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Thread: You Need A Hero?

  1. #1

    You Need A Hero?

    Good news! Heroes are going to be a major element in Worlds of Magic. I know we've mentioned heroes elsewhere, but I feel the subject deserves it's own post. Heroes are going to tie into several other important game elements, so it's important to understand how they're going to work so we can get meaningful feedback and ideas.

    First, there are going to be two classes of hero in WoM (much like in MoM). Heroes (duh..) and Champions. They will differ in a number ways. In fact we may divide them into more than two classes to create more basic levels of “hero” (demigods anyone?).

    The first major difference between heroes and champions is the number of “points” spent on their initial stats. That's right! It's pulled directly from the D20 system. (Do NOT make a drinking game out of “Aaron said D20! Take a drink!” Someone will die of alcohol poisoning.) For those of you who don't already understand I'll give you a very brief explanation. In D20 all characters have a set of six basic stats (Strength, Wisdom, etc.) There are several methods used to select these stats. The most balanced (that is to say, least random) is the points system. You spend a certain number of points to increase the character's stats. The more points you start with the higher the character's initial stats will be. Heroes are going to start with less points than champions. As a result, they will be less powerful than champions out of the box.

    The second difference between the two is going to their starting level and max level. The specific numbers aren't firm yet (some play testing is going to have to be done), but heroes will start at a lower level and have a lower max level than champions.

    Heroes are all going to be base class characters (in this context “class” means job, fighter, thief, etc.), whereas champions may have prestige classes. Again, it's a bunch of D20 stuff. You can take a look here if you're interested:

    D20 Classes

    This is a fairly major difference as prestige classes offer a number of interesting abilities and powers.

    That's enough about the differences, now on with the similarities. All heroes (including champions) can be equipped with a number of magic items. Some of them will be able to cast spells. They will cast from their own spell list and consume their own magical power. If they die in battle you may be able to resurrect them even after a battle is over. (Depending on what spells you know, how they died and what your enemy may have done to their souls...)

    This post is running long and I think I've conveyed the basic idea. Feel free to chime in with questions, ideas and feedback!

  2. #2
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    How far are you taking this?
    Do regular units have classes as well? I mean is a newly created human spearman unit a level 1 human warrior (NPC class from the page you linked) Likewise would a starting goblin shaman be a level 1 goblin adept (another NPC class).
    Do you get a Hero vs. a Champion in different types of situations? For example does one just offer to join you as a random event and the other is created by leveling a regular unit to a certain point?
    Obviously I don't know a whole lot about how you've implemented the system but if I assume both Hero's and Champions can level up during play and if that's the case then it seems like prestige classes would be a nice thing to be able to choose from via the leveling up mechanic not a preset acquisition.

  3. #3
    Everybody has a class and levels up (even monsters have their monster class and "level up" according to hit die). Spearman/militia or whatever ends up being the base unit will be a group of level 1 warriors. So, good call. We plan to go a very long way toward supporting the entire D20 system. (Some exceptions are inevitable. I mentioned one replying to your other post.)

    There will be several ways to get heroes and champions. You can find them, they may offer to join you randomly, you may be able to recruit them from certain structures (we haven't touched that yet. Keep an eye on my future posts) and we may even allow you to summon some. In all cases champions are harder to get.

    Now, we might, might, might, just might, allow some units to make the change to heroes in certain situations. This is very tentative. NEVER quote this post when talking about it in future, lol.

    Heroes will not become champions. Each will start at a certain level and be able to progress toward a level cap.

    This is true of all units. Base units will have a low cap (perhaps level 5), heroes a much higher cap (perhaps level 15), champions may go all the way (perhaps level 20). Again, we have to play test all this, but that's the basic idea.

  4. #4
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Do Heroes start at level 1 or do they for example start at level 6 (so they are just beyond the base units).
    A level 1 (hero) Fighter isn't a whole lot better then a level 1 (base unit) Warrior and would have a hard time against a level 2 Warrior. This is even worse if base units are not individuals but say produced in squads of 4 or so while Heroes are individuals.
    A level 6 Fighter has a fair chance against 4 level 1 Warriors.
    Most prestige classes have 10 levels so in theory you'd want to pick them at level 11 so you can go 1-10 in your base class(es) then 11-20 in the prestige class. Since level 11 is in your Hero range it would be nice to be able to pick a prestige class for a hero character when they hit level 11.
    Some of the Prestige classes have only 5 levels (Archmage, Hierophant, Thaumaturgist) thus I assume the would be Exclusive to Champions. If you do start Heroes at level 6 then I don't even think you need to differentiate Heroes from Champions via the Attribute starting points. You could make the difference that Champions start at level 11 and go to 20 instead.
    In the game you could thus have it so:
    Base units are hired in squads and range in level from 1-5 using NPC Classes (Warrior, Adept, etc.)
    Heroes are individuals and display to players as level 1-10 of PC Classes (Fighter, Mage, Priest, etc.) with the option to choose a prestige class at level 6. (actual D20 level = displayed level + 5)
    Champions are individuals and also display as level 1-10 of PC Classes + Prestige Classes. (actual D20 level = displayed level + 10)
    The 5 level Prestige classes would be available when leveling up to (displayed) level 6 for characters with the appropriate prerequisites.

