Power Selection Variations
Not that a regular game of CE could possibly become mundane, but it is fun to play it in a new way, or at least it is entertaining using a different method of choosing powers. Again, INTERNET methods are in Italics, and our own methods are Bold.
BLIND BLUFF: Each player takes turns holding up a power so that every but that person can see what power it is. Each player votes whether or not they would want to have that power (they may lie). When all of the other players have votes, the player holding the power (still without knowing what it is) decides to keep it, or give it to any player who said they wanted it. Go around the table until every player has 2 powers (or however many you decide to play with). Once a player has their determined number of powers, they no longer may vote.
BLIND PENTAFORM: Each player draws five powers from a all Non-Setup powers, keeping them face down, and without seeing what they are. Flip the first power over. This is your power for as long as you have no external bases. Continue the game, playing as if you are the Pentaform.
BOGGLE: This is a fun variation (especially in a set with over 200 powers). Each player writes down the names of 5 powers that they would like to have, along with 5 powers that they don't want anyone to have. Read off the list. Any powers that are on more than one list are eliminated, and the powers that you wanted that are not on another list are yours. Each player may therefore have anywhere from 1 to 5 powers (If all of your choices are eliminated, you may pick one power at random). This allows for some creative thinking and allows powers that are otherwise fairly weak to be used to their utmost advantage. (A classic combo chosen once was Empath, Doppleganger, Mutant, Pacifist, Orator. He got all 5. Orator and Doppleganger are fairly useless in many situations - Orator with Empath or Doppleganger with Mutant are great combos).
BOGGLE Method 2: Each player writes down N powers they would like to play (Usually 5 in a two power game). Each player reads his or her list aloud and any duplicates are discarded. If a player has less than the number of powers desired (i.e. two in a two power game) they may draw randomly enough to fill their selection (discarding any that appear on anyone's list). If a player has more than the number allowed, they may choose from that list which powers they wish to play with.
BOGGLE Method 3 (Balanced Boggle) The same as method 1 but if any player has less than any other player than those players boggle again to fill up the amount. For example:
After the first round, Red gets 5 powers while Blue gets 4 and the other two players (Ochre and Puce) each only get one.
A second round is played in which Ochre and Puce each get to make of list of 4 powers they want and 4 powers no one can have. Blue makes a list of one power they want and one power they don't. Any powers on list from previous rounds may NOT be listed. This process is repeated until all players have the same number of powers.
CAROUSEL: Every player starts with 2 Non-Setup powers. Each challenge, they must rotate their powers one to the right. Therefore, if Red is Mutant and Oracle, and it comes time to rotate, she will give Oracle to the player on her right, move Mutant to the spot Oracle has (but retaining it) and takes a power from the player on her left.
CHANGELING: Each player starts the game with one power. Whoever is the first player draws an additional power, but immediately when the defensive player is determined, that player must trade his power for one of the two offensive player's powers. Thereafter, whenever a player with two powers is the Offensive Main Player, his opponent must trade for one of his powers. The Defensive player gets to choose which power to take.
DOUBLE PENTAFORMS: Each player plays the Pentaform with two stacks of powers! At the start of the game, each player is dealt 10 power which they arrange in two stacks of 5 powers each. Whenever they gain and external base, the rotate both stacks by one revealing the next power in the stacks. When they lose an external base they rotate the stacks back. i.e. they have one set of powers for when they have no bases, one for when they have two bases, etc.
DRAW STRAWS: Draw a number of powers equal to the number of players. Randomly choose a player to pick first. That player then takes all the powers and picks one for himself. He passes the powers to the next player clockwise, who repeats the process. The last player will get the least desired power. Then draw another set of powers and give them to the last player. He picks in the same manner as first player did, then passes counter clockwise. Powers should remain hidden until everyone has chosen both sets.
HEARTS TO THE LEFT: Deal 5 Powers to each player. Keep 1 pass 4 to the left, keep 2 pass 3, etc. After
passing and receiving 1 power, choose 2 to be your powers. You get a
feel for what's out there, and you know how hosed you are if you don't
get one of your original hand back, because either everyone else's
powers sucked or you had a really good draw but couldn't keep two of
NUKE 'EM: (good if you want people to play rarely-used powers) Deal each player flares, face up, equal to (#Powers * (#Players + 1)). Each player then "nukes" (discards) "#Powers" powers from each other player. After this is finished, the players choose from their remaining powers. (which is effectively "deal 2*#Powers, pick #Powers")
NUKE 'EM Method 2: Deal each player (2*#Powers) + (#Players-1), all face-down. Go around the table, having one player reveal a flare, then the next player, and so on. Each time a player reveals a flare, the other players call out (going clockwise from that player) either "nuke" or "pass". If everyone says "pass", that power is safe, and the player will be able to choose it at the end of the nuke/pass phase. If someone says "nuke" (the first person who does), that power is discarded, and the "Nuker" may not nuke any future powers from that player. (You only get to nuke one power from each other player, in other words.) Once all other players have nuked a power from you, your remaining powers are safe. If you reach a point where your remaining number of face-down flares is equal to the number of other players who haven't nuked a power from you, then all the remaining face-down powers are considered nuked. Now you all have (2*#Powers) remaining, so choose your powers.
