Friday, December 16, 2011

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

Last week, I started talking about a tactical tweak to multiplayer Magic involving a planar map that messed with areas of effect and ranges of attack. It was insanely over-complicated and had all the thoroughness of one afternoon's manic crafting of Magic rules, but I still present it (and it's map) to you for your digestion. 

This week's addition finishes the core rules with the special rules that apply to some of the planes and begins the first of three entries related to optional advanced rules which have no place in any game ever. Where articles from the Magic website are the inspiration for a particular rule set, I try to give them credit.

Planar Special Abilties
There are several different multiplayer modes which work with Tactical MPM.

            Planechase – There are five Planechase planes. When a player first moves to a Planechase plane they turn up the first card of their planechase deck (or a common planechase deck, if one is being used). That planechase card works identically to a normal planechase card. If a player rolls a planeswalk symbol while attempting to planeswalk on a planechase plane, they can either opt to replace the current plane with another from the top of the deck, or move to another plane normally (see The Things You’ll Do from last week's blog). Additionally, if another planechase plane has a planechase card that has the same subtype as the planechase card of the plane you are currently on, you may instead move from one of those planes to the other as if they were adjacent for free (regular responses and restrictions for moving to a new plane apply). Planechase planes are colorless and have RoA and RoE 1.

            Seat of Power – Seat of Power is based on Archenemy. There are five locations on the board labeled as “Power” planes. Once a player controls all five as long as they are located on a plane labeled, “Power,” several things happen:
            -That player becomes The Archenemy and that plane becomes the Seat of Power.
            -The player gains 20 life.
            -At the beginning of each of their main phases, they set a scheme into motion from an Archenemy deck. (You get where this is going.)
            -The AoE of the Seat of Power becomes infinite.
            -The RoA of the Seat of Power is the shortest path to a player, provided it isn’t blocked. This allows players to transpose themselves between The Archenemy’s attacking hoards and a weakened player.
            -Whenever that player leaves The Seat of Power, they lose 20 life and are no longer The Archenemy.
            -For the rest of the game, whenever a player takes The Seat of Power, they add the lower of 20 or the life of the last player to occupy that plane to their own life total(even if that life total is negative) and become The Archenemy.

            Commander – Whenever a player first enters a Commander square, they may search their library for a legendary creature card and put it into their command zone. They may play that card as if it were a commander and that creature is still their commander and remembers its commander information even if that player leaves and reenters commander planes. If a commander deals 21 damage to a single player, even if it is not operating as a commander at the time, that player loses the game. If that player enters a non-commander plane, their commander is shuffled back into their library if it was in the command zone. If a player in a Commander plane ever reveals a card that has the same name as a revealed card they own, they lose half their life, put the top half of their library into their graveyard, and exile one of the revealed cards after the effect which reveals the card is resolved.

            Battlegrounds – Battlegrounds roughly simulate Emperor format. Like the active Seat of Power, they have RoA that are limited to an adjacent player (to a maximum of three planes away). Generals have an AoE identical to their RoA while Emperors have an AoE equal to their RoA plus one.

Advanced Rules
Scheming:  A player may skip their turn to either gain 2 life (to a maximum of 20), remove 1 poison counter from themselves (to a minimum of 1), shuffle six (and exactly six) cards from their graveyard into their library, or put 1 exiled card they own into their graveyard. This is an optional rules leftover from earlier rules revisions and it has the potential to make an already long game run longer.

Hellride: Hellriding is when a planeswalker rolls to walk away and needs to flee quickly. Hellriding works like Planeswalking (see The Things You’ll Do, from last week's blog), except that a player declares their intention to hellride before rolling. A successful hellride will move a character to a random, unoccupied plane two (and exactly two) planes away from them. Players cannot respond to another player hellriding onto a plane they control. This rule is based on a planechase variant suggested by Gavin Duggan and located at

Riches of the Blind Eternities: Cards gained by playing aggressively and paid for with "mana" from controlled planes. Once per turn, when you gain control of a plane that shares a color with a color of mana that a basic land you control can produce, you may draw a card from the Riches of the Blind Eternities deck and place it face down in your command zone. Once per turn, you may play a card gained this way from your command zone. When playing cards this way, if you are playing a spell, you do not pay mana for it. Instead, the card checks to see if, for each mana required to pay its mana costs, you control a plane of that color or in the case of colorless mana, a plane at all. If you do, the spell is cast. Riches of the Blind Eternities are not put into graveyards, exile, or decks. If they would leave the stack, the battlefield, or the command zone for any reason other than casting or resolving them, shuffle them into the Riches of the Blind Eternities deck.

Example 1: A player controls two red planes, a black plane, and a colorless plane. They have a Doom Blade from their Riches of the Blind Eternities. They may cast Doom Blade because they have one black plane and one other plane.

Example 2: A player controls two red planes, a black plane, and colorless plane. They have a Black Sun’s Zenith from their Riches of the Blind Eternities. They may not cast the Black Sun’s Zenith because they do not have a second black plane.

Example 3: A player controls two black planes, a red plane, and a colorless plane. They have a Black Sun’s Zenith from their Riches of the Blind Eternities. They may cast the Black Sun’s Zenith, declaring that X is 0, 1, or 2. If they choose 2, the Black Sun’s Zenith would then require two black planes and two other planes of any color, which they do control The player could cast Black Sun’s Zenith for 2, but instead of shuffling it into their library during resolution, it would be returned to The Riches of the Blind Eternities deck instead.

The Riches of the Blind Eternities deck could either be composed of regular Magic cards volunteered by each player, regular Magic cards donated by a common player or host, or cards created specifically for Tactical Multiplayer Magic. Such cards would include effects related to planeswalking: moving other players, changing control of planes, altering area of effects and ranges of attack, countering schemes, altering planar die rolls, or affecting Scheme, Plane Chase, and/or Riches of the Blind Eternities decks.

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