Ursuppe Gene Testing Grounds

This page last updated November 21, 1998

This is a collection of musings on possible new genes for Ursuppe. If you send me any new genes, please be sure to include permission to post them if you want them listed here.

Suggestions, alphabetically by submitter:

And, a growing separate file of alternate rules.

My own (Steffan's): Here are some new genes I wrote, but I have not played with any of them - so use them at your own risk! Feedback on the potency, BP cost, Mutation number, etc., appreciated.

Price: 4 BP; Mutation Points: 3; Quantity: 0/1
You look/smell/feel like an amoeba with Armor. During Phase 1, roll a die if another amoeba tries to attack you: on a roll of 1-3, the aggressor thinks you have Armor and will not attack you (and pays no BP); on a 4-6 it isn't fooled. Repeat for each amoeba threatened.
Tough Cell Membrane
[Included in Freshly Spiced as Hard Crust]
[Included in Freshly Spiced, except it doesn't note that the alarm must be given each turn]]
[Included in Freshly Spiced as Camouflage]
Fruiting Body
Price: 5 BP; Mutation Points: 4; Quantity: 0/1
You produce "fruit" which other amoebas can eat. Each turn, before your action in Phase 4, Cell Division, place one food cube of any color on each of your amoebas. (Thus, any new amoebas you build do not get to do this.) This extra food cube may be eaten by any other player's amoebas - but not by your own amoebas.
Price: 5 BP; Mutation Points: 4; Quantity: 0/1
Only works if you also have Struggle for Survival or Aggression. During Phase 4, cell Division, you may place a "web" on your turn. Place a damage bead to represent the web in any space you could place a new amoeba - this costs you 2 BP. During the next turn's Phase 1, any amoeba moving into that space before your movement is caught - and may be eaten by you, regardless of the presence of available food cubes. (The attack itself still costs 1 BP, and may still be defended against normally - it's not a very good web.) Remove the web if not used by your action in Phase 1.
Bad Taste
Price: 4 BP; Mutation Points: 4; Quantity: 0/1
You taste terrible. An aggressor will choose another player's amoeba in the same space as you (providing there are any) instead of attacking you.
Price in BP: 6; Mutation #: 6; Quantity: 0/1
You only need to eat one cube per turn, any color but your own. However, since you need light, you float slightly "higher" than other amoebas in your space. Thus, you provide some shade for all other players' amoebas (but not your own): for every one of your amoebas in the same space as another player's amoebas during the gene defects phase (Phase 2), that player gets to add +1 to the ozone layer that turn. Your amoebas are still within range of being eaten, however.
Highly Mutable
[Included in Freshly Spiced as Highly Adaptable, except it doesn't say that you can only get an Advanced Gene with this power by turning in another Advanced Gene]
Sexual Reproduction
BP: 6 Mutation #: 6 Quantity: 0/1
Your amoebas may reproduce sexually (or asexually, if you prefer). If one of your odd-numbered amoebas (male) is in an space adjacent to one of your even-numbered amoebas (female), you may produce a new amoeba in a space next to the female for only 3 BP, otherwise following the normal reproduction rules. An amoeba may be involved in sexual or asexual reproduction in a given turn, but not both in the same turn.
Efficient Absorbtion
BP: 5 Mutation #: 5 Quantity: 1/1
You get 11 BP per turn instead of 10.

And Brian Bankler writes:

I haven't yet playtested any of my new genes, but ideas are:

You can eat 4 blocks of your own color to count as a block of another color. [Should maybe be 3 blocks]. (Probably somewhat steep cost.)
Nematocysts (Stinging Cells, however you call it).
Whenever another amoeba actively moves (as opposed to drifts) into your square, they lose a BP. Amoebas also lose a BP when they attack you [Struggle for Survival or Agression.] Amoebas whose owners have no BP suffer no penalties. (I'm not sure how expensive this should be, since it doesn't actually do anything for you other than tend to keep others away...in actuality, I consider this to be a way to stop the utility of Movement 2, etc...much like holding. I also considered making Nematocysts block holding, but it's already fairly limited). (Probably cost 5 BP, Mutation 3 or 4)
Two variations on a theme:
You may eat two meals in a turn. The second meal is set somewhere (on the amoeba). If you should starve, you may simply eat the second meal. You may only eat an extra meal if you don't already have an extra. The cubes for the second meal are not part of the board (perhaps a token on the amoeba to mark spare meal?)

From Stephen Tavener, who adds:

Feel free to add mine to your web site - but I reserve the right to tinker with the costs and stuff after playtesting. Players should probably be allowed to have only one "Disadvantage" each.

