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 Post subject: New Unit: Beastmaster
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:05 pm 
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In one of my fics, I've got a minor character with what I called the (tamer) special. I originally wrote it as taming ferals in half the time, but it would probably be mor accurate to say that it gives a bonus to the % chance to tame a feral.


I was just thinking, we've seen the value Tool has been able to put into the Dwagon-taming ability of the Arkenhammer, as well as how critical it was for both sides in the Duke Forecastle backer story.

What would happen if a side went more for volume than quality? Imagine a side that, as part of it's basic strategy, pops a unit with the (tamer) special.

Let's call it a Beastmaster. It goes out looking for ferals, tames them until it has a stack and then goes into combat. Presumably, it would give ferals a bonus the same way a Croakamancer does with uncroaked. It sends it's 'pets'; into combat the way a Hunter does in WOW, and then goes and gets more when they croak the way a zoodecker does in M:TG.

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     Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:10 pm 
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    Hmm... An interesting concept. A special that not only provides a boost to taming feral units, but also a leadership bonus to tamed ferals in their stack. A potent ability if used right (but then, aren't they all?).


    Let me see if I can help expand upon this. Things that boost the odds of a unit popping with 'Beastmaster':

    The city popping them is in close proximity (one or two hexes away) to hexes that contain/may contain feral units. The more/higher chance of feral units the better the odds.

    The side has tamed many feral units (without relying on an artifact or spells). The more tamed feral units the side has under its command, the better the odds. Even better if the city itself has lots of tamed ferals in it.

    Barbarians have a significantly higher base chance of possessing this special than city-popped units.

    Beastmaster is mutually exclusive with Seafarer.

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     Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:34 pm 
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    Crisis21 wrote:
    Beastmaster is mutually exclusive with Seafarer.


    I disagree with that. Beastmaster would need to be a commander and commanders can have multiple specials; Albert and Ace are examples of that.

    Also, I suspect you consciously pop seafarers when you pop a ship. Like how you get diggers with a siege tower.

    The only reason I can think of for saying that would be that Seafarers can't pseudo-tame Quakens and Double Eagles? You could always just make it that Beastmaster can take the place of any taming prerequisite.

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     Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:23 pm 
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    Seafaring tamers will create balance issues. Sea ferals are much more dangerous then land ferals, and it isn't definitive that all of them can be tamed.
    The beastmaster special sounds like natural date-a-mancy, so maybe you'll need to have a city built in a linkup with a dirtamancer and date-a-mancer to pop units with that special.
    Strategically, the constant adding of ferals to the army will weight on shmuckers, and many ferals are likely only good at certain types of terrains. A good advantage of that strategy is the ability to build armies much faster, and focus popping on high value units. If you have many beastmasters you'll need to control a vast region, which adds problems on it's own. You could alleviate some of those by occasionally taming a heavy only to harvest it for rations (does any barbarian casters in the magic kingdom try to do this? I would if I was a date-a-mancer).
    If I was an enemy of such a side, I would hire a predictamancer and set ambushes for the roaming beastmasters. Maybe even a turnamancer for off turn movement and hunting. Make the side constantly have to choose whether to send the beastmasters with heavy guard or risk some of them being lost.

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     Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:47 pm 
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    Hungirly awaits wrote:
    Seafaring tamers will create balance issues. Sea ferals are much more dangerous then land ferals, and it isn't definitive that all of them can be tamed.
    The beastmaster special sounds like natural date-a-mancy, so maybe you'll need to have a city built in a linkup with a dirtamancer and date-a-mancer to pop units with that special.
    Strategically, the constant adding of ferals to the army will weight on shmuckers, and many ferals are likely only good at certain types of terrains. A good advantage of that strategy is the ability to build armies much faster, and focus popping on high value units. If you have many beastmasters you'll need to control a vast region, which adds problems on it's own. You could alleviate some of those by occasionally taming a heavy only to harvest it for rations (does any barbarian casters in the magic kingdom try to do this? I would if I was a date-a-mancer).
    If I was an enemy of such a side, I would hire a predictamancer and set ambushes for the roaming beastmasters. Maybe even a turnamancer for off turn movement and hunting. Make the side constantly have to choose whether to send the beastmasters with heavy guard or risk some of them being lost.


    Seafarers: If you recall the Forecastle story, sea beasts aren't truly tamed so I don't see this being an issue.

