Corthenhol -- A Work in Progress

23 posts / 0 new
Last post
So my friend and I undertook the daunting task of making a set.

Here's what we got.

 The plane of Corthenhol is a more technologically advanced plane than most. The Fist of Iron, a corrupted legion of soldiers and officals wielding the powerful, otherworldly alloy of Oxidite have outlawed one of the most abundant and most practical studies on the plane—steam machinery—because of their precious alloy’s negative reactivity to water of any kind. The steampunk rebels, named the Order of Hydrolysis, have taken matters into their own hands. Just as the powerful Ironfist army crushed the main governing body a long time ago, the Hydros are willing to risk their lives to overthrow the Fist of Iron.

The Order of Hydrolysis - The Hydros
  The Hydros are the steampunkesque outlaws of the plane. They don't think of themselves as criminals of course, but they do see the monarchy that is the Fist of Iron being absolutely unjust for banning the Hydros' way of life. Corthenhol is largely made of vast oceans, so they can't help but feel it's counterproductive to place a ban on technology running off of water.

Keywords

Effervesce X (At the beginning of your upkeep, put X steam counters on this creature/card.) 
  Creatures and artifacts tend to have effervesce, which is a word meaning to essentially boil. The amount of steam counters tend to only be relevant to permanents with effervesce, so cards giving or moving steam counters tend to state the target must have effervesce.

The Fist of Iron
  The Fist of Iron, or Ironfists as they're called, are a former collective mining group who overthrew the previous ruling bodies of Corthenhol. They discovered a rare element which could be refined into an alloy with other elements called "Oxidite". Oxidite is an alloy that is very powerful when tested against other metals, however, it rapidly begins to disintergrate and corrode when it comes in contact with water. As such, when the Ironfists took over, they banned the number one research topic--steam machinery--out of fear of another uprising that would overthrow them. Their power and perhaps a strange element to their oxidite has made them corrupt, as such they can tap into black mana.

Keywords

Prepare (At the beginning of any end step, if there were no declared attackers that turn, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.)
  The Fist of Iron army tends to stay alert, even when battles don't occur. Their keyword keeps them active by getting stronger as war lies dormant.

Wildlife of Corthenhol
  I couldn't just leave green out of the set, so most of the midregion of the main island of Corthenhol is a dense natural forest. The wildlife of Corthenhol doesn't want anything to do with the Hydro v Ironfist war, so they tend to stay within their habitat. However, if a war breaks out in this great forest (which needs a name), then the beasts retaliate agressively, holding nothing back. Also, since Corthenhol is mostly ocean, aquatic wildlife exists in abundance, and is just as volatile as the rest of their grounded brethren.

Keywords :G:

Swarm: Depending on whether you played a creature spell this turn affects how creatures or spells with swarm play. They usually get added bonuses to their effects if you played a creature spell that turn.


So there you have it. As it stands, I have a serious case of writer's block, so I can't develop much on the story and as such can't develop much on the cards.  I will post up some samples later.

Critique? Comments? Criticism? I'd appreciate any of it.

CURRENT EDH DECKS: Sek'kuar | Kraj | Teysa | Wort | Purphoros | Varolz | Reaper King | Rakdos | Isperia | Ultimus | Iroas | Macar

[post reserved for card images]

CURRENT EDH DECKS: Sek'kuar | Kraj | Teysa | Wort | Purphoros | Varolz | Reaper King | Rakdos | Isperia | Ultimus | Iroas | Macar

So far both of your mechanics are counter-oriented. I, personally, think that that is fine - but I'd be wary of adding any more counters. Prepare isn't as good a name as Effervescence. You should be really careful how you cost those - like I'm thinking a Vanilla Preparer would look something like:

Vanilla Preparer
Creature - Human Baker (C)
Prepare

"Delicious."

1/1

I'd be curious to see an example of a permanent with Effervescence - to see what exactly it does.

