Okay, a group of us get together each Monday night to play magic. Mainly these sessions are just a lot a fun, but half of the group goes to FNM, pre-release, release and gameday events. So there's a lot of competitive decks, playtesting, tuning etc. going on.
But often enough we end up with 8 players. Since half the players decks are tuned dualing machines it isn't much fun to be the new guy. Consequently we play multiplayer to make sure everyone has a blast.
The trouble we ran into was the massive 'stalled' gamestate. So we implemented a series of rules for multiplayer.
The agreession rule is designed to motivate players to speed up multiplayer games, thereby allowing a single game to end quickly enough to get more games in. It's goal is to prevent stalled gamestate.
This is the rule:
Starting on turn three you must perform an agressive act against at least one of your opponents or the group.
The agressive act must occur during each of your turns.
Defining Agressive Acts:
1. Attack at least one player with at least one creature. Regardless of damage or result, this is considered being agressive. Thus, attacking a player with a Birds of Paradise
constitutes an agressive act.
2. Attempting to tap an opponents permenant. Use of spell or permenant to tap any untapped permenant controlled by an opponent. Cards such as Icy Manipulator
are great for this as well as sorcery
cards like sleep. The legal attempt is all that is needed. Having your opponent tap the permenant in response does not cause the agressive act to to not have occured.
3. Attempting or destroying any permemant controlled by an opponent.
4. Attempting or dealing damage to an opponent.
5. Attempting or forcing an opponent to lose life.
6. Forcing an opponent to discard a card.
7. "Milling" a card from an opponent library to the graveyard.
8. Exiling an opponents permenant.
9. Exiling a card from an opponents library, graveyard or hand.
10. Playing sweepers. Playing any spell that 'returns all N to their owners hands', destroys all N, buries all N, or exiles all N where N is a permenants of certain type or types. Classics are wrath of god
, and sunder
11. Attempt to or return an opponents permenant to its owners hand.
12. Naming card that cannot be played or activated. See pithing needle
Conditional Agressive acts.
CA1. Shuffling their library. Many tutor effects place cards on top of their owners library rather directly into the owners hand. Other permenants care about the top card of their library in order to grant bonuses. Forcing a player who has a beneficial top card or put a searched for card on top of their library is considered an agressive act.
CA2. Shuffle their graveyard into their library. Certain cards exist and decks are designed to benefit from placing cards into their graveyards. If any cards in a players graveyard that can dredge, be cast from the graveyard or otherwise grant a benefit for being in the graveyard, then forcing that opponent to shuffle their graveayard into their library is considered an agressive act.
CA3. Continued Suspend. Opponents suspended cards that are countered on your turn or otherwise gain time counters on your turn is considered an agressive act.
CA4. Forced loss of a opponents permenant due to the legends rule.
CA5. Forced loss of a opponents planeswalker due to the planeswalker rule.
The last two conditional are considered agressive acts because the playing of a duplicate legend or same name planeswalker as one controlled by an opponent isn't destroyed by an act on your part but rather the game rules. None the less, this is considered agressive.
PENALTY for not being agressive.
Penalties are applied to each player individually. They do not cumulate from one player to the next.
Cumlative Life loss 1. The first time a player cannot be agressive they lose one life. The second time a player cannot be agressive, they lose 2 life. Continue to add an additional life loss for each of their turns that they are not agressive. Use a marker or counter to track the cumlative level.
After 3 turns of non agression, that player can no longer can gain life.
After 4 turns of non agression, that players if his life is above 10 it is reduced to 10. This is after the cumlative life loss.
After 5 turns of non agression, that player ignores all effects that would otherwise grant that player the inability to lose the game. See Platinum Angel
We found these rules to assist in speeding games up to almost the timeframe of a normal dual. Politics still occur, as you try to talk the red player into lightning bolting your opponents one creature and not your only creature.
Some fun things include: Time stop
during an opponents upkeep, forcing them to incur the penalty of non-agression.
Playing day of judgement
and watching all your opponents groan as their primary source for agression goes away. Expect every targetable spell to head your way for the coming rounds.
Seeing people hold back their only attacker and lose the cumlative life because attacking with it would result in them being open to counter attack from everyone at the table.
the best part, it is a blast to play and gives everyone an excuse to poke, prod, tap, mill, discard, zap and otherwise do acts that in a normal multiplayer game would be akin to farting in church.