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mesmer class identity - in a board game


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I'm a hobby board game designer and I would like to design a dungeon crawler (something like Gloomhaven or Oathsworn). Mesmer was a class I really enjoyed playing in both guild wars games, so I thought it would be nice to implement something like that in my board game.

I hope you can help me capture what the essence of the mesmer class identity is and what makes it fun to play.


Here are some of my ideas what makes a mesmer a mesmer and how that could be implemented in a board game:

1) Being able to interact with ones opponents in more subtle ways than mere damage dealing and reduction. I remember from guild wars 1: interrupts, taking damage when attacking and taking damage when casting. (was there more?) There was decision making involved: one could stop attacking or take the damage, one would have to decide which spells to interrupt and which to let through...
I find such interactions hard to implement in a board game, since the board game "AI" can not really make decisions or truly respond to the player. However I think making certain opponent skills interruptable would work. Also the opponent's abilities could be categorized into different types (like attack, spell, buff) and one could use an own ability that interacts with their drawn ability depending on it's type: force a redraw, let them take damage, instead of a buff gain a debuff etc.


2) being elusive

3) manipulating time

4) being tricky, deceptive


I might write more later, now its getting too late here and I'm getting tired. And I'm more interested in your ideas! It doesn't have to be an idea regarding how to implement mesmer in a board game (although those are welcome), you could also simply write what makes you enjoy play mesmer and what makes the mesmer experince unique.

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In gw1 mesmer was also about locking out delaying your opponents abilities like the ability blackout which disabled all your opponents abilities and your abilities for a set amount of time. Delaying your opponents for a turn or 2 or simply denying 1 skill for a turn could be implemented into a board game.

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Mesmer is about killing your enemies in one combo executed in about 0.3 seconds or avoiding all incoming attacks while losing capture progress on objectives or being referred to by NPCs as annoying and/or villianous.

Honestly, I think D&D did bard better.

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17 hours ago, Meril.5924 said:

1) Being able to interact with ones opponents in more subtle ways than mere damage dealing and reduction. I remember from guild wars 1: interrupts, taking damage when attacking and taking damage when casting. (was there more?)


- Condition manipulation: Epidemic belonged to the mesmer for example.

- Self-ailment: These also belonged to the mesmer

- Fast casting.

- Mesmer was great at destroying their opponents ressources like energy and adrenaline.

- Mantra were key defensive stances that could change a difficult instance into an easy one.


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In the "Sword & Sorcery" board game for example there are a lot of conditions that affect your actions. Either by limiting their number, so you have to choose if you want to move, attack or do something else or by locking you out of certain types of action. Sometimes you have to pass a saving throw to perform an action or you can act normal but take damage for every individual action you perform.

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Hrrmn. It'd help to know a bit more about the basic mechanics of the game to know how to incorporate them into a board game. However, some thoughts that come to mind as pillars of what I generally think of as 'mesmery' - which may or may not fit into the game's mechanics (neither GW1 nor GW2 really has them all):

Illusion: Depending on the game's mechanics and themes, illusions can be offensive (as in GW2) or defensive in nature. The former could be treated basically as a kind of summon. The latter could be a summon that does no damage but the game's AI has a chance of wasting attacks on, or could be just a random roll to decide if an attacker hits an illusion, or just misses altogether as the result of the illusion (think Distortion, especially GW1 Distortion). Things like invisibility could also fit in here.

Disruption: Basically, your interrupts. This can also overlap with the punishment concept, where the mesmer can cause an enemy to take damage as a result of taking (or not taking) an action. This could happen purely in the form of the punishment effect being an interrupt even if it doesn't necessarily prevent the action - this means that the AI doesn't necessarily need rules to avoid them because the AI doesn't necessarily know that a punishment instant is coming. Alternatively, it could be pre-placed with the AI having rules on whether it will attack through a punishment effect or not. GW1 AI, for instance, will continue to act normally through a punishment effect unless that specific action will kill them.

Magic manipulation: In addition to countering enemy spells, mesmers should also be good at dispels. If the game has a magical resource such as mana, mesmer-like concepts are likely to be experts at manipulating that resource, making it more available to themselves and their allies and denying it to their enemies (possibly both at the same time by stealing it, but using the enemy's mana to harm them directly through 'mana burn' type effects is not uncommon).

Movement: Speeding allies up, slowing enemies down, possibly pushing things at a distance or even teleportation.

Mind control and manipulation: If this is a mechanic in the game, it will probably be on a mesmer-like concept. Neither GW has mind control directly because having your only character mind-controlled in a computer game isn't much fun, but a lot of GW1 mesmer skills were essentially a soft form of manipulation in that they incentivised you to do one thing and might actively prevent you from doing another. Depending on the balance, you could consider including some of this, especially if any mind control is not likely to be directed at a player.

Hope this helps!

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