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Firefly: The Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Ship Pack #2 - CanTankerous, ver. 2.0 rss

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George Krubski
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Could actually be that we're at 3.0 or 4.0 by now. Anyway, with ACEES & EIGHTS and WHITE LIGHTNING officially squared away, it's time to turn to SHIP PACK #2 -CanTankerous.

Folks who are familiar with the ship/crew (either from my previous work or from the Serenity RPG) will know that it's a big ship with a lot of space, possibly a little slow, possibly a bit of a clunker. I'll post the current version later, but it's sort of built on a similar frame to the Walden (the trick is in not making it utterly outshine the Walden, which can be a feat).

As with WHITE LIGHTNING, the CanTankerous will come with a new ship, 12 cards (including a new Crew) and a story card (Reap the Whirlwind).

Since I always love to work on crew, let's start there. The captain, Ming-Mei is a Browncoat like Mal, but the implication, I believe, is that she's still actively involved with Browncoating and anti-Alliance activities.

The crew is interesting because everyone has two jobs. We've got a pilot/hacker, mechanic/sniper, Companion/medic, and gambler/gunslinger. Some translate better than others.



First up, the captain. As a Browncoat, Soldier, Moral, and a helping of Fight are obvious. I went with a jack of all trades model (Fight/Tech/Talk) to distinguish her a bit from Mal and Monty, although her TRANSPORT keyword also does that. Here, I wanted to give her a nice hook.

For her ability, I wanted to key off of the BIG DAMN HEROES promo card ability, but also have some anti-Alliance flavor. I'm pretty happy with where she netted out, and I think she's ready to grab a few Crew and Misbehave.



Fulton is the aforementioned Pilot/Hacker. The keywords suggest themselves, and he's clearly not a bad guy, so... Moral. He's a former Alliance Electronics Warfare Officer. I've played with a few different abilities for him, but thought something related to Alliance Alert tokens seemed reasonable.

In retrospect, I may change it to "add or remove."

Like most Pilots, Fulton can be found at The Space Bazaar.



Hawkshadow is the Mechanic/sniper. I think he plays pretty well. After a few different angles, I think he's pretty much back where he started.

Storywise, he was not a Browncoat, but was a local who "took potshots" at the Alliance, basically a local Browncoat sympathizer. He's sort of backwoods, so I toyed with adding Mudder or Hill Folk, but they're both off for now.

Hawkshadow resides at Regina.



Reina is a Companion who went to medical school, making for a pretty powerful combination. Like all Companions, she has 3 skills and an extra keyword. She's also Moral. I think her ability works okay. Not as powerful as some, but the Companion + Medic combo means she doesn't need to be too tough in the special ability department.

Found on Osiris.



Finally, we have DeSalvo, gunslinger and gambler, sort of the Jayne of the group. Unlike Jayne, though he's not a full combatant, since he's balancing two different sides.

I'm not 100% sure about his special ability, and that might impact some of his other stats, too. One version had him with 2 Fight, Grifter, Merc, Fancy Duds, and +1 Talk when Carrying a Firearm, making him basically a fancy Enforcer.

Need to think about what works best for him. Location-wise, he may be at Meridian.


With 5 Crew (3 of them Wanted) and at least Drive Core for the ship, that doesn't leave too much for the 12 cards for the ship pack. A previous version included DeSalvo's Pistols, Fulton's E.W.O. kit, and card that let you leverage Browncoat assistance. I have to look at how the Crew is balanced as a whole (currently 3 Fight, 6 Tech, 3 Talk, with a nice range of keywords), to see what they might need to round them out.
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Dave Rowley
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gwek wrote:
With 5 Crew (3 of them Wanted) and at least Drive Core for the ship, that doesn't leave too much for the 12 cards for the ship pack.


I presume there will be 3 Bounty cards, 1 for each mb Crew? Yes, that doesn't leave much room left...

gwek wrote:
A previous version included DeSalvo's Pistols, Fulton's E.W.O. kit, and card that let you leverage Browncoat assistance.


