Creating the Next Big Thing

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Tue, 2010-04-06 14:06
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

So, lately, I've had an itch to do something new, in the vein of Vanguard, Planechase and the forthcoming Archenemy. Something for casual, and perhaps multiplayer. Something with new kinds of cards. But alas, my creative juices have not been flowing. So I come here to ask if anyone is interested in undertaking such a project, and beginning the brainstorming phase with me?

While my creative juices are not flowing, my analytical ones are. Here's what I've come up with so far as structural information.

Design Notes, based on Planechase and Archenemy:

Spoiler:
  • Should be 40 or 80 new cards, depending on how repetetive setup is. Planechase had more Planar decks in use at a time, so less repetive, so fewer cards.
  • Should not go in library. Goes in new deck, if a deck is needed.
  • Probably a new template.
  • Other new objects if needed, like dice.

We could also decide to do preconstructed decks to go with it, if we like, in the vein of those from Planechase. If we do:

Spoiler:
  • Cards in decks should be almost entirely reprints.
  • 4 decks, each with 10 or 20 of the 40 or 80 special cards, depending on situation.
  • Rarity breakdown is: 8 rare, 17 uncommon, 35 common (including basics).



I think the beauty of things like Vanguard, Planechase, and soon Archenemy, is that they add something to the game that wasn't there before. So, I think it important to look at what is in the game now. So I'm going to go through all the card types, and talk about from a flavor perspective about what they represent. I'm going to include Vanguard, Planechase and Archenemy. We've not even seen the first Archenemy card, but I think we have some vague idea what role it fills in the game, atleast flavorfully.

• Creatures
To describe them, I really want to use the word "living", but in a Magic setting, that isn't necessarily true. So instead, I'm going to go with the phrase "animated beings". They can be alive, dead, or undead. They can be natural, or artificial, including being made through genetic engineering, mechanical engineering, or constructed from something less corporeal in the case of Illusions. They don't even have to move a particularly large amount, like Walls. But in all cases, these are being that a planeswalker encounters on their journeys and subjugates. Then, in combat, the planeswalker summons the creature, or calls forth a duplicate of it. The creature is then used as the primary method of attacking and defending.

• Artifacts
Artifacts also come in a number of flavors, but have the common thread of being solid objects. Formerly, they were colorless so that any color could utilize them, but this isn't necessarily true anymore. They come in the following flavors:

  • Artifact creatures - We've already talked about these under Creatures.
  • Equipment - Artifacts that are used as armor, weapons, or tools by creatures.
  • Fortifications - Things built on lands, which we'll talk more about later.
  • Others - These are other assorted talismans, tools, and objects of varying sizes. They need only be made of solid matter.

• Enchantments
Enchantments, unlike Artifacts, are not made of solid matter. They are contructed from magic and AEther. They have always been colored, but this need not be so. They fill two major roles, and formerly filled a third.

  • Auras - These are enchantments that only affect one player, creature, or other object. The aura is a magical something that is attached to and follows that something, only affecting it. It may be subtle, just slightly increasing a creature's combat skill, or it could be more obvious, causing the creature to sprout horns, grow tree bark, or become a shade.
  • Global Enchantments - Often, these are conceived as a sort of field of magical effect that influences the people or things in a particular area. It could be a kind of shimmering in the air that makes flyers fall to the ground, or just a general feeling of uneasiness that a planeswalker can spark into a riot, or an assault in the streets. It could make lands suddenly spring to life, animated as creatures.
  • World Enchantments - Formerly, these were printed to represent traveling to other planes, but were discontinued around Mirage. Now, their flavor would be interpreted as being similar to global enchantments, but affecting a much larger area, and being balanced in benefitting all players equally, atleast in theory.

• Lands
Lands are an interesting, and I think oft misunderstood part of the game. When you play a land card, you aren't actually visiting that land. You visited it previously, and formed a connection with it. And now, when you play the card, you are preparing to call upon its mana lines through that connection. This can be extended to lands that are not played for their mana production - you still are calling to it for that something special that has caused it to be useful to you.

• Planeswalkers
Another misunderstood concept. Playing a planeswalker card is not making a copy of that planeswalker, it is calling forth a fellow planeswalker, and asking them to perform certain deeds for you, but they aren't making all of their abilities available to you.

• Sorceries & Instants
The non-permanent spells fill two major roles in the flavor of the game. They can be bursts of energy or other things hurled at opponents, like lightning bolts, or fireballs, or they can represent an event that you are causing to happen, like causing a creature to quickly sidestep and dodge a lightning bolt that would have maimed it.

• Vanguard
Vanguard cards have been conceived as filling two major roles. Formerly, they were associates or partners who assisted you during duels with other planeswalkers. Later on when re-conceived for Magic Online, they were avatars. Instead of being the planeswalker, you were your vanguard.

