Monday, 15 August 2011

Say Hello to the Bad Guy!

I am the Warden!!

And I had to use that mixture of Scarface quotes. I had to! It was too perfect.

Usually on Mondays, I like to post the latest update to Optional: Playtest but there wasn't enough work put in last week to have anything significant for you. Lots of thinking, not a lot of writing. Instead, let's concentrate on that most crucial of challenges for any OS adventure: bad guys.

I've been playing around with some bad guys - various monsters, particularly orks - for the last few playtests and now the time has come to pull out a hammer and use the good nails on these suckers. While the formatting may be nothing to hand out awards for, it does the trick for what's required right now. (1 training point to whoever can guess which program I used to draft him up. Then lose 1 training point for being so cocky about it.)

Defend (Power): The bodyguard gains these power dice whenever he makes any roll in an effort to defend a target person or area or prevent an opponent from attempting to move.
Double Attack (Option): The bodyguard can wield both scimitars in combat. When using this option, he rolls 2d20 base dice for the attack and uses each base dice for its own attack. When attacking with his Guardian master stat, he can choose to make a third attack with a half penalty to the third base die.
Gaining the Edge: When the bodyguard gains the edge over an opponent, he regains 1 hit and can use either the Shove or Trip reaction automatically. The bodyguard also regains the use of his Spitfire option on this turn.
Guardian (Master Stat): The bodyguard’s life is dedicated to protecting Sedrik; he has taken a blood vow and will not only face death, but sentence his entire family to a gruesome fate should he betray Sedrik and must execute himself if his ward should fall. So long as the bodyguard acts to protect Sedrik or follow his orders, he can use this master stat.
Parry (Option): This is a defensive option. The bodyguard can choose to skip several oncoming attacks against numerous opponents and use this option at a time of your choosing until it is the start of the bodyguard’s next turn. If he does not follow through with the Parry option before that time, you have wasted the option and cannot gain it back. Roll the bodyguard’s active Body stat as the opposing roll. If you roll higher than the attack, you gain the edge against that opponent.
Spitfire (Option): As a dragonborn, the bodyguard can use this option. The bodyguard makes a ranged Body or Guardian attack by using his fiery draconic breath weapon. The bodyguard can target adjacent opponents by taking a -5 penalty per additional opponent to each attack. This option can only be used once per turn or can be regained when the bodyguard gains the edge.
            When a target is hit by attack with this option, he could catch on fire. For every additional 2 hits caused on the opponent, the opponent takes 1 hit at the start of his Team’s turn from the flames covering his body until he douses the fire.
Shove (Reaction): The opponent stumbles back with a quick shove from the bodyguard and must use a Move option to re-engage the bodyguard in melee combat.
Trip (Reaction): The bodyguard will kick out a leg or slash a sword down on an opponent’s leg, but only enough to disorient the opponent. The opponent takes a half penalty to an active Body stat of your choice until the opponent uses a Quick option to steady himself and cancel the penalty. 

Before going any further, I'm going to address anyone from Friday's game who may be reading this right now. This villain isn't a major character, but a significant obstacle should you try to do something just south of stupid. In other words, there are no spoilers here. To the rest, yes, this is a dragonborn mimic from D&D as the Friday campaign is a conversion from D&D.

Dissection, AKA Tearing This Dragonborn Apart
Let's give this fella a name; Barry. He's a villain, meaning he puts up a full fight. While not a major character in the story, Barry is a guardian/protector to Old Sedrik and will provide a good challenge to any heroes trying to force their way in to see that underworld figure. (Anyone who picked up EONS #1: The Endless Vault from my old Emerald Press days may recognize both characters.) He gains bonus options, just like heroes do, and has more than a handful of hits (10, in this case).

The Optional System's design was based on action films, particularly martial arts but not any wushu or gung fu in general. A large number of fights involve thugs falling like leaves in a strong wind but every once in a while, you face off against one guy who's really, really good. In this particular case, Barry is expected to hold his own against 3 heroes and prevent them from following an escaping ward. By giving him a master stat and the Defend power, Barry will always roll 1d20+1d12+2d8 on everything in a fight, enhancing it from there with skills and the Double Attack option. With higher rolls, Barry can shove and trip opponents to control their movement, forcing them to re-engage Barry at the cost of a Move option or give Old Sedrik an extra Move option of distance for his escape.

The Importance of Forced Movement
Consider how the Shove reaction can work in a fight, along with the Push basic reaction and anything else involving an opponent falling back at least 1 Move option. Doing so reduces your opponent's options and not just at the cost a single Move option; the opponent can attempt a stunt to combine a Move and Attack option but failure results in losing the edge and that can grant you a whack on the ass. Using a Move option on its own allows the opponent to cunningly slip back into range of an attack but you lose one of your Team's option. Sacrifice.

How effective this tactic will be shall be determined on Friday. I have some other villains with this concept in mind... I just can't share them here until after they've been killed.