Disadvantage: Glutton
[Included in Freshly Spiced]
Disadvantage: Tasty
Amoebas with Struggle For Survival or Aggression will attack you where possible, even if there is sufficient food in your square.
Cost 3 MP: -2
Disadvantage: Erratic
Your amoeba moves randomly each turn (roll 1 die, on a 6 follow the current on the environment card).
Cost 3 MP: -2
In phase 1, you may add 3 counters to an amoeba - each turn, remove one of these counters. Your amoeba does not move or eat until the last counter is gone.
Cost 5 MP: 6
Your amoebas can use any of the mutations of other amoebas in their square. [Steffan adds: perhaps that should be changed to any one - it sounds too powerful to me as is.]
Cost 6 MP: 6
Genetic Drift
You may swap this mutation card with a random mutation from another amoeba in the same space.
Cost 5 MP: 3
Go out with a bang
[Included in Freshly Spiced]
Healing I (Regeneration)
[Included in Freshly Spiced]

Advanced Gene

Healing II (Vampire)
[Included in Freshly Spiced]

And Steve Jackson writes:

Feel free to post these and invite others to develop them.

Hah! My best idea was FAT, and Brian has written EXACTLY what I was thinking, even to the name. I think that would be a good one, and would combine very nicely with other efficient-eating genes.

Any time two of your amoebas are adjacent, they can merge into a single one. The new one has no damage, regardless of its earlier state, and need not eat on its next turn.
For an enemy amoeba to attack you, it must pay double.
No enemy amoeba may enter your square if it has an option. If it has no choice (it is drifting and has no Biological Points to let it try to move) it takes damage. This one should be expensive! (What about creating new amoebas directly on your square - allowed or not?) [sos adds: possibly an Advanced gene of Ink Cloud?]
Some way to eat extra food, or other amoebae, and turn it into Biological Points!
A gene could reduce the cost of all other gene cards bought . . . [Included in Freshly Spiced as Flexible]

And from Trevor Dewey:

Here's a couple of not really playtested genes, feel free to post them or round file them as you wish:

[Included in Freshly Spiced as Cleanliness]
Cost: 5; Mutation#: 4; Quantity: 1/1
Your amoebas may spend 1 BP to Hop from space to space instead of moving normally. To Hop move the amoeba from the square it is in over a square containing the amoeba of another color and into a square that does not already contain one of your amoebas. If these conditions can not be meet the amoeba may not hop.
Cost: 4; Mutation#: 3; Quantity: 1/1
Your amoebas may incur one damage point to regurgitate two blocks of the same or different color. Place the blocks onto the space the amoeba is in.
[Included in Freshly Spiced as Go Out with a Bang]
Cost: 5; Mutation#: 4; Quantity: 0/1
Your amoebas are far too Irritable for the normally social amoebas. All other amobas in the same space as one of your amoebas must attempt to move away on their movement turns. Amoebas may still move into spaces with Irritable amoebas.
Cost: 6; Mutation#: 5; Quantity: 0/1
Your amoeba may, instead of feeding, act as a catalyst. Replace any three cubes with one cube of any other color. The amoeba still Starves and takes a damage point.
[Included in Freshly Spiced]

Advanced Genes

Intelligence II
[Included in Freshly Spiced]
AtomBomb (Bomb II)
Cost: 5 + Bomb; Mutation#: 6; Quantity: 0/1
When your amoebas dia, via natural or violent death, they explode. All other amoebas in the same space (including their own) take two points of damage. Amoebas with AtomBomb leave no cubes when they die.
Suction II
[Included in Freshly Spiced]

From Ronald Olszewski:

Cost:4BP MP:3
Your amoebas may choose to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Remove the amoeba and replace it with one foodstuff of each color.
Short Life Span
[Included in Freshly Spiced, but perhaps disemboweled, so I'm leaving the original]
Cost:5BP MP:6
Your amoebas can reproduce at the cost of only 3 BP. However, it only takes 1 point of damage to kill your amoebas now. May not be used with Genius (below).
Highly Adaptable
[Included in Freshly Spiced as Flexible]
Cost:5BP MP:4
You may give one of your gene cards to another player besides yourself at any time except during phase three (Gene Selection). Gain twice the cost of that gene in BPs.
Cost:4BP MP:4
If you have two or more of your amoebas in a space, you may transfer one DP from one amoeba to another. You may only transfer 1 DP per amoeba either given or received; if any particular amoeba has already shared a DP with another amoeba it may not do so again this turn. I feel your pain.
Desperate Measures
Cost:2BP MP:3
You may only buy this gene if you are in last place. You may steal a gene from any player who is more than 5 spaces ahead of you on the scoring track. You must pay twice the cost of the gene to do so. If after the scoring phase you are not in last place you must give this gene up immediately.
Energy Conservation
[Included in Freshly Spiced]

Mike Mayer writes:

[I have some corrections from Mike I will put up when I can - check back.]

