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Subject: Project Star Trek: WIP - Crew rss

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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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Crew will follow more or less the same formatting as in Firefly. They're Hired (Requisitioned) in the same way, and use skills, abilities, and gear the same way.

The main difference is that there won't be any dedicated Leaders, such as Mal. Instead, captains are in the Supply Deck with the rest of the personnel. Story or Scenario setups may have you choose captains in different ways. One may have you pull all the Captains from all the decks and choose from them as you would in Firefly. Another may have you start with an empty ship (and probably more Prestige), and you have to search through the deck (in the normal fashion) until you find someone with the Command keyword.

So the captain of your ship may not actually be a captain by rank. It should be the highest ranking crew with the Command keyword, which designates that they've taken the Kobiashi Maru test, and are eligible to command a starship.

As you progress through the game and acquire more crew (and kill some), your captain will probably change.

PROMOTIONS:

Following along with that concept, promotions allow individual crew to rise in rank, and earn new skills or keywords. Ideally, these will be clear cards that overlay the crew card and add the new rank and attributes. I asked Printerstudio if they did these. They don't, but said they'd look into it. I'll proceed with the assumption that they won't, but if that changes then it becomes a very attractive option. Plan B, is to have tabs that you place on the bottom part of the character that covers the old rank, and adds the new info. Two could be printed on one card, which you would then have to cut out.

One question about promotions is whether they should be randomly drawn from a deck, and then assigned to an applicable crew if available, or if you choose a crew to promote and search through the promotion tabs for the one you want. There are pros and cons to both methods.

Another question is whether they should cap at 1 per character, or if you can just keep climbing the ranks.

Also, perhaps, demotion is a possible result of a run in with the Magistrate. Maybe the character loses a Rank to remove a Reprimand rather than face a Court Marshal and risk prison.

RANKS:
I think that ranks should basically outline how many skills and/or keywords a character has. All characters will have an ability, and I think the ones who start with higher ranks out of the gate should probably have more useful/powerful abilities. Something like:

Ensign/Crewman: 2 skill or keyword
Lieutenant: 3 skills or keywords
Lt. Commander: 4 skills or keywords
Commander: 5 skills or keywords
Captain: 6 skills or keywords

Some might have an extra skill or keyword because their ability might be something considered detrimental, or because they're Big Federation Heroes.

MORAL:
Moral should work pretty much the same, but begs the question of what to do with Disgruntled. I think we can keep Disgruntled. But instead of the crew jumping ship immediately when they have 2, those 2 Disgruntled tokens become a Reprimand. Basically, their surly, disgruntled behavior causes them to falter in the discharge of their duties. Disgruntled tokens can be removed by Shore Leave as in Firefly, but once they become a Reprimand, they're stuck there.

Reprimands could be removed by facing the Magistrate. It's a risk, because they might be demoted, imprisoned or otherwise relieved of their position. Alternately, if the character was eligible for Promotion, you can discard the Promotion tab along with the Reprimand.

MAVERICK:
Maverick is kind of like Ruthless in that these are officers who will bend the rules. Not Ruthlessly bend... They're not Klingons. They won't feed crewmembers who fail them to their pet beagles. But they will be more adept at certain missions, and maybe Maverick captains can exclusively take certain high risk/high reward missions. Failure on those would bring Reprimands for creating diplomatic disasters or violations of the Prime Directive. Perhaps this aligns with Immoral Jobs in causing Moral crew to become Disgruntled.

BY THE BOOK:
This idea is similar to Moral, and while the name is not the best, this would be the opposite of Maverick. I think there could be Missions exclusively available to "By-the-book" captains in the same way as above, or Missions that reward them or penalize Maverick captains.

For simplicity sake, should this concept replace Moral or be incorporated into Moral? I kind of see the moral/immoral question not coming up that often in the Star Trek concept. You're a Star Fleet vessel. You WILL stop to answer a distress call - Though I suppose there could be PRIORITY Missions that require you to choose a Navigation option that allows you to Keep Flying rather than Full Stopping.

 
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Carl Hanson
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Scarbuck wrote:
Crew will follow more or less the same formatting as in Firefly. They're Hired (Requisitioned) in the same way, and use skills, abilities, and gear the same way.

The main difference is that there won't be any dedicated Leaders, such as Mal. Instead, captains are in the Supply Deck with the rest of the personnel. Story or Scenario setups may have you choose captains in different ways. One may have you pull all the Captains from all the decks and choose from them as you would in Firefly. Another may have you start with an empty ship (and probably more Prestige), and you have to search through the deck (in the normal fashion) until you find someone with the Command keyword.

So the captain of your ship may not actually be a captain by rank. It should be the highest ranking crew with the Command keyword, which designates that they've taken the Kobiashi Maru test, and are eligible to command a starship.

As you progress through the game and acquire more crew (and kill some), your captain will probably change.


I like the idea of a fluid captain, but measures need to be taken to make sure every player has a similar baseline to start with. Maybe the standard start up involves randomly drawing from a selection of "baseline" captains. Or each ship starts with a "placeholder" captain with one of each skill and no special ability that is transferred off the ship when a crew with Command is recruited.


Scarbuck wrote:

PROMOTIONS:

Following along with that concept, promotions allow individual crew to rise in rank, and earn new skills or keywords. Ideally, these will be clear cards that overlay the crew card and add the new rank and attributes. I asked Printerstudio if they did these. They don't, but said they'd look into it. I'll proceed with the assumption that they won't, but if that changes then it becomes a very attractive option. Plan B, is to have tabs that you place on the bottom part of the character that covers the old rank, and adds the new info. Two could be printed on one card, which you would then have to cut out.

One question about promotions is whether they should be randomly drawn from a deck, and then assigned to an applicable crew if available, or if you choose a crew to promote and search through the promotion tabs for the one you want. There are pros and cons to both methods.

Another question is whether they should cap at 1 per character, or if you can just keep climbing the ranks.

Also, perhaps, demotion is a possible result of a run in with the Magistrate. Maybe the character loses a Rank to remove a Reprimand rather than face a Court Marshal and risk prison.


I think tokens could be used to designate promotions. That may be a problem with printing, as they would need to be on heavy cardstock, but just adding the skill token to the card and providing rules on how added skills change ranks could be enough.

With this method of static promotions, I would consider allowing them to be purchased with Prestige. Maybe make a rule that when Reporting to an Admiral that you are solid with (assuming some version of rep is retained), you may spend some value of prestige to promote one Crew assigned to your ship.

Scarbuck wrote:
RANKS:
I think that ranks should basically outline how many skills and/or keywords a character has. All characters will have an ability, and I think the ones who start with higher ranks out of the gate should probably have more useful/powerful abilities. Something like:

Ensign/Crewman: 1 skill or keyword
Lieutenant: 2 skills or keywords
Lt. Commander: 3 skills or keywords
Commander: 4 skills or keywords
Captain: 5 skills or keywords

Some might have an extra skill or keyword because their ability might be something considered detrimental, or because they're Big Federation Heroes.


Look, it's the guide to how skills relate to rank! For the sake of ease of pay, I would make the rule that each promotion adds a skill and increases rank by one level. Captains can not be promoted.

Scarbuck wrote:
MORAL:
Moral should work pretty much the same, but begs the question of what to do with Disgruntled. I think we can keep Disgruntled. But instead of the crew jumping ship immediately when they have 2, those 2 Disgruntled tokens become a Reprimand. Basically, their surly, disgruntled behavior causes them to falter in the discharge of their duties. Disgruntled tokens can be removed by Shore Leave as in Firefly, but once they become a Reprimand, they're stuck there.

Reprimands could be removed by facing the Magistrate. It's a risk, because they might be demoted, imprisoned or otherwise relieved of their position. Alternately, if the character was eligible for Promotion, you can discard the Promotion tab along with the Reprimand.


I think I agree with your thought below that Moral should be combined with BY THE BOOK. There is not much benefit to having both, I think.

