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  #6937  
Old August 19th, 2020, 09:08 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I'm pretty passionate about the shadow faction, and was able to find 2 more minis that are still being produced, and widely available AND have some great additions to the faction with the abilities and unique gameplay decisions they bring in coordination with the other 3 Shadows.

I therefore officially submit Shadow Wraith and Shadow Stalker to the SoV!



Bio:Xundar leapt across the gurgling creek and hid behind a small ruin, sounds of the battle growing faint after having gained some distance. His Shadows were falling fast to Utgar's forces, the General having gotten used to Xundar's powers and tactics. It was time; time to show Utgar true power. Catching his breath, he concentrated on his staff; the glow growing brighter and brighter. Then, pitch black. A figure appeared in front of the ruin, a dense, palpable darkness flowing through its body, blanketing everything close to it. Another, cat-like figure also appeared; it's body shimmering, shifting and twisting. Xundar commanded them forward while regrouping the others and stepped out from behind the ruin. “Utgar, meet my Aces."

The Shadow Stalker and Wraith are the Phase Cat and Shadow, respectively, from Reaper Miniatures.
  • Balance
    Wraith: The closest comparison is Kyntela Gwyn here, giving +1 defense to all adjacent shadows (Gywn all adjacent elves) and with a similar stat-line. Of course, the Wraith is a little more versatile with the movement potential, but has 1 less life and costs a little more. It's also important to note that the defense buff does NOT stack.
    Stalker: The Stalker is a little cheaper than it's offensive predecessors, but it fits it's point total by being almost solely dependent, defensively, on it's shifting power which is aligned with Isamu. For 3X the price of Isamu, the Stalker gets a unique power, some speed, increased stats and versatility, but like Isamu it's completely dependent on the Shifting to keep it alive, which, is notably more difficult to roll for and all without the ability to run away and hide from multiple attacks.
  • Playability
    Wraith: The powers are simple, but potent. The phase ability is unique and exciting to use because of it's many use cases in the midst of battle. The defense buff is like others, but stays in check by not allowing stacking. The wraith fills a specific role in the army, kind of like that Binder, in that while it's not a primary offensive tool, it is a support unit that will allow the front lines to hold.
    Stalker: A unit with another new, unique ability that creates a specific role in the faction because of it's ability to lock down key targets from getting to Xundar or other figures, and it's ability to distract and grapple with its target/prey while the other Shadows go for others.
  • Creativity
    Wraith: The wraith adds a very important part to the faction and allows for lots of interesting mid-game decisions on whether to be offensive with other Shadows or reinforce the frontline with a defensive buffer. The Wraith can also act as a damage soak of an opponents attacks rather than them targeting the more offensive ones.
    Stalker: The Stalker is uniquely creative in that the miniature suggests both of these abilities and left/right box stats. Everything about both the Stalker and Wraith seems to feel right.
  • Theme
    Wraith: Have you ever seen the Harry Potter movies where the Dementors fly in or appear almost out of nowhere, bringing with them an ominous doom and darkness? That is the idea here. Rather than cause fear though, the Wraiths bolster the power of their nearby Shadows kind of like how Orcs in LOTR are able to more effectively fight under the cover of Mordor Shadows.
    Stalker: The Stalker is just that, a tricky shadow that can shift it's appearance and position to throw off it's location so that attacks from its opponents miss their mark...all the while tightening it's grip on their target/prey, refusing to let them go until one of them dies.
  • Accessibility
    Both of these minis are still being produced by Reaper Miniatures and are widely in stock on their website as well as multiple sellers on eBay. They are also quite affordable. The Wraith you will likely only ever take 1-2 of in an army and the Stalker, well, as many as you want I guess.

Thank you for your consideration!

Last edited by Sir Heroscape; September 30th, 2020 at 09:48 PM. Reason: updated the card with a change to the power name
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  #6938  
Old August 19th, 2020, 09:17 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Good luck.
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  #6939  
Old August 20th, 2020, 09:59 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I don't really think the Shadow faction needs more Shadows, but I'm willing to give some new designs a shot. Both of these add something new and useful to the faction, while keeping with the adjacency-boosts theme. I don't have any concerns with the left- or right-side stats.

to review the Shadow Wraith
to review the Shadow Stalker
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  #6940  
Old August 21st, 2020, 12:06 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I agree with Scytale that the faction does not feel incomplete as-is. But these designs seem to fit in well and I'm interested to put them through the paces.

to both.

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  #6941  
Old August 21st, 2020, 12:35 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Echoing above, while I don't think there's a need for more shadows I do like that these Shadows are looking to expand more on the defense of the Shadow army, which is an area that I felt would be good for expansion when testing them.

The Wraith is simple and a decent buff that's got some interesting movement that will tie into the Shadow build. to review it.

The Stalker is good, as far as the stats and powers go. But that mini is a displacer beast, and that sticks out to me too much. The other shadows are shadowy versions of whatever, but displacer beasts are more iconic/specific to me, and the mini is obviously a displacer beast doing its displacing business. to review.
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  #6942  
Old August 21st, 2020, 01:12 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggaBullfrog View Post
Echoing above, while I don't think there's a need for more shadows I do like that these Shadows are looking to expand more on the defense of the Shadow army, which is an area that I felt would be good for expansion when testing them.

