Out of the blue one day, Chris Solis (of Solis Game Studio) came to me with a unique promotional idea for Pocket Paragons. A games company called Sunset Division wanted to include Pocket Paragons in their cross-platform VR board game simulator. They were going to include our base game (Origins), but also wanted some new, unique characters to match their pirate-themed game.
As I set out on the search for pirate tropes to tap into, we decided to create two separate rival pirate factions to theme around. The two crews were the Burgundy Octopus team (geared towards all-out aggression) and the Navy Blue Anglerfish team (luring you into situations where you’ll get executed).
We needed to create two simple characters for players to learn the game with, then two more intermediate characters and two expert-level characters. We ended up settling on the captains of each crew for the easy characters, their first mates for the next step up, and the giant sea creatures that were the pirate crew “Kaiju mascots” for the top end of the complexity. —Brian McKay
Mari, the Sea’s Charm
Mari is a very straightforward aggressive character with a hard-hitting ultimate to force your enemy to Walk the Plank! Hitting your enemy for half their health proves that you don’t need to be complex to be powerful. Keelhauling your opponent at the right time can put on a lot of damage. She even has a move you can choose to gain energy instead of dealing damage. You might force someone to Walk the Plank a little earlier than you might expect!
CaLee, the Swashbuckler
Mari’s First Mate, CaLee, leans more heavily into the reckless aggression playstyle. His Ultimate doesn’t hit hard, but with only one energy, it can be fired off repeatedly over the course of the game, picking away at your opponent until they fall. Flourishing Shot is the card to pay attention to in his kit– hitting for 4 damage on a regular ability is quite a wallop. The combo of Flourishing Shot -> Rest -> Flourishing Shot -> Quickdraw can put down an opponent in only 4 turns if everything goes according to plan! Of course, CaLee has to be careful to make sure that plan goes the way he wants it to because the penalty for trying to show off and falling flat on your face is a harsh one. He has a “Drink Rum” ability that allows him to heal 4 if you take no damage this round. With careful use of this card, you can take more risks with Flouring Shot. Make sure you’re drinking when they Defend and flourishing when they try to fight back, and you’ll nab a quick victory!
Noodle, the Brine
The Burgundy Mascot, Noodles, is all about crushing the life out of your enemies before they realize what’s happening. Noodles, being an Octopus, had to have eight tentacles, of course. He begins the game with 8 Tentacles and can spend them on his abilities. You get some back when you Rest, and there’s no use saving up extra tentacles if you’re dead! Rip the Ship is Noodles’ hardest-hitting attack, although it may be worth your time to wait on it instead of firing it off immediately. Spending half your tentacles is a heavy cost, and you don’t want to have your biggest attack get blocked anyway. Wait until their defenses are down before tearing them to shreds! Noodles can also use Tentacles to block damage, deal unblockable damage, and exhaust enemy cards. Use them carefully!
These Pirates were originally only intended for use in the Hands on Deck VR game, but we decided to produce a small print run to use as a promotional tool for the game. These promo cards are available in the Solis Game Studio Web Store while supplies last!