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< [Generate!] ... Generator ... Discuss ... Limited ... CardList ... Type 4 ... Game1 ... Game2 ... Game3  ... Game4 ... Game5...Game6 >

This page is the setting for a rather weird WikiGame of MagicTheGathering, originally proposed on the [Cardmaster Conflict forums], using the AlexChurchill/MagicCardGenerator. Beware: bizarrity contained herein! You might also want to check out "Belgarath" - Grumpfs Magic Client that provides a virtual cardtable for (generated) Magic cards.

Currently being played are Game1, Game2, Game3, Game4 and Game5.

Game one is stalled due to my friend being bored with it does anyone want to pick it up --GigaClon

If you don't see a contents list with hyperlinks here, you need to turn on "Enable autogenerated tables-of-contents" in your [preferences].



The idea of /TypeFourGenerated is that rather than drawing a card during your draw step, you generate a random card from the generator each turn (by clicking BNF: AlexChurchill/TypeFourGenerated) and have to play it (and give it a name). You have five mana of any colour available each turn, which comes from "Utopia"s, lands which count as every basic land type. This can be used to pay for activated abilities, kicker costs, buyback costs, and so on.

If you generate a card which you can't play right now (due to having no targets) or which would do absolutely nothing, you have two choices: you can either replace it with putting an extra Utopia into play, or take it in to your hand. Once you have a card in hand, then when your next turn comes around, you can choose either to generate a random card as per normal, or to play one of the cards from your hand.

If effects return permanents to your hand, or tell you to draw cards, those cards go into your hand as well (being generated if necessary). The same deal applies to them: you can choose to play one card from your hand on your turn instead of generating-and-playing a card from the "deck".

In detail

1: Players have no libraries. Your hand starts at 0 cards.
2: You start the game with five indestructible Utopias in play that can't leave play except by being sacrificed. A Utopia is a "Basic Non-basic Land - Plains Island Swamp Mountain Forest", and taps for any colour of mana.
2.1: Since the point in Utopias was to provide targets for "enchant land"s and so on, they may be targetted. However, attempting to destroy or bounce them will fail and have no effect.
3: You don't draw a card in your draw step. Instead, at the beginning of your first main phase, if you have nothing in hand, you click BNF: AlexChurchill/TypeFourGenerated once, and play the spell as described, putting it on the stack. It's considered to be the colour it says but to have zero mana cost. 
3.1: You have to give the generated card an appropriate name.
4: If the generated card would do something, you must play it as it is, even if it's detrimental. If it's an instant that can't be played during your main phase (e.g. "target unblocked creature"), you're not required to attack, but if there's a time this turn when you could play the card, you must do so. If the generated card is impossible to play this turn or could never have any effect, you may choose to either take it into your hand for playing later (as described in rule 7), or put it into play as a Utopia instead. See examples below.
4.1: If the card is really truly sick, then in the interests of fair play, draw another one and let the opponent choose which sticks...
4.2: But note that there is no way to play instants outside of your turn. Of course, activated abilities are fair game at any time.
5: Paying additional costs like Kicker or Buyback is optional, and mana in those costs must be paid with normal mana (e.g. from Utopias) if you choose to pay. However, if the generated card has Cycling, you can't cycle it, you have to play it.
5.1: If you're required to pay 3 extra for spells, that includes playing your Generated spell for the turn. If you're required to pay an extra "Discard a blue Zombie Cleric" for spells, your opponent should probably regenerate that card under the "really truly sick" rule (4.1).
6: You don't get any cards in hand until you are told to draw cards by an effect, or decide to keep a generated card that is currently impossible to play, or have something returned to your hand. If you are told to draw a number of cards, generate that many and add them to your hand.
7: At the start of your first main phase, if you have a hand, you may generate a new card and play it as above, OR play a card from your hand. All cards have a casting cost of 0 unless the text says otherwise, but you can't play more than 1 card a turn. Instant cards can only be played on your turn, and count as your one card.
8: The same applies if you have an effect which allows you to play cards even if you don't have them in hand: for example, a card in your graveyard with Flashback. You may choose not to generate a card for your turn, instead playing that card with Flashback.
8.1: On the other hand, effects which allow you to play cards at times you couldn't normally play them (like MTG: Isochron Scepter, or discarding a MTG: Basking Rootwalla to a MTG: Wild Mongrel) can let you get round this one-card-per-turn limit.
9: Ignore this rule.
10: Any time a card makes reference to searching your library for a certain card or revealing cards from your library, generate random cards until you get a card of that type. You must take the FIRST legal card of that type, even if the card says you can search for a card of your choice.
10.1: Note: It's just about possible that you could be asked for a card that the generator cannot currently make. If this happens then you get a Utopia.  But note that the generator does now generate lands, so these cases will be fairly obscure.
11: Anything referring to sorcery cards is taken to refer to instants as well, because the Type 4 Generator doesn't produce sorceries.
12: If things are put onto the top of a library you keep track of anything put there. Basically, track things sensibly. For as long as you "know the top card of your library", effects that draw or reveal cards refer to the known cards. If you start your first main phase "knowing the top card of your library", and choose not to play a card from hand, then instead of generating a new card, you "draw-and-play" the known card.

