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Subject: Custom characters with a new mechanic rss

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Chris Poor
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I have posted several new investigators to my gallery, and am working on a pdf to upload for printing.

https://boardgamegeek.com/images/user/389945/crispy66

They incorporate a new mechanic; they have a Reckoning effect that allows you to gain some benefit for some cost. Each one is unique, and is designed to complement the story of the character in some way.

Since I am at work today, I don't have the components to measure out, so if someone could post the size of the Investigator cards, I would appreciate it. I could start work on the pdf in my spare time here.

Here is one of the characters, for your perusal:


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Xelto G
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crispy66 wrote:
Since I am at work today, I don't have the components to measure out, so if someone could post the size of the Investigator cards, I would appreciate it. I could start work on the pdf in my spare time here.

4" x 5"

Quote:
Here is one of the characters, for your perusal:

Her abilities are an 80% chance to gain a free clue each turn (or better odds with any bonuses), and you can discard dark pacts, agreements, curses, blights, and haunteds for only one sanity on reckonings.

Strikes me as being overpowered.
 
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Chris Poor
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First, thanks for the numbers.

Second, thanks for the feedback.

Gack! You are right, and I'll revisit these. Never did the probability analysis on the OBS test, but that is a problem - we have noticed that any type of 'Clue generator', while desired and valuable, can radically alter the difficulty of a game, and takes away theme, since there is less interaction with the GOO-specific research encounters. The original idea was theme-specific; since she is a private eye, she can observe for clues, but you are right, too much.

The Reckoning ability also looks too good, though you need a reckoning, and to be in the same location, and to spend a sanity. This one has not been playtested as much as the others, but I don't remember it getting a lot of use, just because it is hard to line everything up. Still, you are right. I'll tweak.

Can't wait to see your thoughts on the others...
 
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Chris Poor
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Oh! AND, the Reckoning effect requires passing a Lore test (33%). Forgot that part. I thought that this would make it so very rare as to not be a game changer.
 
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Xelto G
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crispy66 wrote:
First, thanks for the numbers.

Second, thanks for the feedback.

Gack! You are right, and I'll revisit these. Never did the probability analysis on the OBS test

Odds of at least one success:
1 33.3%
2 55.6%
3 70.4%
4 80.2%
5 86.8%
6 91.2%
7 94.1%
8 96.1%
9 97.4%
10 98.3%
11 98.8%
12 99.2%

Quote:
The original idea was theme-specific; since she is a private eye, she can observe for clues, but you are right, too much.

Consider upping her passive ability, and changing the active one to something like spawning or moving clues.

Note: we already have an investigator who spawns clues. Moving them around, though, hasn't been done.

Quote:
The Reckoning ability also looks too good, though you need a reckoning, and to be in the same location, and to spend a sanity. This one has not been playtested as much as the others, but I don't remember it getting a lot of use, just because it is hard to line everything up. Still, you are right. I'll tweak.


Thematically, why do you have this part? It doesn't really make sense to me. I could possibly see having it affect specific types of conditions, like pursuit. But all of them seems too much, both power-wise and thematically.
 
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Chris Poor
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OK, I was thinking sort of along those lines. Here is an update:




 
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Xelto G
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crispy66 wrote:
OK, I was thinking sort of along those lines. Here is an update:

You may have gone too far the other way, but I'm not positive. But that's what beta testing is for, after all. If you find her too weak, consider nudging her passive up to two extra dice on research encounters.
 
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Chris Poor
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OK, since I have your attention, do you mind looking at a few others?



Charlie Wang.
 
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Xelto G
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crispy66 wrote:
OK, since I have your attention, do you mind looking at a few others?
...
Charlie Wang.

These beggars get more aggressive every day.

I like the active ability... mostly. The tradition FFG has followed for this game is no negative abilities for characters. The closest they get to a negative ability is Rex's gain clue, improvement, and curse all at the same time. The no-bank-loans thing goes against this; keep that in mind when testing.

The passive ability, however, might be a bit too strong... Silas and Leo's extra die abilities are reasonably balanced because wilderness and sea spaces are visited less often than city spaces. And you rarely get investigators grouping on wilderness or sea spaces, like they do on city spaces. If I were doing this, I would probably make it a once-per-turn ability, or a him-only ability.



Incidentally, I'm not a huge fan of the characters with reckonings, overall. I'm not saying 'Don't do it'— this is your stuff, after all, not mine*—just that I'm unlikely to ever use them for that reason alone.

