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Old Man Henerson

How do you stat multiple creatures at once

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Hi. I have had the Basic Role Playing book for a few years now, but I have never really gotten around to playing it. I am trying to set up a campaign now, but I do not know how to stat multiple creatures during encounters without rolling for all their individual stats like STR, CON, INT, and etc...  What do you guys recommend?

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If they are all the same type of critter, you could just give them all the same average stats.  So a STR 3d6 monster would tend to have 10-11 strength.  Why make more work for yourself by rolling them up individually?  😉  The exception would be if you wanted your opponents to have an especially capable leader or a particularly wimpy comic relief member of the team.

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Yes, while you could roll up stat for every trollkin, bandit, or wolf, it is really just more work for soemthnig that nobdoy is probably going to notice. In most cases a point here or there doesn't mean much.

What old RQ used to have were leader and squad sheets. The GM would come up with detailed stats for the leaders and then use more generic stats for the squad. So, if it were a pack of wolves the Pack Leader might be rolled up and have good stats while the rest of the pack used average wolf stats.

 

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So, your intrepid player-characters are surprised by a group of mutants (average STR 10).  Their brawny leader sizes up the adventurers' NPC guide, flexes a bicep (STR 16-17) and casually one-punches him with a smirk.  The leader's scrawny sidekick (STR 3-4) swaggers up to your toughest PC and promptly breaks his knuckles on the hero's iron jaw.  Hijinks ensue.

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If the stats don't change other game aspects, don't bother and go with the averages, unless you want to have a few outliers.

Maybe just alter a couple of stats by 3, upward or downward, for a bit more color.

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8 hours ago, Joerg said:

If the stats don't change other game aspects, don't bother and go with the averages,

Or even slightly above average if it fits the story. For instance a band of mercenaries might be a bit more buff than average and all have 12 or 13 STR. Or not. I'm just mentioning that so OP doesn't think that all groups need to be exactly average, although the more extreme the stat, the harder it is to justify in  a group. One APP 18 woman living in an apartment is rare, but believable. Three APP 18 women living in an apartment is a TV series. 

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I usually generate leaders stats and then use the average for the rest, usually having a std stat block labelled 'mooks'.   I then will have slightly better stats for better trained NPCs as well. In every group of NPCs I usually, if I have the time, generate another full stat block.  I use this for flavour and sometimes just a trigger for me to add some variety.  

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I do it in one of several ways, depending on how I feel:

Use an NPC Generator in Excel to generate a load of individual NPCs and print them on a single sheet

Use an NPC Generator to generate 1 NPC and use multiple identical NPCs

Just make them up on the spot

 

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Assume average stats for their species.

If they are generic soldiers, guards or whatever, I just give them HP, a weapon /armor set and a single skill.

So a squad of average soldiers get "Soldier 60%". They have a 60% chance of doing any soldier-thing. If they do something a soldier might know but not be great at, roll at a suitable reduction (-20 is usually fine). If its really unusual, give them the base chance.

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10 minutes ago, Old Man Henerson said:

Wow. Thanks for all the advice guys. I will be sure to use it. I am a bit new to the whole basic role playing system, most of my RPG experience comes from AD&D, so I was more used to that.

Well in that case you shouldn't have too much trouble with NPC stats, as D&D uses the average stats for monsters and generic NPCs.

One thing I'd reccomened is that it is better to err towards the side of weak opponents as opposed to strong ones. BRP isn't as forgiving as D&D and it's harder to bounce back for getting killed. Since Hit points are mostly fixed, a good fight can be one where nobody gets hurt, unlike D&D where you might expect people to take 25-50% of this hit points in damage.  

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Yeah. This game is way more damaging than D&D.  I learned that the heard way when I tested the game with my brother the other day and a critical hit took him down to half his health, and I even forgot that critical hits bypass armor. Less skilled enemies seem like the way to go for the start of a game.

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On 11/19/2019 at 4:46 PM, Old Man Henerson said:

Yeah. This game is way more damaging than D&D.  I learned that the heard way when I tested the game with my brother the other day and a critical hit took him down to half his health, and I even forgot that critical hits bypass armor. Less skilled enemies seem like the way to go for the start of a game.

Yes, and that is something of a general rule for a campaign too. In D&D it is the overall attrion that makes combat scary, and weak monsters are little threat as PC's will be able to take multiple hits without being affected. In BRP one good hit past  the defenses from practically anyone or anything can drop a character. So that wimpy goblin or starting bandit is  always a threat.  A 30% opponent vs. a PC with 75% in his combat skills is very different than a 1st level opponent against a 10th level fighter.

