December 14, 2018, 09:20:08 PM

Author Topic: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages  (Read 296709 times)

Sailor Vulcan

  • Secret Identity: Imaginator
  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 3128
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2013, 11:44:03 AM »
Strange as it might sound coming from me, I think you're over thinking the illusionist. The illusonist uses illusions, making enemies sense things that aren't there. Therefore the illusionist should be trained in mind, and should be able to influence and bend the mind of his or her enemies.

I'm thinking of a masking ability to do this. Rather than having illusion creatures or conjurations be actual creatures or conjurations, they should be enchantments that look like particular creatures or conjurations when they are face down. So their casting costs would be the same as whatever creature they're pretending to be, but their reveal cost would always be 2. When cast they have the same target as the thing they look like does, but when revealed the illusion targets a creature or conjuration in the same zone as them. An illusion must be revealed immediately after it is targeted by an attack or spell. After its effects resolve, it is destroyed. If a facedown illusion is required to use any if its facedown effects, it must be revealed instead.

So being pushed into an illusion wall reveals it, prevents bashing, and makes the pushed creature go all the way through.

When an illusion creature is attacked, it is revealed, and that attack is redirected to another creature in the same zone as the illusion (not the attacker).

An illusion creature can be targeted by any enchantment that could target a creature. The enchantment becomes an illusion, and it disappears when the illusion creature is revealed.

Illusion creatures cannot attack or guard. (They are also revealed when taunted, or afflicted by any other status condition.)

The illusionist would be able to substitute their mage card with another mage card at the start of the game. The illusionist would also have a substitute ability cardl. The illusionist's real stats are pretty different than whatever mage that he or she is pretending to be. Channeling is 0. Mana is 90, armor is zero, health is 31. Spellbook points are 120.

I'm also thinking that after being revealed, the illusionist would be able to cause illusory status conditions, such as nightmare (making targeted creature see whatever they fear most),
Dreamy (making targeted creature see something they love and run after it. like taunt, but without requiring the affected creature to attack, just to move to follow the illusion.)
Also could have a spell that affects a creature's depth perception (Dazes and condition that makes creature roll effect die to decide direction of its move actions.)

His illusion ability I already described. He also has the basic melee attack. I'm also thinking he'd have an incantation ability that has a small chance of stumbling the enemy mage once per round after a certain number of turns have passed since its casting. After more time has passed, this changes to illusory suffocation. They don't think they can breath, so they don't.
  • Favourite Mage: Salenia Forcemaster
I am Sailor Vulcan! Champion of justice and reason! And yes, I am already aware my uniform is considered flashy, unprofessional, and borderline sexually provocative for my species by most intelligent lifeforms. I did not choose this outfit. Shut up.

ACG

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 859
  • Banana Stickers 5
    • View Profile
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #31 on: October 17, 2013, 01:14:24 PM »
Nice ideas! Some comments:

Quote
I'm thinking of a masking ability to do this. Rather than having illusion creatures or conjurations be actual creatures or conjurations, they should be enchantments that look like particular creatures or conjurations when they are face down. So their casting costs would be the same as whatever creature they're pretending to be, but their reveal cost would always be 2. When cast they have the same target as the thing they look like does, but when revealed the illusion targets a creature or conjuration in the same zone as them. An illusion must be revealed immediately after it is targeted by an attack or spell. After its effects resolve, it is destroyed. If a facedown illusion is required to use any if its facedown effects, it must be revealed instead.

This is great, but how can it be implemented in practice? (See card below for one proposal) We can't make doublesided cards, nor can we simply put two cards in one sleeve (since not everybody uses sleeves). The only sensible way that I can see is to bind one card to another; obviously, your opponent would be able to see that you were doing this.

Quote
The illusionist would be able to substitute their mage card with another mage card at the start of the game. The illusionist would also have a substitute ability cardl. The illusionist's real stats are pretty different than whatever mage that he or she is pretending to be. Channeling is 0. Mana is 90, armor is zero, health is 31. Spellbook points are 120.

This is an amazing idea, and would be a lot of fun, but unfortunately I don't think it is feasible due to differences between different game contexts. I assume that the idea is that the opponent would not initially know that they were playing against the illusionist. However, while this is certainly possible in a tournament or other formal game setting, it is not feasible in a casual game, where often only one of the people has a copy of the game and the others are simply using his/her set of cards. In this context, it would be fairly obvious if one player was secretly the illusionist. Any mage should be able to function in any game context, otherwise the scope of the game is limited. There is probably another way to implement this mage-switching mechanic, though (for some reason it makes me think of race-switching in Achron). Do I understand your proposal correctly?

