Tracker Item #1: Factions

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous - 2005-05-16

    Discuss the Werocia "colors" here.

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous - 2005-05-16

      Well, here it is and I will open discussion. There has been talk that a five color Mtg-like set of factions will be good.

      Obviously the "flavor" will be more Werocia-like, but each faction's overall strategies will be a little like the Mtg colors.

      How could we go about doing this? Is there need to consolidate or split any colors?

    • B0rsuk

      B0rsuk - 2005-05-21

      Actually, it's hard to come up with something different. But I have some slight modification:
      (in general magic can be closer to terrain - this may make our colors differ from mtg)

      Swamp faction replaces black. Aside from undead/necromancers, they could summon some swamp/venomous creatures, like snakes, aligators, mosquito swarms...

      "Red" faction can be made associated with wastelands rather than mountains. This would mean that creatures would include orcs, goblins, trolls, ogres etc, but also jackals, hyenas, lions, scorpions, war elephants, big antilopes (GNU - heh), bufallos, etc. Also crocodiles for flavour, but not too much.
      Carrion birds, Africa etc.

      Green - remains pure forest faction.  Forest people, forest beasts, shamanic magic, bees, snakes etc.

      Blue - I suggest making it more North/Polar/Snow faction. We could drop air magic from it and transfer it somewhere else.
      In our case blue would have water and ice magic, creatures, shaping things out of ice, bears, wolves... On second thought, this would limit avaible creatures. How do you feel about it ?

      White - it's hard to make interesting changes here. Better left undisturbed. But the air magic has to go somewhere (IF we remove it from blue, which is not necessarily a good idea).

    • Gustavo Hexsel

      Gustavo Hexsel - 2005-05-26

      Hey, why not the arcane (no pun intended) concept of the 5 elements?  Instead of associating directly with colors...

      Air - probably white, the agenda is expansion, freedom, magic, has weak creatures with powerful magic, lots of resource manipulation (mostly favourable to the player, creatures need more resources to use abilities).  For "expansionists" and general magic players.

      Fire - red, the agenda would be destruction, has powerful destructive magic, and creatures that can withstand a bit extra but do little magic and not too much attack (after all, things that withstand heat are few hard ones, not fast hunters).  For offensive magic players.

      Water - blue, the agenda would be protection, healing, creatures that are hard to kill and make good or very good hunters, but that are usually limited on the terrains they can access.  For defensive players.

      Earth - green, the agenda would be hunting, a bit of mixed up magic to help (not much), has creatures with very good attack and good defense, special creatures can "hide" cristals once in a while.  For offensive creature players.

      Ether/Spirit - silver or gray or some pattern - the agenda would be manipulation.  Magic that transforms creatures, terrains, buildings, even crystals, maybe.  Creatures would be powerful and expensive.  This would probably work best along with some other color, making it more of an expert-friendly noob-unfriendly faction.

        What do you think?

         []s Gus

      • Anonymous

        Anonymous - 2005-05-26

        I like this a lot! There are a few changes I want to suggest though.

        Necromancers/Undead stuff. Focuses on dirty tricks, sacrifice, and drainage of things. What's a good fantasy game without the "bad guys?"

        Water and Earth need a slight clarification. At the expense of sounding Mtged, would it be fair to say Water is confusion, countering, and also healing while Earth is power, bigness, and also healing?

        Let me attempt to make tentative common effects for the "average" card of each faction.

        Air: Somehow this one doesn't come to me....what shall it do?
        Fire: Destroy resources and blow up buildings.
        Water: Return things to your hand, cause creatures to be unable to attack.
        Earth: Make your creatures stronger...
        Ether/Spirit: Replace or exchange cards, exchange numbers on cards, exchange your stuff for your opponent's stuff.
        Undead/Necromancy: Sacrifice your creatures to destroy your opponent's, make the discard pile come to life!

    • B0rsuk

      B0rsuk - 2005-05-26

      An analysis of hexsel's colors:

      Earth - green in mtg
      water - white in mtg (defensive, healing)
      fire -     red in mtg

      Air - please be more specific. What can it do ? What makes it special ? Specific cards ? Sounds like blue from mtg, but...

      Aether - also sounds like blue from mtg. How do you differentiate air and aether ?

      Also there's no place for necromancy in this set.  That would mean 6 colors with necromancy. 6 colors means 6 colors to balance. Isn't that spreading yourself too thin ?

    • B0rsuk

      B0rsuk - 2005-05-26

      Ok, I reshaped that system a bit. Let me know if you like my version.

      5 magic colors (+colorless, most probably).

      Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Mind/Spirit.
      Let's say that typical creature is 2/2 (metaphorically, I don't mean stats !) First number is offensive power, second number is defensive power.

