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Some opinions on my spell system please

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Legend
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Hope this is the right forum to post in. Haven't been here in a while.

I recently saw a trailer on youtube for a game called runespell that looked quite interesting. It seems to be some sort of competitive cross between klondike solitaire, poker, and magic the gathering. It got inspired to see if I could create a somewhat similar game that incorporates poker and magic-like elements in a head-to-head way using a standard deck of playing cards. I haven't actually played runespell and have been deliberately avoiding full gameplay vids and reviews so I don't end up just copying the game exactly.

Anyways, I've already started designing and wanted to get some opinions on my spell system.

My idea for the spell system works like this:

Instead of special cards used to cast spells, there is currently a list of 11 spells available to the player. At the beginning of the game, each player chooses a specific number of these available spells which they will be able to use during the game. I was thinking either 3 or 5 spells for each player.

Each spell would also only be able to be cast a specific number of times. I was thinking of either having each spell have a set number of uses, like 3, or giving the player around 10 or 15 points to assign to each of their chosen spells as they wish to determine how many times they can use each spell.

Each spell has a different effect and a casting cost. When one player attacks another, the cards used get placed into a discard pile that works as a kind of "mana pool." When the player wants to cast a spell, they must have enough cards in the "mana pool" to cast that spell, and that number of cards are taken off the top of the discard pile and moved to another discard pile called the "void." The void is basically cards that have been spent on spells and can no longer be used in the game unless one or two special circumstances.

I thought that by having this kind of "spell book" system of using spells instead of just using magic cards that are drawn randomly would add a bit more strategy and customization to the game. It would also cut way back on construction so the player would only need to print the rules and two re-usable printer friendly player/tracking sheets.

There would be a player sheet for each player with a track for health and a list of all the spells available in the game with spots marked on one side to show which spells that player chose and a track on the other side to keep track of how many uses are left.

What do you think? Feedback would be very appreciated.

A little more info on the game,

Each player has their own deck of cards that is set up in front of them like Klondike. Seven tableau's, but instead of 1 to 7 cards in each, it is 3 to 9. Meaning the first stack on the left has 3 cards and the seventh on the opposite end has 9. The 12 cards left over are placed behind the tableau's and used as a reserve. If the player cannot make a move with the cards on the board, they draw from their reserve.

The players add cards to their own tableau in a similar fashion as klondike solitaire, but they must make poker hands instead. When they make a 5 card hand, they can use it to attack their opponent. Of those 5 cards used in the attack, however many actually made the hand get put in the mana pool. The remaining cards go to the void. For example, if the player had a pair of kings's, then those two kings would go in the mana pool and the remaining 3 cards would go into the void. If they had a straight, all the cards would go into the pool.

During the players turn, they have action points. I was thinking 3. They spend one action point for either moving one of their own cards, attacking the opponent, using a spell, drawing from the reserve, or stealing one of the opponents cards.

PauloAugusto
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Legend wrote:[...] Each spell

Legend wrote:
[...]
Each spell would also only be able to be cast a specific number of times. I was thinking of either having each spell have a set number of uses, like 3, or giving the player around 10 or 15 points to assign to each of their chosen spells as they wish to determine how many times they can use each spell.
[...]

I think i would prefer your second option, instead of having each spell worn out. However, the other option is perfectly acceptable, so long it fits.

Legend wrote:
[...] When one player attacks another, the cards used get placed into a discard pile that works as a kind of "mana pool." When the player wants to cast a spell, they must have enough cards in the "mana pool" to cast that spell, and that number of cards are taken off the top of the discard pile and moved to another discard pile called the "void." [...]

Those "used" cards are spell cards? If so, how do you track the limited ammount of numbers you can use each spell? So, i assume those are other kinds of cards, maybe physical combat cards or tactics or something.
Now that i think of it, i think i no longer like the idea of me choosing how much times i can cast each spell based on a pool of points, since it doesn't feel right mixed with "mana" usage.

I like the idea of this kind of mana usage, "void"ing your deck. Sounds like good tactical choices are given to players and i like how it feels. You keep casting spells but you are becoming weaker and spent with each cast. Nice.

But, since the spells already cost «mana», why should they also have a limited number of usages?

Legend wrote:
[...]
There would be a player sheet for each player with a track for health and a list of all the spells available in the game with spots marked on one side to show which spells that player chose and a track on the other side to keep track of how many uses are left.
[...]

Low ammounts of components, that is always nice and often eases the play.
But, if that is the way we would be tracking which spells we «bought», without trying the system, i think i would definetly discard the tracking of the limited usages of each spell and allow each player to use the spell it bought as many times as it likes (already costs mana).

