Magic RPG Multiplayer Variant

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Hi all,

I have just completed my first draft of putting together a RPG multiplayer variant format for Magic. It definitely is casual and (hopefully) an interesting format for a group to play. Honestly, I created it for my playgroup because I couldn't find something similar, but I figure why not share? I put this originally in casual, but it really probably belongs here.

Quick description:


Planeswalker takes Magic and infuses it with roleplaying aspects. To play, players create a planeswalker using the creation rules (race, attributes, traits, etc.). Based on the planeswalker they have created, they then construct their own Magic decks. The planeswalkers then adventure looking to defeat the menaces of different planes (planechase cards). Being successful is rewarded with new spells (cards) to add to their existing deck or items that affect their planeswalker’s abilities. As planeswalkers gain levels, they can cast more and more powerful spells and gain traits that help them in battle. The new Archenemy format is also incorporated.


I'd love to get feedback on this and see what people think. I know it's not perfect, but hopefully there is a glimmer of a fun game in there (it was in playtest!), just let me know how to make it better! I'm sure there needs to be some tweaking as far as balance goes as well.


Download Here (Updated 6-8-11)
Character Sheet (Excel) Here
Community Site: community.wizards.com/planeswalker
I haven't looked at your format yet but Abe Sargent made a Magic RPG also. Just posting up the links to give you some more material to use. I'll take a look at your rpg.

www.starcitygames.com/magic/multiplayer/...

www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc/15320_T...



EDIT: I read over your rules. Somethings that I like- the character creation and the flavor of putting the character and what he/she can play. The deck construction rules though are off. You can't get 4 copies of a common card and the uncommons and rares are even more annoying to deal with. The rules are also way off balance. The restrictions in construction combined with the character creation imbalance will cause problems.

The races are not equal in power. For example the goblin power is pretty lame, especially in multiplayer while the golem power allows some great broken stuff like Grim Monilith and [v]Voltaic Construct[/c]. Two cards, unlimited mana.

Also some of the subdivisions are kind of weird in the creatures allowed to play. I can pay a few points for cheap white mana access and cheap soldier and then just get lots of abilities and access to better cards. While you playing angels need to spend a lot more points to pay for the more expensive cards and the more expensive creatures. The game pushed fast aggro and combo.

The game gets very complicated going through the rules. Abe Sargent's game was great because it was very similar to regular magic you can just sit down and play. However this current version attempts to be too much like an rpg with the equipment and other things.

The enemy decks don't seem to get enough use, the games always seems to break down into the player playing against themselves, not against the enemies. I think I am missing some very important information about the game play but I cannot find it for the life of me.

I don't mean to insult your work, but I would not bring this to my role playing games club at my college and almost everyone plays magic. The balance just isn't there yet. I don't know enough to help you, although making some kind of social agreement on "fair" play before hand will help remove many issues with the draw to combo of all out slivers.

Face it, you're pretty much here as a meat shield.

 

If you are at Georgian Court Univeristy or Monmouth Univeristy PM me. If you are out by York College of PA, I can help you reach the group there.

First off, thank you for your constructive criticism, I do appreciate it.

I think you are correct about broken combos that could happen if people could play whatever they want, but this is purposefully not set up like that. This game is designed more like the analog succesor of the Magic Shandalar PC game. You start out with a patched together deck from a limited pool of cards from the base set. You don't get any rares and only a few uncommons. This forces you to play with Giant Spiders and the like. That is kind of the point.

As you adventure, you are looking to get better cards by winning them or 'buying' with the gold you get. Your never going to get a tricked out deck with insane combos. What it is supposed to do, is make you super happy when you get a Shivan Dragon in your deck.

As far as the enemy decks, I am currently constructing rules for the enemy deck to 'run itself' if you will. That way it is more of a 'team' game. I can see where my percentages might be off in how often you duel each other though, and will look at that.

Yes, it is complicated with items and traits and such, no doubt, but again, I guess I was trying to make it more complex than a 'one game and done' magic game. Where you build your deck and planeswalker up from scratch over the course of time. I think I just need to explain the concept better which is on me.

The racial abilities need to be tweaked I am sure, specifically the one you called out, and I welcome the feedback. Just please make sure you are looking at it in a lense of the card pool and deck construction rules and not a broken combo that could happen with all of the cards accessible.

Again, thanks much for the feedback!


I like the idea of this format a lot.  I don't think it will ever make it into my playgroup (because of the complexity and commitment), but it still looks insanely cool.

It did help inspire me to make a sort of "dumbed down" version for my own group (I've posted about it on another thread).  It's far simpler (and geared toward a much more casual crowd), but there are still things I really wish I could incorporate from your game.

For instance, the boss battles are a really great idea, and really sell the whole RPG angle.  If you can think of a way to incorporate something similar in my variant, I'd be most appreciative.
"We will all be purified in Wurm. What is good will be used to heal Wurm, or grow Wurm, or to fuel Wurm's path. What is vile will be extruded, and we will be free of it forever." --Prophet of the Cult of Wurm
Updated the rules to allow the enemy or 'menace' deck to be automated to enhance teamplay. Now you and your buddies are fighting a common foe without having to have someone run the bad guy!

7-5-2010
New version up, tweaked rules based on recent playtest.
Hi Optimus!

I just checked out your pdf and it looks really awesome.  I love the random flavor of the game, and the starting race ideas are fantastic.  They seem really powerful, but per your comments I think it is meant to have that "Starter Deck" feel to it from the old days.

I like the idea of the Arch Enemy... I was thinking you could even modify it a little so that there is a dedicated Game Master.  This would enable the traditional "party vs GM" mechanic.  The GM could also create opposing villains, and even act as a single two headed giant opponent.

