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[_] NIGHTMARE Forces Play Of Losing Card [_]

You have the power to Recur. As a main player, if you lose the encounter, you may use this power to turn your encounter card into a "nightmare" and place it on your opponent's alien sheet face up; which does not count as a part of their hand. Any main player who has a nightmare on their sheet must play it as his or her encounter card, if possible. If that player loses an encounter or fails to deal, the nightmare transfers to their opponent's alien sheet, unless that opponent is you. When a player using a nightmare wins an encounter, makes a successful deal, or is to oppose you as a main player after destiny is drawn, the nightmare ends; discarding the card.

Throughout the countless incursions where entire colonies and worlds have been mercilessly laid waste, the begrudged revenants of the forgotten dead merge behind the veil of space. This avatar of blood-guilt horrifically returns the violence and shattered dreams the cosmos has collectively inflicted upon it back into the living plane as a true nightmare.

Main Player Only Optional
Start Turn Regroup Destiny Launch Alliance Planning Reveal Resolution

Wild: Whenever a you lose an encounter as a main player or ally, you force your opponent to take a card of your choice from your hand.
As Any Player Any

Super: You may use your power when you win an encounter to take your opponent's losing encounter card and place it on their alien sheet as a nightmare.
Main Player Only Resolution

The wild has some of the revenge flavor to it.

The insidious super will allow your curses to cycle endlessly through the table unless they win with the bad cards, this could eventually curse the entire table except you, making all your encounters almost guaranteed wins! This power has some strategy involved as sometimes a losing card is higher than you would want them to keep, almost giving them a temporary Clone effect that would be a bit too helpful!

This power excels in revenge, especially if against heavy hitters like Warpish and Virus where you know before cards are played whether you have lost or not. Play a Negotiate and then force them to lose their next encounter.

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Ken H.
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That's a really cool idea, and nicely written. Between this, Bill's Poltergeist, and Jack's recently posted Darkness, we have a nice Halloween theme going.

The only thing I don't like is the Wild flare. I do like the idea of a cursed flare that you can't get rid of, but making it a perpetual zap seem unfun to me.

Also, since the most common losing card is a Negotiate, it's worth asking what happens in a deal situation. I assume a successful deal lifts the curse, and a failed deal keeps the curse.
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Jack Reda
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I take it this is a revamp of the old Nightmare power?

I kind of agree with Ken on the wild. I would suggest something more on the lines of "You cannot zap another player's power as long as you hold this flare." and keep the part about not being able to discard it. You might want to mention whether or not the flare prevents you from playing other flares... or maybe you just can't ever play another flare, since you are always playing that one.
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Chris O
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@Ken - I will edit this to address those issues.

@Jack - This was for the "Witch" remake in Bill's Pithy Powers thread, but you guys agreed that this is unique enough and far enough form the Witch to be its own power, so I renamed it, gave it some background story, and those flares. So truly this is one of my own home brews.
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Rob Burns
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This is an excellent homebrew idea!! I'm excited about this, particularly as I've tried to think through various ways to implement Witch and have come up with nothing. This idea is different enough in terms of rules, but similar enough in terms of idea to satisfy. What's interesting is that it's also similar to the main idea of Mayfair's Pavlov (which I do not like, and itself is just Philanthropist's Super re-implemented as a power), without all of Pavlov's clunkiness and bad-annoyingness. Let's put it this way, I don't see Kevin Wilson and the FFG team putting Pavlov in a future expansion; Nightmare on the other hand, is definitely worth a look from them.

I also agree that it seems well-written. Presumably, the cursed card is Deuce's main card, not his side card.
 
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Toomai Glittershine
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If a player plays a cursed card and loses against Nightmare, it doesn't say what to do with the cursed card afterwards. It then goes on to say that the curse is lifted if it's revealed against Nightmare, win or lose, making the previous (incomplete) statement irrelevant. This could be written better.

Are cursed cards considered part of players' hands? If so, what happens if you have a cursed 08 and a normal 08 and someone takes one of them through compensation (and you can't tell which one it is)? If not, does that make it immune to Mind and Trader, impossible to involve in a deal, or allow someone to get a new hand if they have no other encounter cards?

