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Author Topic: Flavor idea for our set  (Read 4510 times)
Jacob Orlove
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« on: September 23, 2004, 03:59:32 pm »

Okay, I was talking about worldbuilding with Bram (who wants to do something aztec/incan), when I had a great idea for a set. Instead of a "world" that seems to consist of exactly 5 regions, I thought it would be interesting to confine the entire set to a single city. That way, different people and such in the city would be different colors, but without that dumb 5-way division. Plus, it's not something that's been done before.

Then I realized the perfect city for this: Atlantis. Bram pointed out that Atlantis actually once existed on Dominaria, because Lord of Atlantis exists, so we can just set the entire small expansion there. We can include a lot of ancient greek themes, because that would be cool, and the greeks had a bunch of nonhuman creatures (although we can easily have humans in every color). Atlantis is a city-state, so there should be enough space for whatever we want to do.

We could adapt some of our old cards to this new flavor, but I was thinking this would be more of a starting point for one of our small sets.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2004, 04:27:30 pm »

I really like the Incan/Aztec city-state idea.  Certainly something underdone in fantasy fiction.    

I've never liked the super-strict color-pie orginizing.  I always thought it seemed forced.

Doing an Aztec city, you can cover the politics of the city state, dangers from the surounding jungles, dark and vengeful, bloodthirsty gods,  invaders from another land, war with another city state...I think it would make for a very rich setting.

Much like D&D's Mazteca setting, we should probably "fantasize" things a bit and bringing it away from an entirely real-world setting.

Atlantis...I don't know.  Since it's not real it could go in any direction, and we may as well just make up our own world if that's the case.  If Atlantis did exist, it was a culture distinct from Greek, so using Greek theamed stuff may be out of place.

Just my thoughts.
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2004, 04:36:31 pm »

Since the beginning my idea was that our sets should be like a tour of planes/places - kind of like Wizard's current theme (visit a new plane every block), but at a whirlwind pace - a new plane every set, with the first set being kind of like a collection of snapshots from all over the multiverse (a la Legends).

So maybe the first set should be a sampling from all over (think "what I did on my summer vacation" slideshow) and each later set should be a "walking tour" of a plane. As much as I like the fact that we're seeing new planes all the time, one thing I don't like about Wizards' plan is that each plane still has a story, that we're only popping in when things get interesting. I liked the old sets like Homelands where you got the impression that we were just visting, that we were seeing things as they typically were - A Day In The Life Of Dominaria, and not Lim-Dul's Big Day Out.

You know what? I realized we don't have to follow wizards' plan of releasing sets in three-set chunks. There's no reason we have to stick to "block = one big + two small". We could just as easily make a block into one big set and six small ones, or even two big sets and two small, or two big and six small (O_O).

About Aztec: over the summer I read a book about them and made notes that I was going to use as a basis for some cards to make here. I lost the notes but found them just last weekend. Coincidence?
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Jacob Orlove
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2004, 05:35:14 pm »

Yeah, part of the point of containing something within a city is to limit that whole overarching plot.

We could even come up with a completely new set size if we wanted to!
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2004, 09:12:13 pm »

Oh man, limited with six packs would be insane.
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2004, 09:22:06 pm »

While we're on the topic of unifying themes, recall that not all themes have to be stylistic or flavourful. Sometimes the theme revolves around a mechanic. A while ago, I suggested a unification of the counters used for enchantments to mirror the switch to charge counters for artifacts. Now, I agree with the response I received then, that not all enchantments are totally mystical in nature. However, from the standpoint of a set theme, a set centered around enchantments and enchanters, with a common counter type, could be interesting.

