Author Topic: Wonderful Contradiction ~ Despicable Needs (trading card game)  (Read 901 times)

Wonderful Contradiction ~ Despicable Needs

This is a prototype of a Trading card game based on the universe of Touhou project, mostly done as a challenge and for fun.
Before explaining the game mechanics I first should explain how I came to this idea. I was actually trying to make a card game based in my personal universe, however soon after starting to work on it I realized I didn?t like how it was turning out.

The problem were the colors, or the different factions in the game. I divided the game by magical elements: air, earth, water, fire, dream and illusion. these are the elements used by magicians to casts spells; however in my story all magicians know the elements are no more than pieces for one big world or universe.
In the end the division felt artificial and forced. Instead of inspiring creativity I felt it took away from it. It was against the philosophy of my very universe and was hard to create enough cards that felt could only fit in one element.
Maybe with more effort it could have worked out, but I didn?t like the direction it as taking so I decided to abandon the idea. That?s when the change happened.

I actually had in mind trying for fun making rules of a card game based on this universe, and after thinking about it for while I realized there was already an interesting division. The most important places in touhou are: the moon, the earth (where humans live), gensokyo (dreams worlds) and Hell (where defunct souls go).

This sparked in my mind. Different cultures, different places, different philosophies; it was simply perfect.

As note I have played Magic the Gathering and other card games before. From Magic I learnt a lot, and just like Mark Rosewater (lead developer of Magic) I believe the colors or the different factions in a card game are the most important thing. 

Having different colors, each with strengths and weaknesses, create variety, create a more rich game with different choices and play styles. It makes it more unique but also more fun. No colors or just a couple of them would cause everyone to play with the best winning deck all the time, instead of trying different alternatives. Simply said, sometimes less is more. 

Also personally the ideal number of colors is around 4 to 6. Not too few nor too many. So, after thinking about it I decided it was a great start to make the game I was itching.


The game takes place in an alternate universe of the series, so it is important to note the known characters, like Reimu or Marisa, won?t be appearing. The reason is I felt it would cause more problems than gain to put the characters into the game, since people would have expectations about what they could do, and many of their skills or relationships are too complex or inappropriate for this kind of game. Also taking this path gives more freedom to make the cards and the overall story of the game. However there will be references for some of them, so is not like they are completely ignored.   

The premise of the game is simple, you are a lord, a person of high power (prince, king, emperor etc.) engaging in war with another one. However lords are not always human. A heavenly king, a Hell god, a powerful magician; each of them will have their own resources and tools to win the war.
While making the game I had some important goals in mind:

1.   Represent the universe in a fun and interesting way
2.   Finding different ?colors? or elements to divide the powers that don?t repeat the usual from other games (like the 5 colors of magic the gathering or nature elements) and make each feel different.
3.   A resource system that gives room to strategy, instead of a predetermined order to use the cards, and doesn?t punish the players if they are unlucky (for example, not drawing lands in magic)
4.   A battle system that allows many small creatures to defeat big ones, and also feels different depending in if you have many smalls ones and few big ones.
5.   Having a lord card which represents the player that can fight along with your other creatures. Also allowing a strategy to be building your deck around making your lord fight. 
6.   Reducing the randomness of the game in a way that still makes each game feel different but prevents the feeling of never getting the card you need when you need it.
7.   Make a game that can be played as both, a videogame online and a traditional table game printed.

Basic information

Now finally I?m going to explain the rules. To play you need a deck of 40 cards (called ?fate deck?), a lord card and 3 noble cards. There are specific rules for each of these cards which will be explained later.

The fate deck represents the fortune, or fate, of the ruler and is randomly shuffled at the start of each game. The player choses the cards and the number of them (according to rules) for the fate deck, but not the order of the deck. This is to give each game a random and unique feeling since you have to work which the cards to you draw every time. 

The noble cards represent the powers, knowledge, relics and allies the lord found during his life and, as such, are not left at random. The noble cards are selected by the player (according to the rules) and will be hidden from the enemy in a special hand. Fate cards can?t be put in the noble hand, nor can the noble cards be put in the fate deck. They are special kind of cards.

Victory conditions are the next:
   Take the opponent?s lord life points to 0
   A player can?t draw cards from his ?fate deck?
   Special win conditions given by cards.

The 4 elements of the world.

As I explained before, the universe is a whole and all elements are connected to each other, there is not a clear border that divides things into a side or other, however there are some traits or concepts that are more dominant than others in the land, magic and cultures. Said traits are: Eternal, Transient, Dream and Natural.

