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Subject: Red Cape Monk Hero rss

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Sean McCarthy
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Here is a variant hero you can sub in for Arythea, for variety and excitement.


Original size image should be the right size to print out, such that you can insert the two basic actions cards into the appropriate sleeved Arythea cards (Improvisation and Battle Versatility).

I have tried to err on the side of being too strong for the first draft, so the skills will receive quicker testing. Some are surely nuts. (Though, I guess I'd consider some existing skills nuts too.) Nevertheless I would love to hear balance feedback (in particular, suggested revisions would be valuable). I want to end up with a fun and playable character.

I really hope the unique Improvisation replacement works OK, as it was the inspiration for the character.

Functional clarification:
* Momentum strike works similarly to Ambush, except it can apply to non-card sources of attack too. For example if you combine it with a juiced-up Way of Flame, you would end up with Fire Attack 6.
* Contemplation can trash a wound from hand and another from discard.
* Reputation +2 or better means that the space you are on says +2 or +3 or +5.
* I've caught the spacing typo on Motivation since producing this image.
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Michael Pustilnik
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These seem balanced and interesting. Would I be allowed to flip "Inferno Trance" during my turn after I had played all of my cards, thus hurting my opponents without hurting myself?
 
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Chris Maloof

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This is pretty cool! I like the focus on card management and advanced actions. Quick Study seems weak on first glance, but it's hard to tell for sure.
 
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Phil Pettifer
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Contemplation is clearly too strong when compared with Goldyx's Potion Making skill, it should only be 1 wound or involve no card draw.

I think Inferno Trance should only be 1 discard - 2 is too powerful and too disruptive to other players IMO. Also it would be worth wording it such that they only have to decide on their discards when their turn comes around to keep the game flowing (Put the skill token in the centre like Prayer of Weather to remind everyone)

On a different note I'm not keen on the 'Reputation +2 or better' thing. Rather forces you to play a certain way but provides you no way to achieve a reputation increase - some games it simply won't be possible. What about:

Way of Stars
Move 1. During the day if your Reputation modifier is +2 or higher, Move 2 instead. During the night if your Reputation modifier is -2 or lower, Move 2 instead.

Way of Flame
Attack 2. During the day if your Reputation modifier is +2 or higher, Fire Attack 3 instead. During the night if your Reputation modifier is -2 or lower, Fire Attack 3 instead.
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Chris J Davis
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PhilP wrote:


Way of Stars
Move 1. During the day if your Reputation modifier is +2 or higher, Move 2 instead. During the night if your Reputation modifier is -2 or lower, Move 2 instead.


Do any of the other knights have movement bonus skills based on day or night (or even independent of the round)? If so, how do they compare?

Quote:
Way of Flame
Attack 2. During the day if your Reputation modifier is +2 or higher, Fire Attack 3 instead. During the night if your Reputation modifier is -2 or lower, Fire Attack 3 instead.


Just for a bit of added thematic coolness (pun intended), how about making the night attack a cold attack? Maybe change the name to "Way of Sun"...?
 
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Phil Pettifer
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Triggering them at +1 and -1 might be even better - would be possible to have -1 at night and then, by killing a couple of rampaging Draconum getting to +1 in the day. And maybe vice versa by burning a monastery.

I think Fire only as it is meant as a replacement for Arythea.
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Michael Pustilnik
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Toper wrote:
This is pretty cool! I like the focus on card management and advanced actions. Quick Study seems weak on first glance, but it's hard to tell for sure.


Chris may be right about Quick Study being weak. It is not even clear that Quick Study is better than Improvisation.

I like the skill set a lot, though.
 
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Mike
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I had no idea what I was looking at at first. Is this a design for a hero or something?

I'd add an quick introduction to your post if I were you.
 
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Sean McCarthy
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PhilP wrote:

On a different note I'm not keen on the 'Reputation +2 or better' thing. Rather forces you to play a certain way but provides you no way to achieve a reputation increase - some games it simply won't be possible. What about:

Way of Stars
Move 1. During the day if your Reputation modifier is +2 or higher, Move 2 instead. During the night if your Reputation modifier is -2 or lower, Move 2 instead.

Way of Flame
Attack 2. During the day if your Reputation modifier is +2 or higher, Fire Attack 3 instead. During the night if your Reputation modifier is -2 or lower, Fire Attack 3 instead.


