11 Nov

Polka and Poaching

We’re still chugging away at 1.05, and today we’ll take a quick look at two of the Classes we introduced in 1.04 which will be getting some tweaking to better accomplish their intended goals. Both the Hunter and the Dancer were well received, but after they saw some play, we they discovered they could be just a bit clunky or disjointed.


Artwork by なるもい

Let’s start by taking a look at the updated Dancer, shall we?

[Class] [+HP] [+Speed] Prerequisites: Novice Acrobatics; Novice Athletics or Charm
Effect: Choose Spinning Dance or Own Tempo. You gain the chosen Ability.

Creating Dance Moves!

Type: Normal
Frequency: EOT
AC: None
Class: Status
Range: Self

Alright, this is easy! Your Dance Move is going to look like the Move above. First, come up with a name; you may name the Dance Move whatever you like. Secondly, choose two Combat Stage gains for the effect. This may either be +2 Combat Stages to a single Stat, like Swords Dance, or +1 Combat Stage to two different Stats, like Dragon Dance. Once chosen, this cannot be changed.

Dance Form
[+HP] [+Speed] Prerequisites: Dancer
Effect: Create and learn two Dance Moves, plus one more for each other Dancer Feature you have. Whenever you gain another Dancer Feature, create and learn another Dance Move.

Beguiling Dance
[+HP] [+Speed] Prerequisites: Dance Form
Effect: When creating Dance Moves, you can choose to create a Dance Move that has Range: 4, 1 Target, and lowers a Combat Stat (chosen at creation) by -2 Combat Stages. This Move is otherwise the same as other Dance Moves you could create.

Dance Practice
[+HP] [+Speed] Prerequisites: Dancer
At-Will – Extended Action
Target: Your Pokémon with at least 2 Tutor Points
Effect: The target loses 2 Tutor Points and gains your choice of Spinning Dance or Own Tempo. Dance Practice may target a Pokémon only once.

[+HP] [+Speed] Prerequisites: Dance Form, Adept Acrobatics, Athletics, or Charm
At-Will – Extended Action
Target: Your Pokémon with at least 2 Tutor Points
Effect: The target loses 2 Tutor Point and learns a Dance Move created by yourself. Choreographer may target a Pokemon multiple times.

Power Pirouette
[+HP] [+Speed] Prerequisites: Dance Form, Expert Acrobatics, Athletics, or Charm
Scene x2 – Swift Action
Trigger: You perform a Dance Move
Effect: Choose one effect
– All adjacent targets are Confused
– You gain +1 Combat Stage to a Stat of your choice not raised by the triggering Move
– Destroy all Hazards within 5 meters, and remove Leech Seed, Trapped, and Stuck from yourself.

Passing Waltz
[+HP] [+Speed] Prerequisites: Dance Practice, Master Acrobatics, Athletics, or Charm
1 AP – Free Action
Trigger: You or one of your Pokémon with Own Tempo or Spinning Dance use a Dance Move.
Effect: Choose an ally within 3 meters of the triggering target. That ally gains Combat Stages from the triggering Move instead of the user.

As you can see, the Class does much the same thing as before, but now you get to decide which Stats you want to focus on for your Combat Stages by creating your own Dance Moves. You no longer have as much on the fly versatility, but I think that’s a fair trade for making the Class much more useful at a baseline for multiple builds.

The main issue we found with the Dancer after 1.04’s release was that creating the Class out of only existing Pokémon Moves became at odds with the goal of making it a widely applicable supplement to other Trainer Combat Classes and all-purpose supporter. Giving it Moves such as Swords Dance and Dragon Dance immediately made the Class more useful to Classes like Martial Artist than Classes like Telekinetic or Musician, and while Magic Twist could allow those Classes to use Dancer to its full extent as well, it was essentially an AP and Feature tax to do so.

On another note, while this Class looks pretty scary with its ability to quickly boost its own Combat Stages and those of allies, another change we’re making to 1.05 is a minor nerf to Combat Stages, which happens to make them much quicker to apply in combat. Positive Combat Stages will now increase a stat by increments of 20% rather than 25%, and Negative Combat stages will be 10% rather than 12.5%. These values should be much easier to eyeball – for example, when you increase your Defense Combat Stages by 1, the amount you increase your Defense by would be equal to your Defense Evasion (Defense / 5). Unless of course you have over 30 Defense and hit the Evasion cap.

