Saturday, December 8, 2007


This last week was a landmark week for me in some ways.

In most ways, it was just like any other week.  I went to work, did the fam thang, etc...

But this particular week, I submitted Chapter and Verse to Covenant Communications, on the good advice of my friend James.  Nothing ventured nothing gained, right?

We'll see if anything comes of it.  Thanks for all your support!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sunday Scripture: John 17:3

#32 Know the Divine: John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

Stats: S0, W4, F2, H0, T0; Theme: W, Effect: Quote

One of the cool things about being the game designer is that you can inject personal things into your game.  Like, for example, when you come across a verse that is one of your favorites, and you think that it's one that everyone should be able to quote on a moment's notice, you can give it the "Quote" ability.

This is also one of the verses that was used in this last conference to refute those that claim that Mormons are not Christian.  The adherence to the Nicene Creed claims that God is "Unknowable".  But this verse shows that we can know God and Jesus on a very personal level.  Indeed, that knowing God is vital to our exaltation.

This verse implies that how well we know God will determine how qualified we are to become like Him.  Which only stands to reason.

In the game, this verse can be a powerful punch when combined with "#26 The Sealing Power" and "#84 The Testimony of Joseph".  These all have 4 points of Wisdom, and all have "Quote".  So, all you gotta do is learn these verses (which should be in your mind and hearts anyway), and you can throw down a Wisdom book for free!  Without quoting, you'd have to sacrifice six verses to get these three out.

Good gaming!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A book of Mormon Cardset!

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Since the 2008 Curriculum for the seminary program is all about the Book of Mormon, we’re starting to work on a cardset of 100 verses focused on the Book of Mormon! There’ll be a few new game mechanics, like battle, and an increased focus on characters and the Histories theme.

What I need from everyone that comes here is some help! Take just a minute and leave a comment on this blog entry. Tell me your favorite:

  1. Book of Mormon verses
  2. Book of Mormon characters
  3. Book of Mormon stories (that my teacher tells to me…)

Let me tell you some of mine to get you started!

  1. The conversion of Zeezrom. What a story. I’d love to see that one written up and shot as a movie! It’s got everything. Intrigue, murder, politics… Everything you need for a good action show! And it gets me everytime I read about Zeezrom leaping up from his sick bed, after Alma and Amulek give him the blessing.
  2. Christ coming to America. Another powerful story. So much has been written about this one, that I’m not sure what I could add in a little blog here.
  3. The journey to the Promised Land. I love studying Lehi’s borderline dysfunctional family. It gives me hope for my own. Of course we only get to see it through Nephi’s eyes. I often wonder what it would read like if Sam had wrote it. I mean, he’s righteous, but he would have still seen it all from a different perspective.
  4. The Final Battles in the end would make a great movie as well. A sad, sad tragedy.

Anyway, you folks tell me what your favorites are!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Scripture: D&C 14:7

#75 Endure to the End: D&C 14:7 “And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life.”

Stats: S3, W1, F1, H0, T2; Theme: S, Effect: If this verse is in play when you have only one blessing remaining, draw that blessing.

My mom used to make jokes about this verse all the time.  My dad was in the stake presidency in various central and then southern Indiana stakes for about as long as we can remember, and we had to drive hours for stake conferences each way, each year, and then hang around for endless ordinations, settings apart, and meetings afterward before another hour or two drive home.  She used to refer to it as "enduring on our ends..."

But when I saw this verse, I wanted an effect that would reward a player for taking it all the way to the end of the game.  So, if there's only one blessing verse left, you get to pull it!

I have to admit, sometimes I think we Mormons take this verse a bit too literally.  I think all too often we take the attitude that life is something to be endured.  I don't think that's what the Lord meant here.  I mean, this is the same Lord that said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I just think that he didn't want us to give up, or stop.  All the way to the end, amigo!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Scripture!

I’m starting a new feature here at the Chapter and Verse Website blog! It’ll be called the Sunday Scripture. What I’m going to do is pull up a random verse card from one of my decks, and comment on it. I might talk about the scripture and what it means, I might talk about how that meaning inspired the game mechanics of the effects or the numbers, and I might talk about some cool combos that can be made with that verse.

