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Subject: New Shogunate Character: Kowai the Red Oni rss

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Thomas Baader
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This is a semi-official character, since Kowai appeared in an official Tannhäuser supplement, but not as a playable character.

He is the antagonist in the "Crimson Juggernaut" solo scenario from Operation Hinansho. My idea was that after a Shogunate player played that scenario and the Japanese defeated Kowai, but didn't kill him, the Shogunate scientists found a way of controlling him. So now he's part of the Shogunate team.

I'm not a photoshop artist, but I did my best. And sorry for the c****y website...

Full-sized character sheet, rules, tokens and equipment cards here:

http://restitutor.beepworld.de/kowai.htm

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Blécua Frédéric
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Cool.


Un peu fort ce boss.

Too strong this boss.

For the "Token" is hard to download. Could you make un single file ?
 
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Thomas Baader
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Actually I feared that I made him too weak... in comparison to other Epic Heroes like Asteros, Natalya and Frankenstahl.
 
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Krzysztof RabidBlackDog
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I am always very careful when it comes to fan-created content, but this one seems really legit. I like it!
If you'd like to i could use some of my skills to pimp up the cards and tokens.
 
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Thomas Baader
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@ Frédéric

Quote:
For the "Token" is hard to download.


Not harder than it was for me to upload the tokens...

But yes, I'm aware that I put the stuff on my website in a way that will make downloading a little bit inconvenient. But on the other hand, I'm also sure that it'll take you no longer than five minutes to download all the tokens.

I promise I'll put up a single file for the tokens at some point during this week.

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Thomas Baader
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@ Krzysztof:

Quote:
I am always very careful when it comes to fan-created content, but this one seems really legit. I like it!


Thanks.

Quote:
If you'd like to i could use some of my skills to pimp up the cards and tokens.


No problem at all. Pimp up whatever you want, I'm very excited to see the result.
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Blécua Frédéric
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Thanks,

I wish to see your work.

I will make a translate in french, if you want.
 
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Thomas Baader
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There's now a single file for the tokens on my website. Just follow the link in my first posting.

And yes, Frédéric, of course you can translate the cards.
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Krzysztof RabidBlackDog
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I've taken a second look at your character, Thomas, and analyzed all the official epic heroes. My conclusion is: Kowai is A LOT weaker, almost in every aspect, too weak for an epic hero I'm afraid. I've taken into account Frankenstahl being the weakest of the existing, Asteros being a monster with his stats, and Natalya being an unkillable beast with her equipment packs.

Therefore I propose some corrections to make him on the similar level as the rest of epic heroes without being OP. Here are my suggestions and reasoning behind them.

SPECIAL RULES:

First of all: the penalty (rage). Kowai is the weakest of the epic heroes (with below corrections he's average at best) and is the only one with a serious drawback (Asteros has a Command Points penalty, but let's face it - he's a goddamn beast with his stats, no one wants to make a second crazy OP character like him). Bearing that in mind I suggest to drop his Rage special rules altogether.
Aside of that, he has no other beneficial Special Rules while all others have two each (not counting always being considered to have a melee weapon, which every epic hero has). These special rules aren't something to completely ignore as in 2/3 cases they allow to heal/repair a character and in 2/3 cases have something to do with bull rush. Here's my solution: Make the effects of Fireborn from your Stamina Pack his special rules (reasons in the Comment for Stamina pack).
Also, he has some abilities that turn his tokens. These are similar in power to those of other epics that don't turn their tokens, so I would add a rule similar to the one Edison has: you may spend an action and 1 Command Point to turn over a used Ability token.

