Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
16 Posts

Sentinels of the Multiverse» Forums » Variants

Subject: Kismet - Twist of Fate rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Michael Hunter
New Zealand
flag msg tools
Avatar
Final version is here

















Miss Information is basically, done so that brings me to the next, and amazingly LAST in my planned villain promos - Kismet, Twist of Fate.

Kismet is a villain there's nothing massively wrong with, she plays fine as is, but is not in my mind a perfect experience. Identified issues are...

1: She's pretty easy. Her HP isn't especially high, doesn't play any targets to defend herself, and the bulk of her cards don't do a great deal of damage. She will usually only play one card a turn, and while she can be fairly disruptive but still does not tend to be a great challenge.

2: Talisman is wierd. In principle she has this interesting gameplay where you try to wrest the Talisman off her to stop her getting her powers, but in practice it doesn't play out very interestingly. When she HAS the Talisman she deals H psychic damage each turn and has a chance of playing an extra card each turn. Crucially, she also increases damage by 1 for every Jinx in play (which can be a lot, making her 1 psychic damage a nasty proposition). When she doesn't, she deals 2-8 damage a turn (not a major difference, although in fairness it is usually focused on one hero), she doesn't have the chance to play an extra card, instead gaining pretty trivial HP. Plus, one of the heroes has a really amazing power from holding it.

So, it is pretty obvious that you want to keep the Talisman away from her hands (especially after the first few turns in when there are some jinxes out boosting her damage). The issue is, keeping the talisman off her is pretty damn easy, it only has 7 HP, she has no way to defend it, so she spends most of game without it. Every now and then she finally reclaims it, then one of your heroes whacks her over the face with a newspaper and immediately takes it back. It's more a children's game of keep away than a villain mechanic, not very dynamic for her main gimmick. There's only one thing you need to do, and it's really easy TO do. Not very interesting.

2: Miscellanea. Firstly, the gaining HP based on lucky cards on her back side is just bizzare - there are only 8 lucky cards in the deck, and only two of THOSE are ongoings, thus could hypothetically stay around on the board.

Secondly, those two lucky cards can be a bitch, if you'll pardon my french. First we have Lady Luck, which baaaaasically makes her ongoings pretty close to indestructible. Whenever I try to kill one, about 1/3 of the time, I kill it but she plays a Lucky card. The other 2/3rds of time... basically, nothing happens. I may as well have not played the card. This is quite uninteractive and unfun, it really sucks to have random chance make your turn mean nothing. Lady Luck itself is an ongoing, so if I really want to to destroy that Glass Jaw, I need about 4 ongoing kill effects, 3 to get rid of Lady luck (on average) and 1 to get rid of the actual card that was annoying me. Ugh.

Second is Inconceivable Obstruction. Don't get me wrong, it's a hilarious effect, but in some environments (Final Wasteland, Enclave of the Endlings, to a lesser extent the Block and Dok'thorath)... it makes her pretty close to invulnerable, while dropping monsters left and right. Now, it's just an ongoing, so if it's being annoying kill it. But then, if she gets Lady Luck AND Inconceivable obstruction out, then... it can be game over, and a very annoying every-time-we-try-to-deal-damage-or-destroy-something-it-just-doesn't-work-and-I-can-do-nothing-to-effect-anything kind of way.

So, my idea for some changes follows. Interestingly, my last villain promo is probably the only one where the promo is shorter than the original card.



The first change is designed to give some dynamism to the Talisman, rather than just playing "Keep away" with Kismet. Basically, her start of turn varies depending on if she has the Talisman or not. With her talisman she plays an extra card and deals everyone 0 psychic damage (remember, buffed +1 per jinx she has, which with playing two cards a turn can be a lot).

When she DOESN'T have it she does a Karmic Catastrophe (or possible Katastrophe, haven't decided) to get it back, raining semi-random pain down on the group and getting the Talisman back. However, when she gets the talisman taken, she loses all her Jinxes current out.

This gives a kind of cycle - with her talisman she plays jinxes quite fast (accounting for Fortune's Smile and Karmic Disjunction, She gets about 2 ongoing jinxes in 3 plays). This causes her 0 psychic damage to ramp up and the jinxes to become more and more annoying, till eventually taking a Karmic C(K)atastrophe becomes a fair price to get rid of them and reset her damage bonus. If you never take the Talisman she's dealing 6 psychic damage to everyone every turn, if you take the Talisman too often then Karmic K(C)atastrophe will wreck you. There is also the unpredictable damage of Fortune's Smile and Imminent Destruction to make things dangerous on the Twist of Fate side (as they benefit from her Talisman's damage buff). Finally, if she gets out Inconceivable Obstruction in a target heavy environment and you don't have ongoing removal it's not game over, just destroy the talisman and you can at least continue playing.

