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Subject: Revised Character Types rss

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David Thompson
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In this thread, we talked about revising the character type system. In general, we debated the utility of significantly streamlining the number of character types and the idea of allowing characters to have multiple character types.

In the end, I decided it was best to try to do both: allow characters to have more than one type, but try to limit the total number of types to as few as possible (within reason).

We discussed this before, but I want to start a fresh thread and re-engage this issue before I start revising the 3.5 version of all the factions. V3.5 will see the integration of this change, which will mean changing every character card in the game as well as all the faction guides. It's a pretty big undertaking, so I want to make sure I've got the specifics ironed out before I head down that road.

Currently, these character types exist in the game:
Animal, Autonoma, ARMS, Basement, Chimera, Cyborg, Erthen, Human.

Three of these types only have a single associated character (Animal, Autonoma, and Cyborg). So I'd like to eliminate them if possible. Also, it has been suggested that the Humaliens be listed as Mutants rather than Humans/Nether.

So my thoughts:

Animal can stay, as I can see that being expanded in the future. In fact, would the Deep Ones be Animal/Nether?

Autonoma can probably go. I think it can safely be rolled into a generic "Mechanical" type. The term Autonoma and ARMS can still be used in the game, just not as rules mechanisms. The HARPI would be Mechanical only.

ARMS can also be rolled into Mechanical. Because ARMS have operators, they can carry both the Mechanical and Human types.

Basement becomes Nether and becomes more inclusive.

Chimera can go. Like Autonoma and ARMS, the term will still be used in the backstory/fluff, but mechanically Chimeras will be a combo of Human/Nether, Animal/Nether, etc. This supports the current Chimera as well as the Deep Ones potentially.

Cyborg Human/Mechanical.

Erthen becomes Nether for sure but what else (if anything)? They are formed of mineral and organic matter, but I don't think they need a character type just for that.

Human - I think we can keep it.

So my new list would be:

Animal, Human, Nether, Mechanical...

That leaves the issue of the Humaliens and "mutants." I'm on the fence here, and it really falls to the Singapore crew and RT. The backstory requires that the Humanliens are humans in the presence of the Netherscape when the radiation occurs. That suggests to me they could simply be Humans/Nether. But I understand the support for a mutant character type. The real question is: do we anticipate a "mutant" type of character that is not Nether-related?

Final thoughts on this issue?

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David Thompson
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By the way, this is what a revised character card will look like with the character type changes. This will be the first, albeit very minimal, change to the card design in a LONG time.

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Jeff Baker
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My question is then; how are these character types affected in game terms?

For example: If an ability harms 'Human' characters, but don't affect 'Mechanical' characters, what happens to a Cyborg or ARMS that is a human/mechanical hybrid?

If you go the way of multiple character types, I can see the Deep Ones being an Animal/Nether combination.
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JefferyB wrote:
My question is then; how are these character types affected in game terms?

For example: If an ability harms 'Human' characters, but don't affect 'Mechanical' characters, what happens to a Cyborg or ARMS that is a human/mechanical hybrid?


In my opinion, an hybrid will be affected by both. In this example a cyborg will be affected by human or mechanical.
Arms shouldn't be human, human part far inside mechanical to be affected.


JefferyB wrote:
If you go the way of multiple character types, I can see the Deep Ones
being an Animal/Nether combination.

You bet.
 
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David Thompson
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baalrukh wrote:
JefferyB wrote:
My question is then; how are these character types affected in game terms?

For example: If an ability harms 'Human' characters, but don't affect 'Mechanical' characters, what happens to a Cyborg or ARMS that is a human/mechanical hybrid?


In my opinion, an hybrid will be affected by both. In this example a cyborg will be affected by human or mechanical.


Agreed. That's how I planned to rule it.

baalrukh wrote:
Arms shouldn't be human, human part far inside mechanical to be affected.


I can see either approach for this. Opinions from others?

JefferyB wrote:
If you go the way of multiple character types, I can see the Deep Ones
being an Animal/Nether combination.


Ok, I'm good with that.
 
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Skirmish_Tactics wrote:


So my thoughts:

Animal can stay, as I can see that being expanded in the future. In fact, would the Deep Ones be Animal/Nether?

Quite right and closed.

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

Autonoma can probably go. I think it can safely be rolled into a generic "Mechanical" type. The term Autonoma and ARMS can still be used in the game, just not as rules mechanisms. The HARPI would be Mechanical only.

Right choice.

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

ARMS can also be rolled into Mechanical. Because ARMS have operators, they can carry both the Mechanical and Human types.

Agree.

