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TV Tropes Trading Card Game:

 751 Kyler Thatch, Mon, 6th Jul '09 6:48:09 AM Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
literary masochist
Off-topic, I know, but I'd like to hear more about these "Dredge decks". What did they do, exactly?
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me
 752 Apocalypsering, Mon, 6th Jul '09 7:32:52 AM from The Scarecrow Kingdom
Nemesis of Reason
Really quick off-topic to explain dredge.

Dredge was a mechanic in an older block that quickly broke the game. The mechanic could be put on any card type and read:
  • dredge X - when you would draw a card, you may instead send X cards from the top of your library to the graveyard to return this card from the graveyard to your hand.

The deck broke the game when players realized they could abuse this using other seemingly innocent cards that would otherwise be weak to get a powerful side effect. Ichorid and Bridge From Below are the most famous. Ichorid could be returned from the grave to play for a turn by removing another creature. Bridge From Below could make a zombie token whenever a creature you control was sent to the grave, but only if Bridge itself was in the grave.

Narcamoeba was a card that put itself into play if milled out of your library. Putrid Imp is a crappy small black critter that can gain flying if you discard a card. Stinkweed Imp is a crappy black creature that has Dredge 5. Breakthrough was a XU spell that let you draw four cards, then discard all but X cards from your hand.

Careful Study allowed you to draw two cards, then discard two cards.

What do Ichorid, Bridge From Below, Putrid Imp, Narcamoeba, and Breakthrough al have in common? They're all terrible. They suck. They also were key components in the most broken deck in Extended for years and Wizards never saw it coming.

The deck dropped an island on turn one and played Breakthrough with X as 0. They draw four cards and then discard their entire hand. The next turn they dredge a Stinkweed Imp for 5, return two Icharids and a Narcamoeba to play, beat for six, then make two zombie tokens for free as the Ichorids leave play again. The next turn they dredge Golgari Grave-Troll for 6, put three Ichorids and another Narcamoeba into play into play, and swing for the win. The deck was almost impossible to disrupt. It was faster, more reliable, and more resilient than any other deck in the format.

The biggest surprise was that wizards was surprised. They had never imagined a deck like that could happen. They had playtested the Dredge mechanic extensively and somehow missed this exploit. It caught them entirely off guard, even though they had been making Magic for years. They got blindsided because they just didn't see how exploitable Dredge really was.

The dredge deck operates on one basic principle: breaking the logical intent of the game zones. The grave is supposed to be your waste and the deck your resources. Dredge reverses this, using its grave as the resource and the deck as its waste. Whenever you can subvert the normal mechanic of a game like this, you can break the game.

The deck really broke when players found they could use Dread Return to play Akroma, Angel of Wrath on the first turn. They dump as much library as they can, getting Bridge, Ichorids, Akroma, and Dread Return into the grave and Narcamoebas into play. From there they just need three creatures in play to flashback Dread Return from the graveyard, targeting Akroma. They attack with Akroma before their opponent has even taken a turn.

edited 6th Jul '09 7:33:06 AM by Apocalypsering

"Seasons don't fear the Reaper. Of course not. Seasons aren't alive. You are, though . . ." -Reaper King
Hey, I know this is a few pages late, but thanks for fixing Cool Tank, Apoc. Anyway, here's a card idea I came up with while I was away:

  • Brain Food
    • Characterization
    • Cost: 6 SP
    • Stats: COMBAT 3
    • Effect: When you successfully use COMBAT on a character with INTELLIGENCE, you gain IP equal to that character's INTELLIGENCE. (Edit: Alternatively, you could discard the characterization that's granting him INTELLIGENCE. I'm not sure which one would work better.)
    • Flavor: All we wanna do is eat your brains
      We're not unreasonable; I mean, no one's gonna eat your eyes

Edit: Also, I have an idea for balancing trope cards: Prerequisites and "splash damage" (characterization and plot-device eaters that require you to remove one of your cards as well). For instance, Phlebotinum Induced Stupidity could only be played immediately after a successful INTELLIGENCE contest and Stuff Blowing Up would discard both a plot device being used by your opponent and a plot device used by you.

