Among a species of hunters, the Masters of the Hunt are the elite of the elite. Specialised big-game hunters initiated into secret hunting lodges, they pursue the most dangerous of prey with ritualised weapons and training. Their exploits are recounted in song and told as nursery stories to nestlings. Every Trun longs for the day they receive an anonymous message inviting them to join this exclusive brotherhood.
One such master is the Stalker. The scout and tracker of larger teams, none see the Stalker as he stealthily creeps up on the chosen victim, clearing the way for his noisier comrades. When hunting on his own, the Stalker is a master of psychological warfare, able to exploit the fears and prejudices of his preferred game. While his prey may huddle in a group for safety, the Stalker can turn friend against friend through nothing more than hints of his presence and the certainty that something deadly is watching them.
When the prey is quaking in their boots, the Stalker strikes! His primary weapon is Sharr’s Thunder, a hi-tech version of the chakram modified with an antigravity generator, sophisticated A.I. guidance systems and a powerful electroshock generator. The Stalker can command the Thunder to strike at multiple targets before returning to his hand. When the Stalker gets up close, he strikes with his ritual katars, both as large as a man’s head.
I have a fondness for the Trun, and a combination of playing Monster Hunter and AVP 2 made me think about what a society of Hunters would be like. With the variety of dangerous big game available to them, such as Burrowers, Goliaths, Harbingers and even Targa Guardians there would likely be specialised big-game hunters. I would guess that the Trun would likely have hunting lodges that used ritualised weapons and roles, like the Predators do because there’s no sport if you just wave a particle beam right through a target.
At the moment, I’m just working on the basic theme to see what works and what doesn’t. As far as stats are concerned, the Stalker has the same stats and abilities as a normal Trun Hunter, but does not have a Thud gun. The Stalker has in addition the following abilities.
Scharr’s Thunder. Range 6, Shots 2, Damage 2. Scharr’s Thunder targets and rolls to hit against all Heroes in range. If a Hero fails both Defence rolls, the Hero that was hit is also Stunned. A Hero may forgo their Defence roll and make an Agility 6+ roll. If successful, the Hero catches the Scharr’s Thunder and destroys the weapon. The Stalker may not use Scharr’s Thunder again. A failed Agility roll counts as two failed defence rolls.
Only the Worthy. When attacking, the Stalker targets the Hero which currently has the Stalked token.
Glitterglass Bomb (SUPPORT, COOLDOWN:2). Target a random damaged Trun (including self). The Trun looses the Assault ability if present and gains the Shootout ability if the Trun does not have it. All Hero attacks at the Trun so affected are at -1 to hit for this turn and next turn. A Hero attack which automatically hits will hit as usual. The affected Trun will loose Shootout and will regain Assault (if it had it previously) at the end of its next activation.
Stalked. The Trun Stalker does not have a Threat card. He assumed to be already deployed and following the Posse as they venture into the mines. At the start of the game select the Hero with the highest level and the most XP. If there is a tie, decide randomly. Place a token to indicate the Hero is being Stalked. After every fight, once XP has been calculated determine who has the highest level and XP and place the token on that Hero.
After a new map tile has been placed before revealing any exploration tokens roll a D6 and add +1 for every tile the Heroes have revealed so far. If the mission is on a fixed map, roll a D6 at the start of the turn and add +1 for every turn that has passed. Then consult the below chart.
1-4. Ain’t seen nuthin’. Nothing happens.
5-6. What was thet? The Stalked Hero starts to pick up on subtle hints that something isn’t right. This distracts him from what’s happening around him. Subtract -1 from his/her initiative while Stalked. This modifier can stack, so add an additional -1 for every time this result is rolled to a maximum of -3. This modifier is removed when the Stalked token is passed onto another Hero.
7-9. I’m tellin’ you, I saw it right there! The Stalked Hero becomes more tense, certain that something is watching him. S/he starts to give his/her comrades the jitters. So long at the Hero stays Stalked all other Heroes in the Posse are at -1 initiative, distracted by the spooked Hero. This modifier can stack, so add an additional -1 for every time this result is rolled to a maximum of -3. The modifier is removed if the Stalked token is passed onto another Hero.