Those 3 cards would round it off nicely.

gwek wrote:
I have to look at how the Crew is balanced as a whole (currently 3 Fight, 6 Tech, 3 Talk, with a nice range of keywords), to see what they might need to round them out.


Looking a good addition to anyones Firefly 'Verse. Good Job, as always.
 
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Brian Debler
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Overall, it's a good opening run at these characters. Fulton seems situational at best for me, as I have far better things to do with actions that handle a single token. Ming-Mei is solid in my eyes. I wouldn't see myself going with any of the others in a crew though, as they really don't bring much in the lines of unique abilities. I do like your dual-duty concept overall though.
 
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George Krubski
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UpStarter wrote:
gwek wrote:
With 5 Crew (3 of them Wanted) and at least Drive Core for the ship, that doesn't leave too much for the 12 cards for the ship pack.


I presume there will be 3 Bounty cards, 1 for each mb Crew? Yes, that doesn't leave much room left...

gwek wrote:
A previous version included DeSalvo's Pistols, Fulton's E.W.O. kit, and card that let you leverage Browncoat assistance.


Those 3 cards would round it off nicely.

gwek wrote:
I have to look at how the Crew is balanced as a whole (currently 3 Fight, 6 Tech, 3 Talk, with a nice range of keywords), to see what they might need to round them out.


Looking a good addition to anyones Firefly 'Verse. Good Job, as always.


Thanks, Dave. Yes, 3 bounties for the 3 Wanted Crew, so 5 Crew + 3 Bounties + 1 Drive Core = 3 remaining slots.

Some additional thoughts on the next post.
 
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George Krubski
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Martyr of the Cause wrote:
Overall, it's a good opening run at these characters. Fulton seems situational at best for me, as I have far better things to do with actions that handle a single token. Ming-Mei is solid in my eyes. I wouldn't see myself going with any of the others in a crew though, as they really don't bring much in the lines of unique abilities. I do like your dual-duty concept overall though.


I agree that Fulton is highly situational - although I must admit that there have been a few times when I would have happily cleared one Alert token to speed myself along later.

Although the crew don't innovate much, I think their unique hook, in a sense, is the dual nature of most of them.

This is something that's come up in earlier discussions about these guys and other Crews, but what can you do to make different Crews stand out in feel?

In the existing game, there are a few Crews, although I don't think many of them are meant to be standalone...

MAL'S CREW is the gold standard, consisting of savants. It's no accident that, with a few exceptions, these are folks who specialize in one skill then heap bonuses in that area. They're designed - even if you limit them to 6 - just dominate and excel.

SASH'S CREW - Sash, Jesse, Billy, add Scrappers/Enforcers to flavor, are a solid group. They stand out for their lack of morality, Tech-savvy, and Salvage Ops abilities, all appropriate for what we see in their single appearance.

NANDI'S GIRLS are Talk-heavy... among other things. Appropriately, they really can't stand on their own as a group: they need folks to come and help them with firearms!

WOMACK'S UNIT is small but Fight-heavy. You would need to expand the Crew to really play the game right, but one can envision that if you equipped them properly, the would be a small unit of heavy Fight, decent Talk (intimidation, mostly) that would be capable of Legal work and Showdowns.

Then you've got Hill Folk, Mudders, and a few other groups. But I think where I'm going with this should be clear.

If we look at the crew of Serenity as the gold standard, where does that leave other Crews? The crew of the Aces & Eights is good and Misbehaving, often by getting past things. They have a high ratio of Aces. The crew of the White Lightning are smugglers. They're not going to be as tough as Serenity or even Aces & Eights, but since Smuggling requires fewer Misbehaves, that's okay.

To me, part of the unique proposition of the CanTankerous is their dual nature,. In addition to their primary role, most of the characters offer a second bonus that - unlike Kaylee or Simon - is not an "add on." Ming-Mei is a broad-skilled Soldier and ALSO brings Transport. Fulton is a Pilot who ALSO has a Hacking Rig. Hawkshadow is a Mechanic is is ALSO tough in a fight...

Having said tht, I feel that, given the tone of the crew, their slogan may well be "We Aim to Misbehave." With that in mind, I want to ensure that, if you were to group the crew together, the could Misbehave well.