edited 6th Jul '09 8:01:19 AM by Eriksson

 
 754 Ironeye, Mon, 6th Jul '09 3:35:43 PM from SoCal Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Cutmaster-san
I unfortunately lack the time to respond properly (hopefully I'll have a chance tonight), but I do have a quick point: I came up with the "take control of another player's character/location/phlebotinum being sent to the Bus" rule idea to counter specifically the exploit you described, Apoc, where a player would play a trope just to send an essential character to the Bus so their opponent couldn't play a particular card.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I think we should avoid drawbacks on cards that do balance them properly but are nonsense when considering the flavor of the game. We should aspire to make cards that are a complete package instead of being mechanically elegant but have messy flavor.

For a final point, aren't we already "balancing via a number" when it comes to the SP cost of characterization and other "permanent" tropes? If we truly want to make elegant packages without numerical balancing, shouldn't we just toss SP entirely and set a limit on the number of cards a player can have in play? (altering the rules text of the cards accordingly to keep things balanced, of course)
I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
 755 Black Humor, Mon, 6th Jul '09 3:49:03 PM from Zombie City
Woo, that was a long post.

Here goes nothing: Vampire Buddha, I think I just lost every ounce of respect I had for you. I don't even know where to begin with that post.

This is called an ad hominem. It's never a good idea, because it makes people lose respect for you. Ironic, eh?

Dredge. If you know anything at all about MTG, that's all I should have to say.

Now see, I can counter this with something you say later:

While I'm at it, you need to stop using MTG examples. ... This game is not Magic and Tropes are not Instants. ...

Dredge is a very specific analogy, you know. It wasn't just Dredge itself that broke the game, it was a whole bunch of cards that get some effect from being discarded or in the graveyard. I don't think you can use it at all as an analogy without being horribly hypocritical.

The next few paragraphs are a jumbled mess of misused logic, but I can try to sum it up. You claim that because some Tropes should be powerful, all Tropes must have extra costs tacked on. Then, because all Tropes must have extra costs, that cost must be SP. That is your logic stream. It makes multiple illogical leaps without any backing.

*sigh*

The logic goes like this:

  1. Some Tropes are going to be overpowered without having a cost.
  2. SP is the only cost we have that works on all cards regardless of what they do.
  3. Therefore we should put SP on some Tropes.
  4. But we can't have SP on some Tropes and no SP on other tropes.
  5. Therefore we should put SP on all Tropes.

Perfectly logical.

While I'm at it, you need to stop using MTG examples. I use them rarely to illustrate either specific similarities between minutia of mechanics or overarching requirements of TC Gs in general. This game is not Magic and Tropes are not Instants. They may appear similar at first, but stopping to examine the effects that they are intended to have on the game there is a noticeable difference in that Instants are entirely reactionary while Tropes are mostly action-oriented.

Again, you using the way-far-out there analogy of Dredge but criticizing the much closer analogy of Instants is hypocritical.

And I assure you, no matter what we intend, Instants and Tropes are going to end up having equivalent effects just because they both work exactly the same. Well, except that Tropes don't cost anything, which is going to make them overpowered no matter how good we are at designing cards.

Again, another Magic analogy, Wizards makes unbalanced cards pretty often and they do this professionally. We are definitely going to make unbalanced cards considering we're a bunch of nerds on the internet.

I'm at a loss for words. I just . . . wow. Wow.

That was the idea. He was tossing your own words back at you. It didn't really make all that much sense, but that was the idea.

This from the guy who made the cards of Killed Off For Real, Dropped A Bridge On Him, Bus Crash, Anyone Can Die and Mcleaned. Five of the most horrifically broken and unbalance cards to be seen so far in this topic. And in a game where we said we only wanted limited character removal.

What? Who said we only wanted limited character removal? Considering we've got two whole graveyards for characters and one for everything else, we seem to be expecting HUGE character removal.