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

Basement becomes Nether and becomes more inclusive.

Again right.

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

Chimera can go. Like Autonoma and ARMS, the term will still be used in the backstory/fluff, but mechanically Chimeras will be a combo of Human/Nether, Animal/Nether, etc. This supports the current Chimera as well as the Deep Ones potentially.

Perfect match.

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

Cyborg Human/Mechanical.

Totally agree.

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

Erthen becomes Nether for sure but what else (if anything)? They are formed of mineral and organic matter, but I don't think they need a character type just for that.

Not ok, don't have a good idea yet but I don't like it.

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

Human - I think we can keep it.

Ok with this one.


Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

That leaves the issue of the Humaliens and "mutants." I'm on the fence here, and it really falls to the Singapore crew and RT. The backstory requires that the Humanliens are humans in the presence of the Netherscape when the radiation occurs. That suggests to me they could simply be Humans/Nether. But I understand the support for a mutant character type. The real question is: do we anticipate a "mutant" type of character that is not Nether-related?


You are missing a few ones besides that ones. Echo also are something more than humans.
Let me think a little and I will try to figure it out.
 
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baalrukh wrote:
Skirmish_Tactics wrote:



[q="Skirmish_Tactics"]
ARMS can also be rolled into Mechanical. Because ARMS have operators, they can carry both the Mechanical and Human types.

Agree.


But you want to remove Human from ARMS, right?


baalrukh wrote:
Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

Erthen becomes Nether for sure but what else (if anything)? They are formed of mineral and organic matter, but I don't think they need a character type just for that.

Not ok, don't have a good idea yet but I don't like it.


Same here. I totally agree. I feel like they're something more than Nether, but if so, what? I don't want to create a new type exclusively for one faction. Maybe they could be Mutant / Nether? It really depends on our definition of Mutant. It's almost like we need some sort of "Sci-Fi/Wierd Science" category that could include Erthen, Echo, and Humaliens.


baalrukh wrote:

Echo also are something more than humans.


Yep - good point.
 
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I've been working in these and I think we need the following types:
- Humans - Basic human.
- Animal - Normal earth animal.
- Vegetable- I know it's a bit odd but it's need it. Normal earth plant.
- Inanimate- Basic non organic static matter from both sides.
- Mechanic - Combined non organic matter that somehow is able to do actions.
- Nether - Organic matter coming from the other side.
- Energy - radiation and similar power driven creatures.

The units will be affected by all combinations they have, if they are target by more than one, all affect.
If two or more types conflict, the order of the types will decide.

So:
Human: Grenadier, Sniper, Medic, Scout, Rebel Leader, Beast Master, Faith Bringer, Sentinel, Zealot
Human-Mechanic: Commander
Human-Nether: Mindbender, Nether-Tech, Psi-Blade, Psion, Pyro
Human-Energy: Raider
Animal-Human: Tidehunter, Predator
Vegetable-Nether: Death Vine, Hellebore
Inanimate-Nether: Geomancer, Ion Core, Tremor
Mechanic: Harpi, Hellfire, Inferno, Vanguard
Nether-Animal: Dragoon, Nautilus Cavalier
Nether: Abomination,Carnage, Fallen, NETHERMANCER, Thrall, Wraith
Energy-Human: Doppelganger, Timekeeper, Timehunter

I know that should be only two types, but these ones are so tricky...
nether-animal-human: Waste Dragoon
human-inanimate-energy: Indestructible
human-nether-animal: Cecaelia

And this isn't in, but I put it here anyway:
Mechanic-human: Buggy

I have made a nice table, but I didn't find a way to publish here.
With this types we have all corners covered for the actual and any new faction.






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baalrukh wrote:
I've been working in these and I think we need the following types:
- Humans - Basic human.
- Animal - Normal earth animal.
- Vegetable- I know it's a bit odd but it's need it. Normal earth plant.
- Inanimate- Basic non organic static matter from both sides.
- Mechanic - Combined non organic matter that somehow is able to do actions.
- Nether - Organic matter coming from the other side.
- Energy - radiation and similar power driven creatures.

The units will be affected by all combinations they have, if they are target by more than one, all affect.
If two or more types conflict, the order of the types will decide.

