Forums/ The 7th Continent/ General21 posts
Posted - Edited
He's done! A first draft, anyway.

Dr. Dolittle travels to distant and unexplored regions in search of new animal species. He uses his gift of animal languages to make contact and learn more about them. He never goes anywhere without at least some of his menagerie of animal friends, but, when he awakes on the shores of the seventh continent, he is alone. I suppose he'll have to find some new companions.

Mechanically, he's meant to gradually build up a collection of animals over the course of the game, and gradually increase in power as he does so. Companion animals are usually pretty underwhelming on their own, so he gets a solid bonus on top of what other people get for them -- any action where he can use a companion, he can use his own ability for :card_blue::icon_succes:

The Gift action is a heavy specialty. He needs it to catch his animals, and he's just a nice person, anyway.

Sleep discounts are nice but not too powerful -- I like them a whole lot on Frankenstein, and I thought they made some thematic sense here, so I'm trying them.

The gourmet effect is his heal. It is significantly better if you can eat food in the same stack -- it chews through durability quickly otherwise.

Serenity-Stamina is a good flexible stack. He can make good use of things like Woven Basket and Protective Cover.

His 'mode' is his most straightforward card. I pretty much picked skills that have to do with catching companions and otherwise interacting with animals, but it's fairly strong I think -- Gift action is narrow and redundant but important to him, hunt is one of the best action types to have bonuses on period, and sneak is one of the best to have bonuses like this on, because the stealth stack is so awkward.

I thought this was important to have, because mostly when you lose an animal they're gone for good and some of them are quite easy to lose at random. Testing will tell us for sure how important this is, but I think it's good to have it. It also lets him play another little collection mini-game with his animals -- as he collects animals that die from different states, this card gains more states it can block.

I don't think the wording on this card is quite right, but I'm not sure what it should be. Thoughts?

Dr Dolittle doesn't usually eat animals in the books I don't think. But, on the seventh continent, he has very little choice.

This one is also questionable in wording. The intention is that if you don't draw an empty-handed you don't get to draw a replacement.

Without a character ability that discards cards, Dolittle will have a much harder time with inventory management. This is my attempt not to leave him without tools in that part of the game. It's tough to design a good repair card, it seems -- I very much do not want it to become a one-stop solution for all your inventory-related problems, and if it were too reliable it would be. Hopefully this design avoids that, it's pretty poor at repairing items in emergencies, it's best if you're prepared (with Fix It and ideally string ready) and use it as soon as your durability hits 3. String is my favorite resource. I like the way botany cards expand it so much.

I still have a lot to do, in order of priority:

  1. Play a game with him and see what's working and what isn't. I haven't playtested this character at all yet.
  2. Find a font that matches better. Does anyone know what fonts are used in the actual game?
  3. Higher-resolution backgrounds, especially on the item and character cards.
  4. Find or more likely commission some art that matches the style of the game better
I've already had my font question answered, so I guess I'll fix that pretty soon. I think probably after my first playtest though, these are good enough to test with and I want to know if they work.
"The gourmet effect is his heal. It is significantly better if you can eat food in the same stack -- it chews through durability quickly otherwise."
When you eat, you consume one food at a time, so if you had a stack of two meat, you'd have to lower the durability by two to use the ability twice.
More importantly, thanks! This looks super cool! I look forward to playing with him soon!
Yes, that is my intention.

If you eat food from the stack, it consumes a durability from the stack to eat the food anyway, so the canteen activation is "free."

If you eat food from anywhere else, you'll have to consume one durability from the canteen for each piece of food you want to eat, which empties the canteen pretty fast. It's still "worth it" in terms of cards saved if you got decent discounts on crafting the canteen, but it sucks compared to eating out of the same stack.

Glad you like him! I'm looking forward to testing him in the next few days.
I think that "I shall fix it!" is too powerfull.
Maybe you could add an effect like "You can't return this card from the discard pile into hand." to prevent a massif using of "Remember" ?
Or, at least, put only :icon_success-right:+:icon_success-left: for the stars ?
No keyword is a good idea.
Or you could make a crafting action with a lower cost, but you banish the card ?
Or you put a token for only 2 uses ?

You will see in your testing run ! :-)
:resource_fire: Firebird :resource_fire: (Phoenixeux sur TT)
[DV :icon_curse::icon_curse::icon_succes:] [OG :icon_curse::icon_curse::icon_curse:*:icon_succes:] [LG :icon_succes:] [CD+SI :icon_curse::icon_curse:] [SI :icon_curse:] [CD :icon_curse::icon_success-left: :icon_success-right:**] [SI+TS en cours]
*[Histoire-T7C :icon_succes_7:] **[Pénitence :icon_curse:+Funéraille:icon_success-left:]
Posted - Edited
First testing suggests he's OP but not incredibly OP.

