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Simplified Antagonists & NPC


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59 minutes ago, Archivist said:

Other than Chill 3e, are there any BRP adjacent systems that provide simplified antagonists and NPCs rather than building them with the same stats as PCs? COC, revolution d100 and zweihander all use a PC style stat block and rules.

How adjacent do you want to go? Perhaps the simplest stat block belongs to West End's Star Wars RPG, which grew out of the Ghostbuster's RPG that Chaosium created for them. It introduced the idea of a 2D/4D statblock (2D attributes/4D skill) being the typical NPC. 

I've adapted that to BRP with 10/12hp/40% statblocks for typical NPCs without a problem. You don't really need much to track average.

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15 hours ago, Archivist said:

Other than Chill 3e, are there any BRP adjacent systems that provide simplified antagonists and NPCs rather than building them with the same stats as PCs? COC, revolution d100 and zweihander all use a PC style stat block and rules.

As kross says, Magic World introduced a very compact short hand that I now use all the time:

Quote

 

Magic World Page 220-221:

For a simpler/faster way to go, use the rough statistics below. Decide first on how competent you need the NPC(s) to be. Then, decide quickly which skills are “Preferred” and which are “Other”. This should be obvious based on the purpose of the NPC. 


Minor: All abilities are at 8, preferred skills at 30%, other skills at 15%. HP = Con/2 (4), 1-2 points armor. Weapons always do 1D6 damage. 

Average: All abilities are at 10, preferred skills at 40%, other skills at 20%. HP = Con (10), 3-4 points armor. Weapons always do 1d8 damage. 

Experienced: All abilities are at 13, preferred skills at 60%, other skills at 30%. HP = as normal (usually 13), 5-6 points of armor. Weapons do 1D8+1D4 damage. 

Heroic: All abilities are at 15 (maybe 1 or 2 at 18), preferred skills at 75%, others at 40%. HP = better of CON or SIZ (usually 15, sometimes 18), 7-8 points of armor. Weapons do 1D8+1+1D6 damage. 

Epic: All abilities are at 18 (maybe 1 at 21), preferred skills at 100%, others at 60%. HP = better of CON or SIZ (usually 18, sometimes 21), 9-12 points of armor. Weapons do 2D6+1D6 damage.

 

 

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54 minutes ago, Archivist said:

The Magic World approach sounds good for me. Given all the praise it gets it's weird that it never caught on in a larger sense. Thanks!

Not really, if you look at itin context. First off it was one 16 page booklet in a set that was  just barely enough to run a game with. I think anyone who really liked it probably already had RuneQuest or Stormbringer or would soon do so, and would take advantage of the features of those other games.  Magic world had a somewhat suspect magic system, too. It worked, but didn't really work well compared to combat. A 4D6 fireball in BRP terms is devastating

As with Superworld and Future World, I think Magic World was more along the lines of a proof of concept, showing what could be done with the BRP system, more than actually accomplishing it. 

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16 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Not really, if you look at itin context. First off it was one 16 page booklet in a set that was  just barely enough to run a game with. I think anyone who really liked it probably already had RuneQuest or Stormbringer or would soon do so, and would take advantage of the features of those other games.  Magic world had a somewhat suspect magic system, too. It worked, but didn't really work well compared to combat. A 4D6 fireball in BRP terms is devastating

As with Superworld and Future World, I think Magic World was more along the lines of a proof of concept, showing what could be done with the BRP system, more than actually accomplishing it. 

I think we're talking about two different things here. The Magic World I was referring to was the full-scale book put together by Ben Monroe, whereas you seem to be referring to the original Magic World booklet from Worlds of Wonder (or whatever it was called). Ben's Magic World book was a complete RPG, and it's that source that NickMiddleton quotes above with regard to the clever NPC-shorthand versions I was referring to.

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1 hour ago, kross said:

I think we're talking about two different things here.

I guess we are.

1 hour ago, kross said:

 

The Magic World I was referring to was the full-scale book put together by Ben Monroe, whereas you seem to be referring to the original Magic World booklet from Worlds of Wonder (or whatever it was called). Ben's Magic World book was a complete RPG, and it's that source that NickMiddleton quotes above with regard to the clever NPC-shorthand versions I was referring to.

Ah,. I that case I think the reason why Magic World didn't take off it is pretty much the same reason as to why Stormbringer/Elerc! never reall took off. Magic World is mostly Stormbringer with the Elric stuff taken out. It's not a bad RPG, but it would be unlikely for it to be more popular suddenly, after floating around in a similar form for years. Especially when it never really got put under the spotlight. 

It's a pity, as Stormbinger/Elric!/Magic World was always a pretty good RPG, but one that was always on Chaosium's back burner. 

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