Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
17 Posts

Cosmic Encounter» Forums » Variants

Subject: Genie - power to Grant Wishes rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Just a Bill
United States
Norfolk
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
EDIT: Base power and super flare have been revised, so some of the subsequent discussion may be a bit confusing.

I didn't start out trying to rewrite Force, but once this thing started taking shape I did step back and say hmm, maybe that's a way to solve some of Force's issues. Anyway:

GENIE
GRANTS OTHER PLAYERS' WISHES

You have the power to Grant Wishes. At the start of every encounter, add two tokens to this sheet. As the defense, after encounter cards are revealed, use this power to add 1 to either side's total for each token on this sheet.

At any time except during your turn, any other player may make a wish — to retrieve his or her ships from the warp, draw cards from the cosmic and/or reward deck and then discard the same number, or increase either side's total in the current encounter — up to the number of tokens on this sheet. Use this power to grant the wish. If there are more tokens than the number of ships available to retrieve or cards available to draw, the excess tokens are wasted. Afterwards, discard all tokens from this sheet and establish a colony in that player's system with up to four of your ships taken from anywhere in the game. Each player is limited to three wishes per game.

Besought throughout the known galaxies, Genies make dreams come true. Rare indeed is the Genie who refuses to grant a wish; rarer still, the one who does not exact her fee.

Not Offense - Mandatory
Start Turn Regroup Destiny Launch Alliance Planning Reveal Resolution

Wild: When another player expresses a wish for the top card of the discard pile or the reward deck discard pile, you may give it to that player and collect up to three rewards. You may use this flare even if the player's wish was coerced, sarcastic, etc.

As Any Player Any Phase

Super: You may use your power to add your tokens to either side's total even as the offense or an ally.

Offense or Ally Only Reveal

Older stuff (now obsolete): You have the power to Grant Wishes. At the start of every encounter, add one token to this sheet.

At any time except during your turn, any other player may make a wish to collect rewards, discard cards from his or her hand, or add to either side’s total in the current encounter, stating the exact number wished for. You may use this power to grant the wish, discarding the stated number of tokens from this sheet. Afterwards, you may establish a colony in that player’s system with up to four of your ships taken from anywhere in the game. That player may not make another wish before your next turn, and no player may make more than three wishes per game.

When any other player reveals an attack card lower than the number of tokens on this sheet, you may use this power to collect one reward.

Super: You may make up an excuse for misinterpreting a wish and force the player to do the opposite: lose ships to the warp, discard or draw cards, or subtract from the chosen side’s total. You may still establish a colony in that player’s system.


Commentary: Okay, so nobody likes a power that the other players have to let you use, but I think this one just might work. The way the potential benefit grows with each encounter will, I think, become an almost irresistible temptation after awhile — especially considering that you can wish for adding to your encounter total after cards have been revealed. Inevitably somebody ends up with a crapload of ships in the warp and waits agonizingly for Mobius Tubes; it's hard to imaging that player not begging Genie for help, especially if Genie is not in the lead.

You have to expect the other players to wish big, using up all your tokens — and you have to be willing to let that happen; otherwise you kill the temptation value. So don't be afraid to let your tokens reset to zero; even if you only grant two wishes the entire game, that's two free foreign colonies.

I think a smart Genie will use his weaker cards early in the game, letting himself fall a little behind on colonies while he purges his low attacks and negotiates, collecting compensation whenever possible. (Losing ships is not that painful since the power provides for extra warp retrievals, so when you're losing on purpose you've got two advantages most other players don't have.) In this way, other players will be even more tempted to make wishes, since Genie is behind anyway. Later, Genie plays the better cards he has been hording to surge ahead on colonies in the late game.

Roleplay this power. See if you can get players to worry that you'll deny their wish if they ask for too much (even though you probably won't!). Appear to agonize over your decisions, but don't say "no" very often. Of course you won't condone Genius' wish for 15 cards or a wish for a big total boost by a player who's going for his last colony, but you should grant most wishes. Expect players to invite you to ally when they're thinking about making a wish. Pretend to think long and hard about the offensive player's wish to add 17 to his total, while pretending not to notice that, as his ally, you are about to gain two colonies.

