It’s a big one, so stop drinking blood and eyes forward!
With the release of the Vampiric Aristocracy boxed set today, we have some brand new characters! With that we’ve also taken the opportunity to do a massive balance pass on the Strigoi faction. This is probably the biggest single update we’ve done since release!
Now, it’s long been known that the Strigoi are the most powerful faction. With Frenzied and Vampiric Attack, it can be extremely hard to keep these vampires down, as unless you kill them in one round, they’ll immediately bounce back to full health.
How to Achieve Balance
So a little explanation before we start off. We have a big master spreadsheet of rules here at TTTowers, which contains every single character class in the game (and plenty of future ones too). Each stat is input and each rule selected from a drop-down menu. I’m pretty proud of it tbh. Each skill and stat has a weight to it, and through a series of extremely complicated formulas, it spits out a Ducat cost. We then take these rules to the table and get some playtesting in, changing them as needed, and then making fine adjustments to Ducat costs. Unfortunately the formulas don’t always show exactly how good things are on the tabletop! This has been the case with the Strigoi. So apologies to Strigoi players, as this is going to be a bit of a nerf to bring your faction in line with everyone else.
As always, these changes are based on our own experiences and feedback from players round the world. We weight our feedback to heavily focus on games played, but take on all comments. If you have feedback on how your games have been going, please email us! Once the game is out in the wild, it doesn’t really belong to us anymore, it’s all about you, the players.
So with that in mind, let’s see what’s happened. This is going to be a long one!
To bring Strigoi more in line with the other gangs, and help them to play how we want them to play, they’ve seen a series of systematic changes.
In general, all the vampiric characters have lost 1 Life Point. This means you’re still quite strong, but use too many Life Points as Will Points and you’ll be in trouble. We’ve always had Strigoi as a berserker faction, going in hot, but unable to take the punishment of concentrated attacks.
Also several Strigoi have lost an ability. Some of these were carry overs from earlier editions of testing, and we felt that they had too many advantages that they didn’t really need. A lot of these rules acted as redundancies on things the characters were aleady very adept at, so now they’re just a little less reliable.
OH! And while I remember, RASHAAR players will see a little change to their Urchins. No longer the mad asssassins they were before, their special rule has been tightened up a bit.
- Both Vlad and the Noble Strigoi have lost a Life Point each, and their Bloodline and Master Bloodline abilities have be restricted a little. Now they only work on characters with the Vampire keyword. That means that Romani-heavy gangs are able to be lead by a Blood Crone, since the Vampires don’t boost their Mind value anymore. Good for them!
- The Noble Strigoi has also lost his Acrobatic special rule. With MOV and DEX 5 already, he didn’t really need it.
- The Heroes of the Strigoi have been brought down a little bit too. All vampires have had their Life Points reduced by 1.
- The Reaper has lost his Acrobatic (again, MOV and DEX 5 should be plenty).
- Finally the Brides of Dracula have seen a debuff as well, losing Acrobatic (see a theme here?) and going down to 2 Action Points. For Hero choice (albeit unique ones) they were stronger than most factions’ Leaders, and that wasn’t quite right.
- Common Strigoi have had their Life Points reduced by 1 and lost Acrobatic.
- Newborn Strigoi have… well they’ve had quite a few changes! He’s lost First Strike and his Protection is a measly 1 now. He’s also down to 8 Life Points. It’s a pretty severe nerf! However, he’s been knocked right down to 8 Ducats, meaning Strigoi players now have a very affordable Henchman choice! Just be careful with his Life Points, since he always has to boost his attack rolls by 1!
- Oh in a little good news, Romani have gone up to Mind 2! That’ll make casting those Cantrips a lot easier.
It’s not all bad news, Strigoi players! You have 2 new Hero choices!
The Hulking Moroi is a Newborn Strigoi on steroids. Magical, blood-filled steroids, but yeah. He’s got a lot of Life Points (take that, everyone else in this post), decent Protection, and fantastic Clawed Hands! Seriously, +1 Damage and -2 Penetration? This guy is a machine.
He also comes complete with First Strike (2), and the familiar Crazed rule which means he always has to use 1 Life Point when attacking. Not too bad a prospect with this one really. All that together means he can score a potential 9 damage on the charge! That’s insane. And -2 Pen as well means few are surviving.
Of course, for all this he’s also Mindless and a hefty 18 Ducats. He’s good at one thing, and that thing is tearing people apart.
The Highborn Servant is our second Hero choice. She’s not a Romani or a Strigoi, but she’s trying to become the latter!
These characters have a lot of money and not a lot of sense, since they’re really trying to get their masters to kill them and drink their blood. If they work hard enough there’s a chance they’ll be given the Blood Kiss though. I guess that’s worth it?
Anyway, for your 14 Ducats you get a real varied character. Her stats are actually the same as the Moroi, but she swaps out the claws for more refined weapons. A sword and a pistol give her ability at range and close up, and make her one of only a couple of Strigoi characters with ranged weapons.
She also has Companion for all her Vampire masters, and Parry (2) helps her avoid damage. Really well-rounded!
However, one of the biggest draws is her Bankroll ability. You can use the Highborn Servants to reuse a piece of equipment you’ve already used. Had to perform a last minute parachute jump off a building? Don’t worry, she brought a back-up! You really get your Ducats’ worth with this one.
It’s not just Heroes, the Henchmen in the Vampiric Aristocracy box are also excellent.
The Nosferatu aren’t strictly new, but they have had some changes.
First of all they lost Parry and 1 Life Point. Standard nerfing really, sorry. They’ve also lost 1 Attack, down to 2. They’re real support characters now!
However, their Command Ability Shadow Walker has changed dramatically. Before it gave other Nosferatu Ethereal, but we wanted them to be more widely useful, so now it allows them to turn friendlies into smoke, only for them to re-solidify further away. It’s basically a Gateway spell you don’t have to roll for! VERY COOL.
The Starved Dhampir is our new Henchman choice. She is… kinda weird.
Her stats are pretty bad. 3s, 2s and a 1. It’s not great. She has no regular abilities you wouldn’t expect (just Frenzied and Vampiric Attack) and standard fangs.
However, Rejuvenated is really special. Every time she replenishes Life Points from Vampiric Attack, she gets better. Through starvation she feels the feeds more than others, getting stronger each time. You can add 1 to Movement, Dexterity, Attack, or Mind every time, up to a maximum of 6. That means that given enough feeding she’ll be able to take down even the strongest Leader characters!
At the start of the game your opponent would be silly to spend too much energy going after her, but if she’s left unchecked she can pick on some support characters and become a real pain!
So that’s the changes to the rules! There’s a lot to digest, so I’ll leave it there for now. If you have thoughts on these changes, or about anything else in the game, do let us know!
And if these new characters tickle your fancy, don’t forget to pop over to the TTCombat webstore and pre-order yours today!