Custom Card Game Design

Khemia – Revisiting Worship

It seems my modus operandi is to do a lot of custom design over the course of a few months, followed by almost nothing on custom design for a few months.  Work, family, all of that keeps me busy sometimes.  That said, I’m back in the saddle for a little while and rather than continue to slog through Dareth block, I’m taking a detour and working on Khemia instead.

I’ve put out a few posts about Khemia and one of my biggest problems is making the worship mechanic work.  I had a few goals with worship –

  • Evoke the flavor of a lesser being worshiping a more powerful one. [OPTIONAL – make it so that inanimate objects can be worshiped as well]
  • Minimize wordiness while keep the mechanic easy to grok
  • The mechanic must place +1/+1 counters on creatures with a higher converted mana cost [OPTIONAL – and loyalty counters on planeswalkers, charge counters on artifacts/]
  • Limit worship so that it can’t happen every turn, ideally once per game, but without memory issues.

I’d previously not been able to accomplish this.  After last night, I have what I believe will be the final version of worship.  Using Soulbound as a template, I’m bypassing memory issues by basically pairing the worshiped with the worshiper.  Behold (as always, the numbers don’t matter and need to be developed upon):

Instead of an “activate this ability only on your turn” clause, I’ve made it be a tap effect, which means it can be used during your opponents turn to befuddle combat math, but I’m ok with that.  Also, while the worship doesn’t last the entire game, it does last as long as you control both the worshiped and the worshiper, so that’s fun.

And like I said, it opens up design space elsewhere.  Such as this card (whose numbers would of course need tweaked before deciding on a final version, but you get the idea):

So, I feel like worship is at a very good place and I’m excited to move forward with Khemia.  I’ll be putting up more posts as the design of the set continues.  If you’re reading this, is there anything during the design process you’d like to see talked about?

Thanks for reading!


8 responses to “Khemia – Revisiting Worship

  1. antaresmtg July 2, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I believe that I understand the intent you have with Worship, but the reminder text doesn’t get that across. How I read Acolyte of Ma’yet is that you can tap it every turn to tap something down and do the counter stuff.

  2. adventmtg July 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Is there an easier way to write the reminder text to reflect that? Maybe put “If this isn’t worshiping a permanent…” at the beginning of the reminder text?

  3. reubencovington July 2, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    So why do you need all 3 counter types? What are the csts of removing either charge or loyaalty counters?

  4. adventmtg July 3, 2015 at 12:22 am

    Loyalty and charge counters aren’t *needed*, and in previous iterations of the mechanic they weren’t present to save reminder text space. But they’re a want, a big want. I like the options it opens up.

    • antaresmtg July 3, 2015 at 6:52 am

      I think loyalty counters are fine, but charge counters are a stretch.

      Why not just have the creature worshipping the permanent not untap during the untap step and put counters on it repeatedly? (each upkeep)

      • adventmtg July 3, 2015 at 12:37 pm

        I toyed with that, but it was overly wordy. One thing I like about this iteration is that, while it isn’t the shortest reminder text, it’s no more wordy than soulbond.

  5. Udelude July 15, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    It’s interesting, but it can be a bit too complicated and wordy. It’s also parasitic. I suggest that the other types of counters are removed (especially because this leads to complications since you can put a loyalty counter on a creature and a +1/+1 counter on a land, for instance) and make it only affect creatures. Additionally, to remove the parasitism, maybe you could put only on the card with Worship effects like this: “creatures ~ is worshiping have lifelink”. (This is just my opinion, if you use it as it is, it could still work, but it’s your call.)
    As for not having cards like Queen of Asps, although it is avoided by WotC, maybe it could work here, but Wizards don’t like parasitic keywords. I don’t know, I don’t see it as being as harmful as they do, but it all depends on the environment.

  6. adventmtg July 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    While I like, for the time being until playtesting starts, having charge and loyalty counters in the mix, you make a good point about parasitic design. The mechanic itsellf certainly is not parasitic, but cards like Queen of the Asps very much are, something I overlooked as I was tooling around with it. I’ll look over this.

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