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Subject: Thinking about Alchemy/potions rss

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Dave McHale
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My gaming buddy and I were discussing some of the expansions recently and the conversation turned to Alchemy. We share the opinion that Alchemy is the "weakest" of the existing expansions simply due to the fact that it feels like Alchemy cards can't really just be "dropped in" for any game and you really need to stack your set of 10 with a good 4+ Alchemy cards to make playing with them worthwhile. At least in our circle, no one will ever spend the resources picking up potions to purchase the Alchemy cards if there isn't a variety of them out there which means they otherwise "waste" 1 or 2 slots on the table.

That got us to talking about how it would be nice if the potions had come with alternate uses... maybe "worth 1 treasure OR 1 potion when making a purchase", so that it could at least be used as a basic copper.

Another idea was perhaps the ability to "use" the potion, even if only once, to upgrade another card like a treasure. Leave the potion card exactly the same but added an ability where, for an Action, you could trash the potion and a treasure card to receive a treasure card worth +3 of the trashed treasure card. (aka: throw out the potion and a copper to get a silver, throw out the potion and a silver to get a gold). That would leave the potion as useful for buying Alchemy cards earlier in the game but still give it a use for later when you may not be purchasing action cards anymore, and at least if you DID only use the potion a few times to buy the 1 or 2 Alchemy cards that were on the table you aren't now stuck with the potion in your deck barring other trash cards which may not be in play.

Just curious what other people thought of the ideas or if anyone else had any "house rules" regarding Alchemy in general. I don't mind mixing in the set every few games but it does take away from the "just pick 10 at random" when trying to roll a new game. Sorry if something like this has been discussed before, I tend to just casually lurk here so if it's been talked about I haven't seen it
 
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Adam Smiles
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Well, the rules do suggest that you use 3-5 alchemy cards at a time, so it's not suprising that you don't like the experience with only 1 or 2 cards in play.

Once you follow that recomendation, I don't see any need to monkey with the potions.
 
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Drew Spencer
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dmchale wrote:
...you really need to stack your set of 10 with a good 4+ Alchemy cards to make playing with them worthwhile. At least in our circle, no one will ever spend the resources picking up potions to purchase the Alchemy cards if there isn't a variety of them out there which means they otherwise "waste" 1 or 2 slots on the table.


Does your circle play with the objective of winning? If so, they should be willing to pick up a Potion even when there is only one Alchemy card on the table if picking up multiple copies of that card will help them win. When there are 4+ Alchemy cards on the table, do they typically buy all of them? If they ever buy only 1 or 2 and still manage to win, then obviously they still would have won if the 1 or 2 they used were the only Alchemy cards available.

All that said, of course there's nothing stopping you from creating a fan card that grants +1 Potion in addition to some other benefit. I'm actually a little surprised that we haven't seen a number of such fan cards yet. However, the Potion as it is was meticulously play tested to ensure it would be balanced, so any such fan cards should cost at least 5 unless they come with some detriment.

Off the top of my head, something like this:
Tincture
Action
Cost 4
+1 Potion
+2 Coins
each other player draws a card.
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Jeremy Volk
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I do typically find that having at least 3 Alchemy cards makes for the best setup. Otherwise, people will never buy the Alchemy cards. However, I have played a game with 6 Alchemy cards before (and when I say that, I mean they all had potions in the cost), and that game was one of the most fun I have ever played, as well as one of the few in which I bought more than one potion.

Although I do like the idea of an action that gives + 1 Potion, I don't think we need to change potions or anything, as long as you make sure not to have just one or two Alchemy cards in any setup.
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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Random 10 still work fine for me with Alchemy. It makes buying or not buying potions another often difficult decision.
 
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Jeremy Volk
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My question is whether we will be seeing potions in Prosperity or any other later expansions or whether Alchemy will become the retarded cousin of the other Dominion expansions.
 
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Roberta Yang
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BaconSnake wrote:
My question is whether we will be seeing potions in Prosperity or any other later expansions

Apparently, Donald has said that there are no plans for Potions to be used in future expansions at this time. I don't have a link at hand, though.


