Cosmic Euchre

Introduction

The survey is finished, and it turns out that there are 17 intelligent races in the galaxy. The only thing they have in common is that they all play Euchre. It has been decided, therefore, to have a great Galactic Euchre tournament. Which race reigns supreme?

Doctor Doug’s Gigarrific Cosmic Euchre is played like regular euchre (with the stick-the-dealer rule) The difference is that each player gets randomly assigned an alien race. Their race determines which alien power they get to use in the game. (I got the idea from an old game I had as a kid called Cosmic Encounter, and similar ideas occur in other games)

I had fantasies of getting an artist to design a deck, and then selling them, thus making a living. But instead, I created a way you can play completely free with a regular deck of cards. If you ARE an artist who wants to work on this project, I’d go 50 – 50 on the profits, and we can drive matching Teslas, relax in neighboring vacation homes, and race our Throat-Warbler Mangroves. Seriously now, I hope you enjoy this game.

(This game does assume a knowledge of regular Euchre. Click here for the rules to regular euchre.)

Clarifications

One complete “game” of Euchre consists of a series of “hands,” and each hand consists of a series of “tricks.” Each hand starts with each player getting five cards, and the remaining four are called the “kitty.” Unless otherwise specified by an alien power card, after everyone looks at their cards, the top card of the kitty is turned up.

The Aliens:

Each alien species has a unique power that gives its members an advantage when they play Euchre.  Look at them all!


Abolitionist

Anarchist

Chameleon

Gordon

Human

Mysterio

Negator

Pitboss

Polevault

Rat

Reciprocal

Teflon

Thief

Tivo

Victim

Wagerer

Whiner


Selecting Your Species:

The aliens can be selected using the unused cards from the deck. Shuffle the 2-8 of hearts, the 2-8 of diamonds, the two jokers, and that one extra advertising card. Give one to each player. Or decide to market this game – design a special deck of alien cards, get the folks at Cosmic Encounter to agree not to sue, and do it that way.

DIAMONDSHEARTS
2: Abolitionistpower to create equality2: Polevaultpower to raise bar
3: Anarchistpower of freedom3: Ratpower to abandon ship
4: Chameleonpower to change4: Reciprocalpower to invert
5: Gordonpower to audit5: Teflonpower of non-stick
6: Humanpower of natural selection6: Thiefpower to steal
7: Mysteriopower to create suspense7: Tivopower to replay
8: Negatorpower to deny8: Victimpower to evoke sympathy
Joker1: Pitbosspower to set the stakesJoker2: Wagererpower to gamble
Other: Whinerpower to complain  

The Play:

You now play like you would regular Euchre. Except that each player has a special power they can exert. Some powers are “optional,” meaning that the player can decide when, or even if, to use them. Others are “mandatory” and must be used, even if the player doesn’t like the idea. 

Each player should get the opportunity to use his or her power at the appropriate time. So, if Alice is about to lead, and Bob gets to use his power immediately before the first card is led, Alice should ask Bob if he wants to use his power before she leads.

If there are disputes about the timing of powers, read the power descriptions carefully.  If there is still a dispute, resolve it in such a way that each player gets a chance to use his or her power fairly.

The Powers:

Abolitionist

You have the power to create equality

Abolitionist

Optional power
When the top-card of the kitty is turned down, and you would ordinarily get to call a suit, you are free to call “No Trump.” In this case, there is no trump suit; all suits are treated equally.

History
The Abolitionists were able to use a combination of force and diplomacy to free all the slaves on their home planet. They believe that all people are created equal in all respects, except for Euchre ability. On this issue they believe their superiority is clear, and seek to prove it in Galactic competition.

Anarchist

You have the power of freedom

Anarchist

Mandatory power
When you are the dealer, you look at the kitty and select which card to turn up. You do this before you look at your hand. If the Human is playing, you first select the top card, and then turn it up after he has used his power.

History
The Anarchist race is one of low fertility, and the Anarchists’ planet is one of large abundance. With such abundance, rules and governments never formed. The Anarchists seek to demonstrate by their Galactic triumph that they are not needed.

Chameleon

You have the power to change

Chameleon

Optional Power
If nobody has picks up the up-card, and your partner calls a trump-suit, you are allowed to immediately change the trump suit to any of the other three (including the suit of the rejected up-card).

History
Living on a planet where everybody was judged by the color of their skin, the Chameleons were able to use their shape-shifting ability to blend in with whomever they chose. When it comes to Euchre on a galactic scale, they no longer wish to blend in, they wish to stand out as clearly the best.

Gordon

You have the power to audit

Gordon

Optional Power
When you are the dealer, after the top card is turned up but before you look at your hand, you may look at the hand of one other person.

History
The Gordons’ home planet used to be host to a variety of guilds. The accountant guild was marked by a high degree of fertility, eventually choking out all other professions. The Gordons now seek to use Euchre as a metric to confirm the greatness of accountancy.

Human

You have the power of natural selection

Human

Mandatory Power
When one of your opponents is dealing, you get six cards instead of five. You select one card, and put it on the bottom of the kitty before the top is turned up.

History
In the distant past, the Human planet was bombarded by a large amount of solar radiation, causing a large degree of spontaneous mutation. The fittest survived, and now the enterprising Humans wish to adapt their Euchre playing to success on a galactic scale.

Mysterio

You have the power to create suspense

Mysterio

Optional Power
During any trick in which you do not have the lead, you may play your card face down instead of face up. Your card is only revealed after the others are.

History
The first mass-produced book on the Mysterio home planet was a tale of suspense. Rather than develop other genres, the Mysterios continued to refine the one, and are hoping to keep all other races guessing to the very end.

Negator

You have the power to deny

Negator

Optional Power
When your partner says, “Pick it up,” you are allowed to say, “no.” Play continues as if your partner had passed.

