Sunday, October 3, 2021

MOXTOBER - Pawn: Changing Game Pieces

Wobbles the Goose

It’s #MTGMoxtober! A month of design prompts for the Magic creatively inclined. Today is October Third, which means the prompt for today is Pawn .

Nich designed around the idea of pawning as in Rishadan Pawnshop, but I was thinking more along the lines of Pawns as game components in Chess:

Lots of tiny text there: 

If there 0 or 1 pawns on the board, place a pawn on each colored square when a player becomes the Monarch.

The Monarch may move any Pawn diagonally at the end of their turn.

When you move a Pawn to an occupied square, remove a pawn there and claim the reward.

And the rewards are:

  • Create three 1/1 white soldier tokens
  • Draw two cards
  • Destroy a creature
  • Fetch a basic land
  • Deal 4 damage to each opponent
The idea is that for the right environment, you could use Monarch Chess as an alternative for the typical monarch rules. Homebrew rules are an easy way to spice up casual game play without needing to design new cards for your casual format. And, as recent Magic sets have relied on more and more external cards like Contraptions, Dungeons, or Lessons, the easier its become to create alternatives to what those rules mean. 

For example, what if for your next AFR draft, every time you’d venture into the dungeon you set in motion a random Scheme instead? 

Maybe you build a Strixhaven Cube with the alternate rule that every time you’d learn a lesson, you get to Booster Tutor from your Vintage Cube instead? 

In my Un-set battle box, we use a Steamflogger Boss as a monarch token that replaces the card draw with assembling a contraption. 

These rule tweaks can be a fun way to change up an existing play experience or significantly shift a format as play continues. Who knows, a fun homebrew rules tweak might even become a standard part of the game! That was the case for Commander and, in keeping with today’s theme, the invention of en passant captures for Pawns in chess.

Do you have fun homebrew rules variants that you use in casual games? Let us know in the comments!

You can find me on Twitter @wobbles

or in the Beacon of Creation discord

Or on my Tumblr where I post other small and cheap game design ideas:

Honk! Honk!

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