For a while now, I’ve been enamored with the idea of the motobushi each having an array of special empowerments at their fingertips, abilities which would let them bend certain rules to their favor in particular situations. While I’ve developed a hefty array of these powers, I’ve been struggling with the proper method for bringing them into play without totally destroying mechanical balance. After last night’s second playtest, I think I’ve finally figured it out.
One of the game’s main themes involves investing current power into future options, and the choice between what works right now and what might work in a few moments. I’m going to keep with that theme when implementing maneuvers. Instead of just being able to activate them left and right at will, or placing artificial “only once per shindig” limitations upon them, I’m going to require that players actually use cards from their hand to activate them. Each maneuver will have an Activation Rank, starting at 10 and going down with character advancement. By sacrificing a card from your hand with a face rank higher than the maneuver’s activation, you can use that maneuver’s ability.
This enhances the strategy behind the conflict, and should hopefully work nicely with the innate risk vs reward setup. Players will have to choose between holding onto the higher cards for use against their opponent, or investing them into their maneuvers for immediate effect.
Now it just remains to be tested.