Assuming you equip Hawkshadow with a Sniper Rifle, the crew is at 5 Fight, 6 Tech, and 3 Talk, with a copious amount of keywords.

Looking at the cards that currently give them trouble when Misbehaving, there's a bit of a pattern, and it may suggest some tweaks. More Tech won't help them, but a boost to Talk and Fight would.

So perhaps we re-jigger things? And maybe there's an opportunity for a unique "hook" here. What if, instead of +1 Fight when Carrying a Sniper Rifle, Hawkshadow had "+2 Fight when Misbehaving While Carrying a Sniper Rifle"?

And perhaps DeSalvo becomes 2 Fight and GUNSLINGER gives him +2 Talk when Misbehaving with a Firearm in hand... on account of his intimidating manner.

Assuming they are equipped with just basic weapons, the crew is now:

6 Fight, 8 when Misbehaving
6 Tech
2 Talk, 4 when Misbehaving

That model leaves them with only a handful of Misbehaves that cause a problem: Locals in Need, a Bit of Local Color x2, Old Vendetta, and Alliance Patrol x3.

As Moral but anti-Alliance folk, I'm oay with Locals in need and Alliance Patrol being impediments (which means that perhaps Fulton's E.W.O. Kit, which added Fake ID DOESN'T go into the mix).

If the boost from carrying the Sniper Rifle adds to the roll, A Bit of Local Color goes away, but I don't think that's the way it works. Still, I don't need to make things perfect for them, do I?

That leaves Old Vendetta. Although Hawkshadow with a Sniper Rifle has a decent chance, I sort of feel like DeSalvo should be shouldering that one, so perhaps his Pistols get an Ace attached...

Another approach would be, rather than a flat boost to ability scores, maybe they can re-roll 1s when Misbehaving and properly equipped. I believe that would make A Bit of Local Color less problematic, but would add A Rival Crew as a potential trouble point, which I'm okay with.

Thank you all for bearing with my rambling thoughts. Revised cards forthcoming.
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Ralph Stratford
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What gwek said, plus you have a better chance with some of the Mr Universe Job add-ons that only allow you to take X Crew on a Job.
 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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gwek wrote:
...So perhaps we re-jigger things? And maybe there's an opportunity for a unique "hook" here. What if, instead of +1 Fight when Carrying a Sniper Rifle, Hawkshadow had "+2 Fight when Misbehaving While Carrying a Sniper Rifle"?

And perhaps DeSalvo becomes 2 Fight and GUNSLINGER gives him +2 Talk when Misbehaving with a Firearm in hand... on account of his intimidating manner.

Assuming they are equipped with just basic weapons, the crew is now:

6 Fight, 8 when Misbehaving
6 Tech
2 Talk, 4 when Misbehaving

That model leaves them with only a handful of Misbehaves that cause a problem: Locals in Need, a Bit of Local Color x2, Old Vendetta, and Alliance Patrol x3.

As Moral but anti-Alliance folk, I'm oay with Locals in need and Alliance Patrol being impediments (which means that perhaps Fulton's E.W.O. Kit, which added Fake ID DOESN'T go into the mix).

If the boost from carrying the Sniper Rifle adds to the roll, A Bit of Local Color goes away, but I don't think that's the way it works. Still, I don't need to make things perfect for them, do I?

That leaves Old Vendetta. Although Hawkshadow with a Sniper Rifle has a decent chance, I sort of feel like DeSalvo should be shouldering that one, so perhaps his Pistols get an Ace attached...

Another approach would be, rather than a flat boost to ability scores, maybe they can re-roll 1s when Misbehaving and properly equipped. I believe that would make A Bit of Local Color less problematic, but would add A Rival Crew as a potential trouble point, which I'm okay with.

Thank you all for bearing with my rambling thoughts. Revised cards forthcoming.


Sounds good to me, and I think you convinced yourself fairly well.

Make it so.
 
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Brian Debler
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That is a solid perspective on the crew. I do like the idea of the very-small crew that can still misbehave, making them more-useful for the Inerceptor or Mr. Universe jobs. I might have been selling them somewhat short....


