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Things are getting strange; I`m starting to worry.

by Daniel Giddings, One of the three Lone Gunmen

22nd December 2019

If you've skim-read my previous article, you'll know my relationship with 1E and the shows, and how this influenced my work on what's seen in Inheritance. (tl;dr - no 1E experience, but big fan of what's seen on screen.)

As a fan of the shows, I got a kick out of working on this set, as it was very much a 'top down' workflow. In other sets I've worked on, it's been 'bottom up' - Design comes up with the skills, stats, and game text of ships/personnel, but Creative will usually flesh out the name and lore (except in those uncommon/rare cases where Design have got an individual in mind). This time, we started off with names, and, guided by what appeared on the 1E version, came up with everything else.

Two of those names that we on the team wanted to see were the subject of today's article: Dulmer and Lucsly, from the DS9 Episode Trials and Tribble-ations.

(In fact, although I wanted to see Dulmer and Lucsly make their 2E debut, it was my co-designer, Lucas “edgeofhearing” Thompson, who first posited the idea of their inclusion; I’m only writing this ‘cos I got to the writer’s board first when people were asked about articles they’d like to put forward.)

Like I said, we had the names, so all we had to do was punch up everything else below those...

Step 1: Punch up the skills

This was easy. Dulmer’s •Anthropology •Exobiology •SECURITY and SCIENCE classification became •Anthropology •Exobiology •Science •Security, while Lucsly’s •Computer Skill •MEDICAL •Law and SCIENCE classification became •Biology •Law •Medical •Science

(If you’re wondering where Computer Skill went, why it didn't become Programming, and where Biology came from, that’s a small design Easter Egg, and a hat-tip to the skills of FBI Agent Dana Scully M.D. (Luscly’s anagrammatical namesake).)

Giving them both Intelligence just felt right, given their roles and departments.

Lucsly Dulmer

Step 2: Lucsly’s “Special Download”

This was less easy. ‘Special Download’ isn’t a term that’s used in 2E, and although the mechanic (downloading and playing as a single action, a la Iliana Ghemor) does happen, it doesn’t happen often.

So, rather than making a third card, and have Lucsly download and drop it, we tried to bake the effect of Temporal Investigations right in to the pair of them.

Temporal Investigations

This didn’t go well, and although we nailed the ability to have them download one another, our first concept had the duo drawing cards every time the opponent played a [Pa] or [Fut] card. This meant, if you found yourself going up against Relativity, Starfleet, or TOS, you'd fairly quickly find your draw deck empty and discard pile full.

The next run through was much better. The “When your opponent plays…” became “When you play this personnel…” and then dividing [Fut] and [Pa] between the two of them…again, just seemed the right thing to do.

Step 3: Stats and Stars 

Barely even a step. 1E made the right call about having them be [Stf], and we didn't feel the need to alter it. And the stats are fairly similar too (although we did dial down Lucsly's Integrity a little; an Integrity of 7, but no Honor is a very select club, and there's no need for him to be a member. As a compromise, he did get a bump to Strength).

Step 4: Hindsight's 20/20

Maybe having them draw two cards when played (instead of one) was over egging the pudding a little?

Maybe we should have made it a "once per turn" trigger, instead of a "When you play..."?

These are questions that, given time, we'll have the answers to.

Until then, I think we made the right decisions. The skills, stats, and nod to Temporal Investigations were done with the best on intentions, and I'm happy with our results. Maybe they won't see too much play on "Common" DS9, but they might do well on a paranoid, Intel and Security focused Earth, where they both play well with Garak.

Thanks for reading.

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