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  #61  
Old 12-09-2017, 11:53 AM
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turtle versus the Uberkobolds

This is one encounter that's getting toned back down. The Kobolds left him at death's door.

After some deliberation, I'm reducing the damage of Raging Blow and Smash by 1 each. Raging Blow is still abusable, but Smash is kind of a big deal, given that it's part of the Warrior's basic toolkit. This is part of an ongoing effort to make enemies survive a little bit longer, which is why the nerfs are hitting the Warrior and not the Ranger. I think the Warrior remains highly competitive given that Strike is the best guaranteed one-turn damage in the game. It only has Mind Probe to compete with, but both attacks are invaluable over the course of a normal game, whether it's as a guaranteed finisher or just getting the first hit on a Stone Golem.

Other mechanical changes:
  • Confusion goes from B3 for 2 damage to BX for X-1 damage. I already think Confusion is good, but now it's quite good, and it makes the Bard a credible damage dealer. He's still better used elsewhere most of the time, though, and that's good.
  • Precision Shot from *A A? to GA A?, Trick Shot from *A *A to GA *A. This is less about making these cards more difficult and more about making green cards relevant.
  • Rebuke from Y? Y? to Y? B?. This is again about shifting the relevance of these colors, though it has the side benefit of making Rebuke a bit more accessible.
  • Entangle from G? G? G? to B? G? G?. I mean, you're still not going to take it, but at least it's there.
  • Rally from R? to B?, and the base damage is now 2 instead of 1. It still struggles to keep up with Cheer, but it does perform better than Cheer alongside multihit attacks like Prismatic Missile and Rain of Arrows.

This is a relatively long list, and yet the adjustments are all very small at this point. The game is in a pretty good spot already.
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  #62  
Old 12-09-2017, 03:55 PM
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No buffs to Ms. Mage's tank knight?
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  #63  
Old 12-09-2017, 04:29 PM
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Buffs to everybody! Game still too easy.

Major bosses are now out for blood.
  • Stheno: Snake Swarm deals 4 damage to all party members, Constrict deals X+3 and stuns. Petrifying Gaze is still the real enemy of this battle.
  • Arion: Not that anyone's fought him, but he got similar buffs to Stheno.
  • Celia/Rowan: Celia's attacks go from (X+2, 4, X to all) to (X+4, 5, X+1 to all), and Rowan deals 4 damage per round. Celia's health bumped from 12 to 14. Rowan's health bumped from 23 to 25.
  • Memnes: Starts with 3 Zombies, and Animate Dead adds 3 more (was 2 and 2). Zombies deal 3 damage instead of 2. Arcane Assault deals 6 damage to two heroes (was X), Drain Life deals and heals X+2 (was X+2 and X). Memnes's health bumped from 22 to 24.

Minor bosses are a bit tougher.
  • Ninjas: You no longer discard an action card when you kill a ninja.
  • Witch: Curse of Weakness reduces damage by 2 (was 1). Curse of Cowardice forbids the hero from receiving action cards whose rank isn't more than twice their number of curses (instead of 1x the number of curses). Witch's health bumped from 23 to 26.
  • Myconid: Health bumped from 12 to 14.
  • Ambush might get scrapped. I pulled Summoner + Kobolds in my last game, and there's no way you'll be able to scrounge up that many spare cards. If you have an idea for another minor boss, this is your big chance.

Regular enemies get another round of buffs. Everyone hits a bit harder. Game might be possible to lose now.
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  #64  
Old 12-09-2017, 05:24 PM
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Hmm. I know Ninjas and Witch, but I've never actually seen the Myconid card. What does that boss even do?
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  #65  
Old 12-09-2017, 05:42 PM
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They create spores that can explode or combine into extra Myconids. They gave JBear a run for his money on his first run.
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  #66  
Old 12-09-2017, 05:54 PM
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Something that could be interesting for a minor boss is some kind of doppelganger or mimic that takes its action card from the Hero Deck. What would be real fun is if its attacks depended on the heroes that were fighting it, but that seems a bit complex.

