W. Eric Martin
1. After the active player has accepted offerings from "none to all opponents", and the building requirement is not met is the active player required to play cards if he has them or can he choose to not play any cards (or play fewer cards than neccessary to satisfy the build requirement)?
You seem to have the order of events a bit mixed. Here's my explanation:
The building requirement is met if the active player (1) accepts enough cards from those offered by opponents, or (2) adds enough cards from his or her hand to those cards accepted from opponents. If this happens, houses are then placed on the board and the disc is given to the appropriate person. Each opponent whose offer was rejected receives one point for each proper card offered.
If neither (1) nor (2) happens, each opponent receives one point for each proper card offered and returns those cards to their hands. (Opponents receive no points for off-colored cards or the trader.)
So no, the active player is not required to play cards from his or her hand, but if he or she doesn't, the opponents' offers are automatically rejected. If an opponent offers cards, he will receive (1) houses in exchange for cards, (2) a disc in exchange for cards, or (3) points for having an offer refused. You can't hose an opponent by accepting an offer, then playing fewer cards than needed; the opponent must be compensated in one of the above ways.
If the active player chooses to play fewer cards than are needed, he's essentially revealing part of his hand to his opponents, who then receive points for having their offers rejected.
2. If the active player chooses to play fewer cards than neccessary to satisfy the build requirement does he receive 1 point for each card he played?
The active player never receives points for cards that he or she plays. Either the active player plays enough cards to meet the building requirements, for which he or she receives houses and possibly a disc, or the active player plays no cards and opponents receive points for the cards they offered that were refused.
Write back if this is still unclear.