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Para Bellum’s 1.03 FAQ chat Transcribed

Para Bellum’s 1.03 FAQ chat Transcribed

The below is a transcription of the 1.03 FAQ video posted by Leandros and Konstantinos which can be found here:

This is not a full transcription, and some bits have been omitted. The questions asked have all been included as well as their answers. The underspire also encourages you to check out the video and send the guys some love.

Transcript Begins

Q: As a design team do you have any thoughts as to how the rules should support the visuals of the gameplay? ie larger units tend to look nicer on the table – would you make design decisions to promote that?

A: yes rules take aesthetics into account. Its very important that we make things that add to the regiment’s aesthetic and make it viable option in game like a standard or leader.

Q: When can we expect to see release dates for the next factions? Is rally intended to be a mandatory action when broken?

A: Since we’ve been demoing for a while now, but in reality the game is very young. Less than a year at this point. With the whole pandemic thing going on … a lot of variables going on, at this point our first objective is to populate the existing factions. We have a lot of nord releases scheduled. Very soon we see household guard and huscarls. We want to start releasing information soon but its important to note that we put our top priority populating our current factions and giving you lots of choices in things like tournaments and competitive play.

On rally: we’ve thought of both. In one way we wanted when regiment was broken we wanted to hinder its ability, but at the same time we believe in risk reward relationship. Its fine to us if you act while broken but you take that absolute risk of getting shattered. Right now rallying is not mandatory. But… there are a lot of things to consider here and as we’re moving on with some more rounds of balance updates this might be revisited.

Q: How do you feel about some of the weaker warlord’s getting additional mainstay choices in addition to their supremacy abilities? For example a noble lord getting household knights as a mainstay or a shaman warlord getting huscarls?

Any word on faction wide abilities? If those are not in 1.03 when will we see those? Are they going to be extremely minor buffs or gamechangers?

A: The first part of the question concerns both of us in a way… um… because you know the options of mainstay and restricted going back to the aesthetics that we were talking earlier before, they are drawn from a relationship from the character to that regiment.

There was a discussion about it rules wise, there was a platform for it lore-wise for it to happen and since the two were married we went ahead and do it, I think you can expect things with other characters and their mainstays will depend also on your choices not only on your feedback as gamers, but also some of your choices you might have in the future.

Thats a little foreshadowing of certain things.

I will tell you there are many ways to balance a character. First of all has to do with ability we give them. I think that noble lord with the new changes in masteries and retinues they can be pretty devastasting right now. So I’d say they are not one of the weaker warlords. However, we are interested in buffing the strength of those that have lagged behind and mamke sure they fit and represent that faction better.

On faction wide abilities. Great point. As you’ve noticed with v 1.03 we added retinues. The next step in development is to allow each faction to have its own set of lets say faction special rules. At some point what we really want to do is to allow you to be able to pick the sub theme within a faction. Like underspires… in order to do that going back to what Andy Sparkyr asked is its very important to prioritize populating factions so we can then go back and give you options to play with those sub factions. I think those are very important. So eventually we’re going to reach that point where you are going to get those abilities.

Minor buffs or game changers? Game changers I would say yes but in the way in which it gives the faction more character. It brings it closer to the lore. Thats always what we’re trying for – we want the faction to play – what you read in the books, the short stories, the lore is what you experience in the game.

Q: Even if the mounted noble lord has a shield on his mini, he still stand with D3 in duel. Is that intended? The lord on foot supremacy ability is a bit off because you get only half of the effect. Same question. Is that intended?

A: Definitely there is a little bit of a difference between how the mounted lord and infantry lord are played given because that there is different regiments that can join and infantry lord has access to retinue whereas the mounted noble lord doesn’t. Its important that the mounted noble lord gets a little bit more out of his ability to compensate on the fact that he has less abilities. … but yeah it is intentional.

