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Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients» Forums » Variants

Subject: [WIP] Paranormal Investigator rss

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Jan Meyberg
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... Who you gonna Call???

The idea of a paranormal investigator has stuck in my mind for quite the time: A pretty weak guy who uses his Essence Trap in order to capture defeated enemies, which give him nice boni. Hopefully he can kill more enemies with these boni in order to capture more (and stronger) ones ;-)

I'm going to upload the relevant files in a few minutes, but I'd like to ask you for feedback and constructive criticism in regards of the PI!

I tried to utilize the new core mechanic as much as possible while still keeping the original SoB feeling. I'm pretty sure as well I introduced interesting synergies between the different upgrade paths and thematic adaequate ways to play the Ghostbust Paranormal Investigator.

Nonetheless it's more than possible I overlooked some nasty combination of items / upgrades, so please tell me if there should be some broken combos possible! (I discovered the U.S. Marshal's Rolling Thunder + Whirling Strike + Tools of Science + Butcher's Blade combo recently. Now I'm pretty careful...)

Best regards, Jan

---

Paranormal Investigator in a nutshell:
Science - Showman.
Agility 2 - Strength 2 - Cunning 3 - Lore 4 - Spirit 1 - Luck 3 - INI 3
Max Grit 2, Combat 2. Health 10 (Def 4+), Sanity 10 (Willpower 3+).
Know your Enemies: While you have an enemy stored in your Essence Trap, your Hits against enemies of the same type are +1 Damage.

Starting Item: Essence Trap (1-handed, 1 Anvil):
Capture: When you defeat a small or medium enemy on an adjacent space, you may place it on your Essence Trap.
Healing Ectoplasm: Release an enemy from your Essence Trap at the end of the turn to heal <Essence> Wounds / Sanity (any mix) of your Hero.

<Essence> is a new value for enemies, derived from their [Defense+Health] (rather easily as it's denoted on the Essence Trap Template), ranging from +1 to +9; not being above +2 during the first few levels.

Starting Upgrades:
- Essence Drainer: You may capture enemies in your Essence Trap which you killed with a ranged Weapon. (Exra Starting Item: Pistol)
- Collecting Mold and Fungus: Recover a Grit on a D6 roll of 5 or 6 anytime you collect XP from one or more Scavenge or Loot cards.
- Essence Circuit: Once per Turn, pay 1 Grit instead of releasing an enemy.

Research

Lesson Learnt:
You gain double the XP from a successful skill test.
+1 Cunning

Fantastic Beasts:
Captured Monsters have +1 Essence.
+1 Lore

Generalization:
Know your Enemies works on all enemies who share a keyword with the captured monster.

Facing the Darkness:
Before a Hold Back the Darknes-Roll, you may release a Monster to get + <Essence> to the roll.
+1 Cunning


Channel Essence

Curative Protoplasm:
Release Monster at the End of the Turn to heal X Wounds / Sanity (any combination) at any Hero on your map tile.
Gain 5 XP per Wound / Sanity healed this way.

Reactive Essence
At the Start of the Turn: Pay 1 Grit and release a Monster to gain +Essence to your INI

Raging Energies:
As a free Attack, Release Monster to make a X Shot, Ranged 8 ranged Attack. Each Hit deals <P> Damage.

Maelstrom
Once per Fight, you may pay 2 Grit and release a monster to do one automatic Hit to all enemies on your Map Tile. These Hits deal D6 + X Damage.


Tame Spirits

Dubious Advice
While you have an enemy captured: +<Essence> auf Scavenge Roll
+1 Spirit

Flash of Spirits
While you have an enemy captured:
Instead of a normal Melee Attack, pay 1 Grit to make a X Combat attack against all adjacent enemies.

Otherworldly Insight:
While you have an enemy captured:
+<Essence> statt +1 auf Know Your Enemy

Trusty Ally
While you have an enemy captured: Once per Turn you may re-roll up to X to-Hit Dice
+1 Spirit


Trap Tech

Gotcha!
Wenn man Monster fängt: D6. 5, 6: Recover 1 Grit.
+1 max. Grit.

