New Item Mechanics Ideas (Feedback Appreciated!)

Hello fellow Gamemasters!

I am prepping for my 9th grade English class next year and plan to take my gamification to the next level. I've thought about the mechanics that I want in my class, and items were the perfect addon that I needed. I decided to use (a GREAT resource!), and here is what I came up with. I'm looking to get some feedback from other Classcraft users. Feel free to use/steal these if ya want! :D

Items Overview:

Okay, so I have a couple of categories of items which each have subcategories. The categories and subcategories are all color coded to let the students *ahem* players, know when they can use them. Students will receive these items in booster packs (Treasure Chests). Each pack will have a single rare or mythic card (the symbol near the bottom left of the art is gold for rare or orange for mythic) two uncommon cards (symbol is silver) and three common cards (symbol is black). As the cards go up in rarity, so does their power. There will be a certain number of each type in circulation for each class. 1 of each Mythic, 2 of each Rare, 3 of each Uncommon, and 4 of each Common (There is a subcategory of common called crafting that will have 5 of each).

Many of these items have a dice (d6) mechanic. I have some random events currently that involve dice which are by far my student's favorite ones. They love the chance element, so I wanted to try and incorporate that into my items (especially the reusable ones).

Some of the items have an additional cost such as paying gold or AP to use them. These costs are at the top of the cards description followed by a colon. 

At the start of the year each team (Guild) will receive a pack to divide among their team members. Each student will be given a collectible card binder page that can hold nine cards. This is their inventory for card storage. There are a couple of other ways that students can earn items (including some cards) that I will describe below.

Category I: Artifact

Artifacts are items that can be used in normal class time. These are all relatively simple and give minor perks or benefits. Only one artifact can be used by a student each day, so they have to think strategically and weigh the pros and cons. There are a few sub categories or these.

Artifacts - Reusable (Gold Border):

These are artifacts that once a student has them, they can keep using them over and over (still only once a day), BUT there is a chance of some artifacts breaking (Return to the Gamemaster).

Legendary Artifacts - Reusable:
These are the most powerful items in the game. There will only be a single copy of each one available per class. They are all reusable, but there is a chance of breaking them as their power surges out. These all do some really cool things!

I love this one, because it will keep circulating once it is found, taunting students with riches. Very flavorful!

This last legendary says it's an "Artifact creature" but that is really just for flavor as it is a bit unique among the legendary cards it is the only single card that can give a Guild a free booster pack, but it is a terrible gamble!

Artifacts - Modification (Blue Border):

These can break the one artifact a day rule. They can be used alone OR in addition to another artifact.

Artifact - Reusable Modification (Gold Border with Blue Accent)

These are a blend of the Reusable and Modification categories

(The "Oracle" is a Magic 8 Ball lol)

Artifact - Consumable (Green Border)

These are all one time use items.

(The "Daily Quest" is my bellringer where they answer a question on Google Classroom)

(This one I am still a bit iffy on, and it needs some explanation. I have had a problem with kids asking to go to the bathroom at the most inopportune times in the middle of class. I'm going to have the rule next year that students can go to the restroom during the first and last 5 minutes of our 90 min class period. If they want to go any other time the "toll" is 25 GP. This card lets them avoid paying it. Some of my current students reviewed these cards and several did not like this card saying that students should be able to go to the restroom whenever they need to. What's your guys' thoughts?)

(There is a small conference room next to my classroom that is nearly always empty except during testing times)

(There's usually no eating in my room as it can leave a mess and my school's custodial staff is a little short handed)

And no RPG is complete without potions!

Artifacts - Consumable Boss Battle (Black Border):

These need to have their type tweaked a bit to make them more distinct, I'm just unsure what to actually call them at the moment. These can only be used during a Classcraft boss battle.

Artifacts - Crafting (Stony Gray Border):

The last category of artifacts that I have is crafting. There will be an addition one of each of these in circulation. If a guild collects all five of these, they get a free booster pack of items!

Category II: Sorcery

These are only usable during Guild Battles (review games). These are really the most PvP cards that I have and they can all be fairly easily dropped into any review game. The winning Guild in a Guild Battle will receive a booster pack of items. Only one Sorcery can be used per Guild per round. These are broken down into Attack cards and Defense cards.

Sorcery - Attack (Red Border):

These can be used at various times in a Guild Battle and cause some sort of harm or disadvantage to another Guild.

