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Hand of Fate: Ordeals» Forums » Variants

Subject: Weapon stats value rework, based on type of weapon. rss

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Michał Murawski
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This is re post and edit of my previous comment originally posted in kickstarter comments section moved here for further discusion

INTRODUCTION

I love the weapon system in this game! It's so sleek, unique and engaging!
But We all can agree, that at current state, some weapons are a little lackluster and needs some balancing. Sooner or later game developers will have to address that by adding and/or subtracting few points here and there. So following is a little nice idea that won't brake the current system and won't require much effort but could be potentially really rewarding in theme aspect of the game.

So here is the idea:


Each weapon in the game has right now three basic stats + special uniqe for that weapon abillity.

So basic stats are (quote from the rulebook):
Base Strength: The amount of damage the weapon will bring to every combat.

Draw Value: The number of cards a player will draw to the weapon at the start of combat.

Stack Limit: The total number of attack cards a player can attach to their weapon.


Each stat has some numerical value assigned to it that. Basicly stats are better the higher the value they have.


At the moment values of these stats seem to be assigned to each weapon mostly randomly or after process like this -> "we'll give it 2 to this stat... that feels good here, right?" (which is fine during prototype stage, when you are checking what works and what not )

Taking also into account that Weapon type is underdeveloped and underused and its purpose seem to be just a simple separation:

One handed = can use shield / Non one handed = can't use shield.


The Idea is to make those values a little bit more predictible, based on the weapon type. So that weapons, that share the same weapon type, have similar stats values as other representatives of the same type. Moreover each weapon type should be distinguishable from other types, not only by graphic on the card but in game mechanics as well. On top of this, it would be superb if difrencess in game mechanics of each weapon type could support and/or express the theme as well!


Ok. Having introduction out of the way, I hope everyone know what is the goal of this thread! Now We'll look into some examples and numbers.

REWORK PROPOSAL



So currently there are 3 types of weapons.
-One Handed
-Two Handed
-Dual Wield

Idea to diferentiate them, is to make a general rule that reads:

"Each weapon type have:
One of the stats with high numerical value. = Good
One of the stats with medium numerical value. = Ok
One of the stats with low numerical value. = Bad "


This way each weapon has its strenghts as well as weaknesses. If we'll mix it well, then each type will use diffrent mechanics as its main feature influencing both playstyle as well as deckbuilding!

Bellow I propose sample of such aproach with theme explanation in italic


ONE HANDED:
Cautious fighting style for those that are more patient, and concerned in defense as well as ofense. ADVENTURER

Base Strength LOW (0-1) One regullar sized weapon, basic DMG as refernce to others.
Draw Value MED (2) Regullar weapon, fairlly easy to operate and controll allows to streak some attacs into moderate "combo"
Stack Limit HIGH (3-4) Person who brings a shield to battle is cautious and will prepare the best they can before the fight.

This weapon type has the highest stack limit allowing the player to prepare either himself or the battleground (i.e. set traps etc) before the fight. Players can't get from one fight to another without first prepaering - Low base strenght discourages beeing recless. And if they fall into ambush they still have a shield to survive it, relatively unscathed.


TWO HANDED:
Fighting style focused on killing larger, tougher enemies with relative ease but when surrounded by multiple enemys, weapon heaviness and slowness make it hard to deflect each blow, so it can be overwhelmed by enemy numbers. WARRIOR

Base Strength HIGH (3-4) Big weapon that packs a solid punch.
Draw Value LOW (0-1) Very heavy weapon, hard to wield and controll. Hits are slower and fewer comparded to other types of weapons = lower "combo".
Stack Limit MED (1-2) Wielder knows limitation of the weapon so he needs to prepare or at least plan the assault.


This type has the highest base strenght value - which means player always have something to hit with! Especially against stronger minions or even the Boss! To ballance it small Draw value prohibit it from beeing overpowerd. Thematically it reflects slowness, usually asociated with this kind of weapons. That means that it is possible that there will be more minions, than cards to asign to them, even with enough strenght after suming up strenght from all the attack!
"I Have to push myself, and break some sweat! - That weapon is sure damn heavy after all!"


DUAL WIELDING:
Fighting style based on dexterity, that uses opportunities, and use fast thinking on the fly to create them. TRICKSTER

Base Strength MED (2) - Two one handed weapons = better DMG than one, right?
Draw Value HIGH (3-4) - Two weapons = double the atacks = more hits = "high combo".
Stack Limit LOW (0-1) - "happy go lucky" or "We'll get there and then we'll figure something out" mindset which effects in less preparation.

This type has the highest Draw value value which requires from the player being ready for unknown, pushing your luck or "setting the deck" (wink wink ) for combat. Many cards will be drawn, but will they be usefull? Will they have sufficent DMG? Low Stack limit also ballances end enforces gambling with fate playstyle, that can either be very rewarding or faill miserably. XD



As you can see those few simple tweeks with numbers help convey SOO MUCH STORY into the game if you are intho this kind of thing and this game encourages that kind of thinking on every step!

Of course each individual weapon can (and should!) be different than any other weapon - even of the same type. It can be achieved in several ways. First of all each weapon can have some value higher other lower by one or two, as long as it keeps principall theme. There also can be an odball that totaly messes up stats in some way - switches low and med for example. But as long as theme is distinctive then it is even more exiting when you find something extra orbinary (hey those duall dagers have stack limit 2!?... AWESOME!)


WEAPON EXAMPLES

Here are some examples of diffrent weapons created with above rulles:
(BS= Base Strenght; SL = Stack Limit; DV= Draw Value)

Two hand weapons:
"Cheap, warn out hammer" has stats: BS3 SL2 DV0, Cost of 3, fame 1
"Standard Two hand axe" has stats: BS3 SL2 DV1 Cost of 4, fame 2
"Expensive, finely crafted" has stats: BS4 SL2 DV1, Cost of 5, fame 3

Example One Handed weapons:
"Rusty axe" from player's board: BS0 SL2 DV2 - still follows above one handed format!
"Fine axe" : BS0 SL3 DV2, cost 2 fame 1 - still pretty bad maybe to bad? But at least it is dirt cheap!
"Flaming sword" BS1 SL4 DV2, cost5, fame 3 (If you would add +1BS you recive "Krakens Claws" card from the relic deck)


RELICS


Now to the relics: there should be at lest two relic cards, for each type of weapon.

