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Thread: The Changing Of The Guard (Updating The Unit Lists)

  1. #1

    The Changing Of The Guard (Updating The Unit Lists)

    Alright guys, first off, I'm sorry I didn't do this post yesterday. I kept pushing it back while I worked on other things until I forgot all about it. I have to post while I'm drinking my morning coffee. It's just got to be a rule, lol. The problem is that I get working on new code, get excited about it and forget what I'm supposed to be working on. Maybe that's a good thing in a lead developer... Either way, on to the post of the day!

    OK, we wanted to do some switch ups in the unit lineups. Before I actually update the tentative lists in the Wiki I want to do a review so that everyone could weigh in again. So, without further chatter, the changes:

    Undead:
    Settlers become Heralds. (What's in a name? Flavor! That's what!)
    Engineers (If they make it in) also get a name change. (Crypt Slaves, Pall Lords and Doom Craftsmen are the current suggestions.)
    Deathweb goes and we put in the more classic Ghast.

    High Men:
    Archers become Bowmen.
    After much thought Halberdiers become Pikemen. (Same thing, different name.) Spearmen are basically the “light” version of Pikemen. Easy to crank out, but not as good.
    Paladins need some kind of special mount, but exactly what they get is up in the air. Pegasus end up with the elves. We'll need to come up with something.

    Elves:
    Settlers become Pioneers.
    Engineers change their name as well. (Architect and Surveyor have been suggested.)
    Dire Bears go wild and Unicorns fill the gap.
    Wolf Riders head over to the Orc line waiting to get into the game and are replaced by Pegasus riders.
    Giant Eagles decide to become wandering monsters and the less chaotic Treants take their place.

    Dwarves:
    Dwarf Wizards... Well, I think we need to talk about this one more. Dwarves clearly use magic. How do we build the idea of a Rune Caster into something usable on the battle board? Ideas?
    Axe Lords become Halberdiers.
    Golem go in to help fill out the list.
    Rune Cannon replaces Catapult.


    What do you guys think of the changes? Is there anything else we need to do before I start updating the lists?

  2. #2
    I can't speak for the others, but I don't mind when a post is a day late! A post a day is way more than most gaming studios provide their fanbase. Besides, I'd rather the lead developer get excited about coding and forget a post than get excited about a post and forget about coding!

    Undead:
    Heralds - Awesome.
    Engineers - Awesome. I get the image of the "engineers" being the lowly servants and minions of their overlords, so Crypt Slaves makes the most sense to me. But any of those three work, it just depends on what you've got in mind visually.
    Ghast - Cool. Will Ghast have the same basic abilities as Deathweb would have had?

    High Men:
    Bowmen: Awesome.
    Pikemen: Awesome.
    Paladin Mount: As far as I can tell, you've got two options. You could go with a horse, just like the cavalry. But you'll have to put a lot of work into it to make sure the Paladin and his mount looks as awesome as Pegasus Rider or a Wolf Rider or etc. Or, you could use a drake or dragon as a mount. That would definitely give humans a little extra spice!

    Elves:
    Pioneers: Awesome.
    Engineers: Awesome. I'll add in "Mason" as a third suggestion.
    Unicorns: Awesome. Kinda sad to see Bears go, but they don't exactly have an elvish feel to them. Good call.
    Pegasus Riders: Awesome. Wolf Riders to Orcs? More awesome.
    Treants: Cool, although treants seemed to me absolutely necessary to make a proposed Halfling faction interesting. But if Halflings don't make it in, this is a good call. [By the way, now I've got this imagery of a giant eagle perching on a treant. Hilarity ensues.]

    Dwarves:
    Runes: Not sure where you're wanting to go with this. You could make it a Dwarven weakness, IE: Dwarf Wizards require an extra turn for all spells to cast, since they have to get their runes ready. Or Dwarf Wizards enter a battle with the runes of only one of their available spell circles ready, and may prepare the other spell circles at a cost of a turn per circle. Or you could make it a strength, IE: Runes are specially crafted items that Dwarf players can equip their units with. Runes provide a unit with single-use spells that don't deplete the mana pool (the mana should be deducted at rune creation). So a Dwarf Halberdier can be equipped with a lightning bolt rune, which gives him one use of lightning bolt before the rune is depleted of its magical energy.
    Halberdiers: Cool. Dwarves need lots of axes, but some variety will be nice.
    Golems: Very cool. Do you have any ideas about how this Golem would differ from the Golems of a potential Golem faction?
    Rune Cannons: Definitely awesome.

  3. #3
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    @Aaron,
    No need to apologize for missing a day, especially if great progress was made.

    Paladin Mount ideas would depend on what level they start at. It would be strange to change the mount (type) each time the Paladin unit levels up so whatever they start with they're going to need to stay with through advancement I would think. If they start at levels 1-5 then a Heavy Warhorse seems most appropriate. If they start at level 6 or 7 then perhaps a Celestial Heavy Warhorse or a Hippogriff if you want something that flies. If they start at level 8 and you want something that flies then perhaps Griffons.

