I mentioned that I spent some time on my recent trip thinking about ideas for anarch cards for V:TES. I just care less than I used to about designing cards. I realize that it’s often a futile process for “just some player” to throw out card ideas. And, my interest is more in removing cards from the card pool than in creating new cards. The game is incredibly bloated, as CCGs will get.
Looking through my notes, there are some general concepts behind my thinking.
What is important in decks?
Combo decks and whatever can break the guidelines on what makes decks work, but there are some things that are pritnear universally desirable.
Bounce. If the game needs anything, it needs Deflection for everyone. My anarch Deflection idea kind of steps on the toes of the idea of just print “Deflection 2: Everyone Bounces”, but I thought it had an interesting feature.
C = 1b
Requires an anarch who possesses two or more disciplines. Only usable when you are being bled, after blocks are declined. Tap this reacting vampire. Choose another Methuselah other than the controller of the acting minion. The acting minion is now bleeding that Methuselah. If this reacting anarch possesses four or more disciplines, do not tap this vampire.
The one sort of vampire I don’t want to have easy Deflection access to is the 1-2 cap. This doesn’t prevent that, but it does make it less likely, then rewards fat anarchs. So often, more than three disciplines on a vampire adds no value to a deck, just counting disciplines seems to me to be an interesting new mechanic.
Stealth. Let’s ignore permanents outside of the vampires themselves for a moment. With just vampires, you can bleed, hunt, punch, block as common things to do. With stealth in this world, you can eventually win. Without stealth, someone can hold you off forever. Plenty of decks don’t use stealth cards. Without stealth, though, the path to victory is so much more difficult.
Requires an anarch. Only usable on a D action. The acting minion gains one blood from the blood bank. Once this action, the acting minion may burn a blood to gain +1 stealth.
Thematically weird? Perhaps. There’s a bum in every “convenient” alley to fill you up. Why you pay blood to gain stealth isn’t terribly clear. The intent is really more of a stealth card that can give you blood instead but is worded as a gain blood card that can give you stealth instead so that it’s always cyclable.
Though anarchs have blood gain cards, I actually find that having enough blood is a problem for lots of decks. That has something to do with how expensive certain anarch cards are. Monkey Wrench just isn’t a good card, even though it seems like it should be an answer to one of the problems with playing anarchs without playing the normal good stuff in the game.
Speaking of overcosted cards, some of those require disciplines.
Steal the Secrets of the Ancients
C = 1p
Put this card in play. Cards that require both being an anarch and one or more disciplines cost anarchs 1 less blood. Any minion may burn this card as a D action; if that minion is a vampire, he or she takes 1 unpreventable damage when this card is burned.
The problem I see with cards like this is that they just make better stuff better. Power of One is already a useful card. Steely Tenacity becomes way better. Interestingly, there really aren’t that many cards this would affect.
One thing I don’t like about effective anarch decks is that they tend to be focused on using only a narrow range of anarch requiring cards. Could say the same thing about everything. There is value in different decks playing different cards – opens up more deck builds. But, at the same time, I get easily bored with repetitive decks.
Variety is the Very Spice of Undeath
C = 1p
Put this card in play. Your ash heap is not a legal target for cards or effects. Cards cannot be removed from your ash heap. Each time one of your anarchs plays a minion card that requires an anarch that is not in your ash heap, put a blood counter on this card from the blood bank. Tap this card to move any number of blood counters from this card to an anarch. Any anarch may burn this card as a D action that costs 1 pool.
This is a card text mess. My favorite part is probably the ash heap “protection”. I could see an event that stopped cards from being removed from ash heaps since that’s totally like the sort of mechanical effect a global effects card would have in other CCGs. But, then, I want all events to go away. Still, incentivizing diversity seems to me to be a thing to do in a world where 14 Governs or 13 Carrion Crows is routine.
Anyway, I don’t really care about designing new cards for CCGs I play, all two of them. I just think that it’s better to bring up thoughts than not to spur more ideas and to have something to talk about. There are an infinite number of possible cards that could be made, the trick is narrowing that down to what should be made.