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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:02 pm 
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Hey, y'all! I actually just wanted to try writing a world building guide like how I'd imagine it'd be behind the scenes (minus the actual important art description part :( ). I'd decided to start easy with world building for a return set. Afterwards, I'd try out writing out an exploratory design document about intended mechanics and limited game play. There's a retcon going on with the setting (giving Kamigawa an ocean), but the reasoning is more for design reasons than just expanding flavor options. So that will be discussed more with the exploratory design (if I get there). I don't really intend to make the set, I just wanted to try the writing part of the beginning that coalesces ideas so that multiple people can work on it (instead of the ideas just being willy-nilly in my head).

I've started with general setting, but I haven't fleshed out any new characters, or written out race profiles. Feedback is appreciated.

EDIT: For those who saw the Evan Erwin twitter post, there was a slight miscommunication. I was inspired by another fan's commission of the map to actually make a set. I didn't commission it myself.

Worldbuilding Guide

Spoiler


The set so far.

Initial story plan

Planesculptors Link


Last edited by Monobluegruul on Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:14 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:12 pm 
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Just some things to keep in mind:
- Kaseto, Orochi Archmage and Silent-Blade Oni are believed to be from present day Kamigawa.
- Tamiyo has an adorable family with an adopted Nezumi rat-boy.

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You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in an thread with GM_Champion" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against AzureShade when card design is on the line!"


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:36 pm 
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AzureShade wrote:
Just some things to keep in mind:
- Kaseto, Orochi Archmage and Silent-Blade Oni are believed to be from present day Kamigawa.
- Tamiyo has an adorable family with an adopted Nezumi rat-boy.


Yup, definitely keeping those in mind. I'm trying to establish a link between Minamo and the Sakura-Tribe. The Oni, I'm less focused on, but there can be tweaks to the Okiba-gang or Mirenshi.

Tamiyo is both a field researcher and a planeswalker. She's a bit more adept with dealing with outsiders than the average soratami. I'm trying to find a nice bridge between the old culture of moonfolk and the image presented in "Release" that can also be used to allow for conflict if needed. I haven't even tried to make a story for the block. I'm just trying to give pieces to allow for one and possibly a few side stories.




Since, I've taken a small break from writing all that jazz in the opener, I'll give a few more details on the plan to make Kamigawa more audience friendly.

1. Spirits were the original BfZ Eldrazi issue. A few are fine, but half a block is too many. So, I'd first cut down kami to just white, black and green. On top of that, they won't be half of those colors.

2. Cutting back on spirits will cause a creature size void, particularly with large size creatures. The first publicly known Japanese big creature that comes to mind is Godzilla. Kamigawa has a lot of obscure lore, so I'm not going to skip over something that iconic for people to grab onto.

3. Part of the imagery of Godzilla is the rising out of the ocean. A lot of Japan's identity and mythology comes from being an island. Adding an ocean just adds a lot of resonance and potential lore. Of course, I also need to have a reason for people to see Kaiju at sea. Since I'm not adding new continents, there's little cause to make navies. That leaves coastal raiders (Pirates) as the best option for combat sailors.

4. For more resonance, I'd need something that (a) is known as being Japanese and (b) doesn't have much of a stigma. The best thing I can think of is psychological horror. A sense of dread is not only something Westerners can expect the Japanese to do well, it also makes good use of the unknown quality from the original Kamigawa. While I don't want to play this up to Innistrad levels, I want the option to use horror if the flavor of a card might be too obscure. I must stress that I can't rely on this too much, but it'll be a way to not completely ignore the aims of the flavor of the original Kamigawa. I tried to plan a means of horror in every faction to make it easier with those needed-mechanically-but-there's-no-easy-flavor cards since a lot of mechanics got tied to flavor in the original.