13: One commonly used variation is to start play with some cards already in play. Before the start of the game, each player generates cards until they've created 5 permanents (not instants); then when all cards are known, each player may veto one of the opponent's cards. The player is considered to start the game with the other 4 in play, as well as the usual 5 Utopias.

Examples of becoming Utopia or not


  1. Before the game starts, both players place a (small) number of permanents into play (no targeting other players' cards or 'comes into play' effects) and then remove a (smaller) number of their opponents' cards. This should minimise the effects of an early lucky token generator or circle of protection.
  2. A simpler variant of this game is to have no hands. Any cards that would go to your hand are instead removed from the game. In this variant, a lot more cards are Utopias.
  3. A simpler variant is to not track the graveyard, just counting how many are in there, for threshold.  Since graveyard affecting cards then become illegal, more cards end up as utopias.
  4. I  (Vitenka) also kinda likes the idea of the graveyard always considering there to be valid targets (so there'd always be a blue elf in there, for instance) and then generating them. (So 'remove target elf from graveyard' would reduce a graveyards size by one, but 'return blue card to play' would reduce by one and generate a blue card.)
  5. Note that the Type 4 Generator has been tweaked (see below) to make all creatures have SMALL power and toughness, to try and make the game last a while longer.  (Tokens can still be large, however)  You could see what happens with P/T allowed to go higher than 3, or power and toughness each having slightly different ranges.  (Power 0-3, toughness 1-4 would produce a slower game, for instance)
  6. Grumpfs Rule Suggestions provide features as real lands, casting cost, keeping cards in hand, several spells per turn, and staple reactive cards.

Running Stand-Alone

Feature Request: Is it possible to generate a wiki-page that produces more than one type-four-generated-card? I'd like a page with ~50 cards, or a link that generates n cards, seperated by horizontal rows. I am designing an Apprentice/MTGO-style program that enables playing with these generated cards (it has reached "playable" status - see here). The problem is that the deck's cards need to be generated at the start of a match, and accessing the "one-card-link" ~50 times  takes too long (massive lag/response-time from toothywiki). -- Grumpf
That program sounds exceedingly cool! However, generating that many cards will take quite some time whatever you do, and also use up quite some significant fraction of the toothycat.net server cycles. MoonShadow has provided the full Perl source to the generator [here]. I've used it myself - it's pretty straightforward. If you do the following, you'll be able to run the generator on your own machine, and use up as much processing power as you wish :)
 perl bnf-standalone.pl page=AlexChurchill/TypeFourGenerated
If you prefer your HTML parsed (and have Cygwin? installed including Lynx), you could instead use
 perl bnf-standalone.pl page=AlexChurchill/TypeFourGenerated | lynx -stdin -dump
 option ::= include = AlexChurchill/TypeFourGenerated
bnf ::= generatecard newline hr newline generatecard newline hr newline generatecard newline hr newline generatecard newline hr newline generatecard ...
 perl bnf-standalone.pl page=FiftyCardGenerator?

 perl bnf-standalone.pl page=AlexChurchill/TypeFourGenerated > onecard.html
perl bnf-standalone.pl page=FiftyCardGenerator? > C:\Temp\fiftycards.html
I hope this is enough to get you up and running - if not, you know where to post :) I wish you all the best with your program - let us know how it turns out! --AlexChurchill
Current Status: Definitely playable, testers wanted. You can tell the client to use a deck with generated cards or mix  them with real cards, place the cards on the table, drag them around and do all the magic-related actions (search your library, tapping, attacking). You can assign names and token images to the cards and edit the cardtext if needed. Takes the "hilarious"-feel up another level. Some "nice to have" features like Draft generator and more-than-2-player games are on my to do i will attack when i have CopiousFreeTime. Belgarath: Grumpfs Magic Client