Sorcery - Defense (White Border):

These can usually be played in response to being attacked by another Guild (this overrides the one sorcery per round rule), though some can be played at other times. They are used to stop attacks or to give the Guild some kind of advantage.

(This is an interesting one as it basically lets a Guild give up the win, and a booster pack, for XP)

Sorcery - Attack/Defense (Red and White Border):

These are a unique set of sorcery cards that can both help the guild using it and harm another guild depending on how it is used.


So that is all of my items. There are 60 total (5 Mythic, 10 Rare, 20 Uncommon, 25 Common). It will be a lot of printing and cutting (I also think I'm going to laminate to protect them a bit), but I hope that I will be able to reuse them each year and only replace the lost or damaged ones. I put a lot of thought into these to try and keep them interesting, fun, and balanced. I want them to be a big aspect of my class. Something that my students will remember and use. My hope is that they also lead to more communication and community building among the guilds.

Let me know your thoughts or any questions! I know this was a MASSIVE post, but it is something that I am super excited to implement and wanted to share with everyone :)

Happy gaming!

These are really awesome.  I suggest that you call the black border cards Artifact - Equipment.

I was looking through these more, and I noticed your question about bathroom visits.  I currently have a power that students must use to go to the bathroom.  Teleport for mages, Good Karma for healers and Hunting for warriors.  It costs 10 AP.  If a student really must go and they are out of AP, they can choose to lose all their HP and face the normal consequences of that happening.  So far, no one has taken me up on it.  I think this strikes a good balance between allowing them to go, without making it a free-for-all.  

BTW, I have middle-schoolers, so YMMV.

Love this! I need to read it closer (as I've only just skimmed it).  I would love to connect w/you outside of here.  Drop me a line at

Thanks for doing this! 

I love this idea -- so glad I attended the webinar the other night so I could learn more about your classroom. I was curious about how you distribute the cards throughout the year. I know the kids all get a starter pack in the beginning. How do they get new cards, other than the ones here that let them get a new treasure chest? Do they buy them from you using gold they've earned? Is there another way they earn them? Curious about the details of your system. I logged into the site and started creating my own cards thanks to your awesome ideas! I'd love to connect with you to learn more. Do you have a blog or website you post regularly? 

@Karen Thanks! I'm glad you like them :)

In addition to the starter pack and the cards that award treasure chests, guilds earn them through guild battles. The guild that wins a guild battle will receive a pack. I try to do at least one guild battle per week to give everyone a chance to get some cards. Then, I also have some random give away days where I do a sort of surprise give away for something content related. Like asking the students to write a poem or tell me about a current event that relates to what we are reading. The best or most creative one earns a pack, just little things like that. I give them out like extra rewards if I want my groups to work really hard on an assignment. I could also see having one go out as a random event! There is also the crafting cards. I really like these! I've tweaked them since posting this. If a guild collects all 5 they still get a pack, but I have nothing on the card that tells them that. The cards just have the text "One of several mundane materials needed by artisans to craft wondrous items." Then, at the bottom of each card I put "1/5, 2/5, 3/5, 4/5, & 5/5" that way they can deduce that there are 5 items they need, but they don't know what for. That keeps their curiosity (core driver haha) and interest high. But, since they need to collect 5 different ones, and there is only one in each pack it is a much later in the year thing, so it can keep them engaged for the long haul because even if a team wins every guild battle, there is no garentee that they will not get a duplicate of a card they already have in those 5 packs (unpredictability driver).

I have thought about giving students the ability to buy them with gold, but I would not suggest giving them free reign to buy them whenever as I just don't have enough cards made and making more could easily throw of the rarity (scarcity is one of those core drivers after all!). Instead, I'm thinking about doing an auction style thing where I might offer up a pack and start the bidding at 1,000 gp. The whole guild can chip in to cover the costs because these are meant to be really valuable and worth paying a pretty penny for.

That's great! What is your username on mtgcardsmith, so I can follow you?

I would love to connect with you and talk more about it! You can email me anytime at!

I don't currently have a blog or anything like that, BUT I am in the process of starting a YouTube channel where I talk about gamification and education, specifically the stuff that I have learned through reading and classroom trial and error. I'm still in the planning and development stage, but it should, fingers crossed, be going live sometime near the beginning of July (omg that's just a few weeks away! haha). 

