Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Succubus Sheets - WIP

Hello again!

This post will contain the most up-to-date copies of each Succubus Sheet that I create. One all are complete, the title for this post will change from "WIP" to "COMPLETE".

Take a look below at the Succubi I've created:






Let me know what you think! Thanks!

- The Merry Raven

Friday, September 8, 2017

Eldritch Horror - Incubus and Succubus Content - WIP

Hello, hello, hello!

Back today with information on a considerably large new addition to Eldritch Horror that I'm working on: Incubus and Succubus content!

A forewarning! This content will be specifically for more mature audiences. We are going to be dealing with sex demons, after all, and I'm not pulling many punches as far as what all that can entail. There will likely be erotic stories and descriptions associated with this content, but I try not to get too specific into detailed descriptions of sexual encounters. Think one step more up the staircase of eroticism than the lame "fade to black" you typically see.

But before we get into that, let's answer another question. Why Incubi and Succubi? My primary goal is to flip the narrative a bit, forcing investigators to deal with the consequences and realities of becoming monsters themselves. The content you'll soon be looking at entails our investigators physically transforming into Succubi, and that calls for certain changes in how they interact with Eldritch Horror's game world. But, most importantly, they do still need to be able to interact with it in a believable way. Incubi and Succubi were simply great candidates for telling a story of demonic transformation and corruption while still allowing our investigators to look relatively human, keeping narrative consistency in-check as they could still reasonably be able to interact with your average person.

I currently have 8 Succubi in the works to enable these new narrative opportunities. They tie in with a new "ally" in your fight, an Incubus who is looking to add some more Succubi minions to his harem. The general theme here is similar to my last few ideas, though lots more risque:

While our investigators struggle to push back their Eldritch enemies, they have to be careful not to lose themselves to the perverse schemes of an opportunistic demon. Should they fall victim to his plots, they and their compatriots will have to deal with the ramifications of their new selves. What happens when you become the monster? Transformation and sexual horror abound, with players hopefully seeing and experiencing that the temptations of the flesh can be as dangerous as any other.

Now that you have a general sense of the direction for this content, let's look at a Succubus:

Succubus Sheet (Click for larger view):


A new version of the Investigator Sheet has been created for our new succubus investigators. I wanted to give it the feel of a demonic spell tome, hence the aged book look.

Succubi mirror regular investigators in some ways, but they also differ in others. Below I'll go through some key points:
  • Succubi have 1 active and 1 reactive ability, the same as any other investigator. These abilities are largely themed around the supernatural magics, influence, and allure they wield as sex demons. All succubi also have a third ability, wherein they can interact with their fellow investigators through Lust Encounters. I will detail Lust Encounters later in this post.
  • When it comes to skills, all succubi have 4 Influence, but can otherwise vary. They do tend to be on the frailer side though, so don't expect high Strength.
  • Succubi may only Rest on City Spaces. This is because Succubi need humans in order to feed.
  • When performing Rest actions, succubi draw a Succubus Encounter rather than simply recovering Health and Sanity. Succubus Encounters are detailed later on, however they heal both Health and Sanity while usually providing extra benefits on top of that.
  • All succubi are immune to Transformation Conditions such as my Shifted Conditions. The Incubus' magic which created them is not easy to overcome.
Mark of the Incubus:

But how does one get to play as a succubus? Unlike other investigators, you cannot start the game as a succubus, you must become one during regular game play. A number of conditions, encounters, and mythos will call for investigators to gain a new condition called a Mark of the Incubus. See below:


Having a Mark of the Incubus means that the Incubus is actively pursuing you so that he may transform you into a succubus and add you to his harem. The goal of this condition is to have an effect associated with resting that isn't simply a hindrance or penalty. No, when you have a Mark of the Incubus, anytime your investigator rests they are risking losing themselves forever to one of the Incubus' perverse plots. These plots manifest themselves in-game through Incubus Encounter cards:

Incubus Encounters:



Incubus Encounters function similarly to other encounters, however there is an element of player choice introduced. Each encounter describes how the Incubus plans to initiate an investigator's transformation into a succubus. The investigator who draws the card may then either resist the Incubus, often through a test, or willingly submit to their demonic assailant. Passing the test to resist will simply mean the investigator doesn't transform that round. Failing or submitting will force the investigator to flip their Mark of the Incubus Condition, revealing the succubus that they have been transformed into:


As mentioned above, key differences in succubi play style are seen in the new decks introduced with this content: Succubus Encounters and Lust Encounters. We'll go through each of them next.

Succubus Encounters:

These are encounters that are intended to beef up Rest actons. Sex demons should have more interesting rests than your average investigator, and hopefully this accomplishes it in a narrative way.

When a succubus rests, she is actually looking for a man to feed upon. Succubus Encounters describe their hunts, always healing the succubus and also giving additional bonuses depending on which encounter is drawn:


Narratively, my version of succubi may either feed directly through sex or by actually absorbing their sexual partners into their body, where their consciousness' merge with that of their demonic predator. This allows me to integrate another new mechanic I'm working directly into the succubi: Absorption. Absorption is detailed in this post following the information on Lust Encounters.

Lust Encounters:

Lust Encounters represent interactions, often sexual, between succubi and human investigators. They are intended mostly as bonuses for one or both of the investigators involved and they are drawn by the human investigator whenever a succubus and a human investigator share the same space. Even if you are simply traveling through a space with a succubus on it or she travels through yours, you may draw a Lust Encounter and immediately resolve it.


