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Wariness and Taibak (Prodigious Conditioner)

by James "RedDwarf" Hoskin, Staff Writer

9th January 2009

"Tales from the Raise the Stakes design team" was forced to take a mid-season hiatus following the Geordi / Where No One Has Gone Before incident. Rest assured that the offender has been fully reprimanded. Following a two-week detention in a Cardassian brig, where he was forced to count lights and learn the rules of the game, he now knows that there are five lights and that a ship must be at a mission to "move" it.

As usual, codenames have been used to protect the innocent in this unrelated and fictional story:

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, there were four people who liked to walk around with unlicensed nuclear accelerators on their backs. In their spare time, they were working together to design an expansion for an unnamed customizable card game. They started off the process by pitching cards and ideas to each other. Some affiliations received more attention than others during this time, and the Romulans were one affiliation being somewhat overlooked. It was several weeks later, when the group had decided upon some themes for the expansion, that the Romulans would come under the creative spotlight. Artifact personnel (personnel whose cost reduces if you have completed a mission) and "6 or more" (you must command six personnel of a particular characteristic to play that card) were two such themes, and gave the group a direction for two potential Romulan cards.

Ray took the first stab at several of the artifact personnel. Among his ideas were [Car] undercover Seska, [Dom] desperate Kilana, [Fed] [TOS] [E] President Hiram Roth, [SF] engineer Henry Archer and [Rom] old man Neral. Some of these were immediately rejected by Egon, while the others were rejected at a later date. (Yes, that was a tease. None of these appear in Raise the Stakes)

Ray also came up with the first Romulan "6 or more" idea. He prefixed it by asking if "anyone ever played Fluxx" and then suggested an event based upon one of the New Rule cards from that game. Winston was a big fan of Fluxx, and pitched several other ideas from Fluxx that could make interesting Star Trek cards (Swap Keepers anyone?), but they were destined to get cut at the first opportunity. The general consensus was that Ray's idea would make a good card, but that it would cause quite a few rules questions.

A few days later, old man Neral was replaced by Taibak in the Romulan artifact personnel slot. The reason for this is unclear, but someone on the team must have had a reason. Besides the artifact ability, Taibak started off with an unlimited order allowing him to examine the top four cards of an opponent's dilemma pile. For some reason (resisting the urge to use the "b" word), this didn't last long, and was soon replaced by an ability forcing the opponent to draw five cards when Taibak was played (something similar to Plasma Energy Weapon.)

At this stage, the cards went to playtesters. The Romulan "6 or more" event didn't cause the expected avalanche of questions, and Taibak passed virtually unnoticed. This didn't stop the team thinking about the cards, though. Egon commented that "they didn't inspire him to build a new Romulan deck" and that he "wanted cards to help Romulans win games, and not just mess with their opponents." Mysteriously, The Peter replied with "Back off, man, I'm a scientist" before suggesting that the "6 or more" event should offer an attribute bonus for each card removed from the game. Ray then took this idea and proposed giving it to Taibak. He also ran with The Peter's removed-from-game theme and came up with what we now know as Wariness. Over the next two months of playtesting, the cards were tweaked slightly, but what you see now is more or less what was proposed back in September.

The end.

The moral of the story: If the card doesn't have a Maquis icon, Winston had little to do with it.

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