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Subject: Story Card: Covered in Mud rss

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Bob
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For your consideration, I offer another Story Card for Firefly: The Game. It is called "Covered in Mud." Success requires a balanced crew, getting Solid with at least a couple Contacts, and traveling the vastness of The Verse.

The support of Bill and George were helpful in pulling this together. My thanks once again gentlemen!

Please give it a try. Your comments and feedback are appreciated. Keep Flying and stay Covered in Mud...


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Roger BW
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I like the way the Solids are mostly optional - one of the things I dislike about "story" cards is that they're often very fixed in how you go about things, but all you actually need here is $6,000 and a Solid with Lord Harrow.
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Bob
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And Solid with Magistrate Higgins...
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Roger BW
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True. Even so.
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Brett Lamb

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Why all the warrants? It doesn't appear that anything illegal is going on (other than perhaps some kidnapping at the end).
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Bob
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Story wise there are plenty of explanations. Who's to say the Tech skill with goal 1 doesn't involve penetrating personal or Alliance databases, clearly illegal. Goal 2 involves misbehaving and convincing F&M to come clean, who's to say this doesn't include threats and arm twisting, also illegal. And goal 3, well you already covered it...
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George Krubski
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With respect to Solids, I'm a fan of how its handled here in two ways.

First, some of the Solids are encouraged but not forced. With a sufficiently tough crew and/or lucky rolls, you can dispense with a few of the recommendations.

Second, used carefully, a few requires Solids can help flavor the story - and give specific contacts the spotlight. The combination of Higgins/Harrow is a different feel than Patience/Mister Universe or Badger/Harken (from Patience's War and Jail Break, respectively).
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Steve Cohn
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Interesting idea, I like the story an "episode" feel to it.

I wonder, though, in regards to balance, wouldn't players with either the Interceptor or even Jetwash have a possibly significant advantage over other players?
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Bob
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In what way Steve? I don't see them being any more or less capable than any other story card.
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Brian Debler
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Cool Story Card! I like that it covers the Rim Space expansions so well.

Personally, I'd up the difficulty of the rolls by 2 each to add more emphasis on the value of the Solid ... but that may just be personal taste.

I also think it could be an interesting twist to require an increasing number of jobs done with Higgins as part of each goal, like you have to prove yourself more and more to deal with the increasing challenges.
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Bob
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Increasing the target numbers would make the game extremely difficult (IMO). The existing numbers are not easy and require a degree of buildup/preparation already; therefore encouraging Solid status in their own right. Keep in mind the story requires the Crew to balance their needs among all 3 skill types. If you give it a try, let us know how it goes with/without increasing the numbers.

Thanks for the feedback Brian! thumbsup
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Brian Debler
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Will do Ashitaka!
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Bob
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After several games, here is the final revised version.



Not so final it seems... laugh
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Pretty cool, and you're 2/3 of the way to completing The Mudder Trilogy. Perhaps #3 is The Mystery of the Mudder Murders.

On Goal 2, I guessing you're bribing the twins. I don't know if a Warrant is quite warranted... sorry. Didn't catch the pun until it was too late. Maybe make the Crew Wanted instead. Touch of the new mechanics.

On Goal 3, it's obviously fine as is, but a couple of thoughts. I think a Warrant here doesn't really do much. It's flavor, but doesn't have the debilitating effect this late in the game. They evade to Meridian, hire a few new triggers and try again the following turn. They never have to go back to Alliance space where the Warrant is an issue.

Secondly, thematically, if successful, perhaps you take a Fugitive token, and return him to Higgins, rather than the authorities. He's the kind to carry a grudge and want to deal with this guy personally, and the authorities around Blue Sun are unlikely to care about a Red Sun problem.

Additionally, if you were to make that Fugitive the Goal, then the first player to get him becomes a target for the others who now have to pirate him and get him to Higgins to take the credit.

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Bob
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There is a third Mudder story in the works...

I used the word "convince" in the flavor text implying a bit of bribery with some arm twisting going on. I think warrants are warranted... laugh

Good point on the warrants with goal 3. Even with C&P,I don't see much of an impact. Will give it more thought...

The fugitive idea was there early on, but added more time and complexity to the story. Not sure I agree with Blue Sun authorities not caring. Murder is still illegal throughout most of the Verse as far as I know.
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I get the bribery and arm twisting, but I don't know that Fanty and Mingo are possessed of the authority to issue warrants or have them issued. Wanted though is something anyone can do as evidenced by the bounty cards. Not all those folk are being turned over to the authorities.

I can see the fugitive run adding time and complexity, both of which are worth avoiding after 2 or 3 hours of game play.

I didn't necessarily get that the mudders were being killed. I figured poisoning them to where they're too sick to work was enough. Even with murdering them though, Blue Sun is soooo far out in the rim, there's unlikely to be a really strong Alliance influence to bring a unified authority. They probably care more for their own business, and allegations against a Red Sunner of some crime committed on the other side of the Verse, IMHO, would be unlikely to get much traction.

But I can see Higgins keeping a special box open for the culprit. He's the kind of guy to hire bounty hunters to go after folks who've crossed him.

My two cents.
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Bob
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Law exists outside of Alliance space, check out Moral Lawmen Crew for example. Just saying...
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I ain't sayin' law don't exist... I'm merely proposing that thematically, this is way out on the frontier. The law there will be concerned with local matters. Some offworlder comes in with wild accusations of one of their people poisoning indentured servants on a planet on the other side of the universe... they're unlikely to believe, or to care. They probably wouldn't investigate, "...you see all these little folder icons on this here pad on my desk son? These are all the cases I've got to work on. Leave you 'evidence' with the deputy. I'll be sure to investigate when I get a chance. Now if you don't mind, I've got a lot of work to do. Thanks for coming by." Let alone investigate or make an arrest.