The shield and duel, it goes back a little bit to the aesthetics. We felt that first of all the outfit of the noble lord mounted would look like a household knight because thats what it is represented as. So having a shield and not having it on the actual model creates a little bit of an aesthetic dissonance there. We felt that a D of 3 is good enough on him rather than a 4. The mounted noble lord we feel is where he should be in terms of stats in game. So yeah it is intentional and is there to please the aesthetic things to … you never know… later on what other changes might happen when it comes to how characters are handled.

Also I think it gives , if it doesn’t resonate properly for you, go ahead and mod it. Do your own thing! I actually like, we’ve seen some very interesting modifications on our models. I really like that. If you find that something doesn’t do it for you for what you have in mind aesthetically … change it. Go nuts. And show us!

Q: Does the character have to be on the board for a draw event to occur or can it be used the turn their card gets added to the command stack? Specifically the events Double Time, Fire, and Advance… redress ranks, seize the day where it just says draw the next card and the ability activates if its the character’s regiment.

A: As a rule of thumb the unit needs to be on the table to activate a draw event. So overall the answer is yes you have to be on the table unless otherwise stated. Its very important because you need to have you need the character to be in play. They need to be able to come from reinforcements or they aren’t in your command stack to begin with. You would need to first bring the regiment the character is in AND THEN activate the card. We do not want every single ability to be used right when you come in. Like charges when you first come in the table.

Q: Are there thematic or balance constraints that prevent Lineage Highborne from “upgrading” to be in a cavalry Avatar body to join units of Centaur Avatara down the track?

A: I think gamewise … when you do avatar projection you have a character that is now a brute, where centaur avatar is cavalry. However later on we would like to offer rules and options in which you can really customize where your characters would attach to. And thats one of the things that customizing is one of the many pros of spires. Thats really what they do.

Now lore wise… well… rule wise has been explained… lore wise there are constraints if I understand the question in the same kind of context, that if lets say the exile that uses the highborne avatara transfers into a centaur avatara mid battle… there are constraints to the avatara designs. You can’t just jump one to the other. Its practically impossible if you’re thinking of a unit that is already on the field and engaged because that unit until then lets say its empty its a mindless drone, it will be able to perform and follow the rest that are actually someone there guiding them. So I’d say thats such a change maybe not impossible .. spires do understand their bodies are very versatile, but even that immediate transfer from a two legged giant into a centaur being wouldn’t be very … i think there it would be… it would mess with your mind.

These suits for the spire is how they see themselves fighting. Its a little bit of a prized possession, something they own. If they just leave it as an empty husk they are inviting any sort of damage to it… its almost like leaving a perfectly good tank in the middle of battle.

Its a show off. Slight narcissism. Slight. Thats a very good reason why they wouldn’t just leave it as an empty husk. If it came down to survival, that would be countermanded easily, lore-wise you can always think of a scenario where i start as a centaur and do the charge, break the lines, then jump back to my other figure to finish the job and cleave through them. But there are constraints. There are constraints in the avatara designs. They can be theoretically operate as empty husks and make mindless drones in a way but they are design is so much more elegant and at least looks fragile (its not really fragile) and requires a much more coordination than the moves of a drone that this practically would not make any sense.

Its a weapon system. Its like saying will I send the sword out on its own. No you won’t, it won’t do much. If you throw it, someone might get hurt, but thats .. .very limited effect.

This is a good opportunity to discuss how the lore can really impact gameplay and how we’re trying to implement these restrictions “realistically” that an actual spire would face in a battle. So that was a great question thank you.

Q: Do you plan on selling movement trays / bases separately? Currently all infantry characters do not include their corresponding tray, which is somewhat inconvenient if you do not have spare ones. I am aware 3d printing, mdf, and such is possible solution, but not always practical nor the trays would be uniform (ie less good looking). Selling a few in batches would be most welcome.

A: Yes. Very simple. Yes and not that far off. We wanted to do this from the get go, there were certain difficulties at that point, but right now we want to make sure we provide you packs of three like you would with any regiment. Right? Or groups of three cavalry bases, or a monster stand. That you can… use it to have your regiments your characters your retinues, whatever you want to use it on. We want to do it as soon as we can do it, we think thats very important.

