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Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia» Forums » Variants

Subject: Less luck and more destiny in the Dystopia rss

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Nicholas Hjelmberg
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First of all, I would like to express my appreciation to the designers of Euphoria. Few euro games manage to play up to 6 players with high interaction and low playing time. Yet, reading through the forum threads I've observed three patterns of problems/opportunities in the game.

1. The die rolls and card drawings add too much luck.
2. The worker knowledge could have been more interesting.
3. The ethical dilemmas could have been more game defining.

I respect the design, development and test effort behind Euphoria and don't expect a home-made variant to be able to reach the same quality. In one thread, Jamey even mentioned that a variant without die rolls was tested but considered to much of a "spreadsheet". To simply roll the dice does make the game less fiddly and more approachable to many. Yet, if anyone is interested in less luck and more destiny, I'd be happy to share my variant. It raises the game from 7 to 8 in my gaming group but as all variants, it needs input from as many players as possible.

The variant consists of five extra rules with a rationale in parentheses. I've tried to keep the changes small and in line with what I think is the intent of the official rules.

1. Workers learn from work

Instead of rolling retrieved workers, give them +1. In addition to the collective knowledge check of ≥16, there is an individual knowledge check of ≥7. (Rationale: Workers' learn from their work. Players can plan to modify the workers' intellect before it's too late.)
1a. Starting workers have a total value of 7 (player's choice).
1b. New workers get value 1.
1c. A player's last worker can never get knowledge >6
1d. Recruits and markets referring to die rolls are not used.

2. Workers are all individuals, some more than others

Instead of using the knowledge track, change individual workers, e.g. +2 knowledge results in 1 worker getting +2 or 2 workers getting +1 each. (Rationale: Workers are dumb but some workers are more dumb than others. Players can choose a knowledge distribution that serves their strategies.)

3. Workers learn from each other

When a worker bumps another worker, the smarter worker gets knowledge -1 and the dumber worker gets knowledge +1. (Rationale: Workers' intellect is influenced by their company. Players can block attractive actions with smart workers and bump dumb workers.)

4. Smart workers work smarter (Artifacts)

Instead of drawing unknown artifacts, always keep the 3 top cards face up. Workers with knowledge 1-3 must pick the 1st, workers with knowledge 4-5 may pick the 1st or the 2nd and workers with 6 may pick any. (Rationale: The smarter the worker, the better he searches. Players with smart workers gets an extra benefit to compensate for the risk.)

5. Artifacts will never be the same again (Ethical Dilemmas)

When a player uses an artifact to complete an ethical dilemma, place it face up on the dilemma card to remember. When the specific artifact is drawn again, immediately discard it and get morale +5 if the choice was to fight the dystopia or knowledge -5 if the choice was to contribute to the dystopia. (Rationale: The artifact is now used to pursue the destiny chosen in the ethical dilemma. This also serves to mitigate the higher worker turnaround due to rule 1.)
 
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Neil Brock

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Your variant sounds interesting. Questions I have:

Is the Knowledge Track (for collective knowledge) still used?

And, if it is used, does it still start at "3", but then never changes after that?
 
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Nicholas Hjelmberg
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Thank you, the Knowledge Track is not used at all so only the total of the workers' knowledge count. It will cause you enough headache...
 
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Neil Brock

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If you have a knowledge modifier value of -1, +1, +2, etc., can you modify the pip number of any worker, just those in your available pool, or only those that are on the board working?

And what about the rule about doubles? - if you have two dice with the same number, you get two turns in a row.
 
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Nicholas Hjelmberg
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If the knowledge modifier is triggered by a worker, the worker's knowledge gets modified. If not, any worker's knowledge (on or outside the board) gets modified.

As for the rule about doubles, we played without it. We did consider using the rule but it became too much of an optimization exercise as players tried to manipulate their workers' knowledge to reach the same level.
 
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