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Power Scale: Keeping track of NPC strength for events!
#1
Power Scale!

Keeping track of the strength of your NPCs!


I'll go out on a limb and state outright here that running events can be a nightmare. You have players to worry about. Enemies to handle. Potential drama to deal with because one of your players don't like something. Hopefully this can aid in relieving a player of his or her stress at least a tiny bit.

What does this guide do? Well, it's essentially just to give the DM an idea of how to scale his NPCs in regards to one another. See, I used to play this old game called 'City of Heroes'. And while I don't play it anymore, I liked how it classified the foes of the characters in a rather simply system.

Minions, Lieutenants, Bosses, Elite Bosses, and Archvillains.

A very simple power scale which allowed one to define the threat of a foe rather quickly. Minions were torn to shreds in an instant. Which Archvillains required the attention of the entire team to handle in most situations. Now, one could easily adjust this scale to apply to characters on CotH. Thus the system I like to use is essentially this.

Fodder --> Minion/Weak PC --> Lieutenant/Average PC --> Prestige Character --> Boss --> Elite Boss --> Archvillain.


But what does it mean, Xigo?


Well, I'll tell you here, anonymous reader!

Fodder: Fodder essentially relates to 'cannon fodder'. Minions that are below minions in strength. Their purpose is to live for short periods of time, and essentially distract the enemy from greater threats. Hey, maybe they'll do some damage. There's not much to say about them other than that they're one hit-point wonders.
Examples: Summoned Minions, Husks

Minion/Weak PC: The Minion is generally considered to be disposable. While not as stupid or weak as the Fodder, they tend to be controlled by morale and by a Lieutenant. Without the greater powers on the scale leading them, they have a tendency to be 'mindless' in a sense and dictated by what is essentially their 'instinct' (A guard raising a shield to arrows, for example, would be in the realm of 'instinct'). If the going gets tough, they tend to get going unless they're a race that cares little for their own safety. Without a Lieutenant supporting them, they should fall relatively easily to the blades of their foes, while still doing some damage. Should they gang up on a PC though, they can overcome them through numbers. A weak PC such as a non-combat character or someone with a glaring wound is also in this category.
Examples: City Guardsmen, Highwaymen, Minor Demons (Imps), Soldiers, Basic Beasts

Lieutenant/Average PC: The Lieutenant is generally above the Minion both in strength and authority. Whether or not the Lieutenant's orders are actually the best course of action to take, Minions and Fodder will most likely obey the commands of the Lieutenant. They can go toe to toe with the everyday PC character and potentially come out on top, though with how things work it's likely the PCs that are going to win the battle. A Lieutenant needs not be a monster on the battlefield though, he or she just needs something that elevates him or her above Minions. Like being a healer or a mage. The average everyday PC also falls into this category of strength. For the sake of balance, pets are considered to be part of a PC's strength, the PC losing personal power in compensation for having a pet.
Examples: Sergeants, Bandit Leaders, Demons (Felguards), Greater Beasts, Priests, Mages, Necromancers, Elementals

Prestige Character: The Prestige Character has the unique position of being above the Lieutenants and below the Bosses. This essentially means that Lieutenants will generally fall to the blade of the Prestige, while it would be an upwards battle one on one against a boss (except for certain situations, like a Demon Hunter against a greater Demon). Note that NPCs that represent Prestige Classes will essentially fall into this category as well, though they can potentially be bosses instead.
Examples: Demon Hunters, Wardens, Archmages, Mountain Kings, etc, etc.

Boss: The leader of a group of enemies. Generally the Boss doesn't bother with ordering troops around, letting the Lieutenants tend to their men so he can focus on greater things. Like the PCs. Bosses should be really damn hard for any sort of player to one on one without some sort of special situation coming into play. Expect them to dominate until focused on.
Examples: Drakes, Greater Demons (Infernals), Monstrous Creatures, Captains, Ancients, War Machines, Abominations, NPC Prestige Characters

Elite Boss: Essentially the boss of a story arc. The big cheese. The guy you're all working together to ultimately take down. He has all the power, and it shows when you fight him. Generally he will appear with paltry forces, he himself being a great enough threat to take out multiple players on his own. Place this sort of character into an event with extreme caution, and give the PCs a way to escape the fight if necessary (unless character warnings were given or something).
Examples: Liches, Dragons, Elite Demons (Pit Lords), 'Big Bads'.

Archvillain: Woah damn, this guy -should not- be used except in extreme circumstances. This sort of chap could potentially be lore changing, and really -should not be played in your event-. I repeat, you -should not have a character at this strength-. Such would be neigh impossible for the players to actually defeat without some sort of trick being pulled out of a hat. If you are going to use one, be -extremely careful- with its use. I believe having a foe of this strength is absolutely unnecessary in an event. Mind you, the examples are just examples, don't go using them in your events!
Examples: Lore characters such as Varian Wrynn, Garrosh Hellscream, Rhonin, Sylvanas, and Thrall

And there! Hopefully this lends you a hand in your events, and scaling the enemies of your players accordingly to avoid frustration and what not.
Quote:[8:53AM] Cassius: Xigo is the best guy ever. he doesn't afraid of anything.
[-] The following 12 users Like Xigo's post:
  • Delta, Ural, Beltharean, Uguu, Adam255, Rosencrat, McKnighter, Reigen, Kretol, Dukica, Loxmardin, Spiralin
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#2
Love City of Heroes. It's a good guide. /nod
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