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Damage Reduction

So far in Apprentice, we have DR for each elemental/damage type, as well as DR(all) and DR(spells).

That last one is an awkward one. What counts as spell damage? Do psionics or ninjutsu, which say they are treated as spells for “feats and abilities”? In that case, inventor’s grenades have that wording too. Do normal grenades? What about dragon’s breath, since they are magical in nature?

One elegant design is to replace DR(spells) with DR(elements) with the physical equivalent being DR(weapons). This makes it perfectly clear which DR to use. Fire damage? Fire>Elements>All. Piercing? Piercing>Weapons>All. It even makes choices like using a flaming sword or a bashing spell stand out more. 

One big problem with this is actually sources. I give DR(spells) to Drow because they are resistant to magic. If we use DR(elements) then they are resistant to castorguns(fire damage) and dragon breath, but not magic water hitting them(usually bashing)?

If I take Spellbreaker armor, it feels weird to protect against non-spell sources of elemental damage, and not all spells. 

I am still undecided about which method I prefer. Any thoughts?

Ryrin Tactics Print and Play

If you were wanting to try out Ryrin Tactics we have a way you can do that now.   Just print these out. g4174maps

Here is a version of the rules which have been modified to match the print and play demo version.

Setup

For this game you will need dice, it doesn’t really matter what type of dice, but D6s work well.
Also something to track HP on your units; pennies, dice, paper, anything will work.

Cut out the unit cards and the unit tokens.  I suggest folding in the sides of the tokens so they are not flat and they will be easier to play with.

Shuffle the 9 map tiles together and give each player 4 of them, then place the last tile face up in the middle of the play area, this will be the start of your map building, which will come after the unit draft.

Shuffle the 12 unit cards together and then place 4 of them face up,  the first player gets to pick one and then a new card is revealed to replace it,  then the next player picks a unit.  This continues until each player has 3 units.

Now the first player places down one of their map tiles touching an edge of the piece already there.  The next player places one of their tiles touching any edge of another map tile.  This continues until all nine map tiles are placed.   For this demo the map is limited to a 3×3 do not build outside of that size.

Now the first player places their units on a tile that is one the side closest to them, and the other player does the same.

Game Play

Each turn you have a move and an attack action. You can trade your attack action to get an extra move action, but not the other way around.
A move action lets a unit move up to a number of squares based on its Speed stat.
An attack action can be used if an an other unit is within range of your unit. If this happens you roll dice equal to your attack stat, and the target of your attack rolls dice equal to its defense stat. A Star on the dice represents a success. Each Success on the defender’s dice will cancel out one of the attackers Successes. Then the defender takes damage(Loses HP) equal to the amount of attack successes left over. If a unit ever runs out of HP, that unit is removed from the battle.

Reading the card.

In the top right of a card you will see it’s Type, which is the round and color coded emblem with another emblem below it.  The top one is that unit’s type, the bottom one that is partially covered is what that unit’s type is strong against.  If that unit is attacking a unit that it is strong against it rolls an extra Attack dice.

Att: is a units attack stat and is how many dice you roll when attacking. Successes on the dice take away enemy HP.

Def: is a units Defense stat and is how many dice you roll when attacked. Successes on the dice take away Attack successes.

Rng: is a units attack range and it is how close an enemy must be for you to attack them, you must count around impassable terrain but not enemy units. You can attack through both enemy and ally units without penalty.

Spd: is a units speed stat and it is how far a unit can move with a move action, when moving you can move through allied units but you must go around impassable terrain and enemy units.

HP: is a units hit points, this represents how much damage they can take before being removed from the battle.

The last important thing on the card is the text in the bottom right This text describes a units special ability, and is a very important part of what makes a unit strong.

Reading the map.

The maps available in this demo only have two different symbols on them.  Difficult terrain and impassable terrain.

Difficult terrain is the triangle, and to move one of your own units into these squares cost two points of movement.  This extra cost is only when entering the area.

Impassable terrain is the square, this area cannot be moved into or through.  it can also not be attack through, so you must count around it for your ranged attacks.

