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Subject: Disadvantages for Leaders rss

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George Krubski
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So, one of my long-term goals is to create "campaign rules" that would deepen the complexity of the game (because that's what it really needs, right? More complexity?). I've already fiddled with (and will return to) things like Crew Relationships and First Mates/Mutiny.

Now, I want to address the idea of Disadvantages for Leaders. The idea here is that there would be some negative effect that serves to limit your gameplay in some way. This could be used in a few ways: Maybe everyone gets one randomly, or maybe if you're playing against a less experienced player, you take one on as a "handicap."

I an envisioning a deck (of course!) with 40 or so cards, with disadvantages grouped into different categories:

1) DEBTS

Probably a unique one for each Contact. For example:

Debt to Niska: Pay Niska $100 at the end of every turn or he collects his Pound of Flesh.

Debt to Badger: Whenever you receive a Goal token, pay Badger $500 and Disgruntle your Leader. If you can't pay, Disgruntle your Leader again.

Now, right off the bat, you can see that not every Disadvantage is going to be created equal. In a money grab story, for example, Debt to Niska is a killer, whereas Debt to Badger is less likely to factor in.

2) REPUTATION

Here, you have some reputation, probably negative. (This was inspired in part by Atherton's apparent BLACK MARK ability in BLUE SUN).

Dishonorable Discharge: You may not hire Soldiers or gain a Soldier bonus from Jobs.

Probably similar ones for Companion (Black Mark), Grifter (Snitch), and Medic (Butcher?), maybe even ones that limit you from hiring Moral or Wanted Crew.

Also possibly under this category:

Person of Interest: Begin play with a Warrant. Always count as an Outlaw Ship.

3) RIVALRY

I originally toyed with a Rivalry for each playable leader, but I think it's too complicated. Instead, I like the idea that you're competing with an "NPC" captain who constantly gets in your way. This mechanism may need a little fleshing out but here are some ideas:

Rivalry with Ott: Whenever you Work a Crime Job, roll a die. On a 1, Ott steals the Job from you.

Rivalry with (some bounty hunter besides Jubal): When you... (do something? Maybe Buy?), roll a die. If the result is equal to or lower than your number of Wanted Crew, face a SHOWDOWN with the bounty hunter.

Maybe there's a Rival who attacks you or offers some other unpleasant effect under certain circumstances in Border Space (Hill Folk?) or in Alliance Space (Corrupt Magistrate?).

4) SHIP-RELATED

Restricted: Lose one upgrade slot.

Clunker: Whenever you resolve a Nav card that includes a Breakdown or try to Evade, spend 1 Part to avoid Full Stop.

I could also envision something reducing Cargo or Stash -- or maybe counting Stash as Cargo Hold instead, or something that requires extra Fuel to be used.

5) MISC.

A catch-all for anything that doesn't fit elsewhere. For example:

Slow Start: Rather than $3000, begin play with $1000 and 4 Cargo. (I've played this way -- it's actually pretty fun. Very slow start [unless you have Nandi] but you can look forward to a decent score somewhere in the game.


What do folks think? Of both the general idea, and of some of the specific suggestions?













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Karl Gallagher
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I like the thought of a campaign game, but I'm not getting FtG on the table often enough to play one except as solitaire. "Disadvantages" sound good. I'd be most likely to use them for game balance.

The ones listed sound good but aren't at the same level of impact. Not being able to hire a Companion isn't that big a deal. Nandi doesn't care, someone else will probably grab Inara first, and YoSafBridge is going to vanish on you anyway. Not being able to hire moral crew means giving up a lot of good cards. Possibly this can be balanced with skill bonuses or cash.

While we're coming up with ideas:

Deadheader: lose one crew slot
Low on Ammo: reroll 6s during Fight tests, no Thrilling Heroics.
Tongue-Tied: (as above for Negotiate)
Cross-Wired: (again for Tech)
Lazy Crew: Roll whenever arriving at a Supply planet. On a 1 must take Shore Leave.
Slinky Dress: If the crew's cut of the job is less than 1/4 the take, double crew's cut.
Cash Up Front: Must pay Mercs their cut before starting a Work action. No refunds for Botched attempts.
If Mama Ain't Happy: If any Crew is disgruntled by something that does not affect the Captain, the Captain is also disgruntled.
I Thought You Had It: When using Gear in a Misbehave, roll a die. On a 1 one Gear is left on ship.
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George Krubski
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Definitely some great ideas here. I think my favorite is "Cash up front." I also like the three that negate Thrillin' Heroics. I was working on Crew for that, but it might work better with leaders who get in their own way.
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Cameron Blisard
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That is a really great idea! I really like the "cash up front", because I can believe that they would really do that. As well as the " I thought you had it". Makes it seem all that much more lifelike.
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C David Dent
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Butterfingers: After any work action roll a die. On a 1 discard any gear carried.
Things don't go smooth: Any roll of a 1 on a check is an instant failure. (if you get rerolls you only get 1 reroll).
Union Crew Crew gets paid a cut of all pay received including sale of cargo/contraband and bonus money.
Bad at math: Any time you are asked to load a specific number of items over 3 (i.e. load 4 fugitives, not load up to 4) roll a die. On a one load 1 less than indicated and on a six load 1 more than indicated.
You'll get used to him Crew hired is automatically disgruntled.
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Karl Gallagher
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"You'll get used to him" cracked me up. Reminds me of one boss I had . . . and we never did get used to him.
 
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George Krubski
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"Things don't go smooth" is actually a "disadvantage" I often give my captain when playing solo to spice things up.

Some of these ideas bring up a secondary concept I had... I had previously recommended (inspired by the card game) a "Gorrammit!" deck of random negative events that occur when you roll a 1.

Maybe both ideas can be combined?

Each card would have both a permanent advantage and a one-off penalty (that might be larger). You could then use the deck in two ways: 1) as previous described, pick during set-up. 2) Draw a card whenever you roll a 1. Given the wide variety of options, sometimes, you might not have any ramifications, but if you get hit, you probably get hit hard.

Thoughts?




 
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