Making_Magic

Mark Rosewater Admits He’s %#@$ Insane!

Topical Blend #2

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The letter A!s the final week of original content for 2005 (we start with the “Best of” articles next week), I present Topical Blend #2. Several weeks ago, you were given the task of voting for two different topics. The first was Magic related and the second was non-Magic related. Last time 'round you all picked Top Design Mistakes and Girls respectively. Let’s see how this time went. In the Magic category, the voting went like this:

List A - Magic Related (Choose One)
What happened to Pestilence? 463 7.8%
Pros and Cons of Introducing a Sixth Color 463 7.8%
Impossible things to do in Magic 342 5.7%
Biggest changes in Magic that never happened 255 4.3%
Possible ways to make Magic more appealing to women 194 3.3%
Why Skeletons are not just really, really rotten Zombies, despite what Cohen the Barbarian said to Ghaak in "The Last Hero" by Terry Pratchett 148 2.5%
Angels 148 2.5%
6th Color Pros and Cons 147 2.5%
Stories about banned cards I've designed 145 2.4%
Poison Abilities in Magic (Why was it abandoned? Will it come back in a new set? Etc.) 137 2.3%
Original Decisions in Magic (Why five colors? Why those basic lands?, etc.) 135 2.3%
Cards That Failed To Get Through Design 126 2.1%
The Power Nin 124 2.1%
Impossible things to do in Magic 116 2.0%
Frogs 115 1.9%
Why Magic cards seem better now than they used to 106 1.8%
Ooze Creature Types in Magic 100 1.7%
Advantages for adding a 6th color 95 1.6%
What Would Magic Be Like Without Rarity 94 1.6%
What would early Magic (Arabian Nights through Fallen Empires) have been like under the block system 92 1.5%
Math and Magic 91 1.5%
Faeries 91 1.5%
Zero-Cost Spells 90 1.5%
Magic Legends From R&D's Secret Lair 89 1.5%
Legacy (the format, as opposed to the collection of artifacts that Gerard was responsible for) 88 1.5%
Counterspells 82 1.4%
Drafting 80 1.3%
Game Theory and Battle of Wits 77 1.3%
History of Grizzly Bears (and other 2-drop 2/2s) 74 1.2%
Alpha/Beta 73 1.2%
Enchant Worlds (aka World Enchantments) 73 1.2%
Most embarassing moments of the Pro Tour 70 1.2%
Player Evolution (I personally think everyone (who isn't influenced a lot by others) goes through stages in their magic experience) 69 1.2%
Popular Cards vs. Good Cards (And How We Design Each) 67 1.1%
People who don't like new sets 64 1.1%
Most Comical Day in R&D 63 1.1%
R&D's reflections about the Urza Block (with Multiverse comments, maybe?) 56 0.9%
Top Magic Cards Inspired by Real People/Items/Events 54 0.9%
Un-set design 53 0.9%
The coolest color combination 52 0.9%
Coin Flip Cards 49 0.8%
The color red 48 0.8%
Storyline Development 47 0.8%
Deck Milling throughout history (Altar of Dementia) 45 0.8%
Balancing/Creating New Countermagic 45 0.8%
Magic Art 42 0.7%
Three color cards 41 0.7%
Your top regrets in Magic 41 0.7%
Abilities that could be made into keywords (e.g., "Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain that much life.") and why you haven't done so 38 0.6%
The race-class system 37 0.6%
The Role of Chaos Inducing Cards 36 0.6%
The Role of Chaos Inducing Cards 30 0.5%
Design of vanilla creatures (!) 27 0.5%
How to know the game has been stretched too far 27 0.5%
Exploring virgin territory in design 26 0.4%
Choosing Set Themes 22 0.4%
Why cats in Magic have creature type Cat but dogs in Magic have creature type Hound (instead of Dog) 22 0.4%
Expansion symbols and logos 21 0.4%
How Magic decks are similar to and different from openings and opening positions in other games (e.g., chess and Stratego) 20 0.3%
How the internet has affected Magic 20 0.3%
Creature Types 19 0.3%
How Sixth Edition Rules Affect Design 18 0.3%
How has magicthegathering.com affected the game? 18 0.3%
Recent changes to the color pie 18 0.3%
Set Superdesign (amount of cards, amount of cards per color, amount of sets, release dates of sets etc) 17 0.3%
Removal 17 0.3%
Why Urza's is a Land Subtype rather than a Land Supertype. 16 0.3%
The importance of Eternal formats 15 0.3%
How the Public Impacts Magic 14 0.2%
Ways you've changed cards to make it harder for players to cheat with them 13 0.2%
Creature Types: Where do They Come From? 12 0.2%
The design and economy of Fat Packs 11 0.2%
How to successfully lead a design team 10 0.2%
Self-sacrifice cards and forced sacrifice 10 0.2%
The Reduction of the number of X Spells in Magic 9 0.2%
Interconnectivity of sets 9 0.2%
Cards with Flying 8 0.1%
Does Rules Lawyering Detract from Magic 8 0.1%
Designing Enchantments 7 0.1%
Themes outside Magic affecting Magic design 6 0.1%
Magic's Resource System 4 0.1%
Internal set structure 2 0.0%
Cards that change controller whenever something specific happens (as with, e.g., Fractured Loyalty) 2 0.0%
Total 5948 100.0%

