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Scaling Encounters

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  • mikepage1968
    Do any of you have a rule of thumb for scaling encounters in DW? Particularly with higher-level foes - I haven t got it right yet. My players party of 4 1st
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 2, 2010
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      Do any of you have a rule of thumb for scaling encounters in DW? Particularly with higher-level foes - I haven't got it right yet. My players' party of 4 1st rank adventurers can easily polish off 8 goblins (also 1st rank equivalent), yet when I threw a 3rd rank sorceress at them I would have had a total party kill if I hadn't started rolling behind the screen ;) Of course the Command and Wolfcall spells didn't help...

      Just got back to GMing after a 25 year hiatus, so I haven't got my spider-senses up and working again yet.

      Thanks

      Mike
    • kieran turley
      Scaling is something I usually have to eyeball and it can go horribly wrong. Standard combat stats are fine...monster X will hit about x% of the time for X
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 3, 2010
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        Scaling is something I usually have to eyeball and it can go horribly wrong. Standard combat stats are fine...monster X will hit about x% of the time for X damage. The issue comes with magic or magical effects.
         
        There are a lot of spells that are all-or-nothing effects. These spells can wipe a party or kill a master villian instantly. You really have to be careful with magic-wielding villians.
         
        Sorcerers in particular can be rather brutal. Their spells do loads of damage and often have instant-kill or instant-disable effects. I also found that Mystics go from minor threats to major threats at about 5-6 level when they start to get some truely dangerous abilities...they of course can be totally neutered with one bad fatigue roll...
         
        In short, tread carefully with the magic :-)
         
        Kieran
         
         
         
         
         
         


        --- On Wed, 3/3/10, mikepage1968 <mpage@...> wrote:

        From: mikepage1968 <mpage@...>
        Subject: [dragwars] Scaling Encounters
        To: dragwars@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 7:37 AM

         
        Do any of you have a rule of thumb for scaling encounters in DW? Particularly with higher-level foes - I haven't got it right yet. My players' party of 4 1st rank adventurers can easily polish off 8 goblins (also 1st rank equivalent), yet when I threw a 3rd rank sorceress at them I would have had a total party kill if I hadn't started rolling behind the screen ;) Of course the Command and Wolfcall spells didn't help...

        Just got back to GMing after a 25 year hiatus, so I haven't got my spider-senses up and working again yet.

        Thanks

        Mike


      • bonivantchaplain@tiscali.co.uk
        Try to avoid standard attacks for magic users, with the same old spells every time. Although you know what spells would wipe out the party, the NPC Sorcerer
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 3, 2010
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          Try to avoid 'standard attacks' for magic users, with the same old spells every time.  Although you know what spells would wipe out the party, the NPC Sorcerer might have their own favourite spells etc.  Try using this different approach for different NPC's, put some colour in. 

          Also, not many creatures will actually fight to the death.  I remember watching various military history programmes where the general concensus of many experts said that once a unit takes only 10% casualties, the other 90% are at risk of routing!  This can be improved through extensive training, indoctrinisation, etc.  Only highly trained professional soldiers will stay and fight after taking 50% casualties.  Others are gonna run!

          This is what sets apart professional armies and PC's, from peasant levies, and untrained chaos hordes etc...

        • Chris
          Yeah, the spells in the book are kind of lumpy , with a lot of slightly, or not very, useful spells for combat, with the odd killer - Shadowbolt is by far
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 4, 2010
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            Yeah, the spells in the book are kind of 'lumpy', with a lot of slightly, or not very, useful spells for combat, with the odd killer - Shadowbolt is by far recognised as the worst. And it's kind of cruel putting magicians against 1st level characters...

            I find I've got to plan a little ahead when the PC's are going to be facing a mage of level 4+ ; temporary/one use items or enchantments that raise magical defence or evasion are useful, as are weaknesses in the opposition.  Anyone else remember the Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and the deck of cards? (going back 25 years there).  Foreshadow clues like the evil sorceress is scared of cats, or turns to stone in daylight.  Make sure there's shelter or things to hide behind in the battle site, to give cover bonuses if they want.

            Try to train the players away from the massed assault on the mage, too.  Split up, snipe from cover, and expect a few losses.  




            If it exists, you'll find it on SEEK Want to be a Space Travel Agent?
          • kieran turley
            I try to think out my enemy Sorcerer s attacks and defenses in advance. If the party suprise a sorcerer they can be pretty vulerable. I ve had a party of
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 4, 2010
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              I try to think out my enemy Sorcerer's attacks and defenses in advance. If the party suprise a sorcerer they can be pretty vulerable. I've had a party of 4th rank character wipe the floor with a 10th rank sorcerer because he wasn't expecting them. (they killed him before his inivitative came around)
               
              A sorcerer prepared for combat though...that's a terrible thing to behold...sitting secure behind magical armour, spell screens, and with at least one summoned ally. Able to transfix an entire party or brutally murder them with his spells.
               
              Mystics are deadly one on one but not so dangerous against a group, they do have staying power with their force field though. Likewise with Elementalists. Warlocks can be very dangerous because they can easily single-target-kill your "big guns" while boosting themselves to crazy levels.
               
              I think the key to taking on sorcerers is to get suprise if possible, to attack en-masse to reduce their already crappy Defense score, and to remember that they usually can only take 3-4 hits before dying horribly :-)
               
              Oh and remember that it's darn hard to shadowbolt someone when that pesky Mystic has used Dazzle on you...best 1st rank spell ever :-)
               
              Kieran

              --- On Thu, 3/4/10, Chris <cstaite@...> wrote:

              From: Chris <cstaite@...>
              Subject: RE: [dragwars] Scaling Encounters
              To: dragwars@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Thursday, March 4, 2010, 8:36 AM

               
              Yeah, the spells in the book are kind of 'lumpy', with a lot of slightly, or not very, useful spells for combat, with the odd killer - Shadowbolt is by far recognised as the worst. And it's kind of cruel putting magicians against 1st level characters.. .

              I find I've got to plan a little ahead when the PC's are going to be facing a mage of level 4+ ; temporary/one use items or enchantments that raise magical defence or evasion are useful, as are weaknesses in the opposition.  Anyone else remember the Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and the deck of cards? (going back 25 years there).  Foreshadow clues like the evil sorceress is scared of cats, or turns to stone in daylight.  Make sure there's shelter or things to hide behind in the battle site, to give cover bonuses if they want.

              Try to train the players away from the massed assault on the mage, too.  Split up, snipe from cover, and expect a few losses.  




              If it exists, you'll find it on SEEK Want to be a Space Travel Agent?

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