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 Post subject: Expanded Bestiary.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:55 am 
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Hey guys, whilst discussing the various pro's and con's of TRoS with one of my gaming group (who is an avid D&D player, I know, it makes me sick too), I asked him to name what he thought was so great about D&D, his answers can be simplified to two points:

1) Magic.
2) Monsters.

Now since I've got my hands on Ian's Primitve Talent magic system, I feel that issue 1) is reasonably taken care of, though I still await his Elemntal System with baited breath. However, issue two remains a problem. Although we have access to OBaM it is, sadly, a poor substitute for someone coming from a D&D "Monster-rich" background, and so it is, with no further ado, that I propose the following...

...A thread dedicated to the creation of more Beasties. I suggest that Ian creats a sub-forum (similar to the one for Characters) where we as a community can post our home brewed critters, then we can look them over make suggestions where we feel they are needed, and them perhaps once we have a substantial amount of critters, someone more talented than myself could take the entries, format them and put them in a PDF.

I myself am currently working on Vampires, due to a game we are currently playing, though in the end I think it will be more of a character system than a monster entry (similar to World of Darkness, infact pretty much ripped off entirely from there ;) )

So, what do you all think? Could this project be useful? I think it could, but I can't do it myself...

Cheers & God Bless!

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 Post subject: Re: Expanded Bestiary.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:48 am 
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Crow Caller wrote:
So, what do you all think? Could this project be useful? I think it could, but I can't do it myself...


I think that something like that, wether PDF or not, would of course be useful to many players, even if hardly to me personally, as I am convinced that humans are all I ever need in terms of "monsters". I don't see the necessity for doing this in an entire new subforum as opposed to a single thread, though, especially as the intention is to eventually make the monsters available collectively in a download.

I would like to immediately remind of monsters presented in the original TRoS forum, Stuh42l's Tazak Shey and Caz's Giant Spider and alien Grey.

Something I would really like to see, by the way, is a revision of the NPC list from OBaM - as excellent as the rest of the book is, the NPCs there are ridiculously overpowered, more so than in any other supplement I have ever seen. It would be good to have a toned-down version of them available for reference, especially with a view at maybe some day statting out NPCs for fan supplements and adventures for Weyrth.

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 Post subject: Re: Expanded Bestiary.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:21 am 
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I suppose it could be done in a single thread, though I thought that if monsters had their own forum like characters do, then it may encourage more discussion about them and therefore lead to further development.

Either way I'm not fussed, so long as people are willing to chip in and we can get some new beasties, perhaps we can even get some of Ian's freinds to do artwork for them? Who knows? I'd be willing to throw a bit of money in if what we were getting was a solid product at the end.

Now, as to the OBaM NPC's being overpowered, I don't see how you come to this conclusion. Can you give an example? In my own games I find the power level to be a good measure against the PC's.

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Expanded Bestiary.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:30 am 
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Crow Caller wrote:
Now, as to the OBaM NPC's being overpowered, I don't see how you come to this conclusion. Can you give an example? In my own games I find the power level to be a good measure against the PC's.


Don’t want to derail this thread, but as your asked:

I like to assume that in TRoS, starting PCs are clearly above average, even without taking the SAs in account. On the other hand, the NPCs from OBaM are supposed to be average for their various professions.

According to OBam, the average noble (p.13) has thus WP and Per 6, MA 7 and both Wit and Soc 8, for a total of 62.5 attribute points (as compared to 47 from an A-pick). If that’s an average noble, what does an exceptional noble look like?

The average knight (p.13) has no attribute under 5, five at 6, one at 6-7 and two at 7, for a total of 60.5 attribute points (as compared to 47 from an A-pick). If that’s an average knight, what does an exceptional knight look like?

The average, run-of-the-mill sailor (p.12) has a total of 45 attribute points (as compared to 47 from an A-pick). If that’s an average sailor, what does an exceptional sailor look like?

The average courtier (p.13) has Soc 7-8 and a total of 51.5 attribute points (as compared to 47 from an A-pick). If that’s an average courtier, what does an exceptional courtier look like?

The average rank-and-file soldier (p.18) has a total of 48.5 attribute points (as compared to 47 from an A-pick). If that’s an average soldier, what does an exceptional soldier look like?