One that goes head on with "the stereotype" and makes high values ridiculously high and low values almost negative.
I.e. "Axe of the King of Dust" BS8 SL2 DV0 !

And the second "moderate" one which has value of all the stats typical for this type of weapon, but the low value gets to MID level instead - so that weapon doesn't have "a weakness"!

"Hammer of..." BS4 SL2 DV2 !


As you can see my proposal doesn't throw out the window existing system, nor does it crush balance of the game. It simply usses established, playtested, working mechanics to add little more theme, and organization into weapons.

In this post I Heavn't adressed "Unique weapon abillities" I think I will do that later on. Only thing I want to mention now is that those abillities can further help to make weapons fell more diffrent and uniqe or help to draw comonalities between them eaven further, but on other than weapon type level!


WHAT DO YOU THINK?

PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS!





 
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Interesting view on the weapons, though I wouldn't say the current set of weapons have are random in how their values are assigned. For now let's ignore the relic weapons, as they're intended to be stronger than normal weapons. Apart from 1 slight variation, each type of weapon (dual, one-handed, two-handed) does follow a pattern:

Quote:
One-handed weapons have 1 base, 3 stacks & 2 draws.
Dual wield weapons have 1 base, 4 stacks & 2 draws.
Two-handed weapons have 0 base, 2 stacks & 4 draws. (one 2H weapon has 1 base)

Now thematically you associated base = weapon's raw power, stacks = user preparation & draws = combo viability. However I see a different thematic story associated with the current set, with 1 additional point

Base: Ease of use (maneuverability)
Stack: Combo viability
Draw: Potential for critical hits when making contact

Looking at the 3 weapon stats this way, along with the weapon type's abilities, makes for thematic sense as well

Quote:
One-handed sword
Very easily usable (1 base), so much so that you can use with shields. Since you only have 1 weapon, it's easier to focus on combo-ing multiple hits in a row with preparation (3 stacks). However as you're likely just slashing away you can't really rely on critical hits (2 draws). Still, the main benefit of 1H weapons (in addition to shields) is the ability to focus on your strikes, hence making them more precised (abilities like ignoring resistance, doubling weakest card, make use of otherwise useless adventure cards etc)

Dual wield twin blades
Easy to maneuver (1 base), though requires some finesse with both hands so no shields. The main value of dual wield is to combo a flurry of attacks (4 stacks), though this requires a lot of preparation. However similar to a 1H, dual wield excels in landing many cuts instead of a deep wound, so not much on critical hits (2 draws). Still, with 2 weapons dancing around, trickery & confusion are your best allies (abilities to cull deck, take out 1 skull while they're confused, benefit from trickster cards & drawing during combat)

Two-handed Claymores
Their size makes it slow & clunky (0 base), requiring both hands to support it. It's also to make efficient combos due to their size & weight (2 stacks). The main strength of 2H weapons are their ability to land crushing blows(4 draws), but their slow speed makes missing a real possibility. However, their added weight makes even the slightest contact would cripple your opponent (abilities that add more raw power)

Now are they perfect thematic wise in terms of combat? No.

A huge draw value makes 2H weapons less predictable damage wise & balances out its weak stack limit, both of which makes thematic sense. However it makes damage card assignment easier as you have more cards without preparation (ie: being ambushed).

On one hand this makes sense as you're just swinging a huge sword around, but on the other shouldn't a slow heavy weapon more suited for dealing big damage to single targets? While you could argue that you hit multiple enemies at once, can it really be better than dual-wielding in parrying multiple enemies??

However I recognize this discrepancy as essential for keeping the weapons balanced. Regardless of thematic sense, a good deck will make weapons with high draw values better. A 2H weapon with high base but low draw could easily lose out to a dual wield in both damage AND target options.

Just my 2 cents


p/s: For relics, IMO the Lion Prince's Sword is underpowered. It has a bad stack limit (worse than any 2H weapons) which doesn't make much sense thematically. Its ability is also mediocre, at a mere +2 vs bosses, which generally amounts to 1 extra card. When compared against the Skeleton King's Sword, the LPS just seems too bad.
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Michał Murawski
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@genesyx

I didn't look into unique abilities (more on that later) and didn't took that into consideration at all. Just focusing on the stats of each type of weapon for now.

Thanks for this summary
Quote:

One-handed weapons have 1 base, 3 stacks & 2 draws.
Dual wield weapons have 1 base, 4 stacks & 2 draws.
Two-handed weapons have 0 base, 2 stacks & 4 draws. (one 2H weapon has 1 base)


So as You can see, there is not much of a difference in stats between one handed and dual wield. They simply play the same. Only difference is (as I mentioned it earlier) either you can use a shield or can't. So if you can, (in order to balance that) you receive lower stats -> now your weapon is worse -> you are more likely to fail your fight -> so you get to use a shield! Yay! But you lost the battle and fled - so you get less points - that is NOT A GOOD trade of. Been there done that.

Moreover as you can see non of the weapon types provide base strength as consistent game mechanic, which is a shame and begs to be explored. I for instant would love to try and play with a weapon that has high Base Strength but low other stats, no matter if it is better or worse. I would like to play with that, and see how that plays differently - for fun sake and the game should be all about fun, right?


Quote:
Now thematically you associated base = weapon's raw power, stacks = user preparation & draws = combo viability.


Makes sense to me:
Base strength = Raw power - regardless what you do, if you just land a hit, poor fellow on the other side is dead. In game you always have this, regardless what you do or how bad your hand is you can relay on this! Now that is Raw Power if you ask me, not much finesse though - perfect for two hand war hammer! XD

Stack limit = preparation - and that is exactly what you do in the game! Are You not? You prepare for combat, so you thoughtfully chose cards from your hand and attach it to your weapon in advance, before the fight stars. And person who decides to have a shield for defense instead of two handed weapon is cautious and will get every advantage they can before they commit to fight (If you think about it there are also many players with this particular mindset and play style as well XD)! - Better term than "preparation" would be rather "Tactics" as if the warrior have a plan for combat, and how much he or she approach battles cool headed. Fighting with shield suport this you have time to think and plan your actions wille "hiding behind the shield".

