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Subject: Netherlock Custom Class rss

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I had some extra spare time recently so and I love theory-crafting, so I designed the Netherlock class. I've only played 3 classes and seen another 6 classes played by others in my group, but from what I've seen this concept is totally unique. I've personally never played a character higher than level 4, so I have a hard time determining whether cards at higher levels are over/underpowered.

In my first play test at level 1, we managed to just barely beat Scenario 1 (solo Netherlock + Brute). This might mean NL is slightly underpowered, but that was also my first time playing both those characters so I had to figure them both out.

Please check it out the PDF (all levels 1-9 are designed) and let me know what you think:

Note the cards are technically in the Alpha phase in terms of graphic design and balance. Also, I didn't put much effort into balancing XP gains and zero effort into enhancements.

Edit: version 2 rolled out if anyone is interested in trying it out.
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Greg W
United States
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Cool concept! I like the drain mechanism especially - and I have only seen half the classes myself, but I have not yet seen it .

I have just glanced at these, and I know you're doing some revision still, but given how easy it is to heal with drain and other effects (let alone some of your possible allies), some of your "do damage to yourself to do awesome things" seem like they might be too powerful. The level 3/6/9 cards are all incredible...for a relatively small amount of health, they let you:

- Move 12, for 4 hp (level 3)
- Loot 4, for 4 hp (level 3)
- Recover 5 cards, for 5 hp (level 6)
- Do 5 damage to ALL enemies in range 2, for 5 hp (level 6)
- Take permanent control of a 7-health enemy, for 7 hp (level 9)

The Price of power (damage to enemies) and price of domination (take control) jump out to me as the most game breaking, and honestly? I think they'd be too powerful even as a loss card; the fact that they are repeatable is even more crazy.

By contrast, it's not clear to me why the top of Soul Drain is a loss...attack 2 and heal 2 seems like a reasonable strength ability, unless I'm missing something?

Again though, great concept
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Marcel Cwertetschka
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Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles!
Unlock the lightning bolt class and check some of your cards against the cards of that class. It might help you balancing and wording your ideas.
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James Wood
United Kingdom
Little Chalfont
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Essence diffusion bottom: adjacent to whom? and what are creatures?


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Rémi Fortin
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From what I know, the
Spoiler (click to reveal)
class is a bit similar.

So now about your class, your visuals are pretty good.

First, I will talk about general mechanics and you hp size, it's a low hp size with only 14 hp at level 9, on other side you put abilities that can deal 6 damages to self, even at level 9 it's almost half your hp.

So now about your abilities

Draining grasp
Top : You are a ranged class, this ability should put you close to 2/3 enemies to be worth but it's suicidal. Bad for me
Bottom : Move + Strenghen ? Already very strong, and Muddle ? Completely OP.

Eldricth blast
Top : Low range, high damage, maybe too much damages imo.
Bot : Common

Essence diffusion
Top : Situational, I think you can change to Range 3
Bot : Use the same terms, so say Enemies or Figures but not creatures. Then it's again situational, but with good coordination it can be a massive stun, so it can be worth ... or too strong, I can't say more without playtest, but be careful about that.

Ethearal dash
Top : Similar to a Move 2 Attack 3, the issue is that the combo with boots is easy and turn the action into a Move 4 attack 3 target 3 which is too strong, I should lower the attack to Attack 2.
Bot : Fun, but if you can strenghen yourself so easily, the drawback has no effect

Top : I find it more balanced than Eldritch blast, the issue I see is that you must suffer damages however the ability is worse than a standard Attack 2.
Bot : Common

Nether exchange
Top : I think it's good, you should add xp
Bot : Poor allies, the only benefit I see is to put your allies at tlow hp and perform new strong abilities, but I don't like it, it's for a full coop group that look for maximum efficiency

Top : I think the card is good that way, weak at 0 damages. The only thing that trouble me is that you can't use it with maximum efficiency at level 1
Bot : Common

Siphoning touch
Top : Similar to a Attack 4, Heal 4 Self. I think it's ok. Now I hope to don't draw a null on this attack
Bot : Balanced

Sould drain
Double loss card with bad initiative, the bot is good but the top is pretty bad.
Top : Very very weak, it's an attack 2 Heal 2 self, even without loss, it's not strong so I will never use it.
Bot : Too strong against high hp enemies when you can deal 8 or more damages with only one attack. The drawback is that you will avoid to attack weak enemies. Maybe change to a fixed amount of heal, like Heal 3 ?

