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Sentinels of the Multiverse» Forums » Variants

Subject: Custom Hero: The Contrarian rss

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Elsa Mueller

Ohio
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Alright, I'm doing this a bit differently since I have the cards already made. I simply dumped them in an album and will post the images instead of the text. Just like before I'm looking for feedback! Tell me if things look OP, or too weak, or too confusing, or whatever. We've done some play tests and so far, he seems nice and middle of the road.

Personality: The Contrarian is, well, contrary. He's superior intellectually, quicker than anyone else in the room and is even quicker to tell you. He's smug and self assured, often forming his own plans, never deviating from said plan, and has a blatant disregard for the opinions of his fellow heroes. If he needs something, he will just take it. In his mind, though, everything he does is justified through his ultimate goal of stopping the big bad of the month. So long as he succeeds in that way, he'll be happy. And take all the credit.

Character Art: The Contrarian is a man in his late 20s, is light-skinned with closely cropped black hair and a slightly receding hairline. He wears a neatly trimmed goatee. He keeps an unassuming appearance to protect himself and gain the element of surprise. As such, he looks like your average civilian, with a maroon collared shirt (with a flak jacket underneath), khaki slacks, a 'straw' fedora (made of a Kevlar weave and painted), and combat boots.

Hero/Cards: Equips (2), Ongoings (18), One-Shots (20)

http://imgur.com/a/Ahm9g



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Aditya C
United States
Indiana
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Awesome stuff! Have you worked out the number of copies of each card?
 
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Elsa Mueller

Ohio
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Knew I forgot something. Yeah, I'll edit that in as soon as I can track down the info.

Edit: Done!
 
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Brad Mcpherson
United States
Sand Springs
Ok
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first of all I enjoyed the humor of the cards. They captured the feel for the hero very well. You might want to add the fact he is a lawyer to his bio, for clarity sake. Below I listed a few changes and why I would make them, but these seem relatively balanced at first glance. The only exception would be forcing players to discard the top of their library. For most heros this is actually a positive and powerful ability to help filter their deck. The occasion where is would be harmful is few and far between. Accordingly I have suggested some adjustments along those lines.

The Contrarian: Character card - I would remove the stipulation that the other hero must have a card to discard for him to use this ability. At the beginning of the game this is a great balance as to his selfishness, but when a character's hand has run dry it would make a good representation of The Contrarian's underlying benevolent nature. otherwise he could be powerless in very rare circumstances.

Class Action Lawsuit: This is an awkward card. If the card is destroyed and there isn't a reminder for the power it could easily get lost in the multitude of character options. The other possibility is that this card gets recurred somehow and heroes have multiple instances of the same power but no way to easily track how many in rare cases that it might occur. The card has 2 functions A). a 1 time damage B). Ally card filtering. After a great deal of thought I came up with the following, let me know what you think.

power: Deal 1 Target 5 melee damage. All other Heroes may draw up to 3 cards. All other heroes discard 2 cards. Destroy this card.

This lowers the interaction issues you might see and allows the heroes to decide if they want to draw any cards, but they are still forced to discard should they have cards in hand. I think the change assists each objective you were attempting in a more succinct way.

Point of clarification: I like this card's ability and function a great deal. Nice design. My only change would be to add details of who is saying what in the flavor text. Is he talking to a small child, a fellow hero who captured the villain before he did, or a villain who just began explaining his maniacal plan? Each of those evokes a different feeling for the flavor, and I think I prefer the child heh.

Point of order: This card is very powerful. Card filtering can limit character exploration in a game like sentinels. Therefore I would test this as is but if The Contrarian seems to be able to replicate similar plays often possibly bump this down to just the top card instead of the top 2.

Point of Personal Privilege: This card has a good thematic feel, but is a bit wonky. In most groups decisions are made by consensus, but in a group where you have one heel playing The Contrarian this could become problematic. While in the in the sentinel comics The Contrarian can make selfish decisions like this, promoting an enjoyable play experience for new and old players is paramount. So how can we evoke the feel of The Contrarian with out making allowing one player to strong arm other players "into the right" play? I would rework the card into a similar but different ability.

