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Limiting card sets: Yes or No and How?

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questccg
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Researching Pokemon and Magic has shown me that the maximum a card can be in a deck is FOUR (4) times. With Magic it's a bit more complicated in that a player's deck may have as many Lands as he/she desires.

So this has got me thinking that I could have a LIMIT of three (3) Sets of any given Monster.

Three (3) works better with the deck size (which is nine cards) and if you want to be anal about it, that means 3 UNIQUE Monsters sets per deck.

This to me doesn't sound stupid at all. It actually sounds SMART and very tactile strategy to having the right cards (odds-wise).

The question for me is: is capping card limits to three (3) sets sound reasonable? Should you need to validate a player's deck before a game or are cheaters just banned from playing?!

What are your thoughts on this issue??? Please feel free to comment or provide feedback. I'd like to hear what other designers think.

Note #1: @Juzek already suggested in-game costs which I do have. I call them Resource Points (RPs) and each Monster has a limit of 5 RPs. The real issue is someone can use ALL nine (9) Monsters set to be the SAME. I don't want this... It sort of "breaks" the game. You are guaranteed the same Monster, the same Stats and some of the Enhancements.

It makes the game "STUPID": just choose a set and add 9 of those to your deck...! I don't want this KIND of "play style" or method of Deck Construction...

Tim Edwards
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It seems like a reasonable

It seems like a reasonable thing to ask if it makes the game better.

As for checking decks before the game, obviously it's a problem if your set up choices are supposed to be secret! In that case, players (or at least the winner) could show their deck at the end of the game - if any rule breaking won't have become obvious during play.

let-off studios
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Agree - Close of Match

Tim Edwards wrote:
...players (or at least the winner) could show their deck at the end of the game - if any rule breaking won't have become obvious during play.
Yep, that's what I would suggest. It keeps information hidden from the opponent, but since both/all players won't know their opponent's deck until in the game, things seem balanced.

What's the convention in Magic and Pokemon? How is this issue approached in those games?

@questccg, you mention the limits, but how are they enforced?

questccg
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No clue!

let-off studios wrote:
...What's the convention in Magic and Pokemon? How is this issue approached in those games?

@questccg, you mention the limits, but how are they enforced?

I can't find anything with Google on this. That's why I raised the topic. It doesn't seem like their is any talk of disclosure before or after. IDK.

Magic and Pokemon suffer from FAKE cards (self-reproduced). But my cards will NOT because they are PLASTIC. They are made in Hong Kong. So if an individual wants to spend a lot of money making FAKES, the more affordable idea is just to buy the cards from my webstore.

Getting back to limits... Indeed I don't know what Magic Tournaments do. My guess is that they must validate each player's deck to ensure that there are no "banned" cards or "fake" cards either. My game has neither: no banned cards and no fake cards (as explained above).

But there is the issue with Deck Construction... I WANT to insist on complete "Monster" SETS (3 or 4 cards) as opposed to breaking down some sets just to get the "right" cards for your deck. Breaking down sets is a sort of "free-for-all" format that will be "illegal". Never-the-less some players may try to do this once they've become familiar with the game.

@Let-off: Maybe you are better at Googling than I???

Maybe you could see if you can find anything about deck validation in Magic or Pokemon. Cheers!

X3M
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In a MtG tournament

You could count the cards. If there are 60. You can still call a judge for checking the deck. Without telling the contents.
60 is a lot for doing that.
9 is not.

questccg
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27 to 36 cards per player

X3M wrote:
...60 is a lot for doing that. 9 is not.

Well there are more than 9 cards. There are between 27 and 36 cards. But the real test is to ensure players are playing COMPLETE "sets". A Monster "set" is comprised of 3 or 4 cards. There may be nine (9) sets per "Deck".