This time I pulled:

#82 – A Clean Slate: D&C 64:10 “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.”

Stats: S2, W2, F0, H0, T1; Topic: The Law; Theme: S,W Effect: Quote

I really like this one, because it tells me that I don’t have to be judgmental. In a lot of ways, this is a very freeing verse. Sometimes we look at forgiveness like it’s a burden, and difficult. Someone wronged us, and they should pay for that.

The bottom line is that we need to leave that stuff in the hands of the Lord. He, who knows all about us and all about those who’ve hurt us, is in the best position to judge. He can tell who He’s going to forgive, based on whether or not they are repentant. He knows their hearts.

We, on the other hand, don’t. We don’t know their stories, nor where they’ve been in life. Our judgment is flawed. So, we simply have to forgive and trust that the Lord will handle it.

Now, these days, it’s tough because we’re told by so much media that revenge is the way to live. Movie after movie is all about getting tough and getting back. For many years, and through many administrations, our country’s foreign policy is often driven more by a desire to “get the bad guys” than it is by what’s best for us all.

When I was in seminary, I loved this one because it was very easy to remember. For that reason alone, (and the fact that it’s a “Wisdom” verse), I made its effect a simple “Quote”. I have this one in my “Quote it” deck, but there’s no real combo I’ve attached to it. It’s just one that I can easily quote and throw down for free to complete up a book.

Nothing fancy on this one. Forgive me! :-)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Long-Distance Game

James and I just played a bit of a game using yahoo webcams.  Long distance!  We tried to get the audio working, but we just couldn't do it.  As a PC man, I'll have to defer to the Mac's in this case.  They do make it much easier!

We talked about a lot of thing that the game needs.  One of the biggest is rules that are written more clearly.  They have to be so clear and simple that someone who's never played a CCG before can do it.  I'll have to rework it.  Again...

But at least this time I'm not changing the actual play rules.  I'm just making them easier to understand.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Another Question for the Playtesters

I just realized another issue with the rules that needs clarification:  If you're playing along and you run out of verses in your deck, what do you do?

There're a couple of ideas I have right off, and I'd like your input.

  1. If you run out of verses in your deck, you lose the game.  In most other CCG's (Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon), that's the way it resolves.  This also tends to make the decks that flow lots of verses a little less powerful.
  2. If you run out of verses in your deck, you keep playing, but you can't draw.  That would mean you'd have to have some way to pull from your discard, or your only source of new verses would be your blessing stack.
  3. The only other option I can think of is that if you run out of verses, you could shuffle your discard and flip them face down into your deck and continue playing.

What do you think?  Right off the top of my head, I'm leaning toward option 2.  I don't know why, but it seems to be pretty sensible.  Still, I'll defer to the opinions of the playtesters, if there's enough clear opinion either way.

The Testing of the Decks

Brendon and I just barely finished playing the two new decks against each other.  Wow.  What fun, to see two planned decks go head to head.  It showed me a bunch of cool things:

  1. "Quote" isn't as powerful as I thought it would be.  It is cool, and it did help Brendon bring out lots of verses, but it wasn't as uber-powerful as I was afraid it would be.
  2. The two decks really were pretty evenly matched.  If he hadn't won when he did, I would have won the next turn.  And the only reason I didn't win was that I didn't have enough verses to sacrifice to throw down the final combo and pull my last blessing.
  3. After this game and some of the other games I've played, I feel like there needs to be some limits on the turns.  Brendon, in his turn, kept drawing and playing.  Then, in my turn, I kept drawing and playing.  It makes for long, drawn out turns.  I'm flirting with the idea of a rule that would say that when you close out a book, the play phase of your turn ends, and you move into the end phase.  I dunno.  I'll have to play with that.  Another idea is to make more verse effects that can be played instantly instead of only in your own turn.  That way the turns can be more interactive instead of so long.  Maybe even some verses that can end an opponent's turn.

