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No Counterattacking Fireballs
Dungeoneers
Apr 3, 2021 19:42

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When evading, the elf will no longer counterattack fireballs that miss. She will counter melee misses with her sword and missile/breath misses with her bow. Spells are never counterattacked.

Apr 4, 2021 4:30

Sucks. Plain and simple. A truly unique attribute for Elf now gone. SUCKS!!!

Apr 4, 2021 9:39

Am I correct in understanding that the ONLY air attacks that the Elf can now counter are Dragon breaths, in the Lair, from a distance of exactly 2, and Ropers?

So, what motivated the change?

Apr 4, 2021 12:36

There is no range 2 requirement. If evading, she will counterattack any missile or breath attack (but not spell attack) that misses, as long as it is within her bow range. (Yes, roper attacks count as missiles.) If dragons could breath from 3 away, she could still counterattack the breath. Hmmm …. (j/k)

Her ability to counterattack fireballs has never made much sense. Neither she, nor the other heroes, counter missed fireballs with their sword, nor does she use her bow to counter other spells. The motivations to fix it were: 1) We are are finalizing the characters and getting around to loose ends, and 2) the recent changes to the high level elf (the range 4 attack and the ability to go back into stealth) help her against spell casters, so the fireball counterattack is less needed.

Apr 4, 2021 14:33

Thanks for the clarification. But a couple of points:

(1) To be clear, I was not suggesting that your new programming was putting a formal range 2 limitation on the Elf’s counterattack. Instead, I was pointing out that the range 2 limitation was a logical consequence of the other rules that are in place. Thus, if I WANT to try to dispose of the Dragon Mages, using counterattacks, and not spending scrolls, then I EITHER have to position my Elf exactly 2 spaces away from them (and hope that they breath attack and miss) OR I have to risk postponing dealing with them until after all the other Dragons in the room are dead. That choice would be extremely risky, given that the Dragon Mages, left to their own devices, like to spend their time enlarging everything in sight.

What the new rules lose is the old option to position 2-or-3 spaces away and counter fireballs, as a strategy for automatically clearing a crowded room over time.

(2) The attribute that I like(d) about the Elf was the ability to counter all attacks, no matter how many. She gets attacked, she gets angry, she retaliates. (Apparently, Chadicon agrees.) Elves can counter air attacks, but Dwarves and Humans are too slow or too unskilled with the bow to do so. So, when a Mage or a Gas Spore attempts a fireball attack, and the fireball explodes, and misses the Elf (perhaps hitting creatures in neighboring spaces), then WHY would the angry Elf be any less likely to retaliate? I am curious why you believe that the retaliation would be implausible (“never made much sense”), because I never found it so.

(3) The idea of “finalizing the characters” at this point in time is a bit distressing, because the “new” rules have been in place for only a week, and the “newest” rules have been in place for about a day. Players have not yet had the time to mull over the latest changes, and come up with new strategies to deal with the new success/failure probabilities. I know that, for my part, it took me a LONG time to figure out what to do, every time that character changes were made in the past.

In other words, nobody is going to know (instantly) whether yesterday’s “newest” elf is OP or still too weak or just right. Keeping a stable configuration for MONTHS might be needed to permit everybody to get up to speed.

(4) I think that I like figuring out playing strategies more than I like actually using them. It is frustrating, though, when older efforts to strategize become time wasted, owing to frequent (and arbitrary-seeming) rule changes that require markedly different stratgies to deal with. The differences seem so extreme that the old approaches are no longer competitive.

–Just a thought

Apr 4, 2021 15:25

“…Never made sense…” is a completely specious argument. And when, prithee, does Elf get the vaunted “4-space” arrow range and “return to stealth”? At the near-pinnacle of her experience range. So it only “matters less” when her advancement is maxed out.

Do you want a list of “never made sense” to add to this one? We’ve already talked about frogs and alligators dying when pushed into water pits. We’ve already talked about how simultaneous surprise leap-attacks aren’t ACTUALLY simultaneous.

How about the magic-y fungus balls? They burst at a mere brush with flames, but when the wizarding fungus-floater drops a massive, exploding fireball right next to itself- that every other creature adjacent must “save” against, it’s, “Meh. A massive multi-hex-effecting explosive fireball, sure, but it’s MY massive multi-hex-effecting explosive fireball, so bugger off, because reasons.”

