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Shaira

BRP Stat Block Example

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Hi all,

I've been putting together a scenario for my fantasy campaign using BRP Zero, and thought I'd post one of the sample stat blocks, as it seems a pretty good example of how you can include multiple rules options without massive overkill.

The following example uses the optional rules for Hit Locations, Fatigue, Strike Ranks, and Separate Attack and Parries. It also retains the default Major Wound score. It doesn't explicitly mention the Skill Cat bonuses, but at this level it doesn't seem relevant - they might already be factored in, they might not.

In other words, with this stat block you can pick and choose which optional rules you use - hopefully without too much disagreeable extra text for those who want to play a stripped-down game!

Cheers,

Sarah

(incidentally, a "P'Tek" is a large, cave-dwelling, dark-skinned, darkness-worshipping humanoid similar to a D&D Orc / Goblin or a RQ Troll. The guys in my campaign generally call them "trolls"... :))

GALAKUB, P'Tek Archer

[TABLE]STR |9 |Move |8 |R Leg |1/4

CON| 12 |HP |12 |L Leg |1/4

SIZ |12 |Major Wd |6 |Abdomen |1/4

INT |13 |Dmg Bonus |- |Chest |1/5

POW |14 |PP |14 |R Arm |1/3

DEX |16 |Fatigue |21 |L Arm |1/3

APP |9 |||Head |1/4

[/TABLE]

[TABLE]Weapon |SR |Att% |Damage |P%|Pts

Self Bow |2/7 |57% |1D6+1 |- |-

P’Tekian Gugri |6 |45% |1D6+1 |32% |20

[/TABLE]

The Gugri is a short, thick, curved blade. Treat as a Short Sword, except that it does Bleeding special hits.

Armor: 1pt skin

Skills: Dodge 50%, Technical (Traps) 41%, Hide 36%, Stealth 36%, Sense 57%, Spot 51%, Repair (Mechanical) 33%, Fine Manipulation 23%

Powers: Super Sense (Dark Vision) 7; Resistance (Cold) 5

-10% to all actions in daylight.

Possessions: -

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Thanks for the kind words, guys!

Strangely, I seem to be finding critters & NPCs easier to stat up in BRP than in RQ3. Not sure why - it could be my advanced age and obsessive brain :D - but my hunch is that it's something to do with the Powers system. It's acting as a "special abilities" list for critters with darkvision, etc, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time round, plus the magical abilities (Sorcery and Psychic abilities, in my case) are a lot easier to deploy than the RQ3 magic.

I'm going to be creating a P'Tek (Chronicles Troll) Shamaness with a bound darkness demon (and maybe a darkness elemental) and a pile of sorcery spells shortly - that should provide a good shake-out of the stat block & chargen system! I'll post the results here if they look like they might be interesting.

Cheers,

Sarah

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I like the statblock, but it would be better readable if the 2nd and 4th column of the first table would be set in a fixed width to insert some space and make it more readable.

For example:

<colgroup>

<col>

<col width="40">

<col>

<col width="40">

<col>

<col>

</colgroup>

Also another empty line after the weapon-table wouldn't be bad.

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I like the statblock, but it would be better readable if the 2nd and 4th column of the first table would be set in a fixed width to insert some space and make it more readable.

For example:

<colgroup>

<col>

<col width="40">

<col>

<col width="40">

<col>

<col>

</colgroup>

Also another empty line after the weapon-table wouldn't be bad.

:D You're quite right! Unfortunately this forum doesn't let you post table info in HTML, but in its own markup which (AFAIK) doesn't allow col widths or anything that flashy - it was hard put to stick the data in a table at all!

My initial question was more regarding the content of the block rather than the specific look n feel in the forum message, in particular with ref to combining optional rules such as SRs and Hit Locs into a standard stat block without eating up too much space. I can certainly stick a line under the weapon table though - that'll look cleaner! ;)

If there is a way to pretty up the layout in messages, I'd be very interested.

Cheers,

Sarah

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Thanks for the kind words, guys!

I'll add my praise as well - you've earned it. Great layout and quite clean. Thanks for sharing.

Strangely, I seem to be finding critters & NPCs easier to stat up in BRP than in RQ3. Not sure why - it could be my advanced age and obsessive brain :D - but my hunch is that it's something to do with the Powers system. It's acting as a "special abilities" list for critters with darkvision, etc, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time round, plus the magical abilities (Sorcery and Psychic abilities, in my case) are a lot easier to deploy than the RQ3 magic.

The Powers system is a great place to put all those "little exceptions" that make certain monsters difficult to write up. Excellent observation!