Anyway, these are just some thoughts.  Tell me what you're thinking when you play your games!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

James' new Blog

Hey, just got an email from James Fullmer.  He's started a blog about his experiences in art and game-making for the LDS market.  Check it out at:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Decks! and Rules!

There's lots of cool new stuff over in the playtester's page.  You gotta check it out!

First of all, we're excited to announce the creation and release of two playtest decks!  The first one is based on the "Quote" mechanic.  It'll be interesting to see just how this one plays out.  Almost every card has the ability, so if someone were good at memorizing, they'd be able to play verse after verse for free!

Then, there's the Strength of Faith!  This deck is made of cards from the Strength and Faith themes.  Those two play together quite nicely, bringing verses to the hand and drawing blessings.

It'll be fun to try these out and see how they play.  Give them a game or two and tell me how they do!

Also, there's a new version of the rules and the first cardset.  Nothing's really changed much.  There was a need for a clarification.  Now, verses that are played as a result of another verse's effect are not "played" but are "set". If a verse is set, its own effect doesn't trigger.  Its numbers still count in chapters, but no effects.  This keeps the long chains of effects down.

And, based on some feedback I got from James, I created a one-page quick start guide to get you playing right away.  The details of the game are still in the rules, but to just start throwing verses down, you can start with the quick start.  It's not so intimidating as 8+ pages of rules!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

On the Phone

On the Phone - 10/3/2007 - Back to Top
Yesterday, I got an email from James H Fullmer, creator of the "Book of Mormon Battles" game.  He offered a few words of encouragement, and then asked me to give him a call and talk about LDS gaming.  I did, and we were on the phone for about an hour last night.

What a great guy!  He's been working on (and is now about to publish) a game called "Warriors of the Promised Land".  When I first heard about it, I was in a bit of shock.  Could the small niche Mormon audience actually support two CCG's?  Here, I hadn't even started yet, really, and there was competition.

But what fun to chat with him.  He had all sorts of words of advice and help to offer.  Try this, remember that when you plan for publication...  While I was getting too caught up in the scarcity mentality, he had that mindset of plenty that Covey talks about.  Dive in!  Give it a try!  There is plenty and to spare!

What a great guy!  Make sure you check out his game when it hits the LDS bookstores this month!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mo' Geek at its Highest


I thought that, as the creator of a Mormon Collectible Card Game, that I would become the uber-mo-geek.  That would make me the L337-est of the L337.  The highest echelon of the nerdtheon.

Not so.

I have been way outcooled.

I found a site today where some people with a bigger sense of faith and fun even than I (and with way too much time on their hands) are translating the Book of Mormon into Klingon.

Amazing.  In some sort of twisted way, it reminds me much of the Sons of Mosiah, led by Alma the younger, who left the safety of their homes to preach the gospel to the bad guys.  Even if the bad guys in this case are, sadly, imaginary.

On the serious side, I do know that from attending a foriegn-speaking mission, that addressing the scriptures from the point of view of another language is a great way to really learn what the scriptures are saying.  In order to translate it, you have to truly understand it.  So, from that perspective, those who are attempting this undertaking will, at the very least, come out the other end with a deeper understanding of the scriptures.

In some ways, I can relate this project also to my efforts to build C&V.  In order to invent the special effects of the cards, I have to consider what the verse is truly saying, and see how to "translate" that into a way the verse plays as a card.

So, while I'm laughing at these guys trying to translate the B of M into Klingon, I'll also tip my hat to them!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


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I just realized (by back tracking my MoBoy Blog archives) that the website is a year old!  It was established last September.  And that means that the first draft of the game itself was created within a few weeks prior to that.

Ah, history!

Normally, when a company has an anniversary, there's a big gigantic sale where they reduce everything to 50% off.  Well, all our products are free, so far.  Still, I hate to leave you all hanging.  So, we're announcing our 50% off First Anniversary Sale!  Buy all your cards for half off!  Heck!  Why stop there!  We'll do it at 100% off!  We're just givin' away the store!  Somebody stop me!


