Friday, December 23, 2011

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

Two weeks ago, I started talking about a tactical tweak to multiplayer Magic involving a planar map that messed with areas of effect and ranges of attack. Last week, I posted that map, finished presenting the core rules, and started listing the (extensive) optional rules. I'm continuing with the optional rules this week with the concept of minions borrowed from the Magic website (link below). Next week, I'll start in with some player-as-planeswalker rules. Both are long and complicated and thoroughly fun according to the several (imaginary) people I've shown them to. 

Minions and Masters: Minion and Master are player statuses (as is, by default 'neither minion nor master'). Minions are usually players who would have been lost the game because of life loss, but became a minion instead. Their life total becomes ten and they simply continue playing (see optional rules for Poison and Minions, below). Though it is possible for a minion to win, it is very difficult. Minions always have a master, and a minion's master is usually the player who controlled the effect which would have eliminated them from the game. A player cannot become their own minion (ie, killing themselves with their own ability). If a master becomes someone else's minion, their master gains their minions. If a minion loses a second time, their life total becomes five and they simply continue playing with a new master (or the old one. Again, depending on who killed them). The last non-minion player wins the game.

The game effects of the minion/master relationship are simple:
1) A minion may not declare the target of a spell or ability their master forbids. If a spell that needs a target would be cast by an ability or a triggered ability needs a target, then a master must allow it the targets it needs to be put onto the stack.
Example 1: Wild Evocation forces a player to cast a spell. If a minion is forced to cast Shatter, and their master controls the only artifact on the battlefield or within that minion's Range of Influence, their master cannot forbid that artifact as a target.
Example 2: If a player casts a spell with cascade, where they make a choice, their master cannot forbid that player from casting the spell revealed by the cascade ability because that's a choice the minion makes. Even if that revealed spell would have to target a permanent the master controls because it is the only legal target (or one of multiple targets of which there are no alternatives), the minion may cast it.
Example 3: Slagstorm has multiple modes and no targets. The master may not dictate the spell's modes. A master cannot forbid it any targets because it has none.
Example 4: If a minion controls a triggered ability that targets a player, a master may have them target themselves by forbidding all other targets.
Example 5: If a minion controls a triggered ability that targets an opponent, and their master is the only other player within their Range of Influence, they cannot be forbidden from targeting their master.
2) A master may forbid creatures their minions control from attacking a player, so long as the minion controlling that creature can stop that creature from attacking. This happens during the Declare Attackers Step, so a minion that has a creature forbidden from attacking may alter his other attack declarations after his master declares a creature/player combination forbidden. Masters may not change their decisions about forbidden creature/player combinations.
Example 1: Ruhan, of the Fomori attacks a random opponent each turn. If a minion's master is within that minion's Range of Attack, Ruhan may randomly choose that master and attack him without the master being able to forbid it because the minion cannot stop that attack declaration.
Example 2: If an ability, such as Bloodcrazed Neonate's or <tap to make someone attack bitch> forces a creature a minion controls to attack unless it's unable, a master may not force a minion to use an ability to prevent it from attacking nor may they forbid it from attacking if they are the only player in that minion's Range of Attack.

Masters may not force a minion to take any action aside from not choosing targets or not having specific creatures attack specific players. Minions may still move, ally, resign, cast a spell, activate an ability, attack with a creature, make choices (such as those made for proliferate), or take any other action not specifically covered by the two rules above.

This rule is based on a rule suggested by Adam Styborski and located at

Poison and Minions: With the Poison and Minions rules, poison from each player is tracked separately. Instead of dying when reaching 10 poison, a player simply becomes the minion of the player who has given them the most poison counters. If it's a tie, they became a minion of the player who gave them a poison counter most recently. Whenever a player becomes a minion from poison, they remove all poison counters they gained from their master. As with those who becomes minions due to life loss, if they would lose the game as minions, they lose regularly and do not become minions again.

Madness and Minions: Whenever a player has to draw a card, but has no cards in their library, they become a minion instead, with their master being the last opponent to make them either put a card from their graveyard into their library or draw a card. Instead of losing, they exile half of the cards in their graveyard at random (round up), shuffle their graveyard into their library, and continue playing as a minion of the opponent who most recently controlled an ability that removed one or more cards from their library (either by forcing them to draw, exiling cards from their library, or putting cards from their library into their graveyard). If there is no opponents controlled an ability that removed a card from their graveyard, they become the minion of a random opponent.

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