Be gregarious and courteous. Appear to enjoy helping everyone. Take your time. Don't be aggressive early on. Always make suggestions on how you can help.

Not having playtested this yet, the main question I have is whether the last paragraph of the alien power is really needed. Initially I included it to answer the complaint that the power would be useless if nobody ever made a wish; but I also like how it makes Genie's early sacrifices more palatable. The power would be more focused and read better (in a literary sense) without the last paragraph; I'd actually rather finish strong with the thematic "three wishes" limit, but I'm not sure how much it would hurt the power to drop the free retrievals.

I love the thought of Wild Genie sneaking into the deck when Genie's not in the game, giving me the chance to point to a crappy discard, say "don'tcha wish ya had one of those in your hand?", and trick my victim into sarcastically agreeing!

The Super originally let Genie make his own wishes (of the same kinds), but that was dangerous as well as thematically weak.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Speare
United States
Bedford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
tee hee, that tickles!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like it overall -- as you say, the biggest issue is being dependent on other people to use your power (of course, Force had the same issue). I like the last paragraph as a way of dealing with that, but it does not seem at all connected to the rest of the Power (or the theme of the Power).

I feel like the ratio for challenge total alteration should be more like +/- 3 per token rather than 1.

The "3/game" and "not until your next turn" seem difficult to track, I would be inclined to just say 1 wish per player per challenge. It seems like token count will keep the number of wishes down anyway.

It would also be nice if the gaining of tokens was a bit more thematic -- I was going to suggest "gain one token during every challenge in which no one makes a wish", but that's annoying to track and easy to forget.

Seems worth playtesting to me...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Just a Bill
United States
Norfolk
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
galfridus wrote:
the last paragraph ... does not seem at all connected to the rest of the Power (or the theme of the Power).

Yeah, I really dislike how "tacked on" it feels. It's definitely a cheat.

Quote:
I feel like the ratio for challenge total alteration should be more like +/- 3 per token rather than 1.

I sort of get that, but what you suggest will require a lot more words (and I'm already leaning on the Dukester Threshold). Keep in mind that you're adding after cards are revealed, so even +4 or +6 can make all the difference in the world.

Quote:
The "3/game" and "not until your next turn" seem difficult to track, I would be inclined to just say 1 wish per player per challenge. It seems like token count will keep the number of wishes down anyway.

Good point! I can just plain delete the 1/round idea (as you say, token count will deal with that), but the 3/game is so strongly thematic that I'm pretty attached to it).

Quote:
It would also be nice if the gaining of tokens was a bit more thematic -- I was going to suggest "gain one token during every challenge in which no one makes a wish", but that's annoying to track and easy to forget.

The idea is that the Genie just builds strength linearly while he's waiting.

In my first version, granting a wish always depleted all the tokens and the Genie could never refuse a wish. In many ways that was a better design, because players would feel even more pressure to make a wish before somebody else beat them to it. The forced depletion and guaranteed granting gave it an interesting how-long-can-you-hold-out-before-you-crack feel.

I changed it at the 11th hour because I started worrying about things like Genius helping himself to a crapload of cards ... but probably I should just rely on one of the other players to make a wish before the token count gets too dangerously high to let Genius wish for cards. (And of course there's always Cosmic Zap and Hand Zap.)

Quote:
Seems worth playtesting to me...

Thanks for the feedback!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gerald Katz
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's already been stated but worth repeating. If everyone else ignores you, you have no power. I've played in such a game with such a home made power. No one partook of my power's services so the power became useless. It was not fun, and I became frustrated with that game.

Maybe someone will ask for a wish, but it would happen rarely - not often enough to have any influence on the game.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mi Myma
United States
Fountain Valley
California
flag msg tools
Why is there no Word Games Forum or Subdomain?
badge
There should be a Word Games Subdomain, or at least a Word Games Forum!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Is the Super intended to be a one-shot flare, Mayfair style? Because that's what it will be. As soon as he plays it the first time, no one will ever make a wish again, until and unless they know that card is out of his hand.

Other than that, I like it. It's a definite improvement over the Force.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Just a Bill
United States
Norfolk
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Is the Super intended to be a one-shot flare, Mayfair style? Because that's what it will be. As soon as he plays it the first time, no one will ever make a wish again, until and unless they know that card is out of his hand.

