Design a Card

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Asthanius
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Asthanius » 19 Dec 2015, 15:15

I think this is my favorite mechanic that I've ever designed: It's called Dynamic, and it's super-simple. Attacking creatures with Dynamic get +1/+0, and blocking creatures with Dynamic get +0/+1.

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I don't know why I love it so much, but I do.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby steric hindrance » 19 Dec 2015, 19:46

TaiyouShinobi wrote:So here's that creature I was talking about in the earlier post:

Essence (2B)
Creature - Alien Thief (Uncommon)
Whenever Essence Thief deals combat damage to a creature add one mana of one of that creature’s colors to your mana pool.
Whenever Essence Thief deals combat damage to a player you may add one mana of any type to your mana pool.
Lovely energy you have, quite lovely. Might I borrow a bit of it? You don’t mind... Do you?
2/5

Not sure of any easy way to have you be able to add colorless mana, since colorless and generic are distinct now. Figured "type" would work, but yeah. Thoughts?


What I see as an issue is that you can only use this mana during the combat damage step before it drains away. I'm not sure if this is meant to be a feature and not a bug, but if that's unintentional, you should probably template it as, "At the beginning of your postcombat main phase, add one mana, etc."
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 19 Dec 2015, 19:46

Atifexe + TaiyouShinobi:

The controller of the source of the trigger (you) would control the trigger, and thus choose targets.

Adding additional damage to a source that may not deal damage initially can get a bit funky. One route is to just make the enchantment deal the damage (this is the route usually taken with these type of triggers). The part that gets particularly weird here, is that often a source doesn't exist at the point this ability would trigger. I'm not entirely certain you could have a nonexistent source deal damage. (I _think_ it would work fine, but it would be a little too confusing when there are simpler solutions.)
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 19 Dec 2015, 20:08

TaiyouShinobi wrote:So here's that creature I was talking about in the earlier post:

Essence (2B)
Creature - Alien Thief (Uncommon)
Whenever Essence Thief deals combat damage to a creature add one mana of one of that creature’s colors to your mana pool.
Whenever Essence Thief deals combat damage to a player you may add one mana of any type to your mana pool.
Lovely energy you have, quite lovely. Might I borrow a bit of it? You don’t mind... Do you?
2/5

Not sure of any easy way to have you be able to add colorless mana, since colorless and generic are distinct now. Figured "type" would work, but yeah. Thoughts?


Type would indeed work; "106.1b There are six types of mana: white, blue, black, red, green, and colorless."

A few concerns:
1) Black has never really been one for fixing; any fixing it has will usually come at an additional cost. (Same goes for acceleration - though it does get B acceleration.) (Making it BG might be a flavor win here; fits mechanics, and it's a green creature that would generate mana from an atypical source.)
2) The two abilities are just similar enough to cause confusion without making too much of a difference in the majority of cases.
3) As was mentioned, having mana in the combat damage step isn't all that interesting. You could switch it to 'becomes blocked by one or more creatures' and 'attacks and isn't blocked'; this would add an additional level of depth, as your opponent would now need to decide whether they wanted to allow you that fixing or not.

Colorless and generic mana have _always_ been distinct. The only difference is that there are now certain costs that require colorless mana to be paid for them. (Some spells/abilities before required the whole thing to be paid with colorless, but there was never a symbol allowing for partial colorless requirements.) Having something add {C}{C} rather than {2} makes absolutely no functional difference.

----- Old way -----
{1} in a cost: generic mana
{1} in an effect: colorless mana

----- New Way -----
{1} in a cost: generic mana
{C} in an effect: colorless mana

If you saw {1} in a cost, it was never 'colorless mana'; if you were calling it such you were technically incorrect - though I doubt that ever actually affected gameplay.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby AdmiralMemo » 19 Dec 2015, 22:01

Also, if the creature gains trample, then you'll be generating mana from the blocking creature and from the player.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Asthanius » 21 Dec 2015, 17:22

SixFootTurkey wrote:----- New Way -----
{1} in a cost: generic mana
{C} in an effect: colorless mana

To expand on that, {C} used anywhere, be it in a cost or an effect, strictly means colorless mana.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby TaiyouShinobi » 23 Dec 2015, 01:21

SixFootTurkey wrote:A few concerns:
1) Black has never really been one for fixing; any fixing it has will usually come at an additional cost. (Same goes for acceleration - though it does get B acceleration.) (Making it BG might be a flavor win here; fits mechanics, and it's a green creature that would generate mana from an atypical source.)
2) The two abilities are just similar enough to cause confusion without making too much of a difference in the majority of cases.
3) As was mentioned, having mana in the combat damage step isn't all that interesting. You could switch it to 'becomes blocked by one or more creatures' and 'attacks and isn't blocked'; this would add an additional level of depth, as your opponent would now need to decide whether they wanted to allow you that fixing or not.


