Does anyone get the "Dagger Heart" Opt? Does anyone use it?

edited October 2013 in Make Stuff!
Hey,

I just finished my third session and so it's time to create my alt. While I know that Opt selection doesn't a character make, I'm really proud of the way my primary's Opts work together: Sly of Hand, Rich & Dire, and Carrion Smirk. As you can guess, I am not playing the most proactive character, but I have ways to tease others into action so that I can lean back and prosper. It's a sneaky, fun build.

Now I'm trying to figure out a good alt character - and specifically one to support such a reactive, manipulative primary. The Entanglements are going to be easy (entangle with each impulsive primary and at least a couple alts), but the Opt selection step is a bit trickier. I love picking Opts, and have spent hours pouring over those glossy pages, but am unsure where I want to go with this character - I've never built an alt for such a reactive primary before.

There's this one Opt that is really nifty, but upon imagining it in play, I can't really conceive of its value/impact. I'm talking about Dagger Heart. It seems like there must be a combo, or set of combos, that make it shine. But the longer I stare at it, the less clear I am on how it's supposed to work in play.

So, yeah - what makes Dagger Heart a good Opt? How do you use it, what do you combine it with? And is there a way to build this alt around it?

Obviously I haven't said much about our campaign, or my primary character, or the rest of the cast. I didn't want to burden you with unnecessary details. Ask questions if you have them! Most of the other players of this campaign are on the forums too - feel free to jump in and tell others about our game if you'd like to. :)

Comments

  • So, here's what I've been seeing so far, take it or leave it, because I don't have a complete insight into the Drive you've been setting up the last couple sessions.

    A good alt has three things, in my mind. A strong main Opt, a versatile supporting Opt, and then it ties into a Layer that brings them into play at opportune times. You don't want to be hopping onto your alt every other scene, but you do want to pull the alt in to generate enough Forte on your primary. The alt doesn't take point, after all. :)

    Dagger Heart is good for some people, because of how it leverages the Underscurry Layer into the campaign. The way you've been playing so far, I think you might particularly be one of those people--I think that's why the Puppetmaster suggested that you check it out. With Underscurry in play, I think you're going to hit that sweet spot with your alt, where they're not stealing dice from the main storyline, and where they're giving you enough Forte to be worth it.

    Check the triggers on Dagger Heart, and don't forget that the PM's been hinting at a nemesis in the Underscurry in the very first session. The biggest problem with this Opt is how situational it can be, but I think everyone's onboard with it.

    (Also, the synergy with Lily Blood shouldn't be overlooked. That's a fantastic supporting Opt. Don't neglect the less-flashy ones. ;) )
  • What are we talking about here?
  • Dagger Heart is good for some people, because of how it leverages the Underscurry Layer into the campaign. The way you've been playing so far, I think you might particularly be one of those people
    Ohh, ha! I didn't even think about choosing Opts to play off a specific Layer. Since play moves through different Layers, it seemed like such a hit-or-miss way to build a character. But for an alt, that makes perfect sense. Okay, Dagger Heart makes a lot more sense now.

    While the synergy you point out between Dagger Heart and Lily Blood is cool (and creates a martyr complex that my primary could react to with juicy indignity!), I don't know that it makes sense to dedicate two of my Opts to this one combo. It's cool, but it's resource intensive and case-specific. Unless I'm missing yet another cool trick with these weirdo Opts? Anyone?
  • What are we talking about here?
    Ditto. I have NO IDEA what is being referenced here. Is it one of those "If you have to ask, you're never going to know" things?
  • Look, if you're actually PLAYING with alts, you're never going to do well. Alts were put in as a concession to... Y'know what, I've had this argument too many times. It's stupid, and I presume you all know it.
  • What are we talking about here?
    Sorry--it's flown a bit under people's radar. Dawn Crescent, didn't bother to check the designer's name. I'm not sure where the PM for the game found it. Like Joe said, open to more specific questions, though I haven't read through the full rules comprehensively yet. I probably should; there's just a lot of interesting character options.