 

If you would like to look at the original rule book you can do so here. http://www.ryringames.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Ryrin-Tactics-Rule-Book.pdf

Announcement! Ryrin Tactics Kickstarter

The Ryrin Tactics kickstarter is launched.  If you are interested in helping us make an awesome drafting tactics board game then you should check it out!

Ryrin Tactics

open-boxRyrin Tactics is a game where you  build an army out of over 50 units, then you shape the battlefield as, lastly you must use you units wisely as you battle until all your opponents fall.  Are you ready for Ryrin Tactics?

This game features quick battles that last about half an hour.  It is easy to learn, but has a lot of depth when it comes to drafting a good army and making tactical decisions.  This game has beautiful art in the style of old school RPGs, and a ton of replay value.

Below I go over how each phase of the game will happen.  A link to the complete rule book is at the bottom of this page.

 

unitsDrafting.
The drafting phase takes place after each player draws 4 map tiles and gets to look at them.  Then you shuffle the unit deck and deal out 6 units face up, each time a player picks a unit, a new unit is dealt out to replace them.

Drafting your army is a very important step in this game, each unit has a special ability and 5 stats; HP, Attack, Defense, Speed, and Range.  it is helpful to have an army comprised of units who shore up each others weaknesses.  It is also helpful to look at what your opponent is drafting, look for any weaknesses you can capitalize on.  Did they pick mostly fire units?  Grab a few Air to counter.  Did they grab a bunch of slow tough units? Grab somebody who is fast with some range.  usually the biggest thing about a unit will be its special ability though so be on the lookout for some that will combo well with what you already have, or punish your opponents choices.  Don’t forget about to think about the 4 map tiles you have.  If you have map tiles with a lot of difficult terrain, it might be helpful to pick units who can ignore them in some way, with range or special abilities.

mapsMap building.
The map building phase is when each player lays out a map tile that must be touching another map tile(except the first tile). this continues until each player runs out of tiles.  Then going in order each player will draw a new tile and place it on the map to fill in any rows or columns that are not filled in.  Afterwards each player places their units, the first player places all their units first, each unit must be touching another unit and at least one unit must be touching an edge of the map, on their side of the board, this continues until all players have placed their units.

Your goal is to create a map that works well with what units you have.  watch out for player who may be trying to create choke points to protect their units.

 

Battle.pre-battle
Each turn you get a move and an attack action.  You can use your attack action to move.  When an attack is made you choose a unit that is within one of your unit’s Range, then you roll dice equal to your units Attack, and the opponent roll dice equal to their Defense.  Defense Successes cancel out Attack Successes then the defender takes damage equal to the number of Attack Successes left over.  Move and attack with your units until only one player has any units remaining.

Pay attention to unit’s special abilities and make sure to take full advantage of any type advantages you might have.  Try not to lose any units, this might sound obvious, but it is better to have 3 units at 1 HP than it is to have 1 unit at 3 HP.  This is true in most cases.  If you need to do a full retreat don’t forget you can use your attack action to move again, it could even be the same unit.

 

That is pretty much the game in a nutshell, other important information is that there are 54 units each with beautiful pixel art, and 36 map tiles so that each game will be extremely different. If you wish to check out the official Rule book you can do so here. http://www.ryringames.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Ryrin-Tactics-Rule-Book.pdf

There is also a game play video

 

Ryrin Tactics Update

Ryrin Tactics is pretty much all done, all the art is in place, and everything is on The Game Crafter.  Now we are just waiting on our test copy so we can make sure all the art looks good on the final product.  We will continue to balance test, but I highly doubt any thing is gonna have any major changes, it felt pretty good pretty much every time we played in the current build.   I will let you all know when we get our copy and then I will think about starting a kickstarter to get a big sale going on the game,  and to promote it.

Apprentice Update

It has been a long time coming, but I’ve just updated the itch.io page for Apprentice to the newest version. We’ve been hard at work and this is a pretty big change.

