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Subject: Being close to someone gives you more power? rss

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C H
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Not sure how this works or makes any sense thematically. Kind of feels like a forced mechanic.
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Max Lampinen
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I'm not sure what you mean by "forced mechanic", I think Terra Mystica is thematic enough for euro game, but if it helps then would this be thematic enough: your people get angry when other race is expanding near them and then get pumped up with mana?
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Mark O'Reilly
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ch82 wrote:
Not sure how this works or makes any sense thematically. Kind of feels like a forced mechanic.


Yes if another faction is next to you, they leech power off you as you place your building.
Thematically I look on it like the faction just placing the new building as paying you a tax or protection money , or rent for daring to build next to someone elses existing dwelling,if you like, but it's power that's paid.
The bowls of power are a tremendous mechanic.
You will see.
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Chris Linneman
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Well, considering the game is called "Terra Mystica," I get the sense that the factions in the game are all magical in nature, and their buildings emanate magic (as represented by their power value). There is also obviously some magic going on in the game during terraforming. So when someone builds or terraforms next to you, I see the sapping power mechanic as you diverting some of the magic used to build/terraform.

tl;dr: Hey! It's magic!
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Frank Hamrick
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QBert80 wrote:
Well, considering the game is called "Terra Mystica," I get the sense that the factions in the game are all magical in nature, and their buildings emanate magic (as represented by their power value). There is also obviously some magic going on in the game during terraforming. So when someone builds or terraforms next to you, I see the sapping power mechanic as you diverting some of the magic used to build/terraform.

tl;dr: Hey! It's magic!


I don't even think of the magic of it, but how this works in real life. if I build a commercial or religious building I want it to be near as many people as possible. If my enterprises are near enterprises, we both benefit (I get traffic if they get traffic. If they draw people, it helps other businesses nearby.) So, two cities growing in proximity to each other, both benefit the other in the same way.

Works in real life, should work in Terra Mystica.
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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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Agreed!
If you look at the actions you can do with "Might", it has next to nothing to do with magic - they are basic actions for which you would NORMALLY need workers or resources - but you can get them with power, too. Or you convert your power to workers, or money.

I see it as some kind of political influence, favors to call in, and so on...
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Jan B.
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The other benefit of being near other races is, that you can upgrade your dwelling with better cost-efficiency to a trading post. This makes thematic sense as well. Trade works better when trading routes are short.
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Neil Christiansen
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If by "forced" you mean "elegant" or "innovative", I agree. Otherwise, not so much.

But I have no idea why you would describe a mechanic that works well as "forced". Is it "forced" when a knight jumps over pieces in Chess? Or in Trajan when you can only do the action where the last stone ends up?

In terms of theme, it is a game about magic and magical races. Mana is gained when someone builds next to your buildings proportional to how powerful your buildings are.
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Georg D.
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I wouldn't see 'power' as something magical. But a combination of several mundande things.
- You want to settle 100 workers near my city? Well your workers recognize that there is a protective stronghold/sanctuary/rich merchant quarter nearby and some of them decide to emigrate towards my city. It aren't much perhaps 5 out of 100, you won't recognize the lessened working power but if enough people do it it is enough for me to gain some extra working power/income/...
- Your people do works nearby my settlements? Chances are high that my people will watch them work and speak to your workers and eventually they will learn things they didn't know before - something that will increase their profit when trading with your people or some technology my people had not before...

The concept of power in this game is a bit abstract. I'm fine with it - less abstraction would lead to more fiddlyness. But within these abstracton the rules are quite natural and not forced.
 
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Magic Pink
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ch82 wrote:
Not sure how this works or makes any sense thematically. Kind of feels like a forced mechanic.


And you feel comfortable passing negative judgement on a rule you seemingly haven't read and don't understand in a game you don't own and apparently haven't played?

Did you really think this was worth a seperate thread?
 
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C H
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with the game not out here yet I've only had a chance to watch a play though. I guess some of these explanations could work though it just seems to be a contrived excuse to keep players close together. Now I'm not saying that it won't make for interesting/fun/innovative gameplay it just doesn't seem to fit all that well in terms of theme. But then again like another poster said. It's magic.
 