Ongoing, Limited- When ever another player would draw a card during their draw phase they may reveal it. If they do reveal the top card of your deck. If it matches the same type explain why yours is superior and put it into your hand.

The flavor text would probably need adjustment, but I think that this ability is more group friendly.

"I am a giver, what can I say?": This card feels good as far as power level and fairness. I would keep it as is, but I will say that I think there is possibly a more thematic ability then him gaining 1 hp.

The Burden of Choice: This card is ho hum, but helps fill out his support abilities. I just don't like the flavor text.

The State of Denial: I LOVE the flavor text! The card ability seems either useless or amazing depending on the villain and the environment. As a player I don't like such situational cards, but they do have their place.

Turnabout is fair play: The ability and flavor are great, but why infernal damage? Why not melee? Other then that solid.

Turnabout isn't fair play: This ability is a fine one, and well worded for your desired effect and power level. I would generally prefer to avoid such difficult to track abilities though. I would put this on the play testers watch list since it would be easy for me to forget that I take one less damage from the target I damaged if I didn't kill it based on another character's card.

Coerced Charity: Needs to be reworded as follows

One-shot, Each (other?) hero discards a card. The Contrarian gains X Life and deals 1 Target X infernal damage where X is the number of cards discarded this way.

I like this card, but Greater than Games has steered towards not allowing one character to force everyone else to do any one thing. Compare this to Chrono Ranger's "Just doing my job". Not sure if they would be willing to make that change in this instance. The first sentence could be reworded "Each hero MAY discard a card." This would allow you to discard so it does at least do 1 damage/1HP. Again this feels like an instance where you might have to sacrifice a bit of flavor for a more friendly gaming experience. YMMV

I will finish my review of the other cards in my following post
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Brad Mcpherson
United States
Sand Springs
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Reverse Martyrdom: I think this card is just about perfect. Why? Because its negative isn't actually a negative most of the time, but it does "Force" the other heroes to "sacrifice" something for the desired effect. Very thematic and balanced.

The Equal Sharing of Miseries: Needs rewording as follows but is other wise very interesting.

Destroy any number of hero ongoing or equipment cards. Each hero gains X life and you may destroy up to X ongoing or environment cards, where X is the number of Hero ongoing or equipment cards destroyed by this card.

The Unequal Sharing of Blessings: I think the first 2 sentences are fine, but the last one is a kick you when you are down type effect and even while that may be the desired effect, there are ways that you can illicit that feeling with out it being actually harmful. The hero with the lowest HP could discard their hand and draw up to the amount of cards discarded this way, or lose cards off the top of their deck, or if you still want the person to have a negative net gain you can have them draw 2 discard 3. This allows them to filter their deck for the price of a card, so that it doesn't feel as bad when you are playing with The Contrarian.

Trashing the System: This is a great card and a way to make all the "negative" effects that he has brought to bare a nice positive. This helps give him a similar feel but a very different play style then a certain freedom 5 hero.

"What, this is my way of helping?": The only change I would make to this card would be the irreducible damage could be reduced and/or the damage can't be modified. This allows heroes and villain targets to make this a more involved decision (Do I play this with the boss having his DR buff on or should I wait to see if we can't get rid of it first?), but also The damage not being able to be modified means that If you have just 1 damage increase and play 2 of these in a row you didn't just do 4 damage to each Team mate. There is always the possibility that he has more then one damage buff and things could get out of hand quickly. We want him to irritate the hero's with his help not gun them down.

Just what I needed and Just make a new one: I put these 2 together, because they both serve similar roles. Activating Point of Clarification and allowing our teammates to pick the most optimal cards for each situation. Just what I needed is very good but is a loss of tempo for no net gain. I would test it with the addition that The Contrarian draws a card as well, but if that turns out too powerful then make it where the person must discard a card and get a card of the same type.

