Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dominion: Will of Ra #5 - Suggested Sets

So here are the suggested sets for Dominion: Will of Ra.  If I make this expansion bigger later, I'll remake the suggested sets to incorporate new cards.  Each of these sets should be well-balanced, price-wise.

With vanilla Dominion:

Heavy Lifting: Adventurer, Mine, Remodel, Woodcutter, Workshop / Canopic Chest, False Door, Nome, Palace, Scribe

This one is designed for big money and a fast-moving game.

Leaders and Villains: Cellar, Library, Market, Thief, Witch / Chariot, Nomarch, Pyramid, Sphinx, Vizier

This one is meant for Attacks and Curses to come into play.

With Intrigue:

New Ventures: Bridge, Great Hall, Nobles, Scout, Shanty Town / Canopic Chest, False Door, Nomarch, Nome, Pyramid

This one is big on Victory Points.  There are lots of Victory cards and quick ways to get them.

Old Money: Harem, Minion, Saboteur, Tribute, Wishing Well / Chariot, Palace, Scribe, Sphinx, Vizier

This one should hopefully be both attack-heavy while also being a quick, high-money game.

You know the routine: play, test, have fun, suggest your own!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Posting schedule

I have to push my posting schedule around a bit to figure out what works for me.  I'm waking at four in the morning on weekdays for work, so I'm finding I'm unable to concentrate on much creative work, whether it's design or programming.

A guy smacking an alarm clock

What I think I'm going to do is move to a more variable posting schedule.  I'm definitely going to continue to post at least once a week, and sometimes twice a week, when I have the energy for it.  The days of the week that I post may change around for a while until I find what I'm most comfortable with.  Once I get a good groove going, I'll solidify the schedule again.

Now... time for a nap.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dominion: Will of Ra #4

Here are the last five cards in the expansion.  It's a small one!

Palace, Pyramid, Scribe, Sphinx, & Vizier
Last of the cards; click to enlarge.
Palace is a Village-type card, just with a little extra bonus; it's specialty here is that the Treasure you draw will have some variance.  Other cards in official expansions have similar features, so it's nothing too new; I just put the mechanic on a Village.

Pyramid, I figure, will often have a use, but beginning players might not think of the best way to utilize it unless Curses are present (and if you're using Will of Ra's Curses, you'll definitely want this).  But for more experienced Players, they'll think to trash Coppers or other cards that are clogging their deck.

Scribe is a neat little card that gets more powerful the later you play it in your Action Phase.  I always liked cards with some variance to them, like the price of Peddler from Dominion: Prosperity, so this is something along those lines.

Sphinx is a fun little gamble: if you really, really want those four extra cards, you're going to have to take a little hit for them.

Once upon I time I began a very complicated military-themed expansion for Dominion, which had Reaction Attacks.  These basically were Reactions that caused an Attack, and generally their trigger was being attacked, so you would end up with nested Attacks and huge combos of cards bouncing off each other with lots of Players throwing down Reaction after Reaction to cancel each Attack that kept coming through.  Well, that was a mess of a game that was hilarious the first time it happened, but would quickly devolve into nonsense.

So anyway, Vizier is a little taste of that.  It's not an Attack, but still does something nasty to the Attacker.  It's not going to block an Attack like a Moat would (from vanilla Dominion), but it serves its usefulness by making Players think twice who would ordinarily play lots of Attacks.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dominion: Will of Ra #3

Now after those unique (oddball) cards, we get some more regular Kingdom Cards.

Chariot, False Door, Normarch, Nome
Normal cards!
Chariot fits the bill for the theme of the expansion, where you rely on a little luck to see what you get, kind of like Golem from Dominion: Alchemy.  I used to dislike Golem because I would never get good Actions from it, but I really warmed up to it once I realized that if you're going to get any, you're also going to want to build your deck around it.  So with Chariot, I think the same thing applies: if you are careful about what Attacks you put in your deck, it can work out really well.  On top of that, if you don't have any Attacks, you get a consolation prize of $2.  So even if the game you're playing has no Attacks in it, Chariot is still +$2 and you in essence put your deck into your discard pile.

A False Door in ancient Egypt was a place where people would lay gifts to their dead.  So I took that idea and made this card out of it: you sacrifice a card, but the bigger the sacrifice, the more chance you have of getting rewarded.

Nomarch is not 'monarch' spelled wrong.  A Nomarch in ancient Egypt was the ruler of a Nome, which is something along the lines of a city-state (not exactly, but close enough for government work).  So a Nomarch is something akin to the Baron, Count, or Duke from the official Dominion sets.  But it also has some variance to it, so it fits in this expansion, too.

