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New Hero concepts: three different tanks Junker Queen, Mauga, Sound Quake
She has 200hp and 200armor. A legit Zarya competitor for brawler offtank. Primary weapons are a flame thrower and a large 2 handed axe. Her flamethrower deals more direct almost beam like damage in a narrow cone with a range similar to Sym beam less like Mei freeze. Use it to heat up enemies. Hot enemies take less healing from their allies and this stacks up to 20% but doesn't go through barriers. Enemies cool down immediately after being fired upon at the same rate they heat up. Roughly 5 seconds to cooldown completely and the heal dampening slowly fades. Right click swings the axe in an arc longer than a regular melee, has a 4 second cooldown. Attack is similar to rein hammer but deals significantly more damage to hotter enemies 90 baseline and up to 150 to molten enemies. Use it as a finisher. Right click is tether chain. Tethers her to a friendly player and using electricity gives them a shared healthpool with her for three seconds or if LOS breaks the chain. Her passive is Rockstar, the lower health percentage (60%/30%/10%) she has the more damage she deals and less damage she takes. Something like 50% damage increase and 50% resistance at the max. The rockstar buff and her enrage will apply to the tethered target also increasing damage to 100% and resistance to 99% for three seconds. She has a enrage at under 40hp. This can only occur once every 30 seconds. All damage taken is mitigated by 99% and deals 100% bonus damage with her axe and flame thrower for 3 seconds and also removes the cooldown from Axe swing. Ultimate is called Omnic scrap pile. Resurrects fallen allies as a poorly made robot version that can fight for 15 seconds until they explode dealing a small amount of damage. Robot versions of players have all of their abilities and ultimates but at a slightly weaker state and a slightly lower healthpool maybe 80% max health and 80% damage done. Resurrected players can contest and capture points for 15 seconds.
Similar to Zarya but a little different. Tether to your other tank in situations where you are pushing or if a player is being focused. Time your enrages on big pushes and use your axe after enrage to kill multiple hot enemies. Shoot from off angles to keep the heat on the enemy team. Use your ult after a team wipe. If your enrage procs you will most likely be the last woman standing. Shes similar to Zarya but also I would see them working well as tanks together. No barrier even needed with bubble and tether. She has a different enough ultimate that is essentially what the original Mercy resurrect should have been. You could add a movement shift but I dont think she needs one. Her weakness is being out of range.
Offtank in the same vein as Zarya. Brawler with the ability to save players and peel for her backline. Has team wiping damage output if she can get the enemy team hot. Provides a lot of damage for her team with the debuff. Another gold damage tank in the right hands. Lacks movement and although she has plenty of tanky passives she has little defense from ranged attacks. Timing her tether when she has hey enrage up will give a player a huge boost but leave her high vulnerable. Has a game changing ultimate that depends on her staying alive till a few players die.
Tagline: "Bow before your queen"
Requires frequent healing and can kill friendly players if she misuses her tether. Very easy to see red and overextend with her. Has a ramp up similar to Zarya until her damage gets really good but it fades much quicker than Zaryas energy. If shes out of range shes effectively useless. Shes certainly a front line brawler made to put pressure on tanks and kill close range heroes like Reaper. If she dies first her ultimate is useless.
Has dual gauss cannons that fire a projectile. Has a fairly high rate of fire, similar to Baptiste fire rate but a projectile so its more of a skill shot. He can strafe side to side fast but not forward. His main abilities work off a heat system. His primary gauss cannons build heat, strafing releases it. His strafe is even faster than a DVA thruster. It really moves him similar to a blink but only sideways and its not instant. He has no barriers but his highly mobile to compensate. 200 hp 200 shields. His damage works off of a mark system. Every shot landed applies one mark that last for 8 seconds or until refreshed. The marks stack up to three times and damage increases for his primary fire (80/90/100) to the marked targets only. He also takes less damage from marked targets (15%/25%/35). His secondary ability is a laser guided rocket that locks onto an enemy and fires like Soldier 76 tri rocket but its hitscan. It has a 14 second cooldown. Lockon takes three seconds for targets with 1 mark, two seconds for 2 mark targets, and one second for 3 marked targets. Enemies know they are being targeted so they have a chance to hide. It can only target one enemy at a time but deals more damage per mark on the enemy. Its basically a mini high noon for one enemy only. His ult is called Detonate and it causes all marked targets to explode in a small radius. Its a strong offensive ultimate that requires some preparation from him using his ability to get into off angles quickly. It only does 80 base damage on each target but damage done is to the target and anyone in a 3m radius around the target and stacks. Detonate will basically wipe the team if they don't spread out quickly. Targets with more marks explode faster and deal more damage in their explosion 80/100/120.