5. Emphasize political disharmony. Besides Game of Thrones being popular, there needs to be something for those who aren't excited by Japanese things. Original Kamigawa managed a lot of different factions in the mortal half of the creatures. It'll be good to flesh them out a bit more. Hopefully many could showcase different aspects of Japanese culture and history.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:56 pm 
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Latest Cockatrice edit: LKW 5.0
Overall, set resources: RTK, LKW 1-5


I tested out if I made a set, how much flavor text I'd need. I went a bit overboard, so there's some flavor text pruning that needs to happen. (Card designwise, I just stole from Kamigawa redesigns I had in the past, so commons are decently curated, uncommons considerably less so and rares/mythics are just slapped in).

There a some slight edits from the image posts to the spoilers. Spoilers are the up to date part, as the images are for seeing how I crammed the text boxes too full with flavor text.

White

Spoiler


Blue

Spoiler


Black

Spoiler


Red

Spoiler


Green

Spoiler


Multicolor

Spoiler


Artifacts

Spoiler


Lands

Spoiler



I'm having a bit frustrasted after Imgur didn't cooperate as nicely as I'd like, so I'll take a breather before typing things up.

I think I might have accidentally come up with a plot as well.


Last edited by Monobluegruul on Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:53 pm, edited 21 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:44 pm 
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When I've referenced current Kamigawa on random game thread cards, I have referenced enemy-color cultures:

  • Red-white ronin warlords, ranging through the plains and mountains, rising from the collapse of Eiganjo and the Daimyo's samurai system. They fight over the borders of their small fiefdoms in honor duels and skirmishes.
  • Blue-red wandering scholar-monks who seek to learn from diverse peoples and share knowledge. There is a culture of communal learning and humility, seeing the fall of Eiganjo, the destruction of Minamo, and the humbling of the soratami as the three lessons of arrogance. The ruins of Minamo remain as a grave monument.
  • Green-blue orochi who have taken on the work of communion with the kami and understanding of the world. Although kami worship continues everywhere, orochi are no longer completely hidden and often work as local shamans, while secret orders watch to prevent future breaches of sacred law.
  • White-black organization, the Hyozan Reckoners, have taken over much of the mercantile economy since civilization was wrecked by the Great Kami War. Though no longer the dangerous, exclusive organization of lore, the Reckoners are known for their lethal code of loyalty.

I don't remember if I came up with a black-green culture. Maybe it was sometimes the orochi?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:24 am 
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neru wrote:
When I've referenced current Kamigawa on random game thread cards, I have referenced enemy-color cultures:

  • Red-white ronin warlords, ranging through the plains and mountains, rising from the collapse of Eiganjo and the Daimyo's samurai system. They fight over the borders of their small fiefdoms in honor duels and skirmishes.
  • Blue-red wandering scholar-monks who seek to learn from diverse peoples and share knowledge. There is a culture of communal learning and humility, seeing the fall of Eiganjo, the destruction of Minamo, and the humbling of the soratami as the three lessons of arrogance. The ruins of Minamo remain as a grave monument.
  • Green-blue orochi who have taken on the work of communion with the kami and understanding of the world. Although kami worship continues everywhere, orochi are no longer completely hidden and often work as local shamans, while secret orders watch to prevent future breaches of sacred law.
  • White-black organization, the Hyozan Reckoners, have taken over much of the mercantile economy since civilization was wrecked by the Great Kami War. Though no longer the dangerous, exclusive organization of lore, the Reckoners are known for their lethal code of loyalty.

I don't remember if I came up with a black-green culture. Maybe it was sometimes the orochi?


As much I would like to use some (mostly the WB mercantile guild), it seems the world's quite full as it is. As much as I'd like to evolve the world to new civilizations, since there's a good chance a good chunk of Kamigawa's mechanics will be thrown out, I'd want it to be recognizable as Kamigawa somehow. It's unrealistic with the time frame, but it also seems to WotC's way to do things as well. Plus, I'd like to explore how the original civilizations would have functioned when the structure of the world wasn't fundamentally out of wack. I pretty much only added UR pirates and GU Kaiju to cut off spirits from UR, and let green and blue have some more non-Spirit fatties (Since I didn't want to do as many fatty cycles, I could see red could still get dragons, black demons, and white theoretically Kirins. Part of the goal is also to slightly raise resonance, and Hydras and Sphinxes would mess with that. While green still gets nature spirits, they'd be in their non-angry forms. Black spirits would resemble the girl in *The Ring*. White Reito spirits would be in denial about their death and want to look as human as possible.).

