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#1 Johann Rowlocks

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:22 PM

 So I have decided the limit of one Expertise dice per roll of a enemy is silly and have decided to allow the use of up to 1/3 of their total per roll. How have others handled this?



#2 thePREdiger

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:06 PM

 doing the same in my group. I do not observe any shift in balance.

 



#3 valvorik

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:48 AM

I go with one but I'm a bit generous with assigning key NPC's trained skills (e.g., weapon skilled trained so always an expertise die, then another if spending expertise), sometimes more than one rank (disclaimer - am running game for characters with 70+ advances).



#4 thePREdiger

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:24 AM

valvorik said:

I go with one but I'm a bit generous with assigning key NPC's trained skills (e.g., weapon skilled trained so always an expertise die, then another if spending expertise), sometimes more than one rank (disclaimer - am running game for characters with 70+ advances).

 

My PCs are around 18 advances and still steamroll any content I throw at them - so I ramped up the chances of the NPCs so they can put up a fight.

There is a 2h combo with a hammer that brains every mob I have in store. action deals normal damage and has a chance to knock the mob prone.

Once prone a reaction action is triggered. that double attack with the sigmar priest buff +1 str/tou really fells any mob (or deals crucial damage)



#5 Armoks

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:36 AM

thePREdiger said:

My PCs are around 18 advances and still steamroll any content I throw at them - so I ramped up the chances of the NPCs so they can put up a fight.

There is a 2h combo with a hammer that brains every mob I have in store. action deals normal damage and has a chance to knock the mob prone.

Once prone a reaction action is triggered. that double attack with the sigmar priest buff +1 str/tou really fells any mob (or deals crucial damage)

Before I bought a 3rd edition almost three years ago, I was uncertain if combats will be perilous enough. Now I think that they're far too deadly.

With a Giant Slayer and a priest of Sigmar in a team, my players are able to end any encounter up in less then two rounds. If they win initiative, the enemy stands not a chance against them.



#6 Yepesnopes

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:50 AM

Armoks said:

 

With a Giant Slayer and a priest of Sigmar in a team, my players are able to end any encounter up in less then two rounds. If they win initiative, the enemy stands not a chance against them.

 

 

I am not sure what do you want to say here, but isn't this a too generic statement?

With the amount of creatures, action cards, weapons, armours and A/C/E…combinations are endless. It is highly unlikely that this ANY holds true even for the best PCs you can think of (magic items aside). In this game, it won't be too difficult for you (if you would like to) to kill your players in the next encounter.


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#7 thePREdiger

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:16 AM

 My players are in the middle of the Defense of the Reapers Bounty in the TTT campaign.

I upped Korska, like valvorik has, and gave him a unique set of actions of the khorne and heroes call expansion.

on saturday I will know if this will show them to have respect of the dangers lurking in drakwald.



#8 Armoks

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:57 AM

Yepesnopes said:

In this game, it won't be too difficult for you (if you would like to) to kill your players in the next encounter.

That's the thing I also wanted to state. To clarify, when you've got combat oriented PCs on higher ranks (2 or 3+) in one team, combat usually ends very fast. It's true for both Players and NPCs.

As I do really like throwing human opponents at my players (i.e. bandits and their leaders, masterminds, mercenaries), I find encounters too deadly. This state is caused by the high amount of damage that both sides can deal by using appropriate action cards.

To be honest, I like when a game session is perilous, but IMO something is broken when you can deal 25+ damage in one hit with a 70+% probability.

 

One of my players (a priest of Sigmar), asked me once if he can swap his action card, after he dealt huge amount of damage with a Reckless Clave and killed the main enemy in one hit, when nobody else had even a chance to act during that fight



#9 Johann Rowlocks

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:09 PM

 Thanks all. Valorik, I like assigning rank expertise dice as well. Perhaps something related to the threat level ofr a general rule of thumb. Before I read the rule about only one I was just dividing the A/C/E in half or even sometimes going "all in", and the PCs still fared okay, (25-30 advances) so I do want to keep it spikey for the them.



