View Full Version : Homebrew Trading Card Game

2008-03-22, 12:26 AM
Has anyone here every attempted to create a homemade trading card game?

I was thinking of doing so myself (even though I don't know how well producing the cards will turn out) but I still look forward to some ideas as to how it should be made..soo...any tips?

This may be an odd question to post here so I don't respect many replies (if any).

2008-03-22, 12:56 AM
Well, if you're planning on publishing the game, the first thing you'd need is some sort of original idea for the game, as well as for its mechanics. Richard Garfield and Wizards of the Coast have a pretty complex and thorough patent for trading card games, both in concept and design, including trademarked ideas about basics like tapping, libraries, mana and stuff like that. More info here (http://v3.espacenet.com/textdoc?DB=EPODOC&IDX=US5662332&QPN=US5662332).

If you're just looking to make something for fun, I think you're fine. I haven't done anything like this, but if you get anything figured out I'd be interested in hearing about it.

2008-03-22, 01:37 AM
Well I planned to use it for my own personal fun. I have a few ideas but they are all just incomplete ideas.

For example, in order to solve the problem that would be determining who gets what cards (since that is usually determined by your luck with apack of cards or how much you pay for that specific card) I would assign different point values to each card (stronger the card means higher point cost). Each person (me and a friend for example) get a set number of points when we first start playing and we lose points when we spend them on cards and gain them when we win matches.

Also, I planned on using player created characters to act as your main entity in the game. These PC's have personal statistics that you upgrade as you level up. They gain new abilities which can affect the game and can be equiped with different items. These PCs are also the targets of each player. I was thinking along the lines of Yugioh where a line of creatures are set up in order to defend this PC. As long as there is one in a card zone the PC is invulnerable to attacks. Whenever the field is clear the PC can be attacked by the opposing PC. When ones PC dies the player who controls it loses.

These are just a few ideas and they are just in their prototype stage.

If anyone else has any suggestions please post them here. It will be greatly appreciated.

2008-03-22, 01:19 PM
The point system you describe or anything similar is a spectacularly horrible idea. It is not only not enforceable, it also means that the only way to have any chance of winning is to never play a deck that is "just for fun," as it will cause you to lose points and weaken your chances of winning with your decks which are competitive. In addition, a player who wanted to win every game they played could get someone without a points score to play against them with a horrible deck and for the very competitive person to play only low-points-value cards, thus ensuring that they will gain a large number of points. Done repeatedly, this will effectively remove any point limit.

If the point limit does not adjust, it might be salvageable, but I doubt it.

2008-03-22, 07:05 PM
Keep in mind that I expect this game to be played umong 2-4 personal friends at the very most. I can't see how this would be hard to enforce with this circumstances. Also, I forgot to mention that when you loose you don't get no points just less then the winner. Lets say the winner gets 10 and a good card costs 20 (even though this will be redone I am using this as an example) well then I would decide that the loser may get 5 points or maybe a little more.

And again I don't think I was clear enough...I wouldn't call this even a complete idea yet. All I got down is a vague discription of points, a vague idea for PCs, and the fact that I want the game to be a trading card game.

So I would have to actual make my mind up on some sort of common idea before one can claim it salvageable or unsalvageable

2008-03-22, 10:26 PM
Your idea gave me my own. Yours sounds odd, and I'm not sure I fully understand it, so I don't really know what to say.

A system in which both players start at, let's say, 100 'something' points. Pick a name later. This wouldn't span multiple games and the like, it would be like MTG's 20 life points, ie, what you start with. It costs points to play cards, and use cards' abilities, and damage taken is reduced from your points, and if reduced to 0 points you lose. Probably something like Essence Points.

2008-03-22, 11:01 PM
A system in which both players start at, let's say, 100 'something' points. Pick a name later. This wouldn't span multiple games and the like, it would be like MTG's 20 life points, ie, what you start with. It costs points to play cards, and use cards' abilities, and damage taken is reduced from your points, and if reduced to 0 points you lose. Probably something like Essence Points.

That's a good idea right thar.

2008-03-23, 12:17 AM

Crap. Now I know why this hasn't made any sense.

Let me explain this clearer.

The point system I described above is not like life points in Yugioh or the points in Magic.

Now since I plan on only playing this game between me and my friend it wuld be hard to determine who gets what cards when we start. So I produce multiples of each card. Still this does not solve the issue since in real Trading Card Games you buy packs of cards or seperate singles to build your deck.


