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Somnium Lore

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Lore' started by KillerClowns, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Chieftain

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    After I started imagining the over-the-top possible house rules in Balseraph gambling houses, I figure it might be wise to start a thread on this addictive little game's place in Erebus... possible house rules, its place in various cultures, that sort of thing.

    To start, I was thinking about how it might be seen differently in different cultures, and how the local variants would effect that. I posted quite a bit about the Balseraph variant in Thewyrm's thread...
    EDIT: To save Thewyrm the trouble of self-quoting his thoughts:
    Since eradicating the game would be impossible, the Bannor would probably see it as another way to train people in the art of war, and their variants would decrease luck and increase the amount of information availible and strategy involved.
    The Svartalfar version would be more likely to reward deceit; I can see a mechanic where you could steal a card by distraction and, if not caught before your foe ends his turn, have a right to keep it. There could also be hiding cards and bluffing involved, I've not given their variant much thought yet...
    The Sheaim version would require extremely aggressive, risk-taking play, and the Demon suit would probably pack a bonus. It would be high-scoring with particularly powerful cards that could change the course of the game. I'm imagining a few extra death cards and some powerful bonus cards... perhaps a card that when played, forces your foe to draw two or more cards at a time. Or one, the Necromancer, that you can keep to override a draw of death or the same suit.
     
  2. xienwolf

    xienwolf Chieftain

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    I would think that the Sheiam would require that you Summon a Demon whenever you get a pair of them in the draw pile, thus forcing you to discard. If you can beat the demon in a test of wills, you do not have to discard the draw.
     
  3. thewyrm

    thewyrm Ambassador to Real Life

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    Do the Calabim use their slaves as living decks? When a stronger slave is drawn they have to murder the slave already in the bank.
     
  4. Kael

    Kael Chieftain

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    Just a little Somnium world background.

    I actually thought about how Somnium fit into Erebus when designing it. There are 10 suits in the game, 7 for each of the religions and Angels, Dragons and Demons representing Good, Neutral and Evil.

    The first version had 7 suits and cards 1-7 for each. I quickly learned that 7 wasn't enough suits, it made pairings to likely. And that the low cards werent really valuable.

    I played with 10 suits of 5 cards each, 1-5. But again the 1's and 2's werent much more valuable than an empty slot and the game was ruled by the 5's since there were such a large percentage of the score. By moving the 5 cards of each suits up to 3-7 instead of 1-5 each of the individual cards became more valuable and we got our 3 and 7 references back.

    I thought about putting a word on the bottom of each of the cards. Names on the angels, dragons and dragons. Virtues on each of the 7 cards that represent religions. But in the end I thought it would confuse the game a bit and I wanted to keep it really simple.

    I had some ideas for house rules too:

    Pagent: 4-6 players, cards numbered 3-13 for each suit, 7 fools, 3 deaths.

    Special cards:

    Queen: The queen is a special card that, if banked, can be discarded to see what the top card of the deck is.
    King: The king is a special card that, if banked, can be discarded to force your opponent to draw another card instead of ending his turn.
    Knight: the knight is a special card that, if banked, can be discarded to force your opponent to use his fool against himself

    Aces: There is an Ace of each suit. These are shuffled together and one is drawn at the begining of the game to determine that games special rule:

    Ace of Demons: Demons subtract from your score
    Ace of Angels: Angels are banked even if they go to the discard pile
    Ace of Towers: 7's cant be stolen with the Fool
    Ace of Swords: Cards are discarded if two cards of the same number are turned up instead of 2 cards of the same suit
    Ace of Suns: All banked cards are shown
    Ace of Moons: All banked cards are hidden from your opponent (he can see you have card(s) of a suit, but not which ones they are)
    Ace of Dragons: Dragons can be discarded to force an opponent to discard a card of the same value from an opponents bank
    Ace of Wands: Fools can be banked for +3 points instead of being used
    Ace of Cups: 3 random cards are discarded at the start of the game (no player will know what they are)
    Ace of Pentacles: 5's are worth 10 points if they are the top card of that suit (if you bank a 6 or 7 on top of them they dont count as normal)

    I dont have any desire to have this in the FfH mini-game. Just ideas I was toying with while I was working on Somnium's design.
     
  5. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    Errrrr, been on holiday. What is Somnium?
     
  6. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Chieftain

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    Oh... wow. It's a card game you can play against other players or the AI in FfH for gold or respect. In .33 on the top bar, you'll see a little chess-piece symbol. As soon as you find someone else, you can challenge them to a round. The rules are in the 'pedia under Game Concepts, and the main thread for discussing gameplay of the game itself is here

    Anyways, I hadn't noticed that each of the suits other than the Angels, Demons, and Dragons went with a religion, but now I think about it, it's fairly obvious.
    Towers - Runes of Kilmorph (From 'pedia.)
    Cups - Octopus Overlords (From 'pedia.)
    Suns - Empyrean (Just a wild guess. ;))
    Swords - Order (They do love pointy things...)
    Moons - Council of Esus (Obvious opposition to Sun.)
    Pentacles - Fellowship of Leaves (I nearly labelled it Ashen Veil until I remembered it's green, and nearly, if not all the images are nature-based.)
    Wands - Ashen Veil (Since FoL took pentacles, demons are taken for representing plain old Evil, and none of the others fit.)

