I had this weird idea, which started with the ongoing question, “what do you do with a drunken sailor? what do the characters do when they aren’t killing things?” and it piggybacked on the concept of Mana in Disgaea.

Mana is a secondary resource in Disgaea, acquired by defeating enemies during story missions, fighting through Item World, or in the Dark Assembly. Mana is used to recruit new characters (who basically amount to essentially “experience banks”), gain access to better equipment and new levels, and perform some other miscellaneous tasks.

Now, rather than creating a single assembly in The Catan Horror, there are at least four competing rulers (however unambitious they may be), plus any number of smaller factions that the players can influence. But the idea of using a secondary resource to enhance the players’ interactions is an attractive one, especially a universal resource.

I’ve been thinking about incorporating Magic’s Mana system into The Catan Horror, potentially as a method for creating missions, sidequests, and other shenanigans for the players to get up to throughout the game. To illustrate the idea, you could think of Mana as appearing and being collected from “draw points,” a la Final Fantasy 8.

Let’s say you’re asked by the local mage’s guild to procure the Mana required to summon a creature. You’re then handed a Magic card (it could be from a deck, or whatever), which amounts to a recipe or an ingredient list. This could well amount to your basic “fetch” quest in the game, whereby you seek Mana to complete a ritual.

The Settlers of Catan already has the necessary land types to represent different locations for gathering the Mana required: we’re talking clay pits for Black Mana, fields or hills for White Mana, woods for Green Mana, mountains for Red Mana, and … well, anywhere along the coast for Blue Mana.

If you’re wondering about the prevalence of White and Blue Mana as compared to the others, … well, don’t. Your character is hanging out in an area civilized by mortal humanoids (probably humans), and White and Blue Mana are the most plentiful in areas where mortal, humanoid civilizations typically thrive.