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"So we finally meet! I shall rend you…" SPLAT!


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#21 Crazy Aido

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:15 AM

I solved my issue with my group one-shotting everything they came across very easily:

 

I killed the troll slayer.

 

Then I made them re-write their characters WITHOUT the twenty five point build.

 

Now they are, as they say in Brettonia "Dans le creek, sans le paddle".

 

Buff your bad guys, especially in terms of defences, in order to accomodate for larger and more powerful groups. Hero's call is great for this, since you have the enhance sheets. Let him take a little time to prepare something truly horrible, and make sure to have some minions to throw in to take the flak for him.



#22 doc_cthulhu

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:01 AM

As I'm not that much into rules nowadays (and too lazy to read the whole thread anyway) I just would like to offer my thoughts here. Beast of Limfjord rpg presents an interesting option to fight the Big Bad. The big beast have different "locations" or "attack" to fight. For example to defeat dragon you could go straight for the head but the claws, flames, tails and body would present "enviromental hazards" along the way. Should you hack the claws of the task to kill the dragon would be simpler. Same style could be used with any opponent. The opposing wargor is too tough to defeat but if you manage to chop his limbs off the task would be simpler. etc.

Or you could go the way I went with a certain spider goddess:

 


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#23 Necrozius

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:41 AM

I've run into this sort of problem way too many times.

Similarly, fights that drag on for far too long.

My solution?

I'll get a ton of FLAK for this, especially from the more "old-school" types among you. This solution is very Story-teller friendly, so if any of you worship RPG Pundit and his ilk, skip this post entirely.

Scrap Hit Points.

But don't let the players know that.

Essentially, I have monsters survive long enough to allow 2 things to happen:

1. The Monster gets to do something horrible and bad to the players;

2. the Players get to do something awesome and effective against the monster.

I make sure that when a monster first appears, it gets to succeed (or very nearly succeed) in at least ONE of it's special attacks. If it misses, I narrate the effects on the terrain or environment, so as to make the players go: "oh **** I'm glad we dodged THAT!"

It also avoids the whole tedium of that hero scoring an AMAZING COOL hit that sadly brings the monster down to only 1 or 2 HP, kind of robbing the hero of their victory.

It may even give a chance to the unfortunate players (with TERRIBLE luck with dice rolls) to contribute.

If you don't WANT your carefully crafted villain to die so quickly… then keep them alive a bit longer… or use a tracker to keep track of their life instead of hit points. Advance it depending on the circumstances.

Another option is to have your final encounter have 3 phases, just like a video game boss. Not necessarily SHAPE SHIFTING INTO GIANT FORM, but have the encounter set up in different phases triggered when the villain gets "killed" each time.

My stress at number crunching, keeping track of health levels and worrying about fights being too quick or too long quickly evaporated as soon as I did these things.

 



#24 dvang

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:09 AM

Don't worry, I agree with you, Necrozius.

I think that, essentially, ignoring or adjusting the 'boss' NPCs wounds is probably the easiest and best way to go.  Make sure you don't slight the players when they make a good hit … cause something to happen to the Boss. However, while the blow might have killed the Boss with his wounds on the card, you keep him alive for longer such that he can do something.

Remember, WFRP is about the story.

I hadn't really thought of it this way, but I think the comment about using a tracker for a BOSS is a great idea.  It would be easy to use a tracker, for example. 

Something like thus:

Each hit that does damage moves the tracker by one. Exceptionally powerful hits move it by two.  When the tracker reaches the end, the Boss dies, with perhaps one final dramatic action.  The more powerful the Boss, the more spaces you put on it. 6-12 spaces would probably be a typical range of spaces.

While I haven't used a tracker like this myself, I have had situations where the PCs roll very well and land several attacks before the Boss can do much of anything. However, the players don't know the # of wounds of the Boss. So, I describe the damage the boss takes, and describe how injured he is. However, I then keep the Boss alive for 1-2 more turns (despite technically having 0 wounds left) such that he can advance the story and increase the drama of the combat.



#25 Yepesnopes

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:17 AM

There is also the fantastic card call "Half Dead" try it on your bosses burla


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#26 Necrozius

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:27 AM

Another way I'm planning on using a Tracker to simulate a cinematic final boss fights:

The Sword Duel

Make a cross out of the track pieces.

The horizontal portion represents a "tug-of-war", representing each participant's successes and gaining the upper hand. As each side scores a "hit", they get to pull the tug of war toward their side (good guy = green, bad guy = red). Having the tracker in your side gives  you an advantage (fortune points, a bit of narrative control, etc..)

The vertical portion represents changes in location. After both players have each taken an action, move the tracker up. At certain key milestones, the terrain changes. This can represent the fight starting off in the main hall, then the duellists work their way up a staircase, then they're on a balcony, and then they end up on the roof, where the duel ends.

Basically, the duel only ends once the characters end up in the final "location".

All is going well for the hero if he/she is in the green at that point. If they're in the Red, this means that the villain has the upper hand: gloating over the good guy who;s been disarmed, is flat on his back etc…

At that point, I'd allow the hero to take on a permanent critical wound or something to do something awesome and heroic: like pull the villain over the roof's edge but they fall too, or lightning strikes them or whatever.

It could work really well either way.

The fight in Revenge of the Sith would have needed a cross tracker the size of a swimming pool, LOL.



#27 Yepesnopes

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:43 PM

Necrozius said:

Another way I'm planning on using a Tracker to simulate a cinematic final boss fights:

The Sword Duel

(…)

The fight in Revenge of the Sith would have needed a cross tracker the size of a swimming pool, LOL.

