Behavior Variants - DanDuhon/DSBG-Shuffle GitHub Wiki

In this tab you can generate behavior variants for enemies, invaders, and bosses. You do this by specifying the percent difficulty increase you want and then applying that modifier to one or more enemies. You can also require or ban certain categories of modifications to more fine tune the variants.

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Terminology

  • Behavior - What an enemy does during its activation. Found either on a regular enemy's data card or on a boss/invader behavior card drawn from the behavior deck.
  • Variant - An enemy behavior that has been modified.
  • Difficulty Modifier - A number that represents a percent increase in calculated difficulty. +50% difficulty modifier would create a variant that has a difficulty score 50% higher than the behavior normally has.

Things that can change:

  • Increased health levels 1-4
    • Regular enemies
      • 1 health: +1 health per health level
      • 5 health: +2, 3, 5, 6 health per level, respectively
      • 10 health: +2 health per health level
    • All other enemies (e.g. invaders, bosses) get an extra 10% health and heat up value per health level
      • The Four Kings each get half the health bonus rounded up
  • Up to +2 armor
  • Up to +2 resist
  • Up to +4 damage
  • Up to +2 dodge difficulty
  • +1 repeat (even if they don't already have it)
  • Up to 2 conditions
  • Damage type changed from physical to magic or vice versa

Things that don't change:

  • Threat level
  • Range
  • Movement (with the sort-of exception of repeat)
  • Target

I felt that it was important for those aspects of enemy behavior to stay the same so you can have reasonable expectations about how an enemy acts.

The original idea behind this was to be able to do a build-your-own NG+ (and beyond). Here are some other ways you could use this:

  • Buff some weaker enemies/bosses for regular games (looking at you, Pursuer).
  • Build mini behavior decks for regular enemies.
  • Instead of a full NG+, you could build max level characters with any gear you want and do a boss rush, seeing how high you can push boss difficulty and still win.

This is going to take some experimentation. This is all based on my calculations for enemy difficulty and while I like how it works I'm not going to pretend like my numbers perfectly represent how difficult an enemy, invader, or boss is. +100% should effectively be twice as hard (and does mean that the calculated difficulty is about double the original) but it may not feel like that at the table. Use the numbers as a starting point and make adjustments from there.

Variant List (top pane)

This is where variants are generated. They are organized by type: Enemies, Invaders & Explorers Mimics, Mini Bosses, Main Bosses, and Mega bosses. Only enemies that are from enabled expansions/sets in the settings will be shown here. Selecting an enemy will display the data or behavior card that was selected in the area to the right of the pane. Much like with encounters, you can click on the card or the selected row again to see a different variant, if one exists for the difficulty modifier that's been applied. The second column shows the current modifier value applied, and the last column shows the maximum modifier value that exists.

Difficulty Modifier text box

In the box you can enter a number (maximum of 5 digits). This represents how much more difficult the behavior will be if it is applied, as a percent. If you enter 40 and apply it, the selected behavior(s) will be changed to be 40% more difficult than the base behavior(s). These numbers are based on the same calculations I use to score regular enemies and swap them out in encounters.

Buttons (top pane)

Apply Modifier

This takes the modifier value in the Difficulty Modifier box and applies it to the selected item in the list and all child items. The entered modifier is rounded up to the nearest "bucket" that has at least one variant. If the number in the current modifier column ends up being lower than the number you entered, that means the current modifier is the maximum for that behavior.

Lock Variant

This button saves the current variant in the bottom pane. This is similar to adding an encounter to a campaign in the sense that the variant in the bottom pane won't be able to be changed. Which variants are saved depends on what is selected. All child items to the selection will also be saved, if there are any, so you can save all enemies at once if you want.

Dropdown Menus (top pane)

These allow you to make rules around what modifications variants are allowed to have. Each of these has 3 options: Allowed, Required, and Banned.

  • Allowed means variants with this modification may or may not appear.
  • Required means variants must have this modification in order to appear.
  • Banned means variants with this modification will not appear.

The maximum number of modifications per variant is four (with the slight exception that there are armor+resist and health+damage modifications that count as one). If you attempt to apply a difficulty modifier to an enemy and nothing happens, you were too restrictive with your options.

Locked Variants (bottom pane)

This is where variants that have been locked are stored. They are organized the same way as the Variant List but these entries are frozen so they won't change, similar to the Campaign tab for encounters.

Buttons

Remove Variant(s)

Removes the selected variant (and all child items) in the bottom pane.

Save Variants

Saves all locked variants to a JSON file that can be loaded later.

Load Variants

Loads variants from a saved JSON file.

Images to PDF

This will save all locked variants to a PDF file so you can print them out. The layout is fairly efficient and should work for both US Letter and A4 size paper.

FAQ

Why does [boss] only go up to [max difficulty]?

There are two types of modifications for a behavior: ones that go on the data card (defensive) and ones that go on the behavior card (offensive). On the data card you have things like health, armor, and resist. The rest go on the behavior card. In order to avoid having defensive stats changing based on the behavior, variants are grouped by those modifications, then put into buckets. The size of the buckets are based on how many behaviors an enemy has. The more behaviors, the larger the bucket. For example, regular enemies have one behavior so their buckets are 5%, meaning variants that are 98% to 102% higher are all grouped into the 100% bucket. Invaders and bosses have multiple behavior cards and they all need to have the same defensive modifications and fall into the same bucket to become an overall variant. These enemy buckets are equal to (5 + [number of unique behaviors])%.

The Pursuer's 0 dodge cards have 1 dodge instead, why?

The way I calculate enemy difficulty uses v2 rules so those 0 dodge attacks are basically not attacks since you don't even have to use stamina to dodge in v2 unless you move a node. The difficulty of a 0 dodge attack would be.. 0, meaning I'd have no baseline with which to compare the variants. Yes, there are items out there that prevent you from dodging at all, but the math just doesn't make sense (going from 0 dodge to 1 dodge would be an enormous damage increase). I assume that if SFG ever rereleases The Pursuer using v2 rules, he either won't have 0 dodge attacks or they'll force you to use stamina to dodge those attacks. If that happens I'll make the change, but for now nobody is going to have 0 dodge attacks.

Difficulty Reference

This spreadsheet on Google Sheets allows you to compare enemies so that you know what modifier to apply to make an enemy roughly equivalent in difficulty to another. The numbers are what modifier to apply to the enemy in the row to be roughly equivalent in difficulty to the enemy in the column. For example, if you're playing with 4 characters and want Hollow Soldiers to be the difficulty of a Silver Knight Swordsman, enter 840 into the Difficulty Modifier box. There are separate tabs for the different character counts since enemies that do node attacks have higher damage potential with more characters. Blank cells mean the enemy in that row is stronger than the enemy in the column.