I'm going to be creating a P'Tek (Chronicles Troll) Shamaness with a bound darkness demon (and maybe a darkness elemental) and a pile of sorcery spells shortly - that should provide a good shake-out of the stat block & chargen system! I'll post the results here if they look like they might be interesting.

I'd be *very* interested in seeing your P'Tek Shamaness! Sounds quite dangerous - and good exercise for the system. Bravo!

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Hi all,

Here's where it starts getting a bit more complex - this is the writeup for the P'Tek (read: Troll or Orc type thing) Darkness Shamaness with bound elemental and demons. You'll notice some new Sorcery Spells (hopefully relatively self-explanatory) and "Demon Powers", which are derived pretty closely from SB5, with new power writeups as appropriate, and one magical item - a "Mana Shard", basically a PP battery. Everything else is straight from the BRP Zero rules book.

ULEGA-BAGU, P'Tek Shamaness of Babisiya the Night Hag

[TABLE]STR |12 |Move |8 |R Leg |1/4

CON| 11 |HP |11 |L Leg |1/4

SIZ |11 |Major Wd |6 |Abdomen |1/4

INT |16 |Dmg Bonus |- |Chest |1/5

POW |17 |PP |29* |R Arm |1/3

DEX |13 |Fatigue |23 |L Arm |1/3

APP |11 |||Head |1/4

[/TABLE]

*includes 12PP Mana Shard (see below)

[TABLE]Weapon |SR |Att% |Damage |P%|Pts

Short Staff |8 |44% |1D6 |27% |15

[/TABLE]

Armor: 1pt skin

Skills: Art (Saga Chanting) 35%, Dodge 75%, First Aid 75%, Hide 50%, Insight 40%, Knowledge (P’Tek History) 30%, Knowledge (Beyond the Veil) 8%, Perform (Umbrai Summoning Ritual) 45%, Perform (Shade Summoning Ritual) 60%, Persuade 28%, Sense 55%, Speak Durghat (Darkspeech) 80%, Speak Low Sakaraic 33%, Spot 60%, Stealth 50%

Sorcery: IN MEMORY (Free INT: 0): Blood Sacrifice (4), Fog (4), Terror (1)

IN GRIMOIRE: Curse-2, Command Umbrai (1), Summon Umbrai (1), Heal (2)

Bindings: BLACKEYE, Bound Shade: see below for statistics

MASK, Bound Umbrai (Darkness Demon) bound into sacred Black Mask. POW 16, INT 12. Powers: Howl (3), Darkwalk (1), Spider Bite-5

BABA UMBRAI, Embodied Bound Umbrai (Darkness Demon): see below for statistics

Other Powers: Super Sense (Dark Vision) 8; Resistance (Cold) 5

-10% to all actions in daylight.

Possessions: 12pt Mana Shard

Notes: Memory Usage: Sorcery (9 pts); Bound Shade (1pt); Mask (Bound Umbrai, 3pts); Baba Umbrai (Bound Umbrai, 3pts).

Free INT: 0

BLACKEYE, Ulega-Bagu's Bound Shade

[TABLE]STR |12 |Move |10 |HP |11

SIZ| 11 |PP |11 |Major Wd |6

POW |11 |Dmg Bonus |+1D4 |Fatigue |11

[/TABLE]

[TABLE]Weapon |SR |Att% |Damage |P%|Pts

Fearshock |3 |100% |Special* |- |-

Engulf |- |30% |1D6+2** |- |-

[/TABLE]

* May be used on a given target once per full Turn only.

**Cold damage inflicted by the Freeze power.

Armor: None

Powers: Fearshock (1), Freeze 3

BABA UMBRAI, Ulega-Bagu's Bound Darkness Demon

[TABLE]STR |20 |Move |10 |R Leg |0/4

CON| 12 |HP |11 |L Leg |0/4

SIZ |9 |Major Wd |6 |Abdomen |0/4

INT |20 |Dmg Bonus |+1D4 |Chest |0/5

POW |22 |PP |22 |R Arm |0/3

DEX |10 |Fatigue |32 |L Arm |0/3

APP |1 |||Head |0/4

[/TABLE]

[TABLE]Weapon |SR |Att% |Damage |P%|Pts

Claw |8 |60% |1D8+db |- |-

Howl |3 |100% |Special* |- |-

Fearshock |3 |100% |Special** |- |-

[/TABLE]

*Costs 1PP per Combat Round. All within range must make INT vs PP resistance rolls or be stunned for duration of Howl. The Umbrai may Howl and Claw in the same Round.

