From the start, one focus of ours has been to make the difficulty of the Vrahode Game System scale to the number of players at the table. We want to make sure the enjoyment and excitement of adventuring is filled with the right mix of risk and reward. But there is also the concern of balancing play as heroes become stronger over time. It is important that the challenges of the world rise up to meet the heroes and even force them to become better players with new and interesting obstacles!
We do this through a tightly curated mix of rewards that are designed to offer meaningful growth and improvement, as well as by providing new and interesting skills. When playing the core box, heroes can expect to experience increases to their maximum life and the number of known skills (and corresponding ruhl). They can also expect their gear to become more aligned with their chosen role.
Because the heroes increase in power and talent throughout the game, so too must the creatures and quests which lay ahead. We initially had a fluid tiering system for enemy difficulty which was essentially easy, medium, and hard for challenge levels. Ultimately, we dropped this because it didn’t suit the long game well. The easier tiers would essentially become inconsequential nuisances as heroes progress.
The Tier-By-Box System
We replaced that system with a static tiering system which basically begins with a tier-per-box system that looks something like this:
- Vrahode – The Calteeryn Ascension: Common (normal), Rare (challenging), Fabled (brutal),
- Vrahode – The Enlightened & The Enslaved: Rare (challenging), Fabled (brutal), Mythic (diabolical)
- Vrahode – Facing The Storm: Fabled (brutal), Mythic (diabolical)
- Vrahode – The False Gods’ Deceit: Mythic (diabolical)
Then there are Legendary Creatures (holy sh*t), which is a flexible category for the bosses which changes based on the box in which the boss appears in.
Hero, Enemy, & Ally Progression Within Boxes
Early increases in enemy tiers will occur mostly during questing and the campaign to customize unique challenges. These increases in difficulty are not based on which box you are in.
To ensure a natural challenge increase, we couple these tiers with the introduction of enemy actions. These also increase in frequency, as does their max life, movement, number of attacks, and damage dealt. The extent of the difficulty increase depends on the creature as well as Enemy Behaviors, which make each enemy of a given type much more challenging in surprising ways!
Each expansion will further enhance our heroes’ strengths, durability, and skills as the enemy tiers continue to climb. The series is brutal and will never cease to find new and devious ways to take you down. Steel yourself, learn quickly from your mistakes, and push on. The fate of Vrahode is in your hands!
In the near future, I will be discussing another procedural scaling mechanism with writer Shawn A. Dressler. This will couple with our proprietary Harbinger 3D Terrain System, so as you fight higher or deeper into some of our massive dungeons, you can actually visibly know where the challenge level increases will be. You will be literally leveling up as you move up or down in the dungeons!