Monday, September 24, 2007

New Rules, More Playing

A couple of days ago, I got in some more playing with Brendon and Jared.  This time, we had a friend of ours from Mexico playing as well, Limhi (you'll recognize that name if you read your scriptures...)  In spite of the fact that he sometimes struggles with English, he did quite well, and in fact, almost won.  It was interesting to see him try and quote verses in English.  A couple of times, I knew the Spanish versions, so I let him quote them in Spanish.

I just got finished posting up a new set of rules, v5.4.  Not a lot of changes, but a clarification that will keep the game from spiraling out of control.  That's the concept of the "Set" card verses the "Played" card.  Any card that I play from my hand in the freeplay or after sacrificing in the regular play phase is considered to be "played", and it's effect is triggered.

On the other hand, if a card comes into play on the table top as a result of a verse effect, it's called being "Set", and its effect does NOT trigger.  However, once it's on the table, if it has an ongoing effect "while in play", that effect is valid.

I made changes to the cards themselves to reflect this difference as well.  Rather that having an effect read " a card from your hand." it now reads "...set a card from your hand."

That way, you won't have long strings of effects, like having a card throw down another card, whose effect throws down another card, which triggers another card being played, which causes, etc. etc.  You get the picture.

Also, there's now a hand size limitation rule.  Now, if you start your turn with more than 8 verses, you have to take the extra verses (your choice) and put them on the bottom of your blessing stack.

Don't worry.  The game's still fun.  :-)  Moreso, in fact!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"Play the Game Tonight"

Wasn't that the hook of some silly song from the '80's?  If not, it probably should have been.

Brendon and I played a game of Yu-Gi-Oh and I lost miserably.  That's pretty much par for the course.  The games are still fun, though.  I just don't put that much effort into collecting cards making killer YGO decks.  That's more Brendon's obsession.

Then, after that, we played a game of C&V.  That was really fun.  I love watching him try and quote the verses.  He's only 9, so he struggles with some of the words, but he gets them close enough.  He won that one, too, but it was a much closer game.  I was down to two blessing cards when he finally went out.  He threw down some good strategies, too.

We were just playing with random decks.  After the game, I started playing with some deck building.  I don't really have any ideas in mind, I just thought I'd start with similar themes.  I started with the idea of a strength deck.  But I didn't have enough cards to do that fully, so I'll have to print up more.  The thought occurred to me that because of things like the "Quote" ability, and the extra draw effects of the Faith cards, a Wisdom/Faith deck would probably do quite well.

I'll play with these ideas and then post what I come up with.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Scripture Plug-in for Firefox

This is one of those things that falls into the category of "Too Cool For Words".

But I'll still write about it!

Over at, there was a blog posting about a plug-in for Mozilla Firefox that lists the scripture search in your dropdown of search engines.  When I first heard of that, I was ecstatic!  I access to do scriptures searches a lot.  As an LDS blogger, I'm constantly looking up references, and I'm always there when I'm doing research for verse cards.  But it was always so tedious.  I'd launch the browser, go to, go to the scriptures, go to the search, type in the search, etc...

Now, I just jump up to the corner of my browser, drop down the menu, type in my search and I'm good to go!

The Moregood Foundation is pretty cool, too.  It's a site and organization dedicated to making more good things about the church available on the 'net.


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Progress on the card designs!

Check this out:

One of my friends at work has a rather unique hobby.  He likes to collect 3D characters, and using a software called "Poser", positions them, costumes them, and places them in a 3D setting, which then is rendered out as a flat jpg, or a movie (which is what he usually does).

So, he took a stab at creating a scene for a card.  This one is for "Thou Shalt Not Kill" (the picture is, even though the card template is another verse).

I realize that both the template and the 3d rendering may well be a work in progress.  BUT IF THAT CARD DOESN'T ROCK, THEN I DON'T KNOW WHAT DOES!!!

