Monday, January 23, 2023

Competitive Hanabi

 At a convention in California about 8 years ago (OrcCon 2015), I played in a Hanabi tournament format they called Hanabi Race with my friend Andrew and someone else who I don't even remember (sorry, person) -- it was a neat format, you played Hanabi in real time, and you could start over if you wanted, but you only had like 15 minutes or so, and when the time was up, your current score was your score for the round... Why would you start over? Because maybe you accidentally discarded such that you shut off a color early, and you wanted to do better, or because your opening draw had no 1's at all, stuff like that. A referee watched the game, and you were penalized for making "cheating" type errors. It was a fun way to do a Hanabi tournament!

BUT... that's not really what this post is about. Rather, it's about using the Hanabi mechanism, but in a non-cooperative game. Hanabi is one of my favorite cooperative games, and its novel mechanism of holding cards backwards and giving clues to each other to deduce the contents of your hand paved the way for several imitators, including Bomb Squad, by my friends Dan and David, which I helped develop and publish with TMG, as well as a Knizia game called Abracada-What? and maybe some others.


A designer I know, Isaac Shalev, once had a design for a competitive game that used the Hanabi mechanism - It was about solving mysteries, a la Sherlock Holmes. I'm not sure if anything ever became of that design or not.

At one time I had my own thoughts about a competitive game using Hanabi's main mechanism. It's one of the rare ideas I didn't write down, either here in this blog, or elsewhere, which means now (maybe a decade later) I recall having the idea, and I recall thinking it was cool or promising, but I don't recall any of the specifics! I know that the cards in your hand were buildings that you would play, and I'm pretty sure you got resources by giving clues to your opponents about their cards in hand. but really, that's about all I remember...

The other day I saw an ad for the upcoming 7 Wonders expansion, and it said "a new experience in the 7 Wonders universe," which made me think "you know, if I ever made that competitive Hanabi city-building game, maybe it could be in the 7 Wonders universe!" Which made a lot of sense to me - the cards could basically be 7 Wonders cards, but instead of drafting them, you play this clue-giving, deduction game to get them into play.

So, I set about mashing up two of Antoine Bauza's greatest hits: Hanabi and 7 Wonders. Here's what I've got so far, now to figure out a way to prototype and test this (I don't know how well Tabletop Simulator will work for a Hanabi mechanism!):


Hanabi Wonders

7 Wonders style buildings, each with a cost in 7W resources (wood, stone, clay, ore, glass, paper, cloth)

7W cards come in 6 colors... Shuffle 2 starting cards in each color, and deal 3 face up to each player - assign 1 "under construction," and the other 2 "completed"

Deal X cards (based on player count?) FACE DOWN to each player - DO NOT LOOK at your cards, hold them so all other players can see them

On your turn:
1. Give a clue
2. Play a card
3. Draw a card

1. Give a clue
Choose an opponent and one of the following conditions, then point out all cards in that opponent's hand that meet that condition. Once you e done so, gain the associated benefit:
A. Name a resource - point out all cards that have that resource in their cost
Benefit: collect 1 resource of the named type for each card you pointed out
NOTE: you have a storage limit of [6?] resources

B. Name a number - point out all cards that cost that number of resources (total)
Benefit: move 1 resource of your choice from your supply to your under construction cards for each card you pointed out (if you complete a card, discard those resources and move the card to the "completed" area)

C. Name a color - point out all cards of that color
Benefit: activate 1 of your completed card of the chosen color for each card you pointed out

2. Play a card
EITHER
A. Play a card face up in front of you, it is now "under construction"
OR
B. Discard a card and choose:
* Collect any 1btesoice found in its cost
* Activate 1 (all?) Of your completed cards of that color

3. Draw a card
Draw a new card from the deck to replace the old one in your hand. Remember, DO NOT LOOK at it. When the deck is out, the round is almost over... After everyone has had equal turns, the round ends.

End of Round / End of Game:
Maybe certain buildings activate (like red ones, or ALL buildings?), then a new round begins with Era II cards, which cost more than the Era I cards, but you get a discount for having certain other buildings in play (maybe simply 1-2 basic resource discount per building of that color you have in play?)

