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Sentinels of the Multiverse» Forums » Variants

Subject: Custom Environment -- Frostfury Mountain rss

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Dennison Milenkaya
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Hello, SOTM fans!

I have two heroes yet to share. One is not quite finished while the other recently had her final problems corrected and I dare say she's perfect. Still, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you my second environment before posting another hero. This deck was originally started on www.spiffworld.com and I really liked the setting and rationalizations for the villain and heroes meeting there. I also like having another wilderness locale for villains like Akash'Bhuta or Ambuscade, but it makes perfect sense for Citizen Dawn or Baron Blade to use an out-of-the-way retreat to house their communes or build doomsday devices. But it was unpolished.

Not only did I use the proper formatting and style to match SOTM, but I fleshed out other details, like adding more variety to the card effects and less repetition. I'll say one thing in favor of that repetition, though: It sure matched the standard published environments in that way. For my thoughts on that subject, see the opening to my other environment, The Spanish Main. All environments need to cover some important functions in the game but they should also distinguish themselves from each other in some way, so I then used a Weather keyword in order to group some of the effects together and help give this environment a unique feel.

So, I did lots of formatting, added artwork, added flavor text, provided more variety, and explored some new functions with Weather cards. But Spiff still deserves credit for the original concept.

Without further ado, now with custom artwork by Eric Bright, here it is:

And the original illustrations:

Enjoy!
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Those cards are...

Blizzard x2
Weather
Reduce all non-environment damage by 1.

The original deck's Whiteout reduced all damage (except melee) by 1. This is now the effect of Blizzard and excepts environment damage, instead of melee. I'm not sure how either effect would not affect melee damage. Probably the most likely reduced type, actually. But now this weather makes it harder for anyone to harm anyone else, but the environment is unaffected, since all damage coming from the environment would be adapted to these weather conditions. This isn't a very harsh environment, and instead of making it more harsh, we make everything else less harsh, allowing the environment to be effective while not just being another dangerous place.

High Velocity Winds x2
Weather
Increase all cold damage by 1.

Decrease all projectile damage by 1.

Here's a new card for Frostfury. Originally, the mountain didn't modify cold damage with any card, and it felt lacking. I first wanted the winds to increase cold damage by 2, but this is the kind of card that wants to be repeated. So I made it half as effective and included two copies, so it can increase cold damage by 2 but it steps up gradually. If one is destroyed before both are in play, then instead of increasing gradually, it crops up twice as much and is less likely to miss entering play somehow. Blizzard received the same count, since it has a naturally cumulative effect. To make the card matter more, it wanted an equal reduction to some damage type. Fire makes less sense here than projectile and since this allows a greater span of heroes typically affected in some way by this card, it is more interesting this way, besides.

Whiteout
Weather
Prevent all damage dealt by non-environment cards.

I was unsure as to whether this card should make all targets immune to damage a la Meteor Storm (Wagner Mars Base) or prevent all damage dealt by non-environment cards. The former is a simpler effect, though the latter is not seen elsewhere and keeps some degree of danger without upping the ante, making it so the heroes do not just become complacent and use the time to set up. Also, it keeps things from feeling like they simply stall out.

Change In The Weather
When this card enters play, destroy 1 weather card, then reveal cards from the top of the environment deck until a weather card is revealed. Put it into play and discard the other revealed cards.

At the end of the environment turn, destroy this card.

This card was added to interact with the weather concept. It has a few rather subtle effects. It's 1 of 3 ways for the environment to remove Whiteout from play so the game doesn't completely stall if heroes are unable or unwilling to destroy it. It allows the weather cards to show up slightly more often, so weather feels like a real feature of this climate. Even if there isn't a weather card in play to begin with, this does put one into play (changing the weather from pleasant to something else). Finally, it allows the environment deck to skip over certain other cards, like Base Camp, so that those cards aren't guaranteed to appear once per cycle.

Avalanche
When this card enters play, destroy (H) minus 1 equipment cards. Then, this card deals all targets 1 cold damage and 2 melee damage each.

At the end of the environment turn, destroy this card.

This version of Avalanche differs from the original by destroying more equipment and dealing more damage, but it isn't selectively not washing over villain targets. 1 cold and 2 melee damage may not sound like much, but High Velocity Winds can bring it up to 3 cold and 2 melee damage.

Hidden Crevasse
When this card enters play, this card deals the 2 non-environment targets with the lowest HP 2 cold damage and 2 melee damage each.