I found if you had good ongoing destruction (Mostly Mental Divergence) you could destroy ongoings consistently enough to ruin this cycle, so now Lady Luck is a permanent fixture - making ongoing destroying not impossible (Fuelled Freeze for example will probably nab a few) but not a superior strategy. As you have a very solid alternate way to get rid of jinxes (via the talisman) Lady Luck is much less oppressive.




All of that boosts her difficulty a fair bit (especially the second play on Twist of Fate), but she needed a little more defense - I could have boosted her HP, but she doesn't look like a tank. Instead, I gave her a permanent defensive ability - when she is dealt 4 or more damage she has a chance (about 1/3) of dodging it, which fits her character more. Originally it was any time she was dealt damage, but that got to be a pain flipping cards all the time, now it's only when it's a block of damage big enough to make it exciting.

That is my current design, have played two games with this version (there were many before) on H=4 and the central mechanics are working fairly well. Advanced Mode I have not even started thinking about.

As always, comments and criticisms welcomed!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan Richardson
United States
Alabama
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Your "would be dealt 4 or more damage" line should probably have "from a single source" tagged onto the end of it. Or "single instance", whichever you want.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Take Walker
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I just find myself wondering if it shouldn't be 3 plus the number of one-shots. On H=3, it's certainly possible for some heroes to flip three cards and get no one-shots. And if, say, Unity just did a 5-bot Robot Reclamation, this could be true for H=5 as well. Granted, it's balanced by lack of control over where the Talisman goes, but still.

Oh yes, and it should definitely be Katastrophe. :V
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joseph Guzman
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Finally, a Kismet that will actually be a challenge instead of just a warm up match. I really like her so far.

My one complaint is that her HP variance has no exact ruling on how the variance works. Does she have 50 HP to burn through and then 70 HP and then 90? Or does it vary on the amount of players? Maybe a fun way of making her HP is that it is equal to X, where X is 20x the number of players. Would vary her challenge and make her interesting. Just an idea. The reason for this is since she is a luck villain, the more opponents, the more luck is in her favor.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Hunter
New Zealand
flag msg tools
Avatar
EmperorEternal wrote:
Your "would be dealt 4 or more damage" line should probably have "from a single source" tagged onto the end of it. Or "single instance", whichever you want.

Good point, will make that change, thanks!

Takewalker wrote:
I just find myself wondering if it shouldn't be 3 plus the number of one-shots. On H=3, it's certainly possible for some heroes to flip three cards and get no one-shots. And if, say, Unity just did a 5-bot Robot Reclamation, this could be true for H=5 as well. Granted, it's balanced by lack of control over where the Talisman goes, but still.

Oh yes, and it should definitely be Katastrophe. :V

The idea is that whether you discard one-shots or not-one-shots, it's kinda sucky either way. On H=4, a one-shot is 3 damage to you, a non-one-shot is 1 damage to each of your 3 buddies, also for 3 damage. It's not quite equivalent on H=3 and H=5, but still in the ballpark. In your example, that lucky Unity might avoid any damage herself but she punched the hell out of her allies (including all her bots).

Jaggid88 wrote:
My one complaint is that her HP variance has no exact ruling on how the variance works. Does she have 50 HP to burn through and then 70 HP and then 90? Or does it vary on the amount of players? Maybe a fun way of making her HP is that it is equal to X, where X is 20x the number of players. Would vary her challenge and make her interesting. Just an idea. The reason for this is since she is a luck villain, the more opponents, the more luck is in her favor.

The idea was that you pick the number that matches your number of players, so as you say in H=3 she's 50, H=4 she's 70, H=5 she's 90. It's a trick I've used fairly universally in my various villain promo's to make them scale properly with different H (which the official heroes are largely pretty bad at). I initially had it be mathematical (In this case, Kismet would have been twenty times H minus ten), but it became easier to just write out the options. It is a bit unintuitive when you first see it, but the idea was putting it in that dark blue (matching the H icon) implies it is H based.
Poll
What should her flip side be?
Karmic Catastrophe
Karmic Katastrophe
Carmic Catastrophe (for the sake of completion)
      11 answers
Poll created by Adelphophage
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Hunter
New Zealand
flag msg tools
Avatar
This one is going pretty smoothly, other than the wording change made above, it is going nicely on H=4, so much so I thought I'd post a report.

