Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
57 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

Battlestar Galactica: Exodus Expansion» Forums » Variants

Subject: Our last, best hope for a Babylon 5 theme :) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
David Turczi
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
This started as a misunderstanding in the V21 pre game chat.
Then it took a life of its own.

Babylon 5 Theme-d Game, based on BSG

Why Star Wars and Star Trek (and other similiar) rethemes of BSG usually fail? Because those shows are not about politics and treachery and betrayal. BSG is. And while B5 is not a "simple us versus them" show it's underlying themes are similiar, up to and including the secret agents of darkness and the politics and the betrayal. So with that said here is what I propose:

- Locations, actions, movements, skill cards, etc can stay.
- Skill Decks need to be redefined though let's say: Diplomacy, Leadership, Tactics, Combat, Treachery and Spiritualism. (I don't really feel engineering popping up...)
- Locations can be places on B5 (docks, zocalo, downbelow, cnc, security, weapons control, council room, etc), with additional locations available for each race (Earth, Centauri Prime, Minbar, Narn) and a few extra locations (Eridani III, ZHaDum, Mars, etc) where you can travel (as you did to other ships in BSG)
- Instead of character types (military, pilot, etc) use the races as categories: Human, Minbari, Centauri and Narn.
- Instead of Loyalties use hidden agendas and the concept of Light versus Dark. I'll elaborate on this later.
- Keep the dogfights, as B5 was probably the first space opera to beliavably present one manned fighters. Obviously not as Vipers vs Raiders - each race can have his own fighter, while the attackers can be shadow vessels, pirates, drakh, etc. These ships may or may not have different abilities and attacks, I'm undecided yet.
- The most troubling aspect is the jump icons and the victory condition. The Dark's goal is obviously to plunge the galaxy into chaos and/or destroy Babylon 5. What are the Light's goals?

Okay, onto the Agendas and the Light vs Dark

First, I'd introduce a new concept called influence which can be as simple as a counter for each race, or as complex (I'd prefer this) as a sphere of influence on a mini galaxy map, with interesting sectors (league worlds, resources, trade routes, possibly even fleets) represented, and the larger your influence is, the more stuff you can use.

At the start of the game every player draws an Agenda. These are personal goals like:
- Make your race's influence X
- Get control of interesting sector Y
- Kill Z amount of pirate attackers (space fight)
- Estabilish trade routes between ...

But ONE of the players will draw a "You are an agent of the Shadows" card, which means that he wins if the galaxy plunges into chaos (crises will place bad stuff on the galaxy map, trade routes will break down, each increasing the shadow meter)

At "halftime" (=sleeper phase) each player will draw another card
- one of them will be another agent of the Shadows
- one or two of them will be a "Inner Weakness" card, which is a smaller yet always destructive (i.e. Shadow-sided) goal you have to achieve otherwise you can't work on your primary agenda
- rest will be "stay on the side of light" card, which will do nothing

A shadow agent can publicly reveal, after which he will have less influence over crises, but can create threats (on the galaxy map and the shadow ship attacks) in much more direct ways (and he gets super crises too, like the Drakh Plague, or the Bombing of Centauri Prime, etc)

Non-shadow agents win if Light prevails (this I need ideas on) AND they achieve their Agenda AND they don't have a Weakness or they dealt with it...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Vollick
Canada
St. Thomas
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Good luck David.

I can see how Babylon 5 could be adapted for Dune or Game of Thrones, but it seems like a tough fit for BSG. That being said I hope you succeed (as you may have guessed from my avatar).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Bussema
United States
Lansing
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, light might need to endure 4 years and maybe each crisis takes 2-4 months (or better phrased as "dealing with a crisis gives you 2-4 months of relatively little happening") ... if the Dark can't defeat the Light in 4 years' time, then the galaxy as a whole becomes awake to the real problem and all band together to actually defeat Dark.

Unlike BSG's FTL cycles, it wouldn't make sense to wipe the board at the start of a new year, but maybe there is a New Year's celebration that comes with extra skill cards and/or assassinating the president and/or a new station commander.

