New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

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

Postby Exate » Mon May 21, 2012 11:08 am

The new rules seem mostly good. There are of course comments, though.

Lunge: At 4th level, a Spearman can make a Strike against a unit behind their primary target as well. Cannot be used with Sweep.
Is this meant to mean that, if the Spearman attacks a unit 2 squares away, their Strike can also affect a unit 3 squares away? It reads as though it can.

Only one type of Attack Modifier can be used by a unit each round.
Why was this added? It reduces tactical flexibility significantly, and reduces the incentive to diversify since it's impossible to splash modifiers that you've only got one of or mix and match to negate penalties.

[Requires Leadership, Support, Coordinate] Empathic Leadership (1 AP) - You can use Support and Coordinate on any single unit in your stack at any range. The unit does not need to be adjacent to you.
Is there a reason that there's no mirrored defensive ability here? Also, given that Support and Coordinate can't be used simultaneously, my guess is that the only reason a unit would take both is to meet this prerequisite. Was that intentional on your part? If not, consider making this an "or" prerequisite instead of an "and".

[Requires Guard, Interpose, Block] Bodyguard (1 AP)- Half of the Hits inflicted upon a target (rounded up), from any source, that this unit is Guarding is inflicted upon this unit instead. If two units with Bodyguard are guarding the same target, that target takes no damage, the Guarding units absorb the damage instead. The attack on the guarded unit is calculated as normal, but all hits inflicted are distributed to the bodyguards instead. Cannot be used with any Attack Modifiers. (Note: Since damage is rounded up, odd Hits will deal more damage to paired bodyguards. Example : 9 Hits are split as 5 Hits each to 2 bodyguards.)
As written, this ability does absolutely nothing, because it says both
that this unit is Guarding
and
Cannot be used with any Attack Modifiers
Guard is, of course, an attack modifier and thus cannot be used with this ability, yet this ability does nothing unless a unit is using Guard to trigger it. This needs a bit of rewriting to make the ability reflect its apparent intent. Also, if the ability triggers off Guard, why does it require all three of Guard, Interpose, and Block? This is another case of "no one would take all three unless specifically trying to fulfill these prerequisites" since they can only be used one at a time.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Mon May 21, 2012 11:45 am

Exate wrote:
Lunge: At 4th level, a Spearman can make a Strike against a unit behind their primary target as well. Cannot be used with Sweep.
Is this meant to mean that, if the Spearman attacks a unit 2 squares away, their Strike can also affect a unit 3 squares away? It reads as though it can.

I'll add an additional qualifier stating that the primary target must be adjacent to the Spearman.

Exate wrote:
Only one type of Attack Modifier can be used by a unit each round.
Why was this added? It reduces tactical flexibility significantly, and reduces the incentive to diversify since it's impossible to splash modifiers that you've only got one of or mix and match to negate penalties.

Since Attack Modifiers act as maneuvers, the intention is that you can't perform two maneuvers simultaneously. The abilities Shield Mastery and Reckless Assault allow for additional combinations, like Block / Reckless Assault, so that if you've specialized in Mighty Blow, you can start using it's effect type in other combinations. If there's interest, I'll consider adding abilities for the other Attack Modifiers as well, but my intent is to encourage specialization, just like for casters.

Exate wrote:
[Requires Leadership, Support, Coordinate] Empathic Leadership (1 AP) - You can use Support and Coordinate on any single unit in your stack at any range. The unit does not need to be adjacent to you.
Is there a reason that there's no mirrored defensive ability here? Also, given that Support and Coordinate can't be used simultaneously, my guess is that the only reason a unit would take both is to meet this prerequisite. Was that intentional on your part? If not, consider making this an "or" prerequisite instead of an "and".

Defensive abilities don't make sense at range, since you can't interpose your shield or body on the target you're coordinating with unless they're near you.
The intent was to make them both a prerequisite, but I'll consider making them conditional; you may be correct in that the prereq is too costly for this ability.

