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To keyword or not to keyword?

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MayuPolo
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Joined: 11/12/2012

Hi all,

I'm looking for ways to reduce the amount of text on a card game I am working on. What do you all think about using keywords and then explaining what they do in the rule book instead of the cards themselves? Are 15 to 20 keywords too much? Should I try to spell them out on the cards instead? Any advice is appreciated!

Thanks!
Mayu

Corsaire
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Joined: 06/27/2013
Depends on how solid and

Depends on how solid and familiar the key words are. I like learning some subset of the language of a new game. If they are functionally made up words or regular words that have definitions uncommon to other games then 15-20 would be too many to have to rely on a glossary.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
I agree

Corsaire wrote:
If they are functionally made up words or regular words that have definitions uncommon to other games then 15-20 would be too many to have to rely on a glossary.

Having a "glossary" for terms in your game might detract from the game itself. If it is KEYWORDS like "Trample", "Flying", "Lifelink", "Flash", etc. well then I see what you might be interested in doing. This would be like Magic: the Gathering glossary of keywords use on their cards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Magic:_The_Gathering_keywords

If this is the case, now I can understand why you might be interested in a Glossary. Take "Flying", one word and we all understand it's meaning - BUT it has the additional ability to not be blocked unless by another "Flying" creature.

So yeah, Magic: the Gathering may be able to get away with 130 keywords... But it may be difficult for you to get away with 15-20!

You should post some examples of YOUR keywords so that we may get a better understanding why you would want to use keywords in your game...

MayuPolo
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Thanks for the feedback so

Thanks for the feedback so far!

Here are some examples of what I am thinking:

- Damage Reduction X: reduces the damage taken by X.
- Regeneration X: heals X damage at the beginning of each turn.
- Lifeleech X: When dealing damage, heals itself by X.
- [Element] Enmity X (for example: Fire Enmity 10): Deal X more damage to an opponent that deals [Element] damage.

questccg
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Clarifications

I would *alter* some of these to be more clear:

- Damage Reduction X: "reduces damage by X points."
- Regeneration X: "heals X points at the beginning of the player's turn."
- Lifeleech X: "when the player gets damaged for X points, heal X points instead."
- [Element] Enmity X (Ex: Fire Enmity 10): "inflict X additional damage points to an [Element] opponent."

These seem more clear... but may be incorrect (assuming that I understood your terms correctly). Is my understanding of the terms correct???

Corsaire
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Classically, lifeleech is as

Classically, lifeleech is as MayuPolo describes. When you deliver damage, you heal for as much damage as you delivered. In fact the first three are all pretty common terms that I've seen. Having those clarified in the rules makes sense, per the original question. The concept behind enmity seems common enough, though I don't recall a game calling it enmity. But if there are only a couple of those terms that give the game its own flavor, then I think it's cool to just use the keywords on the cards.

MayuPolo
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Joined: 11/12/2012
Thanks folks! I appreciate

Thanks folks! I appreciate the rewording suggestions but yes Lifeleech is when you deal damage you heal some amount of health back.

I have kept the number if keywords to a minimum and only used them in cases where the concept is easy to grasp just from the word by most players.

Yamahako
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Joined: 12/01/2010
I actually think it has less

I actually think it has less to do with the quantity of keywords, and more to do with the frequency in which they appear. Adding a key word to a card (or ability) that only appears a couple of times to save space on the card is probably not a good idea. I might be better to drop the card, or come up with a succinct wording. If an ability is appearing on, say, a bunch of cards, then its good to have it.

Just something I looked up for a point of reference. Unlimited Edition in magic the gathering had (I think..) 296 cards. The keyword ability "First Strike" appears on 4 of them (one is an enchantment that grants it). "Trample" on 5 of them. "Flying" is referenced on 32 cards. "Banding" is on 4.

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