Scarbuck wrote:
MAVERICK:
Maverick is kind of like Ruthless in that these are officers who will bend the rules. Not Ruthlessly bend... They're not Klingons. They won't feed crewmembers who fail them to their pet beagles. But they will be more adept at certain missions, and maybe Maverick captains can exclusively take certain high risk/high reward missions. Failure on those would bring Reprimands for creating diplomatic disasters or violations of the Prime Directive. Perhaps this aligns with Immoral Jobs in causing Moral crew to become Disgruntled.

BY THE BOOK:
This idea is similar to Moral, and while the name is not the best, this would be the opposite of Maverick. I think there could be Missions exclusively available to "By-the-book" captains in the same way as above, or Missions that reward them or penalize Maverick captains.

For simplicity sake, should this concept replace Moral or be incorporated into Moral? I kind of see the moral/immoral question not coming up that often in the Star Trek concept. You're a Star Fleet vessel. You WILL stop to answer a distress call - Though I suppose there could be PRIORITY Missions that require you to choose a Navigation option that allows you to Keep Flying rather than Full Stopping.


I think the challenge here is figuring out where characters without either MAVERICK or BY THE BOOK fit into the scheme of things. Or are you envisioning a system where all Crew fit into one of these two buckets?
 
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turambur wrote:
I like the idea of a fluid captain, but measures need to be taken to make sure every player has a similar baseline to start with. Maybe the standard start up involves randomly drawing from a selection of "baseline" captains. Or each ship starts with a "placeholder" captain with one of each skill and no special ability that is transferred off the ship when a crew with Command is recruited.

Agreed. I think that can be a function of the Story or Setup mechanism. The system is kind of open ended like this, so there are lots of options, from creating a pool of captains, to giving players a larger starting fund to 'hire' crew, or granting an allowance at the start of the game to promote someone up to the rank of Captain or something. Like maybe you have 3 Promotions available to you at the start of the game, and may assign them to Crew as you see fit. Build up one crew member a lot or several a little.


turambur wrote:

I think tokens could be used to designate promotions. That may be a problem with printing, as they would need to be on heavy cardstock, but just adding the skill token to the card and providing rules on how added skills change ranks could be enough.

With this method of static promotions, I would consider allowing them to be purchased with Prestige. Maybe make a rule that when Reporting to an Admiral that you are solid with (assuming some version of rep is retained), you may spend some value of prestige to promote one Crew assigned to your ship.


Tokens aren't a bad idea. Tabs are sort of the same in practice, and what I'm thinking of is basically taking advantage of the fact that we're already printing a deck of cards. So they come out very nice and consistent with the other cards.

turambur wrote:
Look, it's the guide to how skills relate to rank! For the sake of ease of pay, I would make the rule that each promotion adds a skill and increases rank by one level. Captains can not be promoted.


Captain should be the highest possible rank. After that you're behind a desk, and where's the fun in that? I'm thinking a promotion will add a skill or a keyword. You would only be able to go up one rank per promotion.

So how promotions are assigned or selected comes into play again. If it's random, you draw a promotion card/tab/token, and assign it to someone eligible for that new rank. If you drew a Commander, but only have Lieutenants, you can't assign it to anyone. Would it be lost? Do you draw another?

If it's not random, you would select a crew to promote, and search through to find the correct new rank card/tab/token for them. I'm partial to the random concept. 1) I like random in games & 2) It's faster than waiting for someone to sort through a pile of stuff.

turambur wrote:
I think I agree with your thought below that Moral should be combined with BY THE BOOK. There is not much benefit to having both, I think.


Indeed. What's a better way to say "By-The-Book"?


turambur wrote:
I think the challenge here is figuring out where characters without either MAVERICK or BY THE BOOK fit into the scheme of things. Or are you envisioning a system where all Crew fit into one of these two buckets?


I think Firefly has it right here, though they only use Moral. The lack of the Moral keyword doesn't by any means make any of those characters "immoral". You basically have Moral people and then the remaining entirety to the 'morality spectrum'. Ruthless is a nice addition because it identifies those individuals at the far other end of the scale.

Here we're looking at a somewhat different though overlapping spectrum. Like Firefly, most characters will be in the middle somewhere, with a few special characters representing the far ends. Of the main character crew, I think:
*Kirk is a Maverick, and fairly Moral, though I don't know if I would label him Moral in a Firelfy context.
*Spock is By-the-book, but not Moral. He would turn himself in for breaking the rules, but would allow people to die if logic dictated it was for the greater good. I guess his by-the-book-ness could be argued as he willing to break the rules in the first place.
*Uhura is Absolutely Moral, and, in the context of TOS, probably By-the-book.

Labeling the main characters one way or the other will be tricky, though I think the rest of them fall in the non-labeled middle. For the supporting characters, some will be very obvious from their actions on those episodes. For the background characters, who are little more than a name, a face, and a colored shirt, we have some liberty to assign them an attribute to bring some balance to the overall complement of crew.
 
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Scarbuck wrote:
Captain should be the highest possible rank. After that you're behind a desk, and where's the fun in that? I'm thinking a promotion will add a skill or a keyword. You would only be able to go up one rank per promotion.

So how promotions are assigned or selected comes into play again. If it's random, you draw a promotion card/tab/token, and assign it to someone eligible for that new rank. If you drew a Commander, but only have Lieutenants, you can't assign it to anyone. Would it be lost? Do you draw another?

If it's not random, you would select a crew to promote, and search through to find the correct new rank card/tab/token for them. I'm partial to the random concept. 1) I like random in games & 2) It's faster than waiting for someone to sort through a pile of stuff.


If you are adding Keywords with promotions, then cards are probably a better solution than tokens. For random draws, you can just list the bonus (+1 Skill or Keyword gained), +1 Rank (a chart of the ranks can be included as a reference card), and +100P (as you illustrated on your earlier sample).

That way, instead of promoting to a specific rank you are just increasing their rank by one. That eliminates the chance that a player earns a promotion but can't assign it and makes sure that promotions happen linearly. Plus it gives players more control over who to promote. Do you pile abilities and rank on a few crew and keep cannon fodder on hand to eat up losses, or spread the promotions out around the crew to lessen the impact of losing crew with no Red Shirts around to eat the phaser.

Scarbuck wrote:
turambur wrote:
I think I agree with your thought below that Moral should be combined with BY THE BOOK. There is not much benefit to having both, I think.


Indeed. What's a better way to say "By-The-Book"?


turambur wrote:
I think the challenge here is figuring out where characters without either MAVERICK or BY THE BOOK fit into the scheme of things. Or are you envisioning a system where all Crew fit into one of these two buckets?


I think Firefly has it right here, though they only use Moral. The lack of the Moral keyword doesn't by any means make any of those characters "immoral". You basically have Moral people and then the remaining entirety to the 'morality spectrum'. Ruthless is a nice addition because it identifies those individuals at the far other end of the scale.

Here we're looking at a somewhat different though overlapping spectrum. Like Firefly, most characters will be in the middle somewhere, with a few special characters representing the far ends. Of the main character crew, I think:
*Kirk is a Maverick, and fairly Moral, though I don't know if I would label him Moral in a Firelfy context.
*Spock is By-the-book, but not Moral. He would turn himself in for breaking the rules, but would allow people to die if logic dictated it was for the greater good. I guess his by-the-book-ness could be argued as he willing to break the rules in the first place.
*Uhura is Absolutely Moral, and, in the context of TOS, probably By-the-book.

Labeling the main characters one way or the other will be tricky, though I think the rest of them fall in the non-labeled middle. For the supporting characters, some will be very obvious from their actions on those episodes. For the background characters, who are little more than a name, a face, and a colored shirt, we have some liberty to assign them an attribute to bring some balance to the overall complement of crew.


I think Morality should be thrown out. It isn't really a major theme of the show because practically ever character on the show is Moral enough that those types of decisions aren't very interesting. By focusing on MAVERICK versus STICKLER (is that better than BY THE BOOK?), you can focus on the recurring conflict that we see in the series and movies.

