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Subject: Custom Story Card: Better Days rss

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Marc de Bruyn
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I've put together a story card based on the 2008 Serenity comic miniseries Better Days. It's a fairly loose adaptation of the plot, and the story card is a fairly straightforward run, in the vein of The King of All Londinium.

Some additional notes (with light spoilers for the comic):
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The comic doesn't specify where the pre-Pelorum action happens (although it seems implied that at least the buyer is on the Rim), so I just placed the first two goals on two border planets on opposite ends of the 'Verse.

I considered making robbing the Buddhist Temple for goal 2 an immoral activity. However, there's no precedent for non-Job immoral activites, as far as I know, and in the comic, Shepherd Book really didn't seem to bothered by the act. He did suggest making a donation to the temple in order to make the act acceptable, and I thought about adding that to the goal (i.e. The goal is immoral unless the player chooses to forego the $5k bonus), but I thought it would add unnecessary complexity to an otherwise straightforward goal, and I don't think the decision of $5K vs. a few disgruntled tokens from an immoral act is much of a decision anyway (except for those heavy reliant on their Shepherd Book, or dedicated role-players, bless their hearts).

Also, I realize handing out an easy $5,000 is a bit bold. However, I want to capture the big windfall the team receives in the book (without breaking the game completely), so I just made a fairly large cash requirement for the third goal to offset it. Maybe the cash boost from goal 2 makes some subsequent jobs a bit more trivial, but honestly, that sounds like speeding up the game to me, and I'm A-OK with that. Plus, the extra $5,000 should help to offset the lack of a captain for Goal 3.

I couldn't find a way to include the whole Dust Devils angle without really cluttering things up. I think that aspect of the story could lend itself to another story card, though, so maybe if this one's well-received, that might be on the docket next.


Feedback is very welcome!



Better Days

You've caught wind of a big score of art and other pretties that are sure to fetch a pretty price out on the Rim, complete with a state-of-the-art military defense drone guarding the prize. The drone's worth a fortune... if it doesn't kill you before you can shut it down!

Goal 1: We're Gonna Be Rich!
Pull off your daring heist and disable the drone to deliver to the buyer. A fast ride would go a long way towards keeping you out of harm's way.

Location: Aphrodite, Murphy

Misbehave x2
Tech Skill Test, Diff. 9

1-6: Kill 1 Crew, Warrant Issued, Attempt Botched
7-8: Discard a Transport to Complete Goal or Warrant Issued and Attempt Botched
9+: Success: Complete Goal

Goal 2: That Much Closer To Heaven
The drone's buyer didn't come through with the credits, but he did point you towards a peck of coin stashed inside a Buddhist temple.

Location: New Melbourne, Red Sun

Misbehave x3
Negotiate Skill Test, Diff. 7.

1-6: Attempt Botched & Warrant Issued.
7+: Success: Complete Goal and receive $5,000.

Goal 3: Professionally Unlucky
After your crew's run of good luck, they've earned a vacation. Only now the captain's been nabbed, and the drone's builder is all manner of angry about his missing toy.

Location: Pelorum, Lux

Requirement: Must have at least $15,000 in credits to attempt. Leaders may not be assigned to work on this goal.

Misbehave x3
Fight Skill Test, Diff. 10


1-9: Kill 1 Crew & Attempt Botched.
10+: You Win! Your captain is alive and well and free to commit future crimes.
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William Behringer
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Looks fun, I haven't played in a while so I'm a little vague on the skill requirements, but they look alright. I want to get the game back out and play but I think the money requirements to all the goals in the base game really ruin the feel of the game. I like that you at least moved that requirement to the third goal in this case, but I don't think it needs to be there at all!
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George Krubski
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Not to sidetrack, but... Bill, you may want to take a closer look at the Story Cards. Although there are two "money grab" Story Cards where money is the focus, for the others, money is only part of the equation. For example, King of All Londinium requires a certain amount of money to purchase something as part of the goal, and Harken's Folly has no money-related goals at all. Those two (and even Niska's Holiday, where you have to pay off the Old Man at the end) may be more your speed.

On the Story Card itself, I like it. I think it's solid. I would consider lowering the amount of money you get, and possibily pairing it with remove Disgruntled from all crew (we got money! We're happy!)
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Wade Hobby
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I was toying with ideas for this storyline myself. Everything is solid except the 'peck of cash isn't quite high enough. Not sure how much is the right amount yet but $5000 is not near enough to get the reaction the characters had in the comic. (Spoiler) Since you have to ditch the total amount of cash anyway according to the tale to get the captain back, I guess the point is moot anyway. Other than that extremely workable.
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Marc de Bruyn
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Thanks for the feedback so far, I really appreciate it.

Bill: Honestly, the money requirement on goal 3 is more thematic than anything. Considering the goal 2 reward, it's a $10,000 requirement, which is lower than any of the money requirement goals in the base game to begin with, and if you're tackling a triple-misbehave and a Fight 10, $10K probably isn't a big deal.

George and Wade: You guys both raise great (and opposite) points. My goal with the money reward was for it to be large enough to allow the player to feel like they could indulge some heavier spending, while not being a complete game breaker. It's bigger than all but a few Niska payouts, and I'm not sure I'd want it to be much bigger without making the difficulty to achieve it higher, and that's something I'd be afraid would just slow the game down further. Honestly, Firefly runs pretty long for my tastes to begin with.

Funnily enough, my earliest draft did have the vacation goal (which at the time was actually Goal 2) get rid of all the disgruntled tokens on the crew. However, once the Pelorum stop moved to goal 3, it made less sense thematically, and besides, after a $5,000 payday, a Shore Leave action's cost is pretty trivial to begin with. In the interest of keeping things simple, the disgruntled removal was cut, but I think one could easily tack it on as a bonus for Goal 2 if they wanted.
 
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