New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby HerbieRai » Wed May 16, 2012 11:08 am

Another option would be for the top spells to cost more "new spells", like is done with AP

Have the 3 level spell cost 2 spells, and the level 4 cost 3 spells. Then, if someone got a level 4 spell, they'd only know 5 spells total instead of 8.

Hopefully this description makes sense, because it makes sense in my head but typing it out is confusing me.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Wed May 16, 2012 11:15 am

I understand what you're saying, but I think it's moving away from the Erfworld 'flavor', and making character creation more complex.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Exate » Wed May 16, 2012 12:12 pm

It's not any more complex than what you already have set up with the combat units. In fact, you can make it essentially the same system by making casters gain AP like everyone else, spend AP to get new spells, and restricting purchase options based upon class.

On a different topic, I think that either the map is too small, or units have way too much move. Being able to cross essentially the entire map at once removes most tactical positioning from battle since you can get to wherever you want to be. There are no attacks of opportunity or similar so far as I'm aware, so that doesn't help, either. Reducing movement points will greatly strengthen ranged units when they're already quite strong, but I'm not sure how else to remedy this.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Wed May 16, 2012 12:56 pm

Moving the casters to an AP system makes sense. In order to keep things fair (and simple), we could just change leveling so that everyone gets 1 AP each level. Thoughts?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed May 16, 2012 1:58 pm

My thoughts were mostly selfish. I was thinking what Will Showend Tell should purchase. I thought of Heavy, but that means way over at level 6 I'll get to purchase it. Meanwhile, Mighty Blow allows a quicker, if dangerous, boost to Combat. With APs at every level though, meh, less of an issue.

And to step away from my selfishness, that may be a problem. Give APs every level, fine, but then give even more things to spend them on, so as to avoid everyone at level 8 looking basically the same, not because only one build is viable, but because by that time every skill got maxed.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Wed May 16, 2012 2:35 pm

I'm certainly ok with adding more options, as long as they aren't too difficult to balance. (No parry, no berserk.)
I'm open to brain-storming, and especially creating combat trees.

Charge! (1 AP) - Unit can move 4 additional squares this turn. -2 Defense.

[Requires Attack] Hold the line (1 AP) - (Always active) Enemy units cannot move through any square surrounding this unit. Flying enemies are immune to this effect unless this unit also flies.

[Requires Strike] Impale (1 AP) - (Always active) If an enemy units that started out-of-range of this unit this turn, any move-and-Attack by the enemy triggers an automatic free counter-attack at +4 from this unit. This counter is resolved before the enemy can attack, and if the enemy dies as a result, their attack is negated.

[Requires Fire] Eye of the Bull (1 AP) - (Always active) Unit ignores penalties from Cover and Elevation.

[Requires Heavy] Taunt (1 AP) - (Always active) If Enemy units can attack this unit, they will. If more than one unit possesses Taunt on a side, enemies will attack the closest Taunting unit. Does not affect units under the influence of Leadership.

Opinions?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Exate » Thu May 17, 2012 3:16 am

I would support having all units gain an AP every level and making spells AP-based. Here's some brainstorming. Bear in mind that abilities prerequisites start to rapidly require very large numbers of AP to have been poured into their trees, so I've let them have more power accordingly. Still, everything probably needs a bit of balancing.

[Terrain]-Capable (1 AP): Units can move freely through [Terrain]s, suffering no penalties to Move, maneuvering, or combat but retaining all applicable bonuses.
[Terrain] Specialist (1 AP, requires [Terrain]-Capable): Unit gains +4 Combat and +4 Defense when operating in [Terrain].
[Terrain]lord (1 AP, requires Leadership, [Terrain]-Capable, and [Terrain] Specialist): All units in the stack are considered to have [Terrain]-Capable. Units in the stack which already possess [Terrain]-Capable are considered to have [Terrain] Specialist, and units in the stack which already possess [Terrain] Specialist have their bonuses doubled, to +8/+8.

Charge (1 AP): Unit can move 4 additional squares this turn, but the entire move must be in a straight line.
Fierce Charge (1 AP, requires Charge): The first enemy unit in the path of a Charge may be attacked immediately using the standard attack for the round, and if it is croaked the charge may continue past its position.

Secondary Weapon (Costs 2 AP, requires Well-Armed): Unit gains a second Basic Attack, usable at -6 Combat.
Weaponmaster (Costs 3 AP, requires Secondary Weapon): Unit may use all Basic Attacks freely at no penalty.

Superb Armor (Costs 2 AP, requires Well-Protected): This unit gains +6 Defense against the first attack targeting it each round.
Flawless Armor (Costs 3 AP, requires Superb Armor): Hostile spells do not affect this unit unless the caster pays four times the normally required Juice.

Regenerator (Costs 2 AP, requires Beefy): This unit recovers 1/10 of its Hits (rounded up) each round of combat.
Champion (Costs 3 AP, requires Regenerator): All attacks from units of a lower level which would inflict more than 1 Hit of damage instead inflict only 1 Hit of damage.

