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Evil Wizard Deck

Discuss card making and cards you have made.

Re: Evil Wizard Deck

Postby Count Mohawk » Saturday December 12th, 2015 2:21am

Anderas wrote:After testing, i found that the EWP deck was heavily changing the balance... maybe i took too many cards!

I was taking a card each time it was Morcar's turn, and no Monster on the board. Basically, every round.
Maybe this should be reformulated to "Each time there was No monster on the board for the entire round"

Just my thought...

Did you include a limit on the number of cards you could hold at any one time?
What is the average effect level per card in the deck you played?
How many turns does the average Quest take?

Let me lay out a hypothetical example. Take a Quest with a QSC value of 15, which the Heroes manage to play through in 25 rounds. Given your description above, we could say you drew 20 cards over the course of the game. If every card created a Spear trap, those 20 cards would add 10 Body Points of damage to the Quest by themselves!

To make the deck work properly, you have to break down the objectives you want to achieve through its use: What part of the Heroes' behavior are you trying to alter? How dangerous is each card on average? An EWP deck is usually designed to discourage player loitering - thus, the trigger for the EWP to draw a card must be quantifiably related to loitering actions. I would suggest a threefold condition:
  • There must be no monsters on the board at the start of Zargon's turn.
  • The Heroes must not have attacked any monsters since Zargon's last turn.
  • No new doors may have been opened since Zargon's last turn.
...and even that doesn't quite fit the bill, as some Quests feature long, relatively empty hallways which, while necessary for the Heroes to pass through to progress in the dungeon, will nevertheless garner three or four cards for the EWP while they walk. Similarly, if the Heroes have to disarm traps, they will slow down and allow the EWP to draw more cards.

Then there's the effect of the cards themselves. Let's suppose for a moment that Zargon draws 10 cards over the course of the average Quest. If the average effect of each card is similar to that of a Spear trap - i.e. 0.5 Body Points of damage - then those cards will add 5 to the Quest's QSC value, which can bump a medium-difficulty Quest up into the hard category, or make an already-hard Quest outright fatal to one or more Heroes. Complicating things further is the fact that you allow cards to be discarded to activate monster special abilities, which increases the value of every card to the maximum of its own printed value or the value of any on-board monster's special ability. Probably some of the more powerful effects should cost two cards to activate. I think it's the same way in Advanced HeroQuest, which gives the EWP some Chaos tokens as time passes, but if memory serves (which it doesn't always) requires multiple tokens to be discarded to activate certain effects.

I've never played with an Evil Wizard Deck, so I can't offer any more concrete advice on the subject. But if you keep a hand limit of 4-5 cards and limit your opportunities to draw new ones, the overall impact of the deck should remain low enough not to unbalance things overmuch.


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Re: Evil Wizard Deck

Postby Anderas » Saturday December 12th, 2015 2:49am

Count Mohawk! Aren't you american and shouldn't americans sleep at this time? :lol:

Yes, i had a maximum:
Number of Heroes = Maximum of cards hold at the same time. If a hero dies, i have one card less maximum.
It didn't matter as i rather played the cards than keeping them on the hand.

Things like "surprise you're standing on a speartrap" i removed from the deck as i don't want my precious precalculated quests to be destroyed by such things. I mean, some of my quests are a close call, i can't just add some BP of Monsters or traps without killing the group.

And yes, my last two tests had been Prince Magnus' Gold and Legacy of the Orc Warlord.
Prince Magnus' Gold is definitely the wrong quest to be played with an EWP Deck (for example) as there are loooooooooong empty ways... this quest just hadn't been planned with an EWP Deck. That's why I removed one of the long Hallways entirely and shortened another one by half before applying the EWP Deck. I think this is a good change in general, for this quest.
Same for Legacy of the Orc Warlord, i started to take EWP Cards only after the heroes found their equipment.

So i'm sensible to the changes the deck applies and i am careful. :)

Then there are cards like "Alert"; you can open a door, anywhere, anytime, and immediately use the monsters.
That't not only about initiative change.
If you calculate a fight 3 Monsters vs 3 Heroes, two times, it's an entirely different result like a fight 6 Monsters vs 3 Heroes because the door to the neighbor room opens directly before the first monster dies. Maybe i was a little bit too badass here. :) :mrgreen:
A good update could be "Alert: Use at any time there is no Monster on the Board", that way at least only the initiative changes (and that alone already costs one or two BP!)


But finally, even the little embarrassments like "one hero misses his turn" or "no magic this round" are quite strong, if they come in a constant flow and are applied in the most badass possible way. :)

So yes there must be another limit.
I think your formulation was close:
The Heroes must not have attacked any monsters since Zargon's last turn.


I think this includes the others:
If there is a monster, there is normally a kind of attack, or they flee headlong, in both cases it's ok not to get a EWP card.
Ah the second case.