It's really 3 Micro Decks:

1> Nine (9) Monster Cards
2> Nine (9) Stat Cards
3> Nine (9) to 18 Enhancements

A Monster "set" is comprised of:

+ One (1) Monster Card
+ One (1) Stat Card
+ One (1) or 2 Enhancements

ceethreepio
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There's a variant of Magic

There's a variant of Magic called "Commander" - that limits every card in your deck (aside from lands) to being unique - only 1 of each. Easy to check during play with a "have I seen that card before?" as you play.

How is the 4 card limit handled in MTG? It depends on the audience

New players - they'll start with a prebuilt starter deck, and a few boosters. The odds that anything in the booster is a duplicate of anything in their prebuilt deck, and the odds that they add it and it takes them over 4 is very low. But if it does, it doesn't really matter. Here you're talking a 1/61 or 2/62 odds of pulling it.

Hardcore players - they just know. As soon as they'd seen a 5th "Lighting Bolt" - they'd call it immediately, and the player with the illegal deck would forfeit the game immediately.

questccg
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Thanks for the clarification

Makes sense... But unfortunately it doesn't HELP me! So let explain some of the differences between "Monster Keep" (MK) and games like Magic. First the game is SOLD in "Monster Sets" which are either 3 or 4 cards. When you build your deck, you choose NINE (9) Monster SETS. That is your Deck and it varies between 27 and 36 cards. Not too bad.

But the intricacies of play make it that you DIVIDE your deck into THREE (3) MICRO DECKS:

1> One for the Monsters: determines Attack-Type and Element. This Deck is comprised of nine (9) cards and should be limited to 3 copies of any card.

2> One for the Stats: determines the Attack and Defensive Powers. This Deck is also comprised of nine (9) cards again also limited to 3 copies.

3> One for the Enhancement: boost that allow Monsters to be even deadlier. This Deck varies between nine (9) and eighteen (18) cards. And obviously limited to 3 copies of any card.

So the IDEA is to BUILD a deck based on Monsters and their compatible Abilities and then when you PLAY you "mix-it-up" and try to design STRONGER Monsters that the pre-defined SETS you built your Deck with.

The problem I see is NOT with the cards that are played. It's the remaining ones in the Decks that could be STACKED to improve odds of drawing a particular card or cards.

See of the NINE (9) Monster cards, you only Draw a Hand of FIVE (5) and you only play THREE (3) Monsters from your Hand... Same goes for Stat cards 3 out-of 5. The last Deck, the Enhancements, a player may play zero (0) to five (5) enhancement cards (so none to the entire Hand).

It may sound "complicated" but it really isn't. The game is functionally very simple to learn and play... Much easier than Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh! And there is surprisingly a decent amount of "strategy" involved. More than you would guess for the simplicity of the design.

So IF anyone has IDEAS about: "How to POLICE the game...?!" Please reply and share with me your thoughts on this matter!

Cheers.

ceethreepio
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Right, I think I get it. So,

Right, I think I get it. So, you have a set of "Monsters" where a Monster, A, is comprised of a set containing

A/m = monster card
A/s = Stat card
A/e = Enhancement card (1 or 2, but for this understanding lets say 1)

Where if I add Monster A to my deck, I must take ALL of A's monster, stat and enhancement cards (and not just cherry pick the bits I want).

And so my deck is a set of 9 monsters which could be something like
A, A, A, B, C, C, D, E, F

And you want to stop people cherry picking the awesome "B/e" enhancement card out of the otherwise mediocre B monster card set, and leaving the other elements of B (B/m and B/s) behind?

Let me know if I've got that right?

Firstly, it should definitely be in the rules that the deck is illegal if it contains any components from monsters that aren't complete (unless the card says otherwise).

Next, lets try some indirect enforcement:

A simple solution is you could do something obvious like Monster specific card backs - make monster A have a different card back to Monster B, but that's a lot of hidden information to give away from someone's hand.

The more complex way is to solve the problem by nudging the deck builder towards legal solutions (and as designers this is probably the way you should go). Let's try that now. Assuming my above assessment of the problem is right, lets say you design a "weak" creature, A, comprising of

A/m Monster = Power 1
A/e Stats = +1
A/e Enhancement +10.

