Hello, Trailblazers of the Unknown,
Christmas has arrived and first we want to wish you Happy Holidays, even in this difficult period. Even in Italy the situation is not easy, and some of you have sent us private messages (truly kind!) asking us if this could have an impact on the production of the game. However, we want to reassure you, despite the lockdown, development is continuing according to the schedule, thanks to smart working and the use of tools such as tabletop simulator, which is allowing us to play many games and to test Sheol’s advanced missions, as well as refine some aspects, such as the exploration of the lands, which we talked about in the last update.
As for the production aspect and the refactoring of the miniatures, we almost finished, and in the first months of next year we will receive the definitive plastic samples (we will make an update about them).
Base Shadows and gravity system
Today we want to talk a little about the basic shadows, which in these renderings we present to you in their final form in proportion, as they will physically appear once created.
The generation and movement of the basic shadows on the board represents one of Sheol’s cornerstones and has always been an aspect that we care a lot about. We talked about the subject in this update, but today we want to focus more on this especially important aspect.
While heralds and bosses have their own target-based (for heralds), or card-based (for bosses) AI movement systems, basic shadows are handled primarily by the gravity die. Depending on the face obtained, the shadow groups perform:
1 movement towards the Omega axis
1 movement towards the Alpha axis
2 movements towards the Omega axis
2 movements towards the Alpha axis
1 move towards the closest player (if within 4 squares) or towards the Omega axis
1 move towards the closest player (if within 4 squares) or towards the Alpha axis
Also, whenever a scout runs out of a lux vial, and turns off his lights to replace it with the next, the shadows within 4 squares make a move in his direction, trying to surround him.
Finally, each shadow is endowed with specific abilities and opportunity actions that follow the revelation by a scout.
In these renderings we have prepared Sheol’s 5 basic shadows, focusing on each of them to highlight their unique aspects.
THE LURKER: it was the first shadow to be classified after Submersion. It is the shadow par excellence and at the very thought it generates terror in people due to its aggression. The coral mass grown in the part that the most identify as the head seems to have formed to increase the power of the bite, but it leaves the rest of the body structure without a stable shape.
GAMEPLAY: when a fluctuation point (Blip) is revealed and becomes a Lurker, it immediately leaps towards the scout by advancing one cell and inflicting damage to his equipment (as you remember weapons and lanterns can break). Its attack pattern covers adjacent squares and his base damage is 3, with a resistance of 1. His critical hit can further damage your equipment.
THE DEVOURER: among the common shadows, it is the one that has the greatest production of coral, this gives it an uncommon resistance to lux, but if damaged it leads it to collapse on itself in a sort of solid explosion of pure coral. Sudden coral bone formations due to the Devourer are often a problem for Scouts who have to build new lightstreams to get around them.
GAMEPLAY: The Devourer upon revelation creates a coral obstacle below him. Coral obstacles can be a problem for scouts who must destroy them using their lantern or go around them. The Devourer is the most massive base shadow, with a stamina of 3, but his damage is only 1 point. Its attack targets adjacent squares and the crit shuffles a wounded card into the lightshield of the scout who is unlucky enough to take it.
THE MOTH: it is a shadow as treacherous as it is agile. Although the shape suggests that it has a flying ability, the studies of the engineers have ascertained that it is actually able to glide through the Sheol mist thanks to a magnetic field generated by its “wings” (a bit like trains at magnetic suspension). An expert in stalking, it is always looking for a way to catch its target by surprise.
GAMEPLAY: the Moth just discovered by a revelation jumps back one cell. However, this does not dissuade it from attacking the scouts, since its attack pattern reaches the two cells. Its stamina and damage are both 2, while its critical shuffles an incapacitated status card in the scout deck.
THE SWARMER: this shadow works in group. Its coral dome is a sort of walking entropy receptor, able to reconfigure itself according to the number of shadows that surround it. The higher the entropy generated by the nearby shadows, the more powerful the swarmer becomes. It is therefore advisable to eliminate it before it becomes too dangerous.
GAMEPLAY: the Swarmer is a shadow with only one life point and no attack points. However, if it is adjacent to other shadows, it gains 1 damage point for each shadow. Upon revelation it moves to the nearest shadow, while its critic hit spawns another swarmer next to it. While on its own it is almost harmless, in a group it can be devastating.
THE SENTINEL: the physical structure of this shadow means that as soon as its lower appendages are illuminated, they harpoon the ground, inhibiting any ability to move. From these it draws as a pump continuous streams of black tide which, through the coral part on the top of the neck, spits in pressurized jets. Scouts have learned that depending on the opening level of its coral flower, it can calibrate jets of different power and distance. It is a particularly dangerous shadow when the black fog is thick and it is not possible to see it from a distance.
GAMEPLAY: when a blip is revealed and becomes a Sentinel shadow, it loses the ability to move. On the other hand, the Sentinel is a shadow that hits from a distance. With 2 life and 1 attack, it is capable of damaging players’ weapons on a critical hit.
As you may have understood, every time a shadow is revealed, it can radically change the players’ strategy, not to mention the effects of the threat cards and the variations in life and damage the shadows could have during gameplay. In our tests it was nice to see the reactions of the players according to the changes in the threats. About that…
As mentioned at the beginning of this update, we are using a lot tabletop simulator to test Sheol. When we are ready, it would be nice to try a mission with you, since so many of you have requested it. So we will record the gameplay and make it public on youtube. Before doing so, we will write a dedicated update and publish the updated rulebook with all the improvements we have implemented in recent months. Stay tuned here on kickstarter and on discord (If you want to join use this link: https://discord.gg/DGa8cKB) to receive updates on this (and to apply to play!).
Pledge manager reminder
We plan to keep the pledge manager open until February, and we remind those who have not yet done so to fill it out. Remember that completing the PM is crucial to receive the game. Also, remember to put the coupon code you received via email into the checkout form to register the amount you already paid on KS. If you didn’t received the coupon, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it to you. If you missed the tutorial to use the PM, you can find it here.
Merry LuxMas to everyone and
Preserve the Light!