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Subject: Power Of The Day -- Force rss

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Gerald Katz
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FORCE All/Expert/Optional

Helps Others

You have the power to Be With. When you are not a main player, other players may use this power to call on you for help and offer you one or more Lucre. The player may not specify the help he is seeking. If you choose to help him, take the Lucre offered and intercede in a way that you believe will benefit him. You may: 1. alter random events (decide color of destiny flip, choose cards taken in compensation or as rewards, etc.); or 2. limit or moderately expand on the immediate effects of powers, Artifacts, Flares, Moons, etc. (such as: "The Virus can multiply allies' ships." Or: "The Mobius Tubes just played frees ships from Fungus.") You may not aid a player unless called upon, and there is no haggling or communication allowed about your choice of aid.

HISTORY: Viewed by most races as a mystical entity, the Force is in fact a noncorporeal race of money-grubbers who value currency over enlightenment.

Use Only In A Game With Lucre
Abusive Power

FLARE

All
Wild: You may "be with" another player (except the Filth) who has just gained a colony by placing one of your ships on the planet along with that player. Give this card to Force if in the game; otherwise, discard after use.

All
Super: Once per encounter you may aid a player even if not asked. The other player must pay you four Lucre or as much as he has if less.

Commentary: This is a Lucre power originally produced by Eon using Mayfair wording adapted to Fantasy Flight. The Wild Flare is Eon. That Force can be abusive is an understatement. It's possible to set limits. One example could be that Force cannot change encounter card values. For example, under the original Eon power description, Force could change an encounter card to an attack 4. You could just decide not to allow that. However, having the lower total win the encounter would be an acceptable use of Force. A playing group should strive for a common sense approach. There should be leeway to allow for a significant advantage gained from the aid, but the Force player should not warp an encounter to an automatic win.

In any case, Force has a special place for me. During college I went through the powers and began to think of ways of how I could limit and expand them if I was Force, and they were in the game. Thus Pulsar Cards were born, a personal home made type of cards addition to the game. Also, as with my college group, when anyone calls upon the Force, you just have to say "Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope!".

The Candidate power is sort of a weaker form of Force that can be used as a substitute if your playing group has a lot of problems with Force. Also, I personally believe it is ok for the Force player to offer help. Not the amount of Lucre or specific type of help, just saying "Hey, you want my help?". I understand the power description states "you may not aid a player unless called upon", but I interpret this to mean Force cannot just affect an encounter. Someone has to pay him for the benefit. I have found when playing with Force that without the prompting, players just ignore it and no one uses the Force, which then would make Force a useless power. Players can still refuse the prompt, but at least you keep players aware the power exists.

Gerald Katz
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Ken H.
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My translation of the Force (only slightly tongue-in-cheek): "You have the power to accept a gift of lucre from any other player. You have no obligation upon receiving a gift, but if you want to, you may use this power to decide who wins the current encounter."

In the eighties, this power was used almost every time we played. Maybe not every game, but at least every couple of rounds. It was very much in demand, and we tended to play six player games where we would deal FIVE powers to each player and then choose the ones we wanted. This got picked far, far more than any other power.

My tastes have changed dramatically since then, and I doubt I would want to play with this power at all, and certainly not every other game. But, like you said, it holds a special place in my memory. In many ways, the Force *is* Cosmic Encounter to me.

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Just a Bill
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Rubric wrote:
My translation of the Force (only slightly tongue-in-cheek): "You have the power to accept a gift of lucre from any other player. You have no obligation upon receiving a gift, but if you want to, you may use this power to decide who wins the current encounter."

Heh, that's about right. Force is a great concept but is far too vague in its scope. No game text should ever include the word "moderately" — especially not in Cosmic Encounter, which is a game about anything but moderation.

Now that I've had a chance to actually play it for real, I'm really liking Genie. For me it has become "Force's Magician."
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Jack of Clubs
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Bill Martinson wrote:
Rubric wrote:
My translation of the Force (only slightly tongue-in-cheek): "You have the power to accept a gift of lucre from any other player. You have no obligation upon receiving a gift, but if you want to, you may use this power to decide who wins the current encounter."

Heh, that's about right. Force is a great concept but is far too vague in its scope. No game text should ever include the word "moderately" — especially not in Cosmic Encounter, which is a game about anything but moderation.

Now that I've had a chance to actually play it for real, I'm really liking Genie. For me it has become "Force's Magician."

I'd translate it as: "When someone gives you a gift of 1 or more Lucre, you may then change some current game effect in any way you want as long as you can make some kind of argument that it "helps" the player who gave you this gift, even if it helps you far more."

In all my Eons of playing, I've never seen anyone pay the Force. Ever. No one goes into a store, hands a guy some money, and hopes he receives something he wants in exchange.
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
No one goes into a store, hands a guy some money, and hopes he receives something he wants in exchange.

Except for all those poor souls I have to stand behind in 7-Eleven while they buy their lottery tickets.

Still, I agree. Powers that require the other players' permission to use and are easy to ignore are ... well likely to be ignored at game setup time as well. In Force's case, this may have been a blessing in disguise. Had it actually been desirable to repeatedly call upon the Force, this could have been a game-ruiner due to its poorly defined boundaries.
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Ken H.
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
In all my Eons of playing, I've never seen anyone pay the Force. Ever. No one goes into a store, hands a guy some money, and hopes he receives something he wants in exchange.


In practice, that's not how it works though. You hand over your money, and you do get what you want, usually. Unless the person playing Force is stupid.

I know different groups have different play styles, but I'm actually shocked you never had anybody buy a victory from Force before. What about when the game is on the line?

A guy going for his 5th base is pretty much guaranteed to lose, provided the defender has a lucre for the Force. Then, the next guy who goes for a 5th base loses, then the next guy, etc. Eventually Force has all the lucre and swoops in with (under Eon rules) +20 to his attack.

Plus, if you use my half-serious rewrite, it solves that problem anyway. You'd know what you're getting -- a guaranteed win. In fact, I'm thinking there might be a real, normal power in there somewhere.
 
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Ken H.
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Okay, here's a more serious rewrite effort that eliminates the "what will I get" problem. It's also not strictly a lucre power, although it still works with lucre. It also probably shouldn't be called The Force, since it's really not the same power at all anymore:

You have the power to ______. When you are not involved in an encounter, either main player may offer you a gift of anything allowed under a deal, after allies are committed but before cards are played. You may not negotiate the offer, and in fact may not respond in any way while the offer is being made. You do not have to accept any gifts. But you may use this power to accept one. If you do accept, you collect on the terms of the offer, and the person who made the offer wins the encounter. If both main players make an offer, you may choose to accept one or neither, but not both.



 
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