Thanks again for putting it together, I'm eager to give it a shot with the guys I play with. 
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Thank you for the kind words, I do appreciate it.

As far as the game master goes, you are right on target. It definitely could be run by someone (like in D&D) where they make enemies (decks) you have to fight and they play them and such. I think having 'quests' to do would also add another element to it which would be really fun.

The reason I went with my approach was the taste of my own particular gaming group who wanted us all to be 'on the same side' so that is where I tried to make it run itself. Either way I think it works. I'll try to call that out better in the pdf though.

Please let me know how it goes when you try it out, thanks again!
Rules updated and posted. 7-25-10
Rules updated and posted 8-8-10

Sorry about not being around to help more since my first post, computer issues and working cut into my time. Now: I still think some of the races need some work (Angel seems strong, Efreet seems weak). Also, why do you start with so many races. Perhaps cutting down to the iconics and the flavorfull would help balance this out, and make the number of races seem less overwhelming. 

Abilities: "Call of the Wild" needs to reveal the card (otherwise cheating is too easy, and the rules always have you reveal a specified card type); "Warrior" should be purchasable multiple times; "Mana Attunded" needs to reveal basic land. Any of the find something abilities should reveal is, as long as they are finding a specific card.

Adventuring Table and following section(s) looks good.

Overall this is looking good, but it is crunch heavy. The learning curve will be a little awkward, but this looks playable. Have you play tested this at all? I think that will be a great way to help out rules tuning.

Face it, you're pretty much here as a meat shield.

 

If you are at Georgian Court Univeristy or Monmouth Univeristy PM me. If you are out by York College of PA, I can help you reach the group there.

No problem at all, I really do appreciate the feedback!

There is a lot of races, I may have got a little overzealous. I just wanted to make sure there were a lot of flavors available and to make your race choice 'matter' and give you a lot of options based on what kind of deck yo uwant to play. There are some balance issues between them yet though, which I am working through.

At first, I made the mono-colored abilities slightly stronger in general, but I have backed off a bit on this. I changed the Angel ability to be activated. As far as the efreet, I was trying to capture the feel of the 'Frenetic Efreet' and was afraid a zero activation cost would be too overpowered, as it would give any removal a 50% chance of failing on all of their creatures all of the time. I might still be looking at it though through the old 'damage on-the-stack world' and it might be ok in today's game, but I thought putting a mana activation cost on it might be safer for now.


I fixed the 'reveal' abilities you called out, thanks! I'm not sure on the Warrior trait being able to get purchased more than once, otherwise you could get to the point that any creature dies if it hits you.

You're right, it is pretty rules heavy. I have play-tested it a couple times with my group, and it is getting more streamlined hopefully, but we haven't played it at all enough. The more we do play though, the more we think it might be better to have a person play the permenant bad guy and ditch the whole 'automated' bad guy thing, but we'll need to see if we can make that smoother.

Anyways, thanks again and please keep the feedback coming!

No problem at all, I really do appreciate the feedback!

There is a lot of races, I may have got a little overzealous. I just wanted to make sure there were a lot of flavors available and to make your race choice 'matter' and give you a lot of options based on what kind of deck yo uwant to play. There are some balance issues between them yet though, which I am working through.

At first, I made the mono-colored abilities slightly stronger in general, but I have backed off a bit on this. I changed the Angel ability to be activated. As far as the efreet, I was trying to capture the feel of the 'Frenetic Efreet' and was afraid a zero activation cost would be too overpowered, as it would give any removal a 50% chance of failing on all of their creatures all of the time. I might still be looking at it though through the old 'damage on-the-stack world' and it might be ok in today's game, but I thought putting a mana activation cost on it might be safer for now.


I fixed the 'reveal' abilities you called out, thanks! I'm not sure on the Warrior trait being able to get purchased more than once, otherwise you could get to the point that any creature dies if it hits you.

You're right, it is pretty rules heavy. I have play-tested it a couple times with my group, and it is getting more streamlined hopefully, but we haven't played it at all enough. The more we do play though, the more we think it might be better to have a person play the permenant bad guy and ditch the whole 'automated' bad guy thing, but we'll need to see if we can make that smoother.

Anyways, thanks again and please keep the feedback coming!



Because you mentioned Frenetic Efreet, it made me think about the MTGO Vanguard Avatars. Maybe you can check those out for more balanced abilities? I know some are stronger than others, and some are impossible in the real world, but none of them are broken, and none of them are too weak, so it might work.
I do like the idea of drawing inspiration from them, but the vanguard's abilities are also governed by hand-size and life, and I'm not sure I want the races to change those 'stats'. Also, if possible, I'd like to give a new experience to the players then rehashing vanguards, but the flipside to that is un-balanced races of course.

I'l definitely talk a look at them closer. Thank you very much for the idea/feedback!
Updated the rules with all sorts of good stuff. Added some DM options, traits, dealt with some balance issues, added some new sample decks, etc.
The rules have been further edited and cleaned up. Also added a very much Alhpa version of my first expansion, Warlord which deals with Kingdom building and planar invasion using EDH decks.
I have updated the rules once more and have come up with a cleaner way to deal with the Archenemy's logic. Basically, it came down to building decks with the logic built-in. Take a gander and let me know what you think, thanks!
First of all, I'm really impressed with the amount of ground you've covered. I hope this doesn't come off as condescending, but I'm a pretty picky person.

Contrary to what one user said, I don't think the number of races you have is problematic. I was impressed with the amount of races you included, but I'm almost never satisfied in this department. A valid reason to trim down on the number of races or to hold off on adding more would be if you had trouble balancing them. Now, the races are certainly not perfectly balanced, but I think this can be fixed.

