Traveller

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Hero, a Traveller card.

Traveller is a card type introduced in Adventures; cards of this type are marked with a lightened arrow behind their card text. Travellers can, when discarded from play, be exchanged for other cards that are not in the Supply; thus a cheap card bought early becomes an expensive card given enough time.

Contents

[edit] List of Travellers

The ends of each Traveller line, ChampionChampion.jpg and TeacherTeacher.jpg, are not Travellers themselves.

[edit] Official Rules

  • AdventuresAdventures.jpg has Traveller cards. These cards have an arrow over the text box to remind players of their ability to upgrade into another card.
  • When a player discards a Traveller from play, they may exchange it for the card indicated; they return the card being exchanged to its pile, take the card they are exchanging it for, and put that card into their discard pile.
  • For example when exchanging PeasantPeasant.jpg for SoldierSoldier.jpg, they put Peasant back into its pile and take a Soldier and put it into their discard pile.
  • Exchanging is not trashing or gaining, and so does not trigger abilities like Travelling Fair'sTravelling Fair.jpg.
    • It is optional.
    • It only happens when the card is discarded from play; discarding it from hand, such as due to not playing it, will not trigger it.
    • It only happens if the card being exchanged for has any copies available; if there are no Soldiers in the pile, Peasant cannot be exchanged at that time.
  • If multiple cards do something when discarded from play, the player picks the order; for example, with no SoldiersSoldier.jpg left in the pile, a player with PeasantPeasant.jpg and SoldierSoldier.jpg in play could first exchange SoldierSoldier.jpg for FugitiveFugitive.jpg, then exchange PeasantPeasant.jpg for that SoldierSoldier.jpg.
  • PagePage.jpg and PeasantPeasant.jpg are Kingdom cards that are Travellers.
  • PagePage.jpg is exchanged for Treasure HunterTreasure Hunter.jpg, which is exchanged for WarriorWarrior.jpg, which is exchanged for HeroHero.jpg, which is exchanged for ChampionChampion.jpg;
    PeasantPeasant.jpg is exchanged for SoldierSoldier.jpg, which is exchanged for FugitiveFugitive.jpg, which is exchanged for DiscipleDisciple.jpg, which is exchanged for TeacherTeacher.jpg.
  • ChampionChampion.jpg and TeacherTeacher.jpg are not Travellers; they cannot be exchanged for anything.
  • PagePage.jpg and PeasantPeasant.jpg can be bought or otherwise gained when being used in a game, but the other cards cannot, they are not in the Supply.
  • When a non-Supply pile is empty, that does not count as an empty pile for the game ending condition or for cards like CityCity.jpg (from ProsperityProsperity.jpg).

[edit] Preparation

  • If Page or Peasant is being used in a game, take the cards that they upgrade into (for Page: Treasure Hunter, Warrior, Hero, and Champion; for Peasant: Soldier, Fugitive, Disciple, and Teacher) and put them near the Supply.
  • They can be in a single pile or multiple piles, depending on player preferences and table space.

[edit] Other rules clarifications

  • Exchanging must happen both ways; there must be somewhere for the discarding card to return to. If a Traveller is bought using Black MarketBlack Market.jpg, there is no pile to return it to and therefore it cannot be exchanged.
  • Travellers in the trash, even though they are not from the Supply, may be gained by GraverobberGraverobber.jpg or RogueRogue.jpg if they have the right cost.
Deprecated rules clarifications (2015 2019)

[edit] Gallery

Disciple.jpgFugitive.jpgHero.jpgPage.jpgPeasant.jpgSoldier.jpgTreasure Hunter.jpgWarrior.jpg

[edit] End cards of Traveller line

Champion.jpgTeacher.jpg

[edit] Trivia

[edit] In other languages

  • Dutch: Reiziger
  • Finnish: Matkaaja
  • French: Itinérant (lit. travelling)
  • German: Reisender
  • Russian: Путешественник (pron. putyeshyestvyennik)

[edit] Spelling

I used the old form Traveller because it's a medieval game and I like the old-timey look of it.

[edit] Secret History

Okay so. As explained in the intro, the topic came up, maybe over lunch, man I don't remember, of someday doing an online-only promo. It would necessarily be something that couldn't exist in a physical expansion, so as not to enrage people. I went for the low-hanging fruit of, there could be a card that added +1 of something to itself when you played it. That sounded good, I filed the idea away.

