linoleum blownaparte
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I will compare this card game idea to Magic: The Gathering so you have some comparisons to orient yourself. I've also slapped a Harry Potter theme on it, just for now.

So: like Magic this game is a duel between two wizards who construct their own decks.

Just like Magic's colors there are six different "Subjects" of magic (Charms, Herbology, Potions etc.)

The main differences from Magic are:

1. Cards are free
2. There is no Land
3. Players share the game's main resource
4. Mana is a weapon in itself


If this sounds a little weird I'll explain.

The center of the game is the "Duel Track" which looks like this.



The two cylindrical tokens at the top represent the Wizards. These will travel down the track as they do damage to each other. The six chits at the bottom are for the six Subjects. These tokens will go up the track as each Subject increases in Power. The Subject tokens are double-sided to show which Wizard currently has Mastery of each Subject.

On your turn you can take any 3 actions. An action can be to draw a card, play a card, or activate an ability on one of your cards in play.

As I mentioned above, cards are free to play. All cards are "permanent," they stay in play and form a growing tableau like Race for the Galaxy.

A card does not have a casting cost, instead it has a Power. Just like Magic, this is some icons in the top corner.

So imagine a card like this:



In Magic this card "costs three Green." Instead imagine this card "gives three Herbology Power." When you play this card you would immediately advance the Herbology Subject token three spaces up the track.

Both you and your opponent can move the token. The total Power of Herbology represents the sum of your actions. For example if you both play a lot of Herbology cards, then Herbology will rapidly Power up. Or, if your opponent kills the Chlorophant, removing the card from play, then Herbology would lose 3 Power. Abilities on cards can also move the Subject tokens up and down.

Mastery is a concept that gets checked when a card enters play. Basically you look at the relevant Subject (here Herbology) and if one player has more Herbology Power on all their cards in play than the other, they take the Mastery of that Subject. The Subject tokens are double-sided and you flip them to show which player currently has Mastery of each.

Power isn't "used up" or "tapped." It works as a threshold. Instead of "tapping Lands," you want to Power up a Subject.

Imagine the following Charms card:



When you put it into play it provides 2 Charms power. Now you can activate it once per turn by using up one of your three actions. When you activate the card you can pick and use one of the abilities, but there has to be enough Charms Power to power it. Right away Incendio lets you start pinging the opponent for one damage per action. If you play some more Charms cards (or your opponent does!) then you could activate the more powerful abilities instead.

To show you how to win the game, let's imagine that the current state is this:



Draco has done lots of damage to Neville with Transfigurations and Charms while Neville has concentrated on Potions. Both players have been playing Herbology cards like crazy, with the Mastery going back and forth but currently in Neville's hands.

There are two ways to win the game.

A Win by Burn happens if you reduce the other Wizard to 0 Health.

A Win by Mastery happens if you have advanced two Subjects (of which you have Mastery) past the enemy Wizard.

Here, Neville is about to play a Potions card which provides 3 Potions Power. He advances the Potions token past Draco and wins by Mastery of Potions and Herbology.

Draco was about to win on his own turn by activating a Charms ability that would have done 3 damage. This would have lowered Neville's health enough for Draco to win by Mastery of Transfiguration and Charms.

I hope this is clear as this is easily the most confusing part of the game. Unlike Magic you are not just trying to reduce the enemy's health, but also you're advancing and controlling the Power of the different subjects.

My main question is what do you think of this system, and is it balanced? What kind of deck types are possible? Right away I'm thinking some archetypes would be "Mono color Burn" and "Two color Mastery" decks. Are these competitive or unbalanced?
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Nate Straight

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Linoleumblownaparte wrote:
My main question is what do you think of this system, and is it balanced? What kind of deck types are possible? Right away I'm thinking some archetypes would be "Mono color Burn" and "Two color Mastery" decks. Are these competitive or unbalanced?


