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Pandemic Legacy: Season 1» Forums » Rules

Subject: Relationship rules (mild relationship spoiler) rss

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Nick Henning
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Hey,

So I have seen the rules discuss creating a character and building relationships. To me it seemed like anytime you chose a character to play (in a game) you could add a relationship between that character and another character. Others are saying that you can only add relationships to characters that have no names whatsoever.

Which is it?
 
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Daniel Danzer
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You add relationships, when you "create" a character, so when it is used for the first time.
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Mathue Faulkner
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The relationship must be between a brand new "created" character and an existing character...
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Xenothon Stelnicki
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As they've said.
 
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Gamer D

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Just to add the above posts are correct but if like my group you accidentally misread it and assigned one relatinship to each character you play that doesn't have one yet that's not a big deal. At most you end up with maybe one extra relationship and a slightly better chance to win that month, and if you happen to get a bonus win out of it your funding will just be lower by two from that point on.

Personally this is a case where I think I'm glad my group misunderstood and played the way we did. It makes more sense mechanically to me and is just as thematic as the normal way. Probably should have been done that way to begin with in my opinion.
 
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Lars Enden
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Suppose in a two player game, each player chooses a brand new character. Can they establish a relationship between these two characters or must they each establish relationships with already existing named characters that they are not playing currently?
 
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Mike Krajewski
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brayle wrote:
Suppose in a two player game, each player chooses a brand new character. Can they establish a relationship between these two characters or must they each establish relationships with already existing named characters that they are not playing currently?

The rules state that they need to establish a relationship with an already named character. So you could both play with new characters, and form relationships with the characters sitting out if you want. Of course you wouldn't be able to use those abilities unless both of the characters were in the game. You can't create a relationship between two unnamed character (at least according to the printed rules).
 
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Lars Enden
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mkrajew wrote:
brayle wrote:
Suppose in a two player game, each player chooses a brand new character. Can they establish a relationship between these two characters or must they each establish relationships with already existing named characters that they are not playing currently?

The rules state that they need to establish a relationship with an already named character. So you could both play with new characters, and form relationships with the characters sitting out if you want. Of course you wouldn't be able to use those abilities unless both of the characters were in the game. You can't create a relationship between two unnamed character (at least according to the printed rules).


Right, but are the characters being created "at the same time" or can we think of them as being created "one after the other." If the former, then it seems that you cannot establish a relationship between two characters that are new to the game. But if the latter, then it seems like you could create one of the characters, and then create the other, in which case, the second character could establish a relationship with the former since it has already been created.
 
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Darth Ed
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duchamp wrote:
You add relationships, when you "create" a character, so when it is used for the first time.

I have a probably very silly question as to when you can create a character....

Can you "create" a new character at the start of any game? The rulebook doesn't seem to actually say that. I think it just says you "select" a character.
 
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Mike Krajewski
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DarthEd wrote:
duchamp wrote:
You add relationships, when you "create" a character, so when it is used for the first time.

I have a probably very silly question as to when you can create a character....

Can you "create" a new character at the start of any game? The rulebook doesn't seem to actually say that. I think it just says you "select" a character.
It says you select a character and give it a name. A character is created once it has a name written on it.
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Soren Hedberg
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Apparently my group screwed this up. We gave relationships to already created characters as well. Oh well.
 
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Allison
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albynomonk wrote:
Apparently my group screwed this up. We gave relationships to already created characters as well. Oh well.


My husband and I did the same thing. Also, we actually didn't even name our characters until the game after we added the relationship.

I think it makes sense to allow the current characters to form a relationship. We are playing Medic and Scientist.
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Nicole van der Hoeven
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DTKokoro wrote:
albynomonk wrote:
Apparently my group screwed this up. We gave relationships to already created characters as well. Oh well.


My husband and I did the same thing. Also, we actually didn't even name our characters until the game after we added the relationship.

I think it makes sense to allow the current characters to form a relationship. We are playing Medic and Scientist.


Yep, we just did this too. For some reason we thought it applied to existing characters as well as new ones. Eh, I don't think it's a big deal, though - I agree that thematically, it makes sense to define the relationship of the two characters that are actually in play. Seems a bit weird that it would be any other way.
 
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Deb Wentworth
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nicolevanderhoeven wrote:
DTKokoro wrote:
albynomonk wrote:
Apparently my group screwed this up. We gave relationships to already created characters as well. Oh well.


My husband and I did the same thing. Also, we actually didn't even name our characters until the game after we added the relationship.