It would take some imagination to come up with enough Missions to make MAVERICK jobs interesting (I don't see too many Starfleet missions asking you to break the Prime Directive). Maybe one of the Admirals is working his own agenda and giving off-book missions to support it (and Niska analog of sorts), or isn't Starfleet at all but is willing to hire Starfleet captains for "side jobs".
 
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As I ponder it more, I prefer a Promotion token/tab/card that has the new Rank on it. I think it decreases confusion a little. You might lose a little control over who can be promoted, but at the same time, it opens the door to character abilities and equipment that mitigate that.

Maybe a disposable item called Special Starfleet Dispensation. You can Discard it to discard the Promotion card you just drew and draw a fresh one.

Better. There are many awards and commendations given by Starfleet. Each of them is potentially some sort of disposable item that can do lots of stuff, like let you re-roll dice, redraw cards, search a deck, remove a Reprimand, auto-pass a test, etc.

Palm Leaf of the Axanar Peace Mission
Grankite Order of Tactics
Prantares Ribbon of Commendation, (Comes in First and Second Class)
Medal of Honor
Silver Palm with Cluster
Starfleet Citation for Conspicuous Gallantry
Karagite Order of Heroism

Am in concurrence about the Moral keyword. And Stickler is, for the moment, better than By-the-book, if only because it's just one word and will fit on a card easier. The trait shall be know as Stickler from hence until a better name comes along.

In addition to Missions that either require or favor (or hinder) a Maverick (or Stickler for that matter), the "Misbehaves" might also favor or hinder one or the other. Also, certain pieces of gear might be specific, such as some of the above awards might only be used by a Stickler captain, or maybe there's a Klingon knife as a piece of kit that only a Maverick officer would use as it's very unregulation.

 
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Catching up on the entire thread here. I have a number of thoughts, but I will say first that while I think that some elements of Firefly port over very easily, Star Trek is a different experience with a different feel, and in some cases, I wonder if it's forcing things to keep the parallels intact.

My thoughts may be a bit disjointed -- and possibly even self-contradictory -- because I'll be going through the thread chronologically.

WHO'S IN COMMAND: Highest ranking officer with the Command keyword. What if you have two guys of the same rank, or have no one with the Command keyword?

PROMOTIONS: I know you want to also have Gear, but perhaps it would be cleaner if Promotions essentially take the place of Gear? Honestly, with the addition of Promotions, I can see this getting very complicated very quickly.

RANKS seem reasonable, but I think that, like Firefly, some folks should get +1 because they either have a drawback or are superstars. I think that's essentially what you're recommending.

MORAL / MAVERICK / BY THE BOOK/STICKLER: This is one place where I think you may be getting tripped up by staying too close to Firefly. In Firefly, the question of how far the crew will go, what lines they will cross to take care of themselves, looms large. So too does the idea of being tracked down by bounty hunters or the authorities. Hence, we have Moral and Wanted as two major elements. I added Ruthless as further variety so we can get some really bad folks to play with. Because, hey, Riddick is fun.

Now, Star Trek, on the other hand, is not concerned with these elements. The crew don't get arrested (unless something goes outrageously wrong) and while they may struggle with "morality," it's along a very different axis of what we see in Firefly.

I can see the inclusion of Maverick and Stickler, but I would envision it in a somewhat different way, but perhaps these are not drawbacks but rather benefits, and a well-rounded crew is your best option. Kirk's Maverick, for example, is balanced by Spock's Sticker, and Pickard's Stickler by Riker's Maverick.

I would see that each "Crisis" offers two options - but your choices are between paths, so you can have a Standard vs Stickler, Standard vs Maverick, or perhaps even Sticker vs Maverick. The Stickler and Maverick options might offer bigger risk and bigger reward, but if you have the right crew, you mitigate that.

DISGRUNTLED (and SHORE LEAVE): Do we need Disgruntled? Again, this is a tonal difference. In Firefly, you're talking independent crew members who can get unhappy and leave. Mal deals, to some extent, with trying to keep his crew happy so they stay with him. Kirk and Picard don't have to deal with that. This is a JOB for these crew members. They're not going anywhere by choice!

I think the idea that Crew can get Reprimands is reasonable, and if they receive enough Reprimands, they are removed from play, but I'm not sure how that plays in exactly, which leads to...

SHORE LEAVE: Although we DO see crews take Shore Leave in Star Trek with some regularity, I think the idea of Shore Leave as a way to eliminate Disgruntled could become irrelevant. However, I suppose if you go with Reprimands, some sort of "safety training" makes sense: the whole crew has to go through it, so that anyone with a Reprimand can shake it, and you lose prestige while you're doing it.

MAKING SURE EVERY CREW HAS A SIMILAR BASELINE TO START: Since Crew is fluid, what if Crew cards are - initially at least - separated by Rank, and each player draws an appropriate "starting Crew," perhaps something like 2 Ensigns, a Lt, and a Lt. Commander. Then shuffle all remaining Crew...

SPENDING PRESTIGE TO PURCHASE PROMOTIONS: I like this idea, especially if they somewhat replace Gear. I'd also like to see Missions or other elements where perhaps you have the option to chose between Prestige or a Promotion.

RANDOM PROMOTIONS: If you're going to draw randomly, I would see some of them being fully neutral (+1 rank, +1 Fight) while others have requirements, perhaps either a certain rank or an existing keyword or level of skill -- or both.

If we were to talk about this in terms of Firefly, we might have something like "Add Soldier. Requires 1 Fight" or "Add SNIPER RIFLE. Requires Soldier."

Getting to the bottom of the thread, I see that I'm hitting a lot of the points you guys have already hit.




 
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I agree 100%, but we have to start somewhere. So we start with the basic Firefly engine, and begin changing terms where appropriate, adding something here, shaving off something there. Eventually, it'll work out.

If you had 2 or more crew with the same rank, you choose one to be in command. I'd say that someone who had that rank originally, rather than through promotion would have seniority, but that's not neccessary, and maybe complicates things. KISS. There should be plenty of characters with the Command keyword, but it's entirely conceivable you could end up in a situation where you didn't have one. Maybe in that case, you can't work and Missions until you return to a Starbase and get one.

I have 3 concerns with Promotions as Gear. 1)you could swap them between characters. 2)you wouldn't be able to carry a phaser, and you HAVE to be able to carry a phaser. 3)you'd be pulling them from supply decks, and I think they should be a little more 'merit based', meaning they should be tied to Mission successes and similar situations.

Yes. That Rank chart is a baseline. Kirk would be better than that. Characters with a drawback of some kind would have more, but it can also be balanced with a cost adjustment. But yeah, working off that baseline.

I'm with you on the Moral thing. And I think limiting it to Maverick and Stickler is good. I'm not sure yet about getting rid of Disgruntled, but I'm not married to keeping it either. That said, Disgruntled does have some interesting game effects, such as crew transfers (a little interplayer rivalry), and the need for shore leave. Maybe those sorts of things aren't necessary, and thus Disgruntled ends up on the cutting room floor.

I like where you're going with the Crisis options concept.

Sometimes we can expand a lot on an idea (not a bad thing at all), and then we need to bring it down a few notches. It's all part of the massaging process, and one of the amazing things about this forum.

That modified shore leave isn't bad at all, and is an interesting way to clear Reprimands. Have to play around with that and if we would still want Admiral Badger to be able to clear Reprimands. Maybe "shore Leave" can clear one, but the Admiral can clear them all, for a higher cost of course.

On starting Crew, I think that's something for the Story/Setup parameters. To expand on your idea a little, you could maybe draw cards from each starbase, keeping only the first Crew of each rank. Put these all on the table, along with the ships. Starting with the first player, go around the table, and each selects one Crew or ship(similar mechanic as choosing ships and Leaders in Firefly) until everyone has X number of cards. Then shuffle the remaining cards back into their decks. basically a variation on Strip Mining, focusing on characters only.

