Back in 2013 I developed a Magic: the Gathering set used to teach people how to play Magic (as seen here). There are four different difficulty levels to help ease a person into the complexity of the game.
I am now developing a new version that can be considered a standalone game with new card frames, a King Arthur theme, and some other unique elements. It can also be considered to be a new version of Spellslinger (originally developed from late 2013).
Level 1 cards are the easiest. I made these with children in mind, but people totally unfamiliar with fantasy games might also appreciate starting with them. They have the following elements:
- There are character and sorcery cards. Character cards are your allies who tend to help you defeat your enemies in defense and offense. Sorcery cards do one thing, then are put into the discard pile.
- The costs require only one type of currency/color of energy to be played.
- The only abilities character cards have is flying. Flying characters can’t be blocked by nonflying characters.
For the first level cards, players should be given a deck of one color just to learn how to play.
Level 2 cards are really so easy that many people can start with them, and the cards I would prefer to try in a cube (mixed collection for shared play) start here. The new elements found in level 2 include the following:
- The costs can now be generic — it can allow any type of currency. For example, Mountain Giant costs four of any type of currency and two red currency.
- Enchantment cards are introduced. They are the most generic type of permanent, but “enchant character” cards are put onto characters to enhance or weaken them.
- Nonbasic lands are introduced. They all have two basic land types each, and they come into play sideways.
- There are five new main types of character abilities.
The new character abilities are the following:
- First strike (It deals combat damage first.)
- Vigilance (It doesn’t turn sideways when attacking.)
- Deathtouch (It always deals lethal damage.)
- Haste (It can attack the turn it comes out.)
- Reach (It can block fliers.)
Players learning the second level cards should be given a deck of two colors and the nonbasic lands, which help them find the right type of currency to play their other cards. This should continue with the third and fourth level cards as well.
Level 3 cards have quite a leap in complexity with the following additions:
- Instant cards are introduced. They are like sorcery cards except you can play them at any time you have priority, which is any time before another card or ability resolves. There is a moment after a card or ability is played to respond with an instant or activated ability of your own.
- Artifact cards are introduced. They are similar to enchantments except they tend to have no color. (I might end up just using these in level 4.)
- Non-land activated abilities are introduced. Technically lands have activated abilities, but these activated abilities tend to be more interactive. Understanding instants is important for understanding these activated abilities because they can have the same effect on the game. You can’t use these activated abilities the turn the cards come into play.
- Five more character abilities are introduced.
The five new abilities include the following:
- Lifelink (You gain life as it deals damage, equal to the damage.)
- Flash (It can be played when you can play an instant.)
- Trample (It can deal additional damage to the defending player.)
- Menace (It can only be blocked by two or more characters.)
- Defender (It can’t attack.)
Level 4 introduces the following new elements:
- Multicolor cards. The gold multicolor cards, such as Merlin, don’t require any significant change in the rules.
- Hybrid currency. You can pay the cost with either color. They are easier to play than the gold multicolored cards, but they tend to be less powerful as a result.
- Tokens and counters. Small objects can represent tokens and counters. Tokens are treated as though they are a card, such as a character. Counters are put onto permanents to weaken or strengthen them.
- The exile. Some cards are put into exile–they are set aside in a place similar to a second discard pile.
- Legendary cards. Each player may only have one of a legendary permanent. If they get more than one, then one must be sacrificed/put into the discard pile.
- Five more character abilities are introduced.
The five new character abilities are the following:
- Hexproof (Opponents can’t target it.)
- Indestructible (It can’t be destroyed.)
- Double strike (It deals first strike and regular combat damage.)
- Regenerate (If it was regenerated, the next time it’s destroyed, remove all damage from it and turn it sideways.)
- Protection from X (Prevent all damage dealt to it by X, it can’t be the target of X spells and abilities, it can’t be blocked by X characters, and X enchantments on it are put into the discard pile.)