Thematically, he's a monk! He should not be burning down monasteries. I figure two skills being boosted if you're a good guy is a gentle way to encourage this behavior. It's true that circumstances will sometimes conspire to prevent you from getting the good version. But I think the correct action in that case is just not to pick those skills. Skills are allowed to be conditionally useful.

That said they are clearly out of whack one way or the other. Comparing Way of Stars to Arythea's Dark Paths, Dark Paths should be in strong mode more than half the time on average (especially because you're more likely to pick it when this is true). Whereas Way of Fire compares to Hot Swordsmanship which is ALWAYS 2 Attack, albeit with choice of Fire or Physical. So Way of Stars expects high reputation at least half the time, but Way of Fire expects it only a small fraction of the time.

How about changing them to require only reputation +1, and changing Way of Fire to be ranged attack 1 / ranged Fire attack 2?

I guess another issue is that reputation is affected by whether you're playing blitz or not.
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Sean McCarthy
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MikePustilnik wrote:
These seem balanced and interesting. Would I be allowed to flip "Inferno Trance" during my turn after I had played all of my cards, thus hurting my opponents without hurting myself?


Yes, but as worded you do not get the next-turn bonus if you do that.
 
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Sean McCarthy
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PhilP wrote:
Contemplation is clearly too strong when compared with Goldyx's Potion Making skill, it should only be 1 wound or involve no card draw.


You may be right. "Clearly" is too strong though: Potion Making can heal units, too. One thing about glade-healing on a skill is it's less of a bonus over healing from hand, because hey, you have a healing skill! So why do you have wounds in your discard pile? It's not like a glade where maybe you had to rest to be able to walk over to the glade. The main case where the discard pile healing will be strong, is if you get the skill late in the round and wouldn't have a use for it otherwise.

I do think if you remove the card draw, Potion Making is better than it. Being able to trash a wound and heal your Foresters is better than being able to trash two wounds. And I was thinking that card draw which will typically be activated after combat (or come at the expense of -2 hand size that turn) is not so strong. I am curious to try it out.
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Chris Maloof

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I like the original skills better than any of the suggestions, except that I do agree that Inferno Trance making opponents discard 2 sounds maybe too annoying. Discard 1 all around might be fine. Actually I think it'd be balanced with discard 1 for opponents only, not you -- conditional +2 mana next turn is great but hardly broken, especially since discard 1 is a weakish attack.

SevenSpirits wrote:
I have tried to err on the side of being too strong for the first draft, so the skills will receive quicker testing. Some are surely nuts.

On rereading, I actually think they're a teeny bit weak! The Stances sound weaker than the usual crystal + mana skills; getting a mana seems generally better than drawing a card, since the power level is similar but the card draw also drains your deck. Peaceful Wisdom is kind of neat in that it allows you to constantly futz with the AA offer, but I'm not sure if it's too practical. Clear Mind is the only one that sounds amazing to me, but even there the color restriction might limit it quite a lot in practice.

The problem with Quick Study is that an advanced action is often not any better than two basic ones, especially when one of those basics is supposed to be your hero's best thing. Without the discard it might be too strong though, and I do like the theme.

SevenSpirits wrote:
That said they are clearly out of whack one way or the other. Comparing Way of Stars to Arythea's Dark Paths, Dark Paths should be in strong mode more than half the time on average (especially because you're more likely to pick it when this is true). Whereas Way of Fire compares to Hot Swordsmanship which is ALWAYS 2 Attack, albeit with choice of Fire or Physical. So Way of Stars expects high reputation at least half the time, but Way of Fire expects it only a small fraction of the time.

Way of Stars beats Dark Paths with high rep during the day and loses with low rep at night and ties otherwise. Way of Fire beats Hot Swordsmanship with high rep always and loses with low rep always. Neither seems out of line to me, but since they require some sacrifice by the hero to maintain reputation, they might turn out a smidgen underpowered. An alternative Way of Stars might be +1/+2/+3 with the boosts at +1/+3 reputation levels.

SevenSpirits wrote:
MikePustilnik wrote:
These seem balanced and interesting. Would I be allowed to flip "Inferno Trance" during my turn after I had played all of my cards, thus hurting my opponents without hurting myself?


Yes, but as worded you do not get the next-turn bonus if you do that.

