Re: Epic NPCs and their stats

From: donald_at_WwSUylNQCAwxP-XJ-M_gt_JJFmyI7FmUIZSCAeBkru9AH6-jWez3JLJraQqcclI6-6SXn
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 16:03:28 GMT

In message <> Greg Stafford writes:
>> > What is broken here is the character advancement mechanism (or it's
>> > application).
>It is also a variability in how often people have to use those precious
>HPs. In my game the players rarely had any left over for advancement if
>they wanted to be alive.

And later David Dunham <> writes:

>Not sure what you mean by that, but the number of game years between
>sessions isn't the issue. It's the number of sessions. The Orlmarth
>campaign had 79 sessions over about 3 years. I think Jeff was pretty
>consistent about awarding 2 HP at the start of each session, and we
>got about 3 at the end (the guidelines on p. 58 suggest 1-5 at each
>end, so this would be slightly below average). Many of the points got
>spent during the game, but that's still 395 HP. If you saved half,
>and spent half of that on your favorite skill that's 100 HP, or 5W.
>Which is not far from what happened with the character I was talking
>about (OK, I found his summary, his best ability was 2W4 and his
>second best 16W3 -- both related to combat.)
>And this is utterly normal by the rules. This is not "our take on the
>HQ system."

These comments are extremely enlightening. It's clear that style of narrating makes a lot of difference to whether players have HPs to use for advancement. And then it's a matter of player choice whether they concentrate their spend on specific areas.

The problem is that if the narrator uses the guidelines for awarding HPs and doesn't cause most of them to be used in the game then after a number of sessions the sample resistences can become unusable. At very least this needs warning about in the rules to give the inexperienced narrator an idea of what to expect.

As for fixing the problem I can see several possibilities:

  1. More emphasis on directed HPs, this is mentioned in the rules but as an option.
  2. Change the guidelines, maybe to a number reflecting those likely to be spent in the sessions the narrator runs.
  3. Change the resistences at higher levels. It doesn't matter to starting PCs whether a Superhero has a best ability of 10W4 or 10W9. This still requires an indication of how many HPs the players should be using for advancement.
  4. Place limits on the use of HPs in improving abilities. I'd suggest about 10W2 as the maximum for mundane abilities and that magical abilities can only be increased above that by adventures on the heroplane or god/spirit/essence planes.

Of course experienced narrators are already making this decision but for someone new to the system having the alternatives set out makes it a lot more understandable.

Donald Oddy


Powered by hypermail