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Magic the Gathering

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questccg
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Yamahako was nice to list a "distilled" version of the game (MtG).

Phases of a turn (cards can effect all of these):
-Untap
-Upkeep
-Draw
-Pre-combat Main
-Combat
-Post-combat Main
-End of Turn
-Clean up

And the types of cards:
-Land (I understood as resource cards)
-Artifacts
-Creatures (Creatures you summon into battle)
-Enchantments
-Planeswalkers
-Instants
-Sorceries

I was wondering if someone could explain in further detail, like I have done with the Land and Creatures cards (using parenthesis - short & simple). I am just trying to "better" understand the phases of this game and the type of cards used in the game.

Ultimately I would like to be able to explain my own game (with it's specific phases) in a similar - condensed - fashion.

Grall Ritnos
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Ok, here goes

Ok, here's an attempt from a guy who hasn't played in years but still keeps up on news in the game.

Phases of a turn (cards can effect all of these):
-Untap - All of your tapped cards untap (see tapping below)
-Upkeep - Many once per turn actions happen here
-Draw - The active player draws one card
-Pre-combat Main - The active player can play 1 land per turn, and as many other cards as resources allow
-Combat - Creatures attack an opponent, who can use his or her own creatures to block.
-Post-combat Main - The same as pre-combat main
-End of Turn - "Until end of turn" effects wear off, various other abilities trigger
-Clean up - active player discards down to maximum hand size, damage on creatures wears off.

And the types of cards:
-Land - Resources, most lands can produce one mana per turn
-Artifacts - Colorless card (any deck can use), provides various effects and abilities, can also be creatures
-Creatures - Creatures you summon into battle and use to defend yourself
-Enchantments - Similar to artifacts, but are colored (only usable in certain decks), generally not creatures
-Planeswalkers - Represent another "player" who allies with you, most have three abilities, building to an ultimate spell which often comes close to winning the game. Can be attacked directly by creatures.
-Instants - Single use cards, can be played any time
-Sorceries - Single use cards, may only be played in active player's main phase

Two key concepts you need to know to understand Magic: tapping and and the color pie. Any permanent (non-instant or socery) can tap (turn sideways) to indicate that it has used an ability. Lands tap to generate mana, artifacts and creatures tap to use special abilities, creatures also tap to attack. As a general rule, enchantments do not tap. An object may not be tapped twice, but must wait to be untapped by an effect, or during the untap phase at the start of a players turn, where all of that player's permanents untap. Creatures who are tapped cannot block incoming attackers.

Most cards in Magic have a color (artifacts and lands being the general exception). There are five colors in Magic: black, red, green, white and blue, with each representing a set of mechanics, general elements of flavor and a philosophy. The most common lands are swamps, mountains, forests, plains and islands, which produce the five colors of mana respectively. A card is considered to be a certain color if it requires one or more mana of that color to play. Thus, most decks will choose to focus on one, two or at most three colors, and use only cards from those colors. Cards can also be "gold" which means they require more than one color of mana to play.

If you're interested in learning more about MtG, there are several helpful tutorials here: http://wizards.com/magic/TCG/NewtoMagic.aspx

Also, I would highly recommend a column called Making Magic, which posts on Mondays on Wizards' site. It is written by Head Designer Mark Rosewater, and includes a huge archive of very helpful articles on design, most of which are specific to Magic, but many of which are focused on general design principles. Its safe to say that if not for Mark's column, I would never have picked up an interest in designing games. His archive can be found here: http://wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Archive.aspx?tag=makingmagic&descripti...

questccg
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Great... but I have some questions...

>-Untap - All of your tapped cards untap (see tapping below)

Do you have to "untap" all your tapped cards???

>-Upkeep - Many once per turn actions happen here

What do you mean "once per turn actions". Can you provide some examples?

>-End of Turn - "Until end of turn" effects wear off, various other abilities trigger

Can you give an exmple of "effects wear off"?

>-Clean up - active player discards down to maximum hand size, damage on creatures wears off.

What do you mean by "damage on creatures wears off"??

>-Enchantments - Similar to artifacts, but are colored (only usable in certain decks), generally not creatures

What do you mean by "only usable in certain decks"?

>-Sorceries - Single use cards, may only be played in active player's main phase

Do you have an example to explain why the distinction between "Instant" and "Sorceries"?

