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Alternate MtG Style Color Wheels
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Lord Mistborn
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:02 pm    Post subject: Alternate MtG Style Color Wheels Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There are a vast number of MtG knockoff games out in the just rip off MtGs WUBRG color wheel verbatim. This boggles my mind because WUBRG isn't nearly that good. White is strategically schizophrenic. Blue does way to damn much and monopolizes on aspects of the game that should public domain. Black and Green gave legs but rarely get the sort of cards that enable then to stand on their own. Red is the only color that consistently supports a complete deck.

So I thought it would be interesting to brainstorm alternate ways that different effect could be distributed across 5 factions.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Why five factions, specifically?

An interesting aspect of MtG is that certain abilities are strongly associated with one color, but often another color has access to it in some form.

For example, 'Lifelink' is pretty strongly associated with White, but Black offers a lot of options for it; 'Deathtouch' is usually Black but sometimes Green; card draw is usually Blue but Black offers ways to do it (usually with life payments).

If you're thinking about card games you should also decide whether the format of the fight is the same as MtG. Obviously all colors in Magic have a way of summoning creatures - in D&D 3.x style games summoning is 'Conjuration' whether you're talking about a Fire Elemental or a Celestial Pegasus.
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Ancient History
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I played around with the idea of Three-Dot Color Wheel Magic ages ago, but haven't touched it in forever. That's more than five factions, though.
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...You Lost Me
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

@deaddm: Garfield's initial goal for the color pie was an odd number, so that there weren't clear color enemies. From there, 3 seemed too small and 7 seemed too large. I guess it's a good enough reason to start from 5.
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Again, look at this fucking map you moron. Take your finger and trace each country's coast, then trace its claim line. Even you - and I say that as someone who could not think less of your intelligence - should be able to tell that one of these things is not like the other.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sure, I think 5 is a good number in abstract, but it has to relate to what you're trying to accomplish. For example, fire/lightning are both direct damage so maybe they make sense as 'red' but lightning is strongly associated with storms which is really more of a 'blue' effect.

I think it's somewhat interesting that in MtG different species aren't always exclusive to a single color - especially across different worlds. Like dwarves were originally introduced as a red creature, but they're a white creature in the current set. But, if the color wheel isn't 'locked' for factions, you have a lot of cross-over, so 'reassigning' doesn't really make much sense.

For example, is there a question whether Deathtouch ought to be exclusive to black?

I think the colors are broader than Mistborn is admitting.

Monoblack is a thing that can happen... Not every set supports it. It's not an issue of black lacking any type of meaning (but it's broad). Demons are black but devils are red, zombies are black except when they're blue. Regeneration is black except when it's green.

The proposition that blue has too many 'counterspells' compared to everyone else is probably valid. Even if it had 'better' or more versatile ones, I can see that being spread around more. Blue is good at stopping an effect before it goes into play; but all the other sets do have ways of removing cards once they've entered play. Blue tends to 'return to hand', but white can exile, red can damage, black can sacrifice - green is the only one that really doesn't have anything to reliably remove permanents from play...

Of course I'm not familiar with ever card of every expansion set, but I just don't see what would be improved by moving to a new arrangement. And maybe it's just because I don't comprehend what the goal is.

I don't even know why it has to be a color-wheel. I've found Josh's review of Codex to be very interesting, and the colors are somewhat random, but factions are things like 'future'.
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Lord Mistborn
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The reason I brought this up was I was kicking around a sort of alternate color wheel. Something like.

Void (Red) the color of decay and destruction. Void gets the highest density of straight up destruction effects, under-costed creatures with drawbacks, discard and effects that trade one resource for another like cards for life or creatures in play for cards.

Light (Yellow) the color of pure energy/divinity. Gets small aggressive creatures, direct damage, damage prevention/redirection and scry (look at the top X cards and put them back on top or bottom), "rituals" (spells that generate mana)

Nature (Green) color of the natural world. Get good creatures in all sizes, mana ramping, life gain, tutoring for creatures, "fight" effects, putting cards in the graveyard back to your hand. Destroy's non-creature permanents.

