Sunday, April 23, 2017

Spotlight on Captain Cards: The Masterbrain

"There are heroes on both sides"

One of the biggest challenges for me as a game designer on Rayguns and Rocketships was making sure that no one Planeteer faction ended up feeling like "the bad guys". I wanted there to be something to like about each faction - be it the speedy Astro-Rangers, the powerful Star-Pirates, the noble Zard or the crafty Blaarg.

An important part of this balancing act was designing the Captain characters. I wanted them to not only look interesting but to be fun to play. They are meant to be powerful characters - much like the Queen in chess - used skillfully in battle rather than held back.
Blaarg Captain character design
Blaarg Captain color guide by Scott Rogers
Captains are fairly robust characters. They can take 3 hits of damage (which can be healed) and every Planeteer Captain has the "Captain" ability, which awards the player 1 extra action token as long as there are friendly crew in play. After all, the Captain is only a captain if he has someone to boss around! 

In addition, each Planeteer Captain in the game comes with two versions or "builds" of the character. Each side of the card highlights a different set of abilities.

Prototype card
The first "build" of the Masterbrain allows him to move a Blaargling aide-de-camp along with him for free. This allows you to get a crew member to a location in the Blaarg saucer faster or accompany him on a boarding action. The other ability emphasizes his deadly metal tentacles - every successful melee attack allows him to do damage to two adjacent targets with one strike!
Prototype card
The second side of the Masterbrain Captain card features more bizarre abilities. First, Mind Control makes an opponent re-roll a die roll once per turn. This can be extremely useful during melee or ranged combat attacks. Or you can be extra sneaky and make your enemy fail an attempt while fetching that spare raygun from the hatch! Mechanical Pants gives the Blaarg Captain a burst of speed - up to 8 spaces in one turn! That cyclopean horror charging is sure to strike fear into the heart of any Planeteer!

Stay tuned as we spotlight more content from Rayguns and Rocketships!

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