General story idea for those interested:
Spoiler


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:51 pm 
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I made a few edits to cards, because my set editing feels were getting annoying.

Budoka Ranger went from a 1/1 to a 0/1. Fetchlands were just a throw in dual land cycle (cause, hey, fetchlands sell sets). Add in strong Auras and Fudaiju Temple, and the ranger had a touch too much going for it. Green purposely didn't have much going for it as a balls-to-the-walls aggro color on purpose, and Ranger being able to five for five on turn two was bit much. At four I'm fine, since it adds a whole turn to the fetch-land-every-turn single-card clock.

Constricting Kaiju got a slight tweak. It can only target opponent's creatures, but also prevents that creatures from blocking the octopus. The fatties were feeling a bit weak (The set really promotes shenanigans that make it take a while to get to big mana, so I didn't push them), but the octopus had felt extra underwhelming to me.

Empress Kimiko went from to .

I removed the tribal restrictions on Yajiro, Wokou Captain's and Orochi Eulogist's triggered abilities. The snake's static ability still only affects Snakes. There doesn't feel like there's enough oomph for the Snake tribal, and the ability plays better with some other strategies any way. For Yajiro, the land-sac deck wants as many payoff cards as possible. While he could always target himself, it wasn't a mandatory theme for pirates (red ones possibly, but it's not as supported with the blue ones). With that, the Captain goes from a 2/3 to a 2/1.

Destructive Momentum now provides +2/+0 for each land card in the graveyard when attacking. Again, from a few play through games, the land sac deck has a surprising amount of resilience despite its reckless theme. Ultimately, it needs a few cards to finish a game when it gets the chance to re-stabilize, and the Aura had been underwhelming. The life gain and landfall decks leave themselves in better positions when initially blown out, so they don't need as much help. Tumbling Avalanche would be too good if it hit players, and Uji-Uji is already insane (She actually can allow you to slow down and play a value game, so I like her. Though fetchlands are a bit silly.).

Okiba-Gang Saboteur looked too similar to Okiba-Gang Initiate with the same mana cost and Ninjutsu cost. Saboteur was switched to a mana cost and a Ninjutsu cost. When I tried a mill deck, the issue with Ninjutsuing in Saboteur was actually that it couldn't block the turn it entered the battlefield. The mill deck was more of a retrace value deck and rarely wanted to attack with the Saboteur anyway.

Divine's Chosen's text was updated to match Platinum Angel's text, and prevents opponents from winning the game as well.

Also, I removed the Imgur links. I'm ashamed of my poor grammar, and there's enough changes that they don't all match up with their cards anymore. Other random thought: I wanna swap out Hero's Downfall, but I like that I have exactly 1/3 reprints at the moment and I don't want to try to find a better card for the slot.

Attached my testing file for Cockatrice if anyone actually wants to play around with stuff. There's also the stuff to add to TK attached too for tokens (The only new token is the Samurai token. I assigned pictures of old tokens for the rest)


Attachments:
File comment: TK custom token addition
RTK-TK.txt [2.38 KiB]
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File comment: RTK cockatrice testing file
RTK.xml [81.82 KiB]
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:42 pm 
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More balancing

The Judgment cycle was apparently quite strong. They all had tagged to their activated abilities and lost indestructible. I really only played the white one, but it was better than I initially hoped, especially with Sunbond. White one now specifies nonland. Black one now just does Aether Snap to stop overlapping with Silent-Blade Oni.

Enforcer of the Delusion is now a 5/5 to give a another finisher option to the white Judgment.

Cage of Hands is now Arrest. Hero's Downfall is now Languish to give the set an earlier sweeper, as Enforcer really can't be put at cmc five with a straight face.

