Usagi Yojimbo CCG

Login or register to post comments
Fri, 2011-08-12 17:20
hooliganj
hooliganj's picture

Update: Version 0.3.2a of the rules is now available as a pdf on pifro.
Latest news: v1.0.0 of the template is available on pifro. Version 0.3a of the rules (basically what is posted here) is available as a PDF download, as well.

Project status
As of 8/13/2011:
  • Rules: draft v0.3a under revision (please discuss here)
    • Soliciting feedback to determine any sections that are unclear or incomplete.
  • Template: v1.0.0 complete
    • There are currently no export modules.
    • Feed back is welcome regarding any changes or additions.
  • Core set: ~8.8% (38/432)
    • Proposed title: Wanderer's Road.
    • Based on volumes 1-3 of the comic.
    • Proposed rarity breakdown: 156 commons, 144 uncommons, 132 rares.
    • Proposed card type breakdown (pending playtesting):
      • Characters: 40% (173 cards)
      • Events: 25% (108 cards)
      • Attachments: 15% (65 cards)
      • Moments: 20% (86 cards)
    • Faction balance is not important, but each faction should have at least 40-50 cards to allow for purity deck designs.

While I put the finishing touches on the template and work progresses on the core set, it's time to start releasing the rules. I will be posting one section at a time and asking for feedback to help clean up the wording and hopefully make this new system as easy to understand as possible.


Basics
Part 1: Basics

The goal of each player is to complete a chronicle of their hero's adventures as they travel throughout feudal Japan. You play your heroes, give them allies, equipment and skills, and send them out to assassinate officials, rescue officials, steal gold or save the people. Each event that your characters complete adds to your chronicle, and the first player to complete enough is the winner.


Part 1.1: How to Read a Card


  • Clan Mon – The large symbol in the upper left corner indicates which samurai clan this card belongs to. Clans in the core set will include Mifune, Hikiji, Geishu, Shirageta, and the Neko Ninja.
  • Name – The top line of large text is the name of the card. If a card is a Character or unique, then there may only be one card with the same title in play.
  • Set symbol – The large symbol in the upper right corner indicates the set this card belongs to, as well as the rarity. Common cards are white, uncommons are silver, and rares are gold.
  • Affiliation – If the card is affiliated with a faction, there will be a small symbol indicating the faction underneath the title. (The card's background art will reflect the faction as well, but the symbol is the official sign of affiliation.) Factions in the core set are: Shogunate, Shadow Lord, Supernatural and Underworld.
  • Description – The text under the card's name gives additional descriptors for the card. Words in the name and description can be used as references by other cards (i.e. “All Ronin Characters” or “Target Peasant Event”).
  • Image – A picture, for your enjoyment.
  • Cost – If there are any symbols on the left side of the image, they indicate what currency must be spent to play the card. The core set will include two currencies: Honor and Ryo.
  • Ratings - On the right side of the image there will be 0-5 tabs indicating the card's ratings in up to 5 areas. From top to bottom, these are: Combat, Diplomacy, Intrigue, Ceremony and Labor.
  • Type - The first line of text under the image indicates the card's type and subtype. The card's type is always listed first, followed by a long dash and then the subtype. The possible types and subtypes are: Character (Hero, Ally), Event (Story), Attachment (Skill, Possession, Setting), and Moment (Action, Held).
  • Abilities - The standard or bold text in the box under the card's type details the abilities of the card. Bold words with no accompanying standard text indicate a common special ability or restriction, the details of which can be found in the rules.
  • Flavor text - The italicized text in the box is provided for additional flavor, and has no effect on the card or the game.
  • Credits - The small text at the bottom of the card describe the designer, artist and copyright information.


Part 1.2: The Play Area

Here are the different zones of play:

  • Event Field - The center of the play area, between all of the players, is where Events are played, and where cards that are attached to or involved in those Events are placed. The neutral pile of unscored chronicle tokens is also in the Event field.
  • Play Field - The area directly in front of each player is where Characters controlled by that player, and any cards attached to those Characters, are played. Another type of card, Held Moments, can be played in the play field of the player they affect, or in the Event field if the card affects all players.
  • Deck - This is a face-down stack of your undrawn cards. At the start of the game, all cards will be in their owner's deck.
  • Rest Pile - This is a face-up pile of cards that have been played, but are no longer in play. Cards that are discarded, exhausted, or swept up at the end of the turn are sent to the rest pile.
  • Dead Pile - Similar to the rest pile, this is a face-down pile of cards that have been played, but are no longer in play. Cards that are killed are sent to the dead pile, and are permanently removed from play.
  • Chronicle - This is a face-up pile of cards that count towards winning the game. Whenever you successfully resolve an Event, place that card in your chronicle, along with a chronicle token. Some cards will increase the score when you resolve an Event, in which case you may take an additional chronicle token for each point scored.
  • Hand (not pictured) - The final play zone where a card may be located is your hand. When you draw a card, it is placed in your hand, where it can be seen by you, but not by other players. Once a card is in your hand, you can play it - when and how is determined by the card type.

Setup and Turn Order
Part 2: Setup

Before play can begin, there are a few things that must be taken care of:

  • Each player must have a prepared deck of at least 30 cards. There may be no more than 3 copies of each card in a deck. If a card has the restriction "Restricted: X" in the abilities text, then there may be no more than X copies of that card in a deck.
  • Each player should have a number of tokens, preferably in multiple colors. Set these tokens to one side, within reach. During the game, these tokens are used whenever you gain currency and to keep track of various abilities.
  • In the center of the table there should be a neutral pile of chronicle tokens. The number of chronicle tokens to start with is determined by the number of players.
    2 players - 19 tokens
    3 players - 26 tokens
    4 players - 31 tokens
    5 players - 34 tokens
    6 players - 35 tokens

  • Each player shuffles their deck, and offers the player to their right the opportunity to cut.
  • Place the deck to the left of your play field, and draw 6 cards to form your starting hand.
  • Lastly, randomly determine who will be the first player at the start of the game.
Once these steps are complete, it is time to begin the first turn.


Part 3: The Turn

At the start of the game the first player is determined randomly, and afterwards the current first player can change during the turn. Regardless of which player is the current first player, all players participate in each phase of a turn at the same time.

Each turn, players will participate in three phases:

  1. Initiation
  2. Actions
  3. Conclusion

At the end of the conclusion, if no player has won the turn begins again with a new initiation.

Initiation
Part 3.1: Initiation

During this phase of the turn there are six steps - all players must complete each step before moving on to the next. Most steps can be taken by all players simultaneously, but for situations where the play order will make a difference, the current first player will complete the step first, followed by the player on his left, and proceeding clockwise until all players have gone.

During the initiation, you may not play cards from your hand unless a card specifically states otherwise.