• Planes
These replaced World Enchantments as being representative of traveling to different planes. These cards make up the arena the battle is taking place in.

• Archenemy
Almost nothing is known about these cards, but we do know that they in some way help a player to fend off multiple opponents simultaneously, to allow the player to serve as a "big boss battle" of sorts for the opponents.


So, in my mind, the first step is to think about what's missing? Flavorfully, the various types of cards come together to form the world that the stories of Magic take place in. So, what do we see that's missing?

*It should be noted that the goal here is to create something in line with Planechase or Vanguard, not a new card type in line with Planeswalkers, Structures, or something like that.

Tue, 2010-04-06 15:00
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

One aspect of Magic that I always loved is the story and setting that it takes place in. What if we had some sort of storytelling element added to Magic? Maybe some sort of Story or Mission cards or something that allowed for players to be able to complete a sequence of story related events to win the game. Completing these 'missions' would result in some sort of bonus ability or something and completing a number of these would allow for a win condition. Just an idea.

For example:

Spoiler:
Phyrexian Invasion
Story
Condition: Whenever a black and/or artifact creature that was dealt damage by a source you control is put into a graveyard, put a story counter on Phyrexian Invasion.
Goal: Phyrexian Invasion must have ten or more story counters on it.
Reward: 2WW, T: Destroy all black creatures and artifact creatures. Play only as a sorcery.

Tue, 2010-04-06 14:55
A Tactical Waffle
A Tactical Waffle's picture

I would wait to see what Archenemy is like first. When is it supposed to come out?

"If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be."
-Yogi Berra

For Those Starting A New Set - READ IT

Tue, 2010-04-06 15:08
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

ATW: But I'm talking about something new and different, heading in a different direction than Archenemy.

smr1313: Interesting idea. I'm going to think about it more before I really comment on it.

Tue, 2010-04-06 17:38
Guitarweeps
Head Administrator
Guitarweeps's picture

I actually really like the meat of that idea. Obviously, there can be many other options of implementation of that idea. It could be used to have all players going towards the same goal together/ multiple teams with opposing goals / heck you could even make solitary options from that. I am def going to do some brainstorming and see what things pop out!

Hmmmm.... What if you had a "story" deck that would be drawn from every "round" or turn which would further direct the aspects of the story or events?

Check out my updated set hub.

Site Administrator

Tue, 2010-04-06 17:45
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

I've been thinking about how many options there are, as well. Sooo many different possible directions.

1.) Let's say players draw a card every turn. Do they keep the old cards and try to complete them as well? Or can they only complete their newest story card?
2.) Is the story deck randomized, or ordered? That may seem like an odd question, but if it was in order, you could have steps in a story, with the last one being a win condition. And they could get new cards when they complete one.

Tue, 2010-04-06 18:05
Guitarweeps
Head Administrator
Guitarweeps's picture

Well my initial reaction is that there would be story cards with different subtypes. I was thinking that they could be something like this.

Event - This would be a significant event that majorly effects the board and story. It would "play" like a sorcery being used up once the effect is applied. It would have to be random, board effecting, or have some kind of stipulation attached to what it effects as it couldn't really target.

Quest - This would be a "permanent" which would track your progress towards a condition or have a one time condition to meet. It could be for only one player or any player could participate.

Creature - This would be some beast or character that is in the story which isn't summoned by a Planeswalker. Wanted to call it Monster but that is too limiting in scope and you would still want it to be susceptible to removal. Now as for how to implement this... it wouldn't be cast as it is not summoned. It could maybe attack each player every turn (maybe an "attack phase" before the first main phase) or have some ability used each turn.

Artifact - This could be an artifact found in the story that could be used. Would probably be used just like a cast artifact would just come with important story implications.

There are many others that could be used. I'll keep brainstorming it but we wouldn't want to make too much...

As for the 2nd question I think it HAS to be random otherwise every game would be too predictable; however, now we are talking about a totally random story which doesn't really make sense. I'll have to think about that.

It might be good to look at both randomized and ordered and see which turns out a better product?

Check out my updated set hub.

Site Administrator

Tue, 2010-04-06 18:06
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

I like the idea of having a somewhat linear 'storyline' that is played out through a series of story cards. I think they should be ordered and you shouldn't be absolutely required to complete each one. I say this because it would be like mana screw...if you can't meet the goal of the story, you end up getting stuck. Having said that, the rewards for completing a story should be good so that people will at least try.

Tue, 2010-04-06 18:08
Guitarweeps
Head Administrator
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Well the rewards for the story could also be how you win the game.

Check out my updated set hub.

Site Administrator

Tue, 2010-04-06 18:21
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

I thought about this after I left for a few minutes, and I realized the answer to the random vs. ordered question. You design them in order, and mark them somewhere on the face so the player can put them in order. But you simultaneously design them to be playable in random order as well.

