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Dungeoneer: Tomb of the Lich Lord» Forums » Variants

Subject: MORE new Hero cards... rss

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Christopher Stone-Bush
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I realize that it's been a while since I visited the forums here, and that I never finished my first project of taking all the existing Dungeoneer XCG heroes from Heroic all the way up to Legendary level, but...

For some reason I got it into my head about two weeks ago to make some new Heroes based on the characters from the Queen's Blade series. I'm a big fan of the 'visual duel books' (but don't actually own any) and have a bunch of cards from the CCG game (even though they are all in Japanese), but I think the anime totally stinks. It's nothing but low-angle crotch shots, pointless overt nudity, and hardly any fighting. Never the less, it was still a fun project to convert the characters into the Dungeoneer XCG format. Here are the first six (there are a total of twenty characters in total).

Reina - the Vagrant Warrior

For some reason, Reina is the main character of the series, despite her being the weakest, most cry-baby-ish (is that a word?) character in my opinion. She's a melee only fighter but is supposed to be fairly 'balanced', hence the single point in Magic she gains at 3rd Level.

Her special ability felt a bit weak despite being useful in every situation (combat, Quest attempts, Pit/Spike dodging, etc), so I beefed her up with the 3/3 Treasure/Boon numbers.

Tomoe - the Warrior Priestess

Tomoe was one of the easiest characters to develop a special ability for, as she banishes some sort of toad demon-thing during her introductory episode in the anime. It was just a matter of looking at the other "monster affecting" Dungeoneer heroes and creating something similar. She originally caused the monster card to be discarded, but as there is another character who can turn people into stone coming up later, I changed it to what you see above. Getting turned to stone seems a lot more final (aka discarding the card) than simply being banished.

Her Treasure/Boon numbers were easy to come up with as well, since the character cares very little for material things and focuses mainly on improving her skills.

Risty - the Chivalrous Thief

I knew what Risty's special ability would be right from the beginning, as her donating treasure to the orphanage where she was raised is constantly mentioned in the series. I fiddled around with it for a while before settling on the above version though.

I generally try to stay away from the phrase "Once per turn" whenever possible, as I feel it places too many restrictions on the player; if someone is resourceful enough to manage two activations in a single turn then they should be rewarded. However I couldn't exactly have players just dumping their hands, raking in the Glory points, drawing a bunch of new cards, and then playing them all next turn. That would be pretty unbalanced. Plus Risty actually has to leave the dungeon to drop off the treasure she's collected. I think that the "This ends your turn." clause nicely captures the amount of time her ability represents.

Yumir - the Steel Princess

Yumir has the wordiest special ability of the new cards. She originally could pay 2 Glory and 1 Movement point to add a counter to one of her readied Treasure cards. I liked the interaction that created between her and cards like the Iron Breastplate and Ring of Luck where you can remove a token to prevent a 'damage effect'. It represented her restoring and/or repairing the item in question. However there are so few 'counter cards' in the Heroic sets that the ability would have been too limited to be useful. So I went with the above ability instead. I realize there are a lot of restrictions on what she can return to her hand, but it just didn't make sense for her to "create" a living being, like a Bannus Mercenary or Dark Kitty.

Nyx - the Flame Master

Nyx was another tricky character to create a special ability for, probably because she plays such a small part in the anime series. There also aren't any existing Heroes that deal damage as a special ability to model the power and cost from. Her original ability allowed her a free Magic attack as a response to being attacked, similar to Kron Axereaver's Avenge ability but before the attack, but I didn't like the rules issue it created. Her free attack would have created yet another Response step, which would have become rather confusing to keep track of. So I went with an 'Threat ability' similar to Nord Fimble's Illusion ability.

Echidna - the Veteran Mercenary

I have to admit that I borrowed some concepts from the Queen's Blade CCG for my Hero cards, specifically the 'color coded' characters; blue represents 'balanced' characters, red for characters that focus on power over defense, yellow for 'skill' based characters, and green for the 'fast' characters. As Echidna is one of the latter, I knew that I wanted to give her some kind of 'speed' special ability.

I have always loved how the game designer had the foresight to make Speed function the same was that the Melee and Magic stat do, rather than making it a separate mechanic. It's normally only a 'counter-attack' stat that doesn't get used, but that just makes it all the more interesting and special when it does get used. I thought about making Echidna's Movement icon a circle, indicating that she could use it for attacks, but then her text box would have been left empty. Plus, that probably would have been a bit overpowered.

I haven't play-tested any of the characters yet, but I hope to this weekend. Some of the abilities my be horribly broken (I'm going to be looking at Nyx's especially closely) and get changed in the 'second round'. I'll post the results after I manage to play a few games with them.
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Christopher Stone-Bush
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My friend and I played a 2-player game with my new Queen's Blade characters tonight; he was Reina the Vagrant Warrior and I was Echidna the Veteran Mercenary. We used the Dragons of the forsaken Desert set (which is possibly my second favorite set, right under Realm of the Ice Witch) and he ended up winning. Poor serpent-clad Echidna didn't get past Level 1 before falling to a fire-breathing Rock Dragon, while the plucky Reina got up to Level 3.

