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Subject: Shae and the (early) Backstab ability. rss

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Dillon Flaherty
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Severna Park
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I've been playing through with a second group, and overall am having a great time with a lot in Sword and Sorcery. It's especially cool to see the revised cards having quite an impact on some of the Wave 1 characters who needed an adjustment. With that said, I think Shae is one that comes up regularly as being on the weaker side (early), and deserves(deserved?) a bit of love in the revised card department.

The one crystal-clear example of a card that makes no sense at level 1 is the Backstab card for the Chaotic version of Shae:



This card takes an action to activate. An action, which, could be used to focus and get the same +1 (at level 1) - but wait, there's more... you also have to be hidden OR be in an area which is dominated (2x, not just controlled) by heroes. Oh... and you have a 3 turn cooldown after using it.

Come on now.

Obviously, this card scales to pretty gnarly points as Shae goes up in levels, but at level 1 - ESPECIALLY when half of the first quest has a -1 damage modifier on all hero attacks, this is 100% a trap Ability for new players that could end up frustrating someone out of interest in the game.

One way to at least fix part of the problem would be to make this ability at the very least a level 2 ability - so the player can pick it up at level 2 (Shae gets her second ability) and also has a second action available, so she can focus on top of it to drop potentially +3 damage on a well-orchestrated once-per-three-turn attack.

Another alternative would be to scale the damage differently to provide more punch at level 1, where Assassin Shae, using horrible Stash daggers, needs the most help! Perhaps make Backstab do +2 damage/Soulrank. This would provide spikes of damage on every odd level, while still being equal to current usefulness on the even levels.

Especially comparing Backstab to Dagger Mastery really puts things in perspective:



The Dagger Mastery skill at level one provides double the amount of +damage (one per dagger attack if dual-wielding) for the same action cost, and only has a two turn cooldown.

What has everyone else's experience with Assassin Shae been?
 
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Rezard Vareth
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Just don't take it at level 1. Who knows? Someone could want a particular chain of abilities without needing to use the wizard's tower to respec.
 
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Rezard Vareth
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Sorry on your more general question, assassin Shae is crazy good. If you stack dagger mastery and backstab, you are looking at destroying anything in your space with near certainty. Against bosses, pulling out a strength elixir lets her put out insane amounts of damage in a single round (especially once she has two combat activities, at which point you are looking at 1 attack at +7 or more and AP2 and 3 more attacks with at least +3 hits each and AP2).

She's a bit fragile, but that seems to fit with the fact that chaos seems to have more glass cannons anyway.
 
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