Use your strafe to avoid damage and dump heat build up from the primary fire. If he overheats it disables his strafe for 6 seconds. Strafe around the outside of barriers. He can shoot while strafing but only builds heat when hes not strafing. Keep stacks on multiple enemies to reduce damage taken and increase output. Use your laser guided rocket often as an execute and strafe around targets to get an angle. He can strafe and use his laser guided rocket at the same time. Build your ultimate and use it when the team is in a situation where they cant easily separate. Perfect for a map like kings row with tight corridors but these situations limit his movement so there's a trade off.
Anti sniper, anti deathball ultimate, dive capable ranged based off tank. Highly mobile and able to isolate the back line and get off an execute from long ranges. Even from range he is a serious threat. The most ranged based tank in the game thus far.
Tagline: "You are marked for death"
Lacks any sort of tanking ability to protect allies. Lower health for a tank and lacks a defensive ability until he can build up stacks on enemies. Is highly prone to CC.
Very big main tank thats very slow but has super high health and armor (400hp 400 armor), slams the ground and creates a rock wall in an arc spreading from directly in front of him and leaving either right or left side open, it has a 12 second cooldown and slightly less HP than mei wall so its easier to escape. Primary is two fire back mounted mortars with a very slow rate of fire and he can right click to grab enemies. He can grab an enemy CCing them for three seconds and using them as a temporary meat shield then throw them into an enemy player for 100 ranged damage. Enemies take friendly fire when they are grabbed so teammates gotta make sure they dont kill their own guys. He fires mortars from his back that rain down on enemies in an arc (it goes over barriers and short walls) but does not do much damage, maybe 60 damage but explodes in a 1m area. He has an absorb called magnetize on an 10 second cooldown that shoots an item that temporarily attracts projectiles to the ground at its location but can be destroyed similar to Baptiste immortality field. Its made from the same tech and has 200hp. Anyone targeting near it briefly targets the magnet and all projectiles fireing over it are pulled down. It can be fired a very short distance but can be also used to save allies. It cannot absorb attacks like DVAs matrix or Sigmas absorb but just diverts them to it. His ultimate is called Equalizer. It works like the Spirit link shaman totem in wow used to work in that Soundquake redistributes team health in a 15m radius. Use it to keep someone from getting picked off. If someone has 1hp then all damage is spread to the entire team in the area instead of the player dying. The ultimate doesn't create a totem but instead it emits from the Soundquake himself. He has a stalwart passive that keeps him from being knocked back.
Get in close using your wall slam to trap enemies in close range. Fire over your own wall to deal damage. Grab trapped enemies that get too close and use them as a projectile or meat shield. If your stuck then use your magnetize to absorb some damage. His primary fire is not really strong but hes a more defensive tank. Use your ultimate to save a lone teammate or survive big damage. best against something like dragon blade where one player is getting focused.
Main tank with no barrier. Has a very wide profile so he can be hid behind. Has one of the best CC in the game but requires you to be within melee range to execute it. Can survive through tons of damage by alternating abilities and using the wall to gain space, trap enemies, or as an escape.
Ultimate voiceline: "Tuning frequency!"
No real ranged suppression fire and only has Magnetize to temporarily avoid some ranged damage. The mortars fire slow and hit a targeted place on the ground 1-2 seconds after he fires. A large clumsy tank means he will be a bullet sponge if he doesn't position correctly. He can be overwhelmed. Very susceptible to hack because he shoots very slow but he can divert hack with magnetize if its off cooldown.
