Thursday, February 3, 2011

The 100 point slay

In case anyone is not aware, 9th edition NERO changes the rules on slays to a flat 100 points. There has been some angry murmuring about this, there has also been some shouts of elation. I am going to discuss this in the context of the current game, from both a PVE and PVP perspective and allow you to formulate your own opinion. I am trying to do this as objectively as possible but of course I do have an opinion and it will probably be fairly evident.

The game of NERO began as a counting game. By that I mean that a monster had 10 body and I was singing for 2s the monster could take 5 hits and then fall down. If I was a big dog and had a slay that did 24 points I could kill that monster in a single swing or I could take half of the body away from a larger monster. The amount of damage done on any single module was quantifiable. The modern game of NERO is not like this, the modern game of NERO is a game of burst damage, can I do enough damage to kill you before you can heal yourself. This was brought about primary by the advent of the cantrip healer. The cantrip healer continuously heals the fighter throughout the course of a fight so the encounter must do enough damage to break through the fighter and kill the healer. The same is true on the other side of the encounter, most monsters heal themselves so the players must do sufficient damage to defeat the encounter before it can heal itself. The 100 point slay allows the fighter to have a burst damage quota that is easily totaled across a player base.

Roleplaying games are filled with math. Counting body down, totaling damage, counting healing up, players brains are filled with numbers. The best of us can keep track of most numbers while still managing to focus on playing the game. 100 point slays do not reduce the amount of math necessary to play the game but they do make that math just a little bit simpler. Numbers that are multiples of 10 are by virtue of our counting system very easy to remember and work with.

In an encounter between two fighter type characters there are a few ways that the result can be decided. Two fighter who have no slays or who assume that they each have an equivalent number of slays can fight without using their slays. Or a fighter who assumes that he has more slays will begin with slays and hope that the opponent runs out of parrys before he runs out of slays. There has been some mention made in the various arguments that a newbie should not be able to kill a 30th level character. In the above encounter the new player will never kill the advanced character if they both have skills remaining. 100 point slays devalue the build that ignores slays to get to swing 20s, without the slays that go along with those 20s, you will die in at most two hits from any fighter type character. 100 point slays also provides a larger differential between high level templars and high level fighters, templars cannot possibly match fighters slay for slay while still spending build on spells. PVP between fighters remains the same while PVP between classes changes only slightly. A low level fighter can kill an unprepared high level scholar.

From a scaling perspective slays can now be counted as 9th level spells. They have virtually the same functionality as death or eldritch blast and they cost almost the same build. IN addition the cost to get the slay with its prerequisite proficiencys is almost the same as a column of spells for a scholar,actually its interesting how close in value a slay is to a 9th level spell.

There it is a few arguments for and against the 100 point slay. What does everyone think?


  1. I don't think the new slays do anything to the current cantrip healing situation. Many fighters go to bleeding in the midst of battle as is, and before they drop they get healed.

    Now if people actually dropped when they hit -1...

  2. I like the change.
    -It makes a low level fighter useful in an encounter versus higher level creatures.
    -NPCs can easily calculate the dmg.
    -Old slays were mostly parrys due to lackluster dmg

    Fighter vs fighter becomes a mind game

    PvP ramifications I am not concerned about. Scholars have equivalent spells for dmg/death effects. Also there are several defenses for slays (magic armor, parry, dodge). Also a slay is fixed by any heal, where as a death spell needs a life spell.

  3. That annoys me the most Bill. I think it's an issue that needs addressed. At the very least they should take a knee and then stand back up.

  4. You can be proud of me during the dragon battle at lumberton, i fell on my butt every hit. I think they got tired of backpacking me lol.

    It's really cheesy to keep fighting when down and getting spammed healed. It trivializes fights.

  5. Personally, I don't like it. I don't feel any growth as a fighter except to swing more damage. There just simply anything other main abilities for a fighter to spend build on. Now all my slays all do the same amount (discounting bladefury). I really liked the 10x prof. It's easy math and I feel growth.

    Also, I can't wait till I see goblins that have player stats (even just a level 5) run up and say "prepare to die."

  6. I hate it when people say they want their slays to feel special because of profs. Saying that your slay should do more than a low level player is equivalent to saying that a cel caster with an 8 block should be able to throw their Blasts for more damage than a guy with a 4 block.

    The fact is that there were only 2 effects in NERO where a high level player's build was worth more than a low level player's build.

    - Slay/Assassinate
    - Formal Magic Cantrips

    Both of those effects were changed so that lower level players would have a reason to purchase said skills. Very much for the better.

  7. Basically, what Bill said. The slay growth for a fighter comes in number of times they can slay instead of the size of their slays.

  8. Absolutely, and it makes the math so much better - it is a great change, long overdue.


  9. Hehe Sneaky NPC is me a high level group was looking to hunt low level alligators because they were bored and alligators were their pick. This was my chapter's first 9th ed weekend, and alligators have slays.

    I was the last one left and it was me vs a fighter, rogue, and scholar. The scholar got cocky and went up hitting me for 2 silvers. Then came the slay (I figured a cornered alligator is most pissed when cornered and being tapped by a piece of metal). The others ran screaming. Was so funny.