The 9th Scroll: What Special Character Archtypes would you like to see in the 9th Age?

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  • The 9th Scroll: What Special Character Archtypes would you like to see in the 9th Age?

    Hi everyone.

    After the last two months success in generating ideas for new units, the next question I have for you is about special and Legendary Characters!

    I feel the 9th Age is lacking in legendary characters. Whether I would use them in my games is another discussion but we definitely need them to breath life into the world!

    Do what Archtype of character does the community want for their army? By this I mean what characteristics should they have? We obviously can’t have Tyrion for the Highborn Elves (for obvious reasons) but we could have a horse mounted fighting character for example. Alternatively we can’t have Settra but we could have a chariot-mounted pharaoh who is good at fighting and casting spells!

    This is not an easy task but is one that I hope the community will come back with some awesome ideas!

    Feel free to go into as much depth as you like. The best few I will publish in the Scroll in July!

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  • Really happy to see this thread and concept being explored! I think this needs to be included in the game along with more fluff for each army to get new people interested in the game.

    I think similarly to the asklander army for the WDG or any other auxilary army (or whatever they are called), there should be a couple of awesome characters for each race based on background that is being developed. When I say Awesome, I don't neccesarily mean uber powerful - but they should be pretty good and worth their points. But mainly should have some really exciting rules - either really unique special rules for combat/shooting that make them really exciting and make people want to take them, or offer some unique synergy to units.

    For example - the old khalida rule to give archers +1 to hit and poison was cool, as well as some good leadership - but was not that well protected outside of magic.

    Same for the old dark elf female character (although she was maybe too good). I think she did something like 7 str10 attacks at initiative 10 or something so she was incredible, but at the end of the day she was t3 with no save so died after she killed something.

    I also liked it when they had mounts that were similar to those in the army book but slightly better stats and/or extra rules to make them even more unique. This could be like a dragon getting an extra pip of res or a beast/monster getting an extra attack and strength for a few points extra. Also giving them more breath weapons and stuff as well, but using a different mechanic to make cool weapons/attributes. They have to be different enough to regular mounts to make them feel special.

    Finally, I think they should be leaders/kings of a certain part of the army rather than just good warriors. It was awesome to make an army based around archaon or tyrion and have them fight against each other knowing that it would pretty much come down to an epic showdown between the two generals. It made it feel like the armies were literally fighting for their lives and all was at steak. Whereas if you just have a random guy that is better than the usual character set up but doesn't really matter in relation to the race then it doesn't give the same feel.

    Archaon would be a good example of what you want to go for - something that would normally be illegal (multiple marks for example) that was explained by fluff as him being the chosen one above them all. This could be done quite well with armies that he bigger restrictions (daemons/dread elves) on units with each other. The character in question could be an overlord that has so much leadership/aura about him that he allows normally desperate factions of armies (cults/marks/bloodlines) to work together and to prosper (get buffs).

    Essentially the characters should allow something that is not normally possible through 'normal' character set ups - but should pay for the privilege - and should be heavily skewed in magic/combat/shooting potential without being overly protected - or the opposite, in that they give buffs and are well protected but don't dish out that much damage, relying on their leadership skills and inspiring others to be better.

    Sorry for the overall comments, rather than specific examples. I will have a real think and try to give some examples. So.ething I feel quite strongly about though so thought id get something down to start with...
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  • None.

    No seriously.

    Okay, let me explain. I'm fully in favor of having named characters in the world, and even creating those characters using the ABs.

    What I don't want is character entries with special rules. I don't feel that T9A characters should have advantages that characters players create at home have. Anything a special character can do should be recreatable by the unit entry its based on.

    So absolutely no super-wizards or super-fighters or crazy special rules or any of that. Add more options to the basic AB entry if necessary to represent the range of possibilities. Characters players build at home should be as interesting as whatever 'official' T9A characters exist.
    Just because I'm on the Legal Team doesn't mean I know anything about rules or background in development, and if/when I do, I won't be posting about it. All opinions and speculation are my own - treat them as such.

    Legal

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  • I agree with @Squirrelloid, the stupid special character based builds from 8th really detracted from game play.

    That being said, building out some background on a few characters per faction would add a lot of depth to the world. So I love this idea!

    The leaders of the elven nations would be a good add. A dragon riding character of some kind for elves would get my vote!

    -Vesp
  • What I think it should not be:

    It should not be based on "well Warhammer has this guy so we should have someone similar". No. No no no.


    What I think it should be:

    Many hours have gone into making a background for this world; we need to come up with cool ideas rooted in the cool things of The Ninth Age.


    Do I agree with Squirreloid:

    No. HECK no. It's not that "Special Characters" should be OP compared to normal characters - but because they aren't customizable, they can be used to make designs that work because of what they don't have, not just what they do have.

