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Proposed New Variant Format


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#1 Ral

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 05:55 PM

I'm a big fan of EDH Magic, and wanted to transplant some of the experience to Call of Cthulhu. For those who do not know, Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH, recently appropriated by Wizards and renamed Commander but **** those guys) is a highlander or singleton format. Players play 99 card decks and have a larger life total to reflect the potential longevity of a game where cards you need don't show up as frequently and cannot be searched for as easily.

In addition to this, a Legendary (a trait equivalent to Uniqueness in CoC) creature serves as the "General," beginning play in the "Command Zone," outside of play. A player may play their general (regular timing rules apply) from the "Command Zone" by paying its cost. If the character is removed from play at any time, it returns to the "Command Zone," and may be played again for an additional cost proportional to the number of times it has been removed.

In addition to the advantage of constant access to a key card, deck construction is limited based on the colours and attributes of the "General," and (more importantly) a player is knocked out of the game if they lose 21 life to a single general, overriding the 40 life cushion they normally have.

To put it simply I want to create, with this community's input, a different way to play CoC that approaches the complexities of what is widely regarded, in my part of the world at least, as the best M:tG format. I have several ideas, and a rough outline of what I came up with follows. Please tell me what you think, try it out, see how friends and playgroups react, and let me know. If you are so repulsed by the idea you don't want to do any of those things, let me know that too.

Deck Construction:
Decks must consist of 78* cards, and only one copy of a card with any given name is allowed.
Players must select TWO unique characters. I called the low-cost character 'elder god' and the high 'outer god.'* One must cost 3 or less, and the other 4 or greater. The factions to which the characters belong determine the factions you may include in your deck. Any deck may contain neutral cards.

Here are some examples. Say I wanted to make a MiskU Library deck with student/faculty and Tome themes. I choose
Whitton "Sexy McHotness" Greene and Board of Trustees as my unique characters. I may only play Miskatonic and Neutral cards.
A friend builds Richard Upton Pickman/Victoria Glasser control, and may include Syndicate and Hastur faction cards as well as neutral cards.
A neutral 'elder god' does not allow you to play cards belonging to a faction other than that of your 'outer god,' and a neutral 'outer god' does not allow you to play cards belonging to a faction other than that of your 'elder god.' Another friend, therefore, playing Y'golonac/Marcus Jamburg combo may only play Yog and neutral cards.

Gameplay:
Set the two unique characters aside (this is a separate zone, 'the beyond') and shuffle the deck.
Draw a setup hand of 8 cards, keep 5 and domain the remaining 3. You may mulligan your hand and redraw, but if you do your opponent may draw a card. Play proceeds as it would in a regular CoC game.
The first player to win four story cards wins the game. 

Special Rules:
You may play either of your two unique characters any time you would normally be able to play them by paying the required costs. They behave the same as regular characters with three exceptions:
- if they win an icon struggle while participating in a story, double the effects of that struggle (i.e. two insane victims, two wound tokens, two readies, two success tokens.)
- if they die, are sacrificed, or removed from the game, you may choose to put them into 'the beyond' instead. Note that this effect will not replace shuffle or tuck effects, not that there are any.
- the 'elder god' costs an additional 1 for each time it has left play; the 'outer god' costs an additional 2 for each time it has left play. Neither of these effects alter the printed cost of the character. Neither 'elder god' nor 'outer god' may ever be attached to a domain as a resource.

Other Points:
- I'd rather not put a banlist up from the get-go. Sure, certain cards are amazing in all decks (I'm looking at you, Eibon) but as a single copy, and with plenty to counteract them, they shouldn't run too rampant. As I, and hopefully you, test, this could and should change, but part of what makes EDH so fun is the difference between my deck and the next guys, a fact helped by the minuscule and tightly regulated banlist.
- A major advantage is that this format can appeal to those who open a Core Set and Secrets of Arkham only to find that the Living Card Game notion was a bit of a sham when those were released. A major DISadvantage is that the most recent releases cater much better to the inborn need for playsets of cards. As a triple core owner, if this takes off I'm fine with having 3x the playable cards, but I doubt everyone would agree.
- The format desperately needs a name, and I honestly have no idea. I'm trying not to ape EDH too closely, but EGH/OGH is a logical beta name. If you pronounce it sounds Lovecraftian, so there is that. "Eg'n'og" is also the kind of name that will turn heads.
- has anyone played the multiplayer variant of CoC, and is it worth pursuing? I ask because another main appeal of EDH is that it works better with multiple players. 

Alright, internet, soak it in. Then comment so I can feel as though I can take credit for something cool. I really hope y'all like it!
Z






*smaller deck size may be implemented shortly! If you are going to weigh in on anything please weigh in on this! 


Edited by Ral, 17 December 2013 - 06:04 PM.

Eggnog:
School Library (Whitton/Board of Trustees)


#2 jhaelen

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 03:11 AM

Interesting. Seems like a workable alternative to a standard Highlander game. I'd have to give it a try.



#3 Silverset

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:58 AM

Since EDH gives the players a higher starting life total, maybe more stories need to be won in order to win. Five maybe? Just a thought. When The Outer God participates in winning a story it could count as two won stories.




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