Wacky/niche magic items

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  • Wacky/niche magic items

    (Caveat: this is not a "project sanctioned" thread, nor should any promise or expectation be inferred by the existence of such a thread. This is just me engaging with a specific comment that has been mentioned to me in order to further my own understanding of the needs of the wider player base).

    Hi all

    I've had it mentioned to me a few times that some people would like to see "niche" or "wacky" magic items.

    The things I would like to understand here are
    (A) Are you prepared to sacrifice more generally useful items? Even the ones you like?
    (B) What wacky and niche mean in general, in a way that I can feedback internally to inform future designs (i.e. not concrete examples, but a rough working definition that can be used)
    (C1) Specific examples of items that exist in the 2.0 game that satisfy these criteria (if any)
    (C2) Comments on how well the EoS items satisfy these (EoS because I was most involved with these, so have much better context and knowledge of the design process in order to understand and work out how best to use and apply the feedback I am given)

    N.b. If you don't want such items, particularly given (A), please also say so.

    Thanks
    Dan
    Ask not what the project can do for you, but what you can do for the project :)

    Don't forget that however convinced you are of your opinion on something in the project, or something it should/shouldn't do, there is someone out there holding on to the opposite belief just as strongly :D

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  • A) Out with them, I say. Anything that is just "this armour is +3 instead of +2" or "this sword gives +1 strength" should be in the core book, if at all.
    B+C) Harder. Let's put aside the specific words whacky and niche and at first. I think they give the wrong expectations that things should be silly/funny (whacky) or often not very useful (niche).
    Instead substitute the word "interesting". An interesting rule is one that lets you do something that would be impossible without that rule. A higher numerical value is not interesting. You can still move and fight without that item. Something like Vanguard is mildly interesting. You usually couldn't move before the game starts, but you could still eventually move there during the normal game. The Wasteland Torch is a good example. There is no rule in the basic game to destroy terrain pieces. Now there is.
    D) Let's use my categories from above: uninteresting, mildly interesting, interesting

    The light of Sonnstahl: boring. Magical attacks is not the worst rule, at least and it has some nice interactions, but it's also not that exciting.
    Death Warrant: Mildly interesting, overall, but I like the idea of conditionally sharing special rules with another unit
    Hammer of Witches: barely edges into interesting, because it actually does what the name says and only working against casters is nice.
    Imperial Seal: mostly boring, mildly interesting because can not flee, which is neat.
    Blacksteel: dull.
    Witchfire Guard: dull
    Shield of Volund: very mildly interesting, because conditional
    Winter Cloak: another mildly
    Locket of Sunna: there we go. Interesting. More like that, please.
    Exemplar's Flame: mildly. Sharing buffs is something I personally like a lot, but neither lethal strike nro magical attacks are all that interesting by themselves.
    Karadon's courser: Yawn. I'd expect more from a magical horse.
    Mantle of Ullor: boring in rules, if fluffy
    Household Standard: boring
    Banner of Unity: meh
    Marksman's Pennant: boring

    Yeah. Not a good showing, really.
  • DanT wrote:

    (A) Are you prepared to sacrifice more generally useful items? Even the ones you like?
    For WotDG, that's a bit like asking a homeless man if he's willing to give up his swimming pool. :D

    On a more serious note, yes but not if the removed items cripple an army's intended design (ie. Ledger of Souls).

    DanT wrote:

    (B) What wacky and niche mean in general, in a way that I can feedback internally to inform future designs (i.e. not concrete examples, but a rough working definition that can be used)
    Wacky & niche. Niche = unique effects that work exclusively for the army. Wacky = Not comparable to other army items/models.

    DanT wrote:

    (C1) Specific examples of items that exist in the 2.0 game that satisfy these criteria (if any)
    Wasteland Torch is very close (if only it had flaming attacks). Sacred Seeds (SE), Spirit of Stampede (SA), Book of the Dead (UD), Banner of Becalming (HbE) - all very evocative designs.

    DanT wrote:

    (C2) Comments on how well the EoS items satisfy these (EoS because I was most involved with these, so have much better context and knowledge of the design process in order to understand and work out how best to use and apply the feedback I am given)
    Banner of Unity is the best, whereas Mantle of Ulnor and Household Standard are examples of 'get-around' design that should be discouraged IMO.
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    The post was edited 2 times, last by There Is No Spoon ().