I did change it, but if you could elaborate on your second point that would be great. I showed it to a couple of people without prior knowledge and they said it wasn't confusing as it was originally, but maybe I'm missing what you meant.

Here's the updated version:
Image

Added a clause similar to "Mark of Sakiko". This should hopefully solve the issue of the mana not being particularly useful in the combat damage step.
I'm hoping the "doesn't empty when steps and phases end" bit doesn't push it into Rare status.

AdmiralMemo wrote:Also, if the creature gains trample, then you'll be generating mana from the blocking creature and from the player.


That's exactly what I'd love to happen. I figure though, at 2 power, they are also going to have to pump it to get it to trample over anything significant.

----------------------------------------------------

SixFootTurkey wrote:Colorless and generic mana have _always_ been distinct. The only difference is that there are now certain costs that require colorless mana to be paid for them. (Some spells/abilities before required the whole thing to be paid with colorless, but there was never a symbol allowing for partial colorless requirements.) Having something add {C}{C} rather than {2} makes absolutely no functional difference.

...

If you saw {1} in a cost, it was never 'colorless mana'; if you were calling it such you were technically incorrect - though I doubt that ever actually affected gameplay.


When I was originally taught the game of Magic, anytime the generic mana numbers appeared, they were referred to as "colorless", whether or not this was correct, this point in the game is the first the distinction has ever really be pointed out to me.

SixFootTurkey wrote:Atifexe + TaiyouShinobi:

The controller of the source of the trigger (you) would control the trigger, and thus choose targets.

Adding additional damage to a source that may not deal damage initially can get a bit funky. One route is to just make the enchantment deal the damage (this is the route usually taken with these type of triggers). The part that gets particularly weird here, is that often a source doesn't exist at the point this ability would trigger. I'm not entirely certain you could have a nonexistent source deal damage. (I _think_ it would work fine, but it would be a little too confusing when there are simpler solutions.)


I see. Would there be any easy way to make it so that source's controller control the target because I think the artifact's interaction would be fun and interesting. (Even if it would never come up.)

Also, since "type" covers the primary six would there be a way to handle the addition of other flavors of mana to a mana pool? i.e. Snow-mana, etc.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby TaiyouShinobi » 23 Dec 2015, 01:35

Asthanius wrote:I think this is my favorite mechanic that I've ever designed: It's called Dynamic, and it's super-simple. Attacking creatures with Dynamic get +1/+0, and blocking creatures with Dynamic get +0/+1.

Image

I don't know why I love it so much, but I do.


I like it. Straightforward and simple, though I'd like to see this mechanic on more aggressive creatures either ones with haste or slightly cheaper costs. Like for this one 2G is fine but I'd like a GG cost even more.

Although, I think you should work one this creature's name a bit more. :P
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 26 Dec 2015, 01:14

Oh, another way you could word it is 'attacks and isn't blocked'; that way you can't get more than one mana (from either double strike or trample). It also means the abilities trigger in the same step.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 26 Dec 2015, 01:48

Dynamic seems a little lackluster; you have either a 3/2 or a 2/3; "Dynamic N" might be interesting.

(Edit: By lackluster, I mean it has very restricted design space; yes you can put it on anything, but putting it most things won't really affect the creature in the vast majority of cases, and it does have a bit of board complexity in that the creature has three different P/T values.)
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Asthanius » 26 Dec 2015, 09:23

Regarding board complexity: Whenever it's used at common, the creature will have the same power and toughness, making the calculations as simple as possible. Dynamic N could be interesting, though.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby TaiyouShinobi » 26 Dec 2015, 16:36

SixFootTurkey wrote:Dynamic seems a little lackluster; you have either a 3/2 or a 2/3; "Dynamic N" might be interesting.

(Edit: By lackluster, I mean it has very restricted design space; yes you can put it on anything, but putting it most things won't really affect the creature in the vast majority of cases, and it does have a bit of board complexity in that the creature has three different P/T values.)


Asthanius wrote:Regarding board complexity: Whenever it's used at common, the creature will have the same power and toughness, making the calculations as simple as possible. Dynamic N could be interesting, though.


