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Oh, Taloon, do be careful!
Wow! Thank you sooo much for taking the time to write this very in-depth review! I'm happy you enjoyed it!
The build cards and market prices in Tower (a game which, as you had suspected, was born out of a will to use TGC's stacker pieces!) definitely did receive a lot of thought. Each resource, starting with straw, is rarer than the last, and this was the main force behind deciding how frequently each one showed up on the build cards. The market prices were partly formed based on that, as well as just having a good mix of combinations--I wanted to make some destinations cheaper than others, for sort of a "competitive pricing" kind of effect.
I was incredibly pleased with the work that Derek Bacon provided. His aesthetic provides a huge amount of levity and really is reminiscent of a Disney cartoon. I'm happy you liked it too!
I'm slightly embarrassed by the mistakes in the rule book, but I'll get those fixed right away and release an errata. Thank you so much for pointing them out--not only the mistakes/inconsistencies in the rule book, but also the unanswered questions. To clarify:
• The only time the Dubious Concoction *cannot* be used is at the beginning of your turn--drawing the initial three jewels occurs before players may use black market cards. Everyone gets their three jewels no matter what, unless of course your access to the bag is barred as a result of the Falsified Records card (Note also that the Falsified Records card pevents the usage of a Dubious Concoction card).
• Black market passes may not be acquired from Salil, even with an Experienced Thief card. I will add that last bit to the rule book.
• I'll answer this in your other forum thread as well, but:
- You can visit the black market with two or three passes (or the equivalent jewels) in hand, but still only draw three cards. With two passes, you select two and put the third back. With three, you simply take the three cards.
- Unselected cards go back on top of the deck.
- You can only visit the black market once per turn. This was never a rule before, but you bring a up a good point; what if a player visits the black market, does some tuff, and visits again?
• The bit about revealing your build card is, unfortunately, an oversight on my part. The original rules had all build cards hidden--a rule that was later changed to encourage more player interaction in the game. I will correct the rule book to reflect this.
• Similarly, it was a huge oversight on my part to neglect adding the additional two jewels rule to the book.
I'm going to rewrite page 4 of the rule book to say the following:
Your turn consists of two main phases: the draw phase, and the action phase. During the draw phase, simply reach into the black bag and randomly draw three jewels. For the action phase, you may execute any or all of the following actions, in any order:
• Buy one or more items from a single store: if one or more of the items depicted on your build card are available in an unoccupied market, and you have the required jewels to purchase it/them, you may set your builder pawn on top of the market tile and exchange your jewels for the item(s). Whenever jewels are spent, they are discarded next to Salil (see page 5). You may only visit one store per turn.
• Make trades with Salil (see page 5).
• Visit the Black Market and/or use Black Market cards (see page 6).
• Build a tower segment: If you acquire all of the items listed on your build card, then declare it to the other players, return the items to the markets (any available spot is fine, so long as the spot matches the item), set one of your three tower segments in the center of the palace tile, and finally, discard your build card before drawing a new one. Subsequent tower segments built by any player are stacked on top of the original segment, forming a tower. The game ends immediately after a player has built three tower segments.
As soon as you cannot execute any more actions, or simply choose not to do so, your turn ends and play passes to the left. If you did not execute any of the above actions during the action phase, then draw two more jewels from the bag before ending your turn.
Maximum Occupancy of One: A shopkeeper can only tend to one customer at a time. If your pawn is on a market tile, that market is inaccessible to everyone else until you leave.
No loitering: You may only end your turn with your pawn on a market tile if you purchased something from that market earlier in the same turn.
I will also update the Turn Sequence tiles to remove the mention of revealing your card, and update the Black Market section to reflect the above clarifications.
Thank you so much, again, for the time you put into this--both playing the game and writing this review. I hope it gets some more time on your table!