Two modes of play in one product. Not that we're selling this, but you see what I'm saying.

Tue, 2010-04-06 18:25
Guitarweeps
Head Administrator
Guitarweeps's picture

I like that and it makes an interesting design challenge as well.

And we are supposed to "design this as if it were being made into a real product to be sold by WoTC" right?

Check out my updated set hub.

Site Administrator

Tue, 2010-04-06 18:27
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

I would say that everything should be designed that way. A happy smile I mean, part of the fun of design is the challenges, and that's one of the challenges.

Tue, 2010-04-06 18:36
Lord of 13
Lord of 13's picture

Well, the stories could be LOTR site cards - there were exactly 9 site cards in a site deck, and each site card was numbered 1-9. Clearly, only the site with the appropriate number could fit in that slot. In that way, later sites were more powerful and challenging than earlier sites, without breaking the game. We could try something similar here, with numbered stories so that they progress naturally, or that the sum of the numbers in your story deck can't exceed [some max num].

Blood is thicker than water, but politics are even thicker than blood.
- Dune: House Corrino

Tue, 2010-04-06 18:41
kiligir
kiligir's picture

I was thinking that you could even have an "Advance:" condition on the card. Like "Advance the story if ~ has X counters on it." or "Advance the story if EVENT happens." You'd just reveal the next card and leave the last one in play as well. That's my spin on it.

DCI Rules Advisor
Spirits of Giravost

Tue, 2010-04-06 19:13
copapoc

maybe even create a artificial player by a custom deck if possible ?

Tue, 2010-04-06 22:51
monkeychewtoy
monkeychewtoy's picture

Sorry to break such a tangent off of the story discussion, but what about team play? I'm picturing a set of four or six 60-card decks, and a stack of maybe twenty 'goal' cards. They'd be similar to the stories you're discussing, with certain actions that need to be performed. Whenever you complete a goal, (which could well be something like, "Repel the Phyrexian Invasion,") your team gets points. First team to twenty points, or to eliminate all the players on the opposite team, wins.

Or, what could be done within the Star format? That format lends itself well to boxed sets, because we know we're going to have five differently-themed decks. They'd still have to be playable in duels, though.

I dunno. Just a couple of extra ideas to toss around.


September 21, 2007: Monkeychewtoy predicts monocolored hybrid cards, calls them "Ridiculous."

Tue, 2010-04-06 22:58
Bass

Got nothing to add, but I find this interesting. A happy smile

Tue, 2010-04-06 23:18
Disposable Hero
Disposable Hero's picture

Whatever this will be, if I like the concepts, I might provide support for it in my upcoming multiplayer-themed block. Might I suggest "character" cards, with the player assuming the role of that character? The cards could potentially give you special abilities and deckbuilding restrictions. Some fanmade characters that I'd really like to see as such cards:

Spoiler:
Phraigsec
Vamin Fretch
Thurgyen

As of official characters, I would love to become the Father of Machines himself, Yawgmoth.
Just ideas.
-DH

You can call me DH.
These are the rules. Read them.

Tue, 2010-04-06 23:38
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

Monkeychewtoy: I have no idea what the Star format is?

Hero: Sounds like the Magic Online incarnation of Vanguard. A sad 'frowny'

Wed, 2010-04-07 00:10
monkeychewtoy
monkeychewtoy's picture

Brief rundown of the Star format:

  • Regular, sixty-card deck.
  • Only one color in your deck, barring variations.
  • Five players, each playing a different color.
  • First player with both enemy colors defeated wins. (I.E., The White mana symbol player wins when the Black mana symbol and Red mana symbol players are no longer in the game.)
  • You may only attack your enemy colors.
  • You may help your allied colors.
  • Keep in mind that if the Blue mana symbol player is dead, and as the White mana symbol player, you attack and kill the Black mana symbol player, then the Green mana symbol player will win.
I think I got the gist of it. There's a Serious Fun article on it here. My friends and I played Shards of Alara Star, and it was a blast. (Bant is enemies with Grixis and Jund, for example.) I suppose you could do Guild Star, say, where Rakdos and Dimir are enemies of Selesnya, but I have no idea what to do with the enemy pairs.

So I could see a product the consisted of five sixty-card decks with, say, five oversized cards each that do... something.

I'm also still fond of my notion of one big pack of, say, four sixty-card decks and twenty oversized goals. The problem is getting something that's two duel decks or two Planechase packs past the brand department...

Not that that's actually something we need to be concerned about, but I try to maintain some level of realism. I don't put reprints of Reserved cards in my custom sets, for example.


September 21, 2007: Monkeychewtoy predicts monocolored hybrid cards, calls them "Ridiculous."

Wed, 2010-04-07 00:41
lord_joakim
lord_joakim's picture

The story idea is pretty good, and if implemented correctly, I'd love to play with it.

