Hello there. I'm a veteran GM who's new to this system. After playing our first session, we ran into an odd issue where our Shallyan priest was a virtual wall of impenitrability.
The beginning character had a shield, scalemail, and used the defensive Shallya prayer where your cautious stance counted as soak. Totaled, it came to a soak value of 11 with enemies throwing 3 or 4 challenge dice to even hit. This doesn't even take into account any dodge, block, or parry (or improved versions of the same).
Now, I have no problem with this player emphasizing the tank aspect of play, but is this as designed for a starting character? I know I can ratchet up the enemies or create custom powers that pierce through soak, but throwing standard goblins or small chaos creatures that are a challenge for the other characters do only the minimum 1 damage per the rules (if I remember correctly) to this priest.
So, lets focus on the soak alone, does 11 soak for a starting character seem about right? It seems far over the top compared to the other characters to me. Even the player of the character was surprised by the amount and thought it a bit too much.
Is there a restriction that prevents Shallyan's from wearing armour? Did we get some rule or prayer wrong in our first session?
As it stands now, enemies that are a challenge for the rest of the group are a joke to this priest who absorbs almost every bit of damage if the blows are not deflected before hitting in the first place.
Tom / Doc4
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Hmmmm, my reading of the Blessing is that it would take 3 rounds (or 1 rounds & 2 stress) to get to 11 soak, the spell gives you bonus soak of how far you are into the stance, not how many pieces you have so they would be vulnerable for the first couple of rounds or have reduced soak until they recast it (and though I can't back this up I would say the Blessing does not increase in soak as you go further into the conservative side, that it adds a static bonus at the time of casting).
To get the shield and scale mail your player must have spent 3 character points on wealth at character generation, meaning they must be short somewhere else. If they have 11 soak (and I've done my maths correctly) they only have 3 toughness, an action card that ignores armour soak would be very useful right now!
Is 11 a high soak? Yes. I'm not sure how much higher it could get.
Is it too high for a starting character? Possibly. But they have to have made sacrifices in other areas to attain it, Warhammer is not all about the combat, they are sure to run into non-combat situations where the priest will be hampered and another PC will shine.
I know you said to focus on the soak but… 3 or 4 challenge dice? Hopefully you got your terminology wrong there and you meant 3 or 4 misfortune dice, defence adds black dice not purple dice. And 3 or 4? The scale mail adds 0 challenge dice, the most a shield adds is 2 so that's 1 purple (vs. defence modifier) and 2 black (shield) for a basic attack, that's a pretty standard attack (without defence actions) and will hit regularly.
Really FFG? "Without Signature"? If I don't take the time to put a signature here I don't want one, especially not a marker saying "Without Signature"
I read "three or four challenge dice" and have to wonder if you might have been using purples instead of blacks for Defense. Generally, there would be only one challenge die on most attacks. A high soak is powerful, but even monster accuracy is high in this game and the creeps a guaranteed to get 1 wound through so a swarm will still topple a soak-focused tank.
Also, worth noting, the flavor of the Shallyan is pacifism. It would be unfitting for priest to be too aggressive and I see the (notably powerful) spell as a good way for the Shallyan to accomplish something in a combat scene (tanking) when their religion frowns upon all forms of aggression. An intelligent enemy would be notably offput by his blows being turned by the divine force and would seek better "sport" elsewhere in the case of combat-hungry opponents and more threatening targets if a tactically sound opponent.
My 2 cents~
Well i think it is perfectly all right for a shallyan priest to have a soak of 9 or higher….why ? becouse they dont do one single wound in combat ever (exception is vs nurgle here ofc). IF a Shallyan priest should ever wield a weapon (a quaterstaff in the hand do parry…might be all righ tho) and damage somebody in combat in our game he loses the favour of his godess wich means no power or magic whatsoever. He might be able to regain that…but if he willingly injures a living beeing (yes he can fight undead, what belongs to morr should stay there) he will loose everything.A shallyan priest brings healing to the table or can cure longterm problems like insan. or sicknesses, thats his job not dealing dmg…but beeing protected while he does that ? Thats okay for me, nothing "broken" or "spoiled" to see there for me.
But concerning soak as a "problem" as for ironbreakers its never a problem just break his iron..
The high-soak charakter will live through the battles but most of the time he sacrifices a lot of other things for that. TO:5 Plate an a shield and you are missing out all the great 2handed Actioncards and will most of the time use only shield&handweapon cards. With the bulkwardstyle you are almost invincible in a fight right ?
Option 1: Use caster´s, armor-pen or abilitys that dont target def against the high-soak PC
The Marksman = Hast high armor pen (2-7 is he needs it) with cards like "the hunters eye" "the stilled breath" with normal attacks or use "chink in the armor" "called shot" or "sniper shot" and all your armor is useless.
The mage= there are a ton of spells not going for def. or targeting WP insted of TO and on top ignore armor your tank will hate it and youll get him with it for sure…i can point them out if needed
And now you can go "ok why should i build enemys or encountes in which high-soak enemys are targeted by their counter? isent that unfair "? When you are a extremely good archer…why not "open the tincan" from which you know your buddys wont stand a chance in close combat? Or for beeing a mage…let him ripp through your hordes? Or stop him right now and let your minions clean the rest of the bunch? Its not evil, its not unfair..its just smart !
Option 2: Play the enemys smart!
Lets just say you dont want to counterbuild anything, then this might be for you. If look you stand on the field of battle…there is a full armored dwarf, helmet,gauntlets a metal-shield and a hammer….you can charge him but somehow you feel it might be a baaaaad idea…and then there is a guy with a crossbow in a tunic or leather doesent that sound more appealing ?
In our group enemys tend to ignore or focus players on how they look and performe in situations. They arent stupid and just charge (well some do but thats then trait of the monsters then). What happens is, the high soak-tank will live through the combat but dont do much dmg either becouse enemys flee or dont attack him at all. He has to adjust if he wants to contribute weather in shielding others with "bodyguard" or "my life for yours" or be pretty much useless for the fight. Even reaction-cards that are realy nice arent that useable becouse they just dont get hit, they arent to be messed with they show it and enemys act like that.
Who honors those we love with the very life we live?
Who sends monsters to kill us,at the same time sings that we'll never die?
Who teaches us what's real,how to laugh at lies?
Who decides why we live,what we'll die to defend?
Who chains us,who holds the key to set us free?
It's you. You have all the weapons you need. Now fight!
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