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Thread: How do I create my own adversaries?

  1. #1
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    How do I create my own adversaries?

    Hello,

    maybe I’m missing something, but are there any guidelines for creating your own adversaries, especially something like supernatural monsters (so that I can play the genres that chapter 11 promises me)?

    To be more precise:

    1. What’s a good starting point for ability scores, relative to the aimed at Threat Level? Or generally, how do I determine that Threat Level an adversary is?
    2. What’s a good baseline for Health?
    3. What about special abilities? How do I create a zombie that can only be killed by damage to the head? How do I create a shapeshifter, like a werewolf? How a vampire? How an insubstantial ghost? How would such abilities influence the Threat Level?

    1 and 2 are completely unclear to me, even for mundane adversaries.

    Am I missing something? Chapter 11 promises me all these great genres, but I don’t know how I could realize these fantastical genres with Modern AGE. Do I need Fantasy AGE for that? Or is this something that will be addressed in the Modern AGE Companion?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by mrkwnzl; 01-05-2019 at 06:15 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: How do I create my own adversaries?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrkwnzl View Post

    [LIST=1][*]What’s a good starting point for ability scores, relative to the aimed at Threat Level? Or generally, how do I determine that Threat Level an adversary is?
    Use the adversary list in the book as a guide. Adversaries and Allies will provide more detailed guidelines.

    [*]What’s a good baseline for Health?
    P. 132 covers Health guidelines by mode. Generally speaking the base is 10-20+Con, wider than the range for PCs.

    [*]What about special abilities? How do I create a zombie that can only be killed by damage to the head? How do I create a shapeshifter, like a werewolf? How a vampire? How an insubstantial ghost? How would such abilities influence the Threat Level?
    AGE isn't a system where we get to things through complex mechanical contrivances. Zombie that ca only be killed by headshot? Stunt Die determines action quality, so you might rule that on 4+ it's a headshot. Shapeshifter? Just apply whatever the ability differences would be.

    As for Threat, it depends on whether the adversary can be defeated by PCs of the Threat's level range in a challenging fight. A special ability/quality is generally equivalent to 1-2 talents. Again, Adversaries and Allies is coming; we could only provide so much in the core.

    Many powers can be designed using the Extraordinary Stunt talent on p. 164 of the core. This gives you access to automatic stunts derived from special abilities.

    Modern AGE generally trusts you to innovate as GM. We trust your judgment. That said. Adversaries and Allies and the Modern AGE Companion will both have systems that apply to these questions. Both are text-final; the latter is in layout now.

  3. #3
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    Re: How do I create my own adversaries?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
    P. 132 covers Health guidelines by mode. Generally speaking the base is 10-20+Con, wider than the range for PCs.
    I found the guidelines by mode, but I was unsure where to start. 10–20+Con makes sense, but as someone new to AGE, I don’t think that’s automatically obvious. And as far as I can tell, it’s not mentioned in the book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
    AGE isn't a system where we get to things through complex mechanical contrivances. Zombie that ca only be killed by headshot? Stunt Die determines action quality, so you might rule that on 4+ it's a headshot. Shapeshifter? Just apply whatever the ability differences would be.

    As for Threat, it depends on whether the adversary can be defeated by PCs of the Threat's level range in a challenging fight. A special ability/quality is generally equivalent to 1-2 talents. Again, Adversaries and Allies is coming; we could only provide so much in the core.

    Many powers can be designed using the Extraordinary Stunt talent on p. 164 of the core. This gives you access to automatic stunts derived from special abilities.

    Modern AGE generally trusts you to innovate as GM. We trust your judgment. That said. Adversaries and Allies and the Modern AGE Companion will both have systems that apply to these questions. Both are text-final; the latter is in layout now.
    Thanks a lot for this, this is really helpful to me. Again, as an AGE-newbie, this wasn’t immediately obvious to me. Especially the Extraordinary Stunt talent was something I overlooked. Thanks! I look forward to the Companion and Adversaries and Allies!

    Any more tipps and tricks for new GMs with AGE? What might be different from other systems, especially with regard to the Stunt Die and Stunts?

    Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by mrkwnzl; 01-09-2019 at 08:30 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: How do I create my own adversaries?

    The main thing is that most things which in other games might use a special rule, like grappling, is covered with a stunt. This means you should keeep the action you narrate only loosely described until you check for and spend SP.

    Often people will want to use a stunt, but the exact situation it's good for hasn't arisen, yet. If it's happening later in the round or very shortly in the encounter I let people "put a pin" in their stunt so it goes off at that time. This is just my personal house rule.

    Modern AGE has a *lot* of stunts. Start with the basics and encourage players to pick out ones they want to see used ahead of time instead of looking at every entry every time a stunt comes up. Nothing in the rules says they *can't* but it's something to ease into.

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    Re: How do I create my own adversaries?

    Thank you so much, this is really helpful!

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm
    Often people will want to use a stunt, but the exact situation it's good for hasn't arisen, yet. If it's happening later in the round or very shortly in the encounter I let people "put a pin" in their stunt so it goes off at that time. This is just my personal house rule.
    Do you have a simple example of what this might look like? Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Re: How do I create my own adversaries?

    Bob generates 3 SP punching a dude in the face, but it's the last round of combat and Bob isn't sure what he wants to use the SP for. I say, "put a pin in it." At the end of the fight an NPC is still being smarmy, so Bob decides he wants to apply these to a social stunt to get the NPC to submit and talk.

    The stunt generally has to take place on or before the PC's next action.

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    Re: How do I create my own adversaries?

    That sounds reasonable. Thanks for the advice!

    Edit: Sorry, forgot another question. Is the Threat Level balanced against a single character or a group? If it’s a group, what is the assumed group size?
    Last edited by mrkwnzl; 01-20-2019 at 08:33 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: How do I create my own adversaries?

    Threat places adversaries as equivalent to single characters in its listed level range, but for combat encounter purposes should (in my opinion) generally be fought by a party of 3-5 characters in Cinematic Mode. Other modes are much more forgiving because of fewer Health, Defense and Toughness differences by level.

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