The average mercenary (p.16) has a total of 50 attribute points (as compared to 47 from an A-pick). If that’s an average mercenary, what does an exceptional mercenary look like?

The average merchant (p.11f) has both Wit and Soc 6-7 and a total of 46 attribute points (as compared to 47 from an A-pick). If that’s an average merchant, what does an exceptional merchant look like?

The list goes on and on, but that should suffice to demonstrate that, if the NPCs from OBaM were to be used, starting PCs would be inferior to common people in every way. Every common rank-and-file soldier would be better. And TRoS not being D&D where you start out lvl 1 to rise to lvl 1000 I am not under the impression that incapable, below-average PCs are the intention of character creation.

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 Post subject: Re: Expanded Bestiary.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:51 am 
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I have changed the Characters forum to be Characters and Monsters. That way we can have one thread per character or monster, allowing for backgrounds, discussion, and attachments all in the one place.

Quote:
Now since I've got my hands on Ian's Primitive Talent magic system, I feel that issue 1) is reasonably taken care of, though I still await his Elemental System with baited breath.


I think you'll like the elemental magic system CC. Anyone who likes a visual combat environment should like the elemental magic system. Things are moving in the right direction with this -- it is quite exciting.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Expanded Bestiary.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:56 am 
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What do you intend to do with the monsters? I've always had a difficult time of using a "pure" monsters in my games. I mean, what do they do, really? Mindless predators and undead?

So, in my experience, I can say that humans with monstrous powers or human-like demons are way more scarier and easier to use than monsters themselves. Say, I had an NPC in my game, that had the power to turn his body into thousands and thousands of leeches, meaning he could swarm you and grow his wounds back together again much like T-1000 in Terminator 2. He also could insert his leeches to other peoples bodies by touch (leaving only a small wound there) and thus know their location until the leech was removed... The leeches weren't technically leeches either (as they don't have a blood reservoir) but rather were small parasites that travelled inside your body, feeding directly off it. These leeches can easily penetrate skin, so, that was his main attack method while in that form. Also, because he could rearrange the leeches in the shape he desired, he could also change his appearance at will... and he was a cavalry officer in the local area. Not an easy guy to mess with. Much more dangerous and cunning than some hovering hunk of eyes, if you ask me.

He was eventually destroyed by fire... but not all the leeches perished there... the remaining ones were too few to form a complete body, so entered and dominated a guy taking a midnight swim on a romantic date... and that person happened to be the brother of another PC (who weren't at all connected with the demise and disappearance of the officer). I'm very curious how this thing will work itself out. :twisted:

Edit: Now that I brought the T-1000 example, it has surprisingly many parallels. I had never thought of it like that before. :lol:

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Last edited by higgins on Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Expanded Bestiary.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:06 pm 
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Ah Michael I see why we differ in opinion, I consider starting PC's to be average at best. I mean the best you can start your skill packets at is Competant, and most people I would assume would start them off closer to being Beginners (SR 9) or Novices (SR 8). It is simply a difference in preference, me coming from a D&D background are used to starting no better off than your average person.

Also from a Points buy system the average noble (p.13) costs 89 points to create (as compared to the 70 points for a starting PC).

The average knight (p.13) costs 89 points to create (as compared to the 70 points for a starting PC).

The average, run-of-the-mill sailor (p.12) costs 60 points to create (as compared to 70 points for a starting PC).

The average courtier (p.13) costs 78 points to create (as compared to 70 points for a starting PC).

The average rank-and-file soldier (p.18) costs 61 points to create (as compared to 70 points for a starting PC).

The average mercenary (p.16) costs 60 points to create (as compared to 70 points for a starting PC).

The average merchant (p.11f) costs 60 points to create (as compared to 70 points for a starting PC).

So, from a Priority pick point of view they may seem much tougher than the PC's but from a Point Buy point of view most are fairly well balanced, ofcourse Nights and Nobles are still much more powerful but that can be addressed by using Squire for inexperinced Knights and Courtier for weak Nobles.

So again, from my D&D based Point Buy P.O.V. I see no problem, though I can see where you are coming from too.

Cheers! & God Bless!

PS: Higgins, put your leechman in the monster thread, if you haven't already.

PPS: Ian thanks for editing the Forum name!