Time (Blue) color of time/space. Returns things to their owners hand (and occasionally to the tops of libraries), taps or untaps things, draws extra cards, small evasive creatures, and of course (rarely) taking extra turns

Mind (Purple) color of mental manipulation. Get's counterspells, enchantments that interfere with creatures, enchantments that interfere with creatures(including straight up mind control effects), look at the top X cards of you library then put some into your hand style effects. Most creatures are defensively focused baring the occasional big finisher.


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DrPraetor
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The problem with many such color-wheel systems is that they end up with a team that is Blue/Sorcery - team game mechanics! - which is conceptually overpowered, even if you manage to hammer them down to the point that team "is a big guy" is comparable to team "is able to manipulate time", it drifts uncontrollably over the long haul.

So, I'd avoid "Time" and "Mind" as teams, and suggest a color wheel in which factions/magical schools start from an aesthetic, or a zeitgeist, or a flavor, as both more satisfying from a card-art perspective and easier to keep balanced.

So, for example, your teams could be:
Color Magic - uses either colored potions, or colored crystals - some buffs, but mostly destructive.
Rune Magic - either carves runes in stones or writes them on paper - heavy on curses and domination.
Plant Magic - animates things made of wood, does magic herbs - healing and resource management.
Flesh Magic - animates the dead, mutates the living - plays with discard pile also buffs stuff.
Image Magic - paintings and mirrors - misdirection effects, traps, slows the game clock.

Color Magic and Rune Magic both have a "purity" fetish which is why they hate Flesh Magic.
Rune Magic and Plant Magic both have an iconoclastic thing going which is why they hate Image Magic.
Plant Magic and Flesh Magic both have a defend the natural world thing going, which is why they hate Color Magic.
Flesh Magic and Image Magic both have an anti-fate agenda, which is why they hate Rune Magic.
Image Magic and Color Magic are both heavy on civilization, which is why they hate Plant Magic.

So that doesn't hold together perfectly (I just rattled it off by way of example) - and different teams can be better at highly-useful stuff like mental influence or drawing cards or whatever, especially in different contexts or the like, but no-one is "team favorable game mechanics".

You also avoid having a "team good" and a "team evil", even if different writers easily get confused about what those might mean.
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Roog
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Have you seen this?

http://art-blue-liberalism.blogspot.com/2012/06/new-mtgs-colour-wheel-yellow-orange.html?m=1
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Lord Mistborn
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DrPraetor wrote:
The problem with many such color-wheel systems is that they end up with a team that is Blue/Sorcery - team game mechanics! - which is conceptually overpowered, even if you manage to hammer them down to the point that team "is a big guy" is comparable to team "is able to manipulate time", it drifts uncontrollably over the long haul.


I have to disagree concepts are just flavor text in a card game. Powerful effects are only problematic when they are undercoated. It doesn't matter if tapping their guy is done by manipulating minds, time, or ice as long as the effect is costed correctly.
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DrPraetor
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

That's boring. If you're going to have a game in which one team gets icy manipulator, one team gets confusion, and one team gets slow, if all of those are just reskinned Twiddle, that's deeply unsatisfying. Even if the game mechanics could be the same, they shouldn't be. Likewise, if Necromancy is just like fire magic except that you SHOOT SKULLS AT PEOPLE, that's lame.

With the MtG color wheel, you can draw cards because:
1) WHITE reveals the truth to you,
2) BLACK summons demons who tell you stuff,
3) RED sets things on fire, and you look in the fire and learn things,
4) GREEN puts a library... in the forest!,
and 5) BLUE because you just draw cards.

You could certainly cost all of those the same. And, yes, Blue is fairly well balanced in the modern magic playspace, so it can be done, but it took YEARS and it still runs off the rails fairly frequently. Furthermore, it gives you something which is, as you said in the beginning, unsatisfying; why have a team called Chronomancy if they don't do impressive stuff with the tempo of the game?

SO, in answer to your original question, if you are going to improve on the color-wheel, the easiest fix that supports effect sets which simultaneously have competitive powers and span the cost and tempo ranges of the game is to not have blue, or to put blue (as in your original post) in the public domain, rather than (in your previous write-up) splitting it in half.

I would say furthermore that emphasizing the thematic or aesthetic differences between the factions - more like Shadowfist than Magic the Gathering - will give you a better color wheel, generally speaking, with content that is more fun, tells a better story, has more satisfying mechanics, and so on.