History
The Negator civilization was almost ruined by free-spirited leaders who would justify decisions by saying, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” They survived by learning to say “no,” and will say it as often as they like, especially to the notion of losing the Galactic Euchre title.

Pitboss

You have the power to set the stakes

Pitboss

Optional Power
When you are the dealer, before you deal the cards you can set the stakes to normal (1 pt for making, 2 pts for setting or getting 5 tricks, 4 pts for going alone), double (2 pts, 4 pts, 8 pts), or half (1/2 pt, 1 pt, 2 pts). Your decision lasts until you are the dealer again.

History
Religion never developed on the Pitboss home planet, forcing casinos to fill the void. The Pitboss caste maintains dominance over the Wagerer caste by controlling the possible payouts. They hope to continue to exert their control in their quest for Euchre Dominance.

Polevault

You have the power to raise the bar

Polevault

Optional Power
Once per game, between hands, you may permanently change the number of points necessary to win from 10 to 11, 12, 13, or 14. You cannot do this after your opponents have reached ten points; you cannot raise the bar after it has already been cleared.

History
The Polevaulters’ home planet used to have an international series of games every four years, called the “Olympics.” As their society modernized, the greedy Olympic committee had the Olympics run every two years, half at a time. Then there were Olympics every year, only one-fourth as long, and then every month, and soon the Olympics were constantly part of society, but no longer interesting. Thoroughly bored with the event that their society destroyed, the Polevaulters have taken up Euchre, and will settle for nothing less than bringing home the Gold.

Rat

You have the power to abandon ship

Rat

Mandatory Power
If, after the outcome of a hand is determined, your team is 8 points or more behind, you trade partners with one of your competitors, determined by a coin toss. Your former partner takes his or her point total with him, and your new partner brings his or her point total to you. This power does not apply if your opponents have more than ten points after the hand; you can abandon a sinking ship, but not one that has already sank.

History
The Rat’s home planet is 95% water, forcing a seafaring civilization to develop. One of the two factions believed that it was noble and honorable to go down with one’s ship. That faction didn’t last very long. The Rats have taken that lesson to heart in their quest for Galactic Euchre ascendancy.

Reciprocal

You have the power to invert

Reciprocal

Optional Power
When you are the dealer, after you have looked at your cards, but before the top card is revealed, you can announce that the hand will be inverted. The scoring after the hand goes as follows: If the team that calls trump makes 3 or 4 tricks, the other team gets one point. If they make 5 tricks, the other team gets two points. If they make 0, 1, or 2 tricks, they get one point. A player may not choose to “go alone” during an inverted hand.

History
Whimsical poets on a planet dominated by practical beings, the Reciprocals annoyed everybody with their abstract hypotheticals. Shunned on their own planet, they now seek to gain respect galactically by applying their superior imaginations to Euchre.

Teflon

You have the power of non-stick

Teflon

Optional Power
When you or your partner is dealing, the “Stick the dealer” rule doesn’t apply.

History
Starting out on a planet filled with magma, sap, and mud, the Teflon race had to develop nonstick technology in order to be able to efficiently move around. They hope to use their ability to slide into the galactic Euchre Championship.

Thief

You have the power to steal

Thief

Optional Power
You can “steal the deal” two times per game: When it is not your turn to deal, you can deal anyway. Play then continues as if it had legitimately been your deal.

History
Extensive research was done on the history of this race.  Unfortunately, the notes are nowhere to be found.

Tivo

You have the power to replay

Tivo

Optional Power
Once per hand, after the outcome of a trick is determined, you can say, “replay.” Everyone takes their card back, and the trick is done over. People do not have to play the same cards that they did originally.

History
An outdated people using outdated technology, the Tivos became obsessed with professional sports. Competing news agencies developed multiple camera-angles, instant replays, strange camera angles, digitally inserted silly yellow lines, and finally the ultimate replay, where the outcome could actually change. The Tivo’s are used to having a second chance, but will not extend the privilege to their competitors for Galactic Euchre supremacy.

Victim

You have the power to evoke sympathy

Victim

Optional Power
When you have the lead, if you lead a nine, you may say, “Poor me.” In that event, if any player has an Ace of that suit, he or she must replace your nine with the Ace, taking the nine into his or her own hand while saying, “There, there.”

History
The Victim’s planet hosted many intelligent species, each one inherently better able to survive than they. The Victim’s learned to use their position at the bottom of the heap to create enough guilt to, in effect, place them at the top, from where they now launch their bid at the Euchre Championship.

Wagerer

You have the power to gamble

Wagerer

Optional Power
Immediately before the first card is led, you may predict exactly how many tricks your team will take. If you are correct, your team gets a bonus point at the end of the hand. If you are incorrect, your team loses a point, and your opponents gain a bonus point.

History
Religion never developed on the Wagerer home planet, forcing casinos to fill the void. The Wagerer caste hopes to use their increasingly sophisticated gambling ability to wrest control of these casinos from the Pitbosses, but would settle for becoming galactic Euchre vanquishers.

Whiner

You have the power to complain

Whiner

Optional Power
If your hand contains no Aces or Jacks , you may, before the trump card is turned up, say, “My hand sucks.” You then select three of your cards, and replace them with the bottom three cards in the kitty. You may not use your power if Anarchist is dealing.

History
The most attractive race on their home planet, the Whiners grew used to getting special treatment if they complained long enough. They plan to continue to complain until they win the Galactic Euchre tournament, in which case they may finally be content.

Brief History of Euchre:

16,000,000,000,000 BCUniverse begins
4,000,000,000 BCEarth begins
1377 ADPlaying cards invented
1800s ADEuchre invented
2000 ADDr. Doug’s Gigarrific Cosmic Euchre invented