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Subject: Custom Villain: Nightmare Moon! (MLP) rss

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Take Walker
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Sentinels of the MLPverse is a project meant to bring the characters and settings of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic to the Sentinels tabletop environment.

One thousand years ago, there were two alicorn sisters who raised the sun and moon. The older sister was loved and adored by their subjects, but the younger sister became jealous that ponies would sleep through her beautiful night. In time, she was so overcome by this jealousy that she transformed into a wicked mare of darkness -- Nightmare Moon! For her crime of trying to bring about night eternal, her sister was forced to use the Elements of Harmony to banish her to the moon.

But a prophecy said the stars would aid in her escape. Now, a millennium later, the sky grows dark, Princess Celestia is nowhere to be found, and Nightmare Moon is back, to bring about eternal night once more!

Thanks to Justonalark, Jettosan, Jaggid88 and Adelphophage for all their help!



Villain: Nightmare Moon

HP:
70
Nemesis: Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy

Old Pony's Tale

Setup:
At the start of the game, Nightmare Moon enters play, Old Pony's Tale side up. Search the villain deck for four Relics and put them in the villain trash. Shuffle the villain deck. Shuffle the environment deck and reveal cards until (H) minus 1 targets are revealed. Put them into play and shuffle the other revealed cards into the environment deck.

Game Play: Nightmare Moon is immune to damage. Cards under this card are not considered in play. The first time each turn an environment card is destroyed, place it under this card. During the environment play phase, the players choose to play one or more environment cards. When a villain card would be played, discard it instead. At the start of the villain turn, each player may destroy one of their hero cards. If at least two cards sharing a keyword are destroyed this way, destroy a non-target environment card. Then, if there are (H) plus 2 or more cards under this card, flip this card. At the end of the villain turn, Nightmare Moon deals the hero with the highest HP psychic damage equal to the number of environment cards in play.

Advanced: Increase damage dealt to hero targets by 1.

Bringer of Night

When Flipped to This Side:
Shuffle all cards under this card into the environment deck. Move all Relics from the villain trash into play.

Game Play: If there are ever no cards in the villain deck, Nightmare Moon has brought about eternal night. Game Over. At the end of the villain turn, Nightmare Moon deals the hero target with the highest HP (H) minus 1 infernal damage.

Advanced: At the end of the villain turn, if no card was discarded from the villain deck this turn, discard the top card of the villain deck.

Challenge: Night Overwhelming
The first time a villain card would be discarded each turn, put it into play instead.

Variant: Daybreaker

HP:
95

Nemesis: ???, ???

Bringer of Light

Setup:
At the start of the game, Daybreaker enters play, Bringer of Light side up. Shuffle the villain deck.

Game Play: Daybreaker is immune to fire damage. When a villain card is discarded, put a token on this card. When a villain one-shot would enter play, discard it instead and Daybreaker deals the (H) minus 2 hero targets with the highest HP 2 fire damage each. When a villain Relic would enter play, discard it and flip this card. At the start of the villain turn, if there are 4 or more tokens on this card, flip this card. At the end of the villain turn, play the top card of the villain deck, then Daybreaker deals the hero target with the highest HP (H) fire damage.

Advanced: At the start of the villain turn, put a token on this card.

Might of the Sun

Game Play:
Daybreaker is immune to fire damage. When a villain card would be played, discard it instead and Daybreaker regains (H) HP. At the start of the villain turn, if there are no tokens on this card, flip this card. At the end of the villain turn, remove all tokens from this card and Daybreaker deals each non-villain target X irreducible radiant damage, where X = the number of tokens removed.

Advanced: When a card enters the villain trash, Daybreaker deals the hero target with the lowest HP 2 fire damage.

Challenge: Day Overwhelming
Increase damage dealt by Daybreaker by 2.

Peytral of Darkness (Relic, 8 HP): Reduce damage dealt to Nightmare Moon and villain Relics by 1.
"You can't get rid of me so easily, sister! Unless you plan on smiling me to smithereens!" - Nightmare Moon, A Royal Problem

Astral Chamfron (Relic, 10 HP): Increase damage dealt by Nightmare Moon by 1.
"Nopony in my kingdom but me should possess a magic powerful enough to change time." - Nightmare Moon, The Cutie Re-Mark, part 2

Lunar Horseshoes (Relic, 4 HP): When this card would be dealt damage, reduce that damage to 1. The first time Nightmare Moon deals damage each turn, this card deals that target (H) minus 1 melee damage.
Legend has it that on the longest day of the thousandth year, the stars will aid in her escape, and she will bring about everlasting night.

