Factors that influence the future of the 9th Age

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is here! You can read all about it in the news.

    Our beta phase is finally over. Download The Ninth Age: Fantasy Battles, 2nd Edition now!

    • Squirrelloid wrote:

      And I'm a big proponent of player ownership of their army's fluff, which includes creating your own characters and stories.
      Like this?

      The Battle of Hothgart's Farm

      At first I thought the same way as some here, wanting the background team to tell me who runs my army and why they care and what they should be doing. Then I came to the realization that I can do that myself and guess what, it's rather enjoyable. The funny thing is, I read @Baranovichs comments and if I didn't know him well, I would say that he is a power gamer tournament guy. But that is the opposite of who he is. He's a narrative player that wants immersive content and doesn't really care about power gaming. I don't think he's ever been to a tournament. Yet, he wants balance because good balance leads to varied lists which leads to the power to create whatever theme you want.

      I agree that characters can help to build a world for sure. But I don't expect to see them in competitive list-building. But in auxiliary materials could be possible. But I'm not in charge of that directly and that's just my personal opinion.
    • In a distant past somewhere between the Sixth and the Seventh Ages, Beast Herds had Morghur.

      When you took Morghur, your whole army list was completely different, as he was creating Chaos Spawns Wretched Beasts everywhere on the table at every turn.

      We could have some special characters that bring their own army list, as a theme for new Auxiliary Armies.
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Here's my opinion:

      The thing about characters with a pre-set kit is that you can build them "suboptimally" and then price them correctly anyway.

      You can give them stuff that would be broken if combo'd with X and it's fine because they don't have X, so we don't need to grossly overprice it because of that combo, or stick on clunky horrible restrictions.

      They are a great place to stick "build-arounds", those upgrade options that are only good if you build your list around it, because they're not supposed to see that much play - just occasional play.


      e.g. I did a quick design for "High Inquisitor Kribbit" (not an official character, but one I invented as an example) who was basically a Cuatl with Thaumaturgy and some special rules, but no enchantments. He obviously offers something (new Path!), but you'd still want to stick to the regular Cuatl most of the time.



      That's the neat them about them as a design tool.


      As a vector for flavour, making something a unit entry makes people more aware that they exist. If it's not in the army book, for most people it might as well not be in the setting.

      And we NEED to ram the T9A background into people's brains, because that's where passion is going to come from it. Having your own fluff for your own army is nice, but we need a shared background so that people can TALK about the background characters and how they did this hilarious things and create a shared commonality of experience between players who have met for the first time.

      Being able to talk about Lord Kroak, or Magnus, or whatever, lets people bond over WHFB and WH40K. T9A needs that for longevity - and if it's not in the rules, it's not in the game, it's not going to be visible.

      (This is one of the reasons I dislike the "Short Army Books". Letting people opt out of ever even *browsing past* the fluff makes it easy for them to ignore it, which means that even if they'd like it if they actually read it, they won't.)

      Background Team

    • Indeed, I didn't mean to give the impression that I'm against named characters in tabletop games. Quite the opposite.

      But what I really mean was that they have to be there for the right reasons. In making fluffy/immersive lists, named characters often times aren't about how they synergize or how they're kitted out. They're there because generals occasionally do appear on the battlefield, good or bad! Not all generals in war are good commanders! Not all generals are perfectly kitted or perfectly suited to a situation. Sometimes it's exactly the opposite. As in, yeah we have a general with us but he's the worst possible general we have in our army and him being here might actually hurt more than he helps us!

      I remember a friend I had a while back who I tried to get together for an immersive game. I told him to just make a generic, fluffy list as if it was a military column that had arrived at the battle before the rest of the army.

      My friend simply couldn't do it. Even when trying to make a fluffy list, he found himself gravitating towards what works competitively. He wasn't doing it intentionally! He genuinely couldn't shake off the optimal choices mindset. I told him to literally just pick some Core, a character for his general and not to think about it! I think he finally got it and we had a pretty cool immersive game. But it showed how difficult it can be for someone with a competitive mindset to make a list based on the reality of a world vs. being able to set every piece perfectly.

      That's really where named characters or even more importantly perhaps, generic characters can shine in a fantasy battle game.

      In an immersive game, you're taking a character because it's what an army would have with them at that time.

      Think about it this way. In a single, narrative battle, or in a larger campaign - that general that you bring along with the army might not be THE general. He could be one of the brigadier generals commanding just a PIECE of that army that happens to be on the tabletop. He could be like what a colonel or major would be in historical gaming, or more likely as I said a brigadier general. Kind of like thinking of a dwarf army in several corps. Each corps might have a general commanding that corps, and then the primary general commands all of the corps. Again, very much like a real-world military situation.

      Again, it's not about the named character necessarily bringing some specific synergy or bonus so that you win on THAT tabletop. He's there more to represent the idea that SOMEBODY would be in command at that particular time, even if it's not the supreme general. It's looking at a tabletop battle as one piece or a larger military situation that might be happening.

