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Subject: Leader: Kat Loving rss

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Wydraz
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Is this a balanced Leader? (She is based on a character from Strange Empire)

{EDIT: updated image below}

I just realized Leaders are never WANTED. If I removed that, she still might be OK?
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George Krubski
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Are you trying to balance her against existing leaders? If so:

1) 3 skill points
2) One "good" keyword -- or two for a Moral Crew member (Personally, I don't think FIREARM is all that great, relatively speaking)
3) A money-making or money-saving special ability

With the exception of Nandi (who is short a keyword, but doesn't seem to be suffering for it), Jubal, Atherton (who had a second keyword but no clear money maker) and Zoe, I think all existing leaders follow this model.

Without knowing the character, I can't offer specific suggestions, but I would say:

-- Give her a third skill point
-- Give her either two Keywords OR one Keyword and the ability to Carry 2 Gear.
-- Firearm should not be her sole keyword, and probably shouldn't even be her keyword (other than I think acting as a requisite for a handful of jobs, I don't think FIREARM currently does much, does it?)
-- Once all that is adjusted, consider what the remaining special ability should be

Again, I don't know the character, but if you want a Talk-themed one, I could see something like:

Take $100 when you succeed at a Negotiate test OR
Take $100 when you pick Negotiate over Fight of Tech

Or something like htat.
 
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Drew MacLean
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For those that don't know Strange Empire:

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/Shows/Strange+Empire/ID/25048...
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Wydraz
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gwek wrote:

-- Once all that is adjusted, consider what the remaining special ability should be

Again, I don't know the character, but if you want a Talk-themed one, I could see something like:

Take $100 when you succeed at a Negotiate test OR
Take $100 when you pick Negotiate over Fight of Tech

Or something like that.


OK, I like all you said, and am starting to figure out how much better Leaders can be compared to crew. But by "special ability" do you mean the one she has isn't it? It's the same as Inara's (re-roll negotiate tests).

Kat doesn't fit, as a character, any of the job roles (Soldier, Companion, Pilot, etc.) so maybe that's what you mean?

I was wondering if maybe an ability to remove a Disgruntled token by paying the crew ("better late than never") would be fair? Not unlike Helen (but spending money instead of an action).
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George Krubski
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wydraz wrote:
gwek wrote:

-- Once all that is adjusted, consider what the remaining special ability should be

Again, I don't know the character, but if you want a Talk-themed one, I could see something like:

Take $100 when you succeed at a Negotiate test OR
Take $100 when you pick Negotiate over Fight of Tech

Or something like that.


OK, I like all you said, and am starting to figure out how much better Leaders can be compared to crew. But by "special ability" do you mean the one she has isn't it? It's the same as Inara's (re-roll negotiate tests).


Almost every Crew and Leader has a unique ability, but the leaders generally have special abilities that are a) situational (usually tied to a Job type), b) tied to something the player has some control over, and c) likely to save or earn the leader somewhere from $1000 to $2000 over the course of a game.

There are currently 13 official leaders. 3 of them give you a +$500 bonus outright when you complete a certain type of Job (Malcolm = Crime, Monty = Smuggling, Womack = Immoral). Assuming the leader can leverage that 3-4 times (and 3-7 Jobs is, in my opinion, average for a game), they're probably looking at around 2K.

Sash (who steals $500 on a successful Piracy Job) and Burgess (who gets Cargo instead of $500) are variations on the theme. Since Burgess's Shipping Jobs are Legal (and therefore "easier") it's fair that he has to find a place to sell his Goods. Conversely, since Piracy is relatively rare and can involve a high degree of challenge, it seems fair that Sash doesn't just EARN his money, but steals it.

Nandi offers free Crew (typically at least $1000, plus the flexibility of hiring new Crew as wanted). Corbin and Marco offer discounts on specific items - your mileage will vary, but you can easily save $1000 or more if you shop carefully. Atherton theoretically saves you $1000-$2000 by letting you play the game without having to buy a Fake ID or Fancy Duds (although since he should have at least 1, if not 2, Keywords, I'm not sure that he's really balanced).

Some of the others get a little more situational, but can definitely be leveraged. Murphy offers $100 extra when you sell Contraband or Cargo, so in the right game, you can score big. Similarly, Wright offers $100 per Fugitive delivered. This will often be low, but if you luck into the right job at the right time, you can easily get $1000 at once. Zoe doesn't have to pay Soldiers, so with the right (albeit non-balanced) Crew, she can save more than Malcolm or Monty are earning -- and that's on ANY Job.

Jubal stands as the ONLY leader who is a clear exception to the "leaders make/save money" paradigm.

