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Subject: Unforgiven rss

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Jack Carlson
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So, I got a little obsessed last night with playing around with the characters from Unforgiven as they might appear in Firefly. Here are the sleep-deprived results:

 


I started with English Bob, who is such a remarkable character in the movie. I thought he ought to be copiously armed and deadly, but maybe not so much use without all of his guns. He's also expensive to hire, pay, and outfit--which seemed true to character. A merc, clearly. Probably Ruthless in his larger life, but I decided the cards ought to reflect the characters as they appear in the movie, and he didn't have much chance to be ruthless there. "The Duck" is the fun part of this card. Might be located at Regina.

 


Little Bill is the leader type--always had a crew of deputies with him-- but the way he played out on the card, I think he's a limited leader that someone might want to play for a challenge. A ruthless lawman in the film (Gwek, I'd love your opinion on the ramifications of that combination--the more I think about it, the more I'm not sure Ruthless is right. Little Bill is brutal in the film, but Ruthless as Gwek designed it indicates a tendency to turn on your fellow crew, and Little Bill is surrounded by a loyal bunch of deputies).

To start with, I gave him two guns (when I design crew cards, two guns usually means either extraordinary ability with firearms, or a gunman who's also physically very formidable--like Little Bill). I needed a third skill for the Leader card, though, and Talk was the obvious choice--Little Bill is a bad carpenter in the movie, so no Tech, and once he takes on English Bob's biographer, he likes to talk almost as much as Bob does.

So far as abilities, I worked up from the bottom.
--As a Lawman, Little Bill won't work Illegal jobs.
--"May disarm 1 rival crew in a Showdown" came logically from the movie.
--+3 Fight on Border worlds was my extrapolation from the film: within his territory (Big Whiskey in the movie, the Border in the game) Little Bill has access to a whole posse of deputized gunmen.

All this adds up, I think, to an interesting, but specialized and limited leader. Since Little Bill can't work Illegal jobs, he would be limited to Shipping, Transport, and Tasks, but he could supplement his Legal work by being, within the confines of the Border, a pretty deadly bounty hunter, with the combination of +3 fight and being able to disarm 1 Rival in a Showdown--though I wonder whether "disarm" should be changed to "May take 1 gear from any rival in a Showdown." (I also like the way the +3 Fight *on any Border world* establishes a default "territory" for Little Bill.)

 


William Munny was interesting. The ability name & quote were obvious, but giving him 1 Fight & the complicated ability details were again meant to reflect Munny's character in the movie. He might have been a deadly gunman once, but in the film, he's pretty shaky. So, as a Merc, he's expensive, but requires just the right combination of prompts to be deadly. "Discard any liquor card" means, for instance, that you have to buy "The Best in the House," then discard it to Disgruntle Munny & add the 3 fight. So far as I can remember, "The Best in the House" is the only liquor card in the official game, but I chose "any liquor card" to accommodate future expansions and custom cards (maybe Big Daddy would like to hire him for The White Lightning, George). Munny would probably be located at Silverhold, where he could be had, along with "The Best in the House," for a single Crime job. I think he would play as an unstable character, expensive and of limited use to keep in a crew over the long term, which again reflects Munny's character in the film. I wondered if he should be Ruthless, but in the film that's more a part of his past than his present.

 


Finally, Ned Logan. This one was pretty straightforward, except for the choice to make him Moral.
 
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Gerry Smit
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Please forgive my old tired eyes:
--snip--
-no need for the double space in the thread. Thanks for the bigger pics!
 
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Dave Rowley
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johnnysaintpaul wrote:
Thanks, my tired old brain couldn't figure out how to make them larger--is there a way I can change the images in my original post?

When you insert the image add " medium" without the quotes (notice the space too!) after the image number before you hit return to insert the code into your post.

Try it on your original post by all means.

Hope this has been of use.
 
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Dave Rowley
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Forgot to mention, Ned Logan also needs the KEYWORD FIREARM with the SNIPER RIFLE.
 
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Jack Carlson
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Ah, much better. Thanks, Dave.
 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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Pretty cool.

I think with English Bob, in an effort to simplify a bit, you could do something like "Firearms do not count toward Gear limit. Discard a Firearm to add [FIGHT] [FIGHT] after the roll."

It would be awesome to specify pistols, but the game doesn't really differentiate pistols and rifles, so it becomes a player judgement call, which could potentially be problematic. So you've got a guy that can carry a ton of guns (you could say "up to 3 Firearms do not count...). Useful but expensive as guns are $400+. And then he can run them out of ammo for a little extra punch.

I'd leave the "named" pistols' effect for their own cards, and keep Bob's card clean of those sorts of details.

I like Little Bill's area specific FIGHT. His disarm ability is really only useful against Rival players though. If he's hunting bounties out of a deck, not so much. Granted, going after a single unarmed Crew in a deck is unlikely to be an issue for him.

I agree that his character is pretty Ruthless, but that it may not play out as the Ruthless rules work in the game. He's unlikely to cry if one of his guys gets killed, but equally unlikely to kill one himself. So I think he falls into the center of the continuum - Not "Ruthless" and definitely NOT Moral.

