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Subject: Things Don't Go Smooth rss

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David Maine
United States
Iowa
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I remember an early Traveler cloned computer game in which one was the Captain of a Free Trader attempting to make a go of it by moving cargo and passengers through space, hiring crew to keep your ship functioning and attempting to keep up on monthly payments towards maintenance etc. A function of the games AI had the "crew" coming to the captain looking for raises in their salaries at various intervals. These requests usually meant the crew would be fired and replaced with cheaper alternatives. But the AI limits were such that there was no consequences for such behavior. I have found that some players see the actual cost of having a crew, even a fine bunch of Reubens, as the cost of shore leave or whatever is needed to remove disgruntled tokens. As a former member of a labor union, I hate the idea that any crew would take such treatment on a constant basis. Crew members are people and people get fed up.
To this end I believe each Captain should have an honor rating from 1 to 6 which will be used to reflect how their crew reacts to not getting paid for a successful job. I have Captains start with an extra 1200 credits which can be used to purchase up to 6 honor tokens at 200 per token. If a Captain wishes to keep a little extra cash, that Captain might only purchase 4 honor tokens and set aside the extra 400 towards a ship upgrade or gear or whatever. As of this moment, I'm not totally decided on whether a full description of how honor will affect the game need be given before the Captains make their purchase. But the effect of Honor will be known the first time the Captain doesn't pay the crew what is owed.
First an Honor token is lost, a Captain who started with 6 tokens now has only 5, and before disgruntled tokens are distributed a die is rolled for each crew member. Any crew member who rolls a 6 has decided not to wait for this rutting Captain to cheat them again and will leave ship. If the crew member rolls the Captain's Honor or less they only become disgruntled and will stay in hopes of better days. Now if the Captain attempts to remove the disgruntles with a shore leave the crew members, after downing a mudder's milk or two, get another roll of the die. If the roll is equal to or less than the Captain's Honor the crew member is willing to let bygones be bygones and the disgruntled marker is removed. If the roll is greater than the Captain's honor that crew member staggers back to his bunk, collects his grip, tells said Captain that he expects an invitation to the party after Captain's father and mother finally get married and takes his services elsewhere. Crew members who leave thusly are returned to their planet of origin where they bad mouth their gorram Captain so that he can only hire from said planet by rolling a die and not exceeding his Honor.
For those who want an even bumpier ride any crew member who lacks the Moral keyword when they leave ship can attempt to take payment with them by picking up useful parts to pawn. If two crew members are leaving such a theft is automatic. If a single crew attempts this a showdown, kosherized or not, occurs.
I realize that for some this is more useless drama, but I came to this 'Verse for the drama as well as the laughs.
There are other uses for Honor which I can elaborate upon when I get up the nerve.
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Mudd Grizzly

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I'd never get anyone at my table to go for it, but it's a cool idea. Let us know how it plays out!
 
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Michael Boucher
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That'd be fun to try!
 
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Carl Hanson
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This is an interesting idea, but I have some concerns about the second chance to lose the crew after Shore Leave. Not only is that ridiculously punitive (making it almost better just to leave them disgruntled), but it makes very little thematic sense.

I just can't imagine a crew member saying, "You know Captain, I was annoyed with you for not being paid for that last job; but now that you've taken us out for dinner and drinks on Osiris I just don't think I can work for you anymore."
 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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Indeed. This is very cool. I would simplify it greatly though. I think the one roll at the end of the Job.

Finish Job.
Declare to not pay 1 or more Crew - identify which one(s).
Remove 1 Honor Point.
Roll for each Crew not paid. If you roll above the Captain's current Honor Point total, Disgruntle that Crew.
After all rolls are made, you have the option to reconsider and pay ALL your Crew their expected amount, or Disgruntle any Crew not paid as normal, thus discarding those who failed the roll.

Additionally, you could also lose an Honor Point for committing Immoral acts, like Immoral Jobs, or Nav cards where you leave people drifting in space or take their stuff, Piracy, etc.

Starting Honor Points could be as you described (which I do like because it makes players make a choice about what kind of character they are playing) or you could go with a simplified chart:

Moral Captains start with 6 Honor Points.
"Not-Moral" Captains (or "default" or "average" or "normal" or whatever you want to call the ones without the Moral Keyword) start with 5 points.
Ruthless Captains start with 4 points.

Or perhaps a combination, where the above numbers are a cap on how many points that type of character can have.

The only thing remaining is how to recover or buy Honor Points during the game. It should be something based on the context of the player's actions. Like you would have to do something Moral, or maybe after a Job where you choose to pay all your Crew you have the option to buy 1 Honor Point for $200. You should only be able to buy one at a time.
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George Krubski
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This is somewhat similar to the Reputation and Loyalty process I've toyed with multiple times.
 
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David Maine
United States
Iowa
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As a less severe option, one could roll against the Captain's honor after he takes the crew to dinner to see if they are mollified. If a disgruntled crewmember rolls higher than the Captain's honor, they remain disgruntled.

I mean, if one is a highly skilled public relations officer who has been promised 300 credits for every successful job, which you need so that you can send money to your sainted mother so that she has her knitting wool, a fine dinner with drinks and apples and a fountain of hot chocolate is shiney and all but it don't keep Radiant Cobb in yarn.
 
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