Exate wrote:
[Requires Guard, Interpose, Block] Bodyguard (1 AP)- Half of the Hits inflicted upon a target (rounded up), from any source, that this unit is Guarding is inflicted upon this unit instead. If two units with Bodyguard are guarding the same target, that target takes no damage, the Guarding units absorb the damage instead. The attack on the guarded unit is calculated as normal, but all hits inflicted are distributed to the bodyguards instead. Cannot be used with any Attack Modifiers. (Note: Since damage is rounded up, odd Hits will deal more damage to paired bodyguards. Example : 9 Hits are split as 5 Hits each to 2 bodyguards.)
As written, this ability does absolutely nothing, because it says both
that this unit is Guarding
and
Cannot be used with any Attack Modifiers
Guard is, of course, an attack modifier and thus cannot be used with this ability, yet this ability does nothing unless a unit is using Guard to trigger it. This needs a bit of rewriting to make the ability reflect its apparent intent. Also, if the ability triggers off Guard, why does it require all three of Guard, Interpose, and Block? This is another case of "no one would take all three unless specifically trying to fulfill these prerequisites" since they can only be used one at a time.

I'll update this so that it's clear that the "Guarding" action is in fact the "Bodyguarding" action, not the attack modifier of the same name. And, since this ability is very potent, the intent is that these are requirements for the build. A warrior could fulfill the requirements for this at 2nd level if they chose to, but they'd have to be dedicated to it.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Exate » Mon May 21, 2012 12:20 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Since Attack Modifiers act as maneuvers, the intention is that you can't perform two maneuvers simultaneously. The abilities Shield Mastery and Reckless Assault allow for additional combinations, like Block / Reckless Assault, so that if you've specialized in Mighty Blow, you can start using it's effect type in other combinations. If there's interest, I'll consider adding abilities for the other Attack Modifiers as well, but my intent is to encourage specialization, just like for casters.
I don't see why one shouldn't be able to use two attack modifiers simultaneously. As people pick up more modified attacks, their overall performance in combat improves and can diversify- to protecting an ally while still keeping themselves well-protected, or using strong attacks without providing their enemies with obvious openings. Being able to do that was one of the better points about the modified attack system and it is worsened by throwing that away.

As currently written, anyone interested in attempting a balanced style rather than going all-out for offense or defense has to pour all their level-up points into either Combat or Defense, then take the attack modifiers which boost the other ability so that the bonuses counteract each other- and it still will only partially work. That seems a really clumsy thing to force people into. If you think "encouraging specialization" by shoving people toward becoming one-trick ponies somehow makes the game mechanically smoother or will provide the participants with more fun, please explain how because I'm just not seeing how it's in any way positive.

MarbitChow wrote:Defensive abilities don't make sense at range, since you can't interpose your shield or body on the target you're coordinating with unless they're near you.
You can't exactly coordinate an attack or smack the enemy to help out unless they're near you, either. The reason these are on the Leadership tree is because they represent directly shouting orders and advice, right? You can shout commands relevant to defense as easily as those relevant to offense. This would be particularly effective in an Erfworld setting, in fact, because issuing orders produces an immediate and instinctive physical response.

Although thinking on this, the Support and Coordinate abilities require that you be attacking the same enemy as the person you're assisting. As I initially read it Empathic Leadership was intended to allow someone to circumvent that requirement, but upon rereading all it really does is allow for a melee warlord to flank or get fire support more effectively, or for a ranged warlord to support/coordinate with melee troops or other ranged units in different positions. Was that your intent with it?

MarbitChow wrote:And, since this ability is very potent, the intent is that these are requirements for the build. A warrior could fulfill the requirements for this at 2nd level if they chose to, but they'd have to be dedicated to it.
Requiring a stack of prerequisites which would never otherwise be taken and which become largely unusable chaff as soon as the final power is in place leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Mon May 21, 2012 12:27 pm

I've updated the rules at the beginning of the thread. I've clarified Bodyguard and the Spearman penetrating attack, and removed the restriction "only one" on Attack Modifiers. Except for any clarifications and corrections that might be discovered, rules are now final. Next scenario will be posted tonight.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Mon May 21, 2012 12:42 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Dammit, BLAND! You should know by now I've got a compulsion to argue... you shouldn't encourage it.