The animal passive is incredibly strong, but it's supposed to be, that's probably a good thing. Perhaps it could lose the -1 and just give a *, which you can, after all, use the cooperation ability as a -1 instead. That would make him a lot less functional in solo, though -- the cooperation rule's hard to balance around. It's so powerful. Another option would just be "or" but I believe all existing effects like this are "and/or" so that would be very confusing I think.

Being good at hunting is one of the best things to be good at and he's probably too good at that right now. Animal Magnetism is a candidate for changes.

Speak with Animals might see a straight nerf like losing the :icon_succes_7:. It's modeled pretty directly on cards like Yale Graduate and Nomadism, but Hunt and Sneak are both incredible icons for a card like that and it might be doing too much right now.

Friend of Nature hasn't been relevant yet, which is okay with me. It will matter eventually.

Fix It is indeed pretty powerful. I have used it only once, but I got the best-case 3 durability out of it. I haven't tried having a remember party with it to fix all our gear. Such a thing is possible but requires some planning. Fix It is pretty expensive if you don't have the resources on your space and it is much less efficient if you wait too long to use it.

It is also important to note when thinking about interactions with Remember that the only real reasons to remember Fix It instead of remembering an item that matches the top card of the stack you're trying to repair is if that stack is full, or you're saving space in it for something else, or you don't have an item that matches the top card in the discard. If you have space to build an item: it will be about the same price (Fix It is a pretty average cost craft check right now.) It will restore more durability (3 best case for Fix It, pretty easily 4 for an item.) And, best of all, you get new abilities in your item stack (Fix It conserves space in a stack, but doesn't make it better.)

Your suggestions for changing it are interesting.

Changing the stars around is an option, but the distribution of stars across a character's cards is standard. Everybody has the same five star patterns on their five cards--
:icon_success-right: +:7:,
:icon_success-right: + :icon_success-left:,
:icon_succes: + :icon_success-left:, and
:icon_success-right: +:icon_succes: So, if I made it a :icon_success-right: + :icon_success-left: card that would just mean swapping it with Speak With Animals, unless I wanted to break the pattern. (Even the distribution of icons across the cards is pretty standardized, for example, 6/7 have their :icon_success-left: on their item and their :icon_success-right: + :icon_success-left: on a hold-in-hand 'mode' card like Speak With Animals. )

Making it banish itself I don't think would work very well. The only character skill card (in my base game, the only skill card at all) that banishes itself is Forbidden Experiment. It provides a permanent bonus, so it banishing itself makes sense. Very hard to feel good about banishing a blue card forever for something as transient as an item durability I think.

Restricting its use with tokens is an interesting notion. I would like to avoid external components like that, 7c's pretty serious about doing everything with just cards and I'd like my mod to respect that -- but that doesn't mean there isn't a good way to do something like this within 7c's system. You could make it so the consequence of Fix It is to take a numbered card, and the numbered cards are a small table that says how much you repair your item for and then discards itself. For example, two green cards (repair 1 and repair 3) and then a yellow card (repair 0). So, you can use it twice before returning the Past, for a total of 4 durability.

My current thoughts on nerfs to Fix It:
-Cut it entirely. His companion ability means his inventory is a little less important, it being a little cloggy would probably be fine. I may have been fixing a problem he didn't really have in the first place.

-Make it more expensive and more difficult to make free, something like 7/0, -3 String, -2 Bamboo, -2 leaves, so you're usually at least spending cards on it. This is probably the very least that has to happen to keep this card.

-Redesign the craft-and-resources check to a small locked check like Examine the Notes, with a fail consequence where you damage your item further.

-Change Double Durability to Set Durability to 3. Double Durability restores 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, or 0 durability to a stack at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. Set to 3 restores 2, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0. This has a worst best-case, is dead more often, and is worse overall. Unfortunately it also loses something I really like about the current design, which is that it's best to repair gear at half durability instead of minimum durability. If you leave your repairs till the last second, which is when most people will think about remembering a repair card, it's not as good as if you were timely about your item maintenance. Moving that sweet spot to 1 durability, which is the obvious place to use a card like this otherwise, makes the optimal pattern to use it very simple. Just wait until something's at 1 durability, remember Fix It, and repair it. With the sweet spot at 3, whenever you remember Fix It, you have to make a little decision to use your Remember on something that isn't yet an emergency. There's less reason to be prepared.

