it's that time again, where I exploit my name recognition to get myself more work than I want to do! I have recently found that I, somehow, am in possession of some free time, and I need you guys to help me get rid of it.
for those of you who were not here or did not participate last time, DFMM is my on-going contest series, where I toss out a random criteria when one strikes me. last time, we took a look at Lords, ending with silasw taking home the cup with an awesome horse lord. see the whole thread, including a GM interruption, here.
now, I want to get this out of the way because it's something many people missed last time. READ THE ENTIRE CRITERIA BEFORE SUBMITTING. last time I had almost 40 entries, I have no qualms whatsoever about disqualifying those who disqualify. many people last round saw "Lord" and decided that the entire criteria was "make a lord". it was not, and those of them that didn't fix it did not get graded. I will be equally harsh this time. I hate disqualifying people after all the hard work they put in, please don't make me do it.
now you may be asking yourself "but razor, what reward exists for participation?" first of all you are not razor, please do not adress yourself as such. second, Razorpoints! they're like regular points but I give them out. they're my attempt at an overarching reward system. first of all, every time I post a contest, you get to see your name at the top of the scoreboard like silasw and Steinhauser. but more importantly, whenever I run a limited entry contest, I will set aside a few "invitational" entry slots for the entrants with the most razorpoints. they don't even have to participate in the audition if they don't want to. it's the fast track to entry. there may be other rewards as well, as I come up with them. anyway, the current razorpoints standing are as follows: razorpoints hall of fameShow
and how do you get razorpoints? well, it's simple, really. in DFMMs, razorpoints are given to the top X participants, where X is the square root of the number of total participants, rounded off. so the more people participate, the more points are up for grabs. other contests I run may use different point structures. who knows? point is, be good at card design, show me that you're good, and you'll wind up with some razorpoints to call your own. it's not a complex procedure.
and on the grading criteria: last time I found that non-numeric grading worked really well. I critique all the designs, then I sit back and think about which ones I like best. it helps avoid stupid crap like my mood causing someone to gain a 1-point lead, because that's dumb and I hate when that happens. numeric grades are dumb. but I will give some good feedback to everyone, don't worry. except Rush. he knows what he did.
so lets talk about this round's criteria. it has recently come to my attention thanks to Imidazoline's criteria theme in World Champs that even the best designers on these boards often have trouble with keywords. except Fallingman, and I'm pretty sure he's cheating. that guy aside, keyword design is one of the hardest things to do in fantasy fantasy card design, because it requires you to work on such a broad scope. you can't just make a cool card, you have to make ten cool cards, and support five-ten more decent ones. it has to be simple enough to disappear into the player's brainspace while being interesting enough to excite them. it has to be able to completely carry a card with nothing else, and it has to be able to be played with in intriguing ways. a keyword has to be a jack of all trades, and that's what makes it so damn hard. so!
CRITERIA let's make it even harder. first I want you to design a keyword. imagine it's for your big fall block. if it's a creature keyword, it goes on a 1 x /1 for 1 , a big dumb guy , and all the others. if it's a spell mechanic, it goes on a burn spell , a draw spell , probably a pump spell , and the rest of them. you guys know how this works. so. once your keyword is designed, show me the second set twist. it doesn't have to be revolutionary, as long as you can explain why a) it's a good twist, and b) the first set didn't need it. things like transform triggers , or landfall on instants . heck, show me multikicker or landcycling I don't care, just show me your mechanic has the potential to grow.
as a hint, I will be looking at your mechanic's ability to function without your twist. that's important. I'm not gonna demand an explanation paragraph, since those can be boring to write, I get it, but if you feel that there's any ambiguity, it's probably in your best interest to write one. it can do nothing but help.
EDIT: keyword actions and ability words are both fine as well.
As a lover of storm, dredge and cascade (and combos in general), this has been something I've been fine-tuning for a while. It's pretty much Affinity for spells you've cast this turn .
Chaincast X (This spell costs X less to cast for each spell you have cast this turn).
Designed to be "finishers" and reward players for casting lots of spells in one turn. Not restricted to card type to leave design space opened.
Here are some examples:
Boltsurge||Instant|Common ~ deals 3 damage to target creature or player Chaincast
Resounding Alarm||Sorcery|Uncommon Put three 1/1 white soldier creature tokens onto the battlefield. Chaincast
Thoughtstream||Sorcery|Rare Draw a card for each spell you've cast this turn. Chaincast
Widespread Decay||Sorcery|Mythic Rare Each opponent discards X cards and Sacrifices X permanents. Chaincast X, where X is equal to the number of spells you've cast this turn. (This spell costs X less for each spell you've cast this turn).
Okay - I've been considering the Name space recently so I'm going to keyword it. My set is full of tutors in every colour. Black discard is a big thing. Sphinx tribal. That sort of stuff - I mean things were you name cards.
Martyr of M'Nool Creature - Elemental Spirit (R) Haste At the beginning of the end step, return Martyr of M'Nool its owner's hand. Identity - If Martyr of M'Nool has been named, it gains ", Exile this card from your hand: Add to your mana pool."
