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Subject: Developing the Pantheon (Heroic conversion) rss

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Michael Hunter
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This one has been cooking for a couple of months now, but I've finally managed to get art sorted and, after a half dozen bad playtests, a lot of tweaks and a couple of good playtests it's probably at the stage where it can meaningfully receive criticism - it's still a fair way from properly balanced but in my experience the earlier you get feedback the easier it is to use it - and this board is great for constructive criticism!

Anyway, obviously the subject here is the (canonical) face turn of the Ennead, banding together under Horus to fight for the earth against Oblivaeon. The Ennead were always one of my favourite villains, and I was slavering at the chance to get to play them!

Okay, so that is what I, a month or two ago, wanted. But how to put it into action? Firstly, elephant in the room, I hate the Sentinels. The four individual heroes is gimmicky, makes all "deal all hero targets X" incredibly powerful against them, makes stuff like Infection needlessly confusing and doesn't really add much to justify the complication. Some people like them which is fine, but I am not one of them. So, I'm not going that way.

Secondly, how many Ennead-ies are we talking here? Obviously, the complete set is nine, but having all nine in one deck seemed problematic. Firstly, it would be very hard for each member to feel important when an average game goes 6-8 turns, you might see each one do something once? Secondly, having all nine be one deck seemed to be underselling their power - you're telling me that nine demigods have the approximately the same combat prowess as normal human with lots of guns and no depth perception?

At the other end of the spectrum, having each member have their own deck was problematic. Firstly, it'd be a LOT of work, secondly getting 40 cards out of one of the members was going to be a bit stretch thematically, and a MASSIVE strech art wise (given that I steal all my art from Sentinels sources, it's a major constraint).

So, compromise. In my version you pick THREE of the nine to be your Pantheon. Each of your members has enough focus that they matter, it is a very fun game picking which of the members you most want to play with against such and such a villain or with such and such a team, and finally if you bring all 9 members (3 x people playing the Pantheon) the Ennead united (say with Horus o'two horizons as the fourth?) is a respectable force!

So three members as a team. I want to have each member be on the board, meaning something, yet I didn't want them to be targets like the Sentinels for mechanical reasons. I also wanted each member to have their own cards, but I also didn't want a lot of cards that say "If you have Shu, do this cool thing you'd like to do, but you don't have Shu, so boo". After much experimentation, my solution (with some sample cards below - they all do have art currently, but it's a lot to upload all at once) is...















So, basic idea is this. You pick your three demigods, let's say Geb, Nuit and Atum. You make a hybrid deck of the 19 basic cards and Geb's 7 cards, Nuit's 7 cards and Atum's 7 cards to make a normal 40 card deck. Your demigods all start on their normal side and as play goes on you can Empower them (with the base power or by cards), giving access to their Power (which are all quite decent, stronger than normal innate powers), but they can only use it once before needing to be empowered again. Juggling the empowerings of your Demigods is a substantial part of the gameplay, making sure the one you need to be empowered is when you need to.

Firstly, given the base power can empower ONE or use ALL, the most efficient way is to empower for three turns them use all 3 at once (3 powers in 4 turns), but often you may have immediate needs for a power that mean you use them less efficiently. Adding to this is the fact that about half the cards flip a demigod, but you don't get total control over which. Maybe I need Isis to help kill that Electro pulse explosive, but she is the Sun Demigod and the only Sun card I have kinda sucks, is it worth it? Add that to a handful of cards that get a boost when the Demigod in question is empowered and it's quite complex and fun!


Anyway, on to actual cards - first the 19 Basic cards you always have.

12 x Flipping One-Shots
These all do a fairly simple one-shot effect and flip one of your demigods (although not necessarily the one you want...). Note that because the demigods powers are decent, flipping a Demigod is a substantial bonus, thus the actual one-shot effect is on the weak side. Also note that Hand spells are damagers, Sun spells help your team, Ankh spells help you - something to consider when you decide which Demigod to put under which sign.


2 x Blast of Flame (One-Shot)
The Pantheon deals a target 3 fire damage. You may flip your Hand Demigod.

2 x Darken the Skies (One-Shot)
Destroy an environment card, then the pantheon deals each target 1 projectile damage. You may flip your Hand Demigod.
Environment destruction is nice, but the damage is usually a slight downside.

2 x Wisdom of Horus (One-Shot)
Draw 3 cards. You may flip your Ankh Demigod.

2 x Change of Heart (One-Shot)
The pantheon regains 3 HP. You may flip your Ankh Demigod.

2 x Ancient Memories (One-Shot)
You and another player may each take a card other than Ancient Memories from their trash to their hand. Each that does must discard a card. You may flip your Sun Demigod.
Recursion based on Reclaim from the Deep - only hits 2 players and costs a discard, BUT the other player gets it THIS turn, which can help in a pinch.

