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Sean Nittner

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Version 2 Complete
« on: March 22, 2013, 11:00:16 PM »
More than a year after I first created Apocalypse Galactica, I finally have the post-playtest-feedback incorporated version ready! Downloads available on the main Apocalypse Galactica page.

The majors changes include:

    Converting all playbooks from Legal to Letter size.
    Refining moves to make them more specific, action-oriented, and clear.
    Creating an independent Battletar and Fleet playbook.
    Copious editing.
    Reworking of common currency base moves (supply and favors).
    Focusing the language of the game on BSG over AW (more Frak, less Dremmer).
    Credits given to contributors.

A ton of work has gone into Apocalypse Galactica. I hope you enjoy.

SoylentWhite

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Re: Version 2 Complete
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 02:52:28 PM »
Hey, glad you hadn't given up on this.

Here we go again . . .

Activist special
Doesn't have an appropriate option for when listener understands cause, but doesn't care (too wrapped up in their own shit, for example).


Supply and favour confuse me a bit.  Are some playbooks supposed to only use one, others the other, and some both?  For example, the activist starts with only supply, but their mechanical gain advance is for favour.  Trying to work out what the intention is here.


Businessman - Someone to do your dirty work
Says 'one of your employees' then suggests 'Tarek *and* Misha'.  Or, surely, since there's be only one?  Or perhaps it's better phrased as 'some of your employees'?


CAG
No gear listed.


Captain - When I say jump
I suggest a rephrase so it isn't needed every time you give an order.  Perhaps add 'in a time of serious crisis'?  ("Bring me a coffee."  "Down with the Tyrant Captain!")


Commander - CIC
Move doesn't allow for changing circumstances.  If all you know is you're under attack, you enter CIC, get a weak hit, you need to spend it on the DRADIS before knowing what you need to do, then you can't do it.
1) Getting sensor readings from the DRADIS shouldn't be an option.  You always need to know what's going on, you should just be able to get readings.  If you want to keep it, I suggest adding the word 'detailed'.
2) It shouldn't be on entering, as that just means you have to keep exiting and entering the CIC during a crisis if you only get weak holds.  It should be 'When trying to organise the ship during a crisis' or something, so you can use it multiple times in a scene, with the risk of a malfunction providing balance.


Doctor, Engineer
No way to mechanically get favour or supply.  Deliberate?


Engineer
Still has 2 ways of getting sharp +3


Marine
7-9 option in boarding party still seems too harsh.  1-harm AP AND are disoriented AND acting under fire or leave something or take something.  I've had misses with better outcomes than that, especially since base AW says 'take something' can be harm.
1-harm AP OR disoriented and acting under fire OR leave something OR take something with seems fairer to me.

Tear gas grenade still mentions 'sharm', which still doesn't exist.

Advances give max sharp +3, not hard.


Partisan
2 ways of getting cool +3

Protect your mark - still doesn't say 'as AP harm'.


Pilot
You can actually get all of the pilot moves through advances.  I suggest otherwise.


President
Inter-colonial relations, surely?

Fleet reconstruction - malfunctions misspelled

Well connected - Favours are valuable enough and +1 has a low enough chance of making a difference, that I can't see this move as being useful.  +2 before rolling or +1 after rolling would be good, though.  (Not saying both options for the move, but that one of them would make a good replacement.)

President can only get one new campaign?  Given that's their main thing, seems a bit harsh.

7-9 result on Politicking is worse than base AW when doing more than 2 things.  (Base: 1 catastrophe if working more than 1.  AG: 1 success, rest catastrophes).  Deliberate?  Significant nerf of President if so.

No mentioned downside to not working obligation campaigns.


Visionary
2 ways of getting faith +3


Session End
No way to give Hx -1?


Cylon Projection
What does the 7-9 result actually *do*?


Also, where *is* the credits page in the files?  I saw the playtester list on your website, but your 'Credits given to contributors.' mentioned above implies that you have one inside the documents, and I just can't find it.


There may well be more later, this is just from my initial pass-through.

SoylentWhite

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Re: Version 2 Complete
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 07:10:39 PM »
Okay, I'm considering/idly prepping for running a game of this via Google Docs, so it's time for a second pass.

Good news is that all of the stat lines add  up correctly.

Activist
First stat line actually says -2 Hard, but means +2.

Opportunist
I'm still very dubious over faith -2, as it's the easiest stat to ignore, so makes a good natural dump stat.

Pilot
To get around the problem that all pilot moves can be taken:
New move: Wing and a prayer
When in a battle, or just about to enter one, you may make a Leap of Faith using +Cool instead of +Faith.

