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Firefly: The Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: my first custom leaders rss

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Greg F
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Hi guys,

I'm quite new to the firefly game, but I love it. So I found your work here, which is great, and made for me and my friends my first own cards.






What do you guys think?

Since I'm not experienced with Photoshop, I used PowerPoint to make these cards. If you guys like them and have more ideas, I would create a full set of round about 20-30 cards around these leaders.
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George Krubski
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Hi, Greg. A nice start!

A few thoughts:

First, if you're willing to spend about 10 bucks a month for access, you can get Photoshop, and then get access to our resource folder, which is mostly templates. You've done very nicely with the resources available, but the PS templates are prettier.

Second, even if you stick with PowerPoint, I would recommend trying to mirror the fonts and font sizes of the existing cards as much as possible. They serve not only a stylistic function, but also a mechanical one, limiting how much text is too complicated for a card.

Finally, let me get down to leader balance. Since these cards are for you and your friends, you may not be overly concerned about how they balance against existing leaders, so I hope you'll bear with me.

There are currently 13 official leaders (7 from the core game, 2 each from BLUE SUN and PIRATES & BOUNTY HUNTERS, 1 each from the Jetwash and BLUE SUN). Most fall into a pretty tight structure:

1) 3 skill points

2) 1 keyword OR 2 keywords + Moral. The exceptions to this are Nandi, Zoe, and Atherton, but that's generally balanced by their unique abilities.

3) A unique ability that is typically tied to making or saving money. Ultimately, this will likely net you 1000-2000 over the course of the game.

So, let's look at your folks!

FLO - Looks spot on for keywords and skills. I think the ability as written would be too "big" to fit on a card in standard text. I also think it may be too powerful. Although he's not likely to make a ton of money per job just delivering Goods, he can make 400 or 500 per job working for Harrow or Higgins, and can also work Shipping Jobs to operate on a shoe-string budget (if you're Misbehaving, you don't need to fill out your Crew). The flexibility that it's ANY Goods more than compensates for any limitations, I think.

Keep just the first half, and I think he'd be nicely balanced against existing leaders.

GREG - I would suggest adding MORAL both to balance out the second keyword and to be thematically in line with the bit about being Disgruntled when Crew are Killed.

The special ability is a bit beyond the scope of what leader abilities normally look like, but it still applies tangentially in that it's about getting safely from one location to another. It won't save you money, but it can save you fuss.

Mechanically speaking, I think there are more intuitive ways to boost a Fly action than drawing a card every other sector: spend an extra Fuel during a Fly Action to move your first sector without drawing a card, +1 Mosey, may spend a Fuel once per Fly Action to redraw a Nav Card... UI'm not sure of the exact flavor you're looking for.

NADINE - Again, 2 keywords, no Moral. HOME SWEET HOME is interesting, but presents a few problems. First, some Story Cards call for use of Havens, which cannot be at Supply Planets. And some of those even already let you take Shore Leave for free, so there are some story cards where this ability becomes largely worthless.

For the ones that don't, this places a lot of pressure on choosing your starting location, and if you don't get to pick early, you have limited options. I like the idea in theory, but I can see how it could lead to a very frustrating game early on.

NILS - I think this one is pretty balanced overall. Like Greg, Nils has a special ability that's not too in line with existing leader abilities, but I think it seems about right. You might want to consider removing the card from play instead (to prevent a quick repurchase) or excluding Gear that needs to be discarded to have value anyway, but that's just fine-tuning as you play.

MARKUS - Keywords and skills look balanced. The special ability obviously relies a bit on luck, but seems okay. If you adjust the font, I think you'll have to trim the options down to 3, if not two. I might go with something like:

When you Buy at least 1 Gear, roll a die:
1-2 No effect
3-5 Take $100 per Gear bought
6 Take 1 Gear for free

I hope I haven't gone overboard with feedback. Folks on these boards will attest that I love 1) balance and mechanics, and 2) to talk and talk and talk.
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Roger BW
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Also, The Gimp can read Photoshop template files.
 
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Dave Rowley
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Firedrake wrote:
Also, The Gimp can read Photoshop template files.

This is true,, but it is much MUCH easier using Photoshop. Believe me I've used both.

It really depends on how many cards you intend making and to what standard of quality balanced against software cost.

My personal experience was that a lot of problems I was having with GIMP (free software) went away and my production skyrocketed when I subscribed to Photoshop (£8.57 last month).

I believe a single packet of cigarettes costs about that... whistle
 
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George Krubski
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I don't want to be a Gimp hater, but I agree with Dave.

I wound up with a bootleg (and ancient) copy of Photoshop. It served me well for a while, until some of the files other folks were posting were beyond my ability to open. I tried Gimp briefly, got even more frustrated, and just shelled out.

Of course, I DO use it almost daily, so it's definitely worth it, even if I'm just fiddling.
 
