Because I am an incorrigible freak, I got to thinking about turn structure and how it may have associated “tragedy” structure. In my last post, I used the term “restoration” to refer to the cleansing or regaining of whatever may have been lost at the end of the story, and so I thought of the Restoration player power.

My thought process went kind of like this: “let’s say Restoration is the fourth part of a four-part turn. The player can choose the order of events, but Restoration is always last. What are the other three parts of a turn’s story?” I specifically didn’t answer that question in my head because I wanted to make a blog post out of my answer.

Development and Divination are powers that don’t directly cost the player much in the short term, except the potential loss of material in the case of a botched Development, and the empowerment of one’s opponents with Divination. Again, of the two, the only direct cost to the player is a mere possibility.

There are three more powers that may be used on the player’s turn, and as with Development and Divination, they may be used in any order, and potentially against any target (including the active player themselves). To put it bluntly, there are five things for a player to do, in any order, to direct the events of their turn.

In fact, apart from limited powers (Development, Divination, and Restoration), up to three of those powers (Sponsorship, Banishment, and Depletion) are available for the player to be repeat as many times as they have resources to perform them. Players other than the active player may also act, through Forfeiture and Intercession.

With the right empathy toward the cards in play, a sense of tragedy about the events of a player’s turn can create a very real story in the minds of the players. A logical connection between the characters in play and the events as they unfold can transform mundane player actions into meaningful conflicts between persons.

And at the end of a player’s turn, they are allowed to wash their hands of the events that transpired by recycling the characters, events, and so forth, back into their deck to begin the next player’s turn anew. Some cards are “lost forever” in exile from the game, and perhaps the players feel the loss. Perhaps.