President
Probably too late, but I'm not sure about Campaigns.  My thought is this:
Start with 3-juggling.  When deciding what you've been working on, you must declare exactly what your campaigns are and what number of favours/amount of risk it is beforehand, noting that you may have multiples of one level of campaign, so long as they are different things.
Obligations:
Inter-ship relations (cooperation/tensions/-EXPLOSIVE INCIDENT) (covers Quorum mediation & inter-colonial relations)
Internal security (secure/suspicions/-MISSTEP) (covers surveillance, law enforcement, espionage and ship defence)
(Misstep basically means either something that shouldn't have been done was or something that should have been done wasn't)
Labour relations (productive/inefficient/-HALTED) (covers health care, labour relations, salvage & fleet reconstruction)
Campaigns:
Support a position/person (1-favour, -EMBARRASSED)
Mutual back-scratching (2-favours, -ENTANGLED)
Extreme measures (3-favours, -OFFICE THREATENED)
With this, a single '+1 juggling' advancement is fair, since it means you don't have to shirk your obligations to actually get anything out of your job.

Basic moves:
Suggest you remove 'Is your character telling the truth' from the list of 'Read a Person' options, just to make cylon-spotting a bit more than trivial.

You have the fleet population as being 34,560 to start.  According to http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Survivor_count, the series *ends* with about 38,000 survivors.  I suggest 49,317 as a better starting number.  Likewise, you *may* wish to up the size of the fleet from 47 to 63 (see http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/The_Fleet_%28TRS%29).  When numbers start bigger, it's easier for the MC to destroy a few when things start going wrong.

The way you've handled Cylons is faithful to the source material, but I've decided if/when I run, I'm going to shape them into more my own thing (probably including serious deviations from canon, such as no resurrection!).
From a mechanical perspective, I've decided to just add automatically two moves to a revealed character (and no further cylon moves are available): one being Ambush the Fleet, the other being like the Engineer's workspace but not needing a proper workspace, and only applicable for communications devices to contact the cylon fleet.  The idea being that they use that move, ask the MC what they need to do to make a new comms device, spend time doing that, then when they do, they can use the 'ambush the fleet' move.  Gives them a reason to not be constantly spamming 'ambush the fleet'.
I mention that in case you wish to use the move idea.

Edit: Also, v2 zip file is (or at least was) missing Damascus Falls love letters that were in v1.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 07:45:04 PM by SoylentWhite »

Sean Nittner

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Re: Version 2 Complete
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2013, 07:15:44 PM »
Hi Soylent. Thanks for the thorough check. I need to set up alerts on this post so I don't miss them in the future!

Looking at them now!

Sean Nittner

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Re: Version 2 Complete
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2013, 07:20:57 PM »
Okay read them all and they look great! I'll get in the updates soon and I'll let you know what I end up doing with the President.

Sean Nittner

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Re: Version 2 Complete
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 10:35:00 PM »
Hey, glad you hadn't given up on this.

Here we go again . . .

Got around to reviewing these one at a time.

Quote
Activist special doesn't have an appropriate option for when listener understands cause, but doesn't care (too wrapped up in their own shit, for example).

I'm okay with that. I want the Activist to polarize people. Nobody walks away from them feeling indifferent.

Quote
Supply and favor confuse me a bit.  Are some playbooks supposed to only use one, others the other, and some both?  For example, the activist starts with only supply, but their mechanical gain advance is for favor.  Trying to work out what the intention is here.

Yep, I was trying to tease out some distinctions between what AW lumps together as barter. It's hard goods vs. influence. Most playbooks only work with one or the other, a few of the them (like the Businessman and the Activist) can dip into both. That's intentional.

Quote
Businessman - Someone to do your dirty work
Says 'one of your employees' then suggests 'Tarek *and* Misha'.  Or, surely, since there's be only one?  Or perhaps it's better phrased as 'some of your employees'?

Correct, it should be "or". Fixed.

Quote
CAG
No gear listed.

Yikes, not only is that a problem, it's a beast to fit anything more on that playbook. I found some space though. Fixed.


Quote
Captain - When I say jump
I suggest a rephrase so it isn't needed every time you give an order.  Perhaps add 'in a time of serious crisis'?  ("Bring me a coffee."  "Down with the Tyrant Captain!")

Good call. Fixed.


Quote
Commander - CIC
Move doesn't allow for changing circumstances.  If all you know is you're under attack, you enter CIC, get a weak hit, you need to spend it on the DRADIS before knowing what you need to do, then you can't do it.
1) Getting sensor readings from the DRADIS shouldn't be an option.  You always need to know what's going on, you should just be able to get readings.  If you want to keep it, I suggest adding the word 'detailed'.
2) It shouldn't be on entering, as that just means you have to keep exiting and entering the CIC during a crisis if you only get weak holds.  It should be 'When trying to organise the ship during a crisis' or something, so you can use it multiple times in a scene, with the risk of a malfunction providing balance.

