Here are the characters I’m using
for this play test….
Twilight Archer – Hero 3 (Actions
4) Resolve 3D6
AC 21; Hits 35; Feat +9; Move 90’;
STR 10 (+2); INT 10 (+2); PWR 5;
DEX 16 (+4); CON 10 (+2); CHA 13 (+3)
Body Armor; Trick Weapon;
Effectiveness (Weapon x3); Fortitude;
Sharpshooter; Precision (x3); Toughness (x2)
Vesper – Hero 3 (Actions 4)
AC 16; Hits 33; Feat +9; Move 90’;
Shadow Bolt (+9/1d12+5/190’)
STR 5; INT 5; PWR 19 (+5); DEX 13
(+3); CON 13 (+3); CHA 10 (+2)
Shadow Bolt, Shadow Control, Levitate
Capacity (PWR x3); Effectiveness
(Shadow Bolt x3); Precision (x3)
Hewn – Hero 3 (Actions 4) Resolve
AC 22; Hits 41; Feat +9; Move 90’
(leap 210’); Punch (+14/1D10+8) + Found Weapon (+1D8+1)
STR 21 (+5); INT 5; PWR 5; DEX 10
(+2); CON 17 (+4); CHA 4
Body Armor; Invulnerable (4);
Brawler (x3); Capacity (STR x3); Fortitude;
Effectiveness (Pummel x2); Effectiveness (Found Weapons); Toughness (x2);
Battle Master – Villain 5
(Actions 6) Tenacity 5
AC 25; Hits 75; Feat +12; Move 120’;
Battle Staff (+15/1d12+6)
STR 13 (+3); INT 12 (+2); PWR 10
(+2); DEX 16 (+4); CON 16 (+4); CHA 16 (+4)
Body Armor; Contacts; Counter
Attacks; Danger Sense; Nemesis; Utility Belt; Weapon (battle staff)
Brawler (x4); Capacity (each Attribute
+1); Effectiveness (Battle Staff x3); Fortitude (x3); Martial Arts; Prowess; Precision
(x5); Toughness (x3); Wealth
Battle Master is doing something
bad, like watching as a whole bunch of new recruits get jacked on Battle Juice.
It’s a thing. The team breaks in and attacks him. Let’s just do a straight-up
I’m going to give Battle Master
the special foe ability: tenacity. He gets 5 opportunities each turn to
neutralize an attack against him (attempt a Feat CR 20 as a free action). This
is the villain version of resolve; you don’t get to do extra cool stuff; you
just get to avoid an attack against you completely unscathed. Villains can use
tenacity to shrug off mind control, knock aside a haymaker, or dance around an
Combat begins. Initiative: I roll
and the order is Vesper, Battle Master, Hewn, Twilight Archer. They are 150’
apart when combat starts.
Vesper gets 4 actions; we will
have her lead off with four shadow bolts at Battle Master. She misses with 2,
misses barely with 1 (rolled 16; needed 18) and hit with a natural 20. She will
use a resolve die here to increase that 16; she rolls a 6 so gets the 2 points
she needed. She deals 14 from her first attack and 20 from her second. Daaang.
Battle Master decides to use 1 of his tenacity points against the 20 points of
damage; he rolls 9+12=21, and barely evades that second bolt. He suffers 14,
and is at 61 Hits remaining.
Battle Master gets to go. He’s
going to close for melee with Vesper; he perceives her as the biggest threat (I
am going to rule that he has not fought these heroes before so has no bonus
from his Nemesis gift here). He uses 2 actions to close the 150’ between
them (it is beyond his movement, so he needs 2 actions), and then attacks 4
times; he hits all four times (her AC is 16; he gets +15 to hit; he only misses
on a 1). He deals 7, 13, 19, and 14 points. She suffers a total of 43 Hits of
damage; she uses her remaining resolve dice to soak as much of that as she can,
rolling 2D6 and getting 8. She suffers 35 hits (she had 33) and is at -2 hits.
Ouch. She is also out of resolve. She’s done for this fight.
Hewn leaps into the fray. He
literally leaps (using 1 action) and then attempts to grab a found weapon; he
does this as a free action, and rolls 19 on the die! He finds a big steel beam
sitting around (because those are often laying around warehouses. Whatever) and
starts swinging. He attacks three times, botching the first attack (he got too
excited) and as a result loses the second; on the third attack, he misses
entirely. That was humiliating.
