Juxtaposition: A World Beyond Space and Time

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Sun, 2017-07-16 05:34
WindyDelcarlo
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(Art by Treijim on DeviantART)

Imagine, for one moment, the entire multiverse, condensed into the space of one plane.

Instead of a multiverse with planes, you have a plane with many dimensions.

An infinite number of worlds, all simultaneously perilous and wonderful.

This is the world where space and time, to many, are optional.

Welcome.

A 'brief' introduction wrote:
Greetings, Traveler.

No, the voice speaking in your head in the moment is not, in fact, a hallucination. What you’re hearing is a little message I’ve put together for any first time visitors to this little section of the multiverse. Welcome to my home, and the home of many, many countless others. For what would be an eternity to any mortal creature, we thought this Grey World with it’s infinite number of dimensions, or as you would call them ‘sub planes’ was all there was, and that beyond the Edge of Infinity that contained all our dimensions, there was nothing but an endless
sea of energy.

Well. We were half right.

Welcome, again, to this little plane that I, Kar’Hiaal, resident head of deific staff, lovingly call “Juxtaposition”. As I’ve stated before, there is an infinite number of sub planes within this realm, and though it is rare, we have our own small set of Space-Between faring nations. Perhaps though, I am getting ahead of myself. Allow me a moment to give you a brief introduction to the first of our worlds, Primorbius. Primorbius is just that, the first world ever created. It was populated initially with Astral Dragons, creatures made entirely out of magic made physical. The most powerful of these Astral Dragons, the first living creature ever to be born in our world, rose above the others, and while he was indeed immensely strong, he was also horrendously vicious and vain. He believed himself to be the only creature worth living, and as such, turned on his fellow Astral Dragons, turning their silver magic bodies to mundane stone.

Of course, the Creator at the time, which is the title that is used to describe an entity that controls the fundamental aspects of our world, was forced to respond to this action, since the Astral Dragons were small pieces of itself given form and will, the first of which given the ability
to reign over all struggle and conflict as a king. Fearing it might overdo its retribution and accidentally un-create the whole plane, it simply created another creature, more of itself given form, built specifically to police and control the first.

This is how the Gods were born, Quake, The first: God of War and Earth, and Natura, the Second, Goddess of Life, Death, and Knowledge. Needless to say Quake and Natura immediately got to fighting each other, and quickly began to conscript various newborn races to their respective causes, creating the first Godwar. Chief among these races were Kobolds, who joined Quake’s side as an endless sea of valiant warriors and mages, and the Cwa, a species of bird-like people who, while small in number, made up for their outnumbered position with incredible strength, knowledge, perseverance, creativity…

…I’ll spare you the details. Natura won the conflict, and, having settled down, she decided to have children, and gave birth to twins, Hydrus and Phyris, newborn Gods of Knowledge and Death, sacrificing her own power to become a mother. Time crawled ever forward, eons and eons into the future, as the Creator eventually decided to experiment, giving birth to new two new Gods, and causing turmoil and conflict among the ruling pantheon every time such an event happened. The fifth, Gusts, Goddess of Wind and Will, was a sort of security measure. The Creator had seen that various races were experimenting, and were beginning to grasp at attempts to contain it, and made Gusts as a kind
of failsafe, to defend the Creator in a battle of willpower, should the need arise.

Glacia, Goddess of Fate and Ice, caused another such uproar with her incredible power to alter the fate of any who opposed her, and a new class of artifacts, called Conduits, were created, along with some old artifacts that existed prior put into the classification, they were
used to reign her in.

And all was Balance for a time, equal parts discord and harmony on a planar scale. Until a group of interdimensionally cooperating researchers who called themselves “Souls of Chaos” decided to launch their greatest experiment: an attempt to take control of the Creator by bypassing Gusts’ defense.

It nearly worked, too. The Creator, in a desperate plea, attempted a final desperate act: It removed its only remaining power, the ability to control time and space itself, and made another newborn God: Zyphiridon, Master of Time and Space. This Seventh God was… unpredictable and dangerous to say the least, and essentially tore the Souls of Chaos to tatters, scattered as far apart as possible. He had to be restrained, and his Soul, the essence of a creature’s life and its ability to cast magic, was removed from his body, and placed in the care of a mortal mage, transferred to a timeline inaccessible even to a God of Time. But temporary solutions to problems are not good ones. Here is where the story of my three champions begins.


Umbral White, the Illusionist

Lannkitt Lightfinger, the Artificer

Etinai Lyret, the Elementalist

Hiya! I have another set here.

