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Find Your Equilibrium

by Charlie Plaine, Equilibrium Designer

21st December 2018

Joran

It's an early Christmas gift for you, as we're announcing Equilibrium, a new, nine (9) card boutique expansion for First Edition. Equilibrium is based around the Trill and it's most famous member - Dax! These card will be freely available for download one week from today, Friday, December 28th. One week after that, on January 4th, 2019, they will be legal for play in most formats.

Before I can tell you the story of how Equilibrium came to be, I must thank all of the volunteers who work so hard making new First Edition cards. Aside from the design team (whom I'll introduce below), expansions like Equilibrium wouldn't be possible without a host of people working to make them. Please help me thank our testers, proofreaders, artists, and folks who are creative-minded and rules-oriented. We wouldn't be anything without you and your efforts, and you have my deepest appreciation.

Here's a quick look at the design team (and one very special consultant) for Equilibrium:

Charlie Plaine [MidnightLich], Designer
Designer Profile: Charlie Plaine
At the time we started up Equilibrium, most of the design team was busy on other projects. That's how I ended up working on this project, because as you'll see below, I really wanted it to come out in 2018. Equilibrium was my eighteenth First Edition expansion!

Chris Lobban [Maelwys], Designer
Designer Profile: Chris Lobban
Chris was integral to the existence of Equilibrium, so it's only natural he would join me in designing the expansion. This is Chris' third time around a First Edition expansion, and he delivered.

Maggie Geppert [jadziadax8], Special Consultant on Trill History and Lore
As soon as we decided to make a Trill set, I knew there was one person I had to call: our Vice Chair, Maggie Geppert. She helped Chris and I stay on track and make sure our Trill knowledge was spot-on.

Origin Story
The story of Equilibrium all started with Will of the Collective. If you've never had the pleasure of participating, Will of the Collective (WotC) is a periodic opportunity for the community of players to design a card. The fourth incarnation from January 2018 resulted in the design of Joran. Joran is a personnel that represents Joran Dax occupying Benjamin Sisko from the episode "Facets." Will of the Collective IV had created a cool card, but at the time he was made, Equilibrium didn't even exist as an idea, let along a project.

Side Note: If you enjoyed Will of the Collective, or if you missed out, don't fret: it will be back in early 2019. Planning for the new chance to make a card is underway, so please stay tuned for news for your next chance to make a card. Now, back to your regularly scheduled announcement article.

When I started up Will of the Collective IV, my plan was to turn the card created by the community into a promo. I didn't know if it would be a tournament promo, or a white-border preview, but that was the plan. As it turned out, right around the time that Joran was being created, the design team for Metamorphosis was wrapping up their work and there was a hole that needed to be filled. The opportunity to put Joran into Metamorphosis seemed perfect, but there was a problem: timing. We needed to finalize Metamorphosis quite quickly, and Joran wasn't quite done. There wouldn't be time to finalize, test, and get Joran into the expansion.

However, there was still a hole to fill. I had the idea to throw a nod to the community's runner-up choice, Curzon Odo (also from "Facets.") I worked with Allen Gould, the lead designer of Metamorphosis, to quickly design a Curzon to fill the hole. For some extra fun, we decided to keep it a surprise, and only shared the card with Paddy Tye (KazonPADD, as Creative Manager) and Jon Carter (pfti, as Rules Manager). That's when I got a private message from Chris Lobban.

Curzon Odo

As Chief Programmer, Chris often pokes his head into different projects and forums to make sure things are running smoothly. He'd noticed that we'd made a Curzon Odo, and he sent me a message. His pitch was simple: why not take Curzon and Joran and make a set with all the "Facets" personas? He also pointed out to me that 2018 is the canon birth year of the Dax symbionte in the Star Trek universe. Well, that was just too good of an opportunity to pass up: Project Gou'ald was born.

Character Development
Chris and I started out making every Trill-related card we could think of, starting with all of the "Facets" personnel and a engine card based around zhian'tara. We added in the TNG Trill, including Riker Odan and "Guy Odan", plus ever Trill we could think of, for our first version. It was around then that Maggie found out about the expansion and she couldn't have been more excited. I invited her to join us, to make sure we were representing all of the Trill well - she has their lore, including from the expanded universe of the novels, down pat. We took the file to testers, and while they were excited, it was clear that what we were doing wasn't all working the way we'd wanted it to do so. We had too many things, and the Zhian'tara mechanic we wanted to use to help [DS9] decks wasn't pulling its weight. We all really wanted this to come out in 2018, so we made the hard decision to cut down to the nine (9) cards we liked and were really working; this is what you'll see over the next week in Equilibrium.

So while you won't see that zhian'tara engine or all of the "Facets" personnel, you'll see plenty of Trill-themed cards that will hopefully excite you. Not only do you get Joran and Curzon Odo, you'll get at least one more familiar face with a Trill inside 'em. You'll celebrate Jadzia's wedding, meet friends (or enemies) from her life, and more. You'll get a new card every day for the next week, culminating with the expansion's release next Friday, December 28th. The cards within will be legal (in most formats) one week after that helping you ring in the new year whether your joined, unjoined, or just human. We hope you enjoy this Trill-themed product, and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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