    Dwarf Rune Caster - Honestly I'm not sure how regular unit (as opposed to heroes and champions) work to get a strong idea of how to modify it for a dwarf rune caster. I believe it's been mentioned that even a city produced high man wizard for example will have a spell book and not just one or two spells they can use. Do you focus what spells are in the book based on race preferred schools, do they have a ton or a few, etc. That said here's an initial attempt at an idea:

    Base it on a sorcerer for mechanics (they don't use spell books, they just know certain magic runes just as a sorcerer knows spells). Because they are Dwarves though and they love metal they wear heavy armor just like other dwarves and since dwarves are all proficient with dwarven waraxes they use that too. This makes them formidable in melee combat (for an arcane caster, they're to hit bonus is still sorcerer based.) Arcane spell failure would normally be an issue here but it doesn't apply to rune magic. This is because ALL rune magic "spells" with somatic components automatically have the "Still Spell" metamagic feat applied. This means they cost more to "cast" (count as one level higher, not sure how exactly the spell point system works but maybe that means +1 to the mana cost... a sorcerers extra spell points helps with this). Of course those spells with no somatic component wouldn't have been effected by the arcane spell failure in the first place so they don't cost extra. The spells available to them should also focus on earth and maybe protection schools. As a result they don't have ranged spells like magic missile and so for ranged attack they are equipped with an enchanted throwing axe or hammer of returning. These may be weak damage and range wise when compared to higher level magic missiles, fireballs, etc. from other spell casters but they don't use any mana (effectively unlimited ammo) and again the unit while perhaps weaker in ranged combat is stronger in melee (which in my mind is very dwarf like).

    ---------- Post added at 05:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:09 PM ----------

    Another thought, since their health would be sorcerer based as well you may also want to have them use at least some (if not all) of their feats on picking the "toughness" feat to compensate. I have no idea how you're doing health but lets assume you get max health at level 1 then half health each time you level. This means a level 3 Dwarf Warrior may have say 16 health (8+4+4) while a level 3 Dwarven Runecaster might have 14 health (8 from leveling (4+2+2) and 6 from toughness feats at level 1 and 3). Of course they may also have bonuses for high Constitution.

    ---------- Post added at 05:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:21 PM ----------

    Another thought, to wear the armor and at least start with decent health maybe you can say they were Fighters at 1st level. This gives them weapon and armor feats and since fighter is dwarves preferred class it doesn't have to be kept in sync with the Sorcerer class. So a 6th level Dwarven Runecaster would be effectively at Fighter/Sorcerer level 1/5 (with the "Still" modification to the spells)

  4. #4
    Abecedarian Mage Trudd's Avatar
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    My thought about this:
    changes sound good for me, for undead and elves;
    talking about paladins, I prefer them riding a Warhorse. They are indeed heavy cavalry. Maybe a heros/champion paladin could ride a griffin (and use a magical hammer, Sigmar Powa!!!!), sounds great for me. But I don't think High Men must have a unit with fantastic creature, they are not linked with nature.
    On the other hand, they may be linked with godly creature, like angels (or demons...) or something like that, to make the counterpart of undead.

    By the way, taking about dwarf wizard, a runemaster is a good idea. But in my mind, it must be a (high) warrior class which can boost himself and the other units with his runes. Maybe, an army with a runemaster in it would have no (or less) mana income for enchantement, or give a boost the the army (+1 in attack IE, writing rune on any weapon/armor of the army) or even make great boost to himself (+3 attack/defense), be necessary to have golem in the army (to maintain it alive), boost the making of artifact for the sorcerer, etc. But I don't know if my vision of what it can be, tie very well in the D20 rules.
    Is there an alchimist or enchanter class in D20?
    Or maybe, a dwarven runemaster can be the only customizable unit in the game : a warrior who can choose the bonus(es) he can implement to his equipment.

    they are just thrown ideas...
    Last edited by Trudd; 03-27-2013 at 10:19 AM.

  5. #5
    Ghasts are there own little undead horrors with their own little terrifying powers, lol. You can check them out here:

    D20 Ghast

    I've been thinking about a drake type mount, but I do see Trudd's point about the fantastic creature. Of course, it's a fantasy game, lol. Whatever we give them will level up with them. They will not change mounts. We're going to have to discuss it in more detail before we make a firm decision.

    The bears are going to end up being guardians and wandering monsters. So, you may still be able to get them in your army

    Iron Kaiser, you do make a point with the halfling/treant alliance. If halflings make it in we may have to make a change for the elves. We'll put treants in the tentative elvish list for now, but keep the point open.

    The “Rune Caster” is going to take a lot of thought. It's going to end up being it's own full blown discussion. However, Asmodai and Trudd, I like your ideas! We could pitch them almost as Fighter/Sorcerers and focus their spell lists on buffs. We'll give you guys a better break down on how the normal units are going to use magic in time. The current plan is similar to MoM.

    The Golems the Dwarves make are going to be much like regular D20 Golems. If Golems become a faction they'll be different, what with having souls and all...

  6. #6
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    While editing the unit wiki I had these thoughts:

    Dwarven List:
    Settlers rename Dwarven Forefathers?
    Axe-Dwarves rename Dwarven Axe Warriors (which use the Dwarven Waraxe, see what I did there? )
    Crossbow-Dwarves rename Dwarven Crossbowmen
    Clerics rename Dwarven Warpriests
    Boar Riders... not sure if they got cut or not
    Golems... Stone?

  7. #7
    Like the changes! Boar riders are still in ATM. The golems need to be some kind of metal IMO. We need to think about that one... They can't be true iron golems. They're too tough, lol.

  8. #8
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Ok now I'm curious... why do Golems need to be metal? Stone Golems would seem to fit dwarves just fine to me and they are weaker (not weak enough?) In any event I just left it Golem for now.

  9. #9
    Well.... well... OK, I don't know.... I just thought they should be metal... Anyone else want to weigh in?

  10. #10
    The thought that was originally in my head was that the Golem faction units (at least the early ones) were more natural in design, as the Astrals are pulling from the pure, raw resources of the magical planes to craft their Golem bodies. In contrast, the Dwarven magi are building and animating a war machine, so I'd see their Golem units being either an animated suit of armor or crafted from chiseled rock. But that's just the aesthetics, and even then, I could definitely see late Golem faction units using the Iron Golem design. Anyway, that's just the aesthetics.

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