Rules say you can't play card effects that make you discard unless you have something to discard. Probably better to reword Inferno Trance to sound less Innovative.
 
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Sean McCarthy
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Tried this in a solo conquest test game. My impressions:

Quick Study wasn't good early. I had envisioned an offer like Frost Bridge, Fire Bolt, Heroic Tale, where it gives things you'd want with improvisation, a bit weaker numerically perhaps but with quirky bonuses that make up for it. Instead I am greeted with stuff like In Need, Maximal Effect, Intimidate. Not inspiring! Later in the game it was fine though.

My first skill choice was between Clear Mind and Momentum Strike. My suspicion is that Clear Mind is the best skill here and maybe too strong, but in this case I needed the other one for the board situation at hand. It was REALLY good for me early game, and I was already thinking about weakening it. But then late game it didn't do much.

Next choice was between the two Ways. Ouch - there was no way I was getting up to Rep +1 this game. I took the 1 movement and it wasn't terrible. I thought that maybe it should give the strong effect if you're at a better rep than you started the game with.

I got Motivation and both Stances and they helped nicely with city conquest. The stances didn't feel too weak to me, though I admit that a solo game with big cities probably provides the most favorable scenario for card draw.

-------

Thoughts/ideas:

* Would it be too much to tack Reputation +1 onto both halves of Quick Study? (Or maybe the top half lets you play either half of the card at cost, and the bottom half does the same but also gives rep +1 fame +1 or something?)
* Way of Stars: Move 1, or Move 2 if your reputation is above where it started the game.
* Way of Flame: Ranged Attack 1, or Ranged Fire attack 2 if your reputation is above where it started the game.
(Recent games I've played have been blitz, where you start with more Rep, and this influenced my calibration of these skills.)
* Another try at Inferno Trance:
Once a Round: Gain a red mana token. Put this Skill token in the center. Until the start of your next turn, red mana can be used to fulfill any color mana cost, and black, gold and blue mana cannot be used.
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Sean McCarthy
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Thank you all so far for the compliments and feedback!
 
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Ben v Gastel
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Love it when people come up with their own variants of MK.

This new hero looks interesting, I will give it a try.

Thnx
 
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Sean McCarthy
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New version incorporating my last post of changes. Also I sorted the skills similarly to how other heroes' skills are sorted.



Changes from original:
* Quick Study: Added Reputation +1 to both modes.
* Way of Stars: Now requires reputation better than starting value, rather than reputation at +2 or better.
* Way of Flame: Same change as Way of Stars, and changed from attack 2 / fire attack 3 to ranged attack 1 / ranged fire attack 2.
* Contemplation: Wording clarified ("and/or" instead of "or").
* Wise Teachings: Renamed from Peaceful Wisdom; no other change.
* Motivation: Typo fixed.
* Inferno Trance: Complete change from discard effect to a red mana-centered ability.

(Momentum Strike, Hawk Stance, Bear Stance, Clear Mind: No change)
 
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Georg D.
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I like the concept of your new hero.
When I look at heroes I ask me how they could compensate if the source becomes depleted really fast. Arythea drains power out of her wounds, Goldyx gets crystals and manatokens like crazy, Norowas has his units and Tovak has many strong once per turn boni. Your Mage Knight just has more/better hand cards to play.


The different skills seem to be well balanced. But I have some poblems with contemplation. Compared to Tovaks I feel no pain it is just significantly better. Ok, It is one of the weaker skills in the game, but even compared to Goldyx' potion making it seems stronger. I see your argument about healing units - but if I have a skill which can heal from my hand why should I think about putting damage on any units? I would reduce it to 1 wound.
Alternative idea: skip the idea about throwing away wound cards. Make it something like: Once a round you can shuffle up to two cards (including wounds) back in our draw pile. Draw one card.
This would help slightly with wounds a you can shuffle them back and hope that you will draw them again much later during the round. You can use it to save a good card for later, like this powerful attack you want to save for the final city asault or the influence card while you have no location where you can spend it nearby.
As he usually will have a good reputation he doesn't need a strong way to handle wounds.

About the interactive skill: I liked the former version better. You char seems to be expert at cardmanagement and not manamanagement - so a skill with cards is more his style. But discard two cards is a bit strong. What about: Once a Round:

Put this Skill token in the center. Until start of your next turn, each other player has to discard one card at start of their turn. At the start of your next turn chose one action card from your discard pile which color matches one of the discarded cards and tae this card in your hand. Then take this token back and flip it.
 
