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Subject: Alliance, Jester, Royal Chambers rss

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Mike Young
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I am working on my second fan expansion for Dominion. These cards have all been playtested by myself and others. I am releasing them to you now for final commentary.

I have noticed that if I try to make it one long thread with all the cards then the ones at the end don't get commented on. If I put them one at a time, people complain that there are too many threads. So I am trying three at a time for now.



Jester: You had to know that a Victory/Duration card was coming right? Some might consider Island a kind of Victory/Duration card, but Jester helps with Grand Ballroom too (+1 coin for every Duration card in play). So when you play Jester you get a nice bonus and then it just hangs around not taking up space in your deck for the rest of the game. It's quite powerful, and I'm wondering if it is slightly too powerful. I am on the fence about moving it down to 1 VP instead. Island is 2VP though and you only get the +bonuses of Jester once (unless someone Dismisses it). Thoughts?

Royal Chambers: This can get ...complex... Think of it as a Throne Room where the target card is played now and at the start of your next turn. The one important difference between Throne Room and Royal Chambers is what happens to the target card. With Throne Room, a Feast is trashed or you can put a Treasury back on top of your deck at the end of the turn. Royal Chambers trumps that. You keep the target card with Royal Chambers even if the card says you can do something else with it. Then when you play it on your next turn, you are free to Trash it, put it back on top of your deck, or whatever, as appropriate.

Why don't you trash your Feast? The reminder doctrine. By keeping the Fest with the Royal Chambers, all the players are reminded exactly which card will be played at the start of your next turn.

Alliance: Sigh. Did I say that Royal Chambers could get complex? The buy-like phase the players get with Alliance is similar to the one players get with Black Market. While this card has been playtested, I haven't played it yet with Prosperity, so I don't know how the special Treasure in Prosperity reacts with this card. My guess is that it will react the same way it reacts with Black Market. I'll let people expand on that in the comments. I would request that people post the text of the Prosperity card or a link to its image if they have comments on it. I am not 100% familiar with Prosperity yet.

Here's an interesting note with Alliance though. You only get to use the revealed Treasure to buy the cards in the special Alliance buy phase. That means that if you've played an Action card to give you +1db you do not get that bonus in the Alliance buy phase. Did I mention this one is especially complex?

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Trent Hamm
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Alliance is my favorite card you've done. It's strong, but not overly so.
 
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Aaron Brooks
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So for Alliance you keep the treasure card(s) in your hand whether you buy something or not? In other words, you could buy a Province, put your treasure back, then buy another Province on your turn?
 
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Chris Hawks
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Chachito wrote:
So for Alliance you keep the treasure card(s) in your hand whether you buy something or not? In other words, you could buy a Province, put your treasure back, then buy another Province on your turn?

Yes, Treasure stays in-hand. Essentially (if I'm reading this right) what happens is: (1) everyone pools their Treasure together (2) everyone gets the chance to buy a card, and then (3) everyone gets their Treasure back.
 
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Jessey
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Looking at Jester I can't imagine why I wouldn't buy them all. Even without Ballroom around, just Jester plopped into any random array of cards. There's a short Jester race while everyone grabs them and uses them as one-time-use Markets and then hangs onto the VP.

In fact, it's worth getting a couple Jesters and not playing them until you must to get the most bang for your +Buy.

Jesters and Quarry + Talisman also is kind of nuts. But that's going to be a concern for any Action-Victory card so nothing too special here.


I have to admit I am not a big fan of Duration cards - I find they add too much strangeness to the game (at least with my group, who all love to run psudo-chapel decks if there is a trash mechanic on the table) - but I do like Royal Chamber, more then I like Throne Room and much more then Kings Court (which I find utterly uninspired). I think it's a bit too powerful at 4 and would probably make it 5 myself, only because at 4 you can get it on 4/3 open and I can think of plenty of 3 costing action cards I'd love to have now and next turn in the early game. In fact, given Throne Room and Royal Chamber in the same spread I'd buy Royal Chamber first (of course, there's always playing Throne Room ON the Royal Chamber but that's a whole new kettle of chaos!). The ability to take an action card now *and* next turn for sure is quite powerful, especially since next turn you get the action without the space in your hand consumed nor your Action for the turn!
 
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Mike Young
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Candi wrote:
Looking at Jester I can't imagine why I wouldn't buy them all. Even without Ballroom around, just Jester plopped into any random array of cards. There's a short Jester race while everyone grabs them and uses them as one-time-use Markets and then hangs onto the VP.


