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Disney Lorcana wants to expand the audience for trading card games in a big way

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since the first card for Disney Lorcana were shared in September of last year, Disney fans and hardcore gamers alike had the same question on their minds: what are the rules of the game, and how do they differ from established franchises like Magic the Gathering And pokemon trading card game, Well, as it turns out, it’s hard to keep a lid on this magical little game, and those rules leaked a little early on Monday. But perhaps the most important part of those rules – their context and their intent – ​​has been missing until now.

earlier this month, sat down with Disney Lorcana WebMD invited co-designer Ryan Miller to learn everything we could about the newest Disney collectible. What we discovered is a product that has been engineered with a surprisingly light touch. In fact, the rules fit well enough on the front and back of a sheet of paper. But don’t mistake that brevity for simplicity.

“What we wanted was something that was accessible. And I like the word accessible, because it doesn’t mean easy,” Miller said. “It’s generally concepts and things that are easy to pick up for someone who’s never played this type of game before – and that got bored in our early plays.”

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An action card from Disney Lorcana shows Elsa singing the Let It Go song and spewing snowflakes from her hands.

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Image: Ravensburger and Disney

Christophe, the official Ice Master, is a 3/3 Shimmer - a narrative ally - that can be played on the table for 3 ink.  On searching, he produces two knowledge.

Image: Ravensburger and Disney

In Disney Lorcana, players take on the role of publishers, powerful individuals who use a unique resource called ink to bring to life versions of classic Disney characters and items on the table. Each player comes to that table with a unique deck of cards from their collection or a pre-made starter deck purchased at the store. The goal is to collect “lore”, a type of magical MacGuffin that stands for life points or hit points in similar games. Lore is collected by sending characters on quests, and the first player to earn 20 Lore points wins the game.

To bring those classic Disney characters to life, first you have to generate a pool of ink – which is the main resource Disney Lorcana Uses to power the action in the game. So, what Miller said is true, the process is acceptable – generate characters to create characters, which you send on quests to collect lore – but it’s not all that simple. Miller said, and getting the resource system right was one of the most difficult parts of designing Disney Lorcana in the first place.


In two of the most popular trading card games, Magic And pokemon, cards and their abilities cannot simply be played at will. They have a cost that must first be paid for in resources. Those resources are represented by their own special cards in both games – land cards, which generate mana. Magicand energy cards, which are associated with creatures pokemon,

However, in order to play a land or energy, you must first draw those cards from your deck into your hand. in the matter of MagicYou may actually need several different Type of resources – different types of land, each producing different colors of mana – to play different cards from your deck. This can make the first few opening rounds challenging, as players size each other up and make the first few tentative moves at the table with only a few resources in play.

Miller and his co-designer Steve Warner spent six months trying to find a different solution, and finally settled on something unique.

Tinkerbell, the little strategist, is a twinkle—a Drumbourne, the ally, the fairy—with 2/4.  When asserted, she allows the player to draw a card and then choose and discard another card.  It's worth a lore when finding it.

Image: Ravensburger and Disney

A frying pan item can clang!  which makes the item disappear, and the character cannot make a hit challenge—he battles with other shins—on his next turn.

Image: Ravensburger and Disney

First, almost every card Disney Lorcana Can be used to generate resource ink at the rate of one per turn. This solved the problem of not having enough resources in the early stages quite easily. Then they started removing that ink ability from some of the more powerful cards, reducing its usefulness in one way while increasing it in another. Today, many of the cards in the game cannot be turned into ink, but it is up to players whether or not to include them in their custom-made decks.

“It really allows for an interesting balancing act that we can do,” Miller said, “because taking ink off a card and saying that card doesn’t provide you with ink when you’re building your deck.” If so, it really changes your assessment. , It really has to justify itself now because I can’t use it as an ink. […] I believe experienced trading card gamers are going to find this very interesting indeed.

as written, Disney LorcanaInk’s system moves resource production away from a luck-at-draw opportunity and instead makes resource creation a choice—informed by experience and skill—that the player must make on his own during play and when building his custom deck. Let’s make , Adding further complexity, any card that is converted to ink cannot be used for any other action later in the game. To generate the ink it melts your more powerful cards is a really bad idea – unless it’s necessary to avoid being backed into a corner.