      For example, it's day One of a battle. And the dwarves only have a third of their army up in time to engage the enemy. The rest of the army is still a day's march away. Meanwhile the orcs have managed to arrive on the spot with everything they've got. So on that first day of crisis that outnumbered piece of the dwarf army is commanded by one of the subordinate corps commanders.

      That's the trouble with a one-time, isolated, static tabletop battle. When you make lists for a battle like that (as the vast majority of battles are played), named characters and even generic characters struggle to find an identity and meaning from an immersive perspective.

      When I write my immersive battle reports, I give life to the generic character models that I have in my army, by giving them my own names and inserting my own personality quirks and dynamics. If I happen to lose the battle, then I write my narrative story as if the general himself were to blame because of his own stupidity, rashness, impatience, or some other negative personality trait.

      It's also a clever way to say that my tiny scale general actually lost the battle, not ME! That of course is just tongue and cheek, but you get my meaning. :thumbup:
      There are many magic rings in the world Bilbo Baggins, and none of them should be used lightly!
    • Personally, if 9th Age does end up incorporating named characters into the game, I think it would be a wonderful idea to bring back some of the fun and randomness to the game. At least as an alternate rule for immersive games if tournaments don't want to use them.

      Having something like a "personality table", where you roll a dice to see what particular kind of personality your general has. This could be used for named characters or generic characters.

      For example, you might kit out your general in an optimal way. But then you have the misfortune of rolling on the table, "impulsive" or "clumsy", or "impetuous". So your general might have a personality that isn't necessarily the best for being in a leadership role of commanding hundreds of soldiers.

      Personality instability is something often reserved for the more savage factions like Orcs or for certain kinds of monsters like Trolls, etc. But I don't think it should be limited to only the savage races. Human personality can be every bit as quirky and unstable, sometimes downright disastrous in military situations.

      Look at some of the absolute narcissistic, obsessive/compulsive, sociopathic loons we've had in charge of actual armies throughout history! General's wacky personalities have cost them victories and have cost them entire wars.
      There are many magic rings in the world Bilbo Baggins, and none of them should be used lightly!
    • FlyingScanian wrote:

      I can't help but think that the solution is quite simple.

      Make some official fluff characters (as soon as each faction gets some fluffing fluff in a FAB). Even stat them up. Do this using existing character and equipment options, to the point. No extra special rules. No special super-unique weapons. "Just" a template that you can use as that character, or as your own character in a similar position.

      (Then again, I main EoS, who have two quasi-characters in the Imperial Prince and, to some degree, the Tactical Genius).
      This. So much this. It allows those who want to roll with a character that they like from the official fluff to do so without disrupting the game for anyone else.
      Sunna is not with the big battalions, but with the ones whose parts move with the best coordination.
    • Konrad von Richtmark wrote:

      FlyingScanian wrote:

      I can't help but think that the solution is quite simple.

      Make some official fluff characters (as soon as each faction gets some fluffing fluff in a FAB). Even stat them up. Do this using existing character and equipment options, to the point. No extra special rules. No special super-unique weapons. "Just" a template that you can use as that character, or as your own character in a similar position.

      (Then again, I main EoS, who have two quasi-characters in the Imperial Prince and, to some degree, the Tactical Genius).
      This. So much this. It allows those who want to roll with a character that they like from the official fluff to do so without disrupting the game for anyone else.
      I actually suggested that exact idea a while back, and one response to it actually changed my mind: that build will always be seen as that particular character regardless of the fluff you come up with for yours. For example, if i built my own character that was identical in rules to [insert a famous character from WHF], everyone that would see my list, or battle report, or play against me would really just see my character as that other official one, teclis, archaon, etc etc. I mean I feel like I would even do that; “what’s his character’s name?” “It’s Hadford the conqueror I think, but basically it’s just Archaon”
    • Marcos24 wrote:

      Konrad von Richtmark wrote:

      FlyingScanian wrote:

      I can't help but think that the solution is quite simple.

      Make some official fluff characters (as soon as each faction gets some fluffing fluff in a FAB). Even stat them up. Do this using existing character and equipment options, to the point. No extra special rules. No special super-unique weapons. "Just" a template that you can use as that character, or as your own character in a similar position.

      (Then again, I main EoS, who have two quasi-characters in the Imperial Prince and, to some degree, the Tactical Genius).
      This. So much this. It allows those who want to roll with a character that they like from the official fluff to do so without disrupting the game for anyone else.
      I actually suggested that exact idea a while back, and one response to it actually changed my mind: that build will always be seen as that particular character regardless of the fluff you come up with for yours. For example, if i built my own character that was identical in rules to [insert a famous character from WHF], everyone that would see my list, or battle report, or play against me would really just see my character as that other official one, teclis, archaon, etc etc. I mean I feel like I would even do that; “what’s his character’s name?” “It’s Hadford the conqueror I think, but basically it’s just Archaon”
      And that exactly can be the beauty of it. When an optimal build for a character becomes too dominant, remove it as a special character and roll out new content.
    • dragonravioli wrote:

      Marcos24 wrote:

      Konrad von Richtmark wrote:

      FlyingScanian wrote:

      I can't help but think that the solution is quite simple.