Just some other thoughts I've been messing around with in regards to plays such as this:

Zendikar had and has one big Vorthos problem. It is perilious as being said in the commercials, etc.: But one big flaw in the whole "treasure hunt" theme is still present: Where the heck are the artifacts!? I mean, the quest enchantments are brilliant, adds a lot of good flavor. But when it comes to actual treasures, you can't really use them for anything.

The "storylines game expansion", as we could call it; or should we name it "Sagas" or "Myths" or something in that direction? Like a "Tales of a Planeswalker" deck. If we settle with stories already, we might as well give it a cool name.

My point, however... Magic has done a good deed from time to time making cards that represented something outside the actual battle; quests allowed you to journey beside the game and fulfil your own goals; traders served whoever bid the highest. But sometimes, actual story progression just feels as if it never happened; how cool would it be to study as Jace inside Ravnica before he left for Zendikar? A "Story" card could be preperation, somehow connect with blue, and force the protagonist (the owning player) to draw cards for a few turns before 'moving on' to the next storyline.

And again, Zendikar had the big problem of not really having any awards in solid gold, which I hated. What about things that let you trade of some sort?

Whatever the new mechanic would do, I think it would be suitable to have it represent something about your person; cards rarely do that.

Story brainstorming:

Story: Kill the Nemesis
Flavor: A vile enemy is threatening you at your life. You have to take care of it before it is too late.
Requirement: Have a planeswalker or a legendary creature your opponent controls gone or destroyed (Again, planeswalkers only get lazy and leave Stick out your tongue).
Cost to skip: 3 mana symbol
Reward: Draw a card; move on to the next story card.

As it is, I think story cards have the most potential. If we are going to do stories, though, I think it can't be stressed enough that the rewards should be small. One thing that ruins planechase for me is that a player suddenly gets 2 5/5 flying dragons in the first turn sometimes. It's kind of a turn-off. Most importantly, btw: A player should have the oppurtunity to just skip the story for a colorless mana cost. A happy smile That way, stories won't be too situational; as in, we have much more design space for the cards.

~

Another idea could be to make 'personal avatars'. While Vanguard allowed you to play as one of the guys from the Magic storyline, what about cards that were 'class' cards, allowing you to see yourself as something awesome? Could look like this:

Woodspeaker from Llanowar
You are an elf, rebuilding your home after the Phyrexian wars. All you want is for your people to have peace once again... For your people, peace will be broken to repel all invaders.
Forests you control have "Green mana symbol, Tap symbol: Target Elf creature gets +1/+1 and gains trample until end of turn."

It's important, if it is like this, to have the flavor text first.

~

Story card ideas:

Story: Descend into Madness
Flavor: Slowly, your great power is corrupting your sanity; you want more power, and you want more power now.
Effects: At the beginning of your upkeep, put an age counter on this story card.
Requirement: Pay Black mana symbolBlack mana symbol or 2 life for each age counter on this story card. There must be at least one age counter before you can do this.
Cost to skip: 7 mana symbol or White mana symbol or Green mana symbol
Reward: For the rest of the game, creatures you control are black, and at the beginning of your upkeep, you lose 1 life and draw a card.

Story: Building a Mage's Tower
Flavor: As a planeswalker, you want a grand stronghold or castle or building or temple or whatever for you to rule from.
Effects: Pay 1 mana symbol to put one tower counter on this story card.
Requirement: Ten tower counters.
Cost to skip: 3 mana symbol or Red mana symbol or Green mana symbol
Reward: Put three colorless 0/5 Wall artifact creature tokens with defender onto the battlefield under your control.

Story: Finding the Blessed Relic
Flavor: You have heard about an incredibly powerful artifact somewhere in the Multiverse, and you want to find it for your profit.
Effects: At the beginning of your upkeep, you may sacrifice a land. If you do, search your library for a land card and put it onto the battlefield.
Requirement: Five different basic lands and/or six lands in your graveyard.
Cost to skip: 3 mana symbol
Reward: Put a colorless Equipment artifact token onto the battlefield. It has "Equip 3 mana symbol" and "Equipped creature gets +3/+0 and has lifelink and trample."

(And yes, *beep* the wording at the moment.)

FINAL EDIT: And Rusty Keyes, your idea is sufficiently different than mine not to be 'kinda like me beating you to it' Stick out your tongue Regarding the character thingie, that was what I thought of though. I don't really get what you mean by "strategy game", however.

REALLY FINAL EDIT: Enemy color pairs have weird enemies.

