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Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby Daedalus » Saturday December 11th, 2021 12:06am

banjo_oz wrote:. . . Secondly, the mechanics of his "wear no armor and use no shield to get a bonus DEF die" seems clunky and ripe for confusion. I would think making his base DEF 3 (not 2) and then saying "Metal Armor has its DEF reduced by 1 when worn by a Bard" would be simpler, and just not allows shields (since carrying a shield gives +1 DEF and *not* carrying a shield gives.. +1 DEF). Otherwise, am I right in calculating that a Bard with a shield, helmet and armor will always trump the no armor bonus, so why bother?. . .

Though it's easy to miss, a helmet shouldn't be part of the calculation because helmets are considered metal. See the Dread spell Rust for confirmation.
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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby banjo_oz » Saturday December 11th, 2021 12:55am

Daedalus wrote:
banjo_oz wrote:. . . Secondly, the mechanics of his "wear no armor and use no shield to get a bonus DEF die" seems clunky and ripe for confusion. I would think making his base DEF 3 (not 2) and then saying "Metal Armor has its DEF reduced by 1 when worn by a Bard" would be simpler, and just not allows shields (since carrying a shield gives +1 DEF and *not* carrying a shield gives.. +1 DEF). Otherwise, am I right in calculating that a Bard with a shield, helmet and armor will always trump the no armor bonus, so why bother?. . .

Though it's easy to miss, a helmet shouldn't be part of the calculation because helmets are considered metal. See the Dread spell Rust for confirmation.

But doesn't that mean that he can wear helmets but loses his +1 DEF if he does?

So the choice is: no armor/helmet/shield = 3 DEF
chainmail+helmet+shield = 5 DEF
platemail+helmet+shield = 6 DEF

Meaning why would you not buy the armor/shield/helmet first chance you get like other heroes who can in favor of a lesser +1 bonus for not using it?
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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby Kurgan » Saturday December 11th, 2021 1:07am

banjo_oz wrote:
Daedalus wrote:
banjo_oz wrote:. . . Secondly, the mechanics of his "wear no armor and use no shield to get a bonus DEF die" seems clunky and ripe for confusion. I would think making his base DEF 3 (not 2) and then saying "Metal Armor has its DEF reduced by 1 when worn by a Bard" would be simpler, and just not allows shields (since carrying a shield gives +1 DEF and *not* carrying a shield gives.. +1 DEF). Otherwise, am I right in calculating that a Bard with a shield, helmet and armor will always trump the no armor bonus, so why bother?. . .

Though it's easy to miss, a helmet shouldn't be part of the calculation because helmets are considered metal. See the Dread spell Rust for confirmation.

But doesn't that mean that he can wear helmets but loses his +1 DEF if he does?

So the choice is: no armor/helmet/shield = 3 DEF
chainmail+helmet+shield = 5 DEF
platemail+helmet+shield = 6 DEF

Meaning why would you not buy the armor/shield/helmet first chance you get like other heroes who can in favor of a lesser +1 bonus for not using it?


Before the box was opened (thanks to Cosmic Tavern's youtube video) I didn't really know where they were going with this. It's clear now that the Wizard's Cloak is only for the Wizard (OR the Warlock). The "non-metal armor" they're talking about here are the Bracers (which is expensive and adds 1 extra defend die).

So if we rule out the Helmet, being made of metal (like Chainmail and Plate armor) that leaves us:

Base defense (2) + Bracers (1) = 3 PLUS the bonus = 4 total defense for the bargain price of 550 gold
Base defense (2) + Helmet (1) + Shield (1) + Chainmail (1) = 5 total defense for 775 gold
Base defense (2) + Helmet (1) + Shield (1) + Plate (2) = 6 total defense for 1,125 gold
Base defense (2) + Helmet (1) + Shield (1) + Borin's Armor (2) = 6 total defense (and no movement penalty) for 275 gold (just have to survive to get the artifact!)


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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby Daedalus » Wednesday December 15th, 2021 3:46am

banjo_oz wrote:
Daedalus wrote:
banjo_oz wrote:. . . Secondly, the mechanics of his "wear no armor and use no shield to get a bonus DEF die" seems clunky and ripe for confusion. I would think making his base DEF 3 (not 2) and then saying "Metal Armor has its DEF reduced by 1 when worn by a Bard" would be simpler, and just not allows shields (since carrying a shield gives +1 DEF and *not* carrying a shield gives.. +1 DEF). Otherwise, am I right in calculating that a Bard with a shield, helmet and armor will always trump the no armor bonus, so why bother?. . .

Though it's easy to miss, a helmet shouldn't be part of the calculation because helmets are considered metal. See the Dread spell Rust for confirmation.

But doesn't that mean that he can wear helmets but loses his +1 DEF if he does?

So the choice is: no armor/helmet/shield = 3 DEF
chainmail+helmet+shield = 5 DEF
platemail+helmet+shield = 6 DEF

Meaning why would you not buy the armor/shield/helmet first chance you get like other heroes who can in favor of a lesser +1 bonus for not using it?