In order, the six steps are:

  1. Produce currency - Any cards in play that cause you to produce currency do so during this step. Note that if you have no cards in play that have this effect, you produce no currency.
  2. Refresh cards - Refresh any stricken cards by returning them to their normal position.
  3. Discard - You may discard 1 card from your hand. If you do not have a Hero in your play field, you may discard any number of cards from your hand. All discarded cards go to your rest pile.
  4. Draw - Draw cards until you have 6 cards in your hand. If you draw the last card from your deck, shuffle the cards in your rest pile, place them face-down as a new deck, and continue to draw until you have 6 cards in your hand.
  5. Propose Events - You may place an Event from your hand face-down in front of you in the Event field. If you do not wish to propose an Event, you can pass.
  6. Reveal Events - All face-down Events are turned face-up simultaneously.

Once the Events are revealed (or all players have passed on playing an Event) the initiation is complete.

Actions
Part 3.2: Actions

Beginning with the current first player and proceeding clockwise, each player may declare one action. While that action is being carried out, the player that declared the action is the acting player.

As the acting player, you may choose one of the following as your action:

  • Play a card: This can be any Character, Attachment, or Moment. Reveal the card from your hand and pay any associated costs. If the card needs a target, declare what or who will be targeted. If the card is an Attachment, declare which card it will be attached to.
  • Use an ability: Declare which card’s ability will be used and pay any associated costs, including striking the card if necessary. If striking a card is part of the cost, and the card is already stricken, you may not use that ability. If the effect needs a target, declare what or who will be targeted.
  • Involve a Character with an Event: Declare which Character will become involved, and which Event it will become involved with. The Character must be refreshed, and must have at least 1 rating in that also appears on the Event (even if the rating is 0). When the action resolves, move the Character to the central play field next to the Event.

Once you have declared your action, other players may declare a response. Starting with the player to your left and proceeding clockwise, each player (including you) may choose to play a Moment, use the ability of a card they control, or pass. All cards played remain in play face up in front of their controller. Continue around the circle until every player has passed in the same round.

Once all players have passed, no more responses may be declared during that action. At this point, the effects of the responses are resolved last to first. First, resolve the effects of the final response declared. Then continue to the next most recent response, and so on, until the original declared action is resolved. Once the action is resolved, the acting player's action is over, and the next player may declare their action.

If a resolved card is a Character or Attachment, place the card in the controller's play field. If the card is a Held Moment, place the card in the play field of the player affect by the card, or the Event field if it affects every player. If the card is a Moment, place the card in the owner's rest pile once the effect has been resolved. Any other cards in play that are exhausted by an effect are also sent to the rest pile; any cards killed by an effect are sent to the dead pile.

Any time you may declare an action, you may declare that you are finished instead. A finished player may not declare any more actions, although you can still respond to other player’s actions. The player who finishes first in a turn becomes the new first player. Once all players are finished, the actions phase is complete.

Conclusion
Part 3.3: Conclusion

During this phase of the turn, there are 4 steps. Again, all players must complete each step before any player can move on to the next.
  1. Resolve Events: Determine contenders and resolve each Event (see rules 3.3.1). Any Events that fail to resolve are sent to the rest pile, except Story Events which remain in play until they are successfully resolved.
  2. Check for victory: If there are no chronicle tokens remaining in the neutral pile, or if any player has acquired more than half of the starting number of tokens, the game is over. The player with the most chronicle tokens is the winner.
  3. Choose a Hero: Beginning with the current first player and proceeding clockwise, each player may choose one Hero in his or her play field that they will keep for the following turn. You may choose a different Hero than you chose on the previous turn, or to not keep any Hero at all. If there is no Hero in your playfield, you may not choose a Hero.
  4. Sweep up: Each player may keep their chosen Hero, and any cards attached to the Hero. All other Characters in the play field and their attached cards are sent to their owner’s rest pile. Players must also return any unspent currency (honor or ryo) to the token pile. Note that Characters that are involved with Story Events that have not been resolved are in the Event field, and remain in play.

After the sweeping up, the turn is complete. Begin the next turn with a new initiation, and continue until there is a winner.

Resolving Events
Part 3.3.1: Resolving Events

During the first step of the conclusion, players resolve any Events that are in play. Resolve non-Story Events first, then Story Events. If multiple Events need to be resolved, start with the Event played by the current first player and proceed clockwise.

Follow these steps for each Event in play:

  1. Check for contenders: If you control cards that are involved with an Event, and the total of the ratings on those cards exceeds the matching rating on the Event, then you are a contender for that Event. If you are the only contender for an Event, then you will successfully resolve that Event (go to step 3). If there are no contenders, the Event fails to resolve (go to step 4).
  2. Rate the contenders: If there is more than one contender for an Event, each contender finds their total rating by adding together the ratings of all of their involved cards. Only ratings that also appear on the Event are used for this sum. The player with the highest total rating resolves the Event (go to step 3).
    • In case of a tie: Each contender gathers all of their involved cards, and secretly chooses one to discard. Once each contender has discarded a card, reveal the cards and recalculate the total rating using the remaining cards. If there is still a tie, continue discarding cards one at a time until there is a difference in the total ratings. Once a player has discarded all of their involved cards, they are no longer a contender. If all players run out of cards without breaking the tie, the Event fails to resolve (go to step 4).
  3. Successfully resolve Events: If you have successfully resolved the Event, any "Resolve >>" effects listed in the Event's abilities take place immediately. Then take one chronicle token from the neutral pile and place the Event and the token in your chronicle pile. If there are any score effects that apply, increase or decrease the number of chronicle tokens you take appropriately (to a minimum of 0 - you cannot lose tokens to a successfully resolved Event).
  4. Events that fail to resolve: If a Story Event fails to resolve, it remains in play. Any cards involved in the unresolved Story Event remain in the Event field, and are not swept up during the conclusion. If a non-Story Event fails to resolve, the Event and any cards attached to it are sent to their owner's rest pile, and any cards involved in that Event return to their controller's play field.

Card Types
Part 4: Card Types

Each type of card has certain rules that control when and how that card can be played or used. These rules govern the general behavior of the cards, but whenever an effect on a card contradicts these rules, the card’s effect takes precedence.


Part 4.1: Characters

  • Playing – All Characters are played as an action (see rules 3.2). Any costs listed on the card must be paid when the action is declared, and the Character is placed face-up on the table. During this action, the Character is considered to be in play, but is not in any field and any voluntary abilities on the card may not be used. Once the action is resolved, move the Character to your play field.
  • Abilities – Characters have 3 types of abilities – static abilities that are always in effect, involuntary abilities that are triggered automatically and cannot be turned off, and voluntary abilities that a player may choose to use.
  • Involvement – In addition to any abilities printed on the card, all Characters can become involved in Events as long as they are refreshed. This is an inherent function of the card type, and is not considered an ability that can be cancelled by effects that cancel a Character’s abilities.
  • Leaving play – During the sweep up at the end of the turn, all Characters in your play field are sent to your rest pile (see rules 3.3). Additionally, any Character you own that is exhausted by an effect is sent to your rest pile, and any Character you own that is killed is sent to your dead pile.
  • Subtypes
    • Allies – There are no additional rules governing Allies beyond those governing all Characters.
    • Heroes – Before sweeping up at the end of the turn, you may choose any one Hero card in your play field that will not be swept up. That Hero, along with any cards attached to that Hero, remains in play for the next turn.