After round 2, the same thing happens using the Era III cards, which cost more still, and have strong effects, and/or game end scoring based on some condition (like Guilds from 7W)


After the end of round 3, the game is over - total your victory points to determine the winner

Card effects when activated:
Red:
All red (and maybe some other) cards have military icons. When activated, gain 1/2/3 vp for each neighbor with fewer icons than you

Blue:
Gain 1/3/5 vp

Yellow:
Trade 1/2/3 resources for coins. Coins are wild resources (maybe glass/cloth/paper costs 2/trade for 2) and are worth a point at game end

Green:
Draw 1/2/3 science tiles at random, keep 1 (science tiles have 1 of 3 science icons, score sets like 7W)

Brown:
Provide 1/2 basic resources (wood/stone/clay/ore) of the pictured type (no brown cards in age III)

Gray:
Provide 1/2 advanced resources (glass/paper/cloth) of the pictured type (no gray cards in age III)


EDIT:
Idea to keep players from just giving the same clue to the same person back-to-back:

Give each player 3 tiles, one each for Color, Number, and Resource. When given any clue, refresh any face down tiles and turn face down the one corresponding to the new clue. You may not be given a clue in the face down category.

 Also, on your turn, refresh all of your tiles.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Kingdom Realms (3-Lane Game Jam): details

In a recent post I mentioned three new game ideas. In this post I'll flesh out one of them...

3 Lane Game Jam - Kingdom Realms

Man, that title sounds like it was created by an AI ChatBot, doesn't it? 

Kingdom Realms was my submission to a little 2-week game jam. Here's the description of the jam criteria, though it was made clear they were more like suggestions:

Games where there are 3 areas in which you can play cards, and you have to "win" two of the areas in some sense. Of course, if your game needs 4 or 5 lanes, that's okay too, but try and keep the "win 2/3" (or 3/5) lanes idea in there somehow if you can. There's no limitation on the number of cards or other components

Taking inspiration from Animal Kingdoms and Rolling Realms, I made a game where you turn up 3 Realm cards, each with a rule governing play in that lane, and a win condition, governing who wins that lane. Then you deal some cards into a supply, and take turns drafting a card and placing it in one of the realms on your side. In the end, I added effects that occur upon playing the cards as well. Once you get through the deck, you check each Realm's win condition and see who wins 2 out of 3.

To be honest, I'm much less thrilled with this game than I have been with some of my other games, but it does seem to work alright. I generally think I'm not very into lane combat games, Riftforce being an exception.

Tabletop Simulator:

Here's the TTS workshop mod for the game, if anyone's interested in trying it out: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2890010667

Kingdom Realms (version submitted to 3-lane game jam) 

COMPONENTS:

30 playing cards (6 each of rank 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7)

14 Realm cards (see file)SETUP:

Shuffle Realm cards and deal 3 face up (creating 3 lanes)

Shuffle playing cards and deal out 5 face up

Randomly select a start player

ROUNDS OF PLAY:

1. Take turns drafting the face up cards, one at a time (you'll get 2 total each round), and assigning them to two DIFFERENT lanes

(If you have no legal play, add the drafted card to your hand for tiebreak)

2. Resolve the card's effect (see below)

3. When there is only 1 card left, the start player takes it and keeps it in hand (for tiebreak)

4. Deal out 5 more cards face up, start player changes hands

GAME END:

Once all cards have been played, the game is over

Resolve each Realm... Win 2 Realms to win the game

If there is a tie, the player with the highest total value of cards in hand is the winner

CARD EFFECTS:

  • 3: You may play this card face down. If you do, turn another card here face down. Face down cards have value = 1
  • 4: You may swap this card with the most recent card an opponent played here
  • 5: You may re-play a card from here in a different realm (face-down cards stay face down and have no effect)
  • 6: If possible, turn a face-down card here face up
  • 7: No effect
And here are the current Realms:
You must play cards in ascending order - Most cards wins
You must play cards in descending order - Most cards wins
Alternate color (black/red), you may not play the same color as the last card played here by any player - Most cards wins
To paly a card here, you must turn one of your face-up cards in another realm face down (face down cards have value 1) - Most cards wins

You must play cards in ascending order - Largest total value wins
Only RED cards can be played here - Largest total value wins
Only BLACK cards can be played here - Largest total value wins
Only ODD cards can be played here - Largest total value wins
Only EVEN cards can be played here - Largest total value wins
Alternate color (black/red), you may not play the same color as the last card played here by any player  - Largest total value wins
Card effects do not trigger in this realm - Largest total value wins
Alternate color (black/red), you may not play the same color as the last card YOU played here - Largest total value wins
Alternate parity (odd/even), you may not play the same parity as the last card YOU played here - Largest total value wins
To paly a card here, you must turn one of your face-up cards in another realm face down (face down cards have value 1) - Largest total value wins

For each card you have here, add 1 to the value or number of cards in each other realm - Lowest total value wins
You must match either SUIT or VALUE of the last card played here by any player - Last player to play here wins

Kid's car racing game: details

 In a recent post I mentioned three new game ideas. In this post I'll flesh out one of them...