As for your writer's block, I'd suggest taking a random individual in Corthenhol and writing just maybe a diary entry for them. See if any ideas come to mind. Like it can just start with what he or she had for breakfast, but at some point it is likely that your mind will be inspired by just what everyday life on a Plane like Corthenhol must be like. Plus Steampunk lends itself to easy-to-write characters. Try some Legends - and the Iron Fist seems like it'd be full of stereotypical bureaucratic Villains. Hope that helps a little.

139359831 wrote:
That is a lovely painting of Richard Garfield. It really brings out his feminine side.
This is a cool set. I'm surprised you didn't include an artifact theme.
Embrace imagination. Lord of YMtC | Ten Rounds Contest Winner Solphos – A fan set with a 'combo matters' theme Fool's Gold – The second set of the Solphos block
More
Each of its nine tails is imbued with supernatural power, and it can live for a thousand years. My Standard deck: Setting Sun
108516289 wrote:
Think of how Neo couldn't beat the robots, but they kept him around anyways to defeat Agent Smith. Sure, the robots might not like having a Neo running rampant because instead of playing their favorite 4 drop fatty robot, they have to play a bunch of one mana Matrixs to contain him, but at least Neo keeps Agent Smith from reanimating an Iona on turn two.
139359831 wrote:
Are you saying I'm trying to blame my loss on something? I don't care that I lost, I care that he's a sore loser, and a cheater, and a liar.
144902215 wrote:
CKY, are you bad at anything?
144902215 wrote:
I really enjoy imagining this from Kevin's perspective. Because in Kevin's world, Rosewater actually reads everything he types. Mark is sitting there right now, reading this, and thinking "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled. . ." Or some such. He chuckles low, then clicks on "The Best Of KEVINSET" and says "Yes, this'll do just fine. A busty lady with banding who deals direct damage to Zones!? Why this will be the star of my next set, and no one will ever believe you Kevin." Then he closes his Macbook, so his servant may move it out of the way, while another servant puts a Fetal Richard Garfield Clone lathered in Steak Sauce in front of him. Then Mark Feasts. I mean, In KevinWorld, Mark is reading the very words I'm typing as well. Heck, in KevinWorld maybe I am Mark.
99964981 wrote:
I'm beginning to think CKY may be anime in real life...
57150868 wrote:
Don't go anywhere CKY, I need to crash dramatically through your window and propose marriage and I don't want you throwing off my paradrop.
63588923 wrote:
[In response to a thread about how hard grading is] Upon reading this, I've found myself completely unable to operate in the world. I tried to decide what to eat for breakfast, and pondered the vast consequences of my choice. How do I balance my dietary needs against my desire to eat good-tasting food? Should I factor in how long it takes to prepare? Cereal is ready in moments, but bacon takes longer to cook. Then there is the impact on other industries. Do people in the cereal industry deserve to be employed more than people in the bacon industry? Which industry should I support? I don't even have the data regarding HOW MUCH the cereal industry benefits from me eating a bowl of cereal, or how much the bacon industry benefits from me eating a side of bacon. How can I compare two qualities I can't even quantify? And let's not forget the milk on the cereal. In addition to determining whether or not milk is healthy for me, how much that benefits the milk industry, and how much the people in the milk industry deserve my support, we have to factor in the fact that cows are put under brutal conditions in order to collect thier milk. Of course, the same goes for the pigs, and then they get killed. Of course, I really like bacon. So I need to come up with a scale that compares the value of cow happiness to pig happiness to my happiness. What trade-offs am I willing to make here? Does the fact that the pig gets put out of its misery count as a plus or a minus? Isn't bacon bad for me anyway? Deciding what to eat for breakfast (or any meal) is impossible. Help me!
104339228 wrote:
I must admit chinkeeyong, you have the most interesting character ideas; and you play them well.
144902215 wrote:
Anyway, you'd be surprised about Time Stop. When I first saw that card as a relatively new player I didn't see its full potential until I read the reminder text. Is it that unintuitive, though? Mine I mean. What is possibility? Is it possible for me to type these words with my tusks? No, because I don't have tusks. Although I am now tempted to go buy some - obviously not from poachers or whatever - and use them as typing apparatus. I could be the best secretary ever. "What's your words per minute sir?" "Well, only six, but I use these tusks to type them." "You're hired!" That was the interview. And is anyone else disappointed that "apparati" is not the plural form of apparatus? I just could strangle a dictionary, because "apparatuses" is a real word. I guess it sounds pretty cool. I'll call them my Apparatusks.
I'm surprised myself I didn't include an artifact theme. For future reference, there are colored artifacts in this set, similar to Esper from Alara.

