Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Can your Big Bad Villain take 5 Solars at once?

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

  • Originally posted by Lanic View Post
    As far as I understand, you really mostly want Solars to be simply the best and it's less important what the actual power levels are. Let's take this to extreme: if we tell a story about a boxer, or a physicist who is literally and by far the best in the history, but set in the real world, where the said boxer can be gunshot and the physicist will simply not be able to build time machine, then nevertheless, these are deeply "Solar" characters and right inspirations of how Solars should function.

    Am I right? I'm asking, because this seems a good test case: I would distinctly not tend to think of these characters as essentially Solar. For me, Solar phycisist is the one who actually managed to build a time-machine, even if his main competitor did that already 20 years ago and better.
    Nailed it.

    Being a Solar doesn't mean you get everything you want. No time machines.

    It means you're the best equipped to get what you want.

    I think your "boxer getting shot" and "physicist who can't build a time machine" are an excellent illustration, by the way.

    Reed Richards is a Solar.
    Viktor Von Doom is an Infernal.


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

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Lioness View Post
      Anyway, what I meant by this, because I think I could've been clearer in expressing the idea.
      In theory you could boost every attack a charm like Iron Whirlwind Attack gives you with a full excellency, it's just ruiniously expensive but if there's a significant essence pool disparity between you and the people you're fighting you can create cascades of attacks where the purpose isn't to kill or harm them but to grind them down to a point where their subsequent participation in the combat will be limited but yours won't be.
      Could you elaborate on that?

      If I undertand correctly, you say: even with RAW charms, an Essence 6 with multi-attack charms is a serious threat, since they can launch a series of decisive attacks with the purpose of inflicting wound penalties and this would work due to mote economy. (And this possibly could be amplified in presence of extra Initiative tracks.) Is that correct?

      From my limited experience, it seems to me that even if your are Essence 6, then mote economy is not really a game changer. You are at most ~50 motes ahead of Essence 1 characters. This means that if they are >2 of them, the mote economy is on their side (by which I mean that they can freely spend as much motes boosting their Defense, as the opponent did boosting attack pool and some of them still will have reserves to boost their attacks).

      Do you find it different? Or did I miss your point?

      JohnDoe244 Yeah, that's the point at which we have agree to disagree
      Last edited by Lanic; 02-12-2020, 08:49 PM.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Lanic View Post
        Do you find it different? Or did I miss your point?
        I believe Lioness might have been saying that even if you max out your defense an elder Exalt can still hit you, and doing so with a boosted decisive attack in the first turn of combat leaves you with either people down and out of the fight, or wound penalties.

        Depending, of course, on if the whole party picked up like 5 ox-bodies and the charms to ignore wound penalties. which again brings us back around to what kind of party is facing off against this elder.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Lanic View Post

          Could you elaborate on that?

          If I undertand correctly, you say: even with RAW charms, an Essence 6 with multi-attack charms is a serious threat, since they can launch a series of decisive attacks with the purpose of inflicting wound penalties and this would work due to mote economy. (And this possibly could be amplified in presence of extra Initiative tracks.) Is that correct?

          From my limited experience, it seems to me that even if your are Essence 6, then mote economy is not really a game changer. You are at most ~50 motes ahead of Essence 1 characters. This means that if they are >2 of them, the mote economy is on their side (by which I mean that they can freely spend as much motes boosting their Defense, as the opponent did boosting attack pool and some of them still will have reserves to boost their attacks).

          Do you find it different? Or did I miss your point?
          Oh, hang on.

          The purpose of the extra actions isn’t to distribute the attacks evenly among combatants, it’s to force the PC or PCs most likely to end the fight by round 2 onto the backfoot.

          That’s either going to happen via wound penalties or because they spend so many motes on defence that it puts their doom combo off the table for a few rounds. Yes, certainly an exertion like that isn’t nothing to the boss they’ll come out of it way more ready to keep fighting than the characters they’re doing it to because they have more motes.

