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Subject: Temporal Warden, Guardian of Time rss

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Christian Walker
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Eric: I agree to the terms for creating Spirit Island game elements set forth in the FAQ. https://querki.net/u/darker/spirit-island-faq/#!Creating-you...

A spirit of stasis, and of change. Of life, death, and rebirth. Of time, and the island itself. The more things change... But this time it really is different, and failure could mean more than just the end of the island...

Concept: Extremely versatile, with a huge number of options each turn, but little way to directly advance the board state without help.
Damage conversion and maneuvering is the name of the game. Capable of limited, and slow offense.

Setup
Place one presence anywhere on the island.

Complexity: High

Special Rules
Empathic Link:

If at least one other spirit's Presence would be destroyed by an Event or Blight, pay 1 Energy or destroy a Presence. (If multiple presences or multiple player's presences are destroyed due to a single effect, destroy only one Presence or pay only one energy).

Your Presence can move with any Spirit's presence,
Any placed Presence from other spirits may immediately Gather any of your presence.

Growth
Always: Discard One, Reclaim One
Pick Two:
1. Gain 1 Power Card
2. +2 Energy, 1 Any
3. Place 1 presence on another Spirit's presence within Range 3
4: Reclaim All


Presence
Power: 1 – 2 – Any – 3 – 4 – Any – 6
Plays: 1 – 2 – 2 – 3 – Reclaim One - 5


Innate Power
Dust to Dust
Slow; 2 from SS

1 Any 1 Wind 1 Earth Deal If any Invaders were added to this land this turn, 1 Damage.
2 Any 2 Earth 1 Fire +1 Damage
3 Any 3 Fire: Target 2 lands, and +1 additional damage for every 5 of any element.

Strange Aeons
Fast: 4 from SS

2 Any: If 1 damage is dealt to an Invader with a different Power, you may instead push that invader by 1.
3 Any: If an invader would be Pushed with a different Power, you may instead damage that invader by 1
5 Any: For every 3 Any, Invaders that have been Pushed by this Power are damaged by 1, and Invaders damaged by this power may be Pushed by 1.

Power Cards
{0} Cycle of Eternity
Range 3 from SS
1 Any 1 Fire 1 Wind
Fast or Slow; Any Invader
1 Fear

Exchange a City in target land with a Town anywhere on the island.
or
Exchange a Town in target land with an Explorer anywhere on the island.
or
Destroy 1 Explorer in target land and place an Explorer anywhere on the island.

{1} Temporal Distortion
Earth; Air; Moon
Fast; 2 from Presence;
1 Fear

Replace a single Invader action in target land:

If invaders would Ravage that turn, they instead Build.
Otherwise, if they would Build, they instead Explore.
Otherwise, if they would Explore, they instead Ravage.

or

This turn, before one normal invader action of your choice (but after drawing the card for it, if necessary), you may swap one of the invader cards from that action space with the top card of the invader deck.

{0} Spatial Rend
Moon; Earth; Fire;
Slow; 2 from SS; Any
1 Fear

Place one Invader and one of your Presence from targeted land on your mat.
Pay 2 energy per Invader already on your mat, or destroy your Presence and the Invader.
At the start of your Growth phase, you may pay 1 energy to deal 1 damage to each Invader on your mat which does not recover.
Return your presence to anywhere on the island when the invader is destroyed.

{1} Vital Alchemy
Slow;
No elements
1 from Presence

(Replace 1 Disease or Strife token with 2 Wild or Beast tokens)
or
(Replace 1 Wild or Beast token with 2 Disease or Strife tokens)
or
Discard 1 card and gain 2 Energy
or
Reclaim One and pay 2 Energy

1 Any: Gain two of any element

Any suggestions on wording, balance, or ideas are appreciated
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Max Maloney
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I think the concept of using all “Any” elements is not wise. Aside from the fact that it probably breaks major powers, allowing you to use any combination at full capacity without making trade offs, it also subverts a core concept of the game. But it doesn’t do it in a good way, like turning it around or twisting it to a new purpose. Instead it simply ignores the elements. Those elements are one of the most important concepts in the game. Making a Spirit turn off a piece of the game is a bit too dull in my opinion, as it eliminates difficult choices.
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Christian Walker
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Dormammu wrote:
I think the concept of using all “Any” elements is not wise. Aside from the fact that it probably breaks major powers, allowing you to use any combination at full capacity without making trade offs, it also subverts a core concept of the game. But it doesn’t do it in a good way, like turning it around or twisting it to a new purpose. Instead it simply ignores the elements. Those elements are one of the most important concepts in the game. Making a Spirit turn off a piece of the game is a bit too dull in my opinion, as it eliminates difficult choices.


