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Subject: Custom Hero: Big Kahuna (Looking for Feedback) rss

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Wex Weximus
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So this is my first attempt at a custom hero for sentinels. This character was initially a gift that my wife designed for me as a present for our wedding. We have since been playtesting, resdesigning and working out the kinks in order to create a fun, unique, and well balanced hero. We're still looking for feedback, especially since some of these cards are very wordy and we'd love some ideas on how to shorten the text. All ideas are welcome, so please let us know what you think!

Big Kahuna is a support tank, with a focus on buffing, healing, and enabling draw card for his allies. He takes inspiration mainly from the Scholar and the Naturalist, with his main mechanic being his main new card type, Terrain, along with the secondary land keywords that go with them. Like the naturalist's forms, each terrain uses trigger symbols, focuses on certain mechanics, and only one can be out at a time. The twist in this case is that nearly every card in his deck brings out a terrain card and has additional terrain based trigger effects if they are played while their associated terrain is already on the field. This creates gameplay choices where managing the current terrain is crucial to Big Kahuna's power and success.


Big Kahuna
HP: 30
Base Power: One with the Land - You may activate effects as if you had just played a Volcano, Ocean, and Jungle card. You may draw a card.
Incapacitated:
*Destroy 1 Environment card.
*One player may draw a card now.
*One hero regains 2 hp.


Terrain Cards (3)

Seismic Activity (1)
Ongoing, Terrain
When this card enters play, destroy any other Terrain cards.
Whenever you play a Volcano card, Big Kahuna may deal 1 target 2 fire damage.
You may activate [Red Volcano] effects.
Power: Reduce damage dealt to all hero targets by 1 until the start of your next turn.

Ocean Tides (1)
Ongoing, Terrain
When this card enters play, destroy any other Terrain cards.
Whenever you play an Ocean card, each player may draw 1 card, then discard 1 card.
You may activate [Blue Ocean] effects.
Power: Destroy 1 Environment Card.

Tropical Growth (1)
When this card enters play, destroy any other Terrain cards in play.
Whenever you play a Jungle card, all hero targets may regain 1 hp.
You may activate [Green Jungle] effects.
Power: One player, other than you, may play a card now.


Volcano Cards (8)

Guardian of Men (2)
Ongoing, Volcano
[Red Volcano]: When this card enters play, reduce damage dealt to Big Kahuna by 2 until the start of your next turn.
When this card enters play, search your deck and trash for Seismic Activity and put it into play. Shuffle your deck.
Redirect any damage that would be dealt to hero targets by non-hero targets to Big Kahuna.
At the start of your turn, destroy this card.

Strength of the Earth (2)
Ongoing, Limited, Volcano
When this card enters play, search your deck and trash for Seismic Activity and put it into play. Shuffle your deck.
Reduce damage dealt to Big Kahuna by 1.
[Red Volcano]: Whenever you play a Volcano card, increase damage dealt by Big Kahuna by 1 until the start of your next turn.

Volcanic Wrath (4)
One-Shot, Volcano
Big Kahuna deals 1 target 3 fire damage.
[Red Volcano]: If a target damaged this way has 2 or fewer hp, destroy that target.
Search your deck and trash for Seismic Activity and put it into play. Shuffle your deck.


Ocean Cards (8)

Blessing of the Sea (3)
One-Shot, Ocean
Reveal the top two cards of each hero deck. Put 1 of the revealed cards on the top of its deck and 1 on the bottom of its deck. Draw a card.
[Blue Ocean]: Each player may draw a card.
Search your deck and trash for Ocean Tides and put it into play. Shuffle your deck.

Crashing Waves (3)
One-Shot, Ocean
Big Kahuna deals up to 3 targets 1 projectile damage each.
[Blue Ocean]: Big Kahuna deals each non-hero target 2 projectile damage.
You may draw a card.
Search your deck and trash for Ocean Tides and put it into play. Shuffle your deck.

Undertow (2)
Ongoing, Ocean
[Blue Ocean]: When this card enters play, select 1 non-indestructible card in play, other than a character card, and put it on the top of its deck.
When this card enters play, search your deck and trash for Ocean Tides and put it into play. Shuffle your deck.
When a non-hero target deals damage to a hero target, you may redirect that damage to another target. If you do, destroy this card.