I think it makes sense to allow the current characters to form a relationship. We are playing Medic and Scientist.


Yep, we just did this too. For some reason we thought it applied to existing characters as well as new ones. Eh, I don't think it's a big deal, though - I agree that thematically, it makes sense to define the relationship of the two characters that are actually in play. Seems a bit weird that it would be any other way.


Uh.... Whoops.
 
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travis bartos
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My group did the same, I agree that it makes sense thematically but it also kind of messes with the game mechanics. It makes it a bitry easier and you disinclined to add new characters to the mix.
 
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T Brehm
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dugman wrote:
Just to add the above posts are correct but if like my group you accidentally misread it and assigned one relatinship to each character you play that doesn't have one yet that's not a big deal. At most you end up with maybe one extra relationship and a slightly better chance to win that month, and if you happen to get a bonus win out of it your funding will just be lower by two from that point on.

Personally this is a case where I think I'm glad my group misunderstood and played the way we did. It makes more sense mechanically to me and is just as thematic as the normal way. Probably should have been done that way to begin with in my opinion.


I (respectfully) disagree. One of the reasons to have the relationships is to make it easier/more balanced to bring on new characters after other characters have skill upgrades.

Adding relationships to your core team doesn't have the same effect.

Also, it's a pseudo punishment for playing your dream team right off the bat.
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Gamer D

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Granite26 wrote:
dugman wrote:
Just to add the above posts are correct but if like my group you accidentally misread it and assigned one relatinship to each character you play that doesn't have one yet that's not a big deal. At most you end up with maybe one extra relationship and a slightly better chance to win that month, and if you happen to get a bonus win out of it your funding will just be lower by two from that point on.

Personally this is a case where I think I'm glad my group misunderstood and played the way we did. It makes more sense mechanically to me and is just as thematic as the normal way. Probably should have been done that way to begin with in my opinion.


I (respectfully) disagree. One of the reasons to have the relationships is to make it easier/more balanced to bring on new characters after other characters have skill upgrades.

Adding relationships to your core team doesn't have the same effect.

Also, it's a pseudo punishment for playing your dream team right off the bat.


That's ok, I respectfully disagree too. As far as it being a balancing mechanism keep in mind that the new characters might be coming in because the old characters got Scars or died, in which case the old characters were actually possibly weaker than the new ones. You're also assuming that players selected character skill upgrades, but that is not guaranteed. In our campaign for example we spent the first couple of months selecting positive mutations and permanent bases and unfunded events over character upgrades.

And there's no reason to "pseudo punish" players for playing characters they like. You can win the game with a variety of team selections, the game by no means forces you to play a particular "dream team". So why would the game need an artificial way to deter you from playing any particular set of characters right off the bat?

No, I suspect the reason the relationships are done the way they are is thematic rather than mechanical. It probably felt strange thematically that characters who had no relationship to each other in January suddenly have one in February. In terms of game mechanics or balance, though, the effect is minimal, and in terms of giving the players interesting options at the start of the game it's more fun to allow them to add relationships to any characters they want when the concept is introduced.
 
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Robert Stewart
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dugman wrote:
[...]And there's no reason to "pseudo punish" players for playing characters they like. You can win the game with a variety of team selections, the game by no means forces you to play a particular "dream team". So why would the game need an artificial way to deter you from playing any particular set of characters right off the bat?

No, I suspect the reason the relationships are done the way they are is thematic rather than mechanical. It probably felt strange thematically that characters who had no relationship to each other in January suddenly have one in February. In terms of game mechanics or balance, though, the effect is minimal, and in terms of giving the players interesting options at the start of the game it's more fun to allow them to add relationships to any characters they want when the concept is introduced.


There's one very good reason to "pseudo punish" players for having played their preferred combo in January - it establishes early that the game is going to ambush you with twists that make you regret having made obvious choices in previous games - for example, the Researcher-Scientist-Coworker combo is obviously a good way to make curing diseases much easier for the rest of the game, but is only available if you didn't use the Researcher-Scientist combo in January (and didn't use both in separate games in January having lost the first).

It's important to have something early on that establishes that the Legacy Deck is out to get you so players are prepared when it happens later - if the first ambush was sprung in August, then it would feel a lot more unfair than it does when you can reasonably be expected to know that putting all your eggs in one basket is risky.

Thematically, several relationships are ones that might be expected to develop as a result of working together in January - Coworkers and Rivals particularly - Family is the one that sticks out as unlikely to suddenly appear after working together for a month...
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Clive Jones

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brayle wrote:
Right, but are the characters being created "at the same time" or can we think of them as being created "one after the other."