  • A) I think items can be important to altering the learning curve and performance for armies, so whether there are more or less niche ones would differ from army to army. Some need more, some less.

    B) niche items are those which require non-standard situations to be useful, and those arent easily achievable with a combo (e.g. - KoE horn is niche because flyers aren't that widespread. ID hammer is not, because while flammable opponents are even rarer, ID have readily available combos).

    C) Successful EoS design examples: shield of volund, the locket, marksman's pennant - require situations and setup to be useful.
    Hristo Nikolov
  • A: If needs be, yes. Currently there isn't really a difference between mundane weapons you buy and most weapon enhancements. Both simply add numbers to certain profile values and how they're wielded. Often it's just two layers of basically the same thing. I'd prefer more situational weapons, for adding simply additional strength or whatever to your halberd I think one-use-only potions would be appropriate if there's not room enough for both (there also could more creative potions).

    B: Basically see A for a negative definition... A design which isn't just a generic bonus. Which interacts with certain other rules, situations. Things which would not occur otherwise in a normal game turn. Which doesn't mean it should do one thing only, just something odd and just let the players find use for it.

    C1: just out of memory, mostly armies I own:


    King slayer
    Crown of the Wizard King (although stupidity made it more "interesting" if you know what I mean)

    Raptor spirit/Rangers boots (it just adds movement, but basically lets heros in foot act like mounted ones)
    Spirit of the Stampede
    Egg of Quetzal
    Soulfire Weaver (Which everybody seams to hate, I like the idea very much)

    True Thirst (kind of. After reading it again I understand it's still useless with TP. So it does have a neat design, but is streamlined for this only. Was it OP on ZD with potentially more than one roll?)

    Wandering Familiar
    Elixir of Shadows
    Beastmaster's leash
    Moraec & transcendance

    Banner of entombed
    Steeds of nephet-ra
    Sandstorm cloak

    Wasteland torch
    Orb of foreboding (although I'd prefer it to scale when enemy unit has special rules )
    Immortal Gauntlets

    C2: I'd say
    Hammer of witches
    Shield of Volund
    Winter cloak, although it's odd that it is not in foot only
    Locket (A classic, rightfully so)
    Exemplars flame

    C1 and C2 are just those which catch the eye, which isn't to say all the rest is bland. All in all I'd say Beta has brought many improvements.
    On a side note, I think having 0-3 Banners is a pest (exept for dwarves). Before Beta I had the impression banners which pontentionally counter armies/units weaknesses (Speed, rending etc) were supposed to geh axed, but now you can take 3 of each?
    doing the Lorenzo Lupo Workout everyday till Iron Crowns AB is released
  • @DanT

    (A) Are you prepared to sacrifice more generally useful items? Even the ones you like?

    No, and I do not think this is the right approach to go about and create more flavorful options. Lets take O&G as an example, as it's one of the few armies I know well. Gotta keep the monstrous Axe of the Apocalypse as the go-to-choice. It has a clear function and serves many comp lists well. But lets get some awesome side weapons and items, like Mazda Zappin'. Which obviously are not the go-to choice for the comp player, but really get me excited, so much I build a list around it for a fluff tourny! So not "or-or", but rather "and-and", if that is possible. I know this is contrary to "balancing everyting out to perfection", but let's forget about that, cause is it really needed?. The wacky stuff will most likely not be the the go-to comp stuff, but the two can co-exist perfectly.

    (B) What wacky and niche mean in general, in a way that I can feedback internally to inform future designs (i.e. not concrete examples, but a rough working definition that can be used)

    I believe this can be veeeery broad, as long as it has the cool factor, and lack the this-has-obviously-been-balanced-into-boredom factor. So any 1D6 instead of a 1D3+1 effect. An item that grants an Orc Warlord extra power in a fight versus another general, a little extra power in a fight versus another character or monster and a small penalty versus all other enemies. Comp player might never take it, but fluff bunnies will build their story around it. I mean go crazy ... weird effects for cave golbins .. synergy with monsters for them. This obviously takes time to get right.

