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Subject: Drifters and Orphans rss

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David Griffin
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I'm interested in finding out what people think about the Drifter and Orphan classes, as well as how they should be played.

I'm not sure what to think about the Drifter. There are so many pluses combined with SO MANY really serious minuses, I'm not sure quite what to think. What have you guys found out about them? Thanks.
 
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Scott Everts
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carbon_dragon wrote:
I'm interested in finding out what people think about the Drifter and Orphan classes, as well as how they should be played.

I'm not sure what to think about the Drifter. There are so many pluses combined with SO MANY really serious minuses, I'm not sure quite what to think. What have you guys found out about them? Thanks.

I'm curious too. When we restart our campaign one of the guys wants to try out the drifter. His negatives seem really bad. I'll have to study his abilities chart in more detail to see if the double XP cost keeps him in line with the other characters.

The orphan is interesting, though not sure how strong that class is at first. But has the potential to be pretty brutal later on. Though you are going for the long haul since solving the quest will take awhile or being really lucky.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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We started a new campaign last week, with 2 fresh players (and 3 experienced ones), and ironically enough, we did it with both the Orphan and the Drifter. The Orphan wasn't much different than the other heroes, at least at level 1, and being able to move first at same initiative, as well as freely escape, our player played him quite ballsy (running ahead to open areas without fear, then fleeing if it was too rough).

The Drifter though was a game changer. Every monster is Elite, and at level 1 it can be rough. However, it did give a nice XP boost, especially since in a 5 player game we were doing Red threat cards, so lots of XP coming our way. In our two games, no one went down, though we fled the last room of A Few Darkstones More (just waaaaay too many creatures, and elite stranglers can be nasty). I think, especially at the higher levels, the Drifter will make things even more fun (i.e. heroes not so overpowered).

-shnar
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Thomas White
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My partner and I started a new campaign with me as the Drifter and her as the Orphan the day the cards arrived. Shnar is right, having elite monsters right out of the gate is difficult, and we lost "A Few Darkstone More" that night (mostly due to the worst die rolling ever). However, on the second game things started to come together. The Drifter's ability to heal injuries between adventures really made a different (I had three after the first game, and zero at the start of the next), so I didn't feel so bad taking a beating.

The double-XP cost is where we noticed the difference. After a few games the Orphan is now level 3, and the Drifter is 80xp from level 3. It looks like the Orphan is going to make power jumps in between each of the Drifter's levels, but we're okay with that thematically, especially since the Drifter started with two Personal Items that gave him +1 Agility apiece, and started the game with 5 shots per attack (thanks Trusty Pistol!).

So my take is that they seem to make quite a good duo. Interesting to see Shnar's take in a larger group.
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Philip Jelley
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I found that the Drifter was lagging a level behind the rest of the Posse in XP due to the double cost.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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blark wrote:
...we lost "A Few Darkstone More" that night (mostly due to the worst die rolling ever).

We didn't "lose" ours, we ran. Partly due to the last room being so large (the Epic we drew had us draw to Reds, which was Colonel Scafford and his Gand on one, and 2 Yellows on the other, which in turn was a Night Terror and 2 Green cards, which in turn were some strangers and void spiders. It was a very crowded room). But also we were getting game fatigue. We started at 6pm, and it was after 11pm by the time we got to the last room. All five clue tokens were on the bottom. Let me repeat that, ALL FIVE CLUE TOKENS WERE ON THE BOTTOM! We made a trip completely through Targa (a portal opened back up into the mines) without finding clues. Finally, as the stack was getting lower, we just looked. Every single clue token on the bottom of the stack. And we had decided to go for the large deposit (4 clue tokens to win). Still, makes for a great story

-shnar
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David Griffin
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It seems to me that a lot of these missions should be easily abandoned, coming back later without consequences. Maybe not some of them (kidnap maybe) but the game tries entirely too hard to hit you over the head to punish you for running.

As a DM I used to have to work pretty hard to even get my players to run when it made sense instead of sticking it out no matter what. Not a survival trait if you see what I mean.
 
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Eric Harman
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carbon_dragon wrote:
It seems to me that a lot of these missions should be easily abandoned, coming back later without consequences. Maybe not some of them (kidnap maybe) but the game tries entirely too hard to hit you over the head to punish you for running.

As a DM I used to have to work pretty hard to even get my players to run when it made sense instead of sticking it out no matter what. Not a survival trait if you see what I mean.