I think if you are going to approach Dynamic N (Which should definitely be considered) you should make sure that is isn't a rewording of already existing mechanics. EX: "CREATURE gets +N/0 or 0/+N when (condition)" can become really similar to "Bushido N" or "Rampage N". I think the best way to set it apart would be to make the determinate of N be something interesting, like the number of creatures you control that also have Dynamic or perhaps the number of times prior Dynamic has triggered and the creature survived (maybe marked with counters or something) i.e. the more situations the creature encounters the more dynamic it becomes. I guess it might be closer to "Dynamic X" than "Dynamic N" at that point though.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Asthanius » 27 Dec 2015, 09:17

Bushido is +X/+X when it blocks or becomes blocked.
Rampage is weird and only triggers when it's blocked by more than one creature.
Dynamic is supposed to be useful at all times, even (and especially when) your opponent has no creatures. I also feel like the fact that only one stat is being boosted at a time helps keep it separate from other mechanics that may seem similar at first.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby AdmiralMemo » 27 Dec 2015, 19:17

SixFootTurkey wrote:All permanents, or all _nonland_ permanents? If it is hitting lands too, it will probably end up needing to cost enough so that it's not playable just to be on the safe side wrt noninteractive power as well as unfun-ness.

Though... maybe if it requires WUBRG to cast?
All permanents, including lands. If I wanted "destroy all nonland permanents" I already have Planar Cleansing available.

I was just thinking how incompletely "all" the "Destroy all" effects are. The "Destroy all" effects seem to clearly be in either White or Red's wheelhouse. But...


I mean, I could take Planar Cleansing and add either Armageddon or Ravages of War and for 6WWWW, I could completely wipe the board of everything. (Alternatively, I could use Planar Cleansing and Bust for 8RWWW.) So that's 10 or 12 mana, if I just want to use spells.

Worldslayer has the effect, but it's an equipment and requires combat damage to be dealt. Bearer of the Heavens has the effect on a body, but requires the creature to die. (And also, I just thought of the idea of Bearer equipped with Worldslayer and shuddered a little.)

If I allow creatures, I could do Bearer plus Diamond Valley, High Market, or Phyrexian Tower to bring the cost down to 7R.

Essentially, no matter what I do, I'll need at least two cards to completely wipe the board, and I was thinking if it could be done in one. Two-card combos aren't that hard to set up, but still require either tutoring or some luck.

I was just thinking if it were 2-color and a little more expensive than some of the spell-based options available, it could be playable.

So, maybe 8 mana CMC then. I don't feel that black is necessary for this, thematically, given what cards already exist. 4RRWW maybe? Two double-color would be hard to splash in any other color deck.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 31 Dec 2015, 00:50

AdmiralMemo wrote:Essentially, no matter what I do, I'll need at least two cards to completely wipe the board, and I was thinking if it could be done in one. Two-card combos aren't that hard to set up, but still require either tutoring or some luck.


There's a reason for that.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby square1 » 31 Dec 2015, 18:36

AdmiralMemo wrote:
SixFootTurkey wrote:All permanents, or all _nonland_ permanents? If it is hitting lands too, it will probably end up needing to cost enough so that it's not playable just to be on the safe side wrt noninteractive power as well as unfun-ness.

Though... maybe if it requires WUBRG to cast?
All permanents, including lands. If I wanted "destroy all nonland permanents" I already have Planar Cleansing available.


Alternatively you could play Upheaval and have a Myojin of Night's Reach or Warped Devotion to clear everything away from the hand. So maybe the answer is really in Blue/Black? :-)
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 02 Jan 2016, 17:02

For Christmas, my awesome sister got me a set of the Star Wars-themed Magic Cards that one can find online; she contacted the creator and was able to get the PDF files, printed them out, and cut them and sleeved them up. Yes folks, this gift is every bit as wonderful as it sounds.

Anyways, I want to return the favor, by making a custom magic set with cards based on her life and family. Most of the cards will be "in-jokes" in a sense, not funny cards like an "un" set but just meaningful within her social circle. However, I do want to create playable decks (I am thinking that I will deliver pre-built decks, rather than what she gave me which is more like a cube). So I am wanting to come up with some deck archetypes and mechanics that are flavorful but also effective.