This happened sometimes in our playtests, well, until we could buy Provinces, which is why I think Jester may be too powerful. But I'm not convinced it wasn't something we overvalued. Then again, I've seen it happen with Island a lot too.

Candi wrote:

I have to admit I am not a big fan of Duration cards - I find they add too much strangeness to the game (at least with my group, who all love to run psudo-chapel decks if there is a trash mechanic on the table) - but I do like Royal Chamber, more then I like Throne Room and much more then Kings Court (which I find utterly uninspired). I think it's a bit too powerful at 4 and would probably make it 5 myself, only because at 4 you can get it on 4/3 open and I can think of plenty of 3 costing action cards I'd love to have now and next turn in the early game. In fact, given Throne Room and Royal Chamber in the same spread I'd buy Royal Chamber first (of course, there's always playing Throne Room ON the Royal Chamber but that's a whole new kettle of chaos!). The ability to take an action card now *and* next turn for sure is quite powerful, especially since next turn you get the action without the space in your hand consumed nor your Action for the turn!


Yes, I want to play a game with Throne Room, Royal Chambers, King's Court, Golem, and Tactitian just to try to explode from the complexity. (Our playtests happened before Prosperity, so we did try it without KC and we didn't explode).

But in my opinion, Royal Chambers is exactly as powerful as Throne Room, so I priced it the same.
 
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Willie Illie
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Candi wrote:
Jesters and Quarry + Talisman also is kind of nuts. But that's going to be a concern for any Action-Victory card so nothing too special here.

Talisman's extra gain doesn't fire for victory cards, though.
 
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Drew Spencer
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I like them!

Jester is most similar to Island, Royal Chambers to Throne Room, and Alliance to Possession. They seem balanced and fun to me at first glance.

My only comment is that as an Action-Duration-Victory card, Jester should have three stripes.
 
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Mike Young
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banyan wrote:

My only comment is that as an Action-Duration-Victory card, Jester should have three stripes.


Action-Duration is always solid Orange without stripes, just like Action-Reaction is always solid Blue.
 
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Jessey
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illest503 wrote:
Candi wrote:
Jesters and Quarry + Talisman also is kind of nuts. But that's going to be a concern for any Action-Victory card so nothing too special here.

Talisman's extra gain doesn't fire for victory cards, though.


Indeed! I mis-recalled Talisman!

In any case, I think Jester is better than an Island strictly because of it's +Card +Action effects. To use an Island you need to slow your deck down in that you cannot use another action that turn unless you had some action acceleration. Jester doesn't slow you down, it actually accelerates you a little bit!

I figure Jester > Island
 
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David Goldfarb
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I notice that since Jesters count as "in play" even though they don't have any effects, they'll permanently reduce the buying cost of Peddlers. I'm not sure that's a good idea.
 
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David Goldfarb wrote:
I notice that since Jesters count as "in play" even though they don't have any effects, they'll permanently reduce the buying cost of Peddlers. I'm not sure that's a good idea.

Buggy wrote:
I would request that people post the text of the Prosperity card or a link to its image if they have comments on it. I am not 100% familiar with Prosperity yet.


Peddler
Cost 8*
+1 Card
+1 Action
+1 Coin
--
During your Buy phase, this costs 2 less per Action card you have in play, but not less than 0.
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Mike Young
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David Goldfarb wrote:
I notice that since Jesters count as "in play" even though they don't have any effects, they'll permanently reduce the buying cost of Peddlers. I'm not sure that's a good idea.


Yes, there are a number of cards in this set that stay in play and will interact with Peddlers in that way. I don't know which way to go with that. I could go back to the drawing board, playtest this set hard with Prosperity and come back in a few months, but I'm not sure that is worth the effort for a set that even if I playtested it to hell and back only I and maybe 1 or 2 other people would play with. Who really plays regularly with print and play cards?

Also thanks to michaeljb for posting the text for Peddler.
 
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Bob Johnson
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So if you Royal Chambers, say, a Merchant Ship, you get +2 on this turn, +4 on your next turn, then +2 on the turn after that?
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Louisa Thinks
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I love the idea of the Jester, but I think it is underpriced. Although it is a single use item like a feast and island, which both cost 4, it is also a market, which cost 5. For pricing lets compare it to Nobles or Harem, which also offer 2VP, but cost 6. Analyzing these two hybrid they are composed of 2VP + the power of a 3 or 4 Cost Action Card (Smithy and Silver respectively). They also gain value from their dual types (found by Scout, points for vineyard, etc). By this model something that is the combo of 2VP+ a 5 cost action (Market), should cost at least 6 maybe 7- even if it is single use. You might also consider renaming it to keep it more in theme with Card Names. VP cards tend to be named for quantities of land, titles of nobility or other status markers. Potential fitting names that would embody the Market-ness and VP-ness might be "Grainery" "Store Front" or if there is name of the person who own the land used for for the Market it would be particularly applicable here.