That makes two of us, which is always a recipe for happy times :roll:

So anyway, let's kidnap some Healers!!1123
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 Exate » Mon May 21, 2012 12:56 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:So anyway, let's kidnap some Healers!!1123
Do we actually have rules that allow us to capture rather than kill enemies? In any situation where we have the upper hand I would consider beating our enemies into unconsciousness and attempting to turn them into minions, seeing as we seem rather short on minions at the moment. It's been said that we can turn people but I don't see mechanics other than Hippymancy to support it anywhere.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Mon May 21, 2012 1:27 pm

You will have additional minions in the next scenario, when you merge with the main force of darkness.

There is no official "mechanic" for capturing particular units currently, at least in the middle of combat, but I'll point out that if the enemy has no leadership, they will not be able to surrender. If they are being lead, you'll probably want to convince them that they've got no chance to survive unless they give up. Shouting "Surrender", withholding all attacks, and withstanding their entire attack sequence without taking significant damage is one way to do so.
Last edited by MarbitChow on Mon May 21, 2012 1:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Exate » Mon May 21, 2012 1:31 pm

MarbitChow wrote:There is no official "mechanic" for capturing particular units currently, at least in the middle of combat, but I'll point out that if the enemy has no leadership, they will not be able to surrender. If they are being lead, you'll probably want to convince them that they've got no chance to survive unless they give up. Shouting "Surrender", withholding all attacks, and withstanding their entire attack sequence without taking significant damage is one way to do so.
That sounds rather clumsy. Whatever happened to the elegant solution of beating your foes into unconsciousness? They don't need to willingly surrender if we can forcibly capture them.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Mon May 21, 2012 1:48 pm

I've updated the Incapacitated rules so that the unit survives until the end of combat, so you will be able to capture heroic units in this manner if you have a healmancer handy.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby ETheBoyce » Mon May 21, 2012 2:04 pm

Mwahahaha, with minions I shall be the much more effective!
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Mon May 21, 2012 2:50 pm

Exate wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:So anyway, let's kidnap some Healers!!1123
Do we actually have rules that allow us to capture rather than kill enemies?


I was referring to something MarbitChow let slip, about how a future scenario may involve our merry band of mischief makers in the pursuit of capturing healers, because The Darkness needs Wo- I mean, Healers.
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 WaterMonkey314 » Mon May 21, 2012 3:31 pm

A clarification for XP and high-level Healomancers - would they still get XP from Wards as if they were Hits healed (since Wards are absorbing damage, it's the same net effect as healing - just proactive).

Also, if I name my primary discipline as Healomancy and pick up some extra spells in Croakamancy, can I benefit from the XPs my minions gain?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Mon May 21, 2012 3:47 pm

WaterMonkey314 wrote:A clarification for XP and high-level Healomancers - would they still get XP from Wards as if they were Hits healed (since Wards are absorbing damage, it's the same net effect as healing - just proactive).

No. If you have Wards, you'll typically be able to cast them before combat, on a previous turn when you're safe, and still go into the fight with full juice. Doing things without risk doesn't earn rewards. You'll already have an advantage over almost everyone else on the field in that you can get guaranteed XP just about every round, and you still have the option to Fire or even pick up Hiya...

WaterMonkey314 wrote:Also, if I name my primary discipline as Healomancy and pick up some extra spells in Croakamancy, can I benefit from the XPs my minions gain?

No, this is a unique feature of the Croakamancers. They don't get xp when they heal (although they can use healmancy to heal uncroaked, which you can't), and you don't get XP from uncroaked kills. All of the listed benefits shown for the disciplines under casters only kick in if that's your primary discipline.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Werebiscuit » Sun May 27, 2012 5:30 am

Marbit...This isn't a complaint as I'm enjoying the "Darkness Rising" campaign. Merely a plea to re-examine the levelling process or experience. I have no doubt that the casters will finish one of the gumps in the coming turn and level in the process probably levelling Tod too.

This means that we will possibly have a 4th level leader (~20xp)and 3rd level caster (~10 xp) before Rolf has earned more than 3 xp. Yes, I had a couple of below average rolls so did not finish off 2 possible 1-shot kills and had to argue my case to enable me to get a 3rd before it was "stolen". In fact, I do believe, I also resorted to kill-stealing to ensure some XP. But even had I killed every opponent faced solo so far I'd only have 7 xp same as Yuri.I'm not arguing for just myself as Yuri is almost in the same situation and Will not so far off.