While wearing a helmet would cancel the Bard's defensive bonus, it still adds +1 Defend die. With a helmet and shield, the Orc Bard has four Defend dice. So at the beginning, it might make sense to buy a helmet and shield, but . . .

What Kurgan posted holds true, plus . . . battle axe. The best defense is a good offense, especially when it's cheaper: helmet+shield+broadsword (3 ATT/4 DEF, 625 gold) vs. no armor+bonus+battle axe (4 ATT/3 DEF 450 gold.)

Your examples (Attack and cost added) and other useful combos:

no armor/helmet/shield = 34 DEF | rapier = 2 ATT . . . . . 275 gold coins
chainmail+helmet+shield = 5 DEF | rapier = 2 ATT . . . . . 775 gold coins
platemail+helmet+shield = 6 DEF | rapier = 2 ATT . . . . 1,125 gold coins

no armor+bonus = 3 DEF | battle axe = 4 ATT . . . . . . . . . 450 gold coins
bracers+bonus = 4 DEF | rapier = 2 ATT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 550 gold coins
helmet+shield = 4 DEF | broadsword = 3 ATT. . . . . . . . . . 625 gold coins
bracers+bonus = 4 DEF | battle axe = 4 ATT. . . . . . . . . . 1000 gold coins
chainmail+helmet+shield = 5 DEF | broadsword = 3 ATT . . . 1,025 gold
plate mail+helmet+shield = 6 DEF | broadsword = 3 ATT . . . 1,375 gold

As I see it, the Orc Bard should exploit his diagonally attacking rapier for defense while boosting his allies and beef up on offense as soon as possible. Armed with a battle axe and no armor, the Orc Bard can now cut down his foes twice as fast.

Except for the first helmet+shield defensive upgrade, this offensive advantage always comes cheaper, and thus sooner. The 4 AD advantage also lasts throughout the full equipment spectrum. Only plate mail+broadsword (3 AD/6 DD) compares favorably with bracers+battle axe (4 AD/4 DD), but at the cost of +375 gold coins and one red die of movement.

And what about the Crown of Shadows? It is called a helmet, but as an artifact it can't be affected by a Rust spell. Can the Orc Bard wear it without negating his defense bonus? (I'd lean towards no, it's still metal.) If it can be worn without penalty, that gives you a 4 AD/5DD Orc Bard, same as battle axe+Borin's Armor for other Heroes.
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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby Kurgan » Wednesday December 15th, 2021 2:39pm

I treat Artifacts as the category they appear in unless the "flavor" text differs. So a helmet is a helmet (and therefore metal), same with Borin's armor being plate armor (without the slowdown). Artifacts are immune to Rust spells (even the broader effect version found in Wizards of Morcar only impacts Equipment not "Quest Treasure" armors).


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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby SirRick » Thursday December 16th, 2021 8:25pm

The Bard basically boils down to a sub-par elf. Compared to the base heroes, the bard is balanced, but in a somewhat unfavorable way (like the barbarian).

While most characters have one power or ability, the bard has two. Like the elf, he has a set of spells, and in exchange for one less total BP, he gets the one extra defend die ability.

While this extra defend die does give a nice advantage in the early parts of the game, as well as saving you some gold, its advantage disappears mid to late game as the bard will most likely have: 4 Attack and 4 Defense or 3 Attack and 5 Defense, just like everyone else, but with one less BP than the Elf.

I think the purpose of the Bard is to be able to have a second Elf-type character in the group or swap out the Elf for a similar hero but with a more supportive role.

The Bard's spells have a lot of potential, and unlike the game system spells all three spells in the bard group seem useful. The spell that adds a one attack die boost for an ally's next attack could be incredibly useful, depending on how often it is refreshed. However the spell takes the Bard's action to cast and there are the line of sight issues mentioned above, in which case you might be better off attacking. We will get a better idea of how this spell performs as the bard gets more play time.

I think the Bard is ok, and adds a little comical flavor for players who want to try something a little different.

As a side note, I imagine an orc bard singing would sound like the singer Tom Waits.


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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby dungeonsandataraxia » Saturday December 18th, 2021 11:17am

I'm going to think of a way to make him some sort of boss character in a quest somewhere. The other two I'm thinking about it... they seem so out of place as PCs in HeroQuest, they're 5e DnD characters...
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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby therealshrek » Saturday December 18th, 2021 1:13pm

As a side note, I imagine an orc bard singing would sound like the singer Tom Waits.


I imagine the Orc singing more like the Seagull from Little Mermaid...... "Waaaagh, Waagh, Waagh, Waagh, Waaaahhhh!"
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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby Kurgan » Saturday December 18th, 2021 1:43pm

Yeah, the new heroes in general would make great NPCs I think. I imagine a Treasure Island type scenario in which the Pirate Orcs mutiny or something and the captain ends up on your side to save his own skin and whatta ya know, there he be... thought ee's just a bard did ye?


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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby Fullork345 » Monday January 31st, 2022 5:37pm

So what's the concencous, does the shield not count as metal?
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