Draw Value = combo viability - more like speed of weapon with which the operator can handle it, what translates to number of attacks/strikes not all of them have to hit though - so "combo" term is little misleading. Smaller the weapon easier and faster it is to handle. So you swing your weapon fast at everything - you draw cards and check what was a hit what was not, you have multiple cards - multiple hits can be assigned to multiple enemies - ease of dealing with multiple opponents, due to two weapons as well as faster reaction times, misses can be attributed to shorter reach (dagger) or splitting your attention for multiple foes.


Quote:
However I see a different thematic story associated with the current set, with 1 additional point

Base: Ease of use (maneuverability)
Stack: Combo viability
Draw: Potential for critical hits when making contact


You might be quite right with that assumption and you might even nailed it pretty good. That doesn't mean though I like it as it is right now (not on your part just the current game state).

Quote:
Looking at the 3 weapon stats this way, along with the weapon type's abilities, makes for thematic sense as well


Quote:
A huge draw value makes 2H weapons less predictable damage wise & balances out its weak stack limit, both of which makes thematic sense. However it makes damage card assignment easier as you have more cards without preparation (ie: being ambushed).


Why Huge weapon would be less predictable? Quite the opposite! It smashes hard! And the most clumsy warrior ever, will hit eventually at lest once! And if he is using this type of weapon he doesn't need to hit the same target again. Problem starts when he needs to pick the weapon again and hit someone else, and since he is already tired he receives less draw. He has to pick his fights or prepare somewhat before the battle. I simply can't imagine better theme and mechanics mash up! XD

Quote:

On one hand this makes sense as you're just swinging a huge sword around, but on the other shouldn't a slow heavy weapon more suited for dealing big damage to single targets?


My point Exactly! So you have high Base strength on one card! You can assign that to only one target a.k.a. big damage to single target!

Quote:
While you could argue that you hit multiple enemies at once, can it really be better than dual-wielding in parrying multiple enemies??


In order to adres this hitting multiple targets, scenario and to balance high base strength Draw value is low, for that exact reason.

Regarding typical fantasy settings in games in general, be it board games, video games or role playing games. There are stereotypes associated with every type of weapon (and HoF doesn't battle that particularly nor it should).

For example general rule exist: bigger weapon = bigger damage.

So if you use a two handed weapon you have generally a bulky character, (like barbarian, viking or a warrior) with build and skills associated with strength. Strength almost always translate into damage in melee combat(more strength = more damage). Those weapons almost always are slow and cumbersome but when you actually hit something with it the damage is substantial by default. Those kind of weapons don't have (in most cases) the best "critical chance" (how would they thematically?). You smash someone with it and its weight and sheer power and force is devastating! You can only use more force, more strength, to smash even harder!

On the other hand small weapons like daggers usually have really small base damage (1k4 or 1k6 at best) so in order to make those kind of sneaky, rouge like characters a viable option for play they usually have highest "critical chance" associated either with "piercing" or dexterity (to find gaps in armor, vital organs, weak spots and attack those points with precision a.k.a. dexterity). So mechanically you have crappy weapon that can barely scratch enemy but once in a while or when circumstances are right (i.e. back-stab) you get DEVATATING critical damage (i.e. you hit straight in the heart!). In HoF the most unpredictable of mechanics (regarding combat) is no doubt draw value. You don't know what you'll get - You can either draw a good card with high DMG (CRITICAL HIT!) or draw food like "forage" and hit the armor (boink!). So dual wield daggers has the highest draw value, which can be either rally good or full bust. High risk - High reward. Gamble type of approach, very exiting for some players.

One handed are somewhat in the middle usually.

In my stats pros and cons association I had to balance them somewhat. So that one hand gets BS1 and dual wield gets BS2.
Thematically Duall wield dosen't have to be just knives or daggers it can be two swords or axes etc. So 1 one handed weapon hits for 1 unit of DMG, and 2 one handed weapons hit for 2 units of DMG (1+1). Simple


Quote:
However I recognize this discrepancy as essential for keeping the weapons balanced. Regardless of thematic sense, a good deck will make weapons with high draw values better. A 2H weapon with high base but low draw could easily lose out to a dual wield in both damage AND target options.


I agree that proper balancing is necessary, so that weapon shouldn't be good in every aspect i.e weapon with stats BS4 SL4 DV4 would be godlike...and boring... but as a relic hmmm... - you could easily fight 2 royalties at the same time

True high base Damage low draw value weapon (TH) can lose to high draw value card (DW). But what if your four draw goes bad? You can loose a fight you should have won easily - especially early game when your deck is not yet perfect! In that sense two hand with high Base strength works on its own, and gets the job done consistently, from the get go. High draw value card requires much more effort put into deck building and crafting it to your desire - so that you can relay on your random draws, to the point you can relay on them. That takes time and in the late game will pay of if it works. Also that kind of weapon encourages playing trickster archetype (lot of destroy abilities and deck control) which seems much more appropriate with daggers than two hand hammer.

I rest me case

 
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Allen Chang
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Thanks, Michał for your suggestion on the weapon system. We have a scheduled meetup next week where we'll discuss your suggestion in more detail.
 
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I'm going to group up the comments & cut down on them so it's easier for point making & without making it a loooong quote


Quote:
Kapitan Chrum wrote:
Quote:
A huge draw value makes 2H weapons less predictable damage wise ....
Why Huge weapon would be less predictable? Quite the opposite! It smashes hard!...I simply can't imagine better theme and mechanics mash up! XD


Kapitan Chrum wrote:
Quote:
On one hand this makes sense as you're just swinging a huge sword around, but on the other shouldn't a slow heavy weapon more suited for dealing big damage to single targets?
My point Exactly! So you have high Base strength on one card! You can assign that to only one target a.k.a. big damage to single target!


Kapitan Chrum wrote:
Quote:
While you could argue that you hit multiple enemies at once, can it really be better than dual-wielding in parrying multiple enemies??
In order to address this hitting multiple targets....
There are stereotypes associated with every type of weapon (and HoF doesn't battle that particularly nor it should).
For example general rule exist: bigger weapon = bigger damage.
So if you use a two handed weapon...more strength, to smash even harder!
On the other hand small weapons like daggers usually have really small base damage ... Gamble type of approach, very exiting for some players.
One handed are somewhat in the middle usually.