Soul link
Top : ok, I am not a fan of top move actions, you don't do damages but you place an enemy so why not.
Bot : One damage transfer to an enemy ... Right. Now let's look at combos with other cards, Netherstorm for example, I deal 6 damages to an adjacent enemy, then I perform Attack 4 Range 4 Target 4 so it's 22 damages worth for only one loss. This card definitely make those combos too powerful.

Channel the nether
Top : Another strenghen, but it's a top action so it means you don't attack, and you wound yourself. This action is ok for me, some good preparations.
Bot : Attack and curse but you wound yourself, it seems too strong for me, as you wound yourself, you can bring an item against that so the wound is not impactful.

Soul bargain
Another double loss card, again with a bad initiative.
Top : You should say "Suffer 3 damages". It's 8 damages worth but for next attacks, I like this card as it's very similar to one of my custom class.
Bot : So it's almost a Heal 7, but on 3 turns. As a loss action, I think you can upgrade a few this action, or maybe lower it and remove the loss.

Soul swap
Top : Okay
Bot : It can make some funny things.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
A class has ever a similar action and it gamebreaks some scenarios, so be careful with that.

So now we start level up actions. After each review, I will say which card I choose and if the choice is easy or not.

Level 2 :

Dimensional gateway
Top : Even with drain, a 4 hp summon will not live more than 2 turns. Add it Shield 1 maybe.
Bot : It's usually a level 6 action, so too powerful at level 2. You have some top move actions, so even it's just Invisible it's still interesting.

Dimensional shackles
Top : Almost a standard attack 3, with a situational effect. I am completely against this effect, in fact the players will just forget that ONE particular enemy is not at same initiatve than others, so change the initiative of all same monster's type or don't do anything.
Bot : Move and immobilize, the early-mid initiative doesn't help.

Level 2 choice :
I choose Dimensional gateway which is a free invisible. Dimensional shackles is weaker than level 1 cards.

Level 3

Price of riches
Top : Almost a loot 4 action, the only one Loot 3 action I see got a strong limitation and is level 8, so level 4 Loot 4 with less limites is too strong. I suggest you to change and make something similar than the card I talked, it's a spellweaver card.
Bot : Double loot card, meh. Moreover, move AND loot is strong, it's not for level 3.

Price of speed
Top : Move 12 as top action, more than the bottom action. I don't like it.
Bot : it's ok

Level 3 choice :
Both cards give powerful actions for 3/4 damages to self. Don't really know which one to take, Price of riches is very egoistic and not very polyvalent, I will choose Price of speed because with very good mobility it's easier to loot.

Level 4

Ethearal drain
Top : A new drain, but with very poor attacks. The more you level up, the more enemies got shield, so a single target for attack 4 is so far better.
Bot : Heal 12 worth for a level 4 loss action. A few weak imo.

Nether infusion
Top : So it's nothing without elements, and you don't have one single element creation before that level so it's really team dependant. The action should need 3 or 4 elements to be worth, you don't deal damages and it's the worth use of elements I see.
Bot : Team dependant again

Level 4 choice :
The Netherlock doesn't have elements, so Nether infusion is completely useless, even with a good partned which use/create elements, what if he retire and change to a class without elements. The card becomes useless. So I choose Ethearal drain.

Level 5

Consume essence
Top : Seems ok
Bot : Strong, but we are now level 5 so it's legit

Nether shift
Top : The other level 5 is almost the same
Bot : Similar to soul link if we want to use it as combos, but it's a loss, but the issue is maybe from Soul link, not Nether shift. You will try to trigger the effect by yourself and not from a poor Attack 2, so it should be only for combos.