Lust Encounters will never see a human investigator be devoured, however some may rarely cause them to gain a Mark of the Incubus, thereby dooming them to eventually become a succubus themselves.

Absorption:

Absorption is a mechanic designed to allow players the ability to "lock" their Ally assets and unique assets, preventing effects from forcing them to be discarded.

Absorption's rules are below:
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Some spells and abilities allow investigators to Absorb an ALLY or ALLY - CHARACTER in their hand. If you choose or are forced to Absorb either, slide the card under your Investigator sheet so that it’s art is hidden but you may still read the card’s effects. All of the effects on the card of the Absorbed ALLY remain in effect so long as they are displayed under your Investigator Sheet.

Example:


Any Absorbed ALLY becomes a part of your investigator. You cannot discard or be forced to discard an Absorbed ALLY because they no longer function as a card separate from your Investigator Sheet. Think of Absorption as an opportunity to directly and largely permanently power up your investigator by attaching the abilities of an ALLY to them. This direct attachment means any Absorbed ALLY is no longer vulnerable or beneficial to any game event revolving around ALLY cards.

Any one investigator may only have up to three Absorbed ALLY cards at a time. If a fourth ALLY is absorbed, the first ALLY Absorbed by that investigator is discarded back to the box.
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Conclusion:

Phew! That was a lot of information! It's all I have for now on this, but hopefully the amount of effort and progress that has gone into it is apparent by this point.

I also hope that you as readers find these ideas intriguing. I realize they are not the most innately Lovecraftian themes, however they are mechanics and ideas that intrigue me and Eldritch Horror is a game I feel especially inspired to create by.

As always, any feedback you can provide is immensely appreciated! I love hearing both positive reviews and constructive criticism. The more of a conversation we can have as both designers and creators, the better off our games will be! So let me know what you think! Please! Pretty please?

Thanks, and I'll see you all around!

- The Merry Raven

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Eldritch Horror - Shifted Condition / Replace Investigator Mechanics - WIP

Hello, hello again!

Today I'd like to introduce you to the Shifted Condition and how it uses new Replace mechanics to force unique narrative opportunities and changes in play-style mid-game.

First, I want to introduce you to a new Mythos card that shows one story-line implementation of the mechanic and has a chance to implement these features:


The Great Shift is meant to represent a global event affecting all of mankind in a very odd way. As you can likely surmise, it has the ability to change who people are - in Eldritch Horror's case, our heroic investigators. This is accomplished through the Shifted Condition mentioned above. Shifted Conditions come in one of two types: male or female, as seen below:


When directing players to draw a Shifted Condition, cards can tell the player to do one of two things: 1. To draw a Shifted Condition for a specific sex or 2. To draw a Shifted Condition in general. In our example above, The Great Shift does not give specific instructions to draw one sex or the other, so players would simply draw the first Shifted Condition they encounter regardless of the sex on the card. When directed to draw a particular sex, players would therefore draw the first Shifted Condition matching the requested sex.

Shifted Conditions are flipped immediately after drawing. They were implemented as Conditions purely so that a variety of surprising scenarios could play out randomly.

The backsides of Shifted Conditions always involve the investigator transforming into someone else. Most of the time, they should be more of an inconvenience rather than truly dangerous. Sometimes, they may even be beneficial. For example, a near-death or heavily negative conditioned investigator could be saved by The Great Shift. However, there do exist two Shifted Conditions (One for each sex) that can instantly devour an investigator if drawn. All of the current card backs can be seen below:

 Female Shifted Conditions:




Male Shifted Conditions:




These cards call for a new specific mechanic: Replace. The rules for Replace are detailed below:

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Replace: Some cards will call for you to Replace you investigator. When Replacing your investigator, do the following:

Discard your current investigator's investigator sheet and token. Then draw a new investigator of the sex directed (Draw both their Investigator Sheet and token), following the rules for how you should draw them (Randomly, you select, etc.) You cannot draw any investigator who has been previously discarded this game.

When an investigator is Replaced, the newly drawn investigator is always set back to their maximum Health and Sanity. All other conditions and possessions are retained by the newly drawn investigator unless specifically stated otherwise. You will always gain the newly drawn investigator's starting possessions as well.

The newly drawn investigator continues play from the same space that the player's previous investigator was on. This, along with retaining possessions, helps build the narrative that they are the same investigator, simply transformed.
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The goal with Shifted Conditions is to play a role in deepening the narrative aspects of the game. It's no longer just "Will this character survive?" or "Will we save the world?" Rather, now our investigators have to worry about how their quest might change them. The question they should be asking is "Even if we win, who will I end up as?" 

Even in victory, our investigators could find their entire existence completely uprooted. 

Imagine the rotund Charlie Kane having to leave his political ambitions behind and study martial arts after finding himself trapped in the lithe form of Lily Chen. Would she long for her old life or embrace her new one?

Or perhaps Rex Murphy might find some respite from his tumultuous past as a different man? Maybe one who isn't of such a cursed nature? He should hope, then, that he doesn't get shifted into Silas Marsh, exchanging one curse for another.

I find that there's a certain terror in the loss of self, and these mechanics are designed to play around with that idea. I hope that you find them as intriguing as I do! As always, please let me know what you think and share feedback you might have! I want these to be a fun addition to the game for anyone interested, and the more help I can get with them the better they'll be! Thanks!

- The Merry Raven