BaconSnake wrote:
or whether Alchemy will become the retarded cousin of the other Dominion expansions.

No Potions in other expansions = Alchemy is a retarded cousin? Is that how logic works now?
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Rick Teverbaugh
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salty53 wrote:
BaconSnake wrote:
My question is whether we will be seeing potions in Prosperity or any other later expansions

Apparently, Donald has said that there are no plans for Potions to be used in future expansions at this time. I don't have a link at hand, though.


BaconSnake wrote:
or whether Alchemy will become the retarded cousin of the other Dominion expansions.

No Potions in other expansions = Alchemy is a retarded cousin? Is that how logic works now?


I agree there is nothing wrong with potions being exclusive to Alchemy and never to be used again. That follows in the same vein as the bits in Seaside not being used again. I have no problem in either case.
 
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Jeremy Volk
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rickert wrote:
I agree there is nothing wrong with potions being exclusive to Alchemy and never to be used again. That follows in the same vein as the bits in Seaside not being used again. I have no problem in either case.

I wouldn't mind seeing the mats and stuff being used for other cards in later expansions either.

I'm just saying, I want all the cards I buy to be playable forever. Alchemy...will not be. The potions get old, especially with the same few cards. Now, if new potion cards were made, well, then you could combine them with the Alchemy cards and have a lot of fun, but otherwise, Alchemy will just be given a coloring book and told to sit in the corner, pitied until it is forgotten.
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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BaconSnake wrote:
rickert wrote:
I agree there is nothing wrong with potions being exclusive to Alchemy and never to be used again. That follows in the same vein as the bits in Seaside not being used again. I have no problem in either case.

I wouldn't mind seeing the mats and stuff being used for other cards in later expansions either.

I'm just saying, I want all the cards I buy to be playable forever. Alchemy...will not be. The potions get old, especially with the same few cards. Now, if new potion cards were made, well, then you could combine them with the Alchemy cards and have a lot of fun, but otherwise, Alchemy will just be given a coloring book and told to sit in the corner, pitied until it is forgotten.


I also 101% disagree. If Alchemy is given a coloring book in your world and told to sit in a corner it is a function of your way of viewing the game and its components and not because of the way Alchemy was designed or functions.
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Jeremy Volk
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rickert wrote:
If Alchemy is given a coloring book in your world and told to sit in a corner it is a function of your way of viewing the game and its components and not because of the way Alchemy was designed or functions.

The existence of anything physical is relative to the realistic interpretation of the individual. So yes, my treatment of Alchemy is entirely a result of the way it functions, as is the same for you.
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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BaconSnake wrote:
rickert wrote:
If Alchemy is given a coloring book in your world and told to sit in a corner it is a function of your way of viewing the game and its components and not because of the way Alchemy was designed or functions.

The existence of anything physical is relative to the realistic interpretation of the individual. So yes, my treatment of Alchemy is entirely a result of the way it functions, as is the same for you.


No it really isn't. It is a function of how well you like how Alchemy functions. There's nothing about Alchemy that dictates it should be put in a corner and forgotten. There is no design flaw here and is obvious from the many people who find Alchemy a good set even if only one Alchemy card is drawn for the random 10. Only a few are bothered by the Alchemy-only potions just as there were people who thought Seaside was awful because of the bits that worked for only one card. At least potions work for all but a couple of cards in the set. The Seaside nay-sayers eventually went away or just went silent. I'm thinking the same will be true of the Alchemy foes.
 
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Jeremy Volk
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BaconSnake wrote:
rickert wrote:
If Alchemy is given a coloring book in your world and told to sit in a corner it is a function of your way of viewing the game and its components and not because of the way Alchemy was designed or functions.

The existence of anything physical is relative to the realistic interpretation of the individual. So yes, my treatment of Alchemy is entirely a result of the way it functions, as is the same for you.

I'm sorry, this ended up being the opposite of what I meant to say. I meant to say, my treatment of Alchemy is entirely the result of my way of viewing the game, in other words agreeing with you. I'm saying the way each of us treats anything is based on opinions and personal beliefs and interpretations.
 
