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How to determine conflict rank

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The NPC’s in the book have estimated conflict ranks to determine how dangerous they are in physical and intrigue scenes. If I create an npc, for example a “Hopping Vampire” and stat him out, how would I figure out his Conflict ranks? 

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There isn't an easy answer, but theoretically a group of rank 1 NPCs should put up a fair fight against a party of a similar number of school rank 1 PCs.

Short of running a few play-tests, the best suggestion I can give is to compare to existing NPCs and play the 'better than/worse than' game.

It's only a rough guide at best anyway; after all, a group of 4 school rank 1 bushi will go through a quartet of rank 1 military adversaries like a blender whilst courtiers will really struggle.

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Yeah, I was hoping for a math answer. Although, I was kind of surprised how powerful groups on rank 1 minions actually are. A group of 4 goblins assisting each other to make a single attack and activating their Unsightly Rabble power is devastatingly powerful. 

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10 hours ago, atrophy said:

Yeah, I was hoping for a math answer. Although, I was kind of surprised how powerful groups on rank 1 minions actually are. A group of 4 goblins assisting each other to make a single attack and activating their Unsightly Rabble power is devastatingly powerful. 

It is, in fairness, 4 opponents, each supposedly a fair match for a rank 1 character, ganging up on someone. Assistance is very powerful - Ashigaru with Rank Formation are even scarier.

If you want the D&D-esque world of treasure-dispensing cardboard cutout bad guys, you need to either use a different system or start with much more powerful characters (Fate Of The Realm campaigns start with big chunks of XP, titles and free nemurani 'magic items')

Purely mathematical calibration of enemies never works well because the core idea of the system is to figure out how many PCs the NPC (or a given group of NPCs) can take on.

Since PCs are not created equal in martial ability, and even two bushi are not equal ( a fire/air-focused bushi is generally better at engaging a single 'big guy' whilst an earth-heavy bushi with high endurance and resistance will take on big mobs of weak minions better), that can only ever be a vague indicator.

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3 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

It is, in fairness, 4 opponents, each supposedly a fair match for a rank 1 character, ganging up on someone. Assistance is very powerful - Ashigaru with Rank Formation are even scarier.

If you want the D&D-esque world of treasure-dispensing cardboard cutout bad guys, you need to either use a different system or start with much more powerful characters (Fate Of The Realm campaigns start with big chunks of XP, titles and free nemurani 'magic items')

Purely mathematical calibration of enemies never works well because the core idea of the system is to figure out how many PCs the NPC (or a given group of NPCs) can take on.

Since PCs are not created equal in martial ability, and even two bushi are not equal ( a fire/air-focused bushi is generally better at engaging a single 'big guy' whilst an earth-heavy bushi with high endurance and resistance will take on big mobs of weak minions better), that can only ever be a vague indicator.

I feel Air is the best against packs of minions.

And Earth better against one big bad (who probably have over 50% chance to crit you). It does depend on their weapon though.

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17 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

I feel Air is the best against packs of minions.

And Earth better against one big bad (who probably have over 50% chance to crit you). It does depend on their weapon though.

+1 TN to hit is nice but massed assistance from 3-4 dudes is generally better than a +1 ring, +1 skill increase you might get for swapping to an elite opponent - mobs hit pretty easily.  I will concede (depending on the opponent) that being able to fight effectively from earth stance is good against opponents likely to critical strike you (at least, those with high deadliness weapons).

Still, I don't think it specifically matters, the point is that all PCs - even all Bushi - of the same rank are not equal in combat ability, and are not even equal against all 'styles' of combat opponent, so conflict rank is a rough guide at best.

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

+1 TN to hit is nice but massed assistance from 3-4 dudes is generally better than a +1 ring, +1 skill increase you might get for swapping to an elite opponent - mobs hit pretty easily.  I will concede (depending on the opponent) that being able to fight effectively from earth stance is good against opponents likely to critical strike you (at least, those with high deadliness weapons).

Still, I don't think it specifically matters, the point is that all PCs - even all Bushi - of the same rank are not equal in combat ability, and are not even equal against all 'styles' of combat opponent, so conflict rank is a rough guide at best.

oh yeah, conflict guide is loose a bit. you need to test your players against weak opponents first see how they do.

the "assistance/group" thing can be very overpowering though. basically becoming stronger than an adversary.
i don't like to use the group rule (nor do I think it is necessary with my 3 players). but I could eventually use it when they rank up to make minions a threat again by pairing them up for example.

on another note, playing this game with more than 3 players must be very difficult. i feel this is a game for 2-3 players at max, more than that and it is hard to move the story forward as everything takes too long and there is too many moving parts.

Edited by Avatar111

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