Twilight Archer needs to do something
to get this battle under control. He wants to grab a stun arrow from his
quiver. I am having him do random results for finding arrows (I like that in
play better), so I have him roll a Feat to see if he finds a stun arrow. Nope.
Shoot. Well, actually not shoot. Because he cannot shoot a stun arrow right
now. That’s a pun. I digress. He is going to pepper Battle Master (who I want
to keep abbreviating as BM, but that would give the wrong impression) and
misses 4 times. Battle Master has mad crazy good armor class. He is the Battle
Master after all. One of the attacks was close, so TA (that’s not as bad of an
abbreviation as BM) uses a resolve die to bump it up; he rolls a 4 (needed a 2)
and hits with one attack. He deals 6 points of damage. Ugh. Battle Master is
fine with letting that go; Battle Master is at 55 Hits.
It’s initiative; I’d like to find
a way to get Vesper back into the fight, but there’s really no way to do it.
She has exhausted her resolve, and is at -2 Hits. She has 9 rounds to go until
she can get back in the fight. Twilight Archer suggests that he’s been working
on a special dark energy arrow to go in his quiver. He asks if there is a
possibility that A) he has one in his quiver, and B) that he could use it to
actually heal his sister, since she is partially made of shadow energy. The GM
allows this as a free action, but requires a CR 28 Feat. It’s a BIG ask. TA has
to roll a 19 on the die (or use Resolve). He rolls 5. Nope. Even the best
resolve rolls would still not reach the target. Sorry, Vesper. You are out.
For initiative, the order ends up
as Hewn, Battle Master, Twilight Archer.
Hewn rolls for a found weapon,
and gets 13+9=22. He finds another steel girder. (What are the odds? Two of
those sitting around?). He attacks four times, getting 15+14=29, 2+14=16,
2+14=16, and 13+14=23. He will use a Resolve die on that last miss (since he
only missed by 2) and gets 2 (whew). He hits twice. For damage, he rolls 25
points and 15 points, respectively. Hmmm. Battle Master will use a Tenacity
point for that first one (since it’s a LOT of damage) and he gets an 18 on the
die. He manages to evade that one altogether, but he still gets walloped for 15
on the second hit, leaving him at 40 Hits remaining.
Battle Master is already tied up
with Hewn, so he’ll stay here; plus, he is not particularly afraid of arrows
(but maybe HE SHOULD BE… or not). He will take his attacks; trying to hit Hewn
five times. He only needs a 7 on the die to get past Hewn’s AC 22, and he gets
6, 2, 8, 5, 8. That is the most pathetic set of attacks EVER. He only hits two
times, dealing 9 and 16 points respectively. Hewn’s rocky hide soaks 4 from
each, meaning he suffers 5 and 12 points, a total of 17. He is down to 24 Hits.
Hewn will hold on to his remaining Resolve dice.
Twilight Archer’s turn. He thinks
about looking for a snare arrow, but decides against it for now. He may need
that to keep Battle Master at a distance next round; if he uses it now, and
then it wears off before Battle Master closes for melee, it will be wasted. He
will just fire four normal arrows. He needs a 14 or better on the die to hit,
and he rolls 2, 14, 10, and 16. Two of these hit. He’s going to save his
resolve dice; he rolls for damage and gets 7 and 13 points respectively; Battle
Master could attempt Tenacity against that second attack, but he will accept
the 20 points of damage (for NOW), and is down to 20 hits remaining.
Status Check. At the end of round
Vesper is out.
Twilight ARcher is at full Hits,
but he has used 1 die of resolve; he has 2D6 left.
Hewn is at 24 Hits; he has used 1
die of resolve and is at 2D6 left.
Battle Master is at 20 Hits; he
has used 2 Tenacity, and has 3 left.
Vesper continues to sleep. For
initiative, it is Twilight Archer, Battle Master, Hewn.
TA fires another volley of 4
arrows: 5, 19, 1 - and a botch on that 1 with a failed Feat, so he loses his
last action. Grr. He hits once and deals 12 damage. He might use the Resolve
here to try and finish the fight, and Battle Master knows this. So, both
characters have an ‘instant’ effect option here; even the 12 damage is a bit
much, but Battle Master can sustain it; however, if he doesn’t use his
Tenacity, TA will use his resolve dice to try and finish the fight now. If
Battle Master uses Tenacity and fails, TA is DEFINITELY going all in with his
resolve to see if he can bump this up. Okay, Tenacity it is. Battle Master
attempts a Tenacity check (it’s always a Feat CR 20) and gets 15 on the die; he
catches that arrow in the air and snaps it in half. So much for that.