On the plus side, you've got them reasonably balanced, at least at first glance. (My experience is that it usually takes 3-6 test plays to really get a good feel for how balanced they are, and that's only if you get the general concept down the first time, otherwise it's 2-4 plays from the first play you get the final concept in place.

For fine-tuning the characters, starting assets can be a help; starting skill improvements are good for when a concept is too fun to be let go, but too weak in actual play.

Here's my character that was just too fun to play, but weak overall (though she got much stronger when tasks were introduced):

* I've got a strong alpha game designer complex. Ignore me when you don't like what I say. I sometimes have to take myself out of design questions for just this fact, so I'm not trying to tell the game designer how to make his game.

 
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Chris Poor
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I LOVE Kizzy! I have played her several times since she was added to the stable. Another of my friends loves to play Betram, and there are several times that Anna Runningdeer has replaced a fallen investigator to give us all hope with her Plumb the Void starting spell! These are all fun characters.

Kizzy seems weak, but her ability lets her play a bit more fast and loose with the mythos. "I'll take a Dark Pact; if it's the bad one, I'll trade it." has been said more than once about her. I think it is wonderfully thematic that a gypsy has this ability that lets you play her like a gypsy.

I think one of my weaknesses in designing these is that I don't play looking for balance - a few early versions of these investigators were obviously overpowered, and we toned them back - I also don't want to be a munchkin and steamroll the game; I am fine losing 50% of the time. I want an interesting story to be told, and your characters captured that.

Having said that, Charlie is a favorite, largely because of his city boost. He's the Urban Guide as an investigator, and as long as he is on a city, his own stats are pumped, too. I think I'll make it OTHER investigators and see how that works first.

Thanks!
 
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Chris Poor
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Another favorite, who has seen a lot of play, and may be overpowered, but seems to me to be on par with Daisy: Mordecai Meyer.



As as to the alpha gamer thing; you won't offend me. I appreciate honest, blunt feedback, and have no problem if you don't like something. Play how you want, and so will I. I find your analysis very helpful, as you look at these cards in a way that I do not.
 
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Chris Poor
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And what do you do to get your card image to be large in the post, and with the magnifying glass? I'm using the 'Upload new geek image" button.

 
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Xelto G
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crispy66 wrote:
And what do you do to get your card image to be large in the post, and with the magnifying glass? I'm using the 'Upload new geek image" button.

After you upload the image, go back and add either the word "medium" or "large" after the set of numbers for the image. (If you need an example, click "quote" on the message with it and you'll see what I'm talking about in how I wrote my stuff.)
 
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Xelto G
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crispy66 wrote:
Another favorite, who has seen a lot of play, and may be overpowered, but seems to me to be on par with Daisy: Mordecai Meyer.



Well, keep in mind that most people consider Daisy to be overpowered. This guy... maybe, maybe not. Blah blah play testing blah blah blah.

I like his active and passive abilities. I'm uncertain about his reckoning ability. If he had a higher observation or there were more assets that boosted observation, I would be more concerned about play balance.

Now, if you want to make playing him more... interesting, you could make the observation test optional, but if made, you get all the clues (and associated sanity loss) you roll, like it or not; this would add an element of risk once his sanity dropped sufficiently. Or if you wanted to be fun but brutal, make it so there are not options in that reckoning.
 
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Quote:

Now, if you want to make playing him more... interesting, you could make the observation test optional, but if made, you get all the clues (and associated sanity loss) you roll, like it or not; this would add an element of risk once his sanity dropped sufficiently. Or if you wanted to be fun but brutal, make it so there are not options in that reckoning.


I like that! Had not thought of it that way, but it makes the reckoning a two-edged sword. Thanks again!
 
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Next, one of my personal favorites: Rip Manley, Action Adventurer. This guy is bigger than life, and the fun for us comes from playing him over the top. He is more of a favorite because of the character than any real advantage he brings. I think overall he is mid-tier.

His active can burn him out pretty quickly, and in practice is rarely used, but can be important in the right situation.

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Rick Thomas
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Reminds me of a certain pulp hero with a movie coming out soon.
 
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Xelto wrote:
crispy66 wrote:
Since I am at work today, I don't have the components to measure out, so if someone could post the size of the Investigator cards, I would appreciate it. I could start work on the pdf in my spare time here.