      Earth magic
      - inflexible (few instants, many sorceries)
      - durable creatures. Either high toughness, or misc defensive powers. (1/3)
      - spells to affect buildings (destroy, enchant)
      - spells to affect walls
      - spells to affect lands and terrain (destroy, enchant)
      - few spells to increase attack
      - good defensive spells, defense against creatures etc
      - spells to search library for lands, terrains of buldings
      - some poisonous creatures, mostly small
      - spells to transform earth, walls, buildings, terrains... (enchantments)

      - quick, weak creatures (1/1). Air creatures may be able to fly, often don't tap when attacking,  or are harder to block.
      - Not very good defensive spells (mostly instants, the effect doesn't last for long)
      - few enchantments, air isn't very durable.
      - lots of various instants. Air relies on suprise and trickery, but doesn't have much punch. You can switch creature's power and toughness, and so on.
      - cards to tap stuff.
      - illusions
      - can't affect artifacts/buildings easily.

      - well-rounded creatures (2/2)
      - water is very important for living creatures... water has lots of creature enchantments/instants. Creature affecting spells would be strongest point of water magic.
      - healing, regeneration
      - spells affecting lands/terrains...
      - some spells to affect buildings, too, just not as common
      - can create things from ice
      - good magic for new players.

      Fire magic
      - Strong creatures (3/1)
      - destructive magic - can harm creatures, artifacts, buildings, lands, terrains..
      - doesn't have many enchantments
      - sacrifice (fire burns things !)
      - Demon summonings (demons are fiery, and often require sacrifice/have drawbacks)
      - direct damage etc.
      - Best defense is offense, but fire has little means of defense.

      - can revive enemy creatures ! Many Spirit creatures are already dead, so can't be revived. (for balance - otherwise Spirit magic might be too poweful) Spirit magic relies on choosing your revives carefully. You need to kill some enemy creatures first. Cheaper revive spells are likely to have drawbacks, such as reducing revived creature's stats/removing abilities.
      - force opponent to discard
      - gain control of creatures (again, to prevent it from being overpowered, drawbacks for cheaper spells)
      - weakening magic
      - manipulation in general.
      - Spirit creatures (ones that can't be revived) aren't as weak as Air, but are nothing special either. They rely on fancy abilities rather than stats. (1/2)
      - Spirit/Aether magic can have some revivable creatures, too, but I suggest there aren't too many.
      - cards affecting living creatures and magic/enchantments, but can't do much with solid things like artifacts, buildings etc.

    • jii000

      jii000 - 2005-06-08

      Will the factions have names, or will thye be called by their element name (For example, Earth Tribe, Fire Tribe, ect) ? Will they be very specific political forces in the werocia universe or will the "factions" represent more of a force or a special type of magic, like in MTG?

    • B0rsuk

      B0rsuk - 2005-06-09

      I think "whatever proves playable".

      I support idea of each faction representing specific kind of magic. It's easier to make cards this way - and there are less controversial cards. In other words, it's easier to determine to which color particular card should go.

    • Eric David

      Eric David - 2005-06-09

      the idea of elements is nice.

      what about shapes ?
      - cube : big strengh
      - sphere : classical magic
      - blob : odd magic
      - tetrahedron : new form of magic
      and so on

      or concepts, or paradigmas like in the RPG "Nobilis" or "Mage/Vampire"
      - speed
      - faith
      - odd
      - big
      - laughter
      - light
      - delight
      (there may be many ones)

    • B0rsuk

      B0rsuk - 2005-08-19

      I think it's time we discussed the "color pile".
      I mean - which powers should be available to which colors ? If we keep it more consistent,  the athmosphere is better.
      There was quite a bit confusion about that in MTG (for example for a long time blue used to have Prodigal Sorcerer - direct damage !)

      But let's take a look at modern mtg creatures - I mean common/classic creature abilities.

      White - vigilance, flying, first strike
      Blue  -  return to hand,                         flying
      Black - fear, regeneration
      Green - Trample, regeneration
      red     - haste,  first strike

      Of course it's not a complete list. But there are (mostly keyworded) abilities unique to colors and abilities shared between 2 colors.
      Fear and Trample are mostly unique to black and green respectively,  but regeneration is the bridge between green and black. First Strike is easily available in both white and red (to a lesser extent, I think). You get the point.