I have some variants/genes for Ursuppe to add to its evolutionary/animal behavior bent. I've played the game a grand total of one time so far, so take my suggestions with a few grains of salt. But I was so inspired, I couldn't wait through the tedious act of actually playtesting these ideas.

Avoidance Response:
[Included in Freshly Spiced as Rebound]
You may move toward largest total cache of cubes adjacent to you.
You smell odors carried by the drift. You may move against the drift to find food.
You're phycial prowess impresses the pants of the other amoebs. Those with agression will not come into your space to eat you if there's another amoeb somewhere else nearby.
Threat Display:
[Included in Freshly Spiced as Thread Display - oops!]
Behavior parasite:
controls behavior of nearby amoeb. Convinces it to come into your space (to be eaten if you have the right gene).
Brood Parasite (as in cow-birds):
Pick a color at the beginning of the round. That color amoeb can do nothing to harm your color.
Trophalaxis (feeding):
your amoebs may feed a cube to an amoeb in an adjacent square.
May eat own cubes. But roll a die each time; if you roll a 1, then that amoeb is infected with a prion and you catch a version of mad-cow diseases. That amoeb may not use any genes you possess. If that amoeb is eaten, roll a die; one a one, the amoeb who ate it has the prion now.

From J.D. Forinash:

These are my new gene ideas, and you may feel free to post them. I'm unsure of the price and MP details of them. Also, I don't guarantee any of them are at all useful. :)

"attaches" to another gene, reducing its mutation level by 1, but requires that the amoeba eat two differing food blocks (and excrete one of its own color) whenever that gene is used.
Tentacle II (or perhaps Holding II):
When you move, you may bring another amoeba with you.
Your amoebas drift in a different direction; when the center card is turned up, roll a die; your amoebas move that direction instead. On a 6, you travel with the rest of the amoebas, on a 5 you stay put.
Your amoebas die after taking only one DP, but the gene is worth -2(?) mutation points.
For 5 BP, you may completely remove this gene and any gene belonging to an amoeba that shares a space with one of your own completely from the game, and nobody may buy either gene card for the rest of the game. (Just in case somebody _does_ come up with an unbeatable gene combination.)
During the reproduction phase, you may instead choose to buy a single amoeba of another player's in the same space as one of your own. Pay 2BP to the bank and 2BP to the player whose amoeba was assimilated. Swap that amoeba for one of your own; if it was damaged before you assimilated it, it's still damaged.
Assimilation II: [sos asks: is this an advanced gene?]
Set one of your color food on the amoeba you assimilated, instead of removing it from the board. You may still have only seven amoeba; this one counts against (and for-- both of you score for it in the scoring phase!) both of you. You own this amoeba, it drifts and eats after your amoeba with the same number would-- but in all other respects, it acts like an amoeba belonging to the player you assimilated it from, using his genes instead of yours, eating like one of his instead of one of yours.
Your amoebas are an eyesore, and no amoeba may "hold" onto you or willingly move into a space your amoeba is in without paying 1BP.
Your amoebas attract adjacent amoebas. When an amoeba drifts, add the "vectors" of all the magnetic amoebas in adjacent squares to the drift and move there. Examples: If there's a magnetic amoeba to the south and the current is west, a non-magnetic amoeba moves one space south and one space west. If there's two magnetic amoebas to the east, one to the south, and the current is west, move two spaces east, one space south, and one space west. Magnetic amoebas repel other magnetic amoebas in a similar fashion.
Waste repelling:
When you excrete, you do so in an adjacent space determined by rolling the die; never in your own space.
Alternative diets:
Your amoebas may choose to eat as if they were a different color and excrete that color. However, no two of your amoebas may eat as the same opposing player's amoebas do in the same turn.

From Wolfgang Ditt:

Price: 3 BP
Mutation Points: 3
Quantity: 0/1
Your amoebas only excrete one block of your own color when they eat.
Price: 5 BP
Mutation Points: 5
Quantity: 0/1
Whenever one of your amoebas takes 1 point of damage all amoebas in the same square also take one point of damage. (It's all or none, you can't pick and choose. But it's not recursive - if you damage another one of your amoebas in this manner, it doesn't cause the same effect!)

From Cris Smith:

More than a Mouthful
[Included in Freshly Spiced, but credited to Andy Daglish. Hmmm.]
cost 4 mutation 5
When moving into a square you may bump an amoeba in that square one space in the same direction. Does not work if you drifted (it must be a move), does not effect amoebas with holding and of course there must be somewhere to go. Amoebas with tentacle can still take food.
Note: in addition to the ones here marked "included in Freshly Spiced", the expansion set also includes five more genes: Doris & Frank Gene, Social Gene, Fast Food, Population Explosion, and Camouflage II. Presumably these are Frank's, proving that he's still the Gene King!
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