The Ballad of Win Walker (or How my Vampire Player got Banished to the Woods) Part 3
Part the Second: https://www.reddit.com/NeckbeardiaYT/comments/imn6ng/the_ballad_of_win_walker_or_how_my_vampire_playe
So, Win just violated the Masquerade as blatantly as possible, by hiring seven expensive mortal assassins to kill the Nosferatu Primogen of Houston. I really had no idea what to do with this, so I decided for fun, and because I'm that big of a nerd, to kind of play it out by myself.
Perhaps I should have just done a flat, "no, the assassins fail," sort of thing, but there were two things to consider. First, doing that would royally screw over Duck. While it was his own decision, it felt a bit too harsh. Duck likes trying off-the-wall things, and while this is often tonally inconsistent with our game (he once killed a fleshcrafted Tzimisce-created monstrosity by throwing a shoe at it), he was also invested in the world. Duck told me once that he actually had a nightmare about escaping Parovich's lair, with the large vampire chasing him down with a flamethrower. While this had happened in game, I credit Duck's investment more than my own storytelling for this nightmare, which was still strangely flattering.
But if I just said "no," that meant Charles O'Daire had a fair chance of discovering of what happened, and he would not hesitate to make it public that Win had destroyed the Masquerade and attempted to have his elder assassinated. Win would be executed for sure.
The second reason I didn't want to give a flat fail to the assassination shenanigans was because I honestly wasn't sure if they would immediately fail. Win hired seven people who were worth the money he (sort of) spent on them. Additionally, he had told them where Charles O'Daire lived, and how to kill vampires. While the assassins had little prep time, they had a lot of advantages. So maybe they had a chance?
So, I decided to have fun with it. Win hired the assassins over the Dark Web, and so, he had basically no information on who they were. I made seven misfit assassins with little regard to how seriously they would fit the world, but instead in how fun they would be to create/run. The seven turned out to be:
- A faceman, portrayed as Dan Stevens from the Guest, a movie both Duck and I love and highly recommend.
- A mercenary portrayed by Big Boss from Metal Gear Solid
- A Federal Agent moonlighting as an assassin portrayed by Sloan from Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (if you've seen the show, you know this is fitting)
- A Mafia Gunman portrayed by Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop
- A roided-up muscle-head portrayed by Bane
- A Sniper portrayed by Lockon Stratos from Gundam 00 (yeah, yeah, weeb shit- look, I had just finished watching it at the time.)
- A knife-wielding lunatic portrayed by Setsuna F. Seiei, also from Gundam 00.
But there was a catch.
See, Win and Kido had amassed their small fortune to pay these assassins through some pretty crude means. Basically, they had created some basic phishing scams, and stole credit card information and tried to charge their payments to some of the wealthier fools who had bitten. The thing is, banks tend to keep an eye out for large and suspicious transactions.
While the assassins hadn't thoroughly confirmed their payment because they had to gather and plan an assault within an incredibly short window, they certainly looked for it after they were done and were pissed when their pending transaction suddenly vanished. Unfortunately, their benefactor wasn't taking messages, as he had other business.
While Duck had destroyed my plot hook intended to just get him to join up with the rest of the party on the Sabbat ship, I still needed him to team up with them. After all, there was now only two players conscious and running around on a freighter full of murderous, diablerist Sabbat.
Originally, Alexis had been captured, while Luke and Orville the Glorious followed to rescue her. However, real life intervened in the plot at this point. Orville's player had to miss several sessions, so plans had to be altered. While the option of just running him as an NPC was always present, I had a much more entertaining idea.
Win wasn't the only one with a backstory filled with plot hook ideas. Orville had specified in his long history, that his vampiric nature had been discovered while he fought in the Civil War. This had led to the discoverer teaching himself in the art of vampire hunting and passing down his vendetta for generations. In fact, the original hunter had become so obsessed with killing Orville, that when he died, his soul remained in the mortal realm to haunt a family pendant, harassing his descendants to continue the hunt and kill Orville so he could finally be put to rest.
Part of the reason this ghost was so obsessed was that he had discovered Orville had originated in England (true) and that he was responsible for a series of grisly murders (false). His conviction was so strong that Orville was a monster, he hung around for several generations.
