I've read the other post about Leonidas' custom characters and thought I'd try some of my own!
I'd like some input on them as they seem to play ok during our 1 playtest. I did two of these custom characters:
The Fate Weaver I thought would be interesting if Fate can be used to re-roll other players' die rolls. Since she manipulates fate I also put in there the ability to modify the deck somewhat, hopefully to her advantage. Because she relies on Fate so much I also had to put in a mechanic to allow her to replenish Fate. I counter balanced that somewhat by making her always neutral: this way, she would have to pay gold to heal and get fate (except for draws and temple). Always being neutral also prevents her from getting items specific to good or evil (or rolling on spaces based on alignment without paying gold, most times); it's also thematic that someone who is attuned to fate really has no side.
Also, I went with the shuffling of the adventure deck to make sure she's not a carbon copy of the Prophetess.
In our playtest (2 player game) I quickly ran out of Fate points and I think even with the replenish it's a decision for the player whether to try to get stronger or to try and replenish fate. Gold seems to be very important for this character in our game.
The Lycanthrope is based on the old 3rd edition Goblin Fanatic character which happens to coincide nicely with the werewolf in the inner ring: rolling 2d6 to determine strength is similar to this character's main ability. I wanted the character to be strength based but fluid, more dynamic (random): so I docked the strength all the way down to 2 but hopefully the 2d6 would make up for it. Definitely a very strong character end game due to the 2d6 roll in battle.
However, the rolling of doubles mitigates that and makes it so that at most the player only receives an 11 (a 12 would be a double which is automatically a loss). I also mitigated this character's seemingly powerful strength abilities with a significant craft vulnerability: losing 2 life in psychic combat (a "silver bullet", if you will). Coupled that with the fact that the character cannot use any weapon or armor in battle and I think it strikes a fair balance.
With the possibility of getting royally hosed though, I put in the ability to heal with 1 Fate, which in some werewolf stories are an actual ability of a lycanthrope.
In any case, these are probably in their 3rd or 4th revisions and was hoping to get input from these forums! At the very least if they seem like fun to play try them out and let me know how it goes!
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I find both too complicated and messy to the point that analyzing advantages and disadvantages statistically involves much more than you claim. The Fate Weaver in particular is exploiting the new attribute of Fate too much. No character, even based on Fate's randomnes should have that much power over other characters anywhere on the board out of physical reach. Combined with her ability to replenish (gain?) Fate, she becomes an annoyance... and an instant lodestone for malice. I for one would whack her as fast and hard as possible with attacks and spells to get rid of her out of the game early on. And if using the Reaper by standard or house rules, she is in for a world of hurt. Maybe that's her fate.
There have already been comments elsewhere about using personae found in board spaces as the basis of a player character. It's not a good choice. In the case of the Lycanthrope, that term is usually reserved for individuals who are cursed or the have succumbed to the transmission of some arcane disease. That isn't what we see in this character's makeup, since there's nothing here that suggest his state is changeable under conditions outside his control. Healing for werewolves (lycanthropes, etc.) is a fictional / film addition. By traditional myth, it's questionable if it was ever "true," or a percpetion of such individuals by others, or an additional ability of such as bruja were self healing wasn't completely attached to changing ability. And perhaps a more modern term like "wolfman" would work better, since he seems more of an anthropomorphic rather than a lycanthrope, skinchanger, or mono-shapeshifter.
I would also take out the 2d6 rule and bring him back in line with what other standard characters can do. Say, adding 1D6 (for Feral Frenzy) in Attacks (physical combat) but only when he attacks (face up Enemy or Character he lands on) and not when being attacked (drawing an Enemy or another Character landing on him). This also eliminates the losing by his own roll, which is just adding more complications to deal with an imbalanced character. If this change is made, his Strength should also be bumped to 3.
An alternative would be the inverse on the attack situation. When surprised (attacked) by a drawn Enemy or a Character attacking him, he gets the Feral Frenzy bonus for an instinctual response to being suddenly endangered. You might also eliminate the die roll an simply give him a +2 in such situations. But when he chooses to attack (a rational "choice," as when landing on a Character or placed Enemy), he doesn't get that instinctive bonus. This also means he can't use his ability in fighing Space designated opponents, since they are already in view. If using this option, you should also eliminate the loss of an extra life in Pyschic Combat (in fact that should just go no matter what). This inverse option is much more logical and balanced with other characters... and still unique.
@ Fate Weaver response:
Yeah I can see how both can look complicated and messy. Good points all together. After re-reading the characters that came with the game it shows these cards as being more complex, especially compared to abilities for the Thief, etc.
Fate Weaver definitely is a PvP character but in a more subtle way. Really just wanted to see two mechanics: how a player would fare if they can manipulate others' rolls and how would a character who is very Fate dependent would fare. The former I thought would fall into 2nd Ed Prophetess where it almost became a mother-may-I system (I know she was overpowered). I guess in my gaming circle for Talisman the ability is an annoyance, but not enough for bad feelings for playing it.
Some considerations for changing the 'Weaver... Revert the replenish fate ability. Limit main/first ability of having players re-roll to just the region she is in. Something like:
"You may use 1 Fate per player turn to have the current player re-roll a die. The player must be in the region you occupy."
"If you roll a 6 for movement you may skip the rest of your turn to replenish 1 Fate."
As I mentioned in the playtest, I quickly ran out of Fate points even with the replenish ability, which was why I just simplified it to the ability to replenish by skipping a turn (replenish, incidentally, is akin to heal; that is, you can gain up to your value, which is why I specifically used the term, heh). This meant I needed a lot of gold because I'm always neutral (either that or luck out at the Temple or get the sword that grants Fate).
