Hello everybody and welcome to another Fan Community Spotlight. This week we've got an interesting project to tackle as we actually look at a set within the universe of fan-made Hearthstone creators itself. This set is called The BEHSU created by one of our own regulars to our WCDC, MenacingBagel. Depending on your environment, you may also know them as "Backgammon", which plays into the set's acronym. BEHSU stands for "Backgammon Extended Hearthstone Universe" and the set features many cards inspired by the names of various card creators.
The set features two keywords, Shatter and Behold. Cards with Shatter split themselves into multiple pieces and become playable when all the pieces are played. Think if C'Thun, the Shattered had its own keyword. Cards with Behold activate their abilities whenever you accomplish their Behold condition wherever the card happens to be.
We've got quite a lot to cover in a world that takes inspiration from the creator's own experiences in custom Hearthstone, so let us dive right in!
What exactly is this set about? What is the inspiration for the set theme?
MenacingBagel: "So the set is about a nun who after being cast into the void multiple times eventually gets really mad. Then one day while being mad a very bored fate scribe approaches this nun and is like “hey wanna destroy the world?” And she agrees. After that the bored fate scribe and evil lady go around collecting more evil people and blowing stuff up. While this is happening the fate scribe’s brother Gammin tries to find people to stop Bacc and Ydnozorum because as it turns out, destroy an entire planet is kind of bad.
The inspiration comes from Murozondy or more accurately some cards I was trying to make for Murozondy. See back in my “early” days of card making I made pretty more nothing but references. I have the entire DDLC cast and Jetstream Sam as cards in there. So one day I made some for other hearthcard creators specifically Murozondy, however like 4 out of 5 cards did not make it to the gallery and got voided. Leading to the flavor text on cards talking about how she repeatedly escapes the void. After a while I make some more references and some more cards that don’t get in. Someone then speaks about the Backgammon Extended Hearthstone Universe or BEHSU for short. After a while and a bit of discourse I decide to actually do it and make a whole expansion. And what better to base the set on than the person who started it all by constantly going to the void. Along the way Bacc hijacked the main villain seat but Ydnozorum is still the main antagonist.
So to summarize that part, card for Murozondy got voided a lot, made flavor text about that as joke. Someone mentions BEHSU I then decide to make a whole expansion about this one person being very mad."
What are the inspirations behind the Shatter and Behold mechanics?
MenacingBagel: "Shatter is really easy to answer. I make pretty unbalanced card effects. And so I thought how to balance those out? Why it was simple make it so you had to play the game out to even use them. Like C’thun the shattered most of the Shatter minions have a very strong effect while others are a little less powerful hence why they have lower piece counts. My personal favorite of all Shatter cards is Nekron The Lord. I don’t play Deathrattle DH but I think she would be a very fun addition, granted her 3 mana discover a deathrattle minion with no other effect piece is clunky, but think of the swing turn!
Behold stemmed from me really wanting something WILD something CRAZY in my expansion. And I figured what better way to just go absolutely nuts then to have effects for cards that don’t have to be in play to activate. Behold kinda works weirdly throughout the expansion with some cards just gaining keywords or battlecries while others are instant effects. Rain’ar gives your opponent crabs as well for balance whereas Ecila just doubles your demons with no repercussion which is a huge design oversight."
Are there any other cards you wish to showcase for any reason?
MenacingBagel: "I personally want to show case three other cards well one is a group but you get it. The first of which are the whisperers. I have no idea why I gave warlock a whole mini mechanic which is basically just ask your opponent to do thing and they can pick to do thing or do thing later but they have to do thing. The second card is the most annoying to balance which is Ignus the Everburning the guy had like 4 reworks before I settled on kamikaze trees. He had several iterations which were just unfun or too powerful which is funny considering Elica is a card. And the third is my personal favorite of Munk the Unphased. I like control cards and I like funny cards so a monkey not caring about the horrors of war and just relaxing is nice to me. Plus if this expansion were real I’d probably actually craft Munk for his hard taunt effect"
Do you have anything behind the scenes that you wish to share?
MenacingBagel: "I have a bad habit of starting something, going all out for a little while, and then falling flat and never touching it again. So likewise this happened to the BEHSU in with the second half. It took roughly 4 months from the announcement of the BEHSU to actually finish it. I’d like to once again thank everyone who still enjoyed it even though the breaks were staggeringly long.
Another behind the scenes thing is that I got the art, wrote all the text, and uploaded the cards typically all in the same day. This may or may not have been one of the reasons why Druid was postponed because Ignus was so annoying I gave up on him for a while and decided to just play games. Also this is not the best way to do things I suggest not doing it."
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?
MenacingBagel: "Honestly I have not been making them that long at least not officially. I’ve had ideas but I never actually documented them in any way. They just stayed up in my head till I forgot about them. The first card that ever got into the gallery was on march 21st of this year.
Personally my advice is just have fun and I know that’s cliche but hear me out. My cards are really not balanced and a majority of them are references to other things. As I mentioned earlier 4 of my non BEHSU cards are just the DDLC cast. But regardless you just gotta enjoy making the cards, the entire BEHSU is an unbalanced mess that is also the most expensive hearthstone expansion ever. But I had fun thinking up the card effects and getting cool art and that’s what matters."
Do you have anything else you wish to share?
MenacingBagel: "Well I would once again like to thank everyone that stuck with it, Demonxz95 for the interview, and all the Artstation artists who I took the art from for the Xpac. One final note is that I really wanted to make a Dungeon Munchies reference somewhere in the set but I couldn’t find a good place for it."
There we go for this installment of Fan Community Spotlight on a set with a very different theme compared to what we're used to, but there's much more to it than what's just featured in the article. Click the banner below to check out the whole set.