Royal Chambers is pretty awesome as well. The mechanics of the card are different, but fits in nicely with established game play. You could also consider pricing it at 5 or 6. In a way it is a Throne Room that you get half now and half later. This could easily be seen as more valuable, but perhaps this was already addressed in your play testing. Did you play test it at both costs?
 
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Michael Brandt
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Buggy wrote:
Also thanks to michaeljb for posting the text for Peddler.

You're welcome. thumbsup

I guess since I posted I should go ahead and offer my comments on your cards.

Jester - I really like the idea of this card, it's very interesting. Just from reading it, 5 feels like the right cost to me--when I buy a Market, I'm planning to be able to play it a bunch of times, not just once.

Royal Chambers - I remember Donald X. talking about a card basically identical to this, and I just found where. From the Seaside Secret History:
donaldx wrote:
- There was a now-and-later Throne Room variant. Play an Action, play it again next turn. It was both confusing and weak. What if you use it on a duration card? How long does it stay on the table? It could have said "non-duration," but that's pretty sad in a set with 8 duration cards. And did I mention it was weak? It left before development started.

When I read this, I was surprised to learn that it was weak. It seemed like a neat idea, and potentially very powerful. Did you and your group ever feel it was weak?

Alliance - This reminds me of a sort of sub-theme from Prosperity--positive interaction (similar Council Room's side effect, there are more cards that benefit other players in Prosperity). You'd have to be careful playing this one though--wouldn't want to let someone else grab the last Province/Colony to beat you on your own turn
 
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Jesse Gainsburg
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Just wondering about Jester... I know you are trying to have a theme for durations, but it seems like it would be much less confusing to make it a one-shot that read

+$1
+1 action
+1 buy
+1 card
+2 VP
---
trash this card

I guess it would be an ugly duckling in the set, but it does seem like it would be easier. What happens with a TR'ed Jester? Does the throne room stay in play forever?
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ToughJuicePech0 wrote:
Just wondering about Jester... I know you are trying to have a theme for durations, but it seems like it would be much less confusing to make it a one-shot that read

+$1
+1 action
+1 buy
+1 card
+2 VP
---
trash this card

I guess it would be an ugly duckling in the set, but it does seem like it would be easier. What happens with a TR'ed Jester? Does the throne room stay in play forever?

The card predates Prosperity and Prosperity's introduction of VP tokens. Now that VP tokens exist, I agree that using them would be a simpler implementation -- although, the card as it is interacts with at least one other card in this fan set that cares about how many different kinds of Duration card you have in play.
 
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ToughJuicePech0 wrote:
Just wondering about Jester... I know you are trying to have a theme for durations, but it seems like it would be much less confusing to make it a one-shot that read

+$1
+1 action
+1 buy
+1 card
+2 VP
---
trash this card

I guess it would be an ugly duckling in the set, but it does seem like it would be easier. What happens with a TR'ed Jester? Does the throne room stay in play forever?


This might be my favorite implementation of Jester. And yes, if you TR, KC, or RC a duration card that stays in play, so does the TR KC and RC.

[Edit]: This morning I remembered why I want Jester to stay a duration card. I'll post about it in the next set of cards.
 
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michaeljb wrote:

When I read this, I was surprised to learn that it was weak. It seemed like a neat idea, and potentially very powerful. Did you and your group ever feel it was weak?


We found it to be about as powerful as Throne Room, actually.

ElysiumSA wrote:
So if you Royal Chambers, say, a Merchant Ship, you get +2 on this turn, +4 on your next turn, then +2 on the turn after that?


Yes, exactly.
 
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Have you playtested playing a Royal Chamber on a Royal Chamber? I'd imagine that could get confusing rather quickly, especially when the cards you choose for the 2nd RC are also Duration cards. =b

I would question how does the Bank work with Alliance, but I seem to have a bigger question. It says each player takes turns choosing Treasure cards to buy 1 card, returning unused treasure to the owner's hand. If I go first, couldn't I choose to use all the Treasure cards for my purchase? Then all the treasure would return and no one else could use them to buy anything.