Villain: Kismet, Twist of Fate
Heroes: Lock'n'load Epatriette, Young Legacy (with card changes), KNYFE, Visionary Unleashed.
Environment: Realm of Discord

Turn 1: Kismet opens up by giving KNYFE a glass jaw, then playing Inconceivable obstruction. Realm of Discord isn't that heavy on targets, so we figure we can play around for a turn or so.

The heroes mostly set up (Assault Rifle, Surge of Strength, Focusing Conduit-Blade) and beat on Kismet. Legacy's 4 damage atomic glare is evaded by Kismet but Inconceivable obstruction doesn't manage to stop anything. Visionary fiddles with the environment deck, putting Explosive Bubbles on top which do a little damage.

Turn 2: Kismet deals everyone 1 psychic damage, then a Fortunes Smile (dealing 2 to everyone), followed by jinxing Visionary and Legacy. She is now up to 3 jinxes, so probably needs to be flipped.

The team goes for high damage as Expatriette fires incendiary rounds into Kismet, the Talisman and the bubbles, while Legacy uses a Flying Smash, finishing off the latter two and hurting Kismet more. KNYFE uses Battlefield experience, but finally Inconceivable obstruction pays off, pulling out a Portal Fiend. Visionary Mind spikes to continue the damage.

As inconceivable obstruction has been dumping so many cards in the environment trash, the newly summoned fiend hits for SEVEN damage on Legacy, and some new ethereal bonds grasp KNYFE.

Turn 3: As she flips, Kismet loses 3 jinxes and inconceivable obstruction, but calls a Karmic K(C)atastrophe on Legacy, healing her 6 damage and 4 damage (given Surge of Strength) to everyone else! She then gives Expatriette Shaky arms.

Much damage is again dealt, with Hollowpoint-Assault rifle and Flying Smash clearing up the Etheral Bonds, hurting the Portal Fiend and doing a fair bit of damage to Kismet (although she lucks out of an Atomic Glare again). KNYFE (unable to deal damage) plays her shield and Visionary uses Suggestion to put a Glass Jaw (discarded by Kismet's defensive ability) back on top. The portal fiend is down to 7 health, but still deals a huge 8 onto KNYFE.

At the end of this round, Kismet is on 36 HP, the heroes 19,13,13 and 15 respectively.

Turn 4: Kismet deals 1 damage to everyone and continues the jinx-athon, Glass Jaw for Expatriette and Two left Feet on Visionary (bring her to +3 damage). We figure we can live through 3 psychic damage to everyone next turn and should be able to kill her the next, so opt for no talisman destruction.

Expatriette reloads her Hollowpoints and goes to town once more, followed by Legacy playing and using Motivational strike, while KNYFE uses Amplified Combatant. Together this kills the Portal Fiend and brings Kismet down even further. Visionary uses precognition to put a Shattered Mind on Kismet's deck. The environment plays another Portal Fiend (now up to 9 damage!), making the start of the next environment turn rather worrying...

Turn 5: Kismet has a hell of a turn. Firstly, she deals everyone 3 psychic damage (4 for Expat due to her glass jaw), then puts another glass jaw on Expat, then uses Fortunes Smile (dealing FIVE damage to everyone (7 for Expat due to her doubly-glassy jaw!), and two left feet, bringing everyone down to between 3 and 8 HP.

The end is rather Nigh, so we do what we can, Shotgun, Atomic Glare, Wrecking Uppercut to get rid of the Talisman (otherwise we're definitely dead next turn) and wear down Kismet. Visionary uses Wrest the Mind on the Portal Fiend, which promptly smacks Kismet for 9 (bring he to 6 HP), as an Imbued Vitality is played.

Turn 6: A Karmic Catastrophe his Expat for 6 and everyone else for 3, followed by Imminent Destruction! This cavalcade kills everyone but KNYFE (on 3 HP), but her last Wrecking uppercut, combined with some incapacitated powers lets us put her away.




That was a wierd one - she didn't get any of her usual power cards like Karmic Disjunction or Unlucky Break, but that one Fortune's smile with +4 damage really wrecked us. The Inconceivable obstruction plus Portal Fiend was a nasty combo too, lucky it only got to hit three times and one of those times it was working for us!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Hunter
New Zealand
flag msg tools
Avatar
Incidentally, at the time of writing Catastrophe and Katastrophe are currently tied, so votes are appreciated!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Hunter
New Zealand
flag msg tools
Avatar
Kismet is working out very nicely - one of the few cases where my first pass was pretty good! It's looking like HP will be around 55/70/85, but otherwise fine.

