Author Topic: Magic: the Gathering - Chrono Trigger Set  (Read 87 times)

Kodokami

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Magic: the Gathering - Chrono Trigger Set
« on: September 30, 2019, 01:19:20 am »
I've been toying with this idea of designing a Magic: the Gathering set based around Chrono Trigger for a while, and recently got the chance to talk it out more with the esteemed Lord J Esq. I'm excited to share the very beginnings of this idea, namely, the color identities I believe fit most closely with each of the cast.

In MtG, each card typically falls into one or more of five "colors", each representing certain themes and flavors. I tried my best to fit each character into their proper color(s), but it's fairly complicated; the philosophies behind the colors is subjective. A fully fleshed character would also share a bit of every color philosophy, though in designing this space for them, I need to find the best match. Besides that, the game mechanics and the abilities that follow any potential cards (which I hope to get to eventually) also follow their own color philosophies. For a very broad introduction, here's an introduction to the colors by the game's head designer.

TLDR: In general, if summed up in one word, the colors could follow:
White = Peace
Blue = Perfection
Black = Power
Red = Freedom
Green = Acceptance

Thus, I suggest the following for the cast of Chrono Trigger. I'll be working on this periodically, so of course, say any opinions, critiques, or suggestions of your own, especially if you're a player of Magic: the Gathering. (Note: "U" = blue)

Quote
Crono - WR
Marle - R
Lucca -UR
Frog - WG
Robo - GU
Ayla - RG
Magus - BUR
Lavos - GU

Crono, our silent protagonist. Brave and quick to action, however foolish, his selflessness in helping others is always in full force, while he also expresses a strong fervor and recklessness. He waves the Boros flag, Red/White.

Marle is hot-headed, earnest, and full of devotion for her friends. On top of that, she desires freedom from the shackles of her monarchy. Pure Red.

Lucca: Izzet, definitely. A passionate tinkerer, she commits herself to her creations and to her friends. Blue/Red.

Frog is a noble knight, through and through, fighting for his people. At the same time, he seeks acceptance--not from others but from himself. Selesyna, Green/White.

Robo... You know, we had him pegged as the Simic colors, Blue/Green, but now for the life of me I cannot recall why. :o

Ayla, without a doubt, embraces the Gruul philosophy entirely. She is Red/Green.

Magus is a grab bag of philosophies. He seeks power, absolutely. He manipulates others to achieve his goals. He is driven by pure emotion. Though, personally, I tentatively accept him as Blue, he for sure shares the other Grixis colors. Black/Blue/Red.

Lavos, the most surprising of all. Keeping in mind Chrono Trigger only, and not Chrono Cross, Lord J and I agree that Lavos is, at its most basic design, a primal force of nature, without emotion, without greed, without a care. A pure Green antagonist. However, given the inherent perfection of its species' progression, and how I cannot imagine designing a Lavos card without temporal mechanics, I say it also shares Blue.

Razig

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Re: Magic: the Gathering - Chrono Trigger Set
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 04:29:07 pm »
TLDR: In general, if summed up in one word, the colors could follow:
White = Peace
Blue = Perfection
Black = Power
Red = Freedom
Green = Acceptance
I know these are simplifications, but I would quibble that "peace" makes White seem like the "good guy" color. Magic is pretty insistent on showing that White's idea of peace comes from order and conformity. It produces totalitarian regimes more often than enlightened utopias. But "oppression" doesn't really mesh well with the themes of Chrono Trigger, so I could definitely see a case being made for "peace" instead.

On the other hand, Magic has always paid lip service to the idea that Black isn't necessarily bad, but neither the cards nor the stories do anything to back up that assertion; Black is consistently portrayed as unremittingly evil. I think "power" is a good way to characterize it without ascribing a morality to it. Yes, power tends to corrupt, but it can be wielded for good or evil. I wish the designers would actually remember that.

Quote
Crono - WR
Marle - R
Lucca -UR
Frog - WG
Robo - GU
Ayla - RG
Magus - BUR
Lavos - GU
I mostly agree with your assessments, but for balance purposes, I think Red is over-represented here. Maybe it's just my love of cycles, but I think each color should get equal spotlight. You could simply make up the difference with other characters, but since these are the "stars" of the set they carry more weight than mere NPCs.

