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Subject: Custom Hero: Effigy (under development) rss

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Matt Gardner
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I haven't had a chance to test this yet, but it's been a while since I made one of these and I had an inkling to try designing a new deck. This one is a weird kind of controller character, with a couple damage options. The mechanic is a little odd, I don't think it's really ready yet but I think the idea has promise so I wanted to see what people thought.
The theme is basically the standard Hollywood take on voodoo dolls.

Current playtest file: HERE

Version 2 added in a later post in this thread

EFFIGY
HP: (not sure yet, probably low 20s)
POWER: PIN - Effigy deals 1 target 1 melee damage.

Incapacitated
[pending]

Doll (x6)
------------
Voodoo Doll (x6)
HP: 5
This card may have one card from any deck beneath it.
When this card takes damage, it deals the same damage of the same type to a character card associated with the card beneath this card.
POWER: if there is no card beneath this one, you may take the top card from any discard pile and place it beneath this card.
POWER: return the card beneath this card to the corresponding discard pile.

Equipment (x2)
------------
Darning Kit (x2)
Power: Restore one doll to full health

Ongoing, Trinket (x6)
------------
Damage Trinket (x2)
Play next to a doll.
Increase damage dealt by this doll by 2.

Healing Trinket (x2)
Play next to a doll.
Change all damage dealt by this voodoo doll to healing.

Sturdy Trinket (x2)
Play next to a doll.
Reduce damage dealt to this doll by 1, the doll still damage as if this damage had not been reduced.

Ongoing (x2)
------------
Collector (x2)
When a target is destroyed, you may place that card beneath a voodoo doll that does not have a card beneath it.

One-Shot (x24)
------------
Quick Crafting (x4)
Search your desk or discard pile for a voodoo doll card. Place this card into your hand or into play.

Keepsake Collection (x3)
Use a power on up to three voodoo dolls.

Reusable Supplies (x3)
Take up to 2 cards from your trash and move them to your hand, shuffle your trash back into your deck.

Pincushion (x3)
Effigy deals one melee damage to all voodoo dolls

Crushing Grip (x2)
Destroy a voodoo doll with a card beneath it.
Destroy up to 2 ongoing or environment cards in play from that card's deck.

Whispered Inspiration (x2)
Choose a voodoo doll with a player card beneath it.
That player may use a power now.

Binding Fate (x2)
Choose a voodoo doll with a card beneath it.
Draw 3 cards from that card's deck, discard 1, put 1 at the bottom of its deck and 1 on top of its deck.

Pinned (x2)
Destroy a voodoo doll with a card beneath it.
Cards cannot be drawn from that deck until the start of your next turn.
 
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Take Walker
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At first, I was thinking you're going to have limited options, since you can basically have five villain cards doing damage to the villain, but then you get down to the things that help support the team, and it all becomes clear. Interesting concept!

My main concern, then, would be the lack of direct damage-dealing. This guy can hit his own dolls, and that's about it. You have to hope something's targeting the lowest, or everything, in order to damage the villain, say, if Effigy is the last hero standing.
 
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First thoughts:

This hero seems really dependent upon getting dolls out and keeping them out. Even Captain Cosmic can get some use out of his constructs if they get blown up immediately, and he has some stuff he can do even if he can't keep his constructs out or draw into a good hand. His standard base power is also great at getting his deck into play faster.

Effigy, however, cannot do anything but plink with a weak base power if you can't get one of six cards out. If all copies of dolls and Quick Crafting are buried at the bottom of the deck, it's just dead weight for the entire game. I'd take some emphasis off stacking the one schtick so that you're not stuck sucking if that schtick doesn't stick.
 
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Matt Gardner
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Yeah, looking back he's too focused on the one shtick to the point where if the engine doesn't get started, he can't do much of anything. I'm working on some new cards that present an alternate strategy for him so he's less of a one trick pony, and less setup reliant.

I'm also considering streamlining the voodoo dolls so you take a card from another discard pile immediately when they are played, saves a couple wasted actions setting them up and frees up space in the deck from no longer needing cards built around accelerating those very actions.
 