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Michael Pustilnik
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I actually like Contemplation as it is; I do not think it is overpowered. Yes, it is better than I Feel No Pain and Potion Making, but those two skills are fairly weak. Contemplation as it is is still weaker than Arythea's Healing Ritual.

I don't like the new version of Inferno Trance. The old version was very strong, but I think this hero is entitled to one very strong skill, especially since his unique action card is fairly weak.
 
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Georg D.
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MikePustilnik wrote:
I actually like Contemplation as it is; I do not think it is overpowered. Yes, it is better than I Feel No Pain and Potion Making, but those two skills are fairly weak.

Ok, I won't diskuss about I feel no pain but I wouldn't call Potion Making weak. Wounds can be really awfull and a way to throw them away direct after you recieved them is great.

 
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Nicola Bocchetta
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Fluxx wrote:
I like the concept of your new hero.

Alternative idea: skip the idea about throwing away wound cards. Make it something like: Once a round you can shuffle up to two cards (including wounds) back in our draw pile. Draw one card.


I think this is a better wording:
Once a round you can shuffle one or two Deed cards back in our draw pile. Draw one card.

(Wounds are deed cards, but not "cards" )

Fluxx wrote:
About the interactive skill: I liked the former version better. You char seems to be expert at cardmanagement and not manamanagement - so a skill with cards is more his style. But discard two cards is a bit strong. What about: Once a Round:

Put this Skill token in the center. Until start of your next turn, each other player has to discard one card at start of their turn. At the start of your next turn chose one action card from your discard pile which color matches one of the discarded cards and tae this card in your hand. Then take this token back and flip it.


I'd rather make it that it lowers the other players' hand limit by one than having them discard one card. Discarding is a very harsh penalty in this game.
Once a Round:
Put this Skill token in the center. Until start of your next turn, each other player's hand limit is lowered by 1. At the start of your next turn chose one action card from your discard pile whose color matches one of the dice in the source and take this card in your hand. Then take this token back and flip it.


So, if the source is depleted, you won't get anything.
 
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that Matt
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Faso74it wrote:
(Wounds are deed cards, but not "cards" )

No -- Wounds are Deed cards, and they are cards. But when card text involves discarding cards in general, like "discard a card," that excludes Wounds.
 
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Sean McCarthy
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MikePustilnik wrote:
I don't like the new version of Inferno Trance. The old version was very strong, but I think this hero is entitled to one very strong skill, especially since his unique action card is fairly weak.


Yeah, I haven't been happy with any version of it yet (it's also the one I haven't had a chance to test yet). (Though, regarding your worry about the hero being weak overall, I will say I think the rep +1 on Quick Study and the better rep skills have improved him, and he has a pretty solid set of skills now.)

I'm worried about discarding for two reasons: I think it's not that fun; and it hurts the most when your hand size is already low (i.e. early in the game, or if you are behind).

I'm not worried too much about this skill reflecting the main theme of the character. After all, Tovak and Goldyx (no-mana guy and mana guy) have pretty similar interactive skills, and Norowas has a movement-related one of all things.
 
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Sean McCarthy
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Got in another test game today (2 player blitz conquest) and everything seems good. But again I didn't get to try out the interactive skill. I think it needs a new idea.
 
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Jack Dietz
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Is it OP if you make Quick Study just like magic talent?

Meaning basic effect is: Discard a card from your hand. Play an advanced action from the advanced action offer as if it were in your hand. It remains in the offer.

Meaning advanced effect is: Pay a mana when you play this. Gain an advanced action of the same color as the mana you paid from the advanced actions offer to your discard pile.
 
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Michael Pustilnik
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jcdietz03 wrote:
Is it OP if you make Quick Study just like magic talent?

Meaning basic effect is: Discard a card from your hand. Play an advanced action from the advanced action offer as if it were in your hand. It remains in the offer.

Meaning advanced effect is: Pay a mana when you play this. Gain an advanced action of the same color as the mana you paid from the advanced actions offer to your discard pile.


This idea is interesting. It is very different from the other unique basic actions. I think your version is strong but not broken. Would the hero have the option of using the basic effect of Quick Study to get the advanced effect of the AA by paying one mana of the AA's color?
 
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