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Joined: Apr 27, 2006

Location: Japan

Silent Hill-based MTG set

Post by Lain on Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:32 am

So i've officially started working on my Silent Hill-themed Magic: The Gathering set, with the first three cards being the exciting Health Drink, First-Aid Kit and Ampoule. :lol:

I figured I'd start with the simple stuff, and what could be simpler than health-restoring items? Here they are:

(Actual card renders will follow eventually. Currently working on a gov't computer though, so text-only for the time being)

Health Drink [;1]
Artifact [Common]
T, Sacrifice Health Drink: Regenerate target creature with toughness 3 or less. Draw two card.

First-Aid Kit [;1]
Artifact [Uncommon]
T, Sacrifice First-Aid Kit: Regenerate target creature with toughness 4 or greater. Draw a card.

Ampoule [;1][;1]
Artifact [Rare]
T, Sacrifice Ampoule: Regenerate target creature. You gain life equal to that creature's toughness.

Well... it turns out it wasn't as clear-cut as it seems it should be. I could've had them just restore life to you the player, but that's a bit uninspired. Rather, I decided that they should restore your creatures... since your creatures could consist of game characters who use those items in-game, such as James or Harry.

But in Magic, damage isn't persistent between turns... it either kills a creature the turn it's inflicted or it doesn't and it goes away. So how then am I supposed to represent "healing" a creature? I could make a -1/-1 counter subtheme for the set, and have these items remove -1/-1 counters... but I don't really feel like opening that can of worms. For now, anyway. So I settled on having the health items regenerate a creature.

But that raises new questions... like how to differentiate the health items from one another. Regenerate completely negates damage that would destroy a creature, so how do I mechanically showcase the different strengths of the different healing items? Well, I settled on making their regenerate effects only conditionally useable... Health Drink only regenerates creatures with toughness 3 or lower, First-Aid Kit only regenerates creatures with toughness 4 or higher (a little bit awkward that it can't heal lower-toughness creatures, but mechanics trump flavor), and the Ampoule can regenerate any creature.

The ampoule sounds like it's simply better than the other two, but it's not so clear-cut... in addition to the fact that the Ampoule will be slightly more expensive to cast, all three items have secondary effects to go along with the regeneration. For the Ampoule, the player gains life equal to the regenerated creature's toughness when you use it. This is to further showcase the exceptionally strong healing properties of it. But what the other two items lack in strength, they make up for by being much easier to find... this is represented by their secondary effect, card draw. When you use a First-Aid Kit, you also get to draw a card. When you use a Health Drink, you get to draw two cards.

One last mechanic is also tied to flavor... the Phyrexian mana in the casting cost of these items. The Health Drink and First-Aid Kit both cost 1 colorless Phyrexian mana to cast... that means you can pay 1 mana of any color to cast it, or you can optionally pay 2 life to cast it instead of using mana. This is to represent the fact that you might get injured going out of your way to find these items. The ampoule costs 2 colorless Phyrexian mana because, in addition to being stronger than the other two, it's also more difficult to find.

I'm not going to do in-depth explanations of each and every single card I design for this set, but I figured I'd give you some insight into how these first few cards were designed rather than simply post the card's rules text. Plus I figured it'd help non-Magic players grasp the flavor of the designs without having to be familiar with how Magic plays.

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