Fighter Header Rough Outlines

I’m posting initial fighter header concepts and welcome feedback. First, some things to keep in mind:

  • These are REALLY subject to change. A lot. Do not get all wrapped up in a character concept based on a skill or even a header still being there in 3 years.
  • Specific numbers are vague estimates and particularly subject to change when I run the math, do some balance experiments, and work on statting. They’re more there to give you a general idea of magnitude at this point.
  • See previous post for an explanation of the Focus/per battle/per event system.
  • See top of header list for notes about what all fighters get for free, and consider the headers not as standalone things, but in combo with open skills and other headers.
  • Bear in mind that in this system, I am trying to shift the burden of keeping the fighters up back to the healers, so fighters do not get a ton of defenses or self-healing or infinite free armor refits. This is on purpose and part of the core VM skill philosophy.
  • This will be a high starting CP game, and you will be able to start with a whole bunch of skills.
  • There will also be many enticing add on headers, racial headers, divine bloodline headers, etc. And you will get some of those headers for free. So your core class skills will only be part of the package, and are very focused on combat. RP skills, utility skills, and flavor skills will tend to come from other sources. I anticipate many people may buy 30-80% of their skills from other headers.
  • Punch traits here mean traits which most common defenses (parries, avoids, etc) will not work on, and which will affect nearly everything even if it is otherwise immune to stuff.

Here’s the kind of feedback I’m looking for:

  • I would LOVE to hear which headers you personally find most and least appealing. This is a great way to tell which headers still need work. (I may even post a poll on this at some point.) Even if you’re not a “rules person,” post and tell me which specialties you’d take if you were playing a fighter!
  • Please tell me if you see a header that you feel is a “must have” that people would be shooting themselves in the foot not to take. I want PCs to be able to choose headers based on preference and concept without feeling like they NEED to take header X to be effective.
  • Let me know if any headers look particularly over or under powered overall, or seem to be missing something key they would need and not be able to easily make up with an open skill or a second specialty.
  • I am less interested in feedback on specific skills, since the skills are all still very much in development and WILL change once I run some math, and more on overall header feedback. That said, if you see a skill that you find particularly exciting or problematic, feel free to let me know. Just bear in mind that there aren’t a lot of specifics given on the skills here, and what specifics there are are likely to change, so don’t get hung up on those.
  • Let me know if I’m missing anything you think is key for fighters to have, or if there’s a key ability you think should be in Open skills rather than in specialty headers, or if the converse is true and there’s something that appears too often, etc…Overall distribution of skills/effects stuff is good.

Some rules about feedback:

  • No specific skill proposals, please. Getting those from PCs is weird and conflict-of-interest-y. General “What about skills like…” or “This header seems to be missing X kind of skill” type feedback is fine.
  • No arguing a specific point back and forth. It can dominate comments unduly. Make your point and MAYBE do ONE rebuttal if you really can’t help yourself. Then let it go. I will delete comments that are rathole-ing too deep (even if they’re otherwise fine and wonderful), just to keep this thread uncluttered so I can refer to it more easily when making revisions (because I really do value your feedback!).
  • Try to keep each point brief. I’ll ask you for more detail if I don’t get it. This makes for easier reference when I come back to make revisions.
  • Feel free to ask questions! Like “Have you considered…” or “How will this work?” I’m happy to answer in most cases.

Again, bear in mind I am going to be making a lot of changes over the next few years, and these may be unrecognizable by the time they’re finalized.

Mages and Healers are coming later. I started with fighters to get my grounding in these rules because fighters are what I’m most familiar with, but I promise I have lots of fun stuff in store for the other classes as well!

Here they are!

Fighter Headers (Sketchy Vague Drafts)

All Fighters:

  • Get all 0 CP skills for free
  • Can buy Open Fighter Skills regardless of specialty
  • Get 2 free Specialty headers (their choice)
  • Can buy additional Specialty headers (CP cost TBD)

0 CP Skills (Free for all fighters)

  • +2 Vitality (+ base 2 = 4 starting Vitality)
  • Full Weapon Style of choice (sword/board, 2 weapons, 2 hander/polearm, bow & sword)

Open Fighter Skills (Available to all Fighters)