    (C1) Specific examples of items that exist in the 2.0 game that satisfy these criteria (if any)

    Sure, to me that is Maza's Zappin. Not Greentide banner (freaking boring auto choice imo).

    (C2) Comments on how well the EoS items satisfy these (EoS because I was most involved with these, so have much better context and knowledge of the design process in order to understand and work out how best to use and apply the feedback I am given)

    Cant really relate. Love the orders. @Josse had some awesome stories on how older roman fighting groups could adept on the field of battle, to face flank charges etc, and be realy agile. Maybe things like that.

    An attempt to answer you. Great thread.
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  • I honestly wouldn't call much of anything 'wacky' per say, as far as from what I've seen. Theres more of a cool ranking and a useful ranking. Fluff players use the cool stuff but it under performs because its fluffy. Useful ranking is ravaged by the comp lists and involves usually only a few things.
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  • DanT wrote:



    (A) Are you prepared to sacrifice more generally useful items? Even the ones you like?
    I am part of this person who thinks that every object and unity should be useful,
    so I will answer no to your question.

    but I think that objects with more fun effect or balance will not be the priority will be a good idea.
    an auxiliary book with several objects common to all armies and objects to be reserved for each army will surely be the best way to obtain such an object.

    also the player group who wants a more fun game could get it without having them created, and this will allow people to organize tournaments with if they wish.
  • (A) Are you prepared to sacrifice more generally useful items? Even the ones you like?
    Yes. Leave generic items to be common items.

    (B) What wacky and niche mean in general, in a way that I can feedback internally to inform future designs (i.e. not concrete examples, but a rough working definition that can be used)
    Describes accurately a unique property linked with the background.

    (C1) Specific examples of items that exist in the 2.0 game that satisfy these criteria (if any)
    See below.

    (C2) Comments on how well the EoS items satisfy these (EoS because I was most involved with these, so have much better context and knowledge of the design process in order to understand and work out how best to use and apply the feedback I am given)

    Let's analyse quickly EoS items:
    The Light of Sonnstahl => fluffy title, effect not super original but very effective to reflect the power.
    Needs something with light, at minimum Flaming, or better Thaumaturgy spell #1 to reflect better the fluff. Could be made less powerful otherwise if necessity of balance, but please make it fluffy and iconic!

    Death Warrant => fluffy title, but with such a title, should be limited to Inquisitor. Description a bit too long, but works.

    Hammer of Witches => Super title, as it is the title of a real book written by a real inquisitor (I got a copy home).
    However, 1) it should be limited to Inquisitors 2) it does not fill its promises, too light against magic-users, too strong onto others.

    Imperial Seal => I have no idea which fluff is represented by that. With adequate fluff, could be good.

    Blacksteel => Why would Black Steel cause Fear? It does not make any sense.

    Witchfire Guard => Good, title gives enough fluff, effect reflects that fluff.

    Shield of Volund => Good, same.

    Winter Cloak => Good, same, even if it requires a bit of imagination.

    Locket of Sunna => Fun and wacky. Good!

    Exemplar’s Flame => Bad. Looks like it has been made to exploit mechanically Veil token availability, with no thought given to fluff.

    Karadon´s Courser => Looks fluffy. Good.

    Mantle of Ullor => Fluff is lacking, which makes the item hard to understand.

    Household Standard => Fluff missing to explain why.

    Banner of Unity => Fluffy rule but the title is totally misleading. I would rather have named it "Semaphore Standard" to reflect the rule.

    Marksman’s Pennant => Great title, rule a bit insufficient to reflect that title.

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  • Omarcomin wrote:

    One thing I think would be cool is some thing like:

    Noble Sacrifice
    - prohibitively expensive
    - general only

    When defeated in a duel with an enemy model, noble sacrifice is triggered. With its final breath this model lands a crushing blow. S8 mwd3 +1
    While I like this, make it a 2+ to go off so theres still a chance the wounded general just bounces off his opponent.

    2+ to go off, S5 MWd3
    a roll of 6 is S8 MWd3+1
    I am going to offend you. You are not going to like it. You will survive.

