dennis bennett
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So after having psoted this in the general gaming forum (for less "biased" opinions...) i thought i probably should repost here for some views from veteran love letter players!
Love Letter - best variants, 5+ player expansions etc. Who has actually played them?

So what are people's favourite variants?

Any point in expanding the deck of cards to >16 for 3 or 4 players?
Feelings on using 2 decks for 5+ players?
Experience with alternate Princess variants (i think there was an official one that ends the game in addition to you being out of the round when you discard the card?)or the Minister/Countess variants?
What have people thought of some of the extra cards that have been discussed here occasionally, i.e. i've seen ideas posted for a 0 card a few times that knocks players out of the round when targeted by a guard.

I'm asking because i'm working on my own retheme for some friends who are really addicted to Love Letter. I was hoping to maybe just spice the game up a bit (i'm starting to find it a bit boring but they still love it very much).

What do you think of these ideas (not sure about the exact wording, the explanation here is more about the intended effect than the way it would be written on the card):

0 - Scoundrel:
Knock the other player out of the round when targeted by a Guard or Priest or when comparing hands with a Baron.
"If you become the target of another card (Guard, Priest or Baron), the player targeting you is out of the round. Then draw a new card".
(the effect could be reduced to only working against the Guard or any combination of the Guard, Priest and Baron, perhaps even against the Prince?).

9- Queen:
You can only win the round if the princess has been discarded.
(The idea is that in conjunction with the Scoundrel there would be 2 cards that win against a princess when you compare cards with the Baron. The Queen can win the game but only if the Princess has been kicked out. In a way she actually protects the Princess though because she also becomes a likely target for guards. The countess would need to be changed though to include her as a discard condition).

Jester (-1)
Take all discarded cards, pick one, shuffle the rest and return them to the table in a pile, face down.
 
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Re: Best variants, expansions, extra cards and alternate cards for Love Letter?
here is a pic of the current state of my remake:
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Re: Best variants, expansions, extra cards and alternate cards for Love Letter?
And here is a list of (semi-)official variant cards i've tried to compile:

From the original Kanai factory edition:

Minister: If you have this card and another card ranked 5 or higher in your hand you are out of the round. (not the original wording but functionally what it should be)

Promos from Kanai:

King - X - If you have this card in your hand, you are out of the game.

Queen - 8 - if there are no more cards in the draw deck, you are out of the game. (= equal to Princess at 8 but you can't really win the game)
I'm not sure if this one exists, i haven't seen a picture of an actual card.

8 short hair princess- If this card is discarded you are out of the round and the game ends immediately. The person with the highest numbered card wins.

8 Princess with glasses - If this card is discarded, draw another card from the deck and continue play.

8 Prince - Same effect as standard princess.

From the french publisher of the AEG/Tempest version (i'm not sure about the correct translation of these as i took the translation off the web and my french is aweful):

0 - assassin : when a player targets you with a guard, you reveal this card. This player is out of the round and you draw a new card.

3 - baroness : same as baron, except the smaller number wins instead of the biggest. She is considered as a baron when targeted by a guard.

4 - intendant : same as the handmaid + if you win the round, you get 2 points instead of 1. He is considered as a handmaid when targeted by a guard.

2 - swindler : 2 players must exchange their card.

5 - seer : look at the card that has been removed at the beginning of the game. You can exchange your hand with this card.

1 - forger : apply the same power as the last card played by a player still in the round.

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Stuart Hemmings
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In the last 2 weeks I've played this 5 handed both ways. Playing 5 handed with one game makes for real quick hands which is more true to Love Letter's quick style play and the hands are not that much faster. Playing 5 handed with 2 decks makes it significantly longer. It's not just that there are more cards (31, we only had one princess) but if you get deeper into a hand then the calculations to figure out what card your opponent has becomes much longer. The double deck game is just as fun. We played with someone who had never played the game before and she enjoyed it very much. I think that for the rest of us the sudden change in the length of a hand was just too big for it to feel like the same game. If you can get by that bias and accept the game is just different then 2 decks is fine but for 5 people, experienced players would probably like it more with 1 deck
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dennisthebadger wrote:

Queen - 8 - if there are no more cards in the draw deck, you are out of the game. (= equal to Princess at 8 but you can't really win the game)
I'm not sure if this one exists, i haven't seen a picture of an actual card.