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 Post subject: Re: Expanded Bestiary.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:59 pm 
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Crow Caller wrote:
Ah Michael I see why we differ in opinion, I consider starting PC's to be average at best. I mean the best you can start your skill packets at is Competant, and most people I would assume would start them off closer to being Beginners (SR 9) or Novices (SR 8). It is simply a difference in preference, me coming from a D&D background are used to starting no better off than your average person. (...)


Yea, I assumed that your D&D background influenced your perception; that’s why I mentioned that game in the first place.

Really nothing much to discuss here, if you like to see PCs go from humble beginnings to greatness then there are few problems to the NPCs from OBaM, apart from a few minor hitches that are easy to fix, as you have pointed out yourself.

I just don’t think that this is the way TRoS is intended to work, or indeed the way many gamers like to handle it – here’s an old thread from the original forum discussing attributes, which suggests that most people hold a score of about 3 to 4 as average and assign a 4 to 5 to attributes that are core attributes for a given "average" character. This blends nicely with MRB p. 8:

Quote:
An average human’s ability is ranked at 4, …


The same seems to have been Jake’s intention for proficiencies, of which he wrote here:

Quote:
I see it being not unlike the attributes, where 4 is a pretty standard level of training for someone that isn't really dedicated but who has spent a decent chunk of life in learning to use that particular weapon/style. From there on it's just more dice and more skill. Someone with a 10 is an excellent fighter, someone with 15 is probably a true master.


From all that, I think it is problematic for an official supplement like OBaM, though of course not for individual groups, to stat out any average people, like sailors or merchants or grunt-level soldiers, in such a way as to have a total number of attribute points deviating from 40.

On a related note, and more in keeping with this thread, is the problem of statting out monsters. I have from my early days of TroS, when I was still playing largely Sim, a fair number of monsters drawn up, but all of them statted in keeping with the assumption that average people have 38 to 42 attribute points. Critters I have intended as challenging will not be challenging in your games.

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 Post subject: Re: Expanded Bestiary.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:11 pm 
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Crow Caller wrote:
Ah Michael I see why we differ in opinion, I consider starting PC's to be average at best.
Slightly above average. :) You have to pick one category where you're average (D), two where you're below average (E, F) and three where you're above average (A, B, C).

Crow Caller wrote:
I mean the best you can start your skill packets at is Competant, and most people I would assume would start them off closer to being Beginners (SR 9) or Novices (SR 8).
Well-well.... 7 means "a trained professional" in core and "apprentice" in Companion.

Crow Caller wrote:
PS: Higgins, put your leechman in the monster thread, if you haven't already.
Hehe, as that didn't happen in a TROS game, I'm not actually sure how to resolve that "leech attack" game mechanically. :lol:

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- Lord Petyr Baelish, A Game of Thrones


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 Post subject: Re: Expanded Bestiary.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:35 pm 
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higgins wrote:
Crow Caller wrote:
Ah Michael I see why we differ in opinion, I consider starting PC's to be average at best.
Slightly above average. :) You have to pick one category where you're average (D), two where you're below average (E, F) and three where you're above average (A, B, C).


Yeah, ok sorry, slightly above average (this works for Point Buy too where the average is around 65 and PC's start with 70). I wonder if using Priority Pick how close one can make each of the NPC's Grettir listed.

Quote:
Crow Caller wrote:
I mean the best you can start your skill packets at is Competant, and most people I would assume would start them off closer to being Beginners (SR 9) or Novices (SR 8).
Well-well.... 7 means "a trained professional" in core and "apprentice" in Companion.


A difference of 1 is not so bad, especially since alot of people consider Apprantices to be trained professionals, my Brother-in-Law used to call himself a Mechanic when he was still an Apprentice, so did everyone else, and now that he has finished his appenticeship he doesn't know that much more than he already did. So yeah a 1 point discrepency is not too bad.

Quote:
Crow Caller wrote:
PS: Higgins, put your leechman in the monster thread, if you haven't already.
Hehe, as that didn't happen in a TROS game, I'm not actually sure how to resolve that "leech attack" game mechanically. :lol:


No-one said it would be easy ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Expanded Bestiary.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:39 pm 
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PS: Grettir please post all your Beasties in the Monster Forum, if needed we can tweak them to fit with OBaM a little better.

Cheers!

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