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John Constantine

Card Tokens Prototype: Need Opinions

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Hello.

 

Prehistory (feel free to skip to the point): So, I've recently soft-finished my "LotR LCG Rework" Project (still applying small fixes, but nothing major planned at the moment), and there was a person who to my surprise asked me about the status of my old, long forgotten projects, and expressed the hope that I would revisit them one day.

 

Which I started doing a couple of days ago, I started revisiting my Esgaroth expansion. It's kinda embarassing actually, looking at my old work :D So many things I could have done better. 

 

 

The point: I started prototyping a new (not actually) thing - token cards. I'll provide current prototypes for evaluation below. 

 

The concept is simple: Token cards are cards that are not included into a deck, but are kept in an out of play area and introduced into the game by various game effect, think Ranger of the North. But I decided to give it a "Token" subtype to allow me to affect those cards with rules separately.

 

 

The rules: 

While in a player's hand, token cards are not considered to be in the players hand for any game effects purposes.

Example: You can't discard them to pay for card effects, you can't discard them from encouner card effects, you do not count them as part of your hand in Dunland quests, etc.

 

If a token card would enter an out of play state other than player's hand, remove it from the game instead.

Example: Any effect that causes a token card to enter a player's discard pile, or be shuffled into his deck would cause the token card to be removed from the game.

 

 

The reason behind those rules: Card economy is the main reason. If I am to introduce a way to add cards to the player's hand, I must make sure Noldor can't skyrocket their discard engines with them. I also must make sure that encounter card effects that punish hand size don't inflate their effectiveness because of all those tokens, as well as card-discarding encounter effects don't grow weaker because of the hand watered down with tokens.

 

 

What I'm asking for: Is educated feedback regarding this concept. By educated I mean feedback that bears actual points regarding the concept, not the "it sux/rox" type. The concept as a whole, not the example cards I'm gonna post below, because they are just a quickly made proofs of the concept. I'll be very greatful for any thoughts.

 

 

Card examples:

 

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Thank you.

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I've seen plenty of different things, things that go in hand particularly striked my fancy as they add new layer of strategy, so to say. Different card back 

 

That's why I printed the "token" on their type, to avoid flooding the text box of each card with the restriction from including in the deck by just implementing the rule.

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Wow this is a neat idea! I really dig it! The possibilites are huge and I think that it would bring quite a change to the game. If only the devs would pick this up and cite you in the expansion under 'Additional development'. 

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Wow this is a neat idea! I really dig it! The possibilites are huge and I think that it would bring quite a change to the game. If only the devs would pick this up and cite you in the expansion under 'Additional development'. 

They did a similar thing with their Ranger of the North, didn't they? Judging by how none other cards released after him had any similarity, I think they decided against it. Maybe production cost is too high, or comissioning 2 arts for technically 1 card it too expensive or someting.

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I am ambivalent about having cards enter from out of play - don't really use Ranger of the North much, but I suppose I am open to the idea. However, I think making this a different class of card that doesn't interact with hand & card effects adds unnecessary complications. I'd rather they be either completely normal cards (in which case, the allies would say "search your deck for one...") or simply normal cards that start out of play. I don't think this would mess with hand size and discard effects too much - in both illustrative cases, the ally you play simply replaces its self, keeping hand size constant.

 

Thumbs up for creativity, though!

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"ambivalent" - wow, made me look this one up :o

 

I understand that those rules might get confusing at first, but I assure you they are pretty simple to follow because they apply only while in your hand. And the card economy here is really important to preserve in it's original state because, lets say, I want to create event that adds 3 token allies to your hand from out of play. Or something else that would give you technically more cards than you spend with considerably less effort than usual. Discarding-triggered cards can go bonkers, encounter deck will have hard time getting rid of the useful cards out of your hand, and raving mad men from Dunland will tear you apart :D

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I like the idea. I think the blacksmith is a bit under-costed. 2 for a 1-1-1-2 vanilla isn't bad. Is the heading remedy supposed to be a ore time use?

Consider that you then have to pay for the token attachment too, so the body costs 2, and then you have to pay 1 for what it gives you.

 

Yes, Rejuvenating Brew is an event, and a token one at that, so immediately after you play it, it goes away into an out of play area.

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I like the idea. I think the blacksmith is a bit under-costed. 2 for a 1-1-1-2 vanilla isn't bad. Is the heading remedy supposed to be a ore time use?

Consider that you then have to pay for the token attachment too, so the body costs 2, and then you have to pay 1 for what it gives you.
It's still a card. When you ran through your card changes that's what I noticed most: you gave Master of the Forge 1 WP. The guy is busted enough as it is.

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I like the idea. I think the blacksmith is a bit under-costed. 2 for a 1-1-1-2 vanilla isn't bad. Is the heading remedy supposed to be a ore time use?

