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Powermonger what to do…


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#1 Mexorlon

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 09:59 PM

Hiya folks

It happened again (as allways), I have a player in my group who is a total powermonger:

Dwarf ironbreaker

str 4, tou 5, agi 3, int 2, will 3, fel 2 

Trained: wp (and spec.) discipline, resilience

Equipment: gromril chain (houseruled 1def 3soak), towershield 2def, 1 soak.

Actioncards Saga of grimir, wall of steel, parry, dodge, block 

This gives him after 1 round (start saga) a min of 6 black without block etc. and this is a new char.

 

I know he sux outside combat, but he dosent care, he will just sit and morer or less wait for combat.

I just ran a homemade adventure (3x6hours) with 1 very small combat, and 1 larger combat.

 

Alle the others in the group have made background, traits, and a lot of fluff…

But he just follows undtil combat where he "over"shines/shadows the others in the group.

 

Im considering just minimizing the combat, thus he will be bored, I have NOTHING to work with in his char. it might aswell be a npc number 5 ironbreaker…

 

Any ideas are welcome



#2 Johann Rowlocks

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:51 AM

I had a Iron Breaker in the group, so I engineered the party being tracked to Azgaraz and accused there of a crime. The Thane ruled he needed to travel back to the place it was committed (they killed the Krieger in The Witches Song) and until he was cleared his armour needed to remain in Azgaraz. 
Now, being highly motivated to get his armour back (a reason to live!) I placed tons of adventures in his way and when he was cleared, I ran the adventure in Hero's Call that placed an Orc army between him and his precious armour. He was reunited and the campaign came to a close soon after.

Another solution is big creatures that use cards like "Pick up and throw" as well as Magic. Magic trumps armour - especially those spells which suddenly make the "dwarf tank" now a thrall of the wizard. 



#3 ragnar63

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 02:28 AM

Give the monsters Troll Feller Strike and watch him squirm. A number of cards have results that ignore Soak so use them on that PC only. Don't be afraid to have scenarios that are largely social so that the one dimensional character will feel out of it. Most large towns in the Empire will not allow even an Ironbreaker to wander around town dressed in full armour with a tower shield for any length of time, it makes the garrison nervous. Enforce that rule with fines and watch the PC's funds disappear.



#4 Mexorlon

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 05:15 AM

The soak is only part of the problem…his def. is insane 6 without any block…8 with and 10 with block and parry…and thats because he "only" have 2 ansestor cards running…for now…thats going to change, and only upwards..

Im going to run eye for an eye next…so we must see how it runs…

 

 



#5 Emirikol

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:03 AM

Ironbrokens are called that for a reason.  I would STRONGLY recommend using my house rules on the matter (in my sig below), but now that you've already got one in your group, and being played by a powermonger as well, you're going to have to deal with it.

 

OK, FIRST RULE:  One-trick pony characters do not deserve all the attention of a campaign or the GM.  That means that you can't spend 99% of your time focusing on them.  You can alter the crap out of your game to make it boring for them, but that usually makes it just as boring for the other players.  It's best to make it MORE fun for the other players rather than try to make it boring for the powermonger.  We all get these kinds of people and they will find a way to min-max their character no matter what it is, so focus on the GOOD of the other player characters.  Look at their characters and give them a lot of background, NPC interactions, etc.  Look at their career traits and give them extra benefits, etc.

 

Second rule:  Next time, plan ahead with house-rules and limitations.  If your campaign is going to be a social one, emphasize that to your players ahead of time.  For example:  I am currently running The Enemy Within.  I had a couple rules for this campaign:  Everybody must be human (human racial variant rules are ok), and I needed at least one noble, one bureaucrat, and one academic trait character.  I told them that we would be using the social rules a lot more and that insanity would probably play a large role in things.  

 

Third rule:  in the future, outlaw the ironbroken "until you get a chance to re-evaluate it."  Other broken characters include:  min-maxed swordmasters, trollslayers with troll feller strike, mighty swing, reckless cleave, and thunderous blow.  

 

Fourth rule: Breaking the Ironbroken:  This only get's worse at they change to ironshield, etc. Here are some words I want you to mark in your mind:  INSANITY, sewers, swamps, water (add 4-6 difficulty for all heavy armor), spells (heat metal anyone?  create the spell), climbing (give 4-6 difficulty for heavy armor of all kinds), ice, coordingation checks, ladders, people with arrows.  You don't have to even target the Ironbroken, you just need to make the other characters shine and show how WEAK his character really is when he is a one-trick battle pony.  