,[I’ve] I have to decide which of these cards is the least useful to me in this game,” Miller said, “and I’m going to decide that by looking at the cards. [other cards on the] table. That’s the best way to make a decision, because I think – as a player – I’m using my skills now. I can see what they are playing, they are doing this strategy. […] so i’m going to go ahead and ink it [high-value card], I feel good about that decision: I feel I have used my skills.

Another key benefit of the ink design that Miller likes is that it expands what he calls variance. By giving each card in that 60-card deck multiple functions—being used as ink, being used to gather lore, or being used for some other unique action—further each Increases the amount of variance in the deck. and that’s the distinction that must be made Disney Lorcana It’s a lot of fun to play and collect – and to experiment, even if it means losing a tough game.

Miller said, “I want to add variance, because variance gives hope.” Without that extra variance, players who start out losing in the 20 lore race may have a higher chance continue Lose the race against time. Higher variance gives players more work to do, more cards to play in an attempt to reduce that variance. it’s not blue shell Mario Kart By any stretch, but it gives more drama to each game.

“Without variance,” Miller continued, “there can be no hope.”


With the ink system in place, Miller stated that several other elements of the game’s design began to crystallize over repeated play. Among them were the three card types that would be available at launch: Characters, Items, and Actions.

Characters are called twinkling in the universe Disney Lorcana, are pulled from a vault full of Disney’s back catalog of classic animated films and given unique, thematic powers to play on the table. Items like Ariel’s Dinglehoppers the little Mermaid, leaping from the margins of film scripts to fill important roles, such as fixing other damaged characters. Meanwhile, iconic actions, such as breathing green fire into the shape of a dragon at the end of Maleficent sleeping Beautywere a natural next step in the development of the game.

One action card, one song, called One Jump Ahead.  The art shows Aladdin using the carpet as a parachute.  Its power allows the player to put the top card of their deck into the inkwell.

Image: Ravensburger and Disney

A seagull holding a fork.  The Dinglehopper Card allows you to straighten your hair at Disney Lorcana, eliminating one damage.

Image: Ravensburger and Disney

But a sub-type of card, called “song”, looks different. Songs drawn from Disney’s vast catalog of cultural touchstones also happen to be mighty earworms. Any song can be played by any player for its cost in ink. But songs can also be sung by individual characters that have been played on the table, freeing players to use their ink for other tasks. Mechanically, they are just another way of adding variance. Disney Lorcana,

As an example, Miller points to a card called One Jump Ahead, named after Disney’s song of the same name. Aladdin, Players themselves can pay two inks to play One Jump Ahead, which allows them to draw a card from their hand and immediately turn it into ink – giving them a jump, or as it were, an ink, ahead to the next round. Alternatively, players can have any character they control, worth two or less ink, sing that song instead, causing their action that round to essentially generate more ink for free. turns into an opportunity. But that option — eliminating the character instead of using it to generate lore — is a trade-off that could have consequences further down the line.


Ultimately, time will tell whether players are as excited about these clever design choices as Ravensburger’s team is. The rules themselves are purposefully skeletal, Miller said, and much of the meat of the game lies on the hundreds of cards included in the first of several sets—most of which have yet to be revealed.

but the real magic of Disney Lorcana That can only happen if fans are ready to play it when the final game hits retail stores this summer. Miller is hopeful. The source of his optimism? It goes back to those ear worms.

“One of the things we looked at,” Miller said, “will you sing, at least [first] its line. So like ‘a jump ahead of the bread line!’ […] It’s almost like it’s a rule of the game because it happens so much, that people will sing along while playing it.

Miller, an Army veteran with a beautiful baritone singing voice, said he particularly enjoyed “Let It Go!” When he banishes the glare of his opponents with Elsa’s powerful song.

“Just imagine a room full of people, and randomly you’ll just hear people singing snippets of Disney songs,” Miller continued, a wide grin spreading across his face as he shuffled a stack of pre-production cards. And the bridge does. “That’s awesome!”

Disney Lorcana The first will be available at this year’s Gen Con, and shortly thereafter at hobby stores starting August 18th – followed by 12 weeks of organized community play. Fans can find it starting September 1 at major retailers and on

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