Consider that you then have to pay for the token attachment too, so the body costs 2, and then you have to pay 1 for what it gives you.
It's still a card. When you ran through your card changes that's what I noticed most: you gave Master of the Forge 1 WP. The guy is busted enough as it is.

Haven't you noticed the trend? 3 is now a cost for powerful allies. There is a 2/2/0/2 non-unique rohan ally spoiled which does not exhausts to quest when you have a sidequest in victory display. And you want me to price a 1/1/1/2 ally with 3 resources just because he enables you to then pay 1 resource for a weapon that gives +1 attack for one attack once per round? No, thanks. 

 

1 willpower on master of forge is justified because his ability makes him exhaust, rendering that willpower useless. The way original master of forge is, he may have been an attachment. When I see an ally with exhaustment ability, I expect him to be able to do something if he doesn't exhaust, otherwise there is no point in it, no tradeoff, no decision involved.

Edited by John Constantine

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I like the idea. I think the blacksmith is a bit under-costed. 2 for a 1-1-1-2 vanilla isn't bad. Is the heading remedy supposed to be a ore time use?

Consider that you then have to pay for the token attachment too, so the body costs 2, and then you have to pay 1 for what it gives you.
It's still a card. When you ran through your card changes that's what I noticed most: you gave Master of the Forge 1 WP. The guy is busted enough as it is.

Haven't you noticed the trend? 3 is now a cost for powerful allies. There is a 2/2/0/2 non-unique rohan ally spoiled which does not exhausts to quest when you have a sidequest in victory display. And you want me to price a 1/1/1/2 ally with 3 resources just because he enables you to then pay 1 resource for a weapon that gives +1 attack for one attack once per round? No, thanks. 

 

1 willpower on master of forge is justified because his ability makes him exhaust, rendering that willpower useless. The way original master of forge is, he may have been an attachment. When I see an ally with exhaustment ability, I expect him to be able to do something if he doesn't exhaust, otherwise there is no point in it, no tradeoff, no decision involved.

 

 

I think an even better point of comparison you could use is the spoiled Dunedain Lookout - 2 cost 1/1/1/2 ally that can discard himself to cancel the when revealed effects of an enemy. He's technically undercosted by the stats = 2x cost formula, but it's easier to get away with that when you have an even stat spread.

 

As for the token attachment/item idea. I don't like it, mainly due to the confusing interaction with your hand size and discard, etc. Here's how I would sidestep it:

 

Rules:

Token cards are not added to the player's deck. They are instead set aside at the start of the game along with the cards with the encounter keyword. If a Token card ever leaves play, remove it from the game.

 

Cards:

Hard-working Craftsman:

After you play Hard-working Craftsman from your hand, attach a set-aside Well-crafted shield or a Steel-forged blade to a character.

 

Aspiring alchemist:

Action: Remove a set-aside copy of Rejuvenating Brew from the game to perform its action.

 

Though with that second one I'm not sure why it isn't just an ability on the ally with a built-in limit.

 

The point is, even though these don't 100% match what your cards do, I think you can mimic this whole mechanic close enough without dealing with the hand/draw/discard issue (which I don't really see as a big deal anyway).

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It's not a token attachment idea, it's a token player card idea. It can be anything - attachment, event, ally, sidequest if you're crazy, it can shuffle a token enemy/location/treachery into the encounter deck as a downside.

 

Hey, the only reason why I'm doing this whole "confusing rules" thing is to preserve the game balance, but even you don't see it getting out of control?.. Well, then I might just drop them alltogether.

 

You can't mimic the whole mechanic by introducing half-measure of two proofs of concept I provided. How would you mimic an event that will add 3 ally tokens to your hand? There is so much to explore within that mechanic, those little basic examples I provided don't even begin to cut it.

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I don't have a problem with the sideboard, just the hand/discard rulings. But I don't see why my suggestion is completely different from what you asked for. Once played, you have the ability to play 3 allies from your sideboard. Maybe write "limit 3 times per game" if you want to allow more than 3x of the card in the sideboard.

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Ok, lets assume I lift the in-hand rules. Lets elaborate.

 

Attachment: 

Vulnerable to attachment hate, you lose all the remaining uses if it gets discarded.

 

Event:

Is a card in your hand until played, so you'll lose everything if it gets discarded.

Adds ally cards directly to your hand, so they are vulnerable to hand hate too, such as Dunland or discard mechanics.

Floods your hand, making it more difficult for discard mechanics to discard something of actual value from your hand.

Individual tokens in your hand independent from each other, if one gets discarded - others remain in your hand until discarded or played.

Can be used to fuel discard enginges, providing cheap cards to burn without significantly affecting your hand state.

 

 

That's kinda heavy difference to me.

