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Back view of Gateway card

Gateway: Return to Galwyndor (colloquially "Gateway" or "GRTG") is a customizable card game created by Dan Donche Jr and Kris Dunning and independently introduced in 2009 (developed by Nameless Jester Enterprises).

Gateway can be played by two to four players, each using a deck of printed cards, a game board, and a set of dice. Each game represents a battle between armies, led by powerful "heroes", in an attempt to destroy the enemy and to get back through the Gateway to return to their homeland of Galwyndor. This is done by maneuvering and fighting with basic and special units and using abilities and artifacts to gain the advantage. Although the original concept of the game draws heavily from the motifs of traditional fantasy card games such as Magic: The Gathering, Gateway also incorporates some elements of traditional table-top role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, making it slightly more complex than some other games due to the maneuvering and positioning of units for combat.

SettingEdit

Main article: Storyline

Two vast armies set upon the final mage at the end of the Fourth Great War (during a process called "The Purge", an effort to rid Galwyndor of magic). The mage opened up a Keldra Gateway to escape his fate, which the two armies followed him through, erroneously ending up in a land called Errod, which turned out to be another world entirely. Twenty years later, the Gateway has reopened, and players must fight their way back to Galwyndor before it closes.

GameplayEdit

Main article: Gateway: Return to Galwyndor rules

In a game of Gateway, two or more players are engaged in a battle to control access to a Gateway that can lead them back to their home world of Galwyndor. A player starts the game with one "hero", which gives his army special innate abilities (spells, use of special units, etc.). The heroes are the centerpiece of each deck, called a "craft", because without a hero in play, players lose the use of deck-specific cards (but can still continue playing by controlling basic units). The game is over when a player has no more units on the battlefield, however, the winner is dependent upon which player got the most units through the Gateway. Units (represented by cards and placeholders) lose life when they are dealt "damage" by being attacked with other units or when spells or other cards cause them to lose life directly. Each unit has a specified amount of life, called HP, or "hit points". Each unit also has specified stats, which determine their success with engaging other units, disengaging from other units, attack damage, defending attacks from other units, mobility, and range.

Players begin the game with six cards in hand. There are several basic card types in Gateway: "heroes", "units", "abilities", "resources", "artifacts", and "Lloan" cards. Heroes serve as battle units and enable players to use deck-specific cards (cards that can only be used by a certain color), such as ability cards and special units. Battle "Units" are the maneuver units places on the battlefield to fight other players and put through the Gateway. "Abilities" are deck-specific, with each deck having a different type of ability, (sorcery for red, deception for black, etc.), and thus a different type of advantage. "Resources" are what heroes draw upon to use their unique abilities and pay for special units. "Artifacts" are unique items which give units or armies some sort of advantage. "Lloan" is the currency of Galwyndor which is used to purchase new basic units.

Players may only bring out one unit per turn. More powerful abilities generally cost more resources, Lloan, or both. Unlike Magic: The Gathering, where "mana" is reusable each turn, resources and Lloan are expended into the discard pile. These can only be regained through the use of other cards, such as Wretched Scavenger or Bounty Hunter. Abilities come in several varieties: "instants" have a single, one-time effect before they go to the discard pile; "enhancements" are "permanents" that remain in play after being played to provide a lasting effect; "timeline" effects are abilities that last over a set number of rounds. Some abilities also provide extra damage effects, called "sweeps", which enable units to deal damage to more than one space. Sweeps are made up of three types: cluster strikes, linear strikes, and ring strikes.

Many cards have effects that override normal game rules. In such cases where a card's text directly contradicts rules, the card takes precedence. This allows for more options and variety in game play.

Players continue taking turns until one one player's units remain on the battlefield. Victory goes to the player with the most units through the Gateway; in such cases where a tie exists between players, the person who survived longest on the battlefield is the winner.

The Decks of GatewayEdit

Each deck of cards in Gateway is referred to as a craft. There are five crafts in Gateway, each represented by a different color of card:

Each type of deck, or craft, has a different inherent style of game play:

  • Champion - focused on engaging and dealing damage through combat prowess
  • Divine - focused on healing units and dealing damage through divine ability
  • Sorcery - focused on dealing damage through spellcasting
  • Engineer - focused on shaping the battlefield with special machine units, such as catapults and ballistas
  • Deception - focused on gaining the advantage through deceit and stealth

Each deck may consist of 40-70 cards. Any unique card (such as specific hero cards) may only appear once in each deck; all other cards have a limit of 3 of the same to a deck, with the exception of resource and Lloan cards.