Solving a design problem: Temporary deck

I’m working with multiple decks for my world.

There is a rituals deck that is always available and a curiosity deck that should only be available, say, one out of four actions.

Any ideas on how to accomplish this?

I’ve thought about adding a status counter, but I’m already counting every action on a rotation of 52 (every action is a week), so I’m loath to start bloating the system with more counters that I have to add to every single storylet.

Any ideas on how to be smarter about this?

[color=#009900]Can I ask a higher-level question - why do you want the Curiosity deck to have limited availability? For balance reasons, variety reasons? How specific is the 1/4?[/color]

Use a counter. People love them! Mini carousel inside a great carousel! Maybe make it flavour instead of just a counter. “Your curiosity wanes” “your curiosity is piqued!” "you atr burning with curiosity!’
edited by HanonO on 12/18/2012

Heh Hanon, carousels are great! Unfortunately that means I have to set yet another attribute on every single storylet I’m making. For a a projection of around 100 storylets, that will drive me slightly nuts ;)

Alexis, of course you may!

Here’s my thought process:
-The basic flow of the game is drawing and playing opportunity cards from the rituals deck
-The purpose of the curiosity deck is to give fun distractions
-I want people to be able to ignore the curiosity deck
-It would break the flow of the game if someone could quickly burn through the curiosity deck.

So my own solution was to have it available one out of four times (I’d possibly want to tweak that number).

My original thought was that it would appear 25% of the time, but then I didn’t think the engine would support it.

If I could add, say, an automatic countdown whenever any storylet is played, that would immediately solve my problem. I wouldn’t have to edit each storylet branch to include this carousel, rather I’d add a ‘curiosity is 0’ requirement to the curiosity deck storylets.

[color=#009900]The reason to have a different deck is generally so there’s a decision how to spend limited resources - i.e., actions. If you can’t spend the resources 3/4 of the time, a deck might not be the right approach. Of course, you may have other reasons for wanting it as a deck, or you might like the idea of a deck thematically, and so on - but here are some alternatives.[/color]
[color=#009900]- Use a quality which has other purposes, and which ends up high enough to unlock the Curiosity deck around 25% of the time (e.g., Exotic Resources at 10 or better). So not just a counter - rather, another ingredient in the design brew. (NB unless you’re eligible for at least one card in a deck, it won’t appear.)[/color]
[color=#009900]- Just mix in the Curiosity cards with the Ritual cards at a ratio of 1:3.[/color]
[color=#009900]- Add Curiosity branches with a high resource cost, rather than Curiosity cards.[/color]
[color=#009900]- Attach Curiosity cards to the end of high-resource-cost branches on Ritual cards (<–not currently possible but just might be by Christmas…)[/color]

Alexis has the best suggestions. Another is to create a “Burning Curiosity!” quality which is required for your rare deck to show up. Create a “Curiosity Tweak!” card for your main deck with a branch to turn on the quality and copy it a few times to make it appear statistically as often as you want. The card will appear on occasion and allow the player to flip the Rare Curiosity deck on. Create similar cards in your rare curiosity deck to also turn the quality off to remove it from play. The player can draw the rare cards till they get three non-discardable “deck goes away” cards.

Alternately, make these quality flipping cards “must” cards. That might have the effect that the deck shows up on a draw and then goes right away the first time the player tries to get a card from it, but this could be a neat effect…theme it as the deck is tricking them by “phasing” in and out. You could make these cards persistent or not, which would have the effect that cards flip out of the deck and can be used after it disappears.

Making this many cards sounds like a chore, but it’s not. You just make one and clone it as many times as you need.
edited by HanonO on 12/19/2012