EDIT: Oh, and I think the Pink/Brown/Orange/Yellow/Purple color wheel is a good division of themes, but a poor choice of palette. I'm against Master of Magic Sorcery as a faction division, not against cold colors Smile.
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Josh_Kablack
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MtG's color/faction system is inextricable from it's mana resource system -- and if you are building your own game you really should use a different resource system.

If you're doing a new game with new factions you should ask how many of those factions will show up in the same deck. In MtG it's possible, and at times even competitive, to run a deck containing anywhere from zero to five different colors of cards - but basic permutations mean that the majority of decks will run either two or three colors. There's nothing wrong with that model -- but there is also nothing special about sticking to it.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The reason that Mono-Red is the only coherent mono-anything idea is that in the context of Magic's mana system the penalty for having more colors of mana in your deck becomes smaller the more cards you draw. So if you intend to drag the game out until you can cast an 8 mana creature, the chances that you'll have all your land types is much higher than if you care very much what you can play on the first turn. Thus it is that aggro has the highest inherent incentive to be single color while midrange might as well be two colors even if mana fixing and multilands aren't available. So it's pretty natural that the color of aggression is the natural fit for being a single color deck.

Other mono-colored decks have existed at various times in various sets. Elves, Merfolk, White Weenies, Black Aggro have all been things in certain contexts. And those are single colored decks in every color. And what they all have in common is that they intend to do a very tight curve-out and rely heavily on 1-drops that have the appropriate colored mana symbol on them. But of course, from a thematic standpoint, there's nothing particularly Blue about the Merfolk deck. It doesn't play like a "blue deck" and it's not really any subtler or different than a Goblin deck, it just happens to be made out of cards that have a different colored mana symbol on them.

To hammer on this central point a little harder, there are of course Red decks that aren't some variant of Sligh. Big Red is a thing that has existed in various forms in many different sets, and there's weird shit like Goggles Control and Fevered Visions. But of course, those decks aren't mono-Red. Even when Big Red has been all-in on Dragons that pump for Red Mana, it has usually found itself paired with Green or Black or both. Because it's just intrinsically true that the more you rely on late game plays, the more cards you're gonna see before they become an option. And the more cards you see, the less of a cost you're playing to have a second or third color in your deck.

There are of course means of encouraging mono-colored decks other than inviting people to play low to the ground aggro decks. Let's talk about them in terms of some very old cards: Frozen Shade, Wild Growth, and Crusade.

  • Frozen Shade is a card that has an open-ended mana sink that only takes Black mana. So if you run out of cards you can or want to play, you still have a use for any of your black mana. If you happen to have any blue or green mana, that's still garbage to you. And thus, if the Frozen Shade was good enough to be in your deck, you'd be paying a cost for every land that wasn't a swamp, even in the late game.

  • Wild Growth is a card that comes out for one green mana and increases your output of green mana by 1 for the rest of the game. It helps you ramp out big creatures like the Force of Nature, but it still wants you to have that Green mana out on the first turn. Thus, even though you are intending to put down big later game plays, you still have the same need to see a forest in your opening hand that Sligh has to see a mountain.

  • Crusade is a card that gives a flat bonus to all your white creatures. If you have it in your deck, you pay a premium to use any creature that isn't white, and thus have an incentive to use only plains. Of course, if you have any non-creature spells from other colors that you might want to cast in the late game, Crusade doesn't offer any reason to not do that.


These sorts of strategies could be employed. If there were Green mid-range cards that significantly benefited from you having played specific Green cards on the first couple of turns, then the Green mid-range deck would be paying a higher cost for having some of their lands not be Green sources, and thus mono-Green would be more reasonable as a mid-range life choice. If there were mana sinks for Black mana only that Black mid-range decks cared about, then Black mid-range decks would be paying a higher cost for having some of their lands not be Black sources and mono-Black would be a more reasonable mid-range life choice. And so on.

Each of your colors should be given cards that have something to contribute to an aggro, mid-range, or control deck. The question of what Purple mid-range looks like or what Yellow aggro does should be answerable questions. Once you've gotten yourself an idea of what each color is contributing to a basic strategy, you can start to think about what it would mean to have a deck that has two colors. If Orange mid-range is about evasive threats and Yellow mid-range is about boosting creatures, you see the synergy where a bonus to an evasive threat is worth more than the same bonus to a non-evasive threat. And so on. You can also figure that since people make their decks deliberately, that cards that very heavily punish you for splitting your land base won't appear in multi-colored decks - that people will end up running Searchlight Geists instead of Frozen Shades in their Purple/Red decks (or whatever).

