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Subject: Negotiator — Redefines Alliance Benefits rss

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Just a Bill
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I seem to always want there to be more aliens that work specifically as an ally (or a potential ally), more haggling, and more social consequences. All constructive criticism is appreciated.

NEGOTIATOR
REDEFINES ALLIANCE BENEFITS


You have the power of Contracts. Each time a main player is about to invite allies, you and that player may negotiate the benefits of winning this encounter that will apply if you are his or her ally. The contract’s special terms specify whether winning ships will occupy the targeted planet, earn rewards, or do both, and can be set separately for the main player, for you, and/or for the main player’s other allies (as a group). For example, you could agree with the defense that, if you win together, his or her ships will earn rewards and remain on the planet, yours will land on the planet without rewards, and all other defensive allies’ ships will have no special terms (and thus behave normally). You may use this power to activate each agreed-upon contract. Special terms are in addition to any other game effects such as the Judge’s or Mercenary’s power or the Reverse Rewards hazard.
(Not Main Player or Ally) (Optional) (Alliance)

history TBD

WILD: When inviting allies, you may specify that each player who joins you must choose to (a) send as many ships as legally possible, up to four, without abandoning any colonies, (b) give you a non-encounter card from his or her hand, or (c) do both.
(Main Player Only) (Alliance)

SUPER: As a main player, you may use your power to activate a contract negotiated with one potential ally. Terms (for you, that ally, and/or your other allies) will apply only if that player then joins you and you win the encounter.
(Main Player Only) (Alliance)
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Jack Reda
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nice
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Jefferson Krogh
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Upon first read, I love it. Fills a design niche that somehow hasn't gotten much, if any, attention so far. This would be very popular with my main group of players.

I wish I could have the Wild in my hand in every game.
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Jefferson Krogh
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Hey, since we three all like it, that means FFG has to publish it, right?

(I am completely kidding. But I think this shoots to the top of the list for future consideration, if there is such a list.)
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Rob Burns
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Kind of like an "ally Judge".

I presume Negotiator can't include in the contract things like cards from the Cosmic or Reward decks, cards from the unused Flare decks, foreign colonies, etc.
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Mil Myman
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How long are the Negotiator and the main player allowed to negotiate these terms? The way you've written the power, Negotiator does this with both the offense and defense - twice per encounter, and even when Negotiator is a main player himself, he negotiates alliance benefits with his opponent. But it seems he doesn't change the alliance benefits for his own allies or himself when he's a main player - unless you mean that he gets to negotiate with himself.

This is one of those powers that requires the consent of another player to use, which is a potential problem. It seems that the only way to motivate someone to let you potentially get a benefit (if your side wins), is to offer a pretty big benefit to the other player. In order to be a real power, it needs to get more benefit for itself than it gives to other players.

It's worth comparing to Observer - which provides benefits to losing allies, rather than winning ones.
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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Thanks for the kind words, guys.

Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
I wish I could have the Wild in my hand in every game.

Ain't that the truth. I wish I could consistently write Wilds I'd like to play as much as this one.

rjburns3 wrote:
I presume Negotiator can't include in the contract things like cards from the Cosmic or Reward decks, cards from the unused Flare decks, foreign colonies, etc.

Right; just what's specifically allowed. (Although cosmic & reward cards and foreign colonies are flowing indirectly from the rewards and planet-landing.)

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
How long are the Negotiator and the main player allowed to negotiate these terms?

For the same amount of time that Bride, Crusher, Pack Rat, Peddler, Perfectionist, Pirate, Surgeon, Tyrant, Zombie et al. are allowed to negotiate their various special arrangements. Namely, as long as they need within reason and good sportsmanship.

Actual cosmic deals (including special ones by Diplomat and Galactic Council) are specifically timed, but virtually all other trades and discussions are open-ended (Hypochondriac is an exception).

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
and even when Negotiator is a main player himself, he negotiates alliance benefits with his opponent.

Not if he pays attention to his prerequisite bar: "Not Main Player or Ally." Technically he could discuss such arrangements, but he could not use his power to activate a contract when he's a main player. And even if he could, the contract would benefit no one because the benefits kick in only if he joins the other main player as an ally (which could only ever happen in a dual-power game as Negotiator/Lunatic).

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
It seems that the only way to motivate someone to let you potentially get a benefit (if your side wins), is to offer a pretty big benefit to the other player.

That's one tactic. Another way to provide a benefit to the main player is to limit what his other allies get: "Hey offense, invite everybody and make a contract with me that says you and I get a colony but all your other allies get rewards instead." When contracting with the defense, the same thing can be done in reverse if he plans to invite allies who already have bystanders on the planet. Those players may still wish to ally in order to stop the offense, but they won't get rewards.

(I've also been contemplating a revision where the special terms can also be "returns to other colonies with nothing." This could be used to flat-out limit the other allies, and might be extremely useful with things like Animal, Nightmare, Parasite, Yin-Yang, Wild Emperor, Wild Sniveler, etc. However, it's inelegant and poses a length problem for the alien sheet.)

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
In order to be a real power, it needs to get more benefit for itself than it gives to other players.

Not necessarily. A power that gives the same benefit to itself and everyone else is rubbish, but a power that gives the same benefit to itself and only one (or some) other players, where those other players change around, is steadily pulling ahead of everyone.

And don't overlook the benefit it constantly gives itself: the important soft advantage of being one of the most attractive allies at the table.
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Josh Koehn
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I like it. At first I felt that it would slow down the game, but I don't think there is too much to discuss that cannot get done. It is kind of like an alliance Philanthropist, which is really cool.
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