Maybe one of the Admiral abilities is that once you're Solid with him/her (really need a Trek word for "Solid"), every time you complete a Mission for him/her you may pay X amount and receive a promotion. And yes, I think some Missions should have the option to receive Promotion or Prestige, and others a combination of both.

On Random Promotions: Yes. That would be cool. I think that the token/tab/card has to have the new rank on it, which then controls who can receive it, but - at least in so far as the current design concept goes - you're going to cover up the old rank with the new one. If that space then says +1 Rank, you have to keep moving it to remember what the old rank was. I like having a requirement, which could be a skill or a Department. Like "+1Tech, Requires Science".

What's the general opinion on how many promotions a character can receive? Should there be a cap of 1, or should you be able to take an Ensign all the way to Captain? Heck, that could even be a Story card right there.
 
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So a few WIP crew members here to test out the template, and try the wording on some abilities. These costs are placeholders. I'm sure they're nowhere near where they should be.


These lads need no introduction.


Here we have Arex from the Animated series. TAS took extensive advantage of the cartoon media to bring us aliens that could have never been done (some would argue SHOULD never have been done) in the live action series. The people doing new episodes have come up with a CG version for Arex, the 3 armed, 3 legged alien navigator who replaced Chekhov.

And then we have Jonathan Goldsmith. Who you will recognize better as:
Yeah. He was on Star Trek - as a background extra. Back then he was only 'very interesting', not yet 'most interesting'. Thought it'd be fun to throw him in there.


These are examples of crew that you 'hire' and must transport to a location within a time limit in order to earn payment. You can use them as crew along the way, and even elect not to deliver them at all and instead keep them on your crew. These should be more expensive than usual, and the payment should be higher to encourage you to deliver them.

Sarek is of course the Vulcan Ambassador, and Spock's father.

Chaff is a made up criminal character. I found the image in a search and thought it was a great looking make-up, but the straight at the camera pose doesn't make a good "screen capture". It does however make a great mug shot, so she became a criminal that you deliver to detention.
 
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Some more crew today to consider. Again, costs, and for that matter abilities and such, are drafts for now, and comments on them would be welcome and helpful.









Xon was written to be Spock's replacement as Science officer for Star Trek Phase II, which was an attempt to revive the series in the 70s and led to The Motion Picture. But they did do some work on it, which included some characters like Ilia, who ended up in the movie.




A selection of Redshirts. Thompson was the first female crew killed on screen, and if I'm not mistaken, the first actual Redshirt killed (of many to follow). Zane and Orloff were names without any good faces, and seemed alien enough to warrant making them alien crew.


Bateson eventually gets his own command, and is lost in a Temporal rift, emerging in the future and crashing into Piccard's Enterprise.



A few more Vulcans. While Vulcan crew didn't show up on the show very much, they were out there. I'm trying here at the beginning to fluff out the ranks with some more alien crew before filling in the blanks with humans from the show. Satak was captain of the Intrepid which had an all Vulcan crew. But then it was destroyed, so that didn't really work out for them... Sonak was an engineer who was tapped by Kirk to be chief science officer on the Enterprise (Motion Picture). But then he was killed in a transporter accident. So when you think about it, the galaxy really has it out for Vulcans. Sarda was a character in some of the books, but seemed as reasonable as making up a Vulcan.
 
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And some more...

From Star Treks II and IV respectively. Younger versions of some captains who I just realized flew the same class of ships (Reliant and Saratoga).


Enterprise's In a Mirror Darkly provided another captain. Didn't want to make it Archer, and Robert April is a name without a face, unless you count the generic face from TAS.


It wouldn't be Star Trek without Redshirts, so we have here a selection with some variety in stats.
 



Some medical/scientific staff


Engineering crew.


And some Bridge crew.
 
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Okay, I'm trying to get my head around pricing and balance here, and I have a few questions.

In base Firefly, the pricing structure for Crew is fairly simple (but certainly with it's quirks):

1) 100 per skill point (but add +100 for 2 Fight)

2) 100 per keyword (with a few notable exceptions: I believe Companion and Merc net out to 0, possibly Hill Folk, too, but I don't have my spreadsheet in front of me)

3) Cost is reduced by 100 if Moral and/or Wanted (or -200 for both)

4) Most special abilities don't adjust the cost, but there's a relatively solid structure for when they adjust cost up (or, in some cases, down)

5) Some "super-stars" have their cost reduced by 100. This is primarily the crew of Serenity as well as a few "signature" crew from each release.

This is pretty consistent, accurately pricing out the vast majority of Crew.

So what's the basis that we're looking at here? How do Sticker and Maverick factor in?

Since I'm not sure how to account for Sticker/Maverick, let's look at the first Crew without either.

Captain April has 3 skill points (300)... but that includes 2 Fight (+100), as well as 3 Key words (+300). In Firefly, that would net out to a whopping 700! But I'm not sure if all Keywords ARE equal here, or if Fight should be weighted as it is in the Firefly.

How does Rank factor in? Based on prior discussion, it seems to be that Rank is sort of a "secondary attribute" but also an indicate of what cost should be. Basically, something like:

Ensign/Crewman: 2 skill or keyword = 200
Lieutenant: 3 skills or keywords = 300
Lt. Commander: 4 skills or keywords = 400
Commander: 5 skills or keywords = 500
Captain: 6 skills or keywords = 600

This, of course, does not account for Stickler/Maverick, or for special abilities... which bring up some questions about special abilities.

Looking at this array of characters, I wonder if type of special ability should be keyed to rank (negative abilities aside)? In Firefly, at least initially, Leader abilities follow a pretty structured concept (The will either earn you $$$ or save you money -- probably 1000-2000 during the course of the average game).

If you follow that course of action, it would be that all the Captains offer comparable abilities, Commanders offer the same type of thing, etc. Perhaps all Captains offer a large resource bonus (like Leaders), while all Commanders offer a Crew-structured bump (like the Head Goon and Foreman).

That may be too rigid for what you're looking to do.

Will there be generic Crew (Gun Hands, Med Staff, etc) or does EVERYBODY get a name?

What happens when you have multiple Red Shirts on the same crew? Who dies first?

I'm sure I'll have more questions --- and, hopefully insights -- after this volley is discussed.
 
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Holy crap, Diana Muldaur was on TOS?!

Anyway...

One of the benefits of rank is more going on. That in mind, I think that the initial rank of a card should dictate their ability and skill limits (let's call them "attributes" for the sake of brevity.) While I like the list gwek put together, I think it should maybe go down a peg or so; not all crewmen or ensigns are exactly shining stars, after all. I would say crewmen would be your bare minimum Crew; crewmen/yeoman are not commissioned officers, so they would rank lower than Ensigns, and should be one attribute. Ensigns two, Lieutenant three, Lt Commander four, Commander five, Captain six.

For promotions, I'm fond of the idea of a second card that sits underneath the crewman. They could be either developed alongside the character, or just a random set of attributes either dealt or "consider 3, buy 1" when the crew is promoted. You then just slide the Rank card underneath to the appropriate rank, and each slide will add attributes along with addition Prestige cost for that new Rank, and then all the preceding Rank-up enhancements follow.

Example: Crewman Zane (1 Security, Redshirt, 100P cost) acquires a Rank card with the following stats:
Captain: +1 Command, Gains "Maverick" [P+200]
Commander: +1 Cmd [P+100]
Lt. Commander: +1 Sec, Gains "Security Chief" - +2 Sec of 3 or more Security in Landing Party [P+100]
Lieutenant: Gains "Last Stand" - When this Crew would be killed, roll a die before any Medic Checks. If 1-4, Crew dies. If 5-6, return Crew to Ship. [P+100]
Ensign: +1 Sec [P+100]

The Rank card would slide beneath Zane and as he promoted, you would just bring that second card down to his new rank (which is why no "Crewman" rank is on this card - no ranks are lower, so they're not necessary,) and by the time he's a Commander, Zane has 3 Security, 2 Command, Maverick, and the Last Stand and Security Chief skills, along with a cost of P600.

