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The Priest (Priestess) - Opinion, Play-test, Review

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The Priest (Priestess) - Opinion, Play-test, Review

Postby Azure » Sunday February 21st, 2021 9:00pm

Hello again fellow adventurers, relic seekers, clever rogues, courageous warriors and wise wizards. This is Azure, coming back to post something about a hero class that I’ve been playing for about 4 weeks now. After the death of my Wizard (which dates back to December and resulted from a stressful chase down the dark narrow halls) I decided to experiment and to play as the Priest (actually a Priestess, see the image in attachment).

This is quite new, as I have rarely been playing any other class than Wizard since the last 20 quests. The Priestess is shown on the following website (http://www.fclarke.com/2014/11/heroques ... cards.html) and was apparently created by J.D. Frazer. All credits go to this homebrew content creator.

Just 4 weeks of play-testing this Priestess was a sufficient amount of time to come to the conclusion that she needed some tweaks. Combat-wise she is pretty fine and is capable of being geared up pretty much in the same fashion as any Paladin or Cleric. The DM and myself see her combat capabilities as average, which is not bad. She also apparently defends with 2 more combat dice against any Undead – which is super good.

In the prayers/spell casting department though, something is truly defunct and needs a clear revision. Let’s examine together and find solutions. The Priestess relies on pure luck when it comes to prayers and their success rate, whereas the Wizard has very reliable magical abilities and has a very high success rate overall – his spellbook includes spells with guaranteed efficiency or a 1 out of 6 chance of failure.

It is said on her hero card that she needs to roll 2d6 and hit a specific score to succeed with casting a prayer, which of course, must be selected and mentioned out loud before rolling the dice. Here is the exact statement:
‘’Rolling two red dice, your prayer is granted if the roll is not more than the number needed’’

This unique statement messes everything up. This means, both of her most powerful spells have almost 85%-95 % chance of never triggering because they require either a perfect 10, or a perfect 12. Each of these numbers represent a 1 out of 11 chances to succeed - - which actually becomes pretty pointless and extremely ‘’dicey’’ for combat situations. It is even worse if all the prayers require the perfect number to trigger. And NO, it’s not a roll-under statement; for the unique reason that if it were - - you would most likely be able to cast Smite the Unholy or Wrath of the Divine at all times.

This rule becomes an incentive to avoid any attempts to cast Smite the Unholy or Wrath of The Divine, as the prayer may not trigger most of the time, along with wasting your action and breaking the hopes of your allies. You would be better off fighting a Chaos Warrior in melee combat (even if it takes 5 turns) rather than relying solely on Wrath of the Divine.

In order to fix this, the DM and myself agreed to slightly modify the way it works for her prayer-casting. The player would roll 2d6 and try obtaining a number equal or superior to the number required for the prayer. This actually makes sense and is fairer, more reliable and also becomes an incentive to actually try something in combat. Another thing you can do if you feel crafty, is to provide special pieces of equipment to the Priestess (or any Cleric hero), in order to make the hero benefit from additional chances to trigger a prayer. We agreed on a magical blessed flail/morning star that grants a + 3 bonus to rolls when praying.

:blueorb: Prayers and percentages :blueorb:
With this calculation in mind here are the chances to proc the spells, (Without, then With the item)
Benediction: 81 % // with magic item 100 % needs 4 and above --- guaranteed cast
Protection: 63 % // with magic item 90 % needs 6 and above --- needs 3+
Healing: 45 % // with magic item 72 % needs 8 and above --- needs 5 +
Smite: 27 % // with magic item 54 % needs 10 and above --- needs 7 +
Wrath: 9 % // with magic item 36 % needs 12 --- needs 9 +

As a player, I also figured out that Benediction is a bit too easy to trigger, as it gives a bonus action to the targeted hero and can the prayer becomes a guaranteed spell – kind of. That can potentially mean a strong attack of 6 to 10 combat dice altogether. I would personally swap it with Protection as the first spell on the list. I would also change the power of her Healing prayer to 1d4 instead of 1d6.

:blueorb: Final words :blueorb:
I think the Priestess has 5 spell slots...maybe that needs to be verified. You can actually re-cast any spell, the downfall being the randomness and uncertain success rate. We believe that the Priestess is a very exciting character to play, provided that her skills and abilities become adjusted to a fairer gameplay which would involve a chance to test out every single one of her abilities but also a fair amount of risk VS reward. It is also up to you to adjust her Body Points and Mind Points to either 4/6, or 5/5 as both possibilities seem fair enough. 4/6 being more of a caster, 5/5 being more suitable for somebody who performs some minimal melee combat with good protections.

You can also try out an adaptation of the Priestess that I created some months ago in one of my posts - - this version of mine relies solely on her spellbook rather than dice rolls // if you feel like removing the random factor and replacing it with resource management. You could also change the effect of Protection to either 1 bonus Defense Die during 2 turns, or 2 bonus Defense Dice during 1 turn ; up to you.

Enjoy !!
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Re: The Priest (Priestess) - Opinion, Play-test, Review

Postby Kurgan » Tuesday March 2nd, 2021 4:27pm

Its a tough one to quantify, because I guess the percentage thing is based on the idea of a Deity having the freedom in whether to answer the prayer made by the priest character. But I'd personally rather take it as the "miracles" would function just like magic spells for gameplay purposes. Limitations on use (for game balance) would be based on time, number of turns or simply a hard number within the quest (including how quickly they could regain them if given). You could see this as the Deity granting certain skills or abilities to the priest, rather than every instance as a direct invocation of the Deity based on an unseen will or mysterious plan (and then just dumbing it down to a die roll so it's fate like everything else). Then again, "fate" can always be influenced by using dice that favor certain results, but still... a design philosophy question presents itself.