 

Fifth rule:  Have a replacement character rule.  I would keep it simple:  If players want to switch characters, they can do so without much/any penalty as long as the GM gives the OK.  Have all players create a back-up character.  This indicates that you aren't jerking them around when you tell them that PCs will die.  Tell them that you like when players make a "well rounded" character.  Expectations usually help prevent this kind of stuff.

 

6th rule:  Dwarfs are resistant to disease, highly resistant to corruption, immune to mutation (for some reason), and the heavy armor just makes all of that worse..but they're not immune to insanity and they're not immune to social shame (afterall, one MUST withdraw once they lose), and they make terribly uncoordinated people (4-6 dice) when fighting on unstable surfaces (such as rubble-covered, wet, mushy, slippery, sandy, sloped or otherwise not-perfect ground).   Whatever you do don't give him "fighting" ways to die.  He'll just replace that character with another one-trick pony.

 

Anyways, best of luck :)

 

jh

 

 



#6 Emirikol

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:11 AM

Regarding block/dodge/parry:  They're only good against ONE attack.  Send a couple non-minion goblins at him and they'll chew through that pretty rapidly.  Oh, and non-henchmen are the way to go.  Give them all an "armor peel" ability where they ignore soak from heavy armor - something like fire or ants in their pants or something :)

 

Better yet, look up every mind-affecting and coordination affecting thing.

 

I ran an ironbroken in Black Fire Pass.  I got killed.  My GM was very sneaky..but I was also the last one to die… Ironbrokens are simply broken and need to be nerfed.

 

jh



#7 valvorik

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:32 AM

Agree with all the above in particular do not let one PC hog the table. It's not interesting to see Superman continually wipe the floor with run of the mill bank robber.  Gaming is about what's interesting (and fun and other stuff of course).  Seeing him struggle to deal with Lois not liking Clark because he's not athletic enough - that's interesting.

Absolutely make armour give penalties for Athletics checks and doubling for swimming. In summer have the odd heat wave hit when the Def value of armour becomes the difficulty of not passing out etc.  Send your heroes on a quest to Araby (or just the southern Empire like Averland).

Players are entitled to "be allowed to shine where they are razor sharp" from time to time but then the story is how they deal with things in the other areas of activity. 

Be sure when running social encounters to allow no wall flowers.  Everyone must roll even if to just manage to avoid giving offence and not have their silent nature give insult etc.

But most of all, agree just take broken stuff out of the game, it's not worth making you spend even the time to read this thread on managing a "problem" like this instead of having fun making the game fun for players.



#8 Yepesnopes

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:46 AM

Look carefully at what Emirikol says, specially

Emirikol said:

OK, FIRST RULE:  One-trick pony characters do not deserve all the attention of a campaign or the GM.  That means that you can't spend 99% of your time focusing on them.  You can alter the crap out of your game to make it boring for them, but that usually makes it just as boring for the other players.  It's best to make it MORE fun for the other players rather than try to make it boring for the powermonger.  We all get these kinds of people and they will find a way to min-max their character no matter what it is, so focus on the GOOD of the other player characters.  Look at their characters and give them a lot of background, NPC interactions, etc.  Look at their career traits and give them extra benefits, etc.

That is a golden rule for any game, not only rpgs!

Also note that as Emirikol says, the Iron breaker is not the only possibility you can encounter regarding "broken" characters, it is just the easiest one or more direct one to encounter.

Sadly, WFRP 3 is a game whith far too many possibilities for a player (even without willing to do it) to break the fun of the game for other players and the GM. I believe is due to poor or little playtesting of the game, or just due to the impossibility to play test the different combinations of the insane amount of action cards, powers, habilities…similar to what you encounter in games like D&D X (at least for what I have read).

In warhammer 3, the only way to prevent this is by knowing the system, and planning ahead! And just do not be afraid of arrive one day at the table and say "this is no longer available /possible". This is a game and by definition everybody has to have fun, even the GM!

Cheers,

Yepes 


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#9 Karma Kollapse

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:32 PM

Is this something only you've picked up on, or have the players started showing signs of frustration?