Short Changelog 0.7.5

Items

  • Added detailed list of bags and other storage devices. Some of them give powerful benefits, so definitely check them out.
  • Two-handed melee weapons no longer gain 1.5 Strength on damage, but instead were boosted across the board with bigger bonuses compared to on-handed weapons.
  • Shields that gave DR now give scaling DR.
  • Changed Spell Robes to be per day damage boosts instead of permanent boost to low rank spells. It felt odd to want to cast low rank spells for more damage.  This will be a nice boost to the feel of the items, and overall make them less required, but still a good choice.
  • Added some new items to fill out some missing spots. Cheaters Vest, Poison Buffers, Broken Bands, Scrawled Band, Jumper boots, and the Twisted collar.
  • Separated consumables into two categories Alchemy and Spellbind. Spellbind includes Scrolls, Wands and a new type of consumables: Elixirs.
  • Castor Shells are one time use consumables that require the use of a castorgun, but modify the attack in the way a metamagic feat would a spell.
  • Elixirs are like potions, except they are inherently inert. They can have a spell cast into them, to be stored and useable later. Elixirs can only hold single target buff spells.
  • Maces now ignore non-typed DR instead of dealing damage on miss.
  • Expanded armors and shields to include anti-spell options that give DR(spells) and bonuses to touch AC.

 

Feats

  • The 1st Mace Specialization feat now gives a flat -1 attack to make your attack ignore DR. This feels much closer to the fantasy of giant crushing attacks than the miss-cleave that it was before.
  • New feat: Master Ritualist that will help make rituals cheap and fast.
  • removed the +3 individual save feats and replaced them with a +2 to all saves. Removed requirements for Magic Resistant and Evasion. Fast Healing moved behind the Toughness feat.
  • Weapon Focus now gives a bonus 1 per level to damage in addition to +1 attack.
  • Protective Spell feats modified to include breath abilities.
  • Improved Unarmed Strike is removed and folded into Exotic Weapon Proficiency. Monk updated accordingly.
  • Modified the crafting skill feats to match the item group changes, as well as adding a new feat for those who enjoy being a consumable craftsman called Scientist.
  • Weapon Style feats have been replaced with simpler Weapon Focus feats. Fighter martial focuses have been updated to conmpesnate.

Classes

  • Barbarian can decide how they want to attack rather than Frenzy, offering them a set of choices.
  • Monk had Greater Flurry removed as their damage at level 6 and up was to high.

Spells

  • Clarified that spells that let you spend actions on other rounds(like Call Storms) count as casting for the purpose of feats, abilities, and opportunity attacks.
  • Tripled the number of Ninjutsu techniques. Overall Ninjutsu polish.
  • Dispel magic spells gain +2 DC.
  • Rituals moved to Spell Tome and now have different skill requirements based on the ritual.

Other

 

Skills:

  • Heal skill’s healing is now partially based on the number of ranks in addition to your level to encourage more ranks.
  • Added rules for gathering crafting materials with the Nature skill
  • Added ways to get gold from Thievery and Crafting.
  • Slight change to Arcana, as it now gives higher ranked rituals for free as well.

Narrator’s Guide

  • Slight adjustment to monster stats to better reflect the proper scaling.
  • Updated guidelines to creating monsters
  • Added a new option to the sunder armor combat trick. able to reduce DR by a small amount or reduce AC,  still only a max off three sunders.  two DR reductions and one AC reduction would reach the max of three stacks.

Building a Module : Part 5 : Loot

Now that we have the two encounters for this part of the module, we need to drop loot. Even though this part isn’t half of the XP, it is half of the adventure(lots of RP leading up to it), so I’m planning on using about half of the treasure amount, or 850g per player.

First of all, they are recovering a powerful artifact that allows them to use two different spells each twice per day. A wand works similarly, so I priced it as a level 8 item, since a Wand of a single rank 3 spell is a level 7 item, while this one has a single rank 4 and a single rank 3 spell. A level 8 item is normally 660g, so it uses 330g of our budget. However, since it is two spells each twice per day, it is worth 660g. Since it is a single item drop and not a scaling, we have to figure out the per-person budget. If you don’t know the exact size of the party, I typically use 3 players. So 220g of our 850g budget.

Next up, since this is a temple of the nature god, I decide that having rare alchemical ingredients makes sense.