#10 Jericho

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:44 AM

 Hello everyone!

Just a general remark about combats and difficulty levels.

In this game, PCs tend to be extremely potent in the 3 opening rounds of any battle. They have all their best actions available, no stress nor fatigue or very little. If you want to give them a challenge without having Chaos Lords at every street corner, here are my tips.

1) Have the best NPCs stay in reserve or multiple waves of foes. Don't use rally steps between every wave, keep the inflow of opponents steady through the scene. More like, "the bandits charge in" type of sequence. Only they charge in by fives every round for four rounds. (I have rank 4 characters to deal with…)

2) Have NPCs keep ACE in store and once in a while, when a true opening shows up, burn all ACE in one go. That means, let them get clobbered in the first two or three rounds but come back in the third with a deadly counterattack, ideally with fresh forces.

3) Give any serious foe some armour and a basic 1 skill level in Weapon Skill. (That's in excess of ACE)

4) Give any well funded foes (a noble's personal guard, for example) firearms, crossbows, two-handed weapons.

5) Have weak foes use Guarded position liberally. They usually are in more numbers, so in any melee, one of them can use the Card and confer added defence to all. Have all foes use Active defences as much as possible.

6) Use terrain to your advantage with weak foes. As they are often more numerous, they shouldn't have too much trouble taking control of strong positions right from the bat. That should give them some defence and maybe even fortune to their attacks.

 

The main idea here is to consider carefully that the mechanics of WFRP make battles ebb and flow because of the recharge mechanic and the stress&fatigue mechanic. In most encounters, both sides go all in in the first rounds, to try to gain a decisive advantage in terrain or numbers or both right from the beginning.

But by using savvy defensive strategies, you can have NPCs withstand the brunt of this initial PC onslaught without too many losses and come back at them with a spicy counter-attack, maybe revealing a secret weapon or a flanking unit in the process.

You don't believe me? Well picture 6 Standard Soldiers equipped with mail shirts and shields that stay in formation, 3 of them using Guarded Position every round. They will all benefit from 5 Defence plus any Active Defence. That will make a difference.

Then, in the third round, have the Mounted Sergeants that were trotting around the block attack the PCs from behind! Have the Soldiers keep only 2 Guarded positions and spend all available ACE. It might be so violent that you will regret ever reading this post…


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#11 valvorik

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:48 AM

Thanks for the thoughts and advice.

I see the 3 Act structure as important as I don't generally find "the first Act" is very challenging for heroes once they "get going".  It's in 2nd and 3rd Acts, when the first one or two uber actions still recharging, a minor critical that will heal overnight still bothering you etc., this is when threat really starts.  In addition, Stress and Fatigue are "phfft" unless they pile on over 3 Acts (and of course NPC A/C/E budgets refresh each act).



#12 Jericho

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:59 AM

Absolutely right, Valvorik.

In regard to monster stats, V3 resembles V1. In V1, basic monster NPC stats as per the Monster section of the RAW were pretty weak (i.e. Normal man D&D style). The rules did emphasize that the stats represented a standard unskilled peon of the race described. Then came stat and skill packages to upgrade the basic stats to a Champion, Hero, or Lord level.

In V3, it is the same approach. Basic stats represent the basic unskilled peon. Soldiers stats, for example, represent militia level grunts, basically a peasant with a spear. ACE does give the GM the possibility of making those grunts slightly better once in a while. But ACE alone does not make a worthy foe.

With the Hero templates, V3 has implemented a similar approach to V1 (and V2 too, come to think of it).

The gist of all of this is : if you want to challenge your players with worthy foes, you need to give them skills and action cards. To me, ACE represents talents, career or otherwise. They give one-time bonuses and must be recharged during a rally step, having a mechanical effect much like talents.