At the end of the environment turn, destroy this card.

The original version hurts all hero targets, which (again) was weird that it is selectively harming only heroes, but also bizarre that every hero falls down the crevasse. Also, I cannot figure out why it is a target. One fun and interesting aspect of SOTM is finding a way to get the environment to work for the heroes, so this way, it can harm villain targets, but if it hits heroes, it hits the heroes that are in most danger of being incapacitated. This deck can increase the damage dealt by this card.

Frostbite
At the end of the environment turn, this card deals each target 2 cold damage.

Then, each hero may destroy 1 of their ongoing cards. Any hero that does not may not use powers until the start of the next environment turn.

At the start of their turn, a player may skip the rest of their turn to destroy this.

This is actually really close to the original version of Frostbite, except that it is worded way clearer, and doesn't selectively only harm heroes. The heroes are worse off than villain targets, due to losing ongoing cards or being unable to use powers, and missing a turn, if they choose to remove it this way. This card is one of the most dangerous of the deck. This deck can also increase the damage it deals by 1 or 2.

Base Camp
At the end of the environment turn, each player may draw a card or their hero regains 2 HP.

Then, destroy all weather cards.

At the start of the environment turn, either destroy this card or play the top card of the villain deck.

The original Frostfury Mountain contained 3 Supply Caches and two Base Camps. Supply Caches allowed heroes to regain 1 HP or draw a card. I've found that 2 HP recovery is about the worth of a drawn card, based on how often the recovery option is just not used otherwise. Base Camp allowed heroes to return a card from their trash to their hand, played a villain card, and would be destroyed if someone discarded 2 cards. Seriously, five helpful cards in one environment deck was way too much. Even with it always hitting only heroes, about as many cards were helpful as strictly harmful, meaning it really washed out to nothing impressive. When I first made the Frostfury conversion, this Base Camp allowed moving a card from the hero's trash to the top of the deck, or heal, or draw. The card retrieval was extremely strong and kept most heroes playing the same card over and over and over and over, so it was also boring. Being at the Base Camp shelters the heroes from the weather, so those cards are trashed while at camp, though they may have an effect for the moment they are in play. Finally, there's no reason to discard in order to leave Base Camp (because why would there be?) and missing out on the benefits is bad enough.

Sheer Cliff Face
Whenever a non-environment card would be destroyed by an environment card, remove it from the game instead.

At the end of the environment turn, each player may discard up to 2 cards. If (H) plus 1 cards are discarded in this way, destroy this card.

This is a new effect for Frostfury. It is similar to Unforgiving Wasteland (Final Wasteland) and gives the mountain some danger of falling, hopefully making it feel more like high altitude. It has a function to cause players to discard, as they commit effort to moving away from the cliff's edge.

Slippery Slope
At the end of the environment turn, play the top card of the environment deck.

At the start of the environment turn, destroy the environment card that has been in play longest.

This is also new to Frostfury, and close to Rift In Time (Time Cataclysm) except that it takes away the choice of what to destroy from the players, so they can't just choose to trash this one and it can force them to leave Base Camp or remove Whiteout before the heroes are ready. What's fun is that (except the card destroyed the turn this is played), you know that the card is going to be destroyed so many rounds in advance. If there are environment targets in play before this one, the players may choose to kill or sanction those targets depending on if they want Slippery Slope to destroy the card after the target sooner or later. Eventually, Slippery Slope destroys itself and the effect ends.

Roc x2
Monster, Target (7 HP)
This card is immune to damage from environment cards.

At the end of the environment turn, this card deals the non-environment target with the second highest HP 3 melee damage.

Frostfury needed more than just an abominable snowman (and a second copy of it) to act as environment targets (and Hidden Crevasse wasn't right for the task) so I had to invent another. At first, I wanted to put in a giant eagle, but it seemed so unheroic to try to kill such a creature, so I went with Rocs. SOTM has mythological creatures and spans any timeline or dimension, so a Roc wasn't inappropriate. Rocs are adapted to their environment and fly above avalanches and crevasses, so they are immune to environment damage, but they might still be what the environment tries to harm, taking up the hit that would go to something else.

Yeti
Monster, Target (9 HP)
This card is immune to cold damage.

At the start of the environment turn, this card deals the non-environment target with the second lowest HP 2 cold and 2 melee damage.

This original version for this target was close enough to the Abominable Snowman (Final Wasteland) that I just copied that Cryptid and changed only the keyword, which has as much effect here as it did there. The Yeti may benefit from the increased cold damage provided by the mountain.
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Geoff B.
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Avalanche should destroy Base Camp as part of its effect, that would be thematic and pretty cool.

