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Dice mixed with cards

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questccg
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I was wondering what fellow designers think about introducing dice to a card game.

During some "Googl-ing" of card game mechanics, I fell upon a thread on a forum discussing card game mechanics. Different people were talking about what they thought were good mechanics in card games.

Anyhow to make a long story short, I read a VERY interesting post. To sum it up it kinda goes like this:

If you introduce dies into a card game, you increase the odds of making the game more "balanced". Assume it is a dual game where you draw monsters to fight against your opponent.

The message goes deeper into the logic by stating a very SIMPLE yet INTERESTING outcome. So here is how it was formulate:

Bad Monster + Bad Roll = You're fncked!
Bad Monster + Good Roll = You're okay.
Good Monster + Bad Roll = You're okay.
Good Monster + Good Roll = You're kicking @ss!!!

Anyhow, I think that message was PRICELESS. It was simple and illustrated how by adding a dice mechanic to a card game, you could end up with a much more balanced game.

I still need to think about this some more... However I will examine if I can maybe introduce this into my own card game to help out those "weaker" unit cards.

My best regards to all.

Tenelen
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Monster Wars

Actually for my game Monster Wars I have the battle system of my card battling to be much like this.

Each Monster has their own level of 'Power' and the way that battle goes is like this:
(Monster Power) + (d20 Roll) = Attack

If your attack is greater than your opponents than you win. The reason I did this was to make it more balanced as a game because it's not about which Monster is stronger all of the time, it's also about how your luck rolled for that turn. Most of the Monsters in the game around around 10-20 Power, so it makes it that most of the time if you roll a 20 you will win the battle. I thought that this added much more balance, and would make players feel like they weren't screwed if they didn't have 'the best Monster'

questccg
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Got to go buy dies...

Tenelen wrote:
Each Monster has their own level of 'Power' and the way that battle goes is like this: (Monster Power) + (d20 Roll) = Attack

That's pretty simple. I was more thinking about introducing dies such that a STRONG unit would have less LUCK and higher ODDS as opposed to a weaker one.

Example: A Black dragon has a Strength (STR) = 8 + 1d4 (max 12). And a Knight has Strength (STR) = 3 + 1d10 (max 12).

Something more like that. So it is POSSIBLE to have a Knight beat a Dragon but the odds are not favorable for the Knight. It kinda keeps the realism of the battle intact while giving a chance to the weaker unit (not a complete risk of losing).

The Knight would have Strength (STR) = 3 + 1d10 (max 12). 6, 7, 8, or 9 are good rolls in favor of the Knight. A weak roll of 1 or 2 for the Black dragon give it a total of 9 or 10 Attack.

So now I have to go out and find a place that sells dies nearby! At least to try out the concept a couple of times to see if I like it.

Tenelen
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Yeah, I just wanted to keep

Yeah, I just wanted to keep it simple as I thought it was a little too complex to have each Monster have a different number sided die. I didn't really want to clutter up my cards with more things, but if you can figure out a way to do it without too much of a problem more power to ya.

questccg
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Ha ha ha

Tenelen wrote:
I didn't really want to clutter up my cards with more things...

Well if you've seen the "layout" of my current game, there is ALREADY a lot of clutter! There were 3 draw piles and now I'm thinking about adding ANOTHER one! Ha ha ha... I wish I had "cool" names for them like MtG. Things started out so simple...

Tenelen
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For sure!

I kind of am a 'keep it as simple as possible' person. I don't want there to be too much on my cards. Like right now I have a Power, Health, and Gold on each of my cards, on top of a Name, Type and their abilities and I think that's about all I want to put on them.

Although if I have to add an idea like yours to my game I would. I will have to test out my combat system a bit before I decide that. I haven't really tested out my idea of my combat system as much as I should have, which I am starting to regret right now.

questccg
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Broken prototype

Tenelen wrote:
I don't want there to be too much on my cards.

I am of the same mindset. But what I thought would *work*, didn't! :P So now I am gutting the game completely. ;)

My *focus* is trying to make the game as strategic as possible. And doing so needs ANOTHER card type. Makes me ALSO want to remove one of the existing card type (to even things out)...

Obviously the dies introduce a bit of luck, but it balances out the game... So it's not a bad "solution".

questccg
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Another thing to consider

The nice thing about dies are the nice "bags" you can store them in and also the pretty neat cups you can use to roll them in!

Check it out: http://www.koplowgames.com/page4.html

Can make for a very "dramatic" game experience... Picture it: you arrive with a "Silver briefcase" (inside Poker chips!), and then you open your "Suede bag" to reveal 10 dies. Next you take out the black "Dice cup" and place it on the table! By the looks of things, it feels like it is going to be an "intense" game! ;)

questccg
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Dies add depth to the game

I have play tested the use of dies in battle... And it works GREAT! It adds an element of luck but also gives more value to the other in-battle bonuses that are possible.