Yes I agree with you on this. A 2H weapon should hit hard on single targets, while dual wields should be more risky in play style in exchange for dealing more damage than a 1H weapon. However I'm not sure if this is possible without giving the current combat system a huge overhaul (more on that below).

Quote:
Kapitan Chrum wrote:

Quote:

One-handed weapons have 1 base, 3 stacks & 2 draws.
Dual wield weapons have 1 base, 4 stacks & 2 draws.
Two-handed weapons have 0 base, 2 stacks & 4 draws.
So as You can see, there is not much of a difference in stats between one handed and dual wield.... Moreover as you can see non of the weapon types provide base strength as consistent game mechanic, which is a shame and begs to be explored....


Kapitan Chrum wrote:
Quote:
However I recognize this discrepancy as essential for keeping the weapons balanced...
True high base Damage low draw value weapon (TH) can lose to high draw value card (DW)...trickster archetype (lot of destroy abilities and deck control) which seems much more appropriate with daggers than two hand hammer.


I also agree that the differences between weapons' base combat is minimal, & that there's minimal difference between OH & DW. The latter is something that could potentially be worked upon to reflect their differences, but I'm a bit doubtful whether making weapon base strength more discrepant is a good thing. Here's why:

Combat exist not in a vacuum, but in relation to the monsters' strength. From my limited playthroughs, IMO currently the weapons are somewhat balanced against the monsters; sometimes you need to push, sometimes you don't, but you never overpower them by much. As such you can't simply increase the weapon's base strength without considering the monsters.

Of course, you could balance the weapons within themselves (as you said, high base? low draw) so that each are equivalent in their potential. However this would make different weapons better in different phases of the game.
During early game when your deck is bad, your best bet is to go for a 2H weapon due to its non-reliance on draws & stacks. From there players would have to tune their decks. Lot of attack cards? go OH. Have a streamlined deck with trickster cards? go DW. Alternately, if the 2H weapon is as good as the other types, why change it? Build your deck as you want since you'll be relying less on it than others anyway.

While some games may encourage such clear synergy between similar cards (Eg: Star Realms, Ascension etc), those game are lighter & take less time to play than HoF:O. Furthermore, it also benefits players who can afford a 2H weapon at the right time, & encourages players to stick with their weapon as long as possible as your deck is slowly tuned for it (making switching to another type unfavorable), or a 2H 1st, OH/DW later pattern. It'll become worse if you tune your deck for weapon type X but they never show up, or got destroyed/ bought away from you.
All of this makes weapon switching less frequent (you'd only switch to the same type, or during late game). Add in the weapon's abilities to this weapon type consistency promotion, & it might gives players less choice of going for another weapon. (Ie: this DW's ability is awesome, but my deck is for OH... guess I'll have to pass it).

Again, all these are theoretical, & with proper balancing there might be a middle group where the weapon types can feel more different - IMO the current weapon set is different enough with some small balancing - without pigeon-holing players for the reasons I stated. I'm just saying that there might be a reason why difference in base strengths (& potentially stacks/ draw, though less likely) between weapon types (& in relation with its other stats) can't be as significant as your suggestions.

Cheers
 
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Michał Murawski
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Thanks for taking that into consideration Allen! I'm looking forward for some updates on the topic

As promised I will adres now weapons unique abilities.

I think it would be nice if weapons had a COMMON ABILITY associated with the weapon kind (i.e. axe, sword, hammer) and on top of that if they are better/rare/legendary (i.e. relic) they can have UNIQUE ABILITY associated with magic.


Each weapon kind (ie. AXE) could have the same common ability, regardless of weapon type association (i.e ONE HANDED AXE, TWO HANDED AXE, DUAL AXES). Stats would be obviously different (due to different weapon type) but common ability would be shared across regardless. Some abilities are more useful for some weapon types than other ( for example: two handed weapon just NEED to have either „ignore damage resist” ability or „Split damage across multiple targets” ability otherwise it risks beeing too weak; on the same page „ignore dmg resist” for dual daggers is not that necessary because of their high card draw count.)


So here is some sample common abilities associated to sample weapon kinds:

HAMMER – „CRUSH”: ignore damage resist

AXE – „CLEAVE”: You can split damage onto multiple targets

SWORD – „PARRY”: if you push yourself take one pain card less.

DAGGER – „FEINT”: the first time you draw cards to attach to your weapon, during combat, you can discard one and redraw one to replace it.

MACE - „STUN”: if during combat, before you draw cards, you have fewer cards attached to your weapon than your stack limit allows, you can attach one card with (EFFORT) from your hand.


Below you’ll find some sample weapons along with abilities. All those weapons will feel and play differently even though they have all the same stats.


TWO HANDED AXE – BS4 SL2 DV1 with „CLEAVE”
TWO HANDED SWORD – BS4 SL2 DV1 with „PARRY”
TWO HANDED HAMMER – BS4 SL2 DV1 with „CRUSH” (unique only to two hand?)

Hammer’s „CRUSH” is very useful for two handed weapon, since you have few cards during combat each of them must be high value (3+) in order to cover, and one hit as many enemies as you can, but when Scales enter the fray no mater how much attack you have you are simply powerless. This skill prevents that. „CLEAVE” ability is also very useful, crucial even!


ONE HANDED AXE – BS1 SL4 DV2 – with „CLEAVE”
ONE HANDED SWORD – BS1 SL4 DV2 - with „PARRY”
ONE HANDED MACE – BS1 SL4 DV2 – with „STUN” (unique only to one hand?)

Mace’s „STUN” ability is designed for one handed weapon (high stack limit moderate draw) for situation when all your attack cards are in discard and on hand you have only effort which can’t be normally attached. Moreover attaching cards from your hand during combat, especially those that can’t be normally attached is a VERY UNIQUE ability indeed


DUAL AXES – BS2 SL1 DV4 – with „CLEAVE”
DUAL SWORDS – BS2 SL1 DV4 – with „PARRY”
DUAL DAGGERS – BS2 SL1 DV4 – with „FEINT” (unique only to dual wield?)

Dagger’s „FEINT” ability would be very useful for dual wield weapons (high draw little stack limit) but while certainly not useless for two handed, it is not that crucial, nor helpful. It helps combat bad luck to a degree or encourages „push your luck” gambler attitude: „hmm… i have strive here… i’ll redraw that maybe i’ll get flourish? … of course it is forage!”


