Context: Divergent Thought
I spent most of this week's session codifying the rules. Since I'm trying to get used to the platform and make sure that I've got something worthwhile to offer before I ask anyone for any money, I'll try to attach them to the Patreon post. In theory they shouldn't be restricted to supporters or anything, hopefully that'll work out. The rules are not particularly exciting, as a lot of the gameplay emerges from the hunter lists and monsters, so I'll throw up a couple of those too.
These are very much a first draft and still in flux, but it should give me a basis to introduce people to the game and get some feedback. It's still pretty rough and ready though, I've had some cool moments with it that convince me that it's worthwhile to develop but it's nowhere near polished enough for a general release.
I also had the Wizard's Academy prototype models lying around so I thought it might be fun to cook up a faction that uses them. As always, each different group you can play as is supposed to have some "difference in kind" to make sure that they actually encourage you to play differently. In this case it's the "Share glyphs" mechanic.
The premise is simple: Each character's main attack is a spell, characters can combine spells to benefit from both of their effects. Nyvetta has a 2-4 dice attack, which is likely to hit, but unexciting. Flitter has a 1 dice attack that'll probably miss but carries the powerful "stun" special. If they're next to each other they can unleash a combined attack that combines a high number of dice with the useful special. As such positioning your characters cleverly is rewarded with powerful attacks that let you quickly cripple dangerous opponents.
At least that was the plan.
In practice it's tough to make characters stay adjacent in a turn based system, since there's no way to move them together. It's also the first special defining feature that's been uniquely offensive - the zombies can be used as meaty shields and the soul users can call upon the souls of dead allies to negate hits. It turns out that I've unconsciously balanced the monsters against special defences and given regular defences...
...well against the dragon they all died. All of them. Without even piercing its skin.
The slime demon was a little nicer, partly because the golem being immune to poison let it soak up a lot of its attacks and Nyvetta's medic special meant she could keep it going for some time. They managed to break through the demons pustules and cripple its legs - however at that point the golem finally went down and everyone else followed within a turn or two.
The bottom line is that this group isn't really on a par with the others. Whether this means I need to ensure that every new group has some kind of special defence, or whether it just means that I need to kick their offensive bonuses up a notch and make things a little more rocket tag I'm not sure.
I think I'd like to try to avoid having a schema that all new factions must match, since part of the joy of the game is that it should play differently depending on what sort of monster hunters you have. So that gives me my mission for next week: Tinker with this group to make it playable without resorting to matching the other groups special defences.