Dev Blog #107: The Alp

Oct
05

Dev Blog #107: The Alp

The upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC will add a variety of new beasts to the world of Battle Brothers, and we want to provide a good mix of opponents that are straight-forward to fight, and opponents that offer a more complex challenge which can’t be solved with heavy armor alone. This week we’ll take a look at the second and last spellcaster of the expansion coming soon to haunt your dreams: The Alp. Let’s go!

The Alp

In German folklore, the Alp is a malicious creature responsible for nightmares. In fact, to this day the German word for nightmare is ‘Alptraum’. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that the themes for the Alp in Battle Brothers are sleep and nightmares.

The Alp is a pale and haggard creature. It encroaches on settlements in the cover of night, invading the sleep of its helpless inhabitants with ghastful visions, and feeding on the fear and anguish of its victims like a parasite. Scholars speculate that Alps didn’t always look and behave like they do now; most Alps have eye sockets, but no eyes, and mouths with teeth, but only a rudimentary digestive system. Their pale skin peels like old parchment, their bones are frail, and their insides are dark and show signs of decay. Perhaps the Alp is the victim of an ancient curse, or perhaps it simply evolved from a different creature to the nocturnal predator it is now. Whatever it is, don’t fall asleep!

The Alp has two synergizing skills. The first one is called ‘Sleep’ and is an area of effect spell that can have multiple targets at once fall into an unnatural sleep. The spell can be resisted with a successful resolve check by those determined enough to stay awake, but anyone failing it will gain the ‘Sleeping’ status effect. Sleeping characters can not act, and they can’t evade or block attacks. There’s a chance that characters will awaken on their own each turn, based on their resolve and on for how long they’ve been asleep already. In addition, taking damage will wake a character immediately. Most importantly, however, any characters next to them can use the new ‘Wake Ally’ skill to reliably wake them – making cooperation and smart positioning essential when trying to beat an Alp.

The second skill of the Alp is called ‘Nightmare’ and can only be cast on a single target which is currently affected by the ‘Sleeping’ status effect. A character trapped in one of these unnatural nightmares can not act and, as dreadful visions slowly eat away at their sanity, will continually lose hitpoints each turn, the amount of which depends on their resolve. Unlike with the ‘Sleeping’ status effect, a character will never awaken on their own, and not even taking damage will break the nightmare’s hold. The only way to make it stop and save a character from eventually dying in their sleep is a nearby ally using the ‘Wake Ally’ skill. Because only sleeping characters can be affected, you can see at a glance who is threatened by the Alp, and there is a clear counterplay in denying the Alp the opportunity of using its most powerful skill.

Alps feed on the fear and terror of the victims they haunt, and grow stronger by it, but the only way they can actually hurt someone is in their sleep. The more characters sleeping and suffering from nightmares on the battlefield, the otherwise physical body of the Alp shifts into the realm of dreams, where he is untouchable. Alps have relatively fragile bodies, and no means to fight in melee at all, but existing partly in the dreams of their victims, they can become very hard to kill. Mastering your own fears and not letting your brothers succumb to sleep, then, becomes essential in order to take away an Alp’s source of power, lest you want to fight a nightmare come manifest.

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16 comments

  • kem
    Oct 5, 2018 @ 14:28 pm

    So, basically:
    If you bunch up, they just AOE sleep your band at turn 1 and keep your dudes sleepng and dying.

    If they can’t AOE sleep you T1, they die to dogs.
    Is there a fun of mushing “wake ally” button, while dogs do the fighting?
    Hope you’ll guys manage to make this fight engaging.

  • robert1407
    Oct 5, 2018 @ 14:39 pm

    Looking good! Will there be a Supporter Edition for the DLC with an addendum to the lore & art book? Would be nice to read more about the lore behind all those new creatures.

    • Rap
      Rap
      Oct 5, 2018 @ 16:35 pm

      Probably not, but we’ll convey lore on the new opponents inside the game, e.g. via events, contracts, tavern banter.

  • kem
    Oct 5, 2018 @ 15:28 pm

    And if “wake” skill is more than 4 ap, “force attack” on battle map will be much appriciated. Waking ally with a good ‘ol kick to the butt is a eternity-old human tradition.

  • Trappist
    Oct 5, 2018 @ 15:43 pm

    Awesome! What’s next weeks blog going to be about? one of these please:

    Armour & Equipment
    Perks & Traits
    Balance & Release date!!

    • Rap
      Rap
      Oct 5, 2018 @ 16:40 pm

      As luck would have it, next week’s dev blog will cover one of those topics. Sort of.

  • Oh Brother
    Oh Brother
    Oct 5, 2018 @ 16:20 pm

    If a brother has the bleeding status active prior to being put to sleep, will the bleed damage incurred in the next round wake him up? Similarly, the ongoing choking cloud cast by the ancient undead priest? Never would have thought taking damage could be a good thing!

    • Rap
      Rap
      Oct 5, 2018 @ 16:33 pm

      Yes, both would wake up the character.

  • smidge
    Oct 5, 2018 @ 17:36 pm

    Is the Alp a loner ? or can he be found among groups of foes ?

  • ForceEcho
    ForceEcho
    Oct 5, 2018 @ 20:08 pm

    The mouth of sauron

  • RusBear
    RusBear
    Oct 5, 2018 @ 22:44 pm

    I realy hope that all new casters… and old too ) will be use fatigue in dlc. Then more tactics and enemy – then better but it must be interesting , but not op or binary.

  • Grutos
    Grutos
    Oct 5, 2018 @ 23:28 pm

    Adding german lore is really exciting. It’s so refreshing to see that in a game !
    keep it up

  • Ioci
    Ioci
    Oct 6, 2018 @ 15:21 pm

    Those brothers are even closing their eyes!! Amazing!!!
    Now I’m wondering how would the greenskin sleep, orc warrior sleepy, orc warrior sleep now…

  • dltoster
    Oct 6, 2018 @ 20:35 pm

    Is Freddy Krueger an alpha alp?

  • Egads
    Egads
    Oct 7, 2018 @ 21:47 pm

    A great looking creature. I’m excited for these encounters that require puzzling out the approach instead of dealing out the maximum damage possible. Maybe similar puzzles could occur at legendary locations. I am thinking of something like the fight at the Black Monolith actually having a monolith which resurrects fallen ancient dead, until you kill all the ancient priests or something. Otherwise, the monolith would just behave like a mule or other stationary object. Just a thought, I have no problems if that would be difficult to program into the game for various reasons, or if it doesn’t fit your vision.

    There is another slightly related point I thought would be important to bring up. I was doing some testing earlier, and I noticed that when attacking Wiedergängers and Nachzehrers, they spawn as if on the same side and don’t provoke attacks of opportunity, but still sometimes attack each other. This is especially sad for the necromancers that end up torn apart by Nachzehrers before the first round ends. Not sure if I’m wrong about something, but it seems like a something you may want to patch, changing the starting spawn position of Nachzehrers at least. Sorry for the long post.

  • Sneery_Thug
    Sneery_Thug
    Oct 9, 2018 @ 14:21 pm

    Will it be possible to pre-order the DLC before the release ??

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