As the 2 "warrior characters" putting ourselves "out there" without any further protection than our hit points totals ( I did not include Will as he is safe from Gumps and arrows for the moment) Yuri & I are not seeing the same return for our efforts which 'in part' provide protection for those characters reaping the benefits. I'm sure Yuri Feels the same.

Both Yuri and I are slightly disadvantaged in that we cannot deal damage from a distance and thus MUST put our hit point totals on the line to gain any experience. Which we have done. Yes the others are in the same or worse situation if it gets to melee but they usually have the chance that they or others will take out an opponent before it gets to that stage. We do not.

I'm not sure what you could do to "level the playing field" but would like to suggest that damage taken might be worth some experience on say a 1xp :10 Hits ratio ?
Having taken 12 hits so far he'd only be 1xp better off but at least he'd be seeing some reward for putting his body on the line.
The healer gets xp for curing damage...shouldn't the tanks get some for taking it ?

I'm not sure what could be done for Will say damage delivered at the same or a similar rate ?

Anyway...enjoying the campaign and will keep playing regardless.

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

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sun May 27, 2012 7:20 am

My own pet peeve- but it's not rustling my jimmies nearly as much as last time- is that a high combat unit like Will is pretty much guaranteed, under the current system, to have its kills stolen unless it can one-shot-kill.

Because under the current system, Will gets the first shot on a meaty opponent like a Gump, guaranteed not enough to croak it, meanwhile the lowly unit with "1C", that gets its hit via scroll way back in the queue, after everyone else, gets the kill and the XP.

And this is impossible to justify by "making it easier for lower level units to catch up", as the warrior situation shows. The game is showing itself to be "warriors linear, sorcerers quadratic" only worse, as originally feared, because of various factors.

One, the warrior characters are kinda redundant when you've got 8 BURWs around.

Two, crucially, the Casters are way more powerful than "they've got a right to be" at low levels because of scrolls. It's one thing to say, oh, a caster is balanced because they need to level up a lot to get Nifty Spell X. But if you give them Spell X from the get-go in the form of a scroll, that kinda loses its punch.
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 BLANDCorporatio » Sun May 27, 2012 7:21 am

Werebiscuit wrote: Having taken 12 hits so far he'd only be 1xp better off but at least he'd be seeing some reward for putting his body on the line.
The healer gets xp for curing damage...shouldn't the tanks get some for taking it ?

I'm not sure what could be done for Will say damage delivered at the same or a similar rate ?
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*cough*

There IS a system in which all of this goes away. It's been presented in this thread in fact. It's simple and elegant.

Also apparently wrong, as these things often turn out to be.

But it exists. Simple. And elegant. EDIT: Heck, I'd like to try it out, but with MarbitChow's and LTDave's games happening at once, I think it's not a good idea to have game number 3, Disciples of Erfworld* running around just now. But SOON.

*: a blatant Disciples rip-off rules-wise, set in the Erfworld uhm world.
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 MarbitChow » Sun May 27, 2012 7:50 am

The lack of leveling for the front line has been bothering me as well. Short of Tod ordering the casters to let the front line get the kills, there's not much that can be done in-game during this round. However, while ranged attacks tend to dominate the first few rounds, this session is far from over. There is already a potential reward available to Yuri or Rolf in this scenario that no one else can claim.

Ranged attackers by there nature will be able to gain XP fairly easily. The XP from Leadership is the only XP Tod has gained so far; he'd still be at 0 xp if it weren't for that. XP should be a reward for playing your role, and the role of a heavy is meat-shield, so I could see introducing an XP bonus to the Heavy ability, something on the order of 1 XP for every 10 damage taken, in the same manner that Bodyguard gets. That means that a heavy bodyguard would get a double bonus. I've got no objections to that. I'm also toying with the idea of dance-fighting as a mechanic to level up the lowest XP character in the formation, but you've got to be able to level before you can take that, so that doesn't solve the immediate issue.

I don't want to give too much away about the next 2 scenarios, but I'm committed to making sure everyone has fun, and gets a chance to level at least once or twice before I kill them.