Edited by John Constantine

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I was comparing it you your token rules as you defined them (where they are in your hand, but not really). Yes, there are a lot more differences if you take away those rules.

 

The main difference is that my version is susceptible to attachment hate. Now, this is just my opinion of course, but that doesn't seem like a big enough deal to warrant a whole new set of un-intuitive rules.

Edited by Seastan

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I agree with Seastan - the extra card class and supplemental rules are unnecessary. I don't share your concerns about hand size and specific quests (ie. Dunlandings) - certain deck types have always been poor against specific quests. Trap decks are totally ineffective against The Three Trials, but trap cards themselves are excellent additions to the card pool.

 

If you are worried about player-induced interactions, as with Noldor, you could simply add something along the lines of "This card cannot be optionally discarded from your hand" to the top of the text box. This would be a more flexible option, since there are some potential token cards - including your proof of concept ideas presented here - that wouldn't need that restriction. It would also dramatically simplify things, which can only help.

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Hey, the only reason why I'm doing this whole "confusing rules" thing is to preserve the game balance

i think it overcomplicates things for not much reward for the sake of game balance

Lindir, for example, lets you draw 3 cards if you have a hand full of tokens, so what do we do about him? and what would happen with Old Bogey-stories?

once we start looking at other cards that affect how these things will work, it adds more layers of complexity. it also limits the scope of design for future cards; imagine a 'discard your hand of x cards to draw x cards' effect

i also don't think rules need to exist just so it's not considered overpowered with certain archetypes. just balance the cost/traits accordingly

i also think that a lot of this could have been sidestepped if they just brought into play whatever it was they had (or played the event at the same time)

and yes i know how it shortens the window of playable events with this theme, but my point is that it's overly complicated, and it doesn't need to be.

one last point on balance: i also think that cards shouldn't be balanced based on certain quests. some quests will invariably favour some archetypes, card combos, etc. and invalidate others, and i think that this is an intended and important part of the game.

some cards come out in a particular cycle are meant to be strong in those certain quests, but i've never seen anything purposefully try to invalidate encounter mechanics, even from the cycle they're released in

anyway, that said, i like the idea overall. for example, what i like about the Ranger of the North in the game is that it opens up the chance that they could print a different version of the card and could give the players a choice of which Ranger of the North is shuffled into the encounter deck

in your concepts, i think i liked the first concept better, where you give a choice. the player can look at the board state and choose whether or not they would like more def or more atk

i think that's kind of what's necessary here as well. why? why not just make an attachment that lets you choose atk or def? or why not just make an ally that can be discard for the potion effect?

for the first question, i think it overly complicates things, so i like the set aside cards in how they make this interesting*. for the second, i don't see a reason, but if there were a choice in events, that would help.

i also think that you should be able to give the card to anyone's hand (perhaps not every card). this opens up a few options but also allows the design space to consider a more powerful effect that only affects 'your' heroes/characters/engaged enemies/etc.

and i agree with Seastan for attachments. simply have them come into play at the same time and adjust costs accordingly. it makes more thematic sense that way as well imo

*also, did you consider that the ally could leave/re-enter play several times and could end up with all 6 attachments? is that an intended effect? even with the enters play from hand restriction, Dwarven Tomb could easily workaround this

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I was comparing it you your token rules as you defined them (where they are in your hand, but not really). Yes, there are a lot more differences if you take away those rules.

 

The main difference is that my version is susceptible to attachment hate. Now, this is just my opinion of course, but that doesn't seem like a big enough deal to warrant a whole new set of un-intuitive rules.

The thing is, differences start to pop up when you take away those rules, and that was the main reason why I implemented them in the first place. However if even someone like you is not bothered by potential OP scenarios, I'll just drop them. Less work and things to consider for me.

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dr00, Lindir case sounds perfectly fine to me, because, if we take currently presented tokens, a hand full of +1atk/def attachments and 0 costs heal 1 events is not that much of a hand to begin with. Old Bogey stories are simple: You shuffle all of your non-token cards into your deck and draw 6 cards. 

 

No, adding cards to hand - of anything, that is not overly complicated.

 

I bring up Dunland as a main offender, there are plenty of hand-discarding stuff to go around in many different quests.

 

Why not make ally that discards itself fof heal? How is it remotely the same as having an event that healds separately from the ally that brought it to life? That ally might be gone by the time you trigger that event. That ally can do various things after you trigger that event. That ally doesn't needs to be in play when you trigger it. The list goes on.

 

Yes, I considered that option. There are honestly plenty of more powerful things to do with the Dwarve tomb than bringing a Blacksmith back and forth for those little attachments :D

 

I don't agree on your thematic point. Blacksmith is not an outfitter. Giving you a weapon or armor piece that you can then attach to anybody who seems fit is more thematic in my book for a craftsman than instatntly equipping it as soon as it pops.

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