Developing the New Card Texts

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Developing the New Card Texts

Post by Frodo » Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:43 am

In this thread we will discuss cards that have been given new texts for ARDA. New cards might include cards from the Virtual Sets or cards that have been made up just for ARDA.


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Post by Frodo » Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:44 am

I believe certain cards, instead of being entirely redone, should simply get “half-texts” where we add a white text box (not a color print) of new abilities after the original text finishes. The new abilities, of course, cannot be too long. I think this may address the “too much text, too much information” problem that players have complained of with new cards because the card can still be played as everyone knows it can be played, but there is also an extra ability.

Southrons, Easterlings: keep the Alatar/Pallando text only as half-text
(or maybe use with Angmarim and Nurniags instead since they absolutely need rewriting anyway. Still, those guys can get own text I think.)

Dunlendings: bottom half only.

Woodmen: give half-text (only last paragraph section)

Red Book (half-text):
Twice per turn, you may tap Bilbo, Frodo, Merry, Pippin or Sam bearing Red Book of Westmarch and store him and attached events at the Grey Havens or Edhellond: transfer or discard all of his items and allies. [*cut “during site phase”]

Herblore: I think Herblore should be cut. Just say “If untapped, tap Radagast afterwards.”

Scroll of Isildur:
I tested it. It was too strange, nobody uses save the person who plays it. It should keep original abilities but perhaps get a “hoard” tag. Also, perhaps it should get the half-text: “Scroll may subtract 2 from the roll instead of adding. Any player’s company at same site during his site phase may use the Scroll of Isildur.”


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Post by Frodo » Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:46 am

Gimli: I’ve never seen your new text for him—have I?

Crown of Flowers: This card is not necessary; bad Dark Enchantments like Great Need have built-in discard clauses.

Here There or Yonder: I don’t see how the second paragraph of this card adds anything useful, given that the site must be untapped. This means you may as well have moved to the ally’s next-door site! I will test it by crossing out “untapped”.

Gems of Arda: I think this card promotes ARDA-interaction (roving characters, and with opponent players) in a novel and fun way. I would just scrap the Rebuild the Town requirement. Also, it has the word ARDA in it!!

Regarding the southern high-MP factions being too unbalanced, I think a more efficient choice than rewriting them is to use the same method ICE did: Mordor in Arms. I am sticking two Mordor in Arms within the ARDA deck (maybe 3) to give a high chance that no player can get these factions without a very strong influence check (>14). (Update: with 2 in deck, 1 has come up every game, and its made getting these factions extremely difficult.)

Balrog of Moria: I like the creature playability, and the “additionally” text, but would cut the rest. As in:
Unique. Spawn. Two strikes. As a creature, playable at Moria or any non-Dark-hold Under-deeps site.
As a permanent-event, Moria gains an automatic-attack: Spawn 2@18/8. Each company moving through Redhorn Gap must make a roll and add the number of Dwarves in the company: if >8 it faces this automatic-attack (roll is automatic if Cruel Caradhras, Long Winter or Fell Winter is in play or played this turn). If defeated, you get this card's MPs.

Riders of Rohan: I really love this card, but its WAY too much, if you’re Gandalf/Saruman, to explain the 2 different very long tapping options this faction can do to the creature in their hand. I would just use the more interesting 2nd ability.

Bane: This should say “against one of defender’s companies”, otherwise it sounds like you can reduce the HL against the hazard player’s companies in some situations.

Use Palantir:
Ritual. Playable on a sage or character with mind 5 or greater. Character may use a Palantír. During the organization phase, you may choose any other non-Hobbit character bearing a Palantír. Both characters make a roll (+2 if character taps) and add their mind. Winner may look at opponent's Play Hand. If the roll exceeds a difference of 5, one resource may also be taken from opponent's Play hand (if it exceeds 8, this card may be taken from his Marshalling Point Hand instead). Winner makes a cc at -1.

