Monday, March 21, 2011

Archyptes Revisited

I’ve locked down the magician archetype, and I particularly like how it has worked out; only magicians have access to arcane bolt, and this gives them both a magical attack, and the most versatility to build spell casting heroes. Anyone can use magic if they want to, but magicians do it the best.

However, since magicians have a unique ability that only they have access to, it makes sense that each of the other archetypes gets a unique ability. This has to be something that’s specific enough to define the archetype, but broad enough to accommodate a wide range of builds and approaches. Here’s what I’m tinkering with right now…

Disciples get chants. These are helpful magical effects that boost their allies’ abilities. A magician will never get a spell that boosts might, but a disciple can get a chant of might. Disciples purchase chants as an ability, and then purchase individual chants as applications. They’d have to have a least one application to start with- you can’t have a chant of nothing +1. Your chants affect all allies within range, and have a range of 3 + rating units; a chant +5 affects all allies within 8 units. Chants pulse on your turn… any effect you create on your turn continues until your next turn (or when it would be. If you are knocked unconscious, your chant continues until the turn you would have taken)… Sample chants include:
- Armor. All allies take a rating bonus to armor. Your chant of armor +8 grants all allies +8 CPs to their armor rating.
- Healing. All living allies recover rating wounds. Your chant of healing +5 allows all allies to recover 5 wounds each time it pulses (up to their CP total).
- Might. All allies take a rating bonus to might. Your chant of might +3 grants +3 CPs to the might rating of all allies in range.
- Wounding. All allies take a rating bonus to weapon damage ratings. Your chant of wounding +6 grants +6 CPs to the damage rating of all allies’ weapons; a dwarf warrior wielding a war hammer +7 [16 CPs] deals +8 damage [22 CPs] when affected by your chant.

I especially like chants for disciples because I conceive of the disciple archetype as the ultimate support class- no magical effect is more support-based than chants. Lastly, I’m excited that chants make it into the core rules because I’ve wanted to put chant-based magic into Mythweaver and Resolute for years, and haven’t found a good, consistent way to plug them in.

Stalkers (instead of rogues) get stealth. This is a solid ability as written, and it makes sense with the abilities other archetypes are getting that stealth is no longer allowed to them. Stealth is both a good combat ability and a good functional ability, and limiting it to stalkers only (and removing the option to purchase stealth as an application) specializes this somewhat.

Warriors are actually the trickiest ones. Each archetype has received an area of specialization, and for warriors, that has to be their weapons. Your weapon is it- that’s where your focus and training goes. I’ve leaned away from building abilities into the game that innately stack with other abilities- I’ve tried to reserve that as a function of Resolve, and once you start allowing abilities to stack, you start creating multiple stacking bonuses.

However.

Warriors should be the best damage dealers. If you want to lay the smack down, warrior should be your choice. Weapon specialization stacks with your weapon’s damage rating. So, a warrior with might +5, a sword +5 and weapon specialization +5 attacks at +5 and deals +10 damage when wielding a weapon within his specialization field. Specialization options include such categories as swords, axes, spears, bows, crossbows, blunt weapons.

The best part about all of these changes is that they actually get me excited about making some heroes. I especially like the changes to the disciple archetype, although I see a lot of appeal in all four.