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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Julian's Custom Monster #3 - Rusty the Tarnisher rss

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Julian Delphiki
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When it comes to classics, who doesn't think of the Rust Monster? That said, who doesn't think of it in a less than favorable way Probably just GM's, but I figured there might be enough people that might want to see such a creature for this amazing game. There was at least one request for it while we were working on the Mimic, so here he is.

Yes Oxidize will remove your hero's item permanently. This is a rust monster, so that's what it does. And if you are foolish enough to smack the thing with your melee weapon than shame on you, the same thing will happen. Please note I tried to make it so there is only one Rusty on the board at one time, he's a loner. The exception being if you have a fully loaded group of Act 2 heroes, than they'd better watch out

That said, the chances of Oxidize being usable by the Overlord is only about 16%. By that I mean the Overlord can activate the ability, Rusty still has to do at least one damage to you AFTER defense dice are rolled. So the chance is not high, but the danger is real.

I actually played with the idea of making his attack dice both yellow to increase the odds to 25%. Perhaps even just for the Act 2 version, but I wasn't sure how that would go over. That does also mean that the creature can't insta-miss with the blue which makes it even more lethal. However, dual yellow also means less damage so it's a toss up.

So from an Overlord perspective, these things are size 2x1, like the Baghests, which means they can be used as a blockade. But that isn't the only thing they can do, they can also shepard heroes around. Perhaps cornering, and perhaps running them into other rooms with more monsters to play with. Either way, they have thick hides but not the best HP, and they will tend to go after non-casters, which gives the casters and scouts chances to kill them while the fighters run for the hills.

Let me know what you think.






Rust Marker courtesy of crackbone:
 
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Chris J Davis
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Erm... The first feedback I would give is that most of the special abilities contain terms that are so ill-defined as to make the creature completely unplayable.
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Darren Nakamura
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Erm... The first feedback I would give is that most of the special abilities contain terms that are so ill-defined as to make the creature completely unplayable.


I was thinking the same thing. There are keywords that are italicized to describe items, like Rune, Ranged, or Exotic, but there isn't one for metal. Similarly, there isn't a way to determine which item is the "largest," because there is no indication of size for items.
 
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Julian Delphiki
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Would you mind going into a little bit of detail?

Should corrosive be expanded to state if a hero does at least one damage on a melee attack action after damage is rolled?

Should the ferrous sense read "first" instead of primarily?

What don't you like with Oxidize? The word "metal"? Is it really too complicated to assume players can distinguish which of their items are metal? Many have iron or steel in their items' titles, I could just key off that again, unless you think that is what's confusing.

Really I'm just shooting in the dark unless you can give some details.
 
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Chris J Davis
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juliandelphiki wrote:


What don't you like with Oxidize? The word "metal"? Is it really too complicated to assume players can distinguish which of their items are metal?


Yes. Do runes contain metal? Leather armour can still contain some metal elements (studs, for instance). Bows are primarily wood, but the arrowheads are made of metal.

You may as well ask "is it really too complicated to assume that players cannot distinguish which monsters are in their line of sight or not?" without defining any rules for line of sight.
 
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Julian Delphiki
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For Corrosive I could simply remove "made of metal". I guess ferrous sense could be removed entirely, or perhaps changed to be something where Rusty would go after whomever had the most items? And Oxidize could read that the hero must discard one random item, getting rid of all mentions of metal.

Is that any better? Sounds like you all think I really screwed the pooch on this one. soblue
 
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Darren Nakamura
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That would mess with the theme I feel like you were going for with this character. How about this: instead of referencing "metal," say that it targets Blade weapons and Heavy Armor. You still get your rust ability, and you remove the ambiguity.
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Julian Delphiki
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I could just list out the keywords: blade, armor, hammer, helmet, shield, etc. Perhaps add something at the top that states: Metal is defined as an item containing any of the following keywords: ...
 
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Chris J Davis
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Also, Oxidise is so incredibly over-the-top powerful it's not even funny. The monster can basically undo a whole quest's worth of gold acquisition with one hit (not to mention that it can cause the heroes to lose relics).
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Darren Nakamura
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juliandelphiki wrote:
I could just list out the keywords: blade, armor, hammer, helmet, shield, etc. Perhaps add something at the top that states: Metal is defined as an item containing any of the following keywords: ...


The reason I kept the list shorter is that your list also includes items like Leather Armor and Wooden Shield... It also has to do with Chris's concern of being ridiculously overpowered. At a cost of two Surges, you have a pretty decent chance of rolling one and then spending the OL card that adds a surge. Goodbye weapon worth 150+ gold.
 