Flavour text, if there were space: "The Earth shook, the Sun rose, the Stars lighted, the Oceans boiled - So incensed were they at the passing of the Martyr." - The Tale of the Martyr of M'Nool
Hmm - this is hard. How to twist this one? Let me try simple cost reduction/some other stuff. The original effects all effect how it works on the battlefield. These ones effect how it works in your hand.
Vain Contessa Creature - Human Advisor (U) White spells cost less to cast. Identity - If Vain Contessa has been named, it costs less to cast.
"One compliment is worth a thousand warriors."
Hashishin1 Creature - Cat Assassin (R) : Destroy target tapped creature Identity - If Hashishin has been named, you may cast it any time you could cast an instant spell.
"The Hashishin are the proudest of assassins - you must not only hire them; they require wooing as well."
Joule Hog Creature - Spirit Boar (C) Identity - If Joule Hog has been named, it gains, "Exile this card from your hand: Gain 3 Life."
"Dangerous Beast! Delicious Feast!"
1Since the set is so focused on names, this name is not meant to imply anything about the personal habits of this dangerous cat. Instead it is related to the etymological history of the word "assassin" as Wikipedia tells it. I feel that etymology should play a large part in the naming of the cards - though I'll have to do quite a bit more research in order to make that a reality.
Sunrise Sphinx Creature - Sphinx (R) Flying At the beginning of your upkeep, name a card. Spells that share a name with the chosen name can't be countered.
"The Sphinx speaks no palaver - every composition of syllables is carefully chosen."
Edified Delve Instant (C) Name a card. Draw a card.
"In order to learn, one must often teach."
Epithetizor Creature - Satyr Wizard (U) : Change the name of any card in any zone until end of turn. (You may change the name of that card to any other legal name)
"What was it again? Kurble? I always have so much trouble with names."
Cartographic Quest Sorcery (U) Name a card. Search your library for a land card with the chosen name, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
"Certain places will not let you find them, until you have discovered them."
Not quite support, but this set includes a cycle of enemy-coloured dual lands: Sweltering Mistwood Land (U) Sweltering Mistwood enters the battlefield tapped, unless it has been named. : Add or to your mana pool.
Aeons ago, there was a Plane that thrived in peace and harmony with its inhabitants. Life for the residents of this Plane was quiet and prosperous. War did not exist - and there was little to no hardship. The villages of this Plane were easy going places. One could waste afternoon after afternoon dosing off under a tree in the warmth of the daylight. The cities, however, were slightly more bustling. Now don't get me wrong - they weren't teaming with action and mayhem, but if you wanted to have a pleasant time, perhaps meet a stranger, or hear some music, you'd want to go to the cities of this Plane.
One evening, much like all the others, the day was coming to a close. But there was something different about this evening - something exciting. In the hills behind one of the largest and most prosperous cities on the Plane, a flash of light appeared. It disappeared as quickly as it had come, but something remained. A man. He was a 'Walker. He'd come from far away, seeking refuge from his sins, from his past. He sought to forget his deeds. Filled with shame and fear the man slowly headed down the hill. He came to the city. A festival was occurring, and bright lanterns hung overhead. Music filled the ears of all present, and delightful treats were available for consumption.
Looking around at the smiling faces, and hearing the laughter and the strumming of stringed instruments and the blowing of horns, the man was filled with loathing. He hated these people and he hated himself. No, he could not forget the actions that had driven him here - little did he know, his greatest Evil was yet to come. He found a room at an inn, and paying for it with exotic foreign currency, he strode upstairs into his temporary quarters.
A small room, with a large bed, a little desk with a chair, and two red curtains. This was as close to home as the man would ever come again. He removed one of the curtains from its rod and cut a length of it with his sabre. Testing it out, he thought it strong enough. Standing upon the chair, he tossed one end of the torn curtains over the beams that supported the ceiling. He tied a good knot - strong. This knot would hold. Then, a noose.
In the morning, the housekeeper came in to make his bed and bring him a little breakfast. She found him there, in no mood for eating. The authorities were notified and the lowered his lifeless body from suspension. Examining the contents of his pockets, looking for some clue, the found the bottle. Thin and made out of some kind of rough red glass, they peered into it. When they removed the cork that held it shut, everything changed, a misty fog flowed out of it and corrupted the very air. As these men breathed it in, their minds darkened. They began to forget what they were doing, and where they were, and eventually they came to forget even who they were. The fog spread red across the City. As it came into contact with air, it changed the chemical structure into something entirely different - still breathable, but with some nasty side effects.
It didn't take long for the Fog to spread over the entire land, wiping clean memories as it went. Soon, there wasn't a soul on the Plane who could even remember what Plane he or she lived on - and that is the reason I cannot tell you the name of the Plane.
But, a savior did come. Not unlike the spreader of this Fog, she too was a Planeswalker. Using her magic to protect herself, Bliqu'e, crosses the Plane, slowly healing its atmosphere. As she goes, she names everything, and everyone. Without these new and enchanted names the people of this land cannot retain anything. She has chosen to call the Plane Rojifal. Naming each and every person and thing is a slow and grueling process, but Bliqu'e will not stop until it is finished, until all of these nameless faces have become people once more.