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Casey

Estimating creature deadliness in BRP systems

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I am designing a sandbox low-magic fantasy setting based on the BRP basic rules. I understand that combat is generally far deadlier than in D&D, but is there some quick metric or rule of thumb to help balance combat deadliness to the party? I'm thinking a formula based on primary attack, ac, and hit points?

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No quick formula as far as I know.

 I look at the opponents' Total Hit Points and Armour worn, then the primary Combat Skill and Weapon Damage. Also a quick look at their available Magic.

That pretty much tells me how challenging they could be, but it's not really a quick empirical calculation like you are looking for.

Edited by Mankcam

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11 hours ago, Zit said:

May be using the Treasure Factor as in RQ2 could help ?

Zit's spot on.   Just calculate the Treasure Factor for the party members and then make sure the monