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Subject: My Card: Diplomat -- Looking for Feedback rss

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Nick P
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Virginia
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My wife and I wanted to have a fun action-reaction card. Would love your feedback.

Diplomat
Cost 7
Action – Reaction

+1 Action
+4 Cards

If attacked, reveal this card to negate the attack.
If another player plays a Diplomat you may reveal this card you may gain 4 cards. (Only one instance per round.)

We played with it, and it was nice when it hit. The cost keeps it prohibitive enough that you aren't getting an extra cards very often. I'm not sure if we should decrease the cost and decreases how many cards you get.
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Andrew Staines
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Horrifically overpowered. Sorry but honestly it is.

If it simply said 'action/reaction' if attacked you may reveal this card to draw a new card into hand after the attack is played, otherwise works like Lab then that would be a pretty cool card and probably cost about 6. As it is it's just too powerful
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Roberta Yang
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If you dropped both Reaction effects, this card would still be too powerful. That's how broken this is.
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Drew Spencer
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Leau wrote:
If another player plays a Diplomat you may reveal this card you may gain 4 cards. (Only one instance per round.)


To gain 4 cards? Like, from the supply? Any cards you want?
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DC
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I think it's time to start linking to this article: A Dominion fan card creation guide over on DominionStrategy. It's a very thorough article which would help the OP quite a bit.
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Tables
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I can see what you're trying to do with this, and it's an okay idea, but it unfortunately breaks just about every good card design rule I can think of. That doesn't mean it can't be fixed, of course.

Firstly, the wording. + Card should come before + Action. There's no --- separating the reaction from the action, and the reactions wording are poor (there's zero reason it should be anything other than a direct copy of Moat's wording for the first bit, and the second is awkward). All of that needs to be tuned up.

Next, the effect. +3 Cards, +1 Action as a generic card is a little boring, but probably a good card at $7. It's the same as playing two Laboratories, which are already a good $5, for only $2 more, and you're guaranteed to hit both Labs together. +4 cards +1 action is therefore clearly overpowered for the cost. I suggest lowering it to +2 cards if you want to keep the reaction effects.

Defending against attacks is fine, although it's not very exciting.

The final reaction is... clearly ridiculous. Gain 4 cards means, as soon as your opponent plays this when you have one in hand, you gain half the Province pile. I presume you meant draw 4 cards? Which is still bonkers, but a bit less so. It's wording is a bit awkward as I mentioned - for example, is it limited to one reveal from any player? Just you? If I have multiple copies can I reveal each? If so how do you know I revealed a different one, and not just the same one I claimed was different? Either way, this reaction's effect is a bit degenerate. In a 2 player game it just adds some luck into the card. In a 3 player or more game, it means that if one person buys Diplomats, every other person benefits more from buying them (as they can get benefits from another player playing one while the third person doesn't), leading to a likely Diplomat groupthink rush. I'm really not sure what to do about that. Maybe it's okay.

Considering all these things, I think the card can be polished up to something reasonably balanced.

Leau wrote:
Diplomat
Cost $7
Action – Reaction

+2 Cards
+1 Action
---
When another player plays an Attack card, you may reveal this from your hand. If you do, you are unaffected by that Attack.
When another player plays a Diplomat card, you may reveal this from your hand. If you do, they draw a card and you draw until you have 6 cards in hand.


So... I weakened the drawing to be not overpowered, neatened up the wording, and changed the +draw effect to be much nicer and also not overpowered. So you get 1 card from this and attack immunity, and possibly 2 cards if someone else plays one too (and they also get a benefit - yes, it can lead to groupthink problems as I mentioned but well, player interaction can always be interesting).
 
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Nick P
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Thank you all for your help. This my first attempt at making a card and I wanted to get some feed back.

I wanted to make a card that was similar to Council Room, but required the player to have the same card to get the "good affect".

Yes, I did mean draw and not gain cards.

I will look into that article.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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I'll pitch in the same as I always do on Reactions that have an active +x Card, +x Action. Fully chainable Actions on a Reaction card are a very bad idea. Depending on the strength and possible replayability of the Reaction effect, it might be within reason but for the most part, it should be avoided.

The reason Moat is an interesting Reaction card is because if someone gains an Attack and you want some reasonable protection, you buy a Moat for a fairly small deck (12 or fewer cards, maybe) or two for a medium deck (up to 25 cards, maybe) or whatever you feel is a good balance. Weigh this against the desperation to block the Attack and whether Moat is actually good for its draw power (better with Villages, worse with more interesting draw cards), and the exact number of Moats you'd want at any time varies based on intuition and play style, or for some people mathematical analysis.

A Reaction card with a fully chainable Action just allows you to cram as many into your deck that you can get your hands on and all but guarantee that you'll be holding one when an Attack is made. There's no balance to find, no "right amount" to achieve, no interesting choice to make. Of course, if the Reaction effect is only useful in rare situations, under-powered, or usable only once per round ("Discard [Set aside] [Trash] this to...") then a chainable Action might not be uncalled for.
 
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Nick P
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I reworked it, any thoughts....


Action – Reaction

Cost 3

+1 Action
+1 Card

When another player plays an Attack card, you may reveal this from your hand. If you do, you are unaffected by that Attack.
When another player plays a Diplomat card, you may discard this card. If you do, +2 cards, discard 2 cards.


 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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I really like the +2 Cards, discard 2 cards. It is like a Warehouse that can be played out of sequence. Now, does the second Reaction trigger only when Diplomat is played (as an Action) or do you mean for it to react to other Diplomat Reactions, as well? As it discards during that time, it shouldn't be infinite that way.

I still say there is much trouble to a chainable Action on a Reaction card. Since this one looks like a pure Reaction, maybe don't give it an Action at all. Maybe it is a Treasure card woth 2 coins or a Victory card worth 2 points with a Reaction (like Tunnel or Fool's Gold).

Or perhaps it is a pure Reaction wherein the secondary only reacts to the first Reaction? Of course, then it only has merit in games with Attacks. But the Active part must be interesting in its own right because at +1 Action, +1 Card (essentially, net nothing), no-one will buy it in a game without Attacks already.
 
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Nick P
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Thanks Milenka,

I only wanted it to be able to react to other diplomats that were played, not reacted to. However, I kinda like +1card, +1 action cards that are cheap. They don't stop my hand and they are TR/KC-able. And if I am done buying silvers they can be a nice cheap buy.

If there aren't attack cards, I don't tend to buy moat. Would you add something to it? Maybe +1 coin if you use it? My wife has been sick and I have not been working so I haven't got to play test this and i have had a lot of free time. Sigh. But the idea of creating my own cards is intriguing.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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I'm sorry to hear about your wife. I'm glad that this card-design endeavor can help give you something to occupy your mind for awhile.

I also understand that you want to make a card that you'd enjoy. This is perfectly reasonable. But as far as +1 Action, +1 Card--specific to Reactions--is not a good idea.

Reactions work well because you need to hold them at the moment the trigger occurs. In this case, that's an Attack. So, if you compare this to Moat, which also blocks an Attack when you are holding the Moat, you see that you don't want to load up on too many Moats because you'll end up with a useless hand to play, even if you are immune to every Attack throughout the game. With this chainable Reaction, you'd cram as many as you can get your hands on, especially if they are so cheap that there isn't even an opportunity cost to getting them--what else are you going to do with your gain (3)? In such a case, too much is never too much. Then you are immune to Attacks throughout the game and you haven't sacrificed your deck's integrity and there wasn't much of an opportunity cost. This means there really isn't much decision or tactic to getting another for your deck. Why not?