Now as for color pies generally, I'm pretty convinced at this point that six is better than five. It has the advantage that your colors can just be the primary and secondary colors of the rainbow and you don't have to deal with shit like how black and white are not in fact colors. It also has the advantage that colors can be neutral in addition to opposed or allied.

-Frank
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Ancient History
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm going to point out the opposite of Crusade: Flashfires. Hate cards encourage mono-decks, not by loving your color but by hating all of the other colors. Flashfires is a fuck-you card. You're not going to play a White/Red deck with Flashfires in it, because then it becomes a "fuck-me" card, and you don't want to cut off your own dick to spite your face. WotC has never aggressively pushed the rabidly doesn't-play-well-with-other-colors mono deck, because that's a shit game design. You don't want players to only by red cards, you want them to buy all the colors.
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DrPraetor
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Frank Trollman wrote:
six is better than five




It's going to be the orange tokens from Cosmic Encounter all over again.

Riffing on Frank's themes, yes: both polka-dot and blackwatch plaid need aggro decks, but they need to play substantially differently (so not like Merfolk/Goblins.) This means more colors is harder, because you need more different-but-balanced things for each color to do, that still make sense with their theme, at different tempos.

Assuming you have a MtG-style "stab the other wizard" victory condition, blackwatch plaid could make rusher-weenies, polka dot could make weenies that tap enemies when they come out, and green could make weenies that get their resource costs refunded when they die. For example.

That said, I see the argument for odd numbers on a color wheel. If you have six colors, then red and blue are opposites, which, in a sense, really means you only have three colors because blue and red are just mirror images of one another? If you have five or seven colors, then you have a forced lack of mirror symmetry which I think is preferable.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

deaddmwalking wrote:
green is the only one that really doesn't have anything to reliably remove permanents from play...


They've looked into that, lately. This is what Green is good at, now:




Roog wrote:
Have you seen this?

http://art-blue-liberalism.blogspot.com/2012/06/new-mtgs-colour-wheel-yellow-orange.html?m=1


I'm not exactly amazed.



I mean, it's pretty telling how Libertarians get the best, bluest, and most appealing color, whereas the opposite side of the axis is Industry and Naturalism sitting right next to each other for some fucking reason.
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...You Lost Me
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Green also gets flying hate.

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

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DSMatticus wrote:
Again, look at this fucking map you moron. Take your finger and trace each country's coast, then trace its claim line. Even you - and I say that as someone who could not think less of your intelligence - should be able to tell that one of these things is not like the other.
Kaelik wrote:
I invented saying mean things about Tussock.


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Eikre
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lord Mistborn wrote:
The reason I brought this up was I was kicking around a sort of alternate color wheel. Something like.

Void (Red)
Light (Yellow)
Nature (Green)
Time (Blue)
Mind (Purple)


Looks like you took the MtG color wheel, dispersed White, and split Blue in half. This is not terrible, given that Blue is the bestest and White spends a lot of time being the worstest.

Is it a wheel, though? Can you make any of these things consistently thematic allies or foils?

Part of the trouble with choosing objective foundations for these schools of magic instead of symbolic ones is that things like "Time" and "Nature" don't really fit into a taxonomy or category with each other, except the one called "nouns." I know that White is symbolically pure and that Black is symbolically corrupt. I know that Fire is symbolically furious and that Water is symbolically tranquil. I really don't know what Time is that Light is not.

You can design a game around factions, it's fine, but it's not really the exercise you described.
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...You Lost Me
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, what does time / void look like?

I think philosophies are a better starting place.

Maro wrote:

White seeks peace through structure.
Blue seeks perfection through knowledge.
Black seeks power through ruthlessness.
Red seeks freedom through action.
Green seeks acceptance through growth.


Void seeks... voidness through destroying things?
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DSMatticus wrote:
Again, look at this fucking map you moron. Take your finger and trace each country's coast, then trace its claim line. Even you - and I say that as someone who could not think less of your intelligence - should be able to tell that one of these things is not like the other.
Kaelik wrote:
I invented saying mean things about Tussock.