Anyway, your comments have inspired me to take another stab at the illusionist, approaching the problem from a "masking" perspective rather than an "unknown creature" perspective. First, the card:



Features to note:

-The "flexible mind" is to support the need for extra cards to fuel the illusions. Why not simply draw bound cards or illusions from the spellbook upon casting, you ask? Simple - that would give the illusionist far too much flexibility, since she would be able to decide what spells to use after seeing her opponent's choices. This is a compromise thematically justified by the difficulty of maintaining detailed illusions - I guess long practice has let her mentally juggle more thoughts than the average mage.

- The illusionist must decide at the time of casting whether the visible spell is the real object, or just an illusion. She can't just invest a small amount of mana now and decide whether to spend the rest later.

- Masks will tend to be about the same cost as the object that they hide.

Thanks for your comments; they definitely helped me to see the problem in a new light.

wtcannonjr

  • Ambassador of Wychwood
  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 752
  • Banana Stickers 2
    • View Profile
    • WBC Mage Wars Tournament
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2013, 08:53:43 PM »
These are fun ideas about the Illusionist. Here is my concept.

I was thinking of an Illusionist as a mist-like being that is harder to damage. Give the Mage the Incorporeal Trait and lower life to balance. Normal attack might be only 2 dice. This mage also has the special ability of being harder to target for enemy range attacks or spells. Range is always calculated as +1 zone from actual. For example, a 0-0 zone attack would not be able to target the Illusionist.

Illusions are represented as Enchantments with Illusion sub-type and Illusionist Only. The illusion enchantments can move from zone to zone by paying mana. It may even need an action marker or ready marker to track usage. Each illusion could target an enemy creature in its zone and turn the creature's face up action marker to the used face down side. This represents the time wasted by the enemy creature dealing with something that wasn't really there.

As an enchantment the illusion could then be dispelled using the current rules set. Levels of illusions could be created that had other effects or different movement rates. Each illusion would probably need the Upkeep Trait to balance too many in play at one time.

Keep the ideas coming. This is fun.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 08:55:23 PM by wtcannonjr »
  • Favourite Mage: Wychwood Druid
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin

ACG

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 859
  • Banana Stickers 5
    • View Profile
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2013, 07:55:21 AM »
Interesting idea for an incorporeal mage. Is the idea that the illusionist is not actually in the arena and is just projecting her image?

Good idea to make illusions enchantments. I think it would need a new keyword, such as "Illusion: this enchantment has an action marker. It may only take move actions and actions printed on its card." There are a lot of possibilities with that model, and I like that they can be dispelled but not attacked.

I have wondered why no enchantments that target equipment have yet been released. Here are some possibilities to combat this deficiency:

A little something to help the warlord:


Some other useful enchantments:



Here is a modified version of Dreamcatcher:


I also decided to try my hand at making spawnpoints more attractive, since they are underused at the moment. First attempt:

« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 03:17:38 PM by ACG »

wtcannonjr

  • Ambassador of Wychwood
  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 752
  • Banana Stickers 2
    • View Profile
    • WBC Mage Wars Tournament
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2013, 03:19:15 PM »
Interesting idea for an incorporeal mage. Is the idea that the illusionist is not actually in the arena and is just projecting her image?



Sorta. I was thinking the mage would be in the arena but you wouldn't know for sure which image was real and which was an illusion. You could use multiple cards to represent the mage, but it would need so many additional rules it wouldn't be worth it. I was shooting for the effect without all the rules in my description of the Illusionist.

Cool ideas about enchantments that target equipment. I can see this fitting the Paladin mage very nicely.
  • Favourite Mage: Wychwood Druid
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin

Wiz-Pig

  • Sr. Mage
  • ****
  • Posts: 262
  • Banana Stickers 5
    • View Profile
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2013, 10:14:07 AM »
Cool ideas for enchanting equipment, but if you actually want to help the Warlord you.need to give him a cost advantage. If a spell is War three he pays the same amount as war1 mind1 but has a cost advantage over other mages. As it stands this costs the same for Forcemaster and only 1 more for all other mages.

ACG

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 859
  • Banana Stickers 5
    • View Profile
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2013, 02:53:18 PM »
Quote
Sorta. I was thinking the mage would be in the arena but you wouldn't know for sure which image was real and which was an illusion. You could use multiple cards to represent the mage, but it would need so many additional rules it wouldn't be worth it. I was shooting for the effect without all the rules in my description of the Illusionist.

I see. I would recommend rewriting the text of the trait then, rather than just referring to the Incorporeal trait, which has some baggage associated with it that you may not want (Nonliving status, vulnerability to certain types of attacks that may not make sense under this thematic explanation.

Quote
Cool ideas for enchanting equipment, but if you actually want to help the Warlord you.need to give him a cost advantage. If a spell is War three he pays the same amount as war1 mind1 but has a cost advantage over other mages. As it stands this costs the same for Forcemaster and only 1 more for all other mages.

