Six or seven years ago, I started playing Battlestar Galactica with house rules to fix obviously broken characters (Cain, Tory, Apollo) and a few small tweaks to make Pegasus destruction and the like more painful. In 2013, just before the release of Daybreak, I released a "final" version of "Brutality", a set of house rules assuming that players would be using both the Pegasus and Exodus expansions, including the Cylon Fleet Board: Brutality
Since then, Daybreak has been released, we've played many games of BSG with all the expansions, the game has gone out of print, and people continue to play, and love BSG. I was recently surprised and flattered to find that By Your Command, a new and revolutionary way to play BSG via PBF, is trying to incorporate much of Brutality as variant options for play, although the thread itself has been dead for some time.
This thread is triggered by this new development (and other things), and also because my opinion on certain aspects of the BSG expansions has changed rather significantly since 2013. In particular, I no longer use much of Exodus at all, including the Cylon Fleet Board, Crisis Cards, and Skill Cards. I could (and may) post another thread seeking to detail my opposition towards Exodus, but for now, this thread is only a repository of the house rules I currently use.
Note that in general, I have removed a bunch of rules that I consider to be non-essential, for simplicity in F2F play. The below should be taken as the house rules that I strongly believe in.Remove all Exodus components except characters, destinations, "Final Five" cards, or if explicitly stated below.Non-Character TweaksQuorum CardsAssign Arbitrator
: Draw 2 politics Skill Cards and pass this card to any other player. Keep this card in play.
Whenever a player activates the "Admiral's Quarters" or the "Airlock" location, this player may discard this card to reduce or increase the difficulty by 3.Accept Prophecy
: Draw 1 Skill Card of your choice (it may be from outside your skill set). Keep this card in play.
Whenever a player targets you with an "Admiral's Quarters" or "Airlock" Skill Check, increase the difficulty by 2. Then discard this card.Probation
: Replaced by a copy of "Establish Dogsville". (+1 population, -1 morale, discard this card).Mutiny CardsMake A Deal
: Choose a character in the Brig and move him to any location on Galactica. Then, discard this card and choose a player currently without a Mutiny card to draw a Mutiny card.Selfish Act
: Draw 2 Skill Cards and discard this card. Then discard 4 Skill Cards or draw another Mutiny card.Crisis CardsThirty-Three
: Special Rule: Relentless Pursuit - Keep this card in play until a basestar or a civilian ship is destroyed. When the fleet jumps, do not remove basestars or civilian ships from the game board.Super Crisis CardsMassive Assault
: Special Rule: Power Failure - Decrease the Jump Preparation Track by 1."Demand Peace" Manifesto
: Admiral Chooses: The Admiral discards two nuke tokens and his hand of Skill Cards. If you do not have two nuke tokens, you may not choose this option OR -1 Morale and damage Galactica twice.Psychological Warfare
: Replaced by "Labor Dispute". (President Chooses: -2 Morale OR -1 Fuel and decrease the Jump Preparation Track by 1.)OthersPegasus Destruction
: When Pegasus is destroyed, -1 to all resources that are not in the red zone.Assault Raptors
: Assault Raptors are destroyed on a roll of 6-8.
Assault Raptors hit Heavy Raiders and Basestars on a roll of 6-8.Loyalty Deck and Executions
: Any titles the executed character held are transferred to the next character in the Line of Succession before the new character is picked.
When the humans reach distance 8, reveal the final card of the Loyalty deck. If it is a "You Are A Cylon" card, remove it from the game. Cylon players then draw a Super Crisis card. The next time the humans would jump, reset the Jump Preparation Track instead.Cylon Reveals
: The "Damage Galactica" reveal can now only damage Galactica, while the "Draw Treachery" reveal now forces everyone to draw 2 Treachery cards instead of just 1.Final Fives
: Revealed Cylons may NOT ignore the discards on "Final Five" cards.Character Tweaks
If I do not mention a ability or character, it is unchanged.
Setup: Quorum ChamberUnconventional Tactics
: Once per turn, during your Crisis step, you may replace a loss of 1 Food or 1 Morale with 1 Population.Friends in Low Places
: Once per game, if a title card you do not have would be passed, take it instead.
: After you play an "Investigative Committee", "Strategic Planning" or "Maximum Firepower" card for its text effect, draw 1 Skill Card of the same type played.Moral Dilemma
: You must play at least one Skill Card in all Skill Checks triggered by a location.
Line of Succession: is now below Political ZarekAdaptable
: Whenever a Quorum card is played, you may play a "Consolidate Power" Skill Card.Influential
: Action: Once per game, you may look at the top 5 cards of the Quorum deck. You may put up to 3 of them on the bottom of the deck and put the rest on top in any order.
Setup: President's OfficeAdroit
: Whenever you end your Movement step in the same location as another player, you pay pass him 1 Skill Card from your hand to draw 2 Skill Cards. They may come from outside your skill set.Feared Leader
: Movement: Discard an "Executive Order" skill card to activate a location occupied by another character. You may not do this if you are in the "Brig" location.Stamp Authority
: Action: Once per game, take all Mutiny Cards of other players into your hand. (Do not go to the Brig.) Choose one to play and discard the rest.Bent on Revenge
: If there is an undamaged basestar on the main game board, resolve a Reckless penalty for all Skill Checks made during your turn.Inspirational Leader
: When you draw a Crisis Card, all 1 strength Skill Cards are considered 2 strength.Command Authority
: Once per game, after a Skill Check has been resolved, you may take any or all Skill Cards used for the check into your hand instead of discarding them.Emotionally Attached
: Draw one fewer Leadership card during your "Receive Skills Step" for each player in the "Brig" location.Cylon Hatred
: Whenever a player activates the "Admiral's Quarters" or "Airlock" locations, you may reduce the difficulty by 3.Blind Devotion
: Once per game, after cards have been added to a Skill Check (but before revealing them), you may choose a skill type. All cards of the chosen type are considered strength 0.FTL Operator
: Whenever you activate the "FTL Control" location, before Destination cards are drawn, look at the Destination card second from the top. You may place it on the bottom of the Destination deck.Amputee
: Whenever you are sent to "Sickbay", draw a Treachery card and roll a die. On a result of 3 or less, draw a Mutiny card.Organised
: Once per game, after your "Receive Skills Step", activate any two Galactica or Pegasus locations.