Q: I’d like some insight on missions, what is the plan with them? Are they fine now? More being added? Will 6×4 see a more common spread? Aside from concern about magic that is my number one concern.

A: First of all regarding missions, the missions that you see on the basic rulebook are there to familiarize players with the game. A lot of people that have seen the missions before the rulebook released, they’ve been playing it since before it was released, they got the rules day one and there are a lot of very proficient palyers and they are ready for more competitive missions and competitive play. However what we try to do with the basic rules is we want to provide you a framework with which to learn the game. Thats why the scenarios are very simplified. There’s only one 6×4 scenario. The full on tactical play that you will find in competitive is not being represented there.

What will happen though is to have a separate missions pack that will also help us for competitive play as well. Which at that point you will see conquest as we envision it to be played competitively. Right now what we want to do is really publish the rules as much as we can and as soon as that happens we want to make sure that we can get to the competitive maps and missions.

We constantly get feedback from you we validate it, is there a point there? Did we miss something else? This is a very live thing. It always expands so when we say publish it will of course possibly change in the future but we will be completely satisifed we have a very solid base to move forward. It may sound that yeah this can go on forever. Of course there is concerns for that. There’s also other ways to do other missions… and to play…

Its very imporant that when we are testing new missions and new rules to keep some things … some standards… some things that are stable. If we know the rules are performing how they should we can start … cross balance them. We cannot be polishing rules and at the same time trying competitive play. We are taking your feedback and do the best job we can as it comes to that. To answer the question: yeah 6×4 is going to be a thing. We want to make sure we provide you with more scenarios like that. 6×4 might require a little bit of a different way in which reinforcements operate. There may be a few changes.

More things coming. More maps. 6×4 gameplay styles.

Q: Would PB consider opening more avenues for communication with the community?

A: Thats a great question. Things like this … things like trying to do a regular thing are our way of being in touch with you. Right now like we said many times, we’re very young company but we are experienced enough gamers ourselves to understand what kind of communication works best and what doesn’t. So we believe that videos like this where we take questions and answer them, FAQ posts that we want to be doing based on the questions you are asking, right now its very hard to .. a lot of discussion during the threads so not everything was able to be addressed cleanly, we’re going to be doing posts about it and writing and explaining why we do certain things, and more videos talking about decisions and why certain things work the way they do. And so by doing so we’re hoping new ways of communication and we’ll always be trying new ways to reach you and get feedback from you thats very important.

We invite you to always ask us questions. We invite you to always be active on social media. We are very active on social media, we want to be there for you.

If you think a platform would work better than discord, though it can be hard to always be on it, so for example its a lot easier for us to have a format like what we did now where we create a specific thread and you ask questions and we draw from that. Thats a lot easier. We’ll be finding ways to make that work as the community builds, we’ve come out of lockdown with a larger community than when we went in and thats insane considering no stores were open, and all these limitations, we grew as a community – and right now it gets really hard to filter through all that input and all that so we’re always looking for ways to clear the lines of communication and get all your feedback.

One of our favorite method of communication is direct like when we come talk to you guys at shows, of course this year things are very iffy on that front for good reasons. But that is something that we want to expand on when we get the opportunity. But for now…

There is another big news – Konstantinos Lekkas head of rules development – its a very rare name in greece – hes the head of that department and you can email him directly. We can not get more direct than that. You can use any of our social media to send us a message. I think we have a good response time overall. But if there is some waiting I think its only natural we thank you for being patient with us. The community kind of exploded to a certain degree in the past few months and we’re catching up. We’re trying to answer as much as we can ourselves. Rather than having… minions do it for us.

Small question, but lot to talk about.

Q: Are you guys planning on doing a changelog with future rules updates? That way we can quickly find all the differences between 1.02 and 1.03?

A: we actually thought about this. We wanted to do that. But it was a bit technically difficult. However we will always want to have a changelog, thats part of our plan. We wanted to bring the game up to a certain point, after which it will be a lot easier for us to track changes and so on. What I can tell you for sure is after verison 1.03 every change that happens will be logged. At this point on because we’re at the point we want with characters and retinues and that system, everything else that is added and changed, will be change logged. One of the other changes we want to start doing is start balancing the thresholds for the spells, and how many dice, and so on, and these are changes that will be tracked down and you’ll be able to find it on the website.