Kid's Car Race

My 4.5 year old son LOOOVES vehicles. No idea why, I'm not a "car guy" by any means, but he's just fascinated by cars, trucks, tractor-trailers, vehicle transports, excavators, etc, etc, etc. He especially likes sporty cars (with spoilers), and he "oohs" and "ahhs" every time we see a Camero in traffic.

I thought this might be a good way to get him interested in playing games with me. We have a copy of Monza, and he plays that (he tolerates it, doesn't get as excited about it as I thought he might), and he understands the rules - including a house rule we use.

I recently saw a new game called HEAT: Pedal to the Metal, and started looking into it a little bit to see if I thought my son could handle a simplified version of that game (I don't really think so).

What he has been excited to play lately is War. He loves playing War, and he tolerates Monza... so I thought maybe I could make a game similar to Monza that used cards like War. In the end I came up with something that is NOT like War at all.

In this ide, you use the cars, board, and Dice from Monza, but instead of rolling the dice to move forward on the board, you play a card (value 1-3), and move that number of spaces. Then, whatever color you land on, you look at the dice and move 1 more space forward for each die showing that same color, then you reroll those dice. 

I tried playing 2-handed solo a few times, and it seems to work alright! So I tried to get my son to play it with me... no luck (at least not yet)

So here are the rules to the game -- you could try it if you have a copy of Monza and a deck of cards or two handy: 

COMPONENTS:

12 cards (4 each value 1, 2, 3) [use more for more players, or for 2 laps]
1 game board (see Monza)
6 color pip dice (see Monza)

SETUP:

1. Put the cars on the starting space of the racetrack
2. Deal 3 cards face up (could be face down instead) to each player
3. Roll all 6 dice
4. Youngest player goes first 

GAME PLAY:

On your turn, play a card and move that number of spaces (per Monza rules). 

Then, check the color of the space you land on. For each die showing that color, move 1 space farther (in that same lane, stop at tire spaces). 

Finally, reroll those dice and draw a replacement card (when the deck runs out, just don't draw - or reshuffle or something)

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Card+Dice drafting: details

 In a recent post I mentioned three new game ideas. In this post I'll flesh out one of them...

Card + Dice drafting

This second idea hasn't got a title, it was inspired by a conversation which was initially about how to do an autobattler in a tabletop game. Someone suggested a dice drafting game with an autobattler sort of flavor, and that got me thinking "what if you drafted a die and played a card to a programmed row, then you rolled the dice and resolved the first card on your row vs the opponent, or the top card of a deck or something"

From there I quickly formulated a game structure - no theme or anything, so I'm probably stuck until I figure out a theme. I'll post the details in a fresh post, but it's got entangled decisions, cards+dice drafting, and programmed card play.

Here are the quick rules I came up with:

Components:

Cards in 4 colors
d6 dice in 4 colors
Victory point tokens?
Re-roll tokens?
"+1" tokens?

Setup:

1. Shuffle cards and deal out 1 per player in a draft row

2. Mix dice in a draw bag and draw 1 out to pair with each card in the draft row

3. Deal 1 die at random from the bag, and 1 card face up, to each player, followed by 1 card face down to each player (you may look at your face down cards). Roll your die and place your cards ina queue, face up 1st, face down 2nd

Rounds of play:

1. Determine turn order: Compare each player's face up card's value, plus the total pips on their dice of that color. Take turns in order from highest total to lowest. In the case of a tie, play RPS or something

2. On your turn, you may activate your current card's effects (e.g. a Yellow card might say "[Red]: For every 3 pips, score 1 vp"), then draft a card/die pair. The card goes face down into your card queue, and the die goes into your supply

3. Discard your face up card, then turn the next queued card face up

4. Roll all of your dice and pass the turn to the next player

...

