Well, yesterday's opus wasn't quite the mammoth length of Sunday's entry. But the difference between 7k and that nearly 10k didn't do me much good. Still taking way too long to do this. But, fortunately – for you, dear reader, and for me and my poor fingers – I'll have to be quick today. I have to be out the door soon so no time to dither around, we're going to have to get right into it and get moving away.
That's doubly fortunate because I'm feeling pretty good about the Rock Star characters today. I still have problems with the weaker ones remaining from yesterday. But no great inspiration has struck about what to do with #2 The Glammer and #4 the Grunger. It'll come, I just need to let them stew a little more. And, if not, then we'll have to get extreme and think about maybe blending the bad into one good. Everyone else, though, I think is looking fine.
So, today, we're just going to quickly run through and firm up their bars. Get to some concrete, specific values that I can use for further crunching. We'll build up a spreadsheet, start plugging those value in, start figuring out who's hitting who for what and all the other simple little mathematical games that can help point me towards any problems. That's probably going to take place off-stage as it were, since I don't know how to display such a big page and I'm too much of a Luddite to figure out something like GoogleDocs. I'm sure you're heartbroken.
Also, I'm going to go ahead and start adding in health and resistance right now. I've had it in the back of my head for a while but just haven't bothered yet. They're largely just guesses at this point – most of these characters are feeling like they're going to be somewhere around the average. And where, exactly, depends a lot on how their bars wind up.
You'll note that I've switched up the format for skills a bit below. They're now in what I like to think of as my condensed notation, devoid of any flavor text or extraneous bits of information. Just straight data that can pump directly into the eye-vein and head straight to the brain. I've used these for so long now that I can read over them in an instant. Others might have a bit of difficulty, although I think they're fairly self-explanatory, if you look at my expanded skill notation and compare. But if you're confused by anything, just let me know.
ROCKER 1. BOPPER
Name: Alvis Priestly, the Sultan of the Sock Hop
Innate: Heals for 15 on critical hit.
- Sock Hop. 30En, 3spd, 26(P). 95h, 100p. High crit (25crit). Close.
- Bop Around the Clock. 70En, 4spd, 22(P). 90h, 100p. Hits all. Close.
- Flashback. 40En, 7spd, 25(L). 95h, 100p. Heals for 15 after next turn. Far.
- Do-Wop Ditty. 50En, 5spd, L. 100h, 100p. +25crit for all for next 4. Both.
#3 really needs a better name. Still, the Bopper continues to lead the way with a strong showing. He might not be the best card but he's a solid one that does some interesting stuff. He continues to be a keeper.
ROCKER 2. GLAMMER
Name: Neil Thurston, the Celestial Showman
Innate: Gains 10 maximum energy for each buff in play.
- Lunar Strike. 35En, 4spd, 24(D). 95h, 100p. Steals 30en if target is stunned. Close.
- Starduster. 65En, 6spd, 52(L). 100h, 50p. Chance to proc Stardust Memories for the next 6 turns. (Stardust Memories: For 6 turns, the next time you would be debuffed you are instead healed for 10.). Close.
- Haunting Melody. 35En, 3spd, 12(D). 100h, 100p. Stuns at end of next turn. If already stunned, hits for 12(L). Far.
- Power Ballad. 50En, 5spd, L. 100h, 100p. +5en regen for all for next 6. Both.
And the Glammer is quite the contrast. Still not liking this guy. Still not quite sure what the problem is. I suspect it's #2. Starduster just doesn't feel right. Somehow. We'll think about it. Even making his innate as powerful as I could think of and extending it to pump up his energy pool from any and all buffs that are in play – and not just on him – hasn't helped. Changed his name – again – and I think we're getting closer. I'm going for a kind of foppish, upper-classy British feel there, by the way.
ROCKER 3. SCHLOCKER
Name: Wotan One-Eye, the Swedish Murder Machine / The Dark Knight of Rock
Innate: +30crit when foe is Bleeding.
- Wicked Axe. 30En, 4spd, 25(D). 95h, 75p. Bleeds 6for3 (18 DOT). Close.
- Spiked Armor. 20En, 3spd, P. 100h, 100p. For the next 3 turns, you have +2 resistance. The next time you are hit by a physical attack your opponent Bleeds 2for5 (10 DOT) and Spiked Armor ends. Both.
- Guillotine Guitar Strings. 35En, 6spd, 15(D). 100h, 100p. Bleeds 3for3 (9 DOT) at end of next 3 turns (27 DOT total). Far.
- Heavy Metal. 40En, 5spd, D. 100h, 100p. +15crit for all for next 3. Bleed 6for3 (18DOT) on crit. Both.
Again, a solid card that's finding its level. Maybe not quite there but close. Real close. This guy would be a lot of fun to play, I think, and that counts for a lot. Anyhow, switched his name back to Wotan from Votan. Still having trouble finding a good title for him. All I know is that he wants something really over the top.
ROCKER 4. GRUNGER
Name: Curtis Edwards, the Voice of A Generation
Innate: When hit by an attack, that attack's speed is lowered by 1 and all of Grunger's speeds are raised by 1 for the next 5 turns.