Here are some initial card ideas that feature the card mechanics I have come up with. The actual card names, creature stats, and mana costs are very rough-draft, and not the thing I am focusing on yet. Rather, there are these mechanics: Bookshelf, as my sister works in a Library; Wheel, since my brother-in-law works at Chrysler; Patrol, since a good friend of their family plays magic with us, and is a Border Patrol agent; Family, which is meant to show how family eases one another's burdens and protects each other; and Bordering, since they live right near the Canadian border.

I have two versions of Patrol shown, because I'm not sure which direction to go with it. One version is a kind of pseudo-vigilance that could make for some interesting combos, and I'm inclined to let it be primary in colors that don't usually get vigilance. Part of my posting here is to get suggestions for what color(s) each mechanic should show up in. Also, any help on editing the reminder text to be as succinct as possible would be appreciated!

Image

Bookshelf lets the Librarian arrange the cards in their Library in order, so that they can always retrieve the right card! The drawback is that it is a PUBLIC Library, so the other player sees what you're drawing.

Image

Wheel is meant to send a card around the table one time, before the player gets to use the card. This could mean that there could be detrimental effects on the permanent that is getting passed, or a big bonus that only accrues after making it all the way around. Choosing L or R needs to happen so that play order is not a player-hoser. Also, this points out that I am intending the set overall to be multi-player based.

Image

One version of Patrol, for consideration.

Image

Another version of Patrol (pseudo-vigilance). The mechanic mispelling is intentional, so that I can have both versions in the same set for the time being.

Image

And Family; this mechanic would be supported by cards that either remove or make use of the -1/-1 counters.

Image

Finally Bordering, which is a way to achieve dual (or multi) lands in a new way. It's basically Soulbond for lands. I have a cycle of Fringes, plus the variable ETB cost lets me create mythic lands with bigger effects.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Asthanius » 02 Jan 2016, 19:28

Image
When this enters the battlefield, you may exile the top three cards of your library. If you would draw a card, you may put a card exiled this way into your hand instead.
Works in all colors. It's a stretch for red and white, but whatever. It's not under strict guidelines.

Image
When this enters the battlefield, choose left or right. Starting with you and proceeding in the chosen direction, at the beginning of each end step, the next player in that direction gains control of this card. At the beginning of each upkeep, if you own this card, it loses Wheel and gains Round.
(The wording is based on wording used in Commander 2013)
Works in all colors.

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When this enters the battlefield, you may assign it to target land you control. If you do, all other permanents assigned to it are no longer assigned to it. At the beginning of each upkeep, if that land is untapped, untap this permanent.
(I personally this this one works best and is the easiest to understand)
Works best in green, white, and blue.

Image
This mechanic's wording is fine.
Works best in red and black, like you have it. Maybe even white.

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As this enters the battlefield, you may pay {1}. If you don't, put it into its owner's graveyard instead of onto the battlefield. Otherwise, choose another target land you control. These lands border each other.

As a side note, this is all re-worded so that they could actually work in Magic. If you don't really care too much about that and just want them to be understandable, you could probably shorten some of them even further.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 02 Jan 2016, 22:02

Asthanius wrote:As a side note, this is all re-worded so that they could actually work in Magic. If you don't really care too much about that and just want them to be understandable, you could probably shorten some of them even further.


Thanks for the input! My main concern is reducing the amount of text space taken up by the mechanic's description, to preserve space for other things on the card. Wheel, in particular, could call for a lot of interesting cards that work against their controller in various ways.

Also, I should point out that "becoming round" is actually an in-joke for us, since there was a comical comment made about how a particularly short and wide coffee mug was "rounder" than normal coffee mugs. So I do want to make cards that are significantly different when they are Round.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Asthanius » 02 Jan 2016, 22:35

In that case, you could definitely just replace "gains Round" with "becomes Round" since it's not as important for this to be perfectly adherent to the rules.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby AdmiralMemo » 03 Jan 2016, 10:46

Yeah, I don't see a problem with "becomes Round" here because we've already had "becomes Monstrous" and "becomes Renowned" in real Magic. :-)
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Re'ozul » 04 Jan 2016, 13:45

So many mechanics:

Bookshelf
I like this. You get to dig 3 but only get to draw normal speed.
This could be a processor enabler. Though it basically means you need 2 exile piles.
I think 3 is a bit much on the manarock, maybe 2?

Wheel
Interesting, though after looking through the definition of summing sickness, the next player would get to fully use it. Considering there are things such as sac outlets this probably doesn't work at all.

