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Subject: Some novel "build your own heroes" in a Sea of Blood campaign rss

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Michael Hancock-Parmer
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The Current Campaign
We are nearing the end of Copper and things seem to be going well enough - the heroes and overlord are about equal in conquest. Captain Bones has called in the Siren to start collecting keys for his lighthouse laser. The party has collected one key and is holding onto it. The Siren recently took back the first key and will soon depart to grab the third. My wife and I are playing two heroes apiece with our friend Joe as Overlord.

Our Heroes
Brother Jerome is a member of a religious order shrouded in mystery. He is a bit of a mix -- his Hero Ability allows him to spend 2 fatigue during his activation to roll a red die and a green die and heal himself or an adjacent hero the number of wounds shown on the die. The really interesting bit is that his order forbids using magical runes, bladed weapons, and ranged weapons -- essentially, he is allowed only to use the staff weapons with reach [Walking Stick to start, moving to Shillelagh, then Bo stick, then Longspear]. In addition, he is officially a "magic" oriented hero, so his weapon actually rolls a white die instead of a red. All that means he is still pretty capable of manning (magic) cannons. However, his skill points are in melee, since his weapon/attack are essentially melee.
Stats:
12 wounds 4 fatigue 2 armor 4 speed 4 Conquest
3 magic trait dice, 3 melee skill
Starting Skill: Tough
Iza Turkois is the forgotten scion of a long-vanished house, born with a sword-shaped birthmark on her cheek foretelling her destiny to oppose the evil that vanquished her ancestors. She has learned that Captain Bones is somehow responsible and has gathered the other heroes together. She is the Captain of the Revenge. She's also the closest thing we have to a "normal" hero in the party. Her hero ability is related to Ispher's. She has Regeneration 1, is immune to poison, may reroll trap rolls, and her attacks have Daze.
12 wounds 4 fatigue 1 armor 4 speed 4 Conquest
3 melee trait, 3 melee skill
Starting Skill: Captain
Sadak Bek is the eight son of a minor sultan, a descendant of the Oceanic Ruler of the Grassy Sea, and sent by his people to fight the machinations of Captain Bones. His special ability stems from his name, which translates as "Lord of Bows." He has +2 damage against magic monsters and can spend 2 fatigue before firing a ranged weapon to use "Split Arrow," allowing him to strike two monsters adjacent to each other within his line of sight.
12 wounds 4 fatigue 1 armor 5 speed 4 Conquest
3 ranged trait, 3 subterfuge skill
Starting Skill: Gunner
Thérèse Elain is the product of my wife's love of Furr the Spirit Wolf, normally not allowed in Sea of Blood. She is a magic user whose magic ability is merely have Furr as her familiar/companion.
12 wounds 4 fatigue 0 armor 3 Conquest
3 magic trait, 3 magic skill
Starting Skill: Alex the Wise

Where We Are Now
The party is expecting an epic sea battle at the end of the campaign and has already begun upgrading the Revenge -- something we rarely did in our previous campaign against the Mistress of Serpents. We have purchased several cannons, the Galley upgrade, and the Reaper Figurehead. We're currently in a dungeon collecting loot to buy Elven Sails and hopefully the Dead Man's Compass to allow us to reach the Secret Training Area before the end of Copper. The Skill/Weapon Loadout at the moment looks like this:
Brother Jerome: Tough, using the Shillelagh
Iza Turkois: Captain, using the Bone Blade with a Crystal Shield
Sadak Bek: Gunner, Born to the Bow, using the Magic Bow
Thérèse: Alex the Wise, Crack Shot, using Immolation

Brother Jerome and Iza are still able to absorb some damage, but Captain Bones has already upgraded his Eldritch and of course bought the Death's Head upgrade, so now we have to worry about tough skeletons that can explode. Fortunately, Sadak Bek has already come into his own with the Magic Bow, while Thérèse's weakness is usually somewhat negated by her companion Furr.
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duhtch
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miflhanc wrote:
Brother Jerome is a member of a religious order shrouded in mystery. He is a bit of a mix -- his Hero Ability allows him to spend 2 fatigue during his activation to roll a red die and a green die and heal himself or an adjacent hero the number of wounds shown on the die. The really interesting bit is that his order forbids using magical runes, bladed weapons, and ranged weapons -- essentially, he is allowed only to use the staff weapons with reach [Walking Stick to start, moving to Shillelagh, then Bo stick, then Longspear]. In addition, he is officially a "magic" oriented hero, so his weapon actually rolls a white die instead of a red. All that means he is still pretty capable of manning (magic) cannons. However, his skill points are in melee, since his weapon/attack are essentially melee.
Stats:
12 wounds 4 fatigue 2 armor 4 speed 4 Conquest
3 magic trait dice, 3 melee skill
Starting Skill: Tough


It would seem to me that Jerome could use a Staff, (Screaming Eagle Staff, Staff of Punishment) since it is not a rune or a ranged weapon. If this is not the intention, then you might want to change it to not being able to use Magical weapons instead of runes.
 
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Michael Hancock-Parmer
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Indeed, Joel -- we have been trying to implement Brother Jerome's weapon-specific rule. Initially I merely wrote "only able to use weapons with 'Reach' characteristic," but that seems a little silly to write down in a narrative, since it uses a game mechanic. What I mean is that there are weapons that say "staff," but which are magic-distance attacks, like the Staff of Punishment. I really intended him to be more the type to attack with a physical staff.
 
