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Thread: Adversary Threat Level / Beefing Up / Stats by Level

  1. #1
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    Adversary Threat Level / Beefing Up / Stats by Level

    I've looked at p103 of the Companion for creating adversaries/NPCs and I swing back and forth on how I feel about it. I've been designing my own adversaries per session, which has not been so bad and haven't really used the rules for design yet - so wanted to start doing that as I am now doing some future-thinking work.

    A key sticking point is also on p103 - "Note that an Elite ranked adversary is typically a full threat rank higher". This doesn't seem to make much sense to me as an Elite ranked minor threat will have 2 less attributes, 1 less focus, and a huge buttload of health less. In all cases, the health added keeps below the next threat-level. It would make more sense if health was a multiple based on Beefiness. (i.e. 25+CON*2 for minor TL, but Elite is CON*3, Heroic is CON*4, etc.)While the Focuses and Talents/Specializations/Powers could be a mixed bag.

    I get that they are 'mere guidelines' that are not 'hard and fast rules' and that most people advocate 'going off feel'. So to get it out of the way, I do go off feel, especially when converting - as I'm currently doing with "Tome of Beasts" but I still find myself trying to grok a mental representation to assemble it next to CR levels or next to some other factor. I also know that CR levels don't have a clear guidance, there are some very loose play tables like below:

    Code:
    CR-----Level
    1/4----1
    1/2----2
    1-------3
    2-------4
    3-------5
    4-------7
    5-------9
    6-------11
    7-------12
    8-------14
    9-------16
    10-----18
    11-----19
    12-----20
    This is very naive, since you could easily pit an L1 fighter against a CR1 and their attack could level out at even higher CR. Still, it makes a bit of sense - for example if you were to take this in hand with the threat-level chart on p104 of the CRB you would see a Major threat is L9-12, on the above that's CR5-7. A "Giant" is CR5 and a Major threat and somewhat matches (3d6+9 vs 3d8+5 / 80vs105 / AC13 vs Def9+AR5). Hey it matches! Ogre is a CR2 but matches Moderate (5-9). Oh well, it's close enough! I don't necessarily want to tie to CR, but want to find a way to sanely match up TL. The NPC stats and Adversary Beefing Up are guidelines that are a bit confused to me.

    I've also considered making each TL representative of itself with the Elite, Heroic, Epic being relative to that TL and indicative of a higher level challenge. Base TL Minor adversary + Epic being a better match for a group of L4. Does anyone have experience with using the Beefing Up rules in relation to party encounters? Does that kind of a view work out, or does it mismatch? Anyone have any working and vetted systems that work off of the guidelines?

    Also: I know that one of the solutions offered a lot is to use adversaries already created and re-skin. It still doesn't answer the question as the Companion does advise that 'published adversaries don't necessarily follow guidelines" and what i'm looking for is understanding the guidelines in context to apply to new/transferred creatures with a little less 'feels'.

    -LimpingNinja

  2. #2
    OPA Belta Doctor Atomic's Avatar
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    Re: Adversary Threat Level / Beefing Up / Stats by Level

    This seems over-complicated to me. I make up all my own monsters and just put down numbers that seem to work when compared to what my players are doing with their characters, occasionally adjusting them after seeing them in action.

  3. #3
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    Re: Adversary Threat Level / Beefing Up / Stats by Level

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Atomic View Post
    This seems over-complicated to me. I make up all my own monsters and just put down numbers that seem to work when compared to what my players are doing with their characters, occasionally adjusting them after seeing them in action.
    Basically this.

    I find the AGE Threat Level to be virtually worthless, as there are a number of things that are in character growth that arenít represented in power. Mages are notorious with this, as you might have to get an intro level spell just to unlock latter things.

  4. #4
    UN Basic Recipient
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    Re: Adversary Threat Level / Beefing Up / Stats by Level

    This seems over-complicated to me. I make up all my own monsters and just put down numbers that seem to work when compared to what my players are doing with their characters, occasionally adjusting them after seeing them in action.
    I actually said that's what I already do for my own sessions.

    > I've been designing my own adversaries per session

    I also followed with:

    > especially when converting - as I'm currently doing with "Tome of Beasts" by Kobold Press.

    I'm looking at generating an actual translation of OGL material to use with AGE in a serious manner by other DMs and by my local Gaming Cafe where I'm trying to introduce AGE as a serious contender to 5E without prefacing it: Note: All of this is wonky and based on my 3 character party of two mages and a rogue. While this may not interest the wing-it GM who creates everything by hand, there are a lot of people that find one-shots, settings, session guides, and campaign material very valuable. I'm sure there is a consensus logical system as there are multiple bestiaries that tend to follow the same pattern. What I'm asking for is whether anyone has put any of the patterns to use. Yes, I can baseline match nearby monsters - and I already do that, I'm looking to see what strategies other content creators use for actual shareable (not self-party) content.

    Yes, the TL may be worthless, CR is similarly worthless overall. All systems have items that are part of growth that are not represented in power, the same applies to D&D, PathFinder, Swords and Sorcery, Labyrinth Lord, 13th AGE, etc. They all still eventually find a modicum of balance for the wonkiness that generates baselines.

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