Battle Master wants to finish up
with Hewn. We’ll see how that goes. He needs a 7 on the die (still) and attacks
five times, getting 20 (!), 6, 20 (!), 18, and 8. WOW. Good thing Hewn has some
Resolve left… that might keep him from dying. We’re going to back this up a
little… because he may forfeit attacks (or even go to his own bag of tricks) if
Hewn falls earlier in the phase. For the 20, he deals 18 damage, and Hewn soaks
4; Hewn suffers 12 Hits and is down to 12. He uses a resolve to soak part of
that, and gets 3. He uses his final resolve die as well, and soaks another 1
(insert sad face emoji here). He’s actually at 16 Hits. On that second natural
20, Battle (we’ll just call him that) deals 13, and Hewn soaks 4, suffering 9.
He’s at 7. Hewn makes a mental note to buy more resolve. For the 18, Battle
rolls 9 damage, meaning that Hewn suffers 5. He’s at 2 hits; on that last
attack, Battle deals 14 damage; Hewn soaks 4, and then takes 10 right to the
jaw. He’s at -8 Hits, and joins Vesper on the ground.
Hewn uses his actions to drool.
End of round three:
Twilight Archer has all of his
hits, and 2D6 resolve left.
Battle Master has 20 hits, and 2
Battle Master wins initiative,
and TA knows that this is pretty much it for him. Since he only lost by 3, he
uses a Resolve die and hopes for a good roll; he gets a 2. Of course. He has to
use his final resolve, and gets 6. NOW he gets that good roll. GRR. Okay, TA
gets to go first, but he’s out of Resolve.
On his phase, Twilight Archer
tries to find that snare piece. He attempts a Feat, and gets 4 on the die.
Stupid dice. Stupid game. Stupid stupid stupid. Okay. Normal boring arrows it
is. He fires four of them, and needs 14 or better on the die to hit; he gets
11, 3, 3, and 1. That 1 is a botch (failed Feat) and Twilight Archer will
automatically lose initiative next round. Not that it’s going to matter.
Battle leaps at the archer.
(haven’t been tracking how far, so we’ll see if he can make a Feat to close the
distance in one action). Battle makes the Feat with an 18 (because of course he
does) and is able to lay the beat down on the poor Twilight Archer. He only
needs a 6 on the die to hit, and he rolls 7, 11, 9, 2, and 18. He hits 4 times,
and TA can do nothing to stop it, because he’s out of Resolve. Battle deals 11
(TA down to 24), 15 (TA down to 9), 13 (TA at -4)... and has one more
successful hit left.
Okay, so this is interesting from
a story perspective. Because I didn’t add this mechanically to Vesper, but it’s
part of her whole character schtick; she has a ‘Dark Vesper’ persona that is
linked to the realm of pure shadow. She also has a psychic link to her brother…
so, Battle has won the fight, and has a decision to make… but first I want him
to make an INT check. If he makes it, he knows that landing that last attack
could kill TA and trigger Dark Vesper. He rolls and gets 11+12 = 23. He knows.
Oh, he knows…. Since I was just play testing, I didn’t think this through ahead
of time, but does Battle want to capture these heroes, kill them, or does he
actually WANT to trigger Dark Vesper? LOVE the storytelling options here.
For now, I’m going to say that he
captures them all, and has won this fight. He doesn’t land a death blow,
killing Twilight ARcher, and possibly triggering the emergence of a goddess of
shadow energy that will try to pull the entire earth into her shadow realm. So
WOW this is awesome. I mean,
mechanically it does everything. It FEELS like a superhero fight. There were a
lot of options with resource management that were easy to track. The new rules
for villains and Tenacity are perfect; the idea that he grabs the arrow out of
midair and snaps it in half is SUCH a comic book moment. The mechanics of how
Tenacity works allow this to happen. There were genuine strategic choices that
characters had to make, and options that changed the flow of the fight
depending on what they did and how they managed their resources. Best of all,
this was easy and clear - I was never unsure of how to mechanically resolve
something. Sure, I went with more specifically structured powers (Vesper didn’t
get a chance to show off shadow control because she went out so early), but it
was still a pretty good cross section. The fact that Battle Master won, but
that it was a tight battle, makes a LOT of sense. He’s level 5; he is the
equivalent of four level 3 characters, and he fought three, so he should have
the advantage here. He’s equal to Doc Stalwart in terms of overall power.
I cannot explain how much I love
Next time I will play out the
cover battle, with Eldritch vs. Prototype. That should be a little different