Diverse Characters in Games

Diverse Characters in Games

Continuing my earlier post about diversity within the factions, I recently created a few new characters for the Forest Elves and the Undead faction.  For the Forest Elves, one of the first of the new cards I added was a Young Griffin.  The Griffin has the Type: Beast but it is exempt from the Beast Lords power, since it is already decently tough.  For me, Griffins are forest dwelling animals and of course they’d align themselves with Elves should the forest be under attack.

The next new card for the Forest Elves is the Fen Guardian.  The Fen Guardian is decently powerful and has the ability to heal allies upon entering the Battlefield.  Rolling doubles will allow the Fen Guardian to heal itself.  This makes it kind of a magnet for attacks, but with the “upon entering” rule, it gets to benefit the army regardless.  In addition to being a decent healer, the Fen Guardian is a powerful spirit of the forest as well.  When being retaliated against, the Fen Guardian has a chance (roll of d20) to wound the attacker.  This is a lot of special abilities for one card, but this is a forest spirit we’re talking about.

I also added a couple of new spells to the Forest Elf deck.  One is Witte Wieven (wise women).  Actually, I keep going back and forth with this card: should it be a character or a spell?  The illustration will be the same either way.  The special ability might have to change slightly, depending on which way I go, but as of right now, as a spell, Witte Wieven forces your opponent to discard a card from their hand.  So immediately, this is a powerful card.  The Forest Elves also have Lenus, a satyr, which also auto removes one card from the Battlefield.  So, if playing with these two cards together, that’s two opposing units that get removed from the Battlefield without having to attack them.  The Forest It seems that Elves are moving from a healing focus to removing units without having to worry about retaliation damage.  And, that’s not all, Witte Wieven has an “OR” clause.  You can force your opponent to discard one card, OR put a +1 Defense token on the card of your choice.  Needless to say, I think this is a pretty good card.

The second spell is Chilly Fog.  I see the Forest Elves being able to control the elements.  One of the Heroes has control over Fire and another over Air, so Fog is a natural conclusion.  Currently, Chilly Fog targets three adjacent units and subtracts 1 attack from each of them for one turn.  The more I play with this card, the more I think it should be included in the Elemental deck instead.  Guess it depends on how much the Elemental deck gets fleshed out.  I guess it also depends on how many spells I determine should be included in each faction.  The Undead deck has so many spells that I don’t know what to do with them all, but some of the other decks barely have the minimum.

Moving over to the Undead faction, the new character for them is the Dullahan, which is basically the Irish headless horseman.  The Dullahan is one tough character.  If having Defense 4 wasn’t enough, his special ability allows a chance at removal of Defense 3 or lower characters.  A chance at auto-removal is nice, and since it is a special ability, it triggers before the target gets the chance to retaliate.

I’ve printed out and played with the Fomorian deck quite a few times.  I’m not 100% satisfied with their powers and abilities, but I like all of their concepts/names.  The main thing about their special abilities is that I don’t think they fit thematically.  My wife still claims that they are overpowered.  I’ve only been playing with a single Fomorian Hero; it is proving difficult to come up with powers for the other two.  But the core warrior deck is there.

One of the spells I created for the Fomorians is called “Evil Eye”.  According to legend, Balor (an old god and one of the Fomorian heroes) was a cyclopes and could use his Evil Eye to achieve massive destruction, even poisoning crops and setting entire forests on fire.  Very powerful, indeed, but I couldn’t make it too powerful, and yet I wanted it to feel like it was a force to be reckoned with.  I decided that if the spell was played while Balor wasn’t the chosen Hero, then it would be a one and done type spell.  However, if Balor was the Hero, then the strength gets bumped up by 1 (roll 4 dice to hit instead of 3) and there is a chance (d20 roll) to return the spell to the Magic deck instead of putting it in the discard pile.  Worse case when Balor is the Hero is Evil Eye is a roll 4 dice to hit spell, and it is one and done.  Best case is that the d20 dice roll is successful and the spell goes back to the Magic deck to be used again later.

Here’s the possible bad part.  If I succeed on the d20 roll, what is to stop me from immediately playing Evil Eye a second time, right then and there without missing a beat?  And, let’s say the d20 roll succeeds again.  I either pocket the spell or blast another opposing character.  This is a major reason that Susie thinks this card is overpowered.  But, succeeding on the d20 roll has only happened one out of three times so far.

I also added an item to the Ghob-lin faction, Skofnug.  Any character can use this item, but if Sreng is your chosen Hero then Skofnug gets a bonus.

This is the first time I’ve done something like this with spells/items, that is, made their power contingent on which Hero was chosen.  I like the idea and want to go back and incorporate it into the other factions.  Seems this could work well with some of the Undead spells.  Should there be Hero specific spells, and the only way to gain access of those spells is to pick that specific Hero?  That would certainly add more cards, which means increased printing price.  Hmmm, decisions, decisions.  Guess we’ll have to see how this shakes out.