2 x Gift of the Gods (One-Shot)
Another hero deals themselves 2 irreducible toxic damage. Then they may play a card or use a power. You may flip your Sun Demigod.


7 x Miscellaneous cards


3 x Secrets of the Shrine (One-Shot)
Search your deck for a Relic card and put it into play. You may draw a card.
Each of the demigods has a relic, this helps you get it. Stronger effect on the one-shot compared to the 12 above, hence no free flip.

1 x Scale of Anubis (Equipment, Relic, Limited)
At the start of your turn, you may have the Pantheon deal itself 2 radiant damage. If it takes damage this way, flip one of your Demigods.
And also one generic relic, for 4 in a deck.

2 x Last Stand (One-Shot)
Flip one of your Demigods.
If you have less than full HP, flip another of your Demigods.
If you have less than 15 HP, flip another of your Demigods.
Pretty much always gonna be 2 flips, 3 when it is getting rough, and getting off 3 powers is a pretty nice turn!

1 x Wrath of the Gods (One-Shot)
Flip any number of Empowered Demigods, then the Pantheon deals a target X radiant damage, where X is 3 times the number of Demigods flipped this way.
More of a thematically cool individual card than a major strategy, but it can help. Also note that unlike all the other cards, this says flip a demigod, not your demigod, so in a 3 x Pantheon game with some teamwork you can get a 27 damage shot!

That's the Basic deck, pretty generic and jack-of-all-trades, but the interesting bit comes in the members themselves! I'm realizing this is quite a lot to post, so will break it up, first three members in the next post!
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Michael Hunter
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So, the nine Demigods! Firstly, each of the nine has a strong identity that informs you choice of team. After some consideration, I settled on...

Geb - The Earthquake god is logically a damage dealer, good at AoE, sideline in destroying environments.

Osiris - The Keeper of Silence is Visionary-ish, not doing much damage but good at controlling the environment and villain decks.

Isis - God of Magic is a damage dealer specializing in single target Infernal damage, slight stake in destroying ongoings.

Nepthys - The power of life and death lets Nepthys both damage and heal, her specialty being draining life.

Tefnut- Warrior of the Rivers is an all round damage dealer, specializing in lots of little attacks.

Set - God of Storms is very chaotic, with lots of randomness and deals damage to his friends as often as his enemies.

Nuit - Straight up defensive demigod, with healing and damage reduction for you and the team.

Atum - The Creator helps your allies get set up, mostly by playing ongoings/equipment cards.

Shu - The wind-god is a counterpart to Atum, but rather than helping your friends play their cards he helps you (mostly the other two Demigods) play their cards.



So, each Demigod has seven cards (8 if you count the god themselves), which all follow the same structure. To demonstrate the pattern, I'll start with Geb, who is fairly straightforward.

Geb (Demigod, Empowered)
Empowered: Seismic Shock. The Pantheon deals up to 2 targets 2 projectile damage each, then flip Geb.
Geb is best at hitting when there are several targets out, but even with only one target he's okay. Incidentally, Geb's earthquake damage is projectile rather than melee for reasons we will see later.


2 x Flipper (Equivalent to the 12 x Flipping One-Shots in the basic deck, a not particularly strong effect that flips this demigod).
2 x Tectonic Shift (One-Shot, Geb)
The Pantheon deals itself and every non-hero target 2 Sonic damage.
You may flip Geb.

2 x Sign (A weak card that lets you play another card. Either flips the God for free or if already flipped does another minor effect. This minor effect is designed to be quite different to the Demigods power to make the decision interesting-often you want it but the demigod is not flipped!). Incidentally, these all use the art from the incap sides of the original Ennead.
2 x Sign of the Earth (One-Shot, Geb)
If Geb is Empowered, destroy a non-target environment card. Otherwise, flip Geb.
Either way, you may play a card.

2 x Supercard (Does not flip the demigod so already has higher power than the flipper, plus if the demigod is flipped flips them back for an extra effect. These are great, but again harder to set up than you might think, you have to plan a turn ahead - unless you get lucky with the Sign).
2 x Volcanic Collapse (One-Shot, Geb)
Destroy an Environment card. If Geb is Empowered, flip him and the Pantheon deals a target 5 fire damage.

1 x Relic (Some kind of static and/or triggered effect that helps the Demigod. Only one copy, but searchable with Secrets of the Shrine.
1 x Serpent Crown (Equipment, Relic, Geb)
When an environment card is put in the trash from play, the Pantheon deals each non-hero target 1 projectile damage.
Supposed to be earthquakes hence the link the environment deck. Can sometimes cause chain reactions - the damage kills an environment card which goes to the trash, causing another to die, which goes to the trash... Mostly about the same as Cold Snap, though



That is the essential structure, each demigod has 2 x flippers, 2 x signs, 2 x supercards and 1 x relic, although what they DO varies a lot from demigod to demigod. It'll take me awhile to get them all up, but for today here are two more...