-Restrict what kind of stacks it can be used on. This feels sort of arbitrary, I like that he's keyword-neutral right now, but I could. I'd probably change the name to something that reflected the flavor of whatever stack I picked for it to work on -- probably Serenity.

-Require successes. It's rare for a craft action, but not unheard of. To me, this seems to run against the basic idea of collecting all the required resources, though, so I don't like it very much, but it's out there.
Second test suggests that the character ability really is OP.

The cooperation -x:card_blue:/+x:icon_succes: thing is really incredibly powerful. I've got a snake giving me discounts on crafts (his poison resource is an ability and as currently worded triggers Doctor Dolittle) and because it also gives a useless success on crafts it's a 2 discount, it's totally insane. Can't keep this ability like it is. Also we might stop playing with that rule, it makes the game really easy in general, with or without Dolittle.

I might make it just the discount and move the :icon_succes: to one of his other cards. That way he isn't quite online all the time in the same way.

I'm not sure how big a deal the card that saves animals is, perhaps he could do without that ability and just sometimes have to lose his companions.

I'm also not sure if he actually needs an unlimited stack of them. It might be better to make him choose a little bit, although I do like the idea of collecting all of them.

I Shall Fix It! was gone in the next version of his kit. It's cut for power level and mechanical identity reasons; he should be relying on his inventory less and his animals more.

Then I saw Amelia Earhart in a kickstarter update a few weeks ago. She has a repair kit card that just adds 3 flat durability to a stack. It has a limitation of its own, it takes up a slot in the item stack and she doesn't have great ways to discard it, so it has less abuse potential with Remember.

Still, I think it's overall better than Fix It! And I think that's interesting. You think Fix It's broken, I think Fix It's broken, but apparently SP's fine with a probably better version.

I'm not restoring Fix It! to Dolittle's kit, though. Item repair is a specific character strength for her. It isn't supposed to be for him, he should be focused on his animals.
I also thought of Dr. Dolittle when I saw Amelia Earharts Card.
Posted - Edited
I should make proxies for the next version, but here's what it will be:

John Dolittle
Companion cards do not count against your green card limit.

Whenever you discard or banish a card with the Companion keyword, take [Depressed].

During any action where you use an ability on a card with the Companion keyword: :icon_succes_7:

4:card_blue:/0:icon_succes: Craft (-3 :resource_foliage:, -1 :resource_vine:) 3 Durability Serenity/Stamina
-2:card_blue: and/or :icon_succes:
Shuffle a card at random from the discard pile into the action deck.

Friend of Nature
When taking a red card would cause you to discard or banish a card with the Companion keyword, you may discard this to avoid taking that red card.

Easy Living
When in hand, During any action where you could use an ability on a card with the Companion keyword: -1:card_blue:

With Some Help From My Friends
During the results step of any action where you could use an ability on a card with the Companion keyword, you may discard this to apply :icon_succes:.

When you add a new card with the Companion keyword to your hand, if this card is in the discard pile, you may return it to your hand.

Speak with Animals
When in hand: Gift, Hunt, Sneak -1:card_blue:/:icon_succes:
Posted - Edited
Rationale behind changes:

John Dolittle's character ability was doing too much work on its own. -1:card_blue: and :icon_succes: could be leveraged into a -2 discount and is enough to deal with a lot of small checks on its own. Most animals covered 2-3 different kinds, and the feathered snake gave a truly disgusting permanent -2 craft discount... All of this without using a single card that cares takes up hand or inventory space. Apart from your animals being killed by states, the cards involved couldn't even go anywhere. You got like, 2 animals and you were unbeatable.

Changing that to :icon_succes_7: does a few things. It is, obviously, a big nerf. You don't get successes without drawing cards, and you don't get a discount or anything that can be leveraged into a discount. It also synergizes with the companion's shuffle ability more than it used to -- you are encouraged to go digging for 7s, which they're good at. It also helps to double down on his identity as a lategame scaling character. He now scales with both the size of his menagerie and the number of advanced skills in the deck.

The old ability has been given the Frankenstein treatment, more or less. Heavily inspired by the way Obey works, the discount has been moved to a Hold-in-hand state and the success has been moved to a Forewarned is Forearmed-style effect with some built-in recursion.

