Yesterday afternoon, cookiemonger and I sat down for my game’s first real playtest. She picked up the rules of the game quite quickly, and she beat me quite handily. Right now, the issue that’s on my mind is whether or not the active player should be allowed to play reactions on their own turn. My initial thinking was “yes, of course,” but after the playtest, I’m not so sure.

Since there’s technically no upper limit to the number of times the Intercession power may be used (a player may stake as much or as little of their Destiny as they like), if the active player is allowed to add to their own draw, things can quickly become ridiculous, and the game can turn into “War,” as cookiemonger put it.

Now, if one player is happy enough to intercede each and every time another player draws lot, they will wind up stopping quite a few extra draws from Divination, and stop every Banishment along the way. Every Intercession comes at a price. Each time a player intercedes, they put one or more cards from their Destiny into their Exhaust.

A particularly meddling or worrisome player can wind up exhausting their entire Destiny if they aren’t careful! There’s also the other small matter that they might well annoy the other player to an extent that they return the favor, quite ruthlessly. But that in itself might be a kind of strategy.

If I build the game such that reactions can only be used by the current inactive players, that leaves me with the room to make use of the full range of action types I’ve developed and their timing rules. Long ago, I designed an action system to make use of Standard, Sudden, Swift, Readied, Quick, and Instant action types.

The actions follow a strict hierarchy in terms of timing — Readied actions interrupt Standard actions, Quick actions interrupt Sudden actions (plus Standard and Readied), and Instant actions Swift actions (and everything else). You can see I’ve actually used “instantly” as terminology in the Sponsorship power, in anticipation of this sort of thing. It’s really important that no player has more than five cards in their Reserves.

I’ll have to think about it a little bit, but this should be a no-brainer. You should only be able to play “actions” on your own turn, and “reactions” during the turns of others.