I like Munny and Logan. Munny runs into the sort of open-ended "what counts as 'liquor'?" question. Maybe it could be "Spend a Cargo" or "Spend a Contraband". More objective, and more apt to see use.

For Logan, he could use an ability. Maybe he has FIREARM, and is +[FIGHT][FIGHT] with a SNIPER RIFLE.



 
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George Krubski
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Hi, Jack, good to see you!

It's been a long while since I've seen UNFORGIVEN, so some of my comments are likely off-base and I'm largely responding from a mechanics/balance point of view.

Back later to comment, but I need to pick my daughter up. I will say, though, that I think a Lawman/Leader is highly problematic, in that there are some story cards where the player would be unfairly disadvantaged to a large extent.
 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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gwek wrote:
... I will say, though, that I think a Lawman/Leader is highly problematic, in that there are some story cards where the player would be unfairly disadvantaged to a large extent.


Perhaps instead of "highly problematic" it could be "extremely really very challenging"... shake

So with those problems in mind, is there a way to mitigate them, and make a Lawman Leader playable? I'd like to think there would be.
 
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George Krubski
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Problem with a Lawman leader is the inability to work Legal Jobs. In some games - for example, those that require being Solid with Niska - it's a real uphill battle because you won't be able to use your leader, who is typically your strongest Crew member. I think something that explicitly excludes a leader from a class of jobs is troublesome.

Looking at the Crew:

I'm inclined to agree with Scarbuck that ENGLISH BOB is in need of a bit of streamlining. The Hideaway .32 is basically comparable to existing Gear, like Dobson's Vector Pistol. I don't remember how The Duck factors in, so I can't offer advise.

The ability to carry 3 Firearms is powerful, like a limited version of Jayne, but dangerous, because it makes it very likely English Bob will betray you if Old Vendetta pops up.

The combo of Fight 1 and $300 is a bit outside the norm. I don't think there are any 1-skill crew that cost 300. I suppose given his ability to carry so many Firearms, it may be earned, though.

LITTLE BILL, as noted, could be troublesome as a Lawman/Leader. (BTW, if he's going to be a Lawman, he should have a Bounty Bonus). I like the flavor, but he's VERY niche for a leader, between the Lawman thing and the Border Space angle. With some tweaking, he could work pretty well as a Crew, I think (although I'm not actually suggesting that).

With MUNNY, there is as with English Bob, the 1 Fight/300 thing. The ability to Discard Best in the House to Disgruntle him for a big bonus to Fight is nicely thematic, but it's very limited. I would suggest giving him a bonus any time he's Disgruntled, but you can discard liquor to Disgruntle him.

I think you're thinking of him primarily for solo play, but in regular play, the fact that he's constantly Disgruntled is likely to make him move ships on a pretty regular basis.

Or is the intention that he's only temporarily Disgruntled? If so, I would consider making him Moral, to increase the chances that being Disgruntled for the span of a single action means something.

NED LOGAN - as someone else mentioned, if he has SNIPER RIFLE, he should have FIREARM, too. Other than that, he looks good.

 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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What if, for a LAWMAN Leader, instead of being unable to work Illegal Jobs, he is Disgruntled when he works an Illegal Job. As a Leader type archtype, he/she has a little more discretion in selecting work.

Makes it possible, but not attractive, the way Moral Crew CAN work Immoral Jobs, but there is a cost.

A MORAL LAWMAN Leader (using the above ability) would really need to be careful working crime jobs, as they often come with Immoral caveats, not to mention Misbehaves that Disgruntle Crew and Moral Crew.
 
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George Krubski
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That's an interesting idea - but not a Lawman.

(at least not using the definition offered by GF9)
 
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Dave Rowley
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Ever sincce I started working on the Legal work - For the Alliance I gave the whole Lawman not working illegal/Immoral Jobs.

So in light of Crime and Punishemt I've come up with:

Undercover ID - Gear

mb FAKE ID

Ignore any benefits and restrictions of being a LAWMAN.
Discard if issued a "Wanted Token" or "Warrant".

$1200

Could be of use to those LAWMAN Leaders?
 
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Jack Carlson
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Thanks for all the suggestions, gents. Here's another run at the Unforgiven cards:

English Bob & William Munny are streamlined as suggested, also made slightly less powerful (& less expensive).

English Bob lost The Duck of Death handicap, which was mostly a nod to the movie anyway.

 


As for Munny, it's easier to trigger his +2 Fight, although, as George pointed out, if he's running around Disgruntled a good deal of the time, he'll probably jump ship a lot--which I think is in character with the movie.

 


For Ned Logan, I simply added the Firearm keyword as suggested.

 


Last there's Little Bill, still the most complicated & controversial.

First off, I kept Ruthless. Thinking about the movie more, as the movie goes on, Little Bill's dark side comes out, starting with the pleasure he takes in beating English Bob to a pulp, and ending with his torturing & beating Ned Logan to death. He's arguably a psychopath, and at the very least a sadist. I decided he might well kill one of his crew, should anyone cross him. So, Ruthless--and I changed his flavor quote from a line from the English Bob beating to a line from the Ned Logan torture scene.

