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Firefly: The Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: House Rule - Bad Blood with Contacts rss

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George Krubski
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I started a thread a while back and there was some discussion here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1584343/bad-blood-contac...

I like where we were headed, and as I start to work in earnest on THE BLACK MARKET - where there may be potential to lose Solid with Contacts on a more regular basis, I wanted to revisit Bad Blood.

The basic idea works like this:

In the core game, you're either Solid with a Contact or you're not. Now, there's a negative state, Bad Blood, that's sort of the opposite of being Solid. If you perform some action or get a result that would force you to lose Solid with a Contact with whom you are not Solid, you gain Bad Blood.

There may also be circumstances that send you directly to Bad Blood, even if you're currently Solid. To unto Bad Blood, you have to Work a Job to prove yourself to the contact, but as we'll see, it will be under sub-optimal conditions.

General Effects of Bad Blood

DEAL - When you Deal with a Contact with whom you have Bad Blood, you may not consider Jobs from the Discard pile unless they are the only cards. The Contact dictates the jobs he or she will offer to you.

WORK - When you complete a Job for a Contact with whom you have Bad Blood, base pay is halved. If some circumstances would already cause base pay to be halved, subtract $500 in addition.

UNIQUE PENALTIES - Just as each Contact has a unique benefit, they also have a unique penalty.


UNIQUE PENALTIES

Some Contacts will merrily besmirch your reputation if you have Bad Blood, damaging your working relationship with other contacts.

AMNON DUUL - Base pay for Shipping Jobs is halved.

BADGER - Base pay for Crime Jobs is halved.

FANTY & MINGO - Base pay for Transport Jobs is halved.

LORD HARROW - Base pay for Smuggling Jobs is halved.

While you may only gain Bad Blood once, for some Contacts, the effects of Bad Blood may be repeated more than once (each time you would lose Solid).

HARKEN - Gain a Warrant.

NISKA - Niska collects his Pound of Flesh.

While most contacts will continue to deal with you even if there's Bad Blood (it's a tough 'Verse out there for everyone), others will make you go through hoops before they'll talk to you.

MAGISTRATE HIGGINS - To Deal with Magistrate Higgins, you must first give him 2 Passengers or Fugitives, or a Mudder. This counts as an Immoral Act.

PATIENCE - To deal with Patience, you must give her $500 or a Cargo or Contraband.

*****

And then there's MISTER UNIVERSE. Not sure yet what to do with him. I have considered that you lose all jobs in your hand, or possibly that Mister Universe doesn't get mad enough for Bad Blood!
 
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Johns H
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This is very well thought out, I am going to have to try this with my group when I get the chance to see how it plays. Everything seems to fit each contact very well, I really can't think of anything that would work better than what is already here. Good job with this! I do have one question, what would be the method of indicating that your status with a contact is that of Bad Blood compared to neutral?

As for Mr. Universe, I can certainly agree that since he is such a unique contact, perhaps you cannot gain Bad Blood with him, he just doesn't care enough. However his game play is that of high risk and high reward, so I feel it would be wrong to leave him out of this. My first thought would be that if you have Bad Blood with Mr. Universe, you can no longer Deal with him and the next job you complete goes toward reversing your Bad Blood with him instead of gaining Solid with the contact that the job was for.
 
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Roger BW
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Saying you can't deal with Mr Universe, in a game where that's a necessity, could be pretty crippling (you'd have to hunt up a piracy job and take a Mr U job off another player). But that's a reason not to do that in those games.
 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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For Mr. universe, what if when you would gain Bad Blood, the player to your right chooses one of the contacts for you to drop a notch in Solid status.

Basically, Mr. Universe is pissed at you, so he screws things up for you with someone else.
 
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John Coxon
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Thematically, I think you should be able to recover from a bad blood status. Mal had bad blood with Badger after attempting to sell him food with alliance markings, and forced him to spend time and resources to find another buyer. Yet a little while later, Badger was willing to deal with him again and gave him full pay after the his duel with Atherton. Patience didn't harbor a grudge from the time she shot Mal either. It's simply part of her nature that she doesn't let go of money unless she has to. Niska would be the only one I can't see forgiving bad blood.
 