I've yet to do any serious work on the Advanced Mode's however, and I'm afraid I haven't had that much inspiration. Some things I've considered are...

Twist of Fate
-Reduce all damage to the Talisman by 2 (makes killing it soak up a lot of damage, rather than just being a button you push when convenient)
-At the end of the villain turn, each hero deals themself H psychic damage if they are by a Jinx.
-Whenever a ongoing jinx is played from the villain deck (so NOT from Karmic Disjunction) play the top card of the villain deck.

Karmic C(K)atastrophe - still tied, by the way!
-Whenever Kismet deals psychic damage to the player by the talisman, she gains that much HP
-When Kismet flips to this side, destroy H-1 hero ongoing or equipment cards
-The hero by the Talisman during the start of turn effect must skip their next turn.

None are hugely inspired, so other ideas are welcome - I like when the Advanced Effect ties into how the villain works, rather than just being a random increase or decrease damage bolted on.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stefan
Germany
flag msg tools
mb
Just a quick question:
Is it intentional that Lady Luck is not indestructible on the flip side anymore?

Regarding advanced options, I like damage reduction to the talisman on the frontside and ongoing/equipment destruction for the flipside the best. These tie in the most into the mechanics. You could also make ongoing destruction harder on the front side: "Whenever a Jinx is destroyed, Kismet deals the hero with the highest hp H psychic damage" or something like that. This would force the players more often to actively destroy the talisman.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Hunter
New Zealand
flag msg tools
Avatar
johnny_guitar_watson wrote:
Just a quick question:
Is it intentional that Lady Luck is not indestructible on the flip side anymore?

No, left that out... it's supposed to be on both sides. Will fix, thanks!

johnny_guitar_watson wrote:
Regarding advanced options, I like damage reduction to the talisman on the frontside and ongoing/equipment destruction for the flipside the best. These tie in the most into the mechanics. You could also make ongoing destruction harder on the front side: "Whenever a Jinx is destroyed, Kismet deals the hero with the highest hp H psychic damage" or something like that. This would force the players more often to actively destroy the talisman.

The idea is on the front side, because of Lady Luck destroying jinxes when she's playing 2ish a turn is pretty much a fools errand anyway, not sure if dealing damage would dis incentivize that much more...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stefan
Germany
flag msg tools
mb
I see. Maybe the talisman could have its own little Backlash Field on the front side then? Something like "Whenever the talisman is dealt damage, it deals the source of that damage H psychic damage."
But I think I still like the damage reduction by 2 the best..
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Take Walker
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, the 2 DR sounds like a good idea. Also the HP gain for the flip side.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Hunter
New Zealand
flag msg tools
Avatar


Kismet is more or less done, just going to leave this up for a couple of days for any final comments before I finish the cards.

-Karmic Catastrophe beat out Karmic Katastrophe in a tightly contested poll!

-Added Lady luck as indestructible on Karmic Catastrophe side, as I forgot first time around.

-Stuck with DR for the Talisman and some nice life gain as the Advanced Mode. Her normal mode isn't THAT hard, to I deliberately made her Advanced mode less mild than some others, so if people find her too easy with a normal team the Advanced mode might be fairly accessible (rather than requiring a super tuned team). If that makes sense.

-She is still a bit more random than I like, her cards have a lot of range (Hapless strike vs Karmic Disjunction, for example), but she plays a lot of cards over the game so it somewhat evens out, plus being kind of randomly spiky sort of suits the character, so let it go.

I considered doing some card changes to smooth it a smidge (Karmic Catastrophe as H-1 instead of H+1, Hapless strike plays top card of deck) to smooth it, but I kind of like her being a pretty minimal design. Might still make that change, but as usual torn on card changes - gameplay vs elegance?

As always, any final comments and critiques are appreciated.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Valdez
United States
Sugar Land
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll probably give this a play tomorrow night and provide some feedback.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Hunter
New Zealand
flag msg tools
Avatar
Revised version of Kismet for checking/typos. This one is also just a graphical change, mostly separating the Lucky Break effect so it's easier to read, and so it's clearer that this rule remains the same on both sides. She still works well!

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Rooney
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
I really like the randomness of her flipside effect.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.