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Whose razzin-frazzin idea was it to give us TWO razzin-frazzin characters without razzin-frazzin weapon proficiences?


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I "upgraded" my characters to Longbow for Meri and TWO magical bludgeoning weapons for Kyra.  Then I realized I'm failing all of Merisiel's combat rolls because she's not actually proficient with weapons.   So I switch her out for a shortbow and then next adventure I realize I'm failing all of Kyra's combat rolls because she's not actually proficient with weapons either!!!  So I've already had to dumb her deck back down to the basic mace. 

 

Aggh.

 

I own and played through RotR (as Harsk with Ezren) and I'm now playing through S&S  (as Jirelle and Feiya with Oloch and Lini) so although most of my characters have been proficient, I've seen ones who aren't - and have a hand full of spells to compensate.

 

Merisiel and Kyra especially at low levels need their weapons to get past monsters, and they aren't proficient.

 

And this is surprising ME and it took me a bit to realize what was going on. You're really going to need to make this clearer to people who haven't played befofe and think they're math doesn't line up. Or follow the Sentinels of the Multiverse's app version and actually list out all the buffs and penalties.   OR a warning when I put a weapon I'm not proficient with in my deck (or in theory an arcane spell in a divine caster's deck and vice versa)

 

 

 

 

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Without having to make massive changes, I like the idea of having weapons/armor that require proficiency in some way to glow red or something at least in the deck rebuild screen between adventures. Even for experiences players, it's easy to make those kind of mistakes. I also like the idea of listing all bonuses and penalties to rolls but suspect that would be a lot harder to implement.

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Merisiel is pretty awesome in combat from the get-go!  She does need a weapon in hand to be effective, but she doesn't really need weapon proficiency until later on or if playing in large groups.

 

To be effective, make sure to use her Sneak Attack power, which is available in combat as long as she's the only one at that location.  It lets you Recharge a card to get a 1d6, or discard for another 1d6.

 

If you get into combat, reveal a weapon card.  So long as it's dexterity based (like a dagger or bow), it uses her 1d12 dexterity die, plus the damage from the weapon itself.  Then Recharge one of the extra cards in her hand, giving you another 1d6 and putting the card back in your deck (so no loss of HP).  If you have a blessing, you can play it for another 1d12.

 

So if you have a dagger, that's 1d12 (dex) + 1d6 (sneak attack) + 1d4 (dagger), and another 1d12 if you have a blessing.  And don't forget that other characters can use their blessings on Merisiel's turn to boost her damage as well.  The weapon stays in her hand (it was only revealed), so she can go right back to slaying on her next exploration!

 

Most of the higher damage dex weapons let you do extra damage if you're proficient AND you discard the weapon.  Most bows don't even increase her damage in combat, they just let Merisiel discard to give a damage bonus to someone else.  At the start she can only hold 2 weapons in her deck, so discarding them should normally be a last resort!

 

It's pretty rare that I'll evade a combat encounter unless I've exhausted most of my hand or don't have a weapon available.  Otherwise, evade is sometimes useful if you find a really good boon but have no chance to obtain it (like a magic spell).  You can evade the encounter so it gets shuffled back into the deck, giving another party member with more appropriate skills the chance to get it.

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I think that the OP raises two separate questions that it's important to address separately:

 

1) Giving weapons that require proficiency to a character who doesn't have proficiency can cause a pain point. Can/should something be done to mitigate this?

 

2) Are Merisiel and Kyra a good pair of characters to provide to free players?

 

To answer 1: I think the OP raises a good point here. I've had similar disappointments come up as well. That's not to say you shouldn't take a good Longbow if you find one early, but if you do that it should be a conscious choice (e.g., "This bow is so good, it's worth suffering another few scenarios until I get a power feat to use it properly"), not an unhappy accident. For the weapons that impose a difficulty penalty to the check, a red glow in deck building would be nice.

 

To answer 2: I disagree with the OP on this one. Yes, it's a failing that the two starting characters both lack weapon proficiency, but this only matters for the first six scenarios, and after that it goes away if you want it to. Any pair of characters you pick will have failings, and on the balance, I think that Kyra and Merisiel are pretty much the best possible pair of characters to give new players. For the record, the decision was not made lightly by Obsidian, and they consulted with PACG's designers on it.

 

To see what I mean, try to come up with an alternative pair and you'll quickly see problems. Valeros and Kyra? No ranged weapons. Harsk and Kyra? Harsk sucks at combat early on. Merisiel and Valeros? No spells of any kind. Out of the 7 base set characters, any 2 are going to have issues. Merisiel and Kyra are both self-sufficient, effective at combat, have good resilience (thanks to Kyra alone), and can cover a wide array of challenges. I admit that the lack of weapon proficiency is, at first, irritating, and the game could (and hopefully, later on, will) mitigate this problem, but I still think that Kyra + Merisiel is literally the nicest possible pair of characters we could have been given.

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I think that the OP raises two separate questions that it's important to address separately:

 

1) Giving weapons that require proficiency to a character who doesn't have proficiency can cause a pain point. Can/should something be done to mitigate this?

 

To answer 1: I think the OP raises a good point here. I've had similar disappointments come up as well. That's not to say you shouldn't take a good Longbow if you find one early, but if you do that it should be a conscious choice (e.g., "This bow is so good, it's worth suffering another few scenarios until I get a power feat to use it properly"), not an unhappy accident. For the weapons that impose a difficulty penalty to the check, a red glow in deck building would be nice.

 

By default, I believe the game gives Merisiel a Dagger and a Dart.  Kyra starts with a Mace and a Quarterstaff.  None of these weapons have bonuses for proficiency or penalties for not having it.

 

You do have the option at the start to swap out their gear with other basic cards, so there is certainly the danger for new players who don't understand what weapon/armor/spell proficiency does to go awry when making their selections.  Maybe they could do something to make bad choices more obvious, but understanding the fine print is a big part of the whole game, so maybe it's best to get used to it early. :)

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I don't see the issue. They both have huge strengths outside of weapon use. And it's not like you can't get each of them weapon proficiency. Neither character has the Arcane skill, how is this any different? 

 

edit - Well, except for the obvious part that you can't get them the Arcane skills, ever.

Edited by trashmyego
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I play the physical game a lot, so I knew this going in.  But I gotta say, I took a party of Kyra, Merisiel, and Lem through the B and 1 Scenarios, and the FIRST power feat for ALL of them was Weapon Proficiency.

 

(Then, of course, I played a new party and forgot that Merisiel no longer had Proficiency, and didn't establish the pattern that combat difficulties skyrocketed when I pulled out the Shock Longbow +1.  I felt appropriately foolish.)

"I need a lie-down" is the new "I'll be in my bunk..."

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