Jungle Cards (8)

Divine Sunlight (3)
One-Shot, Jungle
Each player may discard a card. Big Kahuna regains X hp, where X equals the number of cards discarded this way plus 1.
[Green Jungle]: Each player that discarded a card this way may use a power now.
Search your deck and trash for Tropical Growth and put it into play. Shuffle your deck.

Grasping Vines (3)
One-Shot, Jungle
Select a non-hero target. That target cannot deal damage until the start of your next turn.
[Green Jungle]: Each player may take 1 card other than Grasping Vines from their trash and put it on top of their deck. Then, one other player may play the top card of their deck.
Search your deck and trash for Tropical Growth and put it into play. Shuffle your deck.

Heart of Kane (2)
Ongoing, Limited, Jungle
When this card enters play, search your deck and trash for Tropical Growth and put it into play. Shuffle your deck.
At the start of the turn, Big Kahuna and the target with the lowest HP each regain 2 hp. Then, you may destroy this card.
[Green Tree]: Whenever you play a Jungle card, select a target. The next time this target would deal damage, 1 hero target regains that much hp instead.


Equipment (2)

Token of Friendship (2)
Equipment, Limited
Play this card next to another hero character card.
[Red Volcano]: Whenever Big Kahuna damages a target, this hero may deal the same target 1 radiant damage.
[Blue Ocean]: The first time each round Big Kahuna draws a card, this hero may also draw a card.
[Green Jungle]: Whenever Big Kahuna regains hp, this hero regains 1 hp.


Ongoing Cards (5)

Avatar of Nature (3)
Ongoing
Power: [Red Volcano]: Select a target. Increase damage dealt by that target by 1 until the start of your next turn.
[Blue Ocean]: Draw 3 cards, then discard 2 cards.
[Green Jungle]: Select a target. Reduce damage dealt by that target by 1 until the start of your next turn.

Convergence of the Gods (2)
Ongoing, Limited
Terrain cards are indestructible and cannot be targeted by destroy effects.
At the end of your turn, Big Kahuna may deal himself X irreducible radiant damage, where X is the number of terrain cards in play plus 1. If Big Kahuna takes no damage this way, destroy this card.
When this card leaves play, destroy all Terrain cards.


One-Shot (6)

Break the World (2)
One-Shot
Destroy a terrain card. If you do, destroy all environment cards and Big Kahuna deals each target 3 Irreducible Melee Damage.
Immediately end your turn.

Spirits of the Island (4)
One-Shot
Search your deck or trash for a Terrain card and put it into play. If you searched your deck, shuffle your deck.
You may activate effects as if you had just played a Volcano, Ocean, and Jungle card.
You may draw a card.
You may play a card.


Edit 1, 3/20/17: Took Stefan's advice and gave the most of the cards an additional keyword to save on card text. Hope I got order of operations right for some of the ongoing cards. If I didn't, someone please call me out on it/suggest a solution. I'm still looking for feedback and ways to streamline card text, so keep the comments coming!

Edit 2, 3/21/17:
-Reworked card trigger systems per braincraft's suggestion. Terrains now allow certain effects to activate while they are, same as the Naturalist.
-Swapped Volcanic Wrath's numbers. Now does 3 damage and destroys at 2 or less hp. Incentives volcano form more and makes that card usually be more effective than Crashing Waves against single targets.
-Due to necessary rewording, Crashing Waves does slightly more overall damage now.
-Grasping Vines no longer works on hero targets. The effect already might be too strong since it doesn't need to damage the target to work. Further advice and testing needed.
-Heart of Kane got a massive rework. It no longer jumps between targets, making it less precise, but it works on more potential targets now. Effect is similar enough to the old effect at heart while reducing the word count.
-Removed reveal effect on Avatar of Nature to save word count, as well as removing limited keyword. Still unsure if this power is too weak for certain aspects of it, would love feedback on this.
-Removed land trigger effects on Token of Friendship to save word count. Effects should still be strong enough on their own, though I wish I could find a way to add that land trigger effect back onto a different card somewhere.
-Applied most of the necessary wording/mechanic touch ups suggested by Stefan.
-Cleaned up wording all around to reduce word count as much as possible.
 
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brain craft
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It's not clear to me why there needed to be three different terrain effects, since every card that activates any terrain effect either activates all three, puts a terrain in play that automatically destroys the others, or both.
 
