Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Trivial Opponents, What’s the Deal?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Under what circumstances could you face three trivial opponents rather than a battle group?


    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

    My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
      Under what circumstances could you face three trivial opponents rather than a battle group?
      For me I just never thought that a battlegroup could be so small. Like six was the minimum for what I pictured a BG to be. Mechanically though it makes things so much nicer.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
        Under what circumstances could you face three trivial opponents rather than a battle group?
        Often I do so to make fights more interesting, both mechanically and narratively. I mean its no secret I think battle groups need revamping, but let’s put that aside for now.

        I think Lea has a good definition for insignificant opponents but use a different one. For me an insignificant opponent is someone in which virtually any player at the table will win against given time. Such characters can be run through the default combat system (using active initiative tracks) but I often consider this a waste of a players time. There is absolutely no question that the player is going to win against a single light infantry unit. There is no question they can likely win against three at once. If we throw something in like a Dragonblooded commander into the mix then the focus isn’t on these infantrymen, it’s on the Dragonblooded. Forcing a player to spend motes on charms to get rid of enemies faster is a good thing, but forcing a player to need to use a decisive attack in order to get rid of one of these infantryman and reset isn’t. You can make a case of risk vs reward, but for me I only see it as a negative delay. The only thing its serving is a tax for wanting to fight the commander and extending the length of the fight.

        This is why the insignificant opponent is useful. The soldiers will go down quickly, it makes your player feel like a fucking badass, it caps the amount of initiative without farming concerns/issues*, and it makes them far more durable than a singular group. The last point is most notable as while you can use a super single hit death combo on a battle group, its not so good on single insignificant opponents. Go ahead, roll your 30 initiative attack, but you are aware that dude only has 7 levels of health right?

        Ideally you want to design these insignificant opponents so that while they’re designed to go down fast, but they’re still some sort of threat. They’ll force the players to either waste some resources in order to KO them. You either spend time (slow route), motes, or special charms that are tailored to fight multiple opponents (Often I make specific charms that deal with these types of opponents specifically or have an enhanced effect against such opponents).

        Using it at first was a bit strange, but players quickly got used to as it allowed them to show off in some scenes while I saved active initiative users for scenes that had more dramatic impact.

        The only change I would make at all is the one I mentioned: Let insignificant opponents deal only half health level damage in crash (rounded up). This makes soak incredibly useful still but gives more assistance to those with lower soak builds just in case the freak occurrence of an enemy getting 9 successes happens

        *I know the initiative rules state “Don’t let PC’s do this if breaks the enjoyment/tone of the game”, but the issue is that you could probably stunt or come up with in character ways about how each of the guards get tangled up over each other before using it as some sort of angle to attack the DB commander.


        Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
        Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Sandact6
          The soldiers will go down quickly, it makes your player feel like a fucking badass, it caps the amount of initiative without farming concerns/issues*, and it makes them far more durable than a singular group. The last point is most notable as while you can use a super single hit death combo on a battle group, its not so good on single insignificant opponents. Go ahead, roll your 30 initiative attack, but you are aware that dude only has 7 levels of health right?


          These priorities seem to directly contradict each other. Are they intended to go down fast, or are they not worth using up the Initiative to direct decisive attacks at?

          I'll be honest, your whole post seems very rambling in a way that makes it hard to figure out what you're actually saying.


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

          Comment


          • #20
            “Not everyone on a battlefield is necessarily a combatant. Fights sometimes break out when individuals are present who have no meaningful combat capabilities and no real interest in fighting. Such individuals are considered bystanders, or noncombatants. For the most part, they're scenery—screaming crowds, panicked party-goers, confused shoppers in a Nexus market. Most notably, noncombatants have a permanent Initiative rating of 0 and cannot yield Initiative when targeted by withering attacks; if it becomes important to resolve an attack against a noncombatant for some reason, treat them as a Size 0 battle group—withering attacks simply inflict damage directly to their Health Track. Generally, though, this shouldn't be necessary—bystanders are mostly there to provide stunt opportunities for the players' characters and their opponents.”

            Y’all will notice there’s no mention in there of resolving attacks by non-combatants. They have no meaningful combat skill and no interest in fighting. They’re Size 0 battle groups who yield no initiative when struck for purposes of measuring attacks against them. There’s no rules for resolving attacks made by them, because they can’t attack.