So:
Human: Grenadier, Sniper, Medic, Scout, Rebel Leader, Beast Master, Faith Bringer, Sentinel, Zealot
Human-Mechanic: Commander
Human-Nether: Mindbender, Nether-Tech, Psi-Blade, Psion, Pyro
Human-Energy: Raider
Animal-Human: Tidehunter, Predator
Vegetable-Nether: Death Vine, Hellebore
Inanimate-Nether: Geomancer, Ion Core, Tremor
Mechanic: Harpi, Hellfire, Inferno, Vanguard
Nether-Animal: Dragoon, Nautilus Cavalier
Nether: Abomination,Carnage, Fallen, NETHERMANCER, Thrall, Wraith
Energy-Human: Doppelganger, Timekeeper, Timehunter

I know that should be only two types, but these ones are so tricky...
nether-animal-human: Waste Dragoon
human-inanimate-energy: Indestructible
human-nether-animal: Cecaelia

And this isn't in, but I put it here anyway:
Mechanic-human: Buggy

I have made a nice table, but I didn't find a way to publish here.
With this types we have all corners covered for the actual and any new faction.


I think we should just say that if any category applies to a character it effects the character rather than stipulating there is an order. In other words, abilities that effect characters always trump abilities that don't effect characters.

I like most everything except the breakdown for the vegetable and inanimate. I think vegetable would be better categorized as organic matter or plants...but more importantly do we really need to break down these two categories? Right now there are only a combined five (or six if you include the Indestructible) characters that fall into the two groups. I know this may be a bit short-sighted of me, but I'm having a hard time envisioning that we'd have a lot more of these types of characters. Also, I don't think Inanimate properly captures the mineral composition for the Erthen (and maybe the Indestructible).

All of the Erthen are suppose to consist of various parts of soil, organic matter (plants), and minerals/rock. Even the characters that are dominated by one aspect or another contain some of the other elements. For this reason I think we should try to come up with a single inclusive category. Something simple like Earth would probably work.

We could then include the Indestructible (and any future characters that have any or all of these attributes) into the Earth type.

I'm also not sure about making the Echo faction all Human-Nether. I would probably limit the Nether type only to humans who have started exhibiting aspects of the Basement (ie, Chimera).

Lastly, I think I'm ok with Energy, but I don't know how applicable it will be outside of the Humanliens. It would be nice if we could think of an applicable, but broader category for them...

I think my list would be (with the exception of maybe a change to energy):

Animal-Nether: Tidehunter, Predator, Nautilus Cavalier, Waste Dragon

Earth-Nether: Death Vine, Hellebore, Geomancer, Ion Core, Tremor

Energy-Human: Doppelganger, Timekeeper, Timehunter, Raider

Human: Grenadier, Sniper, Medic, Scout, Rebel Leader, Beast Master, Faith Bringer, Sentinel, Zealot, Mindbender, Nether-Tech, Psi-Blade, Psion, Pyro

Human-Mechanic: Commander

Human-Nether: Nether-Tech, Fallen

Mechanic: Harpi, Hellfire, Inferno, Vanguard

Nether: Abomination,Carnage, Nethermancer, Thrall, Wraith

Earth-Energy-Human: Indestructible

Animal-Human-Nether: Cecaelia, Dragoon

I left the three category characters in. Not sure if that's the route we want to go, so we may decide to limit it. As an aside, is the partial-human concept for Cecaelia consistent with the rest of the fluff for the Deep Ones?
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I'm fine leaving all the Deep Ones as Nether-Animals, even if the Cecaelia has human-like features.

I think categories should be limited to two. Keeps complications to a minimum. Otherwise your list works great. Use Earth for Erthen and Energy for Humaliens, it explains their backgrounds quite well.
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Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

I think we should just say that if any category applies to a character it effects the character rather than stipulating there is an order. In other words, abilities that effect characters always trump abilities that don't effect characters.

Agree, just pointed that in a case a character is target by two effects that are contradictory, if you have an order a second will fall. Some thinking ahead. I'm trying to rule it to cover most of things that could appear.

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

I like most everything except the breakdown for the vegetable and inanimate. I think vegetable would be better categorized as organic matter or plants...but more importantly do we really need to break down these two categories? Right now there are only a combined five (or six if you include the Indestructible) characters that fall into the two groups. I know this may be a bit short-sighted of me, but I'm having a hard time envisioning that we'd have a lot more of these types of characters. Also, I don't think Inanimate properly captures the mineral composition for the Erthen (and maybe the Indestructible).

Work in progress... Plants sound better anyway. Organic could lead to miss interpretations.
Do we need them? Right now, the answer is no, but, and this is a great but, if we make the ground rules now, we avoid coming here every time someone propose a new faction or character. It's like doing a skeleton with the core rules do do it. So when someone propose, first question would be "does it comply with basic character/faction rules?". At some point you will have to choose to create an appendix with core designs or close the door to new characters/factions (with I strongly disagree...). So better way is create some rules and write then down. In the future a good work now will cut the time to evaluate to half.