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Tom H
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Perhaps you could tone down the item destruction so it is only removed for the duration of the quest. This would let you unleash more of the buggers. Once back in town the blacksmith can repair the items.

Corrosive: If the hero hits this monster with a metal melee weapon then rust that weapon.

Surge Surge Oxidize: Rust the most expensive un-rusty metal item the target hero is carrying.

Metal: Items with Iron or Steel in the title or the Blade or Heavy Armour keywords are metal items.

Rusty: Rusty items cannot be used, turn them face down to show this. Rusty items can be made un-rusty for 50 gold per item while shopping.
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Julian Delphiki
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Terah wrote:
Perhaps you could tone down the item destruction so it is only removed for the duration of the quest. This would let you unleash more of the buggers. Once back in town the blacksmith can repair the items.

Corrosive: If the hero hits this monster with a metal melee weapon then rust that weapon.

Surge Surge Oxidize: Rust the most expensive un-rusty metal item the target hero is carrying.

Metal: Items with Iron or Steel in the title or the Blade or Heavy Armour keywords are metal items.

Rusty: Rusty items cannot be used, turn them face down to show this. Rusty items can be made un-rusty for 50 gold per item while shopping.


I think you are totally on to something here. I can make these modifications, and then jack up the number of critters. Thanks! I'll post 'em once I get everything modified.

 
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Julian Delphiki
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Also, Oxidise is so incredibly over-the-top powerful it's not even funny. The monster can basically undo a whole quest's worth of gold acquisition with one hit (not to mention that it can cause the heroes to lose relics).


What do you think about adding a caveat about relic never rusting?
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Julian Delphiki
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Dexter345 wrote:
juliandelphiki wrote:
I could just list out the keywords: blade, armor, hammer, helmet, shield, etc. Perhaps add something at the top that states: Metal is defined as an item containing any of the following keywords: ...


The reason I kept the list shorter is that your list also includes items like Leather Armor and Wooden Shield... It also has to do with Chris's concern of being ridiculously overpowered. At a cost of two Surges, you have a pretty decent chance of rolling one and then spending the OL card that adds a surge. Goodbye weapon worth 150+ gold.


Excellent point, I think if I play with Terah's ingenious idea we should be able to keep the flavor of the monster while balancing its abilities. At least that's the hope.

Do you think adding more of them would then be appropriate? What about monster size? 2x1 still make sense or should they be smaller or larger?
 
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Rom Brown
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Good ol' Rusty

Yes, I like Terah's tweaks ... lookin' good.
I'm thinking 2x1 seems about right, certainly no bigger (then I'd be able to convert one of my dried weta bodies and mount it for play)

I'd maybe reduce the de-rusting to 25g (losing their 'weapon' for up to 2 maps already I think should be almost punishment enough).

And yeah, maybe relics being immune would be fair.

Sweet laugh
 
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J V
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Too much "theme" at the cost of balance and rules.

The metal-only thing is problematic at best, and the suggested rules are a sloppy fix at best. You're trying to bolt a rules term onto cards that don't have it.

The rules also disproportionately effects melee classes vs. ranged. This generally is not a good thing.

The ability is also flat out bonkers-good, even with the suggested tweaks. It basically reads: (surgex2): Lose an equipment card for 2 scenarios and 50 gold. That's insanely powerful, and the need for double surge doesn't balance it - I don't think anything can.

My best suggestion:

(Surge) Corrosion: Choose a piece of equipment (random?) and place a rust marker on it. Equipment with rust markers may not be used. A hero may clear a rust marker as an action.

I know it's nowhere close to what you had before, but it's much, much more balanced.
- It disables the weapon and requires time to fix
- It skips the whole what is/isn't metal deal entirely. If you want to justify it, every piece of armor or weapon has some sort of metal on it, even if it's just grommets.
- It can stack multiple times, requiring multiple actions to clear, making multiple attacks on one hero a bigger threat.
- It could persist between scenarios as well, so it's a semi-permanent effect.



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Julian Delphiki
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Here's what I came up with:


Metal: Items with the keyword Blade, Axe, Ring, or Heavy Armor are metal items.
Rust: Turn rusty items face down. Rusty items may not be used during this quest.
Corrosive: If a hero attacks this monster with a Metal melee weapon then Rust that weapon.
Surge Surge Oxidize: Rust the most expensive Metal item target hero is carrying.