Another idea that could work is a monster that attacks the Hero Deck. Something like "When this monster deals damage, the player must discard cards from the Hero Deck equal to the damage dealt at the start of their next Draw Phase." Not sure how that could work flavor-wise, though.
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  #67  
Old 12-09-2017, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
Another idea that could work is a monster that attacks the Hero Deck. Something like "When this monster deals damage, the player must discard cards from the Hero Deck equal to the damage dealt at the start of their next Draw Phase." Not sure how that could work flavor-wise, though.
Maybe something like a wight or some other monster that saps strength?
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  #68  
Old 12-10-2017, 08:48 PM
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Early look at the Bard. Basically this is perfect. I can't imagine a better Bard.

Speaking of the Bard, I'm thinking of changing Inspiration to allow storing up to two cards. Our man doesn't really pull his weight until he learns something new, and it's not likely to change his late game much.
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  #69  
Old 12-11-2017, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
After some deliberation, I'm reducing the damage of Raging Blow and Smash by 1 each. Raging Blow is still abusable, but Smash is kind of a big deal, given that it's part of the Warrior's basic toolkit.
Aaaaaand suddenly Slime is super not worth fighting without Ranger until you get some kind of ability. Rather than rebalance everything else so that this encounter works slightly better for certain party combinations, I'm changing Slime's ability to bring the copy into play with two more damage than the original. You're still in for it if you're playing a solo game with Warrior-Bard-Paladin, but even that's still a lot better.

Before:
  • Warrior hits for 5. Slimes @ 7, 7
  • Warrior hits for 5. Paladin hits for 2. Slimes @ 7, 2
  • Warrior hits for 5. Paladin hits for 2. Slime @ 2
  • If the Slimes used Split or Recombine at any point, you'll wish you fled outright

After:
  • Warrior hits for 5. Slimes @ 7, 5
  • Warrior hits for 5. Slime @ 7
  • Warrior hits for 5. Paladin hits for 2. Slimes dead.

Of course, this is all best-case, but you take what you can get when you're running 2/3 support heroes. Getting the cards to line up for Rebuke and a 5-damage Smash is not easy, and you're punished much less by New Slime for failing to make that happen. (We're not even going to talk about Mage-Bard-Paladin. Let's forget that's a party combination that exists.)

The outlook is a lot better if you brought a Mage with your Warrior:
  • Warrior hits for 5. Mage hits for 3/3. Slime @ 7
  • Warrior hits for 4-5. Mage hits for 3/3. Slimes dead.

You'll need to get pretty lucky to make that happen, but at least you have a Paladin or Bard bringing up the rear.


So this is a great solution for the Rangerless, no-learned-ability Slime encounter, except that it makes the ability wording unnecessarily tricky:
Dissolution: When a Slime is dealt damage, add a copy of that Slime to the enemy group. Add 2 damage to the copy.
Hopefully, it's common sense that the damage added to the copy doesn't cause recursive Dissolution, but I added a note to the appendix as well.
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  #70  
Old 12-11-2017, 11:21 AM
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add a copy of that Slime, with an extra 2 damage added, to the enemy group?
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  #71  
Old 12-11-2017, 11:21 AM
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If you want to avoid having to rely on common sense, this wording could work?

"Dissolution: When a Slime is dealt damage, add a copy of that Slime to the enemy group with 2 additional damage."
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  #72  
Old 12-11-2017, 11:23 AM
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My only worry is that when I read "Add 2 damage"/"extra 2 damage added"/"2 additional damage", my first thought is that you mean that the new copy hits harder.

ETA: Dissolution: When a Slime is dealt damage, add a copy of that Slime to the enemy group with X-2 HP, where X = the original Slime's remaining HP after being dealt that damage.
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  #73  
Old 12-11-2017, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite
Dissolution: When a Slime is dealt damage, add a copy of that Slime to the enemy group with 2 additional damage.
The big problem with this wording is that it's not clear what's the antecedent of the "with 2 additional damage" clause. You can figure it out by process of elimination -- there's no such thing as "the enemy group with 2 additional damage" -- but it's still less clear than...