Just make a new one is a nice design. As far as top down design goes it works, but I might suggest making a change to Ongoing cards instead of Equipment cards for synergy sake. The flavor would need adjusting but its just a thought.






All things being said I think this is a solid first draft for the hero personality you are wanting to evoke. I look forward to your response as to my suggested changes, and how your general feelings about the different directional changes I would make.

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Elsa Mueller

Ohio
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First of all, thank you! I can't take credit for writing the flavor, it goes to my brother. He's a huge Sentinels fan as well and this was both based off of him and designed with him in mind. As such, he just *had* to do the flavor.

The Contrarian: We'll have to agree to disagree here. We originally designed him without a negative effect here, but in doing so, leaves him *so* many options without any drawback. Think about playing with Legacy or Team Leader Tach, with the right people, using the same power without downside gets bonkers.

Class Action Lawsuit: Agreed, the text is awkward. Will work on changing this one around, if only to make it more clear. Do like your idea, though.

Point of clarification: Words! Back-and-forths don't seem to work well in flavor, I'm finding.

Point of order: It is a powerful control card. To answer your question, through playtest so far it has not been game-breaking since the Contrarian often does not get it down early anyways.

Point of Personal Privilege: The Contrarian is designed to be somewhat of an antagonist, it's true. That's why it's important to talk out your decisions with the team. It's Co-Op, so if someone if crippling his team, then they're doing it wrong. "explain why yours is superior" made me giggle, but probably not what I'm looking for here. (though I may steal this idea for another hero/card, it's a good one!)

"I am a giver, what can I say?": Yup. Basic card is basic.

The Burden of Choice: This one too. Also, agreed, in that I don't like the flavor either.

The State of Denial: Swingy cards are always a hit and miss for me, but this one has a soft spot in my heart.

Turnabout is fair play: Antagonistic hero = infernal in my mind. I dunno, I just wanted to give him a damage type other than just physical types.

Turnabout isn't fair play: It's true that it could be difficult to track the damage reduction. Not sure if there's much to be done about it, though.

Coerced Charity: Awkward card is awkward. Gonna reword it for sure. Also, I go back and forth on this one, as thematically, the Contrarian is all about forcing his team to do things "for the greater good", be it lose cards or take damage. And if there's someone on the team that absolutely cannot lose a card, then the Contrarian's player simply does not use this one. I don't know if this would be a problem with different groups, since my group is full of Sentinels nuts, but I will think on changing this one.

Reverse Martyrdom: Yay, balance.

The Equal Sharing of Miseries: Yup, words are hard.
 
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Elsa Mueller

Ohio
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EDIT: It appears half my post was eaten. Annoying. What it boiled down to was:

I'd rather not water down the Contrarian's antagonistic nature. He's not a nice guy and it shows in some of his cards. This can mostly be remedied by talking out your plays with the team and basic situational awareness as to when not to screw over the other players.

"What, this is my way of helping?" will absolutely become 1 irreducible, unmodified damage. I like this idea a lot.

JWIN is super powerful and needs the downside. Trust me on this one, playtests revealed this is one of, if not the best, card in his deck. And JMaNO may become OP if it involved Ongoings, but I will kick around the idea with my co-writer.

Lastly, thank you! Hopefully I'm not too defensive, I enjoyed many of these ideas and will use some of them in the next version. I *love* seeing people comment on these heroes.
 
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Jeremy Arcus-Goldberg
United States
Natick
MA
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Turnabout is fair play might work better as psychic damage (as in mentally taxing)
 
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Brad Mcpherson
United States
Sand Springs
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Thanks for the quick reply!

These cards have a great deal of synergy and interaction, most of which I could easily see a version of showing up in a
 
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Elsa Mueller

Ohio
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(Psst, I think the Post-Monster eated your post)
 
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Jonathan Meltzer
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Dover
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Is there an incapacitated side to this hero?
 
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