Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mechanics Spoilers: Persistence Returns!

We've still got some folks trickling in to weigh in on our Kickstarter questions from last week, so stay tuned to hear more about that soon. In the meantime, how about that last Endowment, eh?

Last time we talked about Endowments and unveiled the re-designed versions for Creator and Warrior, we mentioned that Hunter was still fighting us. The old Endowment was decent and tested well from a mechanical standpoint, but it was very specific to only a single facet of the things Hunters could do, and it was the sort of power that John likes to refer to as a "win-more": people who didn't have it wanted it, but the Hunters who did didn't really need it all that much since they were already good at those things.

So back to the drawing board, where for the past several weeks Hunter's Endowment has been the last outstanding part of the base system that still needed to be fixed. Happily, we have a new version finally, heading into testing this very day, and hopefully we'll be able to call that bad boy done!

The new Endowment is still called Persistence, just like the old one, and still plays on the idea of Hunters as being able to find hidden reserves of strength and fortitude even when they've been surviving on a shoestring or tracking a trail for who knows how long. Now, it allows Heroes to choose a complementary resource that they also use, and occasionally suddenly regenerate a whole bunch of it when by all rights they should be exhausted and incapable of using them. The Hunter gets to choose which other resource to pair with their Persistence, and although they do have a very infrequent option to change that choice, for the most part they're making a choice about what they expect to use and invest in the most as they move forward.

This sounds a little like the Warrior Endowment, Innervation, but it affects different resources and is more flexible, as well as giving them cross-Aspect utility where the Warrior is pretty much focused on only their Warriorly shenanigans.

What we're looking for here is a way for Hunters, who are great at soldiering on when the going gets touch (already represented by their having Mettle, among other things), to be able to expand that to keep soldiering on even when they're doing something that isn't itself strictly Hunter. No Hero is only one thing, so Hunters are also Creators or Lovers or Tricksters, etc., and should still be able to bring their formidable ability to keep going to bear when they're embodying those roles as well.

To use a recent pop culture example, Aragorn, from Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings cycle, is a great example of a multi-faceted Hunter character; we'd probably say he's a Hunter/Leader/Warrior, as the Ranger who stalks the wilderness, the king who reunites his people, and the warrior who does a great deal of swording on his way to these objectives. And, since he's trying to Leader and Warrior just as hard as he is Huntering, he might choose to pair his Persistence with, say, Purpose, allowing him to continue leading and pushing his followers long after anyone else would have given up. His abilities to persist as a Hunter complement his abilities to motivate as a Leader, making him capable of soldiering on whenever (and however) necessary.

This isn't the fanciest of Endowments - like Innervation and Empowerment, it's a personal power rather than a big story-affecting one, so it's a little shorter on frills and more focused on sound mechanics. But the playtesters so far seem enthusiastic about it, so we're hoping after a little testing we'll be able to cross it off our list for good!

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