Atum (Demigod, Empowered)
Empowered: The Creator. A hero may play an ongoing/equipment card.
Atum's schtick is mostly helping other players get their stuff, so he's a very popular ally.


2 x Forged by Will(One-Shot, Atum)
Each hero reveals the top 3 cards of their deck. They may each take one ongoing/equipment card and put it in their hand, then discard the rest.
You may flip Atum.
You just drew cool ongoing/equipment cards, you say? If only some handsome genius had just flipped allowing him to let you play one!

2 x Sign of the Sun (One-Shot, Atum)
If Atum is empowered, a hero may take a ongoing/equipment card from their trash to their hand. Otherwise flip Atum.
Either way, you may play a card.
Again, if he is already empowered this is useful for the power he's most likely about to use.

2 x Sculpt the Sands (Golem, Atum,X HP)
If Atum is empowered, flip him to make X=7, otherwise X=4.
When damage would be dealt to the Pantheon, redirect it to this. At the end of your turn, this deals a target Y melee damage, where Y is half its HP, rounding down.
His only non support card, gives Atum some defense and offense, but still thematically via his position as creator.

1 x Servants of the Sun (Equipment, Relic, Atum)
At the start of your turn, another hero may discard a card to play a card with a matching keyword.
Gives someone a free play every turn! Great, but costs cards and the matching keyword thing is much more of a pain than you might think at first glance.




Nuit (Demigod, Empowered)
Empowered: Power of the Moon. The Pantheon regains 2 HP.
Healing and defense, defense and healing.


2 x Shielding Stars(One-Shot, Nuit)
Until your next turn all damage dealt to other hero targets is reduced by 1 and redirected to the Pantheon.
You may flip Nuit.
What heroic interception should have been! Reduces a lot of damage overall, BUT can bring the Pantheon dangerously low.

2 x Sign of the Stars (One-Shot, Nuit)
If Nuit is empowered, reduce the damage done by a non-character target by 1 until your next turn. Otherwise, flip Nuit.
Either way, you may play a card.
Blinding light! Doesn't work on characters, which lowers a lot of mischief these effects can cause.

2 x Healing Light (One-Shot, Nuit)
Each hero target regains 2 HP.
If Nuit is empowered, you may flip her to reduce all damage done to hero targets by 1 until your next turn.
Can't chose between healing and damage reduction? You don't have to!

1 x Twilight Orb (Equipment, Relic, Nuit)
Reduce damage dealt to the Pantheon by 1.
Someone had to have the "armour" and Nuit makes the most sense. A beast with Shielding Stars.
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Take Walker
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I've been looking forward to this one since you mentioned wanting to do it. Wouldn't you know, you've come up with a fascinating way to implement the Ennead as a hero! This looks like it would be complicated, but in a "Takes a while to find the strategy" way more than "too many things to keep track of". I definitely would love to see how this plays.
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Jonathan Meltzer
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Another fantastic idea...well done. I am looking forward to trying these out, as well. Does 92 cards sound right?

19 base cards
1 Pantheon card
9 Gods
63 God-specific cards (9x7)

Am I missing anything?
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Chris Laudermilk
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Wow! This is a really interesting take on the characters. I love the unique mechanism you have come up with for these guys, it really adds something new to SotM. I look forward to seeing this develop.
 
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Michael Hunter
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Thanks for the feedback! They're still probably a month or so off being polished enough for primetime (and as you can see the flavour text is very much a work in progress), but glad you're excited!

Mizerak wrote:
Another fantastic idea...well done. I am looking forward to trying these out, as well. Does 92 cards sound right?

19 base cards
1 Pantheon card
9 Gods
63 God-specific cards (9x7)

Am I missing anything?


Yep, 92 is correct for the final version. If one wanted to print 1-2 extra copies of the 19+1 generic cards you could have several Pantheons in one team, perhaps the whole Ennead!

 
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Michael Hunter
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Next set of Demigods are...

Isis (Demigod, Empowered)
Empowered: Hex bolt. The Pantheon deals a target 3 infernal damage.
Is is the counterpart to Geb's AoE damage dealer, she focuses on single target damage.


2 x Witchfire (One-Shot, Isis)
The Pantheon deals the highest HP villain target X infernal damage, where X is the number of non-hero cards in play.
You may flip Isis.
Based on Scholar's Grace Under Fire (but without target choice). Presence here is designed to mean Isis is not only used for single target villains (Spite, Iron Legacy, Plague Rat...), this gives her good damage, but only a crowded field.

2 x Sign of Sorcery (One-Shot, Isis)
If Isis is empowered destroy a hero ongoing and a villain ongoing. Otherwise, flip Isis.
Either way, you may play a card.
Again note that the triggered effect is quite different to her empowered to give you meaningful choices.