The purpose of Animate is not to give the Warlord something that he can get cheaper than other mages; it is to alleviate the problem of some of his best equipment being mutually exclusive, a common complaint (e.g. his hammer and his horn). This spell benefits him not because it is cheaper for him but because its benefit affects him more than other mages.

The reason I made it war/mind was thematic - like dancing scimitar, it is the animation of an inanimate object, requiring the mage's concentration.

New cards:





The idea behind the Archivist is that he is basically a magical librarian. He has broad knowledge of the basics, but has trouble actually casting the more advanced spells. He also has a phenomenal memory. I originally considered giving him 150 spellbook points, but decided that it was probably not necessary and would just break a nice pattern.

ACG

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 859
  • Banana Stickers 5
    • View Profile
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2013, 11:13:58 PM »
Some new cards. First, the creatures:

Fun with the initiative mechanic. I may have underpriced him.


I am really curious to know other thoughts on this one; pricing him is really hard, as is trying to find degenerate strategies involving him. But, as a fantasy trope, this game has to have one:


Here's a little something for the Warlord:


This one should be fun. Note that, as the quote suggests, it works both ways, although non-mind mages are unlikely to have the spells needed to take advantage of this fact.


This trinket could be useful if you have an escape plan; otherwise, it just delays the inevitable. Another trope that needs a card.


Vampire Blood Mage. Pretty self explanatory.


Okay, this one requires some explanation. It is partly inspired by the idea of an incorporeal mage, partly designed to make the Dreamcatcher more useful, and partly the result of other mechanics I have been thinking about for a while. The story I have come up with is this: Basically, a dark mage once decided to use magic to bring a person from her dream into the real world, for whatever reason (to see if she could, I suppose). To her surprise, she succeeded, and the Dreamwalker entered our world. As a figment from the Dream World, he has a very different constitution than most mages. Rather than health, he is made of mana and will disappear if his mana is ever used up. His dream powers allow him to inflict sleep on creatures, much like the priest inflicts Malakai's fire (now that I think about it, it might be a good idea to make his ability only apply to psychic attacks, to mirror the priest and balance it a bit - thoughts?). Playing as the dreamwalker should be a unique experience.

DeckBuilder

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 666
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2013, 06:10:00 PM »
Wow, ACG, you've been busy! I disappear for a long weekend in Amsterdam and I've got a lot of catching up to do (although I confess I did look at the forum on my phone daily, rather sad really). So, in reverse order...

Atraxus, Dwarf Veteran. Nice idea to have schizophrenic traits based on Initiative (like "when attacking / when defending" cards in Magic). It's too good though, even with anti-synergy (e.g. Bloodthirsty, Charge). I'm not keen on the idea of a stubby legged Dwarf being elusive. Have you considered Goblin Veteran? (Opportunity for humourous flavour text, e.g. "Goblin = moron, Goblin Veteran = oxymoron"). I'd try combo traits. For example: "With initiative, gain Fast and Elusive. Off initiative, gain Vigilant and Intercept" (goblin skirmisher/guardsman).  I really like the schizophrenic traits idea, especially if they are anti-synergetic between the 2 combo pairs.

Chimera. Of course, a nice game mechanics interpretation. It's too expensive on Spellpoints (bound creatures) and too cheap to cast. To alleviate the former, make it Arcane 1 Nature 1. I'd price it at X = highest cost of bound creatures + total spell levels of all creatures bound. Currently, you could have a Fast Flying Grizzly for 20 which is too cheap. This is a combo enabler and because it closes the door to freely inventing creatures in the future ("what if we splice X and Y?"), it's too open to abuse. It gives too much freedom hence restricts design.

Standing Orders. Great tech. Make it War 1 as it is Warlord Only. I like the Soldier targeting. Simple and just what the Warlord needs.

Psychic Network. A bit limited. Open to abuse with Illusory Tormentor, Nightmare etc. Also this is hardly a double edged sword! I prefer a subtler "see through your eyes" ability. Something like a psychic enchantment that said "the controller of this enchantment may cast spells originating from this creature. When this creature is damaged, the enchantment's controller suffers an equal amount of damage." This would make it more likely to appear in builds outside of mages with psychic spells, granting everyone access to remote casting at a price.

Amulet of Protection. Meh. Hey, you sometimes miss. It should be Holy 1 but still does not compete with the cumulative benefit of current medallion slots. Colossus Belt is really the appropriate "Protection" item. To compete in the Medallion Slot, it must be good and certainly not a situational one-off benefit. Use its ready marker to re-roll an attack on you each turn seems like what a Lucky Charm may grant you?