Legend wrote:
[...]
A little more info on the game,

Each player has their own deck of cards that is set up in front of them [...] pair of kings's, [...]


This is my personal opinion. I find absolutely ghastly the usage of standard decks of cards (aces, kings, 2~10, etc) in games that are not related to traditional card games. Like in Maria or Friederich. To me, it completely ruins the theme.
However, it is my personal opinion and it seems it isn't shared by so many who like Maria and Friederich. And those decks are quite easy to get, if you are aiming at offering the game as a print-yourself game.

Legend
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PauloAugusto wrote:Legend

PauloAugusto wrote:
Legend wrote:
[...]
Each spell would also only be able to be cast a specific number of times. I was thinking of either having each spell have a set number of uses, like 3, or giving the player around 10 or 15 points to assign to each of their chosen spells as they wish to determine how many times they can use each spell.
[...]

I think i would prefer your second option, instead of having each spell worn out. However, the other option is perfectly acceptable, so long it fits.

Legend wrote:
[...] When one player attacks another, the cards used get placed into a discard pile that works as a kind of "mana pool." When the player wants to cast a spell, they must have enough cards in the "mana pool" to cast that spell, and that number of cards are taken off the top of the discard pile and moved to another discard pile called the "void." [...]

Those "used" cards are spell cards? If so, how do you track the limited ammount of numbers you can use each spell? So, i assume those are other kinds of cards, maybe physical combat cards or tactics or something.
Now that i think of it, i think i no longer like the idea of me choosing how much times i can cast each spell based on a pool of points, since it doesn't feel right mixed with "mana" usage.

I like the idea of this kind of mana usage, "void"ing your deck. Sounds like good tactical choices are given to players and i like how it feels. You keep casting spells but you are becoming weaker and spent with each cast. Nice.

But, since the spells already cost «mana», why should they also have a limited number of usages?

Legend wrote:
[...]
There would be a player sheet for each player with a track for health and a list of all the spells available in the game with spots marked on one side to show which spells that player chose and a track on the other side to keep track of how many uses are left.
[...]

Low ammounts of components, that is always nice and often eases the play.
But, if that is the way we would be tracking which spells we «bought», without trying the system, i think i would definetly discard the tracking of the limited usages of each spell and allow each player to use the spell it bought as many times as it likes (already costs mana).

Legend wrote:
[...]
A little more info on the game,

Each player has their own deck of cards that is set up in front of them [...] pair of kings's, [...]


This is my personal opinion. I find absolutely ghastly the usage of standard decks of cards (aces, kings, 2~10, etc) in games that are not related to traditional card games. Like in Maria or Friederich. To me, it completely ruins the theme.
However, it is my personal opinion and it seems it isn't shared by so many who like Maria and Friederich. And those decks are quite easy to get, if you are aiming at offering the game as a print-yourself game.

If the spells don't have limited usage, what about making it so the same spell cannot be used two turns in a row? After playtesting, the spell points build up quite quickly and both players ended up with spell points left over at the end of the game. It it was unlimited use, I think I would go with 3 instead of 5 spells per player.

The use of standard playing cards does go with the theme of the game since the primary mechanics are a combination of solitaire and making poker hands. So it is definitely rooted in traditional card games. Plus, I lack the necessary resources to make two full decks of proper custom cards.

Here are some of the spells btw. They don't have proper names yet. Unfortunately, nothing too inventive yet.

A spell that does 5 points of straight damage.

A spell that adds plus 2 damage to your attack

A spell that adds x2 damage to your attack

A spell to block an attack or your opponent trying to steal one of your cards.

A spell to temporarily make your opponent unable to build their hand

A spell to switch any two cards on the board, including an opponents.

A spell to heal yourself

A spell to refill your reserve cards

A spell to steal your opponent's reserve cards

A spell to search through your discard pile or your spell pool to take a card

A spell to move 3 of your opponents cards around

A spell to make your opponent discard his/her spell points

PauloAugusto
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Legend wrote:[...] If the

Legend wrote:
[...]
If the spells don't have limited usage, what about making it so the same spell cannot be used two turns in a row? After playtesting, the spell points build up quite quickly and both players ended up with spell points left over at the end of the game. It it was unlimited use, I think I would go with 3 instead of 5 spells per player.
[...]

I don't really understand why, but you seem to not want the players to be allowed to cast the same spell whenever they want. I hardly know your game but you probably have your reasons.

If you want to limit the number of usages for each spell, between that option and tracking the number of usages for each spell in that spells-board, i don't know which i would prefer, i don't think i would hate any of those. One feels like a cool-down on that specific spell. The other feels like worning(?) down the spell.

