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Subject: Bene Gesserit Worthless card Karama question... rss

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Kevin White
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Hi there,

About to have my first real game at the weekend and have a question about the rules.

The Scott and Ilya Dune rules re-write say that the Bene Gesserit only have the ability to use Worthless cards as Karama powers in the Advanced game.... (we are only playing the basic game as it's our first playthrough).

However, later, the rule books contradict themselves in the Almanac on the 'Karama Effects' page. They say that in the basic game that a regular Karama card can be used to stop a Bene Gesserit player using a Worthless as a Karama card.

Currently I'm still going with 'worthless as Karama' as advanced game, but which is it?

Cheers all
Kev
 
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Steve
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It's advanced. Each player has a specific "Super-Karama" power as part of the advanced rules. For BG that is the ability to use worthless cards as Karamas.
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Aaron Bredon
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Special Karama powers are in the Optional Rules, not in the Advanced rules (the only rules in the Advanced rules are Double Spice Blow and Combat Spice support)

Please also read the original rules book as at least some of the rewritten/consolidated rules books have moved or altered rules in attempts to 'clarify' things.

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Tonichi Sanvictores
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Does it still hold that Starbase Jeff's ruleset is the clearest interpretation?
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Raithyn
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I would put Slev's rewrite over Starbase Jeff. Both are pretty clear though.
 
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Klaude Thomas
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Snoppster wrote:
Hi there,

About to have my first real game at the weekend and have a question about the rules.

The Scott and Ilya Dune rules re-write say that the Bene Gesserit only have the ability to use Worthless cards as Karama powers in the Advanced game.... (we are only playing the basic game as it's our first playthrough).

However, later, the rule books contradict themselves in the Almanac on the 'Karama Effects' page. They say that in the basic game that a regular Karama card can be used to stop a Bene Gesserit player using a Worthless as a Karama card.

Currently I'm still going with 'worthless as Karama' as advanced game, but which is it?

In the original Dune rules, the BG Worthless Card use is part of the Optional Rules albeit preventing that use is part of the Basic Rules. So Slev's rules reflect an idiosyncracy of canon in that latter respect. Both aspects are found on the "Front" of the Player Aid Sheet.

Specifically, the Advanced Game adds Advanced Combat and doubled Spice Blow, and makes Increased Spice Flow from the Optional Rules mandatory (all in order to pay for Advanced Combat, of course). The Optional Rules unlock Special Karama Powers from the Player Aid Sheet "Front" (B.) and the Additional Character Advantages from Player Aid Sheet "Back", change the way that Weather (the Storm move) is determined, offer a Longer Game (and incidentally a shorter game in the same breath), and Increased Spice Flow (the spice attached to some strongholds).

IIRC Slev's version does depart from dogma on some points, and for that reason I obviously count it heretical, notwithstanding the admirable labours involved
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O.Shane Balloun
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I will play as the Atreides, Bene Gesserit, Emperor, Fremen, Guild, or Harkonnen.
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CryWolf wrote:
Does it still hold that Starbase Jeff's ruleset is the clearest interpretation?


Yes. I'm with vonklaude on this one.
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Tonichi Sanvictores
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Thanks for the input.
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Slev Sleddeddan
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What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
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vonklaude wrote:

In the original Dune rules, the BG Worthless Card use is part of the Optional Rules albeit preventing that use is part of the Basic Rules. So Slev's rules reflect an idiosyncracy of canon in that latter respect. Both aspects are found on the "Front" of the Player Aid Sheet.

ANd as the aim was to not change any of the underlying mechanics, this is likely why it is as it is!


vonklaude wrote:

IIRC Slev's version does depart from dogma on some points, and for that reason I obviously count it heretical, notwithstanding the admirable labours involved


This is the most appropriate use of "dogma" I've ever seen

The aim was, of course, to make everything crystal clear and still play the same. Alas some of the more murky rules require some interpretation, with players differing on the correct interpretation.

Thus, if you read the original a certain way, my rules are wrong, if you read it the other way, my rules are right. That's why I made the .doc files available, so you can re-edit as needed to make the rules match your own interpretation as you need.

On the other hand, I took to labelling the player powers, purely as flavour and for ease of reference. This took right of as a concept, so I'm glad I did!
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Charles Reinert
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Slev wrote:
vonklaude wrote:

In the original Dune rules, the BG Worthless Card use is part of the Optional Rules albeit preventing that use is part of the Basic Rules. So Slev's rules reflect an idiosyncracy of canon in that latter respect. Both aspects are found on the "Front" of the Player Aid Sheet.

