We've blown through the $600,000 achievement, and the campaign continues to roll along. With the heroes in the Covenant expansion, we really wanted to offer totally new playstyles that will feel very different from the existing heroes. We also wanted to explore some classic tropes that weren't represented in the game. No doubt about it -- we needed a wizard. Enter the astromancer.
“The stars will guide us through the dark months ahead.”
The Reverent Astromancer is our nod to Gandalf, Elminster, Merlin, and all the other classic spellslingers. Although other characters touch upon a magical heritage, we wanted a character that wielded spells and grew in power as the game went on.
Who will like this character: People who want to feel clever and who like to plan ahead.
“I have visions of what I need and where to be.”
The Astromancer’s banner ability is to remove one skull that is on or adjacent to his space. So ending a turn in the right location is key. This also allows you to save Cleansing for buildings with two or three skulls.
The Pious virtue is the core of the Astromancer, granting you the ability to prepare a number of spells equal to the month. You need to be able to think ahead for the whole month and decide what you think you’ll need.
The Well-Versed virtue gives you a blessing if you removed a skull with your banner ability. Blessings are a new mechanic. They grant you +1 Wild Advantage until the end of your next Heroic action so it will come in handy if you are Battling or Questing on your turn.
“Magic is mine to harness”
The Astromancer’s other virtues let you do wondrous things with your spells.
Zealous gives you a blessing whenever you cast a spell. Later in the game, you could gain a handful of wild advantages.
If you want more power, take Exalted. This gives you access to four new spells called Invocations. These are more powerful spells that you can use for the rest of the game.
Or, you can take Bounteous, which gives you a treasure once per turn when you cast a spell.
“My spells are my life.”
But a wizard is only as strong as their spells, and we wanted to give the Astromancer some wild ones. We put a lot of time into designing effects that were a little less straightforward and required a little more forethought to optimize. Here are the Astromancer's spells and invocations.
Ritual of Warding:Place a Protection token in your space. These tokens negate wasteland and foe spawns in that space. You can try to just guess where they might show up, or you can lay down some preemptive protection in key spaces that you don't want to get blocked off.
Soothing Word:One hero in your space replaces a corruption with a new one. With the gnarly new corruption effects, sometimes cycling a corruption is as helpful as removing it (and a lot cheaper).
Aura of Friendship: When you Reinforce at a building this turn, you can treat it as any building. Fundamentally, this spell can save you some movement, particularly helpful as wasteland tokens build up across the board or when you need a particular Reinforce effect and don't have that monument built yet.
Winds of Change: Put any number of treasures from the market on the bottom of the treasure deck. Then refill the market. For when you can't wait around for a New Wares event and especially handy when the Devious Swindler is hunting for advantages (but we'll talk more about them later).
Bounty of the Gods: Gain 3 random quest items, and lose 2 of them. Lose the other at the end of your turn. One of the wilder effects, sometimes it will be just the item you need, and some times you'll get to move siege trees that aren't even in the game. Either way, tons of fun.
Bestow Blessing: One hero gains a blessing. And their most straightforward effect. An advantage when you need it.
Commanding Rebuke: Place a foe that is in your space in any other space. Potent ability that sets up another hero's champion virtue or just hucks a nettlesome foe out of the way while you're trying to work on the main goal.
Smite the Wicked: Remove a savage or lethal foe. An interesting effect, very powerful, but only works in situations when you might already be at some risk. Are you going to let that dragon level up just so you can smite them next turn...?
Abate the Darkness: Remove a seal, return any skulls to the supply, replace the seal. A great way to clean out the Tower a bit and refill the skull supply when it's running low.
Celestial Jaunt: Place yourself on any space with a quest marker. A more potent but more situational movement ability, it can come in very handy as the board fills up with wasteland tokens.