All of those questions are all but entirely meaningless without details of how the remainder of the game works [is it otherwise just a M:TG clone / port?] and of what types of cards and card effects are included in the game. Right now, you don't have a game or a system or decks or barely even a game mechanism; you just have a few ideas, and ideas end up exactly as well balanced as the designer intends for them to be and [importantly] is capable of making them.
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Bruce Gazdecki
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It's an interesting concept. As the previous poster said there's not quite enogh info, but I think you havea s tart.

One thing I thing I would like to see is to have the mastery of it mean a little more than simply the end game. Maybe Mastery allows you to cast the charm power for one less, or the person who doesn't have mastery costs one more. What if both people have an equal amount, then what?

Also, do you plan on making cards cross over, for example, a Charm/Herbology type card, or would they all be single "color" only? part of Magic is having usually 2 colors so if one doesn't work you have a second color to help.

What about having wizards that start as the "master" of something, so they don't all (charms, herbology, etc...) start at 0? then you need ot either work harder to overtake him or play to your strength and try to nullfiy it as much as possible.
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M. Rubinelli
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It's a promising initial design. I have one question: why would I play a low-power card, when a high-power gives me more benefits, and casting is free?
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Donnie Clark
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Intriguing idea, LB. I like the dual use of the track and multiple win conditions. I think exhausting your opponent's deck may also need to be included. The overall theory looks sound on paper, but it's hard to judge beyond that without actual prototypes to play with and spot repetitive pitfalls.

Is there any way to drive down the power of a subject?

I agree that multiple-subject cards would be useful.

Sticking with the slapped-on theme, faction/house identities that provide specific benefits should be considered.

Given 2 players and, currently, 6 subjects, the odds of two players competing over mastery of the same subject seems a bit low though, which doesn't make much of a contest at all - just a race to see who can be the quickest to get their subjects high enough. I may be underestimating the strategic value of claiming mastery in a subject just to keep your opponent from winning with it, but having to build a deck with 3 or more focus subjects in mind - I suppose that depends on how efficient a deck you can build without stretching your focus too thin in any one.

rubinelli wrote:
It's a promising initial design. I have one question: why would I play a low-power card, when a high-power gives me more benefits, and casting is free?


Because if I'm reading it right, nothing actually becomes high powered until sufficient use of that subject drives up that subject's power level over the gradual course of the game - at which point you probably would not play lower powered subject cards in favor of a subject that has been heavily invested in or your deck is built around. Then again, it may depend on the anecdotal value of any given card ("omg, I need a heal to get me through my next turn.")
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Filip W.
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There's a big problem in your design: you're not factoring in action costs.

Right now you've got three actions, of which two are costs: drawing a card and playing a card. What would happen is that as soon as you've got a card that can do damage to your opponent (i.e. move them down towards zero), the optimal strategy would be to hit them with that card three times (alternatively, if you've got a limit of "once per turn per card" then hit them and use the remaining actions to draw cards until you find a second damage card, then hit them twice using the remaining action to draw etc.).

This is because moving your opponent down one step is the same as moving your tokens up four steps (since you're decreasing the distance between the player and all four tokens when you damage them).

Also, if I read your rules right then if your opponent has an advantage in any resource then you shouldn't play that resource no matter what because A) due to the action costs it's easier to keep a lead than to overthrow it (i.e. costs are favoring the leader) and B) anytime you plan on a resource that your opponent has mastery over you're killing yourself (i.e. you're giving an advantage to the opponent).
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Christopher Markham
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filwi wrote:
Also, if I read your rules right then if your opponent has an advantage in any resource then you shouldn't play that resource no matter what because A) due to the action costs it's easier to keep a lead than to overthrow it (i.e. costs are favoring the leader) and B) anytime you plan on a resource that your opponent has mastery over you're killing yourself (i.e. you're giving an advantage to the opponent).