Haemonologer. I hate the name. Why not just "Blood Mage"? Keep him a Vampire with all the Vampiress traits as an ability. But also "treat as a Dark creature". I also think the mana acceleration (Channelling 13 with vampirism and regeneration to counter damage) is too much. The Blood Mage spends his precious life blood to pump his spells. And sacrifices his creatures too. Something like "Once before each attack you make or each spell you cast, you may lose 1 life or deal 2 damage to a friendly living creature in your zone to gain +1 Melee or +1 Mana". Whatever the benefit, life loss should be the deterrent, not damage.

Dreamwalker. I love it. Morpheus from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman. But the 1 damage = 3 mana equation is too harsh as ethereal is too much of a silver bullet. I assume also non-Living? (Incorporeal creatures currently has both traits written on them). I think cap mana pool at 30 and 1 damage = 2 mana may be better (also dies if less than 0 mana). Is there an issue with Indestructible and "destroyed"? I don't have rules with me. Tranquilize is too clinical a name. "Slumber" maybe? Why not simply "Sleep and Mass Sleep are cantrips for you?". Makes him more of a ranged creature (as he can teleport to that range 2 target). I may be tempted to make his attack 0 dice Taint to kill off sleepers? Especially if you want him with Dark 1 training (why?). Anyway, the idea is really interesting, it just needs a bit of balancing.

Feedback on others to follow soon but Dreamwalker, Standing Orders and schizophrenic Veteran are definitely innovative ideas.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 06:45:58 PM by DeckBuilder »
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

Sailor Vulcan

  • Secret Identity: Imaginator
  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 3128
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2013, 06:39:10 PM »
Why not have the chimaera be a specific combination of three spliced creatures. The original concept of a chimaera was a cross between a lion, a snake and a goat. So it could be an nature 3+arcane 1 animal creature that's treated as a reptile, a cat and a bovid.
  • Favourite Mage: Salenia Forcemaster
I am Sailor Vulcan! Champion of justice and reason! And yes, I am already aware my uniform is considered flashy, unprofessional, and borderline sexually provocative for my species by most intelligent lifeforms. I did not choose this outfit. Shut up.

ACG

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 859
  • Banana Stickers 5
    • View Profile
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #40 on: October 22, 2013, 10:01:46 AM »
Quote
Atraxus, Dwarf Veteran. Nice idea to have schizophrenic traits based on Initiative (like "when attacking / when defending" cards in Magic). It's too good though, even with anti-synergy (e.g. Bloodthirsty, Charge). I'm not keen on the idea of a stubby legged Dwarf being elusive. Have you considered Goblin Veteran? (Opportunity for humourous flavour text, e.g. "Goblin = moron, Goblin Veteran = oxymoron"). I'd try combo traits. For example: "With initiative, gain Fast and Elusive. Off initiative, gain Vigilant and Intercept" (goblin skirmisher/guardsman).  I really like the schizophrenic traits idea, especially if they are anti-synergetic between the 2 combo pairs.

Fantastic theme idea. I may have to steal that (with some subtle attribution, of course):

As you can see, I have nerfed him a bit. (Do we actually know what vigilant does yet? I assume it means you get a guard token at the start of every round, or after taking an action, but I haven't yet seen an official definition).

Quote
Why not have the chimaera be a specific combination of three spliced creatures. The original concept of a chimaera was a cross between a lion, a snake and a goat. So it could be an nature 3+arcane 1 animal creature that's treated as a reptile, a cat and a bovid.

Sure, I could do that, but where's the fun in that? Of course, this is not to say that this cannot also be done; another "Classic Chimera" could be created, also with the Chimera subtype.

Quote
Chimera. Of course, a nice game mechanics interpretation. It's too expensive on Spellpoints (bound creatures) and too cheap to cast. To alleviate the former, make it Arcane 1 Nature 1. I'd price it at X = highest cost of bound creatures + total spell levels of all creatures bound. Currently, you could have a Fast Flying Grizzly for 20 which is too cheap. This is a combo enabler and because it closes the door to freely inventing creatures in the future ("what if we splice X and Y?"), it's too open to abuse. It gives too much freedom hence restricts design.

Okay - how's this for a solution: Limit it to only level 1-2 creatures. (still with the living, corporeal, non-legendary restrictions) I doubt any combination of such creatures would be terribly crazy; the real shenanigans start somewhere around level 4. Below is a modified Chimera, with some other traits changed (I changed it to arcane, since that is the school that seems most appropriate - might still be overpriced on spellbook points, since you also have to buy the creatures that you are binding. Another idea is to limit the creatures that can be bound to Animals, though I hope that is not necessary.



Quote
Psychic Network. A bit limited. Open to abuse with Illusory Tormentor, Nightmare etc. Also this is hardly a double edged sword! I prefer a subtler "see through your eyes" ability. Something like a psychic enchantment that said "the controller of this enchantment may cast spells originating from this creature. When this creature is damaged, the enchantment's controller suffers an equal amount of damage." This would make it more likely to appear in builds outside of mages with psychic spells, granting everyone access to remote casting at a price.