How about dragons that actually breath-out lightning, yet are hurt by lightning, yet when they “breath” across a hex occupied by a fellow dragon to hit the hero, said interposing dragon just says, “Stop tickling; I’m trying to eat someone here!” or something. Ditto for the fire-breathers.

We could come up with quite the list, if we so wished. But spare us the sophistry and just be honest: you want the elf to be less effective. End of line.

And no, no response is expected nor required. Just get on with it.

Apr 4, 2021 15:54

By “never made sense” I meant “was never consistent with the other rules.”

Apr 5, 2021 0:48

I think what we are talking about is the “logic” of countering spells vs. other things. That is difficult, because it depends on the understanding of acting during the enemies turn. If that spell is just “from the sky”, it might be not very “natural” to “counter” a specific mage, expecially when summoning and sizing is not “countered”. On the other hand breath is countered. Instead, one could think of that fireball of kind of a “huge breath”, which should then be countered. Still we cannot underestimate how important it is for future development, to create consistent logic. Otherwise the game will not “behave like the user expects it”.
Still the “casual user” (including me) may be expecting countering any hurting “attack”. The other point is a tactial one. What can an elf do to handle a pck of mages? It feels unfair to not being able to react “good” against 2-3 fireballs. Of course the human has the same problem, but
a) it does not hurt him that much (3 health).
b) he is almost able to kill one mage per turn (with scrolls).
The elf is worse in both.

Apr 5, 2021 5:36

I had always imagined fireballs being “thrown” (like you see in fantasy films) rather than covertly being cast and magically appearing from the sky. In that case, the caster would be known and so it would then make sense for a counterattack. But then, it would make sense to counterattack from 1 hex away too. I suppose the caster has some kind of magical protection from their own close-range fireball. Perhaps it extends to swords too.

I agree with Rellik’s comments about the human vs mages. Also mages are weak defensively and once the human gets close, he has a good chance to skewer or get massive hit. Rooms full of archers are worse for the human IMHO.

Apr 5, 2021 9:37

One imagines that if the Elf can sense or detect that the Mage is preparing a spell, one turn in advance, then the Elf also knows exactly which Mage the subsequent fireball comes from.

Guilty Mages can be identified by the small purple vortexes that appear in the air beside them.

In the alternative, one can imagine Hermione pointing her wand (or staff) at the Elf, and yelling “Confringo!” to get fireballs to shoot from the end of the wand, or “Incendio!” to attempt to set the Elf on fire.

My Elf knows exactly where to return fire.

Apr 5, 2021 13:21

Pedantic point of order: the small purple vortexes are summoning creatures. It’s the ones holding the fireballs that are about to hurl them at you!

On that, it would be rather useful if the information box top right indicated what monster a spellcaster is about to summon. On occasions where the network fails or you just haven’t been paying attention, it’s not possible to tell which spellcaster is about to summon the ettin next to you, and which one is about to summon the beetle on the opposite side of the room. It might affect which spellcaster you decide to attack. Especially if the beetle will be blocking your path to the exit after the Reaper has slayed the ettin :-)

Apr 6, 2021 7:13

You made may day raand9999!
Logically I would connect the counter with the “dodge nature” of the elf. The dodge is a move that allows “at the same time” to strike back. It is the EVADE skill that gives the counter attack. So any try to evade whatever thing should trigger a counter attack (when guarding).
The question is: If a fireball comes “from the sky”: What do you counter? You might say “look at the vortex/fireball”, but would you really care or just shoot any mage? But you convinced me that I am wrong. It should be called meteor if it comes from the sky. You are right a fireballs sounds as if it comes from the caster. But this would be a “missle-like-object”. In fact I at first thought dodge would also count against fireballs (without guarding), but learned the hard way it does not.

