Danger Scale for Monsters

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drbargle
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Danger Scale for Monsters

Post by drbargle » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:46 pm

Okay, I've not been on the board in a while, so maybe this has been proposed once, twice, or three times. And rejected. In which case, sorry, here it is again.

Many of us feel that the monsters in Out of the Pit (and the subsequent books) are a little underpowered when faced with a *party* of Adventuring Heroes. I rule that monsters with multiple attacks cannot be outnumbered until they are facing more opponents than they have attacks. And that's because being outnumbered can be deadly in AFF.

And I realised that this wasn't just the bonus to the Attack Strength of the members of the mob (and when the mob are the Heroes with high SKILL+Special Skill, that's quite something), but because the more dice get rolled the higher the chance of a double 6 and a -1 penalty to SKILL for the poor, outnumbered beastie.

I've thought a lot about SKILL, Special Skills, Effective SKILL, probabilities of success and so on HERE

One of the things I don't want to do is mess with stuff too much. I don't want to build a new system. I'm playing Fighting Fantasy - I don't want to build AFF into a different game, and I *certainly* want to be able to use monsters from Out of the Pit straight from the book, more or less.

So, a very simple addition: Danger Scale.
Most combatants have a Danger Scale of one. The variation in their combat capacity is represented in the standard SKILL, STAMINA, Attacks, and weapon and armour tables.

But properly big, nasty, and supernatural monsters have a Danger Scale of two, or three, or maybe more (for Demons, Ancient Dragons, Colossal Giants, etc.)

A Danger Scale of two means that the monster scores a critical on a rolls of double 6 *and* double 5. Remember, not only does this win the Attack Round, do STAMINA damage, but of course it causes an injury, costing their opponent a point in SKILL.

A Danger Scale of three means that the monster scores a critical on double 6s, 5s, and 4s,

And so on.

Danger Scale 1: 1 in 36 rolls is a critical (about 3%)
Danger Scale 2: 1 in 18 rolls is a critical (about just under 6%)
Danger Scale 3: 1 in 12 rolls is a critical (just over 8%)
Danger Scale 4: 1 in 9 rolls is a critical (about 11%)
Danger Scale 5: 1 in every 7 and a bit rolls is a critical (14% or so)
Danger Scale 6: 1 in 6 rolls is a critical (about 17%)

These might not seem like a lot, but I know that players can get very wary of taking critical hits (I recommend using my Viscera! supplement, linked in my sig,).

Opinions?

drbargle
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Re: Danger Scale for Monsters

Post by drbargle » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:48 pm

One additional point. Part of the prompt to put this down in words was a discussion on Twitter in which the special rule of Creature of Havoc was raised - an auto kill on a double. While you couldn't give quite that power to your monsters, you can give them something, and spotting doubles is the easiest thing to do - no math.

Eddie
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Re: Danger Scale for Monsters

Post by Eddie » Sat Apr 18, 2020 6:36 am

in original dungeoneer monsters with multiple Attacks don't take outnumbering penalties until all of their Attacks are used and there are still enemies left over.

i think this makes sense and still use that rule. i also roll for each attack separately rather than one roll, otherwise a single Fumble can result in a dead monster, conversely a single Critical Hit can wipe the party out.

in terms of the critical hit i'm actually tempted to just remove the Skill penalty from it entirely.

i like the inclusion of it: makes critical hits actually worrying for players.
but a weeks rest to recover is a massive pain, it can also make some skills no longer accessible: in my group there was one player with heavy armour use through the Knighted Talent, she took a critical hit and lost 10 stamina in one hit and was no longer able to wear her armour, thereby ruining her game by removing her only real "shtick" in the party.

i'm starting to play with 1 Skill can be regained instead of 50% of your Stamina being regained: so if your Stamina is 16 you can regain that Skill through a Sleep and Heal Blessing, for example.
(although this penalises higher Stamina characters, who arguably should recover quicker, it's a work in progress)

in terms of Critical Hits: the players take more than monsters generally, any old goblin, orc, gremlin or bandit can roll a Critical Hit and ruin an unlucky Hero in short order.

drbargle
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Re: Danger Scale for Monsters

Post by drbargle » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:04 am

Regarding Armour and SKILL; that happened to the Knight in our Sorcery! campaign, which meant as soon as I saw the version of the Armour rules that ran off Special Skill alone rather than SKILL + Special Skill I adopted it.