2 x Ancient Curse (Ongoing, Isis)
Play this next to a target. If Isis is empowered, flip her to increase damage done to this target by 1.
At the start of your turn, the target by this deals itself 5 infernal damage, then destroy this.
High but very slow damage, and with the flip helps everyone else grind the poor sucker down too! Excellent villain killer when Isis is empowered, as is her job.

1 x Entropic Emerald (Equipment, Relic, Isis)
The first time each turn the Pantheon would damage the highest HP villain target, increase that damage by 2.
Gene Bound Shackles, but less broken. Still damn good!




Osiris (Demigod, Empowered)
Empowered: Force of Will. Reveal the top card of two decks. Discard one and replace the other.
Strong, repeatable card manipulation makes the game a bit boring, so this is relatively weak - you don't get to choose a card, you just get to discard something bad with no guarantee the next isn't worse. Flexible, though!


2 x Silencer (One-Shot, Osiris)
Choose a non character card. Until your next turn, it's start of turn and end of turn effects do not trigger.
You may flip Osiris.
I really like this card. It can't hit villains so can't do that much mischief, but shutting down an annoying target, troublesome environment, irritating ongoing for a turn is great. I have a niggling worry that there is some card in the game that if Silenced will break the game apart, but I've yet to find it.

2 x Sign of Fate(One-Shot, Osiris)
If Osiris is empowered, a target deals itself 3 psychic damage. Otherwise, flip Osiris.
Either way, you may play a card.
His only direct damage dealer, mirrors the psychic damage of Ennead Osiris.

2 x Condemn to the Duat (One-Shot, Osiris)
Destroy an ongoing/environment card. If Osiris is empowered you may flip him to look at the top 3 cards of the associated deck. Put 1 on top and 2 on the bottom.
Destroying ongoings/environments is never bad, and if he is Empowered you get a bonus Prophetic Vision/Precognition. Great control card!

1 x Scepter of Truth (Equipment, Relic, Osiris)
The top card of each deck is face up and may be viewed at any time.
Helps a lot with his base power, and although it doesn't impact the board directly, (for)knowledge is (for)power







Set (Demigod, Empowered)
Empowered: Touch of Chaos. Deal a target 2 lightning damage. If a hero target takes damage this way, play the top card of their deck.
Hurting his friends and randomness are Set's schtick, and this does both. The top card play is a reference to the incap of regular Set


2 x Lightning strike (One-Shot, Set)
Choose a hero target and a non-hero target, then discard 5 cards from your deck. Deal the hero target X and the non-hero target X+3 lightning damage, where X is the number of Basic cards discarded.
You may flip Set.
Potentially strong, but very unpredictable, could be 0 and 3, could be 5 and 8! Note choosing the target before you know the size of the bolt, makes it quite nerve wracking.

2 x Sign of the Storm (One-Shot, Set)
If Set is empowered, each hero may discard up to 2 cards and draw that many cards. Otherwise flip Set.
Either way, you may play a card.
If your hands are good then play from your deck, if your hands are bad get new ones!

2 x Elemental Rage (One-Shot, Set)
The Pantheon deals each hero target 1 cold damage and each non-hero target 3 fire damage. If Set is empowered, flip him to deal a non-hero target 5 lightning damage.
KABOOM!

1 x Mask of Thunder (Equipment, Relic, Set)
At the end of your turn, deal a target 1 lightning damage. You may destroy a hero ongoing/equipment to increase this damage by 3.
Pretty weak damage by itself, but can burn through excess cards to bring the pain - including destroy itself if needed.
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Adelphophage wrote:
2 x Lightning strike (One-Shot, Set)
Choose a hero target and a non-hero target, then discard 5 cards from your deck. Deal the hero target X and the non-hero target X+3 lightning damage, where X is the number of Basic cards discarded.
You may flip Set.
Potentially strong, but very unpredictable, could be 0 and 3, could be 5 and 8! Note choosing the target before you know the size of the bolt, makes it quite nerve wracking.

This is gonna be absurdly fun with redirection abilities. Paging Faye Diamond...
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Take Walker
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Scepter of Truth is fantastic. Though it'll have some interesting interactions with Ambuscade's traps, not to mention the Shinobi Assassins...
 
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Michael Hunter
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TakeWalker wrote:
Scepter of Truth is fantastic. Though it'll have some interesting interactions with Ambuscade's traps, not to mention the Shinobi Assassins...


I hadn't noticed Shinobi (not sure if being face up would count as "revealed", but Ambuscade is definitely a problem. For a while Scepter was "you may look at the top card of any deck at any time", but it just seems easier to have them face-up, might be worth keeping that way for ease of play as opposed to a corner case against Ambuscade. Unsure on this one, but thanks for the note!

Last three...



Nepthys (Demigod, Empowered)
Empowered: Essence Drain. The Pantheon deals a target 2 infernal damage and gains 1 HP.
Nepthys is about giving and taking life, this is a decent damage dealer that ties into it.