Still I think the casters need a general update, because:
- summoning is not very effiecient in crowded rooms and could easily make use of diefferent sizes. There are also cases of pit-summoning.
- resizing does not persist with the worm, but stays until death of caster
- fireballs feel like missles
- it is too random what or how the casters cast
- casters stop casting when you get invisible

One could instead:
- let them finish their cast when leaving. That way one could avoid fireballs by leaving the room. But would have faster summoning and resizing when doing so. The fireball cast could be stopped (nobody gets harmed).
- give casters an individual preference (60/20/20) what they cast, but forbid to increase their own size or let it only last n turns (independent of caster death).
- let them summon different sizes
- randomly shift the summoning object if the field gets blocked by monsters (not the hero, that is later in the cast and disturbs it -> against any logic: Only if the cast is in the entrance of the room the cast is moved if you enter there!)
- call it meteor or make it dodgeable without guarding.
- somehow keep the rule alive “evade something=free shot” (at least against any mage or target if the caster is not in range)

Apr 6, 2021 14:08

Okay, sounds like we should return the elf’s counterattack vs. fireballs. For consistency, we should then also allow sword counterattacks (or just not allow fireballs adjacent to caster - see below).

Thanks for the suggestions on improving casting logic. How about this:

ENLARGE: Enlarge one of the monsters closest to the hero, and of those, preferring ones with the highest attack stat. (Maybe they shouldn’t enlarge purple worms, especially since an Enraged Wormy would almost always qualify as a target.)

SUMMON: The monster will be summoned between the hero and caster, or as close to that as possible. If the summoned monster does not have attack and defense stats that add up to more than the caster’s spell attack stat, the summoned monster will be incremented in size until it does.

FIREBALL: Caster will abort a prepared fireball if the hero is adjacent to caster at the point of casting. After aborting, the caster will need to prepare another spell. (Maybe we should also say that a caster will not prepare a fireball, choosing something else instead, if the hero is currently adjacent.)

Apr 6, 2021 15:31

I like it, Rowdius, and thank you. Be careful, your proposals are so logical for a fantasy game. ;>)

Apr 6, 2021 15:54

Another question:

The current Dodge rule (20%, but 40% vs. missile/breath) was designed to emphasize a vulnerability to anything that is not a missile attack.

But maybe that emphasis is not necessary. I wouldn’t mind simplifying the rule to be just one percentage (higher than 20, lower than 40) which applies to all attacks. What do you think?

Apr 6, 2021 16:24

Rowdius- My opinion is no. I play Elf with hard-core melee avoidance tactics. Probably most players do. The higher percentage dodge feels like a reward for playing to her strengths and I like it that way.

The distance is too far. You have to toss me, but don’t tell the Elf.

Apr 7, 2021 0:46

I like the idea to connect the strength of the summoned creature with the attack of the caster. But maybe one should also shrink the monster if the caster has a low attack (Maybe it cannot be shrinked enough, but that would be fine)?

Not casting the fireball sounds right and it provides a fair option to avoid it e.g. by a leap.

Enlarge: Enlarging archers is also a good idea (from the enemies perspective). Maybe simply take the attack value (or the square of it and only 5 or 5*5 for the worm) as weights when dicing. This also prefers stacking.
An enlarged caster will summon enlarged creatures :)

Apr 7, 2021 14:23

I too like the idea of casters summoning monsters related to their strength. It does leave me wondering what the dragon mages are going to be summoning right next to me in the lair. Sounds like it’s not going to be a hag or a beetle. Even a hag witch won’t summon those.

I think you should factor in their hit points too. An 8,1 overgrown degenerate giant is quite a different proposition from a 7,2 humungous giant snake but both of these would be summoned by a gas spore or skeleton witch.

Agree with Rellik that you should consider shrinking too - if a kobold trickster summons that degenerate giant, it should be a 5,-1 runt of a giant! If the strong casters summon strong monsters, the weak ones should summon weak monsters to compensate. I’m not in favour of the kobold trickster summoning a full size giant, but the dragon mage never summoning a normal sized beetle.

Love that grumpy wormy is going to soak up all the Enlarge spells and then attack all my enemies when I’m playing the dwarf :-)

I’m OK with no fireballs at point blank range but it does leave mages with no direct attack (like archers) when cornered. Gives additional defence against the mage as I can leap next to it to counter the fireball for sure and also attack something else. Maybe that makes up a bit for the supersized monsters now appearing next to me!

I suppose summoning monsters near to me does give more opportunity for me to step onto the hex where the monster will appear - already a good tactic to counter the mage’s summon spell if the situation allows.

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