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Subject: Ability Wording rss

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Greg
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I'm trying to work out how to word an effect and am struggling with finding an elegant way to express it.

In this game a character is either satisfied or unsatisfied. In order to be satisfied the character must possess an item that they want. Each character card shows the items that will satisfy them.

I'm looking at this ability:

"Draw up to ten items, satisfy as many characters (from all players) as possible, discard the rest."

Before reading on, stop and think about what you'd understand by that.

...

Okay, my intention for this card is that the person using it will do the following

1) Choose a number 0-10
2) Draw that many item cards
3) Give those item cards to characters that will be satisfied by them
3a) Satisfying characters with the items is not optional
3b) The arrangement chosen must result in the maximum possible number of satisfied characters
3c) If multiple arrangements are legal the player can choose which to use.
4) Discard the remaining cards

How close was your interpretation to the intention? How could I modify the ability (without making it longer) to improve upon that?
 
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Rob Stevenson
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The current wording is not clear that you need to choose the number of item cards before you begin to draw them. As currently written it might be construed as a press your luck type ability ie draw a card, assess the situation based on the draw, choose whether to draw another card.

I think you might need to add another clause to get the desired outcome.
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Mark McGee
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I would have played it as intended.
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Barry Harvey
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x_equals_speed wrote:

"Draw up to ten items, satisfy as many characters (from all players) as possible, discard the rest."

That sentence alone will get you onto a number of GeekLists.
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Greg
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Would "Draw 0-10" make it more apparent that a choice needs to be made up front? If I need an extra clause for the ordering what can I afford to lose?

The game is being made with the author of this webcomic (vaguely NSFW) so I'll take my chances with the geeklists.
 
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Dan Williams
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I would probably have played it as intended. However, I agree it is slightly ambiguous. Some thoughts:

d10-1 Is there a situation in which a player may not want (or be able) to draw 10 cards? If not, consider rewording it to simply say "Draw ten items".

d10-2 On my initial reading of the "discard the rest", it seemed like any characters that were not satisfied should be discarded, rather than any unused items.

d10-3 Perhaps something as simply as splitting the text into separate sentences might help with the ordering problem. Something like "Draw up to ten items. Use these items to satisfy as many characters (from all players) as possible, then discard any remaining items."
 
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Russ Williams
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rosie_187 wrote:
The current wording is not clear that you need to choose the number of item cards before you begin to draw them. As currently written it might be construed as a press your luck type ability ie draw a card, assess the situation based on the draw, choose whether to draw another card.

I think you might need to add another clause to get the desired outcome.

I understood the intended meaning, but I think this doubt you had could be averted by adding just one more word ("then"), without needing to add another clause:

"Draw up to ten items, then satisfy as many characters (from all players) as possible, discard the rest."

----

A different potential ambiguity: do you intend it to be legal to draw zero items? I assumed yes (and see from your explanation that you intended that), but as the "can you shuffle one card?" thread shows, that kind of degenerate case is controversial... So you might say "Draw from 0 to 10 items".

Or sidestep it by "You may draw up to 10 items".
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Greg
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Since the player is obliged to satisfy as many characters as possible, the optimum number of items to draw will vary based on the game state.

Drawing the first card is probably usually worth it since if it satisfied multiple characters you can apply it to one of your own rather than an opponents.

Drawing the tenth card is probably usually not worth it since there are probably more opposing characters than friendly characters (assuming more than one opponent) and so you don't want to draw enough to satisfy everyone.

The exact balance would depend on which characters you and your opponents had and what (if anything) you know about the state of the deck.

All of that being said, I could simplify it to "Draw ten" or "Do nothing" just by starting the ability "You may draw ten items and..." I think there are good suggestions here though so it's probably not necessary.
 
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Rob Stevenson
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If the cards are drawn from a face-down pile then:

"Draw 0-10 cards face-down. Look at them, then satisfy as many characters as possible. Discard any remaining cards."

might do the trick.

Otherwise I still think that as currently constructed you can draw the cards one by one and choose to twist or stick based on the information each additional card has provided.
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Greg
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I worry that this wording would imply that you had to use your existing cards as well as the ones you'd just drawn.
 
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Russ Williams
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"Satisfy as many characters as possible using the drawn cards."
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