Siege (Costs 2 AP, requires Heavy): Attacks from this unit can easily damage fortifications and structures.

Rocker (Costs 1 AP, requires Dance-Fighting): This unit may inflict a penalty equal to the bonuses this unit would normally gain from Dance-Fighting against all enemy units within two squares instead of the usual effect (for example, if a Rocker would normally gain +2/+2 from Dance-Fighting, it may choose for enemies within two squares to take -2/-2).
Rock Star (Costs 2 AP, requires Rocker, Leadership): This unit both gains the usual benefits from Dance-Fighting and inflicts an equal penalty to all enemy units within two squares.
Lord of the Dance (Costs 2 AP, requires Leadership and Dance-Fighting): All units in the stack are considered to have Dance-Fighting. Units in the stack which already possess Dance-Fighting have their max bonuses doubled, to +8/+8.


The Impale ability is wildly overpowered as presented, if I'm reading it correctly. There isn't a single other way written into the game to get more than one attack in a round, it's virtually certain to trigger in every battle since there will always be a point at which enemies move into range, the bonus is huge, and it can trigger multiple times in a round to effectively shred unlimited numbers of incoming foes. Even making it expensive wouldn't balance it.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu May 17, 2012 4:54 am

Oh dear. Some balancing needed indeed.

I notice that Exate attempts a Balance High: allow ludicrously powerful abilities, in the hope that they'll cancel each other out.

I admire the chutzpah. I don't think that it's the road we need to take, given as how we want a quickly implementable rules system that we can enjoy now. I'd much rather, at this point, play something than talk about the system.

Given that, Balance Low. So no Flawless armour stuff, for example. Champion? I think not. These are abilities that negate other units wholesale. This will not do. Instead, improve stats a-la Beefy and the rest. Add an extra attack a-la weapon master. Add the ability to deflect the first attack, that's of a certain type, in a combat (Shockamancy Ward, for example)- and that would be as high a power as we'll allow.

Also, no Siege. Preferably no terrain abilities either as they'll make things more difficult to gm.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu May 17, 2012 7:36 am

I've been taking BLAND's approach - balance low - up to now, and will continue to do so. That said, it's clear that multiple attacks are something that casters can get and melee cannot, so let's address that as well.

Attack Modifiers
Block (Costs 1 AP): Get Defense +3 and Combat -2 for the round.
Mighty Blow (Costs 1 AP): Get Combat +3 and Defense -2 for the round.
Guard (Costs 1 AP): Get Combat -2 for the round. A single adjacent ally gains +3 Defense for the round.
Support (Costs 1 AP): Get Combat -2 for the round. A single adjacent ally targeting the same enemy as you gains +3 Combat for the round. Ally's attack will occur after your attack if ally would normally act first.

Attack Modifiers can be purchased more than once, and their effects stack. A 2nd rank of a particular modified attack can be purchased at 2nd level. A 3rd rank can be purchased at 4th level, and a 4th rank at 8th level.

Additional Abilities:
Dance-Fighting (Costs 1 AP): All units with Dance Fighting get +1 Combat / +1 Defense for every 2 dancers in the formation, rounded down. Bonus is limited to +4 / +4, but any number of units can be in the formation.
(Decreased AP cost, increased # of units required per bonus rank. Rationale: Attack modifiers give a net +1 bonus per AP; Dance Fighting will do the same, only spreading the AP cost out over multiple characters.

Speedy (Costs 1 AP): Unit can move +4 squares each turn.

Well-armed (Costs 2 AP): Unit gains an additional +3 Combat
Well-protected (Costs 2 AP): Unit gains an additional +3 Defense
Beefy (Costs 1 AP): Unit gains an additional +8 Hits. Cannot be taken by Fliers. A 2nd rank of beefy can be purchased at 2nd level. A 3rd rank can be purchased at 4th level, and a 4th rank at 8th level.

[Requires Block, Level 2] Shield Wall (1 AP) - Friendly units behind this unit gain double their Cover Defense. Attacks that ignore defense are reduced by 2 for both this unit and units directly behind it, as the shield deflects a portion of the attack.
[Requires Shield Wall, Level 4] Shield Mastery (1 AP) - 1/2 the Unit's base (before modifiers) defense can be applied against attacks that ignore defense. Modifiers that reduce defense will also reduce this value.

[Requires Guard, Level 4] Interpose (1 AP) - Half of the damage inflicted upon a target (rounded up), from any source, that this unit is Guarding is inflicted upon this unit instead. If two units with Interpose are guarding the same target, that target takes no damage, the Guarding units absorb the damage instead.

[Requires Attack, Strike, or Fire, Level 4] Envenom Weapon (1 AP) - If Unit inflicts damage with a non-spell action, Unit inflicts an additional +4 Hits from Venom. Does not affect constructs or uncroaked.