Roac: Let’s simplify.
Return him to hand to make an influence attempt on any faction playable in his region. Dwarf or Man in company only: Tap or discard Roäc to take The Old Thrush to hand from discard pile.

Men of dale/Lake town/Northern Rhovanion:
Could you just make a new Master of Esgaroth (V) or something, and give the abilities on all of these cards to this one card?

New Text for Healing of Nimrodel: This is better.
Playable on a company moving to a haven. At the end of the movement/ hazard phase, untap or heal (wounded to untapped) one character in the company (two characters if an Elf is in company or at haven). Additionally, you may tap a character in the company to allow the company to move again.

Athelas: I don’t like the 360 discard thing anymore. This is simpler.
A Dunadan may tap and discard this item to heal (or remove a hazard permanent-event from) another character in his company. If Athelas is used by Aragorn II, it is not discarded.

Hillmen: top half of your card text only.

Scabbard: Does this help? Maybe cut…
While unsheathing (detach sword from Scabbard): bearer makes a corruption check; if successful, take one Lucky Strike or Block into hand from discard pile.

Face out of Sight: I made a much more interactive version!!
Any player may discard a resource from his play hand and tap a character to choose an opponent’s character at same site. Make a roll (+2 if Hobbit or Bergil); if result is greater than the target character’s body, character is wounded (no body check).

No Strangers: I don’t understand the purpose of this card. Just to hide somewhere? But it requires an untapped site!

Radagast: I don’t like Radagast. Nobody uses his new ability, except the movement ability sometimes. Why not give him a built-in “shapeshift” ability instead? “at any time, tap Radagast: until your next org phase, he may ‘shapeshift’….” to do, something!

A Dunadan may tap and discard this item to heal or remove a hazard permanent-event from another character in his company. If Athelas is used by Aragorn II, it is not discarded.

Any player may discard a resource from his play hand and tap a character to choose an opponent’s character at same site. Make a roll (+2 if using a Hobbit or Bergil); if result is greater than the target character’s body, character is wounded (no body check).

Ordered to Kill
I changed your text slightly. It seemed a little too easy to steal an item. Also, can you steal an item from a Wizard—is this word defined in the rules somewhere?

Playable on a non-wizard character at a non-Haven site. Turn character face down: he becomes an agent (at current site). Normal agent rules apply. He may take two agent actions per turn. During site phase he may tap if opponent's company enters the site to initiate one action (your choice):
if warrior, attack with 2 strikes;
if sage, tap a non-wizard character.
if diplomat, attempt to influence an ally/character/faction
if scout, attempt to steal an item: both characters make a roll (+2 if Hobbit, +2 for defender) and defender subtracts his corruption points: discard item if agent's result is higher.


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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:17 am

Well, strap yourself to go for a ride. I will have to divide this over several posts I suppose.

Radagast: yes the ability is difficult to use, I played him myself last Lure and utterly forgot about it. Nevertheless, more interaction is what we’re aiming for, and he is the messenger wizard after all. I want to play him some more to test it, surely it must be very useful in an Expanded game, to be able to get all the cards the other wizards can get, by just moving to their site? If we play with the elf-rings, he could even use those!
Since in Expanded he already starts with Shape Shifter (A), why would he need a build in shape shifter? And to have him fly or be a tree while moving in company with others, is rather strange.
But, if you don’t like the copy ability, we could transfer the shape shifter to himself, making him the quintessential loner, but you never told me how you liked this card in the first place.

Athelas: the thing is, the change from original is now so small, it is not worth the trouble. And why would Aragorn have an unending supply of athelas in his pouch? To heal a character every turn is pretty good, you don’t even like this for Radagast…

I Know Much About You: as said, I like the card, but in a game I played Pallando took too great advantage of it, since he already knows 2 hazards from hand each turn, so he can travel in almost complete safety (either canceling the hazard played, or the one still in hand, whichever is more dangerous, of course hazards can still be passed on, but this card is played in response so it is effectively a hl reduction).