    As I said before, if Somnium ever gets a standalone release (any programmers around with time to kill?), at least a few variants should be mixed in. Aces would be a perfect candidate.
     
  7. Kael

    Kael Chieftain

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    Pentacles was supposed to be the Veil and Wands was supposed to be the Fellowship. But I do agee that the art for pentacles isnt as dark as I would prefer.
     
  8. countjackula

    countjackula Chieftain

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    That probably stems from how many of us (incorrectly) view pentacles, which is heavily influenced by popular culture like movies and music imagery, and a western Judeo-Christian religious bias.

    Pentacles aren't supposed to be inherently dark or light. Your comment sounds logical to many, but would sound less so if you would have said something like, "I wish the art for cups was darker." In actuality, both cups and pentacles are the same. They aren't light. They aren't dark. They are a reflection of ourselves and our world, and equally capable of representing different facets of that. That encompasses light, dark, and neutral.

    There are some tarot decks out there that use very dark imagery for pentacles (and/or for all suits), but that isn't the norm from what I've seen. While the leafy, woodlands pentacle art might not have suited the feel you were looking for, using so much of Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's art gives cohesion to the Somnium deck. I greatly appreciate her art and the unified look it brings. I only wish that she had more art that suited the Somnium decks needs so that it all could have been her art.

    I collect different tarot pictures as art. It has intrigued me for a long time. I was initially attracted to the taboo aspect and as well as to the art. That has changed as I've grown older and matured. Now it's just about the art, much as how I view my two buddhas, a bronze lost wax casting and a sandalwood carving, as art, not idols. Tarot art is rich with symbolism, and how different artists choose to weave that into their imagery is interesting to me. I've linked a Robin Wood 8 of Pentacles picture that I have that shows a young boy happily intent, carving at a workshop table. It's far from a dark image, and makes me think of my youth working in my father's workshop. The image of me using a table saw at age nine is probably darker than any of the pentacle card art out there. It never failed to cause my mother some concern. :D

    Spoiler :


    Spoiler :
    Here's another from the Tarot of Prague, and again the Eight of Pentacles. Very un-dark :D

     
  9. Kael

    Kael Chieftain

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    Yeap, Im with you for the real pentacle and the tarot meaning. But since the pentacle is used as the veil symbol it seems most appropriate there.

    I agree about the cohesion of Law's cards, they are beautiful. They really add a lot to the game.
     
  10. cabbagemeister

    cabbagemeister Please wait...

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  11. Nikis-Knight

    Nikis-Knight Chieftain

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    That picture looks like the Balseraph palace gates would, imo.
     
  12. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    I just refound this thread, which I very much like the idea of, and considered some more house rules...

    Standard Khazad: Towers are unstealable
    Amurite Elimination: Ending a game without a Wands card equals a loss.
    Infernal Domination: You may choose to bank any infernal card you get as another suit (ie: You have the 7 of Demons, but no cups. You get a 5 of demons, and back it as if it was a 5 of Cups)
    Svartalfar Specials: The Sun cards subtract score. Swords give 10-X points, where X is your highest Sword. Your highest card is still the one counted.
    You may attempt to steal the entire suit in the enemy's bank when using a Fool. If you are busted, the Fool has no effect.
    Elohim Halfpace: A solitaire-like version, where the player picks up only one card. There are no Fools or Death cards in Halfpace.
     
  13. Dean_the_Young

    Dean_the_Young Chieftain

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    Grigori Inverse: Lowest score wins, but you can't draw more than 3 cards before comitting to the bank.
     
  14. Darksaber1

    Darksaber1 Secret Emperor

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    And if your angel and demons equal the same value, Dan Brown and Ron Howard come and visit you.
     
  15. Onionsoilder

    Onionsoilder Reaver

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    That would make a boring game... everyone would only draw one card a turn. Purely luck based.
     
  16. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    In my version (which I think would fit pretty well as the Sidar house rules), drawing the Death card is often a good thing; it doesn't cost you any cards, it simply ends the game and declares a winner based on the current scores.
     
  17. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    I think that would make the game go too quickly to be honest. Besides, the Sidar are all about avoiding death, so why does the game then ''die'' when the death card is drawn? A better Sidar version would be a game where the death card could be bipassed, perhaps with the sacrifice of onw of your 7's, representing the sacrifice that sidar make to prolong their existance.
     
  18. Dean_the_Young

    Dean_the_Young Chieftain

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    There's strategy involved, all right. Do you only draw one, or do you draw two (or three) and have them canceled? What cards remain? Is it worth the risk to try and force your opponent to draw a higher card?
     
  19. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    They may have sacrificed part of their souls to avoid death, but they revere Arawn and after centuries of tedium it is not uncommon for a Shade to decide he would rather die anyway. I get the impression from Sandalphon's entry that the Sidar don't see anything wrong with suicide.
     

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