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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition): Shards of the Throne» Forums » Rules

Subject: Promissory Notes and play order rss

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Christopher Donovan
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Page 13:

"Starting with the Speaker, each
player follows these steps to offer a Promissory Note:
1. The player may offer 1 Promissory Note facedown to
another player and ask him to vote a specific way for this
Political Card.
2. The receiving player looks at the Promissory Note
and either agrees to vote the specific way and keeps the
Promissory Note or refuses and returns the Promissory Note
to the offering player. Players may also make additional
agreements (including giving Trade Goods) along with the
giving of Promissory Notes (but verbal agreements are not
binding)."

I assumed the bargaining step was a "free for all", but this implies a much more ordered process whereby each player may make one (and only one) offer to one other player, in strict clockwise order starting with the speaker. Am I reading too much into the rule? I'm often not quite sure with FFG rules just how literally to take them.
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Scott Lewis
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I think you're reading too much into it this time. I think the process here is just explaining how to formally exchange Promissory Notes, but not necessarily dictating that players need to do it in any order relative to other players.
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Chris J Davis
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I presume those rules are there just in case of timing conflicts. I would imagine the players can just bargain in a free-for-all for the most part if they want to.
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Jeff S
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sigmazero13 wrote:
I think you're reading too much into it this time. I think the process here is just explaining how to formally exchange Promissory Notes, but not necessarily dictating that players need to do it in any order relative to other players.


I disagree - why else have it worded "Starting with the Speaker..." At least for the Promissary Notes step, other bargaining seems open to taking place afterward.
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Christopher Donovan
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The rules for this expansion are poorly written in my opinion. You can play it at least two different ways - free form, but in clockwise order (assuming - doesn't actually say clockwise order) starting with the speaker when there is a timing conflict (which would be pretty often and result in a lot of gamey situations), or strict, with each player, starting with the speaker and going clockwise, getting a chance to make one (and only one) promissory note offer before voting (pretty restrictive, but would keep things speeding right along).
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Jason Lee
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I kinda agree that the rulebook is a mess for this expansion. It's a bit disappointing as the original TI was evidently a real labour of love and yet whoever wrote this book didn't think to read it twice, much less include anything on how the new races work... (but I won't go into that again!)

I also agree that I think some kind of timing was intended here, but it's another thing to note for future FAQ or errata, since they've started by saying the speaker starts the phase off, then not elaborated on what happens next (if it's clockwise, initiative order, speaker chooses, free-for-all after speaker, etc).

It is quite fundamental and needs to be clarified. Turn order does matter quite a bit since each player can only offer once, so what people have done before you really affects what you can choose to do.
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Andrew
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mazout wrote:
I kinda agree that the rulebook is a mess for this expansion. It's a bit disappointing as the original TI was evidently a real labour of love and yet whoever wrote this book didn't think to read it twice, much less include anything on how the new races work... (but I won't go into that again!)


With 11 pages of FAQ/Errata for TI3 + SE, you can't exactly call this a new phenomenon. You just know the answers to all (most) of the ambiguities of the previous rules.
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Jason Lee
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wardac wrote:
With 11 pages of FAQ/Errata for TI3 + SE, you can't exactly call this a new phenomenon. You just know the answers to all (most) of the ambiguities of the previous rules.


Well errata is one thing and is to be expected. But there's a difference between "clarifications or updates", and "rules for prominent features of the expansion missing or not written". The second is fairly inexcusable.
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Martin Larouche
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mazout wrote:
wardac wrote:
With 11 pages of FAQ/Errata for TI3 + SE, you can't exactly call this a new phenomenon. You just know the answers to all (most) of the ambiguities of the previous rules.


Well errata is one thing and is to be expected. But there's a difference between "clarifications or updates", and "rules for prominent features of the expansion missing or not written". The second is fairly inexcusable.


I do not think there's any rule completely "missing" from the rulebook.

But there's a lot of weird happenings in this expansion for some elements, when mixed with other elements from the base game or previous expansion. Such as a specific card or ability being unclear in a detail when used in along with another specific card or ability. This happens all the time when a game becomes really big.
This is stuff like the X98 Bacterial weapon being used on mercenaries... can it be done? this is not a rule missing, this is a confusing cross-card-ability.

See also: Magic the Gathering. Twilight Imperium has nothing as far as these kind of rule conflicts goes.
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Martin Larouche
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mazout wrote:

It is quite fundamental and needs to be clarified. Turn order does matter quite a bit since each player can only offer once, so what people have done before you really affects what you can choose to do.


It doesn't impact as much as you may beleive. It happened in one of our games that two players wanted to give a note to the same player.

What happened is that player 1 gave player 2 a note asking for votes. When player 3 saw that, he interupted giving a note to player 2 not to vote for player 1.
Player 1 then re-took his own note, and gave a better one to player 2.
Player 2 took a look at both cards, chose player 1 and gave the note back to player 3 as he couldn't take both.
Notice here that player 1 has only handed ONE note, not two... so this is still within the rules.

