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Subject: Help me price my new fan cards correctly rss

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Mike Young
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So, I am working on my third fan expansion to Dominion. It's kind of an expansion to my first fan expansion, The Books of Magic, with the theme being, "we need more cards that cost potions."

However, I don't think I'm using potions as a cost correctly. I was trying for "kinda sorta 4 coins in one card," but that seems wrong.

I can post examples we've tried, but I'm hoping for general advice to start with.

Thanks!
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Thomas Brendel
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I don't think you can directly translate potions into a coin value. What that potion really means is that, if you want these cards, you have to have a card whose only effect is letting you get one of those cards. (Only inherent effect, anyway. Cards like Alchemist might beg to differ.) So rather than four coins, I'd call it more like two-and-a-half with an asterisk.

I have no idea if that's helpful even a little.
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James Adrian
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The potion is supposed to be an alternate currency - one that only appears occasionally. I think you might do best avoiding giving it a coin value at all.

I think of it as a 0.5 only in how it determines the Kingdom Pile organization from lowest to highest value. A card like Vineyard, however, would be worth a good 5 coins or so if it were valued with coins. But then it'd be too easy to buy; it's supposed to be occasionally available. Cards that cost potions should have that 'occasional' intention in mind.

Those are my initial thoughts, anyway.
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The Compulsive Completist
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Without extensive playtesting I would just compare the strength of your cards with already existing Potion cards to take your best stab at it. After that you'll have to tweak accordingly.
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Mike Young
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I think those are all good points. Thanks. Unfortunately, I can only playtest 2 players out here, and some cards are better -- or worse -- with more players.

However, before I finalize any of the cards, I always post them here for final review.

Thanks!
 
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Anthony Romeo
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Potions aren't simply a replacement for treasure.

Often they're a constraint to limit the buying of extremely powerful cards that you would probably want to gain en masse as quickly as possible, like Familiar, Apothecary, or Scrying Pool.

Other times it's to create a much higher cost burden for powerful cards, like Possession and Golem.

Vineyard is a special case, as it's one of the few cards that make the +buy so much more valuable.

Before you think of how much a card should cost with a potion, you need to consider whether the card *should* have a potion in the cost. There's a risk with buying potions, and the ROI for investment should be sound (as it often is with the cards from Alchemy).

So: if the card is too easily spammable or stupidly powerful, perhaps adding a potion to the cost is prudent.

As an aside: what I'd really like to see with new potion-cost cards are cards that have the potions do something other than waste space. Something like... "+1 card, +1 action, +1 buy, +1$. You may play one treasure card from your hand. If it is a potion, +2 cards".
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Ron Laufer
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All good points, though if you had to estimate a value, 3-4 coins seems about right.

If you compare Alchemist to Lab, it's clear Alchemist is slightly better due to the return to deck clause.

If you compare University to Feast, University seems to come out on top, except in the rare cases where you'd want to Feast for a Duchy/Duke or a Venture or Contraband.

Scrying pool is a superior Spy, plain and simple.

So Alchemist should cost 6+ in pure coin, University should cost 5+, Scrying Pool should cost 5+, hence the potion adds about 3 or maybe a bit more. With so few examples, and so few that match up to other cards, it's hard to get more specific than that.
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Chris White
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gonzoron wrote:
All good points, though if you had to estimate a value, 3-4 coins seems about right.

If you compare Alchemist to Lab, it's clear Alchemist is slightly better due to the return to deck clause.

If you compare University to Feast, University seems to come out on top, except in the rare cases where you'd want to Feast for a Duchy/Duke or a Venture or Contraband.

Scrying pool is a superior Spy, plain and simple.

So Alchemist should cost 6+ in pure coin, University should cost 5+, Scrying Pool should cost 5+, hence the potion adds about 3 or maybe a bit more. With so few examples, and so few that match up to other cards, it's hard to get more specific than that.


The proper comparison card for University isn't Feast, but Festival.
 
