Post by jongjungbu on Sept 26, 2009 10:27:00 GMT -5
Prefer MR's. It's easier to generate the monster. It's easier for the players, who aren't as familiar with the rules as me, to figure out the opponent's strength and so forth. As well, when rewarding exp, myself and others can never seem to remember what the AP value is when its a non-MR critter. "What stats do we add up again for the APs?" Overall, the MR's simplicity is one of the reasons I like T&T so much. Simplicity. Focus on the fun not the paperwork. I don't mind an occasional stat-opponent, but for me, it doesn't by default give more personality to the opponent. I can have a fully flavored NPC that uses MR for its combat.
Post by Toad-Killer-Dog on Sept 26, 2009 10:50:39 GMT -5
Well you've seen how I typically write up my monsters.
So yes I tend to use M.R. far more than fully stating out my creatures, but my M.R. monsters are pretty detailed themselves.
However for a real "Personality" monster you just can't beat going ahead and stating it out in full. If nothing else it helps me to get a better hold mentally on what the "Personality" is capable of and the extra work gives me time to consider how best to play and present it to the players.
Of course there are also compromises, like low level Wizards that require at least partial stats to use because of the way magic works in T&T.
M.R. is one of the real lynchpins of T&T, both in play style and mechanics in my opinion, many other RPG's have come up with "Mook" rules, but T&T was the first! ;D
"For a look or a word, scarce thought or heard, I follow a fading fire. "Past bead and bell and the hangman's cell, like a harp-call of desire. "I may not see the road I ride for the witch-fire lamps that gleam; "But phantoms glide at my bridle-side, and I follow a nameless Dream." R.E. Howard
Can you help me out with a bit of research for a forthcoming article?
Until recently I predominantly used monster rated enemies to battle the characters, very rarely taking time out to stat-up the competition.
These days, I'm looking to turn the tables and focus on more detailed opposition. How do you as a GM write-up your foes and (if you can spare the time to tell me) why do it that way?
I do much the same as TKD. Wizards and archers need at least some of their attributes listed, and important creatures will have full attributes, but the cannon fodder will just have a Monster Rating. It's simpler, quicker, and much more compact!
Here's an example of a write-up I did:
There are 12 orcs hiding in each of these rooms, waiting to ambush intruders. The guards have become somewhat lax however, so the party will have 3 rounds before the orcs emerge to do combat (1 round for the sentry to notice, 1 round for the sentry to alert the others, 1 round for the dozen orcs to arrive in rooms 3 & 4. They are noisy, so the party will not be surprised). 9 orcs are MR 25; the remaining 3 are MR 30, and are armed with light selfbows (3 + 0) and 40 arrows (treat DX as 13 for marksmanship SRs, missile adds +4 total) which they will fire for as long as possible i.e. until the other orcs are out of the fight. The bows are of orcish manufacture and will break on 2 – 6 on 2D6 each round, in which case the orc will join the fray.
The ordinary orcs pretty much just get their MR. The archers, being somewhat more elite, get more detail.
Mainly MRs. I'll stat out the Big Bads, but I don't bother with much detail even then. There really aren't many Big Bads as there's few big 'plots'.
Now, I mix it up with MRs. That is, for the 20 gibbering and drooling Goblins with banged-up and blood-encrusted blades that are as likely to turn on each other as they are our heroes, then it's MR only. For the "lead" Goblin (only because he's better at shoving down, cutting and laughing at his compatriots), with his dual short swords and wearing a few skulls, likely previously belonging to human children...then he will probably get a "Fighting MR" and a separate CON and/or armor.
Then there are things that have abilities. Depending on how I feel (I confess I don't think I really have a rhyme or reason to this), I'll assign a SR to avoid it every round or any time the PC(s) lose a round or something, and sometimes I'll go for the 7.x way of the ability 'triggered' by sixes.
I try my best to stay consistent, though. If I've done a monster one way, then I'll do it the same way next time. If I've rated a creature a certain MR, then I'll not deviate from that MR by more than a ten or so points, give or take. As I believe I've mentioned before, for example, my Orcs are always between MR 25-45.
I use MRs for more than monsters. The cutthroats in the back alley? MR. The loud-mouthed braggart from the Town Guard? MR. The guy that lied to you that I didn't think you'd figure out and subsequently hunt down Charles Bronson-like and mete out your brand of justice on? ...MR.
I go out of my way to not stat things because...who cares? It matters not a whit. Not just people and beasties, but places and things. As I recently stated on a thread on Dragonsfoot, if I've written more than a few sentences on an adventure/scenario/whatever...then I've wasted my time. NPCs are usually statted like this: Sean Bean from Ronin. "Jerk." "He knows and he'll tell." "Mouthbreather." 'Eddie' from The Howling. Anna Paquin's character's Grandfather in Darkness. That grubby, cool plain-clothes cop from Hill Street Blues. And so on and so on. See? There's seven NPCs I know everything I need to know about already.
Details? No. I'm not writing a da** book. Backgrounds? Why? For what? Who cares? What's in the third drawer down? If they open it, then I'll make it up on the spot. What does the pustule-covered thing do when they stumble upon it's nesting place in the dilapidated house? I've no idea. We'll find out together...at the table. Why plan now? They'll only do exactly what I don't plan for.
When in doubt, wing it. When in doubt, MR. When in doubt about MR...don't worry about it. Let it die or run off whenever you feel like it Mr. Fair and Fun GM. I mean...you are a fair and fun GM, right?
Last Edit: Sept 27, 2009 6:38:39 GMT -5 by machfront
"Hold off thy hands, or by Heaven I'll make a ghost of him that lets me!" - Hamlet
Post by ragnorakk on Sept 27, 2009 17:31:19 GMT -5
I mostly just use MR, but determine Dex, or Speed - and I ended up using a separate Con score a lot of the time (Fighting MR and Con MR to prevent or slow the death spiral of the injured creature). I also using HTKN (hits taken as armor) for a lot of creatures, though this might be from dodging, insubstantiality, etc instead of genuine thick hide.
Because The Southern Most Realm focuses on SR and the "monsters" need to be able to do them too I personalise everything. A lot of the spells that would work on personalised, fail on MRs. I also have a computer program that does all the creation and combat, so it's no chore at all. I can generate a personalised Dark Army of hundreds of thousands, in a blink of an eye.
It's called "The Most Southern Realm" although it's very strict 5.5. It's still in the bolted together and not very user friendly. In fact I went to code a new feature and found I'd already done it, so I can't even use it
But I've been play testing it every week for the last 3 months so it's mostly doing it's job ;D
What it does: Define Kindred: It has all the ones out of the book, but you can add new ones. Define WM Groups: These are tables which lets you create sets of Kindred, Level and Count You can then Select a WM Group and Generate that Group Then it rolls Combat and SR for them and assigns damage Until they are all dead, then it tells you the Ap and treasure found.
So it really does the heavy lifting for the GM, lets me concentrate on the adventure, but still have personalised monsters.
Any one running a Mac want to beta test it, let me know and I'll give it another brush up.