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Digitality

8 Custom Heroes.

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Looking for feedback and opinions, particularly on balance, especially from Antistone who has shown solid wisdom in hero value. Or highlight any overlooked broken skill/equipment combination set ups that would muss things up.

Some of the concepts are a bit unorthodox.

1) Mira the Sightless
Conquest: 2
Stats: 12 wounds, 0 armor, 5 fatigue, 5 speed
Traits: 2 melee
Skills: 2 fighting, 2 subterfuge
Abilities: Blind - Mira rolls the stealth die with all of her attacks and suffers from a -2 range penalty. Mira cannot trace LOS to prevent the overlord from spawning. She also ignores fog and darkness*.
                 Suppression - All spawn cards have an increased cost of 2 threat to play. In addition, each figure spawned within "LOS" of Mira, ignoring obstacles for this purpose, cost 1 additional threat. Mira may also force the overlord to reroll any number of yellow, green, or power dice in attacks made against her.

2) Brahka
Conquest: 4
Stats: 16 wounds, 2 armor, 3 fatigue, 4 speed
Traits: 3 melee
Skills: 3 fighting
Ability: Sonic Blow - Brahka may spend 2 fatigue when making a melee attack, increasing it's targeted range by 2 spaces in a straight line. The initial space receives damage as normal, the second space receives 2/3 of the rolled damage (round up) and the third space receives 1/3 of the rolled damage (round up).

3) Tessa the Pure
Conquest: 3 (not sure if I should bring it down to 2 give her wounds+armor weighted against the increased longevity she offers a party)
Stats: 12 wounds, 0 armor, 6 fatigue, 5 speed
Traits: 3 magic
Skills: 3 wizardry
Abilities: Novice - Tessa may not spend her fatigue for movement points. (Possible consideration to allow her to spend 2 fatigue for 1 MP instead)
                 Healing Grace - Instead of taking a normal action on her turn, Tessa may move up to 2 spaces and spend all of her remaining fatigue to heal herself, or an ally within 2 spaces by an amount equal to the fatigue used.

4) Cadwe
Conquest: 2
Stats: 8 wounds, 1 armor, 4 fatigue, 5 speed
Traits: 3 ranged
Skills: 3 subterfuge
Ability: Barbed Arrow - Cadwe may spend 1 fatigue to add Bleed to his attack.

5) Valdros the Lich
Conquest: 4
Stats: 12 wounds, 1 armor, 4 fatigue, 4 speed
Traits: 3 magic
Skills: 3 wizardry
Ability: Phylactery - Valdros has Sorcery 1, and when killed may roll for Undying, upon success his CT value is temporarily increased by 1, reverting to normal only upon true death.

6) Houngan
Conquest: 3
Stats: 12 wounds, 1 armor, 4 fatigue, 4 speed
Traits: 3 magic
Skills: 3 wizardry
Ability: Voudoun - When Houngan successfully deals damage to an enemy he no longer requires LOS to make further attacks against it. In addition he may double his range rolls against any such afflicted figures.

7) Bohemond
Conquest: 4
Stats: 16 wounds, 1 armor, 3 fatigue, 4 speed
Traits: 3 melee
Skills: 3 melee
Ability: Sword & Board - When wielding a 1-handed weapon and a shield Bohemond may add 1 power die to his attack rolls and receives the off-hand bonus of his weapon.

8) Renault
Conquest: 3
Stats: 12 wounds, 1 armor, 4 fatigue, 5 speed
Traits: 3 ranged
Skills: 3 subterfuge
Ability: Barrage - Renault may spend 2 fatigue when making an attack to target all adjacent spaces as well. The initial target takes damage normally and all adjacent spaces receive half the damage (round up). This ability may not be used with any other effects that would increase the number of spaces targeted.
 

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 You've got some neat stuff here. For myself, personally, I would only use some of the ones that are a little more "conventional." It can be fun to play around with rules, but it's easy to go to far with it.

I would suggest sticking to one, clear and simple special ability for each character. Some of them have two, or one advantage and one disadvantage, and it would seem more clean to me to stick to just one.

Mira the Sightless: Nice concept, but I don't see her coming together as a character. Takes too many special rules to make work. What's with the reduced dice and extra cards? Also, I don't see any fluff reason for her to have the suppression ability.

Brahka: Sonic blow? What? Sorry... it's not a terrible idea, it just seems more like streetfighter to me.

Tessa the Pure: Simplify her abilities. I would suggest remove Novice and make her healing ability easier to use. Just let her spend fatigue to heal damage... maybe max of three per turn or something. Or spend one movement point and 1 fatigue to heal 1 wound.