And here's a preview of an Effervesce card:

Condensing Cannon :R:
Artifact (Uncommon)
Effervesce 2 (At the beginning of your upkeep, put two steam counters on this card.)
Remove five steam counters from ~: Destroy target creature.

Not a final design of this particular card, of course. I always end up tweaking stuff here and there.

For example, the Hydro's former keyword was something called Condense.

Went something like this: (At the beginning of your upkeep, you may choose to skip your combat step. If you do, this creature gets +X/+X until the end of your next turn, where X is the number of permanents with condense you control. Condense only once per turn.)

Obviously, this mechanic was really clunky, and went under constant revisions. At the time, Ironfists didn't have a keyword yet, so I eventually when with converting Condense into something less... stupid (prepare) and gave Effervesce, a more fun mechanic in my opinion, to the Hydros. 

CURRENT EDH DECKS: Sek'kuar | Kraj | Teysa | Wort | Purphoros | Varolz | Reaper King | Rakdos | Isperia | Ultimus | Iroas | Macar

Personally I'm not a fan of adding new counter types to the game. My basic guideline for counters would be: 


  • Do these counters do anything on their own at all? Or are they simply a way of keeping score on specific card?

  • If they do nothing in a vacuum, then do they shine in flavour so much that another type of counter - notably charge counters - couldn't easily be used instead.


 I don't feel that yours go far enough beyond charge counters to be worth having a name change. I think you can still keep the steampunk theme with charge counters, just keep the names and types flavourful.
Ego
144902215 wrote:
Morgothra has the Syntax and Grammar of a God.
56754738 wrote:
I love this card.
56771968 wrote:
I can't compete with this.
57461258 wrote:
@Morgothra: Beautifully said, sir. Beautifully said.
Contest Winners
CKY, magicpablo666 and Dinobeer combined ingenuity and silliness to win a Summer fUn contest each! vlord beat the rest to become the architect of a better tomorrow in Build it and they will come! CityofAs pranced masterfully to victory in Skipping Merrily! ConfusedAsUsual conquered both tropes and opponents to ascend in Metafiction! FirstTurnKill condensed Success into Art form in Summing it Up!
I did ponder on that as well. I knew steam counters wouldn't do a whole lot outside the set, but didn't want to change them. This is a work in progress, so changing the counters to be more functional outside is always on the table.

CURRENT EDH DECKS: Sek'kuar | Kraj | Teysa | Wort | Purphoros | Varolz | Reaper King | Rakdos | Isperia | Ultimus | Iroas | Macar

I did ponder on that as well. I knew steam counters wouldn't do a whole lot outside the set, but didn't want to change them. This is a work in progress, so changing the counters to be more functional outside is always on the table.



Charge counters are great for that - they're semi-evergreen and show up all over the place. If you wanted to make Johnny happy you could put +1/+1 counters on them, even on the non-creatures.
Actually, "change card t ype" was my first Johnny moment. I loved Mishra's Factory when I first started playing. (Okay, that dates me.)
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
As much as I want to keep the steam counters, I think I'm gonna switch them over to charge counters. It's sorta arbitrary to keep a set-specific counter around when charge counters are universal.

I have an idea for a card that turns charge counters into +1/+1 counters if that floats anyone's boat. There is this card, also:

Pressurizing Automaton :ur::ur:
Artifact Creature - Construct (rare)
Effervesce 1
Pressurizing Automaton gets +1/+1 for every charge counter on it.
1/1 

CURRENT EDH DECKS: Sek'kuar | Kraj | Teysa | Wort | Purphoros | Varolz | Reaper King | Rakdos | Isperia | Ultimus | Iroas | Macar

Update with some crazy mythics that I've had lying around:

Hydrolysis Hypercondenser 
Legendary Artifact (M)
Effervesce 3
Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under an opponent's control, remove a charge counter from ~.
Remove twenty charge counters from ~ and sacrifice it: You win the game. 