    @TildeSee, there's still some helpful benefits to the alt conversation, even if you disavow them in general. It gets you thinking about Layers even in the Opening, which helps gear you up for when they emerge in full a few sessions later.

    @Mcdaldno: Yeah; the more I look at everything, the more I see that there's a lot of tight writing in the game. As for the Lily Blood combo--well, my one weakness has always been giving a character a strong focus. I admit that it's a better idea to stay versatile, but I just can't stop thinking about the incredible blaze-of-glory dramatic nova that happens when you get the stars to align just right. If you play your cards well, you can keep the situation under enough control to nudge things towards that one gripping moment.
  • Dagger Heart + Flight of Glass = Forte engine, if that's your thing. I actually think it is a little unbalanced but whatever. It sounds like you haven't even touched Underscurry, and in a more free-wheeling campaign this pairing is just killer.
  • Look, if you're actually PLAYING with alts, you're never going to do well. Alts were put in as a concession to... Y'know what, I've had this argument too many times. It's stupid, and I presume you all know it.
    You keep saying that, but seriously, if you're going to play in the campaign, you really need to buy in to the setting, you know? By not generating an alt, as Carpe says, you really leave the rest of the troupe weak at leveraging the Layers accumulated when Crescendo hits. While you can rehash the identification purity argument from the playtest docs all you want, we should support Joe, not attack someone reaching out to the community.

  • edited October 2013
    Sorry, that post may have come across a little negative. That old argument came up so often I'm just done with it, you know?
    To get back to OP's question, watching Jason's Dagger Heart + FoG combo I think just those two Opts take too long a time to pay off on an alt- if you want to speed your Forte accumulation, your third Opt should be Opal Shy. I know- it's a risky combo, you're kind of fragile with no real Entanglement resistance, but if you can avoid getting enmeshed (which with Sly of Hand you obviously have an edge at, just rotate towards the Initiator), the rewards are well worth it.
  • I, uhm, actually stopped playing my primary and only play my Alt now. Is that bad?
  • I, uhm, actually stopped playing my primary and only play my Alt now. Is that bad?
    ...
  • Forte engine...
    Like this?

  • IMHO, DagHrt goes best w/ NegZone + ethr Lghtn or RageBull (this named after movie my friend said? but not anime, so i dunno). But I dnt care for Undscry, so. I think w/ yr primary opts (SlyH, R&D, CarSmk), you shld go w/ Stronghold, Banner, and 1 of the regiment opts, tho. Solid char, underperforms at 1st but when you get to SocLayer, you can take advantge of any + all Shocks that come up. guarantee.
  • Sry 4 spl. nu phone.
  • IMHO, DagHrt goes best w/ NegZone + ethr Lghtn or RageBull (this named after movie my friend said? but not anime, so i dunno). But I dnt care for Undscry, so. I think w/ yr primary opts (SlyH, R&D, CarSmk), you shld go w/ Stronghold, Banner, and 1 of the regiment opts, tho. Solid char, underperforms at 1st but when you get to SocLayer, you can take advantge of any + all Shocks that come up. guarantee.
    Dude, you just so do not get this game. That is such a pwrgmr build, but it doesn't synergise at all. And learn to spell while you grow up.