>Most cards in Magic have a color (artifacts and lands being the general exception). There are five colors in Magic: black, red, green, white and blue, with each representing a set of mechanics, general elements of flavor and a philosophy. A card is considered to be a certain color if it requires one or more mana of that color to play. Thus, most decks will choose to focus on one, two or at most three colors, and use only cards from those colors.

What do you mean by a "set of mechanics"? Each color is different? And if so can you provide an example...

Thanks so very much!

whoshim
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questccg wrote:>-Untap - All

questccg wrote:
>-Untap - All of your tapped cards untap (see tapping below)

Do you have to "untap" all your tapped cards???

Yes, if possible.

questccg wrote:
>-Upkeep - Many once per turn actions happen here

What do you mean "once per turn actions". Can you provide some examples?

"At the beginning of your upkeep, if Firemane Angel is in your graveyard or on the battlefield, you may gain 1 life." - http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=89074

There are timings for many things in the game. Many of these timings occur at the beginning or the end of the turn. Above is one example.

questccg wrote:
>-End of Turn - "Until end of turn" effects wear off, various other abilities trigger

Can you give an exmple of "effects wear off"?

A creature boost card that is an instant or sorcery will usually stop giving the effects at the end of the turn. (Target creature gets +2/+2 and gains flying until end of turn. - http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=241989)

questccg wrote:
>-Clean up - active player discards down to maximum hand size, damage on creatures wears off.

What do you mean by "damage on creatures wears off"??

If a creature with a defense of 4 takes 3 damage during a turn (so, not enough to kill it), at the end of the turn, that damage disappears (next turn, there is 0 damage against it). So, to kill a creature via damage, you must do it all in one turn, since the damage doesn't stay around.

questccg wrote:
>-Enchantments - Similar to artifacts, but are colored (only usable in certain decks), generally not creatures

What do you mean by "only usable in certain decks"?

Lands create the resources to pay for cards according to what color the land is. So a Plains creates White Mana. A card which is paid for by 2 Generic [any color] Mana and 1 White Mana would mean that you have to have a Plains (or special) land on the table. Enchantments are spells that stay around, like artifacts, but require colored mana, unlike most artifacts (most of which use any color). So, a card which requires 1 White Mana to play can only reasonably be put into a deck which has lands that generate White Mana. It is difficult to run more than a 2 color deck unless you have a lot of special lands.

questccg wrote:
>-Sorceries - Single use cards, may only be played in active player's main phase

Do you have an example to explain why the distinction between "Instant" and "Sorceries"?

Instants can be used on both players' turns, while sorceries can only be used on your turn. Instants can also 'respond' to other actions, whereas sorceries cannot. Sorceries are usually too powerful to be instants. If certain cards were instants, they would be too powerful, so they make them sorceries. One such card is Sleep (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=205120). If you could play it as an instant, you could play it right after your opponent untapped all her creatures, which would then stay tapped during your turn and their next turn. As a sorcery, they are tapped during your turn and their next turn. So, if it were an instant, it would protect you from 2 turns of the opponent attacking, instead of 1, which is pretty strong. There are many more powerful cards, but this is one example.

questccg wrote:
>Most cards in Magic have a color (artifacts and lands being the general exception). There are five colors in Magic: black, red, green, white and blue, with each representing a set of mechanics, general elements of flavor and a philosophy. A card is considered to be a certain color if it requires one or more mana of that color to play. Thus, most decks will choose to focus on one, two or at most three colors, and use only cards from those colors.

What do you mean by a "set of mechanics"? Each color is different? And if so can you provide an example...

Thanks so very much!

White cares about small creatures and life gain, blue cares about instants and sorceries, black cares about discarding from opponent's hand and getting cards back from the graveyard, green cares about giant creatures and creature boosts, and red cares about direct damage and speed. These are just general outlines. WotC does a pretty good job of keeping card abilities within the color category they have designated for that ability. If you really want to know more, it is called the Color Pie, and there has been a lot written about it online.

questccg
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Thank you so very much

Okay so I have a better (but still very basic) understanding of MtG... As someone already told me: "Basing a new card game on something like Magic is not recommended." Now I sort of understand why he says "not recommended".

The game has a lot of depth and "rules" to its structure. The phases of the game (imho) are generally tied to the mechanics used by the game. The color pie adds more rules to mechanics...

I personally think that anything that would "remotely" look like MtG will probably be VERY MtG (in play). And so it would sort of have a general "copy" feel to it... Not something that would attract potential MtG players away from the original.

whoshim
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Actually, there are some

Actually, there are some problems with MtG, mainly involving mana screw (getting too many or too few lands), and so some top players play The Spoils, which is basically a copy of MtG, with more luck removed.