So common abilities purpose is to either combat weapon weakness or to further boost their strengths. If the wording is to long it can be moved to the rule book and on the card just show the ability name like keyword: TWO HAND HAMMER with „CRUSH” and unique ability (if any) can be spelled entirely on the card.


You could also assign some modificators to the stats themselves based on the weapon kind! If you would like to make them even more unique!

Some samples:
AXE BS+1 SL-1
SWORD SL+1 DV-1
HAMMER BS+1 DV-1
MACE SL+1 BS-1
DAGGER DV+1 BS-1


Here is an idea for alternate art of player board (130k stretch goal)

Instead of „rusty axe” you can give each player different weapon type and different play style from the get go! That feels so right. Either, each player starts with the same beginning and even chances a.k.a. „basic game” or you can play „advanced game” with more asymetryj to each character from the start, emphasizing their uniqueness! That is what I think most of the players expect from alternate art player board - asymmetric beginning parameters

The rusty axe has stats BS0 SL2 DV2 (sum of 4)
You can crank it up to sum of 5 and give each player different „rusty” weapon.

(DW) DULL DAGGERS – BS2 SL0 DV3
(TH) WORN OUT WARHAMMER – BS3 SL2 DV0
(OH) UNBALANCED MACE – BS0 SL3 DV2

Their differences are clearly seen – they still beg to be replaced, because everything in the dealer row will be obviously better. Also no common abilities for these „rusty” version's – you are beginning adventurers so you have to learn those special abilities before you’ll get better equipment – you convey character progression this way as well!

So dealer row weapon should have sum of abilities 7 and relicts 9-10 to feel the real progression


 
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Michał Murawski
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Today I made a playtest with a firend on tabletopia on hot seat.

TEST PARAMETER:

We agreed to ignore stats printed on the weapon cards and instead treated them like they had stats allocation as I have proposed for each weapon type:

ONE HANDED: BS1 SL4 DV2
TWO HANDED: BS4 SL2 DV1
DUAL WIELD: BS2 SL1 DV4

We haven’t changed any abilities on the cards. Only other thing I did was searching the Deler Row’s deck for 1 card of each weapon type, shuffled it with 7 other random cards and putted it on top of the deck - to make sure the weapon cards will come out early.

RESULTS:

Final score ME 98pts Friend 97pts.

I was using Two Hand Weapons and other player was using Dual Daggers.
I killed all 3 Royalties. When first ambushed by Jack of Plague i Lost. Then I came to him with vengeance! The Queen of Dust was found by other player, but He avoided an ambush with „cautious strike” so I prepared and went after her. I barely won after pushing myself 2 times. Finally the dreaded King of Scales came to destroy my dreams. Additional DMG resist on all scales was worst case scenario for me! I spend 2 full turns to get back in shape in „fountain of youth” because previous encounters left me seriously scared (4 health) . In fact seeing I’m being left behind by other player i went to „The crucible” two Times and failed miserably barely getting out of there alive the second time (1 health left). I had „Silken Robes” to increase my draw value out of pure desperation. Other player was using „Oracle diadem” to gain as much point as possible from encounters so the only card not yet revealed was The King. I prepared the best I could and made a Hail Mary run (with 1 health) in last ditch effort to face the King before the other player. I Had „crush” and „night kiss” attached to weapon and drew 2 cards (thanks to „silken robes”) -> „prestidigitate” and „destructive rampage”. One 3of scales was incapacitated by „night kiss” 3 of plague was „crushed” and with a trick of hand King lowered his guard (resist DMG) then I unleashed „destructive rampage” with my „Infernal claymore” (BS4 +2 warrior cards attached) on him.
In the end after counting deck value I had barely 1 point more than my oponent.

In my opinion , the balance was good. I asked my oponent for his opinion as well - He said he saw how I was struggling and wasn’t feeling I was OP. I Knew I can win a combat, but I had to prepare – getting into fight without stack limit maxed with cards was a death wish. I didn’t felt powerless nor I did powerful. When 1of Dust or any Scales showed up to fight - all my plans went sideways usually. As a result each fight that I won felt much more rewarding (in a sense „I EARNED IT”). Previously (when using vanilla weapons) most of fights I either felt „I lucked out this one” or didn’t due to random draw. Here I couldn’t count on draws, I could only hope there will be at lest one or two attack (and got "forage" all the time )! I had to have a plan! And even when I though I was ready I lost time after time. But I knew it is my fault – I rushed out, not bad luck’s.
I had „Lord Edgar’s hammer” at first but I quickly switched it to „Infernal claymore”. Definetly I didn’t felt overpowerd, quite the oposite I knew my weeknesses well. I had to Focus on buying attack cards with high attack value, knowing that every card counts! I had to push myself often, but due to fact that there was no food cards in dealer row until late game i didn’t had much to sapere - had to starve on regular basis to move (lose 1 health). I had to grab „night kiss” to get rid the most troublesome of foes. Once I fought 4of scales, 3of plague, 1 of scales, 1 of dust which cried for help to 2of skulls. I had to smack 4of scales (2 dmg resist due to King of Scales) with 8 dmg to kil him of, „crushed” 3of plague … and got ganked be the rest: 1of dust + 1of scales and 2of skulls.

Still it felt entertaining and so much different – adding to replay ability


 
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Hey Everyone,

Some interesting ideas going on in here.

To cover one thing, we are balancing out the Relic Deck, Some cards perform much better some not so much. While we want some Relics to be more useful to some players there are definitely some shiners and some more dull relics in there.

I love that you are finding the "feeling" of each of the weapons. I thought I might cover that here just out of interest.

Dual Wield: For the fighter who wants to be prepared and plan ahead. Lets you set a lot of attacks in advance for clever combos.

One Handed: Some Preparation some Draw, but mostly just to be able to use a shield. The weapon for the fighter who is prepared for the long fight.

Two Handed/Heavy Weapon: For the fighter who is ready to go at the drop of a hat. Doesn't care for preparation but hopes for some solid swings when they rush into a fight. Rewards the fighter who is well trained but maybe not very disciplined.