In case you're unaware, which you probably are, this was the result of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, in which the story and characters I fell in love with. I hopped in at level 12, and from there decided to design a set based on the events and characters. The most confusing part of this was figuring out what in the multiverse to do about the fact that the Hyperverse (the name it's referred to in the world) is larger than the multiverse, in that the multiverse is apparently finite, whereas the hyperverse is infinite.

Sun, 2017-07-16 08:23
Neottolemo
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White's +1 Loyalty should probably use the 'create' wording.

I'm curious to see how much the fact that the Hyperverse consists in so many sub planes will be important for this set.

Sun, 2017-07-16 22:36
MysticalOctopus
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I saw that reference to Kobolds in there. Excited for the inevitable Kobold tribal commander.

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Sun, 2017-07-16 23:02
Korakhos
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I like the premise of infinite worlds inside one place, as for Umbral, I'm not sure how accesible it is to have twenty illusions at a time, so I'm not sure how to judge his ultimate.

Sun, 2017-07-16 23:46
jacqui-pup
Featured Set Editor - Best Set of 2015 - Community Award
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Oh boy, because if there was one thing custom Magic needed, it's average D&D world

[center]"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game." --Mark Rosewater

Wed, 2017-07-19 03:23
WindyDelcarlo
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I cannot say anything for a Kobold tribal commander. I can give you a commander that is a Kobold, though, as part of my mechanics.

Speaking of, Mechanics wrote:

Vanishing
Tick, tock, time's running out and someone is going to die sooner or later. There's two archetypes across the 5 colors that have a lot of these floating around for assorted reasons. Some of these happen to be illusions, others are more creatures that just want your opponent super dead super quickly. A nonzero amount of these happen to be kobolds. There's not much more to say here right yet. It was interesting working with it.

Rebound
There's a lot of magic and it happens to be all over the place. This is one of the two spell-based mechanics and the last returning mechanic. Rebound happens to be good at casting spells when you need spells to be cast. Rebound was used to reflect creativity and spellcasting of a higher level.
And no, just to clarify, storm is not an archetype in this set, although casting multiple spells is relevant as you'll see shortly.


Reflection
So, this mechanic came about as a result of the in-game metamagic Quicken Spell. In a lot of cases, especially in this custom campaign setting, Quicken Spell ended up being used as a method to replicate spells, a lot. So when designing this set, I came to the conclusion that copying spells should be a thing for the decks that happen to care. In this case, all Reflection cares about is that you are simultaneously doing another thing. This can make timing interesting for things like combat tricks, where you have to wonder if you wait to use it with a Reflection spell or not.


Grasp of Time
It comes to my attention as I write this that this set steps on Linela's toes a bit from a flavor standpoint. Time is a relevant mechanic that exists. Vanishing gives you not as much time before your death, Grasp of Time provides age and wisdom. Reflection abuses time as a factor, as does rebound. A lot of things happen to be relevant to time in this set. For now, let's not worry about that, though.

Wed, 2017-07-19 08:28
Neottolemo
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Windy... Why would you put vanishing and grasp of time in the same set? What's the point? I mean, they're drawback keywords, which are usually not a good thing to have in a set at all, but two of them that nearly do the same thing and have nearly the same flavour?

Wed, 2017-07-19 14:12
MysticalOctopus
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And now there's two different kinds of counters that go on creatures in the same set... and one of them's time counters.

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Wed, 2017-07-19 14:58
jacqui-pup
Featured Set Editor - Best Set of 2015 - Community Award
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Yeah that is supremely stupid. This really couldn't be vanishing foo where foo is the creature's toughness?

I do like reflection and rebound being in the same set though, that's actually quite clever

[center]"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game." --Mark Rosewater

Wed, 2017-07-19 20:25
RJ
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Comments on card construction:

• Use the create wording for token generation for White's first and third abilities.
• Lannkitt's second ability should read "Search your library for an Equipment card, reveal that card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it."
• Etinai's first ability should say "Put the remaining cards" since if you choose the option to not put any of them into your hand, the word "rest" isn't correct.
• Rebound is ALWAYS the last thing on a card.