I use a point system for us "buying" cards. Each of us start with a set number and build our decks using the points. And like I said, you win games and you gain more points to spend on "buying" cards. If you lose you still get some but not as much.

I hope that clears things up. Those points were never intended on being part of the actual gameplay but means in which cards would be gained or "bought".

Terribly sorry for the confusion. It must have sounded like a crazy idea to you guys.

Anyways, I hoped that cleared things up so you wont think i'm a complete idiot anymore :smallbiggrin:

And if you still do well...


2008-03-23, 12:22 AM
Well now that I got that whole point thing cleared up I would like to present what I have come up with for rules.

I know there are unbalanced parts and the game is probably broken as of now but this was all just quick rough work that I brainstormed in an hour or so.

So this is where I trust the superior gaming minds of the giantITP community.

Please (if anyone wishes to) review my rough outline for these ideas and give me some feedback.

If I get rich someday off this idea you can have your credits in with mine :smallwink:

*let's not give our (my) hopes up*
__________________________________________________ _______________

CTCG Ideas:

Two players face off against each other in a battle. Each payer creates a custom made player character (PC) to command the multitude of spells, weapons, gadgets, artifacts, and of course; creatures into combat. The goal of the game is to kill the opposing PC using the strengths of the creatures to clear the field and the skill of your own PC to take the enemy down.

Basics of the game:

. Each player makes a deck containing 70 cards. The deck is shuffled and placed on the game mat face down.

. A play mat on a desired location is set. The play mat contains different spaces for different cards. A space where ones deck may be placed, the abyss where all used cards are discarded when used, Eight sections for creatures (4 back rows and 4 front rows), One spot for a players chosen battleground, Four sectioned row where field support is added (set cards), One section where the commander card is kept, and five sections where a stronghold can be set up.
So one side of a playing field looks like this:

Xxxxx – Field card and first line (offense)
xxxx – Second line (defense)
XxxxxX – Deck, Field support, Abyss
xxxxxX – Stronghold and Commander

. Each player creates a PC. Using the game rule book they design a character from a number of classes, skills, and equipment settings.

. Players have a set of multi-sided dice and a coin for flippings.

Basics in how the game runs:

1. Players meet and set up mat at desired location. Each player shuffles their decks for ten seconds. Then decks are switched and each player shuffles their opponent’s deck.
2. The decks are laid face down on the provided area.
3. Each player lays down their chosen battlefield card on their side of the mat.
4. Each player sets down their commander in the provided zone along with their stronghold deck.
5. Each player now draws a hand of 10 cards. This round is the preperation phase in which each player sets up their first line. Players lay down their creatures on the spaces provided wherever the player wishes. If a player does not draw at least two creatures they may reshuffle their hand into their deck after revealing it to their opponent. Also, any field equipment cards the player has available may be set during this time.
6. After the preperations are over the game begins. The creatures that were set on the field are flipped face up and revealed to the opponent. Whatever position they were placed (attack or defense) is where they remain.
7. The game continues as the players attack and defend against creatures, use spells, equip weapons and armor, activate traps and instances, and etc. The goal is to clear the back row in order to gain access to the opposing PC. Also, take note that whenever the player’s hand reaches below 5 cards their hand is refreshed to five their next turn. Once one area of the back row is cleared your commander can enter the battlefield and begin their attack on the opposing commander. When this happens you place your PC on the first stronghold card that your opponent has set. They follow the challenges until they reach the opponent in which instance they can begin battle.
8. If a player runs out of deck cards then they must still continue play.
9. Once one’s PC is killed the game is over.

Different card discriptions:

Creature Card: This card is a basic unit on the battlefield. Each creature contains a certain number of stats and possibly a special ability or effect(s). Each creature contains a set HP score, Attack score, and Defense score. Also, each creature has a slot rating which shows how many items can be equiped to this creature (slots rated from 0-3), A field point cost (field points are given at the start of game and increase when a increasing affect or an opposing creature is killed or decreased when higher cost creatures are used). Card’s cost range from 0-3. Cards may feature affects activated at different times, abilities that can be used, along with a set type and element.

Spell Card: A spell card is activated for use by creatures who can cast spells (in their description) or by PCs who can cast spells. Spells require a mana cost (an extra stat on spellcasting creatures and PCs) to use but when used they activate an affect. Spell cards can be set on the field (where they take no affect) and equiped to a creature at any time (as long as they can use the spell). Depending on the spell’s discription it can either be set on the creature for later use at any time (since equiping takes up that creature’s round) or it is activated instantly. After the spell is activated the creatures turn is used up and they can do no more actions for that turn.

