I was very excited to see the preview on the Wyrd forums yesterday which showed off the concept art for two of the Avatars that will be pre-released at GenCon in August.
For those not already familiar with the upcoming releases, GenCon will see the release of Twisting Fates, the second expansion book for Malifaux. Unlike Rising Powers the book will not be filled with new Minions (although there will be a few), and it's not expected to have any new Masters. What it does have, though, is new rules for Avatars, which are different forms your Master can turn into mid-game once certain conditions are met. It's also likely to be a temporary effect.
At the moment I can see this working one of two ways:
a) All masters will gain a (1) Avatar ability which will need a particular trigger and/or high casting value, or
b) Different masters will be able to transform into their Avatar after meeting some criteria specific to them eg. Chompy may transform after eating an enemy model.
Malifaux co-creator Eric Johns has explained that the Avatar isn't a plain upgrade in that you're always going to want to transform as soon as possible. Instead it will be a situational ability that will change the Master's abilities, making them more powerful in some areas but nerfing them in others.
A good example of this can be seen in the awesome concept art released for the Avatar for Seamus
Clearly channeling Mr Hyde, when he transforms into an Avatar Seamus looks like he's going to grow massively both in stature and physical strength. On the flip side, it appears that he will lose his .50 Flintlock, and I'm willing to bet that most of his ranged spells will go too. Clearly there will be times when you want Seamus in his regular form, and times when he will be best off transforming. I don't think his Bag of Tools is going to be getting much use once he replaces it with some Smash-Fu!
Also previewed is the "Alternative Seamus", which will be one of a series of alt Master sculpts, purely for the sake of making some nice new models. From the look of alt-Seamus with his ripped shirt, it seems that maybe the alt sculpts will depict the master after their Avatar transformation, so you could swap to the Avatar model for a turn then bring out the alt sculpt when the effect expires. If true it's a really nice idea!
Also previewed were the Alternative and Avatar forms of Sonnia Criid. I've never been that taken with Sonnia until now, but the alt-Sonnia just looks so much cooler than the current version, and her Avatar form looks to be absolutely beautiful. I've no idea how that would ever fit onto a 50mm base. Well done Wyrd for making even one of the least appealing Masters (to me at least) suddenly look very attractive indeed!
I was hoping to cut back on the Malifaux spending for the next couple of months and focus on getting my painting backlog under control, however I don't think I'll be able to resist buying the new Seamus stuff when it comes out in August. We haven't even seen the Nightmare edition models yet!
I'm hoping for a Nightmare Baby Kade, complete with pram! How about everyone else?
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