**Requires darkness to use. An Umbrai will often use Swallow Sun (costing 3PP) first to create confusion and conditions of darkness, and then Fearshock on single targets. Fearshock costs 1PP per use and matches the Umbrai’s PP vs the victim’s CON in a resistance roll.

Armor: None

Skills: Dodge 50%, Hide 90%

Powers: Claw (6); Howl (3); Limited Regenerate (3), Fearshock (1), Swallow Sun 3

It's not quite as messy as I'd feared, although there is a lot of info there. Having said that, I've departed from the strict BRP stat block format regarding the POWERS writeup: strictly, you have a POWERS row in the writeup, which then has separate subdivisions for Spells, Mutations, etc. I did try this, but it got horribly messy very quickly, especially when you have Sorcery Spells, Bindings, and "Other Powers" in the same critter. So, I've broken Powers out into their separate headings, so theoretically you'd have sections for Sorcery, Magic, Mutations, Super Powers, and then a catch-all "Other Powers". For the Bound Demons and Elementals I've just kept it as a blanket "Powers" for now, but am wondering if I should change that for consistency.

On the whole, I'm not too disappointed with the layout and the info density, but I do think it's rather *long*. Maybe I should roll-up the Elementals and Demons into the parent stat block, rather than giving them separate blocks? You'd lose some GM-friendly granularity like Hit Locs & full Characteristic Block detail if I did that, and would have to refer to the master critter writeups in the Bestiary (or whatever) for skills, attack effects, etc, but you would save a lot of space on the page in a scenario.

Anyway, feedback is very much appreciated - I'm just trying out BRP with my own Chronicles campaign right now, and these stat blocks haven't been playtested yet. I'm trying to find a standard format I can use which includes key optional rules and necessary detail without splurging all over the page and using up loads of dead trees :D.

Cheers!

Sarah

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Looks pretty smooth, although somewhat large. It really contains three separate creatures though and that stretches it out.

If I were running this creature as an npc I would get a little overwelmed.... I think.. because of the skill list and the spell/powers list. That is what used to happen to me in RQ when the Npc's were loaded with skills, spells, and items though. I always had to highlight or underline one to three spells that I was sure I was going to use and then kind of forget the rest. This was especially true if the Npc had friends. Maybe if you would leave a space between each catagory: skills, sorcery, bindings, etc. Unfortunately that would make the whole thing longer, but maybe easier for the GM to read and sort through when the dice are flying.

The P'Tek itself sounds very cool and unique. I absolutely love the general feel of the character as well as your names for things: umbrai, mana shard, Durghat. It makes your Chronicles campaign sound very interesting.

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Very nice. I hope you don't mind too much if she suffers a quick sex (and race) change to reappear as an ogre-ish shaman I need... ;)

As to the length and complexity, I suspect you're stuck with it. Unless you're willing to drop details like the hit locations and separate parry percentage (after all they are optional now, right?). Hit Locs are the worst - and what do they add? Of the two that have them, both have the same armour all over (quite usual, especially for NPCs, I'd say), and a Major Wounds table should give interesting injuries (if properly skewed towards vulnerable areas). In stat blocks, it seems that hit locations aren't worth the space.

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If you use the Hit Locations like that they don't really cost any space. The first table is 7 rows, you can maybe trim it to 4 or 5 if you drop the locations, but that's about it.

I tried it with the style that I use for the MRQ pdf and the table easily fits into one column of the 2-col layout. So there is no real need to get rid of the locations even if you are making documents.

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Really cool, I dare say. I have done one a similar one today for my next MRQ book and I must confess I "borrowed" a lot of ideas.

A couple of suggestions:

a) place a slim, blank column between the characteristic block and the attribute block, and between the attribute block and the location block. It improves readability a lot.

B) scores that can decrease during action could use some space to the right for a fast markup of points lost, including location HPs and weapon AP/HPs; many people track wounds in pencil on stat blocks

c) marking unarmored locations with a dash instead of a zero is more elegant

But above all, I like it a lot. :thumb:

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I played around with the layout a little bit and made an example pdf (example.pdf if you want to take a look).

It looks better to me if you use italic instead of uppercase for subcategories (like In Memory/In Grimoire...). I am not sure yet if it is better to use italic (example 2) or bold (example 3,4) in the tables, but it's probably good to use something.

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Hi all,

First of all - thanks to everyone for the really, really great feedback! And I've gotta say it first - DirkD, what a heckuva job! Wow! It just shows when somebody with an eye for these graphic design thingies gets a hold of my humble scrawlings, that a thing of design beauty can be born! :D I was over Urth's blue-green moon this morning to see that PDF!

