Welcome to the Downwood - Ditty, the shrew
Music to the ears of mice, terror to the ears of rats
With more than two thirds of all votes, the majority of readers preferred a preview of Ditty to more info about Ansel. Many of you commented on the intriguing prospect of having a bard-like class in the world of Mice & Mystics. I hope the following we give you a good idea what Ditty will bring to your gaming table and how she will be of tremendous help to your beloved mouse heroes.
Ditty's card and figure (production sample)
A new scamp is in town!
Ditty grew up on the rough streets of many settlements in the Downwood and had to learn to look out for herself. Her ability Forage is a nice nod to her past as well as a great option to deal with the dreaded wheel of cheese. Obviously, Ditty learned some tricks of the trade very similar to Filch. Fittingly, Ditty can use items and ability cards of the scamp class. Her quick pace and keen eyes suggest that the following new addition to Downwood Tales can suit her well:
Ditty’s second ability, Opportunist, also fits into the scamp theme. I liked this ability in many combinations. Tail Sweep from Heart of Glorm is a wonderful card to get the most use out of Opportunist and Ditty’s starting equipment supports this further. I find that the Peppercorn Sling usually brings some good outcome as long as you roll a single hit. Knocking a minion down, scoring an extra hit with a star on the die… I’m sure anybody playing Ditty will come to like her homemade weapon.
Not just a scamp!
Many continuing campaigns might feature a scamp-ability-card-hogging Filch but fear not – on top of new scamp cards and an additional copy of the popular ability card Keen Eye, Downwood Tales includes a total of six shrew ability cards. I think that these new options really set Ditty apart from any other Mice & Mystics hero and allow the shrew to contribute something entirely new to the party.
Ditty’s second starting item is the Foxwhisker Fiddle, which is essential in using any shrew ability cards. You will find yourself making use of the free equip action very often as Ditty will alternate between hurling peppercorns towards incoming minions and playing inspiring tunes.
The fiddle allows Ditty to play many songs with different effects
Shrew ability cards are unique in that they affect all minions and/ or mice on your tile. I simply found these effects incredibly useful, oftentimes funny and rarely regretted having Ditty packing up her weapons and launching a musical solo instead. I had a difficult time picking which of the six shrew ability cards to preview in this article. However, I couldn’t leave out Myo’s Musical Interlude. After all, how many times has my group considered whether we should spend one round of searching for items after defeating all minons on a tile or simply pressing on? The chance for some precious loot was always offset by the constant pressure from the minion cheese wheel. Enter Ditty and Myo’s Musical Interlude. For a minor cheese investment your party can be at ease and spend some time doing whatever they like to.
While I consider Myo’s Musical Interlude as great utility in the party’s arsenal, I think of Rhapsody of Discord as amazingly flavourful and useful encounter ability card. When Ditty plays this tune, any non-boss minion will attack on her behalf! Whether the minion is enchanted by Ditty’s wonderful melody or infuriated by her lack of musical talent is anybody’s guess. Either way, it’s great fun to get this guy into a raging mode and then use him to smash an unsuspecting rat warrior.
I found Ditty to be an outstanding team member during playtesting. Her abilities usually affect everybody, and playing her accordingly often resulted in other mice willingly sharing cheese with the shrew. In addition to the two shrew ability cards shown here, there are four other melodies for Ditty to master, and I will leave the joy of reading through them when you open the new Downwood Tales box to you. Now I’m interested in reading your thoughts about this new hero for Mice & Mystics! And for my next preview I don’t want to give any limiting options to choose from. Instead, I invite you to write suggestions on what you would like to read about. Whether you are interested in a particular creature, a new game mechanic, want me to share my thoughts on new ability cards or items for your favourite mouse or something else entirely, just let me know.