CardName: Simulating free will
Set/Rarity: Conversation None
Yikes, that's deep. But I mean how would you go about creating a card that's mechanic was top-down "free will"? For example, make Floral Spuzzem work as printed.
Tricky, tricky, tricky. I get the impression that this is technically two questions: How would you represent free will as an effect (i.e. on Insants and Sorceries), and how would you represent a permanent with free will (Like our friend, Floral Spuzzem, who asks us to sit around while makes a decision).
Wikipedia tells me that "Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors". The factor here, I assume, would be the Planeswalker as an agent of force. That means that you'd need to somehow design a card that the player could make no choices for, and one that didn't use a random determination to resolve (since choose at random isn't a real 'choice'.)
We're getting a little 'Un' here, but the only way I can think of this working was if a person who wasn't a participant in the game made choices for the creature experiencing free will. For example, a card could tell you to go to a website where a human being updates what that card does on a regular occasion. One week, the person may force the creature to always attack. Another week, the creature might enter the battlefield and draw you a card. It isn't perfect, but it's an answer.
The idea that you don't control something is usually brought forth by random effects and coin flips.
As far as I can tell, the only reason cards that players rather than spells or permanents do most keyword actions (e.g. destroying, regenerating or detaining) is historical templating (indeed one might wonder why the player should regenerate anything!). It currently matters not at all, unlike with damage, since cards can care about the source of that damage.
One thought. The best existing examples are probably planeswalker cards. I remember reading an article that said they tried to give the feel of an independent ally by making them act on a predictable schedule, but it didn't really work. But the current implementation is supposed to feel a bit like an independent ally. Not because Garruck CAN do things the player doesn't want, but because the normal flow of the game incentivises the play to have Garruck act in a Garruck-y way.
Second thought: alextfish and some friends eventually implemented a turing machine in magic. So you could encode a simple AI (eliza, siri, etc) in the game :)
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