[Requires Attack] Hold the Line (1 AP) - (Always active) Enemy units attempting to move past this unit are stopped at the first square surrounding this unit that they enter. Flying enemies are immune to this effect unless this unit also flies.
[Requires Attack] Counter-Attack (Costs 1 AP): Unit can make a free Attack against the first Attack action performed against it from an enemy unit that this unit is not attacking. This attack occurs immediately after the enemy attack, regardless of this unit's Combat score.
[Requires Attack, Mighty Blow, Level 4] I'm Crushing Your Head (1 AP) - Any non-Venom Hits inflicted by this unit's Attack actions are doubled. Does not affect constructs.
[Requires Attack, Level 4] Blade Master (1 AP) - Unit can make a 2nd attack against the same target.
[Requires Attack, Counter-Attack, Level 6] Counter-Fury (Costs 1 AP): Unit can make a free Attack against the second and third Attack actions performed against it from an enemy unit that this unit is not attacking. This attack occurs immediately after the enemy attacks, regardless of this unit's Combat score.

[Requires Strike] Impale (1 AP) - (Always active) If an enemy units that started out-of-range of this unit this turn, any move-and-Attack upon this unit by the enemy triggers an automatic free counter-attack with a +4 Combat bonus from this unit. This counter is resolved before the enemy can attack, and if the enemy dies as a result, their attack is negated. {This means that the enemy has to start at least 2 squares away, and move through a square that this unit can attack, into a square adjacent to this unit in a single move in order to trigger this ability.}
[Requires Strike, Level 6] Sweep (Costs 1 AP): Unit can Strike up to 3 adjacent targets at the same time.

[Requires Fire] Eye of the Bull (1 AP) - (Always active) Unit ignores penalties from Cover and Elevation.
[Requires Fire, Level 4] Dual Shot (1 AP) - Unit can Fire upon 2 targets who are adjacent to each other simultaneously. Cannot be at the same time as Rapid Shot.
[Requires Fire, Level 4] Rapid Shot (1 AP) - Unit can Fire twice upon the same target. Cannot be at the same time as Dual Shot.
[Requires Fire, Level 6] Boom! Head Shot (2 AP) - Any non-Venom Hits inflicted by this unit's Fire actions are doubled. Does not affect constructs.

[Requires Fly] I've got a Net! (1 AP) - Attempt to Neutralize & Capture a single target: If target's defense (including all modifiers) is less than this unit's Combat (including all modifiers), target is captured and cannot take any further actions until this unit releases them. This unit cannot take any further actions except for Movement until it releases them.

Heavy (Costs 3 AP): Unit gains +3 Combat / +4 Defense / +10 Hits. Cannot be taken by Fliers.
[Requires Heavy] Taunt (1 AP) - (Always active) If Enemy units can attack this unit, they will, moving to do so if necessary. If more than one unit possesses Taunt on a side, enemies will attack the closest Taunting unit. Does not affect units under the influence of Leadership.

Leadership (Costs 3 AP): All units in the same stack get +1 Combat / +1 Defense per level of the highest level character w/ leadership. Only 1 bonus applies.

----

That's enough for Melee for now. Spells shortly.
Last edited by MarbitChow on Thu May 17, 2012 4:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu May 17, 2012 10:51 am

First pass at spell trees. Casters especially, please provide feedback before you level. :D

-----

Spells
All spells are RLOS unless specified otherwise. You can purchase spells outside of your primary discipline, as long as you have more spells in your discipline than you have in any non-primary disciplines. (So, if you have 3 spells in Healmancy, you can have 1 in Shockamancy and 1 in Luckamancy, or 2 in Croakamancy.)

Clevermancy (Healmancy) Healmancy has no effect on Uncroaked. Wards last until all granted damage has been absorbed. Only 1 Ward can be in effect on a target at a time. If target receives a ward when a ward is already in place, target chooses which ward remains.
Revitalize - Heal 8 pts to 1 target (1 Juice)
[Requires Revitalize] Renew (1 AP) - Heal 16 pts to 1 target (2 Juice)
[Requires Revitalize] Minor Ward (1 AP) - Absorbs 8 damage on 1 target. (2 Juice)
[Requires Renew, Level 4] Mass Revitalize (1 AP) - Heal 8 pts to up to 3 adjacent targets (4 Juice)
[Requires Minor Ward, Level 4] Ward (1 AP) - Absorbs 16 damage on 1 target. (5 Juice)
[Requires Mass Revitalize, Level 8] Mass Renew (1 AP) - Heal 24 pts to up to 3 adjacent targets (9 Juice)
[Requires Mass Revitalize, Minor Ward, Level 8] Healing Ward (1 AP) - Target is fully healed. Absorbs 12 damage on target. (15 Juice)
[Requires Ward, Level 8] Greater Ward (1 AP) - Absorbs 28 damage on 1 target. Lasts until all 28 damage has been absorbed. Only 1 Ward can be in effect on a target at a time. (10 Juice)
[Requires Ward, Level 8] Mass Ward (1 AP) - Grants Ward to every unit in unit's Stack (35 Juice)