After the game we both agreed that Reina's free re-roll per turn was rather overpowered. I honestly had not expected it to be so useful. The re-roll itself didn't turn the tide of battle that often in combat, but the fact that it was free, allowing my friend to spend his Glory on other things, was pretty powerful. As such the Vagrant Warrior has gotten a revision.

Reina the Vagrant Warrior (Revised)


I didn't use Echidna's special ability once during the whole game as I couldn't stock up enough Glory and never managed to save a Movement point for a challenge attack off my turn. It will probably get a revision as well, though I want to actually use it "as is" before I tweak it.
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Christopher Stone-Bush
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The start of Series Two
As I said before, I'm determined to design Hero cards for all 20 of the Queen's Blade characters. I am doing them in blocks of 6 (the number of Heroes that come in a standard 'double deck' Dungeoneer box) and following the release pattern of the Queen's Blade CCG. That'll force me to do all the characters in the series, rather than just focusing on the ones that I like.

The next six characters are giving me a bit of trouble though, as I'm not sure what special ability to give some of them. I do have one finished though, and I think her special ability is a pretty good fit.

Menace - the Ancient Princess

You'll notice that her ability isn't really an ability per say, she just starts the game with a piece of equipment; her iconic wise cracking magical staff, Setra.

Setra, the Living Scepter

I might be getting too clever for my own good here, but I think the Wandering Eye rule is rather funny. It captures the character's (or should that be equipment's ?) tendency to run off after pretty girls leaving his poor owner in the lurch. Plus it (hopefully) balances the +1 Magic bonus that Menace gets right away at the start of the game.

The Unbreakable rule was mainly to keep the card out of the Discard pile where another Hero could possibly pick it up. Flavor wise Menace is the only one who can use Setra, and mechanics wise she is the only one who can turn him face up again after rolling a "1".

Another (hopefully) balancing factor is that Setra is the only Treasure card that Menace can carry at the Heroic Level. I purposefully gave her a Treasure Carry Limit of 1 so that she couldn't carry any other weapons or armor.

The duo looks good on paper, but as usual they may play terribly. Or they may be way too overpowered. I'll post the results after I play a game with her.
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Christopher Stone-Bush
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One more from Series Two and a Series One revision
Here is the next character from Series Two. She was fairly easy to create, as her ability was pretty well defined already.

Elina - The Imperial Captain


As Elina is Reina's younger sister, I just used the same stat progression from Reina's card. It fits well, since she doesn't have any magic ability, but again is supposed to be a "balanced" fighter. Hence the single point in Magic, like her big sister.

The spear Elina uses to fight with can come apart to reveal a length of wire which can wrap around her opponents like a bolas. It was pretty easy to think of a Dungeoneer mechanic to fit that ability; a penalty to the opponent's attack roll in the form of a stat reduction. I imagined that magical creatures and opponents might not have to use gesture to cast their spells/abilities, so the penalty only affects the melee stat.

I'm trying to come up with abilities that capture the flavor of each character, and sometimes most of that flavor is just the equipment they carry. I though that applied to Nyx as much as Menace, and so did a revision of the Flame Sorceress.

Nyx - the Flame Sorceress (Revised)


Just like Menace, Funikura is the only weapon that Nyx uses, hence her Treasure Carry Limit of 1. However, the relationship between the two is not as friendly as Menace and Setra's is.

Funikura


Funikura is an intelligent demonic weapon that Nyx stumbled across and started using to seek revenge on those who wronged her. Though the weapon uses her just as much as she uses it. It punishes her when she shows any sign of weakness or cowardice by constricting her with it's tentacles (in typical anime tentacled monster style). Being tipped, and then having to spend a movement point to stand up seemed like a fitting mechanic to represent this punishment.

Nyx doesn't have the willpower to get rid of the staff, but it can be taken away from her. That's why the card is not immune to discard effects the way Setra is. Though the player can never voluntarily choose to discard Funikura for any reason other players can force her to discard it. She has the ability to get the staff back, if she wants to that is. Or she can just leave it in the discard pile and try to use another weapon.

Seeing as how Funikura is a demonic weapon, I didn't think it was right to spend Glory points to activate it. Collecting Peril seemed more appropriate, and is sort of an implied 'once per turn' activation to boot.

The whole 'unique equipment card as a special ability' came about while I was thinking about another Series Two character; Catteleya, the Weapons Merchant. She always has her little son Rana in tow (apparently babysitters do not exist in the Queen's Blade universe) and I thought it would be funny to actually have a "Rana Treasure Card" that the Catteleya player had to carry around. At first I thought it should do something, but now I'm not so sure. Rana doesn't really do anything in the series other than comically crash into his mom's impossibly proportioned body at inopportune times during her fights. I might make something where other players can spend their Gory points to give the Catteleya player penalties in combat. Interesting...
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Scott Everts
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Nice work! Looks like a few of them were pulled by your image hosting site. Might I suggest you put them in your personal gallery here on BGG instead?
 
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