    Schmukers: Literally every unit increases your schmuckers cost. The only difference is that you can Harvest beasts. That is not only more economical than disbanding, you don't have potential Loyalty issues from doing it. Also, the page that you got the heavies thing from doesn't say you can only harvest from heavies.https://wiki.erfworld.com/LIAB_48a

    Until suggested otherwise, I'm assuming that all beasts are harvestable.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:45 am 
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    Knavigator wrote:
    Hungirly awaits wrote:
    Seafaring tamers will create balance issues. Sea ferals are much more dangerous then land ferals, and it isn't definitive that all of them can be tamed.
    The beastmaster special sounds like natural date-a-mancy, so maybe you'll need to have a city built in a linkup with a dirtamancer and date-a-mancer to pop units with that special.
    Strategically, the constant adding of ferals to the army will weight on shmuckers, and many ferals are likely only good at certain types of terrains. A good advantage of that strategy is the ability to build armies much faster, and focus popping on high value units. If you have many beastmasters you'll need to control a vast region, which adds problems on it's own. You could alleviate some of those by occasionally taming a heavy only to harvest it for rations (does any barbarian casters in the magic kingdom try to do this? I would if I was a date-a-mancer).
    If I was an enemy of such a side, I would hire a predictamancer and set ambushes for the roaming beastmasters. Maybe even a turnamancer for off turn movement and hunting. Make the side constantly have to choose whether to send the beastmasters with heavy guard or risk some of them being lost.


    Seafarers: If you recall the Forecastle story, sea beasts aren't truly tamed so I don't see this being an issue.

    The Forecastle story makes clear that seafares can't tame, not even psuedo-tame. A beastmaster seafarer would be uber.

    Knavigator wrote:
    Until suggested otherwise, I'm assuming that all beasts are harvestable.

    I expect that nonspeaking units made of materials like stone, metal, and cloth cannot be harvested for food. At least for humans and similar speaking units.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:56 am 
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    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    The Forecastle story makes clear that seafares can't tame, not even psuedo-tame. A beastmaster seafarer would be uber.


    Why? There's obviously something I'm not understanding. Seafarers special is add move and attack to ship isn't it?

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:05 am 
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    Knavigator wrote:
    Schmukers: Literally every unit increases your schmuckers cost. The only difference is that you can Harvest beasts. That is not only more economical than disbanding, you don't have potential Loyalty issues from doing it. Also, the page that you got the heavies thing from doesn't say you can only harvest from heavies.https://wiki.erfworld.com/LIAB_48a


    You are right, I misremembered. It also makes it so taming and disposing of low value ferals is economical. And with much less need to pop certain types of units, more warlords could be popped, which means more casters and more specials diversity.

    Knavigator wrote:
    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    The Forecastle story makes clear that seafares can't tame, not even psuedo-tame. A beastmaster seafarer would be uber.


    Why? There's obviously something I'm not understanding. Seafarers special is add move and attack to ship isn't it?


    Besides the fact that the concept of taming is so alien to seafarers, it was clear that a non-seafarer was needed to turn quakens into friendly units. It is not definitive, but it is implied that seafarers can't tame.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:06 am 
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    Knavigator wrote:
    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    The Forecastle story makes clear that seafares can't tame, not even psuedo-tame. A beastmaster seafarer would be uber.


    Why? There's obviously something I'm not understanding. Seafarers special is add move and attack to ship isn't it?

    Actually, I'm reasonably sure that Forecastle illustrates that taming is a commander action, and seafarers typically do not assign commanders to feed ferals. Possibly for this reason! lol

    The only mechanical effects of the seafarer special appear to be improving the ship statistics, yes.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:09 am 
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    Silversought wrote:
    Actually, I'm reasonably sure that Forecastle illustrates that taming is a commander action, and seafarers typically do not assign commanders to feed ferals. Possibly for this reason! lol

    The only mechanical effects of the seafarer special appear to be improving the ship statistics, yes.


    If it was that simple, Anchorbar (that's the name right?) would not need to put a non-seafaring warlord on every ship, they could just order the seafarers warlords to tame (which would create a social issue, but it's less of a problem then a non-seafaring warlord).
    But they did not try to tame double eagles, so maybe for those it's different.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:11 am 
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    Knavigator wrote:
    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    The Forecastle story makes clear that seafares can't tame, not even psuedo-tame. A beastmaster seafarer would be uber.


    Why? There's obviously something I'm not understanding. Seafarers special is add move and attack to ship isn't it?


    If you go back and read the Forecastle story, you'll understand that one of the major plot points is that units with the seafaring special cannot tame units. At all. Which is why the antagonist side started putting non-seafaring units on their ships despite the Move penalty, so they could tame feral units/make them friendly and create a completely cheesable naval strategy as a result.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:20 am 
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    Hungirly awaits wrote:
    Silversought wrote:
    Actually, I'm reasonably sure that Forecastle illustrates that taming is a commander action, and seafarers typically do not assign commanders to feed ferals. Possibly for this reason! lol

    The only mechanical effects of the seafarer special appear to be improving the ship statistics, yes.


    If it was that simple, Anchorbar (that's the name right?) would not need to put a non-seafaring warlord on every ship, they could just order the seafarers warlords to tame (which would create a social issue, but it's less of a problem then a non-seafaring warlord).
    But they did not try to tame double eagles, so maybe for those it's different.

    I'm still pretty sure it's a "will not" and not a "cannot"

    We never get an example of a seafarer actually attempting to tame a feral, because they are hilariously superstitious. I'd also note that mutiny is a very real topic in that story, so I suspect ordering a seafaring warlord (with all the autonomy that comes with leadership) to flout his superstitious theories is a bad idea.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:25 am 
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    tadthornhill wrote:
    What would happen if a side went more for volume than quality? Imagine a side that, as part of it's basic strategy, pops a unit with the (tamer) special.