Maybe in addition to going early in turn order, you get something that amounts to VP, or a set collection type of thing. Or maybe the cards themselves have a set collection icon on them

Game end should trigger at some point, maybe when players have about 8-10 dice. Maybe just when the dice/cards run out, or maybe when someone reaches some threshold of progress

The different colors could have different flavors of effect - like maybe red gets points, yellow gets re-rolls, blue gets progress on some track (maybe a race track which triggers game end and gives bonuses for position), green gets some +1 token to be used on a future roll, or a token which lets you use an off-colored die, or something like that

Of course, I haven't tried this yet, but it seems pretty simple to prototype, maybe I'll make a TTS mod and subject my playtesters to it.

Yangi x3! 3-Lane game jam, Card/Dice drafting, and a Kid's car race

I've been doing some freelance development lately, so not much I feel right talking about on my blog.. but I have had a few ideas of my own as well... I'll make a separate, more in-depth post about each, but here are my 3 latest game ideas (since the recent 18 card game jam):

1. 3 Lane Game Jam - Kingdom Realms

Man, that title sounds like it was created by an AI ChatBot, doesn't it? 

Kingdom Realms was my submission to a little 2-week game jam. Here's the description of the jam criteria, though it was made clear they were more like suggestions:

Games where there are 3 areas in which you can play cards, and you have to "win" two of the areas in some sense. Of course, if your game needs 4 or 5 lanes, that's okay too, but try and keep the "win 2/3" (or 3/5) lanes idea in there somehow if you can. There's no limitation on the number of cards or other components

Taking inspiration from Animal Kingdoms and Rolling Realms, I made a game where you turn up 3 Realm cards, each with a rule governing play in that lane, and a win condition, governing who wins that lane. Then you deal some cards into a supply, and take turns drafting a card and placing it in one of the realms on your side. In the end, I added effects that occur upon playing the cards as well. Once you get through the deck, you check each Realm's win condition and see who wins 2 out of 3.

To be honest, I'm much less thrilled with this game than I have been with some of my other games, but it does seem to work alright. I generally think I'm not very into lane combat games, Riftforce being an exception.

2. Card + Dice drafting

This second idea hasn't got a title, it was inspired by a conversation which was initially about how to do an autobattler in a tabletop game. Someone suggested a dice drafting game with an autobattler sort of flavor, and that got me thinking "what if you drafted a die and played a card to a programmed row, then you rolled the dice and resolved the first card on your row vs the opponent, or the top card of a deck or something"

From there I quickly formulated a game structure - no theme or anything, so I'm probably stuck until I figure out a theme. I'll post the details in a fresh post, but it's got entangled decisions, cards+dice drafting, and programmed card play.

3. Kid's car race

My 4.5 year old son LOOOVES vehicles. No idea why, I'm not a "car guy" by any means, but he's just fascinated by cars, trucks, tractor-trailers, vehicle transports, excavators, etc, etc, etc. He especially likes sporty cars (with spoilers), and he "oohs" and "ahhs" every time we see a Camero in traffic.

I thought this might be a good way to get him interested in playing games with me. We have a copy of Monza, and he plays that (he tolerates it, doesn't get as excited about it as I thought he might), and he understands the rules - including a house rule we use.

I recently saw a new game called HEAT: Pedal to the Metal, and started looking into it a little bit to see if I thought my son could handle a simplified version of that game (I don't really think so).

What he has been excited to play lately is War. He loves playing War, and he tolerates Monza... so I thought maybe I could make a game similar to Monza that used cards like War. In the end I came up with something that is NOT like War at all.

In this ide, you use the cars, board, and Dice from Monza, but instead of rolling the dice to move forward on the board, you play a card (value 1-3), and move that number of spaces. Then, whatever color you land on, you look at the dice and move 1 more space forward for each die showing that same color, then you reroll those dice. 

I tried playing 2-handed solo a few times, and it seems to work alright! So I tried to get my son to play it with me... no luck (at least not yet)

Saturday, November 26, 2022

The List - November 2022

It's been a while, and I've got some updates to make, so it's time to revisit The List, again!  

