I’m sure that by now everyone has had enough of those ‘perfect’ warrior advice articles. And, while they are useful to a point, it’s hard to apply their advice to the hordes of non-perfect warriors we get every day. Hence, this article is for the other 99% non-perfect warriors. The design ideas presented here have been valid over the course of my 15 years of experience with this game, with proven success at all levels of the game.
There are several things to think about when designing a warrior. First is fighting style. Second is longevity. Third is weapon suitability. Fourth is physical capabilities. Fifth is trainability. While I will discuss these separately in this article, they must be thought about simultaneously in order to get the maximum potential from each and every roll-up.
Fighting style is the most important decision you’ll make about your new warrior. Consider all possibilities. Sometimes you will need to experiment with the numbers, play around with several different combinations, before picking the best style. The offensive styles are lunging, slashing, striking, aimed blow, and bashing. The defensive styles are total parry, parry riposte, and parry strike. The mixed styles are wall of steel and parry-lunge. The offensive warriors have lots of attack ability and little defense (except lungers). Their key attributes are usually will (for endurance and attack skills) and strength (for damage capability and attack skills). High wit and deftness are also high on the list as they both give a lot of skills, particularly attack skills. [Tip #1: Never design an aimed blow with less than a 21 deftness.] The defensives have lots of defensive ability (particularly parry) but poor attack. Their key attributes are usually will (for damage taking and parry skills) and constitution (for damage taking). Again, extra wit and deftness is highly desireable for the extra skills. [Tip #2: Keep wit as low as possible on scum warriors.] The mixed styles have pretty good attack and pretty good defense, making them among the most formidable warriors in the game. Their key attributes are will (what a surprise!) and whatever gets them to good cut-offs, because mixed styles use defensive and offensive skills with equal effectiveness. If you notice, speed doesn’t come up as an important stat for any style, but it is probably best utilized by the offensive styles. I tend to like warriors that will perform well (as opposed to looking good but still losing), so I tend to design a lot of offensive and mixed styles.
Longevity is another design concern. The main decision here is whether your new warrior will have a long, Gateway oriented career, or have a shorter life span. If shorter, how much shorter? In general, for maximum learning and maximum training, you’ll want to add as much as possible to wit and will. If you envision Gateway god-hood in your warrior’s future, then designing him with a low wit or will has only a minor affect; it merely takes a little longer for him to reach his full potential. If your warrior has a sandbagging champions future, then you’ll want to add as much wit as possible to get him competitive as soon as possible. For an ADM title shot, you’ll want to build in some easy stat trains that give lots of skills. For a short, rookies or novices oriented career, you’ll probably want a high will because you’ll most likely be looking for quick, significant stat trains. The point is, decide when the warrior is born how long his career will be, and you will be better able to maximize his potential towards that ultimate target.
Weapon suitability must also be considered. As is well known, not all weapons are well-suited to all styles, and every warrior has a favorite weapon. It is important to design a warrior so he will be able to use the significant weapons well-suited to his style. It should not take more than a couple stat trains to get your warrior well-suited to some good weapons. (Consult available charts for weapon suitability.) I feel that it is important to be well suited to several weapons of your style. This gives you the opportunity to change and surprise your foes. If your warrior lacks the attributes to use key weapons of his style, his effectiveness will be diminished.
Physical capabilities is an often overlooked aspect of warrior design. The three main areas of concern are endurance, the ability to inflict damage, and the ability to take damage. At least one of these should be at the ‘good’ level or above, and the more the better. There is usually a trade-off between designing for skills and designing for physical attributes. The trick is to maximize both. Always evaluate the possibility of adding to strength over deftness. The damage capability gained will usually out-weigh the difference in skills. Endurance is usually a key factor in an offensive warrior’s ability to defeat a defensive. Conversely, the ability to take damage is usually a key factor in a defensive warrior’s ability to defeat an offensive. Again, use the available charts to design your warrior to reach the desired physical levels with a minimum of stat trains.
The fastest way for a new warrior to improve is to learn skills with a 21 wit. With a 21 wit, you can usually average three skills per fight for your first 20 fights or so. Going into an adepts tournament with 60+ skills is very good. The higher the wit, the more skills your warrior will learn, so keep this in mind when designing your potential tournament champions.
A number of managers advocate early stat trains that burn skills. I only do this in the most severe of cases, like a 3 wit scummy warrior. The main reason I don’t do this is because any warrior I want to fight beyond novices is going to need as many skills as he can get. In addition, if a warrior burns skills early, he’ll end up with less than his contemporaries at the time they both max skills. This leads to diminished skill levels when the warrior makes a TC run in the Freshmen, ADM, or Eligibles class, and to a protracted struggle to get the warrior inducted to Primus/Gateway when the time comes. It also eliminates the option to sandbag in the champions since your burned warrior will never have the skills to compete with non-burned warriors.
However, I do design for trainability. I like my warriors to have a shot at a TC in the ADM or Eligibles class, so I will purposely leave deftness at 9, counting on the quick, easy trains once all my skills are learned. You can do the same in wit, will, speed, and even strength; leave the starting stat a couple points below a level with significant skills, then train those stats when you make your TC run. Of course, since you’re planning on making this training run in Advanced Duelmasters, the best stat for trainability is a 21. Every train past 21 will give you quick, significant, valuable skills.
Of course, any set of design rules or guidelines will have its exceptions. There are many good warriors out there who did not follow any of the rules outlined above, but there are many, many more dead ones. So, if you follow these rules most of the time, most of your warriors will be winners.
That said, let’s do a couple examples. First, we’ll redesign the legendary Broke Stroker.
ST 10 + 0 = 10
CN 10 + 0 = 10
WT 9 + 6 = 15
WL 9 + 6 = 15
SP 11 + 0 = 11
DF 11 + 2 = 13
Comments: His wit and will are high enough to make him a viable long-term warrior. He starts well-suited to the short spear, and is only one strength train away from longsword suitability. He’s got enough con to take a hit, and he’ll likely also get good damage with his first strength train, if not on the original overview.
ST 5 + 4 = 9
CN 8 + 0 = 8
WT 8 + 5 = 13
WL 13 + 4 = 17
SP 10 + 0 = 10
DF 12 + 1 = 13
Comments: He starts well-suited to scimitar, and has enough ST, CN, & WL to get normal endurance. He has a good shot at good damage to start with, and if not, it’s only a train or two away.
ST 12 + 5 = 17
CN 8 + 1 = 9
WT 11 + 6 = 17
WL 8 + 1 = 9
SP 14 + 0 = 14
DF 10 + 1 = 11
Comments: This low will wonder needs help to get normal endurance, thus the high strength. It gives the additional bonus of guaranteeing good damage on a relatively small warrior. The 11 deftness gives him suitability to almost every weapon.
Now it’s time for you to go forth and design your own godlings (or is that ‘doglings’?). Armed with these guidelines, you too can have your share of Broke Strokers in Advanced Duelmasters. Good luck, and may the gods guide your blows straight and true! — Neon Necromancer [Gateway – Psycho Scientist, et al.; DM 18 – Mad Scientists; other random teams and 100ish ADM warriors]