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Dave Rowley
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Oh yeah, I too used a dodgy copy of Photoshop. From Amazon of all places, 6 I think it was.

I bit the bullet for the same reasons given by George, who finally made me see reason the light!
 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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First off, absolutely amazing that you did this in PowerPoint. That's full on MacGuyver stuff there.

I like the characters, and George is the authoritah on this stuff (honestly, he may actually look like Nathan Fillion in real life), so I don't really have much to add to his assessment there.

 


I'd offer that on Nadine, while it's a really cool ability, a lot of stories may not see you return to your starting location. The ability will help you starting out for sure, and get you on the road with a large crew (how long that take is up to the gods of probability), but once you get working jobs and trying to get Solid with multiple contacts, you may not make it back to use the free Shore Leave. Especially because of the race aspect of the game, you'll likely find it worth the money to take Shore Leave closer to where you may be if it saves you a turn or two.

I'll speak up for GIMP. I'm a terrible cheapskate. I also don't like paying monthly for software. I abhor that pricing model. GIMP works really well, and I've been able to utilize the templates (they're really freaking amazing) that these guys have put together, without any real problems. The ONLY issue that I've had come up is with the text. The Photoshop templates have the text areas that are editable. When opened in GIMP, those text areas are no longer editable, so you need to create a text box and match up the font and size. Special effect text, like for keywords, because of the borders have to be built as items. I've got to upload my GIMP versions. Why haven't I done that yet? Doofus! zombie

Welcome to the Dark Side man. Please have a cookie.
 
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Mary Kay

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Hi, George.

After a lengthy hiatus, I have recently returned to playing Firefly again, and of course that means I'm getting interested all over again in creating extra decks and cards(whether they're entirely new items or I'm just designing the cards for someone else's text, as with Legends of the Verse).

The resource folder you've described would be quite a time saver. I do not have Photoshop on my computer right now, but I do have what I think is a equivalent from a British company called Serif, which is where I went for a much less expensive equivalent to Adobe programs like Publisher, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. But if I need to pay the $10/month for actual Photoshop after all that won't be a problem.

What do I need to do next to access this resource folder?

Thanks.
 
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George Krubski
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Welcome back!

Shoot me a PM with your e-mail and I can send you an invite. The folder is in Dropbox, so if you don't have access to that, I think you may need to sign up.
 
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Greg F
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First of all, thank you for your feedback and for sharing your templates.
As I'm a cheapskate, too, I downloaded the free Photoshop version CS2, which works fine with the templates. Here my new cards.



For Greg, I modified the ability more like the ability of the Emission Recycler.
Nils ability is untouched. I only rebuilt it in photoshop.
At Markus you were right, gwek. The text was too long so I shortened it.
For Flo I tried a new ability, which is also not too inline with the existing leaders and may give too much extra money. I'll have to try it out in a couple of games. But I like the idea, since he is more the scrooge like guy, who tries to get a benefit out of everything. Using only the first part of the old ability wouldn't suit his character. And with the misbehave he gains a bit more gambling character.
Only for Nadine I don't have an idea what here ability should become. I agree, that the home based ability limits the play and is in a couple of storys useless. Maybe in the next days I come up with an new idea.

In advance thank you for your feedback to my updates und again, thank you very much for the templates.
 
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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So they're easier to see... whistle



 
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On Flo: $1,000 may be too much. Depending on the story, you may do a LOT of Jobs. Misbehave aside, figure that Mal, our standard hero archtype, earns $500 when he does Crime Jobs, and Flo earns this when he does ANY Job, the profitability of this is orders of magnitude more than the stock abilities.

$2-300 would probably be in the ballpark without the Misbehave. $4-500 is probably in there with the Misbehave. And it should read "If you fail..." not "When you fail...".

For Greg, I think it'd be cool if he earned more money for finishing transport type jobs really fast. Instead of the Evade ability, something like "When you complete a Transport or Shipping Job the turn after you start it, earn $500."

Not sure how much space that will take. Maybe if the first ability is "Spend 1 Fuel to add +1 to your Full Burn." It might save space, though I do like the trigger being the Big Black cards.

For Markus, maybe make the 3-4 Gear is half price.

Would Nils also be a Grifter?
 
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George Krubski
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Was just skimming through the forums and realized I had missed a new round on these cards.

FLO - I agree with Scarbuck this the stated ability is too powerful. Even though you have to get through another Misbehave card, the prospect of $1000 for proceeding through a single card is a pretty good one.

Having said that, I can see at least two viable directions to go from here.

Given the name of the special ability - "Scrooge" - and the lack of Morality, it seems like Flo is cheap, and possibly in a way where he's willing to shaft his Crew. What if he had an ability like this:

SCROOGE: When you complete a Job, pay each Crew $100 less (minimum of $100). Roll a die for each. On a 1, they Crew paid less becomes Disgruntled.