My primary qualm with races is that most abilities are color speciffic. While this makes sense in terms of flavor, I feel like it's very restrictive. (Also, I know you can add more colors via traits.) Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that no race's ability should reference colors, but I think receiving a bonus to Red Magic, as an example, is a good enough push towards making every goblin character play red. I definitely would recommend looking at vanguards for inspiration. I personally see a great disparity in power between many vanguards, but as a rule of thumb, if a vanguard's ability allows them still to have +0 hand size and +0 life or more, it's probably worth giving a try as a racial ability. Also, I think too many racial abilities reflect upon creatures. Consider trying to add more 'creative' and unique racial abilities.

The wording of some your abilities aren't quite 'right'. I'm not an expert when it comes to technical wording in terms of Magic's rules, but I can tell the included wordings are not correct. It doesn't necessarily matter if this is supposed to be nothing more than a casual format, but I think this project will seem much more 'professional' if you can have a rules templating expert look through your document and make adjustments.

The other criticism I'll make right now is that I don't like how few sets are avaliable to players at character creation. I would give a player access to a whole block plus one core set of their choice. For certain mini-blocks (Lorwyn/Morningtide; Shadowmoor/Eventide come to mind), simply allow players to pick a random, flavor-appropriate set. Time Spiral/Planar Chaos/Future Sight are all chaotic, and could reflect a random influx of power to a planeswalker whose spark ignited, or perhaps allow them to pick a second core set.

Finally, you have done good work, and I really like what you're doing. My critiques might come off as harsh, but they're given with good intentions. I want to see this work, and I'm sort of a stickler for presentation.
Thank you for taking the time for your very well-thought out post. In all honesty, I agree (to some degree) with all of your points.

Races: I do agree that the color could be problematic. The flavor is so strong though, for a goblin to be red for example, I am a bit loathe to change it. I guess the issue really comes down to, is it necessarily bad to make it advantageous to play a goblin if you are doing red? For example (going D&D on you for a second), an elf maybe makes a better Rogue than an Dwarf because they have a dexterity bonus, but that doesn't mean the dwarf can't be good. I am definitely open to suggestions on this front though, and I will definitely take a look at some more vanguards abilities as you suggested.

Wording: Absolutely right. Honestly, I haven't taken the time to fix every single one because they change so often in testing and so on. I just put down the gist for now. You are right though, they should be in the proper format.

Sets: I am on the fence on this. I really wanted it to be limited to start, to force players to be creative and have to play cards they didn't want to, but I can see it might be too limiting. It just seems a core set plus a whole block is a lot of cards to chose from, and part of the fun of the game is having to use sub-par cards at first and replacing them as you adventure. If you already have the cards you want from the start, it's not going to be as easy to find upgrades when you get treasure or go to the magic shop.

Again, thank you very much for the post. I appreciate the critique and didn't find it offensive at all. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts.
Just realized I still had the old link up as well for the rules. It has been changed to the update.
Thank you for taking the time for your very well-thought out post. In all honesty, I agree (to some degree) with all of your points.
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Again, thank you very much for the post. I appreciate the critique and didn't find it offensive at all. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts.



Welcome, designing games like this is often something I do with my leisure, but I never am committed enough to make my projects go anywhere. Helping others who are likely more devoted is generally more worth my time than working on my own projects.

Let's see what I can do about sharing more thoughts.

Races: I do agree that the color could be problematic. The flavor is so strong though, for a goblin to be red for example, I am a bit loathe to change it. I guess the issue really comes down to, is it necessarily bad to make it advantageous to play a goblin if you are doing red? For example (going D&D on you for a second), an elf maybe makes a better Rogue than an Dwarf because they have a dexterity bonus, but that doesn't mean the dwarf can't be good. I am definitely open to suggestions on this front though, and I will definitely take a look at some more vanguards abilities as you suggested.



The problem with your statement as a whole is conflicting views on how role playing games should be played, really. To referr to Dungeons and Dragons, 4th Edition addressed what you're getting at by very-homogenizing races and classes. For example, Dwarves can only get attribute bonuses to certain attributes (but they pick the few they want to have bonuses), but rogues can use one of two attributes for pretty much all of their abilities. This makes races more versatile, and classes more compatible. Whether or not you want this is ultimately a design decision.

To me, it makes sense for an Elf to make a better rogue, but I hate to tell the player who wants to be a Dwarf rogue "You are going to have to be sub-par." I'm really on the fence about this issue, because like you said, making the compromise means compromising fluff. Ultimately, I think you should ask yourself, "Would I make a goblin and *not* play red?" Then, consider that goblins been nonred before. It's worth mentioning that +1 Red Magic could simply facilitate the "splash for lightning bolt" philosophy that many competative decks like to do.

Wording: Absolutely right. Honestly, I haven't taken the time to fix every single one because they change so often in testing and so on. I just put down the gist for now. You are right though, they should be in the proper format.



Things to consider are, for example, the ability that lets you pick from the top two cards of your deck when drawing cards, should not stop you from milling out. I was thinking about suggesting templating the wording off of Sylvan Library, but there is probably a less clunky option that still allows you to mill out.

(Edit: I'd recommend changing the ability to just function similar to Mirri's Guile.)

Also, you should allow the Follower trait to be upgraded. You don't get more followers, you just start out with a bigger creature. It might seem broke, but currently, your format is heavily catered towards weenie decks, maybe a lot more than you realize.

Sets: I am on the fence on this. I really wanted it to be limited to start, to force players to be creative and have to play cards they didn't want to, but I can see it might be too limiting. It just seems a core set plus a whole block is a lot of cards to chose from, and part of the fun of the game is having to use sub-par cards at first and replacing them as you adventure. If you already have the cards you want from the start, it's not going to be as easy to find upgrades when you get treasure or go to the magic shop.



