Chrononauts Playtesting Results
Report #1

By Andrew Looney
7/31/00

Part 1: Intro (i.e. WWN July 31, 2000)
Part 2: Things I'm Changing (and why)
Part 3: Things I'm Not Changing (and why not)
Part 4: TimeLine Topics
Part 5: The Color Re-Design
Chrononauts Home

Part 2: Things I'm Changing (and why)

The Eleven New Cards

Download the Upgrade: Although there are numerous minor corrections to be made, there are only 11 cards I'm currently planning on making significant changes to. Unfortunately, 11 is an awkward number, since 9 cards fit nicely on a sheet of sticker paper, but since I have to make things work without changing the card count, 11 cards are what's needed. The coolest way to upgrade is to get some sticker paper and download the PDF files linked here (and here), but you can also just get out a magic marker and make notations regarding the changes by hand. (There's also the old-fashioned rubber cement method...) Anyway, the upgrade consists of the following:

Fast Forward (all new text for 2 existing cards): "Immediately draw two more cards, put them in your hand, and play two cards."

The old Fast Forward just isn't strong enough to be worthwhile. The out-of-turn element doesn't seem to come up often enough to justify the exceptions and arguments it causes; usually it's just played for an immediate new card draw, which is fun, but not fun enough. This change doubles the fun while simplifying things at the same time, and still retaining the sense of its name.

Sell an Artifact (new text for 2 existing cards):"Take an Artifact that you control off the table, discard it, and draw a card." These two cards then differ. One says "Dinosaur Bonus: If the Artifact is a live dinosaur, draw an extra card." The other says "Mona Lisa Bonus: If the Artifact is a Mona Lisa painting, draw an extra card."

One of the most common comments was the opinion that Sell an Artifact was too powerful. I'm not sure I agree, but I decided to hamstring this card anyway. However, rather than simply lowering it to a one card profit, I came up with this bonus idea, based on a suggestion from Dale. There was also a lot of confusion about the language on this card, which has here been re-written. Is it clear this time?

Quick Trip into the Future (2 copies, replacing a Rewind and a Get There First): "Look through the draw pile and choose a card. Then Re-shuffle the deck (not including the discard pile) and play the card. Cannot be used to fetch a Rewind, Quick Trip, or Memo (that goes for the Rewind card too)."

This is an entirely new card, designed to address complaints about too much time being spent waiting for that one special card you need. I'm concerned this card might be too powerful, and might end up being a win the game card too often; but I also think this is a cool card. Give it a try and see how it plays; if it seems too strong, I might put in only one of these, and make the other one a third Memo.

Restore History (3 copies, replacing 3 Reverse Fate cards): "Flip any Red Linchpin."

A number of people said they felt there ought to be counter-inverters, like Cause Disaster, Assassinate, and Provoke Attack; but I like this more generic version of that idea better.

Perform a "Miracle" (2 copies, replacing both Hold an Auction cards): "Discard an Artifact that you control . Then, setting your hand aside, draw two cards, play one, and discard one." As with the new version of Sell an Artifact, these two cards then differ; one says "Future Wisdom: Make that draw 3, play 2, and discard 1, if the Artifact was one of these: Future Sports Almanac, Tomorrow's News Today, or Cure for Cancer". The other card says "Biblical Relics: Make that draw 3, play 2, and discard 1, if the Artifact was one of these: Crown of Thorns, Lost Ark, or Ancient Wisdom."

Other common complaints were that Hold an Auction wasn't interesting enough, and that Artifacts in general weren't useful enough. So we decided to scrap Hold an Auction, and instead thought of something else to do with Artifacts to increase their usefulness. While modest compared to Seth's Artifact Powers idea, I think this will help add more fun to the Artifact plotline. It also captures the essence of another great time travel stunt, namely the ability to dazzle natives with godlike abilities; and it may even help encourage role-playing.

Other New Rules

Now It's Too Hard to Destroy the Entire Universe: If you didn't see the previous memo, we had decided at Origins to raise the number of Paradoxes needed for the end of the Universe to 16; that now seems too high, so let's make it 13. It's the unlucky number after all, and it's also the number of Linchpins.

The Identity Mulligan: If the character you are dealt is someone you've just played, or someone you've gotten one time too many, or just someone you don't like playing, you can try again. But no whining the second time.

The Double Discard Option: If you find you cannot play any of your cards, you must discard. In this case, you may choose to discard a second card as well, drawing one to replace it.

The Dual-Identity Variation: Not a new rule per se, but a new variation to try, primarily intended to spice up a two player game. Each player gets 2 Id cards, and wins by getting either character home. If you really like overload, try it with two Missions as well.

Tilting: As noted before, there's no need to mess about with tokens for optional marking a half-paradoxed Ripplepoint... it was pointed out by some Magic players at Origins that you can just tilt such cards 45 degrees to mark them as being halfway flipped.

Little Stuff