The Wraith is simple and a decent buff that's got some interesting movement that will tie into the Shadow build. to review it.

The Stalker is good, as far as the stats and powers go. But that mini is a displacer beast, and that sticks out to me too much. The other shadows are shadowy versions of whatever, but displacer beasts are more iconic/specific to me, and the mini is obviously a displacer beast doing its displacing business. to review.
Displacer Beasts have 6 legs and 2 tentacles while this guy has 4 legs and 4 tentacles.

But.... a search for the term "Phase Cat" confirms that they are basically Displacer Beasts with the serial numbers filed off (i.e. Reaper's knockoff version).



Hmmm.

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  #6943  
Old August 21st, 2020, 02:03 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by superfrog View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggaBullfrog View Post
Echoing above, while I don't think there's a need for more shadows I do like that these Shadows are looking to expand more on the defense of the Shadow army, which is an area that I felt would be good for expansion when testing them.

The Wraith is simple and a decent buff that's got some interesting movement that will tie into the Shadow build. to review it.

The Stalker is good, as far as the stats and powers go. But that mini is a displacer beast, and that sticks out to me too much. The other shadows are shadowy versions of whatever, but displacer beasts are more iconic/specific to me, and the mini is obviously a displacer beast doing its displacing business. to review.
Displacer Beasts have 6 legs and 2 tentacles while this guy has 4 legs and 4 tentacles.

But.... a search for the term "Phase Cat" confirms that they are basically Displacer Beasts with the serial numbers filed off (i.e. Reaper's knockoff version).



Hmmm.
Yeah, same reason theyre not in pathfinder, theyre one of the iconic dnd monsters (cough stolen from something older and then trademarked).

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  #6944  
Old August 21st, 2020, 03:06 AM
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OGL Rapper

Essentially displacer beasts are not part of the Open Game License that accompanies most other monsters in DND. Since you can't copyright a concept, you can make something that's basically a displacer beast but then don't call it that and legally you're fine. Same thing for Mindflayers, Beholders, Carrion Crawlers, Yuan-Ti, and about half a dozen others I'm forgetting.

~Dysole, with no opinions on the Shadow army
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  #6945  
Old August 21st, 2020, 04:07 AM
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Re: OGL Rapper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysole View Post
Essentially displacer beasts are not part of the Open Game License that accompanies most other monsters in DND. Since you can't copyright a concept, you can make something that's basically a displacer beast but then don't call it that and legally you're fine. Same thing for Mindflayers, Beholders, Carrion Crawlers, Yuan-Ti, and about half a dozen others I'm forgetting.

~Dysole, with no opinions on the Shadow army
Mmhmm, and some of them have had workarounds with pathfinder. Such as the displacer beast being used in one book:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coeurl https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coeurl
. Serpentfolk for yuan-ti, don't remember anything for Carrion Crawlers and well the other two iconics aren't gonna be relinquished by wizards anytime soon along with the Purple Worm or Umber Hulk. Thats just what conversion from 3.5 to pathfinder 1st edition was for though (dunno what we can do for 2nd edition though).

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  #6946  
Old August 21st, 2020, 10:05 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

@BiggaBullfrog Uh, so what’s your issue? You want me to call it a Displacer Beast cause it looks like a D&D monster? I’m confused. I’m not sure what the issue is.
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  #6947  
Old August 21st, 2020, 10:11 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Heroscape View Post
@BiggaBullfrog Uh, so what’s your issue? You want me to call it a Displacer Beast cause it looks like a D&D monster? I’m confused. I’m not sure what the issue is.
I'm in this camp. It is a displacer beast to those who play D&D (okay It has 4/4 not 6/2 Tentacles and legs).

This treads really close to the Guy in Robes with a Laser Sword - That's a Jedi, even though that would be a cool figure. So having a Displacer Beast as a Shadow, rankles feathers a bit. - I'm still undecided if it bugs me too much to vote up. Even more so, if you have a Gold Dragon with Whiskers that is a D&D Dragon and better be fighting for Good.


So having a Shadow be a Displacer beast might rackle some feathers. I'm still undecided if it bugs me too much.


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  #6948  
Old August 21st, 2020, 10:14 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

We've encountered this issue before. Sometimes someone proposes a mini here, or internally in the C3V, that is (to at least some people) obviously some very particular thing. It has an iconic appearance. If I used a mini for Wonder Woman, and proposed her as gladiator hero, people would say "that can't work, because one look at that mini and it's clearly Wonder Woman."

Wonder Woman is an extreme example, but it's a discussion we've had other times about other minis. For me, I'm with BBF. I take one look at that mini, and I think "displacer beast." It doesn't work for me as something that can be rethemed as something else, because that distinctive creature has been familiar to me for almost 40 years.

I recognize that it's probably on the fringe of "iconic appearance," though, and I'm curious to see what others say. I note that Scy, who is a D&D guy, did not even comment on the point.

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