I add a Nature 13(moderate) check to find 50g per person in rare alchemical ingredients in the main temple. I also want a bit of morality puzzle here, so I make it 40g that you can collect safely, or 60g, but the plants will not regrow here later.

I decide to give the Archdruid a +3 Dominating Staff which would normally retail for 1000g, so 500g of our budget. Again though, this is divided by 3 since it’s a non-scaling drop.

I decide to allow with a Nature, Heal, or Craft(alchemy) to craft a mind-controlling poison out of the ranger’s and treant’s corpse. Since the rangers already scale at 1/2 number of players, I just keep it at one per ranger. For the treant, I allow one per player. So the players receive 1.5 poisons per player. This may seem like a lot, but remember that we are pricing it by sale price, so they can always sell them in town.

There is currently a Cobra Venom that is a level 10 poison that stuns for 1 round, so I’ll base the domination one off of that.
Domination Poison: Dominate 1 round, but at -1 Fortitude DC. Threshold 6. Sells for 175g

So for the poison, we have 262g per player. Added to our 220g artifact, 50g alchemy ingredients, and 167g for the archdruid’s staff we are at 701g.

I decide to give each of the lesser druids different rings that sell for 220g. Since the druids are 1 per even player, this means 110g per player budget.
Caustic Ring: DR(acid) 1 per level(7). Immune to Sunder Armor.
Flaming Ring: DR(fire) 1 per level(7). Immune to Burning.
Holy Ring: DR(radiant) 1 per level(7). Immune to Blind.

Now we just have about 40g per player left. I decide to give normal gold for the rest. I have the druids from the first encounter drop 40g, but since they scale at 1/2 players it only uses 20g of the budget. The rangers will not have any gold, since they were probably looted by the druids.
The 2nd encounter involves the Archdruid, the Treant, and rangers and druids for any players after 2. It doesn’t make sense for the treant or rangers to carry gold, so I have the archdruid carry 20g per player.

And with that, we have our 850g in loot set. I hope this weeks walkthrough of building part of my level 7  module has helped show how easy it is to build interesting encounters in Apprentice.

Building a Module : Part 4 : Building a Boss

Since we have the first easy encounter build(One Dark Ranger per odd player and one Corrupted Druid per even player), we have a hard encounter left on this stretch of the module which means we have 80xp per player to work with.

I want there to be a giant corrupted treant to fight, so I write it down as a level 7 boss +2, or 120xp. I decide to use a brute for high damage, low attack, low defenses, high HP.

I can safely assume there will be at least 2 players, so a base 190xp pool is fair game, and I can add more monsters to scale afterwards.

I decide that the archdruid who corrupted the treant will be a level 7 boss +1, or 80xp. This puts me 10xp over budget, but this should not be too terrible but something to keep in mind.

To fill out the scaling, I’m going to make a simple corrupted dryad monster using defender stats.

Corrupted Dryad – Level 7 Defender
HP:176 AC:24(20) Saves:6/6/4 DR: 7
Smash +9(48 bashing)

Using the monster spreadsheet, I see that a level 7 brute Boss+2’s base stats are:
HP: 402 AC:24(23) Saves:9
Basic Attack: +10(68)

I decide I’m okay with it’s basic attacks being straightforward:
Slam: +10(68 bashing damage)
Vine Attack: +8(68 slashing damage) range 6.

I know that as a +2 boss, I need to make two bonus attacks per turn. I decide to make the vines attack two targets, and have the slam deal damage in an area around him for one of the attacks.
Slam: 68 bashing damage in a 3 square burst centered on Corrupted Treant. Reflex(19) for 1/2 damage.
Vine Attack: Two targets +8(68 slashing damage) range 6.

For the extra attack, I decide to go with an aura that requires a Fortitude save or stacking debuffs. I decide on 2 rounds for the durations, so even melee characters can move away fast to remove all stacks of the debuff.
Spore Cloud: Each turn, creatures who end their turn within 3 squares of the Corrupted Treant must make a Fortitude save(19) or be Sickened(-1 attack/AC/saves) for 2 rounds. Targets already Sickened are instead Shakened(-2 attack/AC/saves) for 2 rounds. Targets already Shakened are also Blinded(-4 attack) for 2 rounds.