  • Armor (physical or dex) (Base 2 pts)
  • Extra Armor – Increases armor value 1 pt (3 total)
  • Refit Armor (dex or phys) – Unlimited between battles; Per battle, refit 1x for free (1 min), then costs 1 Focus to do again (still takes 1 min).
  • Disengage (1x/per battle, then 1 Focus)
  • Parry (2 Focus) (Limit 3x/battle)
  • 3 Damage (per battle; buy up to 4x, then 1 Focus) (works w/bow or melee)
  • Healer Imbue (paired skill) – Full heal, gain 2 Protection, OR 1x 3 Damage (your choice) when healer calls Imbue by X (key trait TBD)
  • More Vitality – buy up to 2x (up to 6 total)
  • Resist Fear (1x/battle, then 1 Focus)

Fighter Specialties

(Fighters get X (2?) Specialty headers for free, then can buy more)

Skirmisher

  • Backstab – 3 Damage By <Punch Trait> from behind (per battle; more for 2 Focus ea; buy up to 3x)
  • Waylay – Stun (2 Focus) (behind only)
  • Purge Root, Slow, Maim Leg (& take dam) (1 Focus)
  • Agony (1 Focus)
  • Death from behind (per event; buy up to 3x)

Ranger

  • Purge Root, Slow, Maim Leg (& take dam) (1 Focus)
  • Stabilize at 1 min instead of dying (per event; buy up to 3x)
  • Avoid (per event; buy up to 3x)
  • Maim (per battle; up to 3x; more w/1 Focus)
  • Heal 3 to Self (per event; up to 3x)

Warrior

  • Maim (per battle; buy up to 3x; then 1 Focus)
  • 5 Damage OR 3 Damage By <Punch Trait> (2 Focus)
  • 1x Per event – No effect to uncalled so long as you don’t call an attack or smart defense
  • Reduce called damage – take half (rounded up) on first hit (1x/battle; buy up to 3x)
  • Healer’s Best Friend (get healing pool can use to top off when take healing effect)

Champion

  • 5 Damage OR 3 Damage By <Punch Trait> (2 Focus)
  • Each battle, pick a target & do +1 to all called attacks vs. that target
  • Purge Weakness, Maim Arm, or Silence & take damage (1 Focus)
  • 3x 4 Damage OR 3x 2 Damage By <Punch Trait> burst vs. 1 opponent (per event; buy up to 3x)
  • Reduce Death to Unstable (per event) (buy up to 3x)

Netherblade

  • Frenzy to self and swing nothing but 3 Damage (per event; buy up to 3x; effect ends when Frenzy ends)
  • Damage self, then swing double that damage at opponent (must stay up; comes out of Vitality, not armor) (per battle; buy up to 3x)
  • Death, but then take an Agony & that arm is Short Maimed (per event; buy up to 3x)
  • Focus on sword, take Agony, call Imbue; now have 2x Agony, Maim, or 2 Damage (Per battle; buy up to 3x; only imbue one at a time)
  • 5 Dam by <punch trait>, but take 3 Dam by <punch trait> (2 Focus)

Sword Dancer

  • Disarm (2 Focus)
  • Riposte – “Reflect by Riposte” to 1 melee damage attack (per event; up to 3x)
  • Lucky – Reduce Death to unstable (per event; buy up to 3x)
  • If you do a trademark pose/stance, sword flourish, or personal tagline before battle, come in w/Guard vs. Called Melee (1x/battle)
  • Call out a specific opponent, or do a stance/flourish/tagline at them (they don’t have to notice) & gain a Double 5 Damage OR Double 3 by <punch trait> against them (per event; buy up to 3x)

Bloodblade

  • Blooding the Blade – On willing or helpless Exalted, call Waste 1 Vitality (by weapon) & then Diagnose [PC Bloodline], then Imbue to Blade. (Once you have a bloodline imbued in your blade, can use any skills that draw on that bloodline; lasts until you reset per battle skills or until used (whichever comes second, so if you don’t use it in a battle it sticks around); can only carry 1 bloodline on a given blade at a time.) (Prereq for all other Bloodblade skills)
  • Blooded Strike – 5 Damage By <Punch Trait> (Dawn, Iron, Fire) (2 Focus)
  • Blood Calls to Blood – 3 Damage By <Punch Trait> (Forest, Ocean, Dawn) and heal 3 to self (2 Focus)
  • Bloodbind – Short Paralyze (Winter, Mist, Dusk) (2 Focus)
  • Bloodwrack – Agony and Drain (Ocean, Mist, Dusk) (per event; buy up to 3x)
  • Bloodbreak – 3x Maim OR Agony (Iron, Fire, Winter, Forest)