STATS:

I've added the total stat points of every health row of every epic hero, and the Red Oni is much weaker than the rest. I understand, that you copypasted the stats from the red Oni's origin scenario to keep him as similar as possible, but left like that they make him substantially weaker than other epics. I've tried to even him out, here's what I propose:



I've added some points here and there bearing few things in mind:
- among all the epic characters there is only one instance (one health row) of Combat and Stamina stats dropping below 6 and they always both start at 7.
- I think that Kowai was made so slow only for scenario purposes, so I don't think there is a need to make him slow (movement 6) as an epic hero. Would the Red Oni driven by rage be as slow as a Reich's half human-half machine living tank? I've added him movement up to 7, but he loses it if even slightly wounded to reflect your choice in a way.
- I've left his mind as is, let it be his weakness as designed
- His last row is a twist from me - a creature of rage, Red Oni would be the most dangerous when close to death

Here's the numbers I've used to modify the stats:



PACKS:

Special Object: Rage of The Red Oni
When making a melle attack, any natural 10s rolled on your attack roll count as two attack successes (instead of one).

Comment:
For the reasons written above I'd remove the penalty part, rest remains the same


COMBAT:

Kenabo:
6 Dice, you may attack a target up to 2 circles away.

Supernatural Strenth:
[no changes] Always use your best Combat value on attack rolls

Deadly Destiny:
[no changes] Turn over this token after your attack roll and your target's shock roll. Your opponent may not spend Command Points to shake off any wound that was inflicted by your attack

Comment:
Checking other characters, their main weapons are 5 dice ranged weapons with additional effects or a 6 dice melee weapon with an additional effect, so I think it would be fair to add something to Kenabo. As the creature is big and uses a big weapon it would be fair and thematic to allow Kowai to attack enemies up to two spaces away, similar to Eva's Strafe. Asteros can throw his axe for a ranged attack, so I think Kowai's reach would not be OP in comparison.


STAMINA

Kenabo:
As above

Fireborn:
Turn over this token after you rolled a natural 10 on your shock roll against a melee attack. The attacker suffers one automatic wound.

Life Siphon:
Roll one additional die during your shock rolls. When you kill a character (but not a Voivode or any kind of robot or drone), you may dial your health indicator by a single row.

Comment:
Here's what I think: Kowai's Stamina and Command pack are really weaker than other epics. All existing epics have +1 die to shock rolls, 2/3 of them have some kind of reroll on shock rolls and 2/3 have healing. I'd remove Fireborn effects regarding smoke, fire etc and turn it into Kowai's special rules always in effect. Furious brawler is ok, but I find "Fireborn" to be more thematic name and think it fits more the effect of attacker damaging themself. Then I'd move Life siphon to Stamina pack as it fits it more and add it +1 die on shock rolls for the above reasons.


COMMAND

Kenabo:
As above

Demonic Belch:
[no changes] As an action, turn over this token. Every character within 4 circles of you must make a Mental test and score at least 2 successes. If a character fails, place a stun token on his character sheet. That character may not move on his next activation. After the character's activation, discard the stun token.

Crimson Juggernaut:
[no changes] Turn over this token after you were attacked by an enemy and survived. Move up to five movement points closer to the attacker adn make a free counterattack without spending one Command Point.

Comment:
This pack troubled me the most, as it would leave the Red omi with 4-dice melee attack, which would be terribly weak for an epic character. Or any character, to be honest. Therefore I think it would be best to add the Kenabo to it as well, just like Itami is inseparable from his weapon. Next, there is a token dedicated solely to this character's penalty Rage rule and it's one use only. In fact it just totally blocks one space making the character weaker. I'd throw it away aside with the penalty, as above. 2/3 epics have something to do with free counterattacks, so I'd make Crimson Juggernaut a part of this pack for the dumped "Han'Ei Project Control Measures". Then there is Demonic Belch, which stays without changes.


BONUS.

It came from the shadows:
Once per game, when you die, mark the circle you died on with one of your spare tokens. You re-enter play on the following round on the marked circle (at no Command Point Cost), with all your equipped tokens but with only a single wound remaining.

Comment:
Overall you did a really, really great job with translation all the rules of Kowai as the enemy to Kowai as epic hero. There is one rule though that you left, and it's the one that the Oni can't be killed and stays with a single wound. I think it fits to make it an ability similar to Stosstrupen's "Not Dead yet". In my opinion it would be also good as a part of Stamina pack, but may be a bonus token as well.