It exists, I have it. It's in the Arclight edition, as is the King and the short haired & glasses princesses.
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stuhemmings wrote:
In the last 2 weeks I've played this 5 handed both ways. Playing 5 handed with one game makes for real quick hands which is more true to Love Letter's quick style play and the hands are not that much faster. Playing 5 handed with 2 decks makes it significantly longer. It's not just that there are more cards (31, we only had one princess) but if you get deeper into a hand then the calculations to figure out what card your opponent has becomes much longer. The double deck game is just as fun. We played with someone who had never played the game before and she enjoyed it very much. I think that for the rest of us the sudden change in the length of a hand was just too big for it to feel like the same game. If you can get by that bias and accept the game is just different then 2 decks is fine but for 5 people, experienced players would probably like it more with 1 deck


By "5 handed" you mean 5 players, right? and by "deeper into a hand" you mean deeper into a round, correct? (Sorry, sounds like some kind of pro-card gamer temrinology i'm not too familar with).

I think i tried a 5-player game once with a single regular deck of 16 cards but found it too short as you only get to play 2 cards per round if nobody gets eliminated.

Interesting observations though on how an extra round or so can change the feel of the game.
I think you also get that though in the regular game when players are knocked out very early and there are just 2 players left to play through a deck of 10 or so cards. It feels very different to rounds where all players stay int he game and somebody wins by having the highest rank.
 
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crazylegs wrote:
dennisthebadger wrote:

Queen - 8 - if there are no more cards in the draw deck, you are out of the game. (= equal to Princess at 8 but you can't really win the game)
I'm not sure if this one exists, i haven't seen a picture of an actual card.


It exists, I have it. It's in the Arclight edition, as is the King and the short haired & glasses princesses.


Thanks, yes, somebody else also confirmed this in another thread:
Love Letter - best variants, 5+ player expansions etc. Who has actually played them?

How do you like the arclight cards? Do you play with them much? How have other player's reactions been?
 
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dennisthebadger wrote:
crazylegs wrote:
dennisthebadger wrote:

Queen - 8 - if there are no more cards in the draw deck, you are out of the game. (= equal to Princess at 8 but you can't really win the game)
I'm not sure if this one exists, i haven't seen a picture of an actual card.


It exists, I have it. It's in the Arclight edition, as is the King and the short haired & glasses princesses.


Thanks, yes, somebody else also confirmed this in another thread:
Love Letter - best variants, 5+ player expansions etc. Who has actually played them?

How do you like the arclight cards? Do you play with them much? How have other player's reactions been?


I like them. They are quite sturdy and good quality. Sharp corners. I prefer the original art anyway so that suits me. I also enjoy the choice of Princesses and the ridiculousness of the King! Probably my favourite version.
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dennisthebadger wrote:
And here is a list of (semi-)official variant cards i've tried to compile:

From the original Kanai factory edition:

Minister: If you have this card and another card ranked 5 or higher in your hand you are out of the round. (not the original wording but functionally what it should be)

Promos from Kanai:

King - X - If you have this card in your hand, you are out of the game.

Queen - 8 - if there are no more cards in the draw deck, you are out of the game. (= equal to Princess at 8 but you can't really win the game)
I'm not sure if this one exists, i haven't seen a picture of an actual card.

8 short hair princess- If this card is discarded you are out of the round and the game ends immediately. The person with the highest numbered card wins.

8 Princess with glasses - If this card is discarded, draw another card from the deck and continue play.

8 Prince - Same effect as standard princess.

From the french publisher of the AEG/Tempest version (i'm not sure about the correct translation of these as i took the translation off the web and my french is aweful):

0 - assassin : when a player targets you with a guard, you reveal this card. This player is out of the round and you draw a new card.

3 - baroness : same as baron, except the smaller number wins instead of the biggest. She is considered as a baron when targeted by a guard.