Scabbard: in my experience it won’t get picked as a minor because it won’t have much use until block/strike are drawn and used, so people go for the straightforward options (which they do anyway, I should take out the cram and black arrows from the minors deck….).
However, it can be improved a bit by giving it actually 0 cp, which helps if opponent plays Balance of Things, and by letting recycle Risky Blow instead of Lucky strike, which is better for defeating creatures or dueling opponent. I also removed the cc. This way the ‘investment’ in an item that is not worth something straight away is bigger.

Miruvor/Athelas: I like the idea that you can take a sip a few times, or pass it on and finish it at once, isn’t that a cool use? Same with athelas, either you use a few leaves, or the whole plant…can you elaborate why you think the rotating is either obstructing its use or otherwise not good/fun?

Herb/Lore cards: well we can’t give one to only a few wizards, they are powerful, so all must have one or none. We agree on First of Order and Hobbit-lore, Eyes of Mandos is not that great but that’s actually because Pallando is already the most used and powerful wizard, so could you elaborate on Herblore, what’s so wrong about it? I see little problem with it actually. Another option would be to make Herblore playable on any avatar, of course Radagast is still the only one who can get it back.
I really like the wizard specific cards theme, so then we must come up with new cards for pallando/rada.

No Strangers: you’re not the first one to not see its potential, people usually discard it because they are more concerned about getting their own resources than stopping opponent from gathering his. Yet it is quite easy. Often you might have a turn in which you have nothing to do; you recover from injury (you’re healed but tapped), you need to go to a place more than 4 regions away, you need to get two companies together…this is where this card is useful. First, trade a card with your opponent that is site specific (i.e. faction or ally), then go to that site to warn the people of his arrival, so that it will be difficult for him to actually get in there and play what you just traded him.

If you could play it at a tapped site, then it would just be a free MP after play of a faction, so that’s no good. Unfortunately we use the cardbox method, so I can’t remove the MP, because actually it would otherwise be useful to protect you from influence attempts. But as it is, the 1 MP is still a reward for this action and you don’t need to tap for it so you can play it even if you’re tapped out.
We could make it playable by any of your characters, so you can just send any chap and be on your business with your main company. Anyway, the way it is now you can just send your Hobbit chap to annoy anyone who want to travel to Bag End (as Elrond intended with Merry/Pippin), and pick up a character along the way, or your Hama to warn Edoras…in fact, you don’t have to play this during site phase, so you can send any chap to Bag End to pick up a hobbit and then play it….How great is this card actually!!! And yet nobody sees it, such a pitty…

Scroll: yes this is basically the same issue, it takes people time to understand potential of new ideas. But I still think we must pursue this course, Scroll as simple hoard item is boring and makes no sense, and opponent can use it will be stranger or even less used I suppose than this version.
What could be bad about having a place basically at your disposal at all times to go to where you can test rings? Especially if that’s a central place like Isengard. And even better: you can up your chances of testing something good by bringing more sages to decipher the Scroll. And even better: you can still play a major item at Isengard…in fact this card has made me kick out test of lore/fire of the deck, why trade or wait for a test card to pop up, if you can seek council with Saruman? So I would test this some more and in fact keep it in the final selection. We could make it available at more sites though, perhaps even Havens, that’s always useful to visit at some point, to recruit or heal…before I had it playable at any free-hold if you discard Lost Knowledge, remember?

Skin-changers: are u kiddin? This is the greatest, this is skin-changer as it should have been, he can protect you big time, but he stays apart from the company (i.e. he is tapped during the site phase; can make this bigger by actually not allowing him to play anything but combat cards).

Crown of flowers: well since we’d kick all of my dark enchantments from the selection, you don’t need it indeed. Otherwise those are very nasty, never mind the possible roll. Still, there’s only 3x gates in a big deck, so basically including Gates depending cards is useless. Hence you start scratching Gates from Clear Skies and Fog….and also, in a game I played, one player was very unlucky to get targeted by a lot of corruption, and there’s no ways to remove corruption, other than tapping and rolling all the time. So all in all this was meant as a very versatile card to combat several shortcomings. And I still think it is.