Seriously, that's a very professional job. I think I'm landing firmly on the side of either example 3 or 4 as my personal preference, and probably example 4, as that indent might just make things a little bit more accessible in the heat of play. Plus, the whole stat block doesn't actually seem to take up that much real-estate the way you've done it - I daresay it's shorter than my own PDF version! Excellent!

I have one question for you, Dirk: how would you differentiate the stat block from surrounding descriptive text in a scenario? At the moment I'm toying with either placing the whole stat block in a light greyish box and leaving it more or less inline in the scenario body text, or grouping all of the stat blocks at the end of the scenario, which obviously frees up formatting options a lot. I wonder what's best from a graphical and also actual play perspective? What do people prefer?

If I were running this creature as an npc I would get a little overwelmed.... I think.. because of the skill list and the spell/powers list. That is what used to happen to me in RQ when the Npc's were loaded with skills, spells, and items though. I always had to highlight or underline one to three spells that I was sure I was going to use and then kind of forget the rest. This was especially true if the Npc had friends. Maybe if you would leave a space between each catagory: skills, sorcery, bindings, etc. Unfortunately that would make the whole thing longer, but maybe easier for the GM to read and sort through when the dice are flying.

I absolutely agree with you. I think a lot of the longer RQ NPC writeups were hard to take maximum advantage of "on the fly", and required a lot of prep to work out how you were going to make use of them - often just too much information. I'm thinking of actually including a "Tactics" section at the end of the writeup - more or less just above or below the "Notes" section. Just a few lines to jog my memory during play as to how this particular NPC can be used. For example:

Ulega-Bagu mostly keeps to the background in any conflict, directing the shade and the embodied demon Baba Umbrai and using Mask's Howl ability to strategically stun foes. The shade attacks with its Fearshock and Freeze abilities in the same round, probably switching from one target to another every round or so; Baba Umbrai uses the Swallow Sun power to create another patch of darkness, and then will concentrate on individual targets, first using Fearshock and then attacking with Claw in the pool of darkness it has created - this pool of darkness will allow it to use the Limited Regenerate Ability.

If the combat looks like it will reach Ulega-Bagu, she will summon a Fog to hide her tracks. If there are contiguous patches of darkness, she will use her Darkwalk power to remove herself from danger. If cornered she will use Spider Bite whilst Baba Umbrai casts Swallow Sun again near her to provide enough darkness for her to use the Darkwalk power to escape.

That sort of thing. Hopefully at the least it'll be a memory aide during play, and may go some way to making the stat block's complexity a little less formidable!

The P'Tek itself sounds very cool and unique. I absolutely love the general feel of the character as well as your names for things: umbrai, mana shard, Durghat. It makes your Chronicles campaign sound very interesting.

Thank you! :D I'm a linguist by passion and training, and wanted to give Chronicles a bunch of words which would hopefully seem unique and at the same time accessible and hopefully strangely familiar - it's so easy when creating new words to use the "random syllable dice" and come up with something unpronouncable and quite destructive to the game's atmosphere. For example, "Babisiya the Night Hag" is actually the human (Low Sakaraic) name for the darkness goddess: the P'Tek actually call her "Durgha", which in their language means "The Dark Mother" - hence "Durghat", the name of the language, means "The Tongue of the Dark Mother", or some such. She's their principal deity.

Very nice. I hope you don't mind too much if she suffers a quick sex (and race) change to reappear as an ogre-ish shaman I need... ;)

Really cool, I dare say. I have done one a similar one today for my next MRQ book and I must confess I "borrowed" a lot of ideas.

:D I haven't actually had chance myself to playtest the full Ulega-Bagu scenario yet, & would be interested to see just how much of a threat she and, say, four or five P'Tek minions would be. I've a suspicion that if used in a kind of commando-mode - especially when they surround themselves with darkness and confusion - they could probably tear through an average beginning party, and hopefully give a reasonably experienced party a run for their money.

Also - RosenMcStern, I was about to take pretty much of your design comments on board, before DirkD provided his opus! :happy:

Oops - long post. Thanks again to everyone for comments, very cool indeed to have such good feedback.

Cheers!

Sarah

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Great work on the stat block Shaira, and I'd have to agree that examples 3 and 4 in the PDF from DirkD seem clearest to me as well.

Does mean I have a chunk of stuff I'll have to revisit to make it look presentable now though... :D

Cheers,

Nick Middleton

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The statblock stands out from the other text pretty good if you use coloured rows in the tables (like in the examples) or instead put the tables in a colourbox. I wouldn't put the whole blocks in boxes though, it can lead to a couple of grey pages if you put a handfull of stats in a row. The stats are a little long for that.