Ooof. That was a lot of text, sorry. But I took the time because I really like the concept, it fits beautifully and expands the most neglected faction.

Furthermore: there is a super appropriate mini on sale at miniaturemaket and it costs only $3,75. It needs repainting and some minor conversion to his weapon.

Tell me what you think.
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Thomas Baader
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Hi Krzysztof,

thank you for your very detailed analysis.

At the moment, I don't have the time to address every single aspect - hopefully I can do that later - but here are some general thoughts:

- I knew that Kowai's stats are weaker than those of other epic heroes. However, I didn't see that as much of a problem. Generally speaking, many Tannhäuser heroes are weaker than other Tannhäuser heroes. They don't have to be at the same power level. However, I agree that it's a problem if a hero is extremely powerful or extremely weak in comparison to others.

- Apart from the movement value, Kowai's stats are exactly the same stats he has in the "Crimson Juggernaut" scenario as a non-player character. I just wanted to keep some continuity. However, I admit that you *could* give him better stats as a playable character, argueing that he was still very weakened in the "Crimson Juggernaut" scenario after just having entered our world and that he is in a better shape now.

- I'd like to keep the rage rule, because it adds flavour and makes him somewhat uniqe. I find it somewhat boring to always have variations of rules that many other characters already have. And in many situations, the rage rule won't be a disadvantage for you: for example, if you roll a 1-2 at a moment when you plan to attack the nearest character anyway, you'll gain an advantage, because the rage rule lets you move adjacent to him before anybode else moves (even if you lost the initiative).

- Many custom made characters from other people are overpowered, so I wanted to avoid that. Sofar, I've tested him in only one game. So I'm very open to suggestions.

That's it for now...

 
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Krzysztof RabidBlackDog
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To address you points:

- I understand the differences in stats, but characters that are weak in stats usually make it up in different aspects. In my opinion Kowai was weaker in stats and in equipment packs as well.

- we understand each other

- Fair point, you've convinced me to the Rage rules. In this case I propose to make "Han'Ei Project Control Measures" a bonus token.

- I understand and I don't like OP either, hence my first comment about "being careful when it comes to fan-made content". But this one I like, hence I've dedicated it some time. I've been careful with my proposed corrections and don't think that what I've proposed is OP either.

Other news on the Kowai front:

I've painted an illustration and made a hero sheet. Also made standee, because why not.
Of course this is not a print file, just a preview. Take a look:



As I've written before, there is a cool and fitting mini on sale in miniaturemarket.

https://www.miniaturemarket.com/ddlm-35.html

Also, Thomas, You've inspired me and I'm planning to create a epic character as well, for Union. I know they have a lot of characters, but they don't have an epic. I'll base it on a Dust Tactics Action jackson mini from the Allies Hero Pack - it's on sale on miniaturemarket as well and the shipping to Europe isn't that bad.

https://www.miniaturemarket.com/ffgdt029.html
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Blécua Frédéric
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Nice work, good idea.
 
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Thomas Baader
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Hi Krzysztof,

very, very good artwork. I really like it.

I now want to make one posting with some general thoughts about characters and a second one later about Kowai and your proposals and the details about Kowai.

Concerning Tannhäuser characters:

- IMO there are three types of characters: 1. Epic characters, 2. normal (=non-epic) characters, 3. normal, non-epic characters that are deliberatley overpowered (= Hoss, Hoax, Zo'rka)
Every team should have at least one category 1 (epic) character, so that's why we are working on Kowai.
Every team should have one (and only one!) category 3 character, so the Shogunate will still need a character that has the power level of Hoss, Hoax and Zo'rka. (It's also possible that a team has access to more than one category 3 character - in fact, the UMTOMA (= allied) team has (Zo'rka & Hoax), but you should only be allowed to have one of them in your team at the same time IMO.)