Crackbone,

Didn't see your response until now. Your rust markers might do the trick. It would take actions, would be stackable, and could persist between encounters. Can you take a look at what I have above first and see if you still think it too overpowered?

Does everyone else like the markers idea? Should the markers have Rusty's image on them, or like a rusted sword or something? I could cook this up if people want to go this way.
 
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Julian Delphiki
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Crackbone,

I have been thinking more on your suggestion and it really does solve so much. What do you think about expanding it to include if this monster does at least one damage or takes at least one damage?
 
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J V
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juliandelphiki wrote:
Crackbone,

I have been thinking more on your suggestion and it really does solve so much. What do you think about expanding it to include if this monster does at least one damage or takes at least one damage?


That's really hard to say. With only 1 Minion and Master max, it's probably ok. That being said, do ranged attacks suffer rust? Thematically it doesn't make much sense, but making it melee attacks only once again makes it very anti-melee.

If the goal is to make the heroes take more rust markers, I'd say just change the ability so that surges work even if the monster doesn't deal any damage. That fixes the ranged issue, increases the number of rust counters, and even fits better thematically - the monster may not have hurt you but that hit still ruined your shield! That makes it kind of unique as well. With the yellow die you're going to get 1 surge on average from any attack.


Here's my take on a rust marker:
 
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Tom H
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I like the melee versus ranged. Thematically that's one of the points of a rust monster. Mechanically monsters should present different challenges to different classes.

I like the action-to-clear rust. It's a bit like a stun with the downsides it is stackable and doesn't need to wound and the upside you can defer the action penalty to later turns. But now that it's weaker would it be too much to give the master Surge:Oxidize and the minions Surgex2:Oxidize?
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J V
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Terah wrote:
I like the melee versus ranged. Thematically that's one of the points of a rust monster. Mechanically monsters should present different challenges to different classes.

I like the action-to-clear rust. It's a bit like a stun with the downsides it is stackable and doesn't need to wound and the upside you can defer the action penalty to later turns. But now that it's weaker would it be too much to give the master Surge:Oxidize and the minions Surgex2:Oxidize?


I'd have to say though, in Descent 2nd ed, most monsters don't present different challenges to different classes. And in my mind, anything you can do to remove and streamline rules is a good thing. Also, I figured with the general weakening of the oxidixe rule, minions and masters could both have it trigger with a single surge.

Other issues with gaining a rust counter on damaging a monster:
- In general, it's not fun to be punished for attacking.
- It's going to take at least 2 attacks on average to kill a rust monster. This means melee are very likely to gain 3 rust counters through a single round of play. That's likely to wipe out a hero's entire inventory and require 3 additional rounds to fix. Pretty rough.
- Ruleswise it's very unwieldy and likely to bloat the back text of the card.

But to try and make it work:

(surge)Oxidixe: Select a random piece of equipment from the targeted hero and place a rust marker on it.

Corrosive: When this monster is dealt damage from a melee attack, the attacker must place a rust marker on one of their currently equipped weapons.

Rust: Equipment with rust markers may not be used. A hero may spend an action to remove 1 rust marker from any item they carry.

I'd say make Oxidize 1 surge for minion and master, and then maybe make Corrosive Master only.
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Julian Delphiki
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I've updated and uploaded all of the images for Rusty above. Thanks for everyone's hard work on this little guy. I think he'll be a fine addition to every Overlord's bag of nasties.
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Rom Brown
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Awesomesauce .. I think Rusty turned out nicely, well refined.
Just a shame I can't pit him against my team of 2 in act 1; act 2 he'll be comin' at 'em though

Oooh, what's next on the list? I would pass on further requests, but I'd feel greedy considering I mentioned this guy in your Gello thread - and here he is! Well done.
 
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minksling wrote:
Oooh, what's next on the list?

I'm sure everyone has their favorite. It's very much a matter of personal taste ... one might even use the phrase Eye of the Beholder.

If your imagination needs a Kickstarter, you could always look at some possible proxies to Reaper some ideas. No Bones about it, and not to Harpy on the subject, but several ideas Haunt me. You could almost say I'm Bedevilled, if not Bedazzled. Brendan Fraser fans might suggestively ask Who's Your Mummy? I think I'm in Grave Danger of overdoing it here, so just do your own Swamp Things.

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Shouldn't the [surge] icons on the backs of the cards where "Pierce" and "Oxidize" are explained be removed? IIRC FFG's monsters only show the surge on the front of the card. I guess FFG does it this way because it's possible for different monster types to trigger the same effects using different numbers of surges.
 
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