I don't know if people generally prefer the stats in the text or in an appendix. Both can be OK in my opinion. If you use pdfs, putting all the stats at the end has the advantage that they are better accessible after printing them. In Star Wars Saga, they put whole encounters including maps at the end of the scenario (you can download a free campaign at Star Wars Miniatures and Star Wars Roleplaying Game if you want to take a look). I kind of like it, it's good for reading the actual plot (no long stats and combat relevant descriptions to distract you) and having all the important stuff in one place at the gaming table. Especially with the long stats that are used in saga, brp and runequest.

On the other hand, if you don't have graphics to structure and lighten up your text, the statblocks can "freshen up" the layout a little bit if you put them in the text.

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Ulega-Bagu mostly keeps to the background in any conflict, directing the shade and the embodied demon Baba Umbrai and using Mask's Howl ability to strategically stun foes. The shade attacks with its Fearshock and Freeze abilities in the same round, probably switching from one target to another every round or so; Baba Umbrai uses the Swallow Sun power to create another patch of darkness, and then will concentrate on individual targets, first using Fearshock and then attacking with Claw in the pool of darkness it has created - this pool of darkness will allow it to use the Limited Regenerate Ability.

If the combat looks like it will reach Ulega-Bagu, she will summon a Fog to hide her tracks. If there are contiguous patches of darkness, she will use her Darkwalk power to remove herself from danger. If cornered she will use Spider Bite whilst Baba Umbrai casts Swallow Sun again near her to provide enough darkness for her to use the Darkwalk power to escape.

For a statblock I'd suggest doing tactics in a shorthand style:

"Tactics: Stay back; use shade+demon+Masks Howl; Fog if threatened; if cornered Darkwalk if dark, else Spider Bite while demon does Swallow Sun, then Darkwalk. SHADE: Fearshock+Freeze; switch target each round. DEMON: Swallow Sun; then Fearshock + Claw one target; L.Regen in dark."

Or is that too terse? Maybe it's just my inability to read lots... :ohwell:

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I don't know if people generally prefer the stats in the text or in an appendix. Both can be OK in my opinion. If you use pdfs, putting all the stats at the end has the advantage that they are better accessible after printing them.

[sNIP]

I kind of like it, it's good for reading the actual plot (no long stats and combat relevant descriptions to distract you) and having all the important stuff in one place at the gaming table. Especially with the long stats that are used in saga, brp and runequest.

I think this is the way I'm going to go. Especially with a view to "interoperability", what with BRP, optional rules, GORE, MRQ, and what have you flying around these days, it makes sense to separate out the game-specific bits so that they're easy to mod and also easy to reuse, as you mention.

I think somebody has already mentioned this somewhere, but I could certainly envisage scenarios being made available with "web enhancements" of the critter stat blocks in the various game systems out there. That would be very cool, and create some humongous synergies for us scenario-hungry gamers! :D

Frogspawner - I take your comment about brevity! I'll still work on including a "Tactics" section, but will try and keep it down a bit. I do have a tendency to go on, and on, and on... ;)

Cheers,

Sarah

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It makes your Chronicles campaign sound very interesting.

It does, indeed... Do you run any pbem games by chance? Or live games? (I see you're based in Normandy)

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It does, indeed... Do you run any pbem games by chance? Or live games? (I see you're based in Normandy)

Thank you! :D To be honest, I've never run any games by email or across the Internet, but have wondered about it. I wouldn't mind participating in some PBEM games to get the flavour of how it's done before attempting something on my own, though. Likewise I've played around with KloogeWerks, and have an embryonic BRP DEF file which works well with some of the cool maps you can produce with CC3 (etc) - but again I've never actually played via online tabletop to understand how it's done. I'd be willing to have a go though!

Cheers,

Sarah

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Thank you! :D To be honest, I've never run any games by email or across the Internet, but have wondered about it.

One of the best places to find Play by Board (aka Play by Post) games is RolePlay onLine! Welcome to RPoL.

And if you do decide to run something, either PBEM or PbB, I'd sacrifice several white bulls in your honour to join :D

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One of the best places to find Play by Board (aka Play by Post) games is RolePlay onLine! Welcome to RPoL.

And if you do decide to run something, either PBEM or PbB, I'd sacrifice several white bulls in your honour to join :D

:D Ah, yes... three white bulls on the morning of the equinox, as the duwafi bullroarers sound out from the Temple of Lord Regos before the serried ranks of the Legion in White and Gold. It is a *good* sacrifice, Jarulf!

Thanks for that link - I'd never seen the site before, and there's clearly a fair bit to digest. It looks very promising, though - I think I'll take some time to work out what's going on!

Cheers!

Sarah

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