Clevermancy (Luckamancy) Luckamancy spells last until used, and can persist over multiple turns if not used. (This means that, if a luckamancer is in the group and the scenario allows it, all units could start w/ Roll the Bones and the Luckamancer still gets full Juice, since the spells would have been cast prior to the start of the turn.)
Roll the Bones - On their next Attack, Strike, or Fire action, all target's d6 'rolls' are treated as 6s. On the following round, for every d6 modified in this way, an enemy unit will also max a d6 roll. (Enemy rolls can apply to any melee or spell action.) (1 Juice)
[Requires Roll the Bones] Fumble (1 AP) - On their next Attack, Strike, or Fire action, all d6s rolled by the target is treated as all 1s. On the following turn, for each d6 modified in this way, one '1' on the enemy's side will be converted to a '6'. (Enemy rolls can apply to any melee or spell action.) (3 Juice)
[Requires Fumble, Level 4] Lucky Streak (1 AP) - As Roll the bones, but the effect lasts for 3 turns. (8 Juice)
[Requires Fumble, Level 4] Guardian Angel (1 AP) - The next spell cast against target is negated. (10 Juice)
[Requires Lucky Streak, Level 8] Critical Fumble (1 AP) - Target's next Attack, Strike, or Fire action is completely negated. Deals target unit's Combat + 2d6 damage to target, minus Target's base Defense (ignoring positive modifiers; negative modifiers still apply) (10 Juice)
[Requires Lucky Streak, Guardian Angel Level 8] Can't Lose (1 AP) - For the next 3 rounds, all dice rolls made by Caster's side are automatically 6s. All dice rolls made by the enemy's side are automatically 1s. On rounds 4 through 7, all rolls made by caster's side are automatically 2s, and all dice rolls made by the enemy's side are 5s. (60 Juice)

Hippymancy (Flower Power) - For all Hippymancy powers, any unit under the influence of Hippymancy who is attacked can immediately counterattack. This ends the power.
Space Out - Prevent target from acting for 2 turns, or until attacked. Unit on same side can use an action to 'wake them up' (1 Juice)
[Requires Space Out] Peace Sign (1 AP) - Target cannot make a hostile action for 4 turns. Targets under the influence of Peace Sign will surrender if they are the last unit on their side. Unit on same side can use an action to 'wake them up' (3 Juice)
[Requires Space Out] Entangle (1 AP) - Target is immobilized by vines for 2 turns, and can perform no actions. (4 Juice)
[Requires Peace Sign, Level 4] Groove - Prevent up to 3 adjacent targets from acting for a turn. (5 Juice)
[Requires Entangle, Level 4] Choking Vines - Target is immobilized by vines for 3 turns, and can perform no actions. Target takes 2d6 Hits / turn. Ignores Defense. (8 Juice)
[Requires Groove, Level 8] Give Peace A Chance - No units on either side can take any hostile action. Only Movement, Healmancy and Hippymancy actions are allowed this turn. (10 Juice)
[Requires Choking Vines, Level 8] Call Treant - Summons a Treant to fight for the caster. Treant will leave at the end of the combat. (40 Juice)

Naughtymancy (Croakamancy) Uncroaked lose 1 Combat, 1 Defense, and 2 Hits each day. When any of these stats reach 0, the Uncroaked crumbles to dust. Uncroaked created during combat arise where they died.
Reanimator - Animate a single fallen humanoid unit (friend or for) as a Minor Uncroaked. Lasts until destroyed or until the end of the combat. (5 Juice)
Minor Uncroaked are created as Warriors, but with only 2 AP to start.
[Requires Reanimator] Bone Puppeteer (1 AP) - Create a skeleton from a single fallen humanoid unit (friend or for). Lasts until destroyed or decays. (8 Juice)
Skeletons are created as normal characters, but with only 3 AP to start. Skeletons also gain "Special: Defense is doubled vs. 'Fire' basic attacks."
[Requires Reanimator] Repair the Dead (1 AP) - Restores 6 Hits to target uncroaked. Hits lost to decay cannot be restored. (1 Juice)
[Requires Bone Puppeteer, Level 4] Uncroak - Animate a single fallen unit (friend or for) as an Uncroaked. Unit has same Com/Def/Hits as when alive. (15 Juice)
[Requires Reanimator, Dance Fighting, Level 4] Thriller (1 AP) - All uncroaked created by this caster gain Dance Fighting.
[Requires Bone Puppeteer, Level 4] Bone Warlord (1 AP) - All uncroaked created by this caster gain +1 Combat / +1 Defense for each level this caster has.
[Requires Uncroak, Level 8] Trioxin (1 AP) - Animate all fallen units (friend or foe) as Minor Uncroaked. Lasts until destroyed or until the end of the combat. (25 Juice)
[Requires Uncroak, Level 8] Lingering Dead (1 AP) - Uncroaked decay every 4th turn instead of every turn
[Requires Uncroak, Level 8] Bone Horror (1 AP) - Create a Bone Horror from 6 fallen humanoids. Bone Horrors do not decay. (50 Juice)