No matter what? Let's examine that. Take a look at Incendio again. If I understand correctly, you can use the 3rd ability, the super powerful one, anytime the total points meet or exceed 12. So if my opponent has 11 points in Charms, then I drop an Incendio for 2, I play it for one action, then activate the big badda-boom for a second action. Since Incendio removes himself, you're not contributing to your opponents subject master overtaking your character's health. This is especially true if the HP check and/or Subject Advancement check don't occur until the end phase of a turn. It might even be a viable strategy.

You could also consider a similar card with a high cost, whose BIG ability is to eliminate an opponent's card from that subject. Swinging around control of the subject trees and using your opponents subject investments to your advantage could be very interesting.

One person asked earlier what the incentive was to play cheap cards, if all cards were free. Another person made the response that the cost was somewhat moot, since the objective is to unlock high end abilities by growing a subject. This is not at all true. The base cost, which I assume is always equal to the cost of the primary ability, is SUPER important.

The base cost ties in to the power of the base action, meaning the bigger the better. The base cost ALSO ties in to how much you personally have invested in a subject, and since the person with the most investment controls the subject, the bigger the better. It ALSO effects how far that subject moves along the path, and since this is an alternate kill condition, and presumably you are pushing your own paths to try and get them over the position of your opponent, the bigger the better.

Seeing a problem here?

My impulse is that while it's impossible to balance the relative value of the first action across multiple costs, you can still balance the card as a whole. The trick would be that if a card has a base power of 3, for example, then the breakdown might be (3) for the Rank 1 Power, (4) for the Rank 2 Power, and (6) for the Rank 3 Power. This way your spells have some room to grow as your mastery increases, but they don't grow to the same extent as say, Incendio might, since Incendio has a Rank 3 power that costs 12.

In contrast, a card with a lesser base cost might have a scale of (1) for a Rank 1 Power, (4) for a Rank 2 Power, and (11) for a Rank 3 Power. The trade off is that cheaper cards give you much more value at the end game, where as expensive base cost cards give you a base pool to work from, and lend to your dominance in the subject matter.

Again, there is no advantage to not playing the most expensive card when using this rule system, UNLESS the 2nd and 3rd rank abilities are operating as a counter balance to incentivize the use of the lower base cards.

I'm probably rambling now. Is that all making sense?

This all being said, the mechanics are very innovative (congratulations) and they CAN work, but the balancing seems very, very difficult. What's to stop me from playing a deck that's ENTIRELY of one subject matter, that way I can ramp up that subject faster. Using this strategy, I don't need to play new cards (thus wasting precious actions), and I ramp up to Rank 3 abilities at maximum speed. Once I've unlocked Rank 3 abilities, I just spam them. This also means that I have to worry less about people wrestling dominance of the subject away from me.

There are tools we can use to prevent this style of play, like implementing "Circle of Protection" type spells, so that I can seriously hinder my opponent if his deck is too narrow, but again, this type of balancing act seems like a monumental undertaking.

Also, I'm not totally in love with the theme. I don't know why my opponent's study of a subject matter increases my personal power level in that subject. I like how it grows, and how wrestling control of subjects could be a core mechanic to the game, but we need to find a theme that this makes more sense with. But that's just me.

Again, love where your head at, loving the direction you're taking, but there are a couple of minor fundamental flaws, which you might be able to overcome, but only with supremely brilliant balancing. It's much more advisable that you find a few minor tweaks to the baseline rules then try again. Good luck.
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Marc Missildine
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First, I would like to say that you are definitely far enough away from Magic that you don't need to call this a 'clone' or 'port' or anything like that. This is pretty obviously a separate system.

Secondly, I agree with the others that this is a promising start, but needs to be fleshed out further. It sounds 'solvable' in that you pick two schools for your deck, ignore all others, and then try to solitaire faster than the opponent does (assuming he picked 2 separate schools than you). In this scenario, there is no back and forth over mastery, there is simply uncontested mastery starting from the very first play.