Changed the Any-element requirements
 
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David Headman
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It is a really neat concept for a spirit!

With no reclaim-all growth option, though, it seems like it would be difficult to get above two card plays ever, even when you unlock the 2nd reclaim-1 on the presence track.
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Christian Walker
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nimonus wrote:
It is a really neat concept for a spirit!

With no reclaim-all growth option, though, it seems like it would be difficult to get above two card plays ever, even when you unlock the 2nd reclaim-1 on the presence track.


That was actually a complete oversight. cry I had it in my local version but not here.
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Jonathan Zev
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I like the idea of "any" element innates.

I worry that Empathetic Link scales really poorly with the number of players. There are a number of event cards and blight cards that destroy one presence per player.
 
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Take Walker
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One thing I notice is that the "Always discard one, reclaim one" really has no effect. I can just reclaim the card I discarded, and I'll have to on turn one, so I basically can always have the same hand unless I really want something back from my discard. Swapping the order might actually have an effect (losing a card turn one won't really matter, since you can't play four right off the bat.)
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Kjara
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TakeWalker wrote:
One thing I notice is that the "Always discard one, reclaim one" really has no effect. I can just reclaim the card I discarded, and I'll have to on turn one, so I basically can always have the same hand unless I really want something back from my discard. Swapping the order might actually have an effect (losing a card turn one won't really matter, since you can't play four right off the bat.)


That's the worst case, the best case is you discard something you don't care about to grab that great major again every round.

Temporal distortion at slow is odd though, does it take effect next round?
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Christian Walker
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Kjara wrote:
TakeWalker wrote:
One thing I notice is that the "Always discard one, reclaim one" really has no effect. I can just reclaim the card I discarded, and I'll have to on turn one, so I basically can always have the same hand unless I really want something back from my discard. Swapping the order might actually have an effect (losing a card turn one won't really matter, since you can't play four right off the bat.)


That's the worst case, the best case is you discard something you don't care about to grab that great major again every round.

Temporal distortion at slow is odd though, does it take effect next round?


That was the idea for the discard then draw.
TD will be updated to Fast, as Slow makes no sense as you said. I thought about it working next turn, but that makes it less useful than intended.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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DarkDespair5 wrote:
Any suggestions on wording, balance, or ideas are appreciated

Just remember: you asked for it.


DarkDespair5 wrote:
Empathic Link:
If at least one spirit's Presence would be destroyed, pay 1 Energy or destroy a Presence. (If multiple presences or multiple player's presences are destroyed due to a single effect, destroy only one Presence or pay only one energy).

After any effect (other than this rule) causes one or more presence of any spirit(s) to be destroyed, you must either spend 1 energy or destroy one of your presence.

As written, notice this triggers even when your own presence is destroyed, effectively amplifying any of your losses. This is especially important considering that you have a power where you can intentionally destroy your own presence (Spatial Rend). It will also be a big disadvantage when playing with (e.g.) A Spread of Rampant Green.


Elemental Thresholds with "Any"

There are no rules for what "any" means when it appears as part of a threshold, and there are at least three or four plausible interpretations.

If a threshold says "2 any," it could mean...
(A) Any 2 elements (e.g. fire + water)
(B) Two of any single element (e.g. fire + fire)
(C) Two wild elements--ones that give you "any"

Depending on which of those you pick, you may also need to clarify: If "any" appears twice in the same power, does it have to be the same element in both cases, or can it be different? If a threshold requires something like "2 any 1 wind", can you use wind for the "any" part?