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Shadow Tiger
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I think that for randomizer games, me and my friends will stick to 3+ alchemy (for potion cards).

For draft games, it doesn't need to be 3+ because certain supply setups make the alchemy strategies stronger. There are many cases where having just 1 particular card from alchemy will make it desirable amongst a set of non-alchemy cards that are missing a key mechanic.

 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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BaconSnake wrote:
BaconSnake wrote:
rickert wrote:
If Alchemy is given a coloring book in your world and told to sit in a corner it is a function of your way of viewing the game and its components and not because of the way Alchemy was designed or functions.

The existence of anything physical is relative to the realistic interpretation of the individual. So yes, my treatment of Alchemy is entirely a result of the way it functions, as is the same for you.

I'm sorry, this ended up being the opposite of what I meant to say. I meant to say, my treatment of Alchemy is entirely the result of my way of viewing the game, in other words agreeing with you. I'm saying the way each of us treats anything is based on opinions and personal beliefs and interpretations.


Yep. I agree with that. If we all looked at games, gameplay and components the same way, designers would have it made. I have really come to enjoy and find use for every single Dominion card I've played. That's quite a record for a game with so many cards already released. I can't wait for Prosperity and there are still a few Alchemy cards that have yet to come up very often.
 
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dale yu
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salty53 wrote:
BaconSnake wrote:
My question is whether we will be seeing potions in Prosperity or any other later expansions

Apparently, Donald has said that there are no plans for Potions to be used in future expansions at this time. I don't have a link at hand, though.




I can confirm this from the standpoint of a developer. At the current moment, there are no plans an expansion that will include a card with Potions in the cost. The same holds true for other "special" features from previous and future expansions. Therefore, there are no plans to ever have a Duration card in future expansions. Those Duration cards will be limited to Seaside.

Dale
 
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Drew Spencer
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yudp wrote:
...there are no plans to ever have a Duration card in future expansions. Those Duration cards will be limited to Seaside.

Dale


No more duration cards? That's too bad; I thought the fact that the rulebook says to discard them on the last turn they have any effect, rather than next turn, was a hint that more would be forthcoming.
 
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dale yu
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banyan wrote:
yudp wrote:
...there are no plans to ever have a Duration card in future expansions. Those Duration cards will be limited to Seaside.

Dale


No more duration cards? That's too bad; I thought the fact that the rulebook says to discard them on the last turn they have any effect, rather than next turn, was a hint that more would be forthcoming.


Well, who knows - Donald may change his mind on that in the future - but as of the last I talked with him about it - I wouldn't expect to see any more Duration cards

 
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Dean Adam
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asmiles wrote:
Well, the rules do suggest that you use 3-5 alchemy cards at a time, so it's not suprising that you don't like the experience with only 1 or 2 cards in play.

Once you follow that recomendation, I don't see any need to monkey with the potions.


We've been wondering whether that works better as 3-5 cards with potions in the cost vs 3-5 alchemy cards.... I find the the non potion alchemy cards get played most games regardless of the mix of other cards, but 1 potion card (even with 2-3 non potion alchemy cards) can sit there on its own... depending what it is....

Any thoughts?
 
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Lee Wardle
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Someone is usually tempted to buy one in a game if it is there. Depends on the other cards in the set.

I had the same idea and have some general thoughts, which are probably broken, about how to use potions when there are no potion cost cards in play and posted them in other threads. Here is a summery so you don't have to search them out. Please feel free to say how they are broken if you can see a way to fix them.

Quote:
Catalyst = cost 3
Action
+1 Card
+1 Action
+0 coins

You may discard a Potion from your hand. If you do, increase the + coin value of this card and any other card you play this turn by 1.


Quote:
Wizard's Guild = cost 4
Action / Victory
+2 Cards
Worth 1 VP per Potion in your deck.


Quote:
Entrepreneur = cost 2
Action / Duration
This turn: +1 Card, +1 Action
You may discard a potion. .
If you do: Recover a Treasure card you discard this turn and set it aside face down; Also, Next turn: Reveal the set aside Treasure card and add it to your hand; + coins equal to the value of the Treasure card and +1 Buy.

 
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