Mostly each weapon type is built to fit into one of the over arching deck strategies. But those are for you to discover as you play.

In regards to standard abilities on weapons, when making the game we have to keep in mind the amount of text on every card. As a first time player it can be a little overwhelming to get into the game and be hit with too much information to follow everything. We hope the current weapons have some interesting interactions while being easy to make sense of and apply in the right situation.

That all being said, your suggestions have merit and are very interesting and we have definitely taken them on board.

Thanks again for all the feedback, every bit is helpful.
 
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Michał Murawski
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Barantas wrote:


Hey Everyone,

Some interesting ideas going on in here.

To cover one thing, we are balancing out the Relic Deck, Some cards perform much better some not so much. While we want some Relics to be more useful to some players there are definitely some shiners and some more dull relics in there.


While you’re at it please consider making at lest one relic armor! I see that fitting, since every pice of equipment has its own relic representation (or two) and the armor doesn’t. Taking into account overabundance of trinkets (both in equipment card slots and in relic deck) you could simply move some abilities from trinkets to crate at lest one additional armor!

On top of that you could make more equipment like „captain pistol”! I have addressed that in other thread about „Shields and offhand equipment in general.” Check it out!

Barantas wrote:
I love that you are finding the "feeling" of each of the weapons. I thought I might cover that here just out of interest.


Connecting mechanics to theme is what I do! Game mechanic that enhances the story in story driven game is much better (IMO) than relatively more powerful card that is bland and from story/theme perspective is in a vacuum.

Regarding rest of your answer i respectfully disagree. But please here me out! I do not mean to be rude or ungrateful or something I just want to point out some things that are bugging me in current game iteration.

Barantas wrote:
Dual Wield: For the fighter who wants to be prepared and plan ahead. Lets you set a lot of attacks in advance for clever combos.


So with that explanation you have admitted that "stack limit" corresponds to „preparation and planing” „tactics” in general. Taking into account that at the moment in the game Dual wield weapons have highest Stack Limit stat, that seams about right.

Okey lets stop for a second. Please answer me this:

Who seams more cool headed, prepared and concerned about planing ahead?
a) Person who has two daggers and throws himself into middle of foes to slash and hack them as fast as possible in close quarters, in hopes of killing as much enemies as possible before they be able to strike him back? Person who relies on doges, and missed blows of his opponents (a.k.a. luck) for self defense?

b) Person who brings a shield to combat and tries to have that shield always between him and the oponent? Blocking blows and waiting to find an opening, concerned to not give that opening to his foe? If a person figured that much he needs a shield to defend himself, no doubt he thought out other things as well – "what if there is 4 of them?" "What if they have a bow?" "What if it is dark?" and so on.



Barantas wrote:
One Handed: Some Preparation some Draw, but mostly just to be able to use a shield. The weapon for the fighter who is prepared for the long fight.


Mostly to be able to use a shield you say?

Kapitan Chrum wrote:

So as You can see, there is not much of a difference in stats between one handed and dual wield. They simply play the same. Only difference is (as I mentioned it earlier) either you can use a shield or can't. So if you can, (in order to balance that) you receive lower stats -> now your weapon is worse -> you are more likely to fail your fight -> so you get to use a shield! Yay! But you lost the battle and fled - so you get less points - that is NOT A GOOD trade of. Been there done that.


Adding to my previous statement – Mechnic here is intended (I guess) so that player with a shield needs to push himself more often – so he draws pain cards and he gets also to use his shield, that defends against ONE TYPE OF PAIN CARDS – (namely those that deal damage). Sorry to say that, but that is a bad design.


Barantas wrote:
The weapon for the fighter who is prepared for the long fight.


How exactly is the fighter „prepared for the fight”? If preparation is connected to Stack limit and dual wield is the weapon that has the highest stack limit in the game?

If by „Long fight” you meant: „a play style that, relies on pushing yourself during fight often”, There are more better ways to encourage that. If you think that „push” mechanic is underused and needs some more love to be more relevant there are two ways you can do it better!

Weapon with high base strength low draw value – I play tested that! I had to push myself to win almost every single fight – didn't had a shield to combat this – very intense game.

Weapon with high stack limit low draw value – After I discarded cards attached to my weapon (due to fight or due to not attaching something new on the round) I simply did not had enough attack strength to fight right away. I had to either wait until I draw my attack cards again and attach them to my weapon or go to fight well aware I’ll have to push a lot!


Barantas wrote:
Two Handed/Heavy Weapon: For the fighter who is ready to go at the drop of a hat. Doesn't care for preparation but hopes for some solid swings when they rush into a fight.


By that you mean a fighter who is always ready for a fight? Fighter who no matter what, on every moment is ready to fight? Either at the middle of the night or when some guy gives him a bad smirk? Ok truly what other mechanic than high base strength of the weapon gives 100% reliance? You can easily go from battle to battle, you might not win but for sure you'll get at least one of them! That encourages recklessness. If that is what you are after

My proposition of giving a Two handed weapon stats: BS-4 SL-2 DV-1 might have been to harsh on the weapon. Taking that into account I now lean towards changing stats to: Base Strength HIGH, Stack Limit LOW, Draw Value MED.


Barantas wrote:
Rewards the fighter who is well trained but maybe not very disciplined.


„well trained”? -> High base strength. He knows how to wield it efficiently and deadly. „not very disciplined” –> (now after consideration) a medium draw value. Less preparation -> lower stack limit.

BS-4 Sl-1 DV-2 - "I smash the meanest, the baddest one of them first, then will see how that will work out" – by higher draw value. In order to maintain previous balance other weapons will have to be adjusted as well. I’ll see into that later...


Barantas wrote:
Mostly each weapon type is built to fit into one of the over arching deck strategies. But those are for you to discover as you play.


„over arching deck strategies” That I have to discover? Let me see...

STRATEGY NUMBER I
Get as many attack cards as you can and a weapon with high Stack Limit. This way you will have many cards on your hand to attach to it! You get some interesting abilities from those cards and a set amount of damage – you don’t have to relay on random draw. Players who want to be prepared and commit to fight only when they know they'll win! So you buy up mostly WARRIOR CARDS since there is most of attacks there.