            I was there during the discussions when those rules were worked out.

            (The problem with rigging it so everyone weaker than the PCs is a trivial opponent is it means then here we have a game where you’re supposed to be playing PCs who feel powerful, and a system that theoretically does that, but then you never play out a fight unless it’s one where the PCs are outmatched? That fucking sucks!)
            Last edited by Stephen Lea Sheppard; 12-21-2018, 05:57 AM.

            Comment


            • #21
              Even without that level of clarification, it would seem to me to be easier to approach the "treat non-combatants as size 0 battle groups as necessary" thing with the Orichalcum Rule, rather than devising an entirely different method of mechanical resolution.

              I.E. If a certain reading of the rules says that the bag of rats is formidable to a crashed Exalt, and the idea of a bag of rats being formidable against an Exalt doesn't make a lick of sense, then don't use the rules like that.


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                These priorities seem to directly contradict each other. Are they intended to go down fast, or are they not worth using up the Initiative to direct decisive attacks at?

                I'll be honest, your whole post seems very rambling in a way that makes it hard to figure out what you're actually saying.[/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][/LEFT]
                It does sound a bit contradictory, but that's because I save them for different purposes. As I said before I think a size 1 battle group goes down way too fast for a group of five men. If you're looking for that then good, but for me it has all the grandeur of a wet fart. If something on the battlefield is there to essentially take one to three hits before going down then why even bother.

                If you broke those five soldiers up instead into each being an insignificant opponent things become a little more interesting in my opinion. They, at minimum, need 5 attacks to get through because there are five guards. If you want to speed that up you'd need to buy certain charms such as multiattacks and AoE, which makes player purchases feel worth it. However each individual guard is designed to go down quickly as you only need withering damage to kill them, not decisive. You don't need to reset every single time you want to KO one of them.

                "Why don't you use a bigger battle group?"

                There are times when that makes no sense whatsoever. If you're fighting a teahouse you're not expecting an army nearby to be protecting the person you're supposed to meet inside. Usually you'll be seeing him with only a single unit assigned to guard him.


                Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  "Why don't you use a bigger battle group?"

                  There are times when that makes no sense whatsoever. If you're fighting a teahouse you're not expecting an army nearby to be protecting the person you're supposed to meet inside. Usually you'll be seeing him with only a single unit assigned to guard him.
                  I think maybe what you could do is have like, the Dynast, a magically powerful bodyguard, like maybe another DB, and then a size 1 battlegroup of elite drill soldiers in Heavy Armor. They’d have 11 soak, 7 parry and 8 health levels technically. You could even do something like the Brides of Ahlat do and give them a potential for of might, bringing that parry to 8. Then with stunts and liberal use of willpower, they’re fighting anathema so they won’t be leaving anything in the tank, you could get a foe who’s dangerous enough to actually require some mote expenditure and might not even die in one hit.

                  Their attacks wouldn’t be that easy to ignore either, especially if the Dynast or the bodyguard is commanding them. With a free 2 bonus dice from command rolls and bonuses from size, and again willpower, they might get to the point where even the dawn will want to send some motes on Defense.

                  Also since their attacks hit everyone in the tea house the eclipse with a base evasion of 4 is almost certainly going to get smacked around at least a little unless you deal with the BG fast.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Ok I really apologize for this. My phone must be messing with forum software, but I dont want to delete this, so sorry about the horrible formatting.

                    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                    I think maybe what you could do is have like, the Dynast, a magically powerful bodyguard, like maybe another DB, and then a size 1 battlegroup of elite drill soldiers in Heavy Armor. They’d have 11 soak, 7 parry and 8 health levels technically. You could even do something like the Brides of Ahlat do and give them a potential for of might, bringing that parry to 8. Then with stunts and liberal use of willpower, they’re fighting anathema so they won’t be leaving anything in the tank, you could get a foe who’s dangerous enough to actually require some mote expenditure and might not even die in one hit.

                    Their attacks wouldn’t be that easy to ignore either, especially if the Dynast or the bodyguard is commanding them. With a free 2 bonus dice from command rolls and bonuses from size, and again willpower, they might get to the point where even the dawn will want to send some motes on Defense.