Umbral Throne (Relic, 12 HP): When Nightmare Moon would be dealt 3 or more damage from a single source, prevent that damage and discard the top card of the villain deck.
"Luna? I am... Nightmare Moon! I have but one royal duty now: to destroy you!" - Nightmare Moon, Princess Twilight Sparkle, part 2

(4) Lunar Guard (Knight, 5 HP): When this card enters play, put all Lunar Guards into play from the villain trash. At the end of the villain turn, this card deals the hero target with the highest HP 2 melee damage.
"I am the ruler of all of Equestria. Do you think I can't deal with timberwolves?" - Nightmare Moon, The Cutie Re-Mark, part 2

(2) Nightwing Guard (Knight, 6 HP): When this card enters play from the villain deck, play the top card of the villain deck. At the end of the villain turn, this card deals the hero with the most cards in play 1 sonic and 1 infernal damage. If no damage was taken this way, discard the top card of the villain deck.
"Listen close, my little dears, I'll tell you where you got your fears: Of Nightmare Night, so dark and scary; of Nightmare Moon, who makes you wary." - Zecora, Luna Eclipsed

Loyal Guard (Knight, 7 HP, Nemesis: Rainbow Dash): Increase damage dealt by Knights by 1. At the end of the villain turn, this card deals each hero target 1 sonic damage. Then discard the top card of the villain deck.
"The princess asked you a question! And unless you wanna end up in the dungeon, you'll tell her what she wants to know!" - Rainbow Dash, The Cutie Re-Mark, part 2

Fashionable Guard (Knight, 5 HP, Nemesis: Rarity): At the end of the villain turn, shuffle the villain trash and reveal cards until one Relic and one Knight are revealed. Put them into play and return the other revealed cards to the trash. Then each villain target regains 2 HP.
"The castle isn't open for viewings today. The tapestries all need changing. Again." - Rarity, The Cutie Re-Mark, part 2

(4) The Night Will Last Forever! (One-Shot): Nightmare Moon deals each non-villain target 2 cold damage. If this was the first villain card played this turn, play the top card of the villain deck.
"Remember this day, little ponies, for it was your last!" - Nightmare Moon, Friendship Is Magic, part 1

(2) "Oh, My Beloved Subjects!" (One-Shot): Discard the top card of the villain deck. Nightmare Moon deals the hero with the fewest cards in hand 2 infernal damage. Each player whose hero did not take damage this way discards two cards.
"It's been so long since I've seen your precious little sun-loving faces." - Nightmare Moon, Friendship Is Magic, part 1

(2) Imprisoned in the Moon (One-Shot): Discard the top card of the villain deck. Nightmare Moon deals the (H) minus 2 hero targets with the lowest HP 2 cold damage each. Those targets cannot deal damage until the start of the villain turn.
"My sister has been imprisoned in the moon for years! But it is no less a fate than she'd sentence me to!" - Nightmare Moon, The Cutie Re-Mark, part 2

(2) Back, You Foals! (One-Shot): Discard the top card of the villain deck. Destroy (H) minus 1 hero ongoing and/or equipment cards. If no cards were destroyed this way, play the top card of the villain deck.
"You little foal! Thinking you could defeat me? Now you will never see your princess, or your sun!" - Nightmare Moon, Friendship Is Magic, part 2

(3) Ruler of the Night (One-Shot): Shuffle the villain trash and reveal the top (H) minus 1 cards. Put any revealed targets into play and return the rest to the trash. Nightmare Moon deals the X hero targets with the highest HP 3 cold damage each, where X = the number of cards returned this way.
"There can only be one princess in Equestria! And that princess will be me!" - Princess Luna, Princess Twilight Sparkle, part 1
 
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Anthony Tuell
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I've been enjoying your MLP stuff so far, good to see more! I would have expected a less direct fight with Nightmare Moon, and more of a maze of traps and hazards to be navigated, but I guess if you tried to make these decks as non-violent as the show, MLP games would wind up being boring/frustrating. The deck reminds me a lot of Baron Blade, which feels right for a whole mess of reasons: theming around impending doom, first and arguably most major antagonist, moon association, et cetera. I'd be interested to know how they stack up in terms of difficulty.

It took me a few reads to actually process how her flip side works, but I like it a lot; clobber her too hard, and suddenly she starts plummeting towards an alternate loss while lambasting the heroes along the way. It's a good way to keep the players on their toes, and you've spun it in a way that fits really well thematically. I particularly like that, since the damage to heroes on Luna's side is self-inflicted, any boosts to damage that the heroes were using to dish out damage to her are suddenly a disadvantage, as if they were all the more aghast at their own violence.

I like the throne and armor, but I feel like the "device" keyword is kind of awkward thematically here. Maybe "Relic" would be a cooler fit? Just a thought.

As for the Loyal and Fashionable guards, you may be scraping, but it makes for a more interesting deck, and I've always been a fan of villains with lieutenants that have their own nemeses. (Hoping that having an evil Rarity in the deck doesn't mean you won't try for a Nightmare Rarity promo, though?)

 
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Maciej Stępiński
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I have a really strange feeling that defeating her by hitting Luna is way easier than fighting Nightmare Moon, especially since she flips by herself on her turn anyway and any surprise damage from environment can be mitigated by discarding a card- which shouldn't be a problem, since she doesn't force you to discard at all. I would probably remove the ability to damage her in this form at all, forcing players to wait it out for a turn, maybe fight her guards, lick their wounds and prepare for the worst. If you want players to avoid hitting their Waifu replace "Takes 2 more damage and if she dies, Game over" with "Whenever she would be hit, prevent it and discard a card", while keeping most of the other stuff around. Obviously, you'll need to lower her HP to compensate for losing a great opportunity to deal most of it.

Just my two cents, take it or leave it.
 