Also might want to specify "Any player who has a cursed card must play it as his or her encounter card in their next encounter".
 
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Adam Rouse
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I really like this one. Very clever.

For the Wild Flare, I'll add that I don't like the no-zap clause either. I'm also not sure what the no-discard clause is supposed to mean. Does it mean that when it should be discarded it is instead given to another player? If so, that's a nifty idea, and I think making it forbid playing other flares is powerful enough.
 
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Just a Bill
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The power seems to be having an identity crisis: is it a nightmare or a curse? (They don't really mesh.) I would get rid of all references to "curse", which seems like a holdover from when this was a Witch rewrite.

You need to say something like "must play it at his or her next opportunity" or "must play it if possible". (For example, the nightmare card is a Negotiate but Loser just declared an upset.)

Messianic wrote:
In the case of a deal being made using a cursed card, a successful deal lifts the curse.

This add-on sentence seems wordy and brute-force; why not just add "or makes a deal" in the earlier sentence? "When a player using a cursed card wins, makes a deal, or reveals...."

In any case, this only addresses part of Ken's issue: you also need to say whether failing to deal causes a card to become cursed.

More questions on the cursed card:
* Can Wild Deuce discard it?
* Can you trade it in a deal? If so, is it still cursed?
* When playing it under an effect like Magician or Wild Magician, do you turn it face down?

The history is difficult to understand; lots of big words being used in odd ways, and I'm not sure it's semantically viable (though I can't really be sure since I don't think I could paraphrase it). Injecting some mood is good, but overdoing it is like too much salt in the soup; it makes it hard to finish the bowl.

Messianic wrote:
Wild: As long as this card is in your hand you are unable to play any flares and any zap type cards. This flare cannot be discarded and must be taken out of your hand by another player.

Many issues here.
* This doesn't operate like a flare at all; its text is constantly active and there's no possible way to "play" it.
* Big honor-system leap.
* What exactly is a "zap-type card"?
* What happens when the card must be discarded but cannot be discarded?
* What about things that can happen to a card other than discard and theft? Examples:
-- Can Philanthropist or Wild Trader give it away?
-- Can Cryo place it in his cold storage?
-- What happens if Merchant uses it as a hired ship and loses?
-- What if it ends up in Miser's hoard?
* If it's taken out of my hand by a player who has the ability to discard stolen cards before adding them to his own hand (say via Wild Barbarian), does the no-discard clause kick in before he has finished that action or after?

Given your theme here perhaps this was intentional, but this effect has "rules nightmare" written all over it.

Messianic wrote:
Super: You may use your power when you win an encounter to curse your opponent's losing encounter card and place it on their alien sheet.

Should be recast so you can say "when your opponent loses or fails to deal".

Toomai Glittershine wrote:
Are cursed cards considered part of players' hands? If so, what happens if you have a cursed 08 and a normal 08 and someone takes one of them through compensation (and you can't tell which one it is)? If not, does that make it immune to Mind and Trader, impossible to involve in a deal, or allow someone to get a new hand if they have no other encounter cards?

The question about hand refreshes gets even more complicated with aliens like Deuce, Mutant, and Doppelganger. And does it allow you to draw a new tech if you have no encounter cards in hand?

I like the overall concept (once you decide whether it's a nightmare or a curse), but there are lots of leaks to plug.
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Ken H.
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Toomai Glittershine wrote:
Are cursed cards considered part of players' hands?


Since the card is on your Alien sheet, it is literally not in your hand. The rules should (ideally) match what the board shows. I think this is consistent with a FAQ ruling that said a played flare (like Wild Oracle) is not in your hand when it's literally on the table while its effect is occurring.

That would mean you can't discard your Nightmare with Plague, Hate, or Sniveler, you can't trade it in a deal, it's not subject to compensation (not that it would be anyway), and it's not affected by Trader or Finder. This also means you could potentially draw a new hand (due to having no encounter cards in hand), while a Nightmare card is on your sheet.

This is all based on literal reading of the card, and would require no edits.