    I mean, we all know there are a lot of nitpicky restrictions on stuff in T9A designed to avoid broken combinations that take out other things as collateral damage, right? How much more elegant to have a model that just says "this is this. Take it as it is, or don't take it"?
  • Personally, I think that special characters, if they exist at all, should be something that enables a different playstyle.

    For example, the OK Wildheart big name is the perfect representation of what a good special character should be: it lets you do something new with the army, even if the units are almost all the same.


    For my 3 armies, I’d like to see the following:

    OK: like I said, wildheart is already a special character, so we’ll keep that as it is.

    ID: A prophet of lugar would be really interesting, especially if it did something like having a hereditary attribute spell granting universal flammability for a whole turn or maybe a flammability aura. Something where you take it if you want to make sure that the entire army is all about the fire.

    SA: I think that this character needs to be something that really changes how magic works for the army. Skink priest that raises the dead, cuatl that can doublecast, Saurian wizard with earth manipulation magic (earthquakes and unit buffs, maybe?)
  • Basically, we could ask using DE as example:
    A- a special character which is a regular character plus background plus maybe one or two rules or equipment to reflect the BG; i.e. the legendary DE assassin, master of stealth; or the rare beastmaster who has normal stats but tamed a Feldrak and rides it; or the sorcerer who can cast the spell described in Witchcraft full introduction;
    B- a special character which is not a regular type and could not be reproduced, even approximately; i.e. the legendary lord of Cloaks, who leads tribes of Raven Cloaks across unexplored lands; or the Queen of the Harpies.

    In any case, characters which provide more background, and lead to lovely themed lists.

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  • Squirrelloid wrote:

    None.

    No seriously.

    Okay, let me explain. I'm fully in favor of having named characters in the world, and even creating those characters using the ABs.

    What I don't want is character entries with special rules. I don't feel that T9A characters should have advantages that characters players create at home have. Anything a special character can do should be recreatable by the unit entry its based on.

    So absolutely no super-wizards or super-fighters or crazy special rules or any of that. Add more options to the basic AB entry if necessary to represent the range of possibilities. Characters players build at home should be as interesting as whatever 'official' T9A characters exist.
    It is important, I think, to encoroporate all playstyles and interests - and while it may have detracted from gameplay for some, for others having epic characters raised the 'fun' level quite drastically, as well as the immersion point of view. What makes a character special if Joe bloggs from the street can create him? The whole point of a special character is that he is unique and bends the rules of the normal restrictions. While I am a huge supporter of the game, it has brought alot of restrictions with it and it has lost some people that were interested in creating the epic and over the top.

    Now these characters don't have to be OP. This I very much agree with you on. No point creating a character that is too good and will wreck face without thinking. We can be smarter than that. But they definitely should be something that cannot be replicated in a usual battle otherwise they are not special or unique, so don't really fit the bill.


    Dopey wrote:

    Revisit the idea in a few years? Maybe. Let people make stories for their own boys. Keep the team's energy on army books in the meantime.

    Auxillaries, culture/history, and campaign support have more precedence in my mind.
    The Auxillary armies are the perfect place for characters! The whole idea behind these lists/armies is that it is not necessarily designed to be as overly and completely balanced as the main game - but can still be used alongside.

    Special characters can fit in nicely here, as people that aren't interested in creating campaigns or less competitive games can - if they want to - completely ignore them. Have the same disclaimer on special characters, but base them on the fluff of the new world and you will be on to a winner.

    It then gives really starts to expand and explain our world and start to cater for current gamers supporting the system that want a bit more fun or silly battles, and can possibly help to bring some new people with different interests in. This I think will be very important to the longevity of T9A.

    A few questions/worries I have:
    • will there be models created for new characters? It would be good to speak to companies who already support the project and get them on board with this from the start...
    • The regular changes made to the projects main ruleset. This might create alot of work for people that make these characters. How will this be countered?
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  • WhammeWhamme wrote:

    Do I agree with Squirreloid:

    No. HECK no. It's not that "Special Characters" should be OP compared to normal characters - but because they aren't customizable, they can be used to make designs that work because of what they don't have, not just what they do have.

    I mean, we all know there are a lot of nitpicky restrictions on stuff in T9A designed to avoid broken combinations that take out other things as collateral damage, right? How much more elegant to have a model that just says "this is this. Take it as it is, or don't take it"?
    Here's the problem:
    -There's no point in special characters unless people want to actually use them
    -People don't want to actually use them unless they're (a) more powerful than regular characters or (b) allow you to do things you can't do with regular characters
    -More powerful is right out, because then regular characters stop being used.
    -There's no purpose to (b), because you could just create character upgrades or items which do that thing. T9A effectively lets us create our own special characters in most armies.
    -And no, there's no way to avoid problematic combinations of items and get a character people will actually use. Because some of those 'problematic' things are generally considered required by the players to be worthwhile. (Example: A non-wizard special character without a special save would probably never see play, assuming it wasn't totally broken in some other way).