Part 4.2: Attachments

  • Playing – All Attachments are played as an action. When you declare the action, you must announce which card the Attachment will be attached to and pay any costs listed on the card. Place the Attachment face-up on the table. During this action, the Attachment is considered to be in play, but is not attached to anything, not in any field, and any voluntary abilities on the card may not be used. Once the action is resolved, place the Attachment next to its attached card.
  • Attached cards – While an Attachment is in play, the card it is attached to is called its attached card. Whenever the attached card is moved to the rest pile, dead pile, another field or changes control, any Attachments attached to it are also moved or taken.
  • Abilities – Attachments have 3 types of abilities – static abilities that are always in effect, involuntary abilities that are triggered automatically and cannot be turned off, and voluntary abilities that a player may choose to use. If an Attachment grants an ability to the attached card, then the attached card is considered the source of any effects generated by that ability.
  • Involvement – An Attachment is considered involved in an Event as long as the attached card is involved.
  • Leaving play – Attachments are not exhausted or killed, but may still be sent to the rest pile or dead pile as the result of an effect. Otherwise, Attachments leave play when their attached card leaves play.
  • Subtypes
    • Possession – This subtype must be attached to a Character.
    • Experience – This subtype must be attached to a Character.
    • Setting – This subtype must be attached to an Event. Any ratings listed on the Attachment are added to the ratings requirements of the attached Event. When the Event is resolved, the Setting is also resolved.

Part 4.3: Moments

  • Playing – Moments may be played at any time during the actions phase of the turn. When you play the Moment, pay any costs listed on the card and place it face-up on the table. During the action, Moments are not considered to be in play or located in any play field. Once the Moment is resolved, place it in your rest pile.
  • Targets – A Moment may call for a target, which must be chosen when the card is played. If the target leaves play before the Moment is resolved, the Moment has no effect – you cannot choose a new target.
  • Effect durations – Some Moments have effects that last longer than the Moment will be in play. You may leave the Moment in the play field as a reminder of the effect, but for all intents and purposes, the card is in the rest pile.
  • Subtypes
    • Action – Action Moments must be played as an action, and cannot be played in response during another player’s action. All other rules regarding Moment cards apply.
    • Held – Held Moments may be played at any time, although the card will often list a condition or trigger that must be met before the card can be played. When a Held Moment resolves, it will be placed in the play field of the player affected by the moment, or into the Event field if the effect affects all players. Held Moments remain in play until they are sacrificed by their own abilities or removed from play by another effect. Held Moments are not swept up during the conclusion.

Part 4.4: Events

  • Playing – During the initiation, each player may place an Event face down on the table. At the end of the initiation, all Events are turned face-up and placed in the Event field. Events may not be played in any other way.
  • Involvement – During the actions phase, players may use an action to involve a Character in an Event. That Character and any cards attached to that Character are considered involved in that Event.
  • Attachments - A subtype of Attachments called Settings can be attached to Events. Any ratings listed on the Setting are added to the requirements of the attached Event. When the Event is resolved, the Setting is also resolved.
  • Leaving play – At the end of a turn, an Event is either resolved or fails to resolve. If the Event is resolved, the Event is placed in the chronicle pile of the player who resolved it. If the Event fails to resolve, place the card and any attachments in their owner’s rest pile, and return any involved cards to their owners’ play fields.
  • Subtypes
    • Story – Story Events do not fail to resolve. If no player has successfully resolved the Event at the end of the turn, the Event remains in the Event field, along with any Attachments and involved cards. All other rules regarding Event cards apply.

Glossary
Appendix A: Glossary of Special Terms

Here are the definitions for any special terms that may be used in these rules or on the cards:
  • Ability - Any text listed on a card that has an effect, and is not specifically excluded as a restriction. Each separated line on a card represents a separate ability.
  • Action - The entire time beginning when a player plays a card that begins an action (see rules 3.2) and ending when the effect(s) of playing that card is resolved.
  • Actions Phase - The middle phase of the turn where players declare and resolve actions.
  • Acting Player - A player who has declared an action that has not yet been resolved.
  • Attached - When an Attachment card is placed with another card of the appropriate type, the Attachment is considered attached to that card.
  • Chronicle - Refers to the player's chronicle pile (see rules 1.1).
  • Chronicle Token - The tokens that start in the neutral pile (see rules 2), and are transferred to the players' chronicle piles during the game.
  • Conclusion - The third and final phase of the turn.
  • Contender - A player who has enough cards involved in an Event to potentially resolve that Event at the end of the turn.
  • Currency, Currency Token - Tokens used to represent a currency (Honor or Ryo).
  • Descriptor - Any word in a card's name or description that can be used to refer to that card, or to a group of similar cards. Note that pronouns ('he', 'she', 'I', etc.) and generic parts of speech ('a', 'an', 'the', 'but', 'for', etc.) do not count as descriptors.
  • Effect – Any change in the game state that can be cause by a player or a card.
  • Exhaust - Send a card to the rest pile, removing it from play.
  • Finished – Describes a player who has declared themselves finished during the actions phase, and can no longer declare an action.
  • Initiation - The first phase of the turn (see rules 3.1).
  • Involved - Once a Character is declared to be involved with an Event (see rules 3.2, 4.4), that Character remains involved until the Event is resolved or the Character is removed from play. Any Attachments that are attached to the Character are also involved with that Event.
  • Kill - Send a card to the dead pile, permanently removing it from play.
  • Rating - Any of the 5 numbers that may be displayed on the right side of a card. If any number is listed, including 0, then the card is considered rated for that rating. If no number appears, then the card is not rated.
  • Refresh - Return a stricken card to its normal position. A card in its normal position can is referred to as refreshed.
  • Resolve - At the end of each turn, Events in the Event field may be resolved, or may fail to resolve (see rules 3.3.1).
  • Restriction - Any text from the ability area of a card that is designated as a restriction (see Appendix B).
  • Score - The number of chronicle tokens taken when an Event is resolved. Some effects can increase or decrease an Event's score.
  • Strike - Turn a card sideways. A card that has been turned sideways this way is referred to as stricken, and you cannot strike that card again until it has been refreshed.
  • Sweep Up, Swept Up – The final step in the final phase of a turn, where most cards are removed from play. If a card states that it is "not swept up", then that card is not discarded during this step.
  • Target - May be a card or player depending on the effect calling for the target. A card or player is only considered a target if the effect uses the word 'target'.
  • Token - Any object that isn't a card that is used to mark or track something in the game. Each player has a collection of tokens that can be used to represent currency, mark the effects of certain abilities, etc.
  • Total Rating - The sum of the ratings on all involved cards that can be counted towards resolving an Event.

Special Abilities
Appendix B: Special Abilities and Restrictions

  • Restricted: X – Restriction. You may only include X copies of this card in your deck.



Requested feedback for part 1:
  • While I realize that many details are yet to be filled in, do these descriptions give you enough information to be able to read the example card?
  • The current scoring system has players accumulating points in their chronicle until someone reaches a pre-set goal. I have an alternate idea where players take their points from a central pool, and the game ends when the pool is empty, with the winner being the player with the most points. Which system sounds preferable?