      Make some official fluff characters (as soon as each faction gets some fluffing fluff in a FAB). Even stat them up. Do this using existing character and equipment options, to the point. No extra special rules. No special super-unique weapons. "Just" a template that you can use as that character, or as your own character in a similar position.

      (Then again, I main EoS, who have two quasi-characters in the Imperial Prince and, to some degree, the Tactical Genius).
      This. So much this. It allows those who want to roll with a character that they like from the official fluff to do so without disrupting the game for anyone else.
      I actually suggested that exact idea a while back, and one response to it actually changed my mind: that build will always be seen as that particular character regardless of the fluff you come up with for yours. For example, if i built my own character that was identical in rules to [insert a famous character from WHF], everyone that would see my list, or battle report, or play against me would really just see my character as that other official one, teclis, archaon, etc etc. I mean I feel like I would even do that; “what’s his character’s name?” “It’s Hadford the conqueror I think, but basically it’s just Archaon”
      And that exactly can be the beauty of it. When an optimal build for a character becomes too dominant, remove it as a special character and roll out new content.
      Well that's kind of the catch. In my mind, you don't want a named character to become too dominant in the first place. Design the character so that even an optimal build isn't overpowered. Or simply provide less choices for the character so he can't be kitted out insanely.

      Maybe I'm being too idealistic. But I'm 110% against a named character being used as a competitive football that gets tossed back and forth to dominate and win competitive games.

      I think what happens is that when a named character becomes too dominant, the character actually becomes a liability for the game because players get sick of seeing it on the tabletop, as opposed to it being something that should add to the game not detract from it.
      There are many magic rings in the world Bilbo Baggins, and none of them should be used lightly!

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

    • As far as I know, there will be add-ons (= NOT part of the base game) in the far future which you can use freely outside of the tournament area.

      Special characters could be made as such an add-on; with their own special rules, weapons ect.

      I think this would be the best solution: those who want to create their own story can do that with the base game.

      However, if you want more fluff and want to play some epic games, you can use these add-ons.

      Of course you can always do that with homemade rules, but if you want to communicate outside of your own playerbase, you need some kind of common ground.
      Furion about our SeaGuard (V.0.202.0): "I don't expect much of them, and indeed not much have they delivered"
    • ninepaces wrote:

      The worst thing you can do with a named character is making it strong enough to make the vanilla version of it obsolete. From a game design point of view you get a redundant unit option. From a fluff/fun point of view you get penalized for bringing your own customized avatar. No one wins.
      IMO a Named character is redundant if is has a vanilla version (aka it's possible to build a standard character with roughly the same role).

      Tyrion, Grimgor Ironhide, basically all the 8th edition VC characters.... all was junk for this very reason

      Snagla Grobspit (Ambush and Devastating charge to Spider Riders), Orion, Khalida are way better examples of Special characters, because they:

      a) Wasn't just an upgraded vanilla character
      b) Added tactical options and tweaks to playstyle
      c) They had actual weaknesses. Orion couldn't join units and had no armour. Khalida (despite having a Tomb King profile) was really not suited for melee and so on
    • The best use of named characters is SYNERGY.

      They need to unlock something greater in the army - but they shouldn't be 'obviously' better, 40k does that and its stupid for all the reasons cited above.

      Head of Lectors

      Advisory Board

      Quick Starter Team

      "...take a step back and remember that we are playing a game where we roll dice and move little people around the board."

      - Grouchy Badger

    • Eldan wrote:

      Combining Hobbits and Skaven would be... interesting.

      So, they used to be a natural race, living a race of quiet agriculture, with only a small class of landed gentry to rule over them. But then the other races pulled them inot their wars, because they make good pawns. And then an evil wizard came, set himself up as their sole ruler and industrialized them with evil technology.

      Like the hobbits, they got rid of the wizard. Unlike the hobbits, they liked the technology and kept it, becoming the first fully industrial republic of free and equal ratmen.
      I'd just like to say that I feel like this kind of response demonstrates that the issues raised in the OP are a great opportunity as well as a significant challenge for the project.

      Just the few imaginative lines above give me a whole new way to think about rat people in a more interesting way than the old framework GW had given me.

      In some ways like this less can be more in fluff, both because I'm more likley to actually read a few lines, and it gives me more space to imagine.

      This is one reason why I'm a big fan of the idea of short fluff in the slim books.

      Data Analysis

    • Hachiman Taro wrote:

      In some ways like this less can be more in fluff, both because I'm more likley to actually read a few lines, and it gives me more space to imagine.

      This is one reason why I'm a big fan of the idea of short fluff in the slim books.
      Totally. Too much fluff and I feel dictated to by someone else's vision of what the army should be. No fluff at all and I'm left wondering what on earth this particular army is all about.

      Short generalised fluff for each army and unit in order to give a framework to the player with which they can be creative is the best solution.