Ran a good session today. Finished NeMoren's Vault to satisfaction, but had to fudge the end boss some. Still having trouble balancing MRs and player damage. The warriors do so much damage and absorb even more. It is hard to present a challenge without blasting someone with a TTYF and killing them outright. One fighter can soak 46 hits of damage from plate mail and a shield. How do I overcome that without making my monsters into death machines with huge MRs? Everyone had fun, but this mechanic is really starting to get to me.
Additionally, I had some players painting miniatures during a session that was heavily moved by Role-playing, but they were only present during the dice rolls. I have let them know about this, and they have agreed that their participation was not up to par.
Please give me more MR advice. I am starting to dislike it.
It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for something you are not.
Please give me more MR advice. I am starting to dislike it.
Which edition are you playing, gamepunk? If 5th, maybe I can be of help, but if 7th ed, you'll want to wait for Order99 and some of the others. I own 7th but don't like it and haven't played it, so I don't really have any idea on scaling.
There comes a point where you either have to move on, or just buy yourself a Klingon costume and "go with it." --Xander Harris
I'm more of a 5.5 man myself, but i'm not above stealing ideas-
Spite Damage-every 6 that is rolled by an opponent causes 1 point of damage even when he loses. So a monster can inflict a few hits even if overmatched, as can overwhelmed adventurers. In 7, Monster Special Attacks are activated on natural 6s as well.
Sig Under Construction...please reduce surfing speed.
Still having trouble balancing MRs and player damage. The warriors do so much damage and absorb even more. It is hard to present a challenge without blasting someone with a TTYF and killing them outright. One fighter can soak 46 hits of damage from plate mail and a shield. How do I overcome that without making my monsters into death machines with huge MRs?
Gamepunk, the first thing I want to say is a great big THANK YOU for your kind words regarding my "default" game world post.
This post deals with combat encounters in a general sense. It is merely suggestions and thoughts about combat encounters, and makes no assumptions about your style of play or games. I hope my rambling gives you some ideas you hadn't previously considered, but it's unlikely. Odds are good you've already thought of everything here before.
Regarding your issues with T&T, the first question that springs to my mind is, is T&T the only game you've had this problem with?
Personally, I've had one problem consistently for as long as I've been in the hobby when running battles. And, unfortunately, the problem isn't limited to T&T. The problem I have is that, in a straight-up battle between opponents, numbers will tell. If I have to roll 17 or higher on d20 to hit the monster, and it has to roll 7 or better on d20 to hit me, then I'll only hit 20% of the time, but the monster will hit 70% of the time. Unless I have many more hit points more than it, and do much more damage per hit, the chance of me winning the battle is slim.
I mean, if we both put $100 on a table and I said, "We keep playing until we have one loser and one winner. I win if I roll 7 or better, you win if you roll 17 or better," would you take me up on it?
In T&T this problem can be exaggerated by the "duel-roll" nature of straight battle. If the monster can roll higher than the player, the monster will win. If the player can roll higher than the monster, the player will win. Q.E.D.
One answer, of course, is clever use of tactics. Like it or not, in a straight battle with something faster and stronger and tougher than you, you will lose. If you are relying on the luck of the dice to fall in your favor, I would strongly recommend having those dice rigged, because the law of averages is not on your side. So it's up to the players to load those dice.
I've seen some roleplaying games with great combat rules that allow for a variety of actions from the PCs. In fact, given Warhammer's wargame roots, I'm pretty sure that Warhammer is one of those games. Unfortunately, T&T isn't. Tactics are hard to come by, and usually involve Saving Rolls which are more likely to get the character killed rather than save him from it.
The most common tactics I've seen in T&T, then, is the clever use of magic. I tend to think of battles as coming in two types in T&T: 1) Get-the-blood-pumping battles and 2) fortune-and-glory battles. With blood-pumping battles, I (as the GM) have already loaded the dice in the players favor. I expect them to win; the battle exists only to keep the game going and get a little hack and slash action. The second type, fortune and glory battles, are for all the marbles. I tend to think of these battles as kind of a puzzle. The players need to out think the monster, and use their brains... straight up dice rolling simply won't do it (nor should it).
In these cases, while the players are new to the system, just tell them that they can't beat this monster in straight combat and they need to out-think it! Don't let there be a bloodbath just yet... they're still learning. But let them understand that they have to use magic in a smart way to win. (Or, if not magic, perhaps you've set something else up... see the paragraph below about Conan).
Vorpal Blade will double the dice roll of a weapon. Does the Wizard ever Vorpal anyone's weapon? Whose? If it's his own, he's only turning his 2 die weapon to a 4 die weapon! Instead, he should Vorpal the Warrior's 6 die weapon! Any 2nd level magic-users? How about one casting Little Feets and the other casting Glue You? That would give the PCs four combat rounds to the monster's one! Any third level magic-users? Anyone got Slush-Yuck or Hard Stuff? When they see the monsters coming, Slush Yuck the ground to muck, then when they've sunk a bit in, Hard Stuff if it back to solid ground. If your players aren't bloodthirsty enough to just walk in and kill them while they're stuck, then let them run somewhere where they can turn the battle in their favor while the monsters are freeing themselves from the ground.
Create a monster or situation where they can't win in straight die roll battle, but they can win if they figure out the puzzle that you create; it'll be up to you to give them the clues they need to figure it out when they get to the encounter.
I'm watching Conan the Destroyer right now, and Conan is in a Room of Mirrors battling a monster, and no matter what he does, he can't hurt it; it's killing him. During the battle, he accidentally shatters one of the mirrors, and a scar magically appears across the monster's flesh! Conan gets it; he solves the puzzle, and knows how to defeat the monster! He fights to get loose, then starts shattering all the mirrors in the Room of Mirrors! With each shattered mirror, the monster cries out in agony, and finally dies. Conan has saved the day once again, but not by his muscles, but by his wits and luck.
Battles can be creative, but only if the players think. Otherwise, they're just rolling dice.
I hope I've offered something of value in this post.
EDIT: You know what I always forget? Missile weapons! Vorpal or Whammy someone's 5 die bow, and hit the monster with 10 to 15 dice it can't fight back against before it gets into melee range! (Just be sure to set the SR to hit low enough so they can actually hit it!)
I just read the greatest game quote, and I'm not sure where to put it, but since there's some action is going on right here, and it is a quote about gamemastering, this seems as good a place as any.
The quote is from Michael C. Zody of Zody Games users.aol.com/zodygames/index.html, from his game "The Essential Fantasy Earth" (a quick-play version of his Fantasy Earth game), in the section on "How To Gamemaster."
Remember that Winning is Fun It takes a long time to get bored of winning. When designing stories and opponents for your campaign, remember that everything will look easier to you, since you have all the information. While the players will appreciate being challenged, they also will enjoy succeeding, and occasionally they will just want to romp through an adventure.
You know, he's right, and I forget that quite a bit. It makes me want to play right now, and just make something that the PCs can just get in and rip from end to end. Come to think of it, actually I'd like to be a player in that game! ;D