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Controlling high end cards distribution.

6 replies [Last post]
Joined: 06/10/2013

I have been working on a game called Dragon’s Realm for quite some time now the game is basically a dungeon crawl with a heavy dose of hand management/deck building.

There are a lot of cards in the game: Item cards, weapon cards, armor cards, magic cards. You gain more cards by defeating monsters and looting treasure stashes. The problem that I am running into is trying to come up with a way of keeping the higher end cards from turning up in the first round of the game.

A brief rundown of how the game works: you attack an enemy, if you win you get to draw X number of cards from either a specific deck (weapon card deck) or from any deck of your choice (Item deck, weapon deck, armor deck, magic deck).
Originally I had a deck board that had spots for 12 stacks of cards on it and all the different kinds of decks of cards were divided into three stacks in order of strength. Example: there were three stacks of weapon cards, in the first stack there were weapon cards that ranged in power from 1-3, the second stack ranged from 4-6, and the third stack ranged from 7-10. This took way too much time to set up and was very clunky trying to keep straight at which point you could draw from which stack.

So then I cut number of cards in the game by 2/3 and just had one stack of each type of card. The problem is that on the first draw some one can pull the most powerful weapon card in the game and then just start plowing through all of the monsters.

So I am trying to find a way to control, to a certain existent when cards turn up. I do not want to go back to having multiple stacks of every type of card as I sad that was very clunky. The current method is much better it just needs some tweaking.

I have considered having a level on all of the cards and your character has to be at or above that level before they can use that card. So that way you may draw the most powerful card in the game but you cannot use it until you reach a certain level.

Any thoughts or recommendations?


questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Here's an idea

What you could do is set a "Valuable" stat to each item. Also set a LIMIT to the stack of the item deck (You said you cut it down by 2/3 - so setting a limit like 40 cards is simple to do). What you do is SORT the deck by the "Valuable" stat for each of the items. Okay, it takes a little bit of time to set up - but it's like DECK-BUILDING (sort of like Magic) where you would figure out what items you want as part of your adventure...

So it can be done WAY IN ADVANCE and the only trouble is sorting the deck each time you play.

This way players earn *increasingly* better items - BUT they do so incrementally!

I know it's NOT perfect... But it is a way to control what cards get drawn such that the game is balanced.

Good luck with your game!

Note: Because the game would be played by several players, the items you get between games would differ. Yes you may get some repeats - but you may also want that too. I don't know... Maybe like Potions, you would get different sizes or power. You might want several of these in the item deck...

Corsaire's picture
Joined: 06/27/2013
What about a challenge rating

What about a challenge rating limit with an alternate monetary value? So you draw The Chatty Blade of Disembowelment and it has a requirement that the monster defeated must've been a Mighty Challenging Critter, if you just killed a couple of kobolds, you don't get the item just the monetary value.

Joined: 08/28/2012
Requiring Multiples

Another idea could be to require multiple corresponding cards to be held before you can use a weapon. Sort of like sets of items, or assembling pieces of an item. Would have the downside of adding to your card count.

Although I think level requirement might be simpler.

Joined: 06/27/2012
You could use Pokemon's setup

You could use Pokemon's setup and require that Sword Level 3 must be built from a Sword Level 2, which was of course built from a Sword Level 1.

Does your game have any type of energy or mana? Guessing not since you are having this problem.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Just an idea

How about, having level 1 cards of every weapon, every time?
But some start out a little bit weaker, and when you draw this one again, it gets stronger.

Example deck:
So 1 knife card.
And 10 sword cards.

The difference is, when you draw the 1 knife card. You have the knife at a maximum level. And for a weak weapon it is relatively strong. But you can't train in it any more by drawing more knife cards. And the maximum is only 1.

When you draw the swords card, the chance is 10 times higher. But the player needs to train with the sword by drawing more sword cards. At first it starts out weaker then the knife, but at level 4 or 5 it will become stronger. At level 10, it is the strongest weapon.

If another weapon has 9 levels, it will end up weaker then the sword, but the very first level will be slightly better.

So at first you have a weak weapon that is relatively strong, all other weapons need to be trained to surpass the weak weapons.

knightshade's picture
Joined: 02/08/2013
multiple decks

I actually like X3M's muktiple cards to level.
I have been having this problem as well. What I figured out was to just have one deck if pretty common cards and "seed" the deck as time goes on. So if you fight a cyclops and win, you then seed the "common" deck with better items as you slowly defeat better enemies... like "cyclops club" "cyclops eye" (special item?), etc..
Slowly iver the course of the game and fughting bosses, the common items will be a smaller ratio.if you have one 50 card deck of items to start... all common. Then each player starts by drawing 3 (12 total in a 4 player game), then the deck isonly 38 cards. Then draw 3 more each in a few turns, then that is 26 (half) and fight a boss. The dead boss adds 10 (example) new items to the deck. That's 26 common and 10 unique items. So about 20-25% of the deck is now unique items.
Rinse and repeat. Eventually all the items will be cycled through and any commons will be "unlucky" card draws.

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