However, his descendants were not always so zealous. The current generation's hunter really wasn't all that interested in killing vampires so much as getting rid of this ghost that kept bothering him. To this end, he tracked down Orville and ambushed him with the rest of the party.
I'm pretty sure this was actually while Gelso was still around, and it was this hunter who blew up a car (possibly with Orville still inside). Gelso must not have assisted Orville out or something along those lines, because this eventually sealed Orville's decision to convict Gelso before the council. But the important part of this story is that the hunter ran up to Orville and smashed the haunted pendant into Orville's chest, breaking it in two.
This was enough to transfer the spirit into Orville himself, where the ghost would continue to do minor damage to Orville until the worst possible moment.
As Luke and Orville approached the Sabbat ship, Orville collapsed in a heap, and would remain unconscious no matter what Luke tried.
Fortunately, Win got his shit together around this time, and decided he would still like to go kill Sabbat on a ship to stop whatever they had planned. He showed up, and together with Luke, they freed Alexis and had many adventures and close calls on the ship. They even encountered Orville at one point, though bizarrely, he was wielding a Tommy Gun.
Orville had sworn to fight honorably- only using his Glorious fists and muscles, so this was out of character to say the least. As it turned out, the ghost had possessed him and was now having a field day killing every monstrous vampire he came across. While the party was worried that the ghost had no regard for Orville's safety, they also weren't in much shape to apprehend him, and allowed him to continue killing Sabbat as he saw fit.
Long story short, the party discovered that Ilianna, the Ventrue Sire who had sired Gelso, had found sympathy with the Sabbat, or at least with their aims to destroy the Camarilla and was onboard the ship. She had fed insider information about Milwaukee to the Sabbat, and with that, they planned an attack.
Their biggest obstacle was the Anubi- the organization of Gangrel vampires who protected the Kindred of Milwaukee from ongoing werewolf attacks. In effect, they were a sort of Kindred military force, but their relationship with the council was quite strained. The Council saw them as a tool to police other Kindred, while the Anubi quite rightly wanted to focus on preventing the werewolves from slaughtering them all. Recently, with the search for the rogue sires taking so long, the Prince and the Council had strong-armed the Anubi into taking up the job.
This worked perfectly for the Sabbat, and they quickly planted misinformation within the ranks of the Anubi that the sires were going to be at one of four possible locations on a particular night. The Anubi just wanted to get this over with as quickly, so they split their forces into four parts, one for each location. While the Anubi thought they would ambush the sires, in reality, the Sabbat would ambush the Anubi.
The players having realized this, quickly prepared to abandon ship and warn the Camarilla. Orville had also regained his senses and quelled the spirit within, learning that he could channel some of its energy into a spiritual flame that could engulf his fists, but that would destroy the hunter's soul if used up completely. Ilianna came to realize the Sabbat were, to her, just as bad as the Camarilla and as a fuck you to them and to the party, she scuttled the ship.
The party raced to the lifeboats, saving as many of the humans who had been kidnapped as cattle as they could. However, Ilianna was already in one of them with her two ghoul bodyguards. The party knocked out Ilianna and killed one of her ghouls, but before they got the last one, he ran up and fed Ilianna some of his own blood.
The party didn't understand the significance of that, and just killed the ghoul. While their backs were turned, Ilianna leapt back up, having been healed by that blood, and held one of them hostage (I don't remember who). After a tense moment, they managed to knock her out of the boat before she could act, and the flesh-monsters in the water (did I forget to mention those?), the ones created by the Sabbat, grabbed her and dragged her under, slowly ripping her apart as she cursed all of vampire existence, believing they all were corrupt and all deserved to die.
After dominating the rescued humans to forget everything they had seen and experienced, the party returned to Milwaukee with one goal accomplished, but a much bigger challenge ahead.
Now for some reason, I thought the party, realizing that the Sabbat forces were formidable, would pick which groups of Anubi were a priority to save and make a difficult choice of who would be left out to dry. Instead, they thought, "there's four of us, and four targets, let's each go to one!" So they did, with mixed results.