Really? Cause my players were ready to run at the drop of a hat when I gmed. If course, that might've had something to do with my reputation for killing characters. :-). Bwahahaha
Mine is an evil laugh
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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carbon_dragon wrote:
It seems to me that a lot of these missions should be easily abandoned, coming back later without consequences. Maybe not some of them (kidnap maybe) but the game tries entirely too hard to hit you over the head to punish you for running.

As a DM I used to have to work pretty hard to even get my players to run when it made sense instead of sticking it out no matter what. Not a survival trait if you see what I mean.

Oh yeah, I was ready to run when the first clue hit, since we'd actually had a pretty good haul, having gone through Targa. But one of our players, the Orphan, really wanted to finish the mine out, so we stuck it until the final clue...

-shnar
 
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David Griffin
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Cooperton wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
It seems to me that a lot of these missions should be easily abandoned, coming back later without consequences. Maybe not some of them (kidnap maybe) but the game tries entirely too hard to hit you over the head to punish you for running.

As a DM I used to have to work pretty hard to even get my players to run when it made sense instead of sticking it out no matter what. Not a survival trait if you see what I mean.


Really? Cause my players were ready to run at the drop of a hat when I gmed. If course, that might've had something to do with my reputation for killing characters. :-). Bwahahaha
Mine is an evil laugh


My campaigns tended to run for years of real calendar time so killing the players was not an optimal strategy -- plus it's like shooting fish in a barrel since you control the whole world. Now to create the illusion you want to kill them is fine, but somehow it never happens. All you get instead is years of actual fun playing for everyone. Sad. DM shaking his fist in the air dramatically at the players.
 
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Eric Harman
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That's true, a great gm will make the players feel like their characters are at risk of death without killing them. I've never claimed to be a great gm. :-)
I'm ok
 
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Eric Harman
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But, back on the topic of the orphan:

My understanding is that the orphan starts with certain abilities, then finishes some kind of quest, and then takes on some of the traits of another class.

I'm curious to get more details about that (without someone just reprinting the whole thing and potentially breaking copyright laws).

What does the quest generally entail? What do you get from the new class? What do you keep from your old class? Does the orphan have his/her own skill tree?
If so, do you keep skills purchased from it when you change classes?
 
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David Griffin
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Ok, about the Clint Eastwood ... err... the Drifter.

So he grants everyone including himself 1 extra grit token at the start of a fight. And he starts with 2 personal items and the Drifters Secret upgrade along with the usual 1 upgrade. So far so good.

Then there is Distrustful - -1 Initiative for every Hero adjacent at the start of the turn (minimum 1). Does this mean the Drifter loses initiative or that he makes every adjacent hero lose initiative? Either way it's pretty bad.

Then there is Danger Magnet. Adding elite upgrades for all monsters makes the beginning adventures pretty likely to fail, at least that is what I think. If you're a jaded player and want the challenge, OK, but otherwise this seems like a problem. And he adds D3 (1-3!) travel hazards. Since the travel hazards are generally BAD, this is quite a handicap.

He starts with 2 agility and the Trusty Pistol (the one that mandates Frontier heroes) which is not so good, but you can get him more agility so presumably he will eventually have a LOT of shots, especially if he upgrades the pistol.

So who doesn't want to play the High Plains Drifter, but it seems to me that it's too crippled a class, not to mention having to have double the experience to upgrade! Maybe we should throw in a requirement to draw only epic threats, get no money from adventures, and the requirement to slam yourself in the head with an iron bar prior to playing.

If you negated the Danger Magnet section (unless the Drifter wanted to do it for experience sake) even then, the XP penalty and the initiative penalty (again not sure who this penalizes, the drifter or his friends) would still make it marginal. Though as a single hero, the immortality upgrade on drifter secret might make the risks worth taking.

Am I off base?
 
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David Griffin
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Then there is the Prospector. No Tech items, not great but not TOO debilitating, but no guns, that means strictly hand to hand. Not too bad given he starts with the heavy pickaxe. Yet SOME enemies need to be killed at range so this is a handicap. I'm not sure the Saloon Girl is significantly less handicapped though, despite her holdout derringer.

The Expert Miner perk is nice, ore gold or dark stone. Doubling the damage on 8+ doubles down on the melee thing.

Seems doable. It's a choice but every party needs a heavy melee guy/girl.