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Neil Christiansen
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It creates a tradeoff between being off by yourself with no competition for expansion, and being closer, gaining power, but being cutoff in one or more directions. Of course, they will tend to gain power off of you too, so it matters where and when you choose to build adjacent (e.g., if they have already passed and cannot use a power action on same turn).

Tradeoffs make for more interesting decisions.

I would also note that the upgrade from Dwellings to Trading Posts are cheaper, adding to the decision space.
 
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Paul Glickman
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I think Power isn't magic at all, honestly, it's Influence. Cults give it, trading posts give it, and Strongholds give it. All those suit the "influence" hypothesis best. The "being built near" thing also is evidence for it.
 
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Neil Christiansen
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Apparently, I see more magic in the world than some.

Clearly, one terraforms desert to swamp using "influence". cool
 
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Paul Glickman
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Influencing people to dig for you, yup.

The digging is probably magic though! There is definitely tons of magic in the game, but I don't think it sits in Power.
 
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Neil Christiansen
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I think of it as "spell points" for crafting new magical effects...
 
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Paul Glickman
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But then why do you get it for people building near you? And Trading Posts? And Fortresses?

It makes perfect sense otherwise, though, and none of those are deal breakers.
 
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Neil Christiansen
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We always refer to it as "leeching" (as does Moderator). You siphon it off when others use magic near you.

Think "Life Leech" in Metamorphosis Alpha (which was a mutation, and not magic at all, if you choose to buy that).

But you still have me. Influence for building close to Witches, Dwarves, and Magicians makes more sense than my non-mundane explanation. gulp
 
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Paul Glickman
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Hm. That explanation makes sense too! Involves adding an extra "rule" to the game universe though. Occam's Razor implies that the other is more likely - but probably not by much.
 
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Neil Christiansen
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Not really. The presence of magic in that universe is already confirmed. Think about it...the Witches ride brooms and the Fakirs flying carpets.

Sentence #2 in the rules: "Terra Mystica is a magical world: it's inhabitants try to transform the terrain they are living in".

I first played the game from reading the rules. Everything else flowed from that sentence.
 
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Paul Glickman
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Woah, woah, woah. Of course there's magic. Loads of it. It's called Terra MYSTICa, for cryin' out loud.

The only question is whether or not Power is specifically magic. "Terra Mystica is in a world in which there is magic" has less assumed rules than "Terra Mystica is in a world in which there is magic, and being near other people (but not yourself) gives you more magic".
 
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Neil Christiansen
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Versus "gives you influence" which introduces an entirely new concept never mentioned in the rules?
 
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Paul Glickman
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Power is influence. Power is mentioned quite a few times in the rules! Nothing remotely magical is said about it, though. "Influence" is just a word that means "power over people".

Power lets you build bridges, gain work, or money, or a priest, or "shovels" (regardless of your shovel-goodliness [I just got the game yesterday and can't remember what that bit's called]). All of that is perfectly in line with it being not-magic, but a bit weird if it's magic.
 
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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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The German term for this is "Macht", which translates to "might" or "power" - and can have several meanings, too. Depending on the context it can be political power or magical power - even physical or psychological power!

I think the term is intentionally chosen to be flexible. Maybe for Halflings or Nomads it is some kind of political power, while the Darklings or Chaos Magicians indeed harvest magical power from their unsuspecting neighbours.

While Engineers or Dwarfs or Halflings build bridges, Chaos Magicians hex bridges over the rivers. Cultists pray to their (dark?) gods to send a bridge from heaven (or hell?) and I really don't know how a bridge of the Mermaids will look like... ^^
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Neil Christiansen
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I am sticking with the magical explanation rather than the tautological one or one that varies by faction.

Next up: Sending priest to the cult tracks generates political prowess instead of miraculous enchantments. Could you argue it? Sure. But it would be a stretch in a game that is called Terra Mystica.

I will give you a hint: There are not any actual shovels in this game. The Giants are not out there digging in the Wasteland when they take ACT5.
 
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