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

All of the Erthen are suppose to consist of various parts of soil, organic matter (plants), and minerals/rock. Even the characters that are dominated by one aspect or another contain some of the other elements. For this reason I think we should try to come up with a single inclusive category. Something simple like Earth would probably work.

All things are composed by several things, I just try to put the most important. Erthen have plants (organic include humans and animals) and non-organic. Two categories to far apart to do a single inclusive one.
Other thing why I prefer separate then, is the possibility of new factions could use it (and yes, I'm still doing experiences with a faction of objects...)

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

I'm also not sure about making the Echo faction all Human-Nether. I would probably limit the Nether type only to humans who have started exhibiting aspects of the Basement (ie, Chimera).

Again, work in progress, they aren't just human anymore and the extra mile would be or nether or something new, so I vote in nether...

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

Lastly, I think I'm ok with Energy, but I don't know how applicable it will be outside of the Humanliens. It would be nice if we could think of an applicable, but broader category for them...

Again, I've a few ideas for some very energy related objects...

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

I left the three category characters in. Not sure if that's the route we want to go, so we may decide to limit it.

Don't like three cathegories, but I wasn't able to chose which category to drop...
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JefferyB wrote:
I'm fine leaving all the Deep Ones as Nether-Animals, even if the Cecaelia has human-like features.


I agree with this. Good call.

JefferyB wrote:
I think categories should be limited to two. Keeps complications to a minimum. Otherwise your list works great. Use Earth for Erthen and Energy for Humaliens, it explains their backgrounds quite well.


I think I agree with both of these...but then there is the issue of mutations, like Clarence's possible insect faction. It seems inevitable that there will need to be a mutation character types or at least some type of character type that accounts for "normal" things (people and animals) that have been modified without Nether or Energy...
 
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baalrukh wrote:

Work in progress... Plants sound better anyway. Organic could lead to miss interpretations.
Do we need them? Right now, the answer is no, but, and this is a great but, if we make the ground rules now, we avoid coming here every time someone propose a new faction or character. It's like doing a skeleton with the core rules do do it. So when someone propose, first question would be "does it comply with basic character/faction rules?". At some point you will have to choose to create an appendix with core designs or close the door to new characters/factions (with I strongly disagree...). So better way is create some rules and write then down. In the future a good work now will cut the time to evaluate to half.


This is the real challenge. We're essentially trying to predict possible future character types. I feel like the more narrow the categories, the more unlikely we are to achieve that goal. So if we create an Earth category, I feel like that includes a LOT of possibilities, while a Plant category, Inanimate category, etc are excessively constrained.

baalrukh wrote:

At some point you will have to choose to create an appendix with core designs or close the door to new characters/factions (with I strongly disagree...). So better way is create some rules and write then down. In the future a good work now will cut the time to evaluate to half.


Agreed - I will never restrict people from coming up with new types...I just want to try to limit the impact by coming up with broad categories now that can largely take care of most future possibilities.

baalrukh wrote:

(and yes, I'm still doing experiences with a faction of objects...)


Would these really be presented as a faction or could they be an addition to the game with their own rules? I sort of feel like you limit yourself by forcing them to adhere to the faction and character rules. I know there are pros and cons, but I feel like the objects might be better served as an optional rule rather than using the character template for them.

baalrukh wrote:

Again, work in progress, they aren't just human anymore and the extra mile would be or nether or something new, so I vote in nether...


I just can't help but feel that there has to be a word that could capture modifications/mutations/advancements to Humans that would capture the psionic/psychic nature of Echo, the mutations of Humaliens, etc. Looking at this page (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DifferentlyPowere...) I wonder if "Paranormal" might be a good word. Or mutant (back to one of RT's original proposals).

baalrukh wrote:

Again, I've a few ideas for some very energy related objects...


But again, I really think objects should be distinct from characters. However, I'm open to counterpoints.

baalrukh wrote:

Don't like three cathegories, but I wasn't able to chose which category to drop...


I think like Jeff points out, we just need to pick the two MOST applicable.
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New proposed list. I'm going to go with RT's suggestion and list them with primary influence first. I'm pretty comfortable with this list, but I'm open to suggestions. I think we should still consider the possibility of Mutant and Energy, but only if e really need them.