A way to force contention would be to require at least N spells from each school when making your deck (or, to use a shared deck). But in this scenario, how do you 'Focus' on a school?

Some other observations:
-Doing 1 point of damage is twice as powerful as incrementing a school by 1
-The more School points a card gives, the weaker its abilities should be. & Vice Versa
-It seems to be more compelling gameplay to only have a single 'school' (or maybe 2)to fight for mastery over. That way, the player lowest on life can still win by maintaining & increasing mastery, while the opponent either has to obtain mastery (winning instantly), or deal the rest of the HP in damage. With so many schools, there is little to no fighting over mastery if you are allowed to focus on a particular school.
-Shared resources are a very dangerous thing. The whole point of individual resources is so that you can choose between the two strategies of: many weaker units that come out earlier, or fewer stronger units that come out later. When resources are shared, you don't have these particular avenues for strategic gameplay

But more than anything, thanks for sharing your game!! Asking for criticism is one of the hardest things to do, and please do NOT take any of my comments as written in stone. For all I know, I'm more novice than anyone else on this thread. But I certainly think that you have a great start, and I hope you find much success with it!




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Tommy Occhipinti
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Make a prototype and play it (by yourself) as soon as possible. It will certainly break horribly. Probably the system will be all wrong, but you will figure out some kernel of awesomeness in it to keep, and that is how great games are made! Trying to guess how it will work or what the weaknesses are before playing just won't work until you've played the system enough to understand how it works.

The thing I'm most leery of is how different things are if the two of you share a school or are in different schools. I think probably each player should have a different level in each school, but playtest and see!
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Philip Becker
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I feel like a lot of people want to do a CCG because they see dollar signs. You really should only do it if it serves the game, and having a board already undercuts the "carry a deck in your pocket" feature of CCGs.
I say that to say this seems like it could be really fun with a shared deck and multiple players. Then multiple people would be fighting over various masteries. This idea will probably drag you further away from your current idea, but instead of making abilities "attack" the other players, the cost of cards or abilities to send yourself down the track. So there would be a risk/reward dynamic for pushing masteries instead of slowly training them up.
I really like what you've got going here. And since I've ventured into designing my own game, I must say playtesting is the best thing you can do. I know everybody says it, but once you start doing it you can see how to make your game come alive and be the experience you wanted it to be.
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Pablo Schulman
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Interesting system but I have some concerns which some people already addressed, but I'm gonna repeat them as well give some suggestions:

There's no incentive for competing since you have lots of different subjects, why would I compete in a subject if I can just improve my best? Only reason would be if I was about to lose by mastery.

Suggestion 1: Leave only three (maybe 4) subjects and force decks to be two colored.
Suggestion 2: Use a shared deck, but this might account to too much luck of the draw issues.

No cost in cards. I'd probably use the toughest cards instead of having cards in all range of the spectrum.

Sugestion 1: give cards a cost. For example life (damage). If you play only big cards you are more prone to lose by damage. Or maybe having to discard cards from deck (with a losing condition if you deck is over)

Sugestion 2: make weaker cards give a HIGHER boost in a subject, instead of a lesser boost, and vice versa. If you want to use high level cards you are forced first to boost ythe subject by using weaker cards.

Sugestion 3: cards have no effect when played, only when activated from the tableau. Make costs to activate them, costs being levels on the subject. Makes using winning by mastering more difficult, so you have to be sure it's good to use this ability.
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linoleum blownaparte
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Thank you all, this is exactly what I was looking for. You've definitely spotted some flaws here.

rubinelli wrote:
Why would I play a low-power card, when a high-power gives me more benefits, and casting is free?


Because of the Power-vs-Abilities tradeoff. As another poster said "The more Subject points a card gives, the weaker its abilities should be." Contrastingly there would be cards with only 1 point of Power yet huge abilities - you'd need to play (or have played) many other cards to reach enough Power to use their abilties.

