I worked on rules a little bit over the weekend. Rehashed some stuff, slashed some stuff. I simplified attack rules text, and block rules text, which is good. They’re supposed to be basic powers, and they need to be pretty basic. I think I finally figured out where to draw the line between the most basic defenses and the complex ones.

Evade and Absorb, which are the two most common defense types, make up more than half of all defensive tactics used by creatures, like, ever. I haven’t figured out exactly how to control how often the tactics come up, apart from making them incredibly easy to use, and by giving them lots of rules support. *shrug*

Anyway. I wanted to talk about lingering and ongoing effects, which I guess could all be referred to as “persistent” effects, which if you’re familiar with Magic jargon, are also related to “permanent” effects (lands, creatures, enchantments, et cetera), but we aren’t going to be so pretentious as to call them permanents.

Because we’re going to be doing awful things to them. *cue evil laughter*

See, I was working on the Guard and Rally powers. See, the former grants a bonus to defense that lasts until the start of the character’s next turn, and the latter grants a bonus to attack that lasts until the end of the character’s next turn. This is mostly to make sure that attack bonuses can be taken advantage of, but there’s the rub.

See, by creating that miniscule difference, there’s something else a player has to keep track of – does an effect last until the start of their turn, or the end of their turn? There’s a good bloody question. The way Magic does it, you get bonuses that last until the end of the current turn, or even until the end of the current phase.

There are benefits to creating differences like this – namely, that a solo character can use Rally now, and make use of the bonus until the end of their next turn. Otherwise, half of the power’s effect is useless to a player, since they can’t take advantage of the attack bonus. Still, that is part of the reason for dual effects. Not so bad?

Actually, I think I just answered my own question.

Honestly, that is the reason for dual effects. A power has an effect that is always useful, regardless of how it’s used – in this case, Guard enables a character to regain health and receive a defense bonus. Rally enables a character to remove an ongoing effect and receive an attack bonus. The strength is in the duality of the power.

I’m glad we had this conversation. *smiles*