Cadwe: Neat ability. I like it :)

Valdros the Lich: Simplify. Sorcery is a bonus. The CT increase with undying is a penalty. If you want to keep the current balance, get rid of both of them. Just have him have Undying. That's enough in itself, and still very powerful. Possibly too powerful. If he needs to be toned down, you could keep the CT penalty, or maybe reduce his armor to 0. What is a lich doing wearing armor, anyway? On the other hand, he is 4 conquest...

Houngan: I like the special ability. I would suggest reducing his Fatigue to 3. His power gives him flexibility and distance; it makes sense that he might not be used to running around as much as some other heroes, and there's already a lot of heroes with Fatigue 4.

Bohemond: I see what you're going for, but I don't like the execution. Maybe if you'd stopped at +1 power die... but I just don't see a hero getting to use their main weapon and ALSO get it's off-hand bonus.

Renault: Just give him the ability to pay 2 fatigue for the Sweep ability for one attack. The extra rules of reducing the damage elsewhere doesn't add enough to justify the extra complication, not when there's already an ability called "Sweep" out there you can grab. Sure, it's powerful, but 2 fatigue is a nice, steep cost. Compare it to Rapid Fire (for example) which gives you 1 extra attack but can be used any time. This may give you more than one extra blow, but it's very more conditional. With a powerful ability like this, his other stats should be moderate. His speed should definitely not be as high as 5. I would reduce that to 4, and then you might want to reduce either his speed or fatigue 1 further. His wounds and armor are already moderate, so that's okay.

Well, hope this has been helpful. Take all this with a grain of salt, as the impetuous ramblings of a passerby who has really given this very little thought. Cheers and good luck!

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Been awhile since I've looked back at these, they were intended for a sort of fan-expansion. Some changes though, because in hindsight I don't like how radically I tried to play around with special rules. Especially in regards to reducing damage for extended attack areas.

1) Mira the Sightless

Conquest
: 2

Stats: 12 wounds, 0 armor, 5 fatigue, 5 speed
Traits: 2 melee
Skills: 2 fighting, 2 subterfuge
Abilities: Blind - Mira rolls the stealth die with all of her attacks  Mira cannot trace LOS to prevent the overlord from spawning. She ignores obstacles when checking for LOS.
                 Suppression - All spawn cards have an increased cost of 1 threat to play. In addition, each monster spawned within "LOS" of Mira, costs 1 additional threat. Mira may also force the overlord to re-roll up to 2 of any of yellow, green, or power dice in attacks made against her.

2) Brahka
Conquest: 4
Stats: 16 wounds, 1 armor, 3 fatigue, 4 speed
Traits: 3 melee
Skills: 3 fighting
Ability: Staggering Blow - Brahka may spend 1 fatigue to add Daze to his attack.

3) Tessa the Pure
Conquest: 3
Stats: 12 wounds, 0 armor, 6 fatigue, 5 speed
Traits: 2 magic
Skills: 3 wizardry
Abilities: Novice - Tessa may not spend her fatigue for movement points.
                 Healing Grace - In place of a normal attack, Tessa may attempt to heal a friendly hero. Roll the white die for range, the attempt fails on a miss. Tessa must spend 1 fatigue for each wound healed. In the Advanced Campaign, when taking a recuperate action Tessa may heal any number of heroes up to a combined total of 6 wounds in place of taking a normal action.

4) Cadwe
Conquest: 2
Stats: 8 wounds, 1 armor, 4 fatigue, 5 speed
Traits: 3 ranged
Skills: 3 subterfuge
Ability: Barbed Arrow - Cadwe may spend 1 fatigue to add Bleed to his Ranged attacks.

5) Valdros the Lich
Conquest: 4
Stats: 12 wounds, 0 armor, 4 fatigue, 4 speed
Traits: 3 magic
Skills: 3* wizardry
Ability: Phylactery - Valdros receives Sorcery 1, Undying and +1 Armor vs Magic Attacks.
             Necromancy - One of Valdros' 3 wizardry skills is automatically taken as Necromancy, and may not be redrawn. In the Advanced Campaign Valdros receives Necromancy and draws for no other skills during set up.

6) Houngan
Conquest: 3
Stats: 12 wounds, 1 armor, 3 fatigue, 4 speed
Traits: 3 magic
Skills: 3 wizardry
Ability: Voudoun - When Houngan successfully deals damage to an enemy he no longer requires LOS to make further attacks against it. In addition he may double his range rolls against any such afflicted figures.