This makes one mechanic more interesting (RPS 3). It also adds a lot of depth to the game. Players used to have to resort to playing "Instant" cards (which they still can) to alter the outcome of a battle.

Now the rolling of the dies makes the battle seem more *physical*. And it is another way of resolving "Stronghold" disputes between players. It also allows weaker minions the chance of beating their stronger counterparts.

This latest "decision" has given our "broken prototype" new life...

larienna
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You need the right doze of randomness

I thought of adding dice to card games a long time ago. I think at that time, I wanted dice to be used as mana sources. You rolled the dice and told you which mana you had access. If used in a light doze it can be great. Another advantage of dice is that you don't always end up in a situation where there is nothing you could do because your opponent has a very strong card.

I know a game that combine dice and cards, it's called "Emmerlaus", it's made in Quebec and there is 2 versions of it. The first problem with this game is that the expansions unbalanced the game completely and the second problem regarding dices is that there are too many rolls.

For example, for each spell cast on you, you must make a resistance roll which consist in rolling 1D20 <= 10 to avoid the effects of the spell. So you must do this for every spell. Then if the spell pass, you need to assign damages. Damage gets multiplied by the rings your character can hold. So if for example you have a +3 power level, you need to roll 4DX, (die face determined by the card) add up the damage and subtract it from the player's HP (pen and paper OR D100 required to keep track of HP).

When playing with the old edition we rolled once and multiplied the value for damage, but in the second editions there were some cards that multiplied and other that asked for multiple rolls. So in the end, you had a lot of rolling to do and it became long and annoying. You also ended in a situation where you draw strong cards but it had little effects because either the enemy resisted the spell, or either you power level was so low that it had little effects.

So I think it's a good idea if you have the right doze of randomness. Rolling once per card, where not all cards requires a roll, should be the maximum rolls for a card game in my point of view.

questccg
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I agree

larienna wrote:
So I think it's a good idea if you have the right doze of randomness. Rolling once per card, where not all cards requires a roll, should be the maximum rolls for a card game in my point of view.

Well this is exactly my point. So I agree with you. What I have done is FIRST added a Rock-Paper-Scissors system (RPS 5) which involves color. If your card color beats the opponents, there are NO rolling of dies. This is what I call a "Diplomatic victory". Winning by color requires a little bit of strategic thinking (or out-thinking) and a luck factor (but there are odds of winning).

If there is no winner by "Diplomatic victory", then players need to roll ONE dice (not 2 or 3 or 5), ONE. And that roll is just to balance out the game (with a little bit of randomness).

Instant cards, cards you can play at any time, do not require rolling of dies. There might be ONE card that allows a player to roll his dice a second time (Second chance) or something like that. But not "continuous" rolling of the dice.

larienna
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This means that it would be

This means that it would be resolved by diplomacy 2/3 of the time since you only get a die roll if both players has the same RPS value.

I have been using RPS system for my Ratscraft game idea too lately. In Starcraft, units have a varying value for attack/def on their cards. ex: average attack 5 but some cards have 4 and 6. But some units could have stronger values, like average 7, range 6-8.

Now it became an absolute mess to balance the strength of units because I need to compare range of values rather single values. So instead, I used fixed values for each unit + RPS. RPS determines if you hit, miss or both hit each other. Then you compare firepower and health to see if you actually kill the enemy.

The second interesting idea is that you don't know which card is stronger than the other since the result of the RPS is relative to the target's RPS value. So players cannot easily place back the strongest cards into their deck.

Still, the key of using an RPS system is having a hidden information game. Because if I know I cannot win, I will not attack. In my system, players target blindly, but once targeted, the cards are revealed. So it gives the opportunity to another unit with the right matching RPS to make the kill.

cyruseli
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I've been designing a game

I've been designing a game where unit cards don't have stats besides a cost, but instead of abilities that are activated by rolling Combat Dice (d6s) and assigning them to the units in combat. A lot of the time the ability activated will be something simple such as "Combat Total+3." The winner of the battle is the player with the highest Combat Total. Sometimes, though, the activated abilities will have more abstract effects, or be "Lethal Effects," which kill other units.

The die rolls help in exactly the way quoted in the first post. The weaker cards can hold their own against stronger cards if they get a good roll.

I figure if people started taking the game seriously I could design die-roll manipulation effects to keep the hyper-competitive players happy

truekid games
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questccg wrote: Anyhow, I

questccg wrote:

Anyhow, I think that message was PRICELESS. It was simple and illustrated how by adding a dice mechanic to a card game, you could end up with a much more balanced game.

You -could- end up with a more balanced game. In practice, however, most games that incorporate both random draws from a deck and random rolls from a dice are just multiplying their randomness.

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