Bladebound

(Has Nether Link with sword) (Has some kind of cool magic weapon (divine, Fae, draconic, spirit, whatever) with its own powers) (Can buy up to 5 skills in this header, but not all)

  • Immune to Destroy
  • If deathstrike opponent, gain 3 Damage attack (Limit?? Or consequence if do too many, like Frenzy? Or first X are free, then Focus?)
  • If deathstrike opponent, heal 2 (per battle for free, then 1 Focus; buy up to 3x)
  • Physically block spells w/sword
  • +1 to called damage vs. specified opponent type (from list: undead, Titan, Kami/Sprites, Disaster, etc) (call as “to X”)
  • Can choose to call attacks by trait (from phys/ment/meta/elem)
  • Resist Disarm; if you lose it or is stolen, will always find its way back to you (may take time) (can grab it if nearby and already going spirit for any reason); If someone else has it, can Disarm <Weapon> by gesture
  • If parry (physically or with skill) an attack with the weapon, can call Absorb and then call that attack on someone else (except Inflicts/Imbues, double/triple/chained, or by punch traits; can’t be from friend) in same battle. (Per event; buy up to 3x)
  • 10 Damage 1x/event (buy up to 3x)
  • Call Ambient Parry by Weapon to a Deathstrike on you 1x/event (even if unconscious/paralyzed/etc) (buy up to 3x)

Archer

  • Fight sword & bow (including bow parry without needing to restring)
  • Shoot 15(?) arrows & then refit for 1 min or spend 1 Focus for instant refit
  • Focus on a foe w/drawn arrow for 10 seconds & do 5 Damage By <Punch Trait> (2 Focus)
  • Triple 5 Damage (per event; buy up to 3x)
  • Agony (1 Focus) Double 3 Damage (2 Focus)
  • By Your Name 5 Damage (per event; buy up to 3x)

21 thoughts on “Fighter Header Rough Outlines

  1. I am very excited about Fighters getting access to very thematic abilities by way of Netherblade / Bloodblade / Bladebound! One question though — are those three headers compatible with Archers as well?

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    • The headers are certainly compatible, Scott, but whether a particular attack skill works with a bow I will decide on a case by case basis by skill (they’ll say). I want to make sure archers don’t wind up better mages than mages, if you know what I mean. However, archers can fight bow and sword, so any attacks that won’t work with your bow will work with your sword.

      I’d be more than happy to hear feedback about what archers will need to feel sufficiently full of archery awesomeness vs. what would probably be too powerful in packet form. (I have my own ideas, but I am all melee all the time, so I know my perspective is limited and am always happy to broaden it.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the creative abilities that are interesting flavors and have a cost to use. Netherblade, Bloodblade, and Bladebound all have interesting stuff. The Frenzy to Self is a neat idea, very flavorful, and has potential to create roleplay drama and interesting dynamics in battle, which is awesome, although personally, I would severely limit the amount of times players can start swinging extra damage/other effects as many times as they like. They’re fun to use, but not super fun to go up against. As an NPC, I found that in a battle where multiple PCs were using those abilities, it was kind of draining, and people seem more likely to swing too hard and/or break the flurry rule when using them because they really want stuff to land, and it’s hard to hear other people over a single person shouting one call repeatedly. I would make that one available to buy for only once per event.

    The damage to self to get a death or more damage is really cool.

    I love the idea of using an ability too many times causing you to frenzy, or other negative consequences. The resisting disarm/disarming others is neat, though one would have to create situations where it’s relevant. There’s kind of an unspoken rule in Accelerant that people generally don’t touch someone else’s weapons, even if it makes sense to disarm an unconscious foe or something.

    I like the healer’s best friend thing, it’s nice that you can boost your own healing but still be reliant on healers — fighters get to boost their healing without making healers less important.

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    • Yeah, I am not at all sure about the Netherblade Frenzy thing. I like it thematically, but I’m dubious about how it would play out (not least because I think people often unconsciously fight less safely when Frenzied). I’m going to continue to brainstorm on that one and may wind up replacing it entirely with something else.

      The resist disarm thing is mostly about the resist disarm plus as much cool flavor stuff as I could roll in there. I do recognize it’s not a high utility skill, and it wouldn’t be more than 1 CP. Or I might roll it into the Immune to Destroy skill and have it all be one “no you can’t take my sword” package.

