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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:52 pm 
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This is the home thread for the community set project, Pandemic. Links to other threads in the first sblock below. General discussion will be housed here.

Ever since COVID-19 roared into our lives, I've thought about getting back into Magic set design, but I've spent most of the year focused on designing my own table-top game and never got around to it. Excuses, excuses, y'all should help me make a set. Let's do some exploratory design!

First thing's first: what is the set about? PANDEMIC!!! (Might as well lean into it.) That's all we know: we're on some plane where a massive pandemic has drastically hindered and altered the world. What world that is, what the pandemic is made of, how the peoples are dealing with it: all up for imagining.

What I'd like to do first is Mark Rosewater's white-board exercise: list any tropes from real-world or fictional pandemics and stories related to them.

Project Threads

FIGURES

PATHOLOGY

RESPONSES

MECHANICS

CARDS

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Last edited by Rush_Clasic on Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:09 pm, edited 25 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:55 pm 
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gotta have plague doctors.

:duel:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:21 pm 
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Patient zero.
Turn into zombies.
Contact tracing.
Airborne spread.
Natural immunities.
Vaccines.
Viral.
Cycle of animals that created the virus.
Herd immunity.
Quarantine.
Exponential growth.
Rats.
Bunkers.
Rations.
People are worse than the virus.
Safe havens.
Unlikely heroes.
Unlikely villains.
Unlikely groups of people: scientist, doctor, teacher, single parent with young child, police officer, high school senior, retired veteran, etc.
People forced into communities together.
Us vs. them.
Turning against your own.
Mutinies.
Riots.
Restructured society.
Recreating semblance of normalcy.
Fortifying walls.
Supply runs.
Death of innocent people.
Save the wealthy.
Community spread.
Misinformation.
Curfews.
Government orders.
Government experiment gone wrong.
Survival skills.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:22 pm 
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Profiteers like those who make money from panic, from fake cures, etc.
People hiding their infection.
Return to nature/rural life/simpler life.
Nature's reclamation.
Military and martial law.
Intentional self-infection.
Mutation or transformation.
Denial.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:17 am 
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masks
hospitals
mosquitos
social distancing
distance learning

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:22 pm 
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Keep throwing out tropes if you think of any, but let's move on to phase 2.

Magic Mechanics

Post any existing Magic mechanics and/or cards that make sense in a pandemic world. We'll use them to see what Magic has already done with this theme and as possible inspiration for our setting.

I'll start use off with the easiest ones: poison, poison, poison!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:01 pm 
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I mean, proliferate, but that was already used in a pandemic-themed set so your call if you want to just do that again.

:duel:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:23 pm 
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rat offering

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:37 pm 
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List of Mechanics:
  • Transform
  • Deathtouch
  • Fading / Vanishing
  • Haunt
  • Infect
  • Poisonous
  • Recover
  • Scavenge
  • Splice
  • Transfigure
  • Undying / Persist
  • Wither
  • Emerge
  • Morbid

**Bolded the ones I like best.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:53 pm 
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Mown made a good mechanic a while ago called Impart, that I think is a more interesting version of Haunt, and would be a good fit here:

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=26099

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:40 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:49 pm 
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razorborne wrote:
I mean, proliferate, but that was already used in a pandemic-themed set so your call if you want to just do that again.

:duel:

Going into this, I wasn't thinking about Scars of Mirrodin at all, but it really is the prototype for the goal at hand. Maybe it'll be the Invasion to our Ravnica.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:18 am 
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I think it would be interesting if we used something besides -1/-1 counters or even a Phyrexian invasion to represent the plague.

The haunt concept is interesting to me. What about something that triggers on death and stacks (maybe similar to mutate) unless the chain is broken (you don't have a creature on board).

The first creature that does makes you lose one life and attaches to another creature you control. When that creature dies, you lose two life and attach both creatures to a creature you control. Etc.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 3:27 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:03 pm 
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Cherry picking a few "plague" cards that I think get the idea across.

Engineered Plague
Spreading Plague
Endemic Plague
Krovikan Plague
Spreading Plague
Traveling Plague
Necrotic Plague

Which brings me to a classic card that's not a "Plague" but gets the idea, and its relatives

Takklemaggot
Nettlevine Blight

A proper "Plague" must strike a community, not a single target. If there's an idea of "infection spreading from a source", as with the auras in these lists, that's a plus.


Also, how has no one mentioned Germ tokens? Even if we don't remake Living Weapon, we should have Germ Tokens. They can provide a base for an attached card (as per Living Weapon, which could be extended to certain auras) or on their own provide an instantaneous death trigger... unless they get some global boost. I know we shouldn't be designing cards yet, but I have a spitball

Infected Dead
:1::b:
Enchantment
Whenever a nontoken creature dies, create a 0/0 Black Germ creature token.

