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Author Topic: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages  (Read 2728 times)

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4est

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Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« on: January 02, 2024, 08:41:43 pm »
+4

WDC #208: Back to the Dark Ages

Happy New Year everyone!

Over the past few years, DXV has made second edition updates to many of the older Dominion sets, notably removing weak, overpowered, and boring cards and adding in new ones. At this point, it feels like there's only one set left that could reasonably still get this kind of 2e treatment, and that's Dark Ages (I don't see DXV ever coming back to Alchemy, and the other two small expansions in Cornucopia and Guilds feel unlikely to get a big update).

Here's this week's challenge:

Design a new card that fits the theme of Dark Ages (and optionally, replaces a current card from Dark Ages)

Other rules and suggestions:
  • You may NOT use unique mechanics from other official expansions. Your card should be one that could reasonably fit in an actual Dark Ages Second Edition without requiring additional components or mechanics explanation in the Dark Ages expansion rulebook. So no landscapes, durations, travellers, reserves, split piles, VP tokens, Coffers/Villagers, Debt, Exile, Horses, Night cards, etc.
  • Your card does not have to be a direct replacement for an official Dark Ages card, but you are welcome to design one that is (and maybe let us know what card yours is intended to replace).
  • Try to think about how your card would fit in Dark Ages as a whole (and its unique themes/mechanics, including Shelters, Looters/Ruins, Spoils, non-supply cards, trashing/when-trash, etc.). How will your card interact with other Dark Ages cards?
  • You're welcome to include a new non-supply cards as part of your submission or mess around with new Shelters, Knights, or Ruins if you like, so long as you don't stray into expansion mechanics outside Dark Ages.
  • As always with my contests: Don't make me squint. Eliminate unnecessary words and complexity where possible.

Judgment Details:
  • Entries and revisions must be submitted by 5:00 PM CST (11:00 PM UTC) on Wednesday, January 10. I'll have results posted on Friday, January 12.
  • Entries will be judged on ingenuity, balance, simplicity, and appropriate overall fit within a Dark Ages Second Edition.

Have fun! I'm excited to see your designs!



Entries:

Rabid Dog by Will(ow|iam)
Profiteer by NoMoreFun
Booty by segura
Rapine by gentlefish
Cult Leader by JW
Salvaged Goods by Cutepelican126
Plague Doctor by Gubump
Junk Dog by anordinaryman
Silversmith by Augie279
Gongfarmer by D782802859
Ruinous Route by BryGuy
Redoubt by SignError
Squatter by faust
Street Rat by Zoyarox
Ruined Duchy by n_sanity
Loanshark by fika monster
Feral Cat by emtzalex
Abby by RovingBear
Scrapheap Village by silverspawn
« Last Edit: January 12, 2024, 09:25:31 pm by 4est »
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Will(ow|iam)

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2024, 01:34:41 am »
+2

Quote
Rabid Dog
$5 Action
+1 Card
+1 Action
Trash a card from your hand. If it's an Action, exchange this for a Madman.

This is meant to replace Urchin and Mercenary. I think having an extra card in the set that gains madmen would be cool, like how most of the extra piles in most sets have multiple cards that can gain from them (The only exceptions I can think of are the Travelers, Mercenary, Madman, and Bat).
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NoMoreFun

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2024, 04:34:11 am »
+2

Profiteer
Action/Reaction - $5
Gain a Spoils, then you may play an Action or Treasure from your discard pile.
_________
When you gain or trash a card, you may reveal this from your hand, to exchange the card for a Spoils

Edit: An earlier version was called "Alcove" and cost $3. The card has been changed to $5
« Last Edit: January 05, 2024, 11:15:55 pm by NoMoreFun »
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segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2024, 04:44:42 am »
+2

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segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2024, 04:52:23 am »
0

Alcove
Action/Reaction - $3
Gain a Spoils, putting it anywhere in your deck.
_________
When you gain or trash a card, you may reveal this from your hand, to exchange the card for a Spoils
This would be funky with Chapel. Open Chapel/Alcove. T3: Chapel, Alcove, 3 Estates. Blow the green up for 3 Spoils.
I don't want to imply that it is OP though, it is a very cool design.
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silverspawn