Well I didn't specifically design it with that goal in mind, but I had the same exact feeling you do: I'll get to use it once, and then after that I'll have to promise not to use it, or make a point of getting rid of it. (Once I've got the base power nailed down I'm going to try to make that a little more elegant.)

Speaking of which, I had an epiphanette:

You have the power to Grant Wishes. At the start of every encounter, add two tokens to this sheet. As the defense, after encounter cards are revealed, use this power to add or subtract 1 from your total for each token on this sheet.

At any time except during your turn, any other player may make a wish — to retrieve his or her ships from the warp, draw cards from the cosmic and/or reward deck and then discard the same number, or increase either side’s total in the current encounter — up to the number of tokens on this sheet. Use this power to grant the wish. If there are more tokens than the number of ships available to retrieve or cards available to draw, the excess tokens are wasted. Afterwards, discard all tokens from this sheet and establish a colony in that player’s system with up to four of your ships taken from anywhere in the game. No player may make more than three wishes per game.
Not Offense - Mandatory
Start Turn Regroup Destiny Launch Alliance Planning Reveal Resolution

History and flare remain the same. Implications of this rewrite:

* Other players are more compelled to make a wish, and more panicked that somebody else will beat them to it. You'll probably get more colonies from this version.

* Appears weaker in the sense that Genie has no control over the use of his power.

* Avoids the problem of somebody playing the rest of the game with a 20-card hand, by making that wish about card quality, not quantity. (Getting to cycle your hand and discard the trash is probably more attractive to the potential wisher anyway. Just don't make this particular wish when you've only got two cards; you'd be wasting it.)

* Genie gains strength twice as fast, now that the card-draw wish has some safety controls on it.

* Theme is better. Generally, genies in literature are not allowed to refuse you your three wishes.

* The "unemployment benefit" also fits the theme more smoothly: when Genie is not expending his energy on granting wishes, he has increasing strength to defend his lamp vigorously. Basically, if nobody ever makes a wish, it's a nice little variation on Warrior that lets you win a lot of home encounters and safely purge low attacks as the defense. But it's hard for me to imagine that nobody's going to make a wish, because...

* An offensive player who draws Genie's color will be even more tempted to make a wish so they don't have to face his stack of tokens as a giant reinforcement in the encounter. Get 14 ships out of the warp and remove Genie's "+14 reinforcement"? That's hard to say no to.

* Offense could even make a wish that removes Genie's "+14 reinforcement" and adds 14 to his own total against Genie ... which I'll grant may not be a perfect thematic fit, but hey — Genie is still getting a free foreign colony.

My goal here is to make wishing so increasingly tempting that eventually somebody is going to crack. Have I succeeded?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Montgomery
United States
Modesto
California
flag msg tools
badge
The Shipyard - Star Trek Attack Wing spoilers and reviews
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I really like this, it has a ton of potential, and yes, I can certainly someone cracking in my games, perhaps more than once.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Just a Bill
United States
Norfolk
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mathguy6189 wrote:
I really like this, it has a ton of potential, and yes, I can certainly someone cracking in my games, perhaps more than once.

Thanks for the encouragement. I can see the real fun of this power coming from watching everyone else agonize. You know they're all watching your stack grow and thinking "sooner or later some clown is going to give that damned Genie a colony; I guess that clown might as well be me."

Here are some candidates for a better Super flare:

You may use your power to add or subtract your tokens from your total even as the offense.
Offense Only Reveal

You may add three tokens to your sheet instead of two.
As Any Player Regroup

After granting a wish, you only discard half of your tokens (rounding down).
Not Offense Any Phase

Once per game, at any time, you may make and grant a wish yourself (but do not discard tokens or establish a colony). For the rest of the game, you may use the Wild version of this flare even if you still have your power.
As Any Player Any Phase

I like the last one the best.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Gon
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I think that it’s an interesting idea. The token system looks good but here are a few suggestions for an alternative:

*Limit the power to a specific phase/event, for example, on a wild destiny and/or special destiny.
*On a wild destiny all players may make a wish. If multiple players make wishes you choose which one to grant.
*Wish examples: release x ships from the warp, make my ships worth x in my next encounter, draw x cards from the deck and discard the same number, etc.
*If no players make wishes, you may grant a wish to yourself (with the added bonus of re-establishing a home colony or not).