Kitune Sage no longer specifies that the Aura it brings in must attach to the Sage. (This is from before I removed indestructible from the judgments and was more worried about the blue Judgment) Likewise, Okina Sensei just forgoes casting for free and plops the Aura onto the battlefield.

Kodama of the East Tree is now a 3/5 mythic.

Kodama of the West Tree is scrapped to give a story character a card, Setsuko. This frees up Predatory Kaiju to just use a fight landfall trigger instead of the pseudo provoke. Likewise, Empress's Confidant and Minamo Apprentice are now Nori, Empress's Confidant and Chieko, Daring Headmaster.

Uji-Uji is now a 0/1. It doesn't stop her from doing her crazy stuff, but now she dies to everything.

Seedsower is renamed to Fallow Curator, because reasons. Mouring Monk is Mindful Monk.

Orochi Outcast's ETB is now a you may ability.

Kitsune General now only triggers once when you attack, and that singular trigger gains life equal to the number of attacking creatures. The previous ability was a bit much for life gain triggers.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that Lens Through the Veil is now Journeyer's Kite.

For the Cocktrice list, I did some minor edits for apostrophes in card names, and mana in card texts. It should make easier if anyone every wants to make cards images.


Attachments:
File comment: Updated Cockatrice file
RTK1.01.xml [81.92 KiB]
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:47 pm 
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Some updates coming: Judgments have indestructible again, but cost more and are legendary. Black one now only affects opponents' stuff. Dead Weight is out and replaced with a Midnight Covenant with flash. The fetches and uncommon lands are now switched around in a way that isn't ally/enemy. Fetches are WB, UR, BR, GU and GW. Uncommon lands are WU, UB, BG (Lush Vestige), RW (Artisan's Forge) and RG. Atsushi now has added to the ninjutsu cost, but now allows you cast any cards in your graveyard as if they had retrace instead of just blue/black. I feel as if more edits are coming, so I'll wait on posting a new cockatrice update (I'll also update the main spoiler at that time).

Some current testing decks:

GUb Moonfolk:
Spoiler


GW Spirits
Spoiler


BR Demon Oges
Spoiler


Monoblack Demons
Spoiler


RW Samurai
Spoiler


UB Mill Control
Spoiler


GW Fox Life
Spoiler


Monored Goblins
Spoiler


I'm getting a feel for the control decks and more intricate 3+ color decks (like the Gifts Ungiven reanimator deck).

Edit: I'd known Devout Spiritualist was very strong, and could snowball quickly. It's now a 0/3 to ensure that it needs help to get started. It might become legendary later due to power concerns, but there are other knobs I'm also looking at for it (Though I haven't tested it, I think Chieko is in a similar boat).

The Octopus has changed yet again. This time serving a permanent Dungeon Geists tap to a target creature an opponent controls. Setsuko's ability is now a cost (and it might still be too strong).

Blue Judgment now has Flash instead of Hexproof, so now people might have more times where they might want to use his bounce on himself.

Seaquake Kaijin now has hexproof instead.

Whirleye Shinobi now cost to Ninjutsu. It turns out that getting hit by a Whirleye on turn two followed up by Spectral Flight makes it hard to develop a board as you get Disperse thrown at you every turn. Especially with Sakashima's Student to make it more likely that a second Whirleye could join the fray.

Winter Rose Kami's Spiritcraft ability is changed to match the wording on Kitsune General.

Atsushi, the Shadowblade is now Atsushi, Night's Memory to not be as close to Shadowblayde.

Inquisitive Wokou was meant to resemble Quirion Ranger. Now she too can only be activated once per turn. She's still ubiquitous to a good chunk of decks, but she doesn't dominate games. She's just has good synergy in Monoblue Moonfolk, UB Ninjutsu, GU Landfall, UR "lands leave the battlefield," WU "fewer lands," or any blue Retrace decks (mill, reanimator, control, prowess...)... so everywhere essentially. Now at least, she doesn't go infinite with Sakura-Tribe Scout and Akagi Port.