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duhtch
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So melee weapon with a Reach capability. There are 3 types of attacks, Melee, Magic, Ranged. I am not trying to be too technical, but if others want to use your creations, it would be nice to tidy up.

I think saying only able to use 'Reach' weapons are perfectly fine and easily able to understand.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Nice.

Any particular reason they are all (with the exception of Iza, who fits precisely within the existing paradigm at the same slightly overpriced (round up?) position as several existing heroes) overpriced in CT?
 
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Michael Hancock-Parmer
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I imagine once the campaign is finished we'll discuss how much, if any, to change the stats of the heroes for single quest play. The Conquest Value was set in discussion with the Overlord player. Sadak Bek may get moved from 4 Conquest to 3, but he's quite survivable in that he's generally far in the back or otherwise in a corner. Therese was only 2 Conquest originally, but the OL thought bringing Furr's armor-ignoring attack into the game warranted a Conquest increase. Now I think he was right - there have been already two situations where the heroes would have run from monsters with high armor/strong attacks where Furr was just the thing for the job.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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miflhanc wrote:
I imagine once the campaign is finished we'll discuss how much, if any, to change the stats of the heroes for single quest play. The Conquest Value was set in discussion with the Overlord player. Sadak Bek may get moved from 4 Conquest to 3, but he's quite survivable in that he's generally far in the back or otherwise in a corner. Therese was only 2 Conquest originally, but the OL thought bringing Furr's armor-ignoring attack into the game warranted a Conquest increase. Now I think he was right - there have been already two situations where the heroes would have run from monsters with high armor/strong attacks where Furr was just the thing for the job.


Really?
Well, that is a difference between SoB and RtL - the heroes really don't want to flee as often.
But Furr is usually seen as very weak, especially in ACs where he does not upgrade with levels. An average of less than 2W per turn (once he gets there!) is a rather small effect when bosses routinely have 20+W.
And especially when the owner must stay in LOS for Furr to attack, meaning there is generally some risk involved to the heroes.

The other thing is that Conquest increase is almost never given for powerful abilities, only for how difficult it is to kill (ie defensive abilities). Laurel of Bloodwood is the only apparent exception to this.

I do note that all 4 heroes are 'pure' though.

Noy knocking your choices, its obviously working fine for you. Just noting that you are a long way away from the accepted wisdom, and curious why?
Maybe its a group dynamic thing? Certainly as an OL I would be salivating over those CT values, though probably equally a bit dubious about the Healing ability - those were taken out of ACs, until the Mark reintroduced it, and the Marks are classic examples of not-having-a-clue design.
 
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Retired Hurt

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I think that Nara and One Fist, too, have been given 1 extra CT for their attack ability.
Those 12-2 characters are worth 4 CT, which usually is for 16-2's, or 16-1's with good personals (Buldar, Karnon, Hawthorne).

The problem I can envision, with heroes who are restricted to a narrow class of weapons, is that the OL might concentrate on destroying the non-shop ones, meaning the hero will quickly become too weak. Such restrictions should be prompted, rather than being forced, e.g. if you or use a weapon out of the predilection category, you can't use surges.

Perhaps, being a battling monk, Brother Jerome should have enhanced bare-hand combat abilities (like surge = 1 damage).
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Merrimac wrote:
I think that Nara, too, has been given 1 extra CT for her attack ability.


No, 12/2 is always 4CT, though its probably always borderline. 12/1 is 3CT. 16/2 and 12/2 are 4CT, 16/1 can go either way.
Laurel is the only hero definitely out of her proper classicfication. Well, Ispher too, but thats an overestimation of the defensive value of his special, certainly ot a compensation for offensive power.

Quote:
The problam I can envision, with heroes who are restricted to a narrow class of weapons, is that the OL might concentrate on destroying the non-shop ones, meaning the hero will quickly become too weak. Such restrictions should be prompted, rather than being forced, e.g. if you use a weapon out of the predilection category, you can't use surges.


Agreed. A bonus for a certain class is better than a penalty, and if there is a penalty it should be small. Too restrictive leads to either the importance of luck in the draw or too much power in CB.
 
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Retired Hurt

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What about Gherinn ? He has a strong personal, too.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Merrimac wrote:
What about Gherinn ? He has a strong personal, too.


I tend to ignore the promos - they are different for the sake of difference. And Gherinn is perhaps 'underpriced' because his special hurts him defensively, certainly not overpriced because of his offensive power.
 
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Retired Hurt

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Thinking about it, I feel there should be such a thing as 1/2-CT values.
All of Gherinn, Jaes, Nara and One-Fist would be rightly priced at 3.5 CT, as would Corbin and Kirga, and some very good unarmored heroes (Astarra, Landrec) would be right at 2.5
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Merrimac wrote:
Thinking about it, I feel there should be such a thing as 1/2-CT values.
All of Gherinn, Jaes, Nara and One-Fist would be rightly priced at 3.5 CT, as would Corbin and Kirga, and some very good unarmored heroes (Astarra, Landrec) would be right at 2.5


No argument there from me!
 
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Michael Hancock-Parmer
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In the current campaign our Overlord opted to play without treachery cards -- you are absolutely right in this regard. In short, it should either be made clear that these heroes' weapons are immune to Crushing Blow, or there should instead be a bonus for using these weapons rather than a penalty for not using them.
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I would say there should be a bonus AND a penalty - could be as simple as +2 / -2 power dice.
 
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