I like this environment, always wanted a cold environment for AZ.
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Matthew Bishop
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Funny how this stuff works, our ice environment has some of the same card names (although as you point out, Spiff beat everyone with his original Frostfury).

Too true about the base game environments and repetition, sadly.
 
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Rob Rob
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The environment mechanic is "big picture" and best suited for generalized locations; big city, jungle, desert, etc... It doesn't work so well with the smaller locations. Unfortunately it can't easily replicate the subtle differences between say a "Metropolis" and a "Gotham City."
 
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Matthew Bishop
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I think they do fine making them feel distinct, just that the environments with 2-3 copies of every single card generally don't have much variety from play to play.

They have been getting better, though there's still room for variety.

EDIT: btw typo in your quote for Base Camp.
 
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Eric Bright
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I really like this modification of Spiff's environment. (Thanks for the great concept, Spiff!) As I was looking it over, I really wanted the art to match a little better if possible.

Now, I'm no Bishop (i.e. the amazing Cauldron expansion), but I decided if I'm going to learn to draw, an environment might be easier than straight up characters. All I did was basically trace the original art and then fill in some extras. While I didn't even attempt shading meaning it still looks like an elementary school drawing, I feel pretty good about these as a first attempt at drawing EVER. It's actually better than my 5 year old son's drawings, but only barely. Just have to find more time to practice...

Anyway, here are the first three I did.



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Dennison Milenkaya
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I can appreciate the effort, Eric. I wanted to do much the same using Photoshop's filters and such to mute the colors and fill them in with a limited palette to convey uniformity.

Ultimately, I decided that my efforts were better aimed in a different direction, but if you are willing to illustrate cards, I've plenty of decks that you can cut your teeth on.
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Aaron White
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Having some art is better than having no art. Sometimes a set of average art that looks consistent suddenly comes alive when equipped with mechanics on a card.

Well done for having a go.
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Eric Bright
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Thanks for the encouragement!

On a separate note, I think I've decided to keep an open 234 custom card file on Printer Studio and just keep adding to it. Whenever it fills up, I'll order the cards. There have been so many good decks coming out here lately that I want to play, I can't keep up.
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Mike Booth
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Glad you liked my idea and did such a good job improving on it. I agree, my version of the environment wasn't the strongest.
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Matthew Bishop
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ericbright2002 wrote:
I really like this modification of Spiff's environment. (Thanks for the great concept, Spiff!) As I was looking it over, I really wanted the art to match a little better if possible.
Nicely done! Everything could use more art!

Spiff, I always forget just how many resources you've got on your site. Thanks for putting it all up!
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Eric Bright
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Here's a couple more I redid. I feel like I'm learning a little each time and I'm having a ball!

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Matthew Bishop
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The yeti's looking pretty good.
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Thanks again, Eric! Please keep posting them here. I'm going to switch my deck to your art when they're all up.

Good to see you, Spiff! I'm glad you approve of the changes. I really dug this environment at first sight. You're an inspiration.

Good lookin' out, Bishop. Typo fixed!

I talked over the idea of Avalanche destroying Base Camp with one of my groups tonight. The major concern was that the villain card play is already dangerous (especially Omnitron playing Components just before his turn ... 15 damage to all hero targets? Yow!) and Slippery Slope already can destroy it. Two cards in the deck that'll blow up the only beneficial card that you probably don't want to keep too long already makes it less tactical. The gamble is fun.

What do other people think?
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Eric Bright
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OK, I got the rest of the pics done. I know they're definitely beginner drawings, but a guy's gotta start somewhere! I'm honored you're considering using them as your art for this deck. I've put the individual picture files up here:

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/1201pd4cyrdbh/SOTM_Frostfur...

Hopefully they are the right size to just drop in where you had the previous pictures. I don't think my originally mock-ups were the right size because I took your PDF, cropped out a card, erased the old pic by hand, added in the new pic, stretched the card to 822 x 1122, then added a bleed of 72 pixels for printing through Printer Studio. I don't think I really had to do that, so I'll just throw the pictures up here by themselves and let you experts handle getting them into the proper proportion on the cards.

The last pics are:

Base Camp:

Change in Weather:

Frostbite:

Hidden Crevasse:

Slippery Slope:

White Out:
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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The new artwork is in the original post. Thanks, Eric! It looks great!
 
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