Bugs - Feature Requests - Issues

I got a card stating:
WW, T: put a time counter on target permanent
T: attach an Aura in play to all creatures with a time counter on them. (Control of that Aura doesn't change.)
this sounds like a bug to me. I don't have the seed -- Grumpf
Teehee, yes, that does indeed sound like a bug. I thought I'd foreseen the possibility of that happening and made it impossible - I'll investigate. --AC

Hey, does this TypeFour? Generator ever create artifacts? i only get creatures, enchantments and instants -- Grumpf 30.3.06
Yes, it does. [Here], for instance. - MoonShadow
A quick look at the BNF indicates that it will roughly 2/33 of the time. --CH
Hmm, i see ... Could you up the percentage a bit? With 2/33, one will hardly find an artifact in the course of a game. Since there are many references to artifacts as targets, i'd like them at 1/8 or even 1/6. (5 colors + multicolor + artifact). Generating an artifact doesnt mean that it cant be a creature. -- Grumpf
AC: how about type 4 with.. multiple decks! Different wrappers around the generator that give different proportions of card types generated for different flavours of deck - control-oriented vs creature-oriented vs artifact-oriented, etc; players select a wrapper each at the start of a game and must stick to that one for the duration of the game.. - MoonShadow
Well, when CH and I finish our Mana Cost Module, that's precisely what we're planning. But yes, there's actually no reason why that couldn't be done beforehand, other than that it'd have to be reworked massively when the mana cost module does get implemented. --AC
But that's not the distribution IRL. In Champions of Kamigawa, for instance, there were 22 artifacts in a 291-card set. In BOK, there were 12 in 165. In SOK, 10 in 165. 10/165 is the same as 2/33, so OK, it could maybe stand to go up a bit to match CHK and BOK; but it's not far out. --CH
Ah, now if you're searching your library for an artifact, you can use the BNF: AlexChurchill/TypeFourArtifactGenerator, and similarly BNF: AlexChurchill/TypeFourEnchantmentGenerator for enchantments. I can make more of these on request. There's no way I'm taking the proportion of artifacts up to 1/6, because artifacts are meant to be unusual things, to the extent that for the past 8 years at least, they never appear at common (the two exceptions being Mirrodin-block and guild signets). You've already got about 1/16; I could maybe take that up to 1/10 if you insist. --AC
Well.. i did a quick test with the TypeFourGenerator? and here are my results (they kind of prove my original thoughts). I generated 50 cards. I got no Artifact, but i got 6 cards that were artifact related (enchant artifact, do xyz with target artifact, ... where X is the number of artifacts in play and so on) All of these were essentially useless without an artifact in play. This is why i would vote for more artifacts generated, even if that doesnt match the distribution of cards in real magic. In my opinion, some of the (non-aura) enchantments (i didnt count them, but there were a lot) could make some space for artifacts. Functionally, global enchantments are most similar to artifacts. -- Grumpf
Lowering the probability of generating artifact-targeting cards would also address this. - MoonShadow
The thing is, that would be really quite hard to achieve. In particular, the distinction between enchantments that are and aren't Auras is not decided upfront; it just happens sometimes when generating an enchantment that it decides it wants to refer to "enchanted foo", and likewise Equipment. I've upped the frequency of artifacts a bit: out of 50 generations, I got 4 artifacts and about 4 things referring to artifacts. I might reduce the frequency of referring to artifacts or equipment a bit, but it'd be tricky. I'll bear it in mind as a possible amendment. --AC

Can we tone down token generation a bit?  It seems that the generator makes tokens as big as 5/5, while actual creature cards are never bigger than 3/3.  Also, frequently effects give you three or more tokens, or allow you to repeatedly make tokens at low cost.  In "real Magic", repeatable token making costs 3 or more mana even for small tokens.  I'm not sure exactly how the generator works, but is it possible to limit repeatable token generation to 2 tokens, and force it to cost at least 3 mana or a card or something?  I've been looking at lots of "previous revisions", and they seem quite often to come down to "who draws the first token maker". --Lavacamorada
I agree there's a problem. (Although 5/5s should only be Dragons, even a horde of 1/2s is perfectly capable of winning against the often-useless responses offered by the Generator.) The possible solutions as I see it:

