Should Flavor Rules be reintroduced?

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  • Should Flavor Rules be reintroduced?

    SO, as many of you likely know, during the 2.0 Beta update, plenty of rules that had a LOT of flavor but were more "niche" cases were AXED from the BRB. The issue is that these were then forced to be written out in each entry rather than just including the name of the rule in the entry.

    Another problem is that in removing these "niche" rules our game lost a LOT of intensity and flavor that was previously there.

    An example:
    Currently: Aegis (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)
    Previously: Fireborn (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)

    Here's where we get to the meat of the issue. Both rules are exactly the same. The difference is that one, the previous form, is evocative and creates an image in your mind. The other. . . less so. After all, Fireborn creates a mental image of something created in fire, that is at home in heat and flame. Something to whom these elements are akin to a soothing balm or a comforting touch. Aegis 2+ vs. Fire simply says "generic Fire resistance enchantment". This is especially important because NOT EVERYTHING WITH THE 2+ AEGIS VS. FIRE HAS MAGICAL RESISTANCE. After all, Lava demons will be Fireborn, but they may not have "magical enchantments that protect against fire".

    Personally, I think that these sorts of rules should be added in to the BRB again. Even if they were created with more "literal" names (like Fireproof), it would still do more for the game's uniqueness and flavor than having the same rules in "Bland" form.

    An example of "where such rules create flavor":
    Electrical Attacks: Against units with Arm 3 or better, models with electrical attacks may re-roll 1's to hit.
    Conductor: Models attacking a model with this special rule may re-roll ALL failed rolls to hit, rather than natural 1's to hit.
    Stormborn (or alternately, Insulated): Models with this special rule gain Distracting vs. attacks from models or enchanted weapons with the Electrical Attacks Special rule.

    So how do these create flavor? Electrical attacks reminds of electricity because metal is a conductor and attracts electricity. So by attracting the lighting in the weapon, it makes it easier for the wielder to hit. Conductor is even easier because the attacked model is even MORE vulnerable to lightning (such as a water elemental or flyer, since lightning strikes the highest point). So it reinforces the idea of electricity because now anything that can conduct electricity magnifies its current. Such a rule can also be used to make "water elementals" a thing, since it reinforces their "waterness". Stormborn then creates the "Defense" form of it. It creates the feeling of "born of lighting", so electricity passes right through it into the ground. It actively avoids going towards these opponents.

    All of these could be written out without the names, but with the names it creates a feeling of a phenomenon in the world. That feeling has been removed from the game with no benefit in reduced complexity because THE RULES ARE ALL STILL THERE. Now there's simply no reference point, which can increase complexity overall (even if it seems simpler from certain viewpoints). Metalshifting is another great example of a fun and flavorful rule that was lost during the BRB.

    It's also important to note that this moves the game away from Legacy because in Legacy all these rules were just written out, rather than having cool, unique, and evocative names. :)
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

  • Metalshifting disappeared (or rather, became an effect spelled out) because in 1.3 a grand total of 2 rules across all the books used it (and it wasn't even on unit entries, but one spell, one ID item), despite being around since the beginning of the project. When designers aren't interested in using a rule, it's a pretty good indication that it doesn't add depth to the ruleset and you're essentially asking players to learn one more thing in the BRB. I would argue that it doesn't matter to write fluffy rules if players never uses them. In this case efforts are better spent elsewhere on something that is both relevant and immersive I think.

    About your main point, I agree with you that increasing immersion is really important and that evocative names go a long way in achieving that. I'm not really a fan of going the way of the 4 elements thing, just feel it has been used and abused before and lost its magic (can't we think of something else than air/lightning, water/ice, earth/acid and fire?). But surely exploring new ideas based on fluff could lead to interesting suggestions. One thing to keep in mind though is that a portion of community criticizes the current beta for the number of special rules, which makes for more things to remember and more difficult to search through the BRB.
  • I couldn't agree more. No more bland mechanical rules.