NateStraight wrote:
details of how the remainder of the game works


It's not a Magic clone, but most of the card effects would be standard cardgame fare e.g. damage the opponent, move Subject tokens up and down, draw cards, kill your opponent's cards or discard his hand, introduce new global rules, etc.

riastradh wrote:
the odds of two players competing over mastery of the same subject seems a bit low though, which doesn't make much of a contest at all - just a race to see who can be the quickest to get their subjects high enough.


Good point. Not enough interaction, especially since with constructed decks it's just chance if your chosen colors happen to overlap.

filwi wrote:
moving your opponent down one step is the same as moving your tokens up four steps (since you're decreasing the distance between the player and all four tokens when you damage them).


Good point... Also, I just noticed there's an action cost imbalance as well. To push a subject up the track you need to draw a card and play it (2 actions) while you damage your opponent by activating a card (1 action) thus it's twice as efficient already... even before accounting for the fact that it's easier to drag the Wizard token down than to lift two Subject tokens up.

filwi wrote:
if your opponent has an advantage in any resource then you shouldn't play that resource no matter what because A) due to the action costs it's easier to keep a lead than to overthrow it and B) anytime you plan on a resource that your opponent has mastery over you're killing yourself.


Very good point, and obvious yet I hadn't thought of it!!

Erluti wrote:
I say that to say this seems like it could be really fun with a shared deck and multiple players. Then multiple people would be fighting over various masteries.


That's a really good idea.

----

Overall I think most of the problems you have all pointed out have to do with the two-Mastery win condition.

Trying to seize a Mastery is not worth it for a host of reasons -

#1 the players are unlikely to share colors unless they built similar decks

#2 damaging is easier than gaining Power anyway

#3 if you try to flip a Mastery and fail, you just pushed that token higher and closer to killing you

Do I have that right?

So what if the game was simply, first person to kill their opponent? This would be the only win condition.

Remove the Mastery win condition. Keep the whole idea of "each card contributes a little Power to a color, and Power is a global threshold for that color's abilities." Have fewer colors so the players are interacting more.

However, this idea runs into a problem I had earlier, which is this: Why bother playing cards that add lots of Power? why not just stack your deck with low-Power, high-Ability cards and wait for your opponent to Power up the game? Call this the "Stall, then burn" strategy of deck building.

This is why I introduced the Mastery system in the first place. The stall-burn player would lose because his opponent was putting all the mana into the game and controlling the Masteries. So the productive player would win a Mastery victory before the other player could win a Burn victory.

I think a solution to this might be to make Mastery a condition for some of the "uber" abilities, the ones with high-Power thresholds. This would make Mastery important but not too important. It would be worth competing over because the player with Mastery would get even more awesome abilities on his cards.
 
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Filip W.
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What would happen if you removed the deckbuilding aspects and used a common draw deck? That would stop the "one school only" approach.

Also, what would happen if you reversed it - you're not damaging your opponent, you're damaging yourself while trying to bring your mastery to a high enough level to kill them. Then you remove the "better to kill than to build" aspect.

Of course, you've to to reconsider all abilities then, and it would make for a completely different game.
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Steve Zagieboylo
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Definitely an interesting mechanic -- using the same track both ways. However, I'd like to propose a change that makes for some serious decision tension: Rather than it being a bad thing when you pass a subject, make it a good thing (but not AS significant). That is, once a subject is beyond you, you get some benefit, such as +3 for that subject if it is your color and +2 if it is the opponent's color.

Then then 'Mastery' win condition is only from bringing two subjects you control to the top, rather than just past your opponent. (And you still have the win condition of bringing your opponent to the bottom.)

This gives a balancing factor, where the person who is behind will have a small advantage during the period that subjects have passed him but not his opponent. It also means that there are times when it isn't so bad, for the enemy to knock you down a couple of points, because then you get a bonus to that color.

