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Subject: Power: Roleplayer - Allows Allies Special Actions rss

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Josh Hay
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Roleplayer
ALLOWS ALLIES SPECIAL ACTIONS

You have the power of Game Master. As a main player, after alliances are formed, use this power to allow each of your allies in clockwise order from you to request permission to take one action typically not allowed by the rules. The request may not change any player's number of colonies and may not interact with another player's hand. You may say no, and they cannot perform the action. You may say yes, and if so the player performs a skill check.

To perform a skill check, the player draws the top card of the deck and then discards it. Before this, the player may send 1 to 4 ships from any of their colonies to the warp, and draw and discard one extra card for each ship sent to the warp this way.

If the player discards at least one Negotiate, they can perform the action they originally requested. Otherwise, they do not get to take that action. If the action involves repetition (such as drawing cards or moving more than one ship), only one skill check needs to be passed for all requested repetitions.
(Main Player Only) (Mandatory) (Alliance)

WILD: When you discard cards, you may put any or all of them on the top of the deck facedown in any order you choose.
(Any Player) (Any)

SUPER: Whenever another player attempts an action that is not required by the rules, does not involve information hidden to you, and does not involve their alien power, you may require they perform a skill check to complete the action.
(Any Player) (Any)

Thoughts: As I think happens to any Cosmic player, half-formed alien ideas bounce around in my head a lot. This is the first one I've actually written out and edited down.

It went through a lot of (mostly unwritten concepts) to get to this stage. Originally, the concept was Roleplayer got to skill check his own requests... too powerful, ask for the entire Rewards deck every turn or something. Then it was essentially what the Super flare is now, makes the game too slow and boring when it can trigger multiple times per encounter and essentially stop the free choice of other players constantly. I think the current version is at least an interesting idea even if it has glitches that wouldn't work out. It adds player choice instead of removes it and gives Roleplayer plenty of alliance fodder.

I think this one has a good balance between allowing open play and creativity, without allowing it to be overpowered. You can ask for the whole Rewards deck, but also the Roleplayer can tell you no.

My main concern is if what it allows players to ask to do is too vague; should the restrictions be specifically inclusive (e.g. you may do this, this, this) instead of exclusive (e.g. you may not) as they currently are so that it's a bit less open, and less potential for breaking?

Final thought: I generally do not read the aliens' flavor texts so I didn't bother making one whistle
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Mi Myma
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The only real advantage to this power is that other players are more likely to ally with you if you want them to. It looks more beneficial to the allies than to the alien itself. In general, you shouldn't need to bribe anyone to ally - allies already get more out of alliances than main players.

Plus it's very vague as to what it can do/ What does "one action" consist of?

Player A is the Roleplayer, Players B, C, and D are his allies. Player E is the opposing main player.

Player B requests, "May I put all of player E's ships in the warp, except for one on each of his colonies?"

Player A: "Yes, you may."

Assuming the skill check fails, Player C requests the same thing. Assuming that skill check also fails, Player D requests:

"May I remove all of player E's ships from the game, except for one on each of his colonies?"

It's got the same problem as Eon's Witch and Force had.
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Josh Hay
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Thank you for the critique. Most of the problems you point out I had thought of after I mulled over it for a bit after posting. The only idea I'm really attached to here is the idea of some sort of skill-check - I think there's at least something of a good idea there.

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
The only real advantage to this power is that other players are more likely to ally with you if you want them to. It looks more beneficial to the allies than to the alien itself. In general, you shouldn't need to bribe anyone to ally - allies already get more out of alliances than main players.

Yes - this is something I didn't think about until I had already posted it up. The original decision was actually just because it seemed to make thematic sense that the GM would be a main guy allowing his allies to choose things to do. But once I thought about it, it was obvious that it would need to work some other way. Having it used as an ally, to let the main player choose what he wants to do, could maybe be more reasonable.
Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Plus it's very vague as to what it can do/ What does "one action" consist of?

Yes, I did address this to a degree in my thoughts in the main post. Basically it seemed to me that the options were to either specifically list everything I could think of as being okay ("You may request to draw any number of cards from the Cosmic or Reward deck, move any number of your ships to any of your colonies, or any combination thereof.") or list the what you could not do. Listing what you can't do, seemed to me, briefer and more fun in its openness. Of course, there are obvious (in addition to rules issues) problems with that...

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Player A is the Roleplayer, Players B, C, and D are his allies. Player E is the opposing main player.

Player B requests, "May I put all of player E's ships in the warp, except for one on each of his colonies?"

Player A: "Yes, you may."

Assuming the skill check fails, Player C requests the same thing. Assuming that skill check also fails, Player D requests:

"May I remove all of player E's ships from the game, except for one on each of his colonies?"

It's got the same problem as Eon's Witch and Force had.

This being that obvious other problem. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I didn't even consider players using it as a negative effect on others instead of a positive effect on themselves. shake

This is very much the most obvious and most extreme issue and I glanced right over it ever happening. The clause in the original alien - that you can't affect another players hand - that one's because I was trying to prevent the complications of wanting to trade. My thoughts (or games of Cosmic?) are apparently much too nice.
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Just a Bill
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Something this ambitiously open-ended and potentially lethal would need to be 100% leak-proof.

My request as an ally? "May I relocate your ships and my ships from anywhere in the game so as to convert each of our home colonies to a foreign colony?" Easy joint win.
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Josh Hay
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Bill Martinson wrote:
Something this ambitiously open-ended and potentially lethal would need to be 100% leak-proof.

My request as an ally? "May I relocate your ships and my ships from anywhere in the game so as to convert each of our home colonies to a foreign colony?" Easy joint win.

Clever.. at first I was left thinking this was one of the situations I had prevented in that draft. laugh

I'm not convinced it's a fundamentally bad concept, but I'll have to sit down and retool it to 1) make it properly beneficial to the player of it, and 2) break/auto-win/auto-lose (for other players) the game a lot less.

One idea that bounced around in my head was being able to award players Experience (not like the Warrior) to be spent (likely in replacement of ships for more draws) and this doing something good for you but that's too half formed to make anything of yet.
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Mi Myma
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Yes, the concept of a "skill check" is a valid one, even a natural one. However, it does slightly go against a central concept of the game - no dice. With the skill check you method you gave, a random card draw is simply substituted for a dice roll. While such a thing might work in the game, it might not have the right "feel" for CE. But don't let that discourage you from developing this concept further.

Yes, there are a few powers already that act a little like dice: The Trickster power in particular - which provides a rather clear example of a "dice-like" power that just isn't very interesting in the game. Another example is Chosen, which is better, IMO, partly because the actual values of the cards draw matter directly, and because there is still a choice of what to do with the cards drawn. One other "dice-like" power is Bandit, which I've never played with, so I won't comment on it further.

As a general suggestion for your power, you might consider having the specific value of the card(s) drawn matter in some way.

You might also consider having the power grant itself the benefit directly, rather than offering it to allies.

Then you have to watch out for it being just a minor variation of the Chosen.
 
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