I do worry when players are min/max stated in a group with more well-rounded characters… I'm never too sure whether I should intervene or simply let players have their fun.



#10 OctoLux

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:03 AM

By looking him up, I would say his greatest weekness is his low mental characteristics. So fear, stress and insanity will reduce him to a slobbering vegetable. Also he is not really observant. one scaven assassin with backstab or ***** in the armour should do the trick… or as mentioned a slippery slope over the rapids of death. That is probably the least preferable way.

With social stuff you could give him a hard time. As he is the "weakest" link in the party (probably,… EXCEPT you have a dysfunctional antisocial dwarf with spiked red hair in it too) So the "enemy" -- err noble --  will target him first to get the party out of the way…

 

Cheers

Olaf



#11 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 06:44 AM

If this is an issue, then perhaps your game is leaning too much on combat and not enough on character.

Find what the character cares about (people, places, things, ideals) and threaten them. Make the player have to choose between their character's opposed desires. All the armor in the world won't save a character from having to decide whether personal honor is more important than duty.

When they do choose, make the consequences of that choice hurt. Hit below the belt. 

 

For example:

So a dwarf (let's call him Bobby) needs something. To get it, he needs to swear loyalty to an honorable man/dwarf (let's call him Lord Tim), who will support their claim. Just before the Bobby gets what he wants (which Tim is more than happy to help with), they find out that Lord Tim is a cultist. A really bad one that is threatening something ELSE Bobby holds dear (maybe one of Bobby's family's holdings). 

Does Bobby betray his family to get the thing he wants, and more importantly to fulfill his oath of loyalty? If so, his family disowns him and he can never return home. He also has to live with the fact that he is loyal to an evil man.

Does he instead turn on Lord Tim and break his oath. Not only does he not get that thing, but now everyone has branded him an Oathbreaker, and no one trusts him. No one cares that he did the right thing, because you can't trust a dwarf who goes back on his word.

Maybe Bobby doesn't want to choose, says "to hell with this" and becomes a Slayer. Who gets the armor? Someone important wants it, but it's legitimately supposed to go to someone with little power or influence. Whomever is chosen, there will be issues.

 

… and don't just single him out. This should be happening to everyone. 


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#12 r_b_bergstrom

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 07:34 AM

Mexorlon said:

I know he sux outside combat, but he dosent care, he will just sit and morer or less wait for combat.

I just ran a homemade adventure (3x6hours) with 1 very small combat, and 1 larger combat.

 

Alle the others in the group have made background, traits, and a lot of fluff…

But he just follows undtil combat where he "over"shines/shadows the others in the group.

 

Im considering just minimizing the combat, thus he will be bored, I have NOTHING to work with in his char. it might aswell be a npc number 5 ironbreaker…

So, one of two things are happening. Either:

A) He's being disruptive in some way during the non-combat scenes.

or

B) He's waiting around patiently during those non-combat scenes and not causing trouble or distracting people from the game.

 

If it's A, then why are you even playing with him? Honestly, the best thing you can do is toss him from the game & group. I know that sounds harsh. And I'd totally have a talk with him about it first and see if he's willing to change his behavior, etc, but disruptive players should be dealt with firmly, and quickly. If he's intentionally ruining anyone's fun, you're better off not having him at the table. Kicking him out is actually much kinder (to everyone) than intentionally making your game boring.

If it's only B, then what's the problem? Some people show up to game just for the social camraderie of hangin' with their friends, and are totally happy playing the supporting cast. That's ok. Some other people game for the chance to look or feel like a badass and have fun smashing face. That's ok, too. As long as he's not being disruptive jerk in some way you haven't mentioned, then it's perfectly ok that he's twiddling his thumbs during the social scenes and totally tanking it up in the combat scenes. It's not ideal, perhaps, but it's not really a major problem.

As for in-character ways to make sure the fight scenes aren't pathetic? There's plenty of magic and special attacks that can skip the armor, so you can always swamp him in stress, terror, shame, or unsoakable damage. Also, you could play a little loose with the henchman rules to have your villains surrounded by a pack of bodyguards that give them bonus white dice on their attacks. 4 to 8 bonus white dice from henchman assists on the villain's attack to counter his 6 Defence is a perfectly fine solution, provide you have a large dice collection (and big hands).