Him getting depressed when his pets die is just a flavor thing. I don't think it really affects balance dramatically, but he was too strong in the last playtest, so any affect it might have is in the right direction.

Canteen isn't getting any changes. It worked well.

Friend of Nature also isn't getting any changes. I never actually used it in my last test, and I'm pretty sure it's very weak, but not every card has to be powerful. It is comforting to have around.

Speak With Animals lost it's :icon_succes_7:. This brings it more in line with the balance of other hold-in-hand cards: typically the ones that provide :icon_succes_7: only apply to relatively rare or unimportant skills, and the ones that apply to super commonly used skills like Fight (in this case, Hunt and Sneak) just have the -1:card_blue: and the :icon_succes:.

I Shall Fix It! is cut entirely. I liked it, it played pretty well (a bit OP but nothing a cost increase wouldn't fix) but it just wasn't him. Dr Dolittle's answer to inventory management is that he doesn't need his inventory as much as other people so it doesn't matter if it's a little cloggy. He uses his animals almost like a second inventory.

It's replacement, Easy Living, returns part of your old character ability to you. The -1 discount seems much fairer if:
1. It's only a -1:card_blue: and not easily leveraged to a -2:card_blue:.
2. It takes up a spot in your hand.
3. It doesn't necessarily have 100% uptime. You can pretty much keep it in your hand 100% of the time if you really want to, but most people will replace it sometimes, and you can be forced to discard it.

Animal Magnetism is also cut. I might revisit this sort of hunt-table-thinning effect as an advanced skill maybe, but I don't like it on Dolittle for a bunch of reasons.
- It isn't very thematic for him to be primarily a hunter -- it makes sense that he would be good at it, but he rarely if ever hunts or eats animals in the books. I don't think he's a vegetarian or anything, I think he's basically okay with the idea that predation is part of nature, but making him a master hunter just feels wrong somehow. I'm fine with it one 1 card (he would be good at hunting) but 2 cards makes it one of his main things.
- Hunting is one of the best strengths a character should have. It should not be an incidental second area of strength for a character whose specialty is something else entirely.
- Dolittle shouldn't have too many cards that help with specific skill checks. His areas of strength should mostly be based on what companions he has, putting too many icons on his own cards dilutes that.

Its replacement, With Some Help From My Friends, is the rest of the old character ability, more or less. You have to discard it when you use it, but it's results step so you don't have to use it until it makes a difference. I'm not sure if it really needs the built in recursion, but I think it's a fun little bonus. As with Easy Living, the main goals in moving it to a card is to reduce the uptime of the effect and make Dolittle care about his hand limit.

A :icon_succes:is better than a -1:card_blue:, so to balance it out, this card has less uptime than Easy Living. 3 cards with a hold-in-hand would be too much anyway. Frankenstein, the only other character with 2, gets an extra blue card in hand to make room for it...
Do we know what the "Depressed" card looks like yet? It might be a step too far if it's a very tricky state. Another disadvantage is having to wait until next year to try it out.
Posted - Edited
I'm testing it with the version of Depressed we saw in a Kickstarter update. I believe it's received changes since then probably, but at the time, the Depressed state was pretty serious:

While you hold it, Curses count as -1 Star.
Spend 7xp to get rid of it.

I'll probably have to make some changes once expansions get here, but I already knew that :-)

It's hard to make out, but you can get enough words to tell.

During the results step of any action in which you are involved, if you revealed a :icon_curse: card, you require 1 additional success to succeed.

Spend 7 experience points to return this.
Finally something to do with XP when you finished the advanced cards! We ended up with 28+ XP on our last run after finishing offering and buying all the advanced skills.
I'm definitely looking for ways to build some XP sinks into my fan expansion.

In theory anyway. Doesn't actually have any yet except possibly some expensive advanced skills.
I havent read all of your comments but I dont think Dr Dolittle should get any benefit to hunt.

The whole trick to him is having the animals help him. The more animals you get, the stronger her becomes.

So gift makes sense for him. Sneak kinda makes sense. Hunt doesnt make sense. Hunt is killing animals. Thats against his personality.
Also i dont know if the fix it card is thematic either. I dont remember him being skilled at fixing things.

I reckon you could add a card the give a bonus when you have animals on the board. Sea gull, turtle, penguin. Maybe even animal track.