So you CAN step outside it, but doing so will increase the chances that the leader is not well-balanced vs. other leaders.

More below.

wydraz wrote:
Kat doesn't fit, as a character, any of the job roles (Soldier, Companion, Pilot, etc.) so maybe that's what you mean?


That's fair, but, again, the further you move away from the "model" the more you risk imbalance.

Of the 5 Moral Leaders, 3 have 2 "professional" keywords (Soldier, Pilot, etc), and 2 have 1 professional keyword (although Nandi doesn't really need it, and Zoe seems to compensate by being able to carry 2 Gear).

Of the 8 non-Moral Leaders, 4 have a single professional keyword. The remaining 4 have 1 Gear-related keyword (with the exception of Atherton, who has two).

Those Gear keywords are Hacking Rig, Transport, Fancy Duds x2, and Fake ID. What all of these Gear share in common is that they are a requirement for a number of Jobs as well as a way to safely bypass 3-4 Misbehave cards. In other words, they are "valuable."

Firearm as a keyword, by comparison, is a requirement for only 5 jobs, and only helps you pass 1 Misbehave (which does not have dire ramifications otherwise, unlike some of the Transport/Hacking Rig/Fake ID Misbehaves).

In other words, Firearm is a pretty weak keyword. I suppose if it were a SECOND keyword, it might not be bad, but on it's own, it's a weak keyword that may lead to a weak leader.

wydraz wrote:
I was wondering if maybe an ability to remove a Disgruntled token by paying the crew ("better late than never") would be fair? Not unlike Helen (but spending money instead of an action).


That's not a bad ability, but I'm not sure how it would stack up against the other leaders. It would depend on how much you have to pay, as well as what it means. There are certainly exceptions, but in general, Crew become Disgruntled in one of two ways: 1) they don't get paid, or 2) they are Moral and your leader commits a questionable (Immoral) act.

If you're paying people who haven't been paid in order to keep them happy, you're really just gaming the system, which doesn't seem fair, and if you're paying them to forget about your Immoral acts, I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for...

Can you tell us a little about Kat? That might make this easier.

To be clear, when I throw all this pattern stuff out, I'm not saying that things can't be another way. I'm just trying to establish the baseline by showing you "Okay, here's how GF9 has done it so far... How do you want to stack up against that?"
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Wydraz
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Re: Kat (from the CBC website)
"She spent her life on the Great Plains and wants to start a ranch, to breed and raise cattle. She shared this dream with her husband Jeremiah, until he was lost in a brutal massacre [a short time after losing their only child]. Already a headstrong, passionate woman, Kat drives those traits toward a search for justice. She believes a woman is just as capable as a man, regardless of society’s opinion, and shows little patience for those who are not aware of their own capabilities."


For what she has so far, I'm leaning towards adding 1 Negotiate, and Transport (she has a horse), and something else...

Now that you've thought through the 'removing disgruntled token' idea, I can see it's not right. But there's something about Kat the makes me think she can turn any situation around through sheer persistence.

As I said, she doesn't exactly fit any occupational keywords, thought she has some skill equivalent to many of them, but certainly not enough to get the bonus payments they earn on a regular basis. I almost want to say she can occasionally get ANY bonus (say roll a die, on a 6)?

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George Krubski
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Although FIREARM is a weak keyword, TRANSPORT is strong enough to compensate, so if you go with TRANSPORT and FIREARM, I think you're good.

With respect to the ability, I could see a number of variations about career bonuses.

Would Kat primarily work Legal or would she be willing to cross the line on a regular basis?
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Wydraz
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Like Mal, she is moral, and doesn't seem to care about legalities so much. Although she respects a good lawman, I think her sense of what is right overrides the "letter of the law". For example, she would help free fugitive slaves or falsely imprisoned native Americans (illegal but moral), but she wouldn't smuggle illegal drugs or weapons (illegal and immoral).
 
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Chris Nasipak
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wydraz wrote:

For what she has so far, I'm leaning towards adding 1 Negotiate, and Transport (she has a horse), and something else...

Now that you've thought through the 'removing disgruntled token' idea, I can see it's not right. But there's something about Kat the makes me think she can turn any situation around through sheer persistence.


Maybe let her re-roll certain check types?
 
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George Krubski
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I think that's where we started.
 
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Rick Rather
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wydraz wrote:
I just realized Leaders are never WANTED. If I removed that, she still might be OK?


As a leader, she cannot be captured for a bounty or during the Alliance Contact event.

The main effect of a "wanted" status for her would be that her ship always has "outlaw" status (See page 7 of the rulebook) and thus must always stop when entering the sector where the Alliance Cruiser patrols.
 
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Wydraz
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Updated:

 
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