Thanks for such a detailed reply! I'm kostyalya on mtgcardsmith. I don't know how much I'll be making over there -- never played that game so my understanding of how the cards work is fairly limited, but you never know! This year may be a game changer for me (see what I did there?), lol! Thanks for sharing your email -- I may send you more questions as they hit me. :) 

Rodney!  Yes, thank you for such a detailed reply  
How many cards are in a "pack"?  How do you break up the rarity?  10 commons = 1 Unccomon      5 uncommons = 1 rare?  I love the idea of crafting cards.  I think I'd like to use those for herbs to create potions, etc.  That would be fun.  Like in Resident Evil  Green= heal,  2 green = greater heal,  1 green+1 red=greater heal,  1 green + 1blue=Cure poison.


@Karen  I am also non Mtgcardsmith.  I haven't done much yet...but you can find my cards under beattysensei

@Rodney & Karen

Maybe we should start a thread together here... or somewhere, where all of us making cards can share them, etc.  it would be cool so then we could share our resources and ideas about how to use them in one place. 

Great idea! For those of you who join in this conversation later, we've started a new thread to share resources. You can find the thread here: 

@ Shawn Each pack has eight cards. A single rare or mythic card (the symbol near the bottom left of the art is gold for rare or orange for mythic) two uncommon cards (symbol is silver), three common cards (symbol is black) and one crafting card. I also realized that the math does not quite work out for my set, so I made a couple " Random Junk" cards to fill out the rest of my numbers. These are unique in that the students just give them to me as soon as they get them and everyone gets a small bit of gp .Thematically it's just that the treasure chest they opened had some non magical stuff stored in it haha.. 

I'd totally be down for collaborating more on these things!

@Karen That link doesn'tt seem to be working.

How strange! When I click that link, it doesn't work, but when I copy/paste it, it does. Strange. Here's the longer link to the same thing:



How did you get your cards arranged so well on the PDF you sent out during the webinar back in June? I've been making cards, but I'm worried about inefficiently printing them as I am not certain how to get as many per page as possible.

This is incredible! I just found this post. I wish I would have seen your webinar and seen the post in summer so I could have prepared this for the year! I might work on having it ready for second semester. Now that school has started for the year, how is it going?

These are great! What is the best way to print cards out?

It's been going alright for me. My main struggle has been finding ways to distribute new cards to the students. I've started a daily auction of 3 cards that students can bid on using GP.

As for printing them, I printed mine on white card stock using the card stock printing setting on my printer. After that, I laminated them once, cut the cards out, and then laminated them a second time for extra durability.

@Arcadia It's been an experience haha. Lots of the students really like the cards, and some of them are a bit indifferent to them. There are a few cards that I think I will tweak, and some that will likely just fade away. I don't like having to track the gp they pay for things like going to the restroom, so I will probably just do away with that rule in the future. I will honestly most likely revamp the whole system after what I have already learned this year. I like to think of this year as a beta test :)

@Jared The best way to print them that I have found is to download the images and then paste the ones you want and the number of copies you need into a word document. You can fit 9 on a single page. You may need to tweak margins and make sure there are no spaces between any of the cards to be able to fit them all. I printed mine similar to Andrew except I got mine printed at a local print shop, cut them out, used a corner cutter to round the corners, laminated about 6 at a time in my small home laminate, then cut them out and rounded the laminated corners again. It all came out looking really spiffy, except for the odd dog hair trapped under the laminate haha

@Andrew I like to keep the cards pretty rare, but have a weekly way that they can earn them along with 2 hidden ways. I will do either a guild battle review game where it is every guild for themselves and the winning team gets a pack of 8 cards. Or I will do a boss battle where it is the whole class verses the boss. After that, I have been doing an auction where I auction off 2 packs worth of cards. Each guild member chips in an amount of gold and any cards they win go to the whole guild. They can then decide how to divvy up whatever they win. I actually tried something new this past week. I had built a plinko board over the summer (it's a game from Price is Right, but a more modern version that I took most of my inspiration from is the newer game show called The Wall) and I brought that into my class. I put cards in various slots at the bottom and using the wheel of destiny I had kids come up, roll a 4 sided die and get to drop that many ping pong balls down the wall. If a ball landed in a slot with a card, the team got that card. I then restocked cards until I gave away 2 packs, the same as I would in an auction. Both methods have pros and cons and engage different kids, so I will probably mix them up every time I do a boss battle.