Because this encounter has a lot going on, I decide not to give the treant any more abilities, though most of the time you want bosses to have a few recharge abilities to give them more depth.

Corrupted Treant – Level 7 Brute Boss+2
HP: 402 AC:23(22) Saves:10/7/10 DR: 7
Slam: 68 bashing damage in a 3 square burst centered on Corrupted Treant. Reflex(19) for 1/2 damage.
Vine Attack: Two targets +8(68 slashing damage) range 6.
Spore Cloud: Each turn, creatures who end their turn within 3 squares of the Corrupted Treant must make a Fortitude save(19) or be Sickened(-1 attack/AC/saves) for 2 rounds. Targets already Sickened are instead Shakened(-2 attack/AC/saves) for 2 rounds. Targets already Shakened are also Blinded(-4 attack) for 2 rounds.

Now for the Archdruid, we have base stats of:
HP:191 AC:22(24) Saves:8
At-will attack: +10(48)
Recharge: 73 damage DC19
We remember from the druid before that we need to have the following spell ranks:
Rank 2: Recharge(3)
Rank 3: Recharge(4)
Rank 4: Recharge(5)
I also decide to choose his at-will attack as a rank 1 spell to further show off his power over the other druids.

Jet of Flame (Rank 1): +10(48 fire damage)
R3: Draining Spores(Rank 2): Summon a 6 square cone of spores. Creatures inside it have 50% chance to need to make a Fortitude(19) save or be Exhausted(-5 speed, minimum 1) for 5 rounds.
R4: Fireball(Rank 3): 4 square burst that deals 58 fire damage, Reflex(19) for 1/2 damage.
R5: Wall of Stone(Rank 4): Create 9 square wall of stone. Each square of stone has 91 HP.

So you can see I chose his spells around control and defenses. He’d much rather his minions(including the treant) take the party out than himself.

Now, as a Boss+1, he should have an extra set of actions per turn. To accomplish this, and to give him more spells to feel properly “Archmage-y”, I decided to go with a set of recharge spells that are swift actions.

Lightning Shock(Rank 1): Swift Action. RT +10(38 lightning damage)
R3: Dispel Magic: (Rank 2): Swift Action. Target loses one magical effect. Original caster can make a Will save(19) to prevent removal.
R4: Stoneskin(Rank 3): Swift Action. Target gains temporary DR 11 for 5 rounds. ((73*.8)/5)
R5: Serious Triage(rank 4): Swift Action. Heal target 43 HP. (-20% swift, -20% no-miss)

Corrupted Archdruid – Level 7 Mage Boss+1
HP:191 AC:22(24) Saves:8
Jet of Flame (Rank 1): +10(48 fire damage)
Lightning Shock(Rank 1): Swift Action. RT +10(38 lightning damage)
R3: Draining Spores(Rank 2): Summon a 6 square cone of spores. Creatures inside it have 50% chance to need to make a Fortitude(19) save or be Exhausted(-5 speed, minimum 1) for 5 rounds.
R4: Fireball(Rank 3): 4 square burst that deals 58 fire damage, Reflex(19) for 1/2 damage.
R5: Wall of Stone(Rank 4): Create 9 square wall of stone. Each square of stone has 91 HP.
R3: Dispel Magic: (Rank 2): Swift Action. Target loses one magical effect. Original caster can make a Will save(19) to prevent removal.
R4: Stoneskin(Rank 3): Swift Action. Target gains temporary DR 11 for 5 rounds.
R5: Serious Triage(rank 4): Swift Action. Heal target 43 HP.

Next time I’ll look at filling this part of the module with treasure and gold.

Building a Module : Part 3 : Building a Mage Monster

Last time, we made our Dark Ranger, so today I’m going to make a Corrupted Druid. The temple they are visiting is to the druid god, so showing not just dark priests but other classes working for the cultist would be neat.