This also gives you the game transition that the best games have. At first players will focus on moving up the subjects in which they are strong, and getting solid control of them. Then, as the subjects pass the players on the track, the game will transition into one of burning down the opponent and/or trying to push your subjects to the top. It makes it a viable strategy to take a fair bit of damage in order to get those bonuses, and use the bonus to get a Mastery win before your opponent can burn you down to zero.


Some changes to try, as you play test. I don't know if these will improve things or not:
- Fewer subjects, which pretty much forces the players to fight over control of at least one of them.
- Separate the concepts of controlling a subject, moving it, and using it to damage my opponent, with different cards that do more of one than the other. If you tie subject-moving with defense against damage, this would allow for different strategies of deck building, with possibly a rock-paper-scissors at play for extreme decks. That is, an extreme control deck with beat an extreme subject-move/defense deck; damage beats control; and subject-move/defense beats damage. I'm not sure that last one necessarily works, but I do think you have the case that any extreme deck loses to a deck with the other two aspects balanced.

Good luck! I think you have an interesting start.
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A minor query I have (but one that comes up in nearly all card game designs) is how do you compensate for the first player advantage? I suppose the most obvious and immediate approach would be to give the first player less actions on their first turn.

Others have mentioned a shared deck and individual player decks. Perhaps you could take this a step beyond conventional card game design and use a combination of both:
- Have a set of 6 basic preset decks (one for each class).
- At the start of the game each player announces the 1 or 2 classes that their deck contains. For each class that a player is using in their decks, remove that preset deck and put it out of the way.
- Once done, shuffle all the remaing preset decks together to make a common classes deck.
- When a player elects to "draw a card" (which I take to mean "study") it would now cost 2 actions and the player would draw 1 card from their player deck and 1 card from the common classes deck. I see this as the wizard choosing to study, they work hard in their own time (drawing from the player deck) but also have to attend classes with everyone else (drawing from the common deck).

For example, Neville has Herbology and Defence classes whilst Draco has the Charms and Potions classes. These 4 preset decks are set aside and the remaining 2 (which I can't remember the names of...) are shuffled together to make the common classes deck. This way there will be at least 2 contested classes in every game.

Maybe also adjust the mastery condition to require 3 mastery tokens to be higher on the duel track than the opposing player token. This would ensure that at least 1 of the shared/common classes has been involved and not just the 2 in any given player deck.
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There needs to be something to encourage or force "rainbow" decks instead of dual colour beatdowns.

Maybe each player keeps track of their own mastery, and whoever has the lead in a colour gains a special bonus (rather than all spells of that colour advancing the same token).

Spells could gain benefits based on off-colour mastery limits. For example:

Incendio: Cost - Red
Mastery Red 1+ - deal 1 damage to opponent
Mastery Green 3+ - destroy an opponent's creature
Mastery Black 6+ - deal 5 damage to opponent, gain 5 life.
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linoleum blownaparte
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Zag24 wrote:
Definitely an interesting mechanic -- using the same track both ways. However, I'd like to propose a change that makes for some serious decision tension: Rather than it being a bad thing when you pass a subject, make it a good thing (but not AS significant). That is, once a subject is beyond you, you get some benefit, such as +3 for that subject if it is your color and +2 if it is the opponent's color.

Then then 'Mastery' win condition is only from bringing two subjects you control to the top, rather than just past your opponent. (And you still have the win condition of bringing your opponent to the bottom.)

This gives a balancing factor, where the person who is behind will have a small advantage during the period that subjects have passed him but not his opponent. It also means that there are times when it isn't so bad, for the enemy to knock you down a couple of points, because then you get a bonus to that color.

This also gives you the game transition that the best games have. At first players will focus on moving up the subjects in which they are strong, and getting solid control of them. Then, as the subjects pass the players on the track, the game will transition into one of burning down the opponent and/or trying to push your subjects to the top.


This is a really good idea as it functions as a catch-up mechanic. The problem I still see is that as filwi pointed out it is much more action-efficient to damage your opponent than to try to raise a Subject's power.
 