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More thoughts:

Was it your intention to specify "character cards" instead of "targets"? Because when limited to characters, it feels like this becomes less useful to the point of nearly removing all value against certain decks. It also just doesn't do anything against Environment targets, because Environments don't have characters.

You kind of need another directly damaging power. This not only gives you something useful to do when you're not fiddling with dolls, and gives you an upgrade for the basic strategy of poking your own dolls, but it gives you a little more design flexibility if you ever make variants of this hero. As things stand, you have nothing to do but poke or fiddle with dolls.

Either the base power or the alternate attack power should have irreducible damage. This not only increases your general utility, but allows you to poke dolls when there's damage penalties out, and obviates the need to have precise wording on Sturdy Trinket (what you have isn't it, I don't think). I'd go with a base power that does 1 irreducible, and an alternate power that gives you 2 or 3 damage, perhaps of a different type.

I'd just make dolls grab the top card of a deck when they come out instead of fiddling with powers and trash. This makes them much faster to use, since it no longer takes both your play and power phases just to set one up and works just fine even on the first turn, when there may not be a card in anyone's trash. You also don't have to worry about specifying that there can only ever be one card under a doll, since the only way to get cards under them is by putting the doll into play.

Damage redirection causes some really bizarre situations. A target with a damage counterattack that hits a doll gets countered by the doll, which makes them counter the doll, which makes the doll counter them; most counterattacks are limited to one per turn, but the doll creates new instances of damage until it's destroyed. What's the timing on doll damage and destruction? If a doll gets blown up, does it have a chance to do its thing, or is it destroyed first?

Why are trinkets Ongoings when they sound more like Equipment?

Locking cards out of decks sounds potentially powerful. With some scouting or deck control, you could keep, say, Devastating Aurora out of the game entirely, and since dolls aren't Equipment or Ongoings they're safe from most non-damaging destruction. They do seem like candidates for the Relic keyword.
 
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Matt Gardner
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I was considering making the case power irreducible, especially since that plays well thematically if attacking someone with reduction through a doll. I'm going to change the base power to include that as suggested.

Having the dolls take a card from another deck when played really streamlines things and eliminates the need for "Keepsake Collection" or "Collector" freeing up space for alternate strategies.

To keep with the general theme of retaliatory effects, I'm adding some ongoing cards that can be destroyed when a hero target is attached for various effects.

I agree he needs an alternate damage option so for a power card I'm giving him one to deal up to 3 targets 1 projectile damage each, which can give him some slightly better damage options, and can combo with the dolls for some pretty nasty attacks.

The playtest link is updated, I'll add the list to this thread when I'm home and can type it up.
 
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Matt Gardner
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Here's version 2.

EFFIGY
HP: (not sure yet, probably low 20s)
POWER: PIN - Effigy deals 1 target 1 irreducible melee damage.

Incapacitated
- Deal 1 target 1 irreducible melee damage.
- Discard the top card of any one deck.
- One hero may use a power now.

Doll, Relic (x6)
------------
Voodoo Doll (x6)
HP: 5
When this card is played, take the top card of any deck and place it beneath this card upside down.
When this card takes damage, it deals the same damage of the same type to a target from the same deck as the card beneath this card. If this card is destroyed, it deals this damage before being removed from play.

Equipment, Charm (x6)
------------
Ouanga (x2)
Play next to a doll.
Increase damage dealt by this doll by 2.

Mojo (x2)
Play next to a doll.
Change all damage dealt by this voodoo doll to healing.

Gris-gris (x2)
Play next to a doll.
Any time this doll deals damage, Effigy regains 2 HP.

Equipment (x7)
------------
Darning Kit (x2)
Power: Restore one doll to full health

Thowing Pins (x3)
Power: effigy deals up to 3 targets 1 projectile damage.

Prosperity Charm (x2)
When a hero target takes damage, Effigy may deal himself 1 psychic damage to draw 2 cards.