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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Keep game mechanics foremost when deciding how to split your factions in not-MTG, or you end up with White sucks and Blue Is Everything.

Being color based is easy to recognize, but how about being symbol based or a faction descripter not tied to color. It's just slightly constricting that every holy aligned card has a lot of white, everything in the jungle is green, undead are always wearing black, and so on. There are exceptions but art tends to stick to color.

You can make themes out of anything, like...

- Aristocrats
- Clergy
- Farmers
- Bankers
- Gypsies
- Dogs (colorless)

Or do the wargaming thing where you have a bunch of factions that get updated from time to time. So Ultramarines can ally with Imperial Guard, but not Dark Eldar.


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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ultimately it is a problem when one of the factions is "Time and Space" (which is "everything that actually exists") and another faction is "Mind" (which is a thing that doesn't actually exist). You get the Mage: the Ascension problem where it's trivial to justify new effects for the "everywhere and everything" power type and quite difficult to justify new effects for the "control of a thing that isn't real" power type. Even if your initial card set cuts out a balanced swathe of abilities for the two factions, the faction that's broader conceptually is going to tend to get more different stuff in future expansions. And in a deck building card game, having access to more different stuff makes you better as the number of card options increase. Time and Space may be balanced with Void magic in the core set, it might even be balanced in the latest set, but if the game goes on long enough Time and Space is going to fucking wreck you in eternal formats.

If you must give single word taglines to the colors, they should be at a conceptually similar level. Like, Purple could be "ambition" while its opposite Yellow could be "unity." And in different sets you could play around with that with things like Yellow getting Support and Purple getting Exploit but both getting Fabricate. Or you could have them all have gibberish names where Purple is "necromancy" and Yellow is "thaumaturgy," and then all the magics do exactly what you say they do and you chop the effects up completely mechanically and flavor it up by laser colors entirely.

DrP wrote:
It's going to be the orange tokens from Cosmic Encounter all over again.


I doubt it. The important part is that your cards and mana symbols have to be readable by color blind people. Almost one in twelve men cannot tell the difference between Red and Green, but there'd be no problem telling which cards are Red or Green because the Green cards have a little leaf pattern in the border and the Red cards would have a little flames motiff. Similarly, you don't need to see colors to identify that the mana symbol with a tree in it is Green and the mana symbol with the fire in it is Red.

What you definitely do not want to do is bullshit like Archangel Avacyn.

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


When she flips, she becomes a red card, and you know this because there's a Red Dot on her, which you know is Red because you are one of the 92% of men who can see the color Red! Fuck that noise. Each of the colors needs multiple non-colored cues on the card that allow people with Red-Green, Blue-Yellow, or complete Color Blindness to determine what color each card or aspect of the card is. Similarly, split colored cards are a much better system than Gold cards for multi-colored cards. People might be Blue-Yellow colorblind, but they can still see that a Blue-Yellow card has a cloud motiff on the left border and a grain motiff on the right.

And once you've done that, the fact that the yellowest part of the background fire on the Red cards isn't actually any redder than the arches and columns on the Orange cards isn't a problem. Orange and Red are just names. The cards and the symbols look distinct, so the factions could be called Blackwatch Plaid or Lion Clan or whatever. It just happens to be that there are strong thematic reasons to go with the six primary and secondary colors. It lets you put prisms in your art to reference mana coloring and shit.

DrP wrote:
If you have six colors, then red and blue are opposites, which, in a sense, really means you only have three colors because blue and red are just mirror images of one another? If you have five or seven colors, then you have a forced lack of mirror symmetry which I think is preferable.


There's going to be a lack of mirror symmetry in some senses no matter what you do. Orange and Blue are on opposite sides of the wheel and they will have some things that are opposites of each other. Blue gets the 5/6 Djinn and Orange gets the 6/5 Djinn and both get 2/1 Flankers for 1X. That sort of thing. But they are also next to other colors and simply have different adjacent color synnergy. Each of the big monsters could show up in Shards, for example - meaning that Orange gets its Angels and Blue gets its Serpents, but Blue would have a secondary interest in Demons from Purple and Orange would have a secondary interest in Dragons from Red. And the way the color pie cuts up abilities would likewise be different because while Orange and Blue would share a primary interest in Flanking, Orange would share its love of Endurance with Yellow and its love of Haste with Red; while Blue would share its love of Flash with Purple and its love of Hexproof with Green.