The Orphan I'm not too clear on though. Low initiative, decent attack skills, but no dual wielding. May heal 1 wound or sanity start of each turn (for the orphan, or for friends?). Init advantage and there are init 4 monsters but lots of things will go before the Orphan. Can automatically escape so might be able to shoot stuff that normally would be unshootable due to not being adjacent.

The orphan mission gives a bonus up front and when you've made enough "discoveries" to complete the mission. Then you "grow up" and start using the second character class? What does that mean? Can you go up 8 levels as an orphan and then 8 levels as the new character class? When you transition are you a 1st level <whatever>?

Not sure.

Would we really select this class as an alternative to the basic classes, and if so why? What niche does she serve?
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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carbon_dragon wrote:
So he grants everyone including himself 1 extra grit token at the start of a fight.


I think it's every other non-Drifter fighter. He doesn't gain the grit himself (probably because he starts with full grit when going into the mine).

Quote:
Then there is Distrustful - -1 Initiative for every Hero adjacent at the start of the turn (minimum 1). Does this mean the Drifter loses initiative or that he makes every adjacent hero lose initiative? Either way it's pretty bad.

We read it that the Drifter loses 1 Init for every hero adjacent to him. It's not that bad, especially when you look at one of his tier 1 upgrades (where he can allow every hero one free reroll who activates before him).

Then there is Danger Magnet. Adding elite upgrades for all monsters makes the beginning adventures pretty likely to fail, at least that is what I think. If you're a jaded player and want the challenge, OK, but otherwise this seems like a problem. And he adds D3 (1-3!) travel hazards. Since the travel hazards are generally BAD, this is quite a handicap.
[/q]
The first half of Danger Magnet is actually an XP boon (+5XP to the base XP of every monster). We've found that rarely has the Elite boost been worse than the XP boost, so quite like having it around, even at level 1. The second half does suck though. Town Hazards blow. We're starting to look at town items to see if we can reduce travel hazards (like the stage coach).

The only real negative the Drifter has is the 2x XP. He levels up a lot slower than the others. However, with the Trusty Pistol and any Agility Boosts (our drifter currently has +2 Agility from various items), he's an XP magnet, so he's gaining XP at almost a 1.5x rate faster than everyone else, so even this isn't much of a deterrent. Plus, he's got some ability where if he dies, he can come back (unlike other heroes). So our player really likes the Drifter.

-shnar
 
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David Griffin
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shnar wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
So he grants everyone including himself 1 extra grit token at the start of a fight.


I think it's every other non-Drifter fighter. He doesn't gain the grit himself (probably because he starts with full grit when going into the mine).

carbon_dragon wrote:
Then there is Distrustful - -1 Initiative for every Hero adjacent at the start of the turn (minimum 1). Does this mean the Drifter loses initiative or that he makes every adjacent hero lose initiative? Either way it's pretty bad.

We read it that the Drifter loses 1 Init for every hero adjacent to him. It's not that bad, especially when you look at one of his tier 1 upgrades (where he can allow every hero one free reroll who activates before him).

Then there is Danger Magnet. Adding elite upgrades for all monsters makes the beginning adventures pretty likely to fail, at least that is what I think. If you're a jaded player and want the challenge, OK, but otherwise this seems like a problem. And he adds D3 (1-3!) travel hazards. Since the travel hazards are generally BAD, this is quite a handicap.

shnar wrote:
The first half of Danger Magnet is actually an XP boon (+5XP to the base XP of every monster). We've found that rarely has the Elite boost been worse than the XP boost, so quite like having it around, even at level 1. The second half does suck though. Town Hazards blow. We're starting to look at town items to see if we can reduce travel hazards (like the stage coach).

The only real negative the Drifter has is the 2x XP. He levels up a lot slower than the others. However, with the Trusty Pistol and any Agility Boosts (our drifter currently has +2 Agility from various items), he's an XP magnet, so he's gaining XP at almost a 1.5x rate faster than everyone else, so even this isn't much of a deterrent. Plus, he's got some ability where if he dies, he can come back (unlike other heroes). So our player really likes the Drifter.

-shnar


If that's true, then just let the Drifter use the danger magnet ability whenever he wants to and players will do it because they want to, right? And those who don't, won't.

I've watched some games going on at high level, and once there are a lot of elite upgrades in play, even easy monsters can be pretty terrifying. I'm not keen to see that power curve steepen.