It's a free-fo-all, but everything is still in order. The notes are not an "instant action". Giving a note means is also has to be read and accepted before it comes into effect. This give LOTS of time for other players to react before the note is accepted.

Therefore, the turn order for notes is irrelevant when actually playing.

Unless you don't want player to be able to give notes if another player did it first... but this is usually not how negociations goes. It's a process that goes back and forth between ALL people concerned (which makes it more fun).
Negociation for notes and votes is one of the best element of the new expansion. If we "nerf" that aspect by not being able to counter a counter-offer, we lose a crucial element of the process.

Even if the ruling comes that we need to go in turn order, we DEFINITELY won't be using that. It would slow down the game a lot for a definitely less fun process.
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Christopher Halbower
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deedob wrote:

It doesn't impact as much as you may beleive. It happened in one of our games that two players wanted to give a note to the same player.

What happened is that player 1 gave player 2 a note asking for votes. When player 3 saw that, he interupted giving a note to player 2 not to vote for player 1.
Player 1 then re-took his own note, and gave a better one to player 2.
Player 2 took a look at both cards, chose player 1 and gave the note back to player 3 as he couldn't take both.


It would seem you interpret the rules so that anyone can offer any promissary note to anyone at anytime. This thread asks the question: are players required to make their promissory note offerings one at a time in turn order...or can players do what you did?
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Andrew
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halbower wrote:
deedob wrote:

It doesn't impact as much as you may beleive. It happened in one of our games that two players wanted to give a note to the same player.

What happened is that player 1 gave player 2 a note asking for votes. When player 3 saw that, he interupted giving a note to player 2 not to vote for player 1.
Player 1 then re-took his own note, and gave a better one to player 2.
Player 2 took a look at both cards, chose player 1 and gave the note back to player 3 as he couldn't take both.


It would seem you interpret the rules so that anyone can offer any promissary note to anyone at anytime. This thread asks the question: are players required to make their promissory note offerings one at a time in turn order...or can players do what you did?


And the answer to that is explicitly in the rules. Each player may offer one promissory note. It goes around clockwise from the speaker (anything that starts with the speaker goes around clockwise from the speaker). Order is very important to it, as written. If someone in this thread wants to house rule it so that you don't have to follow the explicit rules in the book, they certainly can, but as written it's pretty straight forward.
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The rules do indeed state the "Speaker first" thing, but I think it's far from certain that it's "very important". It could just be that it was put there to create order out of chaos, not because of any fundamental need for the order.
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sigmazero13 wrote:
The rules do indeed state the "Speaker first" thing, but I think it's far from certain that it's "very important". It could just be that it was put there to create order out of chaos, not because of any fundamental need for the order.


If you are limited to a single offer per political card (which you are, per the rules), then the order does matter. If you get to offer first, the person might take it because they don't know about any future offers they might receive. If everyone is allowed to offer at the same time, then they may just take the best offer of all of them. It may or may not be "important", but it's very clearly different.
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Christopher Halbower
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wardac wrote:

And the answer to that is explicitly in the rules. Each player may offer one promissory note. It goes around clockwise from the speaker (anything that starts with the speaker goes around clockwise from the speaker). Order is very important to it, as written. If someone in this thread wants to house rule it so that you don't have to follow the explicit rules in the book, they certainly can, but as written it's pretty straight forward.


My earlier response was to deedob(?) who stated "player 1 offered this...then he offered that..." which is not legal by the rules-as-written.
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Martin Larouche
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halbower wrote:
wardac wrote:

And the answer to that is explicitly in the rules. Each player may offer one promissory note. It goes around clockwise from the speaker (anything that starts with the speaker goes around clockwise from the speaker). Order is very important to it, as written. If someone in this thread wants to house rule it so that you don't have to follow the explicit rules in the book, they certainly can, but as written it's pretty straight forward.


My earlier response was to deedob(?) who stated "player 1 offered this...then he offered that..." which is not legal by the rules-as-written.


We still only offer only one note. If another note is given, you can "take back" a given note in order to give a better one. You still only offer one note at the end of it all.

It makes no sense to me that someone negociate something without ever having another player have a say in the matter. In this manner, there would be never any situations where you can offer more to a third party than an opponent...

Otherwise, the political action would take forever every time, even for insignificant laws that barely change the game. A table turn for the spy AND a second table turn for bargaining and notes (when the latter happens only once in a while and rarely on every law).

Notes are not exchanged when the outcome is something along the line of "everybody lose all their trade goods" when no one has any...

It happened in a game where the outcome was to exchange secret objectives between players, when only 1 player had one.
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deedob wrote:
We still only offer only one note. If another note is given, you can "take back" a given note in order to give a better one. You still only offer one note at the end of it all.

It makes no sense to me that someone negociate something without ever having another player have a say in the matter. In this manner, there would be never any situations where you can offer more to a third party than an opponent...

Otherwise, the political action would take forever every time, even for insignificant laws that barely change the game. A table turn for the spy AND a second table turn for bargaining and notes (when the latter happens only once in a while and rarely on every law).