Crisis Idea:
Meeting with the Technomages
Current Player Chooses:
Try to gain an endorsement - Skill check 10 {Dip}{Lead}{Spir}
Pass: [gain influence]
Fail: [draw treachery & lose influence]
OR
Ignore them:
[lose less influence] {or random discards? the whimsy of the technomages}


Super Crisis:
Rogue Telepaths (aka Season 5)
Station Commander chooses:
Negotiate with them -- gain some OPG benefit (destroy a shadow vessel?) and lose all Psi-corp related influence.
Kill them -- The strongest telepath is executed [if no Light players are telepaths, the station commander is executed instead].


This might be easier with resources to gain and lose... I just don't know exactly what to replace fuel with.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Reil
United States
Barre
Vermont
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Vollick1979 wrote:
Good luck David.

I can see how Babylon 5 could be adapted for Dune or Game of Thrones, but it seems like a tough fit for BSG. That being said I hope you succeed (as you may have guessed from my avatar).


Agreed, though I can see the core BSG engine being used as the skeleton of something that could work for B5, but a big part of the problem is that the show really isn’t about "us vs. them".

For instance (and spoiler tagged, just in case)
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The Vorlons were not the good guys any more than the Shadows were the bad guys, so I don’t think a “team” based approach with two sides really captures the setting.

“Crises” with events based on the show, for instance could still be a driving force – but rather than a simple pass / fail where one side wants it to pass and another wants it to fail a better set-up for B5 would be to have multiple possible outcomes where one player may want a particular outcome, another player wants another outcome and another may not care (leaving it possible for the others to try to influence support for their own side).

Rather than “Loyalty” cards which say which team you are on, some sort of “Agenda” giving you either an overall goal, or a bonus goal would be appropriate.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Turczi
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Fuel? Quantium 40

But I don't think we should have 4 "common" resources, rather each race can have a supply of weapons, quantium 40, food, population and morale. Plus the size of their influence.

The more you conquer the happier you get, but you raise the "chaos" which IS a global anti-resource, etc. You can build jumpagates with q40 which you can use to deploy more weapons or estabilish trade routes. trade routes gives the buyer resource (weapon, food, q40), and the seller seller influence or some other resource.

I love the time analogy, let's aim to have 30-40 crises in a game, so if we make it 5 years (...) that's 7 crises a year, with a big "event" at the end of each year.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Turczi
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
RedShark92 wrote:
Rather than “Loyalty” cards which say which team you are on, some sort of “Agenda” giving you either an overall goal, or a bonus goal would be appropriate.


Have you read my ideas on the Light (with Agendas) vs Dark?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Bussema
United States
Lansing
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Maybe revealed dark players can only play their super crisis at the end of the year. Maybe there is in effect a super crisis at the end of each year already but a revealed dark player gains a Caprica-like ability to see 2 / pick 1.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Stewart
United Kingdom
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The story of B5 is all about the dawning of the Third Age of Mankind - the passing of the First Ones and the birth of the Interstellar Alliance - the end of the Shadow War is reached by understanding what's behind it, and assembling a broad alliance to act on that knowledge.

For making progress toward that goal, rather than Jump to different locations, you need to encounter potential allies, or to reveal fragments of history and prophecy that point to the truth...

I agree with Vollick that BSG seems a bit of a stretch for a B5 game - yes, B5 has the political intrigue, and dubious allegiances, but it's missing the journey and the sense of isolation. For half the show's run, B5 is an Earth Alliance station, with, in principle, access to all of humanity's resources at a pinch. By the time B5 declares independence, it already has support and allies - the Minbari, the Great Machine, the League of Non-Aligned Worlds... Even the Narn and the Centauri contribute to the station's defence. In BSG, the human fleet actually is all alone in the night; B5 is always part of a wider community. BSG is about escaping genocide; B5 is about creating a better future...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Turczi
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
rmsgrey wrote:
In BSG, the human fleet actually is all alone in the night; B5 is always part of a wider community. BSG is about escaping genocide; B5 is about creating a better future...


