So after reading a lot of the other armybooks it has always annoyed me how useless runesmiths are beyond scroll caddies. Stat-wise they are basically ironbreaker sergeants with 2 wounds. The basic premise to this retooling of the runesmith is to make it so that a player could take only runesmith characters and not feel like they are putting themselves at a disadvantage against non-magic opponents.
The one gap that the runesmith could fill and not overlap with any of our other heroes is that of unit support, similar to how the warrior priest works. My idea is to give the runesmith an upgrade option (leaving open the ability to continue to take them as a simple scroll caddy) they gives them access to a set of cool buffs that they can pick from to cast on their unit or enemy unit that his unit is engaging each turn. I feel like them only being able to cast on the unit they are in or an engaged opponent's unit keeps it balanced against the anvil's unlimited range.
Casting: This is a little difficult and I would love for members of the community could give me some feedback on this, but the three options I have narrowed down to are either to make them autocast, have them work on a standard set of casting values (say all 2+ or all 3+), or to have them at variable casting values depending on the power of the rune at hand. I figured that a single cast with 1 dice keeps it simple and balanced. Also, as I don't like such abilities leading to the instant death of the character (looking at you anvil of doom), I don't think that failures to cast should result in such negative effects.
Effects: The following are some of the effects I thought would be cool to have as options for the runesmith
+1 armor save for the unit
enemy flee distance reduced
unit's charge range increased
reroll to hit for the unit
armor piercing for the unit
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