The most common way (and maybe the most fun) of limiting the usages of a spell is having a shuffled deck. For example, having a deck with 2*spell A, 2*spell B, 2*spell C, etc. Or 6*spell A, 2*spell B, 2*spell C, etc. But that forces you to have a deck of spells for each player.

Legend
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PauloAugusto wrote:Legend

PauloAugusto wrote:
Legend wrote:
[...]
If the spells don't have limited usage, what about making it so the same spell cannot be used two turns in a row? After playtesting, the spell points build up quite quickly and both players ended up with spell points left over at the end of the game. It it was unlimited use, I think I would go with 3 instead of 5 spells per player.
[...]

I don't really understand why, but you seem to not want the players to be allowed to cast the same spell whenever they want. I hardly know your game but you probably have your reasons.

If you want to limit the number of usages for each spell, between that option and tracking the number of usages for each spell in that spells-board, i don't know which i would prefer, i don't think i would hate any of those. One feels like a cool-down on that specific spell. The other feels like worning(?) down the spell.

The most common way (and maybe the most fun) of limiting the usages of a spell is having a shuffled deck. For example, having a deck with 2*spell A, 2*spell B, 2*spell C, etc. Or 6*spell A, 2*spell B, 2*spell C, etc. But that forces you to have a deck of spells for each player.

The main reason for trying to limit spell usage is to keep a spell from being abused or spammed, and to add a more strategic element with spell usage. For instance, if you have unlimited use of spells and an opponent has one hand ready for attack this turn and another stronger one that is almost ready and might be played in the next turn or a couple after, then you could simply use the block spell to block both attacks. But, if you only have one block spell left or only enough to pay for one, you might think about whther you should use it to block the current attack, or take this attack and save the block for the possible stronger attack to come later.

The main reason for avoiding having spell cards to be inserted into the deck is printing. It would be impossible to make them so they could universally fit in all "standard" decks of cards. The only way around that would to create two entire decks of 54 playing cards + the spell cards. I lack the proper resources to do this in a way that would look nicely presentable and I think it would hinder more people from trying the game since it would require printing out at least 132 cards plus the backs.

I got to do a playtest last night and it came out pretty good. The tester said he really liked the game despite not being too familiar with the poker aspects of the game. We played using the system of each player picks 5 spells to use during the game and had 15 uses to assign however we liked to the 5 spells chosen. We did not use the rule of not being able to use the same spell 2 turn in a row though. The only issue that I saw was that there seemed to be an abundance of spell points(cards) that were getting built up. SO I was thinking of upping the cost of the spells. We also only burnt out our spell usages of one spell each.

There is no "Hand" of cards that you hold btw in case that wasn't made clear. This is another reason why it seems like putting the spells as cards in the deck wouldn't really work.

PauloAugusto
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(just throwing ideas) How

(just throwing ideas)

How about the players have no limitation on the spells (no cool-down, no usages limit) *but* whenever a spell is used, it's cost goes up by one?
That way, if the spell Z is the only spell one player cares about and wants to keep casting it continuosly, he will end up changing his mind once it's cost increases too much.

This mechanic will make a very strong natural balancing on the spells. If one spell is stronger than some others, it won't be so for much time. And weaker spells will eventually be interesting, when the cost of the other spells increase enough.

You could have spells that increase it's cost for all players, while others just for the casting player.
Spells that increase cost by 1.
Spells that increase by 2.
Spells that increase cost on a 4+ on a dice.
Spells that never increase cost.

You can have a mechanic where the casting cost of spells increase partly for you and partly for all players, like this:
In the spells master-board, when you cast a spell, you move your marker on that spell. So, next you cast it, it will be 1 more expensive. *But*, the markers from the other players will never be allowed to stay more than 1~x markers behind, so the spell increases «only» for you but, as the cost increases to you, it also pull along the cost for the other players.
This may bring very interesting dinamics when playing, like forcing a spell's cost on the others, or casting a spell that you don't want as much before the other players increase it's cost.

Legend
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Just finished putting the

Just finished putting the spells in the rules. I only have a couple more things to cover in the rules and make the tracking sheets then I will post a rough draft of them. Decided to give the game a "wizards in the old west" theme. Thinking about calling it Arcana Saloon.

Here is the spells section:

Playing Spells:
Players may choose to play one or more of their selected spells as long as the have the action points and enough cards in their Arcana Pool to do so. The player declares which spell they wish to cast and discards the amount of cards from their Arcana Pool that is required for that spell into the Void.

The following spells are available:

“The Ol’ Switch-A-Roo” Cost: 3
This spell allows the player to switch the place of any two top cards on the Board. The player may either switch two of their own cards or one of theirs with one of their opponents.

“Uh-uh” Cost: 4
This spell may be used to block an opponents attack or attempt to steal one of your cards. This spell may only be played on your opponents turn and you must have at least one action point left over from your last turn.