De Chelonian Mobile.
My Shadowfist sets.
The Usagi Yojimbo CCG.

Fri, 2011-08-12 18:11
Blind Pirate

First, I was able to understand the majority of the card. The only things I don't yet know weren't mentioned, such as what the ratings are for. The only thing that confused me was the affiliation, but that may be because I don't see one on this particular example. Other than those two notes, I am amble to look at the card and understand what I'm looking at just fine.

As far as how one is to win the game, I personally prefer the first idea, where you have a preset goal. I feel it gives more to the game to have a goal set firmly in mind. Yu could, however, blend the two scoring systems together. Have a set goal that if a player reaches they win, but if the game lasts long enough all the points are used up and whoever has most wins. Puts a time limit up and would also offer more variation on how a player chooses to play ( for example, one player spends the game stealing from his opponent while that player aims for the center pool). I haven't actually read the comic this is based off of though so I don't know if that fits into the flavor of the game.

Hopefully this helps some. I'm looking forward to seeing this finished. Seems like a fun game so far.

Fri, 2011-08-12 19:50
Jéské Couriano
Jéské Couriano's picture

I'm inclined towards drawing points from a common bank, if only because it's more unique and fits the setting well. The only problem is that you would always need to have the bank start off with an odd number of points (to eliminate the possibility of a tie).

Is the combat/contest system fleshed out? That is what I'm more interested in.

Ceterum censeo Bolasinem esse delendam.
Accepting new types for S:tC!
Custom Keywords!

Fri, 2011-08-12 21:06
K1L1
K1L1's picture

I'm with Jeske. The common bank sounds exciting and you can have a different game every time.

Current Projects
Secret Project 1 - Creating base set...
Secret Project 2 - Skeleton complete!

Sat, 2011-08-13 03:36
hooliganj
hooliganj's picture

@Blind Pirate - Well spotted. I forgot that my example card was non-affiliated. I guess this gives me an excuse to provide another sample card (which I will edit into the OP as well).

Spoiler:

Re: scoring - The more I think about it, the more I like having a central pool of points. It does fit the setting well, and there is still a hard limit - once one player has half the points +1, the game is over regardless of what is left. Having an odd number of points won't necessarily break ties, since this game is meant to be played with anywhere from 2-6 players. I will have to come up with a separate tie-breaking mechanism (I'll have it worked out by the time I get to that point in posting the rules).

De Chelonian Mobile.
My Shadowfist sets.
The Usagi Yojimbo CCG.

Sat, 2011-08-13 04:37
Blind Pirate

Another note on the scoring: if you end with a tie you could settle it by saying that whoever got to the top score first wins. Just an idea to throw into the mix of whatever else you may consider.

Sat, 2011-08-13 14:28
K1L1
K1L1's picture

Or, depending on how easy the points are to get, you could throw one final tie-breaking point in the mix and let them brawl over it.

Current Projects
Secret Project 1 - Creating base set...
Secret Project 2 - Skeleton complete!

Tue, 2011-08-16 16:33
hooliganj
hooliganj's picture

Here's some more of part 1, and part 2 -

The Play Area and Setup
Part 1.1: The Play Area

Here are the different zones of play:

  • Event Field - The center of the play area, between all of the players, is where Events are played, and where cards that are attached to or involved in those Events are placed. The unscored pile of chronicle tokens is also in the Event field.
  • Play Field - The area directly in front of each player is where Characters controlled by that player, and any cards attached to those Characters, are played. Another type of card, Held Moments, can be played in the play field of the player they effect, or in the Event field if the card effects all players.
  • Deck - This is a face-down stack of your undrawn cards. At the start of the game, all cards will be in their owner's deck.
  • Rest Pile - This is a face-up pile of cards that have been played, but are no longer in play. Cards that are discarded, exhausted, or swept up at the end of the turn are sent to the rest pile.
  • Dead Pile - Similar to the rest pile, this is a face-down pile of cards that have been played, but are no longer in play. Cards that are killed are sent to the dead pile, and are permanently removed from play.
  • Chronicle - This is a face-up pile of cards that count towards winning the game. Whenever you successfully resolve an Event, place that card in your chronicle, along with a chronicle token. Some cards will increase the score when you resolve an Event, in which case you may take an additional chronicle token for each point scored.
  • Hand (not pictured) - The final play zone where a card may be located is your hand. When you draw a card, it is placed in your hand, where it can be seen by you, but not by other players. Once a card is in your hand, you can play it - when and how is determined by the card type.

Part 2: Setup

Before play can begin, there are a few things that must be taken care of:

  • Each player must have a prepared deck of at least 30 cards. There may be no more than 3 copies of each card in a deck. If a card has the restriction "Restricted: X" in the abilities text, then there may be no more than X copies of that card in a deck.
  • Each player should have a number of tokens, preferably in multiple colors. Set these tokens to one side, within reach. During the game, these tokens are used whenever you gain currency and to keep track of various abilities.
  • In the center of the table there should be a neutral pile of chronicle tokens. The number of chronicle tokens to start with is determined by the number of players.
    2 players - 19 tokens
    3 players - 26 tokens
    4 players - 31 tokens
    5 players - 34 tokens
    6 players - 35 tokens

  • Each player shuffles their deck, and offers the player to their right the opportunity to cut.
  • Place the deck to the left of your play field, and draw 6 cards to form your starting hand.
  • Lastly, randomly determine who will be the first player at the start of the game.
Once these steps are complete, it is time to begin the first turn.

Requested feedback for part 1.1:
  • Same as part 1, are the descriptions clear enough? I have italicized some of the terms that will be explained later, but is there enough information to get a picture of how the play zones are set up?
Requested feedback for part 2:
  • How do the starting amounts for the chronicle tokens look?
  • As always, are the rules worded clearly enough?

De Chelonian Mobile.
My Shadowfist sets.
The Usagi Yojimbo CCG.

Mon, 2011-08-15 02:02
Sohel
Sohel's picture

Part 1.1 is pretty much straightforward. However, Jei reads "...you may strike this card..." and strike is nowhere on the conditions on the Rest nor Dead piles. Is it the equivalent of tapping?
On Part 2, it is self-explanatory. However, the number of currency tokens is unspecified. Or do you get a certain amount per turn or per card?
Independently of everything else, Jei has only two Ratings while Miyamoto Usagi has all five, and one with 0. Why is this?

I'm back! I survived the Eater of Days!

Tue, 2011-08-16 21:00
hooliganj
hooliganj's picture

Thank you for the feedback. Striking is the equivalent of tapping, and this brings up a good point - before I proceed too much further with the rules, it will be helpful to have some kind of guide to the vocabulary.