Published Games:

Terra Prime (BGG)
Eminent Domain (BGG) [new edition coming 2023 from a new publisher!]
Eminent Domain: Escalation (BGG) (expansion) [new edition coming 2023 from a new publisher!]
Eminent Domain: Exotica (BGG) (expansion) [new edition coming 2023 from a new publisher!]
Eminent Domain: Oblivion (BGG) (expansion) [new edition coming 2023 from a new publisher!]
Eminent Domain: Microcosm (BGG) [theoretically signed by a publisher!]
Isle of Trains (Co-Design with Dan Keltner) (BGG) [new edition coming 2022/2023 from Dranda Games!]
Isle of Trains: All Aboard (Co-Design with Dan Keltner) [New edition from Dranda Games with included expansion]
Crusaders: Thy Will Be Done (BGG[now available from Renegade!]
Crusaders: Divine Influence (BGG) (expansion) [no available from Renegade!]
- Crusaders: Crimson Knight (expansion) [coming soon (2023?) from Renegade!]
- Crusaders: Amber Knight (expansion) [coming soon (2023?) from Renegade!]
Dungeon Roll: Winter Heroes (BGG)
- Gold West: Bandits promo (BGG)
- Gold West: Trading Post promo (BGG)
- Yokohama: Achievements & Free Agents promo (BGG)
Brainfreeze

Development projects - Games I've done freelance development on
I've started doing some freelance development. As games I've worked on come out, I'll add them here
Amun-Re expansion [with Alley Cat Games 20th Anniversary edition]

Finished But Unpublished Games - in line to be published:
Eminent Domain Origins [Ready to print] [theoretically signed by a publisher!]
Eminent Domain: Chaos Theory (dice game) [Ready for art] 
[theoretically signed by a publisher!]
Deities & Demigods (Co-Design with Matthew Dunstan) [signed by a publisher!]
Apotheosis (Co-Design with Rick Holzgrafe) [signed by a publisher!]

Currently Pitching Games - "actively" looking for a publisher (though I haven't actively been doing much of anything lately!):

Sails & Sorcery [with Michael Mindes] [pitching to publishers]
Riders of the Pony Express (BGG) [pitching to publishers]
Exhibit (BGG) [pitching to publishers]
Keeping Up with the Joneses [pitching to publishers]
All For One (BGG) (Co-Design with David Brain) [pitching to publishers]
Harvest (BGG) (Co-Design with Trey Chambers) [pitching to publishers]
 
"Finished" But Unpublished Games - abandoned or backburnered designs that are "done":

Wizard's Tower (BGG) [Abandoned]
Watch It Played [Abandoned]
Now Boarding [Abandoned]
Rolling RealmsJaffee Realms (for Jamey Stegmaier's Rolling Realms)

Current Active Designs - these are the games I'm actively testing or working on:
- Press-Your-Luck Microgame (KBGames 18 card game jam entry, July 2022)
- Kingdom Realms (KBGames 3-lane game jam entry, Nov 2022)

Backburnered Designs - I kid myself into thinking that I'm still working on these:

- Isle Of Trains: The Board Game (Co-Design with Dan Keltner)
I-Cut-You-Choose Worker Placement

Promising Recent ideas:
Worker-ception [with David Short]
False Prophet [Mancala/Worker Placement]
Come And Play [Sesame Street memory/rondel game]
Candyland Game [Candyland/No Thanks mashup]


Old Standbys - games which have been around, 1/2 done and untouched, for years:
8/7 Central [Abandoned]
Hot & Fresh [Abandoned]
Reading Railroad [Abandoned]
Kilauea [a designer showed interest in co-designing, but that didn't go anywhere]
Automatown [with Michael Brown]
Dynasty [I still think this one has potential]

Misc and Really Old Stuff - most of this I'll probably never get back to, but I like keeping it around just in case:
9-Ball
Blockade Runner
- Roman Emperors (my version of someone else's game)
- Admirals of the Spanish Main (my version of someone else's game)
-Scourge of the High Seas [deckbuilding game with 2 center rows]

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Wayback Machine: The League Of Gamemakers

 Some 7 years ago, I joined up with a California based group of game designers called the League of Game Makers, and I posted some stuff on their site. There were a lot of creative folk in that group, including Mark Major, designer of Chimera Station (which I developed for TMG, and is now available - at least in beta - on boardgamearena.com), and Luke Laurie, designer of The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire (a personal favorite), and several other titles since. 

I just checked, and it appears their website has gone the way of the dodo, but thanks to the archival prowess of The Wayback Machine Internet Archive, I was able to dig up those posts I had made, only some of which had been cross posted to this blog in the past.