Comments on the cards themselves:

• It's extremely difficult to see how OP White's ult is without knowing:
  (1) how many creatures with the type Illusion are in the set, since those count,
  (2) how easy it is to make Illusion tokens, and
  (3) how easy it is to duplicate tokens.
• Lannkitt's ult gives rise to the (not-so-)wonderful world of mana rocks becoming functionally infinite ping damage, and by functionally infinite I mean " more than enough to kill your opponent dead without needing anything but a single one-drop and a bunch of lands." So I'd look into how feasible it is to pull that off, and I'm guessing it's pretty feasible since you've got cards that tell me that artifacts matter.
• Etinai bamfs in an Ulamog. Or something massive that's not in your deck's colors. Or anything really.
• I like the idea of being able to trade the time counters from Vanishing for different effects, though I hope it isn't always ping damage.
• The Soul Sustains needs other cards to rebound on the same turn as it does or it will do stone nothing when it rebounds. That was probably intentional, but I'm pointing it out on the off chance it wasn't.
• Glacia's Judgment feels overcosted to me, but then again, I have been known to cost things aggressively.

Comments on the mechanics:

• So we're bringing Vanishing back. Flavor-wise it works, but it's a solid 7 (some would argue for it to be an 8!) on the Storm Scale... Hopefully either there are ways to make it less of a drawback or it's not a large chunk of the set. As an aside, we've only seen one non-creature with Vanishing from Wotzee, so that's something to try maybe?
• Rebound is one of my top three favorite mechanics ever (the other two being Exalted and Lifelink).
• Reflection is interesting, and the way it would interact with Rebound (if you have a way to grant one or the other to spells you cast from hand) is fantastic for Johhnys.
• Grasp of Time is... blegh. It's:
  (1) a drawback mechanic in a set with at least one other drawback mechanic;
  (2) in the same set as Vanishing:
    (a) thus making two mechanics that are extremely similar be in the same set,
    (b) as they appear to be in different colors, this massively prevents synergy in the color combos that reach across the color lines you've drawn,
    (c) thus making two mechanics that do nearly the same thing use different counters,
    (d) thus making two mechanics that use different counters;
  (3) an optional ability that will be used every turn on some creatures and never on others.

Comments on flavor:

Aww yis someone's doing the minimultiverse!
Looking forward to how the story plays out and how the mechanics mesh with the flavor.

Please ignore the clearly insane electrical engineer behind the instrument panel. His meds won't wear off until Thur- it's Friday?? Already?! Oh dear.

Wed, 2017-07-19 16:34
WindyDelcarlo
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I will take a look into grasp of time. It is a choice, but -1/-1 counters being thrown around when time counters are being thrown around is a bit of a problem.
And yes, Etinai bamfing in anything she wants is intentional

Wed, 2017-07-19 16:43
MysticalOctopus
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I feel like jacqui's suggestion of just having grasp of time replaced with vanishing X where X is the creature's toughness is probably a good way to do it. And replacing "whenever a -1/-1 counter is put on X" with "Whenever a time counter is removed from X".

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Wed, 2017-07-19 17:00
WindyDelcarlo
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Yep, I'll be replacing a lot of them with vanishing. I'm still going to need to do a bit of fixing for archetype purposes, but it works that way.

Mon, 2017-08-28 06:11
WindyDelcarlo
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So, there's no writing so far. However, I would like to get this set out there, and most of it was mechanical base anyways, so I'm going to hop into some more spoilers.

The Races in Juxtaposition
Keeping in mind that there are many races in an infinite hyperverse, it's impossible to truly represent them. However, in the story of three champions, there were a few races that stood above others in terms of relevance. For either mechanical archetype or story reasons, there are a few creature types I focused on:

Illusions
Illusions came about as a result of Umbral White's abilities as a powerful illusionist. As you probably might expect from his planeswalker card, Illusions are frequent in white and blue as the evanescent beings they are. The biggest challenge designing illusions in white stemmed from making them feel as evanescent as they tend to be. Sacrificing upon being looked at is a blue ability. The first solution was easy: Make it a white ability. Eventually, the second answer seemed as obvious as the first. Vanishing, of course!

Illusions

Kobolds
You noticed the Kobolds by this point. There's not a large number of them, mostly as a result of the fact that they live on one plane within the Juxtaposition hyperverse. However, there is definitely a few of them, and a deck comprised mostly of Kobolds in this set's limited can hold some ground just by nature of having similar mechanical ties. As I'm sure you can guess, they're mostly red. But careful! These kobolds aren't pushovers like the ones from Kher Keep!

Kobolds

Spirits
Juxtaposition has a large emphasis on soul, and its role in the casting of spells. Casters in the Hyperverse draw from an internal source of magic. The same source of magic can sustain itself for short times after death, allowing spirits, the embodiment of a being's soul, to persist. These spirits are mostly in White/black mana symbol, as with many spirits in Magic.