The only hitch to this is, what do you do with a character that starts off as a Lt. Commander? Are they going to just instantly gain a bunch of skills once they rank up to Commander? Would you ignore Rank lower than their starting rank, since those characters are going to have greater P-cost and attributes to begin with? Hmm, hmm, hmm.
 
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Thanks guys. All good questions.

I'd like to stick with the Firefly formula as closely as possible, 'cause it ain't broke. That's why I figured to keep the denominations the same, and just change the "currency".

All the costs I have here are placeholders, so most will probably look pretty off. I don't have a copy of the spreadsheet, so I was sort of going by a 100/per skill and/or keyword, but I know I wasn't terribly consistent, and on some, I didn't even bother, as I knew they would all likely change anyway.

I'm thinking Stickler and Maverick are worth about the same. Some Missions/cards will require them, and some will block them. For example, a Mission sending you into Romulan space would either block a Stickler captain or more likely require a Maverick captain.

"... so for this mission, you'll be attacking Romulus."
"But Admiral, Sir, that's strictly against regulations... It's a violation of everything Starfleet stands for..."
"Nevermind. You're dismissed. Lieutenant, send in the next Captain."
"James Kirk reporting as ordered sir."
"Kirk, I need you to attack Romulus."
"Well sir, you know that's against regulations. When do we leave?"


I don't know if one should be more valuable than another, or if they should have a positive or negative value, or if they should be counted for the number of skills and keywords assigned to a character.

On that... I'm looking at rank as something that doesn't necessarily have a value in and of itself, but is instead a determiner of how many skills and/or keywords a character will have. Additionally, for the most part, I think the more interesting and useful abilities should be reserved for upper rank characters.

I like stock captains having some ability to earn $$, but so far, it's been hard to fit - looking at you Kirk.

I'm thinking that at the end of the day, a stock captain will have better abilities than one raised from the ranks, but one raised from the ranks may have more skills and/or keywords.

A very important thing on promotions that I haven't been able to fall to one side of the fence about is if a character should be allowed multiple promotions. On the one hand, it's kind of cool to bring your Redshirt grunt up to sit in the captain's chair. On the other hand, both logistically and thematically, that many promotions during one game is more problematic and less "realistic", as promotions are pretty rare on the shows - usually reserved for the films or in between films.

All that said, going from the bottom up, I figure that the first keyword is kind of a gimme. Every [Starfleet] member of the crew is assigned to some department (often multiple), so even your base crewman will have that. And maybe that's enough for them, and they have no Skills. So a crewman Redshirt trooper would have the Security keyword, and no fight skill, but a lieutenant Redshirt trooper would have Security AND a point of Fight. That would certainly go a long way to making those higher ranks more valuable for tests.

So maybe the rank chart goes back down to:
Ensign/Crewman: 1 skill or keyword = 100
Lieutenant: 2 skills or keywords = 200
Lt. Commander: 3 skills or keywords = 300
Commander: 4 skills or keywords = 400
Captain: 5 skills or keywords = 500

...and Stickler and Maverick get thrown in here and there as appropriate and don't count against that list, but perhaps add or subtract to the cost.

I've included Vulcan as a keyword. I think they're an important race to the Federation thematically, and I thought it'd be interesting to put together enough for an all Vulcan crew. Not sure if Vulcan should count against a character's limit of keywords. I'm thinking not. But you should probably pay for it though.

Andorian hasn't become a keyword, though I've added several Andorian crew - because they're cool, and there's some really good cosplayers out there. I think if I find enough pics to make enough crew, it might become a keyword. Don't know if it will get there though. They always have to look at the camera. Why?

I like your format idea for captains' and commanders' abilities. Need to take a look at those characters again.

I think everyone will have a name. There are enough named characters to go for a while. Here and there there are a few nameless faces, where they don't even know who the actor was. There's a female Lt. Commander with terrible posture, in the background of a scene in The Tholian Web. I'd like to use her. Lt. Commanders are kind of rare, and female ones even more so, but she'll need a name, and I wish the screen cap was better, but there's not a lot to work with. She'll likely end up as a character from one of the movies or TAS who doesn't have a TOS picture.

That said, there will be generic crew, like Redshirts, or med staff, just that they'll have names, even if it's just the actor's name. As an example, Madge Sinclair is the actress' name. As captain of the Saratoga, she never got a name. She did show up 100 years later as Geordi's mom (and 200 years earlier as Eddie Murphy's Prince Akeem's mom and Simba's mom - both of those dad's were James Earl Jones - by coincidence?. It's be hilarious if James Earl Jones played Geordi's dad too. But I digress...).

If you have multiple Redshirts, you choose one to die. I don't know if that needs to be on the card, and/or if it needs to be spelled out that if he "dies" but survives the med check that you don't have to pick the next one to die or some such crazyness.

motosada wrote:
Holy crap, Diana Muldaur was on TOS?!


Yes she was. More than once I think - different characters? Maybe?

She's a good example of some good old fashioned TOS costuming/continuity errors. She's dressed in red. But she's part of the Science department, so should be in blue. I'm pretty sure at the time, wardrobe said "she looks better in red" so she wore red. And they didn't pay as much attention to that sort of thing back then as we geeks do now. In a similar vein, Uhura is actually in the Operations department, and should be in gold. She even was in a few episodes. But she looks much better in red, so she wears red.

For OUR purposes though, I've gone with the three colors in the rank and cost bars at the bottom of the cards. It's a nice pop of color, and goes with the Trek theme. In most cases, the characters are wearing the right color. When they don't, should the bar go with the correct department color for the character, or should it match the uniform color of the actor?

For non-Starfleet characters, I went with green. For the sake of total geeky disclosure, the gold uniforms were originally actually green, like Kirk's light duty shirt. The lighting of that type of cloth made them look gold. It stuck, so gold became the official color.

For the ranks, I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, so I grouped all the lowest ranks into one tier (ensign, yeoman, crewman), and stayed away from any other enlisted ranks like petty officers. For our abstract purposes, all those low tier ranks are the same, and get 1 or 2 skills or keywords. As I said above, and Motosada said, I'm really leaning toward them having just the 1, with some more prominent characters like Rand having 2.

I like your idea of a sliding card for promotions. But I have two logistical reservations. 1- it's bound to get bumped, and then you forget where they were on the card. 2- as it slides down, it can get confusing to read and keep track of the ranks as too many will show.

A lot of how Promotions are manifested will ultimately have to do with how we answer my question above. One promotion per character or unlimited promotions per character (up to captain)?

The ideal way to do it is with clear plastic cards that overlay the crew card, covering the rank bar with the new rank and adding a new skill or keyword. But that's unlikely to happen as those types of cards aren't currently available through Printerstudio. They could be printed as an 8x11 transparency at a Kinkos or OfficeMax I suppose... Not as durable, and very thin, so hard to manipulate. An option though.

So currently, the idea is to use a small tab that would cover the bottom of the card, including a new rank, cost, and adding a keyword or skill. It works better as a 'one-and-done' promotion type thing, as stacking those and keeping previous skills, keywords, and costs gained becomes problematic.
 
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A number of thoughts here.

As described, it seems like STICKLER and MAVERICK are not limiters in the same way that MORAL and WANTED are, so I’m not sure how to address them, but it seems like they may be more “flavor” at this point than something that changes the cost. Let’s set them aside for now.

How do DEPARTMENT and DIVISION interact here? This is also a general question about Star Trek, because I’m not familiar with some of the intricacies. I believe there are three divisions, no?

SCIENCE (blue) encompasses Science and Medical.

OPERATIONS (red) encompasses Security and Engineering.

COMMMAND (gold) encompasses Communication, Helm, and Navigation. Additionally, a character may enter the Command division from any other department by virtue of promotion to a certain level. Is that correct?

If so, that would indicate to me that:

1) Ever crew member has a Division, which has little or no impact on the game as-is
2) Many crew members, certainly those over a certain rank, would have a Department Keyword. Some crew members, due to their varied history, may have multiple Department Keywords.
3) “Command” is a bit of an exception, because it really has two meanings – one from Rank, one from Division.