So if you're looking for something game-design-y to read, feel free to peruse these articles. I had a lot to say about game design back then, and some of it even sounded kinda smart!




Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Low Hanging Fruit

I find that when developing a game, there is usually some low hanging fruit - some obvious tweaks and changes that would likely improve the game. That seems like a good place to start, before diving deep into a development project, before stripping a game to studs and rebuilding it, might as well try the obvious tweaks and pick off that low hanging fruit!

I suppose that's a product of experience, where a designer who hasn't encountered certain situations or design problems makes relatively common "mistakes," and another designer or a developer who has seen that situation before immediately notices it.

I've started looking into taking freelance development jobs, and as an example, on one of them there happens to be a lot of this low hanging fruit. So before I really get in there and start messing around under the hood, I'm starting with some of the more obvious stuff, like false or uninteresting decisions (decisions made without proper context), unreliable abilities, unnecessary layers of randomness, and obvious card imbalances.

When you design, or develop, what kinds of low hanging fruit have you come across?

Saturday, July 23, 2022

May The Riftforce Be With You (also: custom guild ideas)

 Riftforce

Riftforce is a recent lane combat game (like Battle Line or SolForge or something) that I've been playing a lot on BoardGameArena lately. I haven't played a whole lot of this type of game in the past, and frankly, the ones I have played didn't excite me that much for on reason or another. I kinda liked SolForge I guess, but that was about it.

But Riftforce... Riftforce is pretty awesome. You start out by drafting a team of 4 different Guilds which will make up your deck. Each guild (or suit) will have 9 cards (4x 5's, 3x 6's, and 2x 7's), and each guild has an effect - how much damage it deals, or in what way, when activated.

On your turn you simply choose from 3 options...

  1. Play: Put up to 3 cards (matching guild or value) into play in the same lane, or each in an adjacent lane
  2. Activate: Discard a card from your hand to activate up to 3 cards matching that card's guild or value
  3. Check & Draw: Collect points from any lane where you have unopposed cards, then refill your hand to 7 (you can't do this if you already have 7 cards)

Activating a card allows it to do its thing - dealing some amount of damage to an opposing card and using whatever its guild effect might be. Cards can take their value in damage before they're discarded.

You score 1 point for each opposing card you kill, and 1 point for each lane you control when you Check & Draw, and it's a race to 12 points.

And that's it. The rules are simple, but the game play is varied and interesting, especially due to the way you draft your guilds for the game. There are 10 total guilds in the base game, and each player plays with 4 of them per game. During setup, each player is dealt 1 guild at random, then drafts 3 more from a supply of 7 (the last one isn't used). Since each guild has an ability or effect, they can combo together in interesting ways. Removing 1 guild and being dealt one at random go a long way toward keeping you from always leaning on the same guilds.

To be honest though, since you use 4 guilds per game, and some of the guild effects are kinda similar, it doesn't necessarily feel like you're playing a wholly different game each time. but there's an expansion coming soon (is it out yet?) that adds 8 more guilds, which I'm sure will help, I look forward to those being added to BGA.

Base Game Guilds

Here are the 10 guilds in the base game:

  • Crystal: Deal 4 damage to the 1st opposing card at this rift. When killed, opponent gets 2 points instead of 1
  • Fire: Deal 3 damage to the 1st opposing card at this rift. Deal 1 damage to the ally directly behind this card
  • Water: Deal 2 damage to the 1st opposing card at this rift. Then move to an adjacent lane and deal 1 damage to the 1st opposing card at that rift
  • Air: Move to any other rift, then deal 1 damage to the 1st opposing card at this rift and each adjacent rift
  • Earth: Deal 1 damage to the each opposing card at this rift when this comes into play. Deal 2 damage to the 1st opposing card at this rift
  • Plant: Deal 2 damage to the 1st opposing card at an adjacent rift, then move it to this rift
  • Thunderbolt: Deal 2 damage to any opposing card at this rift. If it dies, deal 2 more damage to any opposing card at this rift.
  • Light: Deal 2 damage to the 1st opposing card at this rift. Heal 1 damage from any ally
  • Ice: If the last opposing card at this rift is damaged, deal 4 damage to it. Otherwise deal 1 damage to it
  • Shadow: Move to any other rift, then deal 1 damage to the 1st opposing card at this rift. If it dies, score an additional point

Expansion Guilds

Here's what's to come in the expansion:

