Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In Which The Warlock WEGSes Out!

With this week’s Witt-Guild sponsored run through the WEGSventure Hobgobble’s Eve, I figured that it’d be fitting to take a look at one of the scarcely used variant rules of WEGS Old Skool, the “Multi-Arkin’” rules. While WEGS is a game that revels in the classic fantasy archetypes of Fighting Man, Skolar, Trickster, and Ranger, one of the classic fantasy staples is missing: the Paladin!

So, without further adieu, here’s your guide on how to build a WEGSing Cavalier!

Time to WEGS out!

Remember, all characters in WEGS are randomly rolled, but if you’re shooting for an old-school Paladin, you’ve got to hope for great stats in two areas: Prowess (which governs your melee attacks and will become your Prime stat) and Grace (which governs your Spoint usage and your spellcasting ability, as well as your Secondary stat). When assigning Ranks, however, you want to be sure to be careful to strike a balance.

That's right...STRIKE that balance!
Traditionally speaking, players tend to place their starting rank of 30 in their Prime stat. However, striking a balance may provide a better benefit in this case. As an example, if you were lucky enough to roll a stat of 32 in your Prowess—the best possible result on the table—your 30 rank would be better served in your Grace stat, rather than in your Prowess. Rather than boost your already high melee attacks, you’d be better served ensuring that you have the Spoint reserve to back up your spellcasting. Generally speaking, it’s better (in this build, at least), to have two stats in the 50s than a single stat in the 60s.

Regardless of which stat gets your rank of 30, the other should definitely merit one of your two 20 ranks. The other 20 absolutely should go towards Stealth, increasing your mobility on the battlefield by increasing your Move Strength, and increasing your Invulnerability. Remember, you’re going to be in melee all day long—that extra 10% Invulnerability matters!


Only a Dwarf will do!

There’s precisely one race you want to look at, in order to make the WEGS Paladin work: Dwarf! Dwarves naturally gravitate towards the Mystic sphere, and gain the coveted +6% Grace rank bonus. That bonus becomes critical to your spellcasting ability, and provides you with an additional 6 Spoints—that’s a free Cast and Blast, friends!

 Some may think that a Humnz may make an equally effective Paladin, but that’s statistically erroneous. The drop in Grace % that you forfeit—that 6%--is simply not worth the single Spoint that you’d gain in recompense. Essentially, you’d be dropping 6% on all Grace-related rolls, as opposed to a single roll with a 10% bonus. Permanent bonuses trump temporary ones, so Humnz Paladins aren’t in the question.

Arketype and Vitals:

As your primary Arketype, you’ll want to choose Warrior. At its core, the Paladin is a melee fighter, which is going to mean high Wounds and Invulnerability are a priority. You’ll gain the 30% Armor Invuln from the Warrior Arketype which, when combined with your 20% Stealth Rank, will start you off at 50% Invuln as a brand new Ark! You may be at a slight disadvantage in terms of Wounds, in comparison to a “straight” Warrior, but your spellcasting ability and sheer number of Spoints will take care of that shortcoming.

Your secondary Arketype, naturally, should be Sage. This provides the Mystic edge that you’ll use to take down foes. Naturally, you’ll be taking skills from each category, but don’t forget that you always have to have more skills from your primary Arketype than your secondary.

Skill Choices—The 9 Skill Hand

Remember that, when Multi-Arkin’, your Kreator/Minion Master gets to decide upon the hand size of your skills. Traditionally, 9 skills are considered to be an acceptable number. However, hand sizes of 11 and even 13 are not uncommon. I’ll make recommendations for the first 9, then provide some “honorable mentions” to fill out to 13.

Warrior Skill—Charge! A classic Paladin staple, Charge absolutely has to be in your repertoire. The ability to Move and Attack as a single action in WEGS is par excellence, providing mobility, a possible Invulnerability penalty to the enemy (if you’re able to get a Back Attack), and the ability to get across the battlefield quickly. Charge can also help to offset a weak Stealth stat in this way. So what, it’s a Cold Roll skill? It’s still glorious!