Patrol
A selfcontained cheap mimic-vat effect.Utterly broken just by existing, even if land destruction is a thing.Heck, since it is "when the land becomes tapped" it is even better as you still get the mana. Very broken right out of the gate.
I love it but have to be realistic.

Patroll (yay for typos)
This one is fine. Vigilance for reserving mana. This is something control players would
love to have. You get to be agressive and be able to do blocks just by having open mana.

Family
Directed self-guided infect? It seems okay but the exchange of 1 damage for a -1/-1 is probably never good for you. I could see it as a number ability (Family X - prevent X damage, put a -1/-1 counter on this creature) With common cards being Family 1 on agressive cards and getting to Family 3 on rares that have big butts. Of course this becomes "Take no damage" if you have mikaeus the unhallowed out.

Bordering
This is likely a pain to translate into water-tight rules text. But I do like this approach to fixing.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 04 Jan 2016, 17:27

Thanks for the input!

Bookshelf: I agree that 3 is probably the top end, with most cards being 1 or 2, and I dunno whether the big 3 belongs on the mana rock. We'll see what other cards I come up with.

Wheel: it can go on all kinds of permanents, even lands, so I think it is still workable. Definitely going to be the biggest challenge to design a deck archetype around! I've been thinking of Zedruu-type effects that want your cards to be in the hands of others; the Round version of the card may just be icing on the cake, if it does make it all the way back to you.

Patrol(l): yes, I am going with the pseudo-vigilance version, because in multiplayer it means a creature that gets to use a tap ability multiple times. Probably need to be careful to have any such tap abilities also cost mana, so that you eventually have to tap that assigned land.

Family: I had that thought too, to make it scalable X instead of always just 1. Still not sure about it, as I am considering cards that make use of the counters in various ways to reward you for spreading the pain around. With it always being 1 I think it becomes a lot easier to parse the board state, when you have a bunch of Family creatures out there and are considering whether to block or just take the damage. How much can I prevent = How many creatures do I have?

Bordering: I've changed the wording of other abilities, but for this one I want to stick with what I have, because it is literally just a combo of Soulbond (land instead of creature) and the wording of Transguild Promenade. Well, with one minor exception in the very last phrase which should be "sac this unless you pay X" rather than "pay X or sac this", just changing the order.

Other mechanics that I may need to include in this set are Cycling, as my sister is big time into bicycling, and maybe Ninjutsu since the whole family is into martial arts. Cycling works especially well with Bookshelf!
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 04 Jan 2016, 17:43

So what I spent some time doing yesterday was to think through what my deck archetypes might be, in terms of colors and where these mechanics will show up. I'm not really working on a full set skeleton, but rather on a set of 4 or 5 prebuilt decks. I might even package them like the 5 prebuilts that WOTC issues with each set - a 60-card deck plus two random boosters; the "boosters" would give each player a chance to see some cards that don't really go in their deck, and maybe I come up with some funny card ideas that don't truly belong in any of the decks.

I ended up settling on 3-color Shards, with a Primary, Secondary, and Splash color in each, so that I can do a bit of sharing of cards among them. The first deck I am looking at will be my BOOKIST deck, in Red, Blue, and splashing Black, which will feature Bookshelf and Cycling. Over a year ago, I made a card based on my sister, so she will be a cornerstone of the deck (she's already been shown this card, so I'm not going to change this design):

Image

I have a handful of other cards that I made at the same time, that I want to use, so these are kind of fixed-points that I'll have to design around.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby WP&P » 04 Jan 2016, 17:54

And I just HAVE TO SHARE this card idea that I just came up with tonight!

First, let me say that one of the deck archetypes will need to become a token-generating one, producing plants and insects at least, as one of the fixed-points I mentioned above is a lizard/dragon that sort of "devours" plants and insects to get bigger (based on their pet bearded dragon). That got me thinking about insect tokens, and then I realized just how deathly afraid of spiders my sister is! So maybe I need to produce spider tokens. She always gets her husband to deal with the spiders.

And then I recalled how, whatever color my sister's thumb is, it is NOT GREEN. I'm into gardening, but she won't even try, she kills houseplants far too easily.

I present:

Image

It might be a "sideboard" card, unless I can really ramp up the importance of those tokens. Maybe the card needs some additional effect, like a cantrip? If nothing else then it needs some good flavor text. Not sure about the cost, too.
What do model railroading and Magic: The Gathering have in common?
I don't have enough time or money for either!

http://wpandp.com/Home/the-rest/borderlands-a-custom-mtg-set/eclipse-an-expansion-for-borderlands/

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