Blue/red mana symbol are allies with Red/white mana symbol and Green/blue mana symbol and enemies with Black/green mana symbol and White/black mana symbol, since the enemies don't share colors with the primary color. I think it might be that simple. A happy smile

Wed, 2010-04-07 00:34
Rusty Keyes
Rusty Keyes's picture

Oh, I would so badly like to have a way to transform Magic into a strategy game, like Age of Empires. You'd be represented by a pawn on a "board," and spells you cast would occupy/affect physical space next to you. As the game progressed, you'd have to decide where you want to keep your collection of artifacts and under guard of what creatures, and where you'd like to be so you can get a good trap set up on your enemy. But this is folly... games would take too long.


Something more realistic to do... I like the idea of Vanguard but I'd really like to play as myself instead of some book character, especially if I wasn't playing back then and really don't have any connection to them.

How about a set of cards that let you represent yourself? You'd choose three... persona... cards which would be present at all times in the command zone and couldn't be messed with in any way. They'd all have vague names like “The Lavamancer,” and if you fancied yourself as a lavamancer it would give you the ability to use red sorceries twice or whatever. There'd be ones that do basic things like modify your life total/hand size or the cost of certain spells, or ones that let you be like Nissa or Sarkhan and summon your favorite guy EDH style or turn into a dragon (but be able to dispel the effect for free when it's not working for you). I'll cook up some images and show you guys next Wednesday when I get back home.

The big idea though is that you choose three cards to use which you mix and match.

Spoiler:
As an aside about lands being misinterpreted, I think there should totally be a set of blue spells (or aggressive versions of Mana Severance) in Standard that destroy lands. I never liked how if these are supposed to be strange, spiritual connections to places you've been and not some place you are, then why if you're on Ravnica can your opponent use a Stone Rain to obliterate somewhere you've visited that they've never even heard of? If Wizards is fine with putting cards in sets where they have almost no relevance in Limited or Block Constructed (or does Zendikar Constructed include ROE?), they should just go ahead and make red land destruction restricted to those two formats (kidding).

Administrator

Wed, 2010-04-07 00:49
monkeychewtoy
monkeychewtoy's picture

The irony of that is that Blue mana symbol and Red mana symbol have a shared ally in Black mana symbol, but Blue/red mana symbol's enemies are the pairs with Black mana symbol. I could see the argument being made that Blue/red mana symbol's enemies are in fact Green/blue mana symbol and Red/white mana symbol, and its allies are the pairs with Blue mana symbol and Red mana symbol's shared ally...


September 21, 2007: Monkeychewtoy predicts monocolored hybrid cards, calls them "Ridiculous."

Wed, 2010-04-07 01:52
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

So, as I see it, we've got several ideas now.


Storyline Cards

This was the first idea thrown out, and has been developed the most. I'm personally a fan of this one so far, but it isn't without problems. For instance, another issue I've thought of. Is there only one story happening? Or is each player playing their own story? If they're each playing their own, that seems a bit odd, doesn't it?


Persona Cards

I'm personally not a big fan of this one. Someone brought up a similar concept on MTGSalvation; they called them "Casters". As I looked at them, I kept coming back to the same question: why not just make more vanguards? What makes this so special compared to vanguards that they deserve to be their own game piece and add more complication?

I mean, you can even make more vague vanguards.


Teamwork

An idea similar to the story cards, but with players working as a team. I've always been a big fan of things that change the dynamics of the game from the same-old-same-old deal-20-damage routine. What bothers me about it is that it doesn't seem to be much useful if just dueling. But, I suppose Archenemy will kind of suck in that case too, most likely.


Star Format

This is probably my least favorite idea so far (sorry monkey!). I mean, this really seems to take away the idea of building something new and interesting, and just replace it with deck building. And it requires five players to use? Hmm.



Anyone have any more debating or defending in them?

Wed, 2010-04-07 02:10
Art_Freak
Art_Freak's picture

I don't have any debate to add, just wanted to pitch my approval of and interest in the storyline ideas. My only suggestion is that they are called Saga cards. Storyline sounds... generic.

Wed, 2010-04-07 02:50
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

I agree with Art_Freak, Storyline is too generic of a term and sounds kinda boring. Saga sounds pretty good.

As far as the how each player interacts with them, I like the way Lord of the Rings handled it. Each player has his or her own 'Saga' deck and whenever a player wins that card (which could be called a Chapter or something), he gets to play a card that falls next in the sequence. Each time any player scores that Chapter, the story is advanced to the next Chapter and players must then try to score that one. The first player to get to the end Chapter and complete it wins the game.

Wed, 2010-04-07 12:00
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

I was just still calling it "storyline" as a prototype. I like saga better as well, but I figure we'll get to the naming point if that's the idea that's gone with.


I like the idea, smr. But I think Guitarweeps had a valid complaint that if we do that, there won't be enough variability.

I think it could be fine if we also design the chapters so that they could be randomized and allow players to do them out of order. I think for your version, if each player has their own deck, you would only want to include 10 cards in it. Planechase is designed similarly. Archenemy will have 20, but then, only one player is using the Archenemy deck.