Quick Release:
You may capture an enemy killed on a space adjacent to you, no matter who killed it.

Large Magazine
You may capture enemies of all sizes.
+1 max. Grit

Compact Construction:
You may use your Essence Trap without having it equipped (capture and release Enemies, gaining Boni)

---

What do you think? (detailed rules for the Essence Trap will be there in my finished documents...)
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Jan Meyberg
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The rules got just approved, but I had to upload Version 0.3 of the PI a few minutes ago. Sorry for the confusion!

Changelog:

- You must have your Essence Trap equipped for capturing and releasing only: Know your enemies and the Tame Spirits Upgrades all work without your Trap equipped.
- Collecting Mold & Fungus triggers on a 4+ by now.

The Upgrade Paths read as follows:

Research

Lesson Learnt
You gain double the XP from a successful skill test.
+1 Cunning

Fantastic Beasts
Your captured enemies have
+1 <Essence> .
+1 Lore

Generalization
Know your Enemies affects all enemies who share a Keyword with your captured enemy.

Facing Darkness
Before a Hold back the Darkness roll, you may release an enemy to get + <Essence> to the roll.
+1 Cunning



Channel Essence

Protoplasmic Cure
As a free Attack release an enemy from your Essence Trap to Heal <Essence> Health / Sanity (any mix) from any Hero on your Map Tile. Gain 5 XP for each Health / Sanity another Hero is healed this way.

Essence Overcharge
Once per Turn after rolling Damage, release an enemy to make this Hit + <Essence> Damage.

Raging Energies
As a free Attack, release an enemy to make a
Range 8
<Essence> Shot
Attack. Each Hit deals
<P> Damage.

Spirit Shroud
At the start of the turn, you may pay 1 Grit and release an enemy to gain a Revive Token for your personal use only. If not used, discard this token at the end of the turn.



Tame Spirits

Dubious Advice
While you have an enemy captured, you roll <Essence> additional dice for Scavenge Tests.
+1 Spirit

Flash of Spirits
While you have an enemy captured, pay 1 Grit instead of a normal Melee Attack to make a <Essence> Combat Attack against each adjacent enemy.

Trusty Ally
While you have an enemy captured, once per Turn you may re-roll up to <Essence> to-Hit dice.
+1 max Grit

Maelstrom
While you have an enemy captured, once per Fight, you may pay 3 Grit to do one automatic Hit to all enemies on your Map Tile. These Hits deal
D6+<Essence> Damage.



Trap Tech

Gotcha!
Any time you capture an enemy, roll a D6. On the roll of 5 or 6, Recover 1 Grit.
+1 max Grit

Quick Trigger
You may capture any enemy which is killed adjacent to you. You don't have to kill it yourself.
+1 Agility

Large Magazine
You can capture enemies of any size with your Essence Trap.
+1 max Grit

Compact Construction
You may use your Essence Trap to capture and release enemies without having it equipped.

---

This way, the Tame Spirits Tree requires more Grit to use while the double "release to deal damage" option on the Channel Essence Tree vanishes (and is replaced by a really fun mechanic of survival IMHO!).
Otherworldly Insight turned out way too mighty in playtests so I ditched it completely (Generalization might be still interesting, probably I have to strengthen it?).
The timing issue in regards of how many times I can capture / release an enemy per turn arose, thus I tweaked Protoplasmic Cure to be a free Attack, even if it doesn't deal damage.
Now you can (maximized) release an enemy at the start of the turn, capture one with Quick Trigger, release in your Attack (Essence Overcharge), capture with your Attack, Release as a free Attack, capture with this or later by Quick Trigger (or by means of your free Attack).
Technically you could release an enemy at the end of a turn, but this takes you the option of releasing it at the start of the next turn, so it's a maximum of 3 per turn, which is a perfect rate for Gotcha! compared to other Grit-generating abilities.

I tried to include several distinct build-options. To my mind came:

Research 4, Channel 3 (Essence Circuit or Collect Mold & Fungus): Go the heavy melee route with Tools of Science and dish out tons of Damage! You might want to trade Research 4 for Channel 4 in order to get free Revives?!