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John Coxon
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Overall I felt the rules presented may be overly complicated due to the stacked effects, and having each affect possibly induce additional affects across multiple contacts. That's a lot to keep track of.

Perhaps a simpler way is to keep your standard work penalty of reducing pay, keep the repeated offense penalties for Harken and Niska, get rid of your standard deal penalty, and have the unique penalties only restrict the player to a specific type of job for each contact in which they have bad blood. For example, when you have bad blood with Badger you could only accept his crime jobs, and for Lord Harrow you could only accept his smuggling jobs.
 
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George Krubski
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Soltaris wrote:
Thematically, I think you should be able to recover from a bad blood status. Mal had bad blood with Badger after attempting to sell him food with alliance markings, and forced him to spend time and resources to find another buyer. Yet a little while later, Badger was willing to deal with him again and gave him full pay after the his duel with Atherton. Patience didn't harbor a grudge from the time she shot Mal either. It's simply part of her nature that she doesn't let go of money unless she has to. Niska would be the only one I can't see forgiving bad blood.


It may not be clear from this thread, but you can remove Bad Blood by doing a Job. You don't get Solid, but you move away from Bad Blood to "neutral."

I don't think that Mal and Badger have Bad Blood in the pilot. Mal gets a Warrant and Badger refuses to buy Contraband off him. That is, almost literally, the textbook implication of losing Solid. In essence, prior to the series, Mal is Solid with Badger, but loses Solid when he gets the Warrant in the opening moments of the show.

Now, the particulars of the show are not literally reflected in game mechanics in at least two capacities: 1) Mal seems to be doing a Salvage Op rather than a job for Badger when he get the Warrant, and 2) Mal seems to be unaware that he's lost Solid with Badger. Who go to Persephone to try to sell Goods?

Patience further complicates the mechanics of the game. Mal is clearly NOT Solid with Patience, yet she buys Goods off him - another element not well-reflected in the game.

In both cases, the situation could be fixed with house rule that allows you to try to sell to non-Solid contacts, but with mixed results. Thus, Mal goes to Persephone hoping to "roll well," then moves on to Athens and gets some sort of Showdown or Shootout result. But that's a whole different conversation.
 
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George Krubski
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Soltaris wrote:
Overall I felt the rules presented may be overly complicated due to the stacked effects, and having each affect possibly induce additional affects across multiple contacts. That's a lot to keep track of.


Is it really that hard to keep track of? I mean, I do a Smuggling Job for Badger. Basically, I have to ask "Do I have Bad Blood with Badger?", then "Do I have Bad Blood that impacts Smuggling Jobs?" Seems pretty straightforward to me.

Soltaris wrote:
Perhaps a simpler way is to keep your standard work penalty of reducing pay, keep the repeated offense penalties for Harken and Niska, get rid of your standard deal penalty, and have the unique penalties only restrict the player to a specific type of job for each contact in which they have bad blood. For example, when you have bad blood with Badger you could only accept his crime jobs, and for Lord Harrow you could only accept his smuggling jobs.


To me, that's more complicated. Now, it impacts the deal, you need to track what jobs you can accept, etc.

In the original thread, we talked a lot about the idea that the contact might limit how they deal with the player. The simplest option is basically that you can't pull from discards, therefore limiting your options in a simple, straightforward way.
 
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John Coxon
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gwek wrote:

Is it really that hard to keep track of? I mean, I do a Smuggling Job for Badger. Basically, I have to ask "Do I have Bad Blood with Badger?", then "Do I have Bad Blood that impacts Smuggling Jobs?" Seems pretty straightforward to me.


I think I get it now. If I have bad blood with Badger, and do a crime job for him, the effects would'nt stack. I would only get hit with the half pay due to working a job for him, and not for it being a crime job because his unique penalty only kicks in when performing a crime job for someone else.
 
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