Before making a case for deckbuilding being too easy, consider that you can only use commons, and can only have two of each common card in your deck. If you want to be in one color, you're going to suck. Adding one or two sets to a player's avaliable cards won't help nearly as much as you think, especially if player is committed to one color.

(While I know you know this, and have likely tried building a deck before, consider that players will likely be trying to build themed decks rather than Spike decks. Spikes have to crunch a lot of numbers to break this format, and trapping players in a given block + one core set keeps things from getting too nuts.)

I would consider making an effective banlist for this "format." Or, at the very least, recommend in the book that players devise their own. For example, if I choose Mirrodin as my block, the playgroup should probably decide what commons and uncommons (Skullclamp, Eternal Witness) should be banned. For each card banned this way, allow players to "unlock" an equally-rare card from another set. Again, Time Spiral block is good for this, as are core sets. Perhaps even consider allowing Planeshift block cards, or Conlfux cards.
Again, thanks for the insight.

Races: It comes down to a design choice, and I think both sides have merits. Currently, it does facilitate the goblin character to have a splash of red (a lightning bolt in your example) and maybe that isn't such a bad thing.

Honestly, I think I need to get a larger sample ppol and watch what choices are made from players. Do some of them take Goblin and not play red just so they can have their racial? Or does no one take the goblin expect when playing red? It is definitely on my radar though, and I will ponder other options.

One thought I had was being able to pick your bonuses from a list. For example, if I am a goblin, I can pick 2 of the following: Plus 1 to red, plus 1 to artifacts, or plus 1 to leadership. That would mitgate the 'uselessness' of abilities, but are we getting into that 'everyone can do everything' territory? It 's never easy.

Rules: I share your concern about the weenies. Question is, besides followers, how is it combated? Higher levels of ranks cost more to buy. Is that the wrong design? If they weren't higher, wouldn't that encourage everyone to stick with one type of color/deck?

Sets: Right now the rules state only Kamigawa and newer and 10th edition and newer are allowed for sets. The reason I went that route is I think the sets since then have been relatively sane as far as power level with few absolutely broken cards.

I am starting to go to your way of thinking though, and might want to open it up to 1 block and 1 core set. The only question is what do you do with the mini blocks or Coldsnap?

Although, maybe the choice should be 1 core set and then two sets of your choice from one block or 3 sets of your choice from one block.

Again, thanks for the insight!

P.S. If you get a chance to look at the new rules and Archenemy decks I posted (after fixing the link) let me know what you think.





Again, thanks for the insight.



It's what I like doing.

Races: It comes down to a design choice, and I think both sides have merits. Currently, it does facilitate the goblin character to have a splash of red (a lightning bolt in your example) and maybe that isn't such a bad thing.

Honestly, I think I need to get a larger sample ppol and watch what choices are made from players. Do some of them take Goblin and not play red just so they can have their racial? Or does no one take the goblin expect when playing red? It is definitely on my radar though, and I will ponder other options.

One thought I had was being able to pick your bonuses from a list. For example, if I am a goblin, I can pick 2 of the following: Plus 1 to red, plus 1 to artifacts, or plus 1 to leadership. That would mitgate the 'uselessness' of abilities, but are we getting into that 'everyone can do everything' territory? It 's never easy.



The problem I'm having is, "why would I play a goblin if I don't want to play red?"

There are three white goblins, they are all hybrid Red/White goblins. There is one blue goblin, it is a hybrid blue/red goblin. There are 29 black goblins, two of them are multicolor. There are 13 green goblins, two of them are not multicolor. There's a tremendous amount of red goblins. Clearly, goblins are usually red, but apparently they can be black, and it's not impossible for them to be green.

My solution would be, "Can I justify [goblins] having a bonus to this attribte?" If yes, "Does it make sense for [goblins] to have this attribute when justified this way?" If so, give it to them. If this leads to broken combinations (I really doubt +1 to anything can do that), then fix them!

Based on my listed stats, instead of giving goblins the option to have +1 to Green Magic or Black Magic, let them have the option to get +1 to Beast Mastery or +1 to Aberrations. Any black goblin planeswalker probably wants to summon zombies, and any green goblin planeswalker would rather summon the beef of Grizzly Bears over speed of Goblin Striker.

Rules: I share your concern about the weenies. Question is, besides followers, how is it combated? Higher levels of ranks cost more to buy. Is that the wrong design? If they weren't higher, wouldn't that encourage everyone to stick with one type of color/deck?



Indeed, I feel like the scaling investment in colors, creature types, and spell types is awkward. It definitely makes sense when we're talking about Hand Size, but I think that might be the only one where it really makes sense. A planeswalker's ability to cast awesome spells increases as they gain levels already, by allowing them to use uncommons and rares. Have you considered making Mythic Rares a separate progression from rares? Towards the end of the level spectrum, a planeswalker could end up with 4/3/2/1 as the limit on unique commons/uncommons/rares/mythics in their decks.

For what it's worth, the first planeswalker I tried to design was a human "spiritualist", using spirits and arcane spells from Kamigawa. I haven't built a deck for him, but I was going to let him use cards from Kamigawa Block, as well as some core set involving Terramorphic expanse (the deck was a five-colors, and was going to curve out at 3. Deckthinning and color-fixing will be the deck's friend).

Sets: Right now the rules state only Kamigawa and newer and 10th edition and newer are allowed for sets. The reason I went that route is I think the sets since then have been relatively sane as far as power level with few absolutely broken cards.

I am starting to go to your way of thinking though, and might want to open it up to 1 block and 1 core set. The only question is what do you do with the mini blocks or Coldsnap?

Although, maybe the choice should be 1 core set and then two sets of your choice from one block or 3 sets of your choice from one block.



