About Spellcraft: Words of Power

wizards sketches 01 low

This game has really been in development since 2006, but because limited resources I haven’t been able to fully work on it. I only had space for one big game and I chose Tribal Pride over Spellcraft thinking that it would be simpler to develop.

wizards sketches 02 low

Spellcraft: Words of Power is a collectible card game that requires only the cards to play; no dice, counters, note pads, etc. I created it to address many of the flaws I see in other card games today. I want this to have a minimalist approach without being shallow, I will design it to be easy to play, but hard to master.

wizards sketches 04 low

Spellcraft cards are played by spelling out the name of a card with the name of other cards. I will post this mechanic in detail in a future video as it is hard to imagine it in action, but the gist is that the resources to play each card lies within the name of the cards themselves.

wizards sketches 03 low

I want this game to be tournament worthy and for that to happen its design must be as resistant as possible to cheating and slight of hand. One of the ways it will deal with these problems is by allowing players to set up their hand and deck in any way they wish. Damage will be expressed by discarding from the deck. This by itself will create a randomizing effect without shuffling. Because of this, metagame and pre-planning will be very important.

wizards sketch 05 low

There is also the problem of dense text which can be solved by using pictographs to convey meaning. Common cards will have the pictograph and full text to familiarize players with its function, and advanced cards will have no text and many pictographs. Because of this, I want to sell the basic cards separately from the more advanced ones. This does not mean that the basic cards will be useless as I don’t believe in creating “filler cards”. There is no reason why every card can’t be useful.

Spellcraft-template

Above is the design fort he cards. Most important information is one the upper left, where it is natural for our eyes to look. The “tags” are the pictographs and the art will be in that space in the middle, although the Ability Text might come down to rest right on top of the Favor Text section. This game will have very few rules outside what cards instruct players to do, in fact it will be the bare minimum. Let the cards do most of the heavy lifting and let the player just focus on playing.

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The content of the cards will be used to deliver seamless learning of many topics; new words, new terms, new concepts, etc. Magic: The Gathering did this once, but not so much anymore. I, as a player, enjoyed the educational aspect of those cards and the fact that I was learning something, however small, while playing my favorite game at the time was just mind-blowingly awesome.

wizards sketch 08 low

Like most card games, Spellcraft also has its own lore.
The sketches you have been seeing so far were made by Bosco and they are of Celia, an ordinary girl that finds out she is a spellcrafter, she can bend reality with the power of her words. She gets scooped up by a group of spellcrafters and put under the wing of a mentor. This group is one of many that are involved in a struggle with others to steer the course of reality.

wizards sketch 07 low

I also want to encourage trade with this game and I don’t like rarities very much, so I want to have an equal number of copies for all cards in each pack, however, some areas will have exclusive cards available only in that area. I want a robust trade economy that will bring some extra income to our players.

Here’s a gallery of the only color commission of Celia, although Nidhi had to leave it incomplete. Also, let me know what you think about all this so far in the comments.

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Updated: April 8, 2016 — 17:22

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