                    Also since their attacks hit everyone in the tea house the eclipse with a base evasion of 4 is almost certainly going to get smacked around at least a little unless you deal with the BG fast.


                    First I feel this is kind making some big assumptions. You’re acting like Heavy armour elite troops are the norm across Creation when medium infantry with buff jackets are far more of a norm. If I was meeting with something like an enemy general then I can make that assumption, but otherwise unless the Dragonblooded felt like showing off I don’t think he’d be doing that. Secondly I didn’t even mention the Exalt type. What if you’re a Dragonblooded? It doesn’t have to be Anathema. In fact if the players are labelled Anathema then I *really* doubt that Dragonblooded would be meeting you in a teahouse. The only logical step I see that happening in, if the Dragonblooded knows your Anathema, is you’re either launching a surprise assault or going in loud. If the Dragonblooded doesn’t even know rumors of Anathema in the area then I’d consider going on a Tyrant Lizard safari during their mating season slathered in BBQ sauce. You have about the same odds of survival.

                    *


                    But let’s play along with these assumptions.

                    *


                    I’m not going to deny that a group of heavily armed soldiers like that are scary, especially if they get an attack off. The keyword there is “if”. In nearly every game I’ve played in that battle group is dead before they can even act as PC’s force fire upon it, often with the two heaviest hitters in the group blowing it apart immediately. This may be a personal thing, but size 1 battle groups don’t have near enough durability for my uses.* Even if they DO survive into the next round one player will often blast their defense high enough to the point where being hit is incredibly unlikely and then finish off a severely weakened battle group. The only times I’ve seen a small battle group go before PC’s again is if they got an high initiative from join battle in the 8-ish range. This isn’t something like a 2.5e Chungarian game either, players just typically use their excellency and basic damage enhancing charms. The only thing this battle group accomplished was to be a speed bump on the way to the infinitely more interesting Dragonblooded (Or whatever magical bodyguard they may have) we’re going to face. If it was a Size 2 battle group then might’ve actually lasted until the next turn.

                    *


                    Now if we had each of these guards be singular opponents counted as insignificant? Things become tricker. The entire group would often need to become engaged on these things. A singular or even duo of characters would still be able to, but without specific charms dealing with multiple opponents then it’s going to take longer as your attacks cannot exceed a certain damage value because each guard only has a finite amount of health.* I can also do some interesting things regarding them as well, maybe they’re a group of soldiers who are trained to operate together and have the wolf pack merit? Little interesting details like that. To me this playstyle is interesting as the guards pose more of a threat beyond raw numbers. There’s some sort of dynamism in play where you know (or very quickly learn) these guys are good at coordinating their attacks, so does one player risk drawing their attention so other players can be freed up or do the players try to split their attention up so no one player is surrounded by them?

                    *


                    I mean we could bring in a pack of wolves, but I like to give mortals some nice things. Or at least things that make the players consider choices like these.

                    *


                    “But insignificant opponents are assumed to run away!”

                    *


                    I agree with Lea on this. Exalted people are not DnD monsters. If a Size 1 battle group of infantry see a Solar then likely they’re going to run the fuck away. The only times they will stay is if they’re loyal to their goals/master until death which, let’s face it, is going to happen when they decide to focus on you. In 2e lore it was said that a mortal’s average lifespan in combat vs an Exalt was several seconds, I feel this is pretty spot on in 3e.

                    *


                    But if you’re keeping things under wraps and they ‘merely’ assume you’re an incredibly skilled mortal? There’s no reason for them to immediately start running for the hills until you start flaring. Hell even a gang of hothead guards with their Dragonblooded benefactor may believe they stand a chance against another Dragonblooded.

                    I also admit I don't give NPC's battle groups stunt bonuses or WP burns.
                    Last edited by Sandact6; 12-21-2018, 03:43 PM.


                    Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                    Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post

                      Snip snip
                      I actually think you might be selling the Realm a bit short. I do it all the time too, I think it’s my innate GM senses telling me not to be an asshole and do unfair things to the players that lead me to being more than fair in not always the best ways. Like making a DnD Kraken encounter where the players just walk into it’s watery cave and slug it out in a brawl. Krakens are int 22 with entire nations of fanatically loyal followers, just walking up to one and pumping it full of arrows in 2 turns is unsatisfying and a disservice to the monster.