    The criticisms I've seen are about the complexity as opposed to actual special rules. Spiked shield being one example. Or the monstrosity that is the war platform rules..
    The rules are reading like full legal documents now.

    To me fireborn sticks in my memory much better than some generic reference to aegis ever will.
    AVOIDANCE FAILS 28% OF THE TIME FOLKS. -SE
    Undying Deathstar Construction Inc.
  • Yes, but only when we can separate each part of a rule out so it makes sense individually and combined.

    Fireborn also used to not let you have Fortitude, for no flavour reason.
    So having that rule be all one rule mucks about with the ability to make it flavoursome.

    You've got to separate it.
    Fireborn becomes 2+ Aegis vs flaming attacks and nothing else
    Can't Fortitude becomes a rule where you can't benefit from fortitude

    And we're fine, aside from the names of course.
    Fireproof is a better name, as it's more general and makes more sense for more things. ie. How is armour Fireborn? But Fireproof, that makes sense.
    Unable to Fortitude is harder to have make sense of course, but probably can be done.
  • Shlagrabak wrote:

    Metalshifting disappeared (or rather, became an effect spelled out) because in 1.3 a grand total of 2 rules across all the books used it (and it wasn't even on unit entries, but one spell, one ID item), despite being around since the beginning of the project. When designers aren't interested in using a rule, it's a pretty good indication that it doesn't add depth to the ruleset and you're essentially asking players to learn one more thing in the BRB. I would argue that it doesn't matter to write fluffy rules if players never uses them. In this case efforts are better spent elsewhere on something that is both relevant and immersive I think.

    About your main point, I agree with you that increasing immersion is really important and that evocative names go a long way in achieving that. I'm not really a fan of going the way of the 4 elements thing, just feel it has been used and abused before and lost its magic (can't we think of something else than air/lightning, water/ice, earth/acid and fire?). But surely exploring new ideas based on fluff could lead to interesting suggestions. One thing to keep in mind though is that a portion of community criticizes the current beta for the number of special rules, which makes for more things to remember and more difficult to search through the BRB.
    Magical Attacks LITERALLY used to only matter for like FOUR Aegis Save in the game. Even now, they only really matter for SOME Aegis saves and for ONE magical item. While they may be FAR more common, it is an artificially enforced rule that matters in FAR fewer cases.

    The problem is that a backwards approach for Metalshifting was taken. "It's not used very commonly, but it can have a huge effect. Let's remove it!" Even more so because COMPLEXITY WASN'T REDUCED! Now you simply had to write everything out rather than having a cool name that evoked a specific image and ruleset.

    What SHOULD have been done is make it more widely available and common. I can most CERTAINLY say that Metalshifting has a MUCH bigger design space and depth than Magical Attacks. But since one isn't a pet rule, guess which one gets axed. Frankly, a lot of the "design" problems with the game come because someone High Up has a lingering trauma with a Legacy form of a proposal (e.g. 3++, getting hit on 6's conditionally, etc.).

    As to the 4 elements thing, that was just an idea. An easy and quick one, to be sure. I'm sure that amazingly cool ones could be created if we had some people dedicated to it (I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!). Example

    Entropic Attacks: Models that are hit by an attack with this special rule suffer a penalty of XYZ (say, -1Res or -1S, or -1Arm as examples?) until the next round of combat.

    I'm sure PLENTY more could be made with that sort of idea if we could dedicate ourselves to it. Heck, it would even work best for Army Books to add flavor. Have the generic Earth/Wind/Fire/Water in the BRB, and the cool unique ones in the army books. :)

    Marcos24 wrote:

    I actually think spikes shield is great! In terms of flavor, imagery, and modeling potential. I’d like more of that
    Ye gods, yes! The game needs more of that sort of thing. Frankly, I'd love it if mundane armories were expanded for each army. The "box" that a lot of things are designed under needs to be burned to ashes and scattered to the four winds.

    theunwantedbeing wrote:

    Yes, but only when we can separate each part of a rule out so it makes sense individually and combined.