Bar (v2.1): Changed #1 to Close. Changed #3 to Far.
- Downbeat. 40En, 6spd, 24(D). 95h, 60p. Drains 15en. Close.
- Depressing Lyrics. 50En, 2spd, 40(P). 95h, 90p. Chance for Ruptured Eardrums for next 3. (Ruptured Eardrums: -10energy at end of turn.). Far.
- Angst. 30En, 3spd, P. 100h, 100p. -15hit for next 4 turns. If Ruptured Eardrums, 1dmg per 1en lost. 25Dmg if reach 0en and Ruptured Eardrums ends. Far.
- Team Spirit. 50En, 5spd, D. 100h, 100p. +3 resist and +25Dodge for all for next 4 turns.
Nope. Still not good. We added in a new innate, dropping the dodging idea entirely. Now, the Grunger steals speed from his opponents, making it a nice compliment to Rocker #5's new innate that causes her to gain speed over time. But I'm just not getting a good feeling from this card. Might be time to cut the chord.
ROCKER 5. GRRL
Name: Izzy Knowles, the Headbanger's Doll
Innate: Gains 1 speed each consecutive turn on field.
- Headbang. 25En, 2spd, 24(P). 90h, 100p. Target hits on fleeing for next turn. Close.
- Power Chord. 60En, 7spd, 45(L). 95h, 95p. Close.
- Reverb. 35En, 8spd, 18(P). 100h, 100p. Target takes 150% damage next turn. Far.
- Speed Metal. 40En, 5spd, P. 100h, 100p. +2spd all for next 4 turns. Both.
Still liking Izzy. Still not sure what to do with her innate. She's got a solid bar and – in my head – very solid flavor, but she's just missing that last little bit.
ROCKER 6. JUKE BOX
Name: Tommy Fender, the Juke Box Hero
Innate: Gains +1 resistance and +10 bonus HP for each buff he has.
- Strum. 25En, 6spd, 15(L). 95h, 100p. +1 turn to buff duration, +1 additional turn to Ballads. Close.
- High Note. 55En, 2spd, 36(P). 95h, 100p. Gains 10 resistance in target's highest resistance (+10/0/0, +5/+5/0, +4/+3/+3). Close.
- Hot Lick. 20En, 3spd, L. 100h, 100p. Burns 3for3 and Burns again at end of next 2 turns. Far.
- Rock Anthem. 40En, 5spd, P. 100h, 100p. +1dmg and +5HP per buff for all for next 3 turns. Both.
Juke Box is so potentially strong that I'm giving him softie health and low resistance. He'll make that up easily, though, thanks to his innate and High Note. I'm still worried that I've cranked him up too far right now.
Okay, I've still got a few minutes so lets get to the review.
- I think the bars are, by and large, shaping up. Aside from #2 and #4 who continue to be difficult, we've got some interesting stuff that's playing well. As a group, the Rock Stars are a little copy and paste, but they've definitely got a distinct character. I'm still concerned that Ballads are slightly underpowered, overall, for what they're costing to get out there. But I'm letting it go for now since those are some really strong buffs and some of the items I'm planning might make them even worse.
- Bopper, solid. Maybe a little too strong at the moment, though.
- Glammer, a mess, to be honest. Still convinced it's a solid framework that I'm not filling out well. Stardust Memories doesn't feel worthwhile and that's dragging Starduster down. Lunar Strike is intensely strong but doesn't feel like it. And the less said about the innate, the better. I'm not even sure Power Ballad is all that strong now.
- Schlocker, solid. Nice and vicious. Not quite sold on Spiked Armor. Makes for a Scrapper with only two attacks. Nice attacks that are hitting for over 30 damage each before his innate even kicks in but, still, that's not a lot of flexibility.
- Grunger, if I had to pick a card to drop right now, today, this would be the one. I played around with his skills a bit, dropping the idea that he'd be the line's far-range specialist and adding in a innate where he steals speed from his opponents. Still not feeling it. Suffers from the same problem as Glammer – I like the idea but I don't like what I've done with it. He needs to find a groove and fast.
- Grrl, rocksolid at the moment. I think the innate needs work she gets scary fast, scary soon now but that's the general idea – I want her to be a character that's pushing past the 10 speed limit regularly. But I might I need to readjust her speed balance downwards a bit. Ballad is dangerous but feels a bit on the weak side. That might only be because of some of the other monsters I've created, though.
- Juke Box, looking much improved. At the moment, he doesn't deal a lot of damage but gets a ton of health and resistance in a hurry, meaning he might play more like a tank than I want but the whole Strum mechanic makes him a really good compliment to any other Rocker and I'm really liking that.
At the moment, again, I think I've got four cards rounding into shape and two cards that need serious work. That's not a bad ratio, really. The template format really helps since this is going faster than it normally does. Although maybe having to post up the results is helping that, too.
Anyhow, I think it's time to let these bars lay fallow for a while and let the balance ferment itself a little bit. Let it sit at the back of my mind and work itself out.
We'll concentrate tomorrow on their other features, like backstories and what the cards should look like. And, after that, we'll likely be moving on to the next group.