2 x Dust to Dust (One-Shot, Nepthys)
The Pantheon deals each target 1 infernal damage, then a hero target gains X HP, where X is the number of targets damaged this way.
You may flip Nepthys.
Similar to "Get out of the way!" but with a twist, it hits your friends but also as a result heals for more, so allows you to redistribute your HP a bit.

2 x Sign of Souls (One-Shot, Nepthys)
If Nepthys is empowered destroy a target with 4 or less HP. Otherwise, flip Nepthys.
Either way, you may play a card.
The destroy X or less HP are very situational but when they're good, they're great, so a good choice for an option here.

2 x Soulfire (Ongoing, Nepthys)
The pantheon deals any number of hero characters 2 fire damage. Then deal a target X radiant damage, where X is twice the number of targets damaged this way. If Nepthys is empowered, flip her to make X 3 times that number instead.
Can do a LOT of damage, but really hurts your team too. A great finisher if it's that or die!

1 x Ashen Veil (Equipment, Relic, Nepthys)
The first time each turn the Pantheon deals damage, the Pantheon gains HP equal to the amount of damage dealt.
Gives the Pantheon good (if somewhat fiddly to use) self healing, usually nets 1-3 a turn although one of these days I'm gonna land a 27 damage Wrath of the Gods...




Shu (Demigod, Empowered)
Empowered: Breath of Wind. Draw a card.
Shu just supports the Pantheon, defending them and helping them play cards (like a more selfish combo of Nuit/Atum)


2 x Windwall (One-Shot, Shu)
The Pantheon deals each non-hero target 1 projectile damage. Reduce damage dealt to the Pantheon by 2 until your next turn.
You may flip Shu.
A bit of damage and a strong (if short lived) defense.

2 x Sign of the Air(One-Shot, Shu)
If Shu is empowered, flip one of your Demigods. Otherwise, flip Shu.
Either way, you may play a card.
Very versatile Pantheon-support, flip him or flip someone else! Not flashy, but very useful.

2 x Galegrace (Ongoing, Shu)
You may play two cards. If Shu is empowered, flip him to play a third card.
With all of Shu's card draw your hand tends to get full, and a well timed Galegrace can give a crazy turn!

1 x Whispering Blades (Equipment, Relic, Shu)
Whenever you draw a card, the Pantheon may deal a target 1 irreducible projectile damage.
Pretty steady damage - 1 a turn, plus 1 whenever Shu does his power, plus Wisdom of Horus and stuff suddenly become a lot more attractive!







Tefnut (Demigod, Empowered)
Empowered: Razor claws. The pantheon deals a target 1 melee damage, then the pantheon deals a target 1 melee damage.
Can be multi-target, can be single target. Not that great by itself, but Tefnut is particular dependent on her Relic.


2 x Rend armor (One-Shot, Tefnut)
Choose a target. Until the end of your turn damage dealt to that target is increased by 1 and is irreducible.
You may flip Tefnut.
She flips so can use her base power which is now dealing a nice 2 x 2 irreducible, plus if you're clever and have some other Demigods doing their powers can do a lot of damage - and imagine it with Galegrace!

2 x Sign of War (One-Shot, Tefnut)
If Tefnut is empowered, each hero may draw a card. Otherwise, flip Tefnut.
Either way, you may play a card.
Not the most inspired effect, but is useful at a different time to the claws and fills an important role.

2 x Flurry of Claws (Ongoing, Tefnut)
The pantheon deals a target 3 melee damage. The pantheon may deal another target 4 melee damage. If Tefnut is flipped, flip her back to have the pantheon deal another target 5 melee damage.
If Tefnut is empowered, super-chain-melee-lightning! Chain lightning is good already, so this is pretty great especially with her Relic. This does need several targets to be effective, the AoE counterpart to Rend Armor's single target focus. Might go down to 2-3-4 but I want to make sure the last hit is attractive compared to just using razor claws.

1 x Nilotic Bracers(Equipment, Relic, Tefnut)
Increase melee damage dealt by the Pantheon by 1.
This is the reason why no one else deals Melee damage, it's just for Tefnut! Makes the rest of her cards pretty brutal.
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Dániel Lányi
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Adelphophage wrote:


I hadn't noticed Shinobi (not sure if being face up would count as "revealed", but Ambuscade is definitely a problem.


How is that a problem? It's super thematic! You're sniffing around and your face blows up
 
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Adelphophage wrote:
I hadn't noticed Shinobi (not sure if being face up would count as "revealed", but Ambuscade is definitely a problem. For a while Scepter was "you may look at the top card of any deck at any time", but it just seems easier to have them face-up, might be worth keeping that way for ease of play as opposed to a corner case against Ambuscade. Unsure on this one, but thanks for the note!


Let's be honest, Ambuscade can stand to have something that makes him more dangerous.