                      Now, don’t anyone misunderstand, I love watching my players smash through some encounters and have an easy time showing off. Sometimes, though, you want Luke vs Vader at Cloud City, and that means having a Vader who doesn’t get cut in half in the first swing and Luke strutting off whistling Dixie because he’s awesome like that.

                      I don’t like it as a player either. I was in a really short DnD game recently where the big final showdown was against some crazy shadow demon, I was a caster druid, and just for kicks I decided to do nothing but hit things with my stick. Like not cast shillelagh, just use my staff as a beat stick. We ended up winning quite handily, bleh.

                      So that’s why in the next game I run I’m going to try to remember that it’s okay to give myself a stunt bonus, and it’s definitely okay to have a DB spend some willpower every now and then. Especially if he knows he’s fighting a Solar, the most nightmarish fight you could ever pray never to have.


                      Anyway back to the Realm, a lot of Dynasts are wealthy enough to like, give their niece a blue water sailing ship as a graduation present, I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable for them to have at least half a dozen elite bodyguards. Not like every essence 1 fresh graduate, but most important ones for sure. Looking at the escorts for the DBs written up in the book gives some good examples. Almost all of them have several elite bodyguards, and many have additional small battlegroups with elite drill, demons and dragonblooded allies.

                      Its also worth doing, if the dawn spends 18 motes and his first attack smashing the battlegroup, I imagine the DB considers that a win by far, even if the group doesn’t get to go.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Personally I've found the provision on page 193 good enough in regard to combatants who are hopelessly out their depth but not quite Trival-

                        "However, if the Storyteller decides that a Crashed character has no hope of recovery against his opponents, and that his continued presence will only serve to give the players a “free” source of Initiative, she can declare the Crashed character defeated the next time he suffers a successful withering attack."

                        If I had a player who was really taking liberties with how far they could crash mortals I might consider letting them be declared 'defeated' the instant they're crashed and yielding nothing extra for reducing their initiative past 0 (like wiping out a battle group), but in the default state of game such a ruling feels a bit like coming down on the players for something they're not even doing.


                        Onyx Path Forum Moderator
                        Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          OK I'm home for a bit so I can expand on some additional points.

                          I know and sometimes do unfair encounters on my PC's. Sometimes I throw an opponent that's straight up nearly impossible for them to beat at the current moment in the game with enough foreshadowing so that OOC they know what they're in for. The the crux I use for have for making such guards insignificant opponents is that often they're just a time sink. A player would be able to crush one of the guards in a 1v1 match easily (Hell, possibly even 3v1). The only thing I've experienced such fights doing is prolonging them to annoying/uncomfortable lengths whereas size 1 battle groups don't last long at all. Also while you can have a defense 10 battle group, I often don't encourage such things. Players want to feel progression in a fight, and for me having the raw visceral feeling of killing or nearly killing an enemy gives them a sense of accomplishment, and assuming everyone's combat pools are 'roughly' on par (No more than 3 or more dice) then everyone should be able to feel like they're contributing something in some extent, rather than asking why they bother against a defense 10 battle group. You don't want challenges based on raw numbers, you want challenges to make players think but at the same time not devolve into a game of "Guess what the GM is thinking?" Its a careful balance point.

                          tl;dr version: You want to aim for progression and accomplishment in fights.

                          Secondly, again, unless one is a major city or current out on an active war I don't see anyone bringing more than a size 1 battle group of guards along with them or at the last not all of them at once. Likely they'll be in order areas in the city or taking their shifts off. Nearby in case things become bad, but still not all in the same location.

                          I will also say Lioness' option is really good, but often things probably should be made clear by the ST. If its true against a wide spectrum of opponents players would be very careful in how to apply their decisive attacks against such opponents.


                          Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                          Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                            I will also say Lioness' option is really good, but often things probably should be made clear by the ST. If its true against a wide spectrum of opponents players would be very careful in how to apply their decisive attacks against such opponents.
                            Yeah, you generally don't want to police how your group uses the initiative system and that rule is best used for when you want to hurry things along.


                            Onyx Path Forum Moderator
                            Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X