Warrior Reaction—Resist Fear Again, a Paladin staple here. Paladins fear nothing, and a WEGS Paladin is no exception. The bonus to Lost Action Phase rolls is just gravy on this one.

Warrior Skill—In Your Face! Just like a Paladin’s “Divine Challenge” or the like, In Your Face catches a foe’s attention and gets his claws away from your allies. Plus, it’s a hands-free skill for you, levying a hefty Invuln penalty against your chosen foe for your next 4 attacks. Can’t beat it.

Warrior Attack Form—Invuln Down Simply put, anything that lowers Invulnerability in WEGS is golden. Being able to do this at will, especially when coupled with In Your Face ensures that you’ll be doing damage consistently.

Warrior Skill—Mighty Whack! You won’t use it often, and it has a Spoint fee to even try it, but if you want to Smite Evil, this is the way to do it! Get yourself in position first, make sure you have In Your Face set up, and let that heretic have it!

Sage Skill—Sense Mystic You want to cast spells? Then there’s no choice here…gotta have it.

Sage Spell—Bless with Fire A classic weapon blessing that can really up your damage output, this one automatically takes off a Wound chip, as long as you can land the hit. This one’s great for whittling down those 8/88s!

Sage Spell—Sphere of Light Since you’ll be in melee so much, this spell can really increase your accuracy (ensuring that those lethal hits land) as well as that of your nearby allies. Keep this one for when you’re in flanking position with that Trickster ally of yours!

Sage Spell—Laying of Hands This one’s a limited use Spell, but it can really make the difference in hits, particularly after you’ve been in battle for a while. A well-timed, well-rolled Laying of Hands can totally refresh your Wounds, putting you back in the fight and those Phew points safely in hand!

Honorable Mention Skills:

Sage Skill—Pocketful of Miracles With a lower-than-normal Spoint reserve for a Mystic caster, this one really merits some thought. While you’ll only use it once, the Spoints that it provides can really be a lifesaver. I wouldn’t take above one of the others listed, but it merits consideration.

Sage Spell—Clash of the Spheres Oh, man…so tempting. You’ll be in melee with so many monsters that dropping them all into Lost Action Phase looks great, right? There’s one problem—you have friends that’ll be in melee with you. They won’t appreciate getting LAPped by their own party! If you’re a solo tank, this one makes the foes into easy pickings for Mages and Rangers, though.

Warrior Attack Form—Strength Up If some damage is good, then more damage is better, right?! Plus, with another Attack form, you can Blitz!

Warrior Attack Form—Stat Up With a slightly lower-than-normal Prowess, this skill can help land some attacks as you start out on your adventuring career. Over time, though, it becomes somewhat unnecessary, once you near the 66% mark on your Prowess %.

A real Old Skool Paladin!

Playing the WEGS Paladin:

When playing the WEGS Paladin, it’s all about preparation. The key is to bide your time. If the enemies come to you, they afford you time to prepare your buff spells and skills which only make them easier to take down. Starting off a with a two-inning cycle of Sense Mystic and Bless with Fire or Sphere of Light will make that combat go all the faster once you wade into melee.

When entering combat at a distance, Charge will allow you the opportunity to avoid spending a turn doing nothing but moving, and will set you up in a position where a friendly Trickster or Ranger will get a Back Attack, as the foe focuses on you. If the enemy focuses elsewhere, a well-placed In Your Face will change that instantly.

If in between foes, try to ensure that you have a Sense Mystic up and rarin’ to go. A well-timed Laying of Hands or Clash of the Spheres can really turn the tide of a battle, but both require the Sense to be on-deck. If you can take care of that step a few innings earlier, you’re in a winning position.

Naturally, you cannot put all of these strategies into effect simultaneously. Rather, move as the situation dictates. If you’re Spoint-rich, don’t be afraid to let loose with a Bless with Fire. If you’re running low, hold your Sense for a needed Laying of Hands or the like, relying on your Warrior Attack Forms for your offense. Judge the situation as it comes, and you’ll be smiting heretics in no time!
A Final Note!

If you get the chance and want to throw down the 6s and 10s, swing by the Wittenberg University Shouvlin Center this Friday at 7pm. I’ll be running the holiday classic, Hobgobble’s Eve for any and all comers. Spante up, children!!


