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Yandia

Design Talk - Created Cards, Token, Permanent Modifiers

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Whenever I think about L5R, I am always surprised how many mechanics are in there and how little standardization was done. This is one of these things which always loathed.

 

To get a permanent force bonus of +1 you could have several possibilities.

  • Created Card - Follower with 1F 
  • Created Card - Item with +1F
  • +1F Token - with optional flavors of Sake, Fire and whatnot.
  • Permanent +1F 

All things have different pros an cons but they all have one thing in common they are a pain to keep track of.

Permanent Boni especially since they even stay in place after death and with the Phoenix Stronghold in the game such things were important.

I realized that playing the game via Sun and Moon is way more fun then actually having the cards in hand because SnM did allow you to track these things rather effectively.

 

So let's discuss what of these mechanics are really need and if we can bring in a bit more form to the table.

 

I guess I will start of with Permanent Modifier.

 

I think Aranai Sensei is a good card to explain when I like these things.

I have a Physical Representation on the field who and when will receive a certain bonus.

In this chase Tactician without Tactical Advantage when 3 Chi or more.

 

Suikihime Sensei out of the Phoenix Box... On the other hand is a pain. I am actually glad that most people skip on this sensei but I also think that this she utilizes the mechanic terribly because I have no physical representation on the board. 

 

Same reason why I hate Oath of Fealty and but love Alliance. 

 

Next up would be token.

 

Token is a cool mechanic and common in CCGs. However I think L5R went a bit overboard with this.

The mechanic becomes problematic especially if you have more then one type of token on a card. Ivory example: Tsuruchi after Oath of Fealty was played with two Poison Token.

 

So what kind of Token do we need?

I would say since the game already has many opportunities to provide permanent buffs I would say the token with negative effects are far more interesting namely Poison and Corruption Token. 

-1F/-1C is a good effect for Poison Token

Corruption Token on the other hand often came with a permanent Shadowlands effect and I think that would be the only thing I would like to use them for. Mark people as Shadowlands who do not have the printed keyword.

 

The last thing I want to talk about are created cards.

 

I like the mechanic. I really do, but you can really boil down most created cards to two relevant ones:

  1. Hired Blade: 1F Follower without any keywords.
  2. Clan Samurai: 2F/2C/2PH Bushi with the trait: "This personality has your clan alignment". 

Cutting down the Created Cards has a few major advantage:

Creating proxies is a non-brainier because you only need 2 or 3 different proxies.

You can refer to them by name. Instead of writing "Create 2F/2C/2PH Samurai with the trait: 'This personality has your clan alignment'." you can write "Create a Clan Samurai." 

 

And you could still could bring in some fluff, by writing on a Matsu Beastmaster: "Your Hired Blades are Nonhuman and Cat."

Or a Ninja Sensei could have the trait: "Your Clan Samurai are Ninja instead of Bushi."

Again having a physical representation of what actually is going on in the game.

 

It did a lot of talking. Now is your part. Thoughts?

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RANT in spoiler below.

 

Or how about the fact that board gets cluttered very easily if you are focusing on Military Victories and huge armies.

 

I make a Ashigaru deck. Not only do I need Ashigaru Personalities, but I need many Ashigaru Followers. Some personalities may have anywhere between 2-4 followers on average. Then lets not forget that there is Conscription Officer which is a follower that makes more followers. Then you need dice to help keep track of the force difference between your army and your opponent's army. But you also need dice/counters/etc to keep track of any force and/or chi penalties/buffs for specific units and within those units you need counters to keep track of these buffs/penalties for each individual follower/personality if their Force/Chi fluctuates based on a factor. Then you get into the holdings/strategies/sensei/personalities for Ashigaru which can create Ashigaru Conscripts which means you need tokens to represent these conscript personalities. 

 

To top that off there is Sake tokens which are a distinct and seperate token placed on your personalities and provide +1F. So THAT means you need separate +1F tokens/dice for that element of the game. BUT that is not all! What type of poison token are we talking here? There is poison tokens that cause -1F/-0C, -1F/-1C, -0F/-1C.

 

Then we got to delve into followers created by card effects. You can't just call it a 1F Follower and call it a day. There are even specific types of followers like Cats or Ninjas or Samurai or Ashigaru. So you got to have distinct tokens to separate them if your running tokens beyond say just Ashigaru.