Thror’s map: what you don’t like about it? It encourages people to visit sites with at home dragons, normally you would leave those alone, unless you want to kill the dragon for King. We agree that the normal version is way too powerful in Arda, especially since you can start with it.

Wizard’s ring: not a big item indeed, but one more wizard specific that builds on the wizard feel. The point is not whether it’s too complicated, because I suppose it’s not, but whether it’s not all too much to keep track of. Cool as all these things might be, we might indeed have to stick to single abilities per card, and make those the most useful abilities for the Arda game.
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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:21 am

Factions and their abilities: drawing on the above, there is a need to reduce the faction abilities to 1 thing only. Since factions don’t do jack, they are boring, hence the introduction of abilities. Yet, if they are wizard specific, that means big chance the player won’t use the ability, hence I gave all a standard use and a specific use. If that’s too complicated, then we just keep the wizard specific use, or we reduce the number of wizard specific factions to 1 or 2 per wizard, or the other way around, we make them all available to 2 or 3 wizards thus increasing the competition.

Half-use: in this respect, if you create a half use, then the ability to play factions at multiple sites will be lost, which in Arda is very useful since you will never cycle your deck and thus be bound to only using a site once per game. This means that if you give a faction a good ability which is coveted by others, it is dangerous to play it, because after it is influenced you cannot get it back…so I like the half-use idea as a concept to make it more clear what the additional feature is, but then it might also include some more specific info (like: “also playable at, or “place in opponent’s mp pile).

In fact, I think we should make the general Arda rule, that factions influenced away go to opponent’s mp pile also, as with characters. This would at least save space on cards, and it promotes interaction, since it can truly topple the balance in a game, and makes factions a rather risky strategy. Nevertheless, influencing factions away in Arda is quite difficult, usually there are quite a few casualties and you start with wizard, so the GI free is quite big.

Men of Dale/Lake-town/NR: you don’t like the abilities they got? It’s not only very thematic, but they also work against each other, which is nice because you can’t get all 3, so there will be a fight, possibly, over one or the other. Master of Esgaroth V is a squatting ability, which in Arda is neither fun nor attainable/profitable. I’ll brood on something, but I actually like them as they stand. Can you elaborate?

Hillmen: rather use the part where you get extra points for angmarim/dunlendings, as this increases interaction. The region changer can be useful too to increase creature play. The extra ring ability is rather vanilla. This could also be an Elrond only faction of course.

Woodmen: the rada/saruman only ability we might keep as half-text, but if the card doesn’t make the cut, what’s the use of the wizard only ability?

Playing big MP factions. Well, Angmarim/Nurniags are already difficult to fetch, so why should these be in more need of change than Southrons/Easterlings? Besides, most people don’t have these cards duplicate and would hesitate to put new cardboxes on them. Mordor in Arms is nice for the influence part, but not so much for the attack part. Also, you still leave it to a lucky draw of MiA, and even worse (in my book), you need to include 2 copies of a hazard specifically for this effect…
My original proposal for these factions was, that you need to plan more for them, and thus run the risk you can’t actually get them, which makes the mps a reward for some investment. But, as usual, people are risk averse, so they won’t even bother, they say “the game lasts 5-6 turns, I better go for a sure 2 mp thing then”, and they might be right to do so. Only thing I could come up with was to up the roll for the faction. The original idea to play the faction on another site, pending the draw of Rebuild the Town, was great, but apparently too complicated. But thinking continues.