As for the Assassins, they would basically just always return to play, dealing damage along the way, when destroyed. (Though that might cause complications with something that destroys all environment cards...)
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TakeWalker wrote:
Adelphophage wrote:
I hadn't noticed Shinobi (not sure if being face up would count as "revealed", but Ambuscade is definitely a problem. For a while Scepter was "you may look at the top card of any deck at any time", but it just seems easier to have them face-up, might be worth keeping that way for ease of play as opposed to a corner case against Ambuscade. Unsure on this one, but thanks for the note!


Let's be honest, Ambuscade can stand to have something that makes him more dangerous.

As for the Assassins, they would basically just always return to play, dealing damage along the way, when destroyed. (Though that might cause complications with something that destroys all environment cards...)

"At the start of every turn, turn the top card of every deck face-up?" This way a single card wouldn't loop forever. It does slightly tone down the ability, though.
 
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Michael Hunter
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My inclination is just to leave it as its, it's ONE villain and ONE environment, so you can just not take Osiris against them, or even if you do take Osiris you have three other Relics to chose from - I'd say it's better to say have slightly less choice in a couple of situations than have to go back and flip them (as opposed to flip them when you play the top card and your hand is already there) in 98% of other games.
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Jonathan Meltzer
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Adelphophage wrote:
My inclination is just to leave it as its, it's ONE villain and ONE environment, so you can just not take Osiris against them, or even if you do take Osiris you have three other Relics to chose from - I'd say it's better to say have slightly less choice in a couple of situations than have to go back and flip them (as opposed to flip them when you play the top card and your hand is already there) in 98% of other games.


Agreed. And it is not like the rules do not work in those situations, it just would be a bad thing to play, right?
 
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Matthew Bishop
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Some very random comments:
Adelphophage wrote:
...so in a 3 x Pantheon game with some teamwork you can get a 27 damage shot!
You mention this idea at least twice. I know we're in a variant forum so house rules are fine, but there are numerous issues with using multiple copies of the same hero. Limited cards, damage can come from any version of them, etc. Or, in this case, the ability to do 27 max damage instead of 9. If your intent is for these decks to be used this way, I would make it more explicit and show how you're designing around the rest of those issues.

Adelphophage wrote:
1 x Scepter of Truth (Equipment, Relic, Osiris)
The top card of each deck is face up and may be viewed at any time.
I don't have any statistics to say this is overpowered, but it certainly seems that way to me. Always knowing what's coming for everyone all the time is a huge tactical bonus, and (IMO) also removes from the "fun" of figuring out what to do. Caveat: this coming from someone who pretends Wraith's eyepiece does not exist.
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Michael Hunter
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tosx wrote:
Some very random comments:
Adelphophage wrote:
...so in a 3 x Pantheon game with some teamwork you can get a 27 damage shot!
You mention this idea at least twice. I know we're in a variant forum so house rules are fine, but there are numerous issues with using multiple copies of the same hero. Limited cards, damage can come from any version of them, etc. Or, in this case, the ability to do 27 max damage instead of 9. If your intent is for these decks to be used this way, I would make it more explicit and show how you're designing around the rest of those issues.


I suppose I hadn't considered that all the "The Pantheon does X" cards could be used to refer to another Pantheon, perhaps I should change them to "this Pantheon" to make it clearer? Regarding Limited cards it doesn't seem a huge problem, the only limited cards are the Demigod's relics (which as you won't have two of a demigod won't double up) and the Scales of Anubis (which only one copy of the Pantheon can have, but it's only one card in the deck, seems acceptable). Regarding the 27 damage, I'm not going to say that's not a big hit, but bear in mind it will take the best part of 2 entire turns for 3 players to get out, which doesn't seem entirely unreasonable.

tosx wrote:
Adelphophage wrote:
1 x Scepter of Truth (Equipment, Relic, Osiris)
The top card of each deck is face up and may be viewed at any time.
I don't have any statistics to say this is overpowered, but it certainly seems that way to me. Always knowing what's coming for everyone all the time is a huge tactical bonus, and (IMO) also removes from the "fun" of figuring out what to do. Caveat: this coming from someone who pretends Wraith's eyepiece does not exist.


I've only had it out a couple of times, I wouldn't say I've found it overpowered (you might KNOW what's coming, but often you can't do much except brace yourself) but did feel like it was taking some of the fun away sometimes by letting you know what was coming (although no worse than say Extrasensory perception or Dark Visionary turn after turn). I do enjoy it as is because for each of the Demigods you often get a turn when you really HAVE to use their power to kill that target or play that card and thus have to jump through enjoyable hoops to get them flipped (often playing a non-optimal card). In the case of normal Osiris that's rarely the case, but with the Scepter you'll see the Forced Deployment or Primeval Eruption or whatever and have to scramble to get Osiris able to use his power.

Having said that, may wind up changing at some point, these guys are only a couple of weeks into playtesting, and given all the combinations they'll require a lot more testing than most!
 
