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Subject: The Trait Card that almost was... rss

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Matt Parker
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I didn't become aware of and join the Climate Kickstarter until mid-March, so I must've missed the Promo Card Trait Contest and Vote. But I saw some of the suggested options last night. Great job on these ideas.

Chase Meyerson made an awesome suggestion for the art that would go on to become Mimicry:

Poisonous Body: (Grey) At the end of the round, a Carnivore that attacks this species loses Population equal to this species' Body Size.

I love this and really wish it had won out over Mimicry (which I disliked based on both mechanics and thematic realism). But the masses voted and I've come to learn acceptance of the voting process even when it doesn't go the way you wish it had. Apparently, this trait came in as a close second place.

Anyway, it got my fiancee and I talking. This is kind of an alternate version of Horns. Instead of losing population in battle against horned prey before eating, you lose population to poisoning after eating. Very cool.

My fiancee is a graphic designer and has a knack for creating custom cards (he's created new Pokemon cards for my nieces and nephews, for instance) and he said he might come up with a new version of this card using the Mimicry art. No worries, this is just for my amusement, not for sale, so don't ask. Before doing that though, I was curious on others thoughts on this trait. Is there an imbalance to it? Is there a problem with it that I don't see? Why didn't you vote on it?
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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CenozoicMatt wrote:
Poisonous Body: (Grey) At the end of the round, a Carnivore that attacks this species loses Population equal to this species' Body Size.

It's hard to say without testing it, but I think it might be a little over-powered when compared to Horns. While I hate quibbly complicated rules, here are a couple other suggestions:

Poisonous Body: (Grey) At the end of the round, each Carnivore that attacked this species loses Population equal to half this species' Body Size (rounded down).

Poisonous Body: (Grey) At the end of the round, each Carnivore that attacked this species loses Population equal to half this species' Body Size (rounded up).

Poisonous Body: (Grey) At the end of the round, each Carnivore that attacked this species loses Population equal to: This species' Body Size -1.

My favorite is the "Rounded Up" option, but only if the original version proves to be too powerful. It's going to be an awesome moment when someone will replace a defensive trait with Poison and kills off a Pack-Hunting Carnivore!

devil laugh
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Mr. Octavius
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It seems too easy to lose track of late in the game, especially if you have lots of players, lots of species, and more than one is poisonous.
As it is I often forget what species can and can't do, never mind trying to remember at the end of the round "Oh wait, who ate this species again?"
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Matt Parker
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Yeah, I agree that is an issue with the card. I'd like the effect to happen immediately as well. Having the effect occur at the end of the round could lead to confusion or errors. Perhaps the population loss could occur right after the Carnivore has finished eating. So, it gets the food and gets to put it in the food bag, but the population falls. This makes sense thematically as the carnivore does eat its prey, it's just that most of them died in doing so.

I like all of Dom's suggestions on how to better balance the card. And I agree with him that it is a great way to fight back against Carnivores, especially since any species that can eat, must eat. If you can engineer it so that your poisonous species is the only food available to a carnivore you can go after them with some chemical warfare! Just as in nature, the species would be brightly advertised as poisonous and that warning would be enough to keep some predators at bay.

So, with those things in mind:

Poisonous: After a Carnivore makes a successful attack on this species, the Carnivore loses population equal to this species' body size -1.
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Chris in Kansai
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Is it possible to order blank trait cards for experimentation?
 
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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Not from North Star games. Sorry.
 
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Matt Parker
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GeneralGerbil and I have agreed on the text and art for a prototype of this card that we will begin playtesting soon. In the meantime, check out GeneralGerbil's amazing skills in graphic design and feel free to comment/critique this card. I'll let you know how it plays!

NOTE: I do not own the art or card format in these images. I am not affiliated with North Star Games in any way. Just a fan having some fun. These are custom cards made for my amusement only. Neither GeneralGerbil nor myself will sell or trade these cards to you or build other custom cards for you, so do not ask. Thanks!
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Brandon Jacobson
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The wording makes it sound as if a Body Size 1 species would cause no Population loss in its attacker. Is that accurate?
 
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Matt Parker
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As it is currently written on our play testing card, yes, that is accurate. Being Body Size 1 makes the trait worthless. You are too small to have the poison affect your predator.

However, after thinking on it more and playing with it a bit, we are almost certainly leaning towards changing it to Dom's earlier suggestion (Carnivore loses half prey's Body Size rounded up). So, Carnivores would lose between 1 and 3 population. Keeps the card more balanced. Won't be useless and won't be OP.

Either way, the card is a lot of fun though. It's such a deterrent to Carnivores. Particularly when the Poisonous species has large Body Size. Really loving it.
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Brandon Jacobson
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CenozoicMatt wrote:

we are almost certainly leaning towards changing it to Dom's earlier suggestion (Carnivore loses half prey's Body Size rounded up). So, Carnivores would lose between 1 and 3 population. Keeps the card more balanced. Won't be useless and won't be OP.


That sounds a lot more balanced, I agree. It is an awesome trait idea that I can imagine would be very rewarding to use.

I am a big fan of defensive traits which do something other than just protect you from Carnivores (ie Quills, Horns, Poisonous, Last Stand...)

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Matt Parker
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We did have a chance to play test this with a large group last night.

As I've mentioned, to better balance this card, we are likely going to change the wording to Dom's "half Body Size rounded up" suggestion. It wasn't a problem with it as is, but I think the change would improve it.

The card was a fantastic deterrent. I had a poisonous species that was completely open to attack and none of the carnivores would touch it. Must've been my flashy, warning colors! So, very thematic. I really enjoy this card for that reason alone, but it works mechanically as well.

Poisonous and Horns are two sides of the same coin. Horns is one loss to the Carnivore before the attack and Poisonous is one or more population loss after the attack. Both make a carnivore think twice. Horns will only cost a carnivore one population and then they feed normally. With Poisonous, its the opposite, the carnivore feeds normally then loses population. That difference seems unimportant but it can really affect how much food the carnivore gets from the attack.

Anyway, it is fun and interesting. Looking forward to testing it out more.
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Brandon Jacobson
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CenozoicMatt wrote:
Horns will only cost a carnivore one population and then they feed normally. With Poisonous, its the opposite, the carnivore feeds normally then loses population. That difference seems unimportant but it can really affect how much food the carnivore gets from the attack.


This is exactly why I feel it is so appropriate for Poisonous to make Carnivores lose multiple Population (if you make your Body Size large enough, of course).

I also think it's critical that the Carnivores lose this Population that same feeding turn, rather than at the end of feeding
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Matt Parker
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Agreed.

Basically, Horns might deny a Carnivore one food in addition to lowering the Carnivores Pop by 1.

Poisonous lets the Carnivore have all the food, but can potentially lower the Carnivores Pop significantly.

I'd say that Horns is stronger when you're smaller. Poisonous is stronger when you're larger.

And having both is just a big middle finger to Carnivores.
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Brandon Jacobson
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CenozoicMatt wrote:

And having both is just a big middle finger to Carnivores.

 
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