For simplicity, I’m going to use the word “Command” if referring to the Command Division, but “Leadership” if referring to the rank-based aspect of Command, which may come from being, for example, a department head or simply from being on a track for training.

Presumably, most Captains and many Commanders are going to have the Leadership keyword… but you might denote an especially incompetent leader by not giving them the keyword.

So where does that leave us for non-Departmental keywords? I see DRESS UNIFORM, MELEE, and VULCAN. I’m suggesting adding “LEADERSHIP.” Additionally, Spock’s dad is a DIPLOMAT. Since this only shows up once, I’m not sure what it means exactly.

I would recommend that non-Departmental keywords be revamped to become TRAINING keywords (as Firefly has Gear Keywords and Career Keywords). Although “Dress Uniform” is clearly a take on Fancy Duds, it seems more about etiquette than about the actual clothes you’re wearing (which is a different with Firefly). If we combine Dress Uniform and Diplomat, we arrive at ETIQUETTE training or DIPLOMATIC training.

I understand your desire to include VULCAN as a keyword, but I’m not sold on it. Yes, Spock is an important character, but I think it creates a bad precedent and potential slippery slope to single out one race but not others. If you want to keep it consistent, every character should have their race listed, and it should probably not count against them. On the other hand, with an eye toward keeping things simple, if they keyword doesn’t DO anything, why include it at all?

MELEE is pretty clear training on its own, but I would point out that if you do take some of my suggestions, you’ve only got a very small number of Training Keywords: Leadership, Etiquette, Melee. That’s 3, compared with 7 for Firefly. I would recommend trying to double that list, or look for a way to do away with them entirely. I could see INTELLIGENCE or COVERT OPS added, but that’s more on the DS9/TNG era than the TOS era. Heck, if you wanted to include Vulcan in some way, perhaps “IDIC” becomes a training keyword?

I had some thoughts on Rank, based on some of the recent discussion. You noted that there aren’t a lot of Lt Commanders out there, so why not do away with them? Also, perhaps cost doesn’t vary from character to character, but rather just by rank? Most would be balanced within their rank, but some ARE just plain super-starts.

Consider something like this:

CREWMAN/YEOMAN. Cost = 0. 1 Attribute (skill or keyword). These are the grunts, where you’re choosing between native ability (skill point) or learned experiences (keyword). Basically, these are the Hill Folk of the ‘Verse, but there may be more of them. An example, is, as you pointed out, a Red Shirt, who has no skills but the Security keyword.

ENSIGN: Cost = 100. 2 Attributes. These are the basic folks in their fields. They likely have enough training to give then both a keyword AND 1 skill point, although there may be some exceptions. These guys are the Scrappers and Med Staff of the ‘Verse. If you decide to tier special abilities based on ranks, these guys might offer some minor or conditional bonus in their area of expertise.

LIEUTENANT: Cost = 200. 3 Attributes. These are skilled experts in their given fields. If you tier special abilities, they might game some conditional bonus under certain circumstances (like Skunk or the Enforcers) or perhaps offer Prestige under the right circumstances (Jesse, Billy, Merchant, Bandit).

COMMANDER: Cost = 300. 4 Attributes. Now we’re getting to the leadership level of things, although some commanders are still not on a track to actual command. With 4 Attributes, the will almost certainly have 1 departmental keyword, 2 skills, and some hook that makes them unique (special training, 3 skill points denoting fantastic expertise, or perhaps a flexible history that leads to multiple departmental keywords). With respect to special abilities, I would see this as an extension of the previous rank, or perhaps conditional bonuses based on the crew you have (like the Head Goon). Special abilities like Sheydra’s and Stitch’s might also fit in well here.

CAPTAIN: Cost = 400. 5 Attributes. By the time we get to Captain, you’re probably looking at someone with 3 skills, 1 departmental keyword, and the Leadership training keyword. “Super-star” captains, like Kirk, are going to go a step or two beyond that, but if we look at the norm, they’re going to be pretty focused on their career path. A theoretical “Captain McCoy” would be 3 Tech (or 2 Tech/1 Talk), MEDICAL department, LEADERSHIP training. For special abilities, these guys would make or save Prestige (like existing leader abilities) or perhaps have some of the really big abilities (like Inara, Kaylee, and Zoe).

This might make things TOO rigid, but I think it’s a decent starting point.

With respect to Promotions, I’m strongly in favor of not limiting them, but that’s partially because I like the flexibility of storytelling the idea brings. I may also be envisioning Promotions as simpler than you are. To me, it’s basically “+1 Rank, +1 Attribute” and done.

For the record, if you take an approach like that, I would recommend that you consider that perhaps a Captain CAN take a Promotion – in order to increase their abilities further – but that there’s always a risk that they could be recruited away from the ship under certain circumstances. “Okay, Jim, we know you want to be wild-catting around in space, but you’ve got so much experience, we need you at Starbase. Time to come in and settle down.”


 
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gwek wrote:
A number of thoughts here.

As described, it seems like STICKLER and MAVERICK are not limiters in the same way that MORAL and WANTED are, so I’m not sure how to address them, but it seems like they may be more “flavor” at this point than something that changes the cost. Let’s set them aside for now.


Agreed. These will develop more importance - or less - as missions are developed. Will "Disgruntled" be a thing? I think there's a place for it. There are some thematic examples, but also I think it works (as designed) as a crew management mechanism. Crew must stay content under your command, though theoretically, with a larger crew, there would be less micromanagement of this, but it's a game. Also, in a game like this, particularly in the Star Trek setting, there are not many opportunities for direct player-on-player "action", ad I think the opportunity to snipe disenchanted crew off another ship is rather entertaining and not unrealistic.

gwek wrote:
How do DEPARTMENT and DIVISION interact here? This is also a general question about Star Trek, because I’m not familiar with some of the intricacies. I believe there are three divisions, no?

SCIENCE (blue) encompasses Science and Medical.

OPERATIONS (red) encompasses Security and Engineering.

COMMMAND (gold) encompasses Communication, Helm, and Navigation. Additionally, a character may enter the Command division from any other department by virtue of promotion to a certain level. Is that correct?


Indeed. Ruleswise, I haven't worried about Division, and kept that as more of a background color thing - like literally it's the background color on the cards. But also, trying to simplify things as much as possible.

For our purposes, in the interest of KISS, I merged Helm and Navigation into Navigation. They're basically the same thing, and honestly on the show, it's often hard to figure out who's doing the flying. I mean we know it's Sulu, but then he's also firing weapons, but then Chekov's mashing buttons too. WTF?

I included Command to indicate someone can command a ship. It's basically the Leader tab for Firefly, but available to anyone (theoretically). It's apparently gotten at around Lieutenant rank or higher, and has to do with passing the Kobiashu Maru test. But not everyone will take it, so it's not automatic with rank.

So for our purposes, you can have the Command keyword without being in the Command division. Scotty and Spock are examples.

gwek wrote:
If so, that would indicate to me that:

1) Ever crew member has a Division, which has little or no impact on the game as-is


Yes. It's just shirt color. Sometimes the wrong color, but hey, it was the 60's.

gwek wrote:
2) Many crew members, certainly those over a certain rank, would have a Department Keyword. Some crew members, due to their varied history, may have multiple Department Keywords.


I think they should all have one as a minimum.

gwek wrote:
3) “Command” is a bit of an exception, because it really has two meanings – one from Rank, one from Division.

For simplicity, I’m going to use the word “Command” if referring to the Command Division, but “Leadership” if referring to the rank-based aspect of Command, which may come from being, for example, a department head or simply from being on a track for training.

Presumably, most Captains and many Commanders are going to have the Leadership keyword… but you might denote an especially incompetent leader by not giving them the keyword.