Knowing that the Genie can use his power to grant a wish to himself and given the impact that a wish can have on a player, other players may be willing to concede him a colony. Specially if pressured by a bad hand or lots of ships in the warp.

I would also eliminate the restriction of three wishes per game, I don’t think that it’s really necessary.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Just a Bill
United States
Norfolk
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm fretting a bit that removing all choice from Genie, combined with the colony-grabbing function, means that the other players have little reason to invite him to ally. Would this tweak make the power better or worse?

During any encounter in which one main player invited you to ally and the other chose not to, the one who invited you may make a wish ....

So if a player wants to make a wish he has to first call you out of your lamp with an invitation; but a player can also invite you to ally just for the purpose of blocking his opponent from wishing.

The idea here is to make the offense scared to not invite you (fearing that the defense will invite and then wish), and then after he does invite you to give the defense the same fear that if he doesn't invite-to-block then the offense will wish.

Opportunities to wish would be a bit more restricted, but you'd probably get a lot more alliance invitations.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Montgomery
United States
Modesto
California
flag msg tools
badge
The Shipyard - Star Trek Attack Wing spoilers and reviews
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think the change makes Genie a power that is good in some groups, bad in others. I know my group throws out a moderate number of alliances, and usually players get invited to both sides, so this power would never be taken. But that's my group.

As for supers, I don't like the 2nd, but the others have potential.

I think my order would be
4
1
3
2
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mi Myma
United States
Fountain Valley
California
flag msg tools
Why is there no Word Games Forum or Subdomain?
badge
There should be a Word Games Subdomain, or at least a Word Games Forum!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Bill Martinson wrote:
Here are some candidates for a better Super flare:

....

After granting a wish, you only discard half of your tokens (rounding down).
Not Offense Any Phase

This one is my favorite (though maybe it should round up).

Or maybe, "You only need to disard as many tokens as it takes for the wishing side to win the challenge."
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Just a Bill
United States
Norfolk
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jon Gon wrote:
I think that it’s an interesting idea. The token system looks good but here are a few suggestions for an alternative:

*Limit the power to a specific phase/event, for example, on a wild destiny and/or special destiny.
*On a wild destiny all players may make a wish. If multiple players make wishes you choose which one to grant.
*Wish examples: release x ships from the warp, make my ships worth x in my next encounter, draw x cards from the deck and discard the same number, etc.
*If no players make wishes, you may grant a wish to yourself (with the added bonus of re-establishing a home colony or not).

Without the token mechanic, the incentive to make a wish before somebody beats you to it is destroyed. I also don't see how your x's would be defined without the tokens. (Perhaps I'm not really understanding your suggestions correctly.)

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Or maybe, "You only need to disard as many tokens as it takes for the wishing side to win the challenge."

That's interesting, but it's not possible to know how many tokens that would be since the wish is not guaranteed to occur after all other possible total-affecting effects had resolved (nor should it be). In fact, you can even wish before cards are revealed if you want to ... you have to weigh the benefit of waiting to see your opponent's card against the risk that somebody else will use up the wish before you can get to it.

... which leads into the next point. I'm giving up on the idea that to make a wish you have to be the only main player to invite the Genie. This adds too much complication, reduces the competitive angst over getting the wish first to something that only happens at invitation time and only between two players, and kills the pressure on the offense to make a wish when he's encountering Genie in order to get rid of Genie's defensive bonus (it simply wouldn't be possible to make a wish at all since Genie would be uninvitable).

So that idea of "calling the Genie out of the lamp" with an unopposed alliance invitation is officially scrapped. I want any player to be able to make a wish at any time, regardless of his position in the encounter. It's more fun and surprising that way, and stronger for the Genie himself.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Gon
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Bill Martinson wrote:

Without the token mechanic, the incentive to make a wish before somebody beats you to it is destroyed. I also don't see how your x's would be defined without the tokens. (Perhaps I'm not really understanding your suggestions correctly.)

Perhaps I’m not explaining myself correctly.