    We'd probably call that side Transylvito.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:38 am 
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    Silversought wrote:
    I'm still pretty sure it's a "will not" and not a "cannot"

    We never get an example of a seafarer actually attempting to tame a feral, because they are hilariously superstitious. I'd also note that mutiny is a very real topic in that story, so I suspect ordering a seafaring warlord (with all the autonomy that comes with leadership) to flout his superstitious theories is a bad idea.


    Units can only disobey orders if it is for the good of the side. The possibility of mutiny was because the soldiers thought Forcastle retreated out of cowardice, if they knew the real reason I'm sure they could not do it.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:24 am 
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    Crisis21 wrote:
    Knavigator wrote:
    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    The Forecastle story makes clear that seafares can't tame, not even psuedo-tame. A beastmaster seafarer would be uber.


    Why? There's obviously something I'm not understanding. Seafarers special is add move and attack to ship isn't it?


    If you go back and read the Forecastle story, you'll understand that one of the major plot points is that units with the seafaring special cannot tame units. At all. Which is why the antagonist side started putting non-seafaring units on their ships despite the Move penalty, so they could tame feral units/make them friendly and create a completely cheesable naval strategy as a result.


    I get that regular seafarers can't tame. I'm asking why it's broken to have a unit be a seafarer and beastmaster. It doesn't seem more overpowered than say...a royal warlord with flight and archery specialist.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:07 am 
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    Knavigator wrote:
    I get that regular seafarers can't tame. I'm asking why it's broken to have a unit be a seafarer and beastmaster. It doesn't seem more overpowered than say...a royal warlord with flight and archery specialist.


    Because naval beasts are much more powerful. In the forecastle story, some of them were talked about as if the only options was to flee or die, and that was for a flagship escorted by battle ships.
    If you could just tame them, it needs to have downsides. If seafarers could be beastmasters, it would not even slow down ships. Huge upkeeps might sound like enough, but it would not hinder a rich side like Gobwin Knob or Charlescomm, it should also have more downsides, like decreased mobility for the fleet.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:58 am 
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    It's okay to have overpowered seeming units, as long as they're rare. A unit that could easily tame sea creatures is pretty powerful, but if they pop as rarely as or even rarer than casters, it isn't too broken.

    Also, their taming special could have some limitations. Like, only being able to tame ferals at their level or lower. Having a lower success rate the more powerful the creature is. Having the creatures only accept orders from the beastmaster, so they have to be present for battles and put themseves at risk. Having a maximum number of creatures that can be tamed at one time. Having some creatures become untameable if you have already tamed other creatures they hate. Etc. Some combination of downsides like that could balance out the taming mechanic.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:29 pm 
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    Omnimancer wrote:
    It's okay to have overpowered seeming units, as long as they're rare. A unit that could easily tame sea creatures is pretty powerful, but if they pop as rarely as or even rarer than casters, it isn't too broken.

    Also, their taming special could have some limitations. Like, only being able to tame ferals at their level or lower. Having a lower success rate the more powerful the creature is. Having the creatures only accept orders from the beastmaster, so they have to be present for battles and put themseves at risk. Having a maximum number of creatures that can be tamed at one time. Having some creatures become untameable if you have already tamed other creatures they hate. Etc. Some combination of downsides like that could balance out the taming mechanic.


    It's not about game balance. It's about game rules.

    The hypothetical Beastmaster would get a bonus to taming ferals. A multiplier if you will.

    Seafarers cannot tame ferals. At all. Ever. No, not even then. It is apparently an inherent trait to being a seafarer. It wouldn't matter if they could have Beastmaster on top of that because their base chance of taming ferals is zero, and no multiplier will raise that since anything times zero is still zero.

    They would be mutually exclusive not because having both would break the game, but because the seafarer special would negate just about everything that makes the beastmaster special useful. It has nothing to do with being overpowered and everything to do with how the seafaring special works.

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:55 pm 
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    Are we sure that only commanders can tame? If so, then most seafarers can't tame anyways, not being commanders. As for the commanders, there are still the crippling (wiki's word) superstitions. Admiral Chequer had Forecastle keelhauled for accidentally taming a Double Eagle. Hashtag's guide didn't say anything about double eagles being tamable; why would seafarers care?

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     Post Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:38 am 
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    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    Are we sure that only commanders can tame? If so, then most seafarers can't tame anyways, not being commanders. As for the commanders, there are still the crippling (wiki's word) superstitions. Admiral Chequer had Forecastle keelhauled for accidentally taming a Double Eagle. Hashtag's guide didn't say anything about double eagles being tamable; why would seafarers care?


    Scouts don't need to be commanders, so I suppose you could technically give any unit the special, but an unled doesn't have enough sense of Duty to go out and tame on their own. They've have to be given orders to do so like the scout golems.

    Hashtag's isn't Scripture, so it was created by a Signamancer and therefore only contains information the author knew and chose to publish

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