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Empathy is just a neat idea I have for a Chaos follower. A Daemon Prince who will be in my warband in apocalypse games, here's some quick background.
Originally a member of the Lamenters, he turned in Badab and managed to find himself in the Red Corsairs. Yet his curse still sat heavily on his shoulders, and his efforts to suceed in anything he did seemed futile. Wrecked and broken he wound up in the centre of the Maelstrom, where he struck a pact with the gods, he would make everyone he came near suffer as he did. The Chaos Gods heard his plea, and granted his request. Empathy's body and armour disintegrated and he turned into a billowing cloud of black smoke. Taking on many forms in his angst against his unfortunate existance, Empathy now stalks great hosts of Chaos Warriors, hoping to find innocents to make suffer his pain.
Incorporeal Smog: As a gout of smoke, Empathy's save is invulnerable. Also, place a -1 modifier on any enemy model in combat with Empathy, as smoke is hard to hit after all. Empathy has the Hit and Run universal special rule
Slow and Purposeful: Empathy is a rolling cloud of smoke, he is slow and purposeful.
Eternal Warrior: Damned to suffer for eternity, Empathy can never truly die. He is an Eternal Warrior.
Waves of Anguish: All those near Empathy are driven to the edge of depression and anguish by his heart wrenching screams. Any unit within 6" of Empathy must take a pinning test at the start of their movement phase (friendly or enemy). Fearless units are immune as normal.
Empathetic Pact: The Chaos Gods gave empathy a gift, that others should suffer the pain that he suffers. However, Empathy also suffers from others pain. As such, any hit made against Empathy (from shooting, close combat, blast markers, Vibro Cannons, or any other means imaginable, whether or not they cause damage, such as markerlights) is also inflicted on the unit that fired the shot in the first place, in addition to it's effects working on Empathy. However, every wound Empathy causes (even if caused by Empathetic Pact) causes him to lose a wound. On the flip side, every wound dealt to Empathy increases his total number of wounds by one, rather than reducing it.
Pain Delegation: Empathy can force others to feel his pain with an agonising shriek. This is a shooting attack used instead of Empathy firing any other weapon or running. Roll 8D6. Any enemy unit (including vehicles) within this range (in inches) must roll a dice. On a roll of a one they must fire upon empathy in the following shooting phase, even if circumstance would normally not allow them to (exluding not being able to see empathy). With the following restrictions:
In short, nothing may be done to reduce the amount of firepower brought to bear upon Empathy.
- Units cannot run to not shoot him.
- Vehicles must move as little as possible yet still remain in range to fire as many available weapons as possible.
- Units can do nothing that would take them out of range of fire.
- Units cannot perform any action that would reduce their number of shots, unless it is necessary to get into firing range.
- If a unit is already in range with all guns it may not move unless doing so would not alter the weapons it fires.
- Units must move closer to empathy if they are found out of range. If the majority of the unit is range they will not move.
- Units may not move to obstruct other unit's Line of Sight to Empathy. They wish to inflict as much pain as possible upon the creature to end their own suffering, so cannot interfere with others attempting to hurt him.
- Ignore any other circumstance that would stop them shooting him (a Chaos Dreadnought rolling Blood Frenzy for example).
Thoughts? I was going to up the points cost, but in big games, the amount of wounds he causes unto others will probably kill him in a turn or two.
Empathy, Emo King of Chaos!
At first I thought 15 wounds, with Empathic Pact made him way too overpowered... but for 600 points, I'm assuming he is intended for Apocalyptic battles.. or at least.. larger battles..
Even still, its hard to determine how balanced he is.. perhaps add a dice roll.. Only if he passes his save, he regains a wound, and he has to roll a shooting attack to return a wound back to the enemy who made it.
I'm not sure the overall affect .... But whatever, I dig the idea!