With such an idea in mind, I'd also like to ask whether or not we're allowed to "reprint" cards used by Wizards that would the themely in our set. Let's face it, some design space that belongs in a set has already been filled with a perfectly adequate card. For example, if we were to go with my above suggested theme, it would hardly be inappropriate to "reprint" Aura Graft, Miracle Worker, or Serene Offering.
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2004, 12:30:25 am »

Yeah, that's something I forgot. We definitely need to rethink our policy of "no reprints" - they can really help fill some holes if judiciously chosen (say < 8 per large set, < 4 per small). Especially for Aztecs, we'd need to include Sacrifice.
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2004, 12:39:38 am »

That's fair. If we're going to have new mechanics of our own, we can fill some of the niche design space with the old trick of rehash + new mechanic. It's not the freshest thing to do, but it helps to fill important roles in a set without using literal reprints. I mean, there's not a whole lot of difference between Oxidize, Wear Away, and Tel-Jilad Justice, but they all exist and they appeared in three consecutive sets. If we want to go with standard green artifact destruction, that's the way we ought to do it.
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2004, 02:30:17 am »

Quote
About Aztec: over the summer I read a book about them and made notes that I was going to use as a basis for some cards to make here. I lost the notes but found them just last weekend. Coincidence?

Dude, that is really odd. Like I told Jacob yesterday, I've been fooling around with the idea for a while now, after reading a book on Aztec culture. Just more proof that I am in fact you.

All my new cars will be Aztec-flavored! Or rather, aztec/incan-esque. No reference to actual Incan gods or something, but definitely with the same flavor. Kind of like Kamigawa, actually. Or Mirage. The Aztec theme was only briefy touched upon in Ancestral Recall's art, but never really revisited.

I like Jacob's idea, too. I guess we can do both, since our block doesn't appear to be getting a coherent theme anyway (the first set is like this Legends type gig, while the rest could have separate themes).
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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2004, 03:30:04 am »

I like the idea of creating a set that takes place entirely in one city. The white lands could be paved areas and lawcourts, the blue lands rivers and schools, the black lands sewers and dumps, the red lands ... something and stonemasons, and the green lands parks and farms.

Sort of like Mercadian Masques, only without _any_ reference to the world outside, right?

Another possibility: a set based on/inspired by Sigil, the City of Doors, in the D&D planescape setting. Basically a place with portals everywhere, and where creatures from thousands of different planes end up meeting.
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« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2004, 04:13:46 am »

I like both the Atlantis and Aztec ideas. I think we can have flavour driven sets rather than mechanic driven ones. Mirage and Homelands were both excellent sets in terms of flavour and AN and CHK are both based on real world settings so I see no reason why we can't go this way.

As far as reprints go, I think we can reprint as long as we have a gap than needs filling. I would prefer a renamed version as it would be possible to have alternative flavour to suit the set's theme.

As far as big set, small, small goes, I think we should stick to the existing set up unless we have a damned good reason not to.
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« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2004, 05:59:20 am »

There seems to be a problem with using just a single city. The basic lands, by their nature, require a larger geographical area than a single city provides. I don't want to go messing around with basics, so the theme of the set must somehow be made consistent with the fact that the basic lands are, in fact, the most prevalent source of mana.
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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2004, 06:46:23 am »

I think Atlantis would be a viable source of Islands, Forests, Plains, Swamps and Mountains. You just need a big city.
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Jacob Orlove
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2004, 12:24:26 pm »

Keep in mind that Atlantis is a "City-state". It's a self-sufficient political entity. Not a kingdom, but still autonomous. You'd have plenty of room for all the basic lands. Part of the reason for that fivefold split in flavor is that you have just one region for each basic land type. With Atlantis, you could instead have some variety--wetlands that provide a location for swamps and forests, but also some underground swamp, and actual forests. Also, orchards. plains could be fields/farms, and also coastal shorelines. You'd probably need a central mountain, but it could provide a location for other mana types. Islands would be obvious.
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Jacob Orlove
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2004, 02:38:50 pm »

Gah, it looks like wizards TOTALLY STOLE this idea for the ctrl-alt-del block.
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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2004, 03:03:40 pm »

you are right...i saw that and was thinking that this idea sounded familiar, and when i came back here...i saw it.

I think atlantis and the aztec sets are both do-able and will provide numerous card ideas.
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