Tame 4, Trap 3 (Collect Mold & Fungus): You try to catch a REALLY BIG Essence Companion! Use Flash of Spirits and Maelstrom combined with nasty ranged or melee weapons (+ damage, please!).

Trap 3/4, Channel 4/3 (Essence Drainer): This will give you a BLAST at ranged combat! Equip you beloved shooting iron (Go for Trap 4 tu use even a shotgun!) and hunt down the enemies, constantly releasing and recharging for maximum effect!

Research 3, Tame 4 (Collect Mold & Fungus): Aim for a constant damage bonus with your Know your Enemies Ability.

Certain cross-builds are a nice touch as well (Research 2, Trap 3, Channel 2 with Circuit makes a great Healer), while not too efficient damage-wise.

Feel free to find other fun combos!

Happy gaming, Jan
---
Edit for spelling, sorry!
 
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Jan Meyberg
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Ahem...

THIS is where you'll find the rules:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/140338/custom-characte...

Enjoy!
 
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Jan Meyberg
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Aaaaand: Another link. I stumbled across this great mini, so I wanted to share it with you:

http://guildofharmony.com/products/aykroyd-paranormal-invest...

(shipping from Australia, but at a flat shipping fee!)
 
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ScottL
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Nice Hero Concept, I'll have to give him a try soon. Looks quite fun

Oh the PDF doesn't appear to have a base hero card with stats. Just the special rules.
 
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ScottL
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This really looks fun.

Thematically, to me it seems to make lots of sense for Demon, Void and Undead Enemies, extend that to Beasts as well, but not as much for Human, Robot, or Construct enemies.

It might be interesting (though likely much more of a headache to manage in game terms) to have the capture of enemies and their possible results be based on their keywords. Perhaps Robot/Constructs have no essences to capture? Or only yield certain results. Might capturing the essence of your fellow man (even if he is a lowly bandit scum) be taboo and cause the hero corruption or something?

It could be interesting to have different reasons to want to capture one type (keyword) over another.
 
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Jan Meyberg
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Dear Scott,
a great idea! There should be some room on the Essence Trap to note such implications on - but you are perfectly right - I tried to keep anything as easy as possible so I re-wrote my first approach of "Spirit" into "Essence". Hence the outlaw-scummy essence of a bandito might as well be drawn into the Essence Trap when defeating him ;-)

OK, it's just a subterfuge in order to keep it simple in game terms...

Probably I'll come up with some other way of ruling, or just include special rules for Outlaw, Robot and Construct enemies?!

Best regards, Jan

(P.S.: My issue with this is that there are constantly new keywords popping up. But probably it's enough to include certain keywords?!)

(P.P.S.: Which keywords would you propose as having certain implications?)
 
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Jan Meyberg
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On a second thought:

Outlaw: Immediately gain <Essence> corruption hits.
Robotic / Construct: <Essence> is lowered by 1.
(There's still Energy in them!)

Other ideas?
 
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ScottL
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You are right about the possibility of new enemy keyword types. That had crossed my mind as well.

I suppose maybe something could be done to group enemies into a few broad categories (where future new enemy types may logically fall into without having to continually make adjustments)

Malignant (Demon, Void, Undead)
Neutral (Natural?) (Human, Beast)
Null (Construct, Robot)


Those are off the top of my head I'm sure there are more to match up.
But say you had just 3 main categories like that, implications could be that you gain certain essence aspects depending on what is trapped (or what you intentionally trap).

Just to toss off some ideas, maybe something along these lines:
Malignant essences yield destructive aspects (+/- combat, +/- damage),
Neutral, yield life-force aspects (restore/drain health & sanity),
Null enemies maybe all you can get is raw energy to fuel aspects such as buffs/debuffs to init, grit, movement.


(Edits : just attempting to reign my stray thoughts into submission to make more sense)
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Jan Meyberg
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A solid idea - but I'm somewhat hesitant about things "falling logically under one of those categories" without having to rule them. What if something like a demonic golem showed up? (Is this a demon or a construct?)

I think I'll stick with VERY certain exceptions from my general rule as for example I don't mind to see a Drakstone Hydra being captured with the Essence Trap, while it's kind of ... messy to have the occasional Outlaw stuck in your Trap.

