I’ve recently started a new Band of Blades game with a couple of friends online. I’ve got a pretty good grasp of the rules if I do say so myself, but some of the more narrative parts can be a little challenging. I’ve already played the starting mission of The Horned One with them, and it went quite well! We’ll be playing again later this week, and since they’ve already fought Blighters troops on the first mission, I thought it’d be fitting to have them face Renders on the second, including a Heartless.
Here’s the thing though: I don’t really get the Heartless. Because as far as I can see, all of the Elites kinda have a special thing going for them that makes them threatening. Gutsacks explode, Spitters attack at range, Black Oak Knights come in groups/are intelligent humans etc.
Meanwhile, the Heartless kinda fills the same niche as Blighters Horror: Big Scary Undead Monster. But, there’s a big Difference: Horros fight at Scale, while Heartless get no such special rule. And while I’m sure a threat 2 Elite will still be dangerous, especially on future missions where most players won’t be specialists, I am worried that they’ll fight it and think “Hey wait a minute, this is just a less threatening Horror!” Not exactly the vibe I want for them.
Now, I have brainstormed a couple potential fixes to this problem, but I don’t think most of them will work in their current state. The list goes as follows, in no particular order:
1: Give Heartless Scale (Could work, but it just seems too derivative of the Horror to me)
2: Let Heartless’ armor counter Black Shot (Just seems silly with their entire chest exposed)
3: Let Heartless use their armored hands to block their chest until they reach melee, reducing the effect of ranged attacks (Interesting, but seems like a big middle finger to any Sniper characters, not to mention Rookies)
4: Let Heartless be Intelligent, since I’ve been portraying Horrors as single-minded brutes so far (Also Interesting, but I’m unsure how best to use such a trait effectively. The possibility of Heartless RP is definitely a plus though!)
5: Some ungodly combination of the above (Obviously not all of them at once, but maybe two of these traits together would make for an interesting/scary enemy?)
Any thoughts or advice? I’ll gladly compensate any assistance with a copy of what we’ve written in our Annals so far (Or should I say, what I’ve written in our Annals so far, since none of the other players wanted to pick Loremaster…)