In the last Godtear blog, we explained how we’ve designed Godtear to be a game for a wide variety of gamers. In today’s blog, we’re going to focus on another foundational element of Godtear’s design – Champions.
In the world of Godtear, Champions are powerful individuals capable of drawing upon the power of the godtears, gems of immense power that hold the essence of past gods. For most mortals, attempting to interact with a godtear is a death sentence, but Champions are drawn to their power and can channel that power to perform superhuman feats. As their powers grow, lesser warriors are drawn to their side as they quest to become powerful enough to create a new pantheon of gods.
With a background like that, we wanted our Champions to feel on the tabletop like singularly powerful entities with highly diverse sets of strengths and weaknesses.
Regardless of genre, we’ve all played games that impart a truly distinct feel to their characters (or factions or alignments) across a diverse roster. We’ve also all played games where the differences are largely cosmetic rather than a compelling part of gameplay. While there’s certainly room for games with highly symmetrical design, we knew we wanted to highlight Godtear’s diverse cast and to ensure that each new Champion brought something special to the table.
Part of this process comes down to the design of individual Champions, but we also wanted to form a framework to build upon. After quite a few different iterations of various roles and archetypes, we settled on a system of four classes of Champion.
SLAYERS are the most familiar type of Champion. They focus on dealing damage to a single target, but their individual methods vary greatly. For example, one Slayer could make brutal shots with a bow from a great distance while another could smash an enemy’s face with their fists while yet another could whip their Followers into ruthless murder machines. Regardless of the methods they employ, however, Slayers are the go-to Champion class for dealing with tough targets.
MAELSTROMS place a greater focus on the quantity of their attacks than their individual quality. These Champions can’t deal as much damage as Slayers against hard targets, but they’re more capable of thinning out the ranks of an opponent’s army. Maelstroms also favour a more fluid fighting style, moving from enemy to enemy rather than going toe-to-toe with a single foe. As with any Godtear class, this can take many forms – from fireballs blasting apart clustered enemies to whirlwind style attacks against every adjacent enemy to effects that chain from foe to foe.
GUARDIANS concern themselves less with the opposing warband’s destruction than with their own warband’s longevity. Most Guardians are extremely tough in their own right, but Guardians are far more varied than walking barriers. Guardians can focus on taking hits for nearby allies, increasing damage reduction for themselves or others, healing friendly models’ wounds, or even returning armies of Followers to the battle.
SHAPERS, last but not least, weave the flow of battle to give their warband the upper hand. Shapers typically have at least one ability to move other models (friendly and/or enemy), but they’re also the class that interacts most directly with scenario objectives and the battlefield board. Right down to how they make Skill rolls and deal damage, Shapers are a unique breed, but what they lack in raw offence, they make up for with abilities that can change the course of battle at its pivotal moment.
Choosing which classes to include in your warband can be a tough decision with lots of pros and cons to weigh against one another. Once you consider the unique ways each Champion embodies their class, the decisions become even tougher.
In future blogs, we’ll also take a look at how you actually win a game of Godtear. While it never hurts to have a ruthless killer on your side, there’s a lot more to winning that who has the biggest axe.