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Dominion: Alchemy» Forums » Variants

Subject: Alchemy Events? rss

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David Spitzley
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We've been playing with Alchemy and Adventures during lunch at work recently, and it occurs to me that creating a separate set of Alchemy Events and adding one for each game could integrate the Alchemy element into the typical game. Possibilities include:

Purification
Cost P
Trash a card costing 0 to gain 1 coin token
[Makes potions useful to players who don't pursue the Alchemy cards]

Alembic
Cost 3
+1 Buy
+P
[Provides limited access to Alchemy cards without a commitment to Potions]

Putrifaction
Cost 0
+1 Buy
Trash a card costing 4 or more and gain a card costing up to 1 fewer coin, and gain a Potion
[Provides access to Potions without using a Buy or current turn coins]

Prestidigitation
Cost P
Choose one Kingdom card pile. Until the end of your turn, you may buy cards from the pile for -1 Coin and 0 Buys.
[Makes Potions useful for buying other cards]

This is all off the top of my head, but you get the idea.


EDIT: Here's another

Awaken Elementals
Cost P
Discard an Estate, Duchy or Province. Each other player must discard a card costing at least as many coins as the number of VP on the discarded Victory card. If they cannot, they must reveal their hands and gain a Curse.
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My dream is to see a Dominion card that covers all mechanics at once... cool
+1 Potion
+1 VP
+1 debt
For this turn, events are one cheaper, but not less than 0


Dspitzle wrote:

Alembic
Cost 3
+1 Buy
+P
[Provides limited access to Alchemy cards without a commitment to Potions]

Overall, this makes potions useless. With the exception of Alchemist which benefits from having actual Potion (cards) in your deck, there's no reason to buy a Potion when this event's available.

I will acknowledge that some of the Events we have as of Adv. and Emp. does provide certain shortcuts that you'd never want to do things the "usual way", but did want to point these out.

Dspitzle wrote:

Prestidigitation
Cost P
Choose one Kingdom card pile. Until the end of your turn, you may buy cards from the pile for -1 Coin and 0 Buys.
[Makes Potions useful for buying other cards]

-I'm assuming the discount being greater than the cost has no further benefit at that point?
-It seems too strong to be able to reduce a pile to cheap/0-cost, and then buy it out all in one go. OTOH, this is probably harder than I'm giving credit for. For some middle ground, limit this to 3 per turn [shrug]
 
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Jorge
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Dspitzle wrote:
Purification
Cost P
Trash a card costing 0 to gain 1 coin token
[Makes potions useful to players who don't pursue the Alchemy cards]
- Why costing up to $0 and not any one card? To exclude Estates? Have you tried playing it both ways?
- Why not "+1 Buy"? Wasting your only buy to trash a card is really weak, except of course if you have a hand with $2P and no suitable card to buy.

It would need playtesting of course but I feel it's kinda weak like that.

Dspitzle wrote:
Alembic
Cost 3
+1 Buy
+P
[Provides limited access to Alchemy cards without a commitment to Potions]
I like this one actually, although I feel it needs thorough playtesting on $2 and $3 as well. Costing $3 means that an Apothecary would cost $5, which may be fine though if you wish 1 or 2, but still $5 is way too much in early game and you'd better go buying that potion instead. Alchemists would cost $6 of course which is prohibitive and you want the potion anyway.

If fractions were available, a cost of $2.5 would be fine; just a bit more than silver but not $3. So, you'd need to test it both at $2 and $3. Paying $4 for an Apothecary seems ok, paying $5 for an Alchemist seems... I don't know, probably balanced. Laboratory costs $5, Alchemist is strictly better than Laboratory, so he should cost more, but if you don't get the Potion then the Alchemist is exactly like a Laboratory. $5.5 would seem okay, but it's not possible.

In conclusion, I am torn about the price. Maybe $3 is right, maybe you need to reduce it to $2 or raise it to $4. Test it on all price ranges and see how it goes.

ackmondual wrote:
Overall, this makes potions useless. With the exception of Alchemist which benefits from having actual Potion (cards) in your deck, there's no reason to buy a Potion when this event's available.
I wouldn't say that, actually. If going for Golems or Possessions, you'd probably still get the Potion. Golems at $7 is WAY too much in early game and Possession at $9 is just ridiculous.

Dspitzle wrote:

Awaken Elementals
Cost P
Discard an Estate, Duchy or Province. Each other player must discard a card costing at least as many coins as the number of VP on the discarded Victory card. If they cannot, they must reveal their hands and gain a Curse.

Again, +1 Buy is almost necessary here; this event gives you no resources and I would always pass up to it. It needs to be buffed.

I would word it like: "Discard an Estate, Duchy or Province; if you do each other player must discard an Action or Treasure card costing at least $1/$3/$6, respectively.". Adding the Action/Treasure makes it a bit better, as one can always discard an Estate/Duchy/Province.

If you playtest it and see it's strong, you may consider nerfing it by changing it to "Each other player may discard ... if he doesn't he gains a Curse instead" and thus no hands are ever revealed.
 
