Designer's Notes: Munchkin Clowns

Want to know what was going through my demented brain as I worked on the latest Munchkin mini-expansion, Munchkin Clowns?

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OK, you asked for it. Go read my Munchkin Clowns Designer's Notes, below.

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Designer's Notes

It often pays to listen to my coworkers.

While delivering some marked-up pages to our production team, our most experienced production artist, Alex Fernandez, asked me, "Why haven't you written Munchkin Clowns yet?"

"Because I'm stupid sometimes, Alex," I replied, and went back to my desk to make notes. Not much later, I had a 15-card expansion, almost all of which passed unchanged directly into layout. It doesn't often happen that painlessly, but it sure is fun when it does, and it seems to happen more often with these small expansions. Getting to take an idea and run with it like this is one of the best parts of my job!

I was incredibly pleased when Len Peralta agreed to illustrate this one. I knew we had lots of artists who would do a great job with this material, but I also knew Len would be able to make it recognizably Munchkin and also super duper creepy. He exceeded every expectation. Thanks, Len!

Here are a few thoughts on specific cards:

  • Automated Pie Launcher: This isn't a reference to N.E.P.T.R. from Adventure Time. Not at all. Never crossed my mind. Incidentally, this card has an erratum: it should be worth 200 Gold Pieces. Please feel free to write that in.
  • Big Red Nose/Big Red Shoes: A few people have asked where the Big Red Wig was. The honest answer is that I just totally spaced on putting it in until the set was already at print. If there's a Clowns 2: Still Clownin' down the road, that will be the first card I write!
  • B0-Z0: Steve's comment on this was something like, "I knew you were going to get Bozo in here, but I didn't see this coming at all." That, right there, makes this one of my favorite cards in the entire set.
  • Clownfish: The art spec said, "It's an adoryble little clownfish." I've tried to get Captain Nemo (a clownfish in pirate gear, arrr) into several sets now, and this is probably as close as I'm going to get.
  • Curse! Coulrophobia!: There's your vocabulary word for the day. I'm pretty sure coulrophilia is a thing, but it's not a search I want to run at work.
  • Kart Jester: This one went through a couple of rewrites; I think at one point, it was a Curt Jester, but that's too close to the Hostile Jester promo card we'd already done. I thought about a Court Jouster, but the robe's bad for the horse.
  • Poundfoolish: There was no way I was going to pass this joke up. I was talked out of capitalizing "IT" in the Bad Stuff, but I still regret the missed opportunity a bit. By the way, how about Len's ULTRA-scary art on this one? We made Poundfoolish the signature monster in the set for a reason!
  • Pugliacci: Of course, a play on the tragic clown Pagliacci, and also a stealth shoutout to my shared-birthday buddy, Eddy Webb, and his fantastic game Pugmire.
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