4" x 5"

Quote:
Here is one of the characters, for your perusal:

Her abilities are an 80% chance to gain a free clue each turn (or better odds with any bonuses), and you can discard dark pacts, agreements, curses, blights, and haunteds for only one sanity on reckonings.

Strikes me as being overpowered.


I don't find her overpowered at all. The reckoning effect, while good, only triggers on reckoning and a successful lore test...which this investigator is terrible at. On top of that, the investigator must be on her space during the reckoning in order to discard anything at all. With a bit of strategy, you would be able to tell when a reckoning is coming, but you still have to get her TO the investigator with the dark pact, and successfully roll a lore test (which is an unmodified 1-die roll).

Her other abilities are not overpowered either as you can easily compare her to Trish or Jacqueline who nearly 100% gain a clue every turn.

NOTE: Having created and playtested my own custom investigators, a single STRONG investigator will not topple game balance anyway. The fact that actions are limited in number per turn and cannot be used twice in one turn often counterbalances powerful actions. The amount of movement required to put down an AO while mitigating risk often prevents one investigator from forcing a win in a given game.
 
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Having just said most investigators will not be OP, Rip Manley's action definitely is. Epic monsters are meant to be substantial challenges. Some mysteries ONLY require you to defeat an epic monster... so Rip can just single-handedly solve an entire mystery by spending 1 action? That is very bad for game balance.

Reconsider this one. I would not mess with Epic Monsters. They are immune to movement effects and discard effects for a reason.

ALSO: It is very difficult to tell if a investigator is OP without knowing what starting items you plan to give them. Items can really push an investigator to his/her limits and can synergize to create some bigger problems.

Just look at Wendy Adams and the puzzle box/ritual candles. If she started with either, she would probably need a bit of a nerf (maybe not in the case of the candles... but still would be very strong).
 
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Chris Poor
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Thanks for the comment.
Check again, Rip's action is specifically for non epic monsters.
We thought the same thing you did on that one.
When I get to my computer, I'll put up the starting items for these characters.
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Rip starts with the Syndicate Agent, whom we interpret as his latest Damsel in Distress he has rescued.

Charlie starts with Bandages and the Lucky Cigarette Case.

Mordecai starts with the Cryptic Text and Instill Bravery spell.

Thanks for the feedback, it is really helpful!
 
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Here are a couple of others we have used, without the Reckoning effect. They have been popular - I used them to get a friend interested in the game, since she was already interested in the characters from the movies:






Didn't write up all of the details on the backside of the cards, but they are functional.

As a clarification: We use Rick's Action to allow him to rearrange the cards below the top card of the deck in question without looking at the FRONT of the card; that is, he cannot read the text to see what happens. He CAN look at the back of the card. The effect of this is that he can influence the order of Expeditions/Mystic Ruins, and thus where they move to next.
 
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And Rip Manley, Action Adventurer, has been updated since his last adventure: Changes to both the active and passive abilities. The Active was made a bit more restrictive, and the Passive changed. The original player (in the RPG) reminded me that Rip was a pilot, and his plane actually helped significantly in the campaign.

 
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And what advice does anyone have with regard to print quality? As I was looking through my own cards and other fan-made cards, such as Kizzy, I noticed that the text was much more clear on the Kizzy card.

I use the GIMP to create my files, and save them as JPGs for posting here, but I print them off at Office Depot, which requires them to be PDFs. But I printed the Kizzy card the same way, and the text is much clearer.

Anyone know the secret?
 
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Xelto G
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crispy66 wrote:
And what advice does anyone have with regard to print quality? As I was looking through my own cards and other fan-made cards, such as Kizzy, I noticed that the text was much more clear on the Kizzy card.

I use the GIMP to create my files, and save them as JPGs for posting here, but I print them off at Office Depot, which requires them to be PDFs. But I printed the Kizzy card the same way, and the text is much clearer.

Anyone know the secret?

I've never used Gimp. Kizzy was done in Photoshop, with the font being Palatino regular, 7 point. I do a direct "save as" (jpeg) selected, and choose a fairly high quality compression.

The original files were designed for 300 DPI printing, as well.


Edit: the flavor text is Palatino italic, 5.25 point (though I may have shrunk her's down a bit; I think I used 6 point for most of them.) The name is done in Courier New bold, 12 point, and the nickname was done in Courier New bold 9 point. I think those are all fonts that came with Mac OS, several generations of operating systems ago.
 
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