    But even ignoring those things, it's bad for player agency to have special characters. Because if they're good enough to play, players won't develop their own characters with their own story.
    Just because I'm on the Legal Team doesn't mean I know anything about rules or background in development, and if/when I do, I won't be posting about it. All opinions and speculation are my own - treat them as such.

    Legal

    Playtester

    Chariot Command HQ

  • For the dwarves it would be great to have some named guys.
    A high king on a throne (no need for super special rules, just put a name to his axe, armour, etc... And give them a fixed set of runes). Totally legal and gives flavour to the whole race.
    A rune Smith with a similar set up, if you want to make it Uber special put him in a war altar anvil type mount.
    A famous seeker that kills many things and even though he is killed many times the gods resurrect him for laughs...
    An engineer that makes things explode, giving bonus to cannons and hand guns but more unreliable (kind of old skaven) would be fun.
    For me they don't need to have great rules that make the whole unit +1 attack or so, just named heroes that determine the flavour and character of a race, like a slaver DE super Corsair or a high dread jugde that always says: I am the law!! :)
  • Something GW DID well with their special characters was make designed to facilitate a certain type of play with an army. For example;

    The equitaine peasant army as a subtype. A special character could be a rabble rouser- Henri the hermit. Or even a filthy sinister peasant, like raputin.

    The empire knight list could have lord commander who buffs knights but taxes infantry etc.

    A cave goblin king for an all gobbo list.

    All priced accordingly.
  • Squirrelloid wrote:

    WhammeWhamme wrote:

    Do I agree with Squirreloid:

    No. HECK no. It's not that "Special Characters" should be OP compared to normal characters - but because they aren't customizable, they can be used to make designs that work because of what they don't have, not just what they do have.

    I mean, we all know there are a lot of nitpicky restrictions on stuff in T9A designed to avoid broken combinations that take out other things as collateral damage, right? How much more elegant to have a model that just says "this is this. Take it as it is, or don't take it"?
    Here's the problem:-There's no point in special characters unless people want to actually use them
    -People don't want to actually use them unless they're (a) more powerful than regular characters or (b) allow you to do things you can't do with regular characters
    -More powerful is right out, because then regular characters stop being used.
    -There's no purpose to (b), because you could just create character upgrades or items which do that thing. T9A effectively lets us create our own special characters in most armies.
    -And no, there's no way to avoid problematic combinations of items and get a character people will actually use. Because some of those 'problematic' things are generally considered required by the players to be worthwhile. (Example: A non-wizard special character without a special save would probably never see play, assuming it wasn't totally broken in some other way).

    But even ignoring those things, it's bad for player agency to have special characters. Because if they're good enough to play, players won't develop their own characters with their own story.

    I disagree with you on (b), because you can attach appropriate drawbacks to a special character that you... well, yes you CAN attach it to a regular character, but it's obnoxious to give options with so many conditions.


    Also, by giving them sub-par kit, but pricing for the entire package of what you get, you can make things that feel better; a Lord-level Taurukh Anointed, for example, instead of the less-than-hero-level Subjugator, but he's not kitted out completely optimally.

    Plus you can represent things that are setting-wise rarer-than-rare ; e.g. wizards who use different paths than the norm for their faction, characters for things which don't usually have them, etc.


    (Actually, I'd say make Special Characters "Unique - An army may only field one Unique model" ; not just one copy of that one, but one period. Right there, that added level of mutual exclusivity, is an extra design tool. And it makes sense, generally - most special characters would have never met each other, let alone fought together.)


    Yes, sure, technically you can just let people to do it all without making them named characters - but developing the cast of our world is incredibly valuable in terms of making this a setting that lives on it's own terms. Special characters make for a shared vocabulary, a shared experience.


    The BGT _has_ to make named characters to convey the world well; storytelling needs stories and stories need characters.
  • Squirrelloid wrote:

    -There's no purpose to (b), because you could just create character upgrades or items which do that thing. T9A effectively lets us create our own special characters in most armies.
    Honestly, there is purpose for that. You just avoid possible and unwanted comboes. You don't have to create silly rule that over half of it is exception of exception.

    WhammeWhamme wrote:

    (Actually, I'd say make Special Characters "Unique - An army may only field one Unique model" ; not just one copy of that one, but one period. Right there, that added level of mutual exclusivity, is an extra design tool. And it makes sense, generally - most special characters would have never met each other, let alone fought together.)
    :thumbup:

    Ideas:
    - Necromancer that blocks Swift Death, but increase Suffering % (and maybe unlocks Zombie Giant )
    - Some of unusual models - like 50x100mm base Ogre Character, Cualt Lord on Taurosaur, EoS Artificer in Steam Tank :P
    - DE Medusa character with real Petrifying Stare (killing enemies on distance)
    - DH engineer mounted on some vehicle - tank/drill/Grudge Buster/Steam Copter
    Current armies:
    WDG
    SA

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