    Fireborn also used to not let you have Fortitude, for no flavour reason.
    So having that rule be all one rule mucks about with the ability to make it flavoursome.

    You've got to separate it.
    Fireborn becomes 2+ Aegis vs flaming attacks and nothing else
    Can't Fortitude becomes a rule where you can't benefit from fortitude

    And we're fine, aside from the names of course.
    Fireproof is a better name, as it's more general and makes more sense for more things. ie. How is armour Fireborn? But Fireproof, that makes sense.
    Unable to Fortitude is harder to have make sense of course, but probably can be done.
    Fireproof is more LITERAL. Not necessarily more flavorful. HOWEVER, here is where personal preferences come into play. My personal aesthetics are quite tied into mythology, lyrical imagery, and imagination. So for me, Fireborn or a similar name is VERY likely to create a resonating and unique imagery! However, another player may see it as nonsensical, and prefer a more literal Fireproof because it is sensible and creates its own imagery and associations. Both views are quite acceptable, and are simply different perspectives. Either way, they would be better than the current bland, often extremely literal, rules.

    I also agree that rules need to "not interact nonsensically". The example you provide, back when the names were Fireborn and Regeneration, would have been solved quite easily by adding in something like "Non-regenerative" or "slow metabolism" and slapped it onto Fireborn units to state "they cannot benefit from Regeneration". Now you have a simple explanation of why Fireborn cannot regenerate.
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

  • Aenarion43 wrote:

    Magical Attacks LITERALLY used to only matter for like FOUR Aegis Save in the game. Even now, they only really matter for SOME Aegis saves and for ONE magical item. While they may be FAR more common, it is an artificially enforced rule that matters in FAR fewer cases.
    Perhaps, but I think that does not answer "Why Metalshifting was removed", so I'll try not to derail the discussion and go onto your other points about that if you don't mind.

    Aenarion43 wrote:

    The problem is that a backwards approach for Metalshifting was taken. "It's not used very commonly, but it can have a huge effect. Let's remove it!" Even more so because COMPLEXITY WASN'T REDUCED! Now you simply had to write everything out rather than having a cool name that evoked a specific image and ruleset.

    What SHOULD have been done is make it more widely available and common. I can most CERTAINLY say that Metalshifting has a MUCH bigger design space and depth than Magical Attacks. But since one isn't a pet rule, guess which one gets axed. Frankly, a lot of the "design" problems with the game come because someone High Up has a lingering trauma with a Legacy form of a proposal (e.g. 3++, getting hit on 6's conditionally, etc.).
    No, sorry, that's a speculation you're making, but you don't know that. The power level of Metalshifting had nothing to do with it, nor legacy, at least nobody mentioned it. I was in the rules review process when it happened. As I said the only reason was that it was seldom used despite of being available to designers for a long time. Not just the RT, but also the ADT. Was that because the effect as too powerful, the fear to be priced into oblivion, was it because it was deemed too RPS? I don't know, ask designers.
    No, complexity didn't really decrease. But cross-referencing did. Look, I'm not saying that I didn't like Metalshifting - my opinion isn't relevant - I'm just telling you that, whatever the reason, this didn't turn out to be a successful concept. I think that's ok, not all great ideas yield great results, it's part of the creative process to sometimes run into dead ends. It's not the end of flavorful concepts and I think (it's just my 2 cents) we should explore new ideas now.
  • Aenarion43 wrote:

    An example:
    Currently: Aegis (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)
    Previously: Fireborn (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)
    The issue with this was that when playing the game (particularly for new players) you read the unit entry and it said "Fireborn" so you looked up that rule. The Fireborn rule said Aegis 2+ against flaming attacks, so now you have to look that rule up and so on.