I'm kinda giddy right now...  :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mormon Trading Cards

Over at Nine Moons, I saw this posting.   These are done so well, that for a time, I wasn't sure he wasn't serious...  I hope it makes you smile as much as it did for me!

Friday, July 13, 2007

More Playtesting and More Playtesters!

I've been getting quite a few playtester signups of late, and that's very exciting.  I've also been getting a lot of feedback from testers, and doing some myself.  The results I'm getting back are that this new system is pretty solid.  There've already been a few good suggestions made.  We won't make any official changes or announcements until more testing is done, though.

Last night, I was playing the game with a friend, and we played with some actual constructed decks.  I had been worried that the game would play great with random cards, but that with some pre-constructed decks, the balance would shake out.  For example, I was worried that if someone made a deck of high-point verses, and verses that pull blessings, it would be unstoppable.  Well, I made a deck like that, and I got stomped!  I just couldn't get the high-point cards out effectively enough.  It seems that, at this stage, a balanced deck is the way to go.

Anyway, let me know how things go for your games!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

BETA Version 5.1 is DONE!!

OK, folks!  I've tweaked up the rules, I've tweaked up the cards, and now it's finally online as pdf's!  I'm feeling much more confident that this is the future of Chapter & Verse.  It finally feels smooth, like it's settling in where it's supposed to.  It feels balanced, and as more cards are added, more fun will ensue.

Here's some of the changes since the previous versions:

  • The turn is much more simple and streamlined.  Start, Draw, Freeplay, Play, End.  How much simpler can it get?
  • No more counting blessing points as you sacrifice verses.  The word "blessings" is now used in another totally different way.
  • Now verses have effects that happen AS you play them into verses, rather than INSTEAD of playing them into verses.
  • The game is much more interactive, as you can combine your own stacks of cards ("Chapters") with your opponent's to form books.
  • With Quoting, Cross Reference, and the new Keyword ability, the game play responds with the scriptures more and more.

I'm really excited about the changes.  With some more playtesting, we'll be able to move ahead with the production of the game!

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Only Constant is Change

After a lot of questioning, revisiting, and ultimately revision (both in cards and in rules), I finally got a chance top playtest the full version of beta v5.0 last night, with my good friend John Nofsinger.  We only had the chance to play one game, but it went really well.  The new system flows more smoothly, is more streamlined, is more interactive, and ultimately, more fun.

And then I went and lost my keys.

That doesn't seem like a big deal, except that it's all on my flash drive on my key ring.  :-(  But as soon as I get that back, and tweak a few cards (you always find some things weird about some cards after you play them), then I'll get the new rules set posted for playtesting.  And then, the possibility of publication...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cards for v5.0

I think I've gotten a lot of things worked out in the game, now, and I'm really excited.  Play is much more streamlined, and interactive.  It's really a lot more fun.  I'm getting a playtest prototype cardset of 100 scripture mastery verses ready, and the writeup of the new rules.  I'm hoping to have it posted by the end of the week.  We'll have to see just how well it all goes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

All Kindsa Changes!

OK, I was having some real difficulties with the basic game.  It wasn't interactive enough, it didn't truly involve the scriptures enough, and it was just bogging down in too many rules.

But in my efforts to streamline it and make it more fun and scriptural, I was just making it worse and worse.

So it sat and stewed for a long time.  I've been talking things over a lot with a few of my main playtesters, mostly John and Kent, as well as Brendon.  I've melded a lot of the ideas they've thrown at me and I'm really excited about this latest revision.  It's almost a totally restructured game.

It's also still in its infancy, so I'll work it up and post it.  Unfortunately, it'll need cards with new effects, so I'll have to go through them AGAIN!

But I think I've got a good solid game base, now, that I can tweak and then expand with cardsets and cardpages.  And, maybe even publish!

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Prototype Card Design!

Prototype Card Design! - 4/2/2007 - Back to Top
OK, check this out.  This is a protoype of a basic card design.  It was done by Diego, of Varego Design

Keep in mind that, as cool as this looks, it's still in flux.  We're still working on details.  The forest graphic is generic, and will change, for example.  The "Theme" and "Topic" words will be replaced by actual themes and topics.   Still, it's very exciting to see a card begin to emerge.  The block colors that are on the downloadable cards are sooo rough.  It's nice to see some real graphic images.  Let me know what you think!

