Dylan's RPG and Nerdery Blog

Geek life and custom content for Pathfinder and Savage Worlds

Red November Variant – Characters

Red November is a fun board game by Fantasy Flight Games (see here) about gnomes stuck on a sinking submarine, trying to survive. The game has a feel somewhere between Jules Verne steampunkiness and black comedy depictions of World War I. It’s quite fun, as you run around the sub trying to prevent one disaster after another before your gnome is killed.

Our gaming group tends to play a lot of this kind of game, and there’s one thing I immediately thought was missing in Red November – distinct characters! Most cooperative games I’ve played (Arkham Horror, Shadows Over Camelot, Last Night on Earth, etc) have each player controlling someone with a unique special ability.

To that end, I came up with this: Red November Characters.

(That’s a PDF – if that doesn’t work quite right, use this instead – it’s a .docx file and the font I used. This is what I printed from, to 3″x5″ index cards. It worked well.)

Here are a couple of them, as a preview.

14 responses to “Red November Variant – Characters

  1. Journeyman GM January 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    These are interesting, but at first glance, it looks like they may be a bit unbalanced. Klock-werk in particular seems to be a poor choice for a character since he can’t use Grog and gets an intoxication level half the time he ends in a flooded section. Perhaps in actual play they are all about balanced, but that’s my reaction looking at it. It’s a great idea though.

    Also, you might want to turn off the red-squigglies in Word next time you make pictures of these guys.

  2. steeldraco January 10, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Well, these have only been used twice in actual play, so they’re still very much in development.

    In play, KLOK-WERK was one of the most useful characters in the game we played with him. The player avoided any flooded areas, as I intended, and instead spent time going into burning rooms and firefighting or (in one very useful case) disarming the missiles inside a burning room, saving the ship. I figured the ability to just flat-out ignore fire was useful enough that his corresponding drawback needed to be fairly significant. One of the other characters is also very adept at the Fix-It roll to remove intoxication from KLOK-WERK, gaining a +6 bonus to the roll. If those two work together, they’re able to work around that flaw pretty well.

    We tend to not use Grog – maybe we just have bad luck, but we’ve found it pretty deadly to try to use. That means that not being able to use it isn’t a huge deal. The chaplain character can’t use Grog either (though at least KLOK-WERK can carry it around, the chaplain discards it as soon as he draws it).

    If you end up trying these in play, please let me know – I’d love to hear other people’s experiences with them. I don’t get to play Red November too often, so I know these still need more polish.

  3. Anonymous January 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Nice job!

    You should consider posting on board game geek as well:
    http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/36946/red-november

  4. steeldraco January 20, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Looks like somebody already posted a link on Board Game Geek before I signed up.

    http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/751644/characters

  5. flagdan January 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I don’t think you need to tweak or balance them, it’s a co-op game anyway. Pick the one you like and there you go…They’ll finish in the bottom of the ocean anyway.

  6. Anonymous January 25, 2012 at 11:18 am

    When we played it, we handed out the characters pretty randomly – we had six players and dealt them out so each player got three to pick from.

  7. kesulin February 3, 2012 at 4:13 am

    thanks for your work!
    I translate characters into Spanish language, I want send to boardgamegeek,
    http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/36946/red-november

    can I?
    tranlation:
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/54951313/Red%20November%20Personajes.pdf

    thanks,

  8. steeldraco February 3, 2012 at 7:56 am

    If you want to translate them into Spanish and put them up on BGG, that’s fine by me, as long as I’m credited as the author. Hope you have fun with them!

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  10. Pete July 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Nice Job. I was thinking of the adding characters with special abilities too. I do have a few questions:

    1) For characters that start with a specific item (e.g. Gneil starts the game with a crowbar) is that in addition to the normal two items, or does that count as one of the two items?

    2) The Dash character gets two free minutes of movement each “round.” In most games a round would mean each player getting a turn and then it returning to your turn. In Red November, turn order is quite different, so what constitutes a “round” in this case?

    3) Terg: “In a high-water room he is knocked out for 1d10 minutes.” This is only applicable if he was awake in a high water room at the beginning of his update phase, right? If he is knocked out a room gets flooded, he remains knocked out for the pre-existing knock out time, right?

    Thanks

  11. steeldraco July 10, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Let me look over these again, and figure out answers – it’s been a while since I’ve looked at this.

    1.The items some crew members start with are supposed to be in addition to the normal starting items.

    2. For Dash, you’re right, it should be “each time he activates”, though you should probably also add something like “as long as someone else has acted since the last time he did” or Dash could move an infinite distance on the ship by just moving his two free spaces, then skipping his action phase (and thus not advancing his time counter) and going again.

    3. Yes, that’s when that is relevant – normally in that situation he would be dead, but the Floaties power means he’s knocked out for 1d10 minutes instead. If he passes out for another reason in a low-water room, say because he’s been hitting the grog a bit too hard, he passes out for the normal time instead of dying.

    • Pete July 10, 2013 at 10:03 am

      Thanks for the clarifications. I’ll be giving the characters a try today.

    • Pete July 10, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Another question, for Flotsam’s “Into the vents” power, it says it is an action they may attempt to move to any room. Is that really meant to be during the action phase? Or is it meant to be the movement phase? If it is the action phase, and they end up rolling > 6, then randomly end up in a room on fire or at high water, they would have already finished their action phase and would then die.

      • steeldraco July 10, 2013 at 11:54 am

        It was supposed to be an action, but not a lethal one. I’d say if the room you randomly moved to was going to kill you, just roll again.

        Clearly you’re looking at these more rigorously than I did, thanks for the comments.

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