King David set the bar really high for what a God fearing king should be like. He was commended as being “a man after God’s own heart” and given the promise that he would have a descendant on the throne forever! Unfortunately most of his descendants did not follow in his footsteps.
When you study the characters in the lineage of Christ things get pretty sad when you get to the kings. Beginning immediately after David things take a turn for the worse. Some start out good but fail miserably by the end of their life. Some are downright rotten from the start. Very few are commended as following in the footsteps of their father David.
Dual alignment characters are nothing new to Redemption. Sometimes they start out evil and take on a new identity when converted to good (Saul/Paul). Sometimes you have the freedom to play them whichever way you want (King Saul from CoW). When we revisited the kings from the lineage we thought it would be fun to have some of them begin as good, then turn evil if a condition is met that tied back to their fall in real life.
Double-minded and Half-hearted
Let’s look at Solomon for example. He got off to an amazing start! He built and dedicated the Temple. God appeared to him in a dream and offered him anything he wanted. But years later he’d taken hundreds of foreign wives and fell into the trap of idol worship because of their many gods.
We thought it would make sense to have Solomon begin as a Hero, but if an idol is activated he converts to evil. Another king of Judah turned prideful because of his victories in battle so he could convert after battle. Another converted to evil if a good priest was discarded. All of these felt really thematic and tied back to real pivotal events in these people lives!
If most players will naturally assume the cards can be played a certain way, then we need to make that the right way to play them.
Then we began play testing LoC with more than 60 2-sided characters. Most Heroes can be played as you wish on either the special ability side or the meek side. We quickly realized that this small group of 2-sided kings which instructed players “begins as good” in the identifier were not quickly or easily understood. Many players are going to overlook the small identifier text and assume these 2-sided kings can be played whichever way they wish like all of the other 2-sided characters. We needed to look at this through the lens of our goal to make LoC an “intermediate” set that will be easily understood. If most players will naturally assume the cards can be played a certain way, then we need to make that the right way to play them.
Notice that Solomon didn’t end up with an identifier to indicate he begins as good. You’ll be able to play him as good or evil from the start, but if you want the bonus of that strong ability on the evil side you’ll need to meet the unity requirement.
We found a different way to represent how these men did a complete flip flop in their life time. Each of the 6 dual-alignment kings has inverse stats. Like Solomon above who is 9/8 as a Hero and 8/9 as an Evil Character.
Amaziah is another king that got off to a good start. But he turned to idol worship, rejected God’s rebuke through a prophet and pridefully picked a fight with his neighbors.
Pre-block territory destruction can be really strong. There are quite a few Evil Characters he can take out, not to mention weapons and Enhancements that are placed in territory.
“Therefore the Lord brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains and took him to Babylon.”
Not all of the dual-alignment kings started out good and turned bad. Manasseh began as one of the most wicked kings to ever rule in Judah. His father Hezekiah had torn down the High Places and destroyed the nations idols. Manasseh rebuilt them and added more detestable acts to his resume.
Things were so bad, and Manasseh was so unrepentant that God could tolerate it no more. “Therefore the Lord brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains and took him to Babylon.” Then Manasseh repented and God restored him. Despite all of Manasseh’s early detestable acts he is credited with doing good the rest of his life.
Hopefully you’ve been paying close attention and caught the additional 5 linked spoilers in this article. Stay tuned to the Redemption message boards and Redemption Discord this week to catch the other 3 dual-alignment kings as well as a very special card that pertains to the dual nature of Judah’s leaders.
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