In my earlier entry, I wrote a bit about the states and classes so far. Finishing the smiths, and rounding out the classes of the Wands suit is a significant milestone. It sets some precedents, and gives us the feeling that we’ve completed one corner of a still-greater puzzle. Here’s a question: what comes next?

As I said, the Wands classes represent one corner of a puzzle. Clearly, the classes of Swords, Cups, and Coins should follow. I’ll agree that with Wands down, the task of rounding out the rest of the suits seems a lot less daunting, but it also calls into question, again, what the classes are supposed to represent.

On the topic of block puzzles … it’s my assertion that if you dress up the blocks, give them a name and a history, the players will create their own stories from those blocks, and you’ll have achieved your goal of a creative storytelling game. It’s about more than colors, though, even LEGO doesn’t make every shape available in every color.

You have to create certain expectations for the players. Certain shapes have to be available in a range of sizes and colors. You bundle them in packages of spaceship models or firefighter kits, and you foster those expectations. Players will recognize familiar patterns and create their own associations accordingly.

Once you’ve established certain patterns, you can open things up to a certain amount of self-parody, and subverting your audience’s expectations. First, you have to have a basic set, a foundation upon which to build. I’m talking about the LEGO of roleplaying games, the LEGO of customizable card games. Basic. Colorful. Evocative.

Character classes create expectations, but I want a character class to represent one aspect of a block. Let’s say it’s the shape of the block. A character role represents the size of the block. The state represents the color of the block. The character’s mode (as of yet, unexplained and explored) is yet another feature.

Then, of course, once the blocks are defined, there’s a question of what the holes look like. The challenges, in other words. Once you have the blocks defined, it should be a simple matter of defining where they fit, right? I’m not really sure about that. I think you need a combination of “the right pieces for the wrong puzzle.”