The Mischief Pug is exactly that – full of mischief and just trying to cause general havoc and trickery all over the game. He’s not exactly a bad pug that does bad things, as he just does stuff completely differently than one might expect. I had very explicit reasons for creating this pug, so let’s dive in and go over where I came up with him.
Part 1: Inspiration and Design
The Mischief Pug was, of course, primarily inspired by Peach. In particular, it ties to two specific events that I remember quite well with her. The first was a time when Savannah had stacked a bunch of clothes against a wall that she was going to put away but hadn’t yet. Peach, being the pug that she is, wanted to grab one of the pieces of clothing and so snagged one right at the middle of the pile. She began tugging and pulling, trying so hard to get the piece of clothing out of the pile until, of course, she did it. Little did she know that when you pull from the middle of the pile, everything on top comes with it and of course all the clothes on top came tumbling down on top of her. It was insanely cute and really enjoyable to watch. The second one was when I was trying to put on a sock. As I sat down to put it on, she came over, leapt up, grabbed my sock and sprinted off with it. It happened so fast I barely even realized it. I immediately went chasing after her, and she started doing laps around the dining table as I tried to catch her. It was a pretty unfair chase given how small she is and her ability to quickly duck under the table, but eventually I got her. Those two events really helped define the concept I wanted for the Mischief Pug – a pug that wasn’t necessarily doing bad things, but just generally being playful and goofy and causing crazy things to happen.
Around this time, of course, I was working on the game. I wanted to make a pug for Savannah that she could really enjoy because she loves just causing havoc in games. She doesn’t really care so much about winning (although she does very often because she’s just so good at games), but instead just likes having fun and messing around with people. With that (and Peach) in my mind I began putting together the Mischief Pug.
The first proposal for the Mischief Pug was inverting cards. All basic, tricks, and disasters did the opposite of what you wanted, such that playing a basic if the Mischief Pug played his treat resulted in you losing one point in an area instead of gaining one point. Same deal with tricks. Disasters would instead get played on you. This worked alright for a while, but eventually I had the truly disastrous game – it went on for about 45 minutes as the Mischief Pug constantly kept getting treats and kept making everyone lose points. In addition to the current version of Tragic Day (which also made you lose points at the time), the Mischief Pug was able to take someone who was at literally 11 points and bring them all the way down to 0. It was completely absurd and I was pretty unhappy about it. It got changed the very next day, and instead became a similar idea but a little different – instead of losing the points, players would give those points to someone else. This concept worked pretty well for a while as well, but ran into a lot of issues where players struggled to understand exactly how to resolve certain events. At the same time, Pug Party (which used to be similar to what the Mischief Pug is now) was also not working out very well. I felt that transitioning the Pug Party ability to the Mischief Pug made a lot of sense, and now we’re at the ability we have now – collecting cards and randomly dealing them back to players.
Part 2: Tips and Tricks
The Mischief Pug loves to cause chaos. Although he has very little control over what he does, he also eliminates a lot of the planning and ability of other players to execute their moves. It’s a very goofy heavy pug that just likes to have fun.
-Try to play the card when other players will be going for big moves. It can eliminate even the best laid plans with randomness. Burying the treat can be very powerful for this reason. If someone is about to get something like a land speed record, you’ve suddenly made it possible that you end up with it.
-Try to play the treat when players are playing additional cards. Because you always deal to yourself first, any extra cards will head your way first as well. For instance, in a 3 player game you might have 4 cards get played. You get to deal one to each player, then the second card gets dealt back to you – essentially giving you twice the value and also taking it away from someone else.
-The Mischief Pug is the only Pug that can really shut down the Strong Pug, who otherwise destroys everyone’s treats. If you know someone is going to play the Strong Pug, consider playing the Mischief Pug to offset some of that power.
Anyone who loves teasing people and causing general havoc would love to play the Mischief Pug. It’s not a bad pug and it doesn’t do bad things to people, it just adjusts the state of the game to something completely different. If you love chaos, this pug is for you!