Okay. That sounds like a good idea for a different card ("Painbond"? I'll think on it.). You make a good point about psychic creatures abusing the spell; also, I just realized that most creatures with psychic attacks also have psychic immunity, so they would not be able to make use of the spell anyway. Here's a re-imagined version of the card:



Quote
Amulet of Protection. Meh. Hey, you sometimes miss. It should be Holy 1 but still does not compete with the cumulative benefit of current medallion slots. Colossus Belt is really the appropriate "Protection" item. To compete in the Medallion Slot, it must be good and certainly not a situational one-off benefit. Use its ready marker to re-roll an attack on you each turn seems like what a Lucky Charm may grant you?

Yes, that would be a good effect for a lucky charm. I am attached to the idea of an item that saves your life, once, though. This amulet is certainly situational; I suppose it will often be passed over. Here is an alternate change, which makes it function a little like the poor man's Divine Intervention:



Quote
Haemonologer. I hate the name. Why not just "Blood Mage"? Keep him a Vampire with all the Vampiress traits as an ability. But also "treat as a Dark creature". I also think the mana acceleration (Channelling 13 with vampirism and regeneration to counter damage) is too much. The Blood Mage spends his precious life blood to pump his spells. And sacrifices his creatures too. Something like "Once before each attack you make or each spell you cast, you may lose 1 life or deal 2 damage to a friendly living creature in your zone to gain +1 Melee or +1 Mana". Whatever the benefit, life loss should be the deterrent, not damage.

Done (Re: the name). Regarding loss of life vs. damage, part of the idea was that he would replenish damage taken with blood, simulating a vampire's relentless hunger, since he would be driven to melee attack as much as  possible to fuel his dark arts. I see your point about abuse of regenerative items, though. What if I simply restrict his ability more, and make it more expensive? I also added the option to drain his own creatures for mana, though obviously you would only do this to creatures that are about to die.



Quote
Dreamwalker. I love it. Morpheus from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman. But the 1 damage = 3 mana equation is too harsh as ethereal is too much of a silver bullet. I assume also non-Living? (Incorporeal creatures currently has both traits written on them). I think cap mana pool at 30 and 1 damage = 2 mana may be better (also dies if less than 0 mana). Is there an issue with Indestructible and "destroyed"? I don't have rules with me. Tranquilize is too clinical a name. "Slumber" maybe? Why not simply "Sleep and Mass Sleep are cantrips for you?". Makes him more of a ranged creature (as he can teleport to that range 2 target). I may be tempted to make his attack 0 dice Taint to kill off sleepers? Especially if you want him with Dark 1 training (why?). Anyway, the idea is really interesting, it just needs a bit of balancing.

Okay. Changed the damage/mana ratio. Yes, incorporeal means nonliving, and no, there is no issue with Indestructible, which just means that the creature cannot be destroyed by having more damage than life. I also removed his ability to gain armor and gave him a soft mana cap (I don't like the idea of a strict limit on mana, but I recognize the need to stop his "health" from growing out of hand). I don't want to reference specific spells, so no sleep/mass sleep cantrips. I removed the dark training after some thought; it was mostly in there for thematic reasons (due to his origins in dark magic) Anyway, here is a modified version:



Some other alterations, minor and otherwise, to cards:






Here are some new cards, focusing on Murkh's creations. If it is not already apparent, Murkh is basically an orc who hated magic so much that he devoted his life to its eradication, becoming a powerful mage in the process. This is mostly to justify spells for the warlord that make up for his crippling lack of arcane spells. While I recognize that it is better to leave metamagic to the arcane school in order to leave each school its own specialties, I think that as long as these are restricted to the Warlord, they should not be a problem.




Note: this is intended to be a clockwork golem, but my ability to convey that through art is limited. And yes, the parody of Thunderrift Falcon is intentional. Its magic immunity may be a double-edged sword.


Why should you choose the warlord over the Earth wizard? Perhaps this artifact will help with the decision.

DeckBuilder

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 666
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #41 on: October 22, 2013, 11:47:25 PM »
Some more quick thoughts

Enchant Equipment. They need to be stronger than normal because 1 Dissolve = 2 for 1. You also need more of them as part of a hidden enchantment's strength is not knowing what it is. Enchant Zone is rare so currently you can spot a Trap quite easily. Enchant Conjuration (like Harmonize) is rarer so you can immediately guess it. While I appreciate that Decoy can Enchant any Object, you need more than 3 that target equipment to make them fun. I'd make Enchant Weapon grant Unavoidable and Ethereal (so toolbox of Falcon Precision and Divine Might in 1 spell that can be Dissolved). I'd make Forge Replica a cantrip (and X = equipment level). Both are persistent effects so I would make Animate "when revealed, attach this equipment to a friendly living creature within range 2 in line of sight who can use it like a mage", Mind 1 (Force) and X = equipment level (as there is upkeep +1 to pay). I like how Forge Replica can stay hidden to attract Dissolve. I think if you have a critical mass of enchant equipment spells, perhaps in a set with the Artificer mage who specialises in equipment and enchant equipment (Alchemist and Runemaster are sub-classes), then this idea would work. But the always 2 for 1 Dissolve drawback results in them being "above the power curve", making Dissolve even more of a silver bullet. Which I don't think is the way the designers would want the game to develop.

