Be Slightly Evil

Inspired by, the Be Slightly Evil mailing list, and numerous discussions that have sprung from both, I started tinkering with designing MtG-inspired cards that would ideally introduce people to a person or idea through a judiciously chosen quote and a mechanic that illustrated the concept. The result was Be Slightly Evil: two sets of 250 cards, plus 20 basic lands and tokens, expressing persons and ideas from modern politics, philosophy, psychology, business, economics and technology.

The rules are borrowed wholesale from the popular Magic: the Gathering card game. There are some new mechanics present here (Clueless, Interchangeable, and Surveil in the first set, Bid and Retaliate in the second) but otherwise keywords work here exactly as they do normally. Geek & Sundry has a good introduction to the game.

For obvious reasons, this is not a commercial project. This project is wholly unofficial and unauthorized, and for personal use only. I've tried to cite artists wherever possible, although in many cases the places I found the images failed to cite the origin of the image; in those instances I've listed the artist as Source Unknown.

The set is intended to be playable standalone. I hope you find this entertaining and that it exposes you to persons and ideas that you find curious and compelling.


The game was presented at RefactorCamp 2015 and paired with a presentation on its creation, entitled Memeplex Mapping:

Memeplex Mapping from Jordan Peacock

How to Play online

Download Cockatrice (You may need some of the Microsoft runtimes, which are provided in a subfolder at the link), as well as the BSE-Cockatrice.rar file.

Alternately, you can clone the bse GitHub repository

On Windows, use WinRAR to extract BSE-Cockatrice.rar to:


(you may need to create this directory, first.) This will produce a subfolder also called Cockatrice, a cards.xml file with BSE and BSE2 pre-loaded, and Cockatrice-compatible images of all cards.

Prebuilt decklists will be periodically uploaded here. The files should be copied into:


In order to play online, you'll need to register an account. Once you have an account, connect to a server and start a game! For help with Cockatrice, see this subreddit.

Final Thoughts

This was a proof-of-concept that seems to have succeeded. The next step will be building a new game that borrows the bits of the TCG genre that I appreciate (diversity of play styles, the metarule modification of rules by card text) and drops the parts that don't work (an exclusively combat-oriented game, the fantasy genre influence).

Please report text errors and bugs, or horribly broken cards, but I won't be making substantial balance changes. Please note that this block is not intended to be used with any 'real' MtG cards: explaining that such-and-such a card is broken in the context of such-and-such official set will be ignored: tell me how it's broken here.

Many thanks to all who contributed through playtesting and idea generation. A special thank you to my brother, Tyler, who made my unplayable cards less broken.