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Stefan
Germany
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This looks like a really cool concept! The theme is great and the mechanics seem rich. There are so many possible options and descions to make for the player, so that it's very rewarding when you pull off something cool!
This is regarding your comment on shortening the card text:
You could add 3 different keywords to the cards, something like "Earth", "Water" and "Fire".

Give "Guardian of Men" and "Volcanic Wrath" the Fire Keyword etc.
Then you put instructions on the terrain card, when to trigger the (Red Volcano) effects etc.
For example:

Seismic Activity (1)
Ongoing, Terrain
When this card enters play, destroy any other Terrain cards.
Whenever a fire card enters play, you may activte (Red Volcano) effects.
[Red Volcano]: Deal 2 Target 1 Fire Damage each.
Power: Reduce damage dealt to all hero targets by 1 until the start of your next turn.

Volcanic Wrath (4)
One-Shot, Fire
Deal 1 Target 2 Fire damage. Then, if Seismic Activity is in play and that target has 3 or less hp, destroy that Target.
Search your deck or trash for Seismic Activity and put it into play. If you searched your deck, shuffle your deck.

This way you could safe a line or two on a few cards. Having the search instructions on each and every card seems not very elegant, but I can't think of a way around it right now, other than going the Naturalist way and make search his base power, which would be not really exciting.
 
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Wex Weximus
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braincraft wrote:
It's not clear to me why there needed to be three different terrain effects, since every card that activates any terrain effect either activates all three, puts a terrain in play that automatically destroys the others, or both.


That's kind of the point. The idea is that over half the cards in the deck involuntarily bring out one of the three terrains. Each terrain gives a different power and passive effects, so choosing the right cards to set yourself up for the rest of the turn and the next turn is crucial. More importantly, sticking with the same terrain for multiple turns strengthens the effects of linked keyword cards.

I'll give you an example.

You play Volcanic Wrath on your first turn, deal 1 target 2 fire damage. Then you put out Seismic Activity. Then you could either use Seismic Activity's power for reducing damage to your team or use your base power to activate Seismic Activity's effect to deal another 2 fire damage.

Next turn, you play another Volcanic Wrath. This time, as soon as you play it, you activate the effect on Seismic Activity and get to deal 1 target 2 fire damage. Then Volcanic Wrath resolves and you deal a target 2 fire damage, which then is destroyed if it's at 3 or less hp, Seismic Activity was in play when this card was played. Then you can repeat powers from last turn, which in theory results in you doing at least 6 effective damage in one turn, 9 if you count the destroy effect.

By sticking with that terrain over two or more turns, you increase the strengths of that terrain type, namely single target damage and damage reduction for Seismic Activity/Volcano in this case. But you give up the strengths of the other two terrains (Card Draw/Field Control for Ocean and Healing/Support Effects for Jungle). You can play a different land card to change your specialty, but it slows down your most powerful effects to do so, and you need to effectively plan out your card plays to do so. There are ways to optimize these effects if you play certain cards correctly to chain effects (such as with Spirits of the Island), and the hopeful enjoyment of playing the character is to be able to understand these mechanics well enough to set up intricate and powerful effects over multiple turns, while still being flexible enough to change tactics if you have to.

A little wordy, but I hope this answer clears things up.
 
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brain craft
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Yes, I see what you were going for, but that wasn't what I was talking about. All effects that refer to any of [Red Volcano], [Blue Waves], or [Green Tree] would play identically if you just had one referent for all terrain effects instead of three different ones. All cards that refer to any of Seismic Activity, Ocean Tides, and Tropical Growth do not take advantage of this symbol notation as with the Naturalist's deck, which I assume was your primary inspiration.

Also, a bunch of the cards go way, way over the usual text limit. They'd have to be irregular cards like Self-Destruct Sequence just to fit. Normal cards stick to 250 characters or less, and the indentation for a Power entry reduces available space per line. You have several cards that blow past 500 characters, with a Power.

I'm not sure about putting a power on Heart of Kane when it can be played on another Hero, or even a Villain. Generally all cards with powers that a player can use are restricted to that player's deck area.
 
