Monday, April 24, 2017

Spotlight on Captain Cards: Count Ventura

Anyone who knows me knows I love pirates. But despite my best efforts to not be so predictable, pirates have always managed to find their way in my game designs. However, with Rayguns and Rocketships I knew I had to have pirates in the game. The Star-Pirates Planeteer faction was always a big part of the game from the beginning.

In the Rayguns and Rocketships universe, the Star-Pirates are actually the military who have decided it would be much more profitable to turn to piracy. As a result, they have the strongest rayguns and the skills to use them. They operate from a bolt-hole in the Samadi asteroid belt, where their rocketships emerging to prey on passing merchant and pleasure rocketships.

Count Ventura concept art by Scott Rogers
Count Ventura color guide by Scott Rogers

The Star Pirates are secretly led by Count Ventura, a dashing nobleman who lives a double life as a ruthless pirate. The Count can be found supporting public works and attending gala balls, where he is viewed by all as a charming liar. Count Ventura is inspired by some of my favorite pirates - Captain Hook, Captain Morgan, and space pirate Captain Harlock as well as Prince Barin, as played by Timothy Dalton in the Flash Gordon movie.

As the leader of the Star Pirates, Count Ventura is a deadly opponent who gives his victims no quarter. However, there is one victim whom the Count will always spare - Princess Persevone of Vaporia, whom the Count is infatuated with.

Prototype card shown. All content subject to change.
I wanted Count Ventura's Captain cards to reflect both natures - dashing rogue and ruthless pirate.The first build of Count Ventura features the Count's sword fighting skills in Expert Duelist. The count may re-roll one missed melee combat roll per opponent per turn.The Count's second ability, Ruthless Pirate lets the player sacrifice one Star Pirate crew member to steal up to 6 banked action tokens from an opponent once a game. No victory points are awarded for crew sacrificed this way. Clearly the Count will do anything, even kill off one of his own crew members, to insure victory!

Prototype card shown. All content subject to change.
The second build of Count Ventura gives the player a choice: should I stay or should I go? Master Gunner gives the player a powerful advantage when manning a raygun. And if that raygun should get shot at, the Count can always absorb a hit or two to protect that raygun. However, with Bloodthirty, the Count can immediately join a crew member who has boarded an enemy's rocketship. Is it better to leave Count Ventura on the ship or with his crew? That's for you to decide!

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

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