Bill Martinson wrote:

More questions on the cursed card:
* Can Wild Deuce discard it?
* Can you trade it in a deal? If so, is it still cursed?
* When playing it under an effect like Magician or Wild Magician, do you turn it face down?


I don't see an issue with Magician. The text of Nightmare only requires you to play a specific card. An alien such as Magician (or Oracle) that alters the way you play a card has no effect on which card you are playing.

Loser is a non-issue also, since an upset only requires you to play an attack "if possible". If you are cursed with a Negotiate nightmare, then it is not possible to play an attack.

Wild Deuce unfortunately says "if you have a card", and does not use the phrase "in your hand". Still, I would probably just rule that Wild Deuce means "if you have an identical attack card in your hand...."


Quote:
The history is difficult to understand; lots of big words being used in odd ways, and I'm not sure it's semantically viable (though I can't really be sure since I don't think I could paraphrase it). Injecting some mood is good, but overdoing it is like too much salt in the soup; it makes it hard to finish the bowl.


I kind of like the history. It's a little hard to track, but still cool. A couple minor edits might be in order. I'm not sure "begrudged" is the right word -- maybe "begrudging?" (It's a point of view issue.) Also "colonies and worlds" is probably redundant in the context of this game. The last sentence is difficult due to the amount of words between "returns" and "back to the living" -- it makes you lose the flow of the sentence. What about this:

Throughout the countless incursions where entire colonies and worlds have been mercilessly laid waste laying waste to entire worlds, the begrudged resentful effigies of the forgotten coalesce behind the veil of space. This amalgam of guilt [basks in] the violent iniquity and shattered dreams [that] the cosmos has collectively inflicted upon it, and horrifically returns them back to the living plane as a true nightmare.


 
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Me, sin? Pf! Nah! Chill
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Bill Martinson wrote:

You need to say something like "must play it at his or her next opportunity" or "must play it if possible". (For example, the nightmare card is a Negotiate but Loser just declared an upset.)

More questions on the cursed card:
* Can Wild Deuce discard it?
* Can you trade it in a deal? If so, is it still cursed?
* When playing it under an effect like Magician or Wild Magician, do you turn it face down?

Also, how does it work with Visionary, Laser, Busybody, Pavlov, etc.

It seems to pretty well hose Gambler, Oracle, and Clone.

I like the power. It seems at first blush to be too powerful, but I guess it isn't really.

I don't like the Wild, for a different reason than others have stated: There should be NO BAD WILD FLARES! That creates a "heads I win-tails you lose" situation. It was a bad idea when EON did it, and it's still a bad idea.

Here's an alternate Wild:

When you lose an encounter as a main player, you may give your opponent a card of your choice from your hand.
 
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Ken H.
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Also, how does it work with Visionary, Laser, Busybody, Pavlov, etc.


Not really relevant in FFG-land, but I'll take a crack at them:

Visionary and Laser: yes, there's conflict with abilities that force you to play a certain card, without saying "if possible". The phrase "if possible" should be added or implied onto those powers.

Busybody: no issue, because it only affects what card is revealed. It does not affect the cursed player's choice of what card to play.

Pavlov: Too bad for your target. I guess he won't be playing the card you gave him.

Quote:
It seems to pretty well hose Gambler, Oracle, and Clone.


Yeah, but you only keep the cursed card if you win. If you lose, you give it to the player who beat you. And if you win, then you didn't really need your power anyway.

Quote:

I don't like the Wild, for a different reason than others have stated: There should be NO BAD WILD FLARES! That creates a "heads I win-tails you lose" situation. It was a bad idea when EON did it, and it's still a bad idea.


I'm still not crazy about the Wild either. I don't necessarily mind bad wilds. The problem is that it apparently plays itself.

Quote:
When you lose an encounter as a main player, you may give your opponent a card of your choice from your hand.


Seems to fit.
 
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Just a Bill
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Rubric wrote:
Bill Martinson wrote:

* When playing it under an effect like Magician or Wild Magician, do you turn it face down?

I don't see an issue with Magician. The text of Nightmare only requires you to play a specific card. An alien such as Magician (or Oracle) that alters the way you play a card has no effect on which card you are playing.

