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How to make a Wyld hunt Incompetent but not too incompetent

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  • How to make a Wyld hunt Incompetent but not too incompetent

    Ive been curious for a while, any idea how to make a wyld hunt that reasonably easy to defeat, in ways that make their mistake shout "Unworldly monks" "Disgraced Scion, trying to cleanse his name" "Ambitious young officer, desperate for glory"

    theirs a thin line between that, and "What the hell is he thinking?"

  • #2
    The last time I did it I had a group of five monks charge into the PCs basically because they thought they were bad enough dudes to kill anathema without clever tricks. They'd only ever heard the stories, and believed their own hype.


    • #3
      See Prince Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender, before he turns good, really the trick is to let them be defeated and able to escape so they can learn from their mistakes and the next time they appear they take aim at the party's weak spot. Have them have skirmishes to test the strength of the Anathema before launching a full scale attack. Basically make them weak, but make them clever, and make them willing to retreat and reorganize. Maybe that weak member of the Wyld Hunt who they defeated comes back later with his elder uncle, or he teams up with a local god the exalts have angered.

      If the question is how to humanize the members of the hunt, maybe give the players a chance to see them in their own world before they meet in combat, either by hearing stories about the hunt members or seeing correspondence from them. Maybe even spying on them from a distance and hearing the old Monk who is hunting them give kind advice to a subordinate who is far from home.

      I get a lot of mileage out of humanizing weak opponents so that the players almost feel bad defeating them.

      Be more Zen


      • #4
        Make them competent, but unprepared. For example, the Wyld Hunt expects to have to deal with a Lunar Anathema, so they bring lots of scouts, trappers, light infantry and survival supplies in order to deal with a beastfolk guerilla, only to end up having to deal with Solars who are not interested in hiding and who are not at all phased by light infantry.

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        • #5
          My suggestion would to be to break their greatest strength: their synergy.

          Dragonbloods are all about cooperation. Individually, they are weak, but together, they can take down monsters. But they have been at the top for so long, they have forgotten who the true enemy is, and are more concerned about their own political struggles and their Civil War that they can't focus on the Anathema in front of them. Have them--not necessarily backstab each other--but more focused, say on *them* slaying the demonic anathema in front of crowd, or not moving out of the way for an advantageous shot of another circle member.

          Make them glory hounds who are self-obsessed, or more worried about the reputation of their family than what they are actually supposed to be doing.

          This has the additional benifits of giving your players a little scare--they look at the dice rolls and realize that if the enemies had gotten their act together, they might have been defeated! As well, it explains why a recurring Dragonblood group would be getting more powerful: they are waking up from their political backbiting to cooperate and actually take down your protagonists, (who, by this point, have gotten more powerful as well.)


          • #6
            Usually I have the players find out about a LBEG causing chaos. Maybe a Chimera is butchering villages, maybe a Deathknight is building an army out of a shadowland, maybe a Raksha is eating people's souls. I try to relate it to the players specific character goals (maybe they've sworn to defeat the Deathknights, maybe it's their home town that's under attack.,, whatever), I make it so the PCs are really motivated to take this Bad Guy out... only when they get there, they find a Wyld Hunt has already taken care of business.

            Maximum carnage. Bodies everywhere. Buildings leveled. Forests burned. Thousands of beast-man corpses, shattered remains of spine trains. When the PCs wander in, it's to the sight of a battle that would have left them totally outclassed. Leave no doubt in the PCs minds: if they had got here before this battle had started, they would now be dead. They came in utterly unprepared for how Bad Ass this Little Bad Evil Guy actually was, but something uber powerful managed to kick ass here.

            And of course, at the epicenter of Ass-Kicking is the bruised and battered remains of the Wyld Hunt. Shattered, exhausted. Depleted of Essence and ablative Mortals.

            This gives you a chance to show the Wyld Hunt as something to be feared, and set up the Hunters as a force for good in the world. Maybe make the PCs think twice about killing the only people taking the fight to the Deathlords or protecting the Threshold from unimaginable horrors.

            But, of course, the Hunt in its battle weary state is no match for the fresh Circle. If it comes down to combat, the Hunt will have to flee. As Bad Ass as they were, they need time to regroup and prepare for a new challenge. Maybe their Houses won't provide reinforcements to them in the field if they do choose to go after the PCs. Maybe the PCs slip away without putting the Hunt on their trail. Maybe the next time they meet, it's only ONE of these Elder Dragonblood and the Circle knows that if they kill him then the rest of the Hunt will ride out in revenge.

            Giving the PCs intelligence about the Hunt also helps. Let them know that an unstoppable army is on the march, but that their supply lines are weak so the PCs can pull of a Bull. Have them spy on the Hunters to learn that they are disgraced scions desperately seeking glory from their actions. That sort of thing.
            Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-18-2014, 08:31 PM.

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


            • #7
              Consider the strenghts of the PCs and design your Wyld Hunt around those strenghts.

              Does one of the PCs have Judge's Ear Technique? Make one of the members of the Wyld Hunt an excellent liar. He can make anyone believe anything... but he cannot beat that Charm.