BUT, with Fulton, getting rid of an Alert token in an adjacent location for an action is definitely not worth it to me. Were it any location in the region (or at least system), I'll accept that an action is worthwhile. Alternatively, it could be a "once per fly action" kind of thing, so it could interrupt normal flight to fix a token.
 
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Darin Bolyard
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I personally like the opportunity to remove adjacent alert tokens, since the operative can appear and straight up take a crew. But i agree that "once per turn" or even "once per fly action" would make it more legit. The latter of these two would allow a second removal if using the ram jets.
 
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George Krubski
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Revised versions of Fulton, DeSalvo, and Hawkshadow:





And some weapons to round out the gang:




So the cards currently stand like this:

1-Ming-Mei
2-Fulton
3-Hawkshadow
4-Reina
5-DeSalvo
6-DeSalvo's Guns
7-Hunting Rifle
8-Drive Core (forthcoming)
9-Bounty - Fulton (forthcoming)
10-Bounty - Hawkshadow (forthcoming)
11-Bounty - DeSalvo (forthcoming)
12-??? (possibly an upgrade for the ship)

I need to address the ship soon, too.
 
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Jack F
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Some very nice ideas and cards Gwek.

Main caveat: I do not know the role playing game/characters.

Comments on a few of them (in order presented)...

Desalvo: I don't think the latest rewrite seems to make great sense. You want him to be a double gun slinger without much fight otherwise, and some sort of GAMBLING bonus, right? I'm wary of space... perhaps he needs:

1 Fight, 1 Negotiate
GUN UP HIS SLEEVE
May carry 2 Gear if both are Firearms without a second keyword. If carrying a Firearm when Gambling, may EITHER draw one extra Misbehave OR modify a dice roll by up to 2 (as appropriate).

Well, I hope you get the drift. Suggested omissions to save space are crossed through. (So far, Gambling cards either draw and match Misbehaves or need a high dice roll.)

Fulton: He's got a lot going on there and Hacking Rig makes up for the Moral. Improve his ability a little by allowing him to remove ALL Alliance Alert tokens?

Hunting Rifle: that has a nice unusual ability. I'm not sure the non-Supply Planet caveat is worth it... If you think you might agree, I suggest you re-word it slightly: "When you Make Work in Border or Rim space (except at the Space Bazaar), you may take a Cargo instead of $200."
 
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Dave Rowley
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This looking an interesting Crew.

I think I prefer the earlier versions of DeSalvo and Hawkshadow. Being able to ADD an Alliance Alert Token is a new twist for Fulton. Not sure how that will pan out but could occasionally be useful, especially to drop a AT in front of someone to make them take a slight diversion...

Like the Hunting Rifle just fine. Sometimes Cargo can be much more lucrative than the cash, depending on who you are Solid with and where you happen to be. I can see it being easy money if taken at the right time.

My PrinterStudio account is lining up for a big hit real soon
 
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Carl Hanson
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I think the cards are solid. I like what you've done with DeSalvo, he is now a diverse character that tells a story (or at least makes you want to hear the story).

I wouldn't mind seeing Fulton's ability goosed to remove all adjacent Alert Tokens as an Action (as suggested by Moshuku) or allow him to use it once during a Fly action. As it stands, I would almost always rather take the chance with a die roll than use an Action on it.

I also like the name "DeSalvo's Guns". It lacks panache. How about "DeSalvo's Shooters" or "DeSalvo's Twin Revolvers" or something like that?
 
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George Krubski
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Moshuku wrote:
Some very nice ideas and cards Gwek.

Main caveat: I do not know the role playing game/characters.

Comments on a few of them (in order presented)...

Desalvo: I don't think the latest rewrite seems to make great sense. You want him to be a double gun slinger without much fight otherwise, and some sort of GAMBLING bonus, right? I'm wary of space... perhaps he needs:

1 Fight, 1 Negotiate
GUN UP HIS SLEEVE
May carry 2 Gear if both are Firearms without a second keyword. If carrying a Firearm when Gambling, may EITHER draw one extra Misbehave OR modify a dice roll by up to 2 (as appropriate).