Wed, 2010-04-07 12:36
lord_joakim
lord_joakim's picture

I think that *cough* my outline for saga cards was possibly the best implementation (Albeit it was an expansion upon an earlier idea) - game expansions should expand the game just enough that it matters, but it shouldn't take over and make the game something else entirely, what a few Planechase cards do; that is, having the library not matter that much.

Wed, 2010-04-07 15:06
Rusty Keyes
Rusty Keyes's picture

I'm going to hold my defense for the moment, and I'll look for it myself but do you happen to have a link on hand to that guy's thread?

Administrator

Wed, 2010-04-07 15:39
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

Here you go, Rusty Keyes: Casters.

Thu, 2010-04-08 01:59
Lord of 13
Lord of 13's picture

Well, if we're formally voting, I'm putting my vote for Storyline cards.

You see, stories have the most unmet potential in MtG. Planes attempted, in their own way, to address this issue with "background" effects and so on, as did Vanguard with "heroes" and "villains". However, neither was able to do so satisfactorily.
While the persona cards seem like Vanguard 1.1, they also seem to leave even greater potential for abuse in favor of rather minor flavor contribution.
Teamwork is rather similar to story - perhaps they could be combined, with the caveat of including points on cards for people playing multiplayer games.
The star format, while aesthetically appealing, is not practical. It seems too tight-fisted with its precise requirement for 5 players, and, as Pichoro mentioned, becomes mere deckbuilding rather than creative exploration of the potential in MtG. Maybe some time in the future, some sort of community project could be done for this, but it doesn't feel like "The Next Big Thing" to me.

Blood is thicker than water, but politics are even thicker than blood.
- Dune: House Corrino

Thu, 2010-04-08 21:15
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

You know what else I've always wanted to do, just for kicks and giggles? I don't know if anyone else will know what I'm talking about (maybe the truly hardcore MaRo readers among us), but in a Making Magic article from years back, he briefly mentioned a set that was put on hold permanently. It was around the time of Tempest, and he was working on it, but was pulled off of it to work on another set (maybe Tempest, maybe Unglued?). The set of course, came to an end soon after that.

Anyway, the theme of the set was something like "stuff you don't usually see in Magic". So, Magic sets are always about conflict and strife. We really never see the planes when nothing's happening. That is, their everyday activities, and normal stuff like farming and art. So this set was about that stuff. I always thought it would be an interesting design experience. Anyone else know what I'm talking about here?

Thu, 2010-04-08 21:27
Lord of 13
Lord of 13's picture

@Pich: Yes, I do know what you're talking about - I haven't read that article, but a more recent one (in the past year) discussed something similar - the color pie for everyday activities. It might be interesting to make, but it would require hard work to make it suitable for play. Lorwyn/Morningtide was somewhat like this - the main cards were around everyday life in that plane, while the books dictated the story.

Blood is thicker than water, but politics are even thicker than blood.
- Dune: House Corrino

Thu, 2010-04-08 21:56
lord_joakim
lord_joakim's picture

I didn't know about that set. I'd love to try it out though; but not as a "Next Big Thing" (From here on abbrevated as NBT, mkay?) - not if it is a set, that is.

If it is a game expansion like Planechase that sets an environment, then I would be quite interested.

... Random idea. What about some kind of NBT where Magic became more like an RPG, for example? The following thoughts are just brainstorming; and a much bigger project than the Sagas idea.

~ ~

The goal of Magic RPG is to reach level N.

You start with a set deck of 40 cards set after any one color - white, blue, black, red or green - and build on it from 'experience', aka acquired spells and cards throughout the RPG. Underways, you need a dice, and you may or may not encounter creatures or enemies.
There is some kind of map/environment/whatsoever, affecting the game underways - each 'environment' card has a small card pool from which to find enemies/treasures in.

~ ~

The environment is decided through cards, of course, such as the following:

Goblin Mountains
Location - Dominaria
Roll D6 each turn. Encounter one card at 4, two at 5, and three at 6. You may flee an encounter for 6 mana symbol.

When playing out a battle against encountered enemies, your opponent plays the enemies. He has an automatic landdrop of one per turn, and may play the encountered cards from his or her hand. You win one of the encountered cards in your card pool when victorious; and you win by either dealing 20 damage to the opponent or having him concede. At any time, the opponent may pay X life to return a card from the graveyard with converted mana cost X or less from his or her graveyard to his or her hand.

Life lost by you is passed over from each battle - however, due to lifegain, there should be some sort of system so that players wouldn't get lots of life ridiculously. Possibly "wounds" meaning that a player's passed over life is subtracted by that many counters at the beginning of the next game?