Human: Grenadier, Sniper, Medic, Scout, Rebel Leader, Beast Master, Faith Bringer, Sentinel, Zealot

Mechanic: Harpi, Hellfire, Inferno, Vanguard

Nether: Abomination, Carnage, Nethermancer, Thrall, Wraith


Human-Mechanic: Commander

Nether-Animal: Cecaelia, Tidehunter, Predator, Nautilus Cavalier, Waste Dragon (additional Deep Ones)

Earth-Nether: Death Vine, Hellebore, Geomancer, Ion Core, Tremor

Paranormal-Earth: Indestructible


Paranormal-Human:Doppelganger, Timekeeper, Timehunter, Raider

Human-Paranormal: Mindbender, Psi-Blade, Psion, Pyro


Human-Nether: Dragoon

Nether-Human: Nether-Tech, Fallen
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Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

Human-Nether: Dragoon

Nether-Human: Nether-Tech, Fallen


Is there a difference between human-nether and nether-human?
 
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Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

... We're essentially trying to predict possible future character types...

Not predicting, just drawing a few guiding lines, that way, people would fit their factions better before start posting then.

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

Would these really be presented as a faction or could they be an addition to the game with their own rules? I sort of feel like you limit yourself by forcing them to adhere to the faction and character rules. I know there are pros and cons, but I feel like the objects might be better served as an optional rule rather than using the character template for them.

I really like and have good play tests with this object faction. It gives some additional work to fit objects to a faction. But the pros are great. You don't have to mess with any rules, the faction works for itself and give a new level to the game.

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

I just can't help but feel that there has to be a word that could capture modifications/mutations/advancements to Humans that would capture the psionic/psychic nature of Echo, the mutations of Humaliens, etc. Looking at this page (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DifferentlyPowere...) I wonder if "Paranormal" might be a good word. Or mutant (back to one of RT's original proposals).

Yes, that would fit better.

Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

But again, I really think objects should be distinct from characters. However, I'm open to counterpoints.

Interacting objects... Exploding barrels, deep black smoke, trapped boxes.


Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

I think like Jeff points out, we just need to pick the two MOST applicable.

As I said, I just couldn't choose.
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Comarauthen wrote:
Skirmish_Tactics wrote:

Human-Nether: Dragoon

Nether-Human: Nether-Tech, Fallen


Is there a difference between human-nether and nether-human?


The difference between Human-Nether and Nether-Human as well as Paranormal-Human and Human-Paranormal would be which type is the primary for a character. Like RT mentioned, there could be an instance where an ability is in conflict about whether it does or doesn't affect a character based on the character type. In that case, the primary ability would determine what happens with the ability. So in the lists above, Echo characters are more human than paranormal, while Humaliens are more paranormal than human. Similarly, the chimera characters (Fallen and Nether-tech) are more Nether than Human, while the Dragoon is mostly Human (the rider) but partially Nether (the Waste Dragon mount).
 
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Ok, I think we're really , really close to a final list here. According to the list below, I would include Clarence's insect faction as Paranormal-Animal. If everyone agrees to this list, we need to brainstorm to ensure we aren't missing other obvious character types that would need to be added in the future.

How about this:

Animal: Normal animal.

Earth: A mixture of mineral and organic matter (soil, rock, plants, etc).

Human: Normal humans.
Grenadier, Sniper, Medic, Scout, Rebel Leader, Beast Master, Faith Bringer, Sentinel, Zealot

Mechanical: An inanimate device capable of taking actions.
Harpi, Hellfire, Inferno, Vanguard

Nether: Any creature native to the Netherscape
Abomination, Carnage, Nethermancer, Thrall, Wraith

Object: An inanimate object that can be interacted with but is not capable of actions by itself.

Paranormal: A character with traits that fall outside the range of normal experience and scientific explanation.

Combinations:

Human-Mechanical: Commander

Nether-Animal: Cecaelia, Tidehunter, Predator, Nautilus Cavalier, Waste Dragon (additional Deep Ones)

Earth-Nether: Death Vine, Hellebore, Geomancer, Ion Core, Tremor

Paranormal-Earth: Indestructible

Paranormal-Human: Doppelganger, Timekeeper, Timehunter, Raider

Human-Paranormal: Mindbender, Psi-Blade, Psion, Pyro

Human-Nether: Dragoon

Nether-Human: Nether-Tech, Fallen
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Drop the object type and you are ready to go.
I use object as a faction. The 'characters' of this faction are mainly mechanical or earth.
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baalrukh wrote:
Drop the object type and you are ready to go.
I use object as a faction. The 'characters' of this faction are mainly mechanical or earth.


Ok, sounds good. We'll run with this as our proposed final list. However, let's try to do some "Devil's Advocate" brainstorming over the next few days and think of some potential characters that we might want to add that couldn't be captured in these categories.

As always, thanks everyone (and especially RT) for the help!
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