Yeah it'll be hard to work out the effects of him without some extensive playtesting. Considering he is based entirely on luck (who would shoot him voluntarily??) his effect could change every game. And when I say a hit made against him, I mean this is the successful to hit rolls. The hit is also made against the firing squad, so you still need to roll to wound. The easiest way to kill him would just be something like sixty odd guardsmen with lasguns. You definately don't want to shoot him with strength D....
Eh.. the easiest way to kill him is to get him in a multiple combat.. So long as the opponents got other targets to hit besides him, he's got 15 kills to make before he dies.
I like the idea, but I don't think it's quite ready for a game.
My first concern is that Empathy is himself a cloud of smoke, yet he has a toughness of 6. This doesn't make much sense, as smoke is not tough enough to stop any bullets, lasers, etc. You could probably burn/disipate it with a flamer though, which leads me to believe he should be using a cover save. How about a 4+ cover save and 5+ for the Invulnerable?
Secondly, Empathic Pact seems unbalanced because Empathy is gaining a Wound every time instead of losing one. So he's just getting more health when the opponent attacks him, while they continue taking extra hits for doing so. You can't kill that, and his potential ability to kill is limited only by what the opponent fields. Empathy would theoretically have to cost an infinite number of points to pay for this!
Possible solution: Empathy does not take wounds from attacks made by other models. He inflicts any hits directed at him back on the units that fired them. For each unsaved wound caused by these hits, Empathy inflicts a wound upon himself. Only his invulnerable save is allowed against these wounds.
(Notice I limited the extra wounds he takes to those inflicted by Empathic Pact. This would allow him to also function as a normal MC outside of this rule. It should make him more fun to use, since it will be a race to tack on additional kills before he gives up all his wounds.)
The other issue I found is with Pain Delegation. It's not very fun to be forced to shoot a certain target. It ends up taking most of the game out of the player's hands (at least within Empathy's range). There are also a lot of loopholes to consider, which complicates the whole process.
Possible solution: Take it out and let the opponent decide if he wants to attack at the expense of his own men, or reduce the ability's effect in some way. Give each unit a chance to test against its effect. A straight 4+ should work. Any enemy unit that fails is subject to Rage and is only able to see Empathy as the closest enemy unit.
Thanks for reading! I hope he turns out great.
Hey thanks for the advice! Ok, lets have a looky...
"However, every wound Empathy causes (even if caused by Empathetic Pact) causes him to lose a wound."
This means that for every wound he causes then he will lose one. Meaning if a squad with high power weaponry but low survivability opened up on him, well then empathy would take more damage from it than they would. And considering this is his only real form of damage (he doesn't ignore saves for example) then I reckon it's about right. But like I said, I would need to test it out.
I like those suggestions. I felt the same.. that he wasn't quite ready to be played, and needed some tweaking, but I couldn't quite put my finger on how to fix some of his rules.
I think all of the above are sage.. but. The one problem I really had with Empathy was his Pain Delegation. I think if you take the above suggestions into consideration (you should also reconsider his number of Wounds.. I have an idea for that as well.)
Perhaps instead of forcing the player to shoot at Empathy, give them incentive to do so. Now. He has Slow and Purposeful, so he's rather slow to move. Give him a potent close range ability, that would make the opponent have to choose.. kill some of my own men to get rid of that thing.. or let him use his ability when he finally reaches me..
Here's my idea:
Pain Delegation - All those in close proximity to Empathy are cursed to share in the torment of his damned existence. Such is the tortured miasma that bleeds from Empathy's essence that even the most devout opposition is irrevocably tainted. Those who spend too long near to this roiling storm of anguish will never again know anything but depression and pain. As such, Empathy adds +2 to all friendly combat resolution against enemies in close combat with at least one enemy model within 12" of Empathy. Additionally, any enemy unit with at least one model that moves within 12" of Empathy has their Leadership value permanently reduced by 1, and their Weapon Skill reduced by 1 for as long as they remain within range of this ability.