My suggestion was a bidding mechanism; Genie uses his power to grant a wish to any player. If one player decides to take the opportunity; this will be enough to make other players start bidding. All players can keep readjusting their wishes. Then the Genie decides which wish will be granted. If no players make wishes the Genie can grant a wish to himself. I’ll exemplify:

The possible wishes should be well defined, let’s say that these are the possible wishes:
- Retrieve any number of that player’s ships from the warp
- Draw up to 8 cards from the reward/cosmic and discard the same number
- Add up to 20 to your side total in your next encounter as a main player.

At the specified timing (e.g. wild destiny), Genies uses his power to grant a wish to any interested player:

Example 1:
Player A wants to retrieve his 12 ships from the warp.
Player B he’s willing to give a colony to Genie to retrieve 10 of his ships from the warp.
Player A reformulates, he’s now willing to give a colony to Genie to retrieve 8 ships from the warp.
Player C is not interested in making wishes.
Player D decides to ask for 8 cards from the deck.
No player makes new offers.

Genie analyses the proposals and decides to grant the wish to player A. This player retrieves 8 ships from the warp and Genie establishes a colony in that player’s system.

Example 2:
No players desire to make a wish.

Genie grants a wish to himself and decides that he will add 20 to his side total in his next encounter as a main player.

I know that a Genie granting a wish to himself is not very thematic but it may be enough to pressure other players to ask for wishes. Otherwise, the Genie will benefit from powerful effects. Anyway, I think that you’re on to something very interesting. I’m looking forward to see how it turns out.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Just a Bill
United States
Norfolk
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ah, I see it now. That is a pretty interesting mechanic with great possibilities ... but I feel like it is a separate power. Perhaps you could develop that idea as something like Auctioneer, Quartermaster, Guardian, Missionary, Consultant, Stockbroker, Pitboss, or Windows 47 Was My Idea*. It seems distinct enough that it could carve out its own space.

* Just kidding, of course. In the far future of CE, Windows will only be up to version 42.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Just a Bill
United States
Norfolk
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
galfridus wrote:
The "3/game" ... seem difficult to track, I would be inclined to just say 1 wish per player per challenge. It seems like token count will keep the number of wishes down anyway.
Jon Gon wrote:
I would also eliminate the restriction of three wishes per game, I don’t think that it’s really necessary.

I was thinking about the Cosmic Conflict aliens and suddenly realized why the three-wishes-per-player limit is important. Without it, there could be rare situations where a player is able to make constant wishes with no risk of giving Genie any colonies.

For example, at the start of the game Filth has all of his home planets. He can make a small wish every single encounter just to keep Genie from gaining any tokens and to keep other players from making wishes, all the while getting his ships back from the warp or fine-tuning his hand every encounter. Even after Filth loses his first home planet, he can continue to make wish after wish while only giving Genie one new colony.

So although it began as a thematic element, now I'm definitely keeping the three-wish limit as a safety feature.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Just a Bill
United States
Norfolk
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I really like this power and it worked well in the game I played it in, but I've always been a little bothered by the limited things you could wish for and the fiddliness of the text required to make them work. The fun of finding a Genie, after all, is that you get to wish for anything you want (with the consequence that extreme greed usually doesn't turn out well).

Also, the old text was so full that it had to cheat by pasting the first two effects together into a single paragraph, and by starting a sentence with the term Use. So here's an attempt to make it more open-ended and follow the formatting rules better:
You have the power to Grant Wishes. At the start of every encounter, place two
tokens on this sheet.

As the defense, after encounter cards are revealed, use this power to add 1 to either
side's total for each token on this sheet.

At any time except during your turn, any other player may make a wish that does not
directly change any measure of a known victory condition (e.g., it cannot change the
number of Tick-Tock's tokens, Masochist's ships in the warp, or any player's foreign
colonies, but it could ask for a Mobius Tubes). If you and/or the wisher know the
locations of all required resources (if any), use this power to grant the wish (up to three
per player per game). Then, discard all tokens from this sheet and gain a colony in the
wisher's system with up to four of your ships from anywhere in play (even if lost or
captured). You may advise the retraction of a wish that you find too extreme, but if the
wisher persists then you must either grant it or bar that player from all further wishing.

Obsessively sought after in all the known galaxies, Genies make dreams come true. Rare indeed
is the Genie who refuses to grant a wish, and rarer still the one who does not exact her fee.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.