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We played with Agricola: The Goodies for the first time last night, and while it was very silly, it didn't have the negative impact on gameplay that I'd feared. However, the Occupation cards from the L-deck created all sorts of rules questions for us that we weren't quite equipped to answer. But that's where this site comes in!

The text of the "Franz" occupation reads:

At any time, you can give this card to a player who has spent too long thinking about their turn, and place one of your family members instead. (This player misses a turn, but can use the Franz card later.) If you played Franz during the game and passed him to another player, you can say "I am not Franz!" and receive 1 Bonus point.

What happened in our first-ever-time-playing-the-Goodies Agricola game last night was this. I (to my shame!) was taking way too long over my turn. One of the other players called me on it and passed me Franz from his hand. I was the last player, and he didn't have a family member to place instead. To make matters even more crazy, the Simplifier was in play: "Occupations with more than 4 lines of text have no effect for the remainder of the game."

I queried multiple things about this play. One, can you pass me Franz directly from your hand? Don't you have to actually play an Occupation before you use it? Two, even if Franz breaks the rules and can be played from hand, can he played with the Simplifier effect in play? Three, can you play Franz if you don't have a family member to place instead? (The Franz-playing player argued that the card wouldn't do anything anyway because of the Simplifier being in play, but that he was still entitled to pass it to me.)

Four, what on earth does the last line on the card mean? I keep reading and re-reading it and can't parse its meaning. Does it imply that if you actually spent an action playing the Franz occupation (as opposed to just passing it on after getting it from someone else), you get 1 Bonus point every time you Franz someone? That's the interpretation I'm leaning towards having thought about it for a while, but it seemed very ambiguous last night.

Can someone spell out how Franz works, in a way that will clear up all of the above confusion?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The last sentence on the German card is a bit clearer:

Wenn du Franz ausgespielt hast und bei Spielende nicht mehr hast, kannst du "Ich bin nicht Franz!" sagen und erhaelst 1 Sonderpunkt.

That is: "If you played Franz and don't have it any more at the game's end...".

Which says that you only receive the bonus point at the end of the game. The condition here is slightly different from the one on the English card. If you play the card, pass it, get it back, and play it again, you do not receive the bonus point. The German card is not clear about what happens if you play it, pass it, get it back, and keep it in your hand.

As for your other questions: I think you're right. The card has to be played first before it has any effect, just like any other occupation. In combination with the Simplifier, Franz has no effect: it cannot be passed to another player, and gives no bonus point.

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Excellent work on getting (and translating) the German text. I often think Agricola would be a lot less confusing in its original language! –  thesunneversets Jul 1 '11 at 16:31
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