4 - intendant : same as the handmaid + if you win the round, you get 2 points instead of 1. He is considered as a handmaid when targeted by a guard.

2 - swindler : 2 players must exchange their card.

5 - seer : look at the card that has been removed at the beginning of the game. You can exchange your hand with this card.

1 - forger : apply the same power as the last card played by a player still in the round.



Looks great, I am working on a custom deck and would like to add these cards in. Do you have the quanity of each card that should be in?
 
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bingbangboom wrote:

Looks great, I am working on a custom deck and would like to add these cards in. Do you have the quanity of each card that should be in?


No, i think the idea is to replace other cards of the same number 1:1 or add cards if you want to play with 5+ players.
The 0: probably just add 1 or 2 and see how it goes.
 
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dennisthebadger wrote:
bingbangboom wrote:

Looks great, I am working on a custom deck and would like to add these cards in. Do you have the quanity of each card that should be in?


No, i think the idea is to replace other cards of the same number 1:1 or add cards if you want to play with 5+ players.
The 0: probably just add 1 or 2 and see how it goes.


Hmmm, so it would keep the same number of cards but just select sets to replace it?

IE: 2 Seers but no Prince cards?
 
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bingbangboom wrote:
dennisthebadger wrote:
bingbangboom wrote:

Looks great, I am working on a custom deck and would like to add these cards in. Do you have the quanity of each card that should be in?


No, i think the idea is to replace other cards of the same number 1:1 or add cards if you want to play with 5+ players.
The 0: probably just add 1 or 2 and see how it goes.


Hmmm, so it would keep the same number of cards but just select sets to replace it?

IE: 2 Seers but no Prince cards?


Those cards were originally in an expansion published only by the french publicher of the game (from what i know).
I don't know the exact rules.

I think you were probably supposed to add one of each to increase the total number of cards in the deck to 20+. I'm guessing you could also just replace cards.
My idea was to creata acomplete set of new/expansion/promo cards to have a complete 2nd set of Love Letter cards, similar to the way there are different but compatible "Lost Legacy" sets.

I think the great thing about Love Letter is that its such a a smal and fats game that you could just experiment and include whatever cards you want.
If it doesn't improve the game just take them out again.
If the new cards are a waste of time at leats you've only wasted a couple of minutes.
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Saleem Noorali
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dennisthebadger wrote:
bingbangboom wrote:
dennisthebadger wrote:
bingbangboom wrote:

Looks great, I am working on a custom deck and would like to add these cards in. Do you have the quanity of each card that should be in?


No, i think the idea is to replace other cards of the same number 1:1 or add cards if you want to play with 5+ players.
The 0: probably just add 1 or 2 and see how it goes.


Hmmm, so it would keep the same number of cards but just select sets to replace it?

IE: 2 Seers but no Prince cards?


Those cards were originally in an expansion published only by the french publicher of the game (from what i know).
I don't know the exact rules.

I think you were probably supposed to add one of each to increase the total number of cards in the deck to 20+. I'm guessing you could also just replace cards.
My idea was to creata acomplete set of new/expansion/promo cards to have a complete 2nd set of Love Letter cards, similar to the way there are different but compatible "Lost Legacy" sets.

I think the great thing about Love Letter is that its such a a smal and fats game that you could just experiment and include whatever cards you want.
If it doesn't improve the game just take them out again.
If the new cards are a waste of time at leats you've only wasted a couple of minutes.


Okay, sounds good to me. I am working on a Simpsons theme deck. There are a bunch of characters that I would like to use. Some match up with the cards mentioned but others I just have to squeeze into roles.
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dennis bennett
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printed a copy of my version of love letter today.
Each rank has 2 variants (1 original and 1 new one, in most cases based on an existing promo card)

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i think a second love letter set, based on the French expansion (with some additions to make it "self playable"), would be great for this game.
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doctor_no wrote:
i think a second love letter set, based on the French expansion (with some additions to make it "self playable"), would be great for this game.