So, obviously stack the deck with A/e, thinks our cunning sneaky players! So, let's break the A/e card! How about adding a rule to the A/e card that says something like:

"When this enhancement card is attached to a monster, discard a "A/m" creature from your deck or your hand".

Now, they need to have the weak A/m creature in their deck in order to use the A/e card. Again, this is basic idea, but if you do something like this you can link the cards together.

questccg
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You understood 100%

ceethreepio wrote:
...Where if I add Monster A to my deck, I must take ALL of A's monster, stat and enhancement cards (and not just cherry pick the bits I want).

And so my deck is a set of 9 monsters which could be something like
A, A, A, B, C, C, D, E, F

And you want to stop people cherry picking the awesome "B/e" enhancement card out of the otherwise mediocre B monster card set, and leaving the other elements of B (B/m and B/s) behind?

Let me know if I've got that right?

Exactly. You understood 100%.

ceethreepio wrote:
Firstly, it should definitely be in the rules that the deck is illegal if it contains any components from monsters that aren't complete (unless the card says otherwise).

Yes I will add this to the rulebook (definitely).

ceethreepio wrote:
Next, lets try some indirect enforcement: ...

A simple solution is you could do something obvious like Monster specific card backs - make monster A have a different card back to Monster B, but that's a lot of hidden information to give away from someone's hand.

Yeah the cardbacks would be too complicated. Some cards are CLEAR and TRANSPARENT (for Stacking purposes) like the Stat and Enhancement cards. So this could not be a universal solution.

ceethreepio wrote:
The more complex way is to solve the problem by nudging the deck builder towards legal solutions (and as designers this is probably the way you should go).

I understood your example. I need to think about it... But it's a fair example of one way to justify the cards required. Thank you!

questccg
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One of the basic ideas is...

That A/m cards lie on the bottom-most layer. These will be printed on White Cards with the identical cardback.

The A/s cards (Stats) are on the next layer and will be mostly TRANSPARENT except the actual "stats" for the card. Again the cool thing is to mix-and-match cards to get even "stronger" cards than the original card set was designed for...

The A/e cards (Enhancements) are the top-most layer(s). They are also transparent and with only the abilities printed on those cards. They wrap-up the dynamic configuration aspect of the cards/monsters.

You put it exactly so:

Quote:
And you want to stop people cherry picking the awesome "B/e" enhancement card out of the otherwise mediocre B monster card set, and leaving the other elements of B (B/m and B/s) behind.

They may or may not be so "awesome" in that they are SUFFICIENT because of the Resource Points (RPs) which are "5". Each A/s and A/e card has a POINT value. When you PLAY, at most you may have "5 RPs" per Monster... This means that "cherry picking" could be likely if you BOOST Stronger Monsters with Weaker Enhancement that STILL yield an ADDED BONUS.

That's the real crux of the matter...

questccg
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I see two (2) potential problems

questccg wrote:
...The real issue is someone can use ALL nine (9) Monsters set to be the SAME. I don't want this... It sort of "breaks" the game. You are guaranteed the same Monster, the same Stats and some of the Enhancements...

That's a REAL problem. It's not if one player plays 4 Monster SETS, it's if players build their Deck in a "free-for-all" fashion and someone concludes that the BEST possible deck is nine (9) Leviathans and that's it.

This sort of Deck Construction is DUMB. There's no creativity in how the Deck is build... Just ONLY one Monster Set time (x) nine (9).

The other REAL problem is "pushing the barrier". This is the situation when for the most part the RULES are followed BUT a player may opt to have 4 or 5 of one "enhancement" to improve his odds of winning. This is NOT dumb... But it is pushing the LIMITS as to "how perfect" a Deck can be.

These are my main TWO (2) types of "problems" that I can foresee. Obviously nine (9) of the same is OBVIOUS but the second type of problem, as I call it "pushing the barrier" is odds based manipulation that might be a bit HARDER to determine UNLESS you actually FORCE a player to display ALL nine (9) of his SETS...

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