To my knowledge, the only problematic blocks are, as I said, Lorwyn/Morningtide, and Shadowmoor/Eventide. Coldsnap is the (very) late "conclusion" to the Ice Age block. Then again, allowing Ice Age/Alliances/Coldsnap would mean Force of Will is an uncommon.

Again, my proposed solution would be to turn to Time Spiral, Planar Chaos, or Future Sight. The cards don't have a consistent theme. Conflux, Planeshift, and Coldsnap are all also potential candidates. Finally, you could always just allow the players to pick a second core set. (An Elf from Lorwyn could get 10th's Elvish Champion, M10's Elvish Archdruid, and Lorwyn's Imperious Perfect.)

P.S. If you get a chance to look at the new rules and Archenemy decks I posted (after fixing the link) let me know what you think.



I'm not nearly familiar enough with Archenemy or multiplayer to properly critique this, I don't think. After more experienced players give insight on this, I might be able to provide criticisms based on their observations.
Thanks again!

Races: I think I will start looking at giving choices when picking a race. That will definitely need to be  something I work on for awhile though, just from the sheer number of them. I am thinking each race will have 4 options, at most 2 of them color driven. The only thing that scares me a bit is a lot of their abilities key from a color too, and I'm not sure I want to open it up to all colors. So I'll need to ponder that.

Abilities: I am also going to look at taking out the rolling ability costs. I like taking out the complication on the surface, but I'll need to watch how it plays out. I will also need to adjust how many points people get to make their Planeswalker as well as trait costs to offset this.

I'm thinking the one for one scale might not work with the way traits are priced, so it might just be a flat 5 points for each rank or something. Another option is having a planeswalker pick an attuned color and ranks of that color cost him less than other colors. A lot of different stuff you could do I suppose.

Sets: I have come to the conclusion that you are right and I need to expand. Just figuring out the right combo.



I'm just going to run through your list of racial abilities and make suggestions to make them less color defined.

Races
Angels (It makes sense for angels to be white, but "fallen Angel"-type is likely a crowd favorite. Also, Akroma, Angel of Fury)
>Any two of +1 White Magic, +1 Leadership, +1 Manifestation, +1 Enchanting, +1 Life Essence
>Ideas for Ever Vigilant:
>You start games with an emblem that says "whenever a creature you control attacks alone, untap it, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn." (Harkening to Bant's mechanics.)
>You start games with an emblem that says "whenever a creature you control attacks, you may pay 2, if you do, untap it."
>You start games with an emblem that says "whenever a creature attacks, you may pay 3, if you do, untap it."
If you use either of the bottom permutations, you could change the ability to Inspirit or something of that nature. The biggest problem with these two abilities is that newer players might believe that untapped creatures are no longer attacking; reminder text could fix this.

Aven
>Any two of +1 White Magic, +1 Blue Magic, +1 Beast Mastery, +1 Leadership, ???
>Abjuration fits a lot of aven's flavor, but there are also many soldier/leader aven, as well as 'sage' aven. I'm not sure what to give them instead.

Centaur
>+1 Green Magic, +1 Mana Adaptation, +1 Enchanting, +1 Summoning, +1 Sorcery
>Warrior Spirit doesn't quite fit centaurs, I don't think. 2 for +1/+1 is generally a black or red ability, and is usually found on elementals or shades. I'm thinking trample, regeneration, or forestwalk are what Centurs should give.
>You start games with an emblem that says "Forests you control have '1G, T: Regenerate target creature.'"

Demon (While I imagine it's less common than fallen angels, I get the feeling some people would like to play a redeemed demon, or one who is simply no longer 'just a bad guy'.)
>+1 Black Magic, +1 Manifestation, +1 Enchanting, +1 Life Essence, ???
>Dark Offering is a good place to start with the name. I feel like it should give the player mana or cards. However, that'll be very hard to balance.
>You start games with an emblem that says "Black creatures you control have 'pay 2 life, sacrifice this creature creature: Draw a card. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery.'" Things that make tokens get good, as do creatures that do stuff when they are killed, but you don't inherently get more than one card for one card and you lose life in the process. Keeing things from being instant-speed also helps things not get too nuts.

Dwarf
>+1 Red Magic, +1 White Magic, +1 Artifacts (Magic lore has used the word Artifice before. I think it sounds cooler and is less 'redundant.'), +1 Manifestation, +1 Life Essence
>I like the idea of Dwarves interacting with equipment, but that's pretty narrow. Even having them interact with artifacts is really focused. Perhaps let them do something with sacrificing artifacts, 'forging' or  'smelting' them. Dwarves can then work on getting Artifact lands without having to play a certain deck. "Sacrifice an artifact: Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature." Or "2, T: Sacrifice an artifact, Draw a card." Something to that effect.

Efreet
>+1 Red Magic, +1 Blue Magic, +1 Green Magic, +1 Manifestation, +1 Spark
>While I'm sure a lot of players would appreciate the reference, is this ability actually good? I personally hate flipping coins, but maybe that just means Efreets aren't for me.

Elf
>+1 Green Magic, +1 Summoning, +1 Enchanting, +1 Mana Adaptation, +1 Beast Mastery
>This ability is flavorful, but it definitely needs to be reworded. As-is, you can tap your tapped green creature as many times as you would like for as much G as you want. I'd consider letting you tap any untapped creature for 1. Something like "Untapped creatures you control have 'Tap this creature: Add 1 to your mana pool.'"

Faerie (Faeries have been in every color, but I think their primary color is blue.)
>+1 Blue Magic, +1 Enchanting, +1 Evoking, +1 Manifestation, +1 Mana Adaptation
>Trickery: You start the game with an emblem that says "As long as you control three or more creatures, creature cards you own that aren't on the battlefield have flash." (Resembles metalcraft, requires some management and control to maintain. You could try doing "four or more nonland permanents" or something of that nature, if you don't want to restrict it to just creatures.)