-- Possibly? The 'Goblin Mountains' deck could look like this - but with more commons of course:

3x Crazed Goblin
3x Goblin Mountaineer
2x Dragon Fodder
3x Goblin Brawler
1x Flamestick Courier
1x Goblin Artillery
1x Fodder Launch
1x Frenzied Goblin
1x Goblin Burrows
1x Goblin Assault
1x Auntie's Hovel
1x YOU ENCOUNTER A PLANESWALKER!*

- because of flavor, rares should be tough to get, so commons should be more present

*You have to deal with the enemy planeswalker, but you can't before you actually "encounter" him, possibly represented by an encounter card? Stick out your tongue

These were all random thoughts. Not sure whether I like the idea or not... But perhaps I do?

It should be done as a seperate project other than Sagas though.

~ ~

Regardless of what the forum thinks, and whether a Magic RPG would be fitting for the NBT, I think I should start a project like that. Would make much sense the way I play magic with my friends. Requries a lot of preparations though.

Thu, 2010-04-08 22:04
Lord of 13
Lord of 13's picture

@joakim: That sounds sort of like Booster Quest. Search "Booster Quest" on wizards, and you'll see what I mean.

Blood is thicker than water, but politics are even thicker than blood.
- Dune: House Corrino

Thu, 2010-04-08 22:12
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

I think I get what you are saying, Pich. Take all of the stuff that happens in day to day life within the multiverse and put it into a Magic expansion? Instead of massive Phyrexian invasions we have the Dominarian Renaissance of Art and Science. Instead of a maniacal construct left to wreak havoc on an artificial plane made entirely of metal, we have the cultivation of mycosytnh health foods for the nutritionally savvy Leonin. We could explore the scholarly triumphs made by the teachers at Minamo instead of the conflict of thousands of gods gone mad.

I'm not sure where you would begin on such a set, but I do love the design challenge it presents. Very interesting.

Thu, 2010-04-08 22:29
lord_joakim
lord_joakim's picture

I've seen Booster Quest, and they don't allow you to play the game. My idea (Which I am working on atm) allows you to play the game all along.

Thu, 2010-04-08 23:36
A Tactical Waffle
A Tactical Waffle's picture

You posted this at a bad time for me. I wanted to start up the MSE Community TCG, but I don't want two major projects going at the same time, might be a little to much for this forum.

"If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be."
-Yogi Berra

For Those Starting A New Set - READ IT

Thu, 2010-04-08 23:42
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

No, go ahead. This is a very minor thing, really.

Fri, 2010-04-09 12:22
Disposable Hero
Disposable Hero's picture

There ARE already two projects going on at the same time: Dream/Hope/Wish block and the MSE Community TCG.

You can call me DH.
These are the rules. Read them.

Wed, 2010-04-21 15:18
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

As I said, to me, this is a small something. Just some brainstorming, building a concept, and then like 40ish cards. Then the most dedicated can build some precon decks if they like.


So, I'm bringing this up again. I think Storyline cards are the way to go.

Card Format:

Spoiler:
Smr's original post gave them the following: Name, Type, Condition (basically rules text), Goal (to pass the card), Reward (for passing).

Guitarweeps brought up the idea of multiple types, including creatures or artifacts that were relevant to the storyline. I think it would be easier to have all cards be the same type, "Story", and then have some with conditions that create creatures or artifacts that were important to the story.

Lord_joakim's suggestion incorporated flavor and a cost to skip. I think a cost to skip is a good idea, as long as it is not too low, and flavor is good as long as there is space on the card face.

I'm still of the opinion they should be built in a linear order to match a story, but with a stipulation that players can break them off and build their own random (or not) saga deck. This makes it necessary to include a "page number" on every saga card. It might even be interesting to have the "cost to skip" be the same as the page number, cutting down on information on the card, and causing it to get harder and harder to skip forward through story sections as the story goes on.

Sample Ideas:

Spoiler:
Based on The Battle of Fort Keff by Jenna Helland

Name: Seeking Shelter
Type: Saga - The Battle of Fort Keff
Goal: Tap a blue and red creature you control.
Reward: Put a legendary land token named Fort Keff onto the battlefield. It has "Sacrifice ~: Untap all creatures you control."
Cost to Skip: 1
Abilities: Creatures you control don't untap during your untap step.
Flavor: The soldier at the gate was reluctant to let him in after dark, but Gideon pointed out that a sliver of sun that still showed above the high cliffs surrounding the settlement. Finally, the grizzled soldier admitted him inside the walls with a gruff "Welcome to Fort Keff, the safest haven in Akoum."
Page Number: 1/10

Name: Gathering Information
Type: Story - The Battle of Fort Keff
Goal: Have 4 knowledge counters on ~.
Reward: Draw four cards.
Cost to Skip: 3
Abilities: Whenever you draw a card, put a knowledge counter on ~.
Flavor: After trading for a shank of fat-speckled gnarlid meat, Gideon settled near a scarred adventurer named Tafre who offered him a place at his fire. While they shared the food, Tafre proved himself to be a skilled storyteller, spinning unbelievable tales of his adventures as a trapfinder for the Akoum Expeditionary House.
Page Number: 3/10