 

You might think "That is not so bad." Well then you got to take into account what EACH of YOUR holdings/personalities/items/followers/events/celestials have in play for for abilities that MIGHT be relevant in a battle in addition to the fate cards in your hand. Not including what the OPPONENT has for the exact same things.

 

REMEMBER this is all necessary for a NEW PLAYER to keep track of. In fact there is other elements of the game that I didn't even cover in the form of tokens and counters. No wonder new players have trouble figuring out WHEN TO ATTACK.

Edited by OneThatFishes

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I have only two things to say about tokens: limit them and make counters/cards to go with them. Primarily, have these counters and/or cards in the core game release and potentially future deluxe expansions. I always hated keeping track of different types of counters in MtG and tried to avoid using more than two in any L5R deck I made.

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I have only two things to say about tokens: limit them and make counters/cards to go with them. Primarily, have these counters and/or cards in the core game release and potentially future deluxe expansions. I always hated keeping track of different types of counters in MtG and tried to avoid using more than two in any L5R deck I made.

 

This is FFG. You are getting cardboard tokens in the Core Set. 

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I have only two things to say about tokens: limit them and make counters/cards to go with them. Primarily, have these counters and/or cards in the core game release and potentially future deluxe expansions. I always hated keeping track of different types of counters in MtG and tried to avoid using more than two in any L5R deck I made.

 

This is FFG. You are getting cardboard tokens in the Core Set. 

 

 

Which is good, I like having counters for stuff like permanent force/chi bonuses besides the usual glass tokens. Having some tokens serve double duty would also be advisable: having some token serve as dishonor for a player but also serve as a means to show that a personality is dishonored.

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I have only two things to say about tokens: limit them and make counters/cards to go with them. Primarily, have these counters and/or cards in the core game release and potentially future deluxe expansions. I always hated keeping track of different types of counters in MtG and tried to avoid using more than two in any L5R deck I made.

 

As a Player that runs a Kitsune deck often,  I feel your pain.  I eventually had to make and print my own tokens since the distribution on the premium cards was.... unreliable.  This was further compounded by AEG not previewing the spirit tokens with the Kitsune who created them and issues with the Oracle.

 

 

This is FFG. You are getting cardboard tokens in the Core Set. 

 

Please include Spirits of the Forest that will rip anyone apart who tries to trespass.   :D

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I have only two things to say about tokens: limit them and make counters/cards to go with them. Primarily, have these counters and/or cards in the core game release and potentially future deluxe expansions. I always hated keeping track of different types of counters in MtG and tried to avoid using more than two in any L5R deck I made.

 

As a Player that runs a Kitsune deck often,  I feel your pain.  I eventually had to make and print my own tokens since the distribution on the premium cards was.... unreliable.  This was further compounded by AEG not previewing the spirit tokens with the Kitsune who created them and issues with the Oracle.

 

 

This is FFG. You are getting cardboard tokens in the Core Set. 

 

Please include Spirits of the Forest that will rip anyone apart who tries to trespass.   :D

 

 

Oh I know, I tried to make a modern Kitsune deck a few times but trying to get tokens was just a terrible experience. I think I'd rather have them create a generic animal or Kitsune spirit card than individual spirits. Or just releasing them with their token in the respective expansion. It's even doable because of the removal of randomness with LCGs. 

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I remember around a decade back when I had this insanely lovely token deck. Follower tokens,  Force and Chi tokens, both bonuses and penalties. It was so insane that a few cards, token, and coins in some games ended up symbolizing not just 1 instance of a token but several like 3 or 4.

 

Wanted, Token counters with their own counters lol

 

 

 

I have only two things to say about tokens: limit them and make counters/cards to go with them. Primarily, have these counters and/or cards in the core game release and potentially future deluxe expansions. I always hated keeping track of different types of counters in MtG and tried to avoid using more than two in any L5R deck I made.

 

As a Player that runs a Kitsune deck often,  I feel your pain.  I eventually had to make and print my own tokens since the distribution on the premium cards was.... unreliable.  This was further compounded by AEG not previewing the spirit tokens with the Kitsune who created them and issues with the Oracle.