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2024, 05:04:05 am »
0

OP still isn't a coherent concept (OP -- over what?) but the ability to turn random +buys into spoils is pretty bonkers. Any cantrip +buy is going to have a field day with Alcove. Counterfeit will, too.

emtzalex

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2024, 07:39:50 am »
+2

(Not a real submission, obviously):

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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.

segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2024, 07:59:01 am »
0

OP still isn't a coherent concept (OP -- over what?) but the ability to turn random +buys into spoils is pretty bonkers. Any cantrip +buy is going to have a field day with Alcove. Counterfeit will, too.
Card strength is not existing? Now that is a crazy notion.
There are obviously overpowered cards in Dominion, e.g. Cultist and Rebuild.
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BryGuy

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2024, 08:15:26 am »
0

:)
Withdrawn
:)
Quote
Copper Mine • $1 • Treasure - Shelter
Gain a Copper to your Hand. If you did, gain a Spoils to your Deck's top.
:)
I like Shelters and would like to see more. I'm currently using 20 with plans for another ten more - partially thanks to Weekly Design 22 and 158.
This uses Dark Age's theme of self junking.
My other idea would be to replace Necropolis, which i already do.
My other idea was a split pile using Beggar, but then it would be the only split pile in the box, so maybe not?
My other idea goes against the contest rules, modifing Mystic by adding a sentence and its own Heritage.

:)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2024, 09:42:16 pm by BryGuy »
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silverspawn

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2024, 09:56:35 am »
0

OP still isn't a coherent concept (OP -- over what?) but the ability to turn random +buys into spoils is pretty bonkers. Any cantrip +buy is going to have a field day with Alcove. Counterfeit will, too.
Card strength is not existing? Now that is a crazy notion.
There are obviously overpowered cards in Dominion, e.g. Cultist and Rebuild.

the "power" in "overpowered" (which is card strength) does exist. It's the "over" that makes no sense. Overpowered usually implies that a component makes one set of stuff stronger than another set of stuff. E.g., one unit makes a race stronger than another. Or one move makes one fighting character stronger than another. In dominion this doesn't apply since everyone has the same set of cards, so there's no equivalent to "character" or "race". And one card being stronger than another, even far stronger, is a normal part of the game, both in terms of absolute strength and in terms of strength relative to the board. So if the only thing "over" (which is a comparative word) can target is other cards, and if it's not a bad thing if a card is stronger than other cards, well then "overpowered" is obviously not an applicable concept. (I've been saying this for years now.)

Case in point, Donate is much, much stronger than Cultist, but I don't see many people complaining about Donate. If strength itself were an issue, Donate would be a completely broken design. In fact, I would bet that if Donate were not an official card and someone posted it in a design threat, at least one person would call it overpowered and several people would agree with that person.

Donate of course has the property of not being spammable, but that just makes my point. If Cultist is a bad design, then it's because it dominates a strategy by itself, which donate does not. So it's not that about its card strength, it's about the effect of the card strength, so you need other properties as well to make the argument. Rebuild is an even better example, since it's not even all that strong (lots of 5$s are stronger), it just leads to very boring strategy when it is bought.

segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2024, 10:21:18 am »
0

So if the only thing "over" (which is a comparative word) can target is other cards, and if it's not a bad thing if a card is stronger than other cards, well then "overpowered" is obviously not an applicable concept. (I've been saying this for years now.)
As Dominion does feature a fixed and not a rotating card pool like other deckbuilders, gama balance is indeed not that sensitive to varying card strength. As you neatly pointed out via Donate, Events are even less sensitive to them and e.g. Summon being virtually strictly stronger than Demand is not a huge issue.

All this does not mean that card strength does not exist and that you cannot, and when analyzing fan designs should not, deeply care about it. It is the first thing you do when you check a design, is it too strong or too weak. It is also far easier to do than analyze how interesting and fun a card is.

This is also the case with official cards. I will never understand how Cultist and Rebuild got through any playtesting in Dark Ages, they are far too strong and centralizing which is why they suck.

Back to the card, you yourself pointed out sitatuons in which Alcove could be far too crazy. And even though this does perhaps not imply that you run more than one, perhaps two, copies of Alcove, even though Alcove as a gainer of one-shot stop cards can hardly make the game wild, this could nonetheless be a serious issue which makes the card overpowered.
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gentlefish

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2024, 10:43:21 am »
0

I'm completely new here and this is my first card ever - so please don't judge me too hard.