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Joseph Guzman
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Normally not too much of an MLP fan, but this villain looks to be a lot of fun to play against. Having to juggle hitting and not hitting depending on the side and dealing with the guards makes this a very challenging fight. A+ to the deck. Only thing I can suggest is maybe add 1 more Knight card to the Nightwing Guard and maybe drop the 1 Back, You Foals to increase the potential difficulty of the deck without making it seem hopeless. 3 Back, You Foals is pretty rough, especially at 3, it can cause the deck to run out pretty quick. A guard is rough, be tolerable, but still keeps the urgency with the damage every turn.
 
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Take Walker
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Justonalark wrote:
I guess if you tried to make these decks as non-violent as the show, MLP games would wind up being boring/frustrating.

Back when I first started posting these decks, someone suggested the villains be themed around friendship. And while for the most part, I'm making them fit into Sentinels gameplay (it's a damage-dealing game, and attempts to subvert that have given us some of the most tedious and unfun villains in the game), I've got an idea for one. Hold out until wave, like, seven to see what comes of that! :V

Justonalark wrote:
The deck reminds me a lot of Baron Blade, which feels right for a whole mess of reasons: theming around impending doom, first and arguably most major antagonist, moon association, et cetera. I'd be interested to know how they stack up in terms of difficulty.

In my experience, she's got fewer 'destroy everything' turns, but is overall a more dangerous opponent.

Justonalark wrote:
I particularly like that, since the damage to heroes on Luna's side is self-inflicted, any boosts to damage that the heroes were using to dish out damage to her are suddenly a disadvantage, as if they were all the more aghast at their own violence.

Yeah. 6 damage is an easy threshold to both avoid and surpass, and on the flip side, the heroes should indeed be aghast that they're beating up this defenseless pony who's nothing like the monster she was a minute ago.

Justonalark wrote:
I like the throne and armor, but I feel like the "device" keyword is kind of awkward thematically here. Maybe "Relic" would be a cooler fit? Just a thought.

This I like. Strictly speaking, they don't quite fit the definition of Relic in the game, but I think it'll sound more dramatic.

Justonalark wrote:
(Hoping that having an evil Rarity in the deck doesn't mean you won't try for a Nightmare Rarity promo, though?)

Both villain and hero!

Jettosan wrote:
I have a really strange feeling that defeating her by hitting Luna is way easier than fighting Nightmare Moon, especially since she flips by herself on her turn anyway and any surprise damage from environment can be mitigated by discarding a card- which shouldn't be a problem, since she doesn't force you to discard at all. I would probably remove the ability to damage her in this form at all, forcing players to wait it out for a turn, maybe fight her guards, lick their wounds and prepare for the worst. If you want players to avoid hitting their Waifu replace "Takes 2 more damage and if she dies, Game over" with "Whenever she would be hit, prevent it and discard a card", while keeping most of the other stuff around. Obviously, you'll need to lower her HP to compensate for losing a great opportunity to deal most of it.

Hm. I'll have to try this and see how it goes. My thought is without the lose condition, you're gonna flip her and then spend the rest of the round being bored because no one can damage her. But given that I've been avoiding flipping her in my playtesting, I've maybe made it too easy to not have to deal with the really dangerous side.

I'll add playtest cards here, too!

EDIT: This one came in while I was replying. XD

Jaggid88 wrote:
Normally not too much of an MLP fan, but this villain looks to be a lot of fun to play against. Having to juggle hitting and not hitting depending on the side and dealing with the guards makes this a very challenging fight. A+ to the deck. Only thing I can suggest is maybe add 1 more Knight card to the Nightwing Guard and maybe drop the 1 Back, You Foals to increase the potential difficulty of the deck without making it seem hopeless. 3 Back, You Foals is pretty rough, especially at 3, it can cause the deck to run out pretty quick. A guard is rough, be tolerable, but still keeps the urgency with the damage every turn.


I'll give this a shot, thanks! And I hope the flavor isn't too offputting for non-fans. I'm really trying to make these decks fun to play, whether you get the references or not!
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Maciej Stępiński
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Quote:

Hm. I'll have to try this and see how it goes. My thought is without the lose condition, you're gonna flip her and then spend the rest of the round being bored because no one can damage her. But given that I've been avoiding flipping her in my playtesting, I've maybe made it too easy to not have to deal with the really dangerous side.

You'll only get bored if there are no minions to take care of, and since you want to win this game as fast as possible, more often than not you'll leave them be and concentrate on Nightmare Moon. A turn without the boss to take care of you'll have some time to deal with them.
 
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Kendal Reed
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This looks really cool! As a (somewhat lapsed) MLP:FIM fan, I enjoy the adaptation of the character, but the deck also feels like you could use it to introduce her to people who don't know the source material- just like the official decks.

I like the flip condition with Princess Luna on the back side, though I think it could use some clarification on the character name issue. A big bold Kaargra-esque "Nightmare Moon is not in play." would not go amiss there. (Or you could go the Jade/Oriphel route and have the One-Shots say "If Nightmare Moon is in play, [this]; otherwise, the villain character card deals itself 1 psychic damage.") As it stands, discarding the One-Shots helps, but there's also the question of what effects the Armor cards have if Luna's in play- do the Horseshoes hit her when she deals herself damage? (If so, ouch...)
If you're concerned about the possible variants later on, maybe you could give Nightmare Moon a keyword ("Villain, Nightmare") and use that in place of her name on other cards? If Princess Luna's not a Nightmare but there's a Nightmare Rarity variant who is, it's easy to see which of them is affected by "Reduce damage dealt to Nightmares by 1."