STRATEGY NUMBER II
Get as much high effort cards as you can and a weapon with high draw value! This way when you draw cards to your weapon you get powerful blows like +3 +2 anytime you start combat. And if you draw those cards to your hand then you can simply use them to buy even more cards that grant you both good attack and points! You’ll also will want to get rid of smaller value cards from your deck since this strategy relies on randomness you have to tailor your deck to minimize bad draw. So you’ll Focus on TRICKSTER CARDS that have most reliable „card destroy” abilities and lots of effort as well.

STRATEGY NUMBER III
You buy one handed weapon and a shield. Then You buy cards with lots of food (so mostly ADVENTURER). You stack as much food as you can so you can explore more encounters and get goodies from them first!. When a battle comes you’ll, most likely draw said food cards to your weapon and receive no benefit from them at all. But don't worry since you have lots of food you'll be able to push yourself! Thanks to your shield you'll be able to protect yourself in mediocre way from 1/3 of pain cards!

Not a valid, interesting strategy in my opinion. :/

”-Here is a card that will protect you from harm!
-COOL!
-But in order to use that card, more often, you get slightly worse weapon card!
-WAIT WHAT?!
-So this way you’ll struggle, loose more often so you will draw harmful cards – this way you’ll be able to use your shield ability more often! Isn’t that exiting?
- NO IT ISN’T! I WANT TO HAVE FAIR CHANCE OF WINNING!”



Have I missed any strategies? whistle
Of course there is a possibility of mixed approach but those are 3 main ways you can approach combat and game in general. ADVENTURER type of play needs a serious buff - I have few ideas which I'll share in "action cards" thread.

Barantas wrote:
In regards to standard abilities on weapons, when making the game we have to keep in mind the amount of text on every card.


True. I’m awere of that.

Kapitan Chrum wrote:

If the wording is to long it can be moved to the rule book and on the card just show the ability name like keyword: TWO HAND HAMMER with „CRUSH” and unique ability (if any) can be spelled entirely on the card.


What I meant by that is to use the rule book for that excessive, often repeating wording (I understand rule book is not restricted as much as card slots, so you can expand it slightly without overwhelming additional costs?).

So you make a chapter in the rule book near weapon card description. There you have description of COMMON WEAPON ABILITIES. And on the card itself it only shows simple short text, or one word even. Maybe with a little bit bolder or fancier font. Or give it a symbol like EFFORT or FOOD

EXACTLY the same way „Damage resist" was handled on the minion cards! So on the card it states „Damage resist 1” and in the rule book there is an explanation what dose that mean. I don’t find that confusing, nor overly complicated.

Barantas wrote:
As a first time player it can be a little overwhelming to get into the game and be hit with too much information to follow everything. We hope the current weapons have some interesting interactions while being easy to make sense of and apply in the right situation.


True. Making game simple and easy to understand yet complex so it won’t get boring after short time, is a great feat and not an easy one. But as you can already tell from the current rules and question section it is already a little bit confusing here and there. Nothing that proper wording and FAQ won’t solve though

Barantas wrote:
That all being said, your suggestions have merit and are very interesting and we have definitely taken them on board.

Thanks again for all the feedback, every bit is helpful.


Thank you again for kind words
Let me just briefly summarize this entire thread what is bugging me in the game:

1) There is no weapon with high base strength – and low other stats currently in the game.


There is weapon type with high stack limit – Dual wield
There is a weapon with high draw vale – Two hand
And weapon type that is not extraordinary in any aspect at all. It is simply slightly worse than the other two types – One hand

I may agree or not on stats allocation due to theme, but that doesn't change fact that you have weapon type and play style that is already promoting "high stack limit" and "high draw value" that affects play style and deck building, yet there is no weapon type with "high base strength". That kind of weapon plays completely differently! I know that because I tried that! And since you have one of the weapons types that is kinda bland and „a worse rip of dual wield” why not work with that to make something more unique and that plays differently in a significant way?

My proposition: There is play date planed to play test some game mechanics somewhere in the future over tabletopia. Why not give it a try at least once and play test that? Simply switch stats? That’s all! What do you think? Worth a try?


2) One hand and a shield is too similar to a dual wield type of weapon.


If stats rework is not an option and we won't get a "high base strength play style" (which is a pitty IMO) then other thing that is bugging me is One hand and a shield. As I mentioned it more than on one occasion already – it is too similar to dual wield. The problem might be with a shield as well – maybe it offers not enough protection in the first place? I understand why there are plenty of shields available – due to hand axe. It is entirely possible some players will be stuck with it until late game or until the end of game in very extreme situation. I myself played the game during which no weapons come out until Jack was defeated (killing bastard was actually hard). Quick fix - why not make „twisted canyon” work more like „Mr Lionell”? (check rule clarification thread for my proposal in detail). Those said shields should either be better on what they do, or offer some additional skills and benefits like „Innocence”. And Id’d love to see stats reworked on one handed weapons.

That is it. If only those two issues will be adresed and resolved within the game I’ll be content
 
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Quote:
Who seams more cool headed, prepared and concerned about planing ahead?
a) Person who has two daggers and throws himself into middle of foes to slash and hack them as fast as possible in close quarters, in hopes of killing as much enemies as possible before they be able to strike him back? Person who relies on doges, and missed blows of his opponents (a.k.a. luck) for self defense?

b) Person who brings a shield to combat and tries to have that shield always between him and the oponent? Blocking blows and waiting to find an opening, concerned to not give that opening to his foe? If a person figured that much he needs a shield to defend himself, no doubt he thought out other things as well – "what if there is 4 of them?" "What if they have a bow?" "What if it is dark?" and so on.


I would argue that this 'thematic' feel could go both ways: a DW-er would have to coordinate his attacks well for a good combo, using both weapons in conjunction to feint attacks & block enemy hits. IE real life ninjas with dual sais & kurarigama, which requires significant training, being cool-headed & well prepared.
In contrast a shield wielder could have confidence in his defense due to his shield, & would require less preparation as missteps wouldn't necessarily leave him too vulnerable.
IMO both yours or Barantas' thematic explanation for weapons are viable. You could prefer one over the other, but neither is objectively "better".

Quote:
Adding to my previous statement – Mechanic here is intended (I guess) so that player with a shield needs to push himself more often – so he draws pain cards and he gets also to use his shield, that defends against ONE TYPE OF PAIN CARDS – (namely those that deal damage). Sorry to say that, but that is a bad design. Also how exactly is the fighter "prepared for the long fight”? If preparation is connected to Stack limit and dual wield is the weapon that has the highest stack limit in the game?


