Hello everybody and welcome back to another Fan Community Spotlight. This week, I'm about to tell you a tale that has never been told before by anybody. A tale of how this person created their own fan-made Hearthstone set. Or, well I guess in reality I'm not telling the tale as much as I am just relaying the information here, but I digress. Today, I am here with a person named Banterbox to talk about A Tale Untold.
A Tale Untold is a set that is in many ways a tribute to Year of the Dragon as many familiar faces and themes from that year end up making a return. Make no mistake though because this set is very much its own thing. It contains not one, but two new keywords. Trade (not Tradeable) and Devote.
Cards with Trade will offer you a card, but it also requires you to give something up in order to successfully complete the transaction. Some Trade cards like Kobold Dealer will offer you a card in hand with a Discover interface, whereas others like Traveling Wrangler will summon a minion on the board. Devote is a keyword exclusively found on one Legendary minion per class, changing your Hero Power to one that synergizes with the minion in question as long as you control the minion in question. The set has been in development for roughly a year and a half beginning around the time of Rise of Shadows and only just finished development about 2 weeks ago. With that in mind, let's see how much that effort paid off as Banterbox now takes the spotlight.
What exactly is this set about? What is the inspiration for the set theme?
Banterbox: "Thematically, A Tale Untold tells the story of an alternate timeline in which Rafaam succeeded in raising Galakrond from the dead, and has proceeded to spread carnage across the regions of Azeroth as its self-appointed Supreme Ruler.
Initially, this set begun as a set solely based on Uldum, as I actually began designing some of the cards around the time Rise of Shadows was released. Since it was pretty obvious the League of Explorers would return in some form back then, I thought it’d be fun to briefly conceptualize their reappearance, and so I came up with Scavenger Brann and Trusty Equipment.
From then on out, I figured I might as well make the whole League, and started to develop the set as a whole. At some point Reno Jackson was featured as a Paladin Legendary who would turn into a Dragon if you had healed for a certain amount throughout the game, à la Zandalari Templar.
As Saviors of Uldum and eventually Descent of Dragons were released and I still hadn’t finished the set, the flavour of the set shifted to everything encapsulating the Year of the Dragon, and ultimately became an homage to this part of Hearthstone’s lifecycle. As a result, we see Violet Hold Guards defending Dalaran on Battlesworn Guards, Ramkahen priests fending for Uldum on Exalted Cleric, and caretakers of young Wyrmrest Whelps on Wyrmrest Maiden."
Trade and Devote are two interesting keywords unlike anything we usually see from fan-made sets. Where do both of these come from and how were you inspired to use them in the ways that you did?
Banterbox: "As I mentioned, this set in its earliest incarnation was supposed to be entirely Uldum-centric, which is where both the Trade and Devote keywords stem from. Trade represented the bustling marketplaces of Uldum, where traveling vendors and shopkeepers would come to do their business. As the original League of Explorers introduced the Discover mechanic, I also figured it’d be neat if the Trade keyword incorporated this in some way.
With Devote, I planned for each class to get a Legendary djinni Elemental that they could ‘devote’ to, which is where the swapping of Hero Powers idea came from. Jeeru, Fo’ the Fantastical, and Rakanishu (Paladin, Hunter, and Mage) are still remnants of this idea, although there are also a good number of non-Elemental Devote minions now."
Are there any other cards you wish to showcase for any reason?
Banterbox: "I just think the Warrior epic ‘SPLAT!’ is hilarious, and mechanically fairly interesting too."
How long have you been making your own cards? What design philosophies do you have that you wish to share and spread to new creators?
Banterbox: "The oldest card I was able to find on my PC dates back to July 2018, so around the time of Boomsday Project release. Recently I’ve been making most of my cards in a top-down fashion, meaning I start with a flavour or thematic idea in mind (usually art), and then try to come up with an effect to match. I personally enjoy making cards like this the most, and find that it’s a useful method in thinking outside of the box in terms of conjuring up mechanics that feel new."
Do you have anything behind the scenes you want to share with us?
Banterbox: "Nothing that’s been set in stone yet, but I’d love to make a set about a snowy/tundra-esque area like Frostfire Ridge. Picture something akin to Knights of the Frozen Throne, but with more of a general Fantasy style to it like we’ve seen with Kobolds and Catacombs. I’d probably start it out as a 35-card mini-set though, just so I wouldn’t have to allot as much time to it as I have with A Tale Untold, and brainstorm some ideas. I have two Warrior cards right now, Leaving Camp and Steppe Steadfast, that I think illustrate this idea pretty nicely."
Do you have anything else you want to share with us?
Banterbox: "Not really xoxo love you (also huge thanks to everyone that helped me get this set off the ground, I really do appreciate it!)"
And that will conclude the first chapter of this newly told tale previously untold. But there's so much more to uncover. If you like what you see, then you can check out the entire set by clicking the banner below. Hope you enjoyed the showcase, and I'll see you all next time.