I'm trying to convince myself that there is a reason to use this class for something other than the mini, but it seems merely to be there for players who want a harder game (which is fine but not me).

 
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David Griffin
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Ok, let's look at this a different way for the Drifter. I honestly want to like this class because the figure and the concept are cool.

So the Drifter compared to his closest cousin -- the Gunslinger. How many of you would prefer to play a Drifter to a Gunslinger in a party of 2 or more characters? Why and how would you (or how do you) use the Drifter in this context?

If the characters were priced and you had to buy a party on some fixed number of "points" how many points would the Drifter be relative to other classes?

If the drifter "danger magnet" were rewritten to remove the traveling hazards and the elite talent item was rewritten to be voluntary and only for a single monster type per battle, this would obviously make the Drifter easier to play and more powerful relative to the unmodified Drifter. If this were done, would the Drifter be "better" than the Gunslinger? Would it be OP? More than other classes? Remember the XP penalty and Distrustful are still there.

If both danger magnet AND the XP penalty were removed, leaving the grit bonus but also distrustful, would the Drifter be overpowered relative to the other "best" classes then?

Note that I think the Orphan, minus the few questions I had and the Prospector are both fine classes with their pluses and minuses. The idea for a "High Plains" Drifter is cool but it does seem like an awfully problematic class so I want to understand if I'm just not seeing the idea here (it's happened before) OR if it's a bit too limited. Discuss.

Just as a PS, I played the drifter without the danger magnet or distrustful, but with 1 starting item and no drifter secret ability (it was a one-shot and we were never going to make it to town anyway and it was my partner's first game so it seemed too complicated) and he did OK, not as good as a gunslinger with fast draw would have done, and he got beat up a LOT, even worse than the gunslinger does. The grit thing was nice but not THAT big a deal. Even if I had given him an extra starting item (even if I could have picked an agility enhancer) I still would have rathered play the gunslinger (or even the Lawman). But it's possible this is a class only for very experienced players (which I'm not as yet) who think the game is too easy and are looking for something really really HARD to play.
 
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carbon_dragon wrote:
Ok, about the Clint Eastwood ... err... the Drifter.

So he grants everyone including himself 1 extra grit token at the start of a fight. And he starts with 2 personal items and the Drifters Secret upgrade along with the usual 1 upgrade. So far so good.

Then there is Distrustful - -1 Initiative for every Hero adjacent at the start of the turn (minimum 1). Does this mean the Drifter loses initiative or that he makes every adjacent hero lose initiative? Either way it's pretty bad.

Then there is Danger Magnet. Adding elite upgrades for all monsters makes the beginning adventures pretty likely to fail, at least that is what I think. If you're a jaded player and want the challenge, OK, but otherwise this seems like a problem. And he adds D3 (1-3!) travel hazards. Since the travel hazards are generally BAD, this is quite a handicap.

He starts with 2 agility and the Trusty Pistol (the one that mandates Frontier heroes) which is not so good, but you can get him more agility so presumably he will eventually have a LOT of shots, especially if he upgrades the pistol.

So who doesn't want to play the High Plains Drifter, but it seems to me that it's too crippled a class, not to mention having to have double the experience to upgrade! Maybe we should throw in a requirement to draw only epic threats, get no money from adventures, and the requirement to slam yourself in the head with an iron bar prior to playing.

If you negated the Danger Magnet section (unless the Drifter wanted to do it for experience sake) even then, the XP penalty and the initiative penalty (again not sure who this penalizes, the drifter or his friends) would still make it marginal. Though as a single hero, the immortality upgrade on drifter secret might make the risks worth taking.

Am I off base?


1) I (and my group) read it as every Hero adjacent has -1 Initiative (not the Drifter himself), as they are distrustful of the Drifter. It never occurred to us that it might subtract the Drifter's Init.
2) Elite is tough early on, but in general the game gets 'easier' as the Heroes get improved equipment and abilities. An extra elite ability at levels 4+ probably won't be a very big deal.
3) Keep in mind that the Drifter has a lot of bonus abilities, and his stats are pretty good too. Agility 2 with the Trusty Pistol isn't really a big deal, since most starting weapons have only 2 shots/dice anyway.
 
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David Griffin
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When I watch your outlaw character in action, it seems like those elite abilities make the weakest monster so powerful your 8th level guy ends up taking huge amounts of damage and taking ages to kill even one monster.

Your town adventures with the "enhanced" outlaw villains were pretty crazy.
 
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