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David desJardins
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ackmondual wrote:
Dspitzle wrote:

Alembic
Cost 3
+1 Buy
+P
[Provides limited access to Alchemy cards without a commitment to Potions]

Overall, this makes potions useless. With the exception of Alchemist which benefits from having actual Potion (cards) in your deck, there's no reason to buy a Potion when this event's available.


There's obviously SOME reason, because Potion is cheaper than Gold.
 
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David Spitzley
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So the basic idea of Alchemy Events seems potentially of interest. As I noted before, these ideas were off the top of my head as I wrote the original posting. I haven't playtested anything involving this, but I'm glad people are finding the idea worth considering.

ackmondual wrote:

Dspitzle wrote:

Alembic
Cost 3
+1 Buy
+P
[Provides limited access to Alchemy cards without a commitment to Potions]

Overall, this makes potions useless. With the exception of Alchemist which benefits from having actual Potion (cards) in your deck, there's no reason to buy a Potion when this event's available.


I don't get this particular comment. I can a) pay 4 coins to buy a Potion card that I get to use repeatedly during the game, or b) I can spend 3 additional coins each time I need a Potion to buy a card. This lets a player dip into cards that cost Potions without buying a Potion card, but if you're going to buy more than a couple of those cards, an actual Potion would almost certainly be a better deal.
 
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David desJardins
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Dspitzle wrote:
I don't get this particular comment. I can a) pay 4 coins to buy a Potion card that I get to use repeatedly during the game, or b) I can spend 3 additional coins each time I need a Potion to buy a card. This lets a player dip into cards that cost Potions without buying a Potion card, but if you're going to buy more than a couple of those cards, an actual Potion would almost certainly be a better deal.


Maybe he thought the cost was 2, in which case you would always be better off just buying Silver instead of Potion, and using the 2 coins from Silver with Alembic to substitute for a Potion.
 
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David Spitzley
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ackmondual wrote:

Dspitzle wrote:

Prestidigitation
Cost P
Choose one Kingdom card pile. Until the end of your turn, you may buy cards from the pile for -1 Coin and 0 Buys.
[Makes Potions useful for buying other cards]

-I'm assuming the discount being greater than the cost has no further benefit at that point?
-It seems too strong to be able to reduce a pile to cheap/0-cost, and then buy it out all in one go. OTOH, this is probably harder than I'm giving credit for. For some middle ground, limit this to 3 per turn [shrug]


Ok, I'm confused by this comment as well. You're correct that I should state that the discount can't push the price below 1 coin, but this effect provides no extra buys, and using an Event costs a buy, so in order to push the price of the pile lower than a -1 discount you need multiple buys and multiple Potions in hand. I don't expect that to be very common.
 
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Jorge
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Maybe he thought the cost was 2, in which case you would always be better off just buying Silver instead of Potion, and using the 2 coins from Silver with Alembic to substitute for a Potion.
That's the problem with potion-costing cards. If Alembic costs $2, then indeed it renders potions useless, as you can always buy silver, instead -- barring cases with Alchemists. Still, we have a precedent for a "strictly-better" case; Delve makes Silver cheaper and changes the landscape, so if it's $2, so be it.

On the other hand, if Alembic costs $3, then it's too expensive, as it pars Potion with Gold. $2.5 would be ideal, but it's not an whole number. But here's the catch; it's too expensive for cards you might want en-masse, like Alchemists, but it's better than potion for cards you'd want later in the game, like Possession, as you skip the opportunity cost of buying potion later in the game -- and signaling your intentions to your opponents. It's also viable if Vineyards are the sole potion-cost cards in the game and the kingdom is vineyard-friendly, since Vineyards are cheap; in that case I'd probably never buy potion too, $3 for a Vineyard is still a pretty good deal.

TL;DR; I'd see cases where Alembic could cost either $2 or $3. A cost of $2 would render potion useless, but we already have the Delve precedent. A cost of $3 would be too expensive for en-masse cards or cards that you'd want in early game (Familiar), but still viable for Vineyards, Possessions or even mid-game Golems. I am more inclined to make it cost $3.
 
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Dspitzle wrote:
So the basic idea of Alchemy Events seems potentially of interest. As I noted before, these ideas were off the top of my head as I wrote the original posting. I haven't playtested anything involving this, but I'm glad people are finding the idea worth considering.

ackmondual wrote:

Dspitzle wrote:

Alembic
Cost 3
+1 Buy
+P
[Provides limited access to Alchemy cards without a commitment to Potions]

Overall, this makes potions useless. With the exception of Alchemist which benefits from having actual Potion (cards) in your deck, there's no reason to buy a Potion when this event's available.


I don't get this particular comment. I can a) pay 4 coins to buy a Potion card that I get to use repeatedly during the game, or b) I can spend 3 additional coins each time I need a Potion to buy a card. This lets a player dip into cards that cost Potions without buying a Potion card, but if you're going to buy more than a couple of those cards, an actual Potion would almost certainly be a better deal.


If you're getting a lot of potion cost cards, then good. Otherwise, it's not worth clogging your deck with them just for a few. Plus, this Event also lets you get into Potion cost cards after your first reshuffle, whereas before, it would require a 2nd reshuffle
 
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