Barrel o'Laughs

Saolkam Citizens

Name: None
AKA: Barrel o' Laughs
Occupation: Thief Catcher
Species: Enchanted Object (Barrel)
Gender: None
Age: 6 months
Height: 2'5"
Faction: None
Loyalty: His Enchanter (Unknown)
Enemies: Thieves & Miscreants
Combat Method: Physical (Bite)
Magics: Music
Affiliations: None

About

In a city like Saolkam, the number of small thefts suffered by vendors really adds up over time. This barrel, enchanted by an unidentified figure, is one of many that lives among the crates and mead kegs at the docks, waking up in the dead of night to keep watch. These faux-mimics snap at unwary thieves rummaging through goods, successfully scaring them off for good. Should someone stick their hand into one of these barrels, the mimic attempts to bite down and hold onto the culprit until someone identifies them in the morning. A common superstition in the city is that sometimes these mimics underestimate their strength, and may just end up severing off the fingers or hands of thieves- a warning that successfully deters potential robbers.

Unlike their kin, movement is not so easy for this kind of mimic- it moves around mainly by hopping with great effort, or rolling itself on its side. They do best when they can use the element of surprise to their advantage. Some say that on quiet nights in taverns, a disguised, authentic mimic can be heard humming to itself along to bards' music from within the wine cellars.

Rulings

  • If an Opponent attacks Barrel and doesn't have any cards, they may still declare the attack and begin combat.

Design

The Barrel used to be a more traditional mimic which a much more powerful single-use ability. We changed it into the Barrel to fit with the setting of the game a bit more, and then changed the ability to fit the new style of mimic it was.

The Barrel's ability changed a few times, but was always based around stealing cards from opponents. It did used to be only when it was attacked, but people simply avoided it by never attacking it and just breaking it on the defence. We felt that his ability was underutilised and he wasn't doing enough without it. So we gave him a weaker version on the attack as well, to force people to pay attention to him and need to decide whether it was worth attacking or letting him choose to attack. It was actually a bit too strong at first, allowing the Barrel to wipe out someone's hand every turn and leave them completely open, so we toned it down a few times, in line with keeping his ability stronger when he was being attacked, so as to feel more like a mimic that waits, rather than an aggressive box.