Flamekin
>+1 Red Magic, +1 Black Magic, +1 Manifestation, +1 Mana Adaptation, +1 Sorcery(?)
>Mana Release: You start the game with an emblem that says "Creatures you control have 'Sacrifice this creature: Add an amount of mana to your mana pool equal to this creature's converted mana cost.'" That way, Tokens aren't nuts. As is: Accorder's Shield + Kuldotha Rebirth, = RRR/BBB,RRR/BBB,RRR/BBB on turn 1. Similarly, Myr Sire = 2: Add RRR/BBB and RRR/BBB to your mana pool. Removing colored mana from the equation also makes it harder to do silly things.

I think that's enough for right now. Removing colors from the equation not only encourages creativity, it practically requires it (until someone goes "lololol Fireball", but even that is kept in check by making Flamekin scale with creatures' converted mana costs). In addition, it removes any artificial color requirements players might see. For example, as-is, a Flamekin's ability could easily pay for the buyback cost of Spell Burst, but a player might overlook that because it's RRR or BBB.


Abilities/Traits
I'm sketchy on the abilities. I'm not sure what to do with them. They're vital to this system, and I like them, but they feel clunky. I'll mull over them.

One thing I was thinking, was that the (color) Mana abilities should perhaps, instead of giving you the ability to cast bigger green spells, allow you to cast more color-weighted spells. For example:
"Green Mana (2): Allows you to cast spells with as many green mana symbols in their converted mana cost as you have ranks in this trait." So, If I had Summoning 2 and Green Mana 1, I could play Ashcoat Bear, but not Nissa's Chosen.

Then if you wanted to make multicolor spells harder to play (for whatever reason, I don't think it's necessary), you could make a trait for that, each rank allowing you to play spells with more varied colors in their mana symbols, five ranks allowing you to cast progenitus, provided you also had two ranks in every color and 10 ranks in Summoning and... Manifestation?

Instead of making Tribal and Inspiration be separate traits, make them tierred. Have Tribal cost so much, then once you have tribal, you are able to invest in Inspiration, which replaces tribal. Naturally, the player is going to choose creatures they are playing when they choose Tribal. If they want to continue playing tribal, fine, but otherwise, it's a stepping stone into always having a Glorious Anthem in play.

In addition to traits, I would consider adding "invocations" to the mix. When players are fighting other planeswalkers, they pay life to activate their planeswalker card's abilities. Perhaps allow players to take similar abilities with the character points they get at creation and from leveling. Now, these abilities obviously need to require more investment than a player's life, but always being able to Wrath of God for, say, 2 life, discarding a card, and 3WW makes a player feel like they have a signature move.


Again my suggestion for Sets is one block + 1 core set. This leaves players with very "sub-standard" decks, in the sense that they have one less block to work with than standard players do.
I think you have some great ideas about races, and I think they would definitely work if I went that way. I do have one major concern about it:

 If I make an Angel planeswalker, I could give them leadership and manifestation and make it an all black deck that suddenly has a vigilance racial ability which is decidedly un-black without giving up anything. I am afraid it loses all ties to the color's abilities/color pie. Or if I make an Elf all white deck and all my guys can tap for mana. Just seems odd to me, like it's too much of a shift from where it stands now, which is admittedly quite confining. Thoughts?

I took your advice on the Abilities bit. For starters, I took out the increasing cost in ranks as you go up. I also halved the cost of all traits, but now you only start with 50 points. This makes a lot less clunky in my opinion. I did the tiering for Inspiration as well as changed Artifiacts to Artifice.

I also really like your idea on invocations. I'm thinking maybe it would be as easy as just unlocking a racial ability at 5th level or something.

I am gonna play around with this iteration tomorrow at a playtest. Then I will look at opening the sets even further (like you suggested) and doing some of the racial ability work. I still have the concern that if I open too many sets for deck construction, the odds of finding in upgrade in a random pack of treasure cards is too reduced in game play.

Thanks again, some really great ideas!!

Angel/Vigilance and Elf/Mana "problems"
If I make an Angel planeswalker, I could give them leadership and manifestation. Do I really have to stop being ever-vigilant like 'every other' angel just because I stopped being white? Maybe, even though I'm playing a monoblack deck (at the start of the game, using only commons), if Alora was a card, she'd be black/white. My point is, even if I'm no longer a white angel, that doesn't mean I have to stop being vigilant. The idea of racial abilities, I thought, was that you exemplify your race so much that you are able to 'inspire' others to be more like you. Alora's leadership keeps her attacking spirit on its toes, even when it normally wouldn't be so warry.

The same goes for Elves. If I wanted to make Tyro the Elf planeswalker, and I wanted to play with beasts, not elves, does it really make sense for me to be able to tap Grizzly Bears for mana? Why not? I'm drawing mana from my own creature.

I believe this clashes somewhat with Magic lore, but perhaps when I summon Grizzly Bears as an Elf, it looks somewhat like me, it has longer ears than normal and is more lean, whatnot. If I summon Grizzly Bears as an angel, it has a soft glow to it, it's fur is more golden, you know...

Invocations
Do not tie invocations to race. Race should not determine everything about a player's play style.

Treasure
I'm not sure how I feel about treasure, to be honest. If I were organizing a game, I'd ask players what kinds of cards they're looking for at the end of each game. I'd figure out a way for the group to afford the cards, then obtain said cards, and probably try to find a few 'similar, but different' cards. It's sketchy, but I'd basically try to find a bunch of relevant cards, considering that a lot of cards will be upgrades for players. I suppose simply giving them packs from their unlocked sets does work, though.