Naughtymancy (Shockamancy)
Hiya - Deal Combat+1d6 to 1 target anywhere on screen. Ignores defense. (1 Juice)
[Requires Hiya] Hoboken (1 AP) - Deal Combat+2d6 to 1 target anywhere on screen. Ignores defense. (2 Juice)
[Requires Hiya] TooGeeWonSee (1 AP) - Deal Combat+1d6 to 1 target anywhere on screen. Ignores defense. Target is stunned for one turn. (3 Juice)
[Requires TooGeeWonSee, Level 4] Ickypron - Deal Combat+1d6 to up to 3 adjacent targets anywhere on screen. Ignores defense. Targets are stunned for one turn. (7 Juice)
[Requires Hoboken, Level 4] Hobobarbie - Deal Combat+2d6 to 2 adjacent targets anywhere on screen. Ignores defense. (5 Juice)
[Requires Ickypron, Hoboken, Level 8] 4Chan - Deals Combat+3d6 to all targets (friend or foe) in a 5x5 square area. Ignores defense. Surviving targets are stunned for one turn. (40 Juice)
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Exate » Thu May 17, 2012 12:10 pm

My impression was that "balance low" was being explicitly abandoned, because we essentially already have it. The ability to stack modifiers on attacks already puts us in a situation where each character will gradually develop a unique set of tactical options. MarbitChow's initial suggestions for purchasable upgrades fairly clearly moved us away from simple stat improvement and modification and towards adding special abilities to the characters, at which point the main questions become balancing cost with utility. I think that the impression others have of how powerful some of these suggested abilities are may not be in line with mine, though.

Take the Flawless Armor ability I suggested.
Flawless Armor (Costs 3 AP, requires Superb Armor): Hostile spells do not affect this unit unless the caster pays four times the normally required Juice.
It costs 3 AP and requires 4 AP of prior investment; is it really more powerful than our baseline 3 AP ability for comparison, Heavy? It is effective only against a narrow subset of opponents- casters- and it doesn't even stop them from working, because casters gain a whopping 8 juice per level and their most common attack abilities cost 1-3 juice. A caster of equal level to the minimum required to gain Flawless Armor (fourth) has 24 juice and can easily repeatedly blast through it if desired. Contrast against +3/+4/+10 in stats; effective against virtually all opponents, extremely reliable, and an impressive upgrade in power. If anything, Flawless Armor was weak and overly expensive as designed.

In contrast, take the Counter-Attack ability that MarbitChow just suggested.
[Requires Attack] Counter-Attack (Costs 1 AP): Unit can make a free Attack against the first Attack action performed against it from an enemy unit that this unit is not attacking. This attack occurs immediately after the enemy attack, regardless of this unit's Combat score.
For 1 AP and requiring no prior investment, is this more powerful than our baseline 1 AP attacking boost ability, Mighty Blow (or, if we're not comparing to modified attacks, half of Well-Equipped)? Hell yes it is. It is effective against all opponents which use the Attack action, which is most things. Even better, it effectively doubles firepower in a common circumstance, that is, being outnumbered. I cannot see why anyone with the Attack ability would NOT take this power- in fact, as written I would say that this ability is more powerful than any single one of my suggestions.

I'm perfectly willing to go with MarbitChow's suggestions, but they're significantly more "balance high" than mine are and several of them are so good as to essentially be upgrade taxes. If we want "balance low", then simply restrict people to modified attacks and stat upgrades.


On a slightly different topic, when building upgrade trees I explicitly avoided making Basic Attacks or Modified Attacks a requirement. Having Basic Attacks as prerequisites promotes class differences, which means balance difficulties between classes and means that more work overall has to be done in design because each class needs their own skill tree with an equal number of skills to avoid stunting anyone's potential growth. Modified Attacks can be used for requirements but I was treating them as essentially their own "tree" in which the later levels are simply stacking more abilities on, while the passive abilities suggested each formed the starting point for a tree of more specialized abilities. We should clear up these design differences if possible.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu May 17, 2012 12:38 pm

Exate wrote:MarbitChow's initial suggestions for purchasable upgrades fairly clearly moved us away from simple stat improvement and modification and towards adding special abilities to the characters, at which point the main questions become balancing cost with utility.

I'm looking for more utilities, but still 'balance-low', primarily, while acknowledging that leveling any unit will significantly increase their firepower / survivability.

Exate wrote:Take the Flawless Armor ability I suggested. ... If anything, Flawless Armor was weak and overly expensive as designed.

The problem with Flawless Armor isn't so much a balance issue, as a functional one. It is unlikely that a player will take the ability, since casters are rare. However, it's quite possible to have a number of NPCs with the ability, which forces the player to predetermine whether they wish to blast through it or not, and such decisions can't be made fairly the way we're currently resolving turns.