The PI is already rather luck dependent - he needs to have certain enemies fielded in order to be of maximum effect - so I don't like the idea of randomizing his abilities even further by, say, increasing the Upgrade's power but limiting them to use with certain Essences.
I'm fine with "flavour tweaks" which show that the Essence Trap isn't meant to be used against (living) human enemies, though...

I'll add
"Whenever you capture an enemy with the Human or Outlaw keyword, you immediately take <Essence> Corruption Hits."
Robotic enemies just help with their raw energy as Essence - think of it like the Essence Trap would drain their Energies instead of their "life essence".
 
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ScottL
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Sounds good. I ordered that figure and will give him a try soon. Arriving near the 10th. Will print out your pages and give him a go
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Jan Meyberg
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My pleasure that acutally someone is going to give the PI a try!

In my playtest yesterday we recognized that the PI should have INI 4 rather than 3 - it's a big bonus if someone can kill enemies after he has taken his turn. It brings him more on par with the Marshal, which is fine theme-wise...
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Jan Meyberg
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... and new input from our playtests:

The I should have more chances on killing enemies early on, as without enemies he can't do a lot with his cool trap.
So we decided him to have a
Capture Array: When you have your Essence Trap equipped with no enemy captured, you may re-roll a single to-hit die each turn.

Do other people have some playtest results yet?

Best regards, Jan
 
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ScottL
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Haven't played him yet, sorry chance to play anything lately.

Just for contemplation though... the whole idea that the PI himself must be the one to deal the final blow is going to be limiting. Would your mechanics still work if he were allowed to trap an enemy essence during the same round that the enemy was KO'd? Regardless of 'who' managed to take the creature down.

That way, he could use his activation to scoop up the essence and still be useful. Perhaps essences obtained in this manner are weaker than if he managed to bag the varmint himself. (or a twist on the same thought... he gets a bonus if he manages to KO and trap it during his activation)


 
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ScottL
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I was reading through your rules again and got confused...

Does the PI have to release a trapped enemy essence at the end of a turn? I didn't see that in the write up.

Or is it more like on Ghost Busters where they trap the ghost and carry it around in the trap until released.

The starting upgrade card for Essence Circuit : "Once per turn, you may spend 1 Grit instead of releasing an enemy"

now has me confused. It seems to imply that if I don't spend a grit, that the enemy will be automatically released.

Have I got that all twisted up wrong in my mind?
 
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Jan Meyberg
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Thank you for the feedback!
Its more like Ghostbusters at all - you carry around the Essence in your Trap and can release it in order to achieve some effect. I should probably make it clearer in the special rules that "releasing an enemy" is almost always a COST payed to trigger a certain effect.
The Essence Trap allows you to heal <Essence> Wounds/Sanity from yourself at the end of the Round if you pay the cost of releasing an enemy.

Thus the Essence Circuit Starting Upgrade allows you to, once per turn, trigger the Effect of an ability with "Release an enemy" as part of its cost, but you DON'T have to release the enemy. You must still have an enemy captured in order to use this ability (otherwise you couldn't release it - and, as all "release"-abilities refer to an <Essence>-Value, this value would be indefinite as there's no enemy in your Essence Trap to provide you with this value!).
 
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Jan Meyberg
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ScooterNH wrote:
Haven't played him yet, sorry chance to play anything lately.

Just for contemplation though... the whole idea that the PI himself must be the one to deal the final blow is going to be limiting. Would your mechanics still work if he were allowed to trap an enemy essence during the same round that the enemy was KO'd? Regardless of 'who' managed to take the creature down.

That way, he could use his activation to scoop up the essence and still be useful. Perhaps essences obtained in this manner are weaker than if he managed to bag the varmint himself. (or a twist on the same thought... he gets a bonus if he manages to KO and trap it during his activation)




The "Quick Trigger" Upgrade actually allows the Paranormal Investigator to capture enemies killed in an adjacent space, no matter who killed them. As you pointed out, this is quite the big deal, as it allows you to focus on other things than killing an enemy to get the essence.

