Nick
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Hello,

Following my question about using the dog companions inside the item cards deck, I'm now leaning on using the dog companions as the special power of a Dog Handler, or Beast master kind of hero.
Has anyone made one yet? Otherwise, I will work on that.
 
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Rosen Crantz
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I made a custom character using my dog. To try to keep it balanced, I gave him high movement (especially for getting through a zombie or two) and evading abilities. Not great for killing stuff and low survivability, but good for moving around and fetching items.

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What the shit, this is an actual dog hero lmao, awesome sauce! However, this isn't what I'm looking for. Where did you get the image? I really like it.
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Rosen Crantz
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Yeah, not exactly what you were asking for. I made custom characters for my family (girlfriend, our son, and our dog). Since I'm the primary owner and trainer for our dog, I always play both my character and Rufus. So in a sense, I'm the beast master.

The image is actually just a photo of my actual dog, with an art filter to make it look like a drawing. I used GIMP to edit it. Used an image of the dagger from the zombicide player cards and layered into the photo to make it look like Rufus was holding the dagger. The card template itself came from another BGG contributor, so that credit goes to Zombie57 for making such an awesome too. It's a .psd template file that you can use in photoshop, or (if you're cheap like me) the free tool GIMP.

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/127062/zombicide-classic-...
 
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I see. The result is fantastic, and even more so that it's based on your real dog. Kudos to you!
 
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Rosen Crantz
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Thanks!

On your original question about a hero handler. Do you have the classic zombicide dog companions pack? You could probably houserule those rules into Black Plague, since the gameplay is foundationally similar.

https://zombicide.com/dl/rules-dog-companions.pdf

Basically, the companions utilize the handler's action points, will die with one damage, can move three spaces in a single move action, can only carry one item period (but can't use it, more of a fetching mechanic), gives +1 die/melee to it's controller if in the same zone, and can make noise. Each hero may start with one dog companion in their inventory, but can trade dogs so that one hero can have multiple dog companions (which will consume even more inventory space). I don't see why you couldn't integrate the classic dog pack into Black Plague, even with the heros currently available. I can't see the addition of the dogs making the heros OP since the dogs would share their action pool. The more dogs one hero has, the less they will be able to accomplish per turn. If you were to customize a hero, the first choice for skills would probably be ones that increase the hero's action points.
 
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Nick
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Yes I do own these dog miniatures, that's why I wrote this thread. Basically, I don't want to simply use the dog companions as item cards. I really want to use the dog minis in association with a hero who would specifically handle them, not anyone. But before creating that hero handler from scratch, I wanted to know if someone else already thought about this and found a good and balanced one for me to use.

Same for a specific hero like a magician using crows as pets and weapons, or any other minis I can find in other games.

But yes, in the special upgrade stats, I planned on putting some +1 action/+1 dog companion, so that he may be able to control up to 3 dogs. But the balancing after that, I really don't know. I'll have to play the base game much more first ^^
 
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Rosen Crantz
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Gotcha. That does sound like a fun idea. Kind of like a summoner archetype in other RPGs. For balancing, maybe limit the hero's strengths and survivability. To encourage him to keep at least one of the dogs nearby for the +1 melee die bonus to give him decent offensive capabilities, and to use as meat shields for when the going gets rough (which it will in this game!). Then perhaps limit the control to 2 dogs which he'd start with. Then each will have weight and thus decisions on how to use them will be meaningful and challenging.

Maybe some of these could work for your build without making the hero OP? They don't really impact the handler's stats directly, but they could improve the hero's use of the dogs utilizing the companion rules already in place. I may have to play around with this idea myself. I like the idea of leveraging the synergy between the minis, where they are only really strong if they work together.

Blue: No direct stat bonus, but two dogs give a big boost to attack if they are in the same zone as the hero. Makes for some interesting decision making, let the dogs go search and attack on their own? Or keep them close and make your hero powerful?

Starts with 2 Dog Companions

Yellow: Pretty standard yellow skill

+1 Action

Orange: Have to make a choice between a straightforward action bonus, or being able to throw a lifeline to one of your dogs for free.

Lifesaver - pull a survivor at range 1 to your zone without penalty (like a dog recall command?, rules do say the dog companion is considered a survivor). 1 free use per hero activation.

+1 Action

Red: Have to make a choice between evasion, combat, or action abilities.

Hit&Run - resolve a free move action after a combat action resulting in a zombie kill. (in conjunction with the free lifesaver skill, you could move yourself out of a combat zone and also pull a dog back with you.)

Reaper: Melee - kill an extra of the same type of zombie (like a pack attack where you are using the dogs to give you extra melee dice).

Born Leader - grant a free action to any survivor of your choice (can apply to any survivor, be it the dogs or other heroes).


 
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You have interesting ideas, simple and yet elegant.

What I'd like is to tweak the dogs themselves, either at their core, or with the hero upgrades. For example, I would very much like 2 dogs to be able to make a 2 pronged attack on both sides of a fatty, giving this attack a 2 skull damage. That could be some kind of upgrade.

Another example: having the possibility to sacrifice one dog to perform a 3 skull damage attack with I don't know what thematic explanation.

But yes, giving skills to the hero handler to turn him into a dog commander would be cool, like making them move for free and put them into a certain formation to perform special attacks like this "2 pronged attack".

This isn't an urgent matter, I still have time to think about this though.
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Rosen Crantz
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Ah that's actually a really fun idea. Alot of turn based strategy games also give bonuses for the orientation of multiple attackers relative to a target, rewarding the player's ability to make flanking maneuvers versus a head-on attack.

I like this idea for a variant, to provide a handler/dog combat bonus if attackers are flanking a target from opposite sides, and (perhaps a reduced bonus) if flanking in an "L" formation. Since the dogs and handlers would function more as a team, your idea would encourage teamwork between these minis instead of enabling players to just send the minis all over the board to spam search actions and collect objectives. The board designs might make this tricky though, since most of the maps seem to more dungeony corridor-like instead of an open field that would facilitate these kinds of maneuvers. You may not have many opportunities to use this ability. But that would add a tense layer to the strategy since you'd know you'll have to split your team for a few turns to get everyone into position.
 
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