Custom Card Game Design

A different project – Dunes of Khemia

So I’ve not done much custom card creation in several months, but I’ve been eager to get back to it.  Every now and then I get a message on twitter, reddit, or MtGS asking where I’m at with GEN and I have to say – I’m nowhere.  I like the idea of the set, it’s just one that I’ve hit a pretty solid block on.

So…  rather than continuing to beat my head against GEN, I’m shelving it for awhile.  Not forever – it’s definitely a salvageable project – I just need to set it aside and let it marinate for a bit.

In the meantime, I’m going to be playing around in an entirely new project for awhile.  Dunes of Khemia will be the first set in a 2-set block themed around Egyptian Mythology.  Nothing is set in stone at the moment, but I have a few ideas for mechanics and how the block will play out.  It’s going to have a theme of the lower class (pauers and peasants) versus the upper class (Pharaohs, nobility) that will hopefully play out as low CMC vs. high CMC.  There’ll be a decent Exploration subtheme, and of course, gods.

The ‘gods’ of Khemia are actually planeswalkers who have set themselves up as ‘gods’.  They require worship before intervening directly in the affairs of Khemia, and much of the story of the block will involve the downfall of these ‘gods’ as the people realize they are anything but.

A (very) rough concept of one of the gods of Khemia

I’m playing with transform mechanics in this set, and these is one of the more extreme ways of doing so.  The set will have five planeswalkers set up like this – one for each enemy color combination.  Each Temple will have a powerful activated ability as well as the opportunity to add loyalty counters by tapping creatures, and will transform into a planeswalker once it reaches the stated threshold.

Each planeswalker will have a powerful static ability, A decent + ability (that will usually be more than +1) and a powerful but costly ultimate.  All this balanced around the fact that it takes jumping through so many hoops to get the Planeswalker out.

Oases will be another use of the transform mechanic in the block.  This is a top-down design that tries to encapsulate the scarcity of resources in the desert.  I think there’s some space to play here, though I haven’t expounded upon it too much.

That’s all I’ve got for today – I’ve got some ideas for how Khemia can come along, but want to see what the response to it currently is.  If you’re reading and like what you’re reading, leave me a comment.

Finally, I hope you all have a happy New Year!


3 responses to “A different project – Dunes of Khemia

  1. Matt Limoges December 28, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    This looks solid! I love how you’re using transform. If ever, jrzman on magicseteditor made a set based off Egypt and also used transform to my knowledge. Might give a few ideas. It’s called Tombs of Khamet if I remember correctly.

    Hope to see this project advance, so I’ll be keeping a close eye here.

  2. antaresmtg December 30, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Temples turning into gods (planeswalkers) is really cool. A few things I would consider changing:
    1. The tap ability should only be usable at sorcery-speed, so you have to make tough choices whether you want to block or not (just like Outlast)
    2. I would change the transform-trigger into a state-trigger, i.e. “When there are six or more loyalty counters on ~,” so it transforms immediately when you have the counters assembled.
    3. I think the transformed side should be more powerful than regular planeswalkers. On Sethar, I think the front half is clearly superior.

  3. adventmtg December 31, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks for the comments! I’ll definitely be posting more of this for awhile – I’m not done with Generals of Dareth but am shelving it for now.

    Totally agree with your suggestions, Antares. I’ll be iterating on this theme and posting newer designs soon.

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