      We should make our color pie at leas as consistent as one in MTG. Here is a very loose draft of what makes sense (from athmosphere point of view) in Werocia. However, we can't make certain abilities too common ! We'll have to decide. The list I gave earlier is far from perfect, and no one commented it, it seems.
      Again, this is from athmosphere point of view ! Additionaly we shouldn't make our colors too much like mtg. My main concern here is similarities between mtg Red and our Fire.
      flying, discard, tap, return to hand (aka bounce), vigilance  (attacking doesn't tap), haste - all these powers make sense as air abilities from athmosphere point of view. But it's a bit too much.I thought about First Strike, but it might be a bit too destructive ability. How about direct damage - lightning, storms etc ? just HOW MUCH destructive should air magic be ?
      I think strenght of air magic shoulnd't lie in permanents (too much), but mostly in instants and suprise.
      However, please think how strong certain abilties can be if combined together. For example Return to hand + discard can make discard useful late game, and it's not really all that powerful I think.... because essentially it requires 2 spells to destroy 1 permanent.
      Haste, First Strike, direct damage, mass damage/destruction, land destruction, artifact/building destruction...sacrifice (yes ! fire burns things. Making it mostly fire instead of mostly black(mtg) is another way to make our colors stand out).
      Trample  - but it would have to be changed first(mechanics differ). Regeneration, healing, strenght boosts... big creatures AND strenght in numbers. Obstacles, land related spells... What else ?
      Actually, I have hard times thinking about typical water abilities and powers. Life equals life, that's one thing. So it can affect lands and creatures. Isn't that too much like earth ? Some abilities may be shared with earth (healing, regeneration).  It could make sense for it to have creatures which can hide/ambush: Oceans three-dimensional world ! And water isn't 100% transparent.
      I NEED HELP HERE ! Thinking outside of mtg world is hard sometimes.
      Mind-related spells - it could be discard, it could be counterspell (yuck!), creature control spells, provoking, illusions, necromancy (capture spirit), all forms of trickery. Return to hand makes sense (vanishing), teleport

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous - 2005-08-19

      Since this is board based...Fire should be "splash damage".

      Spirit: Teleport is cool!

      AIr: More manuverability. Higher "speed" (how many tiles it can move and such.)

      Water: I think we could go with water terrain somehow? Make it a rare feature on boards (or one that is created by the Water cards) but useful to Water cards.

      Earth: I think what we have is good.

    • B0rsuk

      B0rsuk - 2005-08-19

      Another thing to consider:
      How much space do we have left to maneuver when creating creatures for each color ?

      Obviously, for each color we can have wizards (elementalists in 4/5 cases) and elemental. By the way, we should be very strict about what is an elemental and what isn't. Element is something very basic, right ? And we have 4 elements, unless we really want to consider Spirit the fifth. So no Fog elementals, Lava elementals, and suchlike.  (we can still have Fog spirits, Lava spirits and so on - but Werocia being - so far-  more element oriented than mtg shouldn't do such foolishness).

      Ok, to the point. Let's look at available creatures:
      Earth - any earth-based creatures, wood people, insects, possibly even flying ones. (insects don't fly very high). Dao - the earth genies from arabic myths.

      Air - all kinds of flyers. Djinni is an air-based genie from arabic mythology. Birds, drakes, eagles...

      Water - sea dwellers, possibly coastal birds but I'm not very happy about this idea. Plenty of room here, too.
      Marid is a water-based genie from Arabic mythology.

      Fire... ugh ! Not counting fire elementals and fireelementalists, what exactly can you fit here ? Certainly Efreeti - fire based genies. What else ? Arsonists ? Salamanders ? Fireflies ? Dragons ? Not much variety here. And we certainly can't make dragons too cheap/common, so they can't be a base of every fire deck.

      There's no trouble with spirit. But Fire really worries me as far as creatures go.

    • jii000

      jii000 - 2005-08-21

      I love the splash damage idea for fire. Additionally fire could have a variety of creatures. If you associate fire with chaos and destruction like im MTG, practically anything that dislikes order could be a fire creature, This could also allow fire to use a variety of "Random" or "Dice Rolling" spells where you role die or flip coins ect.

      Say, what if air were focused a bit on building destruction. After all the air controlls tornadoes, lightning, windstorms, sandstorms, ect. While people might survive a natural disaster like such, a building, especially a poorly constructed one, is doomed.

      Also, what if air had flying buildings? Hmm?

    • B0rsuk

      B0rsuk - 2005-08-21

      Hmm. It could work (fire), but I'd rather not make Fire clone of Red magic from MTG.

      If possible, I'd use other ideas rather than simple stupid destruction. I'd like each color to rely on some sort of tricks , more or less, just the flavor of tricks would differ.