Thus you can still use them against highly experienced characters and  they will still be something of a threat.This will allow you to be able to use a somewhat fixed scale for competency instead of continually raising the bar as the PC improve. The town guard can always be in the 40-60% range and never really turn into a joke.

 

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That sounds like a good idea. At first, I thought that enemies with 50%-70% were supposed to be the norm for enemies, as they would have to be effective if they were soldiers of an enemy organization; but, I can see that having far less skilled enemies would keep PCs alive much longer, and at the vary least, make it look cinematic, even if they missed all the time.

How would you handle larger encounters though? If any enemy can kill you so quickly, the best thing would be to try and engage fewer enemies at once.

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Yes, BRP heroes are much more fragile than PCs in other games, so using tactics and terrain to your advantage is a must.  Better to sneak around and pick off your foes one at a time than to wade into a crowd, even if they are mooks.

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It's just the learning curve, and getting used to how things work. Down the road you can use opponents in the 50-70% range, but you really don't want to do that until the PCs are better than that. Significantly better. Also keep in mind that  things like better armor make a huge difference, as it can let someone ignore some hits. Magic also can have a huge impact. 

 

One of the pitfalls is that a fight that is close in BRP might look like a cakewalk if the  players roll good. For instacne a monster that doesn't hit or get any damage through shield and armor when it does, might seems weak, but had it connected solidly, it could have dropped a PC. So the fight might look less dangerous that is really was.

Edited by Atgxtg
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Seconding armour. Armour makes a tremendous difference..
And also enhance damage and protection spell will another huge difference

Also,... doesn't BRP ignore armour on critical? (there are so many rule variation, I am using Revolution D100, lost track ^^) that really contribute to mob remaining dangerous...

 

On a tangent topic, I just wanted to add vaguely related comment about the spells "Fire", "Blast", "Lightning". The cost is tricky... 3MP per D6 seems excessive compare to there spell effect.
It's because BRP has too many option and it's badly worded here. Should be 3MP per D6 if you use hit location, or 1MP per D6 if you don't.

 

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Yeah... In BRP (all variants I've seen) sheer numbers are a credible threat.  HP don't scale up as PC's advance; those crits/specials stay almost as dangerous from a wimpy little Goblin as from a Conan.

Of course, a Conan is gonna Crit a lot MORE of the time... But that's why the mooks are a credible threat IN NUMBERS.  Their collective chance-to-crit can be every bit as high.

Admittedly -- even Conan's non-Crit is pretty scary!  But hey -- the GM's can't have everything!

Oh, wait... Yes they can!!!

Horde of Goblins led by Conan FTW!!!  In fact, FTTPK...

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Nah, the goblin horde will double-cross Conan and he'll be forced to aid the PCs to ensure his own survival.  Then he will run off with the nubile princess the adventurers just rescued from the Goblin King (but she won't mind even if they and her father do).  Darn!  How does he keep getting away with this stuff?

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9 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

It's in his contract.

Nah.

I'm pretty sure there's an NPC that's the GM's MarySue.

But I'm not sure if the MarySue is Conan or NubilePrincess.

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30 minutes ago, g33k said:

Nah.

I'm pretty sure there's an NPC that's the GM's MarySue.

But I'm not sure if the MarySue is Conan or NubilePrincess.

Hmmm, she escaped with the Handsome Lead (tm) in Lowlander IX, the LEGO Disney Princess Movie, The Revengers:  Iron Legacy, Man, and with the evil emperor's hunky great-grandson in Solar Wars -- Absolutely No Hope.  I suspect it is the princess.  🤔

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10 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Also,... doesn't BRP ignore armour on critical?

Yes. This is why a large number of mooks is dangerous: The more rolls the higher the possibility of a Crit.

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33 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Yes. This is why a large number of mooks is dangerous: The more rolls the higher the possibility of a Crit.

It's one of the reasons. Generally an impale or even just a high damage normal hit are all factors. The main reason why numbers are so telling is because of the limits to the number of attacks and parries a character can make, and the effect of multiple actions on a character's skill. A warrior with 100% skill fighting two guys with 50% skill is almost in an even fight. That doesn't happen in , say D&D, where two 5th level fighters do not equal one 10th level fighter.

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