The winner was Pros and Cons of Introducing a Sixth Color. Note that there were accidentally three different versions of that topic and, as such, all three were counted as a single topic. But what lovely non-Magic topic would “Pros and Cons of Introducing a Sixth Color” get to share space with?

List B - Non-Magic Related (Choose One)
Mark Rosewater is $%^# insane! 869 11.5%
Dungeons & Dragons 504 6.7%
Family Guy 413 5.5%
Monty Python 356 4.7%
Mark Gottlieb 323 4.3%
Chaos theory 225 3.0%
Richard Garfield Anecdotes 218 2.9%
The Matrix 206 2.7%
Star Wars 196 2.6%
The concept of Zero 178 2.4%
Heavy Metal 175 2.3%
Why Canada spells things differently 145 1.9%
Throat Wolf 142 1.9%
Norse Mythology 140 1.9%
Things new employees at have to go thru at Wizards 136 1.8%
End of the World (or mankind) 133 1.8%
Muppets 131 1.7%
Video Games 126 1.7%
Dragons 121 1.6%
Ramen Noodles 118 1.6%
World War II 116 1.5%
How to argue and win (you always say there's lots of arguing and debate there and as team leader you often need to settle these I assume) 111 1.5%
Gophers 111 1.5%
That gunk that gets into your mouse 110 1.5%
The movie Twelve Angry Men 108 1.4%
Idiots and the Internet 105 1.4%
Time Travel 97 1.3%
The life and works of William Shakespeare 95 1.3%
Richard Garfield vs Houdini 94 1.2%
Sigmund Freud 93 1.2%
Puppies and Kittens: Cute Pets, or Intergalactic Invaders? 88 1.2%
My top regrets in life 81 1.1%
Comic Books 81 1.1%
How to keep a marriage together 78 1.0%
Dr. Seuss 77 1.0%
Are Tomatoes Fruit? 74 1.0%
My favorite riddles and their answers rewritten in the context of whatever the other topic is your blending 73 1.0%
Sir Isaac Newton 72 1.0%
Pet Peeves (aka Rants) 58 0.8%
College 58 0.8%
Artificial Intelligence 57 0.8%
Geek figures in history 56 0.7%
Lies in the Media 51 0.7%
Old Cartoons 46 0.6%
Spandex 45 0.6%
Art 42 0.6%
Music 40 0.5%
Soap opera and the proletariat color conflict 40 0.5%
My favorite game 37 0.5%
Eating out 37 0.5%
Giant Turtles 37 0.5%
Chicken and the Egg 35 0.5%
Magic (you know like rabbits out of hats and such) 34 0.5%
My Personal Life 33 0.4%
Anatomy 32 0.4%
My production assistant days 30 0.4%
Experiences in school 28 0.4%
Gameshows 22 0.3%
TV shows you like 20 0.3%
Superstition 19 0.3%
Sleeping 18 0.2%
Bad injuries 17 0.2%
Clarence Darrow 16 0.2%
Pets 15 0.2%
My fans 14 0.2%
My favorite recipes 14 0.2%
Writing for television 13 0.2%
Hairstyles 12 0.2%
Dancing 12 0.2%
Inspirational Sources 11 0.1%
Office Supplies 9 0.1%
Hotel reservations 9 0.1%
Boredom 8 0.1%
Colleagues 5 0.1%
Singing 3 0.0%
Famous People 2 0.0%
Snack Foods 1 0.0%
Total 7555 100.0%

“Mark Rosewater is %#@$ Insane” won in a landslide. I’m not sure how many people that voted for the topic realize this but it comes from a reoccurring thread in the forums on a humor Magic website. Every time I would write a crazy column (and a few times when the columns weren’t so crazy), there was always a thread started with some variant of this title. (%#@$ is a synonym of the word guano. Look it up.)

So what happens when a Sixth Color in Magic crosses paths with my insanity? You will see. Oh yes, you shall see.

CLICK HERE TO BEGIN THE INSANITY

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