But one day it came up for some reason, and I thought, hmmmm. I could simulate that in a physical card, by having piles of unique cards. You start out with say +1 Card +1 Action for $2. When you play it (wait, when you discard it from play), you upgrade it into your choice of cards from the $3 pile, which are all worth about $3. They wouldn't need to be adding +1 of something each time, but at the same time they could mostly be vanilla cards. VillageVillage.jpg wasn't just Village here, it was a thing you picked to upgrade into, then upgraded away from later. You have to stop eventually and I figured four piles was enough. So you got a Peasant, and he turned into a Worker, then a Craftsman, then an Artisan, then a Master. And mostly they were vanilla cards, they had to be simple for multiple reasons.

I tried it and it was fun. It had issues though. Originally you got to pick the upgrade. You'd play three of these guys at different levels and then stare at the options. Oh man. So painful with less-frequent Dominion players. So I changed it to, we shuffle the piles, there's no choice. If you had to take the top one and put yours back on the bottom, it was kind of clumsy resolving it. If you put yours back on top, you would have slow decisions again, based on the order you upgraded guys. The upgrade thing was cool but the cards themselves were not too exciting. You would build this deck where they were a lot of your village/+buy/+cards, they did it all, and you would never know what your cards did and it would slow down games. It had seemed so cool, but was it really worth preserving?

I decided to make it a fixed four cards. You could learn them much faster; they could be more exciting although they still couldn't be too wordy, since the upgrading part took space. It still seemed like a cool thing, so I did two sequences: onePage.jpg is just a hero getting better, while the otherPeasant.jpg tells a little story. They took up a lot of space in the set so I didn't make a third. The new version was way better, all problems solved, hooray. I picked names for the cards first, then picked abilities to go with the names, then polished them and in some cases replaced them as we tested them.

[edit] Relevant outtakes

I tried a drastically simpler variation on the PeasantPeasant.jpg concept, where playing a card got you a token, or you traded in the card and 3 tokens for a particular card costing $5, different each game. It was fine but didn't seem worth the tokens.

[edit] Development history

Well for the step where I first had the two linear paths, I picked names first. One line was just someone getting better, the other told a little story. Then, the effects wanted to at least somewhat fit the names.

For the PagePage.jpg line, I liked the idea of having just one attack (and one in the other in the obvious SoldierSoldier.jpg slot). The names thus had to work with not being attacks despite being names that might otherwise go on attack cards. One thing was to have a MoatMoat.jpg, but that had to go on the top, since the under-the-line space was reserved for upgrading. So, there's an attack, a MoatMoat.jpg, and two treasure-gainers, which also fits with the names. Your HeroHero.jpg fights, but doesn't fight the other players.

For the PeasantPeasant.jpg line, things were more of a mystery. SoldierSoldier.jpg wanted to attack and TeacherTeacher.jpg wanted to hand out tokens. FugitiveFugitive.jpg and DiscipleDisciple.jpg did not suggest as much in terms of what they would do. At one point the FugitiveFugitive.jpg went on the Tavern mat; that was cute, he hid out in the Tavern. That was part of trying to make TeacherTeacher.jpg harder to go nuts with, but was very wordy.

It was natural to look at old ideas to see if some of them would work; I mean I needed 8 extra cards. FugitiveFugitive.jpg in particular was a card I was resigned to never doing, but I could just do it here with no issues. Treasure HunterTreasure Hunter.jpg you know about. It had been in Hinterlands, it was pretty cool there, what with HagglerHaggler.jpg and Border VillageBorder Village.jpg and so on. DiscipleDisciple.jpg tried another classic dead card, but didn't keep it. HeroHero.jpg tried something new simple & exciting, that would be dangerous on a regular card. ChampionChampion.jpg was a MoatMoat.jpg variant, then Moated from anywhere. TeacherTeacher.jpg was new. SoldierSoldier.jpg and WarriorWarrior.jpg were just very simple attacks using the tokens (at first). Attacks are hard and that was an easy way to get terse new ones.

There were things that weren't a reason why a card showed up, but which then seemed nice, and made it less likely that that card would leave. It was cute that PagePage.jpg and Treasure HunterTreasure Hunter.jpg were +1 Action while PeasantPeasant.jpg and SoldierSoldier.jpg weren't. It was cute that PeasantPeasant.jpg was the +'s not on Page, but it didn't start that way. It was cute that ChampionChampion.jpg was a duration and TeacherTeacher.jpg a reserve; neither started that way. It was cute that SoldierSoldier.jpg gave the -1 card token and WarriorWarrior.jpg gave the -$1 token, while SoldierSoldier.jpg gave +$2 and WarriorWarrior.jpg gave +2 Cards.