Eternal and transient are opposite ideas; the first denies change and remains the same forever, while the second strives for change and renewal. Like that, dream and natural are opposites, dream represents mystery, things that are limitless and follow no rules; while nature represents things we can measure and predict.

From these interactions the name of the game comes. 

Eternal: Things that deny change and are immune to the passage of time; never get old, weaker nor gather dust. The most iconic representation of the eternal is the moon, always in night the sky, and immune to the ?impurities? of earth.

Eternal focuses on heavy power and permanents. Permanents are cards that stay on the field until destroyed such as enchantments and creatures. Their creatures are on average powerful but costly, and have many abilities that erase from history (remove from the game permanently). 

Transient: the power that strives for change, end and reborn, mostly represented by the cycle of life and the stations of the year. The engine of the cycle of life, and most representative place for the transient ideology is Hell, where the souls are purified to be reborn again. 

Transient focuses on temporal things (use and trash) and death. It has cards that get expended after use, creatures with limited life spans or effects triggered on death, the ability to recover cards from the graveyard and the ability to draw and discard the same number of cards.
Dream: the nameless, mysterious and immeasurable; things that follow no logic. The most iconic dream places are the dream worlds, and of them the capital of magic is Makai.

Dream focuses in powerful effects rather than raw power, it seeks to control and transform the reality (field) to obtain an advantage. Most creatures are weak but have activated effects; it can gain control of enemy cards or disable them, create illusions and bend the rules. 

Natural: The scientific side of the universe, things we give measurements, limits, and names. The most iconic representation is the surface of the earth where humans live.

Due to its identity, the natural element can weaken the magic of other creatures or spells (measure their limits); it also focuses more on quantity than individual power since once the limits are set there isn?t that much one can manage alone (many weak creatures). Finally it favors using weapons and forces of nature to defeat the enemies. 

Types of cards

The types of cards are described next:

Lord: the lord card represents the player. The lord will remain on the throne unless summoned to war (the field). Once in the field it will have stats like any other creature and will be able to attack and block. They also will have powerful abilities. If destroyed, returned to the hand, removed from the game, or any other effect would cause the lord to leave the field it will simply return the throne, however each time it will cost 3 more mana to summon to field again. Also, each time the lord dies or engages in combat it loses life points equal to the damage it takes. When the lord?s life points reach 0, you lose the game.

Conjures: Conjures cards are spells casted by the lord or cities specialists to gain an advantage at war. Conjures when played will have an effect and then go to the graveyard.

Followers (creatures): Followers are soldiers called to arms by the lord. They will have different abilities, passive or active, and different cost, power, skill, and health stats. Activated abilities of creatures, even if aren?t cards, can also be treated as if casting a conjure card.

Enchantments: cards that remain in the field unless are destroyed. They can?t attack or be attack but have powerful effects. 

Weapons: from a simple rusted sword to treasures of the lord, weapons serve the purpose of making your followers or even the lord itself, stronger. They give basic stats to the equipped creature and sometimes even new abilities.

Lands: used to gain Mana to play the cards or card?s abilities. Basic Lands are in a unique deck, while non-basic go to the fate deck, and each have a cost for summing them into the field. The cost can vary depending on the type of land.

As additional information, noble cards have the same types listed above. The only difference is that they have the word ?noble? in them. (EX: noble weapon)

Combat system

Follower cards and lord cards (both are creatures) can engage in combat. To attack, in your turn select a creature and then a target for it, which can be anyone you like (if able). Even if the lord is the throne it can be attacked and will take damage, but will not deal any of it. However if the lord is in the field it will do damage when attacked as followers normally do when they combat (deal damage to each other equal to their power)

Once declared the attack the creature become exhausted. Then the opponent can chose to block with any number of other unexhausted creatures to save the targeted card. Blocking too causes creatures to get exhausted. After the blocking creatures are assigned (or none of them) the combat is resolved.
The lord loses life points according to damage it takes, and followers which take damage equal or higher than their health are destroyed and go to the graveyard.

Once the combat ends, if then the attacking player has more unexhausted creatures he can pick another one and the process repeats. 
The important creature stats to note are: the power, which means how much damage the creature does when it hits, the health which is damage needed to destroy it, and finally the skill.

Skill is a special stat needed for blocking attackers; it works like this:

Any creature can be selected as a target for an attack regardless of the skill.

