Mel Miik
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Intro
This is a fanmade variant designed for those who feel it’s too hard to catch the leading player at the end of the game. AND for those who like to… interfere more with opponents’ brewings… njeh njeh…ninja

I would be delighted if you would like to playtest it and tell the results!

SET UP AND RULES
d10-6 Place 1 purple (or some other coloredd10-5) chip below round 7 and 8 on the board. This is to remind that before those rounds everybody receives 1 purple chip for free in their pouch. After round 8 everyone should have at least 2 purple chips in their bags.
d10-6If you use purple chips, remove the 3rd round’s effect of bringing that book to the market. There is no purple book in the game nor you can buy them with your coins.
d10-6Purple chips have two effects: They can force the leading players’ pot to explode easier or they can guard it from exploding. Here’s how:

d10-6At the Round 7 after everybody has brew their potions and after all other activities during that round (ie. bying chips, counting victory points etc.) count the purple chips of the non-leading players.
d10-6then reduce the leader-player’s (=most VPs) amount of purple chips from those.
d10-6The remaining amount reduces the leaders’ explosion sum by that number for the next round.
d10-6However the amount can be reduced by maximum of 3.

Example: in 4-player game Matthew has the most victory points after the round 7. Everybody has bought their chips and counted the victory points, used their rubies etc. Now it’s time for the purple chips. Matthew drew total of 1 purple chip in his bag during the potion brewing (should be shown in the cauldron). Lucy drew 1, Bratt 1 and Anthony 0 purple chips.
Lucy’s, Bratt’s and Anthony’s purple chips are counted:
1+1+0=2.
Then Matthew’s as the leading player is reduced from the sum:
2-1=1
On the next round Matthew’s potion will explode at value of 7. (instead of 8 as it is by normal rules)

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1The effect lasts only one round, and chips are recounted after a new round.
1 If you receive purple chips during the game (by moving a drop, or by fortune cards) those do not take effect until round 7. You can however receive them that way and have more of them than your opponent’s.
1On the final round the drawn purple chips do not have an effect as there are no next round. Logically.
2In case of tied leading players – both leading players’ purple chips are added and then reduced from the non-leading players’ amount.
2:For the 2-players: 2 purple chips are put in your bag at the start of the round 7. The round 8 is “empty”.
d10-5If you like, you can have the purple book in the game and do this variant with some other colored chip – meaning that you must remove that book from the game.

My thoughts so far:

By far in my 2 playtests the result has been +/- 0. So, this definitely needs some more testing and probably tuning also.

I tried to balance this properly and give chances for the leader to adjust into situation: meaning you can as a leading player push your luck to get the purple chip to protect you. And once the purple effect is on, you can decide to play more careful trying not to explode on the round. I think it’s fair by far. Or the effect can even be quite mild – meaning this might work with even heavier “trickery” (purple chips earlier or more of them in general). Yet playtesting is needed.

I love the game and not all the games have had this issue. But enough to make me consider this new mechanic. (Might be that me and my partner has sometimes too alike taste in chips?)

Any thoughts? Willing to test?

PS. My first post here! Hello all!
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