I read a lot in these forums about cinematic this, cinematic that… In my opinion,in a similar way as a book is difficult to translate into a good movie, and never without changes; I think an RPG is not meant to emulate movies or pc games. It is more a game for the individual imagination of the players (and GM) and a game where they can act freely and their decision (good or bad) have a big impact.

Where is the problem if a PC shots at the bad guy in the middle of his stupid speech? When I watch a movie, I always wonder why they do not do it. A RPG gives the players this option, to do things differently, their own way. Why a fight has to end up yes or yes with the boss failing from the roof of a building like in many movies? Why it cannot end just because a player cuts the villian's head off with the swing of a big two handed axe?

I am not claiming that what for exemple Necrozius says is bad, if it is fun for you and your players, then it is perfect. It is more a reflexion that RPGs (and imagination) shouldn't be constrained by movies neither by computer games.

Cheers,

Yepes


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#28 DurakBlackaxe

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:40 PM

Yepesnopes said:

Where is the problem if a PC shots at the bad guy in the middle of his stupid speech? When I watch a movie, I always wonder why they do not do it. Cheers,

Yepes

 

Why when I read this, did I think of a loyal npc to the villian, dives into the path of the arrow, and takes one for the boss.

But I have had players I played with who just kill the villian without waiting for any communication, one time thats when they found out it was just a decoy. A thrall to his mistress. Too many villians geting killed before their evil speech was getting annoying, took ages writing thsoe speeches.

 

 



#29 Yepesnopes

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:13 AM

DurakBlackaxe said:

 Too many villians geting killed before their evil speech was getting annoying, took ages writing thsoe speeches.

sonreir

Then villians should spend less time writing speeches and more time creating cleaver plans…


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#30 bonesaww666

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:52 AM

I have used cunning in the appropriate situations to apply damage to one of my Leaders henchmen in this way, as a culture will throw himself in the way to save his master while he finishes the ritual to summon a daemon. It makes things more unpredictable for the PC's and forces them to get more creative then just point and shoot, as now the combat characters will seek to engage  the foe before they open fire tieing up as many henchmen as they can. It gives more purpose to the initiative tracker and fore thought….



#31 Necrozius

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:05 AM

Yepesnopes said:

 

I read a lot in these forums about cinematic this, cinematic that…

…I think an RPG is not meant to emulate movies or pc games…

 

 

Fair enough: but I believe that this is a very subjective topic.

In the end, it all boils down to choice in player group style. A good GM should open communication with the players about what style they wish to use.

My players prefer to experience dramatic scenes that emulate those from books, movies, comics and sometimes from video games that we like. We find RAW hit point tracking a bit tedious and often anti-climactic, resulting in things like random player death*, villains being killed too quickly, or HP sponge monsters which turn fights into overly long battles of attrition.

In short, we prefer the narrativist approach, rather than more traditional number crunching. WFRP 3's elegant solution to that are the Trackers. We love that tool and I try to introduce it as often as possible to keep the flow lively and… well… "cinematic".

Different styles, of course.

*- regarding random player death: some will argue that this sort of thing is SUPPOSED to happen in RPGs, even ones not as grimdark as WFRP or Dark Heresy. Not saying that is WRONG, it just isn't my group's style. See also: realism.

 



#32 dvang

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:59 AM

Yepes, to an extent you are correct. Players in an RPG can, and do, do things that no movie heroes end up doing.

Simply put, though, the point is to not just reward the players but to make the adventure challenging, interesting, and fun.

As an example: 

** Warning - Minor TGS spoiler! **

 

 

In TGS my group (of 3) are heading to the goblin-infested farm.  They come up with a plan and make molotov cocktails, which they then light and use to bombard the farm from outside of the pallisade. Most especially, figuring that the shaman they saw was housed in the farmhouse itself, they specifically targeted it with the majority of their "bombs". After all, it had a nice convenient THATCH roof.

 

Now, I applauded the PCs for their ingenuity.  I could have just had the farmhouse burn down, killing everything inside. Really, it what technically/realistically should have happened.  Now, that would be a bit of a letdown, not just for me but for the group.  There would be no tension or drama, no story or challenge, if the shaman died so quickly and easily.

So, instead, the shaman blasted his way out (blowing out a wall) as the building collapsed.  

Yes, you need to be careful that you don't make the PCs feel like their creative (and highly disruptive)  ideas are useless. However, I feel that the story/plot of the adventure needs to be maintained so as to remain enjoyable.  If the PCs are able to kill off the big boss with a single lucky shot during his pre-fight speech, is that really fun for anyone?  You could just say, "Ok, the boss is dead. The enemies scatter, and the world is saved.  Now, who wants to play Dominion?"

Simply, WFRP does try very hard to be about the story being told.  Unlike D&D, it isn't about crawling through dungeons and slaying monsters, racking up XP.  It is about forcing the players to think, to make choices, to gather clues, and to solve puzzles.  It is about prejudice, class distinctions, and bigotry. It is about Good vs Evil, as well as all the shades of grey in between.  It is about making hard choices when there is no real right solution. To that end, cheapening the story by allowing a single event to throw everything off kilter is a disservice to the players.

Now, that said, there are a number of ways to handle a situation. Perhaps the NPC killed wasn't actually the big boss.  Was he a patsy? A front? A doppleganger? In that way, you could allow the death, and make the PCs just *think* they killed the boss. Or else, a GM can come up with other creative ways. As mentioned, perhaps loyal followers throw themselves in front of the boss.  Or, you make the Boss into a truly formidable foe, by beefing up their HP or otherwise making the ability for the PCs to kill them into more of a story event and use a tracker, etc.

All my opinions, of course.






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