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Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game – Pegasus Expansion» Forums » Variants

Subject: More Characters rss

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Landon
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Hi. My play group decided to create our own incarnations of characters based on favourites we thought were missing. There wasn't a terribly large amount of work put in to proove the characters are well balanced, but we have played a large number of games with these characters and made changes we felt were appropriate.

I was surprised how many suggestions for character abilities were made by my group that are similiar to the ones already on BGG, even though they had not seen these creations. I suppose good theme leads good design, and great minds think alike..

Okay, well I had always planned on sharing these with the community. More because I'm curious to hear the comments, but also because I want to tap the creative, and technical talent.

Please leave comments, good or bad. Criticism is great, especially the constructive type.

If you want to use the characters, I put links to GQ versions below each pic. You'll also probably notice the lack of a support character. We had designed a Cally, but never really felt she was interesting/balanced enough to play her.







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Aaron Cappocchi
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Racetrack: 12 Crisis or 6 Destination!? Way too many. That's an astronomically high number, and makes a super-powered OPG probably best in the game. As I don't think any other game effect lets anyone draw or look at more than 3 cards at once, I'd make it something like 4 Crisis or 3 Destinations.

I also think that Gaeta's "every jump" ability may be a bit strong. 3-5 extra actions per game is a LOT. Maybe only when he actually triggers FTL (or Engine Room!)

Very nice overall, though. Good and thematic abilities, and weaknesses that actually do something.
 
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David Montgomery
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How is D'Anna's every turn ability of much use. Is it so she knows what destiny is by eliminating what she sees other people playing? If that's the case you need to clarify that, because destiny is actually played into the check first, and since she plays last on her turn, it wouldn't do any good.

Maybe a better thing, but perhaps far too powerful would be she could look, then contribute.

Plus, the ability as is gets negated if an IC is played.
 
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Landon
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agentzen wrote:

12 and 6 may still be too high. The original wording allowed her to search the entire deck with the idea of allowing her once chance to choose a helpful or harmful crises/destination. We actually removed this because it took players too long to make up their mind. The difference between her ability and many other game mechancis is that she does not get to choose which order the other cards appear (they are neither bottomed nor placed on top, but shuffled randomly.) I think you are right though, as it gives her alot of flexibility that other characters don't have.

When I play as Apollo I usually get atleast this many extra actions. Gaeta's ability may be slightly more powerful as he could potentially activate a location which Apollo cannot. Of course, Gaeta's weakness severly limits the actions he can take, so I think it balances well.

mathguy6189 wrote:

The wording is a bit off. The purpose of this character is to learn information about unrevealed cylons. When activating her per turn ability, she sees the cards as they come in, so she knows exactly what each player has played. This way, Cylon agents can choose to reveal themselves to only her by spiking a skill check. Of course humans could try to trick her.. Her OPG is often used on her first turn follwed by infiltrating.
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Tor Edland
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I really like Tory's weakness. Very thematic and interesting to play!

Racetrack's abilities also look good and true to the character (although as others have mentioned OPG might be a bit too powerful).

Gaeta I would have given a different skillset and a slightly different weakness more for thematic than for game balance reasons. I would have given him access to politics since he served as Chief of staff to President Baltar for a while maybe in a 1/1 selection with another colour. As he is a millitary leader I would also have given him access to leadership, so my choice might have been 2 tactics 2 engineering and 1 politics/leadership. His once per turn and once per game I like very well though. Fits the character well and I don't think his once per turn is much more powerful than the similar abilities of Starbuck and Apollo.
 
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Chris J Davis
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Some of the best fan-made characters I've seen. Very well done!
 
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Michael
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mathguy6189 wrote:
How is D'Anna's every turn ability of much use.


As a "co-developer" of these cards and primary contributor to D'Anna's card, I'll add to Landon's answer(s) anecdotally.

As mentioned, this ability is intended to allow Cylon characters to identify themselves by spiking checks. Or maybe human characters spike checks just to throw off the cylon. Since D'Anna sees the cards as they are played, crpytic messages can be delivered.

This synergizes with her OPG, and is intended to be both thematic and valuable to D'Anna, without being game breaking.

On one of our early games play testing with the new characters, I played as D'Anna and received a sympathetic "Humans Win" agenda, (the one where you have to play a Super Crisis).

On the first turn, I used D'Anna's OPG and found out that there was a Cylon in the game already. On the first skill check, I used her once-per-turn to find out who it was. Landon (Eisenpony) spiked a low card, identifying himself as the Cylon. I brigged him in order to help the humans. Turns out he was human and trying to mess with me because he figured I'd likely have a hostile agenda.

'Twas an interesting game.

agentzen wrote:
Racetrack: 12 Crisis or 6 Destination!? Way too many. That's an astronomically high number, and makes a super-powered OPG probably best in the game. As I don't think any other game effect lets anyone draw or look at more than 3 cards at once...


There's at least one card that lets you dig through the crisis deck for a card you want. As Landon mentioned, in her first incarnation, Racetrack used to be able to dig through either deck, entirely. That was changed primarily because it took too long for the player to decide which card they wanted. Slow reader.

bleached_lizard wrote:
Some of the best fan-made characters I've seen. Very well done!