Hey, I'd recommend advertising for this in Magic General and You Make The Card, and maybe even on other forums. This project deserves more attention, and with that will come more critiques!
I have released a new update of the rules (along with a re-done character sheet). I have incorporated some of the suggestions of Zovc (thanks!).

Some of the changes:

-Changed attribute point system, no longer a 'rolling' cost for attributes.
-Adjusted points to start and costs for attributes and traits
-Added additional racial choices for bonuses (Can select 2 of 4 choices)
-Added new racial layout/fluff

As always, let me know what you think, it can be downloaded on the first page of this thread. Thanks!
I like the change in the presentation of races, it looks more professional this way.

Races
Show
Angels' Ever Vigilant seems okay, it may or may not be good enough depending on how good other racial traits turn out to be. I would still consider doing an exalted-based mechanic like I suggested, but that might encourage certain play styles too much. However, encounraging defensive, non-extending play like that is very angel-like.

Aven's  Abjuration is broken. ": this creature is immune to most removal spells." is way too good, especially when you consider that most removal spells avaliable to players (common ones) are targeted. It may or may not scale well as commons and uncommons become avaliable, but the activated ability should probably cost somewhere around 2, 3, or maybe even 4. See Plaxcaster Frogling, which requires some jumping through hoops, or Aerie Mystics. Perhaps it would be more elegant to say ": Creatures you control gain shroud until end of turn."

I still think centaurs' Warrior Spirit is off-color.

Dwarves Weaponsmith might be too good. Silvok Lifestaff is a nuts-powerful card as-is.

Efreets' and Goblins' abilities need to be formatted ": Flip a coin..." Goblins' trait is broken. As is, so long as I control an indestructible creature, I win the game. Frenetic Sliver is a good template for wording the abilities. Perhaps goblins should just have a way of giving creatures haste?

Elves' ability allows them to tap tapped creatures, and allows them to tap creatures who are summoning sick. One creature under an elf's control yields infinite green mana.


Traits
Show
Call of the Wild should perhaps function similar to Abundance, the choices could be creature or noncreature. Or perhaps it could start off searching only for green creatures, then upgraded to find any creature.

Lichborn's wording can be improved, "At the start of your turn" doesn't have any meaning in the context of Magic, I don't believe. Just use Phyrexian Arena as a template.

Undead is not quite flavorful or powerful enough. In most cases, it's just a way for players to efficiently purchase life if they have no plans of gaining life.

Perhaps give players a way of upgrading creatures they can start with in play via the follower ability. A way to increse the target CMC, and possibly make them invest in improving the rarity. Make sure they are able to cast the creature they pick, too.

Is Channeling efficient enough?

Focus increases my copy limits of what?
I like the change in the presentation of races, it looks more professional this way.

Thanks! I have added comments below!

Races
Show
Angels' Ever Vigilant seems okay, it may or may not be good enough depending on how good other racial traits turn out to be. I would still consider doing an exalted-based mechanic like I suggested, but that might encourage certain play styles too much. However, encounraging defensive, non-extending play like that is very angel-like.

I like the idea of Exalted, I want to see how vigilant works out first though. I have played around with the idea of just giving all of the creatures vigilance without activation.

Aven's  Abjuration is broken. ": this creature is immune to most removal spells." is way too good, especially when you consider that most removal spells avaliable to players (common ones) are targeted. It may or may not scale well as commons and uncommons become avaliable, but the activated ability should probably cost somewhere around 2, 3, or maybe even 4. See Plaxcaster Frogling, which requires some jumping through hoops, or Aerie Mystics. Perhaps it would be more elegant to say ": Creatures you control gain shroud until end of turn."

I have changed it back to 2 for now. The thought is, you are going to be playing against the arch-enemy logic most of the time, and I want to see how much more valuable/less valuable that makes shroud. But you might be right and I might need to make it even higher.

I still think centaurs' Warrior Spirit is off-color.

The idea behind the fluff is a Giant Growth type of green effect. Seemed green to me, but maybe it's not coming through.

Dwarves Weaponsmith might be too good. Silvok Lifestaff is a nuts-powerful card as-is.

It might be, but I want to see how it interacts with the new Mirrodin block, the only block that will be able to make it broken.

Efreets' and Goblins' abilities need to be formatted ": Flip a coin..." Goblins' trait is broken. As is, so long as I control an indestructible creature, I win the game. Frenetic Sliver is a good template for wording the abilities. Perhaps goblins should just have a way of giving creatures haste?

Good call on the wording. As I said, I haven't templated all the wording yet, but I changed it to make it more legal. I like the idea of the goblins exploding like Goblin Grenade when they are going to get killed anyways. That was the thought anyways.

Elves' ability allows them to tap tapped creatures, and allows them to tap creatures who are summoning sick. One creature under an elf's control yields infinite green mana.

It's just supposed to be Llanowar Elves. I need to get my mana symbol font added to word I think.



Traits
Show
Call of the Wild should perhaps function similar to Abundance, the choices could be creature or noncreature. Or perhaps it could start off searching only for green creatures, then upgraded to find any creature.

Changed as per your suggestion.

Lichborn's wording can be improved, "At the start of your turn" doesn't have any meaning in the context of Magic, I don't believe. Just use Phyrexian Arena as a template.

Changed as per your suggestion.

Undead is not quite flavorful or powerful enough. In most cases, it's just a way for players to efficiently purchase life if they have no plans of gaining life.

I lowered the cost to an adequate amount until I come up with something more flavorful.

Perhaps give players a way of upgrading creatures they can start with in play via the follower ability. A way to increse the target CMC, and possibly make them invest in improving the rarity. Make sure they are able to cast the creature they pick, too.

Is Channeling efficient enough?