1) Good call. Added "detailed"
2) I don't like the wording of "trying to organize", that isn't what a commander done, he or she takes control. But the point was a good one. I changed it to "When you are in the Combat Information Center and take control of a crisis".

Quote
Doctor, Engineer
No way to mechanically get favour or supply.  Deliberate?

Yep, these are potentially turtling characters, especially the engineer, that can just go off and play on his own without the other PCs. This is intentional to force them to interact and get them in play.

Quote
Engineer
Still has 2 ways of getting sharp +3

Removed the advancement and added in a "add Cylon tech to your workspace, and now you can work on Cylon technology there too."

Quote
Marine
7-9 option in boarding party still seems too harsh.  1-harm AP AND are disoriented AND acting under fire or leave something or take something.  I've had misses with better outcomes than that, especially since base AW says 'take something' can be harm.
1-harm AP OR disoriented and acting under fire OR leave something OR take something with seems fairer to me.

Yeah, that was supposed to be re-written as "or". Fixed

Quote
Tear gas grenade still mentions 'sharm', which still doesn't exist.

It was written wrong (3 s-harm), it should have just be S-harm, which is from the AW, it's stun harm. Knocks people out.

Quote
Advances give max sharp +3, not hard.

Fixed

Quote
Partisan
2 ways of getting cool +3

Removed the  +3 Cool advancement and added "lead the people: get an MU (detail) and Officer on Deck"

Quote
Protect your mark - still doesn't say 'as AP harm'.

Fixed


Quote
Pilot
You can actually get all of the pilot moves through advances.  I suggest otherwise.

Removed one of the "get a move" advancements and added "get a Viper MU (detail) and Officer on Deck"

Quote
President
Inter-colonial relations, surely?

Yes

Quote
Fleet reconstruction - malfunctions misspelled

Fixed

Quote
Well connected - Favours are valuable enough and +1 has a low enough chance of making a difference, that I can't see this move as being useful.  +2 before rolling or +1 after rolling would be good, though.  (Not saying both options for the move, but that one of them would make a good replacement.)

Agreed, I dislike retroactive explanations (they usually feel forced to me), increased to +2.

Quote
President can only get one new campaign?  Given that's their main thing, seems a bit harsh.

Added another advancement option to get a second.

Quote
7-9 result on Politicking is worse than base AW when doing more than 2 things.  (Base: 1 catastrophe if working more than 1.  AG: 1 success, rest catastrophes).  Deliberate?  Significant nerf of President if so.

I dislike the Operators 7-9 (it seems really close to the 10+), but agree my version is too harsh. Now 7-9 gives 1 success and (if more than one campaign run) 1 catastrophe.

Quote
No mentioned downside to not working obligation campaigns.

Added it at the bottom of obligation campaigns. "An unworked obligation campaign is an opportunity for the MC."


Quote
Visionary
2 ways of getting faith +3

Removed the +3 faith advancement and added "followers grant you insight, you can find answers from them as though you were in a Workshop"

Quote
Session End
No way to give Hx -1?

Nope

Quote
Cylon Projection
What does the 7-9 result actually *do*?

Huh, good questions, it isn't clear and I'm not sure how to make it clear. Going to think on that.

Quote
Also, where *is* the credits page in the files?  I saw the playtester list on your website, but your 'Credits given to contributors.' mentioned above implies that you have one inside the documents, and I just can't find it.

My worst mistake to date. I've added it to the introduction.


Sean Nittner

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Re: Version 2 Complete
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 10:45:02 PM »
Good news is that all of the stat lines add  up correctly.

Yay, trickier to keep in tact than I thought it would be.

Quote
Activist
First stat line actually says -2 Hard, but means +2.

Fixed

Quote
Opportunist
I'm still very dubious over faith -2, as it's the easiest stat to ignore, so makes a good natural dump stat.

Agreed. Changed to 0, with Sharp changed from +1 to -1.

Quote
Pilot
To get around the problem that all pilot moves can be taken:
New move: Wing and a prayer
When in a battle, or just about to enter one, you may make a Leap of Faith using +Cool instead of +Faith.