But here's the catch: Don't subvert his armor every time, and don't do it for your first fight or two. That guy spent a bunch of his character points trying to be an unassailable badass. That's what he thinks is fun. Let him have his spotlight moment from time to time. A big nasty ork breaks an axe on his helmet, and the PC doesn't miss a beat. If and when you do pile on the henchmen to get those bonus dice, narrate it in an over-the-top fashion, so it won't feel like he's being picked on, it'll feel epic and heroic instead.

Unless, like I said, he's being a disruptive jerk that's ruining your game. If so, just get rid him.



#13 Yepesnopes

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:07 AM

Doc, the Weasel said:

If this is an issue, then perhaps your game is leaning too much on combat and not enough on character.

Find what the character cares about (people, places, things, ideals) and threaten them. Make the player have to choose between their character's opposed desires. All the armor in the world won't save a character from having to decide whether personal honor is more important than duty.

When they do choose, make the consequences of that choice hurt. Hit below the belt. 

 

For example:

So a dwarf (let's call him Bobby) needs something. To get it, he needs to swear loyalty to an honorable man/dwarf (let's call him Lord Tim), who will support their claim. Just before the Bobby gets what he wants (which Tim is more than happy to help with), they find out that Lord Tim is a cultist. A really bad one that is threatening something ELSE Bobby holds dear (maybe one of Bobby's family's holdings). 

Does Bobby betray his family to get the thing he wants, and more importantly to fulfill his oath of loyalty? If so, his family disowns him and he can never return home. He also has to live with the fact that he is loyal to an evil man.

Does he instead turn on Lord Tim and break his oath. Not only does he not get that thing, but now everyone has branded him an Oathbreaker, and no one trusts him. No one cares that he did the right thing, because you can't trust a dwarf who goes back on his word.

Maybe Bobby doesn't want to choose, says "to hell with this" and becomes a Slayer. Who gets the armor? Someone important wants it, but it's legitimately supposed to go to someone with little power or influence. Whomever is chosen, there will be issues.

 

… and don't just single him out. This should be happening to everyone. 

and that is why every rpg player should play at least once to The Burning Wheel rpg, or may be to FATE based rpg.

Nice exposition Doc!

 

Cheers,

Yepes


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#14 Mexorlon

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 10:13 PM

First off thx for all you answers!!!

I may have misunderstood the powermonger term….He doesen't disrupt the game, ie. needing attention, more the oppesite, he is more or less a henchman until combat erupte ( I feel the we have a good mix of combat and social, so far in wfrp we have played 4X8hours and had 1 small combat and 1 a little larger)

To sum it a little up, we are a group who have played together for (way to long) 10-12 years, so the just dump him, would be plausible, but not very good as friends…I think the talk would be the way to go…however I know him well enough to know that he will not respond well to it.

I was considering just leaving him be…the only problem with that is the overpower he has compared to the rest of the group, so I think I will add some more mud, sun, whatnot…to make that metal armor a pain..some of the time…

@r_b_berstrom. he is more or less the B option…but that doesen't hinder him in complaining after a session that he should have more skills etc. and the answer: Then just buy them. doesn't compute…he "needs" all the xp to go to further his overpowered char….

The funny part is that he is also a gm who focus on intrige, dark secrets etc. his gming has a lot of flavor, his Char as a player---Not so much (he might aswell be a NPC)

I have tried to run Burning wheel and FATE, 3/5 of the group hate it…the feel they cant see the future in their char…I love it, so wfrp 3 ed. with the good spin the dice can give is perfect..

 

all In all I think we will need to have the talk…

 

Thx 

Mex



#15 Yepesnopes

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 05:02 AM

Mexorlon said:

To sum it a little up, we are a group who have played together for (way to long) 10-12 years, so the just dump him, would be plausible, but not very good as friends…I think the talk would be the way to go…however I know him well enough to know that he will not respond well to it.

Ah! but that changes everything!

Then, why not bring your concerns to the whole group? Does his attitude bother someone? Does it bother you? How the others feel about him and his rol in the group?

If you are friends, be brave, bring the subject to your table as a group, let everybody speak their mind. I am gaiming with the same group since….23 years ago already. We have played together to tons of games. When someone has a concern, we just put it onto the table.

