So I spent some time tinkering with the idea about combining Ars Magica wizard plus grogs with Paranoia competitive party members. Though originally planned for a vampire sire and his childer, I’ve decided to port the idea over to medieval fantasy, because that genre unfailingly gets more traction. Seriously, just look at the difference in popularity between Dungeon World and Apocalypse World. Dungeon World is not a better game than Apocalypse World, but Dungeon World is in Roll20’s top ten most popular games and Apocalypse World is like twenty spots below.
Anyways, the Lich King is one of six dark lords that a player can play as in Dark Lord, with the other five being the Troll King, the Fey Queen, the Demon Lord, the Black Prince, and an arctic themed one that will either be the Frost Giant Jarl or the Ice Queen. Either way, we’re focused on the Lich King right now, and his domain in the crypts. When the Lich King is in focus, the other players roll 3d6 in order six times to generate their grog’s stat line. They’ll be sticking with that grog until they perish, at which point they’ll roll up a new one. After rolling, they compare their stats to the following to see what kind of class they can play:
-Lich King (dark lord). Has debuffs and can raise mindless undead minions controlled directly by himself. Good against hero-type enemies (single, powerful enemy with high AC and low or no DR who can be buried under crit-seeking goons).
-Death Knight (lieutenant). Requires 16 CON, 14 STR, 12 CHA (0.3%). Undead knight, hits hard, moves fast, good defenses, bad at swarms (compare Black Prince).
-Necromancer Acolyte (elite). Requires 16 INT (4.6%). Weaker version of Lich King.
-Vampire Duelist (elite). Requires 14 DEX, 12 CHA (6.1%). Glass cannon, moves fast, hits hard, folds quickly under enemy damage, can ignore enemy AoOs. Good for bringing down a squishy but dangerous backline enemy, can hopefully survive the retaliation long enough to get away.
-Vampire Blood Mage (elite). Requires 14 INT, 12 CHA (6.1%). Control and leech healing magic, squishy but has no reason to leave the backline.
-Ghoul Bruiser (elite). Requires 14 CON, 12 STR (6.1%). Slow but powerful, works well with a Blood Mage to keep evasive enemies close enough to nom on, can also serve as bodyguard keeping squishy vampires close enough that anyone who wants to attack them will face retaliation from the bruiser.
-Ghoul Assassin (elite). Requires something like 14 DEX, 12 CON (6.1%). Waits patiently, analyzing a foe with bonus, move, or even full round actions before striking for massive damage. Moves slow, can take a beating.
-Skeleton Infantry (troop). Requires something like 11 STR, 11 CON (25%). Congratulations on not being fodder. Mainly you are tough and are basically a bishop in chess, in that your main purpose is to make the battlefield harder for enemies to traverse by threatening lots of squares. You probably have a reach weapon and then a long sword or something as a backup.
-Skeleton Archer (troop). Requisites are 11 DEX, 11 CON (25%). Reasonably accurate and hits harder than infantry or fodder, but not as hard as a bruiser, assassin, or duelist.
-Skeleton Fodder (fodder). No stat requirements. You’re probably screwed, but you get some kind of prize for reaching higher levels with one of these nobodies. Or you can charge headlong into the first trap-filled corridor or powerful enemy party you find and hope your fragile bone body crumbles to dust so you can reroll.
So how common are any of these classes to actually show up in a basic Lich King party with no upgrades? This common:
00.3% are Death Knights
04.6% are Necromancer Acolytes
05.6% are Vampire Duelists
05.6% are Vampire Blood Mages
01.0% can be Vampire Duelists or Blood Mages
05.6% are Ghoul Bruisers
05.6% are Ghoul Assassins
01.0% can be Ghoul Bruisers or Ghoul Assassins
29.0% can be elites of any kind
05.6% are Skeleton Infantry
04.9% are Skeleton Archers
10.5% can be Skeleton Infantry or Skeleton Archers
21.0% can’t be elites but can be troops
49.7% must be Skeleton Fodder
25.0% can be Skeleton Infantry. Of those, 1.5% each can be a Necromancer Acolyte, 0.3% qualify as Death Knights, 6.1% can be Ghoul Bruisers (i.e. everyone who qualifies as a Ghoul Bruiser qualifies as Skeleton Infantry), 3.0% can be Ghoul Assassins, 1.5% each can be Vampire Duelists or Vampire Blood Mages. 5.6% can be Skeleton Archers as well, and the remaining 5.6% must be Skeleton Infantry.
25.0% can be Skeleton Archers. Of those, 1.5% can be a Necromancer Acolyte, 0.1% can be a Death Knight, 6.1% can be Ghoul Assassins (all Ghoul Assassins could be Skeleton Archers), 3.0% can be Ghoul Bruisers or Vampire Duelists, 1.5% can be Vampire Blood Mages, 4.9% can be Skeleton Infantry as well, and the remaining 4.9% must be Skeleton Archers.
That summary there looks like it took ten minutes on the back of a napkin, but it was seriously like two hours of effort. A friend says she’s working on something that will automate this, which is good, because there’s already a major flaw that will require some revision: Even without any upgrades at all, elites are more common (30% of all spawns) than troops (20% of all spawns). My current plan is to add one more requisite stat at 10 to each elite, which should shift the probabilities down towards 20% elites, and hopefully the troops will absorb the 10% the elites vacated. If fodder end up eating too much of that 10%, some new troop types might be needed that key off of stats besides CON, STR, and DEX. Currently thinking Necromancer Cultist (12 INT, 10 WIS) and/or Vampire Thrall (10 CHA, 10 DEX, 10 INT), both of which have probabilities in the same neighborhood as the 11/11 sets that the skeleton troops have. I’m not looking forward to spending another two hours crunching numbers to see whether or not the two new troop types are necessary or not, and I am especially not looking forward to spending two hours crunching numbers at least once per dark lord type (this assumes that my first guess is correct every time).