    There were some rules that were hidden within other rules. Skirmishers also being light troops was one that I've seen people get wrong on a regular basis. It's so easy miss.

    My favourite one was from WFB 8th, where Flying cavalry was introduced to the BRB. Flying cavalry collected about 3 or 4 special rules (some of which referenced other special rules) and then noted that flying cavalry are also fast cavalry (which nested about 5 other special rules). It became very complex very quickly for something that was actually pretty straightforward.

    Aenarion43 wrote:

    Magical Attacks LITERALLY used to only matter for like FOUR Aegis Save in the game. Even now, they only really matter for SOME Aegis saves and for ONE magical item. While they may be FAR more common, it is an artificially enforced rule that matters in FAR fewer cases.

    The problem is that a backwards approach for Metalshifting was taken.
    The difference here is that Magical Attacks are quite common - most characters, some units and all spells have magical attacks. What magical attacks do is quite intuitive and it's clearly noted in the relevant items / aegis saves.

    Metalshifting was uncommon and what it did was not intuitive to new players. Why give Metalshifting a name when it only applies to 1 thing across the entire game? Giving it a name implies that it's common enough that the team felt it was easier to remember the name and what it does than have similar but not quite identical mechanics dotted around (which can lead to confusion).

    It's much easier for a new player to remember what that alchemy spell does alone. If you call it metalshifting they have to remember what it does and the name, which is an extra piece of information.

    I agree that it's more fluffy to have names, but there are times when it just doesn't make sense to do so.
    Never argue with Idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
  • Should Flavor Rules be reintroduced?

    We lack background and fluff in general. This shouldn’t be achieved by complex rules but by having a rich background and lore for our units and factions.

    If I had a background describing why and how some units were all but immune to damage from fire I am all good with the rule being aegis (fire 2+).

    If I have no background, then a fluffy name at least hints to why this is so.

    Bottom line: create rich background describing the unit. Don’t make complex and nested rules :)


    Best,
    Nis

    Sent from a mobile device - apologies for brevity, spelling and grammar
  • Aenarion43 wrote:

    Currently: Aegis (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)

    Previously: Fireborn (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)
    This is a real problem.

    Windelov wrote:

    If I had a background describing why and how some units were all but immune to damage from fire I am all good with the rule being aegis (fire 2+).
    This is a real solution.

    It was a good idea to replace:
    Fireborn (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)
    with the more widely understandable:
    Aegis (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)

    but what is missing is an additional line, at the end of the unit's entry, telling:
    "Phoenixes have a strong affinity with Fire, in which they were born, which makes them impervious to flames."

    Social Media Team

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  • Calisson wrote:

    Aenarion43 wrote:

    Currently: Aegis (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)

    Previously: Fireborn (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)
    This is a real problem.

    Windelov wrote:

    If I had a background describing why and how some units were all but immune to damage from fire I am all good with the rule being aegis (fire 2+).
    This is a real solution.
    It was a good idea to replace:
    Fireborn (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)
    with the more widely understandable:
    Aegis (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)

    but what is missing is an additional line, at the end of the unit's entry, telling:
    "Phoenixes have a strong affinity with Fire, in which they were born, which makes them impervious to flames."
    As far as i know, small pieces of info in unit entries (to make rules more understandable/as intended) we already discussed in another topic.
  • Calisson wrote:

    Aenarion43 wrote:

    Currently: Aegis (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)

    Previously: Fireborn (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)
    This is a real problem.

    Windelov wrote:

    If I had a background describing why and how some units were all but immune to damage from fire I am all good with the rule being aegis (fire 2+).
    This is a real solution.
    It was a good idea to replace:
    Fireborn (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)
    with the more widely understandable:
    Aegis (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks)

    but what is missing is an additional line, at the end of the unit's entry, telling:
    "Phoenixes have a strong affinity with Fire, in which they were born, which makes them impervious to flames."
    See, this I like! The main thing is that the *name* of the rule matters. It helps create imagery and story. All rules would benefit from some flavor entries. However, the fact that we limit ourselves so much TO Fortitude, Aegis, Armor is part of the issue.

    Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing something like:
    Aegis Save 1st (magical shields trigger first)
    Armor (directly stops blades/arrows)
    Fortitude (make a toughness test at -X, wound is negated. . . AKA, your dude shrugs it off) and Regeneration (flesh heals as the wound is dealt)
    It Will Not Die style defense (where you heal the wound back at the end as long as you are alive)

    We have such a breadth of space that we can use to design, yet we limit ourselves so much. Perhaps it IS for the best, but we should certainly explore such a thing, no?


    But for the record, I think that adding entries for fluff for rules is HIGHLY important, I just think that the name of the rule also matters for creating a setting. :)

    What do you think about exploring additional "save types" as design space? E.g. "Dodge Save" available to elves, super fast beings (Warriors of a certain type, some spawnings of saurus) indicative of insanely fast (think The Flash style) reflexes?
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

  • Aenarion43 wrote:

    something like:
    - Aegis Save 1st (magical shields trigger first)
    - Armor (directly stops blades/arrows)
    - Fortitude (make a toughness test at -X, wound is negated. . . AKA, your dude shrugs it off)
    - Regeneration (flesh heals as the wound is dealt)
    It Will Not Die style defense (where you heal the wound back at the end as long as you are alive)
    Mathematically, the order of these dice rolls has no impact on the final result so what you suggest could be considered.

    Social Media Team

    UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

    - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
  • Why beeing limited for special name rules.

    Calisson wrote:

    but what is missing is an additional line, at the end of the unit's entry, telling:
    "Phoenixes have a strong affinity with Fire, in which they were born, which makes them impervious to flames."
    I think this is not enough.
    The rule should also always get a flavourfull name !

    We could get somehting like:

    Fire children:
    Aegis (2+ vs Flaming attack)
    -----------------------------------------------
    Phoenixes have a strong affinity with Fire, in which they were born, which makes them impervious to flames.

    This rule name would be only use into the AB, then the description of the rule, could use Rules book name, or description.
    And finally a small sentence for flavour.

    This would be the perfect solution.

    Because when you talk about your army, about your model, about the rules, you need name to speak.
    And say "Phoenix get aegis 2+ versus flaming attack", is really less cool than, "phoenix are fire children, it give them an aegis 2+ versus flaming attack".

    Let the BRB be in legal wording,
    and let the FAB beeing in Flavorfull wording.
    cas-p.net / graphic & web designer.
    SE - VS - O&G - EoS / 9th age player.
  • Casp wrote:

    The rule should also always get a flavourfull name !
    In principle, yes.
    But sometimes, different origins have similar effects, which translate into quasi-similar rules.
    In that case, it is easier to memorize a single rule, justified with different fluff lines, rather than having different names for what is essentially the same effect.

    FAB are the place for flavourful rule names indeed.

    Social Media Team

    UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

    - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
  • Casp wrote:

    Fire children:

    Aegis (2+ vs Flaming attack)
    -----------------------------------------------
    Phoenixes have a strong affinity with Fire, in which they were born, which makes them impervious to flames.
    I think something like this indeed already solves a lot.

    For instance, Kadim Incarnates (ID) have an aegis(5+) and aegis(2+ against flaming attacks) and volcanic embrace. They also have an armour value of 2, for some reason? This could be made more fluffy by a piece of text, like the magic items of old.

    Kadim Incarnates
    [insert current profile]
    Molded from fire and rock
    When the prophets awoke the very rocks of the [name] volcano, molding them together with its hot lava and imbueing them with dark magic, the Kadim Incarnate was born.
    The model has Aegis(5+), which is improved to Aegis(2+) when being attacked by Flaming Attacks. In addition the model has Volcanic Embrace.

    This doesn't change the current structure of learning the rules, but helps explain why a unit has it.