Hydrolysis Hydra :ur::ur::ur:
Artifact Creature - Hydra Construct (M)
~ enters the battlefield with X charge counters on it.
~ gets +2/+1 for each charge counter on it.
: Put a charge counter on ~.
0/0

CURRENT EDH DECKS: Sek'kuar | Kraj | Teysa | Wort | Purphoros | Varolz | Reaper King | Rakdos | Isperia | Ultimus | Iroas | Macar

Those names sound a little too mechanical and scientific for my taste. Something like "Condensing Chalice" at least keeps it within the realm of Magic.

For what it's worth, I made a steampunk set a while back called Solphos. It's more themed towards alchemy and combo deck pieces, but you could try looking at it for ideas if you're ever stuck.
Embrace imagination. Lord of YMtC | Ten Rounds Contest Winner Solphos – A fan set with a 'combo matters' theme Fool's Gold – The second set of the Solphos block
More
Each of its nine tails is imbued with supernatural power, and it can live for a thousand years. My Standard deck: Setting Sun
108516289 wrote:
Think of how Neo couldn't beat the robots, but they kept him around anyways to defeat Agent Smith. Sure, the robots might not like having a Neo running rampant because instead of playing their favorite 4 drop fatty robot, they have to play a bunch of one mana Matrixs to contain him, but at least Neo keeps Agent Smith from reanimating an Iona on turn two.
139359831 wrote:
Are you saying I'm trying to blame my loss on something? I don't care that I lost, I care that he's a sore loser, and a cheater, and a liar.
144902215 wrote:
CKY, are you bad at anything?
144902215 wrote:
I really enjoy imagining this from Kevin's perspective. Because in Kevin's world, Rosewater actually reads everything he types. Mark is sitting there right now, reading this, and thinking "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled. . ." Or some such. He chuckles low, then clicks on "The Best Of KEVINSET" and says "Yes, this'll do just fine. A busty lady with banding who deals direct damage to Zones!? Why this will be the star of my next set, and no one will ever believe you Kevin." Then he closes his Macbook, so his servant may move it out of the way, while another servant puts a Fetal Richard Garfield Clone lathered in Steak Sauce in front of him. Then Mark Feasts. I mean, In KevinWorld, Mark is reading the very words I'm typing as well. Heck, in KevinWorld maybe I am Mark.
99964981 wrote:
I'm beginning to think CKY may be anime in real life...
57150868 wrote:
Don't go anywhere CKY, I need to crash dramatically through your window and propose marriage and I don't want you throwing off my paradrop.
63588923 wrote:
[In response to a thread about how hard grading is] Upon reading this, I've found myself completely unable to operate in the world. I tried to decide what to eat for breakfast, and pondered the vast consequences of my choice. How do I balance my dietary needs against my desire to eat good-tasting food? Should I factor in how long it takes to prepare? Cereal is ready in moments, but bacon takes longer to cook. Then there is the impact on other industries. Do people in the cereal industry deserve to be employed more than people in the bacon industry? Which industry should I support? I don't even have the data regarding HOW MUCH the cereal industry benefits from me eating a bowl of cereal, or how much the bacon industry benefits from me eating a side of bacon. How can I compare two qualities I can't even quantify? And let's not forget the milk on the cereal. In addition to determining whether or not milk is healthy for me, how much that benefits the milk industry, and how much the people in the milk industry deserve my support, we have to factor in the fact that cows are put under brutal conditions in order to collect thier milk. Of course, the same goes for the pigs, and then they get killed. Of course, I really like bacon. So I need to come up with a scale that compares the value of cow happiness to pig happiness to my happiness. What trade-offs am I willing to make here? Does the fact that the pig gets put out of its misery count as a plus or a minus? Isn't bacon bad for me anyway? Deciding what to eat for breakfast (or any meal) is impossible. Help me!
104339228 wrote:
I must admit chinkeeyong, you have the most interesting character ideas; and you play them well.
144902215 wrote:
Anyway, you'd be surprised about Time Stop. When I first saw that card as a relatively new player I didn't see its full potential until I read the reminder text. Is it that unintuitive, though? Mine I mean. What is possibility? Is it possible for me to type these words with my tusks? No, because I don't have tusks. Although I am now tempted to go buy some - obviously not from poachers or whatever - and use them as typing apparatus. I could be the best secretary ever. "What's your words per minute sir?" "Well, only six, but I use these tusks to type them." "You're hired!" That was the interview. And is anyone else disappointed that "apparati" is not the plural form of apparatus? I just could strangle a dictionary, because "apparatuses" is a real word. I guess it sounds pretty cool. I'll call them my Apparatusks.
We just came up with adding blue to the wildlife faction because of the plane being mostly ocean.