A couple of things to consider: how will characters' techniques be represented? Will they be activated abilities of the Creatures themselves, or will they be Instants/Sorceries? And on a related note, how will you reconcile the element types of Chrono Trigger with the color pie of Magic? For example, healing is mostly a Water magic (Blue) thing in Chrono Trigger, but it's White or Green in Magic. How you decide to handle these things could inform what colors the characters end up being.

I feel that as an artifact creature, Robo should be colorless, although with his wide repertoire of abilities he could represent all colors. On the other hand, Lavos is an alien parasite whose very presence in the world upsets the natural order. Making it devoid of color (like the Eldrazi) seems like the best fit to me.

And now, some random card ideas. I've left out casting costs and equip costs and such because that depends heavily on the overall power level of the set, which remains to be seen.


Haste Helm
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +0/+1 and has haste, first strike, and vigilance.

(Perhaps double strike would be more thematic than first strike plus vigilance, but I consider double strike to be MASSIVELY overpowered, to the point that as soon as a creature with double strike hits the table the game is effectively over unless the opponent has removal in hand. And I resent the fact that it's primarily in White when it clearly should be Red; White as a whole is already OP in recent years without giving it even more goodies. But I digress.)


Prism Helm
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +0/+2 and has hexproof.

(The power/toughness modifiers of all of these are subject to change, depending on the needs of the set.)


Wrath Band
Artifact — Equipment
Whenever a source deals damage to equipped creature, equipped creature deals damage equal to its power to that source's controller.


Berserker
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +2/+2, loses all abilities, and attacks each combat if able.


Enertron
Artifact
Tap: Regenerate target creature.

(I know regenerate has fallen out of favor with the designers for some reason, but it's the easiest way to represent what the Enertron does.)


Gold Stud
Artifact — Equipment
Activated abilities of equipped creature cost [?] less to activate.


Masamune
Legendary Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +1/+0.
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, transform Masamune.

(transforms into...)


Awakened Masamune
Legendary Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +2/+0 and has first strike and vigilance.


Gate Key
Legendary Artifact
T: Search your library for a legendary land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.

(Gate Key is intended to work with the following legendary lands. There is a cycle for each era, although these need some serious work. They should each probably have a thematic ability in addition to simply producing mana.)


Prehistory
W — Laruba Village (Larubans are willing to give up liberty for security.)
U — Ioka Village (A bit of a stretch making it Blue, but Iokans fight to become stronger, i.e., self-improvement.)
B — Tyranno Lair (The Reptites abuse their power.)
R — Mystic Mountains (They're mountains.)
G — Hunting Range (It's a forest.)

Antiquity
W — Last Village (The Enlightened and the Earthbound are equals.)
U — Kajar (A city dedicated to magical research is quintessential Blue.)
B — Zeal Palace (The power of Lavos has corrupted Queen Zeal.)
R — Enhasa (The Mountain of Woe would be the obvious choice, being a mountain and all, but its purpose is imprisonment—antithetical to Red. On the other hand, exploring one's dreams is all about freedom.)
G — Algetty (The Earthbound Ones seem to accept their lot and survive the best they can.)

Middle Ages
W — Guardia Castle (It's the bastion of law and order.)
U — San Dorino? (A huge stretch, mainly because I can't think of anything better in this era.)
B — Magus's Lair (Magus's obsession with defeating Lavos has corrupted him.)
R — Denadoro Mountains (They're mountains.)
G — Cursed Woods (It's a forest.)

Present
W — Truce (It's the most peaceful place in the game.)
U — Lucca's House (She invents stuff, as Blue is wont to do.)
B — Porre (Not really a good fit in Chrono Trigger, but given what we know happens later...)
R — Choras? (A stretch, but the people here seem to be pretty independent.)
G — Fiona's Forest (It's a giant forest.)

Future
W — Sun Shrine (It's got 'sun' right in the name.)
U — Keeper's Dome (It's home to the Guru of Reason.)
B — Geno Dome (Mother Brain is terribly corrupt.)
R — Death Peak (It's a mountain.)
G — Arris Dome? (A stretch, but the people seem resigned to their fate, plus the sapling sprouts here.)

End of Time
Colorless — End of Time (All times intersect here, thus no one color is dominant.)

None of these ideas are sacrosanct; feel free to change anything.