Dark Lord: Fey Queen and Black Prince

The final posting (until I have a more complete game to discuss, anyway) on Dark Lord. One thing that people who have 3d6 probabilities memorized (or who bothered to look them up) may have noticed is that the odds of rolling up a lieutenant are so slow that you could very roll two new minions per session for forty sessions and still never roll up a single lieutenant for any of the overlords who got played during those forty sessions. This is because lieutenants are endgame minions who can only realistically spawn once the overlord has built several buildings in their domain which give bonuses to the stats of all their minions. With their domain maxed out, an overlord can have a +4 to one stat, a +2 to two others, and a +1 to the remaining three. As an example, the Lich King would probably have a +4 to CON since so many of his units require it as their high stat, a +2 to CHA for vampires and a +2 to INT for necromancers, and then a +1 to STR, DEX, and WIS, neither of which are very consistently useful.

This build isn’t quite optimized for lieutenant spawning – a Lich King trying to do that would swap the +2 INT for STR, but it brings the lieutenant’s spawn rates up to about 6%. That’s still rather low, but in the face of sufficient attrition it’s reasonably likely to happen anyway. On the other hand, elites are spawning nearly as often as troops and fodder spawn almost not at all, and while fodder are expected to die within the same session that they’re rolled and troops are expected to die before reaching level 5, an elite is reasonably likely to make it to level 5, which is quite a bit of gameplay. With so many elites and so little fodder, the rate at which new characters are being rolled goes down by quite a bit, so lieutenants remain rare and special even in the endgame. This only gives an overlord more incentive to hang onto one if they do get one. A lieutenant is not only significantly more powerful than an elite, they’re also significantly more rare, rare enough that odds are only one or two overlords will have one (unless the game last a long time and the lieutenants neither die nor retire), which means having a lieutenant-tier minion becomes a status symbol.

Anyways, here’s the Fey Queen and the Black Prince, the last of the six archetypes I designed for the unfinished game Dark Lord.

Fey Queen

-The Fey Queen (dark lord). Powerful mesmer and battlefield control magic and very stealthy, but fragile and has little in the way of direct damage.

-Lord of the Hunt (lieutenant) requires 16 DEX, 14 STR, and 12 CON. Fast, stealthy, and hits extremely hard both at range and in melee, the Lord of the Hunt’s biggest weakness is his fragility and lack of battlefield control. He relies on others to keep enemies dazed and confused while he picks them off one by one.

-Hag Witch (elite) requires 14 WIS, 12 WIS, and 11 DEX. Of only average speed, but stealthy and has excellent mesmer powers that force enemies to choose between taking terrible penalties or avoiding certain actions (i.e. -2 to attack for the rest of the encounter if you attack a specific creature, immediate WIS drain if you move more than 5 feet this round, etc.). Her direct damage and defenses are both abysmal.

-Elf Ranger (elite) requires 14 DEX, 12 WIS, and 11 CHA. Quick and stealthy sniper. Has moderate defenses, especially at range, but won’t stand up to dedicated melee elites and even a fight against same-level troops is dicey. Hits very hard at range and is quite difficult to spot.

-Elf Dragoon (elite) requires 14 STR, 12 DEX, and 11 CHA. Quick, stealthy, can charge through difficult terrain and deals an incredible amount of damage when she does so. The dragoon is only moderately durable and is particularly vulnerable to single target damage, though her light armor and moderate health provides some protection from swarms and AoE. The typical strategy is to spike kill a dangerous or perceptive enemy and then flee, leaving any survivors to be mopped up by ranged attackers or expendable troops/fodder.

-Werewolf (elite). Can shift between three forms. In wolf form, the werewolf is stealthy but is weak in both attack and defense. In human form, the werewolf has good ranged attacks but poor defenses and stealth. In hybrid form, the werewolf has incredible melee attacks, decent durability (and stand-out durability for the forest domain), no ranged attacks, and terrible, terrible stealth.

-Treant (elite) requires 14 CON, 12 STR, and 11 WIS. Great size gives the treant long reach, and great strength gives him a powerful melee attack. He’s slow, especially for the forest domain, and durable, again especially for the forest domain, with good tank-style battlefield control. Can draw attention to himself in order to keep the heat off of more fragile party members. Can disguise self as a tree when stationary, which makes him reasonably stealthy when not moving in most environments, and extremely stealthy when in the familiar ground of a forest.