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Stefan
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Just some quick notes:
- Convergence of the Gods could need a little clarification, something like "Terrain cards are indestructible and cannot be targeted for destruction". Otherwise the players could abuse this and save other cards from ongoing destruction effects this way.
- You could technically give Spirit of the Island all three Keywords, but then you would probably need a bigger keyword-box on that card.
If you did, you could again safe space on a few cards. For example Strength of the earth would then no longer need the "(volcano): If Seismic Activity is in play," line.
- Avatar of Nature's power has a very long text, you will probably never fit that on a card. Maybe drop the reveal cards part?
- same for Token of Friendship. You could try to create some playtest cards, if you haven't already, and see how much text you can fit on the cards.
- Should Seismic activiy say "(volcano): Big Kahuna deals 1 target 2 fire damage"?
- volcanic wrath is missing a source for that damage, too.
- same for Crashing Waves and Break the World.
 
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Wex Weximus
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Is there a card maker program/template I can use to play with this? Sorry if the answer to this is well known, but I haven't done something like this before and I hadn't really thought about text limits until this thread.
 
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Stefan
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Here, have a look!
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/813176/card-templates
If you don't have image editing software, you can open these templates in GIMP, which you can download for free.
 
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Stefan
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I read through the deck again and wanted to make some more suggestions for card changes:

Token of Friendship (2)
Equipment, Limited
Play this card next to another hero.
(Volcano): This hero may deal 1 target 2 radiant damage.
(Waves): This hero's player may draw a card.
(Tree): This hero regains 2 hp.

Avatar of Nature (3)
Ongoing, Limited
(Volcano): Select a target. Increase damage dealt by that target by 1 until the start of your next turn.
(Waves): Draw 3 cards. Discard 2 cards.
(Tree): Select a target. Reduce damage dealt by that target by 1 until the start of your next turn.

--> both of these cards could make more use of your icon system to safe some space. Avatar of Nature doesn't need to be a power, because you could trigger these effects with your base power anyway. Would make Kahuna a bit stronger though, because now his one-shots etc. would also acctivate these effects, but that might be okay..


Heart of Kane (2)
Ongoing, Limited, Jungle
When this card enters play, search your deck and trash for Tropical Growth and put it into play. Shuffle your deck.
At the end of your turn, move this card next to a character card.
The first time each turn this target would deal damage, 1 hero target regains that much hp instead.
(Tree): Big Kahuna and the target next to this card regain 1 hp each.

--> if this is still too long, I would drop the tree effect..
 
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Wex Weximus
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That you guys for the feedback! I was able to make a lot of good changes based on what was said. The text is still probably still a smidge too long on some of the cards, but it is much improved and if I really do some text crunching, I can make it work on the playtest cards.

Does anyone have thoughts on the balance of the deck/any individual cards from a glance? I'm curious if anything comes across as either too powerful or too weak.
 
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Stefan
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I'm not sure your innate power would still work with all the changes you have made within the deck. Most of the (Nature) effects are on one-shots, so there isn't much to activate with your base power.
You could just make it "Play a card. Draw a Card." for a simple base power. This would also really allow you to become one with the land as you could play, for example, a Volcano card on your turn, which brings out Seismic Activiy, and with your power you could then play another Volcano card, now with the increased effect, because Seismic Activty is already out..
But that's just the first thing that came to my mind. I'm really excited to see where you go with this deck!
 
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Wex Weximus
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johnny_guitar_watson wrote:
I'm not sure your innate power would still work with all the changes you have made within the deck. Most of the (Nature) effects are on one-shots, so there isn't much to activate with your base power.
You could just make it "Play a card. Draw a Card." for a simple base power. This would also really allow you to become one with the land as you could play, for example, a Volcano card on your turn, which brings out Seismic Activiy, and with your power you could then play another Volcano card, now with the increased effect, because Seismic Activity is already out..
But that's just the first thing that came to my mind. I'm really excited to see where you go with this deck!


I might keep your innate power idea on the back burner for now, after some more layers of playtesting. The reason the innate power is currently written as is is because it's really just meant to be a way to trigger the terrain cards' effect while not getting card screwed if you don't start with anything decent in your hand or don't have the (nature) options you want for next turn. The number of each (nature) card in the deck is limited, so I want the player to focus more on cool setup options than burning out on all their cards in one giant combo. That's why I modified him to only have 1 way (Spirits of the Land) to play an extra card on his turn. If he wants to get those crazy combos going, he'll need some teammate help to do it.
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