 

 

This is FFG. You are getting cardboard tokens in the Core Set. 

 

Please include Spirits of the Forest that will rip anyone apart who tries to trespass.   :D

 

 

Oh I know, I tried to make a modern Kitsune deck a few times but trying to get tokens was just a terrible experience. I think I'd rather have them create a generic animal or Kitsune spirit card than individual spirits. Or just releasing them with their token in the respective expansion. It's even doable because of the removal of randomness with LCGs. 

 

 

We usually make our own tokens,

 

Whad Pumba as a picture and Timon in one ;)

And a few other Disney characters like Sir Hiss

 

The monkey token we used was usually Rafiki

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Tokens and created cards were out of control at several points in L5R.  I got sick of having dozens of created cards on the board (some of which were bowed, inevitably), some poison tokens, some created weapons,  and then dropping some kind of blanket force bonus or effect and having to go back through and decide what gets the bonus and what doesn't.  

 

I know a few times where we didn't have our kits with us and we were playing with wadded paper straw wrappers and pocket change.  That was fun.  

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FFG doesn't use created cards in their games. What they use (or have used) is:

- tokens

- face-down cards

- cards changing type (an effect like Grateful Reward, instead of reading "Create a [...] Follower and attach it to him.", would read "Attach Grateful Reward to him as a Follower with [...]")

 

I prefer the created cards, but I can understand that they would be a problem in an LCG.

 

Another point is that in FFG's games, cards don't have memory once they leave play (if ability usage needs to be tracked beyond its source leaving play, then it's tracked across all cards with the same name), which is pretty much the norm, by the way (L5R is the only game I know with such a rule).

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Actually Created Cards are less of a problem in LCG then they were in the CCG.

However on the topics action card becoming other cards Kamoko's Avatar springs to mind.

And I never understood why Arrival of the Emerald Champion never got such a version,

 

http://imperialassembly.com/oracle/#cardid=4255,#hashid=9694452fdccb01fe7f49de51050820bb,#cardcount=0

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Tokens and created cards were out of control at several points in L5R.  I got sick of having dozens of created cards on the board (some of which were bowed, inevitably), some poison tokens, some created weapons,  and then dropping some kind of blanket force bonus or effect and having to go back through and decide what gets the bonus and what doesn't.  

 

I know a few times where we didn't have our kits with us and we were playing with wadded paper straw wrappers and pocket change.  That was fun.  

 

If they just narrow the stuff down to generalized types of cards, it could work fine. If all modern ancestor tokens can be the same, then others could follow suit.

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After playing a bit of SW LCG, I have noticed that tokens help a lot where in L5R you needed to bow, flip, cards, where tokens now can easily identify a cards state or the effects upon it.

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I think we can count on all this stuff being reduced to a point where FFG can include the necessary components in the box without requiring players to use any kind of marker or reminder from outside the game.

 

So we'll probably get a supply of at least a few generic tokens that can be used for anything, but at the same time, design will keep such effects from becoming excessive for fear of running through that supply.

 

As far as created cards, Conquest even had half-size cards to represent created basic troopers, of a different kind for each faction. L5R may or may not include such, but I would bet that if there are cards that can create something, that something will be in the box.

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I think we can count on all this stuff being reduced to a point where FFG can include the necessary components in the box without requiring players to use any kind of marker or reminder from outside the game.

 

So we'll probably get a supply of at least a few generic tokens that can be used for anything, but at the same time, design will keep such effects from becoming excessive for fear of running through that supply.

 

As far as created cards, Conquest even had half-size cards to represent created basic troopers, of a different kind for each faction. L5R may or may not include such, but I would bet that if there are cards that can create something, that something will be in the box.

 

The most likely case but I did run out of counters a few times when I first played Lord of the Rings. However, buying additional core boxes solved that problem very quickly. I suspect that multiple core sets will be needed for complete sets.

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The most likely case but I did run out of counters a few times when I first played Lord of the Rings. However, buying additional core boxes solved that problem very quickly. I suspect that multiple core sets will be needed for complete sets.