10-11. There! There! In the Shadows! Spooked by the ghost following him, the Stalked Hero wastes ammo blasting away at harmless shadows. If the Stalked Hero had special ammo, s/he spends so much of that special ammo that the ammo is wasted – mark it off. If the Hero does not have any special ammo, or this result is rolled a second time for a Hero who lost special ammo as a result of this, the Hero takes 2 Sanity damage with no Willpower save.
12+. I told ya! I told ya! The Stalker Ambushes the Posse. Any Encounters or Attacks on the exploration token are ignored.
If the Stalker does not Ambush the Posse by the time the Posse get to the objective room, the Stalker replaces the Threat that would normally be drawn or generated and Ambushes the Posse. Any special rules that would have applied to the enemy for the Objective Room now apply to the Stalker. For missions that don’t have an objective room, the Stalker will Ambush the Posse if they have successfully completed their mission (after loot is collected etc.). The Stalker attacks the Heroes when their guard is down!
Infectious Paranoia. Add an additional +1 to the Stalked dice roll for every Hero that has been Stalked past the first (e.g. 2 Heroes who have been Stalked, add +1, 3 Heroes Stalked, add +2 etc.).
Stunned: Otherworld: Trederra has a proper ruleset and counters for Stunned, so when the expansion is released this will be replaced with the Trederran ruleset, but for the moment Stunned Heroes are unable to shoot or move for their next activation unless they spend a Grit. They may roll for Grit as usual.
Cooldown: Likewise Otherworld: Trederra has Cooldown tokens and a proper ruleset so when that comes out, use the ruleset for that, but for the moment, when a weapon or ability is on cooldown, it cannot be used for the number of turns listed next to the qualifier. So COOLDOWN:2 means Glitterglass bomb cannot be used for 2 turns after ut has been used.
Support: If an ability is marked (SUPPORT) it must be resolved before targeting and attacking Heroes. Target an enemy according to the targeting requirements listed on the ability (e.g. target a random damaged Targa Pylon). Move the enemy so it's within range and LoS to use the ability and then use the ability. Repeat this for every ability in the abilities box listed as (SUPPORT) reading from top to bottom. After all (SUPPORT) abilities have been used, target and attack a Hero as normal. Any movement used when using (SUPPORT) abilities counts against the total movement of the enemy.
So... testing using a level 1 group of 4 heroes shows that the Stalker can't stand up in a fight AT ALL. They just blast him to pieces in the first turn. I think the Stalker is likely to be harder to hurt against higher level groups because of the increased defense per level, but the Stalker needs some beefing up.
In terms of stats, he now has Endurance (3), +5 wounds per Hero in the Posse (because he wouldn't survive the end of the turn otherwise), Ranged 3+ (5+ wasn't working at all) and a move of 7.
The Glitterglass bomb has undergone serious reworking. The idea for it was that when the Stalker got hurt, he'd activate it and dance back for a moment out of harm's way. But what happens is the Stalker dances back in the first turn the Posse then chases him and fills him full of lead. There's no offence/defence posture.
If the -1 reduces the dice roll below the value required for a crit, the hit no longer crits (perhaps this may go away for Brutal level as the much higher defence needs flaws to shoot through). A slight change to the Shootout rules, the Stalker will always move the maximum distance away from the target while staying in range. This had the effect of pushing most of the posse forward, which meant that they'd all get hit by Scharr's Thunder. The Stalker would then dance away the other way, which would pull the Posse the other way making the battle more dynamic
Finally, Scharr's Thunder is now range 8. I'll do some more testing and see what else needs doing...
- Last edited Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:13 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:12 pm
So, some more reworking. I boosted the initiative of the Stalker to 4, which means that there are still quite a few Heroes who will get to go first, but the Stalker gets the drop on the Heroes in the initial ambush.
I boosted Scharr's Thunder to 3 ranged dice and reduced the damage to 1. This emphasizes the stunning role of the weapon. (Tests showed the gunslinger was especially vulnerable to this!).
I changed the Glitterglass bomb again. Now it's a -2 for the first turn, -1 for the second. Didn't realize just how huge -2 is, so that has to be treated with care. And keeping track of whether a dice did/didn't cause a crit was time consuming, so away that went!
Finally, I added +1 combat die. In arena battles these changed seems to make a tough fight for a base stats posse, so the fightin' works at least.