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Firefly: The Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Sowing Discord - Variant to Disgruntle Other Captain's Crews rss

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Donovan
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INTRO: I own the game, but have unfortunately only gotten to play it once so far. From reading the boards, it sounds like most of the problems are (1) the lack of interaction with other players, and (2) that the endgame may be a bit too easy (because people have enough crew and gear to deal with skill checks and misbehaves). The Sowing Discord propopal endeavors to address both of these issues - I'd love to hear feedback on how well this would play!

Sowing Discord
Work Action: Choose a Crew from another ship within one sector of yours.
Negotiation, difficulty 7.
Special: Subtract 1 from your result for every $100 of the chosen Crew's cost.
1-6: Attempt Botched; no effect.
7+: Place a disgruntled token on the chosen crew's card.

Side Note: Succeeding at Sowing Discord while in the same sector as the Crew will allow you to Make a Better Offer (p15) and immediately hire them; this is what Mal and Zoë do with Jayne in the Out of Gas flashback scene.

Design Notes:
- Location: I think "within one sector" is an appropriate range: The idea is that you can send a short-range wave. I think that limiting to the same sector could make things a bit cumbersome to ever implement this rule, as that doesn't seem to happen a lot ... also, it gives another option when you're adrift after a Full Stop. That said, "in the same sector" could probably work just as well, and encourages a bit more chasing.
- Action: Thematically it should be Work or Deal for the action, and Sowing Discord should have a real opportunity cost attached to it. The Work action prevents you from doing Make-Work or from advancing your jobs; Deal only prevents your from fining new jobs (or selling goods/contraband) you if you're at one of the five Contact locations. Thus, only the Work action forces the initiator to actually make a choice.
- Negotiation Check: This should be negotiation, as you're trying to convince the crew member that it isn't worth their while to stay with the ship. The threshold value is pretty flexible - it should be difficult, but not impossible.
- Special (penalty): For game balance, I think that it should be harder to disgruntle the more-expensive Crew, especially since they had a higher hiring cost that's already been paid. Thematically, Crew with a higher cost have more invested (they've been made money being hired, and have a better cut).

Thoughts?

EDIT: Added Side Note.
 
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C David Dent
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Rather than set the difficulty and modify the die roll. Why not base the difficulty on the crew's cost? For example:

Difficulty is 5 +1 for every $100 of crew's cost.

 
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Michael Germann
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Silly question does that may free crew like Sheppard more bribe-able. I would almost say, any moral crew are not bribe-able or at least have an additional modifier lets say +2 if moral. This will balance with the fact that there is so much that moral crew will not do, having a negative to immoral crew that makes them more willing to be swayed away from their captain. Just a thought.
 
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Karl Gallagher
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This should have the Bribe bonus (+1 per $100 spent), with both sides able to toss money at it. Double the bonus for Mercs, they're following the money.
 
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George Krubski
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I like the concept. I think range should be same square. I get the idea of sending a message, but if you can't normally negotiate with a Contact unless you're in the same Sector...

Given who the $0-cost Crew are (Book, River, Hill Folk, and now Elder Gommen), I would think they should be immune to this.

I don't think bribes should be involved -- this is just an attempt to muck with the crew dynamic, not explicitly hire (that's a second action, it seems).

Perhaps, though, there should be a bonus if the Crew member in question is of the same morality (or lack thereof) as each Leader. Zoe or another Moral character is more likely to be susceptible to rumor-mongering from a similarly-minded source (eg, Mal or Monty) about their non-Moral captain (eg, Womack) than if the captains were reversed.
 
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Donovan
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MrDave2176 wrote:
Rather than set the difficulty and modify the die roll. Why not base the difficulty on the crew's cost? For example:

Difficulty is 5 +1 for every $100 of crew's cost.



I set the difficulty and modified the roll because of the way the game is templated; all of the checks (that I can think of, at least) list a single threshold value, so in the space under the check it can list the outcomes (as in my example). If there is a precedent for templating the opposite way, I'd generally prefer it ... but I try to stick with the formatting already used in the game when possible.

@mijoge and @gwek:
Hmm, this might be a flavor issue. I'm not thinking of this so much as a bribe, although it certainly could be. For example, if someone had come along and been able to articulate that Mal was a terrible person and/or captain, perhaps he could have been persuaded away. Partly going into gwek's suggestion, maybe this should be the sort of thing that you can only do if the morality doesn't match ... or more specifically, if the targeted crew and their captain are BOTH moral. (It would be a much harder task to convince a moral person that their moral leader isn't any good, I reckon.)

With respect to the $0-folk, I take their cost as a sign of "they'll go with whom they respect, not who will pay them the best." Hence, undermining their confidence in their leader could be effective. Then again, maybe this ability just seems too much like a bribe for this flavor to work out.

@selenite:
If money were involved as a bribe, maybe it should only be a possibility for Mercs? It definitely shouldn't be an option for Moral folk.
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