Furthermore, you don't even know how the other cards in the game work, as per your description of Happily Ever After. The card is a permanent that sits in play and triggers on your draw step if the conditions are met. W Hich means you, under the system you advocate I can play The Power Of Love during the opponent's turn and throw away Happily Ever After in order to play it.

This is true, or at least it was true until Ironeye posted. I don't see why it's a problem, though; this is a card game, we can't model actual writing perfectly.

I'm sorry, Vampire Buddha, but after a display like that I can't take anything you say seriously any more. I don't know what you attachment to SP costs and removal is, but it probably isn't healthy for this game. I think you need to re-evaluate how much you think you know about making games. Consider taking a step back for a bit and just thinking about how the game will actually play out when the cards are put into decks, shuffled up, and drawn.

Again, ad hominem. It doesn't make you look good to anyone, you know.

''Thanks for the clarification on that. That actually does fix the Happily Ever After problem, but I'm afraid it only solves it because of the card's type, not because of the innate issues.

An important issue here is the ability to use your opponent's characters. If my opponent has a character in play and I play an Ending that would trigger on my draw step because of my opponent's character, then my opponent can just play any Trope and throw out their character. This is not good. ''

Now, that's true. I'm not really sure it's not good, though, because I doubt you'd be able to use your opponent's characters for most endings anyway (otherwise the win would just count for your opponent).

You are right, the getting everything back right away isn't as much of a worry. The action of putting resources like characters and Plot Devices into other zones as a cost of playing powerful cards is the problem. I'm not sure how familiar you are with the Dredge decks that overran Extended in MTG last rotation, but they were based around a similar idea. A mechanic like this would probably create strategies based around using powerful Tropes to gain advantage and other powerful tropes to reverse the costs just paid, turning the costs into actual benefits, just as Dredge did. A card game uses the deck as the resources and the graves as the expended pile. Dredge operated by making the graveyard their resource and their deck the waste pile. It did this by dumping cards into the grave as a "cost". Mechanics that do this are dangerous.

And now you've actually explained your Dredge metaphor, and I still think it's too specific to Magic even so.

But I've also noticed that you are a lot more polite to Ironeye then you were to VB even though they're saying the exact same thing. Why? Why is this idea some kind of abomination of card games when VB wants it and just maybe a bad idea when Ironeye wants it?

Furthermore, I still do not believe that Tropes require an SP cost. A trope can be built to cause a powerful effect without needing a cost. Again, see The Power Of Love I made above. Of course, an extremely powerful trope would need a cost.

That's true. And for every other card in this game, that cost is SP. I think it's just silly to not use the same mechanic for tropes.

The not quite famous Rocks Fall Everyone Dies card that I made for someone kills off every character, but forces a severe IP payment and causes the player to skip three turns. A Trope like [example would go here]

Those work, for those cards. You again, can't do that for every card.

That is a powerful card that provides excellent card selection. It does not need a cost. Nobody has addressed the fact that I can keep making these Tropes that are both quite powerful and perfectly balanced without tacking on any additional costs. No IP, no SP, no discard, no sacrifice, nothing at all. The card is strong and balanced.

You don't know it's balanced, you've never played it. I assure you, sometime someone is going to use those costs as an advantage just like the guys who thought of Dredge did with discard effects.

That is what I mean when I said to put effort into designing balanced cards. Adding a universal variable cost of SP is a cheap design trick used so that designers can make whatever they want without worrying about power level and then just tack on a number to rank the card as being really strong. It requires no thinking or ingenuity.

Good.

A game where cards are easy to make balanced will be more balanced then a game where cards are difficult to make balanced.

I'd like to see a smooth, professional, streamlined game that looks like the designers carefully hand-crafted every card, not just slapped numbers onto effects.

And I'd like to see a game that's not broken.