So we say
If the Heroes didn't have a Monster in line of sight since Zargon's last turn.
That really includes
* Flee situation
* Fight situation
* Random turn order, free turn order and fixed turn order.


The door opening condition, i wouldn't take it. If there is a monster-free traps-only quest, there shall be a sentence in the Quest notes for the EWP deck. Or if the quest wasn't designed for the use with an EWP Deck, Zargon has to be sensible when and how to apply it. (example Prince Magnus' Gold)


And there is an updated variant of my latest card. Took me three hours. That's the last time for very long that i made an animated gif.

oops that's a bit big :)


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Re: Evil Wizard Deck

Postby cynthialee » Saturday December 12th, 2015 12:36pm

The way I play it with EWP cards is that if there is no monster on the board I roll a Combat Dice. If I roll a Black Shield, I may place a wandering monster on any square on the discovered board. If I fail to roll my walrus tusk, I get a card up to a maximum of 1 card per hero in play and 1 card for every 2 henchmen in play.
Also I have a number of EWP cards in my deck that are very unfavorable for the EWP that the EWP MUST play when drawn. Things like lost artifacts and piles of potions that I must give away can be pulled. I also have waste of time cards in my deck. Cards that must be discarded and do nothing effective for the EWP. I'd say my EWP deck is about 1 in 7 chance I will get a card I did not want, and a 1 in 10 chance I get a card that really throws my mojo off.
By making my EWP cards not always cool and awesome it has brought some balance.
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
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Re: Evil Wizard Deck

Postby GimmeYerGold » Saturday December 12th, 2015 1:24pm

I love that Let it Snow card! Especially the animated version :)


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Re: Evil Wizard Deck

Postby Count Mohawk » Saturday December 12th, 2015 2:18pm

Anderas wrote:Count Mohawk! Aren't you american and shouldn't americans sleep at this time? :lol:
Sleep is for Heroes who play The Maze. And also for Barbarians. Who casts Sleep on the Wizard and expects it to work??? :gargoyle:

Anderas wrote:Things like "surprise you're standing on a speartrap" i removed from the deck as i don't want my precious precalculated quests to be destroyed by such things. I mean, some of my quests are a close call, i can't just add some BP of Monsters or traps without killing the group.

And yes, my last two tests had been Prince Magnus' Gold and Legacy of the Orc Warlord.
Prince Magnus' Gold is definitely the wrong quest to be played with an EWP Deck (for example) as there are loooooooooong empty ways... this quest just hadn't been planned with an EWP Deck. That's why I removed one of the long Hallways entirely and shortened another one by half before applying the EWP Deck. I think this is a good change in general, for this quest.
Same for Legacy of the Orc Warlord, i started to take EWP Cards only after the heroes found their equipment.

So i'm sensible to the changes the deck applies and i am careful. :)

That's a good point about how certain Quests aren't designed around the use of an EWP deck. It would probably be sensible to add a note to the start of very exploratory Quests that reduces the rate at which Zargon draws new cards. You can even do it the the other way if you want to simulate a dungeon with highly-skilled or high-alert enemies and give him more cards per turn!

I should probably compile a list of Evil Wizard Deck cards and assign them an approximate value in terms of Body Point damage. That way you can have a better sense of how much danger is really added from an EWP deck.

It's probably also worth noting that the original iteration of the EWP deck was constructed by Ron Shirtz and Jacob Busby some years ago - I think it might even have been a download available in the time of the original Agin's Inn, actually! His system was different from all the ones listed here in two important ways: First, the Heroes got some combat cards as well, which balanced things a little more rather than make it a straight buff to Zargon. And second, Zargon could not draw an infinite number of cards, but only got X amount per Quest based on the level of the opposing Heroes.

Anderas wrote:And there is an updated variant of my latest card. Took me three hours. That's the last time for very long that i made an animated gif.

(snow fall gif)

It's Chaos Confetti!!! :D :D :D


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Re: Evil Wizard Deck

Postby The Admiral » Saturday December 12th, 2015 6:52pm

I have only recently tried using the Evil Wizard cards for the first time. I have modified their rules of usage a bit and how some of the cards work, but I have found them very entertaining. With powerful heroes I have often had to beef up published quests to make them competitive, but by using the EW cards, I have found that I have been able to leave the quests as written. They also make life for the EW player more interesting. You can plan good combinations to upset the heroes.


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Re: Evil Wizard Deck

Postby lucasdp » Friday December 18th, 2015 7:15pm

As it has been suggested to me at least a half dozen times now, I think I'm finally going to print, and hopefully play with, an Evil Wizard Deck this weekend. Going to start with Sjeng's file of 24 cards, mostly just because it's concise and relatively ready-to-go. I really like some of CynthiaLee's cards, but want to keep this simple since it's new to me.