              Does one of your PCs have a perfect soak? Have one of the members of the Wyld Hunt's favorite tactic be to topple buildings on top of Anathema. It is a tactic that will kill anyone... without an amazing ability to soak.

              Does one of the PCs have a warform capable of flight with high speed and mobility? Give one of the members of the Wyld Hunt Wings of the Raptor and a bow. He would be invicible... to anyone not capable of flying faster than himself.

              These guys are not incompetent, but they were not prepared for the awesomesauce that are the PCs.

              Loch Ness monsters. On vacation. On a pillow.

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              • #8
                If they're green, I would probably build a Wyld Hunt capable of being a major threat, and just run them as not being used to fighting Anathema, both in the sense that it's scary and demoralizing, and in the sense that they don't really know what to expect. (Some baseline Anathema-specific tactics are probably part of the basic package, but there are a lot of nuances that would be lost on the average warrior.)


                • #9
                  Maybe make it so that the Wyld Hunt has personal problems and privately wish the Anathema would just go away so that they can get back to business? Perhaps they are all members of a House who were betrayed by a close ally who has kidnapped someone very important to them, and they can't get down to business until this Anathem is either dead or they can legitimately say that it is beyond their reach.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jutlander View Post
                    Consider the strenghts of the PCs and design your Wyld Hunt around those strenghts . . .These guys are not incompetent, but they were not prepared for the awesomesauce that are the PCs.
                    I dunno how to feel about tailor-built chumps aside from it would just seem too convenient.

                    "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

                    "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo


                    • #11
                      Well for the ambitious officer route you could always go with the hunt being mostly mortal troops the one officer trying to get a head being the only exalt in the group. Heck make it clear that most of his troops are just there to be witnesses when he takes down the exalt himself. It makes him seem personally incompotent (especially if the fight includes multiple exalts on the PC's side) but as long as he lives he'll have a personal grudge against the party and you know future fights won't go as easily.

                      A disgraced scion could just have limited access to resources. So while the scions have skill and are a threat the main advantage the PCs have is just that the force isn't big enough to lock down their options.

                      Another option is just have the PCs hear about the hunt a few days in advanced. Give them prep time and they'll be able to set things up to their advantage, or run.


                      • #12
                        One Wyld Hunt type scenario we ran into in game involved a full circle of very competent Dragonblooded- but most of them had been visiting dignitaries pulled into emergency action by the local Fire Aspect captain when he learned about our presence in his city, so while they were strong, they didn't know each other all that well and all had...hangups about working together. That worked out great, because while we very nearly sustained a nasty amount of damage, we also got to see them play off each other as characters and ended up strongly sympathizing with a few of them. I feel like creating enemies that are strong but clearly imperfect/complex as characters like this goes a long way, actually, in making an encounter seem both less intimidating AND more challenging, because it both allows your players an exploitable factor AND also, if anyone has any empathy, makes it harder to completely wipe them off the board without mercy.
                        Last edited by Heedra; 12-18-2014, 11:33 PM.

                        i don't know a hecking thing, my guy


                        • #13
                          Anything but Tepet Lisara.

                          I’ve moved to Sword of Creation, thank you to everyone who helped made the Exalted community these past few years.


                          • #14
                            With the Wyld Hunt, I used to do it so that the Wyld Hunt knew there'd be one or two Solars... but not that there were 6. Because that's not something they expect. So they'd turn up to kill whichever player had hidden his Solar nature worst, and just order their mortal guards to attack "the Solar's minions". This of course would go horribly wrong when it turned out the minions were all Solars too.
                            Honestly though, I don't think it was that good. It just made them look like a weak Wyld Hunt.

                            STing Bronze Age Exalted


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Prince of the Night View Post
                              Ive been curious for a while, any idea how to make a wyld hunt that reasonably easy to defeat, in ways that make their mistake shout "Unworldly monks" "Disgraced Scion, trying to cleanse his name" "Ambitious young officer, desperate for glory"

                              theirs a thin line between that, and "What the hell is he thinking?"
                              Well, there's Wyld Hunts and Wyld Hunts.

                              Some Wyld Hunts probably consist of a few DBs scraped together to deal with the PCs now. Exactly why they did this on a shoestring budget should come down to how you want to portray them:

                              * They might be overconfident, convinced that tales of Anathema are overblown. When you're an Exalted god-king used to being surrounded by mortals, it's easy to overestimate your abilities vs. other Exalted.

                              * They might have misjudged the threat for other reasons (thinking the PCs were just one Solar rather than a circle, say.)

                              * They might be overly-ambitious, not wanting to share the glory of this victory with anyone else (especially if they also underestimate the PCs in one way or another.)

                              * They might think that they have to deal with the PCs right now and only have a few options available.

                              * They might be DBs who simply don't have the option of calling in support -- inexperienced outcastes or black sheep who wouldn't even know where to start, trying to scrape together whatever they can to confront PCs anyway. Although I assume tales about Anathema are taken seriously regardless, with Anathema popping up all over the place a disgraced scion is going to find it harder to call in support than, say, a Dynast with lots of powerful connections.
                              Last edited by Aquillion; 11-18-2015, 06:24 PM.