One-Shot (x15)
------------
Quick Crafting (x3)
Search your desk or discard pile for a voodoo doll card. Place this card into your hand or into play.

Reusable Supplies (x3)
Take 2 cards from your trash and move them to your hand, if either of these cards is a voodoo doll or charm you may play it now.

Crushing Grip (x3)
Destroy a voodoo doll with a card beneath it.
Destroy up to 2 ongoing or environment cards in play from that card's deck.

Whispered Inspiration (x3)
Choose a voodoo doll with a player card beneath it.
That player may use a power now.

Binding Fate (x3)
Choose a voodoo doll with a card beneath it.
Draw 3 cards from that card's deck, discard 1, put 1 at the bottom of its deck and 1 on top of its deck.

Ongoing (x6)
------------
Wound Transference (x3)
When a hero target takes damage, you may destroy this card to redirect that damage to any other hero target.

Empathic Backlash (x3)
When a hero target takes damage from another card, you may destroy this card to have that card deal the same damage to itself.
 
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Geoff B.
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There is some real promise here, but it needs simplified and I think it could benefit from being more forgiving about the order of cards played.

1. Dolls: instead of the card underneath, why not just play it in a play area, and deal damage to a target in that play area? Then the power could be to move to a new play area.

2. For charms, right now they need to be played after a doll, which can be tough to pull off well. Why not just play them, and say "When a doll would deal damage, if this card is not next to a doll, you may move it next to that doll." That way you could have Mojo in play, then play a pin on a hero and not have to worry that AoE damage will double up on that hero.

3. Innate: if you want to give incentive for your hero to use their innate to damage dolls, why not give direct incentive:

POWER: Effigy deals one target 1 melee damage, if that target is a hero target, deal it 3 melee damage instead.
 
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Good point; if the dolls don't have powers on them, there's no need to keep them in your play area. You can treat them more like CC's constructs, taking advantage of similar mechanics. In fact, you could have different types of dolls, obviating the need for Charms.

This might make the deck play too much like Captain Cosmic for your taste.
 
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Matt Gardner
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Since the power has been removed from the doll cards there's no real need to keep them in the play area, but thematically I do like using them to steal a card for another deck.

First because it's like stealing something belonging to the target to establish the connection between them at the doll. But second because it provides a little bit of deck control, although some that takes cooperation with another deck manipulator to really get something juicy out of it.

I'm not entirely convinced that it's worth it considering playing it next to another target does make it a bit simpler to keep track of, but for the moment I'm stubbornly sticking to it.

And this does result in the voodoo doll cards being a big wall of test.
 
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Matt Gardner
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Phantaskippy wrote:
There is some real promise here, but it needs simplified and I think it could benefit from being more forgiving about the order of cards played.

1. Dolls: instead of the card underneath, why not just play it in a play area, and deal damage to a target in that play area? Then the power could be to move to a new play area.

Mostly I'm trying to eke a tiny bit of deck control into this, as I feel like it's thematically appropriate. But I do agree this could be streamlined a bit more still.

Phantaskippy wrote:
2. For charms, right now they need to be played after a doll, which can be tough to pull off well. Why not just play them, and say "When a doll would deal damage, if this card is not next to a doll, you may move it next to that doll." That way you could have Mojo in play, then play a pin on a hero and not have to worry that AoE damage will double up on that hero.

Yeah, I'm not entirely thrilled with how the charms work yet. If you get them early they can be great, but they're potentially a lot of work for minimal payoff.
Perhaps if it stays like it is now, it allows you to use a power when it is played. A bit of a reward for playing a card that takes a bit of work to setup.

Phantaskippy wrote:
3. Innate: if you want to give incentive for your hero to use their innate to damage dolls, why not give direct incentive:

POWER: Effigy deals one target 1 melee damage, if that target is a hero target, deal it 3 melee damage instead.