Exate wrote:In contrast, take the Counter-Attack ability that MarbitChow just suggested.... For 1 AP and requiring no prior investment, is this more powerful than our baseline 1 AP attacking boost ability, Mighty Blow (or, if we're not comparing to modified attacks, half of Well-Equipped)? Hell yes it is. It is effective against all opponents which use the Attack action or any who use Strike and are in melee range, which is most things.

It is not effective against Strike. It only counters Attack actions, and only the 1st action.

Exate wrote:Even better, it effectively doubles firepower in a common circumstance, that is, being outnumbered. I cannot see why anyone with the Attack ability would NOT take this power- in fact, as written I would say that this ability is more powerful than any single one of my suggestions.

That's exactly the kind of feedback I'm looking for. That's an indication that Counter Attack needs additional requirements, such as a Level 4 min and/or Block.

Exate wrote:I'm perfectly willing to go with MarbitChow's suggestions, but they're significantly more "balance high" than mine are and several of them are so good as to essentially be upgrade taxes. If we want "balance low", then simply restrict people to modified attacks and stat upgrades.

Please point out the ones that are 'too good'. Keep in mind that I want to still be able to stay as close to the source as possible, and having a level 10 Warrior (Ansom) stand in the middle of a horde of scrubs and drop them by the dozens wasn't unrealistic, although he DID have an artifact. Your characters might not be THAT good, but I want all characters to feel a sense of 'epicness' if they reach the upper levels, not just the Casters.

Exate wrote:Having Attacks as prerequisites promotes class differences, which means balance difficulties between classes and means that more work overall has to be done in design because each class needs their own skill tree with an equal number of skills to avoid stunting anyone's potential growth. Modified Attacks can be used for requirements but I was treating them as essentially their own "tree" in which the later levels are simply stacking more abilities on, while the passive abilities suggested each formed the starting point for a tree of more specialized abilities. We should clear up these design differences if possible.

I'm actively seeking to promote class differences, so that each class is desirable for a particular playing style, and also for interesting enemy creation. Warriors can concentrate either on wading into melee, striking and countering everything around them, or bulking up and acting as a wall behind which archers and casters can strike from safety. Spearmen will exist in a more supportive role, but should also be able to deal significant damage and have good tactical choices. Casters should be the most customizable, strongest at high levels, and squishiest. Fliers should present unique battlefield options. Archers should be less squishy concentrated death-dealers (who will be kill-stealing just about every round... :D).

Primarily what I'm looking for is feedback and suggestions. Would you want to play characters based on the trees provided? If you had to face enemies with access to the same abilities, at potentially higher levels, would you feel that they are given too unfair an advantage? Are there any exploitable combinations?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby ETheBoyce » Thu May 17, 2012 1:37 pm

From my view, at least assuming enemies have access to the same upgrades, physical options seem to far outclass caster options caster options now, especially for a Shockamancer.

Shield Mastery seems to be designed to completely screw me over, I already do less damage with my spells because of low combat/less dice, but now my ability to ignore defense(and I'm the only unit with that ability) is gone.

Shield Wall also is really strong, how exactly does a guy with a shield negate my ability to blast the guy behind him with magic? Not to mention it negates half the bonus of Eye of the Bull.

The Offensive options also allow noncaster units to outdamage Shockamancers. Hobobarbie is the same as Rapid Shot except it has a juice cost and ignores defense, but then archers also have a much higher combat score. Further the use of Envenom Weapon along with Blademaster/Rapid Shot give noncasters a much greater damage potential.

On the caster side of things;

The Healomancer spell Mass Ward has a wording error when it places a Lesser Ward on every unit in the stack, though the spell Lesser Ward does not exist so I assume you mean Minor Ward which makes the spell massively wasteful as it costs 35 juice while Minor Ward costs 2 juice and Ward costs 5 so a Caster could just cast Ward on everyone a turn before the battle and have everyone be twice as protected.

Luckamancy apparently no longer affects Shockamancy, which is a reasonable nerf, except when combined with all the other nerfs. Also the spell Fizzle ends halfway through the description.

Hippymancy and Croakamancy seems okay, though Treant/Bone Horror Stats would be nice.

Shockamancy has been nerfed majorly and is quite limited in spell selection compared to other casters. All other trees have at least 2 level 8 abilities, and 4Chan is really weak, I get 1d6 more damage and the ability to harm/stun my allies and an AOE size that probably only help when fighting unled stacks because I have such a low initiative order.

So yeah, Shockamancer buffs please.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu May 17, 2012 3:01 pm

ETheBoyce wrote:Shield Mastery seems to be designed to completely screw me over, I already do less damage with my spells because of low combat/less dice, but now my ability to ignore defense(and I'm the only unit with that ability) is gone.
Shield Mastery is only available to units level 4 and up, that have essentially concentrated on defense. Since the only other defense against a shockamancer is massive HP, I'm ok with this.

ETheBoyce wrote:Shield Wall also is really strong, how exactly does a guy with a shield negate my ability to blast the guy behind him with magic? Not to mention it negates half the bonus of Eye of the Bull.