You're just some dude that flew in and brought some file that say someone did something bad. You're not in a position to make arrests.

Buuuuuut... what if you make the Lawman keyword a requirement. It's a very underused profession, so this would be kind of fresh, and it would represent you teaming up with someone who can officially investigate, bring charges, and make an arrest, and then drop them off with the locals to be processed.
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George Krubski
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Scarbuck wrote:
I ain't sayin' law don't exist... I'm merely proposing that thematically, this is way out on the frontier. The law there will be concerned with local matters. Some offworlder comes in with wild accusations of one of their people poisoning indentured servants on a planet on the other side of the universe... they're unlikely to believe, or to care. They probably wouldn't investigate, "...you see all these little folder icons on this here pad on my desk son? These are all the cases I've got to work on. Leave you 'evidence' with the deputy. I'll be sure to investigate when I get a chance. Now if you don't mind, I've got a lot of work to do. Thanks for coming by." Let alone investigate or make an arrest.

You're just some dude that flew in and brought some file that say someone did something bad. You're not in a position to make arrests.

Buuuuuut... what if you make the Lawman keyword a requirement. It's a very underused profession, so this would be kind of fresh, and it would represent you teaming up with someone who can officially investigate, bring charges, and make an arrest, and then drop them off with the locals to be processed.


The problem with requiring the Lawman keyword is that there are so few of them. They're also antithetical to the idea of getting Solid with Niska and Lord Harrow.

I don't think there's an issue with turning someone over to local authorities. Interpol's Marshals (like Womack) and Agents work across planetary boundaries specifically to deal with criminals who exceed the reach of the local sheriff. If the flavor is problematic (I don't necessarily think it is), it could easily become something like "The local Feds will see that the fugitive is returned to Harvest for justice. You are rewarded lavishly."
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Bob
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How about these possible tweaks?

Title flavor text:

Someone is poisoning (killing) the Mudders and Magistrate Higgins wants answers. Search for clues, examine the evidence and apprehend the culprit. Then contact Higgins, his thugs will ensure justice is served. If successful, he'll pay you handsomely!

Goal 3:

1. 1-9 Kill 2 Crew. Attempt Botched. Add 2 Alliance Alert Tokens to your current sector. Evade.
2. 10+ Success! You've apprehended your man. Get on the Wave and let Higgins know where to collect his man. First player to succeed wins!
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George Krubski
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I think the original flavor text was just fine. Does it matter if the Mudders are being murdered or "just" poisoned? There's clearly a crime being committed here, and Higgins is dedicated to stopping it.

Changing the flavor of the 3rd goal to remove reference to "local authorities" ties it back to Higgins, so the severity of the crime doesn't matter, so long as Higgins remains involved.

The tweak to Goal 3 looks okay, but I would reduce it to 1 Alert token. Did you mean to remove the line about the bonus from Mudders?

Let me think this through... If you fail, you leave an Alert token and Evade, so you have to Mosey back in, with a chance to draw the Operative's Corvette. If you don't have Wanted Crew, it won't matter, but if you do, you'll lose some crew... I think that supports keeping the bonus from Mudders in, so they, at least, risk arrest.
 
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Bob
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I have a flavor text modification in the works on this and will post shortly.

The Mudder bonus was not removed, just listed above those items being considered for change.

In terms of the Alert Tokens, same thought as just posted in the other Mudder story card discussion.
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Bob
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How about this tweak for a portion of Goal 3:

1-9 Kill 2 Crew. Attempt Botched. Higgins has lost faith in you. Loose Rep with Higgins.

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Ashitaka wrote:
How about this tweak for a portion of Goal 3:

1-9 Kill 2 Crew. Attempt Botched. Higgins has lost faith in you. Loose Rep with Higgins.



I think that's fine. The order should probably read 'Higgins has lost faith in you. Kill 2 Crew. Loose Rep with Higgins. Attempt Botched.'

The fluff goes first. 'Attempt Botched' closes.

I was thinking that taking away 2 Misbehave for being solid with Lord Harrow is kind of generous as it leaves you with only 1. I'm guessing the Misbehave are you tracking down the villain now that you've narrowed it down to one planet.

Thematically, it's fine, though I wonder if Harrow has the underworld connections to know where a killer is - unleeeess maybe it's one of his own people, trying to hit the competition... wow Mind. Blown.

Doesn't make that last grrrr very challenging though.

Just an aside - thought I just had... For this type of Job, where you're looking for someone (or something) trying not to be found... What if they were to be hiding on a random planet? At Goal 2 you have to get Solid with a particular Contact, or one of several Contacts, but let's say Mr. Universe for the sake of the argument as he seems to know everything. For him to 'give you the location', you Deal with him, declaring you're 'getting the info' and Draw the top Job card from his deck. Keep this hidden and separate from your inactive Jobs. The last location listed on the card is the location of the bad guy (or treasure or whatever). Reveal that card when you arrive there and attempt to Work the Goal.

That said, maybe Mr. U isn't the best Contact because of the way his Jobs are structured. In fact, he's the worst Contact. Forget Mr. Universe. ANY other Contact but him will work for this.

Heck, if you wanted to go really crazy, you could randomly select one by rolling and referring to a numbered list of Contacts.
 
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Bob
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Final Version

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