Talk:Dvorak Legacy deck

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Given that Dvorak is already a game of making new cards as you play, I feel like there need to be other ways to change the game. Adding lines to cards seems like a good option, perhaps from a predetermined list of abilities (e.g. as a reward for winning, Kevan selects two random boons. He gets "This Action can't target Kevan or Kevan's Things", and "If Kevan destroys this Thing, they may add it to their hand.", and may apply each to a card.).--ChippyYYZ (talk)

Since cards are all that there are in basic Dvorak, further mechanics would need to be introduced to support more legacy elements than just creating or altering cards. A simple enough addition would be Player cards. Each player tracks their personal stats on a non-thing card they keep in front of them, and they may gain abilities or penalties over the course of a campaign. (e.g. ChippyYYZ - Player | Base Hand Size: 5 | Wins: 1 | (+)You never have to randomly choose cards to discard. | (-) When you draw three or more cards at once, target opponent may draw a card.)--ChippyYYZ (talk)

Blank cards giving the holder unchecked power to make any card makes me uneasy. I think the basic rules do a good enough job of managing card creation (balance is enforced by any player being able to veto a new card). If we want to keep Blank cards as a game mechanic, we could say that newly created cards (that aren't vetoed) are not shuffled into the deck, but set aside. Any player can take one of these cards by trading a Blank card from their hand during their turn, perhaps with a 1 per turn limit.--ChippyYYZ (talk)

Lastly, some kind of built-in win condition(s) may be appropriate. Something general, like "The second time the deck is emptied, the player with the most non-token Things wins, and the player with the most cards in hand wins.", allowing more than just one player to earn a win reward (maybe even giving a double win to one player). Non-winning players should still be able to apply a minor reward, such as adding a line to a card.--ChippyYYZ (talk) 05:48, 11 October 2020 (UTC)

Thinking more about the need for a win condition, I think of the Roman Politics deck, and of Actual board games Pandemic and Dominion (to use fairly well-known examples). In the Roman Politics deck, a lot of the cards offer you no immediate gameplay advantage beyond progress toward a goal (e.g. armies and campaigns), and many more offer a choice between utility and progress (e.g. The Emperor's Favor). Similarly, in Pandemic, players have to manage the balance between utility and actually winning by choosing whether to spend City cards to move around the map, or to save them until they can cash in 5 of one color to cure a disease. And I've talked before about how Dominion's Victory Point cards, while essential to victory, are dead weight in terms of gameplay.
Since the Infinite Dvorak deck has no set win condition to make progress towards, "progress" mostly means collecting as many cards as you can in hopes of finding one that wins. There's no trade between utility and progress, because each is the other. This means that the best play is generally just to make the best play, which minimizes strategy. As such, I feel that some win condition is necessary, something that requires players to weigh the points they could score against the opportunity cost of improving their position. Perhaps a win condition that grows somehow with each game, to give a feeling of progression.--ChippyYYZ (talk) 04:55, 15 October 2020 (UTC)

Possible Win Conditions/Flavors

Whatever the form the rules take, they should account for a way for players that have fallen behind to catch up (a game becomes frustrating if a player feels like they have no chance to win and becomes uninvested), and they should ensure that the game moves toward an end -- either a time limit, measured in turns, cards, deck cycles, etc. (Dominion and Pandemic do this); or escalating stakes as the game progresses (Combo Pirates does this with income, and Roman Politics has titles that can't be lost once earned).

The Ball

To win, players must score points. To score points, you must carry The Ball 10 meters (plus 1 per game?). You can discard a card on your turn (perhaps as an Action) to carry The Ball a number of meters equal to the card's cornervalue (this forces players to choose whether to play a card for a gameplay advantage or whether to discard it to try for points, and allows the cornervalue to function as an indication of the card's power level). When another player uses a card to take The Ball (provided you don't have blockers defending it), they gain control of The Ball. When a player scores, The Ball returns to the center of the table until a player takes it. The third or fourth or second time the deck empties (varies with number of players?), whoever has the most points wins (If there's a tie, the next point scored by anyone wins).
Getting the ball gives you momentum because your opponents now have to spend their effort blocking you or stealing the ball, whereas your effort goes toward winning the game. On the other hand, not having the ball gives you a chance to catch up because the player with the ball has to spend cards carrying it instead of actually playing them. The game has a definite end point, to keep it from going on and on.--ChippyYYZ (talk) 04:55, 15 October 2020 (UTC)


So maybe the ball would work for some other deck, but ideally we probably want a scenario that progresses with each game. Perhaps each player runs an empire, and with each game civilization and technology advances. This can open up some cool things. The maximum power level a card can have can increase as games go by (measured perhaps by how many points it costs to play/use). Certain upgrades persist from game to game, but as your empire grows, it becomes less stable. After enough wins/upgrades, your empire risks Collapsing, in which case you have to start a new one from scratch (plus a few upgrades based on the average power of other players' empires), and all the technologies that empire discovered (the cards you created) are lost. Your new Fallen Empire can then be put on display in the hall of fame. This is inspired by Gloomhaven's mechanic for retiring characters.

Further Considerations

Rather than a specific aesthetic or theme to guide design, I think some strong general mechanics will be enough. (1) Some sort of resource points (Energy Tokens? Money Tokens? Both?) to allow for variable card power levels, so that players have more to consider when choosing cards to play. (2) Some sort of purchasable upgrades/bonuses that persist across games, so that players have to divide their resources between the conflicting goals of winning the game and buying upgrades for later games. (3) Damage for Things, or at least for certain Things. I personally feel like there's too big a difference between destroying a Thing and not destroying a Thing. Having most offensive effects partially destroy a Thing makes Things more valuable and destruction less cheap. How many actions are there that say "Destroy a Thing"? What if you could reliably keep a Thing on the board for a round? This also opens more design space, like fragile Things with powerful effects, or a Thing that provides only a small boon but can't be gotten rid of easily. "Destroy" effects that bypass this system could still exist, but they'd be more rare and powerful, like Wrath of Bucky-type cards. This system might be particularly appropriate for (4) Units. Things that fill the "Living Thing" role sometimes referenced in Infinite Dvorak. While regular Things could provide the same general utility as in Infinite Dvorak, Units make sense playing a bigger role in determining your position in the game. The player with the most units or most powerful/valuable units should be "ahead" in some way, more so than if they merely had more Things. Units wouldn't necessarily all be able to attack, though some surely would.--ChippyYYZ (talk) 01:26, 27 October 2020 (UTC)