This card would replace Pillage:

Quote
Each other player with 5 or more cards in hand reveals their hand except one card and discards one of the revealed cards that you choose.
If a player discarded a card costing $5 or more, trash this.
-
When you trash this, gain 2 Spoils.
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silverspawn

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2024, 11:50:21 am »
0

All this does not mean that [...] you cannot, and when analyzing fan designs should not, deeply care about [card strength]

Why not? I think that's exactly what it means.

I mean the "you should think about" thing is bit of an applause line because you can always say that it's better to think about something than not think about it. But I claim that "overpowered" is not a valid criticism and there's no reason to ever make that critique in writing (or judging). And you didn't give any reason why this would be a reasonable thing; you just stated it.

Even when designing a card, I don't think about powerlevel. I think about what kind of new idea I want to do. Then sometimes when it's done, I think about whether this particular idea would work better as a strong or weak card. And if it's too weak, I do something to fix that.* But it's not a key concern.

* since "underpowered" is a different category because if a card is consistently the weakest card on the board that is actually an issue.

Ethan

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2024, 11:55:01 am »
+2

I don't think it's better than Archer.
I'm completely new here and this is my first card ever - so please don't judge me too hard.

This card would replace Pillage:

Quote
Each other player with 5 or more cards in hand reveals their hand except one card and discards one of the revealed cards that you choose.
If a player discarded a card costing $5 or more, trash this.
-
When you trash this, gain 2 Spoils.
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gentlefish

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2024, 12:18:46 pm »
+1

I don't think it's better than Archer.

You're absolutely right. Didn't think of archer. A price of 4 makes more sense:
Quote
Each other player with 5 or more cards in hand reveals all but one and discards one of them that you choose.
If a player discarded a card costing more than this, trash this.
-
When you trash this, gain 2 Spoils.
-
Cost: $4
Type: Action - Attack
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segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2024, 01:08:42 pm »
0

All this does not mean that [...] you cannot, and when analyzing fan designs should not, deeply care about [card strength]

Why not? I think that's exactly what it means.

I mean the "you should think about" thing is bit of an applause line because you can always say that it's better to think about something than not think about it. But I claim that "overpowered" is not a valid criticism and there's no reason to ever make that critique in writing (or judging). And you didn't give any reason why this would be a reasonable thing; you just stated it.

Even when designing a card, I don't think about powerlevel. I think about what kind of new idea I want to do. Then sometimes when it's done, I think about whether this particular idea would work better as a strong or weak card. And if it's too weak, I do something to fix that.* But it's not a key concern.

* since "underpowered" is a different category because if a card is consistently the weakest card on the board that is actually an issue.
You can put overpowered in quotation marks as often as you want to, it does not make card strength any less relevant. If you ignore power level in your designs, you will sooner or later come up with things than cannot be salvaged.
Let us take Fugitive. It is obviously a $4.5 card, i.e. it could never be done as normal Kingdom card because you cannot change the price to fix it. Of course you could buff or nerf it to put it into $4 or $5 territory but then that buff or nerf better be interesting.

Mechanical soundness and power balance are absolutely mandatory (in any game). They don’t make a design interesting, fun or novel; they are necessary but not sufficient for good card designs.
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segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2024, 01:16:45 pm »
0

I don't think it's better than Archer.

You're absolutely right. Didn't think of archer. A price of 4 makes more sense:
Quote
Each other player with 5 or more cards in hand reveals all but one and discards one of them that you choose.
If a player discarded a card costing more than this, trash this.
-
When you trash this, gain 2 Spoils.
-
Cost: $4
Type: Action - Attack
I don’t know whether it is stronger or weaker than Archer. But Pillage is a guaranteed Coin spike that you want either early in the game or in situations in which you need that very Coin spike (you trashed down quickly, got decent draw but not much payload, …). The Attack is nice and strong but not the reason you buy Pillage.
Your card on the other hand is Archer without Coins that can convert itself into Spoils somewhen in the middlegame (early on this is weak, you played a stop card to discard a Copper or whatever). I don’t really like a weakish Attack with no resources except the one-shot blow-up over which you have no control.
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JW

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2024, 01:58:00 pm »
+3

Cult Leader

Action - Attack
+3 Cards. Each other player may discard an Action for +1 Card. If they don't, they gain a Ruins.
----
When you trash this, +2 Cards.

