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Subject: Unique Gnome Powers rss

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Ken K
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What do you think about each gnome having a unique ability?

Red, green and blue Gnomes are mechanics. They get an automatic 3 minute bonus to repair the red, green or blue disaster track.

Orange Gnome is the fire control specialist... 2 minute bonus.

Gray Gnome can unblock a hatch with a 3 minute edge.

Yellow Gnome is lucky. He can roll twice and pick the roll he likes.

Purple Gnome can... hmmm....hold his breath? He can escape or kill the Kraken without the aqualung and survive for 5 minutes in a flooded room?

Dark Green Gnome must be the Captain. His orders allow him to "give" his minutes to other gnomes.

Of course automatic powers would make the game much easier. What could be done to ratchet up the difficulty? Perhaps draw an extra disaster card at each of the red star item spaces?

Any ideas are appreciated!

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David Short
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I like the sound of this. It would have to be playtested to find the right balance, but in general I like the concept.
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Just call me Erik
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I like this idea. It would probably work best with the full-house 8-player game, but I'm wondering...if playing with fewer than 8, do players pick which gnomes to use, or is it random like the role cards in Pandemic?
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After playing other co-op games like Shadows Over Camelot, Battlestar Galactica, and Pandemic where everyone has some sort of special power(s), I ended up doodling powers for the gnomes while in a very long meeting.

-can walk through fire, but -1 penalty to fix-it actions
-Unaffected by sobriety check (you still flip a card over anyways, but just discard it), but for every 3 minutes of movement on the timetrack, +1 penalty minute on the timetrack

-NOT slowed by low flood
-draw +1 event time whenever you draw from a location or on the track (max 1 per turn)
-When Stumble, Turbelunce, or Kracken occur, you only discard 1 item
-discard up to 3 items to gain +1 apiece to a fix-it action.


In fact, one could probably borrow ideas from the other games I've mentioned above and tweak them to fit the gameplay and theme of RN.



If any of these powers in this thread makes things too easy, I suppose you could have these abilities as limited use (use beads or counters to track usage), or if more inclined, create event cards that restrict special power use.
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Matthieu Weber
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You could also create power cards (with possibly more that 8 different powers, or duplicate power cards). At the beginning of the game, the players draws one card for each of their gnomes (possibly two cards in a 3-player game, or for an easier game) and gets a special power assigned to their gnomes. (inspired by the mechanism in Carcassonne Vanguard, http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/119295 , I've no idea how the role assignment works in Pandemic--it might just be the same thing.)
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Ken K
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Quote:
but I'm wondering...if playing with fewer than 8, do players pick which gnomes to use, or is it random like the role cards in Pandemic?


The first few games of Pandemic I really hated randomly assigned roles. Now I see that it's an extra challenge ...to work with what you're given.

Either way would work, but I think some people get attached to a particular color or might insist on playing the Captain or something, so I'd let folks pick their gnomes.
 
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Wilfredo Molina
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Arrr!...I vote RED for the Captain. Prost!
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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I think this would be a big improvement to the game. Red November was never really my favorite co-op game, and probably still wouldn't be, regardless, but I would definitely like it better if each player had a distinct ability.

I think since the grog is a factor in the game that it should be involved in the character abilities... some people hold liquor better than others. Perhaps one gnome begins his sobriety at -1, so it takes him an extra drink to get as drunk as the others. And maybe, by the same token, one gnome is a lightweight who jumps to 2 on his first drink, but has some other positive ability to offset that.

As far as what to do to increase the difficulty to counter the player abilities, that might depend on what they end up being and require quite a bit of testing... But just offhand, it seems like the extra event card at each star sounds like a good start. Or, as with the idea of the lightweight gnome who gets drunk quicker but has that detriment offset with some positive ability, perhaps each gnome could have a positive and negative ability, which might balance things out, more or less.
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An absolutely mandatory gnome special ability:

Political officer!

Gives +1 to all fix-it actions by gnomes in the same or an adjacent room due to, erm, motivational effect. Also prevents gnomes from escaping the ship through an exterior hatch as long as the political officer is in the same or adjacent room as the hatch.

However, due to the increased bureaucracy following from having a political officer aboard, all actions to get items from the storage room or the captain's cabin take an additional minute.

Guess which colour the political officer gnome would be?
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Or, should "Political officer" rather be "GNKVD officer"?

In the same vein, meet the Gnomsomol member, the young idealist aboard. Being brave, he can attempt to put out fires without either a fire extinguisher or a grog bottle (he does not, however, get any inherent bonuses to it, and thus needs to spend a full 10 minutes to be assured of success). However, due to his idealism, he cannot abandon ship.