A trained soldier or knight should definitely have WS 1. An Elite veteran or knight might get WS 2 and/or more Expertise dice.

For skills, the beauty of it is that you can decide on the fly if the creature deserves such and such skill. Example : A Shadowmancer casts a cause fear spell. Should the orcs have discipline trained? You can decide that on the spot, when the spell is cast. No need to prepare in advance. How did you picture these orcs, reckless, stupid, determined ? Are they normal orcs or black orcs? If they are normal, then ACE is their only hope, but if you already pictured these orcs as being elite black orc troops, striking hard and using tactics, then you might decide that they do have discipline trained.

In V2, the overabundance of skills and talents made that on the fly ruling impossible. Managing creature rosters in a hard fought battle was pretty hard. Every elite troop would have 10 to 20 talents and skills….

In V3, handing out skill levels to NPCs on the fly is super easy. The skills are few and easy to remember.

BUT

Here come the Action cards. To make NPCs more experienced, you need to give them Action cards. But how do you manage a battle where 3 different types of foes, all with 5 or 6 action cards, fight the PCs? The table is overcrowded with cards, and which card belongs to who isn't always that obvious!! Let alone the sharing of Active defenses…

First of all, I don't put recharge tokens on creature actions. Too time consuming and boring. I use recharge as a general rule of thumb. No creature can use the same action repeatedly, as stated by the recharge value. And I just remember. That means that in my game, Actions get used much more often. Which is good. Flavourful. Fun. Perilous.

Secondly, to abate the table space problem, I'll try to keep these actions to a minimum. Grunts will get 1 signature action plus basic actions; elite might get 3 actions and nemesis can have as much as the role demands. That means that I choose actions that deliver punch, but also style. I want might battles to be different from one another, so I'll prefer actions that make that so. That give colour.

Barroom brawl against tough mercenaries? Use violent Orc and Chaos actions.

Fencing against customers of a bordello? Use Diestro, Skaven and Slaaneshi cultist actions (the non-magical ones).

You get the gist. Fun everytime!


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#13 Yepesnopes

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:27 AM

Jericho said:

In regard to monster stats, V3 resembles V1. In V1, basic monster NPC stats as per the Monster section of the RAW were pretty weak (i.e. Normal man D&D style). The rules did emphasize that the stats represented a standard unskilled peon of the race described. Then came stat and skill packages to upgrade the basic stats to a Champion, Hero, or Lord level.

In V3, it is the same approach. Basic stats represent the basic unskilled peon. Soldiers stats, for example, represent militia level grunts, basically a peasant with a spear. ACE does give the GM the possibility of making those grunts slightly better once in a while. But ACE alone does not make a worthy foe.

(…)

I find the way you see this aspect of v3 interesting.

I would like to know how do you envision the PCs in this framework you propose. I mean, in V1 and V2 starting PCs were average members of their respective professions. To follow with your example, starting PCs soldiers in v1 and v2  were the militia level grunts. They were no different. On the other hand, in v3 a starting PC soldier will have something like St4 To4, one rank in WS trained and some nasty action cards, he will be far above the average militia grunt level, actually a starting soldier PC will easily match in skills a "Sargent NPC". This in my opinion implies "change of paradigm" in the concept of what a PC is (respect to v1 and v2).

How do you see it? What in your opinion are PCs in v3? Elite members of their respective professions looking for an extra excitement and recognition that they cannot find within they everyday life?

Cheers,

Yepes


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#14 Jericho

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:06 AM

You are absolutely right Yepesnopes.

PCs in V3 start off as second career PCs in V1, approximately. This said, PCs in V1 could have Str 40 if they got lucky with their dice, even more so in V2 since talents like Very Strong would bump your stat up 5%.

So yes, PCs start off stronger. Is that a problem, IMO, not really.

V3 is structured around the concept of storytelling, of narrative over simulationism. It's a design choice. If you don't like it, then I would suggest reducing Creation points to suit your taste. Maybe 5 for Dwarfs and elves and 10 for humans? That would severely nerf the starting stats.