Thanks all for your feedback and compliments, and please keep the constructive criticism coming!
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Landon
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Ambriel wrote:
Gaeta I would have given a different skillset and a slightly different weakness more for thematic than for game balance reasons. I would have given him access to politics since he served as Chief of staff to President Baltar for a while maybe in a 1/1 selection with another colour. As he is a millitary leader I would also have given him access to leadership, so my choice might have been 2 tactics 2 engineering and 1 politics/leadership. His once per turn and once per game I like very well though. Fits the character well and I don't think his once per turn is much more powerful than the similar abilities of Starbuck and Apollo.


I agree Gaeta's character commands a certain amount of Leadership, and Politics; however he does not start that way. In fact, he does not really explore those areas until New Caprica and after. Gaeta was one of the characters I really enjoyed in the show because of the amount of change he underwent. Even though he played a supporting role, his development made him interesting.

It is often eluded to that Gaeta was a typical A++ student with a strong focus on Science and Tactics within the military. When the Human colonies are destroyed, Gaeta finds himself as one of the highest ranking military officers of the entire Human race. Obviously the events in the show conspired to challenge every character, but I believe Gaeta responded by breaking out of his technical shell and exploring what else life had to offer.

If I thought it was practical, I would change Gaeta's skill set after he uses his OPG, or after the fleet arrives at New Caprica but I think the mechanic would be too messy.

When I had the design for Gaeta in mind I really thought about adding a Politics or Leadership card, but felt it would completely change his play style, and probably require a new weakness. I was worried he would not have many actions available to him, but after playing as him a few times I actually find the restricted skill set refreshing. It is an unusual set of cards and it makes his play style rather unique. You will, as a matter of course, use the actions on locations more often. I spent most of my games in the research lab, which I thought was thematic-by-accident. In addition, you will often be in good position to decide whether to pass some of the more interesting Crisis Skill Checks in the game. There are several Blue + Purple skill checks, all of which seem to have some unique effect on the game mechanics, often regarding FTL; again, thematic-by-accident.
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Sebastian Adamiak
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Isn't Tory OPG too powerful? She can elect herself on president in first turn without a problem. And it's mean that Ellen OPG is now useless.
Maybe changing it to "You may choose to fail the check" would be better?
 
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Michael
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kaimada wrote:
Isn't Tory OPG too powerful? She can elect herself on president in first turn without a problem.


Tigh can yank Presidency on the first turn too if he's the Admiral. In my opinion that's even more dangerous, both for the consolidation of power in one person, and for the loss of efficiency when both titles are held by one player.

In my experience though, players who can take or reassign titles typically don't use these abilities until sleeper phase, unless they are playing very aggressively and overtly Cylon. In our group, taking a title on the first turn is basically a reveal.

You would typically want to wait to do things like that until you find out your own end-game loyalty, lest you find you were working hard against yourself in the first part of the game. Only players who know conclusively their own loyalty (Cylons from the start) would be able to 100% capitalize on taking a title in the first turn.

kaimada wrote:
And it's mean that Ellen OPG is now useless.


Not sure what you mean by this. A far as I recall, Ellen's once-per-game allows her to take the Presidency for one turn, from any player. She must then give the title back at the end of the turn.

kaimada wrote:
Maybe changing it to "You may choose to fail the check" would be better?


Perhaps. But that would make her OPG even more powerful. Thanks for your input!
 
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Sebastian Adamiak
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Ofc I was talking about changing Tory's OPG not Ellen.
 
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Landon
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Thanks for the feedback! I'll briefly address your concerns, though as expected everyone will have their own opinions.

I don't believe everyone plays like this. For me, if I have one Human loyalty card, and am only going to recieve only one more I will play quite strongly human. This is because my chances of becoming a Cylon, while non zero, are low. In addition, in certain situations when a player is dealt a Cylon loyalty card pre sleeper, they have the opportunity to reveal, spike, or begin creating distrust early. Tory will never have that opportunity.

Not being able to have someone else check your loyalty it both an advantage and a disadvantage. It is a disadvantage anytime you need support of another player. I would suggest it is only really an advantage when you are a Cylon, which of course you cannot be if you have no loyalty cards.

When anyone checks another players loyalty cards, they are learning about the loyalty of everyone. For example, if I check your loyalty cards and discover you are not a Cylon, then from my viewpoint the chances of everyone else being a Cylon has gone up. In this way, other characters will often know more about Tory's loyalty than even herself.

I do agree the disadvantage is unusual, but it will effect some players play style. In my experience many of the other characters disadvantages have had far less impact on my game. Saul Tigh comes to mind as I've played him dozens of times, but enver fallen prey to Alcoholism. This is different for everyone. Also, some people like to play Gaius Baltar and Boomer because of the increased chance of becoming a Cylon.

My first opinion on Tory was that she may be a little over powered because of her OPG and 4 yellow draw, but everyone has a different viewpoint. In my play tests she is not selected any more often than other political leaders, nor does her presense in the fleet ever seem game breaking. I would encourage you to play as her once and see for yourself how the weakness comes into effect.
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Michael
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eisenpony wrote:
In this way, other characters will often know more about Tory's loyalty than even herself.


Interesting anecdote: we were once playing a six-player (I believe?) game with a Cylon leader. We had just failed a skill check pre-sleeper where there were 3 negative cards. So we knew there was at least one Cylon out there. And we knew that Tory couldn't be a Cylon yet, so the other humans shortlisted suspects from there.
 
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