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Ron Laufer
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traininthedistance wrote:
The proper comparison card for University isn't Feast, but Festival.
I disagree... University doesn't help your current turn at all, other than the +2 actions. Festival's +$2 and +buy are key to its utility and missing in university. Heck, even native village can give you the +2 actions + more for just $2, so I don't think that factors as much into festival or university's cost as the rest of the card.
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Chris White
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gonzoron wrote:
traininthedistance wrote:
The proper comparison card for University isn't Feast, but Festival.
I disagree... University doesn't help your current turn at all, other than the +2 actions. Festival's +$2 and +buy are key to its utility and missing in university. Heck, even native village can give you the +2 actions + more for just $2, so I don't think that factors as much into festival or university's cost as the rest of the card.


Festival and University are both +2 Actions, and take up a spot in your hand (i.e., not +1 Card, unlike most other Villages). The +2 Coin and +1 Buy is actually quite similar in function to the "gain an action card costing up to $5". It's exactly as if University is giving you +$5 and +1 Buy, but you can't mix that with the rest of your money, and it has to be used on an Action. The benefits are absolutely similar, with University thus being potentially more powerful but also more inflexible.

To contrast, University isn't like Feast at all: Feast doesn't give +Action, and it's a one-shot.
 
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Roberta Yang
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gonzoron wrote:
All good points, though if you had to estimate a value, 3-4 coins seems about right.

If you compare Alchemist to Lab, it's clear Alchemist is slightly better due to the return to deck clause.

If you compare University to Feast, University seems to come out on top, except in the rare cases where you'd want to Feast for a Duchy/Duke or a Venture or Contraband.

Scrying pool is a superior Spy, plain and simple.

So Alchemist should cost 6+ in pure coin, University should cost 5+, Scrying Pool should cost 5+, hence the potion adds about 3 or maybe a bit more. With so few examples, and so few that match up to other cards, it's hard to get more specific than that.

I agree with this logic up to a certain point. Certainly, the examples of Alchemist, Scrying Pool, etc prove that, in terms of pure coin, Potion should count as more than 2. But because it doesn't need to be worth an integer value of coins, "more than two" does not necessarily mean "three or more".

Of course, I also doubt that there is any static conversion ratio. For example, Transmute would be undercosted at $4, but Apothecary would be overcosted at $6. So trying to assign an exact value seems like a waste of time. The real question should be not "How many coins is Potion worth?" but rather "How difficult should my Potion-costing cards be to obtain?"
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Ron Laufer
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traininthedistance wrote:
Festival and University are both +2 Actions, and take up a spot in your hand (i.e., not +1 Card, unlike most other Villages). The +2 Coin and +1 Buy is actually quite similar in function to the "gain an action card costing up to $5". It's exactly as if University is giving you +$5 and +1 Buy, but you can't mix that with the rest of your money, and it has to be used on an Action. The benefits are absolutely similar, with University thus being potentially more powerful but also more inflexible.[/quote]I see the logic there, but that lack of flexibility is huge, IMHO. The "can't mix limitation" is like the difference between Remodel and Salvager, and those are the same cost, but Remodel "gives" +$(X+2) and Salvager gives +$X. The action-only limit makes it even more limited, unlike Festival, University will never help you buy a Province on the turn you play it. The only time University will give you points at all is in combination with a tiny set of other cards (vineyard, gardens, fairgrounds, great hall, island, unless I missed any).

[quote]To contrast, University isn't like Feast at all: Feast doesn't give +Action, and it's a one-shot.
Depends on your point of view. Unlike Lab/Alchemist or SP/Spy, University is not so close to any single card that you can say "it's like ___ but better". It's like Feast because it gets you $5 cards. It's like Workshop because it's repeatable. It's like talisman because it doesn't work on VP. It's like Native Village because it gives +2 actions. It's like Festival because it gives +2 actions and helps you get something. This is a good thing, IMHO, but only highlights the futility of getting anything better than a ballpark.

All this sort of number crunching is kinda futile anyway, even without potions involved, since Donald X. has said that the costs aren't linear, but sometimes more based on what's reasonable to get in your 1st two buys. But a ballpark number might be handy, and I maintain that number is around 3-4.
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Destry Miller
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One other consideration if you're going to give a card a potion cost. The cards in Alchemy are designed so you'd be happy to have lots of that particular card, though one is fine. That way, if only one card is out with a potion cost, it'd still worth it to have a potion in your deck. So a card like, say, Moneylender or Chapel wouldn't be a good candidate, while Gardens or Menagerie might be.
 