I might consider having Luna help the heroes out in some way, to follow through with that "struggling with the Nightmare" idea. Maybe she could destroy a villain Device at the start of her turn, or something?
Her current mechanics make her feel like a helpless victim or even a hostage, purely there to threaten the heroes into holding back, but the flavor text describes her as an ally who's outmatched, in the thick of a battle she can't win on her own. Either depiction could be good, but the mechanics should be telling the same story as

I actually really enjoy Loyal Guard and Fashionable Guard, and I haven't even seen that episode. Fashionable Guard in particular is a great mechanics/theme combo- the Armor cards would make sense in the deck even if Rarity wasn't there, but since she is, they give her something indisputably Rarity-esque to do.

Cold damage for NMM's attacks is a good thematic touch- she's been in space for a long time, and eternal night is going to make things pretty chilly. That does make me wonder, though, why is she dealing energy damage on her character card? I wouldn't see anything wrong with tightening the theme a bit- if you don't want Absolute Zero to be OP against NMM, don't play him.

The Guards and Armor look pretty solid- a bit like Apostate's Demons and Relics, some targets that attack the heroes and some that buff the villain. (I appreciate not including his "resurrect all my stuff" gimmick. ) Now that I've made that comparison, though, Lunar Horseshoes looks a bit like Gauntlet of Perdition with the damage turned way down. Have you tested any versions that did the double-hit more than once per turn?

The one card that immediately bugs me is Nightmare Mist. The card concept is good- that Nightmare-Moon-colored-mist that we saw in episode 2, setting up her traps in the Everfree Forest- but I don't really like the mechanics.
* If you can't destroy the Ongoing, you can't do anything to the big bad for a round without approaching a lose condition, so you either spend that time clearing minions, setting up, or twiddling your thumbs. Not terribly engaging, and especially weird from a design point of view, since Luna already exists to make you do that.
* "At the start of the villain turn or when the villain character card flips, destroy this card." When is the second condition going to come up? If Nightmare Moon is in play when it comes out, she only flips if she's dealt damage- and the Mist prevents all damage dealt to her, so she can't. If Luna is in play when it comes out, she has the opposite problem- she flips at the end of the villain turn no matter what, which kills the Mist instantly.

Here's an alternate idea, drawing from the source material: what if the Mist turned the environment against the heroes, like the Everfree Forest encounters in episode 2?
"Nightmare Mist (Ongoing): When this card enters play, play the top card of the environment deck. When this card leaves play, discard the top card of the villain deck.
Increase damage dealt to hero targets by environment cards by 1. Reduce damage dealt to villain targets by environment cards by 1."
If that doesn't produce enough of an immediate effect, you could add something like Overcharged Systems, where the environment's "end of turn" effects also activate during the villain turn.
 
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Take Walker
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Oh yay, feedback, I haven't been testing my decks at all lately!

Bart_KF wrote:
I like the flip condition with Princess Luna on the back side, though I think it could use some clarification on the character name issue.

I'm glad you're thinking ahead to variants, considering the next one is Daybreaker. I've been doing a lot of wackiness with changing character names; I mean, even Kovthe Six-String is called Argent Adept, so when I get to say, the Power Ponies, it's gonna be "Twilight Sparkle IS The Masked Matter-Horn!" But that won't work with everything. That being said, I was thinking of "Nightmare Moon IS (Not Nearly As Great or Pretty As) Daybreaker". :V And Nightmare Pinkie may end up as a Discord variant, all things considered. I don't have a good solution for this, anyway, though the Device being destroyed when NMM flips is one part of the equation to sneak around "is Princess Luna Nightmare Moon?"

Bart_KF wrote:
Cold damage for NMM's attacks is a good thematic touch- she's been in space for a long time, and eternal night is going to make things pretty chilly. That does make me wonder, though, why is she dealing energy damage on her character card?

Unicorn magic. :B It's evil laser beams. Mostly, I wanted to expand her damage typing.

Bart_KF wrote:
Now that I've made that comparison, though, Lunar Horseshoes looks a bit like Gauntlet of Perdition with the damage turned way down. Have you tested any versions that did the double-hit more than once per turn?

I want to say I have.

Bart_KF wrote:
The one card that immediately bugs me is Nightmare Mist. The card concept is good- that Nightmare-Moon-colored-mist that we saw in episode 2, setting up her traps in the Everfree Forest- but I don't really like the mechanics.

Originally, the Mist was just "Nightmare Moon and Armor cards are immune to damage for a round". That was kind of dull, though, and this is the same effect, overall, with the upside of you can focus fire on the Armor if that's all that's around.

The environment thing is a neat idea, derives from theme but the flavor comes off as odd to me... I dunno, it might be worth trying out, if only to give her something a little more interesting to do. I'll see what happens.
 
