Final Fantasy Trading Cards Games
Producer's blog 2021-01-25 18:00:00

Producer's Column - Rules Refreshers

2021 01/producerblog vol1 mobile

・Talking about rules

 Hello, everyone! FFTCG Producer Tarou Kageyama here. The year 2020, truly a year of struggle, has ended, and 2021 has begun. It seems like challenging times are likely to continue for a while, but I’d like to dedicate myself to doing what I can every day with the belief that we can continue moving forward, even if it’s just a little bit at a time. I hope you’ll continue to support us this year. With that, I’d like to do one of the things that I’m able to, which is to present you with my latest “From the Producer Special” article. We had a short hiatus following the release of “Opus XII: Crystal Awakening,” but it feels like it’s just about the right time now, wouldn’t you say?

By the way, I’m planning to talk about the rules of FFTCG this time. But I don’t mean I’m going to be going through and explaining FFTCG rules. There are largely three factors relating to FFTCG rules. I’d like to talk about what sort of roles they each play.

・Basic rules

I think that generally, when we talk about a game’s rules, we’re referring to an explanation of how that game is carried out. In FFTCG as well, the term “rules” would generally refer to that sort of thing. As in, you have five cards in your first hand. You draw two cards in a turn, pay a cost to use Characters and Summons, and win by dealing seven points of damage to your opponent. The rules would explain all this, but in a more deliberate way. For FFTCG, these can be reviewed on the rule sheet included in each starter set, or on our official website ( Essentially, as long as you have these, you’ll be able to go ahead and play the game. We can’t begin unless we have these rules first. I think it would be appropriate to say that this is a core part of FFTCG.

・Card text

 The second element relating to rules is “card text.” In the world of trading card game rules, the power of a card’s text is actually extremely immense. Theoretically, card text is supposed to have been created in compliance with FFTCG’s rules, but there are times when it breaks the rules, and other times when it is prioritized over them. Some easy-to-understand examples of this would be Cosmos [1-183H] and Chaos [1-184H]. They enable you to play two or more Light or Dark Characters onto the field instead of one, which would normally be the case. In this way, card text is prioritized over the normal rules.

 Among the latest cards, Lani [12-018H] is one that transcends the rules quite boldly. Her  ability allows you to cast a card that “your opponent removed from the game,” and “the cost for casting it is reduced by 2,” which “can be paid using CP of any Element”, which alters multiple rules.

 As you can see, as long as it’s written on a card, text is valid in the game regardless of its effects, and what’s written on a card is absolute. Conversely, if something is not written on a card, it won’t happen, no matter how odd. Card text must be written to include no less and no more than what is necessary. It’s an area that mustn’t be created with a vague, “even if it isn’t written down, they’ll get it if they use common sense” philosophy. There is a card called Cagnazzo [3-130R]. In some languages, the text on this card that reads, “until the end of the turn,” is missing. But for most abilities other than field abilities, effects that increase or decrease power usually end at the end of the turn, so it feels like this probably should end at the end of the turn. However, if it had been correct for the text to leave out this portion, then the effect would have needed to continue even after the end of the turn (an errata has already been issued for this card, and the effect ends at the end of the turn). I think this shows what a large role card text plays in the context of rules.

・Comprehensive rules

 The third and final factor are the comprehensive rules. Because they’re written in a specialized and formal manner, there’s a certain amount of concentration needed to give these a thorough read, even for those who are already knowledgeable about the rules. The comprehensive rules form the foundation needed to run FFTCG properly. For example, if you’re casting a Summon in an actual game, I imagine you’d pay the CP and place the Summon from your hand into the Break Zone. Not that that’s wrong, but in that case, at which step was the casting considered to have happened? Immediately after the CP was paid? After it was placed in the Break Zone? The precise steps that are actually there, as well as other specifics, are detailed in the comprehensive rules. In short, we could say that the comprehensive rules are the program needed to run the game.

 The game can be enjoyed without knowing about such granular details. But, without detailed rules, there can be times when the game stops. If I were to use a Summon as an example like I did earlier, Krile [12-061L] would be a straightforward one, so I’ll try to explain using that. This card can cast a Summon from the Break Zone. But in this case, if your opponent used a Summon (which we’ll call A), and you used Krile [12-061L]’s ability in response, could Summon A be used? If the term “casting” includes the progression of events all the way to placement into the Break Zone, then Summon A would already be in the Break Zone when Krile [12-061L]’s ability would be used, so it feels like it could be possible to cast that.

However, according to the comprehensive rules, it is designated that a Summon stays in the stack without moving to the Break Zone until it is resolved (see Comprehensive Rules, 11.3.2). This means that if Krile [12-061L] were to be used in response to Summon A, Summon A would still be in the stack rather than the Break Zone, so it would not be possible to use it.

In this way, the comprehensive rules define even parts that aren’t seen, ensuring that no problems arise with game progression and resolution. They are the rules that serve as the game’s foundation.

 As I mentioned earlier, a close perusal of the comprehensive rules requires somewhat of an effort, even for people who are already knowledgeable about the rules. However, reading through them despite their difficulty will lead to new discoveries and deepen your understanding of the rules, so I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to try taking a look if you ever have the chance.

 It’s the first article of 2021 and it’s already a rather long one, so I’ll wrap things up right around here. Until next time!