With Moats, you can have too many. Too many can hurt your deck. Without enough, the Attacks hurt your deck. That makes Moat interesting. It's actually exciting to see if an Attack happens when you are holding your Moat for a change. It's exciting to see that an Attack didn't happen when you weren't holding your Moat. The reverse is true, too, but you are less happy about it. The Attacker is, sure. But if you made it so that Moats were so commonplace that no Attack ever gets through, you not only take away from that but you also make the Attacks themselves duller. This is perhaps why Moats are more fun than Lighthouse, even though Lighthouse is the superior card in many respects.

Cheap +1 Card, +1 Action cards are great for their chainability and I understand why you enjoy them but there is a reason why they are really weak, like Pearl Divers and Wishing Wells. Expensive chainable cards are a bit stronger, like Markets and Treasuries. But the strongest effects are rarely ever chainable, or else they have some other consideration to restrict them, like Grand Markets and Governors.

But the biggest difference is when you give them a Reaction because then much of the card's worth comes from holding it at the right time and with fully chainable Reactions, this quickly becomes a moot point. At least when you had the card priced high, it had an opportunity cost to getting too many. Are you going to get another Diplomat that you probably don't need or would you rather get an Expand or Gold instead? It's easy to pass up another Silver if you already have Golds (or Platinums!) so a price of 3 isn't much of an opportunity cost, except really early when no-one has any Attack cards yet.

Lastly, you still have nothing for this card to do when there are no Attacks in the set-up. Playing an Action for just +1 Card, +1 Action (using exactly 1 card and 1 action) and potentially giving your opponent(s) the benefit of using their own Diplomats just isn't going to happen. Note that if you use a Throne Room on this card, you still have no profit in cards (since that combo requires 2 cards now) and as far as getting explosive actions from it, Throne Room already does that by itself, essentially, with Throne Room --> Throne Room + so that should not be your rationale. I agree that it still does stuff but not enough to make it better than the already useless Pearl Diver. If your card's Action were simply:

Look at the top two cards of your deck and put them back in any order

it is still quite weak but now you wouldn't cram 'em in your deck without a thought and it still has a useful function that makes it interesting without Attacks. Yes, I know other cards have similar effects (which is a reason why this one isn't a "reveal") but sometimes, you just really want to know what is one or two cards deep in your deck.

More importantly, +1 Card, +1 Action isn't only dull (and disruptive on a Reaction card) but you aren't offering your own flavor to the game with your original card. If you are going to create your own card, why stop at making an interesting Reaction? Make the other part of the card unique, too!
 
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Nick P
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Virginia
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FlatOnHisFace wrote:
I'm sorry to hear about your wife. I'm glad that this card-design endeavor can help give you something to occupy your mind for awhile.

I also understand that you want to make a card that you'd enjoy. This is perfectly reasonable. But as far as +1 Action, +1 Card--specific to Reactions--is not a good idea.

Reactions work well because you need to hold them at the moment the trigger occurs. In this case, that's an Attack. So, if you compare this to Moat, which also blocks an Attack when you are holding the Moat, you see that you don't want to load up on too many Moats because you'll end up with a useless hand to play, even if you are immune to every Attack throughout the game. With this chainable Reaction, you'd cram as many as you can get your hands on, especially if they are so cheap that there isn't even an opportunity cost to getting them--what else are you going to do with your gain (3)? In such a case, too much is never too much. Then you are immune to Attacks throughout the game and you haven't sacrificed your deck's integrity and there wasn't much of an opportunity cost. This means there really isn't much decision or tactic to getting another for your deck. Why not?

With Moats, you can have too many. Too many can hurt your deck. Without enough, the Attacks hurt your deck. That makes Moat interesting. It's actually exciting to see if an Attack happens when you are holding your Moat for a change. It's exciting to see that an Attack didn't happen when you weren't holding your Moat. The reverse is true, too, but you are less happy about it. The Attacker is, sure. But if you made it so that Moats were so commonplace that no Attack ever gets through, you not only take away from that but you also make the Attacks themselves duller. This is perhaps why Moats are more fun than Lighthouse, even though Lighthouse is the superior card in many respects.