That is kind of what i've done with my version:

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>From the original Kanai factory edition:

>Minister: If you have this card and another card ranked 5 or higher in your hand you are out of the round. (not the original wording but functionally what it should be)


I noticed that the Minister doesn't have a number assigned to him. What is his rank?
 
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graven13 wrote:
I noticed that the Minister doesn't have a number assigned to him. What is his rank?


the Minister was the original rank 7 card in the japanese game.
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@ dennis bennett - Do you use the original basic deck and then swap some of the new roles to stay with a 16 card deck?
 
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graven13 wrote:
@ dennis bennett - Do you use the original basic deck and then swap some of the new roles to stay with a 16 card deck?


I've played different variants, either add some cards to exceed the 16 of the original or swap in some or all cards.
The great thing about Love Letter is that it's fairly robust due to how quick it plays. If you find a change to some of the cards doesn't work for you you've still only "waisted" a couple of minutes. change them back or do something different, just do whatever you want and experiment. Games are so quick nothing you do will really be terrible.

I mostly created the alternate cards to experiment with some ideas i had for another game: Star Girl and the Evil Space Queen! - Feedback welcome! FREE PnP available!
 
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dennisthebadger wrote:
So what are people's favourite variants?

Here is a Pirate-themed variant I have created using many of the ideas found in this thread. Let me know what you think.



Here is the link to the thread with a full description, and more photos:

Pirate Loot Letter: A re-theme/expansion

()xxxx[]::::::;;::::::;;:::::> CavemanLogic
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CavemanLogic wrote:
dennisthebadger wrote:
So what are people's favourite variants?

Here is a Pirate-themed variant I have created using many of the ideas found in this thread. Let me know what you think.



Here is the link to the thread with a full description, and more photos:

Pirate Loot Letter: A re-theme/expansion

()xxxx[]::::::;;::::::;;:::::> CavemanLogic


Love it!!!
If it was possible to actually publish this i'd want to collaborate with you and provide some illustrations!
(i'd be careful providing files for this though for people to print. I opted not to hand out any of the files for my Love Letter version).
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Using info above and some of my own ideas, here is my full list of additional cards I am going to use:

Promos from Kanai
0 King - If you have this card in your hand, you are out of the game.
8 Queen - If there are no more cards in the draw deck, you are out of the game.
8 Princess with short hair - If this card is discarded you are out of the round and the game ends immediately. The person with the highest numbered card wins.
8 Princess with glasses - If this card is discarded, draw another card from the deck and continue play.
8 Prince - Same effect as standard princess.

AEG/Tempest version
0 Assassin - when a player targets you with a guard, you reveal this card. This player is out of the round and you draw a new card.
1 Forger - apply the same power as the last card played by a player still in the round.
2 Swindler - 2 players must exchange their card.
3 Baroness - same as baron, except the smaller number wins instead of the biggest. She is considered as a baron when targeted by a guard.
4 Intendant - same as the handmaid + if you win the round, you get 2 points instead of 1. He is considered as a handmaid when targeted by a guard.
5 Seer - look at the card that has been removed at the beginning of the game. You can exchange your hand with this card.

Some new cards I made up
1 Revolutionary - Pick a player. If they have a card of rank 6 or higher, they are out of this round
2 Magician - This card is rank 7 when the deck is empty.
3 Invoker - You cannot be affected by the next action of the next player.
3 Diviner - Exchange your card with the top card of the deck.
5 Fool - This card does nothing.
6 Musician - Everyone passes their card to the player on their right.
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We made up some cards too:

Twin – (2) and (7) If you discard a twin, the other twin must be discarded by the player who has it. He/She draws a new card.

Charlatan – (6) If you discard this in the round, you’ll be saved from one fall out, but at the end of the game your score is (4).

Bastard – (0) Can’t be targeted by Guard. You can only discard it, if your last discarded card is Handmaid.

Alchemist – (4) Shuffle the players’ cards, and deal one to everyone.

Please, let me know, what you think.
 
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I would like to get a better understanding how these promos and variants work. For the Queen and King from the Kanai promos, are these added to the 16 card deck or do they substitute for existing cards? Same question with the AEG/Tempest variants.
 
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