You are correct, a key concept to playing the PI is to understand when to release - and when to capture - enemies. DIfferent builds use different strategies here, which is a must for different character builds IMHO. Following are my ideas on how to release and capture enemies - feel free to ignore them if you want to find out all by yourself:

Tame Spirits Build:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

Obviously when you follow the "Tame Spirits" part, you try to capture the mightiest enemy you can get and KEEP IT. This gives you a minor bonus (Know your Enemies applies all the time, but only to this exact enemy unless you have the "Generalization" upgrade), a minor drawback (Capture Array doesn't function anymore) and tons of major boni (usually in exchange for Grit) - your Upgrades. Note that you want to have "Large Magazine" in order to capture the biggest fellow out there, but your "Gotcha!"-Upgrade will be practically useless. UNTIL you release mediocre enemies every now and then in order to capture more potent ones..


Channel Essence Build:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

This build is far more interesting in regards of capture/release. You want to make sure you have no enemy in your trap anytime you kill an enemy, but quite often killing an enemy is easier if you HAVE an enemy trapped ("Know your enemies").
First of all you should understand that it's possible to release enemies an average of three times a round: At the end of a round / Start of the next round (Essence Trap, Facing Darkness, Spirit Shroud), as a free Attack (Protoplasmic Cure, Raging Energies), as an Addition to your Attack (Essence Overcharge). Thus you can only trap an enemy thrice a round as well.
With "Essence Overcharge" you can thwart an enemy AND make room in your Trap to capture it - a great Upgrade if things get close and personal, AND it works together with "Know your enemies"!
The "Free Attack" options allow you to decide whether to empty your magazine before or after your actual attack - it's pretty smart to use your free attack BEFORE you attack normally to have room to capture a smaller enemy. SOMETIMES it's better (especially with no/a weak enemy captured, but that's obvious!) to attack normally first, burn the small enemy with "Essence Overcharge" and capture a big enemy to be released the same turn via "Raging Energies" - cool combos ahead!
But even this depends: If you follow a Research / CHannel Essence Build you might want to keep your captured essence a bit longer and NOT use it to create big fireworks - it might help you in the next HbtD-Roll or give you additional attack boni (Generalization).


The Essence Drainer Build:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
An option with the tongue in the cheek is to use the Essence Drainer Upgrade, go the ranged route, buy a Free Attack ranged weapon (you are a performer!) and never cross the beams!
Note that Essence Overcharge works with ranged attacks as well - you can release hell on ... well ... Cynder if you go the BIG FIREWORKS route, use Essence overcharge (with a tiny enemy it's +1 Damage from "Know your enemies" +1 Damage from Essence Overcharge = quite the sure kill!) on your Cheater's Hold-Out Pistol, capture an enemy and use Essence Overcharge again. And again. And again. Ranged!

Additionally: Go to TrapTech 4 to use the biggest shotgun you can get with your Essence Trap!
 
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ScottL
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Hey cool... My figure finally came today all the way from Oz. Mini looks nice. Now I just need to paint him and will give the PI hero a try as written. Hope to get a chance sunday to try him out at least solo.

Thanks for creating the hero.
 
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Jan Meyberg
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You're welcome! It's my honor you find this hero at least worth trying!
Happy gaming, Jan
 
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ScottL
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I have that Aykroyd figure now from guildofharmony (really quite a cool figure indeed - I've only got him partially painted. But looks like such a perfect match for the hero)

He's holding up an "Essence Trap" which is perfect, but he also is holding the Particle Thrower gun which is cabled to the proton pack.

I realize I'm probably being overly literal with the references to Ghostbusters that are merely implied in your write up of the hero class. But I'm adopting a slight mod to your design. Instead of equipping him with a standard pistol for use with the Essence Drainer starting upgrade, I'm replacing that with a Particle Thrower.

Since such a messy looking stream weapon that doesn't really exist in the game (I looked through all my cards) I wanted to equip him with something close to the standard pistol on your card, but also something more in theme. The best I can come up with is a weaker version of the Plasma Arc Targa Artifact.