Well, I hope you get the drift. Suggested omissions to save space are crossed through. (So far, Gambling cards either draw and match Misbehaves or need a high dice roll.)

Fulton: He's got a lot going on there and Hacking Rig makes up for the Moral. Improve his ability a little by allowing him to remove ALL Alliance Alert tokens?

Hunting Rifle: that has a nice unusual ability. I'm not sure the non-Supply Planet caveat is worth it... If you think you might agree, I suggest you re-word it slightly: "When you Make Work in Border or Rim space (except at the Space Bazaar), you may take a Cargo instead of $200."


Thanks for the thoughts!

DESALVO: One of the tougher guys to get a handle on (which is ironic, since I've been working on him the longest -- at one point, DeSalvo was slated to appear in ACES & EIGHTS).

I'm taking in all the feedback on him. One idea would be that he gets +1 Talk when carrying GAMBLING Gear, but maybe I'll save that for someone else if it doesn't work out here.

FULTON: If I remove the idea that he can add a token, I may change to "remove one or more." In a sense, some of this gets to theme and interpretation. In general, I consider each alert to have originated from a different event. For example, a sector with 4 tokens has a ton of suspicious activity and folks on the lookout for it. Fulton, as a former EWO, understands protocol and can mess with things, so he can shut down some reports, create false ones, etc. To my personal way of thinking, that ties in better with adding or removing a single alert rather than wiping an entire sector clean.

HUNTING RIFLE: Honestly, I'm not sure how powerful it is with the current limitations -- after all, if you're on a non-Supply planet, you're likely there to either Deal or Work, and this is largely useless if you're working -- but I thought it was a nice little option. My thinking with exempting supply planets is both thematic and mechanical: Thematically, you can use the Hunting Rifle on planets that are a little wind, and I would think Supply Planets are likely to be a bit more civilized. Or perhaps have stringer gun laws to protect the traders. Mechanically, I don't like the idea of "I sit on Meridian and collect 8 Cargo while I'm there."

Theoretically, the same could be said of Contacts, but I find that folks spend more time sitting and shopping than sitting and dealing.
 
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George Krubski
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UpStarter wrote:
This looking an interesting Crew.

I think I prefer the earlier versions of DeSalvo and Hawkshadow. Being able to ADD an Alliance Alert Token is a new twist for Fulton. Not sure how that will pan out but could occasionally be useful, especially to drop a AT in front of someone to make them take a slight diversion...

Like the Hunting Rifle just fine. Sometimes Cargo can be much more lucrative than the cash, depending on who you are Solid with and where you happen to be. I can see it being easy money if taken at the right time.

My PrinterStudio account is lining up for a big hit real soon


Dave, can I ask WHY you prefer the original versions? I'm trying to get a sense of what's working or not working with these guys.

I thought allowing Fulton to add an alert made sense (see above for thematic notes) and also adds a possible quasi-player vs player twist.
 
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George Krubski
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turambur wrote:
I think the cards are solid. I like what you've done with DeSalvo, he is now a diverse character that tells a story (or at least makes you want to hear the story).

I wouldn't mind seeing Fulton's ability goosed to remove all adjacent Alert Tokens as an Action (as suggested by Moshuku) or allow him to use it once during a Fly action. As it stands, I would almost always rather take the chance with a die roll than use an Action on it.

I also like the name "DeSalvo's Guns". It lacks panache. How about "DeSalvo's Shooters" or "DeSalvo's Twin Revolvers" or something like that?


I'll see what name looks best on the card for the guns.

DESALVO: Clearly some differing opinions! I think he's interestingly complex myself, but who knows?

FULTON: Another vote for more than one token at a time. I'll ponder what will fit on the card.

Thanks, all!
 
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Darin Bolyard
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I like the first version of DeSalvo, merely because I like the idea of having another available crew that can carry 2 gear, even if they're only firearms. That makes 3 fight and 1 negotiate from one crew. Makes flying the Interceptor or the custom Slave 1 more appealing.