  1. Thunderforge6:33 PM

    I have to admit, I'm not sure I like these multiclassing rules because it seems like if you don't pick the "obvious" choice at any particular step, you've got a totally gimped character. According to your post, the way to make an effective Paladin is to:

    -Balance your skills (putting your higher in the stat you wouldn't consider).
    -Choose a Dwarf as your race because "There’s precisely one race you want to look at".
    -Pick a certain set of skills because, as often occurs in WEGS, there are skills you should always be using, other skills that are situational, and still others that are useless compared to the ones you should always be using.

    Regardless of my thoughts on it, I really do hope that you have a good game on Friday. A good GM can make the best out of any situation.

  2. In all truth, this is an exercise in "character optimization", with the ultimate goal of creating an archetypical paladin. Just because I'm advocating something doesn't necessarily mean that you should really go that way if, on a role-playing level, it doesn't fit with your concept.

    However, a few things to keep in mind:

    Stat-wise, it's simply a matter of maintaining two higher stats. This is a rarity in WEGS, as usually Arks tend to simply pump their Prime stat. The idea of splitting stats is something foreign to most WEGS players, so it bears bringing up.

    As an "old school" game, WEGS has restrictions as to race/class combinations. There's really only two options for race for a Paladin--Human or Dwarf--because only those two can cast Mystic spells. From the two, Dwarves are simply mechanically better.

    In terms of skill cards, I did my best to pick skills that are thematically appropriate for a Paladin. There are certainly "better" skills from a mechanical standpoint than Resist Fear or even Mighty Whack (which only very rarely works, in my experience). However, in terms of creating a paladin, those are iconic skills.

    The "honorable mention" skills are ones that would be nice to have, but aren't necessarily fitting in terms of an iconic paladin. If there's one thing I love about the WEGS revision is that the skills are really balanced now--there's no "perfect" skill any longer. Rather, there are tons more options on the table!

    Cheers, man! Thanks for the comment!

  3. Holy Paladin, Platinum!

    So much to rift off of here... It's hard not to think of Multi Arkin' as traditional multi-classing and there's a strong temptation to add special abilities/caveats to build more character. When you're playing a Paladin, that's much more about character - but the player's hand backs it all up.

    Tempting to add special abilities/rules/bonuses such as...

    ***GRA Rank needs to be the 30 point Rank; the Paladin is dedicated to their Lyrd/deity first and foremost. They gotta believe!

    ***Allow the Paladin to gain the next best Good Shot whenever they dice one (33GS counts as a 44GS) or suffer the next lowest GS for enemy attacks (44GS counts as 33GS). Upgrade/Downgrade for a spoint?

    Dwarf is not the only choice. For starting advantage/power play, sure. But that starting Rank Bump edge can eventually be matched by Humnz. Not so on the +7 Spoints bonus. Humnz will end up with equal Grace Rank (66 Max) and even more spoints (should they survive). Factor in the new INI Humnz edge and they are true contenders.

    In the Wegsworld backstory, Humnz have the mystical edge and that sure perturbs the old Dwarfs (but that's a story for another day).

  4. And what's a Paladin without a holy sword...

    Sword of Total Righteousness

    +4 WS when wielded by a Paladin

    Mystic Aura:
    (cost 2 spoints per use, paid at Spante)
    Sword glows with glorious light and all engaged foes suffer -10% Stat penalty. -20% Stat versus the unholy. Only effective on those of lesser GRA% (OLPS).

    Holy Bite:
    Should they score a Good Shot, Paladin can spoint it up to the next best Good Shot. If Kreator allows, this can be limited by the Paladin's SPS score. An 11GS can turn into a 66GS! Yeee-owch!

    And the downside...

    Should the Paladin lose the sword, they immediately suffer an INI roll on their GRA Rank... This may temporarily take their Paladin status away (see rule on GRA above...).

  5. Love the holy sword, man, but if you're giving a Paladin the ability to adjust GSBS naturally, doesn't that make Holy Bite redundant?

    Still, I wouldn't complain about it, were I playing one!