 

 

Yeah, history suggests the core box will be a 3x purchase for anyone who wants a play set. So you'll be swimming in counters at that point. :)

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The most likely case but I did run out of counters a few times when I first played Lord of the Rings. However, buying additional core boxes solved that problem very quickly. I suspect that multiple core sets will be needed for complete sets.

 

 

Yeah, history suggests the core box will be a 3x purchase for anyone who wants a play set. So you'll be swimming in counters at that point. :)

 

 

I swim in them now with all these LCGs! :lol:  

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RANT in spoiler below.

 

Or how about the fact that board gets cluttered very easily if you are focusing on Military Victories and huge armies.

 

I make a Ashigaru deck. Not only do I need Ashigaru Personalities, but I need many Ashigaru Followers. Some personalities may have anywhere between 2-4 followers on average. Then lets not forget that there is Conscription Officer which is a follower that makes more followers. Then you need dice to help keep track of the force difference between your army and your opponent's army. But you also need dice/counters/etc to keep track of any force and/or chi penalties/buffs for specific units and within those units you need counters to keep track of these buffs/penalties for each individual follower/personality if their Force/Chi fluctuates based on a factor. Then you get into the holdings/strategies/sensei/personalities for Ashigaru which can create Ashigaru Conscripts which means you need tokens to represent these conscript personalities. 

 

To top that off there is Sake tokens which are a distinct and seperate token placed on your personalities and provide +1F. So THAT means you need separate +1F tokens/dice for that element of the game. BUT that is not all! What type of poison token are we talking here? There is poison tokens that cause -1F/-0C, -1F/-1C, -0F/-1C.

 

Then we got to delve into followers created by card effects. You can't just call it a 1F Follower and call it a day. There are even specific types of followers like Cats or Ninjas or Samurai or Ashigaru. So you got to have distinct tokens to separate them if your running tokens beyond say just Ashigaru.

 

You might think "That is not so bad." Well then you got to take into account what EACH of YOUR holdings/personalities/items/followers/events/celestials have in play for for abilities that MIGHT be relevant in a battle in addition to the fate cards in your hand. Not including what the OPPONENT has for the exact same things.

 

REMEMBER this is all necessary for a NEW PLAYER to keep track of. In fact there is other elements of the game that I didn't even cover in the form of tokens and counters. No wonder new players have trouble figuring out WHEN TO ATTACK.

 

Remember a game once where tokens were from 2 other spare decks and where spilling over the table, where force count took like 2-3mins count properly before we could start assigning to get to the battle proper. The kind of game where every personality you brought into play had a token creation skill of some sort.

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The most likely case but I did run out of counters a few times when I first played Lord of the Rings. However, buying additional core boxes solved that problem very quickly. I suspect that multiple core sets will be needed for complete sets.

 

 

Yeah, history suggests the core box will be a 3x purchase for anyone who wants a play set. So you'll be swimming in counters at that point. :)

 

 

I swim in them now with all these LCGs! :lol:  

 

 

You think you are swimming in counters. Try X-wing. So, so much cardboard...

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I wouldn't mind seeing specific, but effect-less, tokens (fire, poison, sake, ashigaru, etc) with cards that define the effects of those tokens while in play. (Personalities that turn ashigaru tokens into +1F, Strongholds that give poison tokens -1C effects ... etc)

 

It would solve a lot of the problems with tracking what tokens do.

Edited by BitRunr

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The most likely case but I did run out of counters a few times when I first played Lord of the Rings. However, buying additional core boxes solved that problem very quickly. I suspect that multiple core sets will be needed for complete sets.

 

 

Yeah, history suggests the core box will be a 3x purchase for anyone who wants a play set. So you'll be swimming in counters at that point. :)

 

 

I swim in them now with all these LCGs! :lol:  

 

 

You think you are swimming in counters. Try X-wing. So, so much cardboard...

 

Oh, I own X-Wing and Armada. I know the feeling.

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So what kind of Token do we need?

I would say since the game already has many opportunities to provide permanent buffs I would say the token with negative effects are far more interesting namely Poison and Corruption Token. 

-1F/-1C is a good effect for Poison Token

I would make that even more abstract as affliction/penalty token, so one could use that as wounds, as being drunk and plenty other things that reduces the peeps stats. And thus you can have many different ways of what cause this and one can have easier counter mechanics, like heal spells against it.

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