Paradigm Alien
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The WARP Paradigm Alien

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Paradigm Alien


This is a variant rule I created. As with many player-created variants, it is completely untested and most likely horribly broken. I wouldn't recommend it for every game, but it should be fun once in a while. It's not appropriate for beginners.

Basic idea: There is one extra alien power in the game, which all players may use (or MUST use if it's a mandatory power).

Examples: Under a Zombie Paradigm, no player would ever go to the Warp. Under a Filch Paradigm, all players may always choose to steal their opponent's discard.

Set up: The Paradigm Alien is chosen BEFORE players choose their own aliens. Either draw a random one, or allow players to agree on a Paradigm that sounds fun. Then, proceed with your usual method of selecting players' aliens for the game. Include the Flare for the Paradigm alien in the deck. It will act as a super flare.

Losing Powers: If a player loses his own power, he CAN still use the Paradigm. The Paradigm is assumed to be part of the natural laws of the universe, so it always works. Exception: The Paradigm itself can be zapped. If that happens, then nobody can use it for the rest of that encounter.

New Artifact: Paradigm Shift: Swap your power with the Paradigm power. Your old alien is the new Paradigm, which all players may now use. The former paradigm is now your personal alien. Play this at any point in the encounter before the Planning phase (that is, before cards are played, under old editions). Note: If you want to try this variant without needing to mock up a card, I suggest using the Flare for the Paradigm alien as the Paradigm Shift. It is treated as an artifact, not a flare, for all purposes. That card remains the Paradigm Shift for the entire game. (It doesn't change just because the Paradigm Alien itself changes.) This means there will be no super flare for the Paradigm alien.

Clarifications: This variant requires a bit of rules "baggage" because many aliens are not designed to be used by multiple players. In general, if an alien simply does not work as a Paradigm (like Oracle for instance), then limit its use to the Attacker only. Otherwise, follow the standard timing rule of attacker first, then defender. Here are a few more basic interpretation rules for use with Paradigms:

1. Powers that switch, trade, or otherwise reverse something: There are no switch backs. The switched state is boolean (yes or no). The offense may choose whether to use the ability. If he or she does NOT, then the defense may choose to use it. This applies to the following FFG powers: Calculator, Loser, Sorceror, Trader.

2. No recursive effects: If use of the Paradigm would trigger another use of the same power, the second use does not occur. So, ships lost to the Vacuum Paradigm do not allow further use of the Vacuum ability (as this would result in all ships in the game being sucked into the warp on the first encounter). Likewise, drawing cards with a Remora Paradigm does not trigger further draws.

3. Taking discards: For Paradigms that pull from the discard pile, the attacker collects all discards made by any player. The defender collects any discards made by the attacker. This applies to: Fido, Filch, Vulch. Even if discards are grabbed at the end of the encounter (as with Fido), the player who was the attacker when they were discarded is still considered the attacker for this purpose.

4. Limited to attacker only: Chosen, Gambler, Healer, Mutant, Oracle, Shadow. Note that most of these aliens could have rule tweaks to allow broader use (instead of just the attacker). For example, you could say that under a Healer Paradigm, the defender can heal the attacker. Or you could say that the defender can heal anyone that the attacker refuses to heal, etc. This would, however, add more rules. Players are encouraged to discuss this once the Paradigm is chosen, before players' personal aliens are drawn, to decide on the extent of the Paradigm power.

5. A few notes regarding specific powers:

Dictator: The last player who won an encounter is the only one who can use this Paradigm.

Hacker: The person collecting consolation chooses who will pay. The person paying compensation chooses which cards to give.

Human: The +4 is irrelevant since both players get it. But, a Zap results in both sides winning the encounter. Offense gains base as normal, and defensive allies get rewards, and defending player remains. This is, appropriately, a fairly minor Paradigm.

Machine: In order to let the game end in one life time, I recommend limiting the Machine Paradigm to one extra encounter per player's turn.

Mind: For convenience, limit this to use by main players only.

Miser: Ideally, each player should have his or her own hoard. However, this will not really work given the size of the current deck, except in a 3 player game. For 4 or 5 players, use a single hoard that always belongs to the Attacker.

Philanthropist: No regifting on the same encounter.

Reincarnator: Players keep their normal powers. Only the Paradigm reincarnates (which it will do every encounter, since somebody will always lose).

Tick Tock: Treat this as an "alternate loss" condition. All players lose if it happens.

Warpish: Each player counts only his or her own ships in the warp.

Warrior: Each player keeps a separate experience total.

6. Other rules: Use of home brew powers, aliens from other editions, or future expansion aliens will probably require additional rulings. In general, the above rules should help guide the correct use of the Paradigm alien, but players should discuss it at the beginning of the game before choosing their own aliens.


Expansion by Ken Hubbard