However attacking creatures can only be blocked by creatures with skill equal or higher than its own. This means a 1 skill creature can attack a 5 skill creature, but when the 5 creature attacks it can?t block it.

The only way to block creatures with higher skill is to use more than one creature, adding their skill points until the skill number of the group is equal or higher than the attacking creature. Back to the example, five 1-skill creatures can block the attacking 5 skill creature. Blocking groups can also be made to increase the damage if more power is needed to kill the creature, even if the skill for blocking is sufficient.

Mana is the main resource of the game and it is produced by lands. There are two types of lands, basic and non-basic. Basic lands cost 2 mana points to summon into the field (enter exhausted) while non-basic lands have individual costs depending on the card.

Basic lands come from your land deck, however non-basic lands come from your fate deck and are limited depending on the card. Basics lands produce a mana from a single color, while non-basic usually produce more, can produce of different colors or have abilities to aid the player. Each player starts the game with 3 basic lands of the same color. Only one land can be summoned each turn and only during your turn. The land limit is 12.

To produce mana lands are exhausted, but they refresh at the start of your next turn. Unspent mana disappears at the end of turn.
Building a deck

When building your deck you first select a lord, and then select the fate and noble cards according to the lord?s colors (elements). This means if your lord is of only one color, your other cards can only be of said color, but if your lord has more colors then you can chose any cards with those colors to put in your deck (or all with a single color, if your choice). 

A summary of what species belong to each color.
Eternal: Lunarians, moon rabbits, Heavenly gods, Celestials.
Transient: evil spirits, ghosts, hell gods, judges of hell, shinigamis (reapers), onis. 
Dream: magicians, hermits, youkai (created out fear and lack of common sense)
Natural: priests, warriors, hunters, youkai and earthen gods (both created as avatars of nature)

As a note there will be cards which combine two elements, like for example magicians that mix natural and dream. 

Then you pick a basic token. Basic tokens are a followers that can be summoned to the field any number of times without the need of a card. All basic tokens are 1 power, 1 health and 1 skill, cost 2 mana and have no abilities, the only difference between basic tokens are the creature type and the art. However there will be cards that make basic tokens more powerful. The idea behind the basic tokens is to make sure players can always have a creature in the fiend no matter how unlucky they are or if they focus on making pure non-creature decks. The difference in the creature type is to create synergy.

After picking the basic token you select 3 different noble cards from the ones available for the lord?s color (can?t repeat). Noble cards are played like any other card, except they come from a special hand, but they follow all the other rules as cards in your fate deck would do. The purpose of noble cards is again, to allow the player to have options no matter how unlucky his hand can be.

Then you make a land deck where you put all the basic lands you will need to play during the game. Basic lands are indefinite in number.
Finally you pick 40 cards to make your fate deck. Fate cards and non-basic lands have 3 types each with its own limit: bronze, silver and gold. You can up to 3 of the same bronze cards, up to 2 of same silver cards and only one of the same gold card in your fate deck.

Starting the game 
  • Each player starts the game a lord (revealed), 3 basic lands of the same color (in the field), a 40 cards deck (fate) shuffled randomly, a land deck (outside the game), a basic token (outside the game but revealed), and 3 noble cards (in a special hand, covered)
  • Players choose at random who will go first.
  • Before starting the game each player draws a hand of 6 cards.
  • At the start of your turn you draw a card from your fate deck and refresh your lands and creatures on the field.
  • The first player, on the very first turn, doesn?t draw a card. And the second player in his first turn gets an additional card called the ?coin? which can be used to gain 1 mana. After used or at the end of turn erase (remove permanently from the game) the coin.
  • Creatures enter the field exhausted.
  • At the start of each turn creatures recover full health.
  • Maximum hand size is 7 cards, not counting noble cards (special hand).
  • Only one weapon can be equipped per creature and only to the types of creature said on the weapon.
  • You can play the noble cards as if they were in your hand. If an effect causes a noble card to return to your hand it, instead goes back to the special hand. If destroyed they go to the graveyard as usual.
  • During your turn you can summon your lord to battle, if you can pay the price. If the lord is destroyed it returns to the throne (outside the field). You can repeat this process any times as long you can pay the price, but each time the lord leaves the field its summoning costs increases by 3 colorless mana.

Finally I?ll leave you some examples of cards I made, just keep in mind the balance is non-existent. Also all ideas are bound to change if new better ones come. none of the art belong to me and will be removed if asked.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 05:59:30 AM by Ziel Graywords »