I'm not asking if you can/must play it; I'm asking whether it's face up or face down, because it matters with those effects.

Rubric wrote:
Throughout the countless incursions laying waste to entire worlds, the resentful effigies of the forgotten coalesce behind the veil of space. This amalgam of guilt [basks in] the violent iniquity and shattered dreams [that] the cosmos has collectively inflicted upon it, and horrifically returns them back to the living plane as a true nightmare.

Sorry, but it still reads like an English Comp student just threw her thesaurus at a writing assignment. The first article leads the reader over a cliff, effigies can't coalesce, "veil of space" is an oxymoron, the role of guilt is puzzling, and the pronouns' antecedents all seem to be dancing a square dance to hip-hop music while doing jello shots.

I think the main problems are that it's got about twice as much ambiance as it should have, and a few of the word choices are awkward. Scale it back and make it so the average reader can understand the basic story (not necessarily all the nuance) on the first pass. I still don't have a clue who is making what happen in this story.
 
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Chris O
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Lots to respond to.

I will edit it taking all thoughts into consideration, and much thanks to Bill's critical thinking because anything that is worth doing needs to go through that process, also everyone else also has good input.

The story is lay men's terms would be this:

During the many battles where entire colonies and worlds have been mercilessly destroyed, the angry spirits of the forgotten gather behind the darkness of space. This combination of guilt horrifically returns the violent wrongdoing and shattered dreams the cosmos has collectively done to it back into the living world as a true nightmare.

Basically it is a bunch of dead spirits of defeated aliens, who all come together as one very angry entity to punish their killers.

The artwork would be a big ball of faces of various alien powers facing in different directions, with some ethereal misty fire/protoplasm junk emanating from them.

I guess a picture of what I have in mind would be the "Ectoplasm" enemy shown here on this Castlevania: Symphony of the Night site. http://www.castlevaniacrypt.com/games/sotn/enemies-2.htm
 
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Ken H.
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Bill Martinson wrote:
I'm not asking if you can/must play it; I'm asking whether it's face up or face down, because it matters with those effects.


Nightmare does not affect the manner of playing cards. So, you would play it however Magician tells you to.

Quote:


Rubric wrote:
Throughout the countless incursions laying waste to entire worlds, the resentful effigies of the forgotten coalesce behind the veil of space. This amalgam of guilt [basks in] the violent iniquity and shattered dreams [that] the cosmos has collectively inflicted upon it, and horrifically returns them back to the living plane as a true nightmare.

Sorry, but it still reads like an English Comp student just threw her thesaurus at a writing assignment. The first article leads the reader over a cliff, effigies can't coalesce, "veil of space" is an oxymoron, the role of guilt is puzzling, and the pronouns' antecedents all seem to be dancing a square dance to hip-hop music while doing jello shots.


This is coming dangerously close to a semantic debate, but let me just respond by saying:

1. Of course effigies can coalesce. Anything can coalesce, especially when it's in a dream world.

2. The "veil of space" makes the whole piece. That's the whole point. It's a nightmare. It's not really there.

3. You're right about guilt though. Not sure what it means. I intended to mention it in my last post, but got tired of typing.

4. You almost lost me with pronouns antecedents and jello shots. I think you're referring to the fact that the plural effigies become a singular amalgam. I guess you could kill two birds with one stone by taking out "amalgam of guilt" entirely.

Quote:
I think the main problems are that it's got about twice as much ambiance as it should have, and a few of the word choices are awkward. Scale it back and make it so the average reader can understand the basic story (not necessarily all the nuance) on the first pass. I still don't have a clue who is making what happen in this story.


Another try:

After their entire world was laid to waste, resentful effigies of a forgotten race coalesce behind the veil of space. Unseen but not unknown, they obsess over the violent iniquity and shattered dreams inflicted upon them. One day, soon, they will unleash their horrific memories upon their enemies, and then the living plane will know a true cosmic nightmare.

I hope Chris doesn't mind me editing....

Edit: this was posted before I saw the explanation of what the history means. Not sure my version keeps the same meaning.
 
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Just a Bill
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Sorry my comments on the history were so ... non-constructive. I was in a hurry knowing I was about to lose my connectivity, and should have waited until later to post.