Friday, March 23, 2007

2 Points, or Not 2 Points?

I've played a few more test games, and I'm a bit at a loss.  I need your help.

The question is all about the rule that starts each turn with 2 free blessing points, before you have to sacrifice any cards.  Here's some of my thoughts and experiences.

As I've been playing, I've tried it both with and without the points.  I've noticed that when I play games with the rule in place, there's less sacrificing of cards.  That's not really a problem, I guess, but I feel like it messes with the economy of the cards, and the card flow of the game.

But on the other hand, without it, people tend to hold their cards, and fewer cards actually get played , which really messes with the flow.  Also, there's fewer extra points available, so it's not so often that I use the "Quote It" rule.

So, what's your experience been?  How does it feel?

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

And they're ready!

Surprise!  It didn't take me days to do.  They're back online as version 3.1.  Go check them out.  They feel much more balanced to me.

New, New Cards

As I've been preparing the cards for the prototype publication, I've been reworking a lot of the abilities and stats of the verses themselves.  I thought I had that nailed down, but as I was cutting apart a set of cards last night, I found some more things that needed tweaking.

So, I've been going through those cards page by page, to make sure that this or that effect was feasible, that it cost the right amount, that the sacrifice points were all reasonable, etc...  I've been also checking for spelling and typos in the verse references and the descriptions themselves as well.

So, hopefully that'll all be done in another day or two, and back up online.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The "Battle" Game Mechanic

As I started to work out the battle game mechanic, I started thinking about how it all works.  War is all throughout the scriptures.  I thought that most of the verses that would use the mechanic would be Tales (white) or Trials (black), because most of the scriptures that talk about war are telling about battles, and going through war is certainly a trial.

I've long believed that even though at times, war may well be necessary, nobody really "wins".  One side doesn't lose as many men or resources, and so they end up occupying the land, or getting their way, or whatever.  So, really, the "winner" is the one that "loses the least".

So, in the battle mechanic, you pull a verse from one of your incomplete books, and one from one of your opponent's.  Presumably, you'll pick a less important verse from yours and an important one from his. Thus, by picking the right cards, you "lose less".

Then, I started finding some scriptures where circumstances, like faith and divine intervention made a big difference in battle.  So, those verses will protect books from being the targets of battle mechanics, or things like "The Title of Liberty", which allows you to search your deck for battle cards, much like Captain Moroni did when he waved the flag to recruit an army against the kingmen.

When we do a Book of Mormon set of cards, there's gonna be lots of battle-related cards.  I mean, the whole books of Alma and Helaman are pretty much war, war, war...  It'll be fun to see how this plays out in the game.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


There's so much happening in the world of C&V these days, that I finally decided that just having the news posting on the main page wasn't going to be enough.  Don't worry, those listings will still continue, so you can see at a glance what's happening, but for more in-depth stuff, come here to the blog!

One of the most exciting things is that there is a very real possibility that the game might actually get published.  It's an expensive prospect, but it might actually happen.  What I've been working hardest on of late is getting things ready for the creation of some prototype sets that can be used to promote the game to retail stores.  That way, with relatively little up-front money, we can determine if it's even viable in the market place.

What that's meant is that the testing and the reworking has been turned up to 11.  I think I've revised the rules twice in as many months.  I refuse to release a game that hasn't been thoroughly tested.  If the game doesn't work, or if it's not fun to play, then nothing else matters.  Not the graphics, nor the marketing, nothing.

Well, check back here from time to time and I'll have comments on new revisions, and other things.  I'd like to comment on some of the verses, and how they struck me as I tried to translate them into the numbers and the effects on the cards.

I'd also like to hear about your favorite verses and how we could make them into cards.  If there are any cards/verses already in the game that you don't understand, and you might need some help interpreting them in the game context, comment below, and I'll answer.