Friday, December 09, 2011

It's the Magic: You Are Here, Part One

For the longest time, I've wanted a larger structure to my games of Magic. I was trying to make that happen when I accidentally stumbled upon a tactical version of mutliplayer Magic that uses a player's position on a map of the multiverse instead of their seating arrangement to determine who they can and cannot attack. Turn order remains unaffected until you Ally with someone else (see The Thing's You'll Do, below).

This does add a game board element to Magic, but then, if you've got the table space for decks, graveyards, battlefields, exile zones, command zones, life counters, poison counters, sideboards, deck boxes, proxied double-faced cards, at least one laptop somewhere to consult the comprehensive rules and gatherer for any rules/errata disputes, and possibly command zones, scheme decks, planar decks, coins for flipping, planar dice, tokens, and counters then you can probably just go ahead and squeeze a game board on there.

Don't actually have the game board on file. I'll post it next week.

This is a tactical version of Magic which utilizes a board game type structure and disparate elements of various multiplayer games. Each player and their deck are on a plane. Which other player (and deck) they can attack is based on that plane’s location and qualities.

Finding Yourself in The Blind Eternities
Each player has a single deck, life counter, etc. as they would for a normal game of Magic. The only differences are the addition of a planar die (see Planechase), a game board representing different planes, a marker to mark their current plane, and other, different markers to represent planes they control (see "Control," under Qualities of a Plane, below).

Qualities of a Plane
All planes possess three major attributes and may possess any number of special abilitieolor: There are four planes of each color on the map. When a player moves to a plane of a color that corresponds to the color of mana a basic land that player controls can produce, they may draw a card. A play may only draw on card this way for each color. By default, planes are colorlesea of Effect: Spells and abilities you control will only affect and target players within this many planes of you. You can only affect items in zones or under the control of players within this many planes of you. If a plane has AoE of 0, then your abilities cannot affect anyone else (though you may still attack them [See Range of Attack, below]). Default AoE is 1. Also see "Limited Range of Influence Option," Section 801, Magic Comprehensive Rules.

Range of Attack: Creatures you control may only attack players who are within this many planes of you, even if another player is intervening (With the exception of Battlegrounds in ‘Planar Special Abilities,’ next week). Note that this does not affect your ability to block attacks from a player, just your ability to attack them. Also note that if you’re being attacked by a player from outside of your Area of Attack (see above) then effects like Propaganda, Light Minefield, or Ghostly Prison do not affect them. Default RoA is 1ontrol: Whenever a player moves to a plane, they control it until another player moves there or they lose.

The Things You’ll Do
Moving: There are four basic ways (and two advanced ways) of moving in Tactical Magic.
            Traversing – Instead of taking a turn, a player play either: move from a plane they control to another plane they control or to an unoccupied plane adjacent to one they control.
            Planeswalking – Planeswalking works the way it does in Planechase. On your turn whenever you have priority and there are no items on the stack, you may pay X and roll the planar die, where X is the number of times you have already attempted to planeswalk this turn. If you roll a planeswalker symbol, you may move to an unoccupied, adjacent plane. A player does not have to skip their turn while planeswalking and may attempt to planeswalk multiple times in a turn.
Responding – Whenever a player attempts to move to a plane you control but are not currently on, you may move there instead. If you do, they do not move there. If they were traversing, their turn begins. If they were planeswalking, they do not planeswalk, but their turn resumes normally.
Retreat – At the beginning of a player’s turn, if there is another player adjacent to their location, they may retreat. If they do, they move to an adjacent, unoccupied plane and each player adjacent to the plane they moved from may—in order from most recently played to least—opt to move into it. Then, the retreating player’s turn begins. If there are no adjacent, unoccupied planes, a player may not retreat, but may traverse to another, non-adjacent plane they control. If they control no other planes and there are no adjacent, unoccupied planes, that player cannot retreat.
I'll be honest that I'm no a fan of retreating; it's a holdover from the strategic portion of the game, but we'll see how it plays out.

Ally: If one player skips a turn, they may ally with another. Allies have a common life total (which is their total split evenly between them [rounded down]), move simultaneously, and take turns simultaneously. Consult "Shared Team Turn Option" and "Two-Headed Giant Variant", Sections 805 and 810, Magic Comprehensive Rules.

Alright, I'll post special rules (and a game map) next week and pitch (gratuitously) advanced rules the week after that. Then, with any luck, some playtest results.

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