Valiant Horizon dev: what even are basic actions anyway?

Valiant Horizon dev: what even are basic actions anyway?

February 25, 2023
TTRPG, ttrpg design, valiant horizon, total//effect

So some of my early playtest feedback is that melee feels less good than range which...yeah, tactics games are sure like that, huh! I'm fixing to handle this in a few ways right now.

The obvious moves first:

  • Lower the utility of Far range attacks. (This is even more pronounced because 3/6 of my players have abilities that hit to Far - basically almost all of the ones in the book. It's a good stress test at least!) Far range support is probably fine.
  • Add movement to a lot of powers. I'd done this with some of the later classes I designed (self-buff powers, for example, are usually move + buff) but the older ones could stand to have that energy too.

Now for the weird moves.

  • Take out the default Hustle (aka move to Near) action. Get rid of it. Who needs a default "move" action? (enemies still have one though)
  • INSTEAD, replace it with an extra Standard for each class that does move + something. (See Shadowstep above.)

In addition to giving each class a little more flair, this has a few fun bonuses.

  • At level 4 you can prepare other Classes' standards instead of your own, and at levels 4 and 7 you get an extra standard. Originally this meant you'd just get another default way to attack most of the time, but now you have more interesting choices: you could prepare 2 attack and 1 movement standard, 2 movement/1 attack, 3 movement ones, 3 attack ones (if you rely a lot on powers/traits that move you around, of which there are more now), the sky's the limit.
    • I don't know if it's funnier to take no movement or all movement - no movement is probably it but it's close - but both are probably viable if you're clever.
  • Purely a parallelism nitpick: aside from trivial Interact actions, there are now no combat actions that don't involve a roll. (Hustle was the only one prior to this.)

(Read the original on cohost here!)