Battlefield Card: A battlefield card is a single card placed in the game preperation which determines which field your units are fighting on. A battlefield has different affects on the game and affect all of your cards and may affect opposing cards.

Equipment Card: A equipment card may be placed on a unit who can use it on the battlefield. Equipment may be a weapon, armor, or trinket.

Instance Card: An instance card is a certain event that can be activated at certain times. This card may be placed from hand and takes affect when set on the field (unless stated otherwise), may be set hidden and activated at certain times (unless stated otherwise) and some have different affects such as taking more then one round to activate or the ability to stay on the field until destroyed or a said number of turns have passed.

Trap Card: A trap card is equipment set on the field in order to surprise foes with a harmful affect. A trap may only be set hidden and activated on an opponents turn when the card’s requirements are met.

Siege Card: A siege card is advanced machinery used on the battlefield in order to support all of your creatures and to pissibly harm others. These large machines have different uses and may only be set on the field during the first round or from the hand not hidden.

Stronghold Card: These cards are used in any combination of five by the player. These cards are set face down and are only flipped up when an opposing PC enters the first card. The order must contain one entrance card in first place and one lair card in last place but besides that any other type of card )besides the two mentioned) can be placed. This includes towers, halls, and different terrains. Each card has a different challenge that the PC must overcome to move to the next. Only one may be attempted per turn. If failed any affect is activated and the PC stays in place. If the PC fails the entrance card they are returned to the field.

*think of these cards as a dungeon in DnD. Each card represents a room and a possible trap/puzzle designed to hinder the progress of the commander.*

Commander Card: This card is the field representation of your PC.

Battle Basics:

Once the cards are set up the player with initiative goes first. All creatures in the first row may attack all front row creatures in spaces parallel from them. When wanting to attack back row creatures any creature in front of that must be killed in order to attack the back row. Creatures may move a space left or right once per trun if the giving space is open to them. Creatures in the back may attack front row creatures but not back row creatures. No creatures can switch their positions of front or back row when set unless noted otherwise on the card itself.

Creatures are placed on the field at the cost of field points. One creature may be placed in an open field spot once per turn by paying the rquired cost. The stronger the creature the higher the cost. When placed on a field you must choose the creature’s row as well as it’s starting position (attack or defense).

Creatures may attack once per turn unless noted otherwise. Creatures may also activate special abilities in replace of their attack or cast spells. When a creature attacks an opposing creature two things occur.

If the attacker chooses an attack positioned creature as their target then the target’s defense score is lowered by the attacks attack score. When the defense score reaches zero then the creature takes damage directly to HP. When a creature’s HP reaches zero it is killed. Defense points may only be regained by putting the creature in defense position or by special affects.

If the attacker chooses a defense positioned as their target then the same rules apply as above except for the fact that the target’s HP is double at this time. Also, a defense creature can not attack until taking out of defense. Taking a creature out of defense uses their turn. If the defending creature is set into defense and then taken out of defense their doubled HP (if any extra remains) is returned to normal. Also, if a creature that has already taken damage to defense switches to defense position and remains unattacked for one turn then their defense is recharged to normal.

Creatures in the back row gain a defense bonus equal to half of that of the creature in front of them. A creature in the back row however, does not regain defense when lost unless a card affect states otherwise. Creatures in the back should be creatures with weak combat abilities but strong special abilities or effects. The only time a defense creature can be attacked by another defense creature or by an offense creature whithout killing the creature in front of the defender is if the card has the range attack ability (more on card abilities later).

Commander Battle Basics:

A commander is the main focus of the game. A commander has more stats then normal cards similar to that of a common Table Top RPG PC. A commander can not be harmed by opposing creature cards (only if card affects state otherwise though this is rare). A commander is made to fight an opposing commander. Commanders can only begin to attack when an entire row on your opponents field is cleared (no offense and no defense creature in the row). When this happens the comander may use that open line to place himself on the first card of the opposing stronghold. This can only happen if the opposing commander is not on your first stronghold card. In that case you must wait for the commander to be sent back by card affect or by attempt chances depleting (each commander can attempt a challenge in a stronghold twice per run. If not passed in that time they are sent back to their side of the field). When all the cards are cleared the two commanders face off. Sometimes certain characters gain an advantage from going on offense and others on defense; it depends. The two fight differently then normal creature cards. Instead their combat is one on one so it is represented in more detail (battle is carried out similar to that of a Table Top RPG combat). When one commander dies the game ends and the winner of the combat wins the game.