Pistol : 1 handed, Range 6, 2 shots with 2 upgrade slots.
Plasma Arc : 1 handed, Range 8, 1 shot, no upgrades, but
"each Hit counts as 2 Hits on the target, and 1 Hit on each adjacent enemy. No Critical Hits"

To try to come up with something sort of between the two... I have this:
Proposed Particle Thrower : 1 handed, range 6, 1 shot, 1 upgrade slot, each hit counts as 2 hits.

I'm leaving out the Plasma Arc's splash damage to adjacent enemies, but leaving the chance for a crit. With the 1 shot = 2 hits mechanic, this weapon seems thematically unwieldy, and less accurate than a normal pistol because of it's single shot, but when it does hit, maybe it hits harder.

Anyway, it was just an idea that popped into my head as I was setting up the posse and printing out my character sheets
 
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ScottL
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I played the PI in a solo game of "Hanging High" last night with a posse of 3 (4th being strung up at the gallows).

That mission seems too difficult for an entry-level posse... What was I thinking! 4 Brutal Marshals (Health 16, Def=3, No Crits), and 2 rooftop bandits. Ya, it did NOT go very well. But the PI was a hoot to play. (I may write up the little adventure in the sessions topic when I get a chance - even in failure, it was a good story for the new posse)


I used the Particle Thrower mentioned (above) rather than the pistol. It was tricky, and in the end I found him a bit more effective in melee (which doesn't seem quite right).

I did resort to the taboo of entrapping a human essence (mostly because I wanted to try the feature, and we were desperately losing at that point). The resultant 6 corruption hits I had to deal with were appropriately frightening. Good thing they were defendable, only 3 got through. But he won't be doing that sort of thing very often. That heal saved his butt.

PS: I set him up with the ranged Essence Drainer ability.
 
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ScottL
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I think this hero type ought to get some sort of special treatment while visiting a "Haunted Town". Maybe some bonus while visiting but also balanced by some negative like extra "unwanted attention" perhaps.
 
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Jan Meyberg
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Dear Scott, thank you for your patience with the PI!
We moved at Jan 5th, but by now most things are back to normal. Time to get back to the PI!

I made some minor changes due to my playtest results:
- Initiative is 4 now,
- I introduced the Capture array (1 To-Hit re-roll as long as no enemy is captured),
- Gotcha works on a roll of 4+ instead of 5+
- Lesson Learnt doubles the XP of Encounters and Scavenge Cards
- I included your great idea of the Particle Thrower

I'm still pondering about a major change (what do you think?):
I'd like to allow the paranormal investigator to capture enemies of all sizes right from the beginning. This would simplify rules significantly and would open a tier 3 upgrade (Large Magazine) - I could rework it into something like "Your Essence Trap can contain two captured enemies. Only one of them contributes its Essence at any given time.".

My only issue: Will this make the Tame Spirits upgrade tree too powerful right from the beginning? With certain strategic planning, it's possible to acquire an Essence 4 enemy as soon as it shows up; in this case Flash of Spirits is a tad better than the Bandido's Swingin' Fists. Trusty ally would allow you to re-roll nigh to all To-Hit dice (and you had two free hands in this scenario!), Maelstrom wouldn't be THAT significantly better (in fact, its soon "high price, high payout"...).

As you'd forfeit all other release upgrades to be able to keep this bonus I think it might be a fair trade - and RAW it's pretty unlikely you will ever get past Essence 2 or 3 easily if you would NOT take Large Magazine.
Re-reading all my arguments I'll just change it and upload the current rules!

Best regards, Jan
 
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ScottL
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I'm currently using version 06 of him. Will take a look at the changes you mentioned, and the new version PDF when its available.

I just got him to Level 2 last night.

I've been playing with these slight variations :

The Particle Thrower has worked out nicely to be an inaccurate but powerful weapon and feels right. It's a tough decision at this low level to either stay at range (and likely miss with only 1 die for the to-hit) or to go close and just melee for better chance to land a hit.
Refinements to this weapon might be to make it more like the Jargono Native starting weapons. More upgrade slots, but also a built-in darkstone, to make it's constant use be a possible source of corruption. And that fits in well with lugging around an unlicensed dark stone particle accelerator on his back. I'll try to make an actual starting gear card for it.