Cheap +1 Card, +1 Action cards are great for their chainability and I understand why you enjoy them but there is a reason why they are really weak, like Pearl Divers and Wishing Wells. Expensive chainable cards are a bit stronger, like Markets and Treasuries. But the strongest effects are rarely ever chainable, or else they have some other consideration to restrict them, like Grand Markets and Governors.

But the biggest difference is when you give them a Reaction because then much of the card's worth comes from holding it at the right time and with fully chainable Reactions, this quickly becomes a moot point. At least when you had the card priced high, it had an opportunity cost to getting too many. Are you going to get another Diplomat that you probably don't need or would you rather get an Expand or Gold instead? It's easy to pass up another Silver if you already have Golds (or Platinums!) so a price of 3 isn't much of an opportunity cost, except really early when no-one has any Attack cards yet.

Lastly, you still have nothing for this card to do when there are no Attacks in the set-up. Playing an Action for just +1 Card, +1 Action (using exactly 1 card and 1 action) and potentially giving your opponent(s) the benefit of using their own Diplomats just isn't going to happen. Note that if you use a Throne Room on this card, you still have no profit in cards (since that combo requires 2 cards now) and as far as getting explosive actions from it, Throne Room already does that by itself, essentially, with Throne Room --> Throne Room + so that should not be your rationale. I agree that it still does stuff but not enough to make it better than the already useless Pearl Diver. If your card's Action were simply:

Look at the top two cards of your deck and put them back in any order

it is still quite weak but now you wouldn't cram 'em in your deck without a thought and it still has a useful function that makes it interesting without Attacks. Yes, I know other cards have similar effects (which is a reason why this one isn't a "reveal") but sometimes, you just really want to know what is one or two cards deep in your deck.

More importantly, +1 Card, +1 Action isn't only dull (and disruptive on a Reaction card) but you aren't offering your own flavor to the game with your original card. If you are going to create your own card, why stop at making an interesting Reaction? Make the other part of the card unique, too!


I see your point. I really appreciate your feedback.

What about something like this..

Cost 2
Action - Reaction

+2$

Or, you may play two diplomats on one action. If you do, +2$ and +3 cards.

If another player plays a Diplomat you may discard this card. If you do, +2 cards, discard 2 cards.

 
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Roberta Yang
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Here's my question: why do you want to make a card designed to give the user a bonus by reacting to opponents playing other copies of itself?

As noted above, in a two-player game, this just adds extra randomness and noise when both players buy it and is otherwise irrelevant, while in a game with more players, this means that if two players buy it, everyone else is strongly encouraged to buy it as well (which leads to everyone running the same decks and thus makes the game less interesting). What strategic benefit does the presence of such a self-Reaction bring to the game?
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Yet again, Salty has nothing but good points. Already I detest Smugglers and dislike Jesters for how much they encourage people to play without strategy and just pick up "freebies" that might not even benefit their deck in a way that a carefully selected card will but the temptation of getting something-for-nothing just causes people to mindlessly spam these cards, emptying piles for no good reason to a woefully pitiable close.

+2 Cards, discard 2 cards isn't nearly as strong as pure draw but cycling beyond Coppers, Curses, and Victory cards pretty much means trashing is no longer important. And we have cards that do this. I'd suggest the equivellant of Secret Chamber with your different trigger. +2 Cards, put two cards atop your deck means that spamming these isn't beneficial but playing one Reaction may be. It also solves the problem of the "no limit" to Reactions nuance. It is a benefit but not much of one, which means that even if other players do buy some of these, the others won't feel forced to do so because the incidental benefit isn't as good as the intential play.

For what it's worth, I think that it is awesome that there may be a card that reacts to itself. But Salty's point is very important: The primary benefit needs to be better than the residual boon others garner from it or no-one would dare play one in the first place. For all that, a mere +2 coins isn't strong enough to warrant handing out any benefit; it's simply too easy to get a couple of coins elsewhere.
 
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