  • Yr jst jelus cuz u hav 2 by yr own games old man. Parents 4 th win.
  • Sorry--it's flown a bit under people's radar. Dawn Crescent, didn't bother to check the designer's name. I'm not sure where the PM for the game found it. Like Joe said, open to more specific questions, though I haven't read through the full rules comprehensively yet. I probably should; there's just a lot of interesting character options.
    In trying to find the game you all are discussing (which sounds super intriguing) I've utterly failed at the internet - can one of you initiates supply a link, please?
  • It should be at the designer's blog. I think an early draft was a while back, anyway.
  • You bastards had me going there
  • In trying to find the game you all are discussing (which sounds super intriguing) I've utterly failed at the internet - can one of you initiates supply a link, please?
    Miles, I presumed everyone knew about it already. You can find out about it here.
  • You keep saying that, but seriously, if you're going to play in the campaign, you really need to buy in to the setting, you know? By not generating an alt, as Carpe says, you really leave the rest of the troupe weak at leveraging the Layers accumulated when Crescendo hits.
    Further, alts are fun. Moving between primary and alt is fun. And knowing that the system will support you even when your primary character doesn't is really cool - so many trad games say "make the wrong choices during character creation and you'll suffer in play." Dawn Crescent does something new. It says "your choices matter and have weight, but the system won't punish you for building the type of character that you're interested in." When you build an unhinged aggressor (with Opts like Lucifer, Ragged Bullet, and Flight of Glass) or a distracting lure (with Opts like Banner, Lily Blood, and Missing Shadow), the game won't punish you with a waggling finger for forgetting to pick some healing Opts. Instead, it'll high-five you for your interesting choices and provide you with opportunities to fill in the skill-gaps as you play.

    Alt characters are a big part of that dynamic.
  • edited October 2013
    Link is broken Joe. Try this one instead, Miles.
  • Thanks Joe and Johnstone!

    After looking at Dawn Crescent, I'm both intrigued by the baroque-ness of the design - the number, the depth, and the interoperability implied by the Opts lists (let alone their interactions with the other bits of the game's engine) is really impressive - and also kind of concerned about what it implies in terms of learning curve.

    I see your point, Joe, about the system not punishing you for making a "non-optimized" character, but it still seems like there's a huge bar to entry as far as being able to recognize the Opts that would help you build the character you want. It's just one of those games where only skimming the rules is not an option, and in fact several read-throughs (with notes) would be preferable- seems to be a game aimed strictly at the 'hardcore'.

    Then again, having such broad ability to create new combos, and play the abilities of your Primary off of your Alt (in appropriate Layers, of course)...just having such a wide open/interestingly constrained mechanical space to play in...may really end up putting the need to engage with the community, to share tricks, tips, and exploits, front and center. Getting the most out of your experience with Dawn Crescent will necessary involve talking with others (especially those outside of your home group) about it!
  • Dagger Heart is a bullshit n00b opt. Go with Pain Eater and combine it with Forsaken by the Gods for +2 Blood Tokens every time yr guy gets killed and rezzed. Or get Face Hurricane and play every fight to lose.
  • You know that Dagger Hearts sever Entanglements at half cost right? Opt Hard Scar and you actually break even on any but the most vicious of Entanglements. Just pick an Opt that pays off during Severance and you've got quite the little cycle.
  • I totally recommend trying out the Randomizer for Opt selection (not to be confused with the Random Augmentation Opt, which isn't great outside of niche situations) if you're feeling lucky. It's not all that probably to get any particular one you're looking for, but I think it lets you get some of the advanced Opts you can't normally get. I mean, I didn't see the Solution Array Opt on the list originally, and it's totally awesome. So if you don't know what to pick for an Opt, give it a whirl.
  • edited October 2013
    Dagger Heart is a bullshit n00b opt. Go with Pain Eater and combine it with Forsaken by the Gods for +2 Blood Tokens every time yr guy gets killed and rezzed. Or get Face Hurricane and play every fight to lose.
    Damn MMORPGers are ruining the hobby for everyone. Go back to Sanctum Avatar or Parthenon.

  • edited October 2013
    Future-nuts allow Dagger Heart to rebound the round before it comes into play.
  • Hey back at ya, OP -

    So, what are you looking to accomplish here? I mean, mocking people and how they talk about/play games is real cool and all, but Dagger Heart? It's fun if you have fun with it. It's really that simple.
  • So, what are you looking to accomplish here? I mean, mocking people and how they talk about/play games is real cool and all, but Dagger Heart? It's fun if you have fun with it. It's really that simple.
    Hey Gordon,

    I certainly wasn't intending to mock. I just wanted to play pretend for a little bit. I love the shininess of Feats/Powers/Moves - legitimately love it. I've spent a lot of time pouring over Magic card spoilers, Warmachine faction books, Anima Prime powers, and the like. It's fun.

