Dominion, that’s what you’re trying to achieve. This time with animals! They each have a lesson to teach, whether it’s how to spit really far, or what kind of grass tastes the best. It’s a lot to keep track of, but you’re like an elephant: you remember everything. And you’re afraid of mice. You’ve taken up riding. Horses are intimidating; they say you can lead a horse to water, but you haven’t managed it. So you’re working your way up, starting with dogs. So far so good; the dog hasn’t bucked you off yet. Your menagerie got off to a poor start, with just a goat, two rats, and the advisor who suggested starting a menagerie. You couldn’t get that fox you wanted, but it was probably bad anyway. Now you’ve got some camels, which are just as useless for sewing as you’d been warned, and a turtle that can hold its breath for longer than anyone can stay interested. Soon the animal kingdom will be yours.
I took a break after , and worked on other games. One night there was just me and Kevin. What's good with two? I dunno, Dominion? It happened again a week or two later. And then that was that, I was making an expansion. A lesson for us all.
There were two ideas waiting to be used, from when working on Renaissance. First, the Jail mat. This was a mat cards could put cards onto, and then it had a built-in rule that let you get the cards back when gaining another copy of whichever card. This mat and the associated cards had been good, but I didn't want more mats in Renaissance. At one point it had four mats; in the end it has one that does double duty. So I saved this for next time, and well, it was next time. So this went right into the set and had good cards right away. Eventually I renamed it to Exile, because I wasn't looking to make a wild west expansion, which is what "jail plus horses" sure suggested. "Exile" was nice because you can use it as a verb too, and it made at least some sense for a medieval game.
The other idea was for a particular way to do "+1 Card tokens." I considered them for Renaissance, but it didn't sound great to have a pile of tokens you could constantly consider cashing in for cards. What I ended up doing for Renaissance was , which just happens at the start of a turn. But another approach was to have a pile of one-use you could gain. It was like a +1 Card token, except different in all the ways it's different - you can only use it when drawing it, you can it, and so on. There wasn't room for a big pile of those in Renaissance, though it got . So this was another thing to try right away, and right away I liked it. itself started and ended costing , but I tried having it cost , to make it weaker with trash-for-benefit. I preferred it being stronger there.
The first two cards using were "Gain 3 " and "+1 Action, discard any number of cards for that many ." They both immediately showcased the beauty of . "Gain 3 " is like ... but it doesn't draw dead cards, and doesn't draw at all the first time you play it, and well more differences, and stuff. It was a pretty neat variation on and still really simple. And then the variant was nothing like . It was pretty neat too. Well as you may have noticed, these cards aren't in the set. They both just produced too many . Another way "Gain 3 " is different from is, it takes longer to resolve - not just playing it, but playing it and playing the three . So in the end there are "Gain 2 " cards, but no 3, and only gets to really go nuts gaining .
I tried several new kinds of landscape cards for the set. The one that stuck was Ways, which let any Action be played for a particular effect. I liked the vanilla ones right away. I also planned to add Events to the set. The set was going to have to be 400 cards, to include 30 and some landscapes and not have fewer Kingdom cards than usual. So, it had space. It took me a while to get around to trying some Events, but when I did that all worked out, there were new things to do, not all of them involving Exile and .
I considered having another card like , a pile that some cards could give you. I didn't get around to trying one for a while, and meanwhile two minor themes crept into the set. So I never tried one, I had plenty of stuff going on. The minor themes are Reactions
and uh weird costs. It seemed cool to have a bunch of Reactions, and I had this good trick to do to get some, which was letting you play the card. had done that, but it had +1 Action, which severely reduced how exciting that was. And then the weird costs, I added and and they were just immediately highlights of the set, so I looked for a couple more.