In short, by having some things shared by enemy colors and other things shared by allied colors, the colors are all going to be different automatically and the symmetry will be broken whether the number of colors is odd or even.

For individual sets you can focus in on the 15 Guilds (2 color combinations) or the 20 Clans (3 color combinations). Or more likely you can focus in on some subset thereof (like the six allied color guilds in one set and the six neutral colored guilds in another). And you can give sets color mechanics like certain colors getting Madness cards in the Horror set. But colors will be distinct just because they will overlap with different other colors in different ways.

This sort of partial and non-universal overlap can extend to all parts of the game. Enchantment removal can appear in some colors and not others and Artifact removal can appear in some colors and not others, and those don't have to be the same colors. Tribes can similarly be assigned to groups of colors. Serpents are GBP, Demons are BPR, Dragons are PRO, Angels are ROY, Sphinxes are OYG, and Spirits are YGB. But you can also have tribes that aren't based around a color and its two allied colors. Zombies are BPO, Vampires are BRY, Dwarves are RYb, and Elves are GPo, and so on and so on. These tribal overlaps can drive color synnergies and color identities as well. The fact that Frankensteins are Blue and Mummies are Orange but both are Zombies and get the benefit from the Reckless Necromancer who is Purple can help inform what a Blue/Purple or Orange/Purple deck can look like.

-Frank
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Now as for making a strategy that feels different for each of six colors, that's not actually all that difficult. Let's assume that you have only the victory conditions in Magic: loss of life, loss of deck, and accumulation of poison counters. Let's consider six different decks:

  • Sligh This is your basic Red Deck Wins deck. It has low cost creatures with aggressive stats and Haste where it can get it. It also has creature removal spells that can go to the face for Reach.

  • Ministry This is your basic Mill deck. Every turn you put out cards that mill your opponent every turn. Your "reach" cards are cards that either delay the game for a turn (fog and the like) or which give an instant push of a bunch of card milling. You don't care about enemy blockers at all, but similarly you don't have good ways to trade your units off if you fall behind because they are a bunch of 0/1 Bureaucrats.

  • Seelie Court You have a pile of cheap aggro creatures that all fly. You ignore a lot of potential blockers and you have a couple of targeted removal spells to get pesky mid-range flyers out of the way.

  • Poison The Poison deck doesn't care about counting damage, it wins when a certain number of total creatures get through unblocked. It goes wide and then it goes wider. Its reach effects are actually just the ability to make a creature unblockable here and there to put up the last poison token or two.

  • Vampires You pack creatures and effects that do less damage than the Sligh list, but they also have a lot of death touch and lifelink, allowing you to trade up or gain life. This allows you to win races against decks that are trying to get back at your life total rather than simply stabilize.

  • Hungry Wastes You have some one cost threats and some mana reduction abilities to keep either player from playing more expensive cards. Once you stick the 1 costers you just chip away until victory is yours.


The thing that's interesting about these decks is that they don't particularly want cards from each other. Ministry is simply diluted by including any cards that "do damage" or "remove blockers" or any of that shit. Poison gets nothing at all from a card that inflicts damage in any context, because that doesn't advance the win condition. Seelie Court doesn't want Sligh's Orc Berserkers or your Vampire Assassins or whatever the fuck because those fucking things don't fly and will just be blocked by whatever big bads the rest of the deck is evading. Similarly, Sligh is pretty uninterested in trading one of its Orcs for a Vampire or Pixie because those things don't hit as hard and that makes the primary win condition take longer to achieve. And of course, the Hungry Wastes have a curve that goes up to 1 and couldn't play the higher tier cards from any of the other decks even if they wanted to.

Since Aggro decks are by definition all-in on getting to their victory condition of choice by their method of choice, you don't need the game to support a lot of different victory conditions to have aggro decks that attack the format from very different directions that don't synergize particularly well. Maintaining 6 or more viable extremely distinct aggro strategies to support an aggro deck for each color isn't terribly difficult. You could have voltron aggro where each creature powers up each other creature (like Rats or Slivers). You could have sacrifice aggro. And so on and so on. You could even have multiple different aggro strategies for one color, so you could rotate how a color aggroed out in different sets. "Remember when Yellow Aggro was a mill deck?" you might say.

