Designer Diary: The Return of a Hero

Back before Campaign Edition reset of the game I made a little bit of a name for myself at GenCon 2003 by piloting an overlooked Mercenary Warlord, and my alias namesake, Kerebrus to a 6-0-1 performance in the Warlord Championships. I have never been one to make any mystery about my affinity towards the leader of the Dark Horsemen, and I even tried a little behind the scenes campaign to get Kerebrus reprinted in the Campaign Edition reset (He almost made it, but Zartoch was needed for reasons that became moot).

Then, as my involvement with the game increased I would often get the question from folks, “When are you going to bring Kerebrus back?”

If it were only that simple. Each member of the design team certainly has cards that they would like to see, for whatever personal reasons. As much as I might like to see Kerebrus return to the field of battle I have to be honest with my evaluation, his abilities (or lack thereof) are not enough to make him viable, and certainly not enough to get people excited over getting back into Warlord: Fourth Edition.

As an early assignment Arne approached me with the question, “If you could bring back Kerebrus with an upgrade, what would you do?” In addition to making me happy at the notion, this struck me to the core of my being. Obviously, I thought Kerebrus was still pretty good, I keep a deck or two of him together at all times. Even though I didn’t think he was flashy enough, I didn’t think he had any weaknesses. I could go with the Mek’kiah route, keep him as is and simply upgrade his level to 5. Maybe just add on a feat and an extra HP to bring him in line with the current batch of front line fighters. So many options, but which one captures who Kerebrus is?

In the end I thought I would keep it simple. Since he is The Dark Horseman, I figured that Riding would be appropriate, and give him some reliability in heading to the front rank. Adding Charisma felt like a natural fit as well, as it is not an easy task to lead a Mercenary outfit, even less so considering the strict rules Kerebrus enforces. It wasn’t easy improving what I thought was an already quality product, so I thought that some sort of downside could capture the essence of possibly the most Lawful Good character in the Accordlands. At first the penalty only applied to Evil characters in Kerebrus’ army, but that was upgraded to include opposing characters, giving Kerebrus a real dynamic reason to take to the front rank, while also giving him a reason to purge the influences of evil from his Army.

So here we are, Kerebrus will be back in Warlord’s fourth edition! While this version (the art is a sketch, not the final art) will go exclusively to the members of the Ordo Phoenicis Ascendentis, the basic stats are unchanged. If you do have a copy of Saga of the Storm edition of Kerebrus, you will be able to legally play him in 4E.

Kerebrus - sketch

Finally it is done. I hope you’ll have as much fun with him as I will!

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5 Responses to “Designer Diary: The Return of a Hero”

  1. Marco Says:

    hhhmmm starting out with all sorts of traits and feats eh…….can we keep the power curve DOWN, at first

  2. Michael Says:

    Hmm, will the Charisma-rules be the same as in Epic?
    I think he could be too hard else (especially against evil characters)…

    But, of course, i like him and i really want to play him!

  3. Mike Says:

    you just have feats here anyway.

  4. P.J. Torres Says:

    You said “If you do have a copy of Saga of the Storm edition of Kerebrus, you will be able to legally play him in 4E.” I was just curious, If the old version of Kerebrus is 4E legal, can he be played with the abilities of the new Kerebrus?

  5. Jinglebell Rrok Says:

    I thought they were doing away with the mercenary warlords??? Thats what I heard…

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