But also, you don't seem to have a problem with SP on every other card, why just tropes?
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 756 Ironeye, Mon, 6th Jul '09 4:21:26 PM from SoCal Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Cutmaster-san
Oh, I just noticed that if we're declaring war on numbered costs to balance cards, then IP penalties are also off the table unless we make a standard IP penalty to be used on every card with an IP penalty.
I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
 757 Apocalypsering, Mon, 6th Jul '09 6:27:48 PM from The Scarecrow Kingdom
Nemesis of Reason
Well, Black Humor, it was mostly the tone of their posts that elicited the types of response I gave each. Also, there is a difference between attacking and advice. I genuinely think he should take a moment or two to really consider how asymetrical card games play out, but that's another issue.

I'm getting tired of arguing this point.

In your logic list, your first point is innately invalid. No there will not be powerful Tropes without costs, because we will put costs on them. There are plenty of options. We've been over them.

But really, this whole topic is getting tiresome. I'll be honest here, I love the idea. As soon as I saw it I loved it. I love game mechanics. I love trading card games. If I didn't, I wouldn't be a MTG certified judge. I wouldn't draft and play daily. I wouldn't study game design and mechanics with the intent of pursuing it professionally. I wouldn't have actually made an entire 160 card MTG fake set and playtested it for Limited.

I thought this would be an exciting project to throw my hat into. I tried to get it moving. I compiled an entire rules document and a database of every card made. I compiled a formatting system for those cards. I researched other rules documents to make sure everything was covered. I fully intended to print out and playtest the cards. TV Tropes is one of my favorite websites, and the idea thta I could apply the skills I've learned to something else that I loved enticed me.

I can't keep doing this, though. I'm out of energy and patience for this project. I thought by this time we would be talking about cards and not mechanics, especially when the mechanics we already have work perfectly fine. I draw the line here. I cannot continue to work on it.

I'll kindly request you do not use my rules document or the cards that I have created. I will claim copyright over the rules document that I made, but feel free to use it as a reference when writing your own. I'll revert the main page back to the way it was.

Good luck.
"Seasons don't fear the Reaper. Of course not. Seasons aren't alive. You are, though . . ." -Reaper King
 758 Black Humor, Mon, 6th Jul '09 7:06:16 PM from Zombie City
Touchy.

Ok, see you.
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 759 Vampire Buddha, Mon, 6th Jul '09 7:15:37 PM from Right behind you Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Butterscotch Dinosaur Pussy
Apoc...

I'm sorry.

I'm a jerk. When people argue against me, I have a bad habit of taking a more extreme and confrontational position just to be contrary. Anger causes logic to break down, and this is something I have to work on all my life.

I'm not saying this to defend myself, or to justify my actions, but to apologise. I'm not convinced that what I said was wrong, but I was a dick about it. I shouldn't have acted the way I did.

You mentioned I should take a step back and really look at the game as a whole, or words to that effect. I've decided to do just that, so I'm going to take a break from posting in this thread to sort out my thoughts.

And if I've driven you away from this project, I apologise unreservedly. There's no excuse for that. In spite of what I've said so far, I appreciate your insight, and your idea for removing cards from play was elegant and brilliant (once I understood it).

Once again, I'm sorry.
 760 Black Humor, Mon, 6th Jul '09 8:30:54 PM from Zombie City
If it helps, I don't think you were being meaner then anyone else in the topic.

But then again, I'm not Apoc.
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 761 Ironeye, Mon, 6th Jul '09 8:39:28 PM from SoCal Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Cutmaster-san
It's a shame to see you go, Apoc. While we didn't always see eye to eye (ok, let's face it: it didn't happen very often), I think it was good having you around to balance out everyone's ideas (especially mine, since I'm quite a flavor-focused guy). I'm also pleased that we were able to speak (mostly) civilly to each other even when we were advocating diametrically opposed positions.