As for Fulton, I'll take the second over the first if that is how he must go.
 
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George Krubski
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If you like DeSalvo just because he can carry 2 Gear, we've got you covered: Jinny's Bottomless Rucksack (White Lightning) allows anyone to carry 2 Gear and Diaz (Black Market) can carry 2 Gear.
 
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Darin Bolyard
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True. I suppose I like that one negotiate too. But I do dig his ability on v.2 as well. And it comes into play with only one firearm equipped.
 
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Trevor Roberts
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gwek wrote:

FULTON: Fulton, as a former EWO, understands protocol and can mess with things, so he can shut down some reports, create false ones, etc. To my personal way of thinking, that ties in better with adding or removing a single alert rather than wiping an entire sector clean.


I understand your argument here. However, in playing the game there is no real benefit to just removing one Alert Token -- you still have to roll for the rest. How about retaining his selective ability with "Once per turn he may ignore Alliance Alert Tokens in a sector." That way he has a useful ability in game terms, but doesn't completely shut down the Alliance efforts in the sector.

If there is room it could say, "Once per turn he may ignore Alliance Alert Tokens in a sector, or add an Alliance Alert Token to an adjacent sector." That would give him an "offensive" ability too -- making him extra special.
 
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Darin Bolyard
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In most cases, removing a single alert token will wipe a sector clean.
 
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Dave Rowley
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gwek wrote:
UpStarter wrote:
I think I prefer the earlier versions of DeSalvo and Hawkshadow.


Dave, can I ask WHY you prefer the original versions? I'm trying to get a sense of what's working or not working with these guys.


DeSalvo: The wording goes so well with the picture. Has a real gunslinger feel to it.

Kawkshadow: Simple but effective. Although the second version could be used elsewhere.

Just my 2p worth.



 
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Carl Hanson
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alphyns wrote:
gwek wrote:

FULTON: Fulton, as a former EWO, understands protocol and can mess with things, so he can shut down some reports, create false ones, etc. To my personal way of thinking, that ties in better with adding or removing a single alert rather than wiping an entire sector clean.


I understand your argument here. However, in playing the game there is no real benefit to just removing one Alert Token -- you still have to roll for the rest. How about retaining his selective ability with "Once per turn he may ignore Alliance Alert Tokens in a sector." That way he has a useful ability in game terms, but doesn't completely shut down the Alliance efforts in the sector.

If there is room it could say, "Once per turn he may ignore Alliance Alert Tokens in a sector, or add an Alliance Alert Token to an adjacent sector." That would give him an "offensive" ability too -- making him extra special.


I had the same thought this morning and was planning to suggest it here when I saw this. The ability to fly through a single sector each turn without rolling for (or removing) Alliance Alert tokens seems to fit the theme you are going for.

Think of it as Fulton just removing the Intel of his ship being there, without altering the reports and increase scrutiny that the Alert tokens represent.
 
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George Krubski
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I'll consider what you guys are saying, but I guess my feeling on Fulton is that something like that might make him too powerful. I know a few folks have said that his special ability is weak and situational -- but I'm really fine with that! I consider his real value to be in the Pilot/Hacking rig combo, and the other ability is an add on. To put it in context, he should be more like Jesse or Holden than Wash when it comes to balance.
 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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I like Fulton being able to add or remove a token. But what if he can move a token from one sector to an adjacent sector?

Not being familiar with the background and going just by the picture and the background that comes with him being played by Danny Trejo, I don't see Desalvo as a Gambler. Gunslinger, absolutely. I like the first version, and maybe the re-rolls to negotiate tests is something for his signature pistols. Make them F,F,Firearm plus that ability.

I also like the hunting rifle as a non-supply planet thing. I'd even add non-contact planet - less for theme than to stop people form camping there and immediately selling the cargo to the contact.

Perhaps you could include a die roll on it. On a 1, wasted trip, game scarce, or however you want to put it, but you don't bag anything. 2-5, Load a cargo. 6 "It's only 'Poaching' if you get caught."Load a Contraband (there's always some animal you're not supposed to hunt.)

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