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Adelphophage wrote:
(although no worse than say Extrasensory perception or Dark Visionary turn after turn)
Maybe I should add that those are 2 other abilities we ignore, for exactly that reason. Not questioning whether the ability as-worded is within the realm of official decks, just whether it's a good sort of effect for preserving fun.

Adelphophage wrote:
...perhaps I should change them to "this Pantheon" to make it clearer?
Before you get to that point, I would suggest deciding/stating whether you're intending people use multiple copies of the deck together. To my knowledge, people only do this at present for reasons like "wanting different versions of Legacy fighting together", and it's mostly a house-ruleed gimmick kind of thing. All of Legacy's damage cards don't say "this Legacy" because they're not really (to my knowledge) supposed to be used with other copies of his deck.

If you intend to encourage this use for the Pantheon deck, my two questions would be:
1) Where do you tell players that?
2) Why? I definitely see what the deck's intent is and it's a neat idea, but Sentinels is already a game of "pick a combination of heroes to fight with"; is it really necessary to have multiple players "picking the heroes that comprise each of the heroes they picked to fight with"? Extra comlexity should be justified. I think the justification gets a lot weaker if you're saying "here's a hero who doesn't get access to all of their abilities in any given game*, but the deck was made such that you can use multiple copies and still get access to all of their abilities in any given game."

*Although even normal heroes aren't gauranteed to get the same draws from game to game.

Anyway, all that is very much just opinions. I recognize that some people like more complexity/options than I do (e.g. I don't care for the Villains format).
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Jonathan Meltzer
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tosx wrote:
Caveat: this coming from someone who pretends Wraith's eyepiece does not exist.


Not to hijack the thread, but I find this interesting and relevant to this discussion. Do you just not play Wraith at all in your games, or do you play a version of Wraith that never uses the Eyepiece?

Is it that (looking at the other comments) you just don't think it is fun to sometimes know what is coming that you can work as a team to prepare for?

I have really enjoyed all of the Cauldron, but I never got the sense that you are avoiding looking at the top cards of decks with the Cauldron stuff. Are you, and I just never noticed?
 
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Mizerak wrote:
Not to hijack the thread...Do you just not play Wraith at all in your games...Is it that (looking at the other comments) you just don't think it is fun to sometimes know what is coming
In our games we came to dislike Wraith's ability to always, turn after turn, manipulate what's coming without consequence or interesting decision-making. The other heroes mentioned can do it with equal consistency. Given the extremely simple AI of the villain deck, it removed a lot of the fun for us.

Scrying in general I have no issues with, but the Scepter happens to hit most of the same checkboxes, removing a lot of the need to weigh possibilities/plan contingencies, while operating without any consequence or engagement on the players' part. Hence my comment about potentially being unfun.

We ignore Dark Visionary's promo, and on the rare occasions we do play Wraith, we never play the Eyepiece or use its power. We almost never play Parse either. If you've got other questions about how we tried to implement this into Cauldron decks, can certainly have that conversation in that thread.
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I'm with tosx on deciding the goal of how The Pantheon should work before continuing with your design.

I love the spirit behind the deck, but I can't honestly say I'm a fan of the thought of "Pick The Pantheon. Now, pick 3 of the 9 members that you'll use. Now, search through this pile of 82 cards for the 19 cards that should always be in your deck and the 21 related to the subset of heroes you selected." It just seems like a lot of work for a gimmick of a deck.

One of the selling points on Sentinels to me has been the simplicity of being able to pick a hero and run with it. This just feels very counter to that principle.

I'd honestly rather see a deck that has the 9 Ennead cards, starts with some number of random members in play, but swaps out members by playing cards and using powers.

I don't want to discourage the current idea (sorry if I seem too critical). I just think that trying to build a deck with 84 different combinations is going to be a bitch to test and balance correctly, and not a challenge I'd really want to take on.
 
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Just skimmed over the top of the thread. I don't have time right now to actually read through this yet but, I am looking forward to it later! Looks like a really interesting idea!
 
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Eric Bright
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I already printed out the other version of turning the Ennead into heroes that someone else did here on BGG. (It's probably buried in there.) It was fun to play, and I liked that it played more like the Sentinels deck.

This version of hero-ifying the Ennead is also a cool idea. SOTM is already so dang fiddly that I don't think the idea of custom building my Pantheon is any more fiddly than normal (probably truly less than actual gameplay). May as well fiddle in a fun way when deciding on my hero rather than in a tracking mechanics way.

Since I think Galvanize and Team Leader Tachyon is just about the only way to play, I feel like the Pantheon may be under-powered for my tastes. The having to spend two powers to get one (the empower idea) gives me pause, but that's just how I like to play.

Anyway, just stopping in to say I think this is a cool idea worth exploring. Looking forward to the finished product!
 
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Firstly regarding the Scepter of Truth...