There are some inherent limits here: it only offers a benefit with "better" Crew (since that with a cost of $0 or $100 can't be cut down further) and there's a risk of Crew becoming unhappy over time.

Alternately, if you like the idea of Misbehave more for money, perhaps it should be limited to only Legal Jobs?

NOSE FOR TROUBLE: When you complete a Legal Job, you may draw 1 Misbehave Card. If you proceed, take $1000. If you don't, Kill 1 Crew.

To me, this indicates a character who is able to find side jobs, or ways to leverage the shady side of legal work. Given that most Legal Jobs are relatively low paying, I think $1000 might be okay for these Jobs, especially with the risk of a Killed Crew attached.

GREG: I think Greg is okay as-is, although I do like Scarbuck's suggestion of tying things to Transport Jobs (which are some of the toughest Jobs in the game).

Maybe +500 when you complete a Transport Job AND +1 Range when you have an Active Transport Job?

MARKUS: Also looks okay to me, although Scarbuck's suggestion seems reasonable. For the 3-4 result, is the intent that ONE Gear is half-price, or that ANY Gear bought on the current Action are half price?

NILS: Seems reasonable. If you wanted to make him a Grifter, drop the TRANSPORT keyword, which is one of the best keywords for Misbehaving, so it's sort of at odds with the special ability.

NADINE: I'm not sure what you were going for with "Home Sweet Home," so I'm not sure how to offer suggestions, but what if she could use an Action to discard a Cargo to take Shore Leave anywhere? This thematically plays on the idea of "home" but makes it more like the ship is the home - Home Is Where You Hang Your Hat...
 
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Greg F
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First of all: Thank you again for your feedback. You're great guys.

As you've directly recognized, the $1000 was too much. Even if the new Misbehave cards make it much more difficult, especially at the beginning of the game. The idea behind Flo is actually that he is more such a staple, who likes to try to get a little more out of business. Therefore also the quotation "change money? what's that?". So I would rather stick to the second idea. I had tried it last with only $500, but was not quite as satisfied with the result, as it is at the price but less likely. Limiting to legal jobs would make sense technically, but this fits not his behavior of soaking his business partners. Currently, I am playing with the idea that you could lose "solid". But this will be too much text on the card.

For Greg I will try Scarbuck's suggestion and decide which one I take. The as-is effect was nice to play and gives you new options, but as expected you always run low on money.

For Markus, the effect realy depends on you roll luck. In the last game he rolled only 4 or more which is with a gear at half-price really powerfull. The $100 were quite good balance.

Nils: I don't want him to be a grifter, because he is a real nice guy, but a bad loser beeing upset for each misbehave card he fails. So I came up with the idea for his ability. The Transport keyword is very powerfull, I think of replacing it with the firearm or the sniper rifle keyword, which would also mathc better to the soldier keyword.

Nadine: I'll start with a new brainstorming. The "Home sweet home" idea leads to a deadlock. Discarding cargo for shore leave is tooweak in my eyes, since you have ship upgrades allowing this and crewmembers providing free shore leave at supply planets. Your idea of "ship is the home" is very good, maybe this will bring up a new idea.

 
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Greg F
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As promised, here my new idea for Nadine an her "my ship is home" ability. The problem now is to specify what is the "nearest" discard pile or the nearest supply planet. But the card doesn't allow more text. Any suggetions would be great.



Sorry for the small image, but how do I post the bigger images?
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Dave Rowley
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nyuga wrote:
As promised, here my new idea for Nadine an her "my ship is home" ability. The problem now is to specify what is the "nearest" discard pile or the nearest supply planet. But the card doesn't allow more text. Any suggetions would be great.



Sorry for the small image, but how do I post the bigger images?


If you look in the code and add either medium or large with a space between the ID number and the bracket it will resize the image.

I took the liberty of editing your quote to show you.

Keep flying.

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How about, instead of 'nearest discard pile', 'nearest Supply planet' or 'nearest Supply planet discard'? If you have to lose the for free part, it's still pretty good to be able to grab Crew on the fly like that. As part of a Work action no less.

There's definitely not enough room to describe what to do if you're equidistant from two Supply planets, which is the only real problem I see, and I don't think it's necessary. I'd just pick a rule, like 'if equidistant, pick one to Hire from' and tell the player at the start of the game.

 
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Dave Rowley
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I think "Supply Deck" is understood when you mention Discard Pile.

Just drop the "at no cost" should be enough.

Shame there is no piccy.
 
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UpStarter wrote:

I think "Supply Deck" is understood when you mention Discard Pile.

Just drop the "at no cost" should be enough.

Shame there is no piccy.


True, but it could be argued that if for example, the nearest discard pile is Patience's, for example, that you could not then use the ability since there's no Crew there.

It must subsequently be argued that such a person championing said argument should be beaten and dumped in the swamp where the gators will dispose of the evidence. But that's just how we handle stuff down here. Your Northern mileage may differ.

 
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