Nome is a Victory card with a similar function to Dominion: Hinterlands' Border Village.  I figured a Nome was a bit like a village, but a bit more like a Duchy or something, so I went halfway with it, and I think it might work out, though perhaps the extra card you gain might be able to go up to $4 if necessary.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dominion: Will of Ra #2

After coming up with the new Curses, I decided to try for something similar, but with more pleasant cards.  I always like the Knights from Dominion: Dark Ages, but even better were the Prizes and Tournament from Dominion: Cornucopia.  These cards are my take on the Tournament concept, with the more random nature of Knights (or my new Curses).

I did not make those names up.
A Canopic Chest is just one Kingdom Card you can buy if you have the money, so it's like the Tournament card, while the other five are like the Prizes.  The other five cards -- Canopic Jars -- are shuffled together, two each, and placed in a facedown pile, similar to how I changed the Curses, so when you gain a Canopic Jar, you don't know which one you're getting.  My hope is that the rules for Canopic Chest make getting a Canopic Jar rare enough.

The four main Canopic Jars can be pretty powerful, though they may be slightly unbalanced.  This is partly intentional, to make the reward a little dependant on fate (or the will of Ra... hence the title of the expansion).  There's also a couple of Empty Jars thrown in, too, so you might get only what amounts to a Copper.  I'm thinking that if players who play Canopic Chest too frequently, then I'll add more Empty Jars to the pile to balance things.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Dev Log: Latchkey #58

The comment I left to myself after the last post was


Yeah, I think that sums it up.

As far as what I got, well, I seem to have copied & pasted the which-barrier-solving code to become which-item-solving code.  So neither are perfect, but they ought to work well enough for now.  I cleared out a few syntax errors, and a runtime error, and then a visual error (the messages weren't showing up), so things appears to work in those regards.  Now I just gotta actually move all the verb functions to the player class and see how well it works.

Currently, the error message that pops up (which I put there) still doesn't appear in the error message box where it's supposed to, so I most definitely want to figure out the best way to move that to the proper place.  If I don't, it'll get very annoying, very quickly.  I know a way to do it, but I think there may be a better way somewhere.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dominion: Will of Ra #1

As I was finishing up the Industry expansion, I was struck with more ideas.  I'd been wanting to do an Egyptian-themed expansion for awhile, but couldn't think of the mechanic(s) to fit.  My main thought had really only been about expanding the Duration mechanic, but nothing worked in that direction.

But I've also seen new Curse cards in other fan expansions, and I thought that might be a great start.  So I came up with four new types of Curses:

Cursed Artifact, Cursed Tomb, Cursed Treasure, Pharaoh's Curse
The way Curses work now is to shuffle these together with the normal Curse pile, take the appropriate number of Curses to use in the game (based on the number of players), and put the pile face-down, so you can't see what the next Curse card is.  You only get to see what Curse you're getting when you gain one.

Each of these Curses has an extra little snag to make things a little harder.

Cursed Artifact forces you to trash a Treasure when you trash the Curse; Cursed Tomb can never be properly trashed, so it keeps Curses circulating if you try; Pharaoh's Curse forces you to gain a new Curse as soon as you trash that one, so you're stuck with another one.

Cursed Treasure was the tough one to balance.  It's a Treasure, and quite valuable, but if you use it, you gain a Curse.  So you might decide to play it if it gains you a Province, because you might think it's worth it on balance.  I may reduce it from a value of $3 to $2, but that will come later.

Overall, this became the start of a new expansion I call "Will of Ra" (although the obvious name would be "Dominion: Over Egypt"), because quite a few cards require you to take big chances, and rely on a little luck to get what you want.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dev Log: Latchkey #57

I managed to get it so if the player tries doing something with a barrier ("open door", for instance), and there's more than one, it then checks the rest of the player's command for matching adjectives.  This required me to set up barrier adjectives differently, which is fine, because it now matches the way item adjectives are set up anyway.

I also set up barrier plurals while I was at it, at least so far so the error message works if two or more barriers are found and the player didn't specify well enough.  I still have to make it so directional keywords work for barriers, which is a whole different mess, I think.

Unfortunately, I am break a little bit of functionality by moving the parser to the player class, because now error messages will no longer appear in the right box, but are sent to the normal messages box.  I'm sure I can fix that as well.

I seem to be breaking more than I'm fixing.  Is it worth it to do all this?  I should have made a branch instead of plowing ahead in the root.  Too late.