True. For our purposes moving forward, we can ignore the Command term for Division, since we're not using Divisions for anything, and use "COMMAND" as a 'department' keyword.

gwek wrote:
So where does that leave us for non-Departmental keywords? I see DRESS UNIFORM, MELEE, and VULCAN. I’m suggesting adding “LEADERSHIP.” Additionally, Spock’s dad is a DIPLOMAT. Since this only shows up once, I’m not sure what it means exactly.


So Diplomat is outside of the direct ship operation keywords which line up with the departments. Ambassadors will have it, like Sarek, and I added... ok, so I didn't add them after all.

These guys:


Some crew should also have Diplomat as a keyword. Kirk no, but for comparison, Picard would. Comparing to Firefly, Diplomat is roughly analogous to Companion, but without the prostitution half of it, which Firefly uses sometimes to remove Disgruntled, but I always look at Companion as more like really good connections, which is why Inara was on Serenity. She even specifically dictated that she would not service any of the crew. So yeah, that kind of Diplomat. The fancy talky kind. There should be some missions that require it, and I think it's a keyword that can show up on promotions.

Dress Uniform is a fairly direct analog to fancy dress, and were it not for the fact that they wear them with some frequency on the show, it wouldn't be a thing. But since they do, and the Firefly engine already has it built in, why not. If it needs to go away later, as missions develop, so be it, but I can see a use for it.

And Vulcan, as I mentioned, Vulcans, more than just Spock, are an often referenced, and in the background a big thing in Trek. Vulcan is one of the Supply Planets, and will be the source of most, if not all the Vulcan crew, as I can't really see other races being there. I want to throw in some Vulcan items, like the Lirpa, which would only be useable by Vulcans or Mavericks.

And, I'm going to have to come back to this a little later...


 
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These are AWESOME! Are they on ArtsCow?
Thanks!
 
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gwek wrote:
I would recommend that non-Departmental keywords be revamped to become TRAINING keywords (as Firefly has Gear Keywords and Career Keywords). Although “Dress Uniform” is clearly a take on Fancy Duds, it seems more about etiquette than about the actual clothes you’re wearing (which is a different with Firefly). If we combine Dress Uniform and Diplomat, we arrive at ETIQUETTE training or DIPLOMATIC training.

I understand your desire to include VULCAN as a keyword, but I’m not sold on it. Yes, Spock is an important character, but I think it creates a bad precedent and potential slippery slope to single out one race but not others. If you want to keep it consistent, every character should have their race listed, and it should probably not count against them. On the other hand, with an eye toward keeping things simple, if they keyword doesn’t DO anything, why include it at all?


I get what you're saying, and I see the slope quite clearly. If Vulcan, why not Andorian, or Tellarite, or Gorn, or Sleestack, or those guys with the long white hair and fancy beards (have no idea what those are)?
Vulcans, as I mentioned above, are, I think, somewhat more prominent in the Trek mythos. Klingon would be another race for the expansion I'm looking at, but haven't put a lot into that beyond setting aside the Tribbles episodes characters and Deep Space K-7, and including the map area in my work on the main map so that they fit together right. I don't want to get to that map and figure out I should have done this, or should have done that. But Klingons would at that point be a playable race, with their own missions and gear, and introduce direct PvP, so a sort of nod to Pirates and Bounty Hunters. But I digress...

Point is, Vulcans and later Klingons are really the only races I can see being 'big' enough to warrant a keyword.

gwek wrote:
MELEE is pretty clear training on its own, but I would point out that if you do take some of my suggestions, you’ve only got a very small number of Training Keywords: Leadership, Etiquette, Melee. That’s 3, compared with 7 for Firefly. I would recommend trying to double that list, or look for a way to do away with them entirely. I could see INTELLIGENCE or COVERT OPS added, but that’s more on the DS9/TNG era than the TOS era. Heck, if you wanted to include Vulcan in some way, perhaps “IDIC” becomes a training keyword?


I'm sure there are more gear keywords to draw out. Just haven't developed that as much yet.

gwek wrote:
I had some thoughts on Rank, based on some of the recent discussion. You noted that there aren’t a lot of Lt Commanders out there, so why not do away with them? Also, perhaps cost doesn’t vary from character to character, but rather just by rank? Most would be balanced within their rank, but some ARE just plain super-starts.


This is kind of what I'm thinking. As rank denotes the base number of skills and keywords a character has, it de facto becomes their pay grade. Some will come in a little cheaper, and some more expensive. Some will have less skills or keywords, and some more. But the rank is a base to work from.

gwek wrote:
Consider something like this:

CREWMAN/YEOMAN. Cost = 0. 1 Attribute (skill or keyword). These are the grunts, where you’re choosing between native ability (skill point) or learned experiences (keyword). Basically, these are the Hill Folk of the ‘Verse, but there may be more of them. An example, is, as you pointed out, a Red Shirt, who has no skills but the Security keyword.

ENSIGN: Cost = 100. 2 Attributes. These are the basic folks in their fields. They likely have enough training to give then both a keyword AND 1 skill point, although there may be some exceptions. These guys are the Scrappers and Med Staff of the ‘Verse. If you decide to tier special abilities based on ranks, these guys might offer some minor or conditional bonus in their area of expertise.

LIEUTENANT: Cost = 200. 3 Attributes. These are skilled experts in their given fields. If you tier special abilities, they might game some conditional bonus under certain circumstances (like Skunk or the Enforcers) or perhaps offer Prestige under the right circumstances (Jesse, Billy, Merchant, Bandit).

COMMANDER: Cost = 300. 4 Attributes. Now we’re getting to the leadership level of things, although some commanders are still not on a track to actual command. With 4 Attributes, the will almost certainly have 1 departmental keyword, 2 skills, and some hook that makes them unique (special training, 3 skill points denoting fantastic expertise, or perhaps a flexible history that leads to multiple departmental keywords). With respect to special abilities, I would see this as an extension of the previous rank, or perhaps conditional bonuses based on the crew you have (like the Head Goon). Special abilities like Sheydra’s and Stitch’s might also fit in well here.

CAPTAIN: Cost = 400. 5 Attributes. By the time we get to Captain, you’re probably looking at someone with 3 skills, 1 departmental keyword, and the Leadership training keyword. “Super-star” captains, like Kirk, are going to go a step or two beyond that, but if we look at the norm, they’re going to be pretty focused on their career path. A theoretical “Captain McCoy” would be 3 Tech (or 2 Tech/1 Talk), MEDICAL department, LEADERSHIP training. For special abilities, these guys would make or save Prestige (like existing leader abilities) or perhaps have some of the really big abilities (like Inara, Kaylee, and Zoe).

This might make things TOO rigid, but I think it’s a decent starting point.


I don't think that's too rigid at all. that's pretty much the idea I have for formatting based on rank, with main characters, recurring characters, and featured characters being the outliers - having better (or worse) abilities, and an extra icon or something.

I still like putting the 3 lowest ranks together. These will be your more disposable characters. Your salad, if you will. Lieutenants will be your meat and potatoes. Lt. Commanders, Commanders the flavorful side dish or tankard of Klingon Bloodwine for your steak Captain.

There aren't a lot of Lt. Commanders, but there are several. As a point of reference, in the initial character list I put together, I have 12 Lt. Commanders, and over 75 Lieutenants. As a base, my idea is to seed each supply location with 1 captain, 2 commanders, 3 lt. commanders, 4 lieutenants, and 5 ensign/yeomen/crewmen. That's 15 crew per location as a base, and maybe a few more of random ranks thrown in. So some will have an extra captain, another several more lieutenants or something. 15 to 18 crew per location is probably a good starting point, trying to hit 25 to 30 cards per location.

gwek wrote:
With respect to Promotions, I’m strongly in favor of not limiting them, but that’s partially because I like the flexibility of storytelling the idea brings. I may also be envisioning Promotions as simpler than you are. To me, it’s basically “+1 Rank, +1 Attribute” and done.


That's basically exactly what I'm looking at. I'm just trying to look at how to mark it. There's lots to keep track of, so trying to remember who gained what is a no-go. It could be a token, but then you have a stack of tokens on a character, and then you're trying to count up how many Fight icons you have, and where was that keyword? I swear he had Security on one of these. And then trying to remember Ensign + 3... is that Commander or Lt. Commander? Granted, that's not the most important thing in the world.