      Look at existing MTG colors, how were they designed, and how it affected the whole game:
      - most red decks are really primitive. They do direct damage and often have problems in late game, because they run out of steam. And because they made red so much offensive, they are forced to make it STUPID color. Not only red is straightforward and unflexible, but also... it has no card draw and no mana acceleration at all ! Only Seething Song, and it's not terribly good.
      - also, because white weenie is potentially so powerful, they made sure there's no way to draw cards in a white deck. One design choice (make ww good) means that they can't really afford to give white any decent card drawers.
      They gave white decent land fetchers in 9E (Gift of Estates, Weathered Wayfarer), but they aren't terribly good. Gift of Estates may fetch 3(!!) plains for you for 2 mana, but only if you have less lands, and you still get to play 1 per turn.
      - Another thing:  blue has lots of card drawing, but no mana acceleration except for 2UU Annex, which steals one land. Not a terribly good acceleration. I suppose they designed blue this way to give weenie decks an edge over it - so it doesn't have enough mana to counter it all.
      Ok, I don't say that every color should have Birds of Paradise (which is a broken card, and even Wizards of the coast say it doesn't fit green theme at all)... but if we give every color some halfway decent mana acceleration, and halway decent card drawing ability, we would allow for more creativity and design space for new cards.
      Think about it: so far it seems like there will be no "Life totals" in Werocia - so red burn decks can't win anymore with just burning stuff mindlessly. They will need some creatures to capture crystals, and other strategical places.
      Also, keep in mind that there are no balance reasons, I think, not to allow 3/1 creatures for 2 mana. If you can have 1/3, why not 3/1 for same amount? You won't be able to attack enemy player with it - only his creatures, probably. So BIG power instead of toughness is no longer such a good thing.
      Every color could have diffrent way of accelerating.
      Dark Ritual is clearly too strong - 3 mana on turn 1, assuming you have no more rituals in hand. So I'd use something else.
      One color could have Seething Song (3 mana sorcery, gives 5 mana). Another - Overgrowth, enchantment for 3 mana. Enchanted land provides additional 2 mana when tapped.
      Yet another color would have some kind of Blood Pet- I don't remember them being overpowered. 1 mana 1/1 creature, can be sacrificed for 1 mana. Or perhaps make it 1/1 creature for 2 mana, gives 2 mana when sacrificed. And so on.
      About Air: ok, it makes sense for air to have some building destroyers. But I'd say buildings should be colorless. They still can have colored activation costs if needed. If we make all buildings colored, there's no way back later. And colored activation cost for colorless building can effectively make it colored. We have more design opportunities this way, I think. How can a building be soo much air-related ? This stretches things quite a bit, I think.
      One of reasons Wizards replaced walls with Defenders is because walls are generally lifeless structures. Something you build rather than magically summon. And I approve the decision.
      Additionaly, it doesn't make much sense for Air magic to produce too much permanent things. Especially ones that are so solid like buildings. I wouldn't mind enchantments too much.
      Let's take good parts from mtg, and discard bad ones.

      Air can have some mild land destruction, even. I had this idea today:
      Erosion        cost:  AA
      Enchantment - aura

      For each point of colored mana enchanted land would produce, it produces one point of colorless mana instead.

      So far I compare my card prices to mtg, and I hope it's a good way to start.

      Anyway, Erosion should be fairly balanced card. Not really a land destruction, but is cheaper. It can help against spells with lots of colored mana, or against multicolor decks which strech themselves thin (don't have many copies of each land). It also helps a bit in early game. Later, it's likely to be useless.

      Back to fire magic: what I mean about giving Fire creative spells...

      Inner Fire - enchanted creature explodes upon death, harming all nearby creatures.
      Wildfire - spreads across the map, deals damage to land-based creatures, buildings. Changes terrain type from Plains/Forest to Wasteland or Ashes.
      Smoke - obscures vision. Opponent can't cast spells on squares covered by smoke. You can play creatures face down in smoke clouds.
      Fire Vortex - an enchantment which can move. During your upkeep, you move it 2 squares, then opponent moves it 1 square. Deals some damage to anything it passes over.
      Wall of Fire - enchantment. Blocks a square with fire wall. Deals damage to passing creatures. Requires mana to maintain.
      Active Volcano - changes a tile with Mountain terrain into active volcano, which can be used to damage anything nearby.
      Jam - an enchantment. Overheats an artifact/building so that it's activated abilities can't be used. You know, a metal door extends its volume if temperature raises....(reasoning for buildings)
      Fire Shield - enchantment. Whenever enchanted creature blocks or is blocked, it deals 1 damage to that creature.

      And so on. I hope you get the idea. It doesn't just have to be be strict Red magic clone.

    • Elizabeth Dalton

      Are you folks definitely set on 5 colors? Because the comments by b0rsuk about djinni reminded me of a set of Arabic stories called Haft Paykar, or "Seven Beauties," in which a prince meets seven princesses each of whom has a color theme and certain attributes. (More at, or there is a very accessable translation published as "The Seven Wise Princesses" by Wafa Tarnowska.)

      Or if middle-eastern mythology doesn't do it for you, try or My point is that you might find it helpful to look at something like this to get an inspiration source completely separate from Mtg. Otherwise, you're like to find you've drifted toward a "sort of Mtg" game structure, rather than putting together a truly original game. (I used the Chinese Feng Shui elements in my own game, Wind and Water, though I had particular reasons in mind for doing so. But it did really help me organize my game design.)



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