Friday, February 13, 2009

How to spot a bad homebrew alien

Following up on the discussion below, here's a funny recent article spewed forth from The Warp: "Anatomy of a Bad Homebrew."

My favorite part:
... when you have an alien with a name like "GROCERY CLERK", or "NICOTINE PATCH", or "FLINTSTONE", you are probably straying too far off course.

14 comments:

pgocosmic said...

Can you say HERTZ or LLOYD...everyone is guilty.

TheDukester said...

I'm not a big fan of aliens with American cultural references, either. You'll never see me play an alien named Galactica, or Clinton, or whatever ... ever, ever, ever. It takes me right out of the mood.

I remain a little bit surprised that Spiff wasn't renamed, actually; it's a clear reference to Calvin & Hobbes. But maybe it's still obscure enough to most players.

The Warp said...

HERTZ and LLOYD make me laugh... I don't have any trouble using them in my games, since they're easy to imagine in the Cosmic universe of aliens. But I stand by my feelings on GROCERY CLERK... nix.

forumite said...

Ahem. As the creator of "Galactica" and "Clinton", such powers were created with tongue-in-cheek. While I do think their effects can work in a game, they were created more for the joke. Don't like the power because you don't like what it does, not what the name is.

As for the article itself, I do have a few powers that are long-winded. If one is put off by that, no one's perfect.

As for cultural references, "Lloyd" is reference to Lloyd's of London insurance. "Hurtz" references Hertz rent-a-car. When Mayfair came out with "Spiff", I was entertained, not offended.

forumite said...

Another common mistake, I think, in making a bad power is trying too hard to be powerful or just plain win a combat. It's the desire of wanting something AWESOME. Having recently rediscovered some of my own very early creation powers of way, way back when I've forgotten, I think for one or two I made that mistake. I can more easily recognize it now reading others' powers and quickly determine it's not a good power. Matt Stone's set has a few of them as well. :)

TheDukester said...

Who said anything about being "offended" by Spiff? I said I was "surprised."

As far the Galactica example, I'd be happy to play with the power (provided it added something to the game; I haven't actually read it, so I don't know), but I'd change the name first. That's just for my own benefit, as American pop-culture references kill my "conquering the cosmos" mood faster than anything else does. I don't want to be reminded of the world I actually live in when I'm supposed to be playing a SF-themed game. I'm likely in the minority there, but I can't help it.

So there's no real "liking" or "disliking" of the power going on here; I never said that. I said I didn't like the name. Big difference.

forumite said...

Galactica starts the game with his "home bases" in other players' systems. He wins the game by occupying all his planets in his system. When he wins as defensive player, he places tokens on the attacked planet and gets the base. Ironically, it is one of my "long-winded" powers. I could shorten it, but I think new players might not get what's going on. It's way "Expert" rating.

Clinton is really more a joke power. You get rewards like cards from the deck or unused flares when another player takes an active interest in something that's not game related. (Answers the telephone, goes to the bathroom, talks about something that happened at work, etc.) Next time you play the game, wouldn't work online, privately note how often something like this happens, even if from yourself. You might be surprised when you actually take the time to notice.

TheDukester said...

I just read it; very interesting. All I'd have to do is print it out with "Voyager" or something as the name and I'd be fine.

I agree it's off-the-scale red (using FFG's new "alert levels"), but veteran players could handle it. My preference would be to shorten the text a bit, but that's my only nit-pick. It's got that sort of "alternate-win" vibe I'm into lately, so I'm on-board with that.

The Warp said...

I have a lot of renamed aliens in my set as well... I had a lot of my own powers that shared names with either Gerald, Cedric or Matt's powers, and I sorta split up whose power was re-christened. I added a lot of powers from the CE Archives, and I went with the original power name when provided, even though some of them were in my set with the names that Aaron's group gave to them.

oakleyses said...

air max, burberry outlet, true religion jeans, louboutin, louis vuitton outlet, louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany and co, coach outlet store online, oakley sunglasses cheap, christian louboutin shoes, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, true religion jeans, tory burch outlet, kate spade outlet, kate spade handbags, oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton handbags, coach outlet, prada outlet, ray ban sunglasses, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet, longchamp handbags, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, nike shoes, air max, coach purses, michael kors outlet, longchamp handbags, louis vuitton outlet stores, nike free, prada handbags, coach factory outlet, gucci outlet, tiffany and co, louboutin outlet, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet

oakleyses said...

nike roshe run, hollister, sac hermes, polo ralph lauren, hogan outlet, abercrombie and fitch, ralph lauren, nike blazer, true religion outlet, nike free pas cher, north face, michael kors, air jordan, nike trainers, vans pas cher, longchamp, nike free, nike tn, air force, mulberry, polo lacoste, michael kors, oakley pas cher, air max pas cher, air max, timberland, sac longchamp, sac burberry, nike roshe, air max, lululemon, louis vuitton, michael kors pas cher, barbour, new balance pas cher, true religion outlet, sac louis vuitton, ray ban pas cher, sac guess, converse pas cher, louis vuitton uk, louboutin, sac louis vuitton, north face, vanessa bruno, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, hollister

oakleyses said...

marc jacobs, soccer shoes, abercrombie and fitch, hollister, asics running shoes, canada goose, ugg boots, nfl jerseys, reebok outlet, herve leger, ugg, north face outlet, mont blanc, longchamp, insanity workout, canada goose uk, chi flat iron, babyliss pro, ugg pas cher, ugg australia, canada goose jackets, mcm handbags, canada goose, wedding dresses, new balance shoes, mac cosmetics, soccer jerseys, celine handbags, birkin bag, p90x, ferragamo shoes, valentino shoes, nike huarache, beats by dre, ghd, instyler, jimmy choo outlet, lululemon outlet, bottega veneta, canada goose, rolex watches, canada goose outlet, vans shoes, nike roshe run, moncler, ugg boots, north face jackets, uggs outlet, giuseppe zanotti

oakleyses said...

marc jacobs, soccer shoes, abercrombie and fitch, hollister, asics running shoes, canada goose, ugg boots, nfl jerseys, reebok outlet, herve leger, ugg, north face outlet, mont blanc, longchamp, insanity workout, canada goose uk, chi flat iron, babyliss pro, ugg pas cher, ugg australia, canada goose jackets, mcm handbags, canada goose, wedding dresses, new balance shoes, mac cosmetics, soccer jerseys, celine handbags, birkin bag, p90x, ferragamo shoes, valentino shoes, nike huarache, beats by dre, ghd, instyler, jimmy choo outlet, lululemon outlet, bottega veneta, canada goose, rolex watches, canada goose outlet, vans shoes, nike roshe run, moncler, ugg boots, north face jackets, uggs outlet, giuseppe zanotti

oakleyses said...

louboutin, moncler outlet, juicy couture outlet, iphone 6 cases, hollister, moncler, karen millen, oakley, baseball bats, wedding dresses, ray ban, gucci, canada goose, ralph lauren, canada goose, swarovski crystal, hollister clothing store, moncler, air max, converse, pandora jewelry, juicy couture outlet, rolex watches, moncler, supra shoes, moncler, pandora charms, ugg, vans, toms shoes, links of london, pandora charms, air max, timberland boots, parajumpers, hollister, thomas sabo, louis vuitton, montre homme, coach outlet store online, lancel, ugg, swarovski, moncler, converse shoes