The clear overlay and or tabs works, but doesn't work as well for multiple promotions without some really clever card layout work which doesn't leave a lot of room for game text.

This one just popped into my head. It's a little wonky, but crazy enough to work. Not great for those who like to sleeve everything. If you took the tab idea I had, and pushed it to the bottom of a card sleeve, and cut that sleeve in half, so it's easy to move the cards in and out, but not so easy that they fall out on their own. That might work.

It still doesn't solve the issue of multiple promotions. And I like the idea of multiple promotions. Just not sure how to work out the logistics or if it's thematically within the time frame of a game to get promoted that often.

I'm going to print some sample cards and do a test of my tab idea, and go from there.

gwek wrote:
For the record, if you take an approach like that, I would recommend that you consider that perhaps a Captain CAN take a Promotion – in order to increase their abilities further – but that there’s always a risk that they could be recruited away from the ship under certain circumstances. “Okay, Jim, we know you want to be wild-catting around in space, but you’ve got so much experience, we need you at Starbase. Time to come in and settle down.”


Not opposed to that. Just a matter of a mechanic to do it. And then consider that if getting your captain promoted to Rear Admiral gets him a desk and off your ship, then you have people trying to fail so that doesn't happen, because they like their captain. Getting promoted to a desk, in game terms is basically killing the captain. You're removing him from the game.

Up til now, I've looked at a captain getting promoted as good fodder for a story card. It's a race to earn x Prestige or x Goals, or Solid with all Contacts, and get that coveted promotion.

Reeeeeeaaaallly need a Trekky word for Solid.

Perhaps promotion for a captain could be a pitfall of certain strings of events or run ins with the Magistrate's ship.
 
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cauldronofevil wrote:
These are AWESOME! Are they on ArtsCow?
Thanks!


Thanks.

They're not. This is still a work in progress.

The idea is to have a couple of sets of cards to print up through Printerstudio, and ship mats printed on mouse pads, a board to print through a similar company that does game boards, whose name eludes me at this time, game pieces to print through Shapeways (those are done by the way), and probably a few pages you'll have to print on labels to stick to wood or plastic counters. and rules to print out. Basically everything to have a complete game.

But it's very much in the early stages. This first block of characters is to get the ball rolling. A starting place from which to massage the format and start looking at how they interact.

Jump in if you have ideas or insights. There are a lot of characters left to do, equipment, mission cards, and all manner of space disasters to come up with.
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Gerald Bocook
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Starbuck wrote:
Yes she was. More than once I think - different characters? Maybe?

She's a good example of some good old fashioned TOS costuming/continuity errors. She's dressed in red. But she's part of the Science department, so should be in blue. I'm pretty sure at the time, wardrobe said "she looks better in red" so she wore red. And they didn't pay as much attention to that sort of thing back then as we geeks do now. In a similar vein, Uhura is actually in the Operations department, and should be in gold. She even was in a few episodes. But she looks much better in red, so she wears red.


There's also the possibility that they didn't have any blue uniforms available or would fit. Star Trek didn't exactly have a gigantic budget, after all.

Scarbuck wrote:
Reeeeeeaaaallly need a Trekky word for Solid.


If the Contact analog are the Admirals, it would be a "Commendation".
Example: "If you're Commended by Admiral Morrow, you may consider 4 Missions when Dealing."

I think a good step to deciding what is important and how important it is, is to have a list! Then again, I love a good list. Anyway. Races, professions, etc., and are they keywords? Etc.
 
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True true. Those guys were masters of reuse.

One really cool thing they did - if you're a film geek - is they painted the set walls grey. These were moveable modular wall sections that could be used to create any sort of room or corridor. By using different colored lights, they could "paint" the walls any color they needed without having to actually use (or buy) paint.

Commendation could work. Certainly, "decommend" sounds better than "lose solid".

However, I'm looking at "commendations" also as buyable disposable items that would provide promotions or other effects. There are several awards and commendations mentioned in the series, and I figured they were good fodder.

On that note, as we're talking above about promotions - how they work and if there should be limits - it's probably good to consider how they're achieved, as that is part of the discussion as well.

At the moment, I'm looking at the following ways to achieve promotions:

*Buyable items: "Remove from game to promote one crew."
*Mission rewards: Complete this mission and in lieu of/in addition to a "monetary" reward, promote a character. I've a sample in my head I'll describe below.
*One of the contacts: Perhaps Starfleet Command, as the SOLID bonus, allows you to promote a crew for a cost, theoretically a rather high cost to curb abuse. If it's 100, everyone will have a crew of captains running around within 2 turns.
*Crisis (Misbehave) card effects: Some particularly dangerous Crisis cards would reward exemplary performance with a promotion. For example, a TALK test, where 1-6 fails, 7-12 succeeds, and 13+ earns a promotion for one character. Those Crisis cards may even be a little tougher in only having one option to choose from.

A Mission sample I was thinking of:
**********************************************************
Stop a planetary civil war on [Planet x]
Requires DIPLOMAT
Go to [Planet X].
Complete 1 Space Crisis and 2 Ground Crisis cards.
Earn 2000P and 1 Promotion. If posthumous, earn a further 1000P.
**********************************************************

So in this instance you would earn a "monetary" reward and a promotion for a crew member. If you chose to promote a crew who had died during that mission, you would earn an extra 1000.
 
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Printed up a test batch of crew cards at the mini card size. They came out pretty clear and easy to read. For some reason, the grey background came out brownish. It doesn't look bad, but it's different than what I had done on the computer. Probably has something to do with the printer.


This is a prototype of my concept for "promotion tabs".


I cut the sleeve a little below half, and put the tab at the bottom. When promoting a crew member, slide the card in so it lines up.



The sleeve keeps it nice and snug, so you can handle the cards without tabs or tokens falling everywhere. But as it's not full size, it's still easy to get the card in and out.

When you take the card out, pinch the bottom of the sleeve so the tab doesn't come with it.

It's pretty easy, and it works, but it doesn't allow you to stack promotions. I think you could allow multiple promotions for a character, but you just lose whatever bonus the previous promotion gave you. At the same time, at higher ranks, that character will be cheaper than stock crew of equal rank because it's still just +100 even if you've climbed 3 rungs.
 
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Added a few more Crew to the roster...

Remember that Lt. Commander in the red dress with no name I mentioned earlier? Look! Now she's a Vulcan. I'm fairly certain she's wearing the exact same dress as Diana Muldaur. As mentioned, they were extremely good at reusing costumes.


Courtesy of In a Mirror Darkly...


A lot of good cosplay out there. Unfortunately, they all have to be Spock, regardless of gender, and very few pose in such a way as to look like a screen capture. But there are some gems if you dig deep enough.


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Gerald Bocook
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Okay, I see what you were getting at. I like them, but I don't think I like the prospect that your Crew might lose their last bonus. Perhaps reversing the position of the new Rank and the promotion bonus? So that way the promotion bonus can just cover up the previous Rank, and the Crew won't lose their bonuses. And keep the P increase in the same place.

[edit:] By their nature, wouldn't Stickler be a trait that all Vulcans would have by virtue of just being Vulcan?
 
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Yes. Yes it could. Good eye. That would work. It would make them more stackable.

The only problem is that if you're using the sleeves as a "mechanical bonding agent", you can only fit one sleeve at a time. You can't put a sleeved tab inside another sleeved tab. So then you're left fiddling with lining up multiple tabs in a single sleeve.

It would be possible if you cut open one side of the sleeve, but at that point, I'm not sure how well it would hold, especially with multiple promotions. Can test.

Vulcans. Yes, you would think so. But there are always a few who buck the trend and are Mavericks, and for game purposes, many who are neither. At the end of the day, I see the selection of Vulcan crew being disproportionally high in Sticklers, and low in Mavericks.
 
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