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  • DanT wrote:

    (Caveat: this is not a "project sanctioned" thread, nor should any promise or expectation be inferred by the existence of such a thread. This is just me engaging with a specific comment that has been mentioned to me in order to further my own understanding of the needs of the wider player base).

    Hi all

    I've had it mentioned to me a few times that some people would like to see "niche" or "wacky" magic items.

    The things I would like to understand here are
    (A) Are you prepared to sacrifice more generally useful items? Even the ones you like?
    (B) What wacky and niche mean in general, in a way that I can feedback internally to inform future designs (i.e. not concrete examples, but a rough working definition that can be used)
    (C1) Specific examples of items that exist in the 2.0 game that satisfy these criteria (if any)
    (C2) Comments on how well the EoS items satisfy these (EoS because I was most involved with these, so have much better context and knowledge of the design process in order to understand and work out how best to use and apply the feedback I am given)

    N.b. If you don't want such items, particularly given (A), please also say so.

    Thanks
    Dan
    These type of items are 100% what the current game is lacking for me. Items which modify characteristics in a simple +1 manner are dull dull dull.

    A) I would give up all the dull functional items for some characterful choices.

    B) "Wacky" or "Niche" are not necessarily the adjectives I would choose but I know what you're getting at. For me the best/most interesting magic items conform to most of the following rules:

    1. Intrinsically linked to the race/army using it.
    2. Cinematic: you can visualise what is happening when the item is used. Basic example would be a flaming sword or a sword that behaves like a serpent, writhing around it's opponents blade. For contrast, how do you visualise +1 armour? Or +1 strength?
    3. Require tactics to get the best out of. So situational items are good because the force you to manouvere into the situation where you can get the best out of it (But only up to a point: if the required situation only comes up once every dozen battles no-one will take the item).
    4. In order to mitigate the above, have items that have more than one application (but thematically linked), so that they can sometimes be used in unexpected ways. For example a ring containing a bound spell that curses it's target to turn to stone, causing it to lose 2 Advance per turn, but gain +1Resilience. Allow it to be cast on either friend or foe. It might curse the enemies cavalry, but an evil wizard might also see it as worth the cost to curse his own troops in order that they tarpit the enemy for an extra turn due to their increased resilience.
    5. As mentioned above, items which allow you to do things that cannot otherwise be achieved are perfect. So as not to "break" the game rules though, these items should generally be one use only or only able to be used in certain situations.

    C) From Dwarven Holds (my army), items that I consider to meet enough of the criteria above are:
    1. Rune of Lightning: fluffy, cinematic, situational
    2. Rune of Returning: fluffy, cinematic, tactical, situational, "breaks" rules
    3. Rune of Storms: fluffy, cinematic, tactical, situational, breaks rules
    4. Runic Standard of Dismay: fluffy, tactical, situational, breaks rules... slightly fails on the cinematic angle though as it's hard to imagine what's actually happening.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Odin Morgrimmsson ().

  • First off, I love OTT and funny items a lot in this game. Especially if there are so many that you'll have to play a few times to see them all.
    I do think, however, that those items have no place in the 'normal'/'competitive' game.
    I would love to see a compendium of additional rules (including these funny items) for day-long battles with interesting and funny stuff.
    (if anyone remembers Storm of Magic, stuff like that)

    (A) Are you prepared to sacrifice more generally useful items? Even the ones you like?

    No, I am prepared to sacrifice all the useless items for usefull items.

    On a sidenote, there is no issue having items that sound OTT.
    Just make sure their effect fits the army strenght an cost enough points.
    (example: a GW enchant that gives a Chaos Lord set 10 atks S10 AP10 would be completely fine if it ment the lord couldn't get an Aegis safe)

    (B) What wacky and niche mean in general, in a way that I can feedback internally to inform future designs (i.e. not concrete examples, but a rough working definition that can be used)

    Wacky and funny can be accomplished in very different ways:
    - weird names
    - a unique effect
    - interaction with something you don't usually interract
    - numbers that go through the roof
    - a random effect that in itself can be game changing

    (C1) Specific examples of items that exist in the 2.0 game that satisfy these criteria (if any)