An interesting question, though not one which has come up for us, in practice.

My feeling is that the players choose their characters one after another rather than simultaneously, so you could establish a relationship (though just one, not two) between two characters you created in the same game.

I also suspect you can choose your characters in any order rather than clockwise around the table. That could also matter...


Given we've still never had a definitive ruling on when you choose how many players there are or the order in which they sit around the table, it seems unlikely we'll get a ruling on this, either.
 
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Wei-Hwa Huang
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rmsgrey wrote:
Family is the one that sticks out as unlikely to suddenly appear after working together for a month...


I feel that our game stretched the credulity of Family to pretty much its limits.

Spoilers up to November:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

We managed to avoid using the Operations Expert all the way until September, where the new Objective (find the Paranoid Soldier in the Military Base) made us decide we wanted more Military Bases in the world. So the Operations Expert gets created, and becomes a Family member of the Dispatcher.

So the team's only Asian guy claims that the team's newest and only black guy is his family. Everyone else is kind of dubious about that.

Who knew that in two weeks, the black guy would turn out to have betrayed us all when it turned out he was Sagittarius. And that he was just in it for the Military Bases.

At the beginning of November, the pony-tailed white guy (Immunologist) shows up as a character and also claims to be a Family member of the Dispatcher.

Yeah, right....
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Robert Stewart
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onigame wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
Family is the one that sticks out as unlikely to suddenly appear after working together for a month...


I feel that our game stretched the credulity of Family to pretty much its limits.

Spoilers up to November:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

We managed to avoid using the Operations Expert all the way until September, where the new Objective (find the Paranoid Soldier in the Military Base) made us decide we wanted more Military Bases in the world. So the Operations Expert gets created, and becomes a Family member of the Dispatcher.

So the team's only Asian guy claims that the team's newest and only black guy is his family. Everyone else is kind of dubious about that.

Who knew that in two weeks, the black guy would turn out to have betrayed us all when it turned out he was Sagittarius. And that he was just in it for the Military Bases.

At the beginning of November, the pony-tailed white guy (Immunologist) shows up as a character and also claims to be a Family member of the Dispatcher.

Yeah, right....


Lots of adoption in that family?
 
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Gamer D

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rmsgrey wrote:
dugman wrote:
[...]And there's no reason to "pseudo punish" players for playing characters they like. You can win the game with a variety of team selections, the game by no means forces you to play a particular "dream team". So why would the game need an artificial way to deter you from playing any particular set of characters right off the bat?

No, I suspect the reason the relationships are done the way they are is thematic rather than mechanical. It probably felt strange thematically that characters who had no relationship to each other in January suddenly have one in February. In terms of game mechanics or balance, though, the effect is minimal, and in terms of giving the players interesting options at the start of the game it's more fun to allow them to add relationships to any characters they want when the concept is introduced.


There's one very good reason to "pseudo punish" players for having played their preferred combo in January - it establishes early that the game is going to ambush you with twists that make you regret having made obvious choices in previous games - for example, the Researcher-Scientist-Coworker combo is obviously a good way to make curing diseases much easier for the rest of the game, but is only available if you didn't use the Researcher-Scientist combo in January (and didn't use both in separate games in January having lost the first).

It's important to have something early on that establishes that the Legacy Deck is out to get you so players are prepared when it happens later - if the first ambush was sprung in August, then it would feel a lot more unfair than it does when you can reasonably be expected to know that putting all your eggs in one basket is risky.


Sorry I'm simply not buying this argument. You don't need relationships at all to make players paranoid about the Legacy deck, all you need is the first Legacy card in January that suddenly makes a disease incurable which happens even before relationships are available in the first place! If that isn't enough of a kick to get players thinking outside the box so to speak then I'm sure the things that happen in the next three months will kickstart them as well.

So no, I don't think any additional penalty is necessary to make the game feel artificially punishing. The Legacy deck itself already does that job, as does the loss of funding when you win. And this happens right from the start of the game, there's no "waiting until August" for things to get interesting.
 
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Robert Stewart
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dugman wrote:
Sorry I'm simply not buying this argument. You don't need relationships at all to make players paranoid about the Legacy deck, all you need is the first Legacy card in January that suddenly makes a disease incurable which happens even before relationships are available in the first place! If that isn't enough of a kick to get players thinking outside the box so to speak then I'm sure the things that happen in the next three months will kickstart them as well.