Quote:
Originally Posted by YangusKhan
add a copy of that Slime, with an extra 2 damage added, to the enemy group?
And yet it's not obvious that this phrasing is any less awkward. To be maximally specific, we need something like...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
ETA: Dissolution: When a Slime is dealt damage, add a copy of that Slime to the enemy group with X-2 HP, where X = the original Slime's remaining HP after being dealt that damage.
That's a lot of words, though, and the original text I posted barely fits in the box. There's precedent for bigger boxes and smaller text, but Dissolution isn't meant to be a fundamentally complicated ability!

Another possible workaround:
Dissolution: When a Slime takes damage, increase that damage by 1, then add a copy of the Slime to the enemy group.
This is much clearer, has more or less the same effect, and just barely fits the box. It also makes Mage-Paladin-Bard not completely infeasible. But is it better than just reducing the Slime's health to 10? If I use this wording, I'll probably also change Split to add a copy directly instead of using self-damage, which would be a great loss as far as I'm concerned -- no more suicide Slime strats.

The Moral: It's very difficult to be concise and clear on these cards, and there are many more ways to screw it up than to get it right.
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  #74  
Old 12-11-2017, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
If I use this wording, I'll probably also change Split to add a copy directly instead of using self-damage, which would be a great loss as far as I'm concerned -- no more suicide Slime strats.
The clear answer is to change Split to say "[Each Slime || The Slime with the highest HP] deals 0 damage to itself," counting on the +1 from Dissolution to boost it to real damage. Though I suppose that would get into "does 0 damage even count as damage" in the first place to trigger the +1.

(I forget whether it was one or all Slimes that split)


...Say, I'm wondering. As the card is now, where Split does 1 damage...if a Paladin Rebuked the Slime, would it hit itself for 0 and therefore fail to split?
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  #75  
Old 12-11-2017, 01:45 PM
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Yeah, so changing Split to zero damage would make it do nothing.

Also in "interesting Slime interactions": the Bard's Rally increases all damage dealt to the target it hits for the round, so you can Rally a Slime to make it deal 2 damage to itself. Under the new Slime rules, you take a Slime at 4 HP and hit it with Rally for 2, it attempts to clone but the clone dies, and then it kills itself with Split.

It's not the most practical strategy, but we're talking about Suicide Slime here.
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  #76  
Old 12-11-2017, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
BTW, any thought to including a score guide of some nature? Just a vague indicator as to what a "good" score looks like, if nothing else. That was always my favourite part of Hanabi's instructions.
Meanwhile: This is a thing that has happened!
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  #77  
Old 12-11-2017, 09:56 PM
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Say hello to our fourth minor boss. I'm a little sad to see Ambush go -- if I weren't component-constrained, there would be five boss cards anyway, and Ambush would've made the cut. Cryohydra fills the bruiser role that was missing in the minor boss lineup, so we at least get a good new challenge out of the exchange as well as an interesting tradeoff implicit in Frostbreath.

I got a couple of opportunities to give the newly-balanced game a run today. The first go ended ignominiously when I lost a character before the first boss, but the second was a Hero-difficulty win that eked out a narrow victory with Warrior, Ranger, and Bard. I got Ninjas as my minor boss, teaching Critical to the Warrior, and managed to put three cards into the deck as fodder. I had Arion as the second boss, and I took him as a wild attack card, which let me defeat Stheno in two rounds. She didn't go down before taking the Ranger with her, though.

The difficulty is in a good spot now. I'm going to open the game for public playtesting later this week -- I just need to finish writing the "Hero Abilities" section of the rulebook and generate a low-ink version of the cards for the print-and-play crowd.
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  #78  
Old Yesterday, 07:04 AM
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Ooh, I like the hydra. Too bad you can't really fit a second half to Regeneration with something like "If the damage a Warrior deals would not defeat the Cryohydra, that damage is reduced to 1." to represent slashing weapons being a bad idea. :P
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