Also, remember that players are normally allowed to resolve a power as if they had less elements than they actually have. If a power does one thing based on "any" and another based on (say) fire, can I choose water as my "any" in order to intentionally have less "any" than I have fire?

This concept needs like 2-4 paragraphs of new rules and some examples. And really, if you mean anything other than version (C), you should probably choose an entirely new word/symbol for it, instead of calling it "any".


DarkDespair5 wrote:
Dust to Dust
Deal 1 damage in land with invader spawned this turn.

This sort of wording is usually used when a power affects a land that was not targeted (e.g. Mantle of Dread). If you're already targeting a land, you probably mean something like "if any invaders were added to this land this turn, 1 damage".

The next level is "+1 damage"; is that also contingent upon targeting a land were invaders were added? If so, I'd just copy/paste the entire first level to make that clear. If not, I'd remove the plus sign. (In fact, depending on what the "any" threshold means, you might not even have triggered the first level before doing the second, in which case it needs to be written as an independent effect regardless.)

DarkDespair5 wrote:
Target 2 lands

The normal way to say this would be to talk about splitting the damage across multiple lands; see the innates on Keeper or Wildfire.

DarkDespair5 wrote:
Strange Aeons
...If an invader would be Pushed, you may instead damage that invader by 1

If I use a power that says "push 2 towns" on a land with only 1 town, does that convert to 2 damage or only 1? Can I choose to damage the town once and also push it once?
DarkDespair5 wrote:
...also damage 1 for every Push, or Push for every damage on the repeated power.

I don't think this is very clear. Does that mean if an invader is pushed, I get the push and 1 damage? If so, does the damage have to apply to the piece that was pushed?

Does "on the repeated power" mean "in the repeated power's target space" or does it mean it only applies to damage/push caused by the repeated power? (If the former, notice this applies to pushing non-Invader pieces like Dahan.)

As currently worded, the first two levels of Strange Aeons allow for an infinite loop of push -> convert the push to 1 damage -> convert the damage to a push -> convert the push to 1 damage -> etc., which isn't necessarily a problem by itself, but if you're also getting a bonus 1 damage on every push it lets you deal infinite damage.

DarkDespair5 wrote:
{0} Cycle of Eternity
Target 2 different lands from SS, Range 3
...
1 City to a Town, and 1 Town to a City in second land

By "1 city to a town", I assume you mean "replace 1 city with a town".

Normally, if you play a power that says "replace an X with a Y" and you target it on a land with no X, it does nothing. So as written, you can usually ignore the unfavorable part of this card's effect; e.g. downgrade a city to a town without upgrading some other town to a city (you just need one land within range 3 that has zero of the invader-type in question).

I might go with something like "Replace 1 city in target land with a town, then replace 1 town in any land with a city."

Or "Swap the position of 1 city in target land with 1 town in any land."

DarkDespair5 wrote:
{1} Temporal Distortion
...
If invaders would Ravage, they instead Build.
If they would Build, they instead Explore.
If they would Explore, they instead Ravage.

You clearly mean to apply only one of those conversions to each action, but I don't think that's the result you get with a strict reading of this text. (The invaders are about to Ravage, so I convert that to a Build; as a result of that conversion, they are now about to Build, so I convert that to an Explore...)

DarkDespair5 wrote:
Before the Ravage or Build steps, or after the Explore card is drawn, you may draw another card from the Invader deck and replace it with that card.

This is confusingly-worded, and has unclear interactions with several special cases, such as when there are multiple invader cards in a single action box. Maybe something more like:

This turn, before one normal invader action of your choice (but after drawing the card for it, if necessary), you may swap one of the invader cards from that action space with the top card of the invader deck.

Still unclear whether you choose the relevant action at the time you play the card or if you can wait until after event/fear cards for the turn are revealed.

Also, this has the weird side-effect that cards that check the current invader stage may give inappropriate answers, because you check the invader stage by looking at the top card of the invader deck (and this power could put a stage 1 card on top of the deck after the invaders start stage 2 or 3).

