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Thoughts on the New Warlock Hero?

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Thoughts on the New Warlock Hero?

Postby GimmeYerGold » Friday October 9th, 2020 6:19pm

Original post, dated 10/9/20: https://heroquest.avalonhill.com/en-us/article/heroquest_warlock_playtest

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When I design new HeroQuest heroes, I want to bring new elements to the table but not overshadow the iconic original four. Shauna Nakasone’s art features a Warlock showing visual signs of the sinister entity that lives inside them. I wanted our Warlock to be fearsome and scary, and make use of the winged creature they are a host for as they quest. I’m intrigued with the idea that there is a condition that would allow you to recover a spell – for example, Demonform for this hero – that you have already cast.

You are the Warlock, a magical artillerist who has bonded with a sinister creature allowing you to assume its winged form. Let your allies protect you while you deal damage from afar. Counts as Wizard hero for the purposes of which weapons, artifacts, and equipment they can use.

The Warlock’s statistics and equipment are comparable to the Wizard’s. But the Wizard excels in utility, with nine spells they can call upon. Our Warlock is more of a focused ranged damage-dealer.

Warlock’s Unique Weapon

• Wand
This wand gives you the attack strength of 2 combat dice against any monster you can “see.” A Warlock may purchase a new wand for 125 gold coins.

This weapon allows our Warlock to attack at range. In addition, the wording of the gold piece value of the wand works to prohibit other heroes from trying to purchase it for themselves. This object should be unique to the Warlock.

The Warlock’s three spells:

• Demonform
The Warlock ignores pit traps and may roll 1 extra combat die each time they attack, until the spell is broken. The spell is broken when the Hero suffers 1 point of Body damage.

Regain this spell when you reduce an monster's Body points to zero.

• Fear
This spell causes any one monster to become so fearful that their attacks are reduced to one combat die. The spell can be broken on a future turn by rolling one red die for each of their Mind Points. If a 6 is rolled, the spell is broken.

• Dark Wings
Cast this spell on an enemy’s turn after you have suffered damage. Reduce that damage to 0 and move instantly to any unoccupied square you can "see."

I wanted these spells to reflect the self-serving nature of the Warlock. Nothing here directly helps your allies. The Warlock focuses on escaping trouble long enough to remove monsters from the board and they are rewarded by recovering their Demonform spell for doing so.

What do you think? Cast the Far Voice spell and let us know… or just tweet us @HeroQuest


:?: We have everything we need to play test this hero right now if we're so inclined. (And offer feedback to boot!)

In the meantime, what do y'all think? Let's focus on play mechanics of the hero, (and not the art or miniature design). Thoughts? :2cents:

(Note: I thought it would be useful to have a dedicated thread to this subject, as the Big Thread is getting quite Biggly. Perhaps we can import mechanic-specific posts from that thread into this one.)


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Re: Thoughts on the New Warlock Hero?

Postby Goblin-King » Friday October 9th, 2020 6:58pm

Unlimited 2 dice ranged attack right off the bat? That alone would be enough for a unique character.
That's really strong, especially for early levels. I'd wish she didn't start with the wand, but instead it was just a new weapon all casters could buy.

I kinda like the mechanic of Demonform, though I'm not a fan of stuff where you have to remember something.
There's potentially a lot of switching back and forth between Demonform, and I feel like I would constantly forget which state I'm in.

Fear and Dark Wings are in themselves pretty nice spells. I'm glad to see "reaction"-spells being introduced with Dark Wings. Lots of interesting fun stuff you can do with that.

Overall I feel like this character is a bit all over the place. Special wand attacks, Switching between demonform, killing to regain it and two regular spells.
She certainly doesn't follow the KISS design philosophy of classic HQ.

It's thematic that she has an arsenal of different spells, but mechanically I think they should drop Fear and Dark Wings.
I'd begrudgingly let her keep the wand. The Demon form mechanic feels like it's enough to make the hero interesting, without making it overly complicated (compared to classic heroes).


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Re: Thoughts on the New Warlock Hero?

Postby j_dean80 » Friday October 9th, 2020 9:00pm

I mostly hate how it breaks the 8 pattern on BP MP. The whole system is out the window at that point.
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Re: Thoughts on the New Warlock Hero?

Postby Decipher » Friday October 9th, 2020 10:30pm

She would be overpowered for the first 4 or 5 quests if the quests are pretty much the same as the original HQ quests. But the spells would definitely balance out and be critical in the later quests.


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Re: Thoughts on the New Warlock Hero?

Postby Goblin-King » Saturday October 10th, 2020 3:05am

j_dean80 wrote:I mostly hate how it breaks the 8 pattern on BP MP. The whole system is out the window at that point.