Nope! Hadn't adjusted it yet with the new point costs. Now adds 5 extra.

Focus increases my copy limits of what?
Adjusted.



It's worth entertaining Angels having "Creatures you control have Vigilance." but that may or may not be significantly better than some other racial traits.

I know Centaur's ability is supposed to resemble pump spells, but that's not how they are mechanically represented in green. Green either uses a card for efficient pump, see Giant Growth, the 'green Lightning Bolt,' as I've heard it called, or has creatures with efficient pump that can only do it once a turn, like Twinblade Slasher.

Actually, Weaponsmith is getting nuts as more equipments are printed at common. Flayer Husk is a 3/3 for 1. Adventuring Gear makes something scarier than Steppe Lynx...

For goblins, I'd recommend something like Siege-gang Commander's ability, but I don't want them to have an activated ability that sacrifices only goblins. Perhaps ", sacrifice a creature: The Sacrificed creature deals 2 damage to target creature. Activate this ability only when you could play a sorcery.

Elves: Well, you could represent it with "T", but "tap this creature" has a meaning in terms of the rules, and it is not equal to .
It's worth entertaining Angels having "Creatures you control have Vigilance." but that may or may not be significantly better than some other racial traits.

I know Centaur's ability is supposed to resemble pump spells, but that's not how they are mechanically represented in green. Green either uses a card for efficient pump, see Giant Growth, the 'green Lightning Bolt,' as I've heard it called, or has creatures with efficient pump that can only do it once a turn, like Twinblade Slasher.



I guess I was looking at cards like Unyaro Bees and Snarling Undorak so it seemed flavorful to me yet. I guess one option seems to be to make it creatures get a +1/+1 or +2/+2 when they are blocked instead, which happens often in green. Or have it only one a turn, which you suggested.

Actually, Weaponsmith is getting nuts as more equipments are printed at common. Flayer Husk is a 3/3 for 1. Adventuring Gear makes something scarier than Steppe Lynx...



Yeah, it is getting a little nuts. Mirrodin Beseiged alone kinda broke it. Maybe just a +1/+1 is more in order, but have it be they get an additional +1/+1 for each equipment. I thought of doing something like Metalcraft, but dwarves aren't even in Mirrodin so that seemed silly.


For goblins, I'd recommend something like Siege-gang Commander's ability, but I don't want them to have an activated ability that sacrifices only goblins. Perhaps ", sacrifice a creature: The Sacrificed creature deals 2 damage to target creature. Activate this ability only when you could play a sorcery.



Can I get more context on why you don't like the current iteration? It seems flavorful to me, goblins getting blown up to do damage and accidentally blowing up themselves. And it is random, which seems goblin like. It is also a sac engine. I guess I'd like to hear your thoughts, not that I think your idea is poor by any stretch of the imagination.


Elves: Well, you could represent it with "T", but "tap this creature" has a meaning in terms of the rules, and it is not equal to .



Understood, have the symbol in the new rules release coming up.

Centaurs
Of 29 green creatures who contain "gets +1/+1 until end of turn", only four of them have a sort of firebreathing effect. I can't remember if I counted Ursapine in that.

You could do Elvish Berserker as Centaurs' racial trait, I suppose. Alternatively, you could do Basking Rootwalla/Twinblade Slasher.

Dwarves
I'd look into perhaps making equipment cheaper for Dawrves to cast/equip. You could use Training Grounds as a template.

Goblins
I personally avoid coin-flipping and/or dice like the plague when it comes to Magic. I agree that it makes sense for goblins to flip coins, but you're literally saying "This ability will do [something bad] 50% of the time." I hate that. It's fine for you to keep it, and I'm sure many will like it--I just don't like it.

I'll probably have time to comment on the rest of your races tonight.
Centaurs
Of 29 green creatures who contain "gets +1/+1 until end of turn", only four of them have a sort of firebreathing effect. I can't remember if I counted Ursapine in that.

You could do Elvish Berserker as Centaurs' racial trait, I suppose. Alternatively, you could do Basking Rootwalla/Twinblade Slasher.

Dwarves
I'd look into perhaps making equipment cheaper for Dawrves to cast/equip. You could use Training Grounds as a template.

Goblins
I personally avoid coin-flipping and/or dice like the plague when it comes to Magic. I agree that it makes sense for goblins to flip coins, but you're literally saying "This ability will do [something bad] 50% of the time." I hate that. It's fine for you to keep it, and I'm sure many will like it--I just don't like it.

I'll probably have time to comment on the rest of your races tonight.

Centaur:
I changed the Centaur trait to once a turn, 2 mana for +2/+2. It does seem more in line with green now days.

Dwarf:
I already have a trait you can buy that makes equipping cheaper as well as one that makes casting artififacts cheaper, so I would like to avoid using those. Is a +1/+1 per an equipment equipped out of line?

Goblin:
I hear you, but I guess I imagine it as something that I would use when they are getting killed anyways. As in, I attack with my 3 goblins. 2 get blocked and are going to die and one gets through. I use the two that are blocked to try and take down another creature since they are toast anyways.
Some new updates made. Also added some more Archenemy decks so there is a total of 6 to download now.
I don't know if this is considered a necropost or not, but I'm trying to organize a playtest of this game. Check the game's group on this site for details.

Edit: community.wizards.com/planeswalker (thread link)
Sounds awesome! Let me know how it goes or if I can be of any assistance. Also, I am still continuing my updates of the rules, I just don't mention it on here all the time.
I don't know if this is considered a necropost or not, but I'm trying to organize a playtest of this game. Check the game's group on this site for details.

Edit: community.wizards.com/planeswalker (thread link)




Let me know what luck you have had with this, I am very excited for you to pursue this initiative.

In other news, I have posted an update to the rules.