Dreamcatcher and Mana Amplifier look fine. I think you need to design benefits additional to just mana generators to be interesting (e.g. Dreamwalker's inherent attack if not raised will not wake sleepers). I assume the Amplifier means "Objects with inherent Channel value increase their Channel by 1. Objects with the Channeling +X keyword gains an additional Channeling +1" just like Magic's Mana Flare. As Amplifier is a global effect conjuration, it needs to be Legendary (as well as Epic Zone Exclusive).

Mordok's Shield. I don't think it good to have an arcane physical shield. Promoting wizards to wear armour and carry weapons beyond a staff is not fantasy traditional. I do like your idea of putting the Wizard in danger to harvest mana. Perhaps Mordok's Orb (shield slot) as orb is the missing implement (wands, rod, staff, tome, totem etc) is more appropriate? I think it should perhaps strengthen the mana denial strategy like "all your attacks gain Mana Transfer 1" as Mana Transfer is a keyword in the Codex that I haven't spotted on a card yet.

Robes of the Archmage. I appreciate you are trying to promote casting powerful spells. But surely a far too grandiose name for what is really a situational mana discounter that is not even Legendary? Apart from creatures, there are very few level 3 spells played (else spell books would be pretty small). I like that you have taken the body slot normally reserved for armour. If remaining non-Legendary, I would probably name it the more humbler "Robes of the Magi" and remove the Upkeep +1. In the end though, mana manipulation seems a vanilla benefit. I think what wizard really needs is a Body slot item with "gain +2 on your attack effect die rolls", sacrificing armour for more spell control. But that would be completely redesigning the robes.

Archivist. I love this mage concept, probably because I am a secret librarian. But i do think he is sadly too powerful as he is. I would change "at any time" to "once per round before casting a spell" for more specificity of when this delays play, limiting it to just once per round. That would make him more balanced. I love this mage,

More to follow as I catch up on the rest. Though you are constantly churning great new ideas!
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 12:06:52 AM by DeckBuilder »
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

ACG

  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 859
  • Banana Stickers 5
    • View Profile
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #42 on: October 24, 2013, 12:34:30 PM »
Quote
Enchant Equipment. They need to be stronger than normal because 1 Dissolve = 2 for 1. You also need more of them as part of a hidden enchantment's strength is not knowing what it is. Enchant Zone is rare so currently you can spot a Trap quite easily. Enchant Conjuration (like Harmonize) is rarer so you can immediately guess it. While I appreciate that Decoy can Enchant any Object, you need more than 3 that target equipment to make them fun. I'd make Enchant Weapon grant Unavoidable and Ethereal (so toolbox of Falcon Precision and Divine Might in 1 spell that can be Dissolved). I'd make Forge Replica a cantrip (and X = equipment level). Both are persistent effects so I would make Animate "when revealed, attach this equipment to a friendly living creature within range 2 in line of sight who can use it like a mage", Mind 1 (Force) and X = equipment level (as there is upkeep +1 to pay). I like how Forge Replica can stay hidden to attract Dissolve. I think if you have a critical mass of enchant equipment spells, perhaps in a set with the Artificer mage who specialises in equipment and enchant equipment (Alchemist and Runemaster are sub-classes), then this idea would work. But the always 2 for 1 Dissolve drawback results in them being "above the power curve", making Dissolve even more of a silver bullet. Which I don't think is the way the designers would want the game to develop.

Good idea for Enchant Weapon; makes the weapon's existing attack more useful. Yes, Forge Replica does probably need to be a cantrip (Maybe an Artificer only spell!). I don't like the idea of letting any creature using equipment like a mage; instead, retaining the current functionality of Animate, here is a counter-proposal (which also introduces spellbound equipment and incorporeal creatures with armor):



Point taken, regarding Dissolve. Here is a possible way to combat the problem:



Here are some more new cards. I'll get to the rest of your comments later.





Edit: Nerfed Artificer, which was way too powerful. Still may be very powerful, interested in your thoughts on the matter. Also added the Orb of Immolation. Normally I come up with my own quotes, but this one by Terry Pratchett was just too perfect to resist.

