Avoiding Risk with Bag Building
Traveling on the Map
Each of the five quests in Freelancers: A Crossroads Game have their own unique map with multiple branching paths and various locations that can be visited. Players will decide as a team which trail to follow as the cartographer of the group traces their path and draws directly on the map, noting hints and rumors about the road ahead.
Each player will have at least one job assigned to them at the start of the game. The Cartographer manages the map.
The map key is KEY to showing what type of locations are available on each path. Players will be able to trade stories at taverns, obtain hints and tips from mysterious fortune tellers, recover health, collect followers and level up characters at campsites, among many other stops along the way. And player’s will make intriguing decisions at the crossroads that will hopefully end up giving a player or two a sought after title. But every freelance gig comes with a deadline, and players won’t be able to visit every location since time is of the essence. In Freelancers, the quest’s risk will rise the more time players take. Every adventure is a push and pull between trying to gain the resources you need to complete the quest, and the ticking clock.
A side benefit of this system is increased replayability. It’s unwise to check every nook and cranny of the sprawling maps. Players will have to make tough decisions as they travel, or miss their chance at greatness.
Navigating the Map
Traveling is not an easy feat! It comes with a cost, as each path the group travels will require them to spend time, resulting in the Scout drawing a token from the time bag. If a Risk token is pulled it gets placed on the Risk track. And if a risk token with a + is drawn then an additional token is drawn! If there are ever three of a kind on the Risk track both sets of tracks get wiped clean, with those previously pulled risk tokens going back into the time bag. The party’s overall risk goes up a notch and a new “bad” risk token gets added to the time bag.
As the party’s risk increases, certain encounters become harder during their travels. Players will need to decide if backtracking or going out of the way to visit a compelling shrine is worth the possible threat.
The scout is in charge of drawing and adding tokens from the time bag. Notifying the players of results.
Fear not! The time bag can be stuffed with more friendly tokens to help mitigate the quest’s risks. Supplies can be gained at campsites, location book pages, and throughout events on the trail. When the scout pulls a supply from the bag it is “spent” and the risk level remains the same.
Freelancers can also gain followers during the quest. Follower cards are placed next to their player’s character sheet and their corresponding token is placed in the time bag. Whenever a follower’s token is pulled from the bag, an event occurs and usually offers a reward to the player who currently has that follower. And even better, the risk level remains the same.
Each player can have a maximum of 2 followers at any given time. Each follower has a special ability that can be triggered when the conditions on their card are met.
However, if the follower is ever not in play when their token is pulled, it means you have most likely sacrificed them for your own gain and something not-so-good may happen to your party as a result. So you may wanna think twice before offering up a follower to appease an evil god, or treasure golem!
Stay tuned next week for our preview of the remaining player roles as well as how to level up skills and characters.