Glossary
Appendix A: Glossary of Special Terms

Here are the definitions for any special terms that may be used in these rules or on the cards:
  • Ability - Any text listed on a card that has an effect, and is not specifically excluded as a restriction. Each seperated line on a card represents a seperate ability.
  • Action - The entire time beginning when a player plays a card that begins an action (see rules XX) and ending when the effect(s) of playing that card is resolved.
  • Action Phase - The middle phase of the turn where players declare and resolve actions.
  • Attached - When an Attachment card is placed with another card of the appropriate type, the Attachment is considered attached to that card.
  • Chronicle - Refers to the player's chronicle pile (see rules 1.1).
  • Chronicle Token - The tokens that start in the neutral pile (see rules 2), and are transferred to the players' chronicle piles during the game.
  • Conclusion - The third and final phase of the turn (see rules XX).
  • Currency, Currency Token - Tokens used to represent a currency (Honor or Ryo).
  • Descriptor - Any word in a card's name or description that can be used to refer to that card, or to a group of similar cards. Note that pronouns ('he', 'she', 'I', etc.) and generic parts of speach ('a', 'an', 'the', 'but', 'for', etc.) do not count as descriptors.
  • Exhaust - Send a card to the rest pile, removing it from play.
  • Initiation - The first phase of the turn (see rules 3.1).
  • Involved - Once a Character is declared to be involved with an Event (see rules XX), that Character remains involved until the Event is resolved or the Character is removed from play. Any Attachments that are attached to the Character are also involved with that Event.
  • Kill - Send a card to the dead pile, permanently removing it from play.
  • Rating - Any of the 5 numbers that may be displayed on the right side of a card. If any number is listed, including 0, then the card is considered rated for that rating. If no number appears, then the card is not rated.
  • Refresh - Return a stricken card to its normal position. A card in its normal position can is referred to as refreshed.
  • Resolve - At the end of each turn, Events in the Event field may be resolved, or may fail to resolve (see rules XX).
  • Restriction - Any text from the ability area of a card that is designated as a restriction (see rules XX).
  • Score - The number of chronicle tokens taken when an Event is resolved. Some effects can increase or decrease an Event's score.
  • Strike - Turn a card sideways. A card that has been turned sideways this way is referred to as stricken, and you cannot strike that card again until it has been refreshed.
  • Target - May be a card or player depending on the effect calling for the target. A card or player is only considered a target if the effect uses the word 'target'.
  • Token - Any object that isn't a card that is used to mark or track something in the game. Each player has a collection of tokens that can be used to represent currency, mark the effects of certain abilities, etc.

Hopefully this will help clarify things a bit, though I know some things will simply have to wait until more rules are revealed. Please let me know if there are any terms that should be added.

As for the ratings on the cards, I can say that Heroes will generally have all 5 traits, whereas Allies normally have only 1-2 - but neither of these statements is 100% true. Exactly what the ratings do (and the meaning of a 0 rating vs no rating) will definitely be included in an upcoming rules post... but not the next one. Sorry.

Edit: Reworded the set-up instructions regarding the players' tokens. Hopefully it is a bit clearer now. Since there were no other comments, the next section should be up soon.

Edit: Here's the next 2 sections, covering the basic structure of a turn, and the details of the first phase of a turn.

Turn order and Initiation
Part 3: The Turn

At the start of the game the first player is determined randomly, and afterwards the current first player can change during the turn. Regardless of which player is the current first player, all players participate in each phase of a turn at the same time.

Each turn, players will participate in three phases:

  1. Initiation
  2. Actions
  3. Conclusion

At the end of the conclusion, if no player has won the turn begins again with a new initiation.


Part 3.1: Initiation

During this phase of the turn there are six steps - all players must complete each step before moving on to the next. Most steps can be taken by all players simultaneously, but for situations where the play order will make a difference, the current first player will complete the step first, followed by the player on his left, and proceeding clockwise until all players have gone.

During the initiation, you may not play cards from your hand unless a card specifically states otherwise.

In order, the six steps are:

  1. Produce currency - Any cards in play that cause you to produce currency do so during this step. Note that if you have no cards in play that have this effect, you produce no currency.
  2. Refresh cards - Refresh any stricken cards by returning them to their normal position.
  3. Discard - You may discard a card from your hand. Discarded cards go to your rest pile.
  4. Draw - Draw cards until you have six cards in your hand.
  5. Propose Events - You may place an Event from your hand face-down in front of you in the Event field. If you do not wish to propose an Event, you can pass.
  6. Reveal Events - All face-down Events are turned face-up simultaneously.

Once the Events are revealed (or all players have passed on playing an Event) the initiation is complete.

I have also added initiation and conclusion to the glossary.

Part 3 requested feedback:

  • With the bulk of the action still to come, what is your opinion of the simultaneous turns?
  • Is the part about the current first player clear enough, at least for the time being?

Part 3.1 requested feedback:

  • Any questions about how the turn starts? In particular, does the ordering of the steps make sense?

De Chelonian Mobile.
My Shadowfist sets.
The Usagi Yojimbo CCG.

Wed, 2011-08-17 19:37
Sohel
Sohel's picture

The simultaneous turns is a very interesting concept, and seems very fair; unlike some games in which turn-one combos can give you an edge (or victory itself). I'll wait to see how this works until giving other comments. On 3.1, the discard step sounds very interesting. The CFP is clear, indeed. But, how do you choose it?

I'm back! I survived the Eater of Days!

Mon, 2011-08-22 18:21
hooliganj
hooliganj's picture

I meant to post this yesterday, but things got busy all of a sudden. So today I have three sections. Since these are fairly lengthy, I'll put them in seperate spoilers.

@Sohel: These sections should answer your questions about the ratings, and about the CFP (I like the acronym).

Actions
Part 3.2: Actions

Beginning with the current first player and proceeding clockwise, each player may declare one action. While that action is being carried out, the player that declared the action is the acting player.

As the acting player, you may choose one of the following as your action:

  • Play a card: This can be any Character, Attachment, or Moment. Reveal the card from your hand and pay any associated costs. If the card needs a target, declare what or who will be targeted. If the card is an Attachment, declare which card it will be attached to.
  • Use an ability: Declare which card’s ability will be used and pay any associated costs, including striking the card if necessary. If striking a card is part of the cost, and the card is already stricken, you may not use that ability. If the effect needs a target, declare what or who will be targeted.
  • Involve a Character with an Event: Declare which Character will become involved, and which Event it will become involved with. The Character must be refreshed, and must have at least 1 rating in that also appears on the Event (even if the rating is 0). When the action resolves, move the Character to the central play field next to the Event.

Once you have declared your action, other players may declare a response. Starting with the player to your left and proceeding clockwise, each player (including you) may choose to play a Moment, use the ability of a card they control, or pass. All cards played remain in play face up in front of their controller. Continue around the circle until every player has passed in the same round.

Once all players have passed, no more responses may be declared during that action. At this point, the effects of the responses are resolved last to first. First, resolve the effects of the final response declared. Then continue to the next most recent response, and so on, until the original declared action is resolved. Once the action is resolved, the acting player's action is over, and the next player may declare their action.

If a resolved card is a Character or Attachment, place the card in the controller's play field. If the card is a Held Moment, place the card in the play field of the player affect by the card, or the Event field if it affects every player. If the card is a Moment, place the card in the owner's rest pile once the effect has been resolved. Any other cards in play that are exhausted by an effect are also sent to the rest pile; any cards killed by an effect are sent to the dead pile.

