Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Beetles

Beetles, and the other allied species (Crickets, Ladybugs, Potato Bugs) present a small design challenge, insofar as the way I've assigned racial bonuses in Mythweaver is through granting a trait shift. However, in the Army Ants rules I've assigned the trait shift to the specialties, so assigning trait shifts to species would be redundant - and I don't have enough traits to spread the wealth.

However, seeing as there are four core allies species, and there are four core attributes, I can assign a shift bonus to the Feat linked to the attribute in ways that logically represent the way I see these species operating...

Beetles, as big, hardy and durable insects, take a +1 shift to Body Feat rolls.
Crickets, as quick and agile insects, take a +1 shift to Prowess Feat rolls.
Ladybugs, as intelligent and strong-willed insects, take a +1 shift to Mind Feat rolls.
Potato Bugs, as spiritual and intuitive insects, take a +1 shift to Spirit Feat rolls.

This makes perfect sense within the context of the four species, and also aligns nicely with the rest of the game system. It's hard to poison a beetle; crickets dodge enemy attacks more readily; good luck mind controlling a ladybug; supernatural powers are less effective against potato bugs. All of these work exactly as I envision them in the world of Army Ants, and the system reflects this directly.

FYI, I'm torn on ants... while my instinct is to give them a +1 shift to Moxy (since I see Moxy being the trait that defines Army Ants against all other species - their tenacity and inventiveness are their defining characteristic as a species), I am also tempted to break ants up into four sub-species, and have them overlap with the other species... red ants might get the +1 Prowess Feat shift, while black ants get the +1 Spirit Feat shift... fire ants get the +1 Body Feat shift and leaf cutters get the +1 Mind... these don't align quite as intuitively, and the game world has predominantly been about red ants (with one notable black ant thrown into the mix). I'd almost rather keep the other sub-species of ants out of the core rules and leave them for further development later... I'll be thinking more on this as I go. For now, I'm going with the +1 shift to Moxy for ants.