=========
Bank (cost 7)
Treasure

When you play this, it's worth 1 Coin per Treasure card you have in play (counting this).
=========

With Prosperity rules, you basically have to play Treasure cards one at a time. So if bank is your first Treasure card played, then it is only worth 1 Coin. If it's the 5th Treasure played, it's worth 5 Coins. What order would Bank be played in?

What about using Philosopher's Stone with Alliance? Would you count the cards from the player who reveals it, or the cards of the player that chooses to use it?
 
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gwommy wrote:
Have you playtested playing a Royal Chamber on a Royal Chamber? I'd imagine that could get confusing rather quickly, especially when the cards you choose for the 2nd RC are also Duration cards. =b


I don't see how it would be that confusing. If you Royal Chamber a Royal Chamber, all you are doing is using one Royal Chamber now, and then using it again next turn for no action.

If your hand was RC, RC, Merchant Ship, Estate, Estate, you could RC a RC, then use the RC on Merchant Ship. You would get +$2 now.

Next turn, you would get +$4 (End of Merchant Ship 1, start of RC Merchant Ship 2), and *if* you had an action card in your hand, you could now also RC that.

I do have a question I just thought of of Royal Chambers though; You play a RC, that is your one action, it says choose a card from your hand and play it, this does not cost an action, and you play a card that gives you +1 action, so now you still have one. Next turn, you play that card again but this does not cost an action, so now you have 2 actions because you had the one you started with (but didn't use) and the +1 action from the card? I don't see how Donald X could think this card is weak... it seems pretty powerful to me.
 
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Whitney Barnes

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gwommy wrote:


I would question how does the Bank work with Alliance, but I seem to have a bigger question. It says each player takes turns choosing Treasure cards to buy 1 card, returning unused treasure to the owner's hand. If I go first, couldn't I choose to use all the Treasure cards for my purchase? Then all the treasure would return and no one else could use them to buy anything.


I thought of this too. Actually, according to the text of his card, Bank would be worth nothing if revealed. Both Bank and Philosopher's Stone are worth 0 until played, and the card says "reveal" and "use", but not "play", even though it's implied that cards are on the table. "Use" is poor choice of words, because it doesn't mean anything in Dominion. I presume what's meant is that the printed value is used only; that if a person reveals a Loan, it's worth 1. They don't actually play it and carry out its text.

I think the point is that the player who played the card will spend almost all the coin, and leave very little for the rest of the players. But they can all snag Coppers, if they want.

 
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Ido Abelman
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About Royal Chambers - it seems to me mostly equivalt to throne room in power. They both allow you to get the card effects twice in the end. The best thing to do is to compare RCing specific card to TRing the same card.
In the case of cards that give you +coins or +cards we can compare it to wharf and merchant ship - wharf for example is worse than something that gives you +4 cards +2 buys. That "something" would be a stronger council room. It's usually better to have all the coins/cards now than split.
With most "gaining" cards (like workshop or feast) you'd usually want to gain all the cards now instead of waiting to the next turn.
There are however many times when RCing would be better than TRing. Militia-like attacks for example. Or bearucrat - RCing him would make sure that if it hits in the first time it'll also hit next turn. RCing an optional trasher like chapel is really great - it would let you trash much more cards than what you would trash when TRing the same card. RCing a mandatory trasher can be a dangerous gamble however.
And another thing to consider - many people talk about the "shuffle skipping" problem that durations may have. RC also have this problem, and it causes the RC'd card to "inherit" that problem. This might devalue RC a bit.
In overall I think the RC power level is usually in the same level as TR, but of course that might change depending on setup.
 
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Shouldn't the first sentence in Alliance simply read: All players reveal their hands.

The "or reveal" clause in other cards is there for openness (as far as I am aware, the Throne Room is the only card that works on trust, and that was an oversight). On cards such as Bureaucrat or Cutpurse, you are only required to replace/discard one estate/copper. So you have been seen to either fulfil the "attack" effect completely or demonstrate that you were not affected by it.

With Alliance there is a middle ground if you have more than one treasure. Supposing I am the 4th player and confident that I will not get to buy. I could reveal a copper and not my 2 golds. Sure that would be dishonest - but the point of the "or reveal" on the other cards is to remove that possibility completely and keep the game honest. With the requirement to reveal all treasures, the only way to do this is to reveal the whole hand.
 
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