-Pixie (elite) requires 14 DEX, 12 CHA, and 11 WIS. A small and exceptionally stealthy illusionist and beguiler, the pixie is excellent at inflicting status effects, especially paralysis or slow effects, and is practically invisible even in those times when she isn’t literally invisible. She can’t deal much direct damage and is fragile even for the forest domain.

-Elf Scout (troop) requires 10 STR, 10 DEX, and 10 CHA. Fast, stealthy and with good damage at both range and in melee, but somewhat fragile, so more viable at range.

-Elf Witch (troop) requires 12 WIS, 10 INT, and 10 CHA. Stealthy with good mesmer and battlefield control powers, but does little damage and has difficulty affecting most elites.

-Satyr Warrior (troop) requires 11 STR, 11 DEX, and 11 CON. Sneaky, quick, moderately durable, and with good physical attacks. An all-rounder, but not especially good anything.

-Elf Fodder (fodder). Sneaky enough to make the Fey Queen’s basic strategy work, other than that mostly useless.

Black Prince

-The Black Prince (dark lord). Durable, good damage in melee and at range, and incredibly fast, the Black Prince is an all-rounder in all areas except speed. When mounted, the Black Prince is faster than anyone, and he uses that speed to dictate the range of the encounter and force his enemies to fight where they’re weak.

-The Arch-Bishop (lieutenant) requires 16 WIS, 14 CHA, and 12 CON. A durable tank with powerful long range buffing and healing. Slow compared to most of the plains domain, the Arch-Bishop uses the range of his spells to keep his fast-moving party members healed and buffed. Generally, the buffs are single target, but the heals can be party-wide and across several hundred yards.

-Dark Bishop (elite) requires 14 WIS, 12 CHA, and 11 CON. A lesser version of the Arch-Bishop, equally durable and equally long ranged, but with weaker buffs and healing.

-Black Knight (elite) requires 14 STR, 12 DEX, and 11 CON. A lesser version of the Black Prince, durable and powerful at all ranges and with incredible speed when mounted. Not as powerful in melee as a Ghoul Bruiser or Troll Knight, nor at range as a Ghoul Assassin or Elf Ranger, but faster than both and able to fight the Bruiser and Knight at range and the Assassin and Ranger in melee.

-Ogre Infantry (elite) requires 14 STR and 14 CON. Slow, tough, with good melee range and damage, the ogre infantry’s main role is to defend the healers in the Black Prince’s back line.

-Hobgoblin Captain (elite) requires 14 INT, 12 CHA, and 11 STR. A buffer with excellent speed, durability, and good melee damage, capable of keeping up with the rest of the party and providing powerful, party-wide buffs within a limited range.

-Hobgoblin Wolf Archer (elite) requires 14 DEX, 12 STR, and 11 INT. A mounted archer whose dire wolf mount has impressive melee capabilities as well. Not as heavily armored as the Black Knight, but hits a lot harder.

-Hobgoblin Cavalry (troop) requires 12 DEX and 10 STR. Fast and good in melee, but of only middling ranged power and durability. Comes with a dire wolf mount.

-Hobgoblin Infantry (troop) requires 12 STR and 12 CON. Good in melee, not quite useless at range, reasonably durable, but much slower than most of the rest of the plains domain. Stuck in front of the slow bishops and priests to provide protection, and can use ranged attacks to support the cavalry.

-Hobgoblin Archer (troop) requires 12 DEX and 12 CON. Good in range, not quite useless at melee, quite fragile, and fairly slow compared to the plains domain. Hangs out on the backline and snipes.

-Dark Priest (troop) requires 12 WIS, 10 CHA, and 10 CON. Decent single-target buffs and healing, squishy, poor attacks.

-Peasant Fodder (fodder). You get a spear and a hunting bow! You’ll still die right quick, but you’ll be slightly more flexible while doing so.

The Hobgoblin Archer is basically the same as the Skeleton Archer and the Orc Archer. The Hobgoblin Infantry is pretty much the Skeleton Infantry.

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