Any time you may declare an action, you may declare that you are finished instead. A finished player may not declare any more actions, although you can still respond to other player’s actions. The player who finishes first in a turn becomes the new first player. Once all players are finished, the actions phase is complete.

Conclusion
Part 3.3: Conclusion

During this phase of the turn, there are 4 steps. Again, all players must complete each step before any player can move on to the next.
  1. Resolve Events: Determine contenders and resolve each Event (see rules 3.3.1). Any Events that fail to resolve are sent to the rest pile, except Story Events which remain in play until they are sucessfully resolved.
  2. Check for victory: If there are no chronicle tokens remaining in the neutral pile, or if any player has acquired more than half of the starting number of tokens, the game is over. The player with the most chronicle tokens is the winner.
  3. Choose a Hero: Beginning with the current first player and proceeding clockwise, each player may choose one Hero that they will keep for the following turn, unless a player does not have a Hero in play. You may choose a different Hero than you chose on the previous turn.
  4. Sweep up: Each player may keep their chosen Hero, and any cards attached to the Hero. All other Characters in the play field and their attached cards are sent to their owner’s rest pile. Players must also return any unspent currency (honor or ryo) to the token pile. Note that Characters that are involved with Story Events that have not been resolved are in the Event field, and remain in play.

After the sweeping up, the turn is complete. Begin the next turn with a new initiation, and continue until there is a winner.

Resolving Events
Part 3.3.1: Resolving Events

During the first step of the conclusion, players resolve any Events that are in play. Resolve non-Story Events first, then Story Events. If multiple Events need to be resolved, start with the Event played by the current first player and proceed clockwise.

Follow these steps for each Event in play:

  1. Check for contenders: If you control cards that are involved with an Event, and the total of the ratings on those cards exceeds the matching rating on the Event, then you are a contender for that Event. If you are the only contender for an Event, then you will successfully resolve that Event (go to step 3). If there are no contenders, the Event fails to resolve (go to step 4).
  2. Rate the contenders: If there is more than one contender for an Event, each contender finds their total rating by adding together the ratings of all of their involved cards. Only ratings that also appear on the Event are used for this sum. The player with the highest total rating resolves the Event (go to step 3).
    • In case of a tie: Each contender gathers all of their involved cards, and secretly chooses one to discard. Once each contender has discarded a card, reveal the cards and recalculate the total rating using the remaining cards. If there is still a tie, continue discarding cards one at a time until there is a difference in the total ratings. Once a player has discarded all of their involved cards, they are no longer a contender. If all players run out of cards without breaking the tie, the Event fails to resolve (go to step 4).
  3. Successfully resolve Events: If you have successfully resolved the Event, any "Resolve >>" effects listed in the Event's abilities take place immediately. Then take one chronicle token from the neutral pile and place the Event and the token in your chronicle pile. If there are any score effects that apply, increase or decrease the number of chronicle tokens you take appropriately (to a minimum of 0 - you cannot lose tokens to a successfully resolved Event).
  4. Events that fail to resolve: If a Story Event fails to resolve, it remains in play. Any cards involved in the unresolved Story Event remain in the Event field, and are not swept up during the conclusion. If a non-Story Event fails to resolve, the Event and any cards attached to it are sent to their owner's rest pile, and any cards involved in that Event return to their controller's play field.

That's the bulk of the rules, so now, please post any questions you may have about the game, the rules, the wording... and so on. I'll provide the answers, and then work them into the rules for future players.

Edit: Tidied up the original post, and added Acting Player, Contender, Effect, Finished, Sweep Up and Total Rating to the glossary.

Edit 2: Here are some specific topics I would like to get some feedback on:

Part 3.2: Actions

  • Are the rules describing the player's actions easy enough to follow? I feel like I spent two paragraph describing how to respond to things, when most CCGs already have these rules. If I've gotten overly complex, how could I simplify things?
  • Can you tell how to play and resolve the different card types? Should this be broken out into a list?
  • Does the finished declaration make sense? Any opinions on using this mechanic to change the first player?
Part 3.3: Conclusion
  • This section is relatively simple, except for resolving Events (see next part).
  • I haven't decided on a tie-breaker. Now that the rules are up, any ideas?
  • Sweeping up is a fairly new idea for a CCG - almost none of your cards are permanents. This represents your chosen hero moving on to the next destination and the next encounter. Any opinions on this?
Part 3.3.1: Resolving Events
  • Mechanically, having a term for contenders isn't really necessary - I just found the rules simpler to write that way. Is it a problem to have this extra term to remember?
  • For other terms, involved cards and total rating are both important. Are they explained well enough?
Finally:
  • Can you envision the progression of the game from the description in these rules? Can you see how you would play cards, resolve Events, and eventually win the game?
As always, I appreciate any feedback.

De Chelonian Mobile.
My Shadowfist sets.
The Usagi Yojimbo CCG.

Mon, 2011-08-22 23:48
Nerameshu
Nerameshu's picture

Actions:

Spoiler:
- The rules are rather easy to follow. Just because the other CCGs have these, or similar, rules, you shouldn't assume yours doesn't need them. Thinking, perhaps, overly optimistically, if this is someone's first CCG, they will need these rules.
- Without seeing examples, I find it difficult to see how to resolve different card types, but even I have the gist of it.
- The mechanic seems pretty solid. I'm not entirely sure finished is the correct terminology, but that's just me.

Conclusion:

Spoiler:
- My only worry about cards being swept up is whether or not they can return, and with what kind of ease. I can understand the flavor of only having one hero in play, but it seems as though having some heroes return would be a great asset.

Resolving Events:

Spoiler:
- Contenders, as a term, is a good idea to me. For some newer players, just tossing the word player around can be so confusing sometimes... Having a term for players that are involved in something makes it flow better.
- I believe both terms are explained very well (involved cards and total ratings).

Personally, I can see the way the cards work, but only a little. I don't know about anyone else on this forum, but the biggest way I learned to play DnD, for example, was to make my first character. I noticed the little ins and outs by filling out my sheet, and went on to look up things that interested me in the PHB (3.5, for those interested). I would like to request an example of each card type. Use the Yu-Gi-Oh! rulebook for inspiration here. In the section detailing the different card types, it gives an example of each, and gives specifics on the rules for playing each card type.

Mind Mages
One set in design. One Fantasy From the Vaults in Design.
Modding since 11-05-12

Tue, 2011-08-23 18:58
hooliganj
hooliganj's picture

Thank you for your comments. I like the idea of having more detailed examples for the different card types. I will probably break that out into Part 3.2.1: Playing Cards.

About returning cards from your graveyard: Facepalm
I completely left out a fairly important rule.

  • Whenever you draw the last card in your deck, reshuffle your rest pile and place it as your deck.
I'll go back and work this into the rules somewhere, probably into the draw step of the initiation.


Edit: This addition means I should request a new feedback, especially since this is another departure from established CCG design. Decking is a real strategy in some games, especially in duelling, but it's never fun for someone to be forced out of a 4-5 player game just because they were the target of the decking effects. This way, a player can't be decked unless every card is killed (aka removed from the game). On the other hand, this means deck construction will be a very different animal, and the power level of certain effects (tutoring, graveyard fetch) needs to be reevaluated. So:

  • How do you feel about the implications of the reshuffle rule?