Spells and attacks are RLOS - Ranged Line Of Sight. If you can't see him, you can't target him. Basically, the warrior/spearman has a huge shield.

ETheBoyce wrote:The Offensive options also allow noncaster units to outdamage Shockamancers. Hobobarbie is the same as Rapid Shot except it has a juice cost and ignores defense, but then archers also have a much higher combat score. Further the use of Envenom Weapon along with Blademaster/Rapid Shot give noncasters a much greater damage potential.

Defense increases with level just like combat does, so melee doesn't scale as much as it appears. I'd been assuming that shockamancers would be adding +2 combat / +1 Def each level, as well as picking up one or more Mighty Blow ranks to augment both their spells and their Fire basic attack (which costs no juice). Attack Modifiers don't work as well with other disciplines.

If you were to take +2 combat, all 5 Shockamancy spells, and 2 levels of Mighty Blow:

level 2: Hoboken, level 3: TooGeeWonSee, level 4: Ickypron, level 5: Hoboken, level 6: Mighty Blow, level 7: Mighty Blow, level 8: 4Chan

4Chan would do 23 Combat + 3d6 (avg. 11) = 34 pts of damage w/ no defense.
8th level archer: [Base 10 Combat / 3 Defense / 10 Hits. Fire. Special: Well-Armed], Level 8 (+14 Off), w/ 4 Might Blow (+12), Rapid Shot (x2), Boom! Head Shot, Envenomed Shot
Does 36 + 2d6 (ave. 7) = 43 damage x2. Significantly higher damage on a single target (86), but we have not factored in defense.

Now, let's build a tank: Heavy Warrior [Base 8 Combat / 9 Defense / 24 Hits. Attack. Special: Heavy.], level 8 (+7 Off / +14 Def / +28 Hp), with 7 AP: 4 Block (+12), Well-Protected (+3), Counter-Attack and Counter-Fury: 38 Defense.
Our archer, on the average, does (5 (x2) + 4) = 28 damage. Against a single target. Whereas you have done 34 to every target in a 5x5 hex, plus stunned them. (Change that to Shield Wall and Shield Mastery, and you have a situation where an archer might out-damage you, but you're still doing (34 - 23 [unmodified defense] = ) 11 damage. If you were to hit 3 targets that way, you still did, on average, more than the archer. Now, granted, 4Chan isn't a good idea against a pair of level 8 tanks due to the Juice cost, but you're still doing respectable damage against units that have been specifically designed to be protected against you.

ETheBoyce wrote:On the caster side of things; The Healomancer spell Mass Ward has a wording error when it places a Lesser Ward on every unit in the stack, though the spell Lesser Ward does not exist so I assume you mean Minor Ward which makes the spell massively wasteful as it costs 35 juice while Minor Ward costs 2 juice and Ward costs 5 so a Caster could just cast Ward on everyone a turn before the battle and have everyone be twice as protected.

Fixed to say 'Ward'. Also, wards drop after they've blocked X damage, so the ability to refresh everyone's ward with a single cast in combat has significant value.

ETheBoyce wrote:Also the spell Fizzle ends halfway through the description.
I was going to make a caster version of fumble, until I realized that only Shockamancy would be effected. Fizzle has been deleted.

ETheBoyce wrote:Hippymancy and Croakamancy seems okay, though Treant/Bone Horror Stats would be nice.
Assume for now that they're about equivalent to a 4th to 6th level character, with unique abilities.

ETheBoyce wrote:Shockamancy has been nerfed majorly and is quite limited in spell selection compared to other casters. All other trees have at least 2 level 8 abilities, and 4Chan is really weak, I get 1d6 more damage and the ability to harm/stun my allies and an AOE size that probably only help when fighting unled stacks because I have such a low initiative order.
Shockamancers are limited in spell selection to give them the ability to purchase attack modifiers, since only Shockamancers, of all the casters, can really benefit from them.

The warriors have already noticed the utility of formations with combined melee types. It's a safe bet you'll see them frequently, whether they're led or not, especially at that level. Shockamancers, by their nature, are also more likely to level faster than other casters, and probably faster than anyone but Archers.

In conclusion, I'm not convinced that Shockamancers are underpowered after this revision. The combination of ignoring defense (for all but rare units) and stunning in a single attack that can hit multiple defenders is still the single most significant offensive ability, bar none.
Last edited by MarbitChow on Thu May 17, 2012 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu May 17, 2012 3:08 pm

That said, I do have reservations about Shield Wall. Does anyone else have an idea for a shield-based or block-based ability they'd like to see?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby ETheBoyce » Thu May 17, 2012 3:44 pm

The Tank wouldn't need both Shield Wall and Shield Mastery, just Shield Mastery and the archer would outdamage the Shockamancer as the Shockamancer would, on average, do no damage at all. Further a Level 8 Shockamancer can cast 4Chan exactly once a turn, and multiple targets are only a factor if there are any in the 5x5 square, and then none of my allies had better be amongst them otherwise they'll get hit and stunned as well!

