Re: Epic NPCs and their stats

From: donald_at_SggArec1bk4qRjdJTQkOEAOvDtu6zyIqMPboqcS25o_VGbsZvFJKB6zAqT0Om6oIPhX6m
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 13:50:39 GMT

In message <p06240802c2eaa7eb417b_at_[]> David Dunham writes:

>Especially once they have the NPC descriptions that help them run a
>colorful contest. For example, even though Domast Longear's numbers
>in Barbarian Adventures (a Hero Wars supplement) are way too low for
>a HeroQuest game (remember our rule of thumb, if you can't get a +20
>augment you don't care about the contest), I know that he will often
>raise legal concerns when he's engaged in diplomacy.

That's related to another issue. An NPC will never be as detailed as a PC so will not have as many potential augments. To balance that either the base ratings need to be higher or you regard that as a difference between PC heros and the rest of Gloranthans. The problem isn't so much how the ratings are determined as making clear to the reader the basis they have been set. From this discussion it's clear there's not even any agreed basis among the writers.

>Oh, one more thing about character advancement rules: it's not just
>the rules, it's the play style. Frex, I do expect players to be
>spending some HP each session. But I also expect them to keep a few
>to improve with -- unlike Greg who expects his players to use almost
>all their HP during the session. And even within a group, you might
>have stingy people like Trotsky, who might be willing to lose but
>keep HP, and others who spend more to get better victories. So it's
>really impossible to fix the rules, because different groups will
>behave differently.

In the sense of "one set of rules fits all styles of play" then you're right, it's impossible. However if the rules clearly state the assumptions on which they work and what happens when different assumptions are used that's a practical fix.

>So it's easier for each game to have a different Harrek, in terms of
>whether he's 10W4 or 10W6. But he's really not different, because
>either way he wears a white bearskin and can kill almost anything.

Actually the important thing is *how* he can kill almost anything because that indicates his weaknesses. Kill anything 10W4 isn't useful except for the crudest of contests. I'd guess something like Bear Spirit 10W4, Sword Combat 15W3, Berserk 5W3. Immediately he's a more interesting NPC as well as having +15 augments. Detail him a bit more and you'll get the total up to 10W6 in the right situation. Conversely in the wrong situation he'll be beatable.

I'll admit to preferring numbers rather than fuzzy concepts like "very good" especially when they are only modifiers to occupations. What does the very good mean when applied to a Dara Happen peasant's combat skill?

Donald Oddy


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