Also, I've been thinking of large, underground chambers where the Hydro construct their massive synthetic beasts. Maybe when I come up with a name for those, the naming will become less redundant. 

CURRENT EDH DECKS: Sek'kuar | Kraj | Teysa | Wort | Purphoros | Varolz | Reaper King | Rakdos | Isperia | Ultimus | Iroas | Macar

Mind if i nitpick a bit...
Prepare doesn't feel very a mechanic. both colors are more geared towards their smaller - quick creatures. holding them back and wait for them to grow seems counterintuitive. 

I can see white does that.... in the same line of thought as luminarch ascension, maybe? but really not quite black.

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupry

[spoiler MLP]Congratulations, you've found My Lie Policy: Only when i'm prompted, i might lie. (policy still in the refinement process.) [/spoiler] [spoiler I am both rational and instinctive. I value self-knowledge and understanding of the world; my ultimate goal is self-improvement and improvement of the world around me. At best, I am focused and methodical; at worst, I am obsessive and amoral.]I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green

[/spoiler]
I'll admit Prepare is more or less a very slapped-on mechanic. We've gone a week or so without a Ironfist mechanic and I figured I'd follow along in the footsteps of the old Hydro keyword in a sense with skipping the combat step, so Prepare was born.

However, I've been thinking both sides could get two mechanics, so it's possible Prepare is more geared towards white while some other mechanic I have yet to think of could be more black-flavored. Likewise, Effervesce could be accompanied with another steampunk inspired ability. I've been actually leaning towards bringing back an old keyword from Future Sight (a new old keyword, so to speak) for the Hydros, so that's also up on the drawing board.

Also, I need to brainstorm some wildlife mechanics that would suit . Assuming I can give the wildlife neutral faction a mechanic without seeming like I'm overloading the set with keywords. 

CURRENT EDH DECKS: Sek'kuar | Kraj | Teysa | Wort | Purphoros | Varolz | Reaper King | Rakdos | Isperia | Ultimus | Iroas | Macar

Actually Prepare is kinda cool. The idea of building resources using time could be a theme in your set.

Here are some ideas:


  • I would suggest instead of 'effervesce' that you revisit good ol' cumulative upkeep? Imagine a new twist on it being that you can take off the counters on the cards to fuel things as per effervesce. That would definitely tickle some players as well as harken back to some old schoolers. It's something that hasn't been done and could be neat to do.


I'd play around with a few iterations of prepare before committing to it:


  • Bulwark (As a sorcery, you may tap this creature to put a +1/+1 counter on a creature with Bulwark.)

  • Devout (At the beginning of your end step, if all creatures you control are untapped, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.)

  • Battlemaster -- Whenever you attack or block with three or more creatures, X


Some other advices:


  • I'd look for a mechanic that can go on spells. Probably something to go along with a 'building up' theme.

  • I'd also look into something to smooth out draws. Especially with Cumulative Upkeep eating mana, you'll want something to ensure one hits their land drops.

  • I'd explore artifacts as a theme/subtheme, but I'd stay away from colored artifacts unless you have a good reason to have them. 


Hope that helped!