Alexis went to the Marquette Interchange - a massive collection of bridges and highways that just looks like a big clusterfuck. It was a common battleground for some of the Anarchs, and would make it easy for the Sabbat to zip in, attack, and zip out. The leader of this attack also could transform into a giant monstrous bat, and would land on cars and slash at their occupants.
But if you remember, Alexis was a min-maxed combat character. She also had found a sniper rifle. When the bat swooped down at the car she was in, she just put the barrel up against its head and one shot the creature. So much for that boss fight.
On the other end of the spectrum, there was Luke Green. Luke was trying to counter-counter ambush the Sabbat attacking a nightclub belonging to Angel Wiggin, a Toreador who I created as a sort of DMPC, but didn't actually wind up doing much adventuring. His schtick was that he knew Kindred liked feeding in nightclubs and he catered his business towards them, ensuring they always got the best vitae for the right price.
The Sabbat in this attack were blending in with the usual crowd and planning on picking off the Anubi one by one from the shadows for as long as they could. Somehow, Luke got on the phone with the Sabbat leader of this attack, a Toreador Antitribu bitch named Monica, who they had previously met on the Sabbat ship. She liked to paint her face like a Dia de los Muertos skull and had the rare ability to eat food, which she mostly used to obnoxiously drink soda. When they had been captured, she had been bored and played a game of poker with them for their lives, which Luke had won. He now tried to use her promise not to kill him to protect the Anubi as well, but she wasn't buying it. Though for shits and giggles, she promised not to hurt Angel.
But things didn't stay calm for long. The Sabbat cut the power, dropped in smoke and hunted down the dazed Anubi. Luke didn't fare well when he tried to stop them and was knocked unconscious. When he woke up, he and Angel were on the roof of the club, which was burning down, all the Anubi inside dead, and a message written in the blood of several dead mortals nearby. It read: "Kept my promise Luke <3"
Meanwhile, Orville had set off for a Performing Arts Center downtown, where the next attack was set to take place and take out the leader of the Anubi. Alexis, having finished her own mission so quickly, actually met up with him to assist. And Orville just might need that assistance, as the form of the attacker revealed itself: a HUGE, fleshcrafted walking tank. It had a squat, round body, four legs and a gaping maw. It could easily stand with its feet on either side of a street, and seemed immune to any attack.
Worse yet, this thing was not going to stay hidden. This was breaking the Masquerade in style. Fortunately, there was a bizarre plan that the Anubi could put into effect. You see, a werewolf in its Crinos (monstrous, half-wolf, half-human) form would create a delirium within mortals who saw it. Mortals would panic, flee and later rationalize what they saw, usually not in a very coherent manner. Basically, it made mortals trip out, but also forget about any supernatural stuff they saw. At least, that was the hope the Anubi, Alexis and Orville had left.
So Decker, leader of the Anubi, and a veteran werewolf hunter (read: total badass) took out a werewolf prisoner they had and punted it around in Crinos form to pacify any mortals looking out a window while the others desperately tried to figure out how to stop the walking tank.
Eventually, they decided that since they couldn't do any damage to it outside, they would try attacking it from the inside. Alexis, Orville and a couple of Anubi allies leapt inside. There, they found the monster's creator.
Dr. Hawthorne, as I believe he was called, had been a minor recurring character throughout this campaign. You may recall that Zyklon Hans captured a Lasombra who had been sent ahead by the Sabbat to secure his allegiance (among other things). Well, when she had been captured, the Sabbat needed to ensure that she wouldn't spill any secrets, and Dr. Hawthorne was one of the agents they sent in.
As the name implies, he was a medical doctor, in addition to being a Tzimisce. This meant that the flesh-crafting abilities of the Tzimisce were particularly potent when he was wielding them. The party had been too late to prevent him from getting to the Lasombra on that occasion, and they found his handiwork left behind. He had opened her skull and dug around in her brain, searching for what she might have said, while destroying it at the same time.
Okay, yes, for those of you nit-picking, this probably shouldn't have worked. Vampires are supposed to be animated dead bodies, but dead bodies nonetheless, so she probably would have no information stored in her brain about anything she did as a Kindred. But. It was cool, and disturbing. And in the end, that's what matters.