 

Cheers,

Yepes


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#16 Boehm

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:19 AM

having a character specialise in one area of expertise is ok - having a flat character with no personality is booring however … try to force him to come up with some ideas, ask him - challange him … give rewards to players for writign up detailed backgrounds and logs from first person view etc.

 

heavy armour is good (IMO too good in wfrp 3rd or rather combo of of heavy armouor and high T is too good …) anyway - just emphasize that walking around is armour isnt really normal - how often do u see guys going to the supermarket or pub wearing heavy flak jackets in the US or UK ? or carrying around heavy military grade weapons ?? sure in some rural areas or if the PC has some official law enforcement status then perhaps its ok - but should still give some serious social backlash in some situations ….

 

In combat - his specialty he SHOULD shine …but dont let him completly outshine everyone else … remember that u take a w for each crit even if it doesnt penetrate, we had a iron breaker in our group and he was constantly in danger of going down from always being on the frontline … - use dibilitating attacks once and a while to change things up, giving fatigue etc - disarming him - blinding him …let a couple of archer types use '***** in the armour' or 'sniper shot' to bypass his armour …

 

be creative - but remember he created his character because he thinks combat is fun - dont ruin his fun … challange him and include the others … or if you really cant take his playstyle, talk to him about it - and if doesnt come around - kick him from the group



#17 Necrozius

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:39 AM

I think that it is a terrible idea for a GM to steal away an item that a player purchased as part of his character creation. On the other hand, GIVING the players a cool item or NPC ally and then having it/ them taken away, kidnapped or killed to fuel the story is a GREAT idea, if done right.

I think it would be like taking away a Jedi's Lightsaber, removing a Paladin's holy mount or a sorceror's familiar.

If the player acquired the item by character creation (IN a LEGIT way), don't take it away after the fact unless they are cool with the idea or it fits the campaign.

If  you have an issue with a player's character that they just created, or if they BECOME problematic, TELL THEM. Talk with them. Face the issue like adults. Don't be quietly bitter and plan to "punish" him later. That's kind of passive aggressive.

Anyway, communication is the key. Don't be THAT guy and let the players create concepts that you find are innapropriate and then try to punish them during the game. I don't think ANYONE wins in that situation.

 

 



#18 Jericho

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:41 PM

Hello!

Your player seems nice enough. Why pick on him? Because the other players are jealous of his combat worthiness? That is not a good reason… If I went to war and had the luck of having an ironbreaker by my side, I would praise the gods! Your other players should too.

The Dwarf character's player wants to be a one trick pony, let him be! When battles occur, it's his moment to shine, where is the problem here? I GM rank 4 characters and one is an ironbreaker with a ton of super cool combat actions and a two-handed warhammer and a plate. (Ironclad and unstoppable, Coup de grace, and quite a few others…)

He is a Battletech level force in combat. He kicks ass. Way over and beyond anyone else in the party. Nobody complains, because this Dwarf is the reason they are all still alive…

What you must do IMO, is tailor the difficulty of combats to attain these objectives:

1) Give the Dwarf action to boot. Things to hit on. (Sometimes you can just tie him down with a horde of weak creatures, he'll feel his power, but he'll be tied down and stuck; and sometimes give him a big opponent worthy of him, something or someone strong enough to hurt him (knight in plate with a few good actions, Ogre, kight in plate on a horse with a few good actions, squad of halberdiers in full chain using improved guarded position as a unit, or something tricky, like 12 imps that use spells to drive you mad)

2) With the Dwarf quite busy, have a second wave of opponents cause ruckus in the rest of the party. Or have important NPCs be threatened or need to be stopped before they flee. The Dwarf being tied down, it will be up to the rest of the party to save the day.

3) Let the Dwarf kick ass like he should, it's his speciality. My players play it out this way. One has another weaker Dwarf. He's the squire of sorts for the ironbreaker. The human rogues and fighters just play it like it is a known fact that Dwarfs are more powerful fighters on average. That's the case in WFRP lore. Dwarfs are way better than humans one on one, but they are typically severely outnumbered. Dwarfs are powerful fighters, more so than any human. It is NORMAL. It is TO BE EXPECTED. They roleplay this with great pleasure.

 

And remember, actions that ignore soak or that affect mental capacities are the Ironbreaker's banes.


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