alternatives that i find interesting. I'll see if i can find them and post them. I can see having a house-rule/edict about using them instead of Curses.

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I have used these:

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« Last Edit: January 30, 2023, 09:55:41 am by BryGuy »
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X-tra

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Re: Imagining Dominion without Curses
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2023, 11:46:06 am »
+6

Just a quick reminder that fan cards are best left in the Variants subcategory, for various reasons.
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Awaclus

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Re: Imagining Dominion without Curses
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2023, 12:29:28 pm »
+3

Just a quick reminder that fan cards are best left in the Variants subcategory, for various reasons.

This whole thread would probably have been more appropriate there.
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Bomb, Cannon, and many of the Gunpowder cards can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way

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NoMoreFun

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Re: Imagining Dominion without Curses
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2023, 11:29:28 pm »
+2

I like how Curses are in the supply so it's one pile easier to end a slog game. The card that made it problematic, IGG, is gone now.
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