So, here, Dr. Hawthorne had surpassed himself with this giant monstrous creation. When Orville and Alexis found him, he was actually partly fused within the creature on its inside, controlling it directly. He was extremely proud, and was boasting about his accomplishment. Naturally, the players and the Anubi tried to skip the cutscene and just kill him.
Unfortunately for them, their attacks (all melee, actually) just sank into the flesh and then were trapped there. Orville, who relied on punching, had his arms nearly sunk in to the elbow within this fleshy abomination. But he knew something Dr. Hawthorne didn't. Orville had a new "friend."
Channeling much of the ghost's energy, he surrounded his fists with burning mystical fire, which was devastating to the Tzimisce, as Orville's fists were essentially inside him. Hawthorne died, and so did his beast. All that was needed was to push it back into the river (from where it had emerged) and see it get washed away.
But what about Win?
Win was tasked with aiding the Anubi investigating a rather interesting location. Earlier in the story, the players had come across this location- a facility for testing the strengths and weaknesses of Kindred. More interestingly, it was run by Kue-Jin or the Kindred of the East. If you've played Bloodlines, you know I just kind of ripped off a quest from that game, and I confess, this is true. It made a lot less sense to have a Kue-Jin lab in Milwaukee than in L.A., but what can I say? I thought it was cool.
Anyway, the facility had also captured and tested stuff on some werewolves as well. Win didn't do too bad in saving his Anubi friends, and Duck even got a pleasant surprise. When Win was next to a minigun the facility had, the werewolf that had killed his first character, Karl Meezy, escaped from a cell. Duck got the pleasure of mercilessly gunning him down with the minigun, but unfortunately, he couldn't keep the powerful weapon, as I made sure it was bolted to the floor.
Everything was going well, until the last moments. Duck, while not being particularly cautious, also wasn't being reckless, the dice just turned against him, and Win took enough damage to be killed. I really hated for it to end like this, especially after Duck's last two characters died so ignominiously. As I mentioned before, while Duck was greatly enjoying the game, he also sometimes didn't understand the gravity of certain situations, so I felt maybe I owed it to go a little easier on him.
At the same time, I wanted death to have consequences, so I proposed a compromise: I would allow Win to live, with the understanding that his character would be facing some serious disadvantages and burdens, left to my discretion. I, did, however say that I would try to give him some advice occasionally to hopefully avoid anything too major. Sigh, if only...
Duck thought about my proposed "deal with the devil" for some time, but eventually agreed. Win would live to fight another day, but something would be waiting for him...
The players managed to drive off the Sabbat, and were (mostly) looked at like heroes. While Luke still had to find and bring in his sire, Lucia, this was on hold for the moment.
Eventually, Luke was called out by Lucia in a meeting in a chapel on the outskirts of town. The rest of the party followed in stealth, with great difficulty. It turned out that Lucia became satisfied with Luke and offered for him to join with her and they would venture across the country together- two rogue Tremere, delving into the secrets of Thaumaturgy. He would replace her old childe, and they would be happy forever and ever.
If he just would complete one ritual, which would bond them together.
He said yes, but partway through the ritual, the others burst in, and Luke joined them in trying to kill Lucia. Unfortunately, Lucia had prepared just in case, and her mastery of various paths of Thaumaturgy, including one which allowed her to summon flames, and a ritual which let her crawl on the walls and ceiling meant that the fight was incredibly close.
Both parties being battered, but the players feeling they had the short end of the stick, they bargained. If Lucia agreed to leave Milwaukee and never come back, they would tell the Council she was dead, and they could all walk away. Lucia, feeling betrayed by Luke, and having nothing left for her in Milwaukee, agreed.
And so "Season 1" as we called it, came to a close. Prince Merik may have had his suspicions that they weren't telling the whole truth when they declared Lucia dead, but after the Sabbat invasion, he let it slide. Luke hadn't quite earned his place with among the Kindred, but no one was protesting. Orville had subdued the ghost of the man who had hunted him across centuries. Alexis had proved herself in combat, but still had to hunt down the werewolf who killed her parents. And Win had survived a plot that would have framed him as Sabbat.
But something else awaited him...