NPCs "level"

Discussion on game mastering Fading Suns. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Danos
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Re: NPCs "level"

Postby Danos » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:52 pm

I use extra tours of duty. If I build a bad guy and I want them to be on par with the PCs, I just build a character. If I want them to be tough, I give them an extra extra tour of duty. For a really nasty bad guy, I give them two extra tours of duty. The arch nemesis gets the same treatment, ironically, as faceless minions - I decide what the nemesis should have for goal numbers and reverse engineer it from there.

In one of my campaigns, there was a recurring nemesis who dueled the noble at parties. He was built using the lifepath system, but then after giving him a tour of duty and another tour of duty, I went and gave him Tweaked as well. The net effect is someone with 60 extra points instead of 40. I have also built recurring villains who got a tour of duty, another tour of duty, and both psi tours of duty - effectively 40 extra build points. The extra cash or contacts or rank this gives also reflects the power level of a recurring villain or nemesis.

But all too often, I decide that someone is goal 16 at their specialty, 12 at stuff they should know, and 6 at stuff they might know, and I don't bother with a character sheet for villains at all.

Danos
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Re: NPCs "level"

Postby Danos » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:52 pm

Novices have a 50-50 chance of success, make their goal a 10. Starting PCs will have a goal of 15 or 16 in their specialties, so do the same with 'normal' npcs. Experts will always succeed and have more vps, so they should have a goal of 21 in their specialty. That's my quick and dirty game mechanics for npcs.

Danos
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Re: NPCs "level"

Postby Danos » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:47 pm

If you have a goal of 21+, critical success is on an 18, failure on a 19, critical failure on a 20. But you get bonus vps on a success for the goal exceeding 20. There is a sidebar on p. 71 of my FS2 main book that explains it.

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Sir Marco
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Re: NPCs "level"

Postby Sir Marco » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:02 am

NPC challenge level is one of the tough things for GM's of Point buy systems. How do you make challenging NPC's for your PC's.

I like Savage Worlds take where they offer a calculation on offensive and defensive skills for the PC's.

It also depends on the Players. If you have a bunch of players that make starting diplomats with no combat skills, sending a basic thug after them could be troublesome.

Whereas a couple of Min/maxers can wipe the floor with the same npc.

My thought. The only NPC's that deserve actual points are the Major NPC's. Masterminds, lieutenants, Allies. Other than that they get only a couple of skills.

I like to keep in mind the skill levels. 1-10. What do you all use as an average skill level? I like to see 3 as human average. Most non-trained NPC's will have traits and skills about that level.

Basic Thugs go up to 5's

Skilled soldiers up to 7.


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