Level 5 choice :
I choose Consume essence, the Attack 4 range 3 is polyvalent and the heal can help me to perform strong attacks with my level 1 abilities. The bottom is good too.

Level 6

Price of knowledge
Top : I am not sure the damages are worth this way, but you can recover awesome combos
Bot : One lost card for recover one lost card and nothing more. Once again seems bad, but combo make it worth.

Price of power
Top : A new combo to use, too powerful when you can freely choose to deal 5 damages to self that are cancelled
Bot : A new bottom attack, nothing powerful, and polyvalent. Ok

Level 6 choice :
I think I will choose Price of knowledge for reapeat and kill enemies. Price of power is maybe a new combos but it's harder to use, the real benefit of this action is to pierce shield.

Level 7

Leeching blast
Top : Attack 3 it's weak for a level 7 action, not sure that against those shields you can deal damages in order to drain
Bot : The heal before the move means you must be already at the good positon. And it's just a heal 1, for a level 7 action. Very weak for this level, it can be a level 2/3 action.

Tip the scales
Top : At level 7, you got 12 hp, so in the best case, you heal yourself for 5 hp, and you don't deal many damages to an enemy, this action can be worse than Nether exchance which is level 1, it's a shame

Level 7 choice :
I think I will choose ... Price of power that deal more damages.

Level 8

Distorsion Wave
Top : Strong Curse/Muddle. The damages are not powerful, but Power potion can be worth here.
Bot : Once again an ability performed before the Move so you have to be placed first.

Otherwordly ritual
Top : Seems a better summon, it should take 2 hits to be killed, and against enemies without shield, he maybe can kill them alone.
Bot : Good bottom action, combo with many cards and with Drain, the issue is that combo with High prosperity spoil
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Ring of speed and brutality, your previous strong combos are doubled, too powerful combined with there items maybe

Level 8 choice :
I will take Otherwordly ritual for damages or more polyvalence. If the team needs more damage mitigation, I will choose Distorsion Wave. So both cards are good.

Level 9

Price of domination
Top : So you raise your own army. It's a level 9 ability ... but you should add Permanent duration effect, and change the phrase to "equal or lower".
Bot : It can trigger retaliate, it's ok.

Price of immortality
Top : I cannot lose health, nice, now let's perform an attack, wait my turn is over. For a loss effect and 3 hp loss, you have an effect almost lower than your bottom action.
Bot : So the class is now a tank, but can move in front, and most use it for self. It's bad.

Level 9 choice :
If price of immortality ends of the end of next turn, I should choose this one, but here it's just for a tank, and both effects are for that, so I choose Price of domination.

Last comments :
Don't forget that we can choose to lose one card from your hand in order to cancel one source of damage. By considering that, the build I will try to do at level 1 is to abuse Eldritch blast and cancel the damages for massive damages.
Just overlook on maximum attack action without loss :
Level 1 : 6 and 8 by losing hp, however 3
Other levels : 5 from price of power (level 6) on many enemies, however 4 from level 5 cards.
When considering ALL actions, your best attack is Eldritch blast.

About drain abilities, they do pretty low damages. You got better Drainw at higher levels, but enemies got better shield that reduce too your Drains. For a special ability to this class, I waited more Drain abilities.

Overall feedback :

Your class is good and balance is not so bad that my feedback can give, globally the balance looks good for me, it's just when you focus on some abilities that some of them are completely OP or weak (particularly at level 1 for OP abilities).
When level up, the balance between each card is better, some of those abilities are lower than level 1 abilities.
The general mechanic is good, you have to be very very cautious with your hp. I would like to see some Regeneration conditions for when you don't hurt yourself.
The high damages to self can lead to have an ally who just heal you.

Good luck for next steps, next tests.

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Thanks for the feedback! Soul Drain should not be a loss-- I'm not sure how that icon got there. I'll probably have to increase the amount of health required to use various cards.
Eragem thanks for the very detailed feedback. It is great to have some second opinions and you have some excellent points.
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