So even if we don't use the Living Weapon mechanic that Germ Tokens are currently tied to, I think we should use Germ Tokens somehow and somewhere. We could make Germs as fairly cheap riders (like the "lose 1 life" rider on NPH cards like Vapor Snag), and then have Germ Tribal (especially "whenever a germ dies" so we don't have to boost toughness all the time) effects that key off of them.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:45 am 
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I like the thought of creatures that make token copies of themselves when they deal combat damage to a player.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:40 pm 
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Phase 3: Story Development

What is the pandemic? What is it made of? Where did it come from? Does anyone even know? How do different colors interact with invasive threats? Throw out your ideas and we can start figuring out what this setting is really all about. I'll respond to the ideas already posted later when I have some more time to look through them.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 2:25 pm 
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I think for a fantasy Pandemic, the Disease is the Disease. Its source is unknown as are the details of its function (letting us have any "disease" card fit the Illness without worrying about particular pathology).

What is the Pandemic: It's a disease. It's lethal to normals, can't be trivially handled by magic (much like Powerstone Phthisis), and is capable of transmitting itself within and across communities, suggesting it has many kinds of Carrier (See also Carrier type. I would like us to have Carriers.) More importantly, what does the Pandemic do? I think the answer is "everything". It needs to cause people to waste away and die and it needs to create more visceral gribbly monsters. Side note: Stand Still, Stay Silent

What is it made of: Magic and/or Microbes. Probably And. Not counting any macroscopic forms, of course.

Where did it come from: This should be a mystery.

White: Cure and Quarantine
Blue: Research and Understand
Black: Spread and Profiteer
Red: Loner Survivalism and Opportunistic Anarchism
Green: General Survival and Survival of the Fittest

To me, this is :w::u: VERSUS :b::r::g:. White and Blue both want to preserve order, but have different ways of doing it. White is authoritarian and direct, blue is academic and indirect. Ultimately, blue forces rely on white forces to buy time and white on blue to provide a wincon. Black, Red, and Green are all essentially "Pro Illness". Black will use it as a weapon, infecting enemies and turning a profit on misery. Red won't help, they'll self isolate and back it up with ranged weapons for anyone who comes close -- the classic "Lone Wolf" survivor with a bunker full of guns is Red. On the other side, Red forces that can't go solo won't actively promote disease like black, but WILL still abuse the disruption it causes for their own ends. The order of the world is strained, they'll try to break it. Green is only concerned with living. Natural immunity, natural recovery, or accepting the illness and becoming horrible mutants. Naturally. Green is the Papa Nurgle faction here, especially since they'd reject the authoritarian side of white and the "wisdom" of blue.

:g: is the most plague-friendly color, assuming it's not maliciously created by dark forces (implying black). They like what's "natural" and also like community, which promotes spread. Green is Anti-Vax. :w: is the most plague-unfriendly color, it wants this aberration exterminated. These are two colors that are normally allies but they're huge enemies here.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 2:36 pm 
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White: Cure the virus / set rules and restrictions in place.
Blue: Learn more about and manipulate the virus.
Black: Weaponize with the virus for selfish gains.
Red: Disregard the virus / live life to the fullest.
Green: Acknowledge the role the virus has in the cycle of life/death.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:14 pm 
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What is the pandemic?
A wasting disease that causes its hosts to act erratically. They get feverish and restless, some get violent, others become manic.

What is it made of?
bloodborne parasites.

Where did it come from?
Deep in the jungles of the northern continent, where the diviners located the adamantium deposits. (Source of indestructible effects) The miners communicated the disease back to the mainland.

Does anyone even know?
The elves native to the jungle have ways of controlling the effects of the disease on its hosts, but they aren't aware of the source.

How do different colors interact with invasive threats?
Disease effects: Haste, +1/+1, attacks each turn if able, blocks this turn if able
Green: Elves use it as part biological warfare, part combat drug. They raid the adamantium mines and caravans for trespassing in their territory and taking resources.
Red: Miners, rebellious elements of society using the plague to grasp for power. Have taken over several cities
Black: Death cultists spreading the plague intentionally, raising dead to build an army to overthrow the kingdom
Blue: Ivory tower isolationists, islander cities. Some are studying the parasites, trying to figure out how to cure and/or modify them. Enforces quarantines at docks, but smugglers have been taking advantage of the reduced trade, and may have begun infecting the islands.
White: Law abiding citizens and government, with draconian and not completely effective measures to stop the spread. Plague doctor inquisition to ferret out typhoid mary individuals.

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