If you ever want to rejoin the project, I'll welcome your return.
I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
 762 Black Humor, Wed, 8th Jul '09 2:36:40 PM from Zombie City
...So, back on topic:

Should trope cards have SP?
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
Solar Powered
Sure. Let's try it. If a playtest finds it unplayable, we can always change it.
"Life isn't poker - it's Magic: the Gathering." - Matrix
Ok, c'mon people, let's get back on this.
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 765 Sand Josieph, Fri, 10th Jul '09 10:21:12 PM from Grand Galloping Galaday
Bigonkers! is Magic
Someone somewhere proposed an Executive Meddling card.
♥♥II'GSJQGDvhhMKOmXunSrogZliLHGKVMhGVmNhBzGUPiXLYki'GRQhBITqQrrOIJKNWiXKO♥♥
 766 Ironeye, Mon, 13th Jul '09 12:37:37 AM from SoCal Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Cutmaster-san
Requesting certain cards really isn't helpful right now, SJ.

Anyway, I'm trying to write up a set of rules in the Basic Instruction Booklet style (as opposed to the Comprehensive Rules style that Apoc's rules were in).

At the moment, I need some help coming up with good names for the three game zones. As a refresh, they are:
  • The main zone, containing all things currently active and functional in the story
  • The zone for things that were once in the story but are not currently active (tentatively called "The Bus"; cards here are "On the Bus", and Put on a Bus sends cards here)
  • The zone for dead and destroyed things; Killed Off for Real sends cards here

Anyway, as I finish sections of the rules, I will post them in the forums for comments.
I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
 767 Matrix, Mon, 13th Jul '09 1:45:37 AM from The Matrix, Canada Relationship Status: Less than three
quidf scire vis?
The main zone: Storyboard

Bus: Someplace Unimportant

Dead: Afterlife
Same as Matrix, but keep "The Bus" for the Bus.

edited 13th Jul '09 12:34:58 PM by BlackHumor

I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 769 Ironeye, Mon, 13th Jul '09 1:26:20 PM from SoCal Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Cutmaster-san
I had considered calling the "graveyard" The Afterlife, but while it fit well with characters, I was hoping we could find something that would also work for Phlebotinum and Locations.

edited 13th Jul '09 1:26:26 PM by Ironeye

I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
 770 Madrugada, Mon, 13th Jul '09 5:05:37 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Hmm. Wouldn't the place for discarded elements be The Wastebasket?
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 771 Ironeye, Mon, 13th Jul '09 5:13:05 PM from SoCal Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Cutmaster-san
We do have a separate Discard Pile (currently called "The Discard Pile") that would better fit The Wastebasket than the Killed Off for Real zone, since there are all manner of tropes for characters coming back from the dead, or even for dead characters still interacting with living ones.
I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
 772 Madrugada, Mon, 13th Jul '09 5:18:09 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
But the Wastebasket is where you throw stuff you're done with. The Desk Drawer (or The File Cabinet) is where you put things that don't work now, but you might want later
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 773 Ironeye, Mon, 13th Jul '09 5:26:26 PM from SoCal Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Cutmaster-san
Wow, I really botched sentence structure there. Anyway, here's the overview:
  • standard zone (alive/functioning and active in the story)
  • Killed Off for Real zone (dead characters who may or may not return as spirit guides, appear to other character in visions, motivate other characters through their deaths, be resurrected, etc.)
  • Put on a Bus zone (characters, phlebotium, and locations currently not in the story but with an option to return)
  • discard pile (used tropes)

"The Wastebasket" doesn't make sense for the Killed Off for Real zone because the characters:
  • May still affect the story with their death
  • May not stay dead
  • May remain active in the story despite being dead
Thus, that zone does not correspond to tossed ideas, but to things that are dead and destroyed.
I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
 774 Apocalypsering, Tue, 28th Jul '09 6:00:33 AM from The Scarecrow Kingdom
Nemesis of Reason
Jeez guys, what happened?

Don't let this die. It was a really cool idea.
"Seasons don't fear the Reaper. Of course not. Seasons aren't alive. You are, though . . ." -Reaper King
 775 Black Humor, Tue, 28th Jul '09 9:48:03 AM from Zombie City
Thing is, "don't let this die" messages bump it once and then it dies again.

We need somebody to post the rules again, that usually gets the topic going.

Hey Ironeye, are you still doing that or should I?
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
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