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Kendal Reed
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Let's try working backward on the character name issue. How do you envision the deck working while Luna is in play? Your ideal version, not anything you have to define the templating for right away.
I take it from the current version that you don't want the One-Shot effects specifying "Nightmare Moon" to work for Luna, so I'll assume those do nothing. Aside from that, I make no assumptions- pick anything you want, even if the current version already specifies it completely.
* Should the Guards behave any differently when their boss is obviously not herself? Will Fashionable Guard put armor on Luna?
* The Night Will Last Forever! can't make Luna deal damage (at least not directly). Do you want it to still play the next villain card?
* Ruler of the Night can't make Luna deal damage. Should the Nightmare be able to summon its Guards while it's not in control of Luna?
* Can the disembodied Nightmare still impede the heroes by destroying their stuff with Back, You Foals? Can it hasten eternal night by discarding a card or try its next stratagem by playing the next villain card?
Currently most important: the Armor.
* If Luna is still wearing the Lunar Horseshoes (that's a mouthful...), do they react to her self-damage?
* Does the Peytral of Darkness reduce damage dealt to Luna?
* Luna only ever attacks herself. Does wearing the Starfire Chamfron increase that damage? (Does it increase the resulting hero self-damage?)

For bigger changes like replacing Nightmare Moon with Daybreaker, you should consider some of the same questions- which effects should work normally, which ones should have a different effect, and which ones should have no effect at all. Templating can be developed from there.

(At first glance, I imagine Daybreaker still using the villain-trash mechanic but getting a different effect from it, maybe a slowly increasing damage buff instead of an alternate win condition- as the day stretches on and on without end, her fire and energy attacks get more and more powerful. A bit like the Mad Bomber to Nightmare Moon's Baron Blade.)

TakeWalker wrote:
Bart_KF wrote:
Cold damage for NMM's attacks is a good thematic touch- she's been in space for a long time, and eternal night is going to make things pretty chilly. That does make me wonder, though, why is she dealing energy damage on her character card?

Unicorn magic. :B It's evil laser beams. Mostly, I wanted to expand her damage typing.

See, with variant character cards in mind, I would recommend making the character card deal cold damage and shifting the energy damage to some of the One-Shots. Anyone possessed by the Nightmare has enough magical power to shoot evil laser beams, but blasts of frigid interstellar darkness are more specific to Nightmare Moon. (You could write something like "whenever Nightmare Moon would deal cold damage to a target, Daybreaker deals that target that much fire damage instead" on Daybreaker's card, but that strikes me as unnecessarily clunky.)

TakeWalker wrote:

Originally, the Mist was just "Nightmare Moon and Armor cards are immune to damage for a round". That was kind of dull, though, and this is the same effect, overall, with the upside of you can focus fire on the Armor if that's all that's around.

The environment thing is a neat idea, derives from theme but the flavor comes off as odd to me... I dunno, it might be worth trying out, if only to give her something a little more interesting to do. I'll see what happens.

Yeah, I'm definitely in favor of giving her something more active and less dull. Nightmare Moon can win by running out the clock on the heroes, but if you just want to turn the clock forward, you can do that by discarding cards, and not make the players sit and twiddle their thumbs.
(Actually, the Mist as a One-Shot that discards two cards and has Nightmare Moon regain a bunch of HP wouldn't be a bad idea- instead of skipping a round, set the players back a few steps while the villain's plans move forward.)
 
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Take Walker
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Bart_KF wrote:
Should the Guards behave any differently when their boss is obviously not herself? Will Fashionable Guard put armor on Luna?

This is weird flavor-avoiding interaction I'm okay not worrying about.

Bart_KF wrote:
The Night Will Last Forever! can't make Luna deal damage (at least not directly). Do you want it to still play the next villain card?

No. This is why one-shots get discarded. Many of them discard in the first place, so it's still the specter of the Nightmare lingering over the fight, bringing eternal night ever closer, the other effects are not something Luna is going to be doing herself.

Bart_KF wrote:
* If Luna is still wearing the Lunar Horseshoes (that's a mouthful...), do they react to her self-damage?

This is the one spot where I think it's safe to say my intent is "Princess Luna is not Nightmare Moon". Which means hard work for variants, but that bridge can be crossed later.

Bart_KF wrote:
(At first glance, I imagine Daybreaker still using the villain-trash mechanic but getting a different effect from it, maybe a slowly increasing damage buff instead of an alternate win condition- as the day stretches on and on without end, her fire and energy attacks get more and more powerful. A bit like the Mad Bomber to Nightmare Moon's Baron Blade.)

She builds up tokens and the flips, hits everyone for big money and big prizes (I love it!), and starts building up again. Mad Bomber is a very good comparison, and I wasn't even thinking about that. XD

Bart_KF wrote:
You could write something like "whenever Nightmare Moon would deal cold damage to a target, Daybreaker deals that target that much fire damage instead" on Daybreaker's card, but that strikes me as unnecessarily clunky.

Are you reading my playtest cards somehow? c.c

Bart_KF wrote:
(Actually, the Mist as a One-Shot that discards two cards and has Nightmare Moon regain a bunch of HP wouldn't be a bad idea- instead of skipping a round, set the players back a few steps while the villain's plans move forward.)

That's not a bad idea either. I'll see how the environment buff plays first.
 
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Kendal Reed
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TakeWalker wrote:
Bart_KF wrote:
* If Luna is still wearing the Lunar Horseshoes (that's a mouthful...), do they react to her self-damage?

This is the one spot where I think it's safe to say my intent is "Princess Luna is not Nightmare Moon". Which means hard work for variants, but that bridge can be crossed later.