This of course also leaves out the benefits of Leadership, which is actually quadrupled for the archer, a level 2 Leader will put the average damage of the Archer over that of the Shockamancer against the target without Shield Mastery, further the archer will get to act first which if they are an enemy could easily negate the advantage of stun if they shoot me to death before I can cast a spell.

Also Stun is not an offensive ability, it is a defensive ability; it does not cause or aid in causing damage, it prevents enemies from doing damage. I am not a fan of Shield Mastery because for 2 AP any unit can turn a Shockamancer from an offensive threat into a support unit, actually making me less effective as the campaign goes on.

As for Shield Wall, I'd say instead of being able to block LOS it adds to the cover bonus (say +8), and for those units with Eye of the Bull it returns the cover penalty to normal (+4)
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu May 17, 2012 4:02 pm

I've updated Shield Mastery to require Shield Wall, which is what I originally intended... Also nerfed the Shield * abilities a bit.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri May 18, 2012 10:58 am

Huge disclaimer: the following post is fueled by nerd-rage, envy and resentment. It is a distraction from a system that, whatever warts it may have, just needs to be played as we should rather attempt to have fun than being bogged down in the minutiae. If for some inexplicable reason you still want to waste your time with this, read on ... (end disclaimer, begin disclaimed content)

Right-o, so I was seeing the fact that leadership offers the unit with it 1XP for every kill their stack makes; since one kill is worth 2XP, this got me truly and properly pissed off.

Also, I'm so pissed off at kill stealing that I started doing it myself; with a bit of luck, it will be Will's arrow, not T. Coil's spell, to lay a spearman to rest.

I'm so pissed off in fact, that I suggest an alternative. Award the XP for the kill randomly.

Let it sink in. Then think about it.

Say I kill an enemy unit. It's very easy to implement a random enough die roll that's also transparently repeatable (previous games from LTDave used such a system), and say, that roll decides that T. Coil gets the XPs from the kill. And that's fine. Everyone in our stack had the same odds of getting them.

Including the Healer. Including anyone who's not, prima facie, offensive.

And as an added bonus, kill steal all you like. It's irrelevant in this system.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Swodaems » Fri May 18, 2012 11:19 am

MarbitChow wrote:Basic Attacks
Attack: Deal Combat+2d6 Hits of damage to an adjacent opponent, reduced by their Defense.
Strike: Deal Combat+2d6 Hits of damage to an opponent who is either adjacent or separated by one rank, reduced by their Defense.
Fire: Deal Combat+2d6 Hits of damage to any opponent on screen that they have clear line-of-site* to, reduced by their Defense.
* : Ranged Line-of-site limit will be referred to as RLOS

[i][b]Base Stats: 1 Combat / 1 Defense / 4 Hits / Attack

Warrior (Costs 1 AP): Unit gains +4 Combat / +4 Defense / +10 Hits. 1 Additional AP at levels 2, 4, 6, 8.
Spearman (Costs 1 AP): Unit gains +4 Combat / +3 Defense / +8 Hits / Strike. 1 Additional AP at levels 2, 4, 6, 8.
Archer (Costs 2 AP): Unit gains +6 Combat / +2 Defense / +6 Hits / Fire. 1 Additional AP at levels 2, 4, 6, 8.
Flier (Costs 4 AP): Unit can fly. Unit gains +3 Combat / +3 Defense / +4 Hits / Fire. 1 Additional AP every level.
Caster (Costs 4 AP): Unit gains +2 Combat / Fire. Unit can select 1 Caster-like ability each level. Gains 8 Juice per level.
At levels 3, 6, and 9, casters gain a bonus caster-like ability. Casters do not gain any additional AP upon leveling.


As written, the rules state that everyone has the Attack ability. Does that still apply now that the attack ability is a prerequisite to other abilities?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Werebiscuit » Fri May 18, 2012 11:24 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Huge disclaimer: the following post is fueled by nerd-rage, envy and resentment. It is a distraction from a system that, whatever warts it may have, just needs to be played as we should rather attempt to have fun than being bogged down in the minutiae. If for some inexplicable reason you still want to waste your time with this, read on ... (end disclaimer, begin disclaimed content)

Right-o, so I was seeing the fact that leadership offers the unit with it 1XP for every kill their stack makes; since one kill is worth 2XP, this got me truly and properly pissed off.

Also, I'm so pissed off at kill stealing that I started doing it myself; with a bit of luck, it will be Will's arrow, not T. Coil's spell, to lay a spearman to rest.



Having twice so far had my opponent taken after doing the major damage AND TAKING DAMAGE in THE PROCESS I can see where you're coming from with this.
I'm not sure it's the answer though it does have it's merits. However there may be IC repercusions for kill stealing that you've not considered.

e.g. in LTDave's game francoise is laughing that Tim our healer is now about to go nose to nose with the Hay'ta champion
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