Edit: More responses:

Re: Mana Amplifier - Good catch on legendary; two of those could get ridiculous fast. I'll make the fix. I understand that you find mere mana generation abilities to be rather plain (and I agree that, mechanically speaking, they are not that interesting), but the main point of Mana Amplifier is to change the dynamics of the game with respect to familiars and spawnpoints which, with a few notable exceptions (Wizard's Tower, Battle Forge, etc.), are underused. I don't think it really needs to do anything more than this.

Re: Mordok's Shield - I suppose I could make it an orb. I was modelling it mostly on the spiked buckler. Of course, there is no need for it to be limited to the wizard; the arcane school just seemed to be the best fit. I'll think about retheming it, though. Regarding Mana Transfer, see the Artificer for a possible implementation.

Re: Robes of the Archmage - So you think that the body slot opportunity cost is a sufficient downside without the upkeep? I suppose I can see that. Again, though a discount may seem boring, the spells that it allows the mage to cast can be quite impressive indeed, so I believe that the name is warranted, though I wish I could word it better.

Re: Archivist - I'll place some restrictions on the timing of his ability.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 06:47:02 PM by ACG »

DeckBuilder

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 666
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2013, 05:10:45 PM »
Some more catch-up feedback...

Atraxus Goblin Veteran. I think you have nerfed him too much. He needs his 1x Defence 8+ (any) so that when he is on the defensive, he can shield/dodge the attack. I also can't envision any goblin as Bloodthirsty (and this compulsion doesn't work with his Skirmisher guerilla tactics side). I'd remove Bloodthirsty +1 and just have Charge +2. Otherwise he looks great fun to play.

Chimera v2. Yes, this is a big improvement. Harder to abuse, gives players reasons to have low level creatures in their book, the costing, it's all good. My only quibble is it should be Arcane 1 Nature 1 to give it more appeal to more mages. Most experiments involve animals hence the 2 schools. It's every player's chance to be creative and splice the creatures you want. The first that comes to my mind is a cost 16 Gremlin Wolf with 1x Defence 8+ Armour 2 Life 17 attack 4 piercing 1 with pay 1 fast teleport. It costs a Nature or Arcane mage 9 spell points so there is a book cost to pay. Falcon Bobcat will be 11 cost 1x Defence 8+ Armour 0 Life 9 attack 3 charge +2 fast flying, effectively 5 dice fast aerial harasser with defence. It would cost any Nature mage 5 spell points. It's not game breaking but it's very good. Chimera is so much creative fun for players but it is a designer's nightmare as they have to ensure every level 1-2 creature cannot be abused via it. I think it adds so much that it's worth the effort but this game is Vancian, not improvisational, the designers want total control over effects.

Psychic Network v2. Yeah, this is better, if a bit niche (psychic = mind mage only really) and situational (too much psychic immune)

Amulet of Protection v2. It's still not good enough for a one-shot endgame neck slot you may never need. It needs a persistent benefit with a cancel damage and obliterate one-shot benefit (forget the blink 3, too similar to a poor man's Divine Intervention). How about an ability "range 0-0 quick action: place a guard marker on a friendly creature"? It allows you to gain the protection of your minions...

Bloodmage v2. I think you should add "vampiric" to his basic melee attack (so he does not use weapons), remove Frost -2 (too much of a nemesis for a frost mage) and rename his remaining great temporary Fly ability as Bat Form or something similar. As for his eponymous ability Blood Magic, I think you can improve it to "if you have insufficient mana to cast a spell, you may take damage equal to the shortfall to cast it as long as this shortfall does not exceed that spell's level". This can only happen once per round by definition, has that feeling of using your own lifeblood when your magical reserves run too low, discourages saving mana (such as by attacking) and encourages high level spells. Just a mechanic to make him even more different?

Dreamwalker v2. Indestructible is "the object cannot be damaged" so the convert damage to mana ability won't trigger. He needs to be armour "dash" (incoproreal) and life "dash" (life 0 destroys them with 0 damage and bypasses indestructible as no damage was dealt). I think Dream Essence should just read "Incorporeal. Dreamwalker's Mana Supply indicates his remaining life. For each point of damage he receives, he instead loses 2 mana and dies if reduced to 0 mana. Each Upkeep, if he has more than 30 mana, he must permanently reduce his Channeling by 1". There are Incorporeal creatures without Psychic Immunity (Whirling Spirit, Invisible Stalker) so leaving this out seems fair as he seems a bit good already. I like "Soporific Presence" as an ability name but think it should be 2x Spell Level. Finally its attack should be Ethereal. Overall, he's a really interesting mage.