In other news, Sakura-Tribe Scout, Lotus Cobra + Fetchlands causes some rather swingy ramp. With Scout, Cobra, five lands that don't enter the battlefield tapped (and three of them being fetchlands) means you can cast the ten mana Ikari on turn three. And Path to Exile might be the worst removal spell ever against him, but I need to brush up on the rules about that. The set format can be quite quick, so I had feared the Kaiju would be underwhelming, since you might not get to play them in time. But it doesn't seem to necessarily be the case. Oh, I might need to test Splendid Reclamation with Cobra and fetches...

Oddly enough, it isn't hard for other strategies to get to seven power in combat, so it's not too bad that Ikari can come out quickly (Like Eigan Veteran with a counter + Samurai's Kodachi, Yamabushi Adept with an Aura or a few cheap spell, etc. So it's actually better to have a few other Kaiju as well, like Predatory, Constricting or a Judgment to help take out the built up threats, and Ikari is just the inevitability factor that shrugs off decks relying mostly on removal.)

The common land cycle is quite strong (black might be the weakest). I fear I might have to tinker with them in the future. I'm also tempted to edit Kashi-Tribe Striker, but it hasn't been too oppressive the times I played it.


Attachments:
File comment: Cockatrice update
RTK1.02.xml [82.22 KiB]
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:14 pm 
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Ugh

For changes this go around, I didn't forgot the Commune with Lava timing for impulse draw is different than normal. I had been using the normal must-be-played-that-turn version. As such, she get "nerfed" to the normal version that I had actually been playtesting it as.

Exchange in Blood now doesn't target for the Raise Dead part and is voluntary. I didn't want people unable to cast it when they need the removal (and they will need it).

Pestermite Kami is renamed Pestertick Kami.

Wicker Wisp is now a 1/4 flier to give white a natural uncommon flier.

I added to Mirenshi Researcher's mana cost.

As an experiment, I'm changing Untaidake Inquirer to a 0/7. Spikeshot Goblin was very good in limited in the past. Adding prowess with raising the mana cost should be similarly good. Making it so you have to work to make it have non-zero power (however minor the effort may be) should be more interesting. If you don't have the means, it's a good wall. The issue is to see how the hike up in durability compares to the drop in consistent pinging.

In other news, I added some placeholder art in order to make the set pretty for testing limited on http://www.planesculptors.net/. However, I leaned pretty heavily on reusing old art on the reprints, and when I was about to click to make the set public, it mentioned that the site didn't like using official art for cards. As such, if I want to make the set public, I should change the art for 40 cards. Considering I had to scrape the barrel to mind somewhat fitting art for moonfolk, akki, etc, I don't think it's an easy fix. I already want to swap out Soratami Healer's art immediately. In the spirit of the site's rules, I won't directly link the set's page here, but I'll give the link to anyone who can't figure it out and sends me a pm.

That being said, since planesculptors already had a Return to Kamigawa, the set is renamed there as Legacy of the Kami War. Also all the images are up on my google drive here. As such, there are two cockatrice files (I tested the tokens and they can be just on the set xmls). The NOLOAD version is similar to what I've putting up. You need to grab the images and put them in the /Cockatrice/pics/CUSTOM folder (There's a zip file in the downloads section on the google drive link). The AUTOLOAD will automatically download the images from a secret imgur link when you look at them in cockatrice and put them in a /Cockatrice/pics/downloadedPics/LKW folder.

List of offenders:
Spoiler


EDIT: There was a lazy option all along! I just removed the art on the offending cards (plus planeswalkers to help legibility). Here be the linkage.


Attachments:
File comment: Cockatrice file that will automatically load images to a /LKW/ folder in /downloadedPics/
LegacyofthekamiwarAUTOLOAD.xml [94.54 KiB]
Downloaded 93 times
File comment: Cockatrice file where you'll need to download images separately and put them in the custom images folder.
LegacyofthekamiwarNOLOAD.xml [99.36 KiB]
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:42 pm 
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Big(ger) changes are coming. I'll edit this post later when I'm ready to give out an update, but I don't want to forget to mention the all the changes. So I'm posting the first few.