And have a penalty for every time you hunt and get food from an animal something happens. Or he automatically get a minus star for hunting. Or if the hunt any hunt can return certain animals for a set amount of food. (simulating the animals told him where he could go get for)

Just some ideas.
Posted - Edited
Thematically I agree. I've pulled back on this on newer versions (see comments: don't have cards yet because that takes a long time). Unfortunately, there really aren't any non-eating-animals options in the seventh continent to focus him on, so he's going to have to eat meat. Restricting him from taking part in hunts, in co-op, just forces a weird pattern where people have to hunt without him, but in solo it's almost impossible.

So the place I ended up on thematically was that Dr Dolittle would probably hunt if he had no other choice, and he certainly wouldn't be bad at hunting if he hunted.

That said, Animal Magentism's gone in the new version of the kit and Speak With Animals has lost its sevenstar, so he's down to just one success. I suppose that icon could just as easily be a compass or something though.

He's still a pretty good hunter once he has relevant animals (platypus, dog.)

In the newest version, in the comments: fix it's already gone. It was there for mechanical, not thematic reasons. His character ability doesn't let him manipulate his inventory, something all the base game characters one of the expansion characters can do. The ability to keep a stack alive forever with your character ability is a big part of a character's power, and as the first version of this kit was designed pretty tightly to "normal specifications" for a 7c character, so I thought it was necessary for him to have some kind of interaction with item durability. Playtesting showed that he really didn't need it -- he relies on his items less than most people because of his animals, so it's fine if he has a hard time with inventory management.

I like the idea of a card that cares about turtles, penguins, and seagulls.
At least 2 of those things already have cards, but that isn't a reason he couldn't have one.
Posted - Edited
Small update:

Cut Speak with Animals (his traditional 3-icon mode ) and moved the name to the discount-for-companions mode where it belongs. It's replaced with a new card called Friends in High Places, which lets you look at all the fogs for a single area. I thought about tying it to seagulls, which is a cool idea,but they're very rare on the mainland where this effect is at all useful, and there's birds everywhere, right? Vultures, at least. Canteen got another star to compensate for the lost of the gift star he had on the old Speak with Animals. I think I've got the word Friend too much, but I guess it's sorta like Lovecraft keeps using the word Dark (Dark Side, Dark Whispers, Dark Regeneration) but I don't love it anyway. Can you remember anything he says in the books? I haven't read them since I was 12.

John Dolittle
Companion cards do not count against your green card limit :icon_hand_green:.

Whenever you discard or banish a card with the Companion keyword, take [Depressed] :icon_hand_orange:.

During any action where you use an ability on a card with the Companion keyword: :icon_succes_7:

:action_craft: 4:card_blue:/0:icon_succes: (-3 :resource_foliage:, -1 :resource_vine:)
:icon_d6: Durability : 3 - Keywords : Serenity/Stamina
-2:card_blue: and/or :icon_succes::icon_succes:
Shuffle a card at random from the discard pile into the action deck.

Friend of Nature
When taking a red card would cause you to discard or banish a card with the Companion keyword, you may discard this to avoid taking that red card.

Speak with Animals
When in hand, during any action where you could use an ability on a card with the Companion keyword: -1:card_blue:

With Some Help From My Friends
During the results step of any action where you could use an ability on a card with the Companion keyword, you may discard this to apply :icon_succes:.

When you add a new card with the Companion keyword to your hand, if this card is in the discard pile, you may return it to your hand.

Friends in High Places
:action_offer: 1:card_blue:/1 :icon_succes:
:white_box: Success: Pick an area number. Look at any number of face-down fogs of the chosen number, one at a time. Put them back face-down. Do not flip them or resolve their text. Discard this.
:black_box: Fail: Discard this.

Firebird's edit : I added some pictos for a better reading. Nice fan-made character ! :)
Thanks for cleaning that up Firebird.

I've made a new set of proxy images.

John Dolittle's ability's been split up over 3 cards since the last proxies.

He has a new drawback that causes him to take a 750, a new state from the white box expansion.

I made a proxy of a 750 card. I didn't bother making a non :discard: version.

It is possible this isn't totally accurate, but I'm pretty sure.

Speak With Animals is now a (stronger) discount for animals, like a Companion-focused Obey!

Help From My Friends replaces Animal Magnetism, and is also sort of like a Companion-focused Obey! This is the third chunk of his original character ability.

Friends in High Places replaces I Shall Fix It! It lets you peak at, but not interact with, one area's fogs. It's a little pricey without Canteen, free with -- a little combo for him, like many people have.

Veterinary Medicine is his state dropper. It's retemplated but not otherwise changed.

Canteen got an extra star, it now drops Tired among other things.
Forums/ The 7th Continent/ General21 posts