Author Topic: Workshopping Shipwrecker CMC into ponies.  (Read 721 times)

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Offline Lord LunaEquie is me

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Workshopping Shipwrecker CMC into ponies.
« on: September 07, 2017, 10:16:54 pm »
So, I think that the Shipwrecker CMC that I had people help me put together last year might just work better as Pony cards rather than their own special card type that needs explaining, buuuuuuuut I think the current way I have it worded is unnecessarily clunky.

Quote
[Ability name] (Shipwreck): While this card is in your hand, you may discard this card to discard one Ship from the grid. If you use 3 Shipwrecker cards in the same turn, discard every card from the grid except the start card. This power cannot be copied.

I modeled the wording after the guide for Replace, but there's a few things I feel don't work. Firstly, is there any reason to keep the "cannot be copied" clause? I may have misunderstood how Copy works if this line is necessary, because I always thought the pony had to be on the grid for it to copy another card. Alternatively, if the copy ability is technically active while in your hand, would the Shipwreck ability be too powerful if it could be copied? (That last one might be something I should test.)

Secondly, wouldn't it be more elegant to say "Discard this card from your hand to X" without the "While this card is in your hand" clause? As long as "from your hand" is specified, that explicitly means you cannot use it from the grid, and it cuts out a lot of what seems to me unnecessary wording.

Lastly, the secondary ability of nuking the board if you play 3 of them probably needs to be slightly rephrased to refer to the Shipwreck ability rather than the Shipwrecker card names since that limits future Shipwrecker ponies to always need that title.

Offline N.A. Larson

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Re: Workshopping Shipwrecker CMC into ponies.
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2017, 12:01:31 am »
1) The reason Shipwrecker was its own card type was to get child characters into the game WITHOUT putting them in adult situations. The alternative is to age up the characters as with Tales of Ponyville University, or put them on non-character cards as with Cutie Mark Crusader: Matchmakers! If you're going to redo the Shipwreckers as Pony cards, the characters portrayed must be 18+.

2) You are correct: Copy, like all powers that doesn't say otherwise, activates on the grid (Style Guide 2.6.10), by which point it is useless to copy Replace. I once asked the same question of HPG: They said they kept getting asked if Copy could copy Replace, so that's why the text is there.

3) Maybe Cheerilee's wording is more to your liking.

4) A valid concern. Also, Changelings could trigger this power if it's name-based.

I'm still not a fan of this mechanic. It's just too easy to destroy the grid (think of much Cheerilee, who's power is activated the same way, gets recurred).

Offline Lord LunaEquie is me

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Re: Workshopping Shipwrecker CMC into ponies.
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2017, 06:46:58 pm »
1) The reason Shipwrecker was its own card type was to get child characters into the game WITHOUT putting them in adult situations. The alternative is to age up the characters as with Tales of Ponyville University, or put them on non-character cards as with Cutie Mark Crusader: Matchmakers! If you're going to redo the Shipwreckers as Pony cards, the characters portrayed must be 18+.
That's fair. I was still thinking about it from a mechanical point of view because, perhaps surprisingly considering how we joke around in other games, my friends and I never seem to go blue when playing TSSSF. It might be best I drop this line of thinking, then.

2) You are correct: Copy, like all powers that doesn't say otherwise, activates on the grid (Style Guide 2.6.10), by which point it is useless to copy Replace. I once asked the same question of HPG: They said they kept getting asked if Copy could copy Replace, so that's why the text is there.
I actually had a suspicion that might be the case. Never underestimate the thickness of John Q. Public. I've dug into too many design documents to not suspect that clause was included because someone asked whether they could do that.

I'm still not a fan of this mechanic. It's just too easy to destroy the grid (think of much Cheerilee, who's power is activated the same way, gets recurred).
To be honest, the way my games tend to go, we usually need more grid-destruction options. For one thing, we rarely have a table large enough to support more than about a 5x5 grid (measured in ponies) before it starts getting really crowded. For another, Search powers are more useful when you've got more than five cards in the discard, and it can often be a while before we even get a single card in the discard from a replace effect. I like the constantly-cycling nature of the game, where things have much less permanency to them and are not as important to track as something like Munchkin.

Offline N.A. Larson

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Re: Workshopping Shipwrecker CMC into ponies.
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2017, 08:52:36 pm »
Don't get me wrong: grid destruction, or "slicing", as I call it, is VERY important in TSSSF, for the very reasons you mention. The flip side, though, is that the grid is a resource, and blowing it up constantly will hinder gameplay. I've mentioned slice a few times before in these forums, but it's so important that I'm probably going to dedicate a whole design article to it.

I'm surprised to hear that you feel like you don't have enough slicers in your deck, seeing as how you have all the official cards, like Aria, Wild Fire, Jumpin' Jack, 4 Love Poisons, etc. Check out our card database to see if there are any fan cards that you would want to add to your deck (especially Mix Master Magic).

On the subject on grid size, I've noticed that in my games the grid gets nuked at around 20 Pony cards.

Offline Lord LunaEquie is me

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Re: Workshopping Shipwrecker CMC into ponies.
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2017, 11:50:15 am »
Well I haven't really played a whole lot of TSSSF games, either, really, so it might be more or less an issue of not having a large enough sample size to accurately judge my needs. There's also the fact that probably more than half of the games I've played have been with my entire collection, first the 300-some-odd collection of official cards and then later the nearly-600 collection after getting a bunch of fan cards at Nightmare Nights. It makes drawing slicers kind of difficult. Luckily, recent games have been more subdued, with the core and one or two expansions instead of the whole dang thing, so I might find it more manageable in the future.

Also, while I always hold onto Love Poisons and the like for big plays and grid reduction, I've found my friends don't always do, which takes away even further avenues of management (the munchkin of my group often even purposefully makes the grid more difficult to destroy).

Offline N.A. Larson

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Re: Workshopping Shipwrecker CMC into ponies.
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2017, 02:36:53 pm »
Yes, I've noticed that when the grid gets really big, it's because someone chose not to destroy it when they had the chance.

I used to play with a guy who would go out of his way to nuke the grid, so I was the one making the grid harder to destroy. In fact, some of my earliest card designs were meant to stop grid destruction, but that was before my research revealed the importance of slicing.