See, I would really encourage doing the hard work now. The less text the variants need to be able to use the deck, the less clunky they look, and the more space they have to define their own unique behavior.

Here's one idea...

Templating Idea #1 wrote:
Nightmare Moon has the Nightmare subtype. Princess Luna does not.
Princess Luna has the Princess subtype. Nightmare Moon does not.
Aside from that, the character card is unchanged.

Basic idea: use "Nightmare" in effects that work for Nightmare Moon, "Princess" in effects that work for Luna, and both keywords in effects that work for both.

(2) Lunar Horseshoes (Device, Armor, 5 HP): Reduce damage dealt to this card by 1. The first time a Nightmare deals damage to a target each turn, this card deals that target 1 melee damage.

Peytral of Darkness (Device, Armor, 10 HP): Reduce damage dealt to Nightmares by 1. Reduce damage dealt to Princesses by 1.

Starfire Chamfron (Device, Armor, 10 HP): Increase damage dealt by Nightmares by 1.

Throne of Night (Device, 12 HP): Whenever a Nightmare or a Princess is dealt 3 or more damage in a single attack, discard the top card of the villain deck.

Other character cards can use the deck's effects differently by placing the keywords differently. Daybreaker might sometimes be a Nightmare and a Princess; Nightmare Rarity might never be a Princess; etc.

Since Luna in particular never plays One-Shots, the templating on them depends entirely on what you want them to do for other characters.


(3) The Night Will Last Forever! (One-Shot): The Nightmare with the highest HP deals each non-villain target 2 cold damage. Play the top card of the villain deck.

(2) Imprisoned in the Moon (One-Shot): The Nightmare or Princess with the highest HP deals the hero with the lowest HP (H)-2 cold damage. A hero dealt damage by a Nightmare this way cannot play cards until the start of the villain turn. A hero dealt damage by a Princess this way destroys one of their Ongoing cards.
That last bit is new text- I wanted an effect to represent the difference between Celestia banishing Luna with the Elements and NMM banishing Celestia with the Nightmare. I'm not sure what that should be, though- maybe this, or "that hero can't deal damage until the next villain turn", or "other players discard cards", or "destroy a bunch of hero Ongoing cards", or "discard the top card of the villain deck"... regardless, it's a bit academic at the moment because it doesn't do anything for NMM herself.

(2) Ruler of the Night (One-Shot): Shuffle the villain trash. Reveal the top (H) cards. Put any Knights revealed this way into play and return the other revealed cards to the trash. The Nightmare or Princess with the highest HP deals the hero target with the highest HP X infernal damage, where X = (H) minus the number of Knights in play.

(2) Nightmare Mist (Ongoing): When this card is destroyed, discard the top card of the villain deck. Whenever a Nightmare would be dealt damage, prevent that damage and discard the top card of the villain deck. At the start of the villain turn or when the villain character card flips, destroy this card.
 
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Yaknow... Using a Nightmare keyword would not be a bad idea. We'll see about that later, once the deck is smoothed out.

But I think going on a very specific "characters with different names are different characters" track will be important to my MLP decks, because I'm doing a lot of swapping character names for variants.

Or something.
 
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Michael Hunter
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Just saw this one!

Makes my head hurt a bit, but I think I get it. She can be Nightmare Moon, who is a fairly standing punching bag with a timer, Baron Blade style. But there's an issue in that if you hit her TOO hard she becomes... well, the same punching bag, more or less, only extra delicate and she also really hurts when you hit HER. One win condition is the deck running out, which is a straight timer you can't do a great deal about, the other is the normal dying which you can. I like how you can switch to Luna if time is low but your HP is relatively high.

The one thing that worries me a little is that you have TOTAL control over this. If you have plenty of time (and I imagine you often would, 25 cards is quite a few to get through, 80 HP isn't that much) there's not much of a reason to flip Nightmare (unless there's only 2 cards left in the deck and your HP is high). As a result, we usually won't want to flip Nightmare, and as we have absolute control over the trigger, we never will flip her. Sure, we'll have to be clever with our damage dealing which will be interesting to play around, but that doesn't change the fact that Luna will likely never come up.

I think it might have a little more gravitas if she sometimes flipped whether you wanted her to or not? Added to a one-shot, maybe? Currently it seems a bit too easily controllable?

Oh, one more thing. For the flipping trigger, does it check at the end of the turn, or at the second I deal more than 6 damage? For example, say Ra fire blasts for 6, then pyres for 3. Does Nightmare flip between the two, or is it only at the end of the turn?
 
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Nope, that Fire Blast would flip her, and then Ra and anyone coming after him will have some hard choices to make.

That said, I've been given a completely new idea for a flip side, so this might not be the way she works in the near future.

I have zero time to do anything right now. D:
 
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Well, after some time and lots of getting tired of playtesting Applejack, here's an update to the villain of this wave! I haven't changed the text in the first post, but the card images are all updated.

The major change now is that her Relics (they're still called Armor, that won't last to the final draft) are meant to contain the "essence" of the Nightmare, and when she flips to her Princess side, the Relics give their effects to the Knights or even to each other, and that's what you fight. A previous version encouraged beating on the Princess to scoop cards back into her deck, but I think the discard/destroy mechanic is much better. Now, instead of trying to avoid flipping her because of all the backlash damage, you want her to flip so you can stave off eternal night.