          Now either someone else has to step up or at least hold off the boss while their heavy hitters adapt to compensate by idling long enough to regain motes and/or taking aim actions to offset wound penalties.


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

          Comment


          • Upon reflection, this actually highlights the main shortcoming I see of action economy as a solution.

            Giving the boss multiple initiative tracks because they're in a 5 on 1 fight comes with an expectation that they'll distribute the attacks fairly evenly when the PCs are almost certainly not contributing equally towards the potential curbstomping.

            The alternative strategy of frequently giving the Dawn Caste (or equivalent) the boss' undivided attention for however many attacks they make is its own potential problem because that highlights the disparity between prominent NPCs and the PCs.


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

            Comment


            • Yes I think as well that multiple actions is the less elegant way to approach this problem. I for example line Grod' suggestion to give the ennemy bonus initiative each round propirtionnately to the number of enemies or something like that


              My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

              Comment


              • It's difficult to do other ways as well. If they don't have enough soak, and really with artifact weapons they also need post-soak damage reducers, they're going to be permanently crashed. On the other hand if you do give them enough Defense or damage reducers to weather those storms then most turns are going to end up being everyone attacking the big bad to no effect, which isn't really a fun way to play it.

                Especially with the disparity in combat power. I ran a 3e game with a Twilight artist, Eclipse bureaucrat, Night acrobat, and a Dawn MA-ist and Dawn Brawler. The big final fight I came up with there had a bunch of support for the Essence 5 Infernal that was facing off against them. It worked pretty well, unfortunately the party focused on taking out the support guys first after which there was about two rounds of the non-dawns doing basically nothing to the jacked up Infernal.

                Comment


                • Seems true that X initiative tracks for boss *wouldn't* in practice get dedicated each to X opponents.. But that's sort of true if you're fighting a group of enemies as well, isn't it? The group of enemies would try and go all-in against their best opponent too?

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                    All good. I like Scene long Reflexive Clashes.
                    Yeah I like Clashes. More dynamic than static Parry, get the whole party feeling like they're doing something without ganging up on one character.

                    Reflexively Clashes are RAW a power available to the PCs so you don't need to bolt on a new powerlevel on the game.

                    Reflexive counter attacks are also good for ebb and flow.
                    Last edited by JohnDoe244; Yesterday, 03:43 PM.


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

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
                      Seems true that X initiative tracks for boss *wouldn't* in practice get dedicated each to X opponents.. But that's sort of true if you're fighting a group of enemies as well, isn't it? The group of enemies would try and go all-in against their best opponent too?
                      Exactly.

                      Lioness I think that the problem is that whoever your circle is fighting, it is almost always the optimal solution to focus your fire and take them one by one. Of course, this holds both ways. It's almost always the optimal strategy focus your fire and make your hits actually influence your enemies' capabilities.

                      In defense of Initiative Tracks as the solution, I would says this: If you think that n identical Abyssals is reasonable challenge to your circle, then one of these Abyssals with n Initiative Tracks should be generally less challenging. You now have the same base numbers of attacks, but dramatically fewer motes (so you cannot infuse your every attack with full excellency, and your players can), you have only one health track (so your players instead of killing one of n Abyssals could perform exactly the same actions and kill you instead).

                      Of course, you could try to split said n Abyssals, but similarly, you can try to attacks your n-Abyssal-package-in-one-enemy from some distance, so it's not obvious to me that here you would get any advantage either.

                      Generally, you also don't assume that all n tracks will act before your players (that would be equivalent to all n Abyssals acting before your players, so they would be pretty much hopeless). So, if your enemy's tracks and the players are reasonably interwoven, then the players will in general be able to empty a couple of them each round, so those n tracks are in general never able to concentrate on one player. I mean, you could put all your resources trying to kill one man, but in general you would also like to make sure that no one around sits on tons of Initiative, so you will spread out those attacks.