I've also wrote up (scribbled as a class ability on my character sheet - but haven't tried it yet) that he gets an extra die for any skill tests involved with ghosts/spirits or encounters in haunted towns. But with a drawback that he also gains 1 unwanted attention each day he stays in a haunted town. Given that he has some experience with the paranormal already, I thought it might be good and fitting the character to have a little bit about that. I just got through with an adventure with this posse and in the campaign, one of the nearby towns is haunted... I want to mess around there for a bit and see how the addition works.

I'd like to improve on your Essence Trap reference image if I can. It looks pretty modern and the colored squares are very small and hard to read. I found some steampunk Ghost Busters backpack images, and was thinking that I might attempt to create a graphic with larger indicators of the levels of captured essences. If I come up with anything I'll mail it to you.

This is a VERY minor point, but I'll mention it anyway. If you are fine-tuning the writeup for the PDF, one suggestion I have is to replace any phrasing where you say that he captures or releases "the enemy". I mean, he's not really capturing the enemy, but really capturing the essence of the enemy. I found it kind of breaks the immersion for me the way it's worded. LOL he's not lugging the dead carcass around on his back.

So a phrase like "While you have an enemy captured" might be better if it said "While you have an essence captured"

________________________________________________________

I like the idea of simplifying what can be captured and your suggestion for holding multiple essences as an upgrade. I agree that it may make the Tame Spirits path a bit powerful. Perhaps "Flash of Spirits" in that path could be changed away from
making (Z) combat against each adjacent enemy,
to making D3 hits against (Z) adjacent enemies ignoring defense.
Sort of like a mini-dynamite maybe?

OR... hmmm... how about skipping the damage idea altogether and make the Flash of Spirits be more of a stun to (Z) adjacent enemies. Causing them to lose their next activation. Like a spiritual/energy EMP of sorts. (Sorry, just thinking out loud a bit).

(Z) is my reference for the essence level.

________________________________________________________

So far I've really enjoyed playing him along with Njeps Mountain Man. Both are nice additions. I'll have to try out the changes you just mentioned this weekend.
 
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Jan Meyberg
Germany
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Dear Scott,
sorry it got silent around the PI for some time!

I'd LOVE to see your steampunk ghost busters trap - feel free to PM / mail me, OK?

I playtested even more yesterday and got a bit frustrated: My PI managed to finally acquire a Void Plate - and was crunched to death by a Void Twister. great.

I encounter a severe difficulty with my NOT-ranged PI: He's not too well able to play up to his strengths, catches essences too rarely, ... I've used my spirit trap thrice in the last two adventures. This is TOO seldom IMHO for a build which completely relies on this device!
(as I played melee only this might have been my issue: I was often in no position to deal a final blow)
I think this could be somehow mitigated by making the particle thrower a starting equipment for ALL PIs. I'll add the DS icon and more upgrade slots (2 in total? 3 to resemble he likes tinkering around with his tool? ... Ahem ... ). Thus the Particle Thrower could be upgraded to - fully functional - 2 Shots, each hit counting as 2 hits, range 10, once per fight add <P> damage to a hit. Whew... But this item would bear 4 (!) DS symbols ;-)

I think I really should re-arrange the "Channel Essence" tree to help the PI to a bit more "Wham" early on. As is, he's pretty scarce on options to actually kill an enemy all by himself (which is getting a tad better with the Particle Thrower, though).
This is in two ways a major drawback:
a) he doesn't recieve too many XP (which is fine, as his other upgrades give additional XP...)
b) he doesn't get the "raw material" (essence) he needs to do fancy things with. THIS is pretty bad.

I could imagibe to re-arrange the Channel Essence tree into tiers 2 - 3 - 1 - 4 (with upgrading tier 1 a bit) while toning down Flash of Spirits in the fashion you suggested. Great!

All in all I'm really happy with what the PI emerges to be (and how the different changes interact! The new version of Know your Enemies (providing a better chance for crits instead of +1 Damage) merges great with the new Particle Thrower!

I'll update the .pdf later on today!

Best regards, Jan
 
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