Monday, April 7, 2008

Holy Reruns, Batman! It's a ZOMBIE!

All most one year ago I did a guest article on for Miguel when he was going on vacation to a lovely tropical setting. I had forgotten about this, but luckily before I went and redid all the hard work of writing an article I remembered and now, for you re-viewing pleasure is that article. It will be the beginning of a series I'll write revealing an entire Essential Collection I designed back then. As such I'll use the old card template for all of them. Also, these were all created using only the original Marvel Zombies limited series and their appearances in Ultimate Fantastic Four. If you have a favorite Marvel Zombie that you'd like to see next, just request it in the comments section and if they're in the set, I'll try and preview them next!


"Mike! We need you! There's a gap in the release schedule and we're desperate to get a new Essential Collection out the door! You have free reign, do whatever you want, just please, please help us out!"

What is something I dream of, Alex? That's correct! Well, since it's unlikely to really happen I've been playing around on my own. The first thing to decide, after picking the property, was mechanics. Considering the property I chose, one was obvious. What is that you might ask? Glad you did...



For the Marvel Zombies you HAVE to have a keyword representing the fact that they don't die. Not like normal heroes and villains anyway. Now slapping "Zombie" on a card is easy, figuring out what that means? Not so much. My first idea was that they'd all be immune to KO effects, but that quickly got cut, because zombies are hard to kill, not impossible. It would also mess with a lot of costs and things I didn't want to muck about with.

Then I got an even better idea. Zombies may not be able to be killed normally, but they are killable. So what "normally" sends a character to the KO pile? The wrap up during the Recovery Phase!

Zombie. "Whenever this character would be KO'd during the end of turn wrap up, it instead stays in play, stunned."

So now you have zombies that are hard to kill and linger around seemingly ineffective, but ready to bite your ankles if you leave them laying for too long.

After that I realized another thing about zombies. The Marvel heroes turned into zombies might be intelligent, but they were slaves to The Hunger. There's no way they could team up with other hero and villain teams like
normal characters. Even Magneto and the Sentinels had a descent enough reason if you really thought about it. But zombies? They'd just eat you the second lunch was late. Or over. Or your back was turned.

Loyalty - Hardfast. "You may only recruit this character if all other characters you control share a printed affiliation with this character. If you recruit a character who does not share a printed affiliation, KO this character."

This one I think not only lets there be some highly power zombies (Hawkeye up there, despite appearances, would probably be ridiculously 'popular' without this new keyword), but also encourages mono-team decks. UDE has done a good job of getting people to team up... I want the left side of your cards to actually match. You can do a lot of borderline broken things with a character card when you absolutely, positively know that Dr. Doom will never get his grubby hands on it. The best part though is that it'd be a mechanic you could revisit a lot more often than Zombie and if I got to design a mechanic, what I'd really want is to make a lasting impact on the game I love so much.



Pi_3.14159... said...

I don't know what to say about it. Um, a 0/0 for 0 that is somewhat hard to bring out and can almost never die. Also, I don't think the zombie effect would work, as it isn't in effect when the character is stunned. That is why I wanted to make my zombie keyword a trait. The only other things I could think of would be an ability that worked when the character became stunned, or something that said it would actually work even if the character would be stunned. I don't know if I would have a separate name specifically for zombies (Zombie Hawkeye), and I don't think I would create more free characters.

RanmaSolo said...

Well, wouldn't the keyword work like Blue Demon or the like where the game state checks the card text and creates a modifier? If not it's not hard to just edit it to work that way. :)

The reason for the new name is that it's an alternate universe version, which to me shouldn't cause uniqueness to go off. As you'll see on other cards I designed. lol

You don't think the inability to play them outside of their team is enough of a restriction?


Pi_3.14159... said...

Batman, Earth 2 - Any Batman
Superman, Earth 2 - Any Superman
Ultraman, Earth 3 - Any of the two other Ultraman (men?)

I faced a similar problem when making my entire set, with Ultimates and Marvel Zombies. I ultimately (ha) decided to just use regular names like DC characters.

RanmaSolo said...

That's true, the Earth-2 counterparts are a good point. I might think about changing it, but as it doesn't REALLY matter in the end of it all, the fact is I just like having Zombie in all the names. :D

New card up tomorrow I think!