PICK AND PASS: Each player draws three powers at random. One power they choose for themselves, the second one is thrown away, and the last one is passed to the player on their right. You may not look at the passed power until you have chosen your powers to pick and pass, etc. You must play the power passed to you.
POSITIONS: Choose 3 powers (out of 5), then selectOne power, used as offensive main player
One power, used as defensive main player
One power, when not a main player
All powers kept secret
In extension to this, there may be a fourth power, that you can always use. From Floris.
POWER HOUR: is played by crazy people (it gets ridiculous with long games in which everyone starts with 3 or more powers). Basically, at the stroke of each hour, all players draw an extra power. It's best to start the game at about a quarter til the hour.
RECYCLE: Each player is dealt two powers at random, an an equal number of powers are set to the side in one stack (no set up powers are permitted in this game). After the first challenge, and at the start of every subsequent challenge the offensive player draws a power from the stack, replacing his "right" power. This power moves to the left, and his "left" power replaces the "right" power of the player to the left. This goes all the way around the table, until the last player who puts his "left" power at the bottom of the stack. Optionally this can be done with no stack of extra powers, or leaving the stack face-up, so players can see what power is coming up next challenge.
THE REINCARNATOR DISC/CARD: is one destiny disc/card of a color not in the game that is added to the destiny pile. If you flip it, you must reincarnate one or all powers depending on the variation.
THE REINCARNATOR DISC/CARD Method 2: is the same as Method one in setup, however, only the person that flips the Reincarnator color actually reincarnates.
ROTATING POWER STACKS: Instead of giving every player 2 powers, they are given instead two STACKS of powers. In a four player game, we'll frequently use a stack of 5 and a stack of 3. Each TURN, players use the top power in each of their stacks. When the next TURN starts, players rotate the stacks by taking the top power and putting it at the bottom of the pile, bringing the next power to the top. Using stacks of 5 and 3 means a) two powers won't always be paired with each other in your own stack, giving a better chance for good combinations, and b) players won't always have the same powers when they are offensive player. One turn you may attack the Virus-Fungus with your Philanthropist-Mutant, but the next time around you might attack the same player's Warpish-Macron with your Loser-Judge.
SECRET POWERS: are just that. We draw 3, reveal 2 and keep the other hidden under the planet hex. Until you reveal it, you don't really have it (makes Filth real nasty after the game's been going on for awhile - I lost 4 bases that way once).
SILENT AUCTION: Deal out (#Players times #Powers) flares, face up. Deal out another couple, just to have extras. Give everybody lucre/tokens/points to bid with (as per the Verbal Auction rules). Everyone gets one minute to write down bids (their bids must total the amount they have available to them) on the powers they want. Then, reveal the bids. High bidder on any power pays their bidded amount, and gets the power. If people don't have the right number of powers yet, let the short-powered ones have another silent auction on the remaining powers, with their remaining lucre/tokens/points. If only one player is short of powers, let him pick from the remaining ones, or assign them randomly. If someone runs out of lucre/tokens/points to bid with, and is still short on powers, give them a random power (or the worst power remaining in the auction, by group vote).
TIDY BOWL: Deal 5 powers to each player. Put two powers "in" and the rest "out". All the "in" powers
are shuffled together and dealt randomly.
TWO POWERS: Simply deal two powers to each player. This is now considered a "multi-power" game.
VERBAL AUCTION: Hand out 15 extra lucre to each player. Turn up flares one at a time, and the players bid lucre on them. Let different players start the bidding each time. Keep any lucre you have left after getting the proper number of powers. If nobody bids on one power, flip another. When only one player remains, flip the next flare. He gets that power unless he pays 4 lucre, which lets him flip the next one. If he can't afford to pay the 4 lucre, he's stuck with whatever turns up. (You could do this with CE tokens instead of lucre, just as a counting scheme. If you were nasty, you could make players pay the tokens to the Warp if they win the bidding on a power. Or you could just give players a number of "points" to bid with, or something along similar lines.)