ANd as the aim was to not change any of the underlying mechanics, this is likely why it is as it is!


vonklaude wrote:

IIRC Slev's version does depart from dogma on some points, and for that reason I obviously count it heretical, notwithstanding the admirable labours involved


This is the most appropriate use of "dogma" I've ever seen

The aim was, of course, to make everything crystal clear and still play the same. Alas some of the more murky rules require some interpretation, with players differing on the correct interpretation.

Thus, if you read the original a certain way, my rules are wrong, if you read it the other way, my rules are right. That's why I made the .doc files available, so you can re-edit as needed to make the rules match your own interpretation as you need.

On the other hand, I took to labelling the player powers, purely as flavour and for ease of reference. This took right of as a concept, so I'm glad I did!

And on the point of murky rules, can anyone explain how they came to the conclusion that BG can use any and all worthless cards that come her way as Karama Cards? My group says she can do that once, but I would like to convince them otherwise.
 
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Brad Johnson
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TheDuneDude wrote:
And on the point of murky rules, can anyone explain how they came to the conclusion that BG can use any and all worthless cards that come her way as Karama Cards? My group say she can do that once, but I would like to convince them otherwise.

The player aid sheet simply says "Bene Gesserit - You may use any 'worthless' card as a Karama card." Unless you rule that all of the Optional Rule special Karama uses listed on the player aid sheet are once per game only, I'd say there's no explicit rule that dictates it's limited use.

That being said, there's also no explicit rule that dictates it's UNlimited use. Since Karamas are relatively rare anyway (2-4 plays per game, at a guess?), we've always ruled that the special Karama powers are self-limiting anyway, so there's no reason to limit them further.

However you rule, I would just recommend being consistent. If BG only get 1 worthless Karama use per game, then Atreides should only get 1 full battle plan prescience per game, and so on.
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Raithyn
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I can see an arguement from the way XVII and the Player Aid Pad are worded that all special Karama powers should be limited to a single use. You'd also have to spend some time working out all the other "once" statements. A strict reading under that framework would mean many of the faction powers could only be canceled a single time each game.

I reject that argument on the basis of three points:
1. It's just as easy to read those statements as "once per card" instead of "once per game."
2. It wouldn't be as fun that way.
3. That's just not how most anyone plays.

If someone could chime in with how the French rules handle special karama powers, that'd be interesting.
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Klaude Thomas
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raithyn wrote:
I can see an arguement from the way XVII and the Player Aid Pad are worded that all special Karama powers should be limited to a single use. You'd also have to spend some time working out all the other "once" statements. A strict reading under that framework would mean many of the faction powers could only be canceled a single time each game.

I reject that argument on the basis of three points:
1. It's just as easy to read those statements as "once per card" instead of "once per game."
2. It wouldn't be as fun that way.
3. That's just not how most anyone plays.

If someone could chime in with how the French rules handle special karama powers, that'd be interesting.

For me the major objection is that say, for the sake of argument, we do read it the way under discussion. If we do, then the Bene Gesserit need to play a real Karama card in order to use a Worthless Card as a Karama card, once. As follows -

"6. 2 Karama Cards - When played, can do any one of the following"

A. Prevents other players from using some of their advantages once as explained below."

OR

"B. Allows players to use a special power suited to their character once:"

Choosing B. as Bene Gesserit

"4. Bene Gesserit – You may use any ‘worthless’ card as a Karama card."

Yes! I have cunningly converted my real Karama card + a Worthless Card into a Karama. That allows me to cleverly discard my Worthless Card without having to play it in battle...

I hope you can see that: if one believes that the word "once" applies to the Bene Gesserit special power in the manner proposed, then one is forced to also believe that their special power is incredibly limited as described. To do otherwise would be cherry-picking (applying some words and not others). And then as Brad points out, one must similarly limit the other characters.

If on the other hand one believes the intent is that BG can "use any worthless card as a Karama card" without playing a real Karama first, then one must give up one's fixation on "once".
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Charles Reinert
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vonklaude wrote:
[q="raithyn"]I can see an arguement from the way XVII and the Player Aid Pad are worded that all special Karama powers should be limited to a single use. You'd also have to spend some time working out all the other "once" statements. A strict reading under that framework would mean many of the faction powers could only be canceled a single time each game.

I reject that argument on the basis of three points:
1. It's just as easy to read those statements as "once per card" instead of "once per game."
2. It wouldn't be as fun that way.
3. That's just not how most anyone plays.

If someone could chime in with how the French rules handle special karama powers, that'd be interesting.