[Class] [+HP][+Speed] Prerequisites: Novice Survival, Novice Stealth
Effect: You gain your choice of the Teamwork or Pack Hunt Ability.

Pack Tactics
[+HP][+Speed] Prerequisites: Hunter
At-Will – Extended Action
Target: A Pokémon with at least 2 Tutor Points
Effect: The target loses 2 Tutor Points, and gains the Pack Hunt or Teamwork Ability. You may target a Pokémon with Pack Tactics only once.

[+HP] [+Speed] Prerequisites: Hunter
X AP – Swift Action
Trigger: You make an attack against a foe that does not anticipate an attack or is adjacent to your Pokemon with Pack Hunt or Teamwork
Effect: Make two attack rolls for the triggering action, and use the better result to finalize the attack. If both attacks would hit, the target is Flinched. Surprise! may be used only once per Scene per target. If the triggering attack was a Poké Ball, Hand Net, Weighted Net, Glue Cannon, or Struggle Attack, Surprise! costs 1 AP to activate; otherwise, it costs 2 AP.

[+HP][+Speed] Prerequisites: Surprise!
Effect: You and your Pokémon gain a +5 bonus to Damage Rolls against Fainted, Flinched, Sleeping, Stuck, Slowed, Trapped, or Tripped targets. Additionally, your attacks always consider you to be adjacent to your target for the purposes of benefiting from your Pokémon’s Teamwork Ability, and count as Melee attacks for the purposes of triggering their Pack Hunt Ability.

Don’t Look Away
[+HP][+Speed] Prerequisites: Pack Tactics, Adept Stealth or Survival
1 AP – Free Action
Trigger: A foe that is adjacent to your Pokémon with the Pack Hunt or Teamwork Ability and at least one other Ally attempts to Shift or is recalled
Effect: Your Pokémon with the Pack Hunt or Teamwork Ability may immediately make a Struggle Attack as a Free Action against the triggering foe. Your Pokémon may attempt a Trip Combat Maneuver or damage the target normally. If your Pokémon successfully damages the target, the target is Slowed. Don’t Look Away may be triggered only once per round.

Opportunist’s Training
[+HP][+Speed] Prerequisites: Don’t Look Away, Expert Stealth or Survival
Effect: Don’t Look Away is also triggered whenever a foe adjacent to your Pokémon with Pack Hunt or Teamwork attempts to attack another ally, picks up a weapon or other item from the ground or retrieves one from their belongings, or tries to stand up after being tripped (or from otherwise being prone). Attacks triggered by Don’t Look Away gain a +1 Bonus to Accuracy, and cause the target to lose a Tick of Hit Points if they hit.

Pack Master
[+HP] [+Speed] Prerequisites: Pack Tactics, Expert Stealth, Expert Survival
Effect: For you and your Pokemon with Teamwork, Teamwork’s effect should now read “While you are adjacent to an opponent, allies targeting that opponent receive a +2 bonus to Accuracy Checks”. Whenever you or your Pokemon successfully hit a foe with Pack Hunt, they gain a +2 Bonus to Accuracy Rolls and a +5 Bonus to Damage Rolls against that foe until the end of their next turn.

Hunter has a pretty simple and straightforward change as well. Players told us that they felt the Quarry mechanic didn’t seem to have much to do with the rest of Class, and they were right. Giving the Hunter themselves the choice between Teamwork and Pack Hunt lets them synergize much better with their Pokémon and also gels well with the rest of the Class.

Another goal we had was, similar to Dancer, making Hunter more useful to a variety of builds. Surprise! is easier to trigger and can be triggered by Moves now as well, for a higher AP cost, making it more useful for Trainers who have Move-oriented Combat Classes such as Martial Artist or Ninja. Trainers who prefer to use Orders and support their Pokémon rather than directly attacking can still contribute by following their Pokémon closely and giving them boosts through the Teamwork Ability. Pack Master even allows a non-combat Trainer staying near an opponent to give that accuracy bonus to any allies attacking from afar.

You might’ve noticed some new terminology here too. A “Tick” of Hit Points refers to 1/10th of someone’s Maximum Hit Points, and this is just an easy way for us to refer to a value that’s used over and over within the system. Oh, and for anyone worried about how ridiculous Beat Up is in conjunction with Pack Hunt, we’re patching that as well.

And that’s it for this post. As always with preview material, remember that anything is subject to change, though Dancer and Hunter were among the most stable of our drafts at the time of writing.

Discuss this post on our forums at this thread.