I’ve entered a phase of the design process I haven’t seen for a couple years — the last time was right around Anime Expo 2008, I believe — where I actually have a solid enough grasp of the rules I’ve created to start supplementing them with additional rules.

Three years ago, I was designing a game that was could reasonably be mistaken for a modification of Dungeons & Dragons, using ability scores, skills, and feats, just like Third and Fourth Edition. What I’m working on now is a lot more like Magic than D&D, with its keyword mechanics and effect timing for interrupts and reactions.

Before, I was excited when I devised a great new feat that could be used to expand a single, otherwise normal ability into something more devious and competitive. Now, I’m excited by the prospect of creating networks of interlocking and overlapping abilities that complement and contradict one another. I think it’s a complexity thing.

There’s also some fun allusions to Ogre Battle that I hope to work into the first card set I design. One of the first card abilities I dreamed up was:
Large (While reserved, reduce your maximum Reserves by one.)

One obvious reason for this ability is to restrict the number of cards a player can have in their Reserves. Considering the requirements of the Forfeiture power (scroll down to find it), this limits a player’s ability to negate the forced exile of cards. From a sort of narrative perspective, this means you can have a couple heavy-hitter reserves, like griffons and giants, instead of a bunch of little reserves, like faeries and hobgoblins.

I’m going to use Large as an enabler for things like “trample,” “overrun,” and “siege” effects, but I’m also going to use it to enable things like chariots and mounts. Here’s a couple examples I thought of:

Trained Warhorse [Beast, Hippos, Mount]
Cohort (Can only be attached to a Persona. While attached, it grants its other keyword abilities to its target.)
Large (While reserved, reduce your maximum Reserves by one.)

When you sponsor this card, you may attach it to a knight for free. (Attached cards don’t count toward your reserve limit.)

So, when you first sponsor this card, if you have four or more cards in your Reserves, you’ll have to exhaust cards until you’re down to four (’cause Large cards reduce the number you can have in your Reserves). If you happen to have a knight in your Reserves, you can immediately attach the warhorse to it, but only if the knight is already in your Reserves, due to the wording of the card’s ability

“When you sponsor this card,” would occur during the process of sponsoring it. If you were to add a knight to your Reserves later, you wouldn’t be able to attach the “Trained Warhorse” using this ability, you’d need another ability. You also don’t necessarily have to attach the “Trained Warhorse” to a knight, as long as you have another card that enables it to be attached.

Now, as soon as you attach the “Trained Warhorse” to another reserve, it no longer counts toward your reserve limit, but based on the Cohort ability, any card the “Trained Warhorse” is attached to also becomes Large, so the reduction of your reserve limit remains in place. Based on the wording of the card, and the normal five-card reserve limit, you can only ever have two Large cards in your Reserves.

Isn’t that exciting! *snerk*