In the meantime while we don’t want to pass the burden, but in the meantime there are members in the community that do exactly that and they do an amazing job.

This is how we envisioned vanguards in the community. We want them to be more than just passionate players, which is great, but we want to give you an opportunity to be creators, builders, expand your skillset and doing new things. Have conquest be a platform for that. Our plans will always be after version 1.03 to have a changelog after that, so you’re going to be seeing a lot more after that.

Q: Why is it that biomancers can take arcane masteries but they dont have schools of magic unless you can give them a school through them? Looking at learned in the occult.

A: So biomancer can take arcane mastery. The arcane is a general term at explaining something that is neither of a physical nature that its not something you aren’t fighting with fists, claws, whatever, … its not tactical either in a sense that it does not represent a sort of strategic prowess. So arcane is a little bit word used a human perspective.

There is a connection in the way that those kind of magics lets say work. And they do differ from the faith magic. So it is a very used term that covers a lot of area. When you say arcane you mean more than one things. Now in a way one can interpret this that biomancy is sort of a school of magic. Its not its its own thing. A human could not really tap into that not easily. On the other hand we know historically and if you have read through our wonderful companion that … you would know that the old dominion had the distant relationship with biomancy. Distant meaning that they had tools for it and … you can perceive it as a much broader sense as another school of magic. Its very different. A human would be limited to next to zero if not zero but in a way it is a school of magic. On reverse now, the exiles and the magic that humans use, those that we typically divide into schools, again there is a distance. That an exile would never really excel in human magic. Could never accel. It is the very nature of their being that is naturally imbalanced in the exiles while in humans this imbalance in itself creates the foundation through which magic can be used.

So there is a connection there because as we have explained and magic is an imbalance so the spires can but they already can or predisposed to a certain school of magic though I use this term broadly right now. And the humans could also through that imbalance if their imbalance their specific imbalance favors that type of magic that the exiles use there could be a limited connection there. Question is why don’t humans study biomancies in that regard? There is a reason.

From a lore perspective it was always a question on where does it stop being science and where does it become magic.

That is… I can tell you exactly why that is. When the biomancers started actually started going away from the natural magic that the exiles had. Anyway… I hope this answers your question. I know there are no specific lines to be drawn here, so this is as far as one goes, this is as far as the other goes, etc… but I hope you understand the concept loose relationship between the two. And this again is both of those are in a way very different than faith. Faith magic is its own thing.

And game wise learning the occult that means that you know the difference school you can learn is same faction. Other thing is biomancy and pheromancy in gameplay could be considered as two different schools in the sense that there are augmentations that allow one to create pheromones that will allow a certain type of magic.

So gameplay wise a biomancer could gain pheromancer ability.

Q: #EruptionForEveryone
A: check out our facebook feed! We talked with the sorcerer to talk about the eruption spell and how it might have to go through changes. I don’t know if you want that though because…

Do you want to be against that?

We’ve been bullied by our sorcerers here.

Definitely eruption was something that needed to be addressed and so we are going to be looking into … I’ve posted a revisting it. I posted something the other day somethings that we are considered doing to it, those aren’t final. At the end of the day there’s going to be testing. But eruption was a point that had to be addressed. Its important for you to know that we are listening and if there is such an issue, we’re going to go and address it and do our best to fix it. There’s going to be a path to fix for that.

Q: Does tier 3 of mastery of the flesh allow you to resolve the same draw event twice?
A: No. If something is not clear enough sometimes a lot of going back to the rules is to make sure that to communicate well what we have in mind. And thats a hard a lot of work to do that, but its very important to have clarifications like that.

Q: Any plans for new missions or updates to current missions (especially Breakthrough)?
A: So take a little bit further, the basic missions will also change a little bit as well because we want to make sure once we have the competitive rulepack out and competitive missions out, we want to make sure the missions in the core book are more geared toward guiding new player and gently pushing new players toward understanding how competitive conquest will work.