Messianic wrote:
During the many battles where entire colonies and worlds have been mercilessly destroyed, the angry spirits of the forgotten gather behind the darkness of space. This combination of guilt horrifically returns the violent wrongdoing and shattered dreams the cosmos has collectively done to it back into the living world as a true nightmare.

Thanks, that helps me.

Messianic wrote:
The artwork would be a big ball of faces of various alien powers facing in different directions

Hmmm... let me see if I can photoshop you something. (No promises.)

Rubric wrote:
Nightmare does not affect the manner of playing cards. So, you would play it however Magician tells you to.

So are you saying that regardless of the situation, you flip the card face down when playing it? I guess I just assumed it was remaining faceup, but it's probably better to go through the motions.

Rubric wrote:
Of course effigies can coalesce. Anything can coalesce, especially when it's in a dream world.

By that logic, garden rakes and rolls of toiler paper could "coalesce", but that doesn't mean it's understandable. Effigies are dummies, puppets, statues — man-made inanimate representations of people or creatures. If this power is about bringing mannequins to life, then okay. But if it's about the leftover emotions/souls/angst of people being reanimated into an ethereal monster, then effigy is not the word to tell that story.

Rubric wrote:
The "veil of space" makes the whole piece. That's the whole point. It's a nightmare. It's not really there.

Space is hiding the nightmare? I guess I'm too bourgeois to get it.

Rubric wrote:
After their entire world was laid to waste, resentful effigies of a forgotten race coalesce behind the veil of space. Unseen but not unknown, they obsess over the violent iniquity and shattered dreams inflicted upon them. One day, soon, they will unleash their horrific memories upon their enemies, and then the living plane will know a true cosmic nightmare.

Getting better! But if you replace "effigies" with "mannequins" this may help illustrate why that part is clunking for me. Perhaps some seeds to feed to the thesaurus might be souls, echoes, shadows, spirits. engrams, essence, something like that.
 
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Chris O
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Let me know if there are more rules type things that I haven't addressed, I am more of a flaky artist/creative/ideas type more than a hyper-analytic/rules type guy.
 
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Ken H.
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Bill Martinson wrote:
Getting better!


Well, I'll leave it to Chris. I'm not going to mess with it anymore. I think your remaining concerns are taking things too literally. Yes, effigy can refer to a mannequin. But more generally, it is something that looks like another person, while being generally misshapen or grotesquely exaggerated, and is in fact not the original person.

Likewise with "veil of space" -- it's not about hiding anything. It's just a colorful way to say nothing is really there.

Quote:
engrams


Interesting word -- never seen it before.
 
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Rubric wrote:
Quote:
engrams


Interesting word -- never seen it before.


It's a theory on how memories get stored. It's a word also co-opted by Scientology to describe how painful events in the past affect you in the future. That, and trapped tortured alien souls in your body. shake
 
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OK, well the history was changed as to have better grammar I supposed but the power remains pretty solid.

I would REALLY like to see this power end up in the next (or a future) expansion and I know a lot of you guys like this one.

Let's hope Captain Wilson sees it and approves.
 
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I have used Nightmare in a couple of games now, and we had nearly the whole game see losing cards move from player to player, unable to get rid of it until they attacked Nightmare. And it was encounter after encounter where players knew the outcome. Everyone felt it brought the whole game down, even the player using Nightmare.

At the minimum, I think a change that is needed is the nightmare card is only used once. When Nightmare "gifts" someone a losing card, that player has to use it in his or her next encounter, and then it goes away.

But I am not convinced that alone will make this alien fun to have in games. I thought about forcing a player to use this card as his or her next encounter OR suffering some other effect (like discarding all non-encounter cards). Or something.

Another idea someone suggested was "If Nightmare reveals an attack card and loses as main player, his or her opponent must discard all attack cards higher than that card". So, everyone won't know what card that player will play next, but they will know it isn't higher than the Attack 08 that Nightmare just lost with. They might also be stuck with only negotiates at that point, or even have to draw a new hand. Which would effectively be a nightmare of sorts for a lot of players.

so, think on it.
 
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