Peddler variant

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Peddler, the archetype for this category.

Peddler variant, or cantrip money, is a catch-all term for cantrips that give +$. They fit very easily into almost any engine, since, as long as they are not drawn dead by a terminal draw card with no actions remaining, they can always be played to increase buying power without obstructing your access to other engine cards.

The simplest possible Peddler variant—a card that simply gives +1 Card, +1 Action, +$1—does not exist; all Peddler variants carry at least one other bonus, penalty, or quirk aside from the cantrip-money effect. Donald X. Vaccarino has commented that leaving this niche unfilled gives him more flexibility in designing variants. Consensus among analysts was that such a card, if it existed, would be balanced at a cost of roughly $4; however, PoacherPoacher.jpg was eventually introduced with a cost of $4, and is almost strictly worse than "vanilla peddler".


[edit] List of Peddler variants

The Peddler variants, and their differences from the notional "vanilla Peddler", are as follows. Cards in italics have been removed.

[edit] Unconditional Peddlers

These cards always give at least +1 Card, +1 Action, and +$1 (or the equivalent).

Some cards have all three bonuses that make up a peddler but cannot be used in the same way because they do not maintain handsize:

[edit] Conditional Peddlers

These cards have cantrip-money effects that are not always activated.

[edit] Marginal Peddlers

These cards are not normally thought of as Peddler variants.

Lost ArtsLost Arts.jpg, TrainingTraining.jpg, PathfindingPathfinding.jpg can all turn an Action card pile into a Peddler variant, depending on what else the card already does.

[edit] Gallery

[edit] Unconditional

Artificer.jpgBaker.jpgBazaar.jpgCaravan Guard.jpgEmporium.jpgFisherman.jpgGrand Market.jpgHighway.jpgJunk Dealer.jpgMarket.jpgOasis.jpgPeddler.jpgPoacher.jpgSkirmisher.jpgTreasury.jpg

[edit] Conditional

Chariot Race.jpgConspirator.jpgCourier.jpgIronmonger.jpgMerchant.jpgMystic.jpgSettlers.jpgTournament.jpg

[edit] Donald X.'s remarks on the lack of Vanilla Peddler

In 2015, before the introduction of PoacherPoacher.jpg, Donald X. was asked why there was no "vanilla Peddler" costing $4. His answer

A $4 Peddler (are we clear on what I mean here, yes, okay) would probably be fine. I mean it would be good, but it would be acceptable power-level-wise.

The Vanilla card problem is, vanilla cards limit what other cards can do (in games where cards can't naturally just be blatantly different in power level). For example VillageVillage.jpg at $3 means VillageVillage.jpg-with-a-bonus has to cost $4+. Otherwise some people are unhappy. It is really about that unhappiness, not necessarily any other issues. If say Walled VillageWalled Village.jpg cost $3, there would be people who were pissed. It would have no other negative consequences; it's still worth avoiding.

So, again just in certain kinds of games, you want to ration out the vanilla cards. They're valuable for being very simple cards, but limit what other cards can do.

My feeling was that $4-Peddler was a good one not to do. I did it, right away, but didn't use it; the main set got MarketMarket.jpg instead. With MarketMarket.jpg I can replace the +1 Buy with a different bonus and get a parade of cards that aren't clearly better/worse across the board. And then at $4 there are a couple cards that are some mix of better and worse than $4-Peddler, although that makes them more complex cards.

In the end, well the decision not to do $4-Peddler was an early one, and the years did not produce as many comparable $4's as expected. It probably would have been fine to have had $4-Peddler exist all these years. TournamentTournament.jpg is obviously both better and worse; IronmongerIronmonger.jpg has acceptable differences. And PeddlerPeddler.jpg itself you are hoping to pay $0 for.

Attacks Attack immunityCurserDeck inspection attackDeck order attackHandsize attackJunking attackTrashing attackTurn-worsening attack
Buy/Money +BuyCost-reducerDisappearing moneyOverpayPeddler variantTerminal silverVirtual coinVirtual +Buy
Cycling Deck discarderDeck inspectorDiggingDiscard for benefitSifter
Terminality CantripNon-terminalNon-terminal drawSoft terminalTerminalTerminal drawThrone Room variantVillageConditional non-terminal
Other Alt-VPBasic cardsDuration drawCommand variantGainerLuck-basedNon-Attack interactionOne-shotRemodelerSplit pileTop deckerTrasherVanillaExtra turn
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