-Frank
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DrPraetor
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

One word wins every argument: Blackwatch Plaid

In no particular order...
Frank wrote:
Green cards have a little leaf pattern in the border and the Red cards would have a little flames motiff.

Agreed, but we should keep in mind that synaesthesia means green isn't green, it's "leafy", and red isn't red, it's "fiery." I think that's good, but I just wanted to point it out.

Frank wrote:
There's going to be a lack of mirror symmetry in some senses no matter what you do

That's partially true, and certainly from a game-mechanical standpoint. From a story-telling standpoint, if your colors are forces/philosophies and not just factions - then if they pair off in manichean dualism you have half as many; if the "Seelie" are just team-elf and they hate "team hungry wastes" that's one thing - if they're the "elf-force" and the elf-force is diametrically opposed to the "hungry wastes force" that's another. You can derive whatever the elf-force favors by taking whatever the hungry-wastes-force wants and inverting it.
Even if they are just factions, it's still better to have an odd-number from a storytelling standpoint. From the list you gave, why arrange those six factions in a polish firing squad of absolute hate?
Furthermore, total war is boring. If all yellowburnished gold does every day is wake up and hate purpleroyal velvet, where are their shifting allegiances and such? For that matter, why is there a wheel instead of just three hate-filled pairs? If burnished gold just hates royal velvet all the time, then they aren't neutral towards redruby, they're permanent enemies assuming ruby and royal velvet are friends.
For either factions or forces, alliances only really make sense if you have shared enemies. Historical alliances are usually against some common foe.
On the other hand, if burnished gold has two enemies, cyanblue-tinted gunmental and indigoblackwatch plaid, then they have a reason in the form of shared emnity to make common cause with both greenfresh leaves and orangecitrus, and furthermore they have a legitimate reason to be neutral towards ruby because there is some possibility of building a common front even though fresh leaves wants them in on the ruby-hatred.

Frank wrote:
  • Sligh etc.


  • Look, I'm proposing seven colors so I'm not exactly arguing with you, but I just said "harder", not "it can't be done".
    If you wanted to design a balanced game with only 3 of those, with enough strategic ambiguity that people would brew up decks that chose different strategies to pursue those, and filtered them into stretch and delay strategies and etc., it would be much EASIER, right?
    On top of that, you are criticizing your own design because there's no reason to build multi-faction decks with that!
    More is harder, so if you want 6 instead of 7 you have a decent argument on that basis.

    Burnished Gold - Yellow is the only color that only humanoids see. Therefore, burnished gold is the creative force of exclusively human things, their magic is baked into currency and social organization.
    Citrus - Orange is the color of holiness in asceticism, transcendence of the world of the senses. The fruit of the tree of knowledge is an Orange: Citrus is the power that cannot be within the material world, their magic is in both truth and illusion.
    Ruby - Red is the color of blood, fire and warfare. Ruby is the power that is in strife, conflict and violence, without apology.
    Pink flesh - Magenta is the color of flesh. Pink flesh is the power that is in the meat, in the viscera and in the immediate experience. It's sexy mutant vampires all the way down.
    Blackwatch Plaid Indigo is the color closest to black. Blackwatch Plaid is the power of resignation to death, of embracing sorrow as a strength. It is totally emo.
    Blue-tinted gunmetal Cyan is the color of the sky, and it is free and expansive and impractical. Whimsical flying vessels are made out of blue-tinted gunmetal, in which you can escape.
    Plants Green is the color of agricultural productivity, as much as the natural world as such. Therefore, Plants is the power of growth and prosperity, although not of humanoids exclusively.

    That... would need work, I think crystal/runes/etc. was probably a better starting point.
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    JigokuBosatsu
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    PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Can someone explain the "Blackwatch Plaid" thing to me? Is it a meme, or just a reference to UGB as the colors of the tartan?
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    DrPraetor
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    PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Blackwatch Plaid cannot be explained, it can only be experienced:
    https://youtu.be/uaQ-uawJQ-M?t=63
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    JigokuBosatsu
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    PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Aha, thank you.
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