Notes: Replaces Cultist, of course. Cultist is one of the Dark Ages cards most worthy of being replaced, especially because I entered a Rebuild replacement in a previous contest: https://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=21418.msg896526#msg896526.
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Cutepelican126

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2024, 03:20:43 pm »
+2



A simple treasure to benefit from the junk getting trashed. If it was to replace anything in particular, I dunno it could replace Feodum maybe?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2024, 06:54:03 pm by Cutepelican126 »
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2024, 12:19:42 pm »
+8

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All of my fan card mockups are credited to Shard of Honor and his Dominion Card Image Generator (the new fork).
If you're having font issues with the generator, click this link and click on the button to request temporary access to the demo server that loads the font.

anordinaryman

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2024, 02:25:07 pm »
+3

Edit: I have updated the entry in a later post here


Quote
Junk Dog | Action - Looter | $3
+2 Cards
You may gain a Ruins from the Supply to play it.
-
When you trash this, play it

If ruined library is showing as the top Ruins, you could make this a smithy this turn (at the cost of self-junking the Ruin Library in your deck for future turns)

Junk Dog ties in a lot of Dark Ages themes. It's got a when-trash, which is of course fun. It also is a looter. It incorporates a sub-theme of self-junking for a gain this turn, like Beggar and to some extent Death Cart does. Lastly, it continues the "play a terminal action" theme from Cultists.

Open to feedback. Specifically I'm wondering whether I should do "You may gain a Ruins from the Supply. You may play a Ruins from your Hand" which makes it a lot stronger at handling Ruins from itself on future turns and other sources. I feel like that would push the cost to $4? Not sure if that would be worth it.

One thing is that I find Knights is often monolithic. They're fun, but it feels like you can't ignore them. I love having soft counters like fortress; Junk Dog is another counter, though it's terminal so you can't over-load up on them like you can with fortresses.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2024, 10:41:14 am by anordinaryman »
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segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2024, 02:34:52 pm »
+2

„You may play a Ruins from the Supply“ is a shorter wording. It works mechanically the same except for gain triggers like Trader.
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Augie279

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2024, 04:23:26 pm »
0



Scavenger's weak. This probably is too, but being able to guarantee one of the cards you draw is a Silver must be good, right? Certainly worth making the Silver gain that comes with it mandatory.
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D782802859

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2024, 05:55:26 pm »
0


Quote
Gongfarmer
$4 Action
Trash a card from your hand.
Reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal one costing more than the trashed card.
Put two of the revealed cards into your hand and discard the rest.
A play on Sage, reborn as a trasher.
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BryGuy

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2024, 10:05:44 pm »
0

:)
Quote
Ruinous Route • $4 • Action - Looter
Gain a Ruin.
Review your Deck's top five cards, trashing up to three and returning the rest.
Choose one: +$2; or play up to two Ruins from the Trash, leaving them there.
:)
Sadly there are only three official Looters, but none of them allow you to use them as Actions - Death Cart merely uses them as fodder. Cultist and Marauder use Ruins like Curses. The last choice offers some use until there are enough Ruins in the trash to be more useful.
This uses Dark Age's theme of self junking, like Beggar, Death Cart; Count.
This would replace Beggar - a card i have never bought, nor have seen a kingdom where it would be of much use. Beggar is ranked 477 out of 488 Dominion cards. Only Feodum and Pillage rank lower amongst Dark Ages cards.
I would also toss-out Survivors.

Update-20240105: Changed both option: "+1 Action and +$1" to "+$2"; from two to three ruins in the trash.
Update-20240109: removed Ruin gain to Deck's top. Add deck inspect and potential trash, like Sentinel. return choice to play two Ruins

My other ideas include:
* adding a Treasure-Shelter
* replacing Necropolis, which i already do.
* adding a Night-Shelter
* modifying Mystic by adding its own Heritage which goes against the contest rules

:)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2024, 10:30:35 pm by BryGuy »
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