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These Things Happen

by Lucas Thompson, Designer

4th November 2020

These Things Happen

With the interaction-promotion mandate, we wanted to include a simple dilemma that promotes interactive strategies. Dilemmas that promote draw deck strategies are tricky - too heavy-handed and you know you'll see them 100% of the time that you encounter that strategy. It's tricky to hit that sweet spot with a simple card some times, as it's very tempting to work in a bunch of conditions or exceptions that make the card more niche.

In the case of These Things Happen, we were able to avoid some of those tricky conditions by just focusing on a simple one: you've got to be at the mission when the opponent is attempting. That cuts out the "passive interaction" decks that sweep with Aid Legendary Civilization and kill dilemmas - to benefit from this new dilemma, you need to commit to interaction. No hit and run tactics (except maybe with Harried and Harassed), this dilemma is for infiltrators or other lurkers. Ideally, if you have spent counters on cards that will just be on the opponent's side of the board, this card will help you recoup some of the cost.

So that's where design and playtesting stopped with the card. I believe the card title at this point was merely "Simple Dilemma." This is where my fun comes in. Contributing behind the scenes, I don't get the fun part of speculating about a set's contents as it gets spoiled. However, I get a different fun reveal time: seeing what the creative team comes up with in the process of grafting stories onto these basic cards.

And the creative scene sure didn't disappoint here. This is a great DS9 scene from early in Worf's tenure. It's the kind of scene that probably wouldn't have found a way into the game any other way, since there are so many good DS9 scenes. Pro-DS9 verbs would probably not dip into a moment where Odo is admitting that DS9 has its weaknesses, but so does everyone else (although, now that I think of it...). But as a dilemma this scene gets a chance to shine, reminding me of a fun moment in a way I did not expect until the creative team's work was done. Cheers!

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