Pilot has a lot going on already. I removed the 2nd "choose a new pilot move" and gave the Pilot "get a Viper MU (detail) and Officer on Deck"

Quote
President
Probably too late, but I'm not sure about Campaigns.  My thought is this:
Start with 3-juggling.  When deciding what you've been working on, you must declare exactly what your campaigns are and what number of favours/amount of risk it is beforehand, noting that you may have multiples of one level of campaign, so long as they are different things.
Obligations:
Inter-ship relations (cooperation/tensions/-EXPLOSIVE INCIDENT) (covers Quorum mediation & inter-colonial relations)
Internal security (secure/suspicions/-MISSTEP) (covers surveillance, law enforcement, espionage and ship defence)
(Misstep basically means either something that shouldn't have been done was or something that should have been done wasn't)
Labour relations (productive/inefficient/-HALTED) (covers health care, labour relations, salvage & fleet reconstruction)
Campaigns:
Support a position/person (1-favour, -EMBARRASSED)
Mutual back-scratching (2-favours, -ENTANGLED)
Extreme measures (3-favours, -OFFICE THREATENED)
With this, a single '+1 juggling' advancement is fair, since it means you don't have to shirk your obligations to actually get anything out of your job.

I like how clean this is, but I'm not ready to ditch the current campaigns without more testing. I did tweak politicking, and I think it's worth continuing to run as is.

Quote
Basic moves:
Suggest you remove 'Is your character telling the truth' from the list of 'Read a Person' options, just to make cylon-spotting a bit more than trivial.

Huh, that has never come up in a game. I mean nobody has every asked point blank "Are you a Cylon"? Not sure where I want to go with this one yet. Will ponder it along side the Cylon Projection.

Quote
You have the fleet population as being 34,560 to start.  According to http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Survivor_count, the series *ends* with about 38,000 survivors.  I suggest 49,317 as a better starting number.  Likewise, you *may* wish to up the size of the fleet from 47 to 63 (see http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/The_Fleet_%28TRS%29).  When numbers start bigger, it's easier for the MC to destroy a few when things start going wrong.

Yeah, I initially set it smaller when making Damascus Falls for reasons I can't even remember now. Maybe to make it more desperate, who knows. But you're right, I'm bumping up both numbers.

Quote
The way you've handled Cylons is faithful to the source material, but I've decided if/when I run, I'm going to shape them into more my own thing (probably including serious deviations from canon, such as no resurrection!).
From a mechanical perspective, I've decided to just add automatically two moves to a revealed character (and no further cylon moves are available): one being Ambush the Fleet, the other being like the Engineer's workspace but not needing a proper workspace, and only applicable for communications devices to contact the cylon fleet.  The idea being that they use that move, ask the MC what they need to do to make a new comms device, spend time doing that, then when they do, they can use the 'ambush the fleet' move.  Gives them a reason to not be constantly spamming 'ambush the fleet'.

Let me know how it goes. I've long planned to make Cylon playbooks for characters that start out as Cylons. I have ideas for a 6, 4 and 1. Eventually I'd like to make playbooks for all of the models and I'd love to hear what works for you.

Quote
Edit: Also, v2 zip file is (or at least was) missing Damascus Falls love letters that were in v1.

Huh... I'll fix with the next file build.

SoylentWhite

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Re: Version 2 Complete
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2013, 03:35:40 PM »
Glad I could help.

A few points

Re: 'Are you telling the truth'
I'm watching through the series again for inspiration, and there are at least a couple of times when that question could have confirmed/denied a cylon.  *Spoilers, obviously* One being Baltar giving the results of his cylon detection device (to Boomer or Ellen, for example), another being when Saul is charging the Chief with being a cylon (admittedly, that one's a bit more complicated, but the point's there) after Sharon was revealed to be one.

Pilot
I'm slightly dubious over giving the pilot 'officer on deck'.  At least, if there's a CAG in play.  Simply put, it seems to be treading on the CAG's toes a bit more than I'm comfortable with.  (Piloting = pilot.  Leading pilots = CAG.)

Politicing
If you want a result better than yours but worse than the core, you can just say on a 7-9, half your actions (round down) result in catastrophe.  Personally, I wouldn't - one crisis, properly handled, is bad enough for a 7-9, but up to you.

Finally, can you break down why you've disallowed -1Hx at the end of a session?  I'm not saying it's a bad call, I'm just interested as to your reasons.

Sean Nittner

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Re: Version 2 Complete
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2013, 12:57:31 AM »
Sorry I missed this. On a plane now, but I'll get back to you on it shortly.

Vidiian

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Re: Version 2 Complete
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2013, 09:31:07 PM »
Just so you know, I ran the 33 scenario for a few friends last night, one BSG fan and to who didn't know it.  It went great and the 33 min timer running really helped keep people on track and the tension ramped up.  Kudos on the gorgeous hack and the scenario setup.