Without assuming any particular in-game theology here, one might imagine the Deity as gracious, capricious or meritorious. Perhaps the Deity always grants requests. Or perhaps a price must be paid, it's completely random, or they must be "earned" (or could be "lost" through demerit). This may over-complicate things so care must be taken here. I would tend to go with the "gracious" viewpoint, but still impose limits (the character is the Priest, not the Deity, after all!). If this Deity is meant to be all-powerful, that doesn't mean game balance is destroyed, because there could still be allowance for free will (failure of tactic on the part of the Priest character, resistance on the part of enemies, some greater unseen plan, etc). Perhaps the player is gifted certain abilities that always work, as if they were natural skills, even if they are limited in their frequency or number.

Anything that buffs a Hero with extra dice would work the way it normally would with "magic." In a sense all you're doing is giving a different coat of paint on another type of class.

Whether you call them skills, spells, miracles, prayers, etc. they have immediate effects, regardless. It's a neat idea for a character, but I pretty much consider my Cleric to be that, just a different name (I split my two "pious" character abilities between the Cleric and the Paladin, rather than putting them all together in one). One ability works instantly and is guaranteed (on others and is limited in number of use) another is "luck" based (and works only on you).

It's a different character, but for example my Cleric can heal up to 8 body points of any allies s/he can see. This can also be used to heal the Cleric, but only AFTER others have been healed. If the Cleric uses it to save him/herself from death, it only restores 1 BP. The power is intended for the greater good (helping others over self). Whereas the self healing ability is based on die roll, and rather limited. The Cleric also finds weaponry to be more expensive, not because they can't use it, but so they don't rely on being the combat monster of the group. Of course other Heroes could always purchase the gear for them, but that too goes along with the kind of character direction I was going for. Cool stuff. Tweak to your liking!


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Re: The Priest (Priestess) - Opinion, Play-test, Review

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Wednesday March 3rd, 2021 10:43am

I have been considering some changes to the basic principles of Magic in HeroQuest (not a priority as none of my players seem to ever want to play the Wizard or the Elf) and I was wondering whether these half-baked ideas may help with your Priest(ess) ideas.

Decrease the limit on the number of spells available to starting spell casters maybe 3-6
Give them the ability to learn (at a cost) additional spells between quests
Give each spell a difficulty rating 2-6 reflecting the 'power' of spell
Casting a spell would involve rolling against this difficulty, success and spell is cast failure and it isn't, potentially suffering a Body point hit for failing to control the power summoned
This would mean that spells do not have to be one-off

In terms of priest/priestess/cleric/clericess(?) between Quests you could let them have a visit to a temple, make a (compulsory) donation - with extra gold coins giving a bonus to the roll) in exchange a roll on a temple table ... results could be a free holy water vial, a temporary blessing allowing you to reroll a single dice roll in the next quest, enchanting a weapon that you hold, being given a special quest (re-consecrate a temple), or just a standard "Your deity appreciates your donation" message i.e. you get nothing, perhaps that one would be a '7' on a 2D6 roll
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Re: The Priest (Priestess) - Opinion, Play-test, Review

Postby Kurgan » Wednesday March 3rd, 2021 10:53am

Just though of another possibility. This might contribute to a "meritorious" interpretation, it might over complicate things, or it might encourage teamwork and make things more interesting.

What if to recover or recharge one of the Priests's skills, it requires the other players to contribute? Let's say they have to give a small donation of gold each to make it happen (whether that gets returned or not between quests is up to the players, might cause conflicts), or perhaps each player has to do a mind point based roll and all of these contributes to the success of the Priest? If the other players believe in their comrade, this allows them to continue to be strong and in turn help them. Now if the Priest is solo or the last one alive this wouldn't work of course. So there's my own half baked contribution to the cause. I have towed with the idea of a merc specifically for the pious characters that would be able to recharge (on a time or turn based case) certain of their skills (to prevent the merc from being fodder after restoring their ability). Maybe the regular heroes could serve this purpose.

Maybe the donated gold goes to the Temple/Chapel between quests? Normally gold serves no function during a quest, so this could be an interesting usage if it doesn't result in player conflicts. The idea of a Priest blessing a weapon to make it more effective (or more effective against certain monsters) would be cool too, but some kind of limit would be required. Maybe it costs a donation of gold or holy water to make it happen? Maybe it has to be re-blessed each new quest? I like the idea of using the German colored dice here. Could be used on armor as well possibly. The "re-roll opportunity" option sounds interesting too.

I also thought of the many ideas others have presented about alchemists "gathering" materials to use for other things. While I didn't want to go into that depth, I did make it so that Holy water has a new function besides killing undead, it can also be used to restore a lost mind point to a hero. Now its a rare thing, so I tossed in two extra HW cards to the Treasure deck (and the Paladin character generates them every quest himself... 1 at base level, 2 at champion level and 4 at knight level... these levels after having completed a number of quests... 3-5 for champ, 10-14 for knight). Perhaps the Priest can have special uses for found objects that the others might not have.

Maybe the Priest can recharge at the Sorcerer's table or even just the regular table (turning it into a temporary altar?). Maybe the alchemist's bench has water that becomes holy water? Or maybe the fireplace can become a source of "sacred fire"? A simple search for treasure by that character could activate this ability (once per quest each). I already implement a similar system for the Wizard/Alchemist and Elf/Apothecary for the Alchemist bench (random potion) and Sorcerer's Table (recharge used spell OR draw random spell scroll/alchemist item). Making the furniture more interactive (at least for the first search by certain characters) can also add something, but of course it all depends upon when you run across those things.


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