What do people think? --AC

Another suggestion - How about adding in some abilities that are a good way to combat multiple tokens?  MTG: Echoing Truth for instance. --Ultros
Well, this is based on my limited understanding of the Generator, but I think it would work.  You could split the formula for generating an activated ability into "smallcost: smalleffect", "mediumcost: mediumeffect", and "largecost: largeeffect".  Similarly, a triggered ability would be "commontrigger: smalleffect", "uncommontrigger: mediumeffect", or "raretrigger: largeeffect".  The "largecost" would include things like sacrificing multiple permanents, discarding multiple cards, or paying large amounts of both life and mana, while the "raretrigger" would include things that don't happen often, such as "Whenever this is removed from the game" or "Whenever a blue legendary enchantment comes into play".  You could then put things like token generation only in "mediumeffect" and "largeeffect", or maybe even only in "largeeffect". --Lavacamorada
Hmm. Hmm. ...You know, I think that might actually work. I'll have a go at a first implementation on Monday or Tuesday. --AC
Costs to make tokens should now be in general larger. More is planned on this issue, but after NaNoWriMo finishes :) --AC

Something interesting I've noted is that almost always when the generator generates a card with 'You may pay X. If you don't, Y happens', Y is unconditionally beneficial to the person who would have the option of paying X. This is probably because there are more beneficial effects than non-beneficial effects, which is why abilities of the form 'X: Do something stupid and painful' are somewhat rarer (although still reasonably common). I think this might be too hard to solve, though. --ChessyPig
What you've observed is some instances of the more general pattern, "(Target opponent/You?/Any? player) may pay or do X. If that player (does/doesn't), (Y happens)." And Y is totally unconnected (almost always) to the player chosen, or to the value of "(does/doesn't)" chosen. So it's coincidence that you seem to see the Y being beneficial in the "doesn't" case. Now admittedly, the way things are currently, half the time the payment option will be silly, and that's something I'd like to fix, but it would require me to teach the generator whether something is beneficial, which is not easy. I may still be aiming that way, but it's quite a challenge, distinctly non-trivial. --AC

Seed: 1978968011
Creature - Human  Wizard (2/1, blue)
T, Tap an untapped library you control: untap up to 3 target legendary red creatures
Tapping libraries?  Is this a bug? --K
Alex added libraries as possible targets for things a while back.  It makes for some extremely silly cards, but I like it. --Ultros

Seed: 1228915301
Creature - Bird Cleric (2/2, white)
Whenever a artifact is removed from the game, you may Discard a card. If you don't, the discarded card's converted mana cost attacking or blocking creatures with power greater than or equal to 6 get +1/+1 until end of turn
It wants to get a mana cost from a card that's never seen.  Also, it has Flying twice, if you're trying to eliminate that. --Ultros
Heh. Both of those are known bugs, listed at the bottom of the /MagicCardGenerator. The form I saw was "When ~this~ leaves play, target player may Sacrifice a permanent. If that player doesn't, distribute the sacrificed permanent's mana cost +3/+3 counters on..." which is even sillier. I need to fix them, but it'll take a little work. --AC

Not sure if this is the same bug as the last one.  This time it's an entirely separate ability that's looking for a card that may not have been discarded. (Seed: 1597310124)

3R, Discard a card, T, sacrifice ~this~: search your library for a basic land and put it into play, then shuffle your library
Whenever ~this~ becomes tapped, tap the discarded card's converted mana cost target permanents --Ultros

At the beginning of your upkeep, target player may Tap an untapped permanent you control. If that player does, remove a nonred sorcery card in target opponent's hand from the game

Is this a bug? how do you know what card to remove if you don't see the opponent's hand? does your opponent tell you and you have to pick randomly? --a new user
Hmm. Yes, that probably is a bug. It should make the opponent reveal their hand first. Thanks, I'll try to fix that. --AlexChurchill

Seed: 432864699
Enchantment (red)
Sacrifice ~this~: put a choosept_Elemental choosecolour_Elemental Elementalchoosenature_Elemental_ench creature tokenchooseabilities_Elemental into play
Pay 4 life, sacrifice 3 Elementals: two target nonlegendary artifacts gain protection from Goblins until end of turn
Thanks - fixed. --AC

BNF (Ignore this bit)

option ::= include = AlexChurchill/MagicCardGenerator
bnf ::= preliminaryinit generatecard
generatedpermtype_white ::= ctr | ctr | ench
generatedpermtype_blue ::= ctr | ctr | ench
generatedpermtype_black ::= ctr | ctr | ench
generatedpermtype_red ::= ctr | ctr | ench
generatedpermtype_green ::= ctr | ctr | ench

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