7) Bohemond
Conquest: 4
Stats: 16 wounds, 2 armor, 3 fatigue, 3 speed
Traits: 2 melee
Skills: 3 melee
Ability: Sword & Board - When wielding a 1-handed weapon and a shield Bohemond may add 1 power die to his attack rolls, and receives the off hand bonus of the weapon.
             Bastion - When hit by an attack that would otherwise kill Bohemond, he may choose to discard an equipped shield and remain alive with 1 wound.

8) Renault
Conquest: 3
Stats: 12 wounds, 0 armor, 4 fatigue, 4 speed
Traits: 3 ranged
Skills: 3 subterfuge
Ability: Barrage - Renault my spend 2 fatigue to add Blast to his Ranged Attacks. He may do this only once per attack.

@Knightwalker, thanks for the feedback. Without the corresponding pictures it's a little hard to gauge thematic intent. Some of them might seem a bit anime-esque haha.

For Mira, think a mix between Zatoichi (blind swordsman), and Taki (from Soul Calibur, who's a demon hunting ninja) The suppression aspect comes from her ofuda. Those little paper talismans you'll see in various Japanese works. Some of the context was clarified, and unnecessary rules were dropped. (Especially the darkness custom obstacles I didn't further elaborate on lol) The idea of -2 range when she's unlikely to ever use range weapons, on top of rolling the stealth die kind of seemed excessive. She's fast, and expendable, with some minor survivability due to forced re-rolls and ambushing monsters costing more threat. The no LOS against spawns is a major set back, but I like it.

Brahka's sonic blow was meant more thematically as him hitting so hard with an attack, that the force of it resonated outward. I've scrapped it for something simpler and thematically similar, and dropped his armor some, reconsidering he's meant to be an offensive character, not a tank. He's an Orc. Rawr.

Tessa. The idea is that she's sort of new to being a hero in general and a bit naive/innocent, and somewhat unconditioned. Novice also prevents her from being a strong runner while giving her a resource to use for her healing ability. My large concerns are her ability sort of flies in the face of healing items that are otherwise removed from the Advanced Campaign, so I wanted a way to limit that in some way. I think the new method with rolling a die to check for range/miss is simpler and easier to remember offhand. I also reduced her trait die by one, which weakens her offense, and makes her fairly niche.

Cadwe was straightforward and simple. It was like "Elf... bow... bleed? Sure... done" When I was doing these all up it felt sort of bland. In hindsight with experience I like that I kept it that way. I'm slightly tentative about a 3 trait 3 skill hero being only 2 CT, but there are a couple examples of stock heroes modeled this way. Albeit they are all magic types.

Valdros... I've simplified. I'm still not sure I like undying on a hero where game play is concerned, but I do like it thematically. The forced Necromancy was something that was cut out of the original concept, but that I wanted and thought fit. The sorcery bonus is due to him placing his soul in his phylactery, and as a result, also some of his power. The base armor thematically is more to do with him being undead, and being to resistant to many types of attacks. However Descent isn't the type of game to really discriminate between, say, blunt attacks vs slashing attacks. Or fire spells vs ice spells beyond the flavor of item pictures. After looking at Shiver again, who appears as some sort of undead, and at the Skeleton archers, it seems being a walking corpse in Terrinoth doesn't really make you any more durable lol. So I dropped the base 1 armor and rolled it into the phylactery as a +1 vs magic only.

Houngan, to anyone familiar with it, the name of the character and his ability are dead give aways to the inspiration. He's a voodoo master. At first I was worried about his special being underwhelming and underused. Most monsters are either killed in a single blow, or don't stay so far out of range to begin with. At best it allows him step forward, tag a couple monsters with Blast, then go hide and cover rear spawn LOS. In the Advanced Campaign specifically though, it's something the Overlord should stay very aware of in LT encounters and plan accordingly. That sort of average in most situations but great in one particular scenario is something I like about it.

Bohemond. two handed weapons generally see the most use for melee characters. The numbers don't lie, they're just better. Even less is the sword + shield combo used by anyone except with equip swaps. I wanted to make it a stronger option, and at first I didn't feel a single power die was enough to outweigh the advantages of 2 handed or dual wield. I really don't think the off hand bonuses are that strong. It's only +2 damage with a gold level Rage Blade. They're definitely not strong enough to put dual wield ahead of 2 hand to begin with. I've dropped his base trait dice by 1 though, while upping his tankish roll with Bastion. I'm not sure I like it, as I can already envision a steady stream of broken town shop shields littering the floors of many a dungeon. lol I lowered his speed to reinforce the big slow tank concept, and to limit his ability to re-equip often.

Renault, you were right. I made something overly complex that didn't need to be, considering that a similar ability already existed. I just worry that it's possibly too overpowered as full damage to a potential 9 squares. Then again... the overlord facing Blast in any form should be wary about how he places his minions.

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