Regarding the whole system: Looking at it all written down, I realize I've borrowed elements from quite a few different sources that aren't CCGs. The simultaneous turns of Civilization, the pool of victory points from Ascension, the competition for VP resources from Illuminati, the turn-ending clean-up from Dominion, and so on. Most CCGs avoid this kind of play, which begs the question - do the designers of those games have reasons to avoid such mechanics, or is it just that the expectation of how a CCG plays out has been so well established by the ever-dominant Magic?

Whatever the answer - this game will obviously play differently, and I need to consider that as I move forward with designing the cards. I hope to be able to playtest the core set heavily, and hopefully that will provide some guidelines, if and when I (or others!) move onto expansions.

De Chelonian Mobile.
My Shadowfist sets.
The Usagi Yojimbo CCG.

Wed, 2011-08-24 00:11
Nerameshu
Nerameshu's picture

On playtesting:

Spoiler:
I would be more than happy to try and playtest it with some friends of mine, assuming they are up to it. If you wouldn't mind me doing so, please (PLEASE) let me know where to find the set file.

Reshuffle Rule:

Spoiler:
This seems like a great idea, and I'm glad to see it in here. You are right, though, about the power of tutoring. Assuming I can correctly recall the card type I'm thinking of (I'm trying to do it at the moment without scrolling up, to test my memory), you could limit tutoring Moments to play-ability based on what characters are in play. For example, a card based on the main character finding a particular sword (I haven't read the series, so I'm not sure if this is ever an issue) could only be played whenever the card representing him is in play. For another example, think Dark Magic Attack from Yu-Gi-Oh!

In the vein of grave-fetch, though, unless reanimation is a big deal in the comics, you don't really need it. Once someone is dead, they're dead. End of story. The Rest Pile is really only different, from my limited idea of the set, because of the Reshuffle Rule. (Also, since I haven't mentioned this yet, I'm assuming that, by grave fetch, you are referring to the Dead Pile.) I now feel as though I should say something else, but I'm not sure what.

Game Design:

Spoiler:
I'm going to go on a small tangent for a bit, so please forgive and indulge me. Most card games do draw some inspiration from Magic, but Magic draws its inspiration from two sources, as I see it: Traditional card games (Poker, Rummy) and DnD. The connection to DnD is glaringly obvious, with all the wizards, warriors, dragons, and other some-such showing up everywhere, but card games?

The idea of most traditional card games is simple. Draw cards, keep good ones, throw out bad ones, and gain a certain number of points. In Magic, we draw cards, play good ones, keep bad ones as bluffs or chuck them for greater gain, and try to reach a certain score- usually dealing 20 damage, assuming no life gain or alternate win conditions. The evolution is mostly what each card represents. Instead of a fixed number of points (a face 10 card is usually 10 points), a card in Magic represents any number connections with other cards or strategies.

So, really, the basic idea of Magic is similar to what our fathers and grandfathers likely played to pass their time. We just throw the fantasy spin on it to entertain the limitless different games we could play with any one deck.

As to how other people design their games, finally (I know), they likely drew the idea from other sources as well. Even if they didn't, though, there is one fundamental reason they built their games in a way different from Magic: to set themselves apart. I can almost guarantee that there are rules in each of the mentioned card games that mirror Magic in one way or another. (In fact, I learned Magic based off my experience with Yu-Gi-Oh!- I just changed the names, in my mind, from Trap to Instant, Spell to Sorcery, and Field to Enchantment so I could have an easier transition.)

Game Design TL;DR:

Spoiler:
Really, this question should be posed to you: Is there any reason not to include certain mechanics in your CCG? I personally think it reads great from the rules posted here. I would need to play a few games to get the greatest grip I can, but this sounds, overall, like on of the most solid games I have ever seen someone design that doesn't build into an existing game.[/spoiler

Mind Mages
One set in design. One Fantasy From the Vaults in Design.
Modding since 11-05-12

Mon, 2011-08-29 18:52
hooliganj
hooliganj's picture

A quick update -

The core set design goals listed in the OP are what I would like to reach if this were to be set up as a CCG. Since I obviously won't ever be selling these cards, those goals may be unnecessarily ambitious. An LCG style set-up might be a better fit, and would remove the pressure to design so many cards up front. For now, at least, I'll be designing a handful of playtest decks, which can be run as-is or customized.

I was hoping to be able to toss something up this week, but that will depend on when Pifro returns.


Edit: Also, a possible rules change, depending on the feedback. I took the discard-and-draw-up-to-6 style of hand management from Shadowfist, because I like the faster play-through and de-emphasis on card advantage. However, I omitted one of the most useful features - the ability to pay an extra cost (in Shadowfist, you skip power-gen) to discard additional cards when your hand just isn't working out. I think I've come up with a way to implement this kind of emergency hand refresh:

  • [During the discard step of the initiation] If you do not have a Hero in your play field, you may discard any number of cards from your hand.
Language can also be added to the 'choose Hero' step in the conclusion to stress that choosing a hero is optional. This would allow a player who is pulling terrible cards or looking for a specific draw to accelerate the process by choosing to not keep a Character in play, and then dropping most or all of their hand on the next turn. This can also make getting back into a game easier when a player loses their last Hero due to something that happened in the game.

So, even though the full implications of this kind of change might not be readily apparent until there are cards to play with (I'm working on it!), I appreciate any thoughts.

De Chelonian Mobile.
My Shadowfist sets.
The Usagi Yojimbo CCG.

Mon, 2011-08-29 22:38
Nerameshu
Nerameshu's picture

I am in favor of this rules change.

Mind Mages
One set in design. One Fantasy From the Vaults in Design.
Modding since 11-05-12

Thu, 2011-09-01 17:07
hooliganj
hooliganj's picture

I've update the rules in the OP to include the changes to the discard and draw steps. I also modified the language in the choose a Hero step in the conclusion - it still works the same, but now it's clearer that a player can choose to not keep a Hero.

Nerameshu wrote:
Really, this question should be posed to you: Is there any reason not to include certain mechanics in your CCG?

Fair enough. My only concern was how many mechanics were inspired by or similiar to games that are not CCGs. I wonder if there's a reason these types of games aren't made collectible, or if there's a reason why collectible games tend to work a certain way.

Either way, I think these rules are ready to test. I'm working on putting together 5 pre-built decks, which will each contain ~24 different cards, so that should give me a pool of 120 cards to test with. I'll be sure to post those as a set once I have it in working order. Each deck will focus on a different play strategy, so anyone interested in testing can play the decks straight or build their own from the pool.

De Chelonian Mobile.
My Shadowfist sets.
The Usagi Yojimbo CCG.

Fri, 2011-09-02 00:59
Nerameshu
Nerameshu's picture

Is the rules PDF up to date?

Mind Mages
One set in design. One Fantasy From the Vaults in Design.
Modding since 11-05-12

Fri, 2011-09-02 03:48
hooliganj
hooliganj's picture

No, unfortunately I am out of town for the weekend, and won't be able to update the PDF until Monday.