You mean 10 pattern? I think that's the least of her offenses.
I personally feel she is somewhat overpowered in comparison to classic heroes, so I think it's fine to balance her out a bit by tweaking the BP/MP instead.
Besides BP has always been way more desirable than MP, since you practically never use it.
The notion that characters are internally balanced as long as they have 10 statpoints total is kinda wrong in my opinion.

Nobody looks at the wizard and goes "only 4 BP? At least I got high MP". All heroes except the Barbarian sacrifice BP for special abilities.


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Re: Thoughts on the New Warlock Hero?

Postby lestodante » Saturday October 10th, 2020 7:09am

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when I read it. It is still simple with some new things. So I like it.
It's not really so much overpowered in my opinion:
An Elf with a crossbow is more powerful: he has more BP, can wear armours/shield/helm and still cast 3 spells.
Especally in the late questpacks the Elf can take advantage of a lot of new stuff (in Mage of the Mirror a lot of items are ONLY for the Elf).

Fear is a spell that weakens a monster, so also other heroes would benefit of it. Nothing new with this spell it is the very same FEAR from Chaos Spells.

Demon Wings is also nice, it is just a spell that allows the hero to escape from an attack. (I created a similar spell for the Wizard too - check Body of Water, II level spell).
Also a special staff for the Wizard that allows him to cast minor magic (ranged attack) repeatedly was always an idea I have in mind.

Demonform is nice, it is just a +1 attack spell for a limited time that you can regain occasionally.
You can place a skull tile under the miniature to remembar you ar ein a demon form or simply take the card face up in front of you until you suffer 1 BP damage and have to discard it.
Eventualy, a good option could be that this spell costs 1 MP to be used.
I don't think he can continue to use ranged attacks while in demon form neither he can cast ths spell and attack immediately, he must wait the next turn as he already spent his action for that turn by casting the spell.

Anyway I don't get the point where it says:
A Warlock may purchase a new wand for 125 gold coins.
This weapon allows our Warlock to attack at range. In addition, the wording of the gold piece value of the wand works to prohibit other heroes from trying to purchase it for themselves.


So the cost of 125 gold coins should discourage magic users heroes to buy it? WEIRD. I would have preferred a more generic "Can only be used by the Warlock".
But this let me think that this Hero starts without the ranged attack skill, which he can get only once he acquires the wand. Or maybe he can lost his wand in some way (or why I should buy a new wand for 125 gold coins???)


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Re: Thoughts on the New Warlock Hero?

Postby lestodante » Saturday October 10th, 2020 9:04am

Here is a fast demo of what the cards may look like, with the only purpose to playtest the character.
I featured 2 versions of Demonform spell, one of them costs 1 Mind Point to be used (as I proposed before).
Images are randomly taken from the web.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


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Re: Thoughts on the New Warlock Hero?

Postby Oftkilted » Saturday October 10th, 2020 9:41am

The wand gives 2 combat dice (melee and ranged), and demon form gives an additional combat die. So attacking with a wand in demon form is 3 Combat dice?
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Re: Thoughts on the New Warlock Hero?

Postby lestodante » Saturday October 10th, 2020 10:03am

Oftkilted wrote:The wand gives 2 combat dice (melee and ranged), and demon form gives an additional combat die. So attacking with a wand in demon form is 3 Combat dice?


I had the same doubt. But I guess you CAN'T use the wand as a demon but only in Warlock form.
Also... can I cast a spell when in Demonform? For example I could use Demon Wings to avoid to transform back to my original form when wounded.


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Re: Thoughts on the New Warlock Hero?

Postby whitebeard » Saturday October 10th, 2020 2:55pm

Not a fan of importing a D&D constructs terminology and all. Like I'm supposed to know what a "Warlock" is and be excited about it...

Nowhere else does "Warlock" explicitly mean I bargained my soul to demons or whatever.

This character seems VERY specific where every other hero is a blank slate archetype from more classic literature. Barabarian, Dwarf, Elf, and Wizard are effectively Conan + LOTR. We are getting a Druid, good. Where is the Rouge/Assassin, Halfling Thief, Knight/Paladin, Ranger/Archer/Woodsman... We really should have these first.

It would seem that once your female halfling warlock dies, you shoudl not be able to play them again. I mean is there a school that pumps these things out? We just go to the next town and find another one? Barbarian warrior tribes, Dwarven cities, Elf realms, Wizard schools, and Druid Orders all seem "common" enough in a fantasy world.

Also not a fan of putting the character art on the back of the spell cards. The spell cards should represent another school of magic.

For me this character is really just a cool new spell school for the Elf or wizard plus a cool wand item only a wizard can use. And you don't find any of it until an expansion pack.
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