DarkDespair5 wrote:
{0} Spatial Rend
...
Place Invader on Presence on your mat.
Pay 2 energy per Invader already removed from time, or destroy your Presence and the Invader.
At the start of your Growth phase, if you pay 1 energy that invader takes 1 damage which does not recover.
Return your presence to anywhere on the island when the invader is destroyed.

The first line makes it sound like you are placing the invader on an unused disc on your presence tracks, but the final line makes it sound like it was supposed to come from the island.

The second line references "Invader(s) already removed from time," but "removed from time" has never been defined anywhere. I think you mean "Invader(s) already on your mat."

Unclear:
- Does the invader have to come from the targeted land?
- Does the presence have to come from the targeted land?
- Does it have to be one of your presence, or can you use another spirit's presence?

DarkDespair5 wrote:
{1} Vital Alchemy
...
(Place 2 Wild or Beast tokens
and
Remove 1 Disease or Strife token)

As with Cycle of Eternity, you will often skip the part about removing tokens by choosing a land where none of those token types are present.

DarkDespair5 wrote:
1 Any: Create any two of any element

"Create" should presumably be "gain" (as in, e.g. Elemental Boon).

I would understand "Gain two of any element" or "Gain any two elements", but I don't know what it means to "Gain any two of any element".
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Jonathan Zev
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Quote:
The normal way to say this would be to talk about splitting the damage across multiple lands; see the innates on Keeper or Wildfire.
There is precedent for target 2 lands, but it's a very unusual ability and should be reserved for very special cards.

Cycle of Eternity could easily be reworded to target a single land with "exchange a city in target land with a town anywhere on the island" (etc, etc). You lose the range restriction on the second land, but a 3 land targeting restriction is barely a restriction anyways.

Temporal Distortion is harder to reword, but I'd need a compelling argument as to why it's two target in the first place. It doesn't need to be, and making it two-target is problematic because it's unclear where the Fear is being generated, which matters for BoDaN's Dread Apparitions.

The effect of Temporal Distortion, by the way, is really cool and I think could lead to fun gameplay. I don't think that it will be too weak targeting only a single land, but that can easily be compensated for by adjusting it's energy cost or Fear generation.
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Christian Walker
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Jeremy, you pretty much nailed exactly what I meant versus what I said .

I've changed most of the phrasing, though I'm still not sure what to rename "Any" to: It's supposed to be a mix of any elements, so Fire + Water, Water + Earth, Air + Air would all satisfy the threshold. They must be _additional_ elements, so you can't satisfy "3 Any 1 Fire" with 3 Fire.

I also modified the innate powers to be less terrible with Presence-destroying spirits.

I was going for a swiss army knife type of spirit that would be able to run quite different plays depending on the board state and characters. (Turning utility into raw power, raw power into utility or resources into each other), while also being particularly careful due to the Presence-destroying effects. I considered adding the ability to exchange tokens on the board for energy, but then Vital Alchemy would just get more ridiculous.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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DarkDespair5 wrote:
I've changed most of the phrasing, though I'm still not sure what to rename "Any" to: It's supposed to be a mix of any elements, so Fire + Water, Water + Earth, Air + Air would all satisfy the threshold. They must be _additional_ elements, so you can't satisfy "3 Any 1 Fire" with 3 Fire.

But you could satisfy it with four fire?

How about this:

Define "total" to mean the sum of all your elements. For instance, if you have 3 fire, 3 air, and 1 plant, then you have 7 total.

Instead of writing "3 any 1 fire", write "1 fire 4 total". The 1 fire counts towards your total, but you just increase the required amount to compensate, so it has the same net effect.

Similarly, "2 Any 2 Earth 1 Fire" turns into "2 earth 1 fire 5 total".


I feel I should also point out that there is literally NO combination of minor powers in the entire game that would give you 2 earth and 1 fire without giving you 5 total. Your "total" thresholds are going to need to be really high in order to matter.
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Take Walker
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If I see "1 fire 3 any", my immediate interpretation is "I need 1 fire element and 3 of any one element to activate this power". So 1 fire and 3 air, 1 fire and 3 animal, or even 4 fire as mentioned.
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