I assume that rifts you give away do not explode since "giving" is not the same as "taking". If it were the same, playing Philanthropist would be even more powerful than it is already. Exchanging hands is somewhat a special case, therefor I am interested in a ruling on Trader the most.
That's certainly a possible interpretation, but of course the receiving player is still "taking" the given cards, and it might make just as much sense to rule a thematic reason for rifts' effects: they're inherently unstable, so their collapse is triggered by the move from one hand to another, rather than specifically as a result of the intent behind their transfer.
In that case, I'd imagine that the effect on gameplay would be to make players far more wary about accepting reward-backed cards in a negotiation, or indeed allowing the cards to be chosen by the "giving" player at all - we already often have negotiations in which a player will specifically ask for cards to be offered at random from the other player's hand (rather than by the "giving" player's choice), so this wouldn't change a great deal in that respect.
Plus there's of course a point about whether it might over-complicate rulings to define a distinction between "being given" and "taking", given the number of ways in which cards can change hands in the game?
As for the Philanthropist, yes, it would become more powerful if ruled this way - but this would be entirely dependent on the player having rifts in their hand (just as the Loser is far more powerful with a hand of Negotiates, etc.), which just gives the other players more to consider when inviting that player as a defensive ally (which is already the case for plenty of other races anyway!)
In any case, I do think the broader question is more about the rifts themselves in any situation, rather than specifically for the Trader, as the word "take" could be interpreted in several different ways in different situations for quite a few existing racial powers and game effects.
Personally, I think I prefer the idea of clarifying/redefining rifts as detonating whenever changing hands, as I think this avoids a lot of potential confusion as to what counts as "taking" as opposed to "receiving" - and of course it's always fun to offer players as many interesting ways to backstab or sabotage each other as possible!
Edited by rjb, 19 December 2013 - 04:41 AM.