Another update, to give a bit more information on the playtest-driven changes in RUIN. The next section of The Storyteller will be posted tonight, and if you already read the first part, you might want to check again as I updated it and lengthened it to a full 10 pages written thus far.
So the playtest we had went remarkably well, especially for a first time and especially when one of the players was a seasoned Magic the Gathering player, and did an excellent job at picking apart at rule gaps that needed to be addressed. I won’t put the whole list of changes here, but this is the gist of it:
- Unit values and the cards to modify them need more range
- There should be safer ways to establish Coins
- Cards should have an active Play cost
- Coin cards and unique cards
- Make Fate cards more interesting
Unit values and the cards to modify them need more range
Right now, the cards all have a straight 1-3, and all modifier cards are +/-1. I was strongly encouraged to widen this range, as it will help define cards in their uniqueness and make them more or less valuable targets to hit with big bonuses or penalties. I agree, and will probably be spreading the range out to 1-5 and +/- 1/3/5 instead.
There should be safer ways to establish Coins
Current gameplay for Coins involves permanently (for that game at least) converting cards from your hand into Coins to use to buy stuff. In theory, it emulates similar income methods like the World of Warcraft TCG and allows for large risk-reward in spending a lot of early cards to buy a lot of heavy hitters earlier, at the risk of not having those cards defending you.
In reality, this resulted in an interesting early game, but a very stale late game, where a big attack could barely dent a coin supply (being limited to 1 coin card per victorious attacking player per turn). One proposed solution was Coin cards, which I’ll elaborate on below.
Cards should have an active Play cost
This was adding into the issue with runaway winners, where a deck full of awesome could blow opponents away turn after turn with little impediment while still growing their deck. Using a play cost would theoretically slow that down by some degree.
Coin cards and unique cards
This was the big idea proposed: add coin cards into the game. Rather than drafting your entire starting hand, you draft 5 cards, and the remaining 5 are 1-value Coin cards. Coin cards can be bought from the trade area at a cost of 1 Coin per coin on the card, and then can be played and spent for that value (adding in a deck efficiency bit with more coins on a single card).
Cards can also be discarded to form coins, retaining the risk/reward mechanic but not making it necessary. Then the winner gets to take cards equal to how much they won by, up to a cap (currently thinking 3 as an arbitrary starting point), so the game will go a little faster and it adds further risk to just hyper-focusing on the most efficient coins you can. Coins will also get to be affected by the modifier cards as well, making them larger or smaller too.
Unique cards was a short idea for expansion content, with cards that have very powerful but limited one-time effects. Like modifier cards, but without the card destruction once forever used.
Make Fate cards more interesting
We drew them, but never used them, so that to me says they’re not a great option right now. Not sure what I’m going to change on them, but I do know they need changing for sure.
So that’s it for this time! Keep an eye out for more of the Storyteller tonight, and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below.