I refuse to consider random XP. In scenarios where there are many units on both sides, it makes it unlikely that the PCs will gain ANY xp. And the only reason the casters will probably survive this scenario at all is that I introduced Brickabats into the equation, and had the A-* archers spend their initial action testing testing how hard it would be to stop the ram formation. With the bats gone, casters are only 1 or 2 shots away from death, so if those archers aren't cleared out, things are going to get ugly for them...
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sun May 27, 2012 8:01 am

MarbitChow wrote:Ranged attackers by there nature will be able to gain XP fairly easily.


Game says otherwise. To wit-

MarbitChow wrote:The XP from Leadership is the only XP Tod has gained so far; he'd still be at 0 xp if it weren't for that.


Be that as it may, it's the most XP gained by anyone, or thereabouts. The fact that he can just as well hang around doing nothing while still getting XP is not an argument that the system is somehow decent.

MarbitChow wrote:I refuse to consider random XP. In scenarios where there are many units on both sides, it makes it unlikely that the PCs will gain ANY xp.


Refuse to consider random all you like. You're introducing loads of byzantine rules as to what gains a character XPs. You're adding bodyguard xp, heavy xp now for tanks, you're imagining out of the blue a reward for the warriors as a quick fix to a broken warrior levelling up mechanic ...

As you said, it's your game, and you make the rules. Just saying that when I'll run a campaign, I will consider "random" XP (and/or Disciples' "equal share to the survivors after the battle", which the "random" system was put in place to expediate).
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 Werebiscuit » Sun May 27, 2012 8:38 am

MarbitChow wrote: *snip*...and the role of a heavy is meat-shield, so I could see introducing an XP bonus to the Heavy ability, something on the order of 1 XP for every 10 damage taken, in the same manner that Bodyguard gets. That means that a heavy bodyguard would get a double bonus. I've got no objections to that.


Can I just clarify...I don't think it would be a double bonus, just 2 ways of earning the same bonus. They can either take the hits for their companion by being the target or take the hits for their companion by using the bodyguard ability... they would not take double the hits.

MarbitChow wrote:I don't want to give too much away about the next 2 scenarios, but I'm committed to making sure everyone has fun, and gets a chance to level at least once or twice before I kill them.
.


Good to hear...
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Exate » Sun May 27, 2012 1:06 pm

Issues with XP distribution:
-Giving XP based upon kills while then making it difficult or impossible for some units to kill things (i.e. melee units in a scenario when virtually all enemies are unreachably atop the walls) logically means that it will be difficult or impossible for those units to gain XP. Essentially, any siege scenario is going to massively favor ranged units over melee units, while field battles level the playing field at least somewhat.
-As it stands, the Leadership ability basically means that anyone with Leadership gains XP in quantities that approach the number of enemy units on the field. That would be fine... if XP was given on a totally different scale, so that "the number of enemy units on the field in XP" didn't mean "levels three or four times as fast as any other unit". If kills were worth three or four times as much XP, then the 1 XP bonus wouldn't dominate so much.
-Ranged units can deal just as much or even more damage than melee units, meaning that they can gain XP faster regardless, and of course also have more opportunities to do so since they don't need to worry about maneuver. It means that the primary role for melee units becomes "stand there and don't let anything reach me while I work" for the ranged people. A miss chance might remedy this a bit.

Because the XP distribution is so lopsided, I find myself hoping a bit that all the casters and our warlord get themselves shot up as priority targets. It's not really a team player emotion, I know, but it's there.

MarbitChow wrote:XP should be a reward for playing your role, and the role of a heavy is meat-shield, so I could see introducing an XP bonus to the Heavy ability, something on the order of 1 XP for every 10 damage taken
In my interpretation, the role of the Heavy is not "meat shield" but rather "assault", the unit which charges into the enemy and starts beating their skulls in. Heavies are supposed to kill things- lots of things- not stand around tanking. Damage dealt is meant to be their role- the ability to take damage is only there in support of that. Of course, that presupposes a battlefield where ranged units aren't king.

Also, 1 XP for 10 damage will never amount to anything significant. 1 XP for 2 damage would be more appropriate for something like that, or for the Bodyguard ability. Consider how common it is for these triggers to come into play when you make them- the XP from Leadership is a constant stream of little XP bits; if you want something that happens less often to provide XP, you'd best make sure that it provides a worthwhile quantity when it does happen.
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