I agree there's currently not any incentive to use the base power on a doll instead of on a target directly until it has a charm on it. I'm not wanting to do it quite as listed here as Effigy would chew threw his doll's HP. But I might have the dolls inherently boost the damage the deal in response to being attacked by 1 or 2. That way while you deal 1 damage to the doll, it still deals 3 damage to a target. If I go this route, I'll probably get rid of the rider that makes the dolls still cause damage when they get destroyed.

I'm also considering adding a power to the dolls where you can discard the card beneath it and take a new card from the top of any deck. That way you can shuffle around your strategy a bit if needed, but it costing an action is pretty steep.
 
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Matt Gardner
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Building on this further, if I both add a power to the dolls that allows you to discard the card beneath it and pull a new one from the top of any deck AND have charms trigger a power when they are played it opens up some interesting possibilities.

When a trinket is played, you can change up who the doll impacts, so if you play a Juju you can switch it to a hero card rather than having to have the doll setup that way to begin with.
Conversely, if you've got your dolls setup as you want them, you might be able to get an extra attack in if you have the damage power in play.

I'm still not sure if this is how the charms will work, but I like that interaction.
 
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Matt Gardner
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My current playtest version of this has the following wordings for the dolls and charms.

Doll, Relic (x6)
------------
Voodoo Doll (x6)
HP: 5
When this card enters play, take the top card of any deck and place it beneath this card.
When this card takes damage, it deals aNY target from the deck as the card beneath this x psychic damage where x is the damage dealt to this card + 1.
If this card is destroyed The card beneath is moved to its discard pile.
power: DISCARD the card beneath this card to its discard pile, take the top card of any deck and place it beneath this card.

Equipment, Charm (x6)
------------
Ouanga (x2)
Play next to a doll, you may use a power now.
Increase damage dealt by this doll by 2.
if the doll next to this card is destroyed, destroy this card.

Mojo (x2)
Play next to a doll, you may use a power now.
Change all damage dealt by this doll to healing.
If the doll next to this card is destroyed, dstroy this card.

Gris-gris (x2)
Play next to a doll, you may use a power now.
Any time this doll deals damage, Effigy regains 2 HP.
If the doll next to this card is destroyed, destroy this card.

***********************

The Voodoo Doll is just a wall of text, but I can't think of how to word the current mechanics and take up any less space.

I suspect I'm going to need to stop stubbornly insisting on using the 'steal a card' mechanic for them and play them next to a target like Captain Cosmic does, with a power for Effigy to move them to another target.

-

I worry that having three dolls with villain cards and Throwing Pins out leads to you dealing potentially six damage to a card for a power. But considering that's only after you're fully setup, that might not be so bad. And the dolls will eventually run out of HP if you don't spare some powers or card plays to replace/fix them.
 
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By default when a card with cards under it is destroyed, you also discard the cards under it. (As with Savage Mana or Resurrection Ritual.) You don't need to include that text.
 
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Matt Gardner
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braincraft wrote:
By default when a card with cards under it is destroyed, you also discard the cards under it. (As with Savage Mana or Resurrection Ritual.) You don't need to include that text.


Oh good, I was afraid that would technically leave the cards there indefinitely.

Also, given the current setup and the traditional interpretation of the rules. Given that the Dolls damage a target after they are damaged, do they also deal damage when they are destroyed due to being reduced to 0 HP or does the destruction of the Doll occur before the damage from the Doll is dealt?
 
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wogoat wrote:
Also, given the current setup and the traditional interpretation of the rules. Given that the Dolls damage a target after they are damaged, do they also deal damage when they are destroyed due to being reduced to 0 HP or does the destruction of the Doll occur before the damage from the Doll is dealt?

If I recall correctly (and I can't guarantee that I do) effects on a card that occur in response to damage are preempted by that card's destruction by that damage. Effects that occur in response to destruction, by necessity, preempt the card's own destruction.

So if you one-shot Wraith, Combat Stance won't activate. If you one-shot an Explosives Wagon, it still deals damage, with its own bonus.
 
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Take Walker
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braincraft is correct! So if they react to damage being dealt to them, that last hit point will be forfeit, just like Constructs.
 
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