Q: Does each tier of a retinue count as a separate model? Like for a chapter mage, I want to possibly get Tier 2 magic and tier 2 tactical so I can pick up Eccentric. Is this possible?

A: Great question because that is a good segway into the new rules on how retinue work. This week we’re going to have another article talking about how retinues and masteries work. More specifics about that. thats part of our way to communicate the changes better and develop around those. So to answer the question: yeah. each tier of a retinue is a separate model. A chapter mage for example on a stand will have three empty spaces. So if you bought tier 2 magic, that means you need TWO miniatures to signify that. You wouldn’t be able to go up to tier 3 tactical because you only have slot left.

The concept here is retinues can be attached to INFANTRY characters because thats the one that are able to do that, and different retinue tiers allow for certain things. For example you can’t use a banner unless you have a tier 1 tactical. You have your lord and you have a standard bearer. You’re gong to have a noble lord with standard of steel, the lord wouldn’t carry their own banner. They’d have a … minion… with jean overalls… to carry their banner around. Going back to how rules affect the aesthetic. You’ll see this reoccuring.

With the rules we go “how can we make this look cool” is a thing that is asked repeatedly when we discuss designing things. And if you need the banner, make it look cool. If you want lets say the tier 2 any tier 2, it has to be if you want it to look like a tier 2, you have to make it look cool.

Its important to note there will be miniatures that you can use to represent those and also use command upgrades, and those upgrades have a specific theme. For example the drill master is there for a tactical tier. If you want to add a standard bearer you can always convert your own and add it (and post the pictures!) but for those that dont want to do that, tiers are going to have their own miniatures. That will allow you to use them and upgrade them as you like. Until then if you want to use something different, seasoned veteran, perceptor, etc can be used to signify something different. As always, we love seeing conversions.

Q: Does Plaguelord cause Morale? Also does the Blessed effect from the sacrificial lamb mastery last until end of battle?
A: No. And yes. Plaguelord essentially is an ability for the spires that allow decay to cause an additional wound. The thing is that decay on its own specifically states it does not cause morale. So does that additional wound cause morale? And the answer is no.

That plus one wound is there because of decay. Therefore as decay does not produce resolve checks, neither does the additional wound.

Sacrificial lamb – when attacker dies the regiment within 6″ get the blessing. Until the end of the battle? Yes. That character must be warlord. Thats very important because later on you’ll be scoring points for destroying the warlord, and killing the warlord is a big deal. First of all because of how the game overall balances out in the sense that if the regiment dies the warlord goes with them. So if you have th warlord in a strong regiment and you lose that strong regiment AND the warlord, people are going to be pretty pissed. You’d probably be pissed as well. Trust me. Other regiments will so too.

Its not something i’d try and get my warlord killed just to do it but its definitely something to help you hang in there after you take such a loss.

Q: Are you planning on releasing Retinue models for each faction, type and tiers? Or perhaps some upgrade sprues to represent retinues by converting existing models?
A: The first part of the question we covered. The second part is whether we want to do upgrade kits, which is a good question. Short answer is yes. First of all there are many sub not… sub factions yes… example force grown drones want to be underspire or other sub could have differences, but also coming from different kingdoms. They’d have different regalia. Some kind of different heraldry, yeah. They could be very different so there are going to be eventually upgrade kits that will change your army thematically.

Q: Is the wedge supremacy ability available to non-warlord noble lords and priory commanders? It says it exchanges their supremacy ability with Wedge, so if they don’t have a supremacy can I still take it?

A: Short answer is that there they don’t have to be a warlord, but they have to have a supremacy ability. That seems a little off but sometimes certain abilities or certain items can provide you with a supremacy ability. If thats the case, you can do it. Rule of thumb is you have to have a supremacy ability in order to exchange it for wedge. If you don’t have one you cannot. Now if there is a way in which you can get one without being the warlord, then of course you can use wedge.


Software engineer, data science, machine learning, AI, game designer, and writer.

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