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Emissaries Gain Keyword

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It saddens me that the Emissaries have lost their customization when taken with Masters. It added a fun level of customization that has been left behind with the streamlining of M3E. If this were to change, I think that the Emissaries should have a rule/ability something along the lines of

"Evershifting Alliance: When this model is hired into a crew lead by a Master, this model gains the keyword of that Master."

I was part of the closed an open beta and don't think I ever saw a proposed ability like this.  Maybe there was and I missed it but this would add more interactions and such in the game that I think would be fun and interesting.  It would allow such things as Marcus adding upgrades to the Arcane Emmisary and Shenlong doing weird Monk interactions with the Shadow Emissary.

Anyone else think this would be something interesting to add or would this be too much for 10 soulstone models? 

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I think that is something that would help some keywords more than others. I have no idea what keywords would benefit from it the most, but it may well lead to the Emmisary seeming less versatile. Something like that could have been done ands balanced, but I am strongly against errataing cards for no real reason.

 

Personally I'm not bothered by that loss, it fits in both mechanically (there is a lot few upgrades out there so that customisation is largely gone) thematically (The Emissaries came about by absorbing the powers of the masters that allowed them to turn into avatars, hence as it happened they might be more influenced by the master nearest to them, but that did all happen a while a go) and practically (I'm sure the original purpose of the Emmisary was to allow players to use the large expensive Avatar models they bought once there were no avatar rules. You have a much smaller percentage of the playerbase now with avatar models so you don't need to give them a better reason to use both Avatar Seamus and Avatar Kirai on the table).

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Going with just the keywords I play....

OUTCAST: Mercenary would be meh, Plague would be useless, Freikorps would be too powerful, Bandit would be almost useless, Infamous would have zero effect, Tormented would be super effective!

BAYOU: Infamous would still have zero effect, Swampfiend would be very powerful, Tri-Chi would have no effect I think.

TEN THUNDERS:  Oni would be awesome (like it was in 2nd), Qi & Gong would have zero effect, Wastral would be awesome.

 

So with just my small slice, where 5 out if the 12 keywords listed being useful, and the rest being either a 1 trick pony or utterly useless.  Also, the ones that are useful are really really useful, maybe too good.  A big healing Tormented model with Jack Daw fills a big hole in how you defeat him, Hodgepodge getting Freikorp gear and being able to be copied by Hannah; a fast unimpeded Swampfiend model for Zoraida to Obey through; the stuff on the front of Asami's card alone are great for the Shadow Emissary, and getting McCabe's Artifacts would be a book!

Not to mention the powerful ones I know that I don't play, including Marcus mentioned above, another Forgotten non-Minion is dangerous, more Ancestor/Retainer are right out, Family is STOOPID powerfull!

Some of these would be, dare I say, worth more than a 10 point model... while others would then be overcharged for no useful reason.

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I agree with said before, that change without being properly tested is dangerous.

In NVB:

  • Marcus mutations would be quite good (maybe too good) with the emissary (the only other Chimera with Armor 1 is the scorpious; he could position in the middle of the enemy crew at the end of an activation, in the first activation activate Graspling tentacles, attack and let the other team handle a DF6 Armor2 Shielded2 model for example), plus all the heals, defense buffs and charges from Marcus/Myranda...
  • Lucius would be probably fine, they could obey him, but he doesn't have that much synergy with the crew.
  • Zoraida he would be powerful, but probably fine too; Zoraida could use spells out of him but not much more.
  • Titania... nothing extra, but the emissary is already a very good fit here.
  • Nephillim would gain some minor synergy but nothing too wild. 
  • Nightmare, going OOK weaken lucid dreams but the Dreamer gives Adversary, Shield, there are some abilities which interacts with Nightmares (push, shielded, heals...), and they have incorporeals to ignore the markers. I don't think it would be amazing, but it'd help to consider him.
  • Woe, he could be targeted by Despair's influence and ignored by Fears given form, it would help him to be considered; he is tough and can handle out negative states, but the woes doesn't ignore his markers nor have the mobility to bypass them, so it's kind of akward.

For NVB  it'd be mostly fine with the exception of Marcus and Maybe Zoraida... I kind of like this idea, but as the synergies inside each keyword are so different it'd be hard to balance so it's probably better as it is.

 

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5 hours ago, Jesy Blue said:

Plague would be useless... 

Vermin could be fun with making the Emissary Fast, or using Hamelin’s Bonus action.

I do think though that it is a bad idea given how much more unbalanced it would make the game.

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11 minutes ago, Mycellanious said:

Perhaps a good compromise would be to create a new Upgrade? Like for an extra 2 stones the Emissary gains the Keyword of the Leader of the Crew. So you have the option to take the Effigy and grow it, or the Emissary and Adapt it?

It could be a way to solve it... if the synergies are too wild a crew could be willing to pay 12 SS. For 12 SS some crazy stuff could be allowed. The problem is that only the crews where trully OP stuff will happen would be willing to pay it.

Maybe another way could be a new Characteristic for Henchman and Masters (like versatile). Only Emissaries/Effigies hired by masters/henchmans with that characteristic would count as having all the leader's keywords. This way the trully OP stuff may be avoided, and in those in which the emissary would be OK could get it without the +2SS (or growing it). But as now the cards are printed... it's unlikely that they get new characteristics...

Maybe the above could be done with a new upgrade per faction, with 0 cost, that can be bought even if the effigy of fate is also attached and that doesn't get removed when replacing. In that upgrade the Limitations would be used to control which keywords can (or cannot) get it. I think it'd better to control which keyword cannot get it, just in case of henchmans with double keyword that may bypass the limitation.