Commanders can also issue specific field abilities such as casting spells or unit support only when they are in the commander card zone and not in an enemy stronghold.

Element Types: Elements show which basic element the creature is based off of. These represent the creatures strengths and weaknesses and gives a basic idea onto how they can fit into your deck.

Fire: Fire creatures are centered around high attacks and low defense. These creatures usually feature affects which help in burning out multiple enemies and directly affecting commanders. They also have abilities useful in destroying equipment and siege cards.

Water: Water creatures are centered around defense and support. They aim to keep each other well defended while at the same time applying special affects to juggle around opposing creatures. Water types are good for keeping a strong wall of defense and slowing parting your foes but lack little in actual offensive tactics.

Earth: Earth creatures are good at powering up strong attacks and affects quickly as well as producing quick hitting waves of creatures. However, they lack support from most spell use and equipment use. Earth creatures are good for getting out large powerhouses yet they suffer from having a large amount of smaller fluff units and little defense against fast attacking opponents.

Wind: Wind creatures are great for field control. They often limit how well your opponent can move across theirown field and how well they can switch tactics between offense and defense. Wind creatures are good for field disruption but typically the creatures are too weak to last long without extra defense.

None: A creature with distinct element often combines strengths and weaknesses of other elements. These creatures are well rounded and may produce a unique variety of decent effects and solid attack or defense options. However, if a none-element creature with effects similar to a fire creature (for example) was compared to an actual fire creature with similar effects it would show a short coming in comparison.

2008-03-23, 08:30 AM
I think commander battle should work a bit differently because even if someone gets to the other commander they might lose the battle and lose the game.

2008-03-23, 12:54 PM
I think commander battle should work a bit differently because even if someone gets to the other commander they might lose the battle and lose the game.

Yes, that is something I thought of before I finished this. I am thinking of a way to give the upper hand to those who are on the offensive.

Really the only thing I think that is stopping this game from actually getting off it's feet (despite the incompletion of actual rules yet xD) is the fact that I have no drawing skills and therefore cannot draw all the pictures I need for cards :smalleek:

Maybe I can buy a batch of those guys who do the drawings for Magic. Those guys are great.

2008-03-23, 01:21 PM
I'm actually just thought about making a card game, so I'll be on the lookout for you.
I can't really help you play-wise, but what theme will this game have? Epic fantasy, the future, horror?

2008-03-24, 12:23 AM
I was thinking fantasy in the same sense of Magic: The Gathering.

Possibly a high magic fantasy world. There is technology but it is all magic run (generators and the like).

Again, if anyone else has suggestions please post them here it will be greatly appreciated.

2008-04-14, 06:22 AM
I made my own a while back but it wasn't very sucsessfull (didn't make any sense:smallannoyed:). So you seem to have got the basic rules laid out which is much further than i ever got, just make sure you dont go crazy on the super powerfull creatures. Good Luck

2008-04-14, 06:41 AM
If you ever did decide to market it you could have max point values on the decks so people could have a few strong cards or many weaker cards.

2008-04-15, 12:39 AM
There was a card playing point cost thing in an older game called Wyvern that was actually out before MtG but was put out of business when that hellish patent was gained. Basically, the game consisted of "hiring" dragons and dragonkin to fight for you with your gold pool, since we all know that every dragon in the world is obsessed with gold...

It was actually run fairly similarly to what you're proposing minus the characters and character progression. You had 25 gold pieces with which to pay your dragons and dragon slayers. Then you had terrain cards with various special effects which the dragons all fought on. There were also treasure cards that had special effects or gold values that you could trade to increase your army size. The cards were also laid out in a sort of battlefield where card placement actually mattered.

There was also a little known game (that was actually printed on business cards) called Siege. One person played in a castle while the other had siege engines and tried to conquer the castle. It was very fast paced and was actually an excellent game. If you could get your hands on a copy of this, I think you would find several rules and concepts that you could add to your game to improve some of the combat portions.

If I can find my siege set, I'll be glad to relay some of the rules and such to you. I'll just have to find it first...

2008-04-15, 01:01 AM
Some friends of mine actually made a game. And they went so far as to get the cards professionally printed off. They had a couple decks. It was a game based on hacking and the internet. Don't know much more than that as I've never played it myself.