                      Much depends on the specific implementation of multiple tracks, so let me stick to the one that I actually proposed here. These tracks are expensive to maintain. You commit motes to open them, you pay willpower to open them. Once you make them empty, they are closed and you need to pay once more to reopen them. If you make a decisive attack, you cannot combine this Initiative in one attack. You either make withering attacks or decisive, so in general you cannot sit on a ton of Initiative and repeat decisives.

                      I believe that this is really reasonably balanced. I don't want to make strong claims because this solution needs clear playtest. But I don't think that trying to focus on one combatant would be close to the optimal strategy.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
                        Seems true that X initiative tracks for boss *wouldn't* in practice get dedicated each to X opponents.. But that's sort of true if you're fighting a group of enemies as well, isn't it? The group of enemies would try and go all-in against their best opponent too?
                        The key difference is that X opponents are in fact X opponents. They don't normally have to worry about a single powerful opponent killing them all at once like the boss does because they have seperate health level tracks, there's a few exceptions such as Death of Obsidian Butterflies or Heaven Sword Flash but by crowding in on one character you would ironically create the situation where your group of enemies can all be targeted at once.


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

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Lanic View Post
                          Exactly.

                          Lioness I think that the problem is that whoever your circle is fighting, it is almost always the optimal solution to focus your fire and take them one by one. Of course, this holds both ways. It's almost always the optimal strategy focus your fire and make your hits actually influence your enemies' capabilities.

                          In defense of Initiative Tracks as the solution, I would says this: If you think that n identical Abyssals is reasonable challenge to your circle, then one of these Abyssals with n Initiative Tracks should be generally less challenging. You now have the same base numbers of attacks, but dramatically fewer motes (so you cannot infuse your every attack with full excellency, and your players can), you have only one health track (so your players instead of killing one of n Abyssals could perform exactly the same actions and kill you instead).

                          Of course, you could try to split said n Abyssals, but similarly, you can try to attacks your n-Abyssal-package-in-one-enemy from some distance, so it's not obvious to me that here you would get any advantage either.

                          Generally, you also don't assume that all n tracks will act before your players (that would be equivalent to all n Abyssals acting before your players, so they would be pretty much hopeless). So, if your enemy's tracks and the players are reasonably interwoven, then the players will in general be able to empty a couple of them each round, so those n tracks are in general never able to concentrate on one player. I mean, you could put all your resources trying to kill one man, but in general you would also like to make sure that no one around sits on tons of Initiative, so you will spread out those attacks.

                          Much depends on the specific implementation of multiple tracks, so let me stick to the one that I actually proposed here. These tracks are expensive to maintain. You commit motes to open them, you pay willpower to open them. Once you make them empty, they are closed and you need to pay once more to reopen them. If you make a decisive attack, you cannot combine this Initiative in one attack. You either make withering attacks or decisive, so in general you cannot sit on a ton of Initiative and repeat decisives.

                          I believe that this is really reasonably balanced. I don't want to make strong claims because this solution needs clear playtest. But I don't think that trying to focus on one combatant would be close to the optimal strategy.
                          N discrete Abyssals can be split up and forced to spread their attacks. An Abyssal who's really N Abyssalets in a Soulsteel trenchcoat can't.

                          Warning: Personal Opinions follow! The idea of splitting fire like that also flies in the face of my personal sensibilities. I believe that it is my duty as GM to first establish a world that is suitable for the PCs to exist in (eg, the enemies likely to be fought aren't pushovers and aren't instant death) and then step from my fair-and-balanced chair over to my be-the-world chair. I believe that it's an outrage for me to deliberately do something a NPC wouldn't do, such as having a highly skilled combatant take deliberately bad actions. It makes me feel like I've crossed from "role-playing game" to "roll-playing game", that I'm deliberately playing enemies "dumb" so they lose instead of playing enemies the way those enemies should act based on their personalities and experiences (ie, role-playing them).

