Day 8 Update - Hero Skills (Burglar)
I talk about Hero Skills in the main project text, so i won't repeat what I've said about them. I'd like to use this update to drill a little more deeply into skills and highlight what I consider to be the most utilitarian of the heroes - the burglar!
First, every hero mat comes with a level 0 skill built in. Every hero starts the game with this skill, plus one randomly-drawn level 1 skill. (Note that the graphic design for this mat is not final.)
The burglar's level 0 skill lets her drop an extra cube of any hero color whenever she drops cubes. This may not sound like a lot, but one extra cube that extra cube equates to 25%-50% increase! And we've had her ability to lower peril save our bacon more than once from a nasty chest trap.
Each hero's skill deck starts with 15 skill cards - six first level, five second level, and four third level.
The burglar doesn't have a lot of attack skills. In fact, she only has one at each level. At first level, that skill is Hurl Knives, a projectile attack.
When combined with her passive Burglary skill, she can drop a green cube plus two cubes of any hero color (one gray cube for the Hurl Knives skill and one gray cube for Burglary equals two wilds).
Heroes gain experience when defeating enemies. If they gain enough experience to level up, they can either select a skill of a level they already have OR randomly draw a skill of the next higher level. So, when leveling the first time during the game, the burglar can select any remaining first level skill or draw a random second level skill.
Heroes must select a skill and a target enemy before dropping cubes. She can only power that skill if the proper number of cubes ends up in the field and/or crypt after she drops them. A conservative strategy is to select skills that already have enough (or nearly enough) cubes in the field. Otherwise, the burglar might drop in white or blue cubes for her Hurl Knives skill, so that she can help prime the field for other heroes that can use those colors.
Now might be a good time to talk about general skills on the status mat.
The status board contains actions that can be used by any hero on their turn instead of the skills that they've drawn.
If there are a lot of blue cubes in the field, then perhaps the Burglar may choose the generic Attack instead of Hurl Knives. Of if she wants to fuel the spellsling's magic skills, she could just do a Help and drop in four white cubes (plus one for her Burglary skill).
The Regroup generic skill is incredibly useful if things go very badly, but it should be used sparingly since adding four peril can be pretty damaging.
I talked about the various skill types (passive, support, active, reaction) in the main project description, but some skill cards also have icons that have other effects. These include shield and exhaust.
The party takes one fewer damage during that hero's turn for each shield skill that the player has. Skills with the exhaust are turned sideways after using them and they are not restored until after the party levels up (not when they complete the floor).