Multiplayer and All the Fixin’
Multiplayer. It is a multifaceted gem, and a multi-headed horror. Playing with my friends on countless nights, sitting around pool tables, park benches, the ground, playing Multiplayer is no secret to me. The bashing of face, the roar of powerful spells assisted by some other player. Devious underhanded bargains, and backstabbery. (Yes, I am aware that’s not an actual word.) All meshed into one format. It can be a confusing minefield, especially for New Players. And for you Old Players, this article, like most of my articles so far is a chance for you to nod your heads (Or shake them, depending on your opinion of the topic at hand.) and reminisce. So, grab your metal detector, put on your helmet and forge forward. Down we go!
--Multiplayer - Appetizers—
Alright, to begin, you do NOT need friends to play Multiplayer. All you actually need is a group of people semi-educated in how to play Magic, get them to sit in a semi-circle, everyone against everyone, voila! Multiplayer!
Now, this might not sound like a whole ton of fun, and it isn’t. Multiplayer is truly a game built for a circle of friends. It gives the timid one a chance to smash the leader’s face, and for the nerdy one to blast the athletic one of the group. Also for the anti-hero to get the girl in the end, finally snatched from the clutches of the hero. But I digress. There are a few good standards to set up before you even begin playing.1) Sturdy Rule Structure
This seems like a basic ‘oh everyone’s got this already’ thing, but really.
Setting a concise, clear set of Multiplayer rules are essential before the game starts. Are you going to allow attacking only to the left? To the right? Across? Attacking every which way? Blocking for other players? Spells only affecting people to your immediate left and right? Fast mana? NO mana?
Mental Magic? Plainswalker Sundae Supreme Alamode? It can get confusing quickly. ESPECIALLY for new players or players coming from other groups.
Make sure everyone knows what’s happening, what’s going on, and what will and will not be allowed. Which brings me to the next point…2) Banning of Cards or Decktypes
Now, my group has never really played this way. If someone starts doing something we don’t like, generally everyone just gangs up on that person and soundly thrashes them game after game until they get the message. But some groups DO use this style of play. Some cards just seem to rain on a few particular group’s fun times. So they ban cards. For example, Wrath of God
is a common card, and Affinity is a common decktype I’ve seen banned around some other Multiplayer tables, and mostly because they want piles of crazy creatures on the board, and no one wants to die on turn like six. And that’s fine. But make sure the other players that are going to be playing, at least a majority of them agree with the choices. If it’s your table and you insist on whining and banning it anyways, either you are a very poor sport, or.. you’re whiny. Either way, people will probably eventually move on to other groups or someone else will take control if its not your basement they’re playing in.3) Examine the Players of the Group
This is a smaller, short section, because there shouldn’t be a whole lot of having to do this going on. But some people’s personalities… well… they mesh about as well as Oil and Water. They just will not click, and they WILL bicker. Constantly. On and off. Make sure the people you’re playing with can SOMEWHAT stand one another. I’m not saying they even have to like one another, but they have to be able to get through a game without fifteen minutes of macho posturing at one another. In jest, it’s funny. But when two guys puff up and caw at one another over a card game after every move it can get quite annoying. So profile the people, let them be themselves, and try to solve any problems before they start. If you know person A) hates person B) with a firey passion matching only Superman’s hate for Kryptonite, just save yourself the trouble and do not invite A) and B) at the same time.