In general, I've been trying think of ways to make Special Skill rankings have real effect. I think I wrote on my blog somewhere that someone with Special Skill rating of 4 should be a master of that craft *regardless* of SKILL - SKILL is really a measure of adventuring prowess, hero status, the equivalent of level. I tried to understand this through the difference between a mundane setting in which that Special Skill is used, and an extraordinary setting (i.e. down a dungeon, while fighting a dragon, etc.)

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Re: Danger Scale for Monsters

Post by drbargle » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:05 am

drbargle wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:04 am
Regarding Armour and SKILL; that happened to the Knight in our Sorcery! campaign, which meant as soon as I saw the version of the Armour rules that ran off Special Skill alone rather than SKILL + Special Skill I adopted it.
It's in Stellar Adventures, isn't it?

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SkinnyOrc
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Re: Danger Scale for Monsters

Post by SkinnyOrc » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:30 am

drbargle wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:46 pm
Many of us feel that the monsters in Out of the Pit (and the subsequent books) are a little underpowered when faced with a *party* of Adventuring Heroes.
I've been on about this one so much Graham's probably got tired of hearing about it. :) For me it's more about the SKILL mismatch against the Pit creatures that was created by adding Weapon Special Skills to SKILL. Creature SKILL scores are from the FF gamebooks where the PC usually had no more than 12.

However, the low "numbers appearing" in the Pit books against an entire party of adventurers definitely amplifies that. Those seem to mostly be taken straight from how many appeared in the gamebooks and often are unrealistically low as a maximum. So I just take it to be what's typically encountered out and about. It's not a maximum and it's not for in their lair. Powerful creatures that make sense to only meet one of can always be encountered with minions.
drbargle wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:46 pm
I rule that monsters with multiple attacks cannot be outnumbered until they are facing more opponents than they have attacks. And that's because being outnumbered can be deadly in AFF.
Hopefully that's how everyone's playing it. It should be a lot clearer in the rulebook, but there's nothing there that goes against that interpretation, and it doesn't work well any other way.
drbargle wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:46 pm
And I realised that this wasn't just the bonus to the Attack Strength of the members of the mob (and when the mob are the Heroes with high SKILL+Special Skill, that's quite something), but because the more dice get rolled the higher the chance of a double 6 and a -1 penalty to SKILL for the poor, outnumbered beastie.
Making it you must have the higher combat total to get a crit is definitely an improvement to stop the PCs taking them from large numbers of weak monsters. But it should also help a bit a high SKILL opponent that's being attacked by the PCs.
drbargle wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:46 pm
One of the things I don't want to do is mess with stuff too much. I don't want to build a new system. I'm playing Fighting Fantasy - I don't want to build AFF into a different game, and I *certainly* want to be able to use monsters from Out of the Pit straight from the book, more or less.
Yep I don't want to re-stat all the Pit monsters either, it's much simpler to make Weapon Special Skills work differently. While most Special Skills work by adding its level to SKILL for a test, some like Armour already don't. So I don't see a problem with making the effects of WSS work differently too.
drbargle wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:46 pm
Danger Scale 1: 1 in 36 rolls is a critical (about 3%)
Danger Scale 2: 1 in 18 rolls is a critical (about just under 6%)
Danger Scale 3: 1 in 12 rolls is a critical (just over 8%)
Danger Scale 4: 1 in 9 rolls is a critical (about 11%)
Danger Scale 5: 1 in every 7 and a bit rolls is a critical (14% or so)
Danger Scale 6: 1 in 6 rolls is a critical (about 17%)
I did something similar in my Combat PDF, but based on creature SKILL. It originally went up to a crit on a 9-12, but that made it happen 27.8% of attacks, and after feedback I agreed that was too often.

Creature SKILL . . . Critical Hit . . . Probability
1-9 . . . . . . . . . . .12 . . . . . . . . . 2.8%
10-13 . . . . . . . . . 11-12 . . . . . . . 8.3%
14+ . . . . . . . . . . .10-12 . . . . . . . 16.7%

However you do it, increased crits for powerful creatures makes sense to me and can be part of making them challenging.
drbargle wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:05 am
drbargle wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:04 am
Regarding Armour and SKILL; that happened to the Knight in our Sorcery! campaign, which meant as soon as I saw the version of the Armour rules that ran off Special Skill alone rather than SKILL + Special Skill I adopted it.
It's in Stellar Adventures, isn't it?
I hadn't spotted Stellar Adventures basing armour requirements only on the Special Skill, but I like it. So I've tried to do the same for AFF.

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