Nb. Since the Elf-lords are not wizards, and they do have some 6 di with their ring, and all are diplomats, they will have an easier time to bring these factions in than the wizards. We need to evaluate some cards to see if they should also apply to the Lords.
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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:23 am

Healing of Nimrodel: now you actually changed it back more or less into what I first had, before you proposed to change it the way it is now :wink:

Face out of sight: I like it, the more interaction the better. However, it does have some overlap with Hidden Knife and Here is a Snake. Also, as a Hobbit protection card, the other ability is good, since they will always have more untapped characters at a site than there is hazard limit. And Hobbits can use some protection…
Hobbits also won’t stay untapped for long though…and it’s quite hard to get people into another Arda mode, one in which they drop the normal style of play of working only on their own game-plan. Granted, each game of 5 players you focus on battling 1 opponent, you will eventually loose. So it might be good to think of ways to award interactive play also in other terms. Maybe we can combine this with searching for a card? You throw an apple away, but find Bill the Pony?

Hidden Knife: I like the card, but it is weird, so all of a sudden you’re an agent now, and moreover, you can play this at any site, like at Carn Dum?…also 2 or 3 tribes makes playing orc/trolls a lot easier, and you would never go to opponent to just play a creature on him, so it greatly depends on other interaction cards included, yet that is weird, one moment you’re influencing opponent or demanding some Pledge of Conduct, next you invite some Troll to attack him…

Ordered to kill: Stealing is not really defined in rules, but why not steal from a wizard? Pippin stole the Palantir from Gandalf…to get an agent to opponent’s site and actually tap to steal something is not easy, it’s why I gave them all 2 agent actions of course, but still, you can only move 1 region, and opponent knows where you are basically, though in Arda everybody is walking around everywhere criss cross, but to target a specific player is difficult. Btw you have subtract cp’s, which makes it easier for the agent in fact…my reasoning is, if you have a lot of cp’s, you are more greedy and aware of people trying to take the item from you. Basically, unless you send a Hobbit, it will be impossible to steal an item worth 2 mp or more, you need to roll 5 higher than opponent.
Nb. If we make Bergil a Hobbit for the purpose of interpreting resource events, he can also be sent on a stealing mission.

Red Book: the renewed playability (Bilbo/Rivendell) is necessary, the rebuilding part can go I suppose. Thing is, with Rebuild gone from the factions, from Gems and from Book, there is absolutely no need to put it in the deck whatsoever. What use can Rebuild the Town possibly have? Well, there’s my Gimli.

Gems of Arda: if we diss the Rebuild part, it will only be playable at underdeeps, that makes it very undesirable as an item. Any ideas? Or just play at glittering caves? Or at moria, or Lonely Mountain? Make it a hoard item? It works two ways, without underdeeps item people won’t ever go down, but with it they will just discard it…maybe we need a card that gives bonus if you have 3 or more jewels, or we count jewels as rings for the purpose of the council.

Here There or Yonder: second ability not useful? Use your imagination! 1) Avoid moving to a region you don’t want to go, for instance Bairanax ahunt on table, I want to fetch Gwaihir, well no need to go to Eyrie then I can play him at Hermits Hill. 2)You already used the site. Maybe I already played Eagles and now want Gwaihir. Ents are another obvious use.. 3) Opponent sent you to another site nearby with his hazards (like the newly proposed Lost In cards), or I’m captured and released at a nearby ruins. 4) I myself used Drughu to cancel an attack and go to another site nearby; opponent thinks I’m done for the turn, well: tada! 5) In fact, you can actively deceive your opponent into thinking you won’t be able to play anything. 6) you want to play multiple stuff that you can play at a tapped site but not the one where the ally is playable, like some animal factions, or to discard a Jewel of Beleriand to gain a ring, or to play ringlore at Weathertop (doesn’t tap site anymore) and still play Goldberry, or play an ally and then Rescue some Prisoners, or whatnot. 7) You can move to a site where opponent is to do stuff, like dueling, and still play an ally. 8) You can move to a site to influence away a faction, and still play an ally….
Is that enough use for you? If you make it playable at a tapped site, it’s too powerful, since there is no roll anymore.

Roac/Bane/Use Palantir/Rohirrim: ok, will do.
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