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Firefly: The Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Playing without a Story Card rss

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Andy Mac
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This is an idea I've been toying with for anyone who just wants to fly around the 'Verse doing stuff (in this self-styled 'sandbox' game) -- working towards goals and creating their own stories WITHOUT working through a Story Card.

I'm looking for feedback on whether you think it might work, and the level of balance.

To make this work I'm imagining a deck of Goal Cards. In this deck are four copies of each of the following cards:

TROUBLEMAKER
Have a ship carrying any combination of 4 warrants or wanted crew.

GUNSLINGER
Have a crew + equipment with 8 'fight' pips.

FAST TALKER
Have a crew + equipment with 8 'negotiate' pips.

TECH HEAD
Have a crew + equipment with 8 'tech' pips.

LUCKY
Survive 5 'Misbehave' cards (retain each successfully negotiated... incidents do not have to be 'in a row').

OPERATOR
Be solid with any 3 contacts.

GENIUS
Have 3 ship upgrades installed simultaneously.

FAT CAT
Have $10,000 in hand.

At the start of the game, after ships are placed, a number of Goal Cards are dealt on to the table to outline the goals of the game (NB: these replace the story card).

The number of cards depends on the number of players and on the length of game the players would like to play:

For a SHORT game, deal out one goal + one additional goal per player.

For a MEDIUM game, deal out one goal + two additional goals per player.

For a LONG game, deal out one goal + three additional goals per player.

Note that the cards are not dealt *to* the players, but to a generic pool of goals for everyone to see (and for any player to attempt to attain).

As there are multiple copies of each card in the deck, re-drawing goals will be necessary if any type of card out-numbers the number of players. For example, in a medium, 3-player game the "Operator" goal card is drawn and then "Genius", another "Operator", "Lucky", "Fast Talker", "Operator" (again) and "Operator" (again!). The last "Operator" card should be discarded and re-drawn.

Players then play the game as per usual, attemting to complete as many of the Goal Cards as necessary to with the game:

For a SHORT game, the first player to achieve any one goal wins the game.

For a MEDIUM game, the first player to achieve any two goals wins the game.

For a LONG game, the first player to achieve any three goals wins the game.

Once the goal on a card is completed the player takes that card (instead of a Goal Token). First player to attain as many Goal Cards as players have decided meets the win condition... wins!

I haven't playtested this or anything yet. Just throwin' an idea out there.
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Roger BW
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High Wycombe
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I'd like to see a variant of this which gave a secret goal (or two) to each player, to be revealed when completed.

But this requires a more interactive game to be really fun.
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John Van Wagoner
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Bluffton
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I'm with FireDrake; add some unique/secret goals to be assigned to each player along with the story cards above and I'd use these over the ones that come with the game...maybe have enough unique cards to deal everyone 2 and have them select/keep one...

I'd started a thread earlier looking for options other than the included story cards, and this is exactly what I was looking for!
 
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George Krubski
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Interesting idea, but the problem that I see is that these goals are very unbalanced.

10K is going to take a long time to accumulate, but with a lucky draw, you can easily achieve any of the Crew-related goals very quickly.

Although you're dependent on what comes out of the deck in what order, you can easily achieve 5 of the 8 goals with your starting money. In fact, it's pretty easy to achieve at least TWO of them simultaneously without needing to work a single job.

So it's very likely that you'd wind up with a situation where players spend multiple turns camped on supply worlds, just flipping over cards. Why am I going to bother spending time doing jobs to earn 10K when I can just sit on Persephone and wait for Simon, Bree, and Billy to show up? (Worse is the game where one player has an unlucky goal hand and MUST do multiple jobs while everyone else is just flipping cards!)

I think the idea has merit, but requires a LOT of balance and thought to work properly.

Honestly, to me, there's already a very easy way to play the game without Story Cards:

"Complete 6 jobs first."

I'm not sure if 6 is the sweet spot (it might be 4-5), but it should in theory be the range where completing delivery jobs (presumably with minimal crew) OR building a Crew and then doing Crime are equally viable tactics.



 
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John Van Wagoner
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how about maybe complete any 4 or 5 jobs and have "x" amount of dollars? and/or out of the completed jobs you need to have multiple "types of jobs" completed?
 
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Michael Germann
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To slow the camping out at any one spot you can do the idea that was suggested elsewhere on this site of just shuffling all the location cards and making equal piles. Also you aren't getting just one goal to win but multiple. So while one goal may be easier I doubt all will be.
I wouldn't do multiples of the same goal as then you can get someone with the same goal multiple times. Unless you put in a mechanic that says discard any multiples and draw a new one.

Also just a straight job count end game goal isn't balanced well either as then you would just do Harken jobs, as the typically the cheapest paid jobs are the quickest to complete with the least requirements. Perhaps as a mini goal, it works though.

In general though I love this concept, the current end game just seems wrong. I think the secret goals or maybe a point system of some type. IE a long list of things to possibly achieve and for each one you do you get a point and just tally the points up. Some examples are:

1 / Completed Job
1 / Crew Member
1 / $1000
1 / 2 Keywords in crew or equipment
1 / 4 Skill icons in crew or equipment
1 / Warrant on your ship
1 / 2 Warrant icons on crew
1 / Solid Contact

Not sure how these would balance but maybe even:
1 / 2 Disgruntled crew members on board at end game
1 / Killed or lost crew member

First person to show they have X points starts end game. Either each player including the person who declared they have the X points gets one last turn.
Or to maybe add more of a last dash as well as to target the leader scenario. Reshuffle both travel decks, the next time either of them need to reshuffle is the game ends. The person with the most points wins.

