Hey all! Here’s another update from Redbeard, hard at work to make Baker Street Heists be as awesome as possible. Much has changed in the last 48 hours. Here are some highlights:

  • Brutus gained a special ability: Take the Fall
  • Dirty Cop became Corrupt Magistrate, and traded with the Bodyguard for the 7 player slot.
  • Reemphasized the setting with tweaks to wording, also renamed the teams to Cops and Robbers
  • Color coded everything! (only if you can see the physical cards, which you probably can’t cause they aren’t on the internet)
  • Reference diagram on the back of each Role Card (again, only if you can see the physical).
  • First Heist awards 1 point, all others award 2.
  • Who knows who has been remapped.

Ok, ok. So the real meat of this post is why I made all these changes.

First off, Brutus was sorely lacking in specialness. He didn’t know anyone, and no one knew him. He was very sad. His new special ability is “Take the Fall”, which allows him to negate a single Sabotage card if he is on the Heist. How does this affect gameplay you ask? It does two things: it increases the maximum team size because people can try to get Brutus on the team to counteract a known Cop. This allows more Heists, which is a thing that players have been clamoring for every time. The problem with increasning number of Heists is that there is only so much information out there. This is a way to add a twist without giving up too much information. It also gives the only Role who didn’t have anything special to do a very important decision to make, and allows for some interesting gameplay when players try to account for it.

Next up: Dirty Cop got a name change. This one is pretty straightforward. The name sucked. Also, it was strange to be a cop and not be on the Cops. Switched positions to smooth out the Cops/Robbers balance as player numbers go up. Nuff said.

The whole ruleset got some lovin’ to help people get into the scene a little more. Roleplaying makes the game more fun (up to a point), and I wanted to help that along.

Color coding and the all important Reference Diagram will make the game easier to ramp up on. In playtesting, new players were having a hard time catching up to the more experienced ones, so this should help. I slapped it on the back of the Role Card so that everyone gets a copy, and it won’t cost any extra to print!

The Heist point system was stacking highly in favor of the Cops by awarding more points with higher team sizes. Making them all 2 points brought some much needed balance (as well as simplifying). However, the first Heist typically is proposed with almost no information, so that was bumped down to 1 point to make it less costly to guess wrong when you don’t know anything yet.

Who knows who has been completely (well about half) remapped. The addition of Brutus’s ability added a dynamic that had to be balanced out.

So now that all these changes are live, it’s time to playtest again! Should be playtesting sometime this Wednesday with some experienced players. Test early and often is the idea here. After this gets some feedback I’ll keep keyboarding away on the new player strategy doc I started. A major drawback of complicated versions of werewolf games is the barrier to entry because there is so much to learn. So far it looks like Baker Street Heists is doing better than most, but new players could still use some hints to start off with.