In our last developer update, we introduced you to Eb, Tidecaster of the Tiers. For this week’s update, we’re going to introduce you to another of your potential Companions – the Beastwoman known as Kills-in-Shadow.
Kills-in-Shadow is a monster. She’s frightening and hairy. She stinks of wet animal and has an insatiable bloodlust for violence and slaughter. She’s also a clever hunter, a brutish, skilled fighter, and is tenaciously loyal (unless, of course, she has sensed a weakness) to whomever she chooses to follow, whether that be her ruthless sister, Creeping-Death, who was the last leader of their savage tribe, or a human Fatebinder stronger than even the toughest of Beastwomen.
As a member of a race of partially-humanoid, feral Beast creatures, Kills-in-Shadow is intelligent but uneducated, hulking but agile, and an unapologetic killer but not evil. She’s a highly evolved predator, forever marked by the magic of Haven’s dark forests–primarily driven by instinct and an insatiable lust for violence. She is also boastful, daring, smart, easily excited, and has a quirky sense of humor. She often snorts, snarls, growls, and chuffs with laughter.
As the last surviving Shadowhunter, she’s on a single-minded hunt for blood and vengeance, and will not be satisfied until each and every Disfavored has been wiped from Terratus. And though her kith were slaughtered mercilessly during Kyros’ conquest, the Shadowhunters had a reputation for being one of the most vicious tribes of the Tiers. If most Beastwomen are hyenas, Kills-in-Shadow is a lone lioness–proud, regal, and wholly deadly. Drawn by a spectacular display of strength and prowess, she is now stalking the Fatebinder’s scent.
And she likes to play with her prey.
~Megan Starks, Narrative Designer
Kills-in-Shadow was designed to be a silent predator and a savage bruiser on the battlefield. She possesses an abundance of stealth talents to help her initiate combat with an advantage over her prey and a tremendous hit point pool that allows her to stand her ground as she continues to batter her enemies into mush. Her talent trees focus on either further developing her skills as a deadly clawed stalker or those of a massive primal brute.
When building Kills-in-Shadow’s talent trees, we wanted to give players elements that focused on evolving KIS’ inherent racial advantages. Being a Beastwoman KIS possesses deadly claws, natural hide Armor, an affinity for stealth, as well as a sizable amount of health. She’s quite the perfect hunter. Her talent trees take different aspects of these traits and enhance them further to help fit the play style most desired. Kills-in-Shadow’s ‘Ravager’ tree is efficient at leaping from the shadows onto weaker prey, aiming to kill instantly, before moving on to rend surviving enemies with her claws, tear into Armor, and cause heavy bleed effects. KIS’ ‘Titan’ tree is built to take advantage of her massive size, by providing talents such as those that expand her larger health pool, allow her to engage multiple enemies, or that grant her devastating enrage effects.
Below are some of the abilities available to Kills-in-Shadow:
Beastmen Race: Kills-in-Shadow cannot wear armor, dual wield, or use ranged weapons that require both hands, but she possesses natural hide armor and is capable of wielding two handed weapons in a single hand.
Leaping Death: Leap onto a nearby enemy from stealth, heavily damaging all foes in the area and knocking them Prone.
Primal Scream: Roar at nearby enemies, Frightening them. If this ability is used while stealthed enemies become Terrified instead.
Disembowel: Use both claws to rip the target’s stomach open, dealing a large amount of Slash / Pierce (best of) damage and leaving them Bleeding for an extended duration.
Trample: KIS moves rapidly towards her enemy, trampling foes in her path. Enemies caught in her path take Crush damage and are knocked Prone.
Taste of Blood: Causes all attacks from stealth to inflict a lasting bleed affliction. When Taste of Blood triggers, KIS receives a regeneration effect until combat ends.
Stance: Berserker Rage: KIS enters a primal frenzy. While in this stance, damage taken is increased, but KIS receives a large bonus to Endurance and Melee Damage.
Kills-in-Shadow is a fearsome predator and a powerful warrior. If she initiates combat while stealthed, (especially on a weaker target), the combat is heavily in her favor. With her Leaping Death and Trample abilities she is a highly mobile unit on the battlefield and can easily be positioned where she is needed most. Her huge health pool and strong single target abilities make her exceptionally apt for standing toe-to-toe trading blows with stronger enemies, often as a tank or bruiser. While she has a tremendous pool of health, she lacks the protective qualities of heavier Armor, causing her to soak up a lot of damage quickly from faster low damaging attacks that an Armored character might mitigate more easily. If KIS is quickly surrounded, or healing is not readily available, she is best to escape with Trample, or risk being felled.
With her stealthy tactical surprises, heavy hitting strikes, and damage soaking kit, Kills-in-Shadow is a force of claw and mass to be reckoned with.
~Nick Carver, Systems Designer