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Lanic View Post
                            I believe that this is really reasonably balanced. I don't want to make strong claims because this solution needs clear playtest. But I don't think that trying to focus on one combatant would be close to the optimal strategy.
                            I could run some fights like that in the Arena, but at initial glance you're still unprepared for 5 dedicated combat Solars. Even at Essence 2 and without a combat Supernal you can throw out attacks in the range of 30-35 dice, in combination with chaining attacks or multi-attacks. If you even want a hope of blocking that attack you need to spend a lot of Essence, which you need to do 4 times...and then the Dawn gets to go.

                            So you're probably looking at giving it something like 300 motes, and something like Legendary Size, so immune to Onslaught penalties and not counting as Crashed unless all 5 of his initiative tracks are crashed. He'll also need...I'm gonna say at least 60-70 health levels. A very focused Dawn can easily dish out 30 damage in a single turn with his starting initiative, but if the enemy is going full excellency defense some of those attacks will end up missing.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                              I could run some fights like that in the Arena, but at initial glance you're still unprepared for 5 dedicated combat Solars. Even at Essence 2 and without a combat Supernal you can throw out attacks in the range of 30-35 dice, in combination with chaining attacks or multi-attacks. If you even want a hope of blocking that attack you need to spend a lot of Essence, which you need to do 4 times...and then the Dawn gets to go.

                              So you're probably looking at giving it something like 300 motes, and something like Legendary Size, so immune to Onslaught penalties and not counting as Crashed unless all 5 of his initiative tracks are crashed. He'll also need...I'm gonna say at least 60-70 health levels. A very focused Dawn can easily dish out 30 damage in a single turn with his starting initiative, but if the enemy is going full excellency defense some of those attacks will end up missing.
                              Actually, I'd appreciate that, because I'm clearly biased. I'd sign up for two fights.

                              1) Say, an Essence 5 apocryphal Solar with the following apocryphals: Steel Faster Than Thought times 3, Master's Blade Strikes, Unsurpassed Battle Awarness, Finesse of Supreme Balance, some reasonable choice of regular Melee charms (definitely basic defense charms(, Thunderbolt Attack Prana, 3-4 Ox Bodies, maybe some Soak-adder vs 5 Essence 2 Solars, all of which have maxed out stats, two are combat optimised and one of the two is Melee-Supernal. I could bring you a specific list of charms on either side, since choosing them might be a big task in itself.

                              2) An Essence 3 apocryphal Solar with Steel Faster Thought + a standard choice of Melee charms + Thunderbolt Attack Prana vs two Essence 1 Solars, one of which is combat optimised and one of which ha maxed-out stats.

                              vwllss trnt prncss I think that in this case splitting fire would actually be optimal. And when fighting 5 Abyssals, you could theoretically split them, but how do you actually do that if they want to stick together and focus their fire? It's far from trivial. I mean, they will typically want to split and not let your archer sit on a pile of Initiative, but this is the exact same reason why a single opponent would like to split their attacks.
                              Last edited by Lanic; Yesterday, 04:58 PM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Lanic View Post

                                Actually, I'd appreciate that, because I'm clearly biased. I'd sign up for two fights.

                                1) Say, an Essence 5 apocryphal Solar with the following apocryphals: Steel Faster Than Thought times 3, Master's Blade Strikes, Unsurpassed Battle Awarness, Finesse of Supreme Balance, some reasonable choice of regular Melee charms (definitely basic defense charms(, Thunderbolt Attack Prana, 3-4 Ox Bodies, maybe some Soak-adder vs 5 Essence 2 Solars, all of which have maxed out stats, two are combat optimised and one of the two is Melee-Supernal. I could bring you a specific list of charms on either side, since choosing them might be a big task in itself.
                                Do technically non-combat abilities like Survival count as a combat focused ability due to the familiar boosting? Also how un-focused are the ones who aren't combat optimised? Since they're Essence 2 with like 22-26 charms can I give them around 10 combat ones.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X