Hence the introduction of the "galaxy map" concept. B5 is not alone, it's in the focal point of everything. This is what matters, but there are stuff elsewhere too.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mooseared Ferenczy
United States
Athens
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmb
I will fully admit up front I have only seen the pilot of Babylon 5, so I know next to jack all of the plot or content of the show. As of your opening post though, it sounds like what you want is less of a reskin and more of a new game inspired by BSG. Not bad and I'm liking what I see so far.
I have some mechanic ideas I'm trying to work through with the info given, but I am of limited help. I'll let you know if an idea ever comes to fruition.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Turczi
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
j0frenzy wrote:
I will fully admit up front I have only seen the pilot of Babylon 5, so I know next to jack all of the plot or content of the show. As of your opening post though, it sounds like what you want is less of a reskin and more of a new game inspired by BSG. Not bad and I'm liking what I see so far.
I have some mechanic ideas I'm trying to work through with the info given, but I am of limited help. I'll let you know if an idea ever comes to fruition.


You are correct, I do think an inspiration is better than a redress

As for the other subject, GO WATCH B5 RIGHT NOW IT'S THE BEST SHOW EVER.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Reil
United States
Barre
Vermont
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Battlestar Galactica: Exodus Expansion » Forums » Variants
Re: Our last, best hope for a Babylon 5 theme :)
TDaver wrote:
RedShark92 wrote:
Rather than “Loyalty” cards which say which team you are on, some sort of “Agenda” giving you either an overall goal, or a bonus goal would be appropriate.


Have you read my ideas on the Light (with Agendas) vs Dark?


Yes, I'm just not sure I'd differentiate between "Light" and "Dark" players at all (or make the "dark" players equivalent to the Cylons in BSG) because that emphasizes the Shadow/Vorlon dichotomy and that's really not what the show was about (nobody really "won" until they got past that dichotomy and that should be the overall goal).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Turczi
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
RedShark92 wrote:
TDaver wrote:
RedShark92 wrote:
Rather than “Loyalty” cards which say which team you are on, some sort of “Agenda” giving you either an overall goal, or a bonus goal would be appropriate.


Have you read my ideas on the Light (with Agendas) vs Dark?


Yes, I'm just not sure I'd differentiate between "Light" and "Dark" players at all (or make the "dark" players equivalent to the Cylons in BSG) because that emphasizes the Shadow/Vorlon dichotomy and that's really not what the show was about (nobody really "won" until they got past that dichotomy and that should be the overall goal).


The dichtomy was between Chaos and Order. They chose Free Will. They still called themselves "Army of Light".

I think we can leave the vorlons out of this for game purposes. Army of Light wants peace and prosperity, Shadow Agents want chaos and war.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Bussema
United States
Lansing
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I think Vorlons would make good crisis bait. It's *ALWAYS* a crisis when the Vorlons show up.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Turczi
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
InfoCynic wrote:
I think Vorlons would make good crisis bait. It's *ALWAYS* a crisis when the Vorlons show up.


Of course they can be used in crises. I meant they're not on anyone's side ingame.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Vollick
Canada
St. Thomas
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
If you were going for a new game based around B5 I'd seriously take a look at elements from Dune and A Game of Thrones before BSG.

If we're playing species and not characters BSG isn't a great for fit.

If we're concerns do with influence on a galactic scale BSG isn't a great fit.

When I think of Babylon 5 I think grand strategic scale and when I think BSG it's nothing more than survive today to fight tomorrow.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade but with the number of changes you would need to make I'm not sure you have would recognize any elements from BSG in the final product.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steye
Netherlands
Nijmegen
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
You should take a look at the B5 CCG. There are a lot of concepts you could use or adapt to fit the BSG game mechanics.

Characters have: leadership, diplomacy, intrigue, tactics and fleets(?).

Loyalty cards could be: Shadow, Vorlon or Babylon 5.

The Shadows bring war and chaos, the strongest survive and thus create evolution. The Vorlons believe in evolution through structure and order. B5 believes in peace, younger races rising to their own rightfull place in the galaxy without being led by Shadows OR Vorlons.

Goals: just like the card game each player wins by expanding the influence of his race to a certain point. This is competitive. However: you need the other players to form alliances, make diplomatic deals etc. So in this way the game is cooperative.

Ok, a lot of stuff to think about. My mind is racing! Curious to see what you come up with!!!

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Turczi
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Vollick1979 wrote:
I'm not trying to rain on your parade but with the number of changes you would need to make I'm not sure you have would recognize any elements from BSG in the final product.


I agree, it needs heavy changes. And I do look on Game of Thrones too. (great game!)