Now. This is a wicked sick ability! It gives your army better staying power in close combat, and reduces the combat effectiveness of even fearless units (as they will potentially suffer two more wounds if they fail a round of combat), and non-Fearless units will likely break without question. Damn! I can't let that thing reach my lines!! I gotta kill it!
Now, my idea for wounds.. I think 8 wounds would work nicely, if you increase his Cover Save to 3+ and his Invulnerable save to 4+ (I thought that was a brill idea, Krovin! But what is the point of giving him a cover save if he is only ever going to use his invulnerable save?)
To make up for this loss of wounds, I would reword Empathic Pact to read something like this:
Empathy has no toughness value and as such does not suffer wounds as normal. Instead, any shooting or close combat attacks made against him that successfully hit are reflected back to the unit that made them, and hit automatically. The attacking player may allocate wounds and make saves as per normal. For every wound inflicted upon an enemy unit in this manner, Empathy loses one wound. Empathy may make a cover or invulnerable save as normal. If Empathy passes this save, the wound is instead inflicted upon a friendly unit with at least one model within 6" of him, wounds inflicted in this manner hit and wound automatically, but may otherwise be saved against normally. If no friendly unit is within range, Empathy loses a wound with no save possible. If Empathy rolls a 6 on any cover or invulnerable save, not only does he save versus the wound, but he also regains one lost wound (up to a maximum of 5 wounds)
Now.. he is slightly weaker, but he is providing the opponent with more reason to shoot at him! Not only do they chance wounding Empathy, but they also chance wounding friendly units around him.. so why shoot at those units when you can just shoot at Empathy and kill two birds with one stone? I thought, since he has fewer wounds now, it would be nice to give him the possibility to regain wounds, though only to a maximum of 5. Overall, this sounds much more balanced.. I think. Though the wording of it could be touched up a little bit.. to be a little less confusing.
Also.. I'd get rid of his Incorporeal Smog ability, since it is made up for by Pain Delegation.
And finally.. I think a nice devastating effect when he is banished would be nice. He goes out with a cacophony of tortured screams that cast a literal pall across the battlefield. All units, friend or foe, fearless or not, within 12" of him must take a Leadership test with a -2 modifier. Every unit that fails this test will have one wound inflicted upon them for every point they failed the test by, and may make saves as normal.
Let me know what you think I'm really digging my ideas, though the final one was just an afterthought, and I'm not too sure if its really necessary. It could be a double edged sword, giving the opponent more incentive to take out Empathy before he reaches their lines, but also making him that much deadlier when he finally does.
So what I did here was basically fix that problem by:Possible solution: Empathy does not take wounds from attacks made by other models. He inflicts any hits directed at him back on the units that fired them. For each unsaved wound caused by these hits, Empathy inflicts a wound upon himself. Only his invulnerable save is allowed against these wounds.
BossGorestompa points out a problem with the last sentence (underlined), so go ahead and ignore that one. (nice eye, Boss!)
- Taking out the problem sentence, "He gains wounds instead of losing them" and replaced it with "He doesn't take take wounds...". This removes the extra step of subtracting and then adding to his total. It also lets us describe the specific situation in which he doesn't take wounds.
- Now that we know the specific situation where wounds are ignored, we can still have Empathy take wounds by circumventing that situation. In my example, the wounds he should take are not caused by other models, so he cannot ignore them. Cool, yeah?BossGoreStompa's got some very nice ideas for this. Wicked sick indeed!Well the entire thing is random. If I were to include another check to see if it affects them, he would barely affect anything in the long run. I know what you mean about the lack of fun though. I'm trying to think of a way around it....
I haven't the time right now.. We just got hit by a big snow storm, and have a few emergencies to take care of around the house... Like a lack of heating -.- Freckin furnace..
But, maybe later tonight, when I've more time.. I could write up a complete unit entry for Empathy, as I see him functioning now. If you'd like. Organizing our new ideas may help to put everything into perspective, to see if it works as intended, and to inspire new ideas.
This character is too cool to pass up on helping with ^-^ Thanks for the brill idea!