I kept him a Lawman, adding the +$500 Bounty bonus, but deleting the prohibition from working Illegal jobs.

This reflects my preferences for my own solo game rather than GF9's intentions & game design. I almost never play Lawman characters, precisely b/c of the Illegal jobs prohibition, and I realized as part of this discussion that I simply want to get rid of it, so that I can get interesting characters like Dobson and Sheriff Bourne into the action. I've written into my solo rules that Lawmen are Disgruntled by working Illegal jobs, so there's a drawback for Lawmen in acting illegally (good idea, Starbuck), and left it at that.

My rationale: from the Old West to rogue cops today, the line between law & outlaw has often been thin. Wyatt Earp and his brothers and cronies were little more than thugs with badges by some accounts; Bob Dalton, the oldest of the Dalton Brothers gang was a lawman before he discovered bank robbery paid better. So, I'm giving Lawmen in my game the option to cross that line.

 
 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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Working backwards because, well, why not?

Bill looks good. I like what you said about choice. Firefly is a lite RPG. In taking on the role of the characters, we make choices for them. Maybe this lawman's been pushed to the raggedy edge and just a little past it, and a life of crime is his 'only way out' (or so he rationalizes it). Could be an act of revenge against the alliance or even against one of the crime bosses. Maybe he's taking jobs to hurt Badger and ruin his business. Maybe he's taking jobs from Niska to get close enough to do him harm.

I still think Logan needs an ability. I know not everyone has one, but he's one of the main characters.

Munny looks good. You should spell out Contraband, and I think Cargo and Contraband would be capitalized.

On Bob, wasn't the duck one of his guns? The Hideaway .32 text is a little confusing. Is that also one of his guns? If so, make those named Gear. It'll work more consistently with the game mechanics and gives you more room for text that sharing with his special ability.

It's been a while since I watched this. Had forgotten Bill beating the crap out of everyone, so yeah, Ruthless is warranted. Would some TALK be appropriate for Bob when he's equipped with Firearms?
 
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Jack Carlson
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Scarbuck wrote:
Working backwards because, well, why not?

Bill looks good. I like what you said about choice. Firefly is a lite RPG. In taking on the role of the characters, we make choices for them. Maybe this lawman's been pushed to the raggedy edge and just a little past it, and a life of crime is his 'only way out' (or so he rationalizes it). Could be an act of revenge against the alliance or even against one of the crime bosses. Maybe he's taking jobs to hurt Badger and ruin his business. Maybe he's taking jobs from Niska to get close enough to do him harm.


Yes, the Dalton Brothers, one of my referents, were Kansas deputies and marshals before they embarked on a short career of train and bank robbery that ended bloodily when they tried to rob two banks at once in Coffeyville, Kansas, in 1892.

Scarbuck wrote:
I still think Logan needs an ability. I know not everyone has one, but he's one of the main characters.


I'm leaving him as he is, though I could certainly see a different take, +1 fight when carrying a sniper rifle, etc.

Scarbuck wrote:
Munny looks good. You should spell out Contraband, and I think Cargo and Contraband would be capitalized.


Done:

 


Scarbuck wrote:
On Bob, wasn't the duck one of his guns? The Hideaway .32 text is a little confusing. Is that also one of his guns? If so, make those named Gear. It'll work more consistently with the game mechanics and gives you more room for text that sharing with his special ability.

It's been a while since I watched this. Had forgotten Bill beating the crap out of everyone, so yeah, Ruthless is warranted. Would some TALK be appropriate for Bob when he's equipped with Firearms?


No, the duck wasn't one of English Bob's guns. His biographer had written a pulp Western about him called "The Duke of Death." Little Bill gets hold of it during their confrontation and intentionally misreads it:

"The Duck of Death?"

"That's Duke, Bill."

then continually refers to Bob as "The Duck" after he beats him & puts him in jail.

Bob carried two Peacemakers openly, and a hidden .32. I've kept that ability as is for now, but I could see replacing it with a set of gear specific to these characters: English Bob's Hideaway .32, Little Bill's Bullwhip, Ned Logan's Spencer Rifle, William Munny's Bottle of Whiskey.

I did add 1 Talk to Bob's basic abilities, which also brought his cost up again, which I wanted. He does talk a lot, though it mostly seems to just make people mad at him. Still, that seems somewhat intentional on his part. He's a facile talker, especially compared to Munny, who's pretty inarticulate. So:

 


 
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Carl Hanson
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johnnysaintpaul wrote:
 


Is it important for some reason that he be a Lawman? There is a precedent in the game for 'rogue' lawmen leaders to not have that label. Namely, Womack, who seems an apt comparison for Little Bill.

If you do decide to keep the Lawman keyword, you need to find room to add the text that he can work illegal jobs. The prohibition on working illegal jobs is actually included in the PBH rulebook, and the text on the cards is really just a reminder of that rule. Much like there are Medics in the game that do not have the Medic roll rules but still get to roll because that rule is in the rulebook and not dependent on the card text.
 
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