Name: Stopping the Onslaught
Type: Story - The Battle of Fort Keff
Goal: Have 10 death counters on ~.
Reward: Destroy all creatures controlled by opponents.
Cost to Skip: 9
Abilities: Whenever a creature controlled by an opponent is destroyed, put a death counter on ~.
Flavor: Gideon's magecraft chimed loudly in his mind—a necessary distraction from their netherworldly cries, the blows that found his unprotected skin, and any emotion that might distract him. He coiled the metal strands of his weapon so rapidly that the air itself became like a blade. Pain, he thought. I feel it, but it does not break me. Death. If it comes now, so be it.
Position Number: 9/10

Template Ideas:

Spoiler:
I'm evisioning a parchment background with torn edges, like what we've seen here. To make the card seem more like a page out of a book, there are a couple of options.

First, a styling choice could be included to flip the card's orientation left or right, like pages in a book. Maybe this could even be automated by position number.

Second, perhaps a styling choice for two different layouts, one with illustration above rules, and the other with rules above orientation.

A divider line or flourish could be added, to separate the name from the rest of the card, similar to dividers seen with chapter names in some books.

A small black watermark could be added at the bottom of the page, to mimic the symbols used sometimes at the end of a book chapter.

Thoughts?

Wed, 2010-04-21 17:07
Powerrox93

Storyline cards is what I wanted!
Can you clarify what cost to skip means?

Wed, 2010-04-21 17:33
Guitarweeps
Head Administrator
Guitarweeps's picture

How big would we want the cards to be? That is a lot of info to go on the cards. We would have pictures too right?

Check out my updated set hub.

Site Administrator

Wed, 2010-04-21 17:38
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

I guess I should add some more, based on what others have said. This next part is up for changes; I'm mostly just going to go with what seems logical, and what others have suggested.

As your first turn begins (perhaps during your upkeep?), you turn the top card of your saga deck up. That's your saga card. The abilities immediately take effect, and when you complete the goal, the next time a player has priority, the reward happens, you set your current saga card aside, and you reveal a new saga card. If you don't want to complete the saga card, or don't want the reward, or can't complete it, you may pay to skip. No decision has been made as to when you can do this. You definitely need priority, but can you do it on others turns or only during yours? That's undecided. When you pay to skip, you set your current saga card aside, and reveal a new one.

Powerrox's question lead me to another issue with what I'm saying here. There had been some talk about a large reward for completing your last saga, like winning the game. Should that perhaps only happen if you complete all 10 goals? Because if you can build your own saga deck, and skip sagas to get to the end... Well, you could exploit that for a too-easy-win.

Anyone have any other questions? See a problem? Let me stress again, there very well may be problems with what I'm laying out here. But I'm trying to push this forward since it stalled.


I think cards should be double sized, like Vanguard and Planechase. Yes, I envision there being an illustration field. It is a lot of info, and it makes me wonder if we shouldn't keep print sizes the same as on regular cards, effectively giving us "double space" to work with.

Wed, 2010-04-21 17:48
Powerrox93

Just a random idea, maybe some drawback for skipping, apart from the cost of skipping?

Wed, 2010-04-21 17:58
Art_Freak
Art_Freak's picture

Man, I love the ideas your threw out for a template. I'd love to have a go at it and could have it for you within a day. Those sound awesome! Big smile

Wed, 2010-04-21 18:20
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

Go for it Art_Freak. I was hunting out textures, to start myself, but I'm sure you can do a far better job of it than I.

Powerrox - I dunno. It is certainly flavorful. Mechanically, I worry if that is too punishing, though. Anyone?

Wed, 2010-04-21 18:51
Powerrox93

Pich, it might be something easy as "2, you lose 1 life".
I was thing of having these decks being played with vintage cards.

Wed, 2010-04-21 19:02
A Tactical Waffle
A Tactical Waffle's picture

@ Powerrox: No, still to easy for lifegain decks. The last card should say something like this, "Win the game if you have not skipped any of the previous challenges."

"If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be."
-Yogi Berra

For Those Starting A New Set - READ IT

Wed, 2010-04-21 19:10
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

But what if that isn't THE LAST CARD? An auto-win will have to be a rule of the format, not something printed on the cards. If players are allowed to randomize for a different experience, they could draw "the last card" first. Or second. Or sixth. Who knows?

Maybe only auto-win if the cards are being played in order? Hmm.

Wed, 2010-04-21 19:17
A Tactical Waffle
A Tactical Waffle's picture

I never thought to shuffle the cards. I would play it in order to follow the story. In your examples case the latest comic.

"If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be."
-Yogi Berra

For Those Starting A New Set - READ IT