As I said, I also have 2 secret ways for kids to get more cards. If a guild collects all of the crafting material cards they get a pack. That happened the first time just this week. I also have a random event that will give a random guild a pack. 

They way I give out cards is something I will likely also tweak as I continue to update my game. I would like to give out more individual cards. I have also had the request to have a card shop, but I have yet to come up with a good way to implement it in some way that does not flood the market with cards and also is easy for me to logistically track and reduce students gp.

Rodney Iove your system!  What is your handle on MTG?  I would love to see your cards there!   I already shared this in another thread, but this is how I have been using MTGcardsmith:

Hi Everyone,

  I use cardsmith in the following way in my classroom.  I use the armor sets from Classcraft instead of random internet pictures because it increases student investment in the game and they get really excited about seeing the armors.  Plus I teach 4th grade so it keeps me from accidentally showing something that might offend a parent ;-) See link at the bottom for the files I use to print my cards and below for how I use them:

Artifacts - these cards are printed larger than a normal collecting card and are given to students at random for doing good things or as a random event.  They are larger because I place them in the front of the classroom in the pockets used for student book boxes and write the name of the student it belongs to with a dry erase marker on it.  Then at any time they can say, "Mr. Vail I would like to activate my card and I take it down and do whatever the card says.

Achievement Cards - This is by far the most popular use for the cards.  These are like achievements you earn in a video game for doing certain things in the class.  Getting a 100% on a spelling test, helping another student learn something, doing a class job for a month and so on.  The cards are the size of a baseball card and the kids collect them in their data binder in a 9 slot sheet protector.

  They get a sheet that tells them what all the achievements are and they work really hard to be the first to get one or to have the most.  I see them showing them off to their classmates and they will show them to parents at conferences.

I have a book that has all the achievements cards pre-made so I can hand them out when one is earned.  I write their name on a sheet that I have after each page of cards so that I can keep track of who gets which cards and so I know who has which cards.  The best part about this is the kids are really good at tracking their own stuff and never forget to let me know when they have earned one which I like because that means the system requires less moderation on my part.  

Below is a link with the files I use to print the cards.  You can create the cards in cardsmith then import them into the powerpoint.  I print 30 of the common ones (I have 30 students) and only as many as needed for the more rare ones.  For example I only need 6 (1 print) of Power Player because 1 maybe two students will earn than one as opposed to improved score on a spelling test as that eventually everyone will get that one.

My username on cardsmith is Fewiel and you can contact me with questions at  Below are pictures of the different books and placement in my classroom as well as a link to the powerpoint and trackers I use.  Please let me know what you think! 

Here are the picture examples of how the achievement cards look and the artifacts:

The reason I have a card up there for the Book of Laments is that I have an achievement for staying out of it.  I don't have a good enough memory to remember who has been in the book of laments and so I write their name on the card.   At the end of the trimester anyone who doesn't have their name on the tracker card gets the achievement and then I throw the tracker card away and start over.

His handle is TenkayCrit, I found it by searching one of the cards. 

@David I LOVE the idea of using the Classcraft images for cards! Something my students always wonder is why the clothing has no in game benefits. This could be a cool way to give the item sets more than just a cosmetic use! I was thinking about how I could do a store (something highly requested by my kids) without adding a bunch of bookkeeping on my end. Tying items to their gear would be perfect!  

I agree Rodney, this will also promote the "Leveling Up" that some kids just don't seem to care about.  If they level up and get a new set of gear and with it comes some game affect or perk then perhaps they will see the importance to level up.  I mean we want them to do the work to gain knowledge behind our quests and anything that can promote more work is great!

This thread may be dead, but I thought I would add the next thing I have tried.

I have taken the two ideas above, Rodney and David, and morphed them.

Using the ideas on the cards of Rodney's and David's idea of using the Classcraft icons, I have created cards that are mostly the pets.  I plan on using this much like Rodney does with "Treasure Chests" with the following ideas...

1.  When a pet is fully trained by character they automatically get a copy of that card.

2.  I also have a Quest where kids send GP to their friends at a "Bank".  I'm also thinking about having some items up for sale at different markets in the quest.  It does seem to be a pain to manage this, so I'm thinking the cost will be high and only things that I think they may want occasionally, like being able to eat or a non-water drink in class, perhaps the listening to music and such....

