Shopping in the City
So many interesting things going on in The City. The Royal Gardens, extravagant galas, the bustling streets, groups of strange little tourists (that look suspiciously like Goblins in disguise) snapping photos of the Cupcake Factory... all the delightful shops and welcoming cafes to visit. It's no wonder that folks from all over the land make a visit to The City part of their Holiday itinerary. Visits to nearby RPG University and the School of Magic in particular are big attractions as well. After a tough job ridding the world of evil bad guys and otherwise righting the wrongs that plague the land, our valiant heroes deserve the pleasure of an exciting (or relaxing) day browsing the quaint shops and trendy cafes of The City.
Please allow us to introduce the latest element to the world of Feonora, the new "Goods and Wares" shopping and collectibles add-on. This entirely optional multi-page file features a selection of The City's most frequented establishments along with unique books, interesting wares, delectable treats and other rare finds. Have a glimpse below...
Or download the entire Goods and Wares pdf to peruse at leisure.
It's something for our Characters to enjoy at the end of the Victory Phase when they perhaps have a few extra Copper Pieces to spend. Your Characters will find that bargaining is a big part of the shopping experience so come prepared to nab that special something for a good deal less than the price on the tag. Just be sure to properly follow the rules of bargaining etiquette.
Speaking of extra Copper Pieces we should use this opportunity to talk about the new Banking mini-game and upcoming revisions to Bank Day cards. There's no guarantee these changes will result in greater returns on your Character's deposits, but they should prove a more exciting way of exploring that possibility...
Up to this point the Bank has played more of a background role, during Town Time especially but also in the way it related to “Bank Day” cards. It has served mostly as an opportunity for characters, very rarely mind, to score big returns late in the game (or at least offer a safe place to store CP away from the prying hands of Thieves, Brigands and Tax Collectors... as any good bank should). This update maintains the original spirit of the Bank while reworking the act of making a deposit during Town Time into a new mini-game. It also gives the various Bank Day cards a refresh, with the same opportunities to score big, or suffer a cruel and dreadful Stock Slump.
Previously, the main activities that took place in the Bank were making a deposit or withdrawal (or the occasional Trouble card). Withdrawing funds from one’s deposit box remains the same and still consumes one Action. What has changed is that now, whenever a Character makes a deposit they will have a chance at triggering an event... one that affects all Characters with money in the Bank.
Here's how it works.
Every time a Character makes a deposit (of any amount) the player may attempt to roll a Set, Sequence or Combo. If successful then this player has just triggered something that we might think of as a “Market” event. The result? All players with a deposit have a chance to earn interest by rolling a d12 and collecting the value showing on the die... unless you have the misfortune of rolling a (1), in which case your Character’s bank funds are reduced by 1 Copper Piece.
Since it is in the nature of Thieves to have certain knowledge of and connections to The Underworld they tend to have, shall we say “insights” into some of the activities shaping the “Market.” While not always reliable, this does enable Thieves a slightly better chance at triggering one of these events. When making an attempt at rolling a Set, Sequence or Combo one die can be re-rolled for each Thief you control.
There's much more in the way of details on these new game elements covered in the latest Upcoming Changes document, including an example of how the new Bank Day cards will (likely) be structured...
...along with more thorough exposition on how everything ties together.
In the meantime, keep practicing those finer techniques of getting a solid Set, Sequence or Combo. That way you'll have more CP to spend in The City : D
How to Become a Magic Specialist
As we know, some of our Characters have invested themselves in the Magic Arts and become Magic Users or "Wizards" for those who prefer the designation (as graduates of the distinguished RPG University School of Magic are often referred). Whichever the case, these are the Characters who are able to invoke the mysterious powers of Magic Spells. Of course, what is also widely known is that Magic is a most curious thing, and can never be fully controlled or mastered.
Spells fizzle and backfire, often at the most inconvenient times. It's all part of the mystery. But when a powerful Magic Spell does work it can turn the tide of battle in an instant, while smiting even the strongest and most foul smelling of vile creatures (and they put on quite a show too).
But even among the assembly of magic scholars is a selective group of highly experienced Wizards and Magic Users who have steeped themselves into the advanced study and knowledge of the Magic Arts. These specialists have come to such a higher level of understanding (and no small amount of dedication to the practical aspects of spell casting) that they have overcome the problem of backfiring spells. And now, with the right amount of experience and investment in the Craft, your Character may count themselves among the most prestigious Wizards and Magic Users in all the land.
Of course, out in the world you will rarely hear the term "Magic Specialist" but will rather more often hear someone of that level referred to by the title they have chosen to adopt. But this is getting a little bit ahead of things. Let's talk about how a Character may become a Magic Specialist.
There will come a time in the life of your Character that they will have earned enough experience to gain a special power-up, something that will enable them to enhance their Basic Abilities or even gain an entirely new Special Skill. To be more precise, there are two times when this will occur. It isn't sure which of these milestones any character may reach first, but usually it will be the Rank Bonus.
As we study the new Character Sheet notice the small meter to the right of the Rank plaquette.
Download Character Sheet Front or Character Sheet Back
This meter will track progress as our characters level-up from the starting Rank
of 1 "Unknown" on and up through Rank 34 "Crest Bearer." On the day your Character reaches this level the meter arrow is filled in to signify completion of a most worthy accomplishment, and the power-up that comes with it. Players may choose one of the following: a +1 Ability Bonus where no other bonus exists (in other words, on a blank line) or they can add a Special Skill. It is also at this moment that Characters with Magic Ability may choose to become Specialists.
