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Tabletop Game / The Spoils

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The Spoils is a CCG created by Tenacious Games and released in November 2006.

The game borrows heavily from Magic: The Gathering in terms of gameplay, with a few changes here and there to streamline the gameplay. For instance, all players begin the game with two resources in play to avoid Mana Screw.

The game is, like MtG, divided between five different colors, or trades, each of whom uses its own type of resource:

  • Arcanists - Magicians and cultists. Uses Obsession as a resource.
  • Bankers - As the name suggests, these guys utilize money to get their way. Uses Greed, fittingly.
  • Gearsmiths - Engineers and creators of the fantastic and weird. Speak in 1337. Uses Elitism.
  • Rogues - Gamblers, scoundrels and con men, Rogues rely on quick wit and reflexes to survive. Uses Deception.
  • Warlords - Soldiers, berserkers and knights, Warlords rely on brute strenght. Uses Rage.

The story is this: Sometime in the future, the universe spontaneously resets; the stars shift positions in the sky, the laws of physics are rewritten and the great works of man disappear, leaving the world a blank slate. Several millenia later, life has returned to the earth, now known as Luridia, in the form of the the Mau, the 31v35, and humanity. The story begins with 1st Ed. which takes place 150 years after the fall of the Marmothan Empire. The Seed Cycle, the first expansion set, serves as a prequel taking place during the fall of the Marmothan Empire.


The game is also notable for the heavy amount of Memetic Mutations cited in its flavor texts, with references to/from Family Guy, Futurama, SpongeBob SquarePants, Predator, the Beastie Boys and so on.

Tenacious sadly went under in early 2008, but the rights to the game were picked up by Arcane Tinmen, who are currently working on the fourth expansion to the game.

This game contains examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo - Bask Bomb. An artillery battery that fires dragons.
  • Alien Sky - The north and south poles are giant mountains hovering above the planet, with a large asteroid belt circling the rest of the planet.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game's resource system was specifically designed to address the problems inherent with the one in Magic: The Gathering, placing further emphasis on skill, rather than luck.
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  • Army of Thieves and Whores: The Rogues.
  • BFG - This and This.
  • BFS - The impracticality of this trope is illustrated with this rather heavy sword.
  • The Berserker - 1st edition Warlords are this combined with The Brute.
  • Bloodier and Gorier - Compared to Mt G.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Seems to be the designers' intention—the more gruesome cards often have sardonic one-liners for their flavor text.
  • Cold Sniper - "1050... 1051... 1052..."
  • Denser and Wackier: Compared to Magic: The Gathering. The Spoils was created by Magic pros as a sort of "Magic 2.0," with many rules either streamlined or deliberately altered to minimize variance. The world of The Spoils is deliberately wackier than any shown in Magic, but the game itself is denser by coincidence. The Spoils was launched in 2006. Magic's 2007 set, Time Spiral was so overwhelmingly complex that it led to a ground-up policy change in regards to complexity, particularly in Common cards. The Spoils did not follow suit, meaning that its Commons and Uncommons tend to have a wall of text in their rules box while most Magic Commons tend to only have one or two words.
  • Eldritch Abomination - Quite a few.
  • The Empire - The Marmothan Empire. A relatively benign example, for a change; it was ruled over by Emperor Padamose.
  • Eye Scream - "Ach! My eyes! The goggles, they do nothing!"
  • Flavor Text: Every card gets some on top, and those with shorter rules text get some more on the bottom. The only exceptions are Staple Resources (which have no text except for their name) and invitational cards which list their designer on top and tend to have too much rules text for their to room on the bottom.
  • For Great Justice - The Seven Swords of Great Justice, headquartered in their Hall(scroll down the page) really just fight for Emperor Padamose and the Marmothoan Empire.
  • Funny Animal - The Mau, Great Mau, and Shrievers resemble bipedal domestic cats, predatory cats, and dragons respectively.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Zigzagged. Cards like Erotic Assassin lampoon the game being sexy, but the Staple Resources are all pretty Stripperiffic.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Subverted, but not in the usual way. 31V35 live for centuries and spend most of them at the same age, but as teenagers, rather than young adults.
  • Kill It with Fire
  • Knight in Shining Armor - Seed Warlords are this. It doesn't last...
  • Knight in Sour Armor - What Warlords haven't completely lost their way between the Seed Cycle and 1st Ed. are this.
  • Magitek - The Gearsmiths produce a lot of this.
  • Memetic Mutation - The source of a majority of the games flavor text.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast - Bladefist Doomwing, Wyrmfang Deathskull, and Dethmurderbludgeon, from the Warlord faction.
  • Our Dragons Are Different - Basks are mindless lizards, the Barduse are intelligent and evil, the Seraphim are intelligent and good, and the Shrievers are anthromorphic.
  • Our 31v35 Are Different - They're still the longest lived race, as per usual, but the vast majority of their life is spent as a juvenile. They speak in 1337, are naturally drawn to technology, and all but the youngest live on the distant continent of Nidia. Oh, and they created humans.
  • Our Vampires Are Different - Sarcophyles. The true vampires were exterminated long ago, with the Sarcophyles inheriting their associated culture. The reason the Sarcophyles are allowed to continue existing is because they can't controll peoples minds and creating more of them requires drinking copious amounts of their tainted blood over a long period of time. Also, extended life as a Sarcophyle may turn you into this.
  • Psycho Serum - The bodily fluids of Barduse are collected and used as Dragon Juice. Turns this into this.
  • Really 700 Years Old - 31v35 (male ones at least) don't mature beyond what humans would consider puberty until a few dozen years before their death. They often live for thousands of years.
  • Refuge in Audacity - Oh yes. In this world, dragons are routinely fired from cannons, magic is fueled by twisting doorknobs and smashing extracted teeth, and the entire world is orbited by inhabited, floating chunks of itself.
  • Schizo Tech - The 31v35 can create AI if they feel like it, but their aversion to mass-production means that most of their creations remain one-of-a-kind affairs. Ergo, no such things as television or radios exist, because noone wants to build them.
  • Shattered World - Luridia is the core of a planet the 31v35 blew up eons ago. One can still reach the pieces floating above it by airship.
  • Stripperiffic: All five Staple Resources feature women in some pretty revealing outfits.
  • Superpower Lottery - Extensive exposure to voidal science can grant abilities ranging from the useful (telekinesis, telepathy) to the profoundly useless (spontanous combustion).
  • Tron Lines - Quite a few Gearsmith creations have these. Here's an example.
  • Undead Laborers: Called Necromorphs, reanimated corpses of debtors reduced to eternal indentured servitude are common among the Banker trade. They are used for the menial labor common to this trope, but also for jobs that are seen as too dangerous or just too outright boring for the living. One card in particular likens bureaucratic undead to an automated phone system ("Can I please speak to a living person?").
  • Unobtainium - Voidal Humour, the stuff that makes magic go, is extremely rare and valuable. It can only be obtained through Quotidian Rituals.
  • We Have Reserves - Just ask this graduate from the Zapp Branigan school of warfare.
  • World of Pun: Pick five cards at random, and there's a pretty high chance that at least one involves at least one pun.