Great ideas guys, thanks for getting me going!

@Jeff I love the idea of giving kids the card once a pet is fully trained!!!  I am going to adopt this into my class as well.  Also I have found that the threads progress very slowly in the forums and you just have to keep watching to see when someone finally sees your post.  I feel like there is a email notification for new posts on a thread your following, but I must have disabled it.

As far as running the GP store I usually have my computer specialist manage that kind of stuff.  The person has to be someone you trust to have access to the admin account, but during "store hours" they can purchase items and the computer specialist or "shop keeper" rings them up for their purchases by subtracting the GP.  That way I can do other stuff while he/she manages the store.

@Rodney One of my frustrations with the game is that the armor stops at level 18.  I think I may have found a solution to this problem.  Once the player has trained every pet for a class, I will let them change to a different class.  The key to this working and creating a potentially new set of armor is when you change their class, reset their GP to zero.  This makes it so they have to level up 18-24 more times in order to get the new class armor.  The idea is that their is still excitement about leveling up because they can purchase the new class armor.  


In theory, the game ends when a student gains all the powers available to their character class. Students must reach Level 18 to gain all those powers, making Level 18 the "end of the game," so to speak. That's why Level 18 often becomes famous among students.

Ideally, your students should only reach Level 10 to 13 by the end of the school year. This means that if you’re playing for a standard school year, your students should level up 1.5 times during any given month. With the regular settings, a student must earn 1,300 Experience Points (XP) to level up, but this may vary depending on several factors, such as Multi-Class. On average, they should receive:

Month   2,000 XP
Week (standard, 4-week month)   500 XP
Day (standard, 5-day week)   100 XP

As these are average values, it’s likely that some students will level up faster than others. Very few students, if any, should reach Level 18, making it an exceptional experience.

Note that changing a student's character class will:

  • Keep their existing level the same;
  • Remove their progress with gear and pets;
  • Refund their Gold Pieces (GP);
  • Refund their Power Points (PP) and resets their powers.

Instead, we recommend using the Student Lifecycle, (archiving the class or student) as it is a great way to allow students to play Classcraft year after year, and it gives them a chance to experience new character classes while still being able to view their old characters in 'The Hall of Heroes'.

In so doing, students can then equip old, fully trained pets onto their new characters, even if they’re a different character class, through the Equipment section, making their characters even more unique.

I decided to take your advice on the archiving the characters.  So I will "prestige" the character when they have all the pets trained.  Once the character is archived I will bring them back into the game at level one and as a different class.  I will also add a symbol next to their name to show the rest of the class that student has acquired prestige level 1.  

So when they there is a level challenge for a special chair or something a level 3 prestige level 1 out ranks a level 15 prestige level 0 character.  Additionally that player will be able to equip pets from 2 different classes.  Thus all their hard work is not lost and it motivates the other players to get to prestige level 1, 2 and finally 3.  

The only issue I foresee with this system is that when I have random events designed to help low level characters gain XP by having it select the lowest level player.  Once a character does a prestige, they will always  be selected for those type of events because they will be 10 - 15 levels below the other characters.  

I presented this to my students and since most of them play games that have prestige systems, they are super excited to be able to do it in the game.  As with many of the things I have tried with CC, I'll have to try it and see how it goes. :-)

I am LOVING the idea of prestiging a character! I keep kids characters year to year because I only have them for 9 weeks, but I am starting to get characters that are maxed out and the kids are losing interest. I am loving this idea and I can't wait to run it by my kids and see what they think!!

Loving it!! Let us know how it goes David! :)

The kids so far have been super excited about this option.  My first student will be able to prestige hopefully before Christmas. We'll see if she makes it before then.

OK, so I just did a test run on my "Gamemaster" character and it worked beautifully.  My character now has access to both the Mage and Healer pets.  I am now working on training the warrior pets so that by the end of this year I will be able to equip all three.  I still haven't had any students make it to the point where they can archive or "prestige" but I imagine after winter break their pets will all be trained. 

The final test will be after I prestige for the third time to see what happens when I've had previous characters who have trained the pets from all 3 classes.

Hi There,

I've just started using ClassCraft, but am a big Magic the Gathering player.

I love these additions. Is there a way I could get a PDF of these? I'd certainly like to customize some of them for my class (10th/11th grade geometry).


Thanks for the idea!

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