De Chelonian Mobile.
My Shadowfist sets.
The Usagi Yojimbo CCG.

Sat, 2011-09-03 19:38
Jéské Couriano
Jéské Couriano's picture

Nerameshu wrote:
For example, a card based on the main character finding a particular sword (I haven't read the series, so I'm not sure if this is ever an issue)[...]

There are two arcs revolving around Kusanagi no Tsurugi (Serpent Sword or Grass-cutting Sword, depending on translator), one for finding it and the other to deliver it to a shrine to keep it out of politically-minded hands. Note that Sakai prefers to use the latter ("Grasscutter").

Ceterum censeo Bolasinem esse delendam.
Accepting new types for S:tC!
Custom Keywords!

Fri, 2011-09-16 21:30
hooliganj
hooliganj's picture

@Jeske: Sakai uses "Grasscutter" because that's a translation of the sword's actual name. "Serpent Sword" is a reference to the Yamato no Orochi legend, in which the sword is first discovered by Susano-oh in the corpse of a snake-demon-monster thing. It will be a while before I get to that, though - I plan to tackle the volumes in order and Grasscutter doesn't show up until volume 12.

I had really hoped to have more ready for posting by this weekend, but sadly things got busy. Now I have more free time, so hopefully there will be progress. Also, the revised rules are ready in PDF format, and I'll get those up on pifro, just as soon as pifro is back up.

In the meantime I thought I'd drop a couple of cards here, just to prove I haven't been completely slacking off. These two show off the Shogunate and Shadow Lord affiliations. The 'A' and 'B' symbols are place-holder set symbols I'm using for the playtest decks.

Spoiler:



Edit: As promised, I've added a section on rules governing specific card types. The more I worked on it, the longer it got, until I couldn't justify making it a sub-section anymore. So, here is part 4 of the rules:

Card Types
Part 4: Card Types

Each type of card has certain rules that control when and how that card can be played or used. These rules govern the general behavior of the cards, but whenever an effect on a card contradicts these rules, the card’s effect takes precedence.


Part 4.1: Characters

  • Playing – All Characters are played as an action (see rules 3.2). Any costs listed on the card must be paid when the action is declared, and the Character is placed face-up on the table. During this action, the Character is considered to be in play, but is not in any field and any voluntary abilities on the card may not be used. Once the action is resolved, move the Character to your play field.
  • Abilities – Characters have 3 types of abilities – static abilities that are always in effect, involuntary abilities that are triggered automatically and cannot be turned off, and voluntary abilities that a player may choose to use.
  • Involvement – In addition to any abilities printed on the card, all Characters can become involved in Events as long as they are refreshed. This is an inherent function of the card type, and is not considered an ability that can be cancelled by effects that cancel a Character’s abilities.
  • Leaving play – During the sweep up at the end of the turn, all Characters in your play field are sent to your rest pile (see rules 3.3). Additionally, any Character you own that is exhausted by an effect is sent to your rest pile, and any Character you own that is killed is sent to your dead pile.
  • Subtypes
    • Allies – There are no additional rules governing Allies beyond those governing all Characters.
    • Heroes – Before sweeping up at the end of the turn, you may choose any one Hero card in your play field that will not be swept up. That Hero, along with any cards attached to that Hero, remains in play for the next turn.


Part 4.2: Attachments

  • Playing – All Attachments are played as an action. When you declare the action, you must announce which card the Attachment will be attached to and pay any costs listed on the card. Place the Attachment face-up on the table. During this action, the Attachment is considered to be in play, but is not attached to anything, not in any field, and any voluntary abilities on the card may not be used. Once the action is resolved, place the Attachment next to its attached card.
  • Attached cards – While an Attachment is in play, the card it is attached to is called its attached card. Whenever the attached card is moved to the rest pile, dead pile, another field or changes control, any Attachments attached to it are also moved or taken.
  • Abilities – Attachments have 3 types of abilities – static abilities that are always in effect, involuntary abilities that are triggered automatically and cannot be turned off, and voluntary abilities that a player may choose to use. If an Attachment grants an ability to the attached card, then the attached card is considered the source of any effects generated by that ability.
  • Involvement – An Attachment is considered involved in an Event as long as the attached card is involved.
  • Leaving play – Attachments are not exhausted or killed, but may still be sent to the rest pile or dead pile as the result of an effect. Otherwise, Attachments leave play when their attached card leaves play.
  • Subtypes
    • Possession – This subtype must be attached to a Character.
    • Experience – This subtype must be attached to a Character.
    • Setting – This subtype must be attached to an Event. Any ratings listed on the Attachment are added to the ratings requirements of the attached Event. When the Event is resolved, the Setting is also resolved.

Part 4.3: Moments

  • Playing – Moments may be played at any time during the actions phase of the turn. When you play the Moment, pay any costs listed on the card and place it face-up on the table. During the action, Moments are not considered to be in play or located in any play field. Once the Moment is resolved, place it in your rest pile.
  • Targets – A Moment may call for a target, which must be chosen when the card is played. If the target leaves play before the Moment is resolved, the Moment has no effect – you cannot choose a new target.
  • Effect durations – Some Moments have effects that last longer than the Moment will be in play. You may leave the Moment in the play field as a reminder of the effect, but for all intents and purposes, the card is in the rest pile.
  • Subtypes
    • Action – Action Moments must be played as an action, and cannot be played in response during another player’s action. All other rules regarding Moment cards apply.
    • Held – Held Moments may be played at any time, although the card will often list a condition or trigger that must be met before the card can be played. When a Held Moment resolves, it will be placed in the play field of the player affected by the moment, or into the Event field if the effect affects all players. Held Moments remain in play until they are sacrificed by their own abilities or removed from play by another effect. Held Moments are not swept up during the conclusion.

Part 4.4: Events

  • Playing – During the initiation, each player may place an Event face down on the table. At the end of the initiation, all Events are turned face-up and placed in the Event field. Events may not be played in any other way.
  • Involvement – During the actions phase, players may use an action to involve a Character in an Event. That Character and any cards attached to that Character are considered involved in that Event.
  • Attachments - A subtype of Attachments called Settings can be attached to Events. Any ratings listed on the Setting are added to the requirements of the attached Event. When the Event is resolved, the Setting is also resolved.
  • Leaving play – At the end of a turn, an Event is either resolved or fails to resolve. If the Event is resolved, the Event is placed in the chronicle pile of the player who resolved it. If the Event fails to resolve, place the card and any attachments in their owner’s rest pile, and return any involved cards to their owners’ play fields.
  • Subtypes
    • Story – Story Events do not fail to resolve. If no player has successfully resolved the Event at the end of the turn, the Event remains in the Event field, along with any Attachments and involved cards. All other rules regarding Event cards apply.

Please let me know what you think. I know a lot of this is redundant, but it can help to have the information organized this way as well.

I will try to have an updated PDF including this and all other rules updates available on pifro by tonight.

Edit: It's up.

De Chelonian Mobile.
My Shadowfist sets.
The Usagi Yojimbo CCG.