Standing Orders v2. I've had a rethink on this. It seems far too expensive. What's the benefit of having Evade bound to this over Mongoose Agility? Charge over Cheetah Speed? Yes, you get a tiny benefit but you spend more mana and risk 2 spells to a single Dispel! I think you can promote long-term planning by giving it a specific timing reveal cost of X and no Channeling (too fiddly for an enchantment). "May only be revealed during Upkeep. Bind a level 1 Command Incantation to it. X = casting cost of the Command. The enchanted Soldier is treated as permanently targeted by that Command". It's powerful but it is deferred benefit, also revealed before Planning and you pay 2 extra over the single use cost, 1 extra spell point and only affects soldiers. I feel you can make it a free repeat use persistent Command on Soldiers.

Shadow v2 and Nightmare v2. Really interesting creatures. All seems fine.

Greatwood Forest v2. The idea of a whole forest dwarfs the Druid's pathetic single plants! I think you should lower the power level. Maybe just "Greatwood Oak", its ability could simply be "Blocks line of sight between Flyers and non-Flyers into and through this zone. Creatures with Climbing gain Flying while in its zone." Also I would reduce it to Nature 2 and cost 8. Its canopy blocks different elevation line of sight whilst allowing any Climbers (including a Mage with Eagleclaw Boots) to gain Flying (whilst not guarding). Also should be "Regenerate 2".

Berserker Frenzy v2. It's too expensive in spell points (simply make it War 1) and casting cost (make it 2+4). Else great.

Murkh's Obelisk v2. I like the idea of protecting yourself against zonal attack spells etc. I think it could just be War 2. I suspect it seems more game-breaking than it is.

Magisbane Golem. Why not "cannot be targeted by spells" (shroud in Magic)? It's a powerful ability so I'd make him cheaper (War 3, cost 13) and more random, perhaps "when activated, Blink 1"? In conjunction with Slow (but quick attack), he makes a nice random rampager. Maybe even Bloodthirsty +0 to reflect clockwork programming? Just suggesting options to make him more different to Iron Golem.

Magisbane, the Purifier. Wow, this is the Warlord's totemic one-handed weapon! I'd remove Upkeep +2, change Mana Drain 2 to Mana Transfer 1 and give it free Dispel (pay X = full cost) or Seeking Dispel (pay 2) ability when it damages a creature as currently it's dispelling far too cheaply, even with its upkeep. An alternate way of removing enchantments as a free action is powerful. I'd also make it a Cantrip. It's an appropriate Dispelling weapon worthy of a Warlord!
« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 08:11:45 AM by DeckBuilder »
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.

DeckBuilder

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 666
  • Banana Stickers 3
    • View Profile
Re: ACG's Custom Spells and Mages
« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2013, 05:48:51 AM »
Finally caught up with your posts to date, ACG...

Armour Phantom. The equipment chimera. Too powerful. For 9 mana you get Armour 3 (yet Incorporeal 7 Life), Attack 4 Ethereal Reach, Flame -4 Lightning -2 Frost -2. It's far too good and also breaks the "Incorporeal do not have Armour" rule. I'd change from Spirit to a living Simulacrum Humonculus, make it Dark 1 War 1 (different to Chimera's 2 schools). Cost X, no attack, Armour 0, Life Y, Channel 1 Familiar (Wands, Moonglow) and living (Armour, Belt, Sunfire etc). "Bind 2-5 different equipment placed in different locations when comes into play. X = cost of all equipment bound when cast. Y = 2x total spell levels of all equipment on it. You may target equipment on this creature as if it was your mage." This is less broken as a combo enabler than Chimera as those equipment combos will have already been tested. Note that I allowed mage only equipment on it and later adding equipment. Instant assemble is its main attraction, costly in spell points but fun.

Ablate. Exactly what those Enchant Equipment spells need. Perfect support for that concept. As well as protecting equipment.

Seven-League Boots. Seems strong but I think it's ok. A single hinder negates all its abilities.

Artificer. Still a bit too good (assuming he has artifact support). Soulbond Weapon is very powerful and weapons with extra keywords could be broken. How about a gadgeteer? "During upkeep, you may return 1 discarded equipment to your spellbook by paying mana equal to spell level. Before or after each declare attack step involving you, you may switch 1 equipment with 1 same slot equipment in spellbook, paying any additional cost of the replacement equipment." This creates a gadgeteer who always has just the right item for every occasion. Without creating new combo items that could potentially break the game. It also syenrgises well with Broad Expertise. This is not shabby, just needs more contingency book-planning and spell points. Soulbond Weapon requires less skill in comparison.

Orb of Immolation. Nice idea but needs to be better? Burn is not meant to be burst but unreliable persistent damage. So I would make it more reliable, go as far as "when rolling for Burn, re-roll all blanks once". My main worry is Burn is going to be far better with the new set (Plants and Resilient Zombies). Still, this is a pricey Epic conjuration that can be destroyed. You forgot to add "Flame Immunity Hydro+3".
« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 03:22:48 PM by DeckBuilder »
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And then it's just fun.