    - There used to be an item that let you reshuffle the Flux Card deck and draw again. This was an item with a very unique effect.
    - Omen of the Apocalypse (OnG) is a strong, but random effect.
    - Locket of Sunna (EoS), very unique and very niche.
    - Sacred Hourglass (UD) is very unique and sound incredibly powerfull, it is fun to play with.
    - Rune of Mining (DH) is unique for the army.
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  • IHDarklord wrote:

    First off, I love OTT and funny items a lot in this game. Especially if there are so many that you'll have to play a few times to see them all.
    I do think, however, that those items have no place in the 'normal'/'competitive' game.
    I would love to see a compendium of additional rules (including these funny items) for day-long battles with interesting and funny stuff.
    (if anyone remembers Storm of Magic, stuff like that)

    (A) Are you prepared to sacrifice more generally useful items? Even the ones you like?

    No, I am prepared to sacrifice all the useless items for usefull items.

    On a sidenote, there is no issue having items that sound OTT.
    Just make sure their effect fits the army strenght an cost enough points.
    (example: a GW enchant that gives a Chaos Lord set 10 atks S10 AP10 would be completely fine if it ment the lord couldn't get an Aegis safe)

    (B) What wacky and niche mean in general, in a way that I can feedback internally to inform future designs (i.e. not concrete examples, but a rough working definition that can be used)

    Wacky and funny can be accomplished in very different ways:
    - weird names
    - a unique effect
    - interaction with something you don't usually interract
    - numbers that go through the roof
    - a random effect that in itself can be game changing

    (C1) Specific examples of items that exist in the 2.0 game that satisfy these criteria (if any)

    - There used to be an item that let you reshuffle the Flux Card deck and draw again. This was an item with a very unique effect.
    - Omen of the Apocalypse (OnG) is a strong, but random effect.
    - Locket of Sunna (EoS), very unique and very niche.
    - Sacred Hourglass (UD) is very unique and sound incredibly powerfull, it is fun to play with.
    - Rune of Mining (DH) is unique for the army.
    See, heere we go again with another team member who doesn't read a word of what any of hte fluff players actually write. Yes, of course, our position can be entirely reduced to "You just want lolrandom and overpowered stuff".

    No.

    The interesting stuff does not have to be powerful. It's your lot that cares about the endless point efficiencies and tournament performance. We just want something that does something unusual.

    No.

    It doesn't have to be random to be fun. We can do this entirely without tables or rolling a single die.


    And who the hell said that your stuff gets to be featured front and center in the main rulebook, while those of us who actually care about fluff and background have to be relegated to the cheap seats of an auxillary book that will be soundly ignored and not remotely get full support? Who gets to decide which are the allowed viable playstyles, and who can go beg for scraps at the backdoor?
  • I wouldn't be willing to sacrifice more universal RB and AB enchantments for more situational/niche/wacky ones. But I would like to see a Supplement dedicated to such items covering all 16 armies with additional backstory about some of them and accompanying artwork. Or in other words interweave such items into the corpus of the setting.

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  • Giladis wrote:

    I wouldn't be willing to sacrifice more universal RB and AB enchantments for more situational/niche/wacky ones. But I would like to see a Supplement dedicated to such items covering all 16 armies with additional backstory about some of them and accompanying artwork. Or in other words interweave such items into the corpus of the setting.
    Been thinking about this all along!
    Make a proper supplement to plug on top of the vanilla game. Win-win situation for every one.
  • Pellegrim wrote:

    @Eldan Though your point is valid, maybe you can think about the tone. This is bound to die out if talk like this. And imo thats a lose-lose.
    Maybe I'm tired of being talked of this way by people who don't even seem to read anything of what we write.

    And again. Why can't the fun stuff be in the main book? Why can't we have a supplement called "The Armory" where we put in all the dull stuff that gives +1 to armor and +3 armor penetration and +1 toughness and make the main books actually interesting?

    Why, if we want to have interesting units, do we need a Storm of Chaos-like auxillary book? Why not make a "Book of the Efficient General", which has a streamlined tournament friendly version of the books, without all the background and artwork and stuff the tournament crowd doesn't care about anyway?

    The post was edited 2 times, last by Eldan ().