Haven't tried it yet, not sure if the points laid out above is the best ratio. There a probable some good tweaks to it. Perhaps 20 would be a good start point for triggering end game.
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C David Dent
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You should probably add some sort of skill test and/or Misbehave requirements to each of these goals...(think of the Goals on the Story cards as examples).

Quote:
TROUBLEMAKER
Have a ship carrying any combination of 4 warrants or wanted crew.

Add "Fly to The Alliance ship to pay fines, clear warrants and roll for each wanted crew" to make this a much spicier goal to collect.

Quote:
GUNSLINGER
Have a crew + equipment with 8 'fight' pips.

Pass a kosherized Fight 8 test to collect or kill one crew and botch the goal.

Quote:
FAST TALKER
Have a crew + equipment with 8 'negotiate' pips.

Pass a bribe 11 Negotiate test or gain a warrant and botch the goal.

Quote:
TECH HEAD
Have a crew + equipment with 8 'tech' pips.

Make a Tech 11 Tech roll:
1-8: Gain warrant and botch goal.
9-10: Attempt fails lose 1 equipment with "Tech"
11+: Pass goal.

Quote:
LUCKY
Survive 5 'Misbehave' cards (retain each successfully negotiated... incidents do not have to be 'in a row').

Misbehave one more time to collect or botch Goal.

Quote:
OPERATOR
Be solid with any 3 contacts.

Travel to Silverhold to collect goal.

Quote:
GENIUS
Have 3 ship upgrades installed simultaneously.

Travel to Osirus to collect goal.

Quote:
FAT CAT
Have $10,000 in hand.

Pay $10,000 to collect goal.

By adding a "sting" to each of these it makes it possible to get burned by the other players or to have even the passing of the goal be tougher. I'd also say "botching" a goal means you can still try again but you still have to meet the criteria before you can give it another go.

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Andy Mac
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Wow. All good ideas. I'm putting the idea on the back-burner for the moment, but will come back to it. I definitely like adding misbehaviours to the goals.

Thanks!
 
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Thomas Quasney
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Everything sounds good, only played a few of these. Solo adding a few together with solo rules. Added leaders to the stories aka Marco the troublemaker, Malcolm the gunslinger, Nandi the Fasttalker, Corbin the Tech-Head, Womack or Monty the Lucky/Fatcat ($10,000)Fatcow(12500) Fathog(15000), Burgess or Monty as Operator/genius, try 4 jobs for Pro-operator genius, or 5 jobs for elite operator genius. Thanks for the storyline
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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MrDave2176 wrote:
You should probably add some sort of skill test and/or Misbehave requirements to each of these goals...(think of the Goals on the Story cards as examples).

Quote:
TROUBLEMAKER
Have a ship carrying any combination of 4 warrants or wanted crew.

Add "Fly to The Alliance ship to pay fines, clear warrants and roll for each wanted crew" to make this a much spicier goal to collect.

Quote:
GUNSLINGER
Have a crew + equipment with 8 'fight' pips.

Pass a kosherized Fight 8 test to collect or kill one crew and botch the goal.

Quote:
FAST TALKER
Have a crew + equipment with 8 'negotiate' pips.

Pass a bribe 11 Negotiate test or gain a warrant and botch the goal.

Quote:
TECH HEAD
Have a crew + equipment with 8 'tech' pips.

Make a Tech 11 Tech roll:
1-8: Gain warrant and botch goal.
9-10: Attempt fails lose 1 equipment with "Tech"
11+: Pass goal.

Quote:
LUCKY
Survive 5 'Misbehave' cards (retain each successfully negotiated... incidents do not have to be 'in a row').

Misbehave one more time to collect or botch Goal.

Quote:
OPERATOR
Be solid with any 3 contacts.

Travel to Silverhold to collect goal.

Quote:
GENIUS
Have 3 ship upgrades installed simultaneously.

Travel to Osirus to collect goal.

Quote:
FAT CAT
Have $10,000 in hand.

Pay $10,000 to collect goal.

By adding a "sting" to each of these it makes it possible to get burned by the other players or to have even the passing of the goal be tougher. I'd also say "botching" a goal means you can still try again but you still have to meet the criteria before you can give it another go.




So that, combined with a location on each Goal card. You collect the Goal card when you arrive at the designated location with the required prerequisites. That allows you to do multiples of some cards but with different locations. The locations solves a bit of the camping issue as it forces folks to actually move.

Also, you could divide the Goal cards into 2 categories: "Captain Goals" and "Crew Goals".

Captain goals would be those sort of personal attribute goals like "Fat Cat" or "Fast Talker". Assign one face up to each captain.

Crew Goals would be more general in scope. Things like being Solid with x Contacts, doing x Misbehaves, doing x transport jobs, etc. Deal one face down to each player.

Then Deal one faceup to the table for each player. As they're claimed, a new one is dealt to fill the slot, so there are always that many up for grabs.

Then play the game to collect a number of Goal cards based on the length you want. Maybe 4 cards for a short game, 6 for a medium game, or 8 for a long game.
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