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Subject: Order of powers in the same stage rss

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Merdem Gunay
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How to handle powers that may be used on the same stage?

In today's game, one player was the Sorcerer and the other Mirror. They could use their powers after the encounter cards are selected but before they are released.

Which side decides first if they are going to use their power or not?

In our game neither side wanted to be the one that talked first.
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There is the Time Conflict Rule (TCR) when two (or more) players want to do something in the exact same moment. However, when two (or more) players doesn't want to decide before another one will decide first (as in your example) it's a little more complicated. If someone's power was mandatory it would have to happen first. Here, when both are optional, I would say that you need to force the players to decide based on the TCR.
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Pasi Ojala
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Merdem wrote:
In our game neither side wanted to be the one that talked first.
If neither one wants to use their power (first), then you may proceed to the next step.
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Uatu O'Lantern
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a1bert wrote:
Merdem wrote:
In our game neither side wanted to be the one that talked first.
If neither one wants to use their power (first), then you may proceed to the next step.
Right. And it should be noted that there is no "sniping" in this game. There's no such thing as the "last possible second" to use your power. If one player decides to use his power after a long period of dithering and analysis-paralysis, the other player still has the right to use his power in reaction.

Neither player is required to say whether they will use their power if the other one does or doesn't.
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Pasi Ojala
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(A power, Cosmic Zap or any other applicable response to a use of power.)
 
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Just a Bill
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homertve wrote:
If someone's power was mandatory it would have to happen first.
I agree.

homertve wrote:
Here, when both are optional, I would say that you need to force the players to decide based on the TCR.
But here I disagree. I don't see a rule anywhere that says I can force another player to commit to using or not using a power, or something else like a card (that I know about? that I suspect?), before making my own decision. The Timing Conflicts rule only covers situations where a tiebreaker rule is truly needed, which is when both players want to do something at the same time.

Thus I think these are correct:

a1bert wrote:
If neither one wants to use their power (first), then you may proceed to the next step.
Phil Fleischmann wrote:
There's no such thing as the "last possible second" to use your power. If one player decides to use his power after a long period of dithering and analysis-paralysis, the other player still has the right to use his power in reaction.

Neither player is required to say whether they will use their power if the other one does or doesn't.
So in situations where nobody wants to go first — where each player may or may not want to do something optional, but doesn't want the other player to get to do something optional afterwards — I think each player basically must ask himself this:
Is it better for me if I activate first and live with the other player activating afterwards, or is it better for me if neither of us does?


If at least one of them feels it's better to activate first than not at all, then one of them will naturally do so. But if both of them feel it's better to go not at all, then the game simply moves on. (In either case, the other players can call a "going once, going twice" if needed.)

Of course, like most situations in Cosmic, this is an opportunity for salesmanship, bluffing, threats, negotiation, trap-setting, angst ... the kinds of things that make the game so great. All of which seems far more interesting than bending the Timing Conflicts rule to say that the elder seat has to commit to using or not using a particular optional effect and then abide by the decision. That would likely not even be cleanly enforceable, since players would naturally want to apply it to effects they know or suspect the other player has, which adds all kinds of gray areas.

So just keep it simple, as Pasi said. Nobody wants to activate? Fine, move on. It's no different than when none of the allies want to go out on a limb and spend their own Reinforcement first. You have a brief period of uncertainty culminating in mutual cowardice and then the game forges ahead.

When two gunslingers are in a standoff, the sheriff doesn't pick one of them and say "okay Bart, now you have to either start shooting at Custus or empty your rifle so Custus can gun you down." No, what happens is either (a) one of the men fires the first shot because he decides it's advantageous to him, or (b) they both get tired of waiting and go home.
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Harvey Sponaugle
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They activate or pass in turn order. There is a main player and you go clockwise from them.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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HSponaugle wrote:
They activate or pass in turn order. There is a main player and you go clockwise from them.
This does not really change it except takes the decision out of the hands of the first player and provides a way to "formally" give both a chance to use their power before proceeding to the next step. They are not choosing to not use their power by passing.

If both pass, then neither uses their power, otherwise the other can still use their power in response to the use of the other.

(As far as I remember, only responding to ally invitations is supposed to go in turn order. And even there I'm guessing most casual groups house-rule it to happen in any order, or allow it when it does not matter to the gameplay.)
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Merdem Gunay
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Thanks everyone for the replies.

My group, including me, is still new to the game so this thread cleared a lot.

I'll offer to do the 'going once.. going twice' next time a similar match happens.
 
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