My latest set is in public beta! KOR - Kingdoms of Rabiah - Check it out! Like Uncle Istvan? Like Rabiah? Like Homelands? Then check out theScion's Parade of Planeswalkers Got Flavor? Throw it at me in my Gauntlet: theScion vs YMTC thread. Can the combined powers of YMTC defeat our favorite rainbow-faced card crafter?
I've decided that the wildlife don't get a true keyword, but have exculsive abilities that occur if you played another creature that turn.

An example or two:

Paradise Blossom  :G::G:
Creature - Plant
: Add :G: to your mana pool. If you cast a creature spell this turn, add :G: to your mana pool instead.
0/1

Quicksting Wasp :G::G:
Creature - Insect
Flash
Flying
When ~ enters the battlefield, if you cast another creature spell this turn, destroy target creature.
1/3

I know these types of things fall into a keyword category... like Kinship and Chroma and the like. I could come up with a name for this... but I'm coming up with nothing.

CURRENT EDH DECKS: Sek'kuar | Kraj | Teysa | Wort | Purphoros | Varolz | Reaper King | Rakdos | Isperia | Ultimus | Iroas | Macar

A) I advise Swarm for the name.

B) Quicksting Wasp is not monogreen.
Flash is fine.
Flying is... a push, green doesn't normally get it, but there are a few exceptions.
Destroy Target Creature is just plain not green.
If it was "Destroy target flying creature" then sure. Or "destroy target blue or black creature": that's within the range of possibility.
A) I like Swarm.

B) I tend to sometimes forget the color pie when designing. I need to make a graph or something to keep things in proper color. I did change it to "Destroy target blue or black creature" since that affects both factions.

Speaking of blue/black, I made this guy quite a while ago.

Hired Mercenary
 Creature - Human Rogue
, :T:: Remove all counters from target creature.
2/3 

Before counter-centric keywords, this guy used to have ", : Target creature loses [Ironfist Keyword] until end of turn." and ", : Target creature loses [Hydro Keyword] until end of turn." Once the keywords became centered around counters, I could change this guy as well.

Blue/Black together are sort of the "sneaky" colors, so I felt it fit nicely. 

CURRENT EDH DECKS: Sek'kuar | Kraj | Teysa | Wort | Purphoros | Varolz | Reaper King | Rakdos | Isperia | Ultimus | Iroas | Macar

I'm not sure if I should use hybrid mana symbols. This is a pretty multicolor set, but I don't feel it's mutlicolor enough to justify hybrid mana. Thoughts?

CURRENT EDH DECKS: Sek'kuar | Kraj | Teysa | Wort | Purphoros | Varolz | Reaper King | Rakdos | Isperia | Ultimus | Iroas | Macar

If you don't mind my making a card here is a thought I had

Oxidite Miner | :B: [Uncommon]
Creature - Human
Prepare
Pay 1 life, :T:; Add :B: to your mana pool.
1/1
"His whole life is spent in the mines waiting for the day he can return to the surface with his bounty of Oxidite."


Just a thought I had.
My Commander decks! http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29942477/Endrek_Sahr,_Master_of_Disaster http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29942329/*Rumbling_Stomach_Noises*_Guildpact_Borborygmos_Deck
Hybrid's fine. It's actually evergreen, but it's not used much.

Just keep them in a cycle, and remember that hybrids are the intersection of colors, unlike some people we can name.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
Just hoisting this out of the dead threads pile. Admittedly I haven't been working on the set for a while.

But another card:

Hydraulic Dragon
Artifact Creature - Dragon Construct (R)
Flying
:U::U:: Hydraulic Dragon gains or loses flying. (This effect lasts indefinitely.)
As long as Hydraulic Dragon doesn’t have flying, it gains effervesce 4.
:R::R::R:: Hydraulic Dragon gets +1/+0 for each charge counter on it until end of turn.
5/6

CURRENT EDH DECKS: Sek'kuar | Kraj | Teysa | Wort | Purphoros | Varolz | Reaper King | Rakdos | Isperia | Ultimus | Iroas | Macar