You could then consider your starting PCs as being Rank 0 instead of rank 1 when they begin, as Ranks are an important rules feature later on.

To conclude, I would say that V3 designers wanted to give able characters right off the bat so players could start having serious fun already in session 1. With V1 style characters, the first adventures must be so toned down that sometimes that doesn't suit the tastes of players keen on cinematic action and scenes full of perils.

Either way, the rpg experience can be great.


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#15 Yepesnopes

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:41 AM

Jericho said:

You are absolutely right Yepesnopes.

PCs in V3 start off as second career PCs in V1, approximately. This said, PCs in V1 could have Str 40 if they got lucky with their dice, even more so in V2 since talents like Very Strong would bump your stat up 5%.

So yes, PCs start off stronger. Is that a problem, IMO, not really.

V3 is structured around the concept of storytelling, of narrative over simulationism. It's a design choice. If you don't like it, then I would suggest reducing Creation points to suit your taste. Maybe 5 for Dwarfs and elves and 10 for humans? That would severely nerf the starting stats.

You could then consider your starting PCs as being Rank 0 instead of rank 1 when they begin, as Ranks are an important rules feature later on.

To conclude, I would say that V3 designers wanted to give able characters right off the bat so players could start having serious fun already in session 1. With V1 style characters, the first adventures must be so toned down that sometimes that doesn't suit the tastes of players keen on cinematic action and scenes full of perils.

Either way, the rpg experience can be great.

Thank you for your opinion.

I was not trying to highlight that there is something wrong with players starting more powerful than in previous editions. I was more concerned with knowing your point of view about "what PCs are before they start adventuring". A bit more of a philosophical question if you want, than rather rules. If in v1 and v2 they were average people trying to escape from their grey lives and break the stablished system, fight corruption, chaos etc (to say something), what are they in v3? Since they are more capable than they comrades, may be they go adventuring to find the challenges they cannot find on their everyday life, or may be they feel like outsiders around so much "grey people"  and they go adventuring to team up with others more of their equal (like going to a school for genius when you are one).

Cheers,

Yepes


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#16 Emirikol

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:42 AM

I still think you guys are way too easy on your players.  Unless you are forcing your characters into combat, they should be asking themselves when it is time to run away or not get into combat alltogether.

 

jh



#17 borithan

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:19 AM

Well, based on  my experience, if the GM wants to he can just grind the players into the ground. We are rank 3, and we are powerful (with a lucky set of rolls and comboing action cards a Priest of Sigmar in our group killed an uninjured Rat Ogre in one low. The Wizard also once got 11 dice of defence… unfortunately all he got to use it against was a snotling…), but if the GM wants they can just total us. The deadliness of combat works both ways. Even when a GM isn't trying to "beat" us, a deliberately silly encounter, with special enviroments combined with some… unlucky rolls, meant that a fight with some snotlings almost killed two characters.

However, I do agree the system doesn't work that well for 1st and 2nd edition style adventures, where you are brawling it out in city gutters with bandits and cut purses who are nowhere near your competency but still pose some threat, even in not huge numbers.



#18 Jericho

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:46 AM

Yepesnopes said:

Jericho said:

 

You are absolutely right Yepesnopes.

PCs in V3 start off as second career PCs in V1, approximately. This said, PCs in V1 could have Str 40 if they got lucky with their dice, even more so in V2 since talents like Very Strong would bump your stat up 5%.

So yes, PCs start off stronger. Is that a problem, IMO, not really.

V3 is structured around the concept of storytelling, of narrative over simulationism. It's a design choice. If you don't like it, then I would suggest reducing Creation points to suit your taste. Maybe 5 for Dwarfs and elves and 10 for humans? That would severely nerf the starting stats.

You could then consider your starting PCs as being Rank 0 instead of rank 1 when they begin, as Ranks are an important rules feature later on.