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Marc Missildine
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Linoleumblownaparte wrote:

This is a really good idea as it functions as a catch-up mechanic. The problem I still see is that as filwi pointed out it is much more action-efficient to damage your opponent than to try to raise a Subject's power.


Efficiency is something that is easily tweaked though. You can have all damaging actions also cause the card to be destroyed, or returned to your hand for example. That way, they lose board position as well, making it less efficient.

Or, self-damaging actions can be more prevalent and powerful than damaging your opponent. This essentially grants +X to all opponents schools.
Or, the least amount of School Points a card gives could be 4, because as another poster pointed out, damaging is 4 times more powerful.

I like the idea that instead of losing when a school passes you, you WANT a school to pass you because then it either unlocks new card abilities, or makes existing abilities more powerful. This promotes a new strategy of self inflicted damage so that you can master all 6 schools faster, as opposed to raising 1 or 2 up to the high teens level. (in this last paragraph i'm re-defining 'mastery' to simply mean that it has crossed my pawn's position, disregarding who controls more icons of that school)
 
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John Breckenridge
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I think it's awkward that the players are going to have to keep totaling their cards in each subject to see who has mastery. It seems like it would be better if there were separate counters per subject for each player, and the one with mastery in that subject is whoever's token is further along. And you just add those two values together any time you need to know the total in a subject, which is much easier than tracking only the total and having to scan all the cards in play whenever you need to know who has mastery. Or you could add a third counter per subject for the total if the visual is that important.
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Marc Missildine
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jbrecken wrote:
I think it's awkward that the players are going to have to keep totaling their cards in each subject to see who has mastery. It seems like it would be better if there were separate counters per subject for each player, and the one with mastery in that subject is whoever's token is further along. And you just add those two values together any time you need to know the total in a subject, which is much easier than tracking only the total and having to scan all the cards in play whenever you need to know who has mastery. Or you could add a third counter per subject for the total if the visual is that important.


An alternative would be to have each player start at opposite ends of the spectrum, and have all the schools start in the middle between them. Then, playing a card moves the token towards me or towards them, and it is pretty easy to tell who has more 'power' in that school. In this case the goal is not to get the opponent to 0, but to get them to cross the middle line, like tug-o-war.
But using a harry potter theme, you might want to reverse this and make it a push-o-war instead to simulate the harry/voldy wand duel at the end? i dont know.
 
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Bradley Eng-Kohn
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It might work a little better if mastery is determined by just the number of cards you have. So if you have 3 cards with +3 potions, and I have 4 cards with +1 potions, potions is at 13, but I control it.
 
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From most of us, I thank you for posting your game here to get our input BEFORE you put it on kickstarter! So far it sounds great, and you've already started building your potential backers.

What about instead of a number track, there is a total of X amount of mastery and it alters players throughout the game.

One way to balance the mastery could be if a player plays too many of one type, make that a negative thing, from burnout. That would encourage each player to WANT to play a balance of all types. Maybe it's negative if any single type outnumber any other type the player has played by 3 (or other number). I used something around this mechanic in a game I was developing once but gave up on.

Keep us posted on progress!
 
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Benj Davis
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It reminds me in a way of Smash Up, in that both of your cards contribute to the value of central things, but you get more out of it if you have the most.
 
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Steve Zagieboylo
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toober wrote:
One way to balance the mastery could be if a player plays too many of one type, make that a negative thing, from burnout. That would encourage each player to WANT to play a balance of all types.

But you don't want to make balance be the only winning strategy. Specialization is fun, but its advantage should come with a weakness that the right counter-deck will exploit mercilessly.

I could see a case, however, where the more you use a particular school you get better and better at it, but there is a burnout point where you can't use it at all anymore. The burnout might a random component, so that it is a push-your-luck mechanic. This could definitely make for some fun and unexpected swings.
 
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