Meet the Gnudarnik, the shock worker. He is capable of enormous feats of raw manual labour, getting +2 to attempts to pump water or open hatches. Yet he is an unsophisticated brute, and suffers -1 to actions requiring technical knack, i.e. fixing the engine, oxygen pump or reactor, or deactivating the missile.


However, regarding special abilities giving bonuses to actions, a particular limitation would have to apply: If the gnome fails at an action which was positively modified by a special ability, further actions in the room do not get the bonus. The special ability is reset either after the gnome succeeds on an action (other than no action or trade) in the room, or makes any action (success or failure) in another room. This is simply to stop exploiting fixed positive modifiers to the max by making a succession of 1-minute actions.
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Nate Straight

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Professor Plum wrote:

What do you think about each gnome having a unique ability?

Red, green and blue Gnomes are mechanics. They get an automatic 3 minute bonus to repair the red, green or blue disaster track.

Orange Gnome is the fire control specialist... 2 minute bonus.

Gray Gnome can unblock a hatch with a 3 minute edge.

Yellow Gnome is lucky. He can roll twice and pick the roll he likes.

Purple Gnome can... hmmm....hold his breath? He can escape or kill the Kraken without the aqualung and survive for 5 minutes in a flooded room?

Dark Green Gnome must be the Captain. His orders allow him to "give" his minutes to other gnomes.


Cool!

All of them make sense with the colors, too, except possibly the yellow and dark green.

RGB are fine, easy to remember. Orange and gray match up pretty well with theirs.

Yellow matches the numbers on the die, I guess. Purple matches the Kraken icon.

Dark green... I dunno.

Why would orange only get 2 minutes, while everyone else gets a 3 minute bonus?

 
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Mike Hill
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hmm, i think the extra 3 minute bonus would make it so easy. i'd say 1 minute bonus at most, that way its still a risk if you use an item. Dont give em too much, but enough to give a little confidence.
 
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Mike Hill
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Just played a solo game with 4 gnomes. 3 mechanics(RGB) and a Lucky Drunk (Yellow) I switched up the variant rules a little, made it so mechanics only got a +1 instead of automatic 3. That way using items doesnt make it cheap (plus it would make the game twice as long)

It worked well, I lost almost 3/4 of the way through when a timed missile event was drawn, and the missile room caught on fire. After my lucky Drunk (whom i modified to be able to draw a second faint card instead of the very unbalanced second roll for any task) put out the fire, It soon caught fire AGAIN, blocking any of my mechanincs or my drunk from defusing the missiles.

I think these powers work well, it doesnt off balance the game, it just off sets it in your favor a little bit, its definitely a welcome addition to such a tough game.

here are my takes on your gnome powers ideas

RGB > Mechanics = +1 free minutes when performing fix it actions
Y > Lucky Drunk = May draw and extra Faint Check and pick the best
P > Diver (Variant of yours) = May survive an extra turn in a flooded room, May swim without aqualung (2 uses per game)
O > Fire Specialist = +1 free Minutes to putting out fires
G > Lock Specialist = +2 free minutes to busting locks
DG > Captain = 2 free grog tiles at start

hope this helps anyone. From what I've play tested, these should work fine.
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Sven Nemet
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I will try Mike Hill idea next time I play!
 
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Sven Nemet
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Played with my wife and win the game for the first time after 6 plays.
But we had crew like this
Captain Lucky Drunk = May draw and extra Faint Check and pick the best
Mehanic +2 to repair Engine
Reactor expert +2 to repair reactor
Missle operater +2 to fix problems in missle room

each of us played with 2 gnomes
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Pierre 113
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Pale green: Pump operator. +1 to fix oxygen pump.

Red: Nuclear operator. +1 to fix reactor or to deactivate missiles.

Blue: Engine room operator. +1 to fix engines.

Gray: Muscled. +1 to unblock doors.

Orange: Courageous Fireman. Can enter into compartment with fire without using grog or fire extinguisher.

Yellow: Captain. Can do a 2nd try on a failed drunk test.

Dark green. Storage specialist. In the store can pickup a 5th item.

Violet: Marine. +1 to kill kraken. Aqualung and harpoon count as a single carried object.

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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Bruno Faidutti just posted about these custom characters that someone made: http://steeldraco.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/red-november-c...

These are fantastic! I may actually dig this game out again just to try those. Here's a few, but there are several more in the PDF...







 
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Dylan Brooks

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Thanks for the recommendation on those characters.

If you do try them, please let me know how it goes - I'm curious how a few of the characters work out in play outside my gaming group. We haven't gotten a chance to try all of them yet.
 
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