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1 hour ago, TheJoyInGaming said:

Vermin could be fun with making the Emissary Fast, or using Hamelin’s Bonus action.

I do think though that it is a bad idea given how much more unbalanced it would make the game.

... but Hamelin is not Vermin, only Plague.

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41 minutes ago, Jesy Blue said:

... but Hamelin is not Vermin, only Plague.

I know. That is my bad for rushing a post.

I should have specified that the example was to show it was possible to create meaningful interactions within that Keyword, though it would require such a specifically worded ability to interact with Hamelin. 

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Last iteration I thought about the idea above to being able to include keywords with different levels of synergy with the Avatar.

4 hours ago, Ogid said:

a new upgrade per faction, with 0 cost, that can be bought even if the effigy of fate is also attached and that doesn't get removed when replacing. In that upgrade the Limitations would be used to control which keywords can (or cannot) get it. I think it'd better to control which keyword cannot get it, just in case of henchmans with double keyword that may bypass the limitation.

Name: Avatar

Type: Upgrade without a faction.

Cost: *

Text:

When this model is replaced by a Emissary of fate, don't discard this upgrade. This upgrade doesn't count for the limit of 1 upgrade per model while hiring, but it can only be attached if the crew's leader has at least one of his keywords listed in this card. A model may attach more than one "Avatar" upgrade, paying only the more expensive of them.**

If one or more of the leader's keywords is in the list bellow, this model is treated as having the matching keywords.

Limitations: Restricted (Effigy or Emissary of Fate). Restricted (Matching Leader's Keyword)

 

*About the cost: There would be multiple versions of this upgrade, with a cost from 0 to 3 depending on how good it would be for that keyword. For example for NVB: Chimera would be in the 2 or 1 cost card, Swampfiend and Nightmare would be in the 1 or 0  cost card, the rest in the 0 cost card.

** This bit about adding more than 1 Avatar card is there for the henchmans with 2 keywords with a different price.

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If they were to do something like this, I'd prefer it were a :ToS-Fast: action (to give the keyword until end of turn or until the model's next activation or something) rather than an upgrade (or the upgrade gives the bonus action), because there's counterplay to actions and it adds a decision point since it would compete with other options, whereas I feel if it's an upgrade it's going to be very binary.  In some crews you'd always take it, and in others never.

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4 hours ago, LeperColony said:

If they were to do something like this, I'd prefer it were a :ToS-Fast: action (to give the keyword until end of turn or until the model's next activation or something) rather than an upgrade (or the upgrade gives the bonus action), because there's counterplay to actions and it adds a decision point since it would compete with other options, whereas I feel if it's an upgrade it's going to be very binary.  In some crews you'd always take it, and in others never.

Honestly, this seems like the best compromise between all the discussions.  It helps curb the strength of gaining keywords by shutting down very powerful bonus actions as most of the Emissaries do seem to have while allowing for the flexibility to mesh well with Masters keywords. 

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I think one of the reasons why this wasn't in the beta is that tailoring the emissary to each keyword doesn't promote model variety.

And adding a keyword-specific upgrade to the emissary that just adds the keyword seems to go counter to the third edition design changes.  That is, if you wanted to have versions of each emissary tailored to each of the keywords, the proper solution is to produce versions of each emissary tailored to each of the keywords.  And then when you do that, you can actually design a titled emissary for Plague and a titled emissary for Nightmare and a titled Emissary for etc., etc.

Honestly, if you're at the point where you're trying to propose Y different upgrades at wildly different SS costs depending on which keyword it is, you'd be a hell of a lot better off just designing keyword specific emissaries.  Otherwise, stop and ask "Why am I designing an upgrade that I think the relative benefit that the crew will be so low that it justifies a 0SS cost?"  You might as well just say "There is no upgrade for this keyword because it's useless."

If you're concerned about the space needed to express something like "When an Emissary model would be added to a crew (by hiring, summoning, or replacement), if the crew's leader has the X keyword, this model may be added instead," I think you could get away with a few paragraphs making up a game term like Keyed or something similar.  

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I don't think there would be any value to making a change like this, personally. What made the Emissaries unique in M2E was having specifically customized abilities for each Master - which was unique and flavorful! But... also takes a lot of design energy, and definitely resulted in some options being much more potent than others. The shift away from that, as with elsewhere in M3E, does mean a less thematic model... but also a more balanced one. Giving the ability to gain Keywords wouldn't add any actual theme to the Emissaries... it would just mean they get a huge power-up with some Masters (Marcus, etc), and it is meaningless with others.

While I can see room down the road to try and customize the Emissaries again, I think it would be something that needs playtesting and careful consideration, rather than tossing out a bonus as a throwaway onto the current versions. If you want something both interesting and balanced, I think that would involve custom upgrades once again - or maybe alternate Master versions that have built-in synergies/benefits if you bring an Emissary.

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Going full profile (and model) for each Master seems excessive imo. Giving the keyword would be enough to promote some variety and synergies, but as different masters have different synergies, a SS tax for the ones were it could be unbalanced it's a good compromise.

Checking NVB (but Euripides) 1 master where it would be top notch (Marcus), 1 Master were it would be good (Zoraida), 3 Masters (Pandora, Dreamer, Lucius) were it could make the emissary playable, 2 Masters were it makes no difference (Nekima, too rushy, low synergies, Titania, it was very good anyway on them). It seems like an improvement if the cases where it might go out of hand are controlled.

I'm not a big fan of the :ToS-Fast: action to gain the keyword... the emissaries are expensive models with good abilities in that spot (and some rely on that action more than others, so it won't be fair for everyone). It would also create weird cases (The Emissary losing Chimera while having mutation upgrades for example)

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