Notes are not exchanged when the outcome is something along the line of "everybody lose all their trade goods" when no one has any...

It happened in a game where the outcome was to exchange secret objectives between players, when only 1 player had one.


You only offer one note, except sometimes you offer more than one, it seems.

Anyway, you can certainly talk amongst yourselves before anyone offers anyone anything, or the person currently being offered a Promissory Note can be persuaded to decline the current offer for the promise of a better one from someone else. But if the question is "what do the rules say?" there is no ambiguity.

I also don't see how it would take any longer RAW than as a free for all. Coming to the conclusion that no one is going to offer anyone else a Promissory Note takes the same amount of time either way.
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I think the process listed in the book is similar to the "Voting" process - it's the only formal part.

There is nothing in the rules about informal offers and table talk before going through the formal process. Once the talk is done, then you go through the formalities.
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sigmazero13 wrote:
I think the process listed in the book is similar to the "Voting" process - it's the only formal part.

There is nothing in the rules about informal offers and table talk before going through the formal process. Once the talk is done, then you go through the formalities.


This is exactly as i see it, thank you.

Have all the talk anyone wants before turning around for notes. Then at the end, players give only one promissory note, in turn order, as per the rules.

Although at that point, unless you have players who like to screw with deals made exactly 2 seconds prior, it doesn't change anything to do it "in turn order" or as a free for all.
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Christopher Halbower
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I'm not sure that the rules can be construed so that you can offer a Promissory note to someone and have them refuse it and you can offer a promissory note to someone else...so long as you only actually "gave" 1 Promissory note.

The rules state:
Quote:
[E]ach player follows these steps to offer a Promissory Note:1. The player may offer 1 Promissory Note facedown to another player and ask him to vote a specific way for this Political Card.
2. The receiving player looks at the Promissory Note and either agrees to vote the specific way and keeps the Promissory Note or refuses and returns the Promissory Note...


This seems to preclude the ability to "take back" an offer.

And the timing seems to be very important. The Speaker gets to make an offer first. Once you accept his Promissory Note, you are obligated to vote a certain way. And you cannot be offered a Promissory Note until the Speaker first makes an offer or declines making an offer.

The free-style Promissory Notes is how I originally understood the rules but after a careful rereading, I think the rules are much clearer.
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Christopher Halbower
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deedob wrote:

Have all the talk anyone wants before turning around for notes. Then at the end, players give only one promissory note, in turn order, as per the rules.

Although at that point, unless you have players who like to screw with deals made exactly 2 seconds prior, it doesn't change anything to do it "in turn order" or as a free for all.


What if the Speaker makes a Promissory Note offer (formally) while others are still debating? Wouldn't this put an end to the debating?

If you are Speaker, you can effectively end all deal making because you can force the end of the debate by making a Promissory Note offer. I think I like this actually. It's time to put up or shut up. Make someone an offer or decline your right to do so.
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Joshua Armstrong
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What happens if a promissory note is offered and accepted and then the representative of the player who accepted the note is assassinated and he can't vote? Is the agreement null and void or is the offering player screwed?
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Axensmash wrote:
What happens if a promissory note is offered and accepted and then the representative of the player who accepted the note is assassinated and he can't vote? Is the agreement null and void or is the offering player screwed?


The "Bargaining" step happens after the "Resolve Spies" step, so that can't happen.
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halbower wrote:
deedob wrote:

Have all the talk anyone wants before turning around for notes. Then at the end, players give only one promissory note, in turn order, as per the rules.

Although at that point, unless you have players who like to screw with deals made exactly 2 seconds prior, it doesn't change anything to do it "in turn order" or as a free for all.


What if the Speaker makes a Promissory Note offer (formally) while others are still debating? Wouldn't this put an end to the debating?

If you are Speaker, you can effectively end all deal making because you can force the end of the debate by making a Promissory Note offer. I think I like this actually. It's time to put up or shut up. Make someone an offer or decline your right to do so.

By that logic, the person to the left of the speaker could end all debate by formally voting.
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sigmazero13 wrote:
halbower wrote:
deedob wrote:

Have all the talk anyone wants before turning around for notes. Then at the end, players give only one promissory note, in turn order, as per the rules.

Although at that point, unless you have players who like to screw with deals made exactly 2 seconds prior, it doesn't change anything to do it "in turn order" or as a free for all.


What if the Speaker makes a Promissory Note offer (formally) while others are still debating? Wouldn't this put an end to the debating?

If you are Speaker, you can effectively end all deal making because you can force the end of the debate by making a Promissory Note offer. I think I like this actually. It's time to put up or shut up. Make someone an offer or decline your right to do so.

By that logic, the person to the left of the speaker could end all debate by formally voting.


The bargaining step happens before the voting step, so that can't happen. I'm inclined now to think it is supposed to function as outlined by halbower and wardac. I just hope that really is the intent of the rules and not just a by-product of a rulebook that does not explicitly spell it out.
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