I liked the idea of trying to have each step be worth stopping on sometimes, but it was clear you would usually want to push to the top with your first PagePage.jpg/PeasantPeasant.jpg. I do think it ended up where every step is worth stopping on sometimes, except PagePage.jpg (and yes even then but way less often). You don't stop on FugitiveFugitive.jpg that often, but I have done it. You stop on SoldierSoldier.jpg, WarriorWarrior.jpg, and DiscipleDisciple.jpg all the time; and then sometimes there's a combo for Treasure HunterTreasure Hunter.jpg or HeroHero.jpg (or you don't need ChampionChampion.jpg).


Mostly what makes for a poor upgrade but not a poor card, is something that's missing out by being an upgrade. You see the upgrade less often; it would bring more joy to the game as a regular card. There's also, things you need early game, since the upgrades are delayed. Arguably when an ability is precious (e.g. +buy, in some games) it's bad to have it on a traveller (other than the 1st or last one). I kind of shied away from those but not completely. A card that's too narrow as a regular card can hope to find life in a less-used slot like the travellers; if this isn't the game for Treasure HunterTreasure Hunter.jpg combos, you just play it once and move on. A card that's hard to cost (e.g. FugitiveFugitive.jpg) gets this new option of costing time.

[edit] Retrospective on exchanging

I think of this as, well not exactly a failed experiment, but something that was better constrained to the Travellers. I think it confuses people and the move is not to use it. TraderTrader.jpg, as I've said in the past, either it should not have the reaction, or the reaction should let you trash a when-gained non-SilverSilver.jpg card to gain a SilverSilver.jpg. Of course a spin-off could have exchange but not when-gain, or could just really require that people learn all about exchanging day one, as a basic part of the rules.

[edit] Why is exchanging not gaining?

I obv. didn't want to trash the Travellers because it would reduce your ability to go up the path, or require 40 more cards. It made no sense to both trash and return them, it's just extra words to confuse people. Since you weren't trashing them, I automatically preferred not gaining them, it seems simpler. Gaining them but not trashing them just seems weird to me. Since they are people getting better there's a poetry to not gaining/trashing, hooray. And to fit on the cards it's all just this magic word "exchange" you have to look up anyway.


Cards $2 Coin of the RealmCoin of the Realm.jpgPagePage.jpg (Treasure HunterTreasure Hunter.jpgWarriorWarrior.jpgHeroHero.jpgChampionChampion.jpg) • PeasantPeasant.jpg (SoldierSoldier.jpgFugitiveFugitive.jpgDiscipleDisciple.jpgTeacherTeacher.jpg) • RatcatcherRatcatcher.jpgRazeRaze.jpg $3 AmuletAmulet.jpgCaravan GuardCaravan Guard.jpgDungeonDungeon.jpgGearGear.jpgGuideGuide.jpg $4 DuplicateDuplicate.jpgMagpieMagpie.jpgMessengerMessenger.jpgMiserMiser.jpgPortPort.jpgRangerRanger.jpgTransmogrifyTransmogrify.jpg $5 ArtificerArtificer.jpgBridge TrollBridge Troll.jpgDistant LandsDistant Lands.jpgGiantGiant.jpgHaunted WoodsHaunted Woods.jpgLost CityLost City.jpgRelicRelic.jpgRoyal CarriageRoyal Carriage.jpgStorytellerStoryteller.jpgSwamp HagSwamp Hag.jpgTreasure TroveTreasure Trove.jpgWine MerchantWine Merchant.jpg $6 HirelingHireling.jpg
Events $0 AlmsAlms.jpgBorrowBorrow.jpgQuestQuest.jpg $1 SaveSave.jpg $2 Scouting PartyScouting Party.jpgTravelling FairTravelling Fair.jpg $3 BonfireBonfire.jpgExpeditionExpedition.jpgFerryFerry.jpgPlanPlan.jpg $4 MissionMission.jpgPilgrimagePilgrimage.jpg $5 BallBall.jpgRaidRaid.jpgSeawaySeaway.jpgTradeTrade.jpg $6 Lost ArtsLost Arts.jpgTrainingTraining.jpg $7 InheritanceInheritance.jpg $8 PathfindingPathfinding.jpg
Combos and Counters Counting House/Travelling FairRoyal Carriage/Bridge
Other concepts DurationReserveTokensTraveller
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