Looking at the monster spreadsheet, I see the base stats are:

HP: 96 AC:21(23) Saves: 7
At-will Attacks: 48
Recharge(4) Spell Damage: 73
Spell DC: 19
Spell Hit: +10

The saves are default Fortitude +7, Reflex +7, and Will +7. I decide that these druids probably aren’t overly fast, so I reduce their Reflex by 2 to raise their Will by 2.

I looked at the druid spell list in the Spell Tome and see rank 0 Sickening Spores, which I decide to use for their at-will attack.

Sickening Spores
Conjuration – Rank 0
Fortitude Negates
You summon a 6 square cone of spores. Creatures in it have a 50% chance to need to make a Fortitude save or be Sickened(-1 attack/AC/saves) for 5 rounds.

Since there is no damage portion of this attack, I can translate it immediately onto the monster without any changes.
Sickening Spores: 6 square cone. Creatures inside have 50% chance to need to make a Fortitude(19) or be Sickened(-1 attack/AC/saves) for 5 rounds.
I also want a damaging ability on the druid though, so I give them Ray of Frost.

Ray of Frost
Evocation – Rank 0
Ranged Touch
Target takes 1d4 cold damage per odd level and is slowed(-2 speed) for 2 rounds. If the target is already slowed, Ray of Frost deals an additional +1 cold damage per level.

This ability DOES require some translation for use with the monster. Looking at my chart in the monster guide, I see that rank 0 spells are normally d6 per odd level. So I need to take the base at-will damage(48) and reduce it by 20% or 38 damage.
So for the monster listing, Ray of Frost would look like this:

Ray of Frost: +10(38 cold damage and Slow(-2 speed) for 2 rounds. If already slowed, instead deal 45 cold damage)

Again, looking in the Monster Guide, I see that as a level 7 monster, I need to choose a Rank 4(Recharge 5), Rank 3(recharge 4), and Rank 2(Recharge 3) spells to round it out.

For the rank 2 spell, I decide to go with Wildfire, which deals d4 fire damage. Consulting the chart, I see that it is normally d6 for rank 2 spells, so I take the base damage 73 and reduce it by 20%. Mage monsters are an exception that the different recharges do not effect damage. So for a monster, Wildfire looks like this:

R3 Wild Fire (Rank 2): Summon a 1 square burst of flame. Each round, the flame expands 2 squares. Each creature in the burst at the end of the Corrupted Druid’s turn must make a Reflex save(19) or take 58 fire damage.

For the rank 3 spell, I decide to add a healing spell, while also giving players a good target for dispel magic in the heal Invigorate. Unfortunately, Invigorate is one of those spells that doesn’t convert directly using the chart. It grants Fast Healing over 5 turns. I decided to take the base damage(73) and divide it by the 5 rounds to give that much Fast Healing(14).

R4 Invigorate(Rank 3): Target heals 3 HP and gains Fast Healing 14 for 5 rounds.

Last up, for our rank 4 spell, I decide to mess a bit with players too by giving the druid’s Purge, which can remove any magical effects in range. Since this doesn’t do damage, it doesn’t need much translation.
R5 Purge(Rank 4): Remove any number of ongoing magical effects within 12 squares. Original spellcaster can attempt a Will save(19) to prevent their effect from being removed.

So here is the final Corrupted Druid:

Corrupted Druid – Level 7 Mage
HP
: 96 AC:21(23) Saves: 7/5/9
Ray of Frost: +10(38 cold damage and Slow(-2 speed) for 2 rounds. If already slowed, instead deal 45 cold damage)
Sickening Spores: 6 square cone. Creatures inside have 50% chance to need to make a Fortitude(19) or be Sickened(-1 attack/AC/saves) for 5 rounds.
R3 Wild Fire (Rank 2): Summon a 1 square burst of flame. Each round, the flame expands 2 squares. Each creature in the burst at the end of the Corrupted Druid’s turn must make a Reflex save(19) or take 58 fire damage.
R4 Invigorate(Rank 3): Target heals 3 HP and gains Fast Healing 14 for 5 rounds.
R5 Purge(Rank 4): Remove any number of ongoing magical effects within 12 squares. Original spellcaster can attempt a Will save(19) to prevent their effect from being removed

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