Ludomancer
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whoshim wrote:Actually, there

whoshim wrote:
Actually, there are some problems with MtG, mainly involving mana screw (getting too many or too few lands), and so some top players play The Spoils, which is basically a copy of MtG, with more luck removed.

I played Magic for years, and I can safely say this is far from the biggest weakness Magic has.

Magic's biggest strength is that it has a huge player base, so it's easy to get a game going and the cards have a decent re-sale value. Its biggest weakness is that its sales structure makes it a money-vacuum.

Now that I've been playing Magic again (via the Planeswalker digital games), I think I can safely say that the biggest design weakness is the Land=resources (mana) system. At the beginning of the game, you don't have enough land, so you play a few turns without really doing anything. Later, you can be 'stalled' by drawing lands too often or not often enough. It makes the game slow and very luck-based.

I always found the most fun part of Magic to be the deck-building. Now I play digital CCGs that still give me that pleasure but are more playable and less wallet-lightening. Some of my favorites include: Star Chamber, Elements, Spectromancer.

deFunkt29
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If you have more questions

If you have more questions about the game, I definitely reccomend you check out the website. They have a pdf of the rules as well as a free demo to download. You can also download the demo to the latest PC game to see more of how the game plays, and some more cards.

questccg
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Similar concern in my game.

Ludomancer wrote:
Now that I've been playing Magic again (via the Planeswalker digital games), I think I can safely say that the biggest design weakness is the Land=resources (mana) system. At the beginning of the game, you don't have enough land, so you play a few turns without really doing anything.

My current game involves the use of income for the purpose of battle or negotiation. I also believe it will force players to play a few turns just to earn enough income so that you can do something.

Nothing, however, prevents me from deciding that each player starts with an base income of 20 chips. From the game standpoint of view, that is a reasonable amount (not too high but enough to be able to battle)...

I also think that the "stalled" effect you mentionned later in the game may also occur in my game if a player is a " big spender" and loses a lot of chips. The "not enought income" scenario could creep up again. And so that player will have to change his style of play (focus on earning income), rather than challenging the other players in combat.

One thing my game does fix is the "waiting for certain resource" problem. You can change your style of play, ultimatly changing what resources you are using. So you don't have to worry about "too much of this" or "not enough of that"...

But you do bring up a good point (and something I may have to consider...)

questccg
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Funny

Ludomancer wrote:
Now I play digital CCGs that still give me that pleasure but are more playable and less wallet-lightening.

Well in regards to buying the game itself, there is no "wallet-lightning". I plan to stay away from the CCG rare card chasing model.

BUT from a game point of view (playing), you'll probably be wanting to stay away from my next game... Nothing like bringing a Tank to a Fist fight: the game is using gambling as one of its core mechanics (bluffing and intimidation). Depending how good (or bad) your are, you might be prone to the "wallet-lightening" syndrome! :P

Tenelen
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As a side note to this topic

I am extremely interested in the game you are working on Quest. I have started to piece together what you are trying to do with this game and I REALLY like the basic idea behind it.

Do you have a website or a blog that you use to post things about this current game? Or will it all be revealed at once?

questccg
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Visit Card Game Forge

Tenelen wrote:
I am extremely interested in the game you are working on Quest. I have started to piece together what you are trying to do with this game and I REALLY like the basic idea behind it.

Well I do want to make it the "best that it can be". I have play tested and have found quite a few problems. The game needs an overhaul from its current form. The blog entitled "1st play test completed" talks about all the things that went wrong...

Quote:
Do you have a website or a blog that you use to post things about this current game? Or will it all be revealed at once?

You can visit the Card Game Forge website. It has a blog with news regarding the progress of the game:

http://www.cardgameforge.com/games/rain_of_fire

Thanks for your interest (BTW the game is called "Rain of Fire")... It's nice to know someone is interested in what I am trying to do. This was the "First" play test of Version 2.0 of the game... And there is still MAJOR thinking/rethinking to be done to improve on the game.

Crensh3000ad
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Condensed version of your game

questccg wrote:

Ultimately I would like to be able to explain my own game (with it's specific phases) in a similar - condensed - fashion.

Dear questccg, surely it's me, but I am still missing the concise description of your own game in this topic. I would like to read more about it - and I am looking forward to a "condensed" version of its rules! Thanks in advance :-)

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