      Thanks!

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  3. So… as a person who’s played an archer… I think you should probably keep the restring mechanic in there. I’d make it 3 seconds (rather than the 10 I have to deal with), but I think a fighter should have a way to stop an archer from throwing things at them.

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    • Thank you! I’ve never played an archer, so this is good to know. A quick restring would make sense. I don’t like the idea of a sword/bow fighter needing to step out of the fight for any notable length of time, but taking a few seconds to mode-switch while not being hit works for me.

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  4. I’m guessing I will take Ranger and Bloodblade, as they both fit my character concept well. Bloodblade and Netherblade are the funkiest ones, so I might be tempted to get Netherblade too, depending on what’s out there.

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    • Yes, and in fact I expect that to happen a lot. I might even increase the number of effects per bloodline you can get, so that Bloodblade could be worth picking up for a few skills if you only/mostly planned to use your own blood.

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  5. Also, does anything get basic Resilience – a Per-Battle Heal 2 to Self? Nice that Rangers get Heal 3, but Per Event is costly.

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    • Never mind, just saw the thing about healers. Sounds like healers are going to be a really big deal in this game, if there isn’t a per-battle Heal 2 and refits after the first cost Focus. I could actually imagine taking a healer header instead of fighter then – at least if healers have a sneaky equivalent to Ranger.

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      • My goal is to make healers really effective, necessary, and interesting to play, rather than an afterthought or a contingency. We’ll see if I can pull it off. I’m probably going to need to run some playtests to make sure it all works.

        There will also be some add-on headers that let you lightly dabble in another class (ie, pick up a bit of side healing for a fighter, or pick up some combat skills for a healer or mage, etc).

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    • It’s the same skill. Up to the player if they rep it with physical armor or dex armor. I was going to make it two separate skills, but then I realized the skills were going to be identical, so why bother?

      I really like giving players the freedom to come up with a cool costume that looks awesome and falls within their budget. Thus I’m not drawing a statting distinction between dex & physical armor… it’ll be RP only.

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      • Nice! I like this approach, since I have some fancy Vashavan duds I think it would be a lot of fun to wear, but they don’t look remotely armour-like.

        Liked by 1 person

      • This would be EXACTLY why I’m doing the skill that way. Last thing I want is to stop my players from wearing awesome costuming because it doesn’t give them enough armor points.

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  6. Kat and I are sitting here cackling like crazy over that Netherblade Frenzy skill, so I say it at least gets the point across of what kind of person a Netherblade is.

    Also, I keep telling myself “Ashleigh, you are going to play a Skirmisher the next time you PC a game” and I gotta say, based on what you’ve written here I would be excited to be a Skirmisher at Vox Mundi. 😀

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    • There’s a decent likelihood I’ll wind up replacing the Netherblade Frenzy skill with some kind of sanity break mechanic for them, since I have concerns about safety/fun issues with frequent Frenzies, but it definitely still gets the flavor across. 🙂

      Glad you like Skirmisher, too!

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  7. I think having at least basic armor is the bread and butter of a fighter- so perhaps that and refitting could go in open skills unless it was intended to stay since most games have use spend some cp to be able to refit armor regardless and it’s a cp balance thing.

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    • You mean make armor in the free skills section? (They’re already in open fighter skills.) Yeah, they totally could go there in the sense that I think every fighter is going to buy them, but I do want to make sure the free skills are balanced between classes, and I don’t want to give the fighters more free stuff than I give casters. Right now that means 2 free skills for each core class. When I have them all drafted, it’ll be easier to compare and see if they’re fairly balanced. I’d love to hear what you think when they’re all up.

      They’re probably not going to be super expensive regardless. I’m trying to avoid large mandatory sunk costs in this game where I can.

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  8. Lots of interest in the Netherblade / Champion combination, myself. Frenzy versus sanity break mechanic could be interesting too. Frenzy in my mind, means to attack in an onslaught, without ever giving a break to rest nor recover (outside of the flurry rules, naturally).

    A sanity break, depending on the character concept, could be fun, too.

    Whilst I’ve seen (and sometimes use) the RP around that in a “boogity boogity, I’m frenzied!” kind of way, perhaps RPing a more steeled version, being tactically sound versus “swing at all the things” could address the concerns about Frenzy effects being treated in a sometimes unsafe / not always effective manner.

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