  5. #5
    A lot of this is still up in the air. The specifics will be very easy to change and so a lot isn't going to be firmly set until after a bit of play testing. That having been said. The starting level of the basic units and the number of members in the unit is going to depend on the CR slot we are trying to fill with them. So, the basic human unit might be spearman and be four level 1 warriors with appropriate equipment. There might be only two paladins in a unit and they may start at level 4 (all this is very theory, follow the philosophy, not the specifics). Whatever D20 level they start at WoM will show them as level 1. The base units can gain four levels (at the moment) so a topped out spearman unit is four level 5 warriors. A topped out paladin unit is two level 9 paladins. Both will say level 5 in WoM, but their D20 levels will be their starting point + four. I hope I'm making this clear.

    I'm not sure what level we're going to start heroes at. Keep in mind they will come with high quality starting equipment. A level 1 fighter wearing plate mail, with a large steel shield and a sword (all masterwork) might still provide a challenge for four level 1 warriors with leather armor and spears. Still, like so much we have to test this stuff in actual game play. The challenge of raising up a hero from nothing to greatness can be very rewarding. However, losing three heroes in a row to level 1 basic units is going to make people want to kill me. So, we have to strike a balance. Where does frustration end and challenge begin? That's the mark we're looking for.

    I wasn't planning on allowing the player to pick a prestige class for heroes, but it's a good idea and should be easy to implement.

    Some prestige classes will only be attainable by Champions. I think that is fairly certain.

    We could use the level gap as the dividing line between heroes and champions, but I like the idea of the increased stats. It has an epic feel IMO.

    What the actual level gap between heroes and champions is going to be is up in the air, but the numbers you mentioned are good. As with everything, play testing.

  6. #6
    The more customization available to the player the better!

    I'd like to see the option of promoting a Hero to a Champion once he is at\near his max level, but basically resetting his stats/level down to starting. Therefore he'd actually be much weaker than he was before, but with more potential.

    I only say this because I get attached to my heroes in these types of games and would like to see them grow as much as possible. Also it would be awesome to have one start as a basic unit, turn into a hero, then eventually after many battles become a champion.

  7. #7
    I will contemplate this on the tree of woe... NO WAIT!!! I'll contemplate it for sure, just not that tree of woe thing. (Anyone catch that?)

    Anyways, it's an interesting idea. I would pitch it this way: Maybe, just maybe, if you get a hero maxed out we'll give you some way to go beyond the limitation and make them champions. How? A dangerous quest maybe? Some powerful spell? I'm not sure. We need to give it a think...

  8. #8
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain_Brian View Post
    The more customization available to the player the better!

    I'd like to see the option of promoting a Hero to a Champion once he is at\near his max level, but basically resetting his stats/level down to starting. Therefore he'd actually be much weaker than he was before, but with more potential.

    I only say this because I get attached to my heroes in these types of games and would like to see them grow as much as possible. Also it would be awesome to have one start as a basic unit, turn into a hero, then eventually after many battles become a champion.
    My understanding is that basic units are often squads and such and not just individuals. So if basic units cap out at say level 5 it would be interesting if there was a small percentage each time that unit won a battle that a hero was spawned from it. The percent chance would have to be very small so it didn't happen all the time but when it did it meant something to you. Of course the race/class of the spawned hero should match that of the unit so it actually looks like that hero came from that unit. I'm not sure what the point of going from hero to champion is I believe they function very similarly the Champion just has better starting stats. You already improve your hero through leveling so a fully leveled hero is probably better then a brand new Champion. What advantage would there be to say knock your Level 15 topped out Hero down to a Level 11 say Champion... the only thing you gain is a few attribute points. (unless I'm missing something, which is entirely possible).
    If your concern is really just that the Hero is capped at say level 15 while the Champion can go to 20 then it seems essential your request amounts to letting Heroes go to 20 too. At that point you've really blurred the distinction between a Hero and a Champion even further as the ONLY difference becomes ability score points. Presumably the Devs want to keep and even enhance that distinction not blur if further though I myself don't fully understand what the difference is.
    I'm not sure if it's in this game but in the D20 system keep in mind you get points to raise your attributes every 4 levels I believe. (something I found odd to have as a seperate mechanic so in my house rules I replace it with a set of Feats the characters can use so the characters can choose to either pick a feat or raise an attribute a point (up to racial max) each time they get a new feat).

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Asmodai View Post
    My understanding is that basic units are often squads and such and not just individuals. So if basic units cap out at say level 5 it would be interesting if there was a small percentage each time that unit won a battle that a hero was spawned from it. The percent chance would have to be very small so it didn't happen all the time but when it did it meant something to you. Of course the race/class of the spawned hero should match that of the unit so it actually looks like that hero came from that unit. I'm not sure what the point of going from hero to champion is I believe they function very similarly the Champion just has better starting stats.


    The easiest solution would be to have a single, extremely low, chance of promoting a basic unit to hero upon that unit reaching it's highest level. As that is a one-time event so you wouldn't constantly be creating hero units off of a single basic unit as it levels up or anything like that. Not only that, I think the player should have a choice on weather he will allow the unit to become a hero, as the action will consume the normal unit.

    To prevent constant hero generation, you should also only generate a hero from a basic unit under certain conditions:

    • There is a open hero slot (Each player only has a limited number of them)

    • The unit did something heroic as it gained enough XP to level up:
      • Kill a unit of higher level
      • Survive a fight with low hitpoints
      • Singlehandedly fight multiple units
      • Be the last unit standing on the battlefield



    As far as why you'd want to promote a unit from hero to champion, champions have much higher stat caps, so a maxed out hero will always be much weaker than a maxed out champion.

  10. #10
    I like the idea of possibly promoting an elite unit into a hero. However, it does raise another question. Do we want random heroes or heroes that are set? Random heroes make for a lot of pleasant surprises, but set heroes are more flavorful. Think of Mystic-X or Torin from MoM. You don't get things like that with random heroes.

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