That said, now is the time for balancing. I want to get more Relics in the deck, and it's not a question right now so much of what they are as what they can do. With only five Relics, even four-hero games get very samey. She needs variety, and there's an instant place for two new ones if I drop some guards. (I mean, I could always just throw two extra horseshoes in there, but...)

I like what this is doing, but I'm not sure how viable it is overall. The big problem I find is when you're on the back side and down to little or nothing in the villain trash, it becomes a game of "everyone beat up a Relic and the last hero in line gets to discard/destroy to get rid of it". Gets kind of meh for them. Should I move it to the start of the villain turn, perhaps? I dunno.
 
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I think I like this implementation quite a lot more! Seems to have pretty clear messaging - Nightmare Moon is the bad side, does you damage and moves stuff into the trash. Luna is the good side, doesn't attack and lets you chuck stuff back into the deck. Having Relics be the flip condition is nice, as it's something you can quite easily interact with.

I'm guessing the victory condition of getting ALL the trash back into the deck is pretty unlikely to come up compared to the knocking down HP win (especially since it seems nothing stops you just hitting Luna?). It does seem a bit odd we can win by beating up Nightmare rather than saving Luna.

Mechanically, I see your issue with the Relics. Having it start with H when there are only 5 in the deck could indeed get quite samey. The obvious solution would to start with less relics, but I'm guessing the reason you're starting with lots of Relics is so that I can't flip her on turn 2 with three cards in the trash then win right away. If there are H relics, I must have killed them to flip her, so the trash will be fairly full.

A simple solution would be to start with only a few relics (maybe just 1 and H-1 or so knights?), but have it start with say H cards already in the trash to give her some buffer? The Relics could be buffed a fair bit HP wise too.

Nightwing Guard is clever by the way, I like how it punishes you for having Armor on your highest HP guy.
 
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I was thinking about buffing the Relic HP. More variety definitely is going to be necessary (I might bring back the throne that discards cards if NMM takes too much damage in 1 hit). Dumping cards in the trash at the start of the game is something I've considered, to be sure. It might be worth, say, putting the top (H)+1 in, put any Relics in the trash into play, and then if there are no Relics in play, reveal cards until you get one? More Relics would probably make that less likely to happen, anyway.

To win on the flip side requires careful management of the villain trash. That's what the discard/destruction is for. But like I said, your first few heroes get to beat on Relics, then your last one in turn order always has to discard/destroy to get rid of it.

One thing about this setup: It's entirely possible to go, okay, we've gotten most of the cards back in the trash, there's a big Relic out, let's beat the shit out of Princess Luna so that when she flips back, we can kill Nightmare Moon. I have decided this is just a bug that will have to be lived with; friendship options have been given to the heroes, but if they want to beat on their new friend, that is their prerogative. :B
 
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Even if you don't WIN by killing Luna per se, it does seem like you don't have anything else to do on the Luna side, assuming there aren't many targets to kill (and as by definition there aren't any relics, that seems likely).

If you want to encourage the deck thing as the "correct" way to win, I could think of two options. One is have the Nightmare Moon side say something like "If Nightmare moon is destroyed, you have destroyed Princess Luna while saving her, the game is a draw".

Alternately, you could give some other punching-bag effect to the Luna side. For example, maybe something like "Prevent all damage that would be dealt to Luna by hero targets. At the end of each hero turn, for every 4 damage that was prevented, move a card from the villain trash to the villain deck". This represents the heroes trying to get through to Luna while she is Lucid (hugging damage, I choose to call it), but it gives them something to do. If you went that way you probably wouldn't need that much weight on the discard/destroy cards to move cards back.
 
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The first attempt to move toward this version actually involved preventing damage to Luna to move cards back to the deck. I decided encouraging players to beat on the Princess doesn't fit the flavor.

On the front side, you're trying to kick the Nightmare out of Luna the hard way, by beating the crap out of it. Sap the Nightmare's strength and Luna is saved. They're more closely integrated on the front side, in other words, and the Nightmare comes back on the reverse in the form of the Relics, that's why they're the main flip mechanic and also why everything sources damage from the highest HP villain target. Sometimes that will be the Relics themselves, even, because it's the Nightmare acting through them.

Does that make sense?
 
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I get the mechanic, but it still seems like it gives an odd incentive gameplay wise.

I'd argue that it still encourages you to beat on Luna - sure, you can't KILL her on this side, but otherwise you want her on as low HP as is possible, so while we're burning through all the targets she plays we're still very much going to be hitting her with all the stray AoE we can manage, and if we ever kill all the targets then why not hit her? Once we get her down to 3 HP, then we just don't kill a Relic, she flips, we finish her off.

It is kind of a limit in the game - damage is the primary way everything interacts with everything, finding yourself in a situation where there is nothing that you can meaningfully hit is a real bummer (part of why Miss Information is so boring, and why Dreamer has to flood the table so hard). This is doubly true if she's likely to be spending multiple turns on the Luna side (although depending on what happens to the toughness of Relics, that may or may not happen).