Or, to be more conservative, get rid of the first/main ability of having other players re-roll, and replace it with something like:
"You may use 1 Fate to gain 1 spell during your turn."
I'll have more players this weekend to try the characters on, so I'll definitely keep your comments in mind to simplify the character.
@ Lycanthrope response:
Good clarification on the terms, but your second statement on the name, that of being inflicted by some arcane disease, is related to being transformed into a wolf (werewolf), lycanthropy being the greek term for it. The character's make up simply relates to how the game translates being a werewolf and that can be derived from the inner ring werewolf; that is, determining strength by rolling 2d6.
But really, I was just looking for a good name for an interesting ability (from the Goblin Fanatic in 3rd Ed Talisman), and since it was so close to the werewolf mechanic in the inner ring I went for lycanthrope.
I do agree the healing part was a bit of a stretch in the classic definition of a werewolf. So I'll probably leave that out. The reroll of Fate would have to be sufficient to mitigate loss of life.
But how to balance him? Adding 1d6 for berserk frenzy is a great idea, but that ability is more akin to the Barbarian, IMO. At first blush I would say maybe change the last ability to something like:
"You may not gain any strength benefits from objects and/or followers."
And since we're getting rid of the healing we can replace that with:
"You may not use any armour."
2d6 in a battle does give a big advantage and in late game attacks it gets automatic sometimes. But with those changes, along with having a 1 in 6 chance of automatically losing a battle hopefully would temper that some. In our playtest my wife complained that strength 2 value was too low because she was still losing to strength 3 - 5 enemies because of her low rolls even on 2d6. I'm hoping that kind of randomness would be the mitigating factor to rolling an 11 or 10 on it.
As to the extra vulnerability in psychic combat.... it is the reason I added the healing ability mostly but I think with the changes above it would make the lycanthrope player want craft objects and followers but would want to pump up their strength through trophies.
Again, I look forward to trying these changes out with more players and see how it goes. I have 3 more characters I just thought of and I'll post them here briefly, but I'll give them another once over to simplify them some more.
i like the idea of the fate weaver very much, maybe just tone her down a little more. its seesm like she really would have to play it pretty neatural, making deals with players and helping them in return for favors, i think its pretty cool.
Forcing others to re-roll a dice with your fate. Clever idea. I would put some sort of inhibitor directly in the ability rather than the aligment restricion. EXAMPLE: She can only use 1 fate untill it is her turn again, against other players. That means if there are 3 other players, she would have to decide on whcih player and what dice to use it.
You may also want to have a reinforcement of that if a fate has been used on a dice roll, that another cant be used. EXAMPLE: Someone rolls for movement, If the player does not use a fate then the fate weaver can. If the player rolls for movement, and then uses a fate, then she can not use another fate on the same die roll.
Using Fate to look at top 5 adventure cards. This idea I like. It sounds really good on top, but trying to predict who will get what is tricky. I would change that she must do this at the END of her turn. Being able to chose the best of 5 cards is too much of an advantage. Looking at the cards, and arrangeing them at the end, gives it more of a high wire affect.
Skipping a turn to replenish fate: To strong, I would definantly make this more like the Trolls ability, only if she rolls a 6, or something.
Always neutral: Drop this ability after toning down the powers: In your explination you said being neutral would prevent them from gaining those special alignment magic items, when actualy, being neutral is and advantage...A neutral person can have the holy lance, Runesword, and Grail all at the same time. (read the cards again) They dont say, only evil can have it, or only good can have it.
Its also not just you, but since the main characters with the game are kinda funky about the whole alignment thing, you might as well just leave it off. (A good Assassin? or Ghoul?) (Evil priest?) they dont have forced aligment.
A LITTLE TWIST: Becasue you are going to drop the always neutral thing, try adding this; The fate weavers Base fate is equal to the number of players playing. This would reflect that her power is based on other players fate. Only 3 people, she has a fate value of 3.
Great ideas on how to mitigate the mechanic I so want to try! So for now the current version of the Fate Weaver reads:
I'll see how this play tests. Thanks again, HallowKnight. :)
I think HallowKnight overall has made sound suggestions for reworking the Fate Weaver into somthing acceptable to other players/characters. But I caution against making any fixed attribute on a character card dependant on anything to do with other players/characters in the game. That's begging for mechanics problems that can't be be foreseen or calculated. And it again hints of demigod status (or at least an archon) in play versus standard characters as always mortals.
The Prophetess is not a good counter example with her ability to look at cards; her ability doesn't operate the same way as mentioned for the Fate Weaver... the Prophetess only sees (not manipulates) fate (as a universal force, not an attribute) via the Adventure deck. The Fate Fate Weaver's ability is outright godlike among the other mere mortals.
However, in place of such an ability, a new Spell card [Twist of Fate] providing the one time ability to use a Fate point against another character's roll might be an interesting addition. It's limited and requires (1) the necessary Craft and (2) acquiring that one spell. Much more interesting and tactical than the old Randomize spell. But again, it should also be limited, perhaps to targets only in the same region as the caster. Consider this as an alternative or addition when introducing the Fate Weaver into further play testing.
Hey thanks for the complement. Always appreciated.
Demi god status...Yea, after reading that, it would kina suck to get 12 people together to play and someone pulls her out.
Starting Fate 14.
Forgot to put a cap on it! :)
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