For me the major objection is that say, for the sake of argument, we do read it the way under discussion. If we do, then the Bene Gesserit need to play a real Karama card in order to use a Worthless Card as a Karama card, once. As follows -

"6. 2 Karama Cards - When played, can do any one of the following"

A. Prevents other players from using some of their advantages once as explained below."

OR

"B. Allows players to use a special power suited to their character once:"

Choosing B. as Bene Gesserit

"4. Bene Gesserit – You may use any ‘worthless’ card as a Karama card."

Yes! I have cunningly converted my real Karama card + a Worthless Card into a Karama. That allows me to cleverly discard my Worthless Card without having to play it in battle...

Yes, if you had to use a Karama card to play a worthless card as a Karama card it would be pointless beyond reason. It would then become the most worthless Karama power ever, beating out the Fremen's ability to use it to make a worm appear. But if they can use any worthless card as a Karama card, they could in essence get 7 Karama cards per game, making their Karama card power second only to the Harkonnen's trading of cards. Some may even say their's was the greatest, but I really like the way trading cards can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
 
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Klaude Thomas
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TheDuneDude wrote:
Yes, if you had to use a Karama card to play a worthless card as a Karama card it would be pointless beyond reason. It would then become the most worthless Karama power ever, beating out the Fremen's ability to use it to make a worm appear. But if they can use any worthless card as a Karama card, they could in essence get 7 Karama cards per game, making their Karama card power second only to the Harkonnen's trading of cards. Some may even say there's was the greatest, but I really like the way trading cards can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Sadly, Fremen's ability to make a worm appear got nerfed in the second edition. In first edition Dune they could play it in any phase so it could be used to move into a stronghold after everyone else had moved or even in the Battle round. Played that way, it is strong. From second edition onward the Baron's Karama special power became without doubt the strongest: it usually guarantees a win in one fight, and if that doesn't win the game outright then whoever it was played on (frequently Atreides) tends to be screwed. Note here that I am assuming a Harkonnen who wisely takes all cards from their target. (Taking fewer than all is much less effective.)

Anyway, back to BG. Typically having the Worthless Card as a Karama is good for a couple of Karamas a game. If BG is conspiring with Atreides they will get more, but I wouldn't say that is the strongest alliance that BG can make. However, I don't really mean to argue whether it is or is not OP (BG is roundly OP) but what the words must mean? For me it defies belief to say that the words mean that each player can only use their Karama special power once per game, and that BG must play a Karama in order to use a Worthless card as a Karama. Therefore I feel forced to play it the other way.

I'm hopefully just pointing out a logical fault that arises when cherry-picking part of the wording without considering the whole wording.
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Charles Reinert
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Anyway, back to BG. Typically having the Worthless Card as a Karama is good for a couple of Karamas a game. If BG is conspiring with Atreides they will get more, but I wouldn't say that is the strongest alliance that BG can make. However, I don't really mean to argue whether it is or is not OP (BG is roundly OP) but what the words must mean? For me it defies belief to say that the words mean that each player can only use their Karama special power once per game, and that BG must play a Karama in order to use a Worthless card as a Karama. Therefore I feel forced to play it the other way.

I'm hopefully just pointing out a logical fault that arises when cherry-picking part of the wording without considering the whole wording.[/q]
Wow, being able to make a worm appear at anytime would change things a lot. I'm not sure it would be fair to ride the worm as soon as battle round started, but I like the idea of being able to ride it during movement round. As it is, being able to make it appear where you are during spice blow can be useful. I can't tell you how many times I have been Fremen and don't see a worm until it is well past my needing one. Then again, I don't usually have a Karama car either. Fremen sucks.
 
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Justin Baumgartner
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What an interesting way to nerf BG.... letting them only use a Worthless as a Karama Card once per game. Honestly, considering they have extremely limited spice flow that might be too much.

For the record, we don't play it that way, essentially the BG just read Worthless Cards as Karama Cards as a passive effect.
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Charles Reinert
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Micanthropyre wrote:
What an interesting way to nerf BG.... letting them only use a Worthless as a Karama Card once per game. Honestly, considering they have extremely limited spice flow that might be too much.

For the record, we don't play it that way, essentially the BG just read Worthless Cards as Karama Cards as a passive effect.


Well I can't complain too much, as my group lets me ship my spiritual advisors to any area I choose at the beginning of the game. Which evidently is not how anyone else plays it. Since I almost always choose Pasty Mesa to ship my advisors to, I usually have a great opportunity to collect the big spice blows from Red Chasm, South Mesa, and Minor Erg. But I might be willing to trade my ability to ship to one area for multiple worthless Karama Cards.
 
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