I see that most people seem to have their own way of fitting the Evil Wizard Deck into their games. Here's what I'm thinking for mine :2cents: ...
Zargon draws three at the start of the game.
Draw a card on Zargon's turn whenever there are no monsters on the board.
Hand limit = Number of current heroes
If/when I've gone through the whole deck, that's it. No reshuffling it back into play (does anybody do this?). Seems to me, if I were to actually go through all cards in a quest, the heroes would probably be getting pretty low on BP and the quest would probably be close to over with, anyway.

Like I said, I'm trying to keep it simple. The (relative) simplicity of HQ is why it works so well with my friends and me, so I don't want to over-complicate things. Just want to have a little more fun as Zargon.


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Re: Evil Wizard Deck

Postby Anderas » Saturday December 19th, 2015 12:30am

My experience after testing it - that's too much.
Draw one card on Zargon's turn every time there was no monster on the board for the entire round.

That fits better.

Quests that are otherwise a walk in the Park (in my questbook with a rating between 8 and 10) can be spiced up with drawing a lot of these cards. In quests with a rating of 20 or even more; i would be very careful to add too much.
Mind, i didn't count wandering monsters in my difficulty estimation


@ Count Mohawk,
Image

No matter the group, it adds a solid 4 to the Quest.

I dismissed the idea in the meanwhile.
First. The card has to much bureaucracy with noting and calculating and all the stuff.
Second, the text doesn't read good. And i had no idea for an alternative text. And it is too full.
Third, it is incompatible except with my own Questbook.
Fourth, with only two or three of these cards, all the quests finally arrive at difficulty 20; which is a lot and breaks the progression if there was one intended in a quest pack. Or it breaks entire hero groups.
Fifth. The Monster group is not always fitting to the Quest storyline / monster theme. Imagine these guys popping up at Barak Torr.
Finally, the colored symbols break the general style of the HQ Cards.

While, generally speaking, i like these kinds of cards, (Add a monster group x) because they give the EWP a more active role in the game; I still have to find a way to apply them. Maybe directly in the quest notes? "The first wandering Monster triggers a Monster group with a strength of 4"?

But definitely not as EWP Card. Or at least, not in the way presented above.



----

And yet another topic.
After testing it in three games, i was preparing a High definition version of Interrupt for printing.
* It activates one monster now instead of two, the first version was too strong.
* The mechanic is perfectly beautiful. No more use for the phallic formation.
* If you care for balance, you can add "As it was already used, don't use that monster in your own turn".
* Click for a big "printer" version
* Normally it shall fit with the 91mm x 59mm card format that is offered by professional printers and has sufficient "bleed" areas.

Image


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Re: Evil Wizard Deck

Postby Anderas » Sunday March 6th, 2016 10:48am

Ok,
finally i got around to make my own EWP Deck.
It is partially from Sjeng and partially from GimmeYerGold, the backside is from chaoticprime -
and some cards have been added.

All the deck is in 9.1cm x 5.9cm because that seems to be some kind of standard format: If you order cards professionally printed, it's one of the formats offered, and the one closest to the height/width ratio of the original HQ cards (but a lot larger). I also added the "minimum" 3mm bleed area so that the pro's won't complain.

I upsampled all the pictures to have a sharp impression with the "comic" function of photoshop.

I offer here more than one format:
The .png for professional printing or making your own deck with my cards.
the .psd for people who want to play themselves with it - i feel obliged to do so as i used GimmeYerGold's 225 edition .psd files as basis
the .ppt and .pdf for printing of a complete deck (some cards are double as i use them several times)
and the .ppt and .pdf for printing of each card only one time.

have fun

To my dropbox folder

Or if you just want to take a look without necessarily downloading, the same in Flickr



The "new" cards follow the "Monster Group" principle above, but i found a less bureaucratic trigger.
If the quest is half over, and the heroes still have a potion of healing, sufficient monsters appear to remove the potion of healing. :)
They follow the logic of my four-colored quest book: For 2/2 Heroes, you take the green symbols, for 3/3 Heroes you add the yellow ones, for 4/4 Heroes you add the red ones, and for 5/5 Heroes you add the purple ones. Except for the character, there you choose the matching color. Some of you won't like these cards just because of that.

ImageImageImage

I added both "No Escape" from Sjeng and from GYG because i like that card so much. Same for Alert.
Example:
ImageImage


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Re: Evil Wizard Deck

Postby cynthialee » Sunday June 5th, 2016 4:03pm

Had fun with my EWP cards yesterday.
Best moment was when I played a healing potion on a boss fight. Healed all the damage the dude took and the players gave a collective groan and the Barbarian was sure they were going to die.
Came within a point of killing him and the Dwarf that fight. Good times. The collective gasp and groan of the players was music to my ears. And when the boss died the cheer around the table was a genuine cheer of delight. Danger had been escaped.
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
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