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Old January 21st, 2021, 04:24 AM
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Brewster Brewster is offline
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Re: The Book of the Mind Flayer Mastermind

Originally Posted by lefton4ya View Post
Oh goody, you brought up my Biggest rule-lawyer pet peeve: RANDOM vs ARBITRARY - see BGG thread for pages of discussion there, but ultimately lead to me asking: Does drawing a random card enforce shuffling? - it is asking about cards but can be applied to order markers as well. The "consensus" there was "players CAN shuffle or rearrange if they want and CAN look at the cards order markers before drawing, but neither is required." Basically I wish the card read either:
... remove one unrevealed order marker at random without looking at it from that...
... arbitrarily remove one unrevealed order marker at random from that...
However I seem to be the only person that loves using the word arbitrarily correctly when most rules use the word random when in my view it really means arbitrary. If you want to take RANDOM by a very literal definition - then you must do things like roll dice, or take order markers and shuffle them and draw without your opponent seeing until after you draw. But again in my view you will get called a RULES LAWER by most people in putting the LETTER of the rules above the SPIRIT of the rules, as most people (81% according to my poll) think even game designers do not want you to interpret random in that strict sense.
I think the issue that was taken with your usage of the word "arbitrarily" is that arbitrary means either randomly or on a whim. So for all intents and purposes, it's a synonym for "randomly" here. If what you mean is the alternative to "choosing randomly" is "deciding between unrevealed markers", then there is no need for the word arbitrary OR random. The rules should just say "choose an unrevealed marker", and the methodology of the choosing can be whatever (chance, strategy, intuition, inkling, whim, divine revelation, etc.).

Now it seems as though most players here (and my opponent at the time of the incident I bring up) think the 'Rules as Intended' mean to choose an unrevealed marker, not strictly by random method. But 'Rules as Written' say random, and random entails the choice is not made by method of any strategy, or even inkling, intuition, or whim. Random means random. No conscious influence on the decision. Each option has an equal chance of being chosen.

Now, I get that people like to play "how they always played it", but this is a game that occasionally has tournaments, and I want to know the actual rules. Is there any evidence at all that players were intended to be allowed to choose freely among unrevealed markers, without any process of *actual* randomization? Anyone who actually developed this mechanic have anything to say about it? Any instances of an ability like this being ruled on at an officiated tournament like GenCon or something? Because as far as I see it, people are simply treating this card as if it does not say "randomly" because of a consensus that picking an unrevealed marker based on a slight strategy is more fun for them. Well, it's not so fun when your 50/50 shot of success or failure is sometimes a guaranteed loss due to situations like this.
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