Now that Tosx says it out loud (well, metaphorically loud - this is the internet after all) I realize I'm not actually huge fan of such effects either. Regular Visionary is fine with Suggestion and Precognition, as they only happen every now and then, it is occasionally fine to mess with their plays (and without this Visionary would be so-so) but doing it turn after turn after turn does remove a lot of the suspense from the game. I always found Extrasensory perception a bit of a bummer too.

In my defense, there is a big difference between KNOWING what is coming and CHANGING what is coming - the former just tells you when to brace yourself, the latter can consistently remove big cards, but perhaps he is right about Scepter of Truth - Osiris already has common (if weak) manipulation with Force of Will, and rare but decent manipulation with Condemn to the Duat, maybe the Scepter is a bridge too far. In which case, any suggestions as to what his relic could be? He is supposed to be a manipulator who prevents damage (as opposed to healing it)
 
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Firstly, thanks for all the feedback! I've had a lot of ideas that would've turned out to be broken messes without constructive criticism.

That said, to respond to the other thread of discussion re: the overall design of the Pantheon...

Firstly, after a lot of experimentation I am quite committed to the idea of having the three members in one deck. I quite enjoy picking the combo of three I want to play in that particular game, and although there are in principle a lot of possible combinations, they're not that synergistic - only Galegrace and Shred Armor really effect any other demigods. It is true that it s a bit of a pain to rearrange the decks before a match, but I feel it's not unreasonable. For the final deck I was considering having a watermark in the text box or perhaps an icon in the bottom corner so you can easily sort out the correct demigod cards when setting up*. What I am doing so far is keeping the 19 basic cards seperate from the demigod decks. At the start of the game I find the gods I want, shuffle them in, at the end of the game take their cards out and put them back with the other demigods, rather than shuffling all the cards together. Alternately, if you're really lazy you can just play the entire deck and when you draw a card from an inappropriate demigod just throw it back in the box and draw a new card.

Alternately alternately, if the pick and mix really bothers a player, they could just only print their 3 favorite demigods along with the basics, make that 40 card deck and just treat it like the only option at which point it'd be as straightforward as any other deck.

In the early stages I tried a version that involved all 9 members of the Ennead in one deck (basically, you started with a couple in play and they each had their own power Sentinels style, you could play more with certain cards to give you more power options, some cards let you go find the certain one you wanted...) but as I mentioned it seemed really unfocused.

With only three it really feels like you have just Isis and Tefnut and Atum (or whatever), you chose them with no small amount of thought, they each do their own thing and crucially have their own cards in your hand. With 9 it's just "The Ennead" deck and the characters influence is limited to just one card. I tried a version that had you cycle through particular demigods and certain cards did certain cool things if that demigod was present (like the Sentinels), but either you made it unreasonably easy to get demigods out which cluttered the board up REAL fast or you had these cards taunting you with their possibilities 80% of the time, either felt bad.



Although I'm pretty set on the triumvirate, I'm not tied down to the possibility of playing of playing 3 x Pantheon's side by side. All else being equal I like the idea of being able to take the whole Ennead into battle but if it's going to cause major mechanical issues it's not worth the hassle. The Wrath of the Gods interaction is certainly not a key part of the deck (frankly, the card itself is not very efficient in the first place, it's more of a coolness card hence only being one of) and could easily be let go.

If it means making lots of exceptions to well established rules, I'd agree it's not worth the hassle, but unless I'm missing something big it seems like it would be pretty intuitive (if not entirely strict letter of the law) that when one of YOUR cards says "The Pantheon" it means the Pantheon which is you. Overall, perhaps it's best left explicitly unstated (and take out the potentially confusing wording of Wrath of the Gods), not officially supported by the rules - but if someone wants to and can house rule around it like the Legacy family, more power to them. So I probably shouldn't talk about 27 damage Wraths of the Godses in the forum anymore





ericbright2002 wrote:
Since I think Galvanize and Team Leader Tachyon is just about the only way to play, I feel like the Pantheon may be under-powered for my tastes. The having to spend two powers to get one (the empower idea) gives me pause, but that's just how I like to play.


Just a note on this - that is originally what I thought, who wants to play powers every second turn? As a result my first few tests were pretty overpowered - bear in mind that A:The Empowered effects are all top range for innate powers (2 x 2 damage, heal 2, filtering, play a card...) and that around half of your card plays will flip a demigod making your powers much more frequent than it might seem at first glance. All the Sign cards are particular champions for this. I'm not claiming they're on the (frankly, pretty broken) level of Legacy, F6 Tachyon or the Sentinels, but they're no slouches!




*An early version had each demigod deck be 13 x cards, 7 x of their cards and 6 x basic cards, so the final deck would be 18 x generic cards and 21 specific ones. This way there was no basic deck, each demigod carried their own basics, so there were 6 x 3 basic cards in the final. This was easier to find the cards for, but also meant a lot more cards to print and limited me to having all the basic cards be 3x. Plus didn't add to 40, which made me sad aesthetically.
 
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