    I like talking about Powers and curious combinations - in a way that I don't like talking about dice curves or complex token economies. And so I decided to play pretend about such a conversation. I had a little joy squeal when I read CarpeGuitarrem's quick response. I like talking about games that don't exist, because it gives rise to actual good game design ideas. ((designing an alternate character for the Underscurry Layer sounds amazing, and now I want to figure out what that even means.)) The play-pretend petered out, as it does. I was less excited about the posts that mocked conversational style (with "n00b" accusations and spitting-teen-boy style), but everyone has a different way of playing along.

    I would totally fawn over Dawn Crescendo if I knew what the fuck it was.
  • Since I think I kinda kicked off the "poking fun at tone" thing, I think I should own up that I was equal parts mocking the way I myself talk about games and seeing if my own Edition Warrior kit still fit. I can get pretty insufferable if allowed. I did mean to get back to this and actually talk up chill things about the Dagger Heart opt tying in great to immersive play, but life intervened for a couple hours and, well...

    Anyway, for the record, if anyone felt I was mocking them, I apologise.

    (I desperately want a game with primaries and alts that work together across Layers, and I don't even get what Layers are! Homg!)
  • edited October 2013
    Duh, primaries are your characters and alts are those characters' roles inside the simulated world (Layer). Isn't this the new Dream Park/Community crossover game I've been hearing about?
  • I just wanted to play pretend for a little bit. [...] I would totally fawn over Dawn Crescendo if I knew what the fuck it was.
    Well, in that spirit: for me, the essence of Dawn Crescendo lies in realizing that after the Singularity, we're still human, just facing a more complex set of challenges. I love the way the design lets you learn about that complexity progressively, starting without an alt and only building them as you develop experience with the game. Brilliant!

    (BTW, what is this Dawn Crescent people were talking about? Was that a playtest title or something?)

  • edited October 2013
    I certainly wasn't intending to mock. I just wanted to play pretend for a little bit. I love the shininess of Feats/Powers/Moves - legitimately love it. I've spent a lot of time pouring over Magic card spoilers, Warmachine faction books, Anima Prime powers, and the like. It's fun.

    I would totally fawn over Dawn Crescendo if I knew what the fuck it was.
    As penance, you have to now write Dawn Crescendo. I mean it's clear there is demand for it...

  • (BTW, what is this Dawn Crescent people were talking about? Was that a playtest title or something?)
    Made it up. It's actually a reference to something else, something not dissimilar to this.

  • (BTW, what is this Dawn Crescent people were talking about? Was that a playtest title or something?)
    Made it up. It's actually a reference to something else, something not dissimilar to this.
    I think Gordon's referencing the fact that due to copyright grey area, the game got released as Dawn Crescendo in North America, but was changed to Dagger Heart in the EU release. Which makes it confusing to be talking about the Opt of the same name...

    I'm not sure which title made its way into South American + Asian markets (and elsewhere)... does anyone else know?
  • As penance, you have to now write Dawn Crescendo. I mean it's clear there is demand for it...
    I don't know... looking at my copy of the game, it clearly reads NATHAN BLACK in all-caps on the front cover. I think this is your destiny.

  • (BTW, what is this Dawn Crescent people were talking about? Was that a playtest title or something?)
    Made it up. It's actually a reference to something else, something not dissimilar to this.
    I think Gordon's referencing the fact that due to copyright grey area, the game got released as Dawn Crescendo in North America, but was changed to Dagger Heart in the EU release. Which makes it confusing to be talking about the Opt of the same name...

    I'm not sure which title made its way into South American + Asian markets (and elsewhere)... does anyone else know?
    ...augh. Why can't everyone just use the same title!
  • It's amazing - just one clarification and one post, and ... If there was a machine, where I could hook up my brain, pay money, and a game would print out - a perfected and revised edition of Dawn Crescendo would be released on the world.

    Unfortunately, while such a machine undoubtedly exists in many Layers, it doesn't exists here. Sigh.
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