Spoiler:

Oh? Story Spotlight? Don't mind that, all in good time.

Shells
The space between worlds is dangerous, for many reasons. Aside from the obvious, lack of oxygen because vacuum and what not, there's also the problem of Shells. They have been called many things, whether it be Quantum Zombies, Quantum Shells, Celestial Shells, what have you, but the term simply refers to the state of being that is not yet a soul, but can become one. And, as such, a state of being that is not yet life. As beings that are not yet life, Shells have no creature type. This is on purpose.

A Shell

Plants
While searching for green archetypes, there was a struggle at first. It was difficult to fit green archetypes from the story, so this is where the existence gets more mechanical. Plants are a tribe that is beloved by Natura, the Goddess of Life. They are another tribe that has been color bended, and show up primarily in green and white.

Plants

Dragons
Yes, there are some dragons. The Gods are a special race of dragon called Astral Dragons that were wiped out many years prior to Kar'Hiaal's planning. Less special dragons live at the north of the world. They don't actually show up as much, although it is relevant to note they exist.
(As Astral Dragons, the Gods hold the ability to change their shape at will. One of the Gods is Human type on card because he prefers a human form. I figured I should mention this alongside the mention of them being dragons.)

Dragon

Cwa
Finally, we come to the mystical race that Kar'Hiaal belongs to. He did most of the explanation in his introduction, but to quickly restate, the Cwa are flightless birds that live for literal millions of years, practicing a single craft their entire lives. As with Kobolds, there are few Cwa, but they definitely exist.

Cwa

Mon, 2017-11-06 03:26
WindyDelcarlo
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At Some Point wrote:
I am a patient man. I’ve long lost count of the number of temporal loops that I’ve had to manipulate the God of Time to set up in order to get my Heroes to overcome the most basic of hurdles to unseat Creation. The pattern is the same every time: They find my little hidden island, they solve the puzzles in the tower, they enter, they die.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

This is worrying. Perhaps this was too much, maybe I’m expecting too much of them?

No. They need the will to overcome that spell. They need to survive it. If they can’t in this controlled situation, The Creator will certainly erase them when the time comes to confront it. I need to know this will work. I can wait.

Repeat.

Repeat.

My Echo is still working, despite trillions of loops. Who would’ve thought Animancy could produce something so useful? Sure, it’s basic. It really only does the same thing over and over again. It taunts the party, sets me up as someone to be feared by them, and then it uses the Phylactery Machine swirling with neigh-infinite copies of the Three’s souls to cast the Spell of Spells to kill my three Heroes, and then it repeats.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

At this point, I can’t even bring myself to watch the progress of this little experiment. I need other options. I’m a busy person, and I can’t completely devote myself to watching the same thing happen over and over and over again. Maybe this was a foolish venture to begin with. I mean, usurping a literal all-powerful thing that’s responsible for literally everything that’s ever happened is a pretty high bar, even for me.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Something is different this time. Sure, everything went exactly according to script all the way up until this point. The puzzles, the towers, avoiding the traps on the stairs, meeting with my Soul Echo, the spell… Why isn’t she dead?

I’m watching intently now. This is it. This has to be it. Etinai raises her hand. I can see the raw power in the air physically distorting space, causing a bulge around her almost as if the air itself is being inflated by some invisible force. Her hand trembles.

A smile creeps its way into the corners of my mouth.

Of all the solutions, I never could’ve seen this one coming. She’s got control of the Phylactery Machine. She has a Bottomless Pool.

She casts the Spell of Spells: Imaginaria.

I drum my fingers across my desk as my Soul Echo ceases to transfer information to me, no doubt completely eradicated by a spell that should kill anything that tries to cast it under normal circumstances, just from the literal infinite amount of energy required to cast such a thing. A spell used as the ultimate reality-altering tool, the spell of the Creator.

They no doubt have Shadowrend and The Tome now, and my falsified research notes. Phase 1 is a success.

Mon, 2017-11-06 07:39
fluffyDeathbringer
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Quote:
I mean, usurping a literal all-powerful thing that’s responsible for literally everything that’s ever happened is a pretty high bar, even for me.

This passage feels like it clashes with the "shadowy, dignified manipulator" tone the rest of the chapter is setting up.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

Avatar by rickenfe13. goats are gay

Mon, 2017-11-06 07:51
WindyDelcarlo
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I believe that was intentional. I don't actually know; this piece, as well as most of the story writing pieces for Juxtaposition, was handled by the friendly neighbourhood DM.