I'd keep the crises and the skill cards and the turn mechanics...

If it bothers anyone I can move this thread out from the BSG forum whistle
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Turczi
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Steye wrote:
Ok, a lot of stuff to think about. My mind is racing! Curious to see what you come up with!!!


Do tell what your mind is racing around! (regarding your ideas I don't think vorlons should be a loyalty... as for the other two, I've already covered it in my first post)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Reil
United States
Barre
Vermont
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
TDaver wrote:
The dichtomy was between Chaos and Order. They chose Free Will. They still called themselves "Army of Light".


I think we can leave the vorlons out of this for game purposes. Army of Light wants peace and prosperity, Shadow Agents want chaos and war.[/q]

There was that dichotomy yes, but even that wasn't as simple as the "us vs. them" you're implying by having "loyalty" cards and "Light" and "Dark" teams.

Best of luck to you, of course, but I think I'm with Matt on this and my ideas about how this might work and the best way to capture the feel are probably too different from yours for me to give you useful feedback so I'll bow out of the conversation now (though I may still watch).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Turczi
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Vollick1979 wrote:
If we're playing species and not characters BSG isn't a great for fit.


Oh and we DO play with characters. It's just that characters aren't classified by their job (since most would be "Ambassador" or "Military Leader") but their alliegance. So in a game there will be human, narn, centauri and minbari characters (each with advantage, OPG, disadvantage) 1-2 from each. And some of them will turn shadow agent.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Turczi
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Where are the crazy people from the earlier discussion (InfoCynic, Valen200, LL6869...)? It was their idea, I just wrote down what I'd add...

Come on people, back me up here! I'm getting shredded!arrrh
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ENEMY OF THE STATE

Galt's Gultch
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
How about a game that is both co-operative and competitive? Players each could represent one of the different factions present at B5: Earth, Centauri, Narn, Minbari. The factions are competing for influence at B5 even whilst co-operating to fight off the shadows. To gain advantage, you might be able to make limited clandestine deals with the Vorlon or the shadows, but do this too much and your faction may become committed to one side or the other, causing you to lose certain abilities or (for the shadows) switch sides and work secretly or openly for a shadow victory.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Turczi
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
The Grinch wrote:
How about a game that is both co-operative and competitive? Players each could represent one of the different factions present at B5: Earth, Centari, Narn, Minbari. The factions are competing for influence at B5 even whilst co-operating to fight off the shadows. To gain advantage, you might be able to make limited clandestine deals with the Vorlon or the shadows, but do this too much and your faction may become committed to one side or the other, causing you to lose certain abilities or (for the shadows) switch sides and work secretly or openly for a shadow victory.
That's what I said
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Reil
United States
Barre
Vermont
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
OK, one more! Rather than having set Loyalties (as in BSG) I'd picture dealing with Shadow and Vorlon influence more like something you could use to gain different advantages, but both would have potential drawbacks associated with them and when and how to use that influence and whether or not it's worth the drawbacks are decisions every player would make across the entire game and could also have ramifications across the entire game.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Look at Londo's arc, for instance. He gets involved with the Shadows early, decides to break away only to learn they now have a foothold with his government. That starts to become a much more serious problem for him when the Vorlon fleet comes calling. Simulating that type of arc across the entire game would be much more true to B5 than just saying the Centauri player is allied with "Dark" or "Chaos", period.


So… In very loose or vague terms: Picture an agenda causing a player to want to gain political power or maybe expanding your race’s military strength (or both, as in the spoil tagged example). Throughout the game Crises or Events allow players to gain power in these areas – maybe one player does so by using the Shadows in some way – it gives him an advantage in those areas, but also causes him to be influenced by the Shadows. And then a Vorlon related crisis shows up that causes serious damage to the player with the most Shadow influence.

So… in this way you’re showing the influence of the Shadows and Vorlons – allowing the players to use them for gains, but with possible ramifications and with loyalty and agendas being more ‘grey’ as they (mostly) were in the show at the beginning and less black and white. Basically: Don’t tell players they represent “Light” or “Dark” – give them the option to choose their path in the game and let them deal with the ramifications of that.

Anyway – went on longer than I planned to. I might need to start working on something like this myself now.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.