So no, I don't think any additional penalty is necessary to make the game feel artificially punishing. The Legacy deck itself already does that job, as does the loss of funding when you win. And this happens right from the start of the game, there's no "waiting until August" for things to get interesting.


Mid-January neither rewards nor punishes "good" play particularly. There's no trap there for the unwary to walk into.

Adding relationships in February and not letting them be created between characters that already exist does punish "good" play in January - or at least creates a situation where people say they'd play differently in January if they knew what was coming. That's a "gotcha!" moment from the Legacy deck.

Losing funding when you win isn't a "gotcha!" - you know it's coming, and the consensus appears to be that it's still worth winning as much as possible rather than trying to build up funding for later.

There are only a few twists in the game where you have reason to actively regret having made a particular "obvious" choice previously - not being able to co-worker Researcher and Scientist is the first. Without it, you could easily reach August still believing that the Legacy Deck is fair, and that doing the obviously best thing in the short-term is always going to work out.
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Gamer D

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rmsgrey wrote:
dugman wrote:
Sorry I'm simply not buying this argument. You don't need relationships at all to make players paranoid about the Legacy deck, all you need is the first Legacy card in January that suddenly makes a disease incurable which happens even before relationships are available in the first place! If that isn't enough of a kick to get players thinking outside the box so to speak then I'm sure the things that happen in the next three months will kickstart them as well.

So no, I don't think any additional penalty is necessary to make the game feel artificially punishing. The Legacy deck itself already does that job, as does the loss of funding when you win. And this happens right from the start of the game, there's no "waiting until August" for things to get interesting.


Mid-January neither rewards nor punishes "good" play particularly. There's no trap there for the unwary to walk into.

Adding relationships in February and not letting them be created between characters that already exist does punish "good" play in January - or at least creates a situation where people say they'd play differently in January if they knew what was coming. That's a "gotcha!" moment from the Legacy deck.

Losing funding when you win isn't a "gotcha!" - you know it's coming, and the consensus appears to be that it's still worth winning as much as possible rather than trying to build up funding for later.

There are only a few twists in the game where you have reason to actively regret having made a particular "obvious" choice previously - not being able to co-worker Researcher and Scientist is the first. Without it, you could easily reach August still believing that the Legacy Deck is fair, and that doing the obviously best thing in the short-term is always going to work out.


You're assuming that Researcher / Scientist is "obviously the best combo". Actually I'm in a second play through and they are not using either character and are doing better than the first playthrough that used that combo.

I also think you are wrong if you believe people think the Legacy deck doesn't make the game harder starting in January.

On top of which, even if hypothetically allowing the players to use relationships early made the game slightly easier, so what? It might result in an extra won game early on which would result in less funding later so it balances out for the most part.

So again, no reason to artificially discourage using particular characters that you felt like playing in January. I don't see a benefit either balance wise or thematically to it. You are really not selling me on any practical benefit to not having relationships available in January or allowing players to use them on any character they want to in February when they first appear.
 
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Robert Stewart
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dugman wrote:
On top of which, even if hypothetically allowing the players to use relationships early made the game slightly easier, so what? It might result in an extra won game early on which would result in less funding later so it balances out for the most part.

So again, no reason to artificially discourage using particular characters that you felt like playing in January. I don't see a benefit either balance wise or thematically to it. You are really not selling me on any practical benefit to not having relationships available in January or allowing players to use them on any character they want to in February when they first appear.


Researcher-Scientist coworkers may not be the strongest combo, but it's an obvious combo that's a clear improvement over Researcher and Scientist without a relationship, and which will be denied to the players who most want to play it. If you have some other combo among the first five characters that's good for (at least) the first couple of games, and which would be enhanced by a specific relationship, feel free to use that as an example instead.

And winning an extra game early on only affects funding later if you never hit zero funding anyway - a lot of people are at 0 funding going into April, if not before, so the extra win, at best, would "balance" February or March with reduced funding - the loss of a couple of upgrades is the lasting effect.

As for the benefits of ambushing the players with relationships, when and how would you suggest ambushing players in the first few games so that they have fair warning before the big ambush in Autumn and don't feel they had no way of knowing that sort of thing could happen?

I guarantee that if the Legacy Deck doesn't have an obvious trap for the players fairly early, some groups will reach that ambush having set themselves up for it to completely wreck them, and flip the table at that point. You'll still have some unhappy people even with something early to show that the Legacy Deck does actually contain traps, but at least they will have been warned...
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