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Mike Young
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But what if it were a Chapel variant like this:

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James Adrian
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Buggy wrote:
But what if it were a Chapel variant like this:

First off, why did you set it at 1 coin, 1 potion? It deserves the potion, that's for sure.
I'd up the coin cost, myself, but I don't have a good reason other than an initial reaction.
I like it, anyway. I'd definitely buy it for 3C, 1P.
 
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Andrew Wilkins
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Buggy wrote:
But what if it were a Chapel variant like this:



A nice variant on Chapel, it should probably cost at least 2+P, if not 3+P. It lets you thin your deck and gain VPs by doing so. The self-cursing part of the card is a nice touch and devalues the card a bit, which is why I lean toward costing it at 2+P.

The question that needs to be answered is once curses run out, is this card overpowered? It may be too late in the game to really worry about it but it's worth considering.
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Anthony Romeo
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Actually, I don't think I would buy Dark Rite very often. I'd only grab it if there were other good potion cards in the kingdom that I couldn't afford and no other cards that trash. I'd probably grab loan or lookout over this card given the choice.

The biggest issue I'd have with the card is that by the time you see it in your deck, it'll be about turn 7, which is the point you really want to build up your buying power. If there are no other potion-cost cards then I'd probably pass it up. If there are other potion-cost cards, I would probably prefer some other card (assuming I could afford it).

The penalty of adding a curse, while beneficial in the sense you can trash it for points later, only serves to make your deck move slower.

Also, such a card should not cost more than $1+Potion. Probably it should only cost a Potion (or maybe just $4?). Costing only a potion *guarantees* it'll show up in your deck. I'd hate to plan on buying this card only to draw, say, a smugglers and three estates with the potion.

Here's a neat idea: How about another, more expensive type of potion that gives you a +buy when you play it? Could be useful in some games.
 
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Mike Miller

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I think the fact that it curses itself is a bonus. Too often I have a bishop deck going and get up to the end and think '1 dead card'. The curse feeds itself. Brilliant. I think it's probably a bargain at 1 and a potion.
 
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Roberta Yang
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pinkymadigan wrote:
I think the fact that it curses itself is a bonus. Too often I have a bishop deck going and get up to the end and think '1 dead card'. The curse feeds itself. Brilliant. I think it's probably a bargain at 1 and a potion.

The important difference is that I'm usually able to start using Bishop on my second turn, whereas I'm not going to be able to start using this card until something like my seventh or eighth turn.
 
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Mike Young
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We've only tried it out once and I was crushed using it. But then I think I misplayed the card. I do want to try it again. We usually playtest each of the cards (at least) a few times before releasing them here.
 
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Anthony Romeo
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Maybe you could make it something similar to vault:

+2 cards
+1 buy
Trash at least 1 card from your hand. +1 VP per card trashed this way.

 
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Benj Davis
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Maybe you should make the VPs contingent on actually gaining the curse, so late-game you could potentially still use it to then your deck, but it's not going to score you points. If you can keep doing this and not get cursed, this card should be dearer.
 
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Tim Baldwin
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Jlerpy wrote:
Maybe you should make the VPs contingent on actually gaining the curse, so late-game you could potentially still use it to then your deck, but it's not going to score you points. If you can keep doing this and not get cursed, this card should be dearer.


The card could return up to three cards to the supply, that way if you used it to get rid of Curses, there will still be one in the supply to put back on top of your deck.

In your first expansion, I think Book of the Dead became an amazing card once all the Curses were gone (+2 card, +2 actions, put a curse on top of your deck. I loved pairing that card up with Lookout.
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Benj Davis
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twbumr wrote:
Jlerpy wrote:
Maybe you should make the VPs contingent on actually gaining the curse, so late-game you could potentially still use it to then your deck, but it's not going to score you points. If you can keep doing this and not get cursed, this card should be dearer.


The card could return up to three cards to the supply, that way if you used it to get rid of Curses, there will still be one in the supply to put back on top of your deck.

In your first expansion, I think Book of the Dead became an amazing card once all the Curses were gone (+2 card, +2 actions, put a curse on top of your deck. I loved pairing that card up with Lookout.


Trashing things doesn't return them to the supply.
 
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Jordan 79
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Nice Idea! It seems not too powerful (thanks to the Curse card) and with lot of chasm.
 
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