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How 2 God Fite: Making Single Enemies Work

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  • How 2 God Fite: Making Single Enemies Work

    The lone boss monster is both a staple of fiction, and incredibly hard to do well in tabletop games. That said, I've made them work in other systems, and I (and my group) are not above playing with the rules to keep things fun. I'd love some feedback on the super-Merit I'm working on...

    Epic Foe: This guy is crazy deadly. His badassery gives him a bunch of special stuff:
    • Double Initiative: He rolls Join Battle twice, with each representing an entirely separate turn and initiative track (like how SPSitV works). Withering attacks against him subtract from whichever track is currently higher. If both tracks are crashed at the same time, he loses the benefit of this ability until he either rerolls Join Battle or deals at least 4 health levels of damage to a PC. He regains motes and resets onslaught penalties at the start of both turns.
    • Outnumbered, Shmoutnumbered: At the start of each round, both tracks gain initiative equal to the number of players in the fight.
    • Precise Decisive: When making Decisive attacks, he can use as much or as little of his initiative as he wants. He doesn't rest unless the loss would bring him to ini 3 or below.
    The first bullet is to offset the action economy; the second is to keep his initiative from inevitably spiraling downward; the third is so that I can make decisive attacks when sitting at high ini without worrying about one-shotting characters.
    Last edited by Grod_the_giant; 12-29-2019, 06:25 PM.

  • #2
    All good. I like Scene long Reflexive Clashes.

    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.


    • #3
      This seems pretty sensible. I like how Double Initiative is able to be shut down, albeit with some difficulty. Precise Decisive is also good. It feels like this setup means that the big boss can more feasibly "afford" to be hit with Withering attacks without being a constant pushover, so PCs can still be reaping good Initiative returns even as the boss continues to be threatening.

      How does this interact with Defense resetting? Does the boss's Defense only refresh on its first action in a round, or does it refresh on both its actions?

      Abyssals: Whom Death Has Called, a PEACH-as-heck attempt to make an Abyssal 3E holdover.

      Where I try to make Artifacts. When I finish them I'll probably post them in the Artifact Workshop thread so people can help me hammer them into shape.


      • #4
        Hmm, forgot to mention that-- yes, onslaught penalties and mote regeneration happen on both turns.


        • #5
          Good ideas I like them thanks !

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          • #6
            In DnD 5e design circles there's a term called "Two Snakes" (or some version thereof) where you make a monster that is actually 2 snakes, with 2 attacks, 2 healthpools, 2 initives, etc, but just one body. Then when Snake 1 takes enough damage, it "dies" and the boss gets weakened. No Rollover damage. This way the fight is still dynamic and exciting but there's real progress made in the fight, and characters can easily tell they are having an effect.

            So let's make 1 Lunar or Solar or whatever, Choose some charms and stats, and then run 3 of them in combat- Initiative and Health and Motes and whatever. All Damage goes to the first one. Then when it dies, take it's initiative and mote pool and health track away and now you have 2 fresh enemies to fight. it's a pretty easy way for ST's to avoid the dread Action Economy Nova Spike.

            "Lair actions" also work. They are essentially making the combat arena a character with a turn, like a volcano getting hotter or a storms producing Giant Waves. I have done stuff like this on Initiative 0 or after every single character has acted. You can either make this a property of the arena, or make it an effect of the Boss, or both. Some examples: Volcano gets hotter, Waves Crash, Lighting strikes, boulders fall, buildings collapse, etc.

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            • #7
              I've read that article (though I prefer switching monsters altogether to give the fight multiple phases), and that sort of thing is definitely at the root of my suggestion, but my concern with using the strategy in Ex3 is the way that Initiative is both health and offensive power. In D&D you can let a boss get beat on as much as you want and they're still dangerous; with Ex3 combat, they just wind up circling the drain and never build up enough Initiative to actually hurt someone. And I think it would feel kinda weird if one turn is in a precarious position (Crash) and the other is dominating combat (high Ini); I haven't tried it but I'm concerned that it would strain the fiction of what Initiative represents.

              That said, some sort of hard stop on their health track (whether it's permanently cutting off the extra turn or shifting into a new statblock) might be worth including. I haven't had enough experience to tell how often the round-one alpha strike strategy works out at the table.

              Lair actions are always worth including, but I find them too disconnected from the boss to make it seem like they're the dangerous one.