I wouldn't necessary call it bad design to only have shields deal with 1 type of pain, since there's only 3 type with differing distribution. Neither food nor curses are game ending, & if you have no food there's no penalty for it as well. Also I would argue that having a shield allows the player to not only push more, but take greater risk in engaging combat since the penalty is smaller, hence placing it in between DW & 2H: Taking more risk with less preparation, but wouldn't hurt as much as a failed 2H combat.

Then again I do agree that potential of offhands are being "underutilized" now, & I would certain like to see more variety like captain's pistol instead of the majority being just "take less damage".

Quote:
There is no weapon with high base strength – and low other stats currently in the game.

This is the one thing that I'm not sure could be balanced right. Again, a high base strength weapon would theoretically be the 'best' weapon for early game when your deck sucks - less reliant on draws & preparations - , which pushes a "early game, base is best" mentality. Furthermore, if all weapons are roughly balanced (as they should be), then there's no reason to even drop your high base weapon that helped you glazed through early game relatively easier compared to the other weapon users. IMO the higher the base strength, the more apparent this "advantage" would become, thus promoting a "best early game pattern". So I would assume a weapon with high base would still only start off with a strength of 2 (abilities aside).

Is it impossible to have such a weapon? Nope, playtests could definitely be held to try this out. However in playtesting I would highly recommend 'seeding' the game such that someone would gain a high base weapon during early game, & see how that player performs during early game in comparison to others, across multiple playstyles.
 
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Michał Murawski
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genesyx wrote:
I wouldn't necessary call it bad design(...)


Yeah, got a little carried away on this one, sorry for harsh words

genesyx wrote:

Quote:
There is no weapon with high base strength – and low other stats currently in the game.

This is the one thing that I'm not sure could be balanced right. Again, a high base strength weapon would theoretically be the 'best' weapon for early game when your deck sucks - less reliant on draws & preparations - , which pushes a "early game, base is best" mentality. Furthermore, if all weapons are roughly balanced (as they should be), then there's no reason to even drop your high base weapon that helped you glazed through early game relatively easier compared to the other weapon users. IMO the higher the base strength, the more apparent this "advantage" would become, thus promoting a "best early game pattern". So I would assume a weapon with high base would still only start off with a strength of 2 (abilities aside).

Is it impossible to have such a weapon? Nope, playtests could definitely be held to try this out. However in playtesting I would highly recommend 'seeding' the game such that someone would gain a high base weapon during early game, & see how that player performs during early game in comparison to others, across multiple playstyles.


I agree with the weapon seeding in the deck for play test purposes and that is exactly what I did in my play test

As I mentioned, I tried that, and I highly recommend doing that yourself! Just change those stats in your mind (of course inform and convince other players as well!) and play as if they were as I have proposed! You'll see a tremendous difference in play style between weapons!

And regarding changing weapons? At this point players are hesitant to change their weapon anyways! Usually They change for a different weapon in the same weapon type or a relic equivalent. I don't find this a huge problem though. They commit to one fighting style and one deck building option what is generally fine!

It being best early game option... well maybe... but it starts to be week later in the game, when amount of minions starts to grow (and your nemesis you hate the most - "1of dust" XD), but that is difficulty curve and even if odds are against you still can manage and win.

Also "base strength 4" actually is not comparable to "draw value 4" or "stack limit 4". Actually it is much weaker than that!

On average most attack cards have 2 strength (working with stack limit).
Also most skill cards gain you 2-3 or more effort. (working with draw value)
Sure there are also strives and food gaining cards and other obstacles so it is safe to assume that on average "Draw 1 card value" or "1 attached card" will net you 2 points of strength.

So one handed weapon that has BS1 DV2 SL4 can net you = 13 strength and 7 cards to assign

Dual wield with stats BS2 DV4 SL1 can net you = 12 strength and 6 cards to assign

Two handed weapon with stats BS4 DV1 SL2 can give you = 10 strength and 4 cards to assign

As you can see base strength is obviously the weakest stat! Yet it is always there, doesn't require preparation and you can always one shot "4of" or "3of" or even Jack. it struggles with other problems with those pesky "ankle bitters". And needs to be paired with abilities that ignore damage resist or allow you to split damage on multiple enemies (like "kraken's claws"). Also player with this card absolutely must get cards that give 3+ attack like "crush" or "night kiss" otherwise he is simple not able to manage. This is why I proposed to upgrade "lunge" so it gives +2 instead of +1 if attached to two handed weapon.

I am well aware of both strengths and weaknesses of a weapon with high base strength ( no matter which one it would be in the end), still I would like to see it in the final game. Also it would be neat if a weapon type could be easily connected to one of the skill cards archetypes.

High stack limit would work well with warrior style - many attack cards there

High draw value would work well with trickster - many cards grant effort and unprecedented deck control, to minimize randomness.

High base strength... that is a problem. Thematically it fits with warrior archetype, however it works with adventurer archetype as well. Since there is close to none attack cards in adventurer archetype - high stack limit is not necessary. There are cards that prevent or avoid ambushes and grant you alternative means of gaining points outside of combat. It is arguably weaker in the first place... could it be a great mach for one hand and a shield then?!

I think it is! This could be the solution we ware looking for! Creators were trying to make one hand balanced so it will not get overpowered with a shield, also so you can use or must use a shield from time to time so it isn't redundant!

So if weapon with high base strength is arguably weaker than both weapon with high stack value and a weapon with high draw value that is a good counter balance to ability to be able to use a shield! This way combined with the shield it will "get few positive points of balancing power" and be on par with other two types! Brilliant!

Also adventurer archetype has a lot of food so it can push more often and shield helps to survive the push!

MY REVISED WEAPON STATS ALLOCATION BASED ON WEAPON TYPE

ONE HAND AND A SHIELD - ADVENTURER
Base strength 4
Draw Value 2
Stack Limit 1

TWO HANDED - WARRIOR
Base strength 2
Draw Value 1
Stack limit 4

DUAL WIELD - TRICKSTER
Base strength 1
Draw Value 4
Stack Limit 2



 
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