Sealed is thankfully more grindy than I thought. Everyone having strong removal helps stop things from getting too out of hand.

Current notes:
Spoiler


Whew... more to come.

EDIT: Actual Changes

Spoiler


Updated Planesculptor's page. Hopefully, the set is finally ready for drafting. I replaced a lot of art (getting rid of printed card art). Zip file for art is Here.

For the Autoload Cockatrice file, remember to delete the old /LKW/ folder in your /pics/downloadedPics/ folder.


Attachments:
File comment: No load, need to download images separately
LKWv2 NOLOAD.xml [99.95 KiB]
Downloaded 58 times
File comment: Autoload, delete old LKW folder to download new art.
LKWv2 AUTOLOAD.xml [95.09 KiB]
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:32 am 
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There's flavor text typos on Drown in Sorrow and Chieko, Daring Headmaster. Amulet of Vigor also accidentally has Mesmeric Orb's rules text. There are fixes to the cockatrice files (and images) stored here.

I'm planning to wait a week before uploading more changes on Planesculptors and changing the cockatrice files. I will probably giving notes on changes with the mse file here.

NWO has gotten lost with a lot of tweaks. I'll be looking for more spots to simplify commons. Black ninja combat trigger suggestions are welcome.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:18 pm 
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Slight tweaks going toward NWO, but there's a long way to go to cut down on word count. Ninjutsu and Retrace just aren't NWO friendly. If you squint you might call the set at about 20% redflagged, but it's probably closer to 30%. It really depends on things like if Ninja's combat damage trigger (not the effect part) can be assumed to be part of Ninjutsuness or if the Soaring Seacliff cycle gets redflagged (I'd assume a land at common that taps for a specific color would enter the battlefield tapped).

I also trimmed a lot of flavor text. Also I am sadly at 82 reprints, but I might replace Lantern Heirloom with Prophetic Prism (...Or, for a more drastic move, take out Ganzan Pass with Teetering Peaks and rename the other parts of the cycle... or swap in Gift of Estates or...).

Change log:

Spoiler


Cockatrice files are attached. Image files are here. Planesculptors page is also updated for draft play testing.

EDIT: Ugh... Just when I thought I caught all the errors. Mortify should be an instant.
Also, Mirenshi Researcher should've only been an ETB... oops. Considering how I've been play testing, it'd be rough to use.
And, most horrifying, Kami of Lost Trinkets is missing a period in the flavor text.
Oh well, that's fixes for the next round. Except Mortify. I've fixed that in the cockatrice files.

EDIT again: While I'm at it I might as well mention that to help test lower rarity stuff and rares that looked less appealing to me, I did a little "Intro deck" build with decks with 2 relatively "non-money" rares and 12 uncommons in each 10-color pair with a ton of 1-ofs to see how things worked. I'm adding the deck lists for funsies. There's obviously going to be overlap due to the nature of making ten decks where in the past it was about per set.

Spoiler


Attachments:
LKWv4 NOLOAD.xml [100.73 KiB]
Downloaded 80 times
LKWv4 AUTOLOAD.xml [95.99 KiB]
Downloaded 101 times


Last edited by Monobluegruul on Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:48 pm 
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I've found myself happy with the set so far and not changing anything. As such, there are few changes for this update, only polish for the most part. The upcoming week has some family stuff that could potentially pull me off of this for a while, so I'm calling it quits for now. It's still slightly on the complex side, but I like it right now.

Changes:
Mindful Monk is a 2/2.
Otawara Researcher's bounce/exile effect now only affects other permanents.
Mirenshi Researcher now only tutors on ETB.
Fallow Curator now says "to the battlefield tapped under your control."
Kudzu Kami is now a 6/6.
Mortify is now properly listed as an instant.
Unpaid Dues specifies "equal to the exiled card's converted mana cost"

Card images and everything are here. Planesculptor's Page


Attachments:
LKWv5 NOLOAD.xml [100.75 KiB]
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LKWv5 AUTOLOAD.xml [96 KiB]
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