Setup: Communications/Main Batteries
2 TacticsNecessary Steps
: Before another player would draw a Mutiny card, look at the top card of the Mutiny deck. You may place it on the bottom of the deck.Alert Viper Pilot
: If a viper would be placed in a space area from the "Reserves", you may immediately pilot it and take one action. You may not do this if you are already piloting a Viper, or are in the "Sickbay" or "Brig" locations.Expert Pilot
: If you are piloting a viper at the end of your Action step, you may take another Action.Secret Destiny
: Once per game, after a Crisis card has been drawn, you may discard it. Then look at the top two cards of the Crisis deck, put one on the bottom of the deck and resolve the other.Insubordinate
: Whenever you are the target of an "Executive Order" Skill Card, you must discard one random Skill Card.Hotshot
: Once per turn, if you would roll a die during an Action step, you may instead discard a Skill Card. Use that card's strength +2 instead of the die roll. You may not do this when activating the "FTL Control" location. Sacrifice
: Action: Once per game, if piloting a viper, send yourself to "Sickbay" to destroy 5 raiders, 2 heavy raiders, 1 basestar or 2 civilian ships in your space sector.
2 PilotingRaptor Pilot
: Once per turn, when you look at the top card of the Crisis or Destination deck as a result of a "Launch Scout" card, look at the top 2 cards instead and, in the order of your choosing, place each card on the top or the bottom of the deck.No One Left Behind
: Once per game, when resolving the Choose Destination step, gain 1 population. The Admiral then only draws 1 Destination card (second from the top).Conflicted
: Whenever a basestar or centurion is destroyed, discard 2 Skill Cards.Star Player
: Movement or Action: Once per turn, discard up to 3 Skill Cards of any one type. Then draw that number of Skill Cards from any one type within your skill set.Longshot
: Once per game, determine the result of a die roll instead of rolling it.Starts on the Bench
: Draw only 2 Skill Cards during the "Receive Skills Step" of your first turn.The Blackbird
: Action: Once per game, destroy two damaged Vipers to look at the top 3 cards of the Crisis deck and then place them on the top or bottom in any order.Fast Learner
: If added into the check, cards are not revealed with the "Investigative Committee" Skill Card.Discharge of a Firearm
: Movement: Once per game, execute another player in your current location.Quarantine
: Once per game, after a player has played cards into a Skill Check, look at them. You may take one of the cards into your hand.
In addition to Cult Leader and Broadcast, Cultar gains the following:Acts of Faith:
You may discard 2 miracle tokens to use another character's miracle ability if that character does not have a miracle token. Follow all timing restrictions of the chosen miracle ability. You may not choose a Cylon Leader.Cryptic Message
: Action: Once per game, you may swap your hand of skill cards with another player. Then choose either yourself or that player to take an additional Action.Aggressive Tactics
: Action: Once per game, look at the top two cards of the Super Crisis deck. Put one into your hand and play the other, treating it as though it had a "Prepare for Jump" icon on it. Do not draw a Crisis card this turn.Lies and Secrets
: When a player reveals a "You are a Cylon" Loyalty Card, discard 5 Skill Cards.1 Politics
: At the start of your turn, look at the top card of the Crisis deck, then draw a skill card. It may come from outside your skill set.The Opera House Discovery
: Whenever a "You are a Cylon" or a "Final Five" card is revealed, draw 2 Skill Cards and a Super Crisis card. They make come from outside your skill set.Boxed
: If you are on the "Resurrection Ship" location, you must discard 3 Skill Cards or 1 Super Crisis card to move to another location.For Love
: Once per turn, when another Player is forced to discard 1 or more Skill Cards (except when discarding down to Hand Limit), you may draw 1 Treachery Skill Card to reduce the number of cards he discards by 1.Brutality Plus
New stuff that I think of sometimes, and may put up for testing.
Setup: President's OfficePresidential Aide:
If you are not the President, you have a maximum Quorum hand size of 2. At the end of your turn, you may give a Quorum card in your hand to the President. Reveal Secrets:
Once per game, as a Quorum card is played, negate its effect. Then, you may play a Quorum card from your hand.No Combat Experience:
Die rolls you make during Action steps may not be rerolled or modified.
(Military Leader) 2 Leadership2 Tactics1 Engineering
Setup: Weapons Control/Main BatteriesRazor
: Whenever the President or the Admiral targets you with an "Executive Order" Skill Card, you may discard a skill card to move and then take two Actions.Critical Mission
: Once per game, before cards are added to a Skill Check triggered by a Crisis Card, increase its difficulty by 5 and replace the "pass" result with "Increase the Jump Preparation Track by 1."Take the Edge Off:
If you have two or less Skill Cards in hand, you may not activate any locations.
(Pilot)1 Leadership2 Tactics1 Piloting1 Tactics
Setup: Hangar DeckAssault Raptor Pilot
: Vipers in your space area are treated as Assault Raptors for all purposes, except that they may not remain in their space area when the fleet jumps.Critical Discovery
: Action: Once per game, look at the top 3 cards of the Destination deck, then place them on the top or bottom of the deck in any order.Death Wish
: If there are 6 or more Cylon ships in your space area, skip the Movement step of your turn.