- In my games, I use many custom characters made by other people that can be downloaded somewhere... however, the majority of them is overpowered (Hellboy, Captain America, Red Skull, Indiana Jones), so I made my own versions of them and downgraded them considerably. Even after my downgrade Red Skull looks like a category 3 character, so we ruled that he never may be in the same team as Hoss (let's say they are rivals and hate each other).

- Whem we make a custom character like Kowai, we can and should discuss rule detals and see where we can get an agreement. And if we don't agree on something, it'll result in having different versions of Kowai (or a character in general) available. I'm fine with that, because it'll be always your choice as a player which innofficial rules and characters to use. As I said, I didn't use Cap, Hellboy and Red Skull like I found them, but changed them in a way that they fit in the kind of game I want to play.

So, that's for the gaming philosophy... next posting will be about Kowai.

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Krzysztof RabidBlackDog
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Absoultely agree with everything you wrote above

So, looking at it like this, Shogunate still needs a type 3 character, yes? I might have an idea

Edit.

Oh, and one impiortant thing - in the character sheet I made there are stat numbers I've proposed but it doesn't mean that I'm willing to make anything only if it's the way I see it. If it ends up with two versions as you're saying (I have to test this character myself), I'll make two versions of the sheet and cards, no problem.



Plus, added Kowai the Archeology skill, as being a creature of legends he would probably have knowledge of ancient things
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Thomas Baader
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Maybe I forgot one category...

Category 4: Overpowered Epic Heroes. This is Asteros, and he should remain one of a kind.

In our gaming group we call category 3 characters (non-epic OP) "Legends"... this was a concept that was used by the French publisher TOY, but it was dropped when FFG took over. There is still the word "Legend" on Zo'rka's character sheet, however. Rumour has it that Hoax and Hoss were intended to be "Legends" as well, but I can't find anything that confirms this.

Anyway, we are using that term when referring to Zo'rka, Hoss and Hoax. And we made a house rule: If, after both (or more) players have chosen their characters and their choice is revealed, one side has a Legend character while the other has not, the other side is entitled to replace one of his characters with another character (so that he too has a Legend now in his team, or a non-Legend character that the player sees fit to counter the first player's Legend abilities).

So... this is how it looks like now:

LEGENDS
Union: Hoax
Matriarchy: Zo'rka
Reich: Hoss (in our gaming group also Red Skull, but he and Hoss may not be on the same team)
Shogunate: to be announced

EPIC HEROES
Union: Natalya (as per her rule booklet, Natalya is allowed to be part of a Union team [not UMOTMA] if Oksana is part of that team; in addition, in our gaming group we have Hellboy and Captain America as Epic Heroes for the Union)
Matriarchy: Natalya
Reich: Frankenstahl (there can be two Frankenstahls in a team)
Shogunate: Kowai
Mercenaries: Asteros (overpowered, but has an additional penalty: -1 Command Point)


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Thomas Baader
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Back to Kowai...

I plan to do a few test fights with both versions of Kowai (against Natalya or Frankenstahl). We'll see how it turns out.

I'm very excited to see you proposal for a Hoss-level Shogunate hero.
 
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Krzysztof RabidBlackDog
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Meanwhile I'm almost done with all artwork for cards and tokens (one left for "Furious Brawler")

Edit.
And a question about wording. Furious Brawler (your original version) states

Quote:
Turn over this token after you rolled a natural 10 on your shock roll against a melee attack. The attacker suffers one automatic wound.


If it's supposed to mean that no matter how many natural 10s you've rolled the attacker takes one auto wound , I'd add

Quote:
Turn over this token after you rolled at least one natural 10 on your shock roll against a melee attack. The attacker suffers one automatic wound.


To avoid misunderstandings and exploits
 
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Thomas Baader
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Sorry, I missed that...

Quote:
If it's supposed to mean that no matter how many natural 10s you've rolled the attacker takes one auto wound , I'd add


Yes, that' it.

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