To conclude, I would say that V3 designers wanted to give able characters right off the bat so players could start having serious fun already in session 1. With V1 style characters, the first adventures must be so toned down that sometimes that doesn't suit the tastes of players keen on cinematic action and scenes full of perils.

Either way, the rpg experience can be great.

 

 

Thank you for your opinion.

I was not trying to highlight that there is something wrong with players starting more powerful than in previous editions. I was more concerned with knowing your point of view about "what PCs are before they start adventuring". A bit more of a philosophical question if you want, than rather rules. If in v1 and v2 they were average people trying to escape from their grey lives and break the stablished system, fight corruption, chaos etc (to say something), what are they in v3? Since they are more capable than they comrades, may be they go adventuring to find the challenges they cannot find on their everyday life, or may be they feel like outsiders around so much "grey people"  and they go adventuring to team up with others more of their equal (like going to a school for genius when you are one).

Cheers,

Yepes

Well, to answer your question that has more to do with story and background than rules, I would say that they either are identical to V1 and V2 characters, but with that special heroic potential already tied in the character. They look like standard peasants (and think they are) but they are not.

Second possibility is that when the game starts, these ex-peasants already have some adventuring (or more likely bumming around) under their belts. They aren't green anymore.

Those are to ways to look at it, IMO.

Lastly, you must also consider that non-combat careers are really at the normal man level of proficiency in that respect. PCs in V3 start off stronger IN THEIR ZONE OF PROFICIENCY ONLY. So having a group of scribes that are above the norm in intellect and education won't really help you in a scrap…


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#19 Twodogz

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 05:20 AM

 Hello everyone!

Just a general remark about combats and difficulty levels.

In this game, PCs tend to be extremely potent in the 3 opening rounds of any battle. They have all their best actions available, no stress nor fatigue or very little. If you want to give them a challenge without having Chaos Lords at every street corner, here are my tips.

1) Have the best NPCs stay in reserve or multiple waves of foes. Don't use rally steps between every wave, keep the inflow of opponents steady through the scene. More like, "the bandits charge in" type of sequence. Only they charge in by fives every round for four rounds. (I have rank 4 characters to deal with…)

2) Have NPCs keep ACE in store and once in a while, when a true opening shows up, burn all ACE in one go. That means, let them get clobbered in the first two or three rounds but come back in the third with a deadly counterattack, ideally with fresh forces.

3) Give any serious foe some armour and a basic 1 skill level in Weapon Skill. (That's in excess of ACE)

4) Give any well funded foes (a noble's personal guard, for example) firearms, crossbows, two-handed weapons.

5) Have weak foes use Guarded position liberally. They usually are in more numbers, so in any melee, one of them can use the Card and confer added defence to all. Have all foes use Active defences as much as possible.

6) Use terrain to your advantage with weak foes. As they are often more numerous, they shouldn't have too much trouble taking control of strong positions right from the bat. That should give them some defence and maybe even fortune to their attacks.

 

The main idea here is to consider carefully that the mechanics of WFRP make battles ebb and flow because of the recharge mechanic and the stress&fatigue mechanic. In most encounters, both sides go all in in the first rounds, to try to gain a decisive advantage in terrain or numbers or both right from the beginning.

But by using savvy defensive strategies, you can have NPCs withstand the brunt of this initial PC onslaught without too many losses and come back at them with a spicy counter-attack, maybe revealing a secret weapon or a flanking unit in the process.

You don't believe me? Well picture 6 Standard Soldiers equipped with mail shirts and shields that stay in formation, 3 of them using Guarded Position every round. They will all benefit from 5 Defence plus any Active Defence. That will make a difference.

Then, in the third round, have the Mounted Sergeants that were trotting around the block attack the PCs from behind! Have the Soldiers keep only 2 Guarded positions and spend all available ACE. It might be so violent that you will regret ever reading this post…

 

This is a great post.


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