This is one way to earn a power-up.
The other way has been known from time immemorial and correlates to Hero Awards. Looking to the bottom of the Character Sheet, we find that upon earning their 8th Hero Award a Character is granted another special bonus. The "Super Whoopee! Power-up" affords the same reward: a +1 Ability Bonus where no other bonus exists or a new Special Skill. As with the Rank Bonus, characters who already have Magic Ability have a third choice and may use this moment to become Magic Specialists.
Notice that becoming a Specialist in the Magic Arts is no trivial matter, and requires a good deal of experience and study. That is not by accident and the reason why no Character may ever start out as a Magic Specialist ~ no matter how many Special Skills are associated with the chosen Character Class.
More details on becoming a Magic Specialist and earning the Rank Bonus can be found in the updated Rules Addendum. We're looking at updating the Victory phase booklet as well to include the same information about these new character improvement bonuses, but the essential information is there in the meantime.
Once your Character has chosen to specialize in Magic color in the jewel insignia and choose a title (to be written in the space provided). Some choose to become a "Cryptologist of the Magic Arts" or, as it is sometimes referred to, a "Learned Scholar of the Magic Arts." Others have taken on the lesser known title of "Artiste de Magique." Whatever title your Character chooses to adopt the result is the same, Spells no longer Backfire. From this moment on any attempt to cast a spell resulting in a 2-5 means the spell was successfully cast. But alas, magic has its enduring traits (or flaws of execution) and spells may still Fizzle (1) or Super Fizzle (6) even for the most advanced Wizard or Magic User.
Having revealed the existence of elite Magic Users we should draw attention to a few characters many of us already know. These Magic User Companions can occasionally be found in the tavern, and may be willing to join your party. But they are each (with one exception) among the select ranks of Magic Specialists, and so will not be as easy to recruit as we might hope. That said, certain groups are ought to try as venturing out into the dangerous wild lands, especially deep underground without a competent Magic User might be the last regret of an adventuring party.
Among these few small changes to Companions there is at least one other of note. In addition to her usual experience (Rank) requirement for joining up with the group, there is now a slight possibility of persuading Arvatheryn the Ranger (C004) to accompany you on the journey.
Download the latest Companions deck
One question that comes up these days. What is the current version of the game?
Strictly speaking the answer is,
Heroes of Feonora Ruleset 1.1
However, if your group has already started using the updated rules featured in the included Upcoming Changes addendum, then you are playing,
Heroes of Feonora Ruleset 1.1 (1.2) ~ or ~ Heroes of Feonora Ruleset 1.2 (beta)
Opponents and Visual Design
For this update we're going to touch on small adjustments as they relate to the Opponents deck, but more than anything this is a way of sharing more about visual presentation and design. Many of the previous changes we've seen in this area have been revealed in the recent updates to the Adventure and Dungeon card decks, where (for example) serif fonts have been replaced by styled handwriting fonts, with far greater emphasis on the narrative presentation that has become the central basis for characters and player storytelling.
As we sat down to consider these changes the Opponents deck presented a good opportunity as a point of reference, with the idea that each deck will [continue to] have its own visual style, but also where changes might be influenced by the shift in focus of recent years. Those of you already involved or experienced with layout and design know there are many factors that inform the choices and combinations that go into something like a font palette, which can be a lengthy process with respect to crafting the appropriate look and feel. But with an iterative development process, as we have done with Heroes of Feonora, this has allowed each element to evolve in its own way, resulting in things that quite possibly might not have occurred otherwise.
Of course, we know from the player perspective (and our own prototyping efforts) how challenging it is to keep everything up-to-date. And so we do want to take a moment to acknowledge that and to suggest that for something like this updating can at times be optional. For example, in earlier updates one or two characters may have changed, or a stat will have been adjusted slightly. In these instances sometimes it might suffice to mark the change on a card or try to print only the newer characters rather than the entire deck ~ even if the backing doesn't match up exactly. We have come to suppose that most of our players, those who've chosen to dive into this thing with us, have accepted by varying degrees that this isn't a game that will always be completely perfect or "finished" at any given moment, but that is embraced as acceptable so long as it remains fun and playable. Perhaps others have realized too that even a fully "boxed" version of a game is bound to have small imperfections and ultimately be representative of more a snapshot in time than anything... but that's a larger topic best tackled in the tavern.
Coming back around to this most recent update to the Opponents deck consider that none of the characters (or their fighting abilities) have been changed, which means that if you have the previous version it is still mechanically a fully up-to-date deck. This might be the first time an update has been purely aesthetic. Although that said, we did capitalize on opportunities for additional wordsmithing, so if the way the characters read is important that is another consideration.
Well by now you must be wondering what the new design looks like and so...
Download the latest Opponents Deck
The other thing we've been wanting to do for some time is revisit the color for the Opponents backing. No major change but we did increase the saturation just slightly. In fact, for most printers it will hardly be noticeable, but whatever the case you should be getting something like a Grayish purple or a Light plum.
Download Opponents Backing with adjusted color
There are of course more changes in the works, although possibly not quite what you will think... at least, not for the next update. As always, we want to thank all of the families, individuals and groups of players out there for giving this game a chance. It's no small thing to go through the effort of putting something like this together let alone keeping it up-to-date, when there are so many other games out there available in a nicely decorated box on a store shelf.