I guess my point is that, if I were playing, I'd feel the flavour doesn't quite align with the mechanic, as the game is telling me to hit Luna just as much as I hit Nightmare - sure, I don't get the finishing blow, but I'm still breaking Dr Jekyll's legs so I can kill when he turns into Hyde.

As an aside, in your testing how practical is the return-everything-from-the-trash victory? It seems like you'd not going to be able to discard 2/destroy 1 that often, especially if she's dumping out around H/2 targets each turn you probably have to kill. Using it a bit to avert the YOU LOSE effect seems viable, but getting them all back seems like it'd be very difficult.
 
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I've only done one game with that mechanic so far and didn't get the friendship victory, so I'll letcha know later. <.< Cards have been updated with more (and slightly changed) Relics. HP changes to come later.
 
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TakeWalker wrote:
I've only done one game with that mechanic so far and didn't get the friendship victory, so I'll letcha know later. <.< Cards have been updated with more (and slightly changed) Relics. HP changes to come later.


Sounds good, I'll stay tuned.
 
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Changelog 3/29/18:
- Nightmare Moon, v. 2.0

After lots and lots of playtesting, pretty much everything has changed, I have hit a spot where I'm feeling like this deck is stable...

But I don't like it. :/

The friendship victory mechanic is actually very achievable, to the point that actually trying to beat Nightmare Moon down really isn't, unless you want to futz around with Hakas of Battle and Critical Multipliers and that junk, hoping that she decks herself.

One big problem is that flip side: it's wordy as fuck. It works, but it's ugly. (Advanced rules currently aren't reflected in the card images, as a side note, but who cares, it's advanced rules.)

Another problem is the Relics. For starters, there's the whole "ran out of stuff for them to do". Lunar Horseshoes retaliating for destroying other target is good, I like it (finally), but there's just so goddamn many of them. Literally half her Relics are shoes. And the rest? Complete bullshit. Arting this deck is going to be a nightmare (lol), because she only shows up in three episodes and I've had to make up a hell of a lot in the name of expanding the deck. So making more Relics is pretty much out of the question.

I like where Rarity and Rainbow Dash (the two special Knights) are. Rarity is usually going to stick around for a round, maximum, but she's usually good at making life just a little bit harder for the heroes. Only a turn-one appearance is going to make her pointless, and even then, she's still a priority threat. The other Knights work just fine.

The one-shots are decent, but actually rarely make an appearance, tending to get discarded more often than not, at least in my games.

But I look at this, and despite the whole logic puzzle to victory on the back side, I'm not sure this is what I want this deck to be. :/ So hopefully someone will play it and tell me what they think, because I'm stuck for the moment.
 
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Have given this a go and... urgh. It is really slow and the victory conditions feel contradictory to us. On the front side fine, we beat up this pony monster. Cool. On the Luna side fine, we bash up the relics so we stay on this side, also cool, we generally have something to hit.

The issue is the victory condition being cards in the trash vs cards in the deck. On one hand these make sense, Nightmare moon pushes it one way, Luna the other. The issue is that both DIRECTLY push against eachother. In a normal game they have HP, we have HP. We try to make theirs 0 before ours is zero. Our HP and their HP generally only go down (sure, there is HP regain stuff, but pretty much every round ends with everyone on lower HP). This gives the game INERTIA - everyone is going down, who goes down fastest?

Here with the cards going back and forth they are directly working against one another, so it is entirely conceivable to spend eight turns playing and neither of you is any closer to victory. If it were a normal HP based villain it'd be something like one with 50 HP, EVERY ONE of their cards just gains them HP, if they get to 0 we win, if they get to 100 they win. You could spend a lot of time in the middle, and it's never going to be that tense. If there are 3 cards in the trash then we're almost certainly going to win - if might take a turn or two, but we're fine. Likewise if there are 22 cards in the trash there's not much we can do. By comparion, the tension of "Blade is on 12 HP, but we're all on 5, can we last through this last villain turn?" plays quite differently.

So, long story short, I'd suggest that one of the victory conditions be flipped? I think milling the villain deck works well as a way to lose, and you could still have Luna giving some way to move stuff back into the deck from the trash - which would still matter as a way to slow down Doomsday, but you don't need to haul EVERY card back in to win. For the way to WIN, I think the obvious one would be to destroy relics? Maybe when one is destroyed you remove it from the game if X are removed (all? Or could scale based on H?), and you save Luna with the power of hugs that way.

Such is my analysis. I think the game goes poorly when the victory condition and loss condition are exact opposites - it's a tug of war rather than a race, and as such generally less fun.

As an aside, for your Relic problem, if you only have 5 or so good ideas for Relics and 9 slots to fill there are ways around that. Most obvious would be a card that goes to search for a Relic (possibly from trash?). It's a good way to get the percentage of the deck you desire to be relics without having to stretch creatively and make some shitty/repetitive ones to make up the numbers. While it's not the most inspired example, the Temple of Zhu Long does that - you can obviously only have one true form, but as you want it to show up often just add 3 cards to get it. A better example is Dynamo, who only HAS two villain targets, but by having so many other cards refer to them/fetch them, they show up a lot and are significant.
 
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Okay. After frantically blowing through not one, but two entire deck rewrites, I'm at a place where I'm okay showing this off but not confident enough to put it in the first post. Nightmare Moon, v2.0 (SEE ABOVE)
 
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