“Fizzle-Fuzzle” Cost 5
This spell may be used to cancel one of your opponents spells. This spell may only be played on your opponents turn and you must have at least one action point left over from your last turn.

“Rum-Rummage” Cost: 4*
The player may search through either the Void pile or the Arcana Pool to retrieve and use one card of their choice from that pile. *This spell costs two actions.

“Drunk on the Floor” Cost: 5
The player may block the progress of one of their opponents hands being built for three turns. Turn the top card of the hand face down. On the opponents next turn after the first, turn it sideways, then at the end of the third turn of your opponent, turn it back face up. This spell can be cast on a hand of any size. Even a hand of five cards which has not attacked yet. It will stop the player from using that hand to attack or block.

“Broken Bottle of Might” Cost: 6
Play this spell along with an attack to deal 3 extra points of damage.

“Scoundrel!” Cost: 7
This spell may be used to take the to two card of either your opponents Reserve, Void, or Arcana Pool and add them to your Reserve, Void, or Arcana Pool.

“Potion of Whiskey” Cost: 8*
This spell may be used to heal five points of damage. *The player may heal one more point of damage for every additional 2 cards from their Arcana Pool they wish to discard to the Void.

“Pour Me Another!” Cost: 8
This spell may be used to refill your Reserve up to a total of twelve cards by taking the proper amount from either the top of your Void or the top of your Arcana Pool.

“Enchanted Chaingun” Cost: 8*
This spell will deal five points of damage to your opponent. *The player may deal one more point of damage for every additional 2 cards from their Arcana Pool they wish to discard to the Void.

“Shifty Finger” Cost: 10
You may move any 3 of your opponents top cards on their Filed around, one at a time, any way you wish. All cards must remain in the opponents Field.

“Yoink!” Cost: 10
The player may remove all of their opponents cards in their Arcana Pool. The player may place half (rounded down) of the cards in their own Arcana Pool. The rest are discarded to the opponents Void.

“Six-Shooters of Lightning” Cost: 10
Play this spell with a normal attack to do 2x the amount of damage as the attack.

“Mini-Minions” Cost: 12
Use this spell to place a Minion on the Board. Place one of your Arcana cards used to pay for the spell face down and sideways on the Board in front of your Field. This Minion deals 3 damage to your opponent at the end of each one of your turns until it is removed. The Minion may be used to block a normal attack, a steal, or a magical damaging attack. If the Minion is used to block one of these actions, then it is removed and placed in the Void. A minion may also be removed from the Board if it is directly attacked by your opponent. A player may not have more than two Minions on the Board at any time.

Let me know what you think of the spells.

PauloAugusto
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Legend wrote:[...] “Uh-uh”

[duplicate]

PauloAugusto
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Legend wrote:[...] “Uh-uh”

Legend wrote:
[...]
“Uh-uh” [...]

Personally, i really hate the english version of the word "hu", so i don't like the name "Uh-uh".

It has to do with the fact that in my language, portuguese (and probably all others expect english), the letter "u" is never read as a soft "a". So, when i look at that name, my brain tells me "ooh-ooh" and then a needle stabs it, saying me: «i think it's suposed to be "a-haaa"».

Legend
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I'm thinking about adding a

I'm thinking about adding a betting mechanic. Either as a regular action or as a special action that can be played when a specific hand is played. THe hand would be the "Dead Man's Hand" Black Aces over Eights.

The way the betting would work is that the player who's turn it is challenges the opponent to a bet. They use life points to bet.

The players would play one hand of draw poker. They would each draw five cards from their reserve to use as their hand.

The ante would be 5 life points. After the initial draw, players may draw up to 3 new cards if they like. Then they may each raise the bet once then the hands are show. The player with the highest hand wins.

The main things I'm wondering is whether or not to make this a regular action or an action that can only be played when a playerr makes the Dead Man's Hand?

Also, should the defending opponent have the option to decline the bet? If so, I think there should be some sort of consequence to declining the bet.

Also, Should the winner only deal damage to the opponent or should they also gain the same amount of health?

Legend
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PauloAugusto wrote:Legend

PauloAugusto wrote:
Legend wrote:
[...]
“Uh-uh” [...]

Personally, i really hate the english version of the word "hu", so i don't like the name "Uh-uh".

It has to do with the fact that in my language, portuguese (and probably all others expect english), the letter "u" is never read as a soft "a". So, when i look at that name, my brain tells me "ooh-ooh" and then a needle stabs it, saying me: «i think it's suposed to be "a-haaa"».

It's "uh-uh" like no-no or nah uh, Basically saying "no, you're not going to do what you think you're going to do."

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