  • Beast: Move this beast to an adjacent location. If there is damage on that beast, put 3 damage on the first enemy in that location. Otherwise, deal 2 damage on him.
  • Lava: Deal 2 damage each to the first enemy in the adjacent locations. Put 1 damage each on this lava and all allies in front of this lava.
  • Love: When playing this love remove all damage from an ally in that location. Deal 2 damage to the first enemy in this location.
  • Magnet: Deal 2 damage to the last enemy in this location. Move this enemy and magnet to an adjacent location.
  • Acid: Deal 3 damage to the first enemy in this location. Deal 1 damage to the second enemy in this location. If the acid destroys an enemy, you will not receive a Riftforce.
  • Sand: Move this sand to any other location. Deal 1 damage to each enemy in this location. Remove 1 damage from this sand.
  • Music: Deal 2 damage to the first enemy in this location. If that enemy is destroyed by the music, play it on your side of the Rift at an adjacent location.
  • Magic: Deal 2 damage to the first enemy in this location. If you have less than 7 elementals in hand, draw 1 elemental.

Custom Guilds

I see that someone has posted a fan expansion on BGG with 15 custom guilds in it. Here are some of my own ideas for guilds (some might be similar to the ones on the fan expansion, I wrote them down before seeing that):

  • When activating and there's no card opposing, +1 Riftforce
  • When activating and there's no card opposing, opponent loses 1 Riftforce
  • Choose an enemy (any card?) at this location with damage on it and return that card to its owner's hand 
  • Do 2 damage to the first enemy in this location, then shift 1 damage from one opposing card to another
  • When activated, get 1 Riftforce and discard this card. Opponent does not gain Riftforce for this
  • Deal 2 damage to the first enemy in this location. After you Check & Draw, deal 1 damage to the first enemy in this location.
  • Deal 2 damage to the first enemy in this location. Before you Check & Draw, each of ~this move 1 opposing card from their lane to an adjacent lane
  • Deal 2 damage to the first enemy in this location. If they die, draw a card
  • Deal 2 damage to the first enemy in this location. If they die, activate any one other card in play
  • Deal 2 damage to the first enemy in this location. You may put a card into play at this location
  • Move all damage on opposing cards in this lane onto one card
  • Move up to 2 damage from allies in any lane to any enemies in that same lane
  • Heal up to 2 damage from any card(s) in play. For each, deal 1 damage to any card opposing the healed card
  • cards that don't have to come into play adjacent to each other or something... "After coming into play, move this to any lane"
  • would it be useful enough to have a Trap sort of effect: "Opponent's cards at this Rift cannot move" (trap water, air, shadow, and I think one or 2 of the expansion ones)
  • Destroy the first enemy at this location. You may not activate any other cards this turn. [meaning they must activate alone]   
  • Deal 2 damage to the first enemy in this location. When ~this comes into play, heal 1 damage on any ally
And a few ideas from my friend David: 
  • Deal 1 damage on the first enemy at this location. Add 1 card from your hand to any location. This new card comes with 1 damage on it
  • When you play this card, it comes with 2 damage on it. [When activated] Discard this card with no effect, add two cards to two different rifts
  • If this is the first ally at this location, deal 3 damage to the first enemy at this location. Otherwise, deal 1 damage to any enemy at this location
It might be nice to see some guilds with non-standard card distributions - an all-5s guild that's weak, but easy to activate. A guild with some 9s (instead of 7s?), which can only activate each other, but are very hard to kill. I saw that the fan expansion linked above had some of that in it.

Edited to add:
  • Deal 2 damage to the first enemy in this location. Move an ally from this location to any other location. deal 2 damage to any ally in that location and 1 damage to that ally
  • Deal 1 damage to each enemy at this location
  • Deal 1 damage to the first enemy in this location. Activate another [~this] that has not been activated this turn
  • Tank: deal 1 damage to first enemy here and move to the front of the rift. For each damage dealt to this Tank, heal 1 damage from a non-Tank ally
  • Deal 1 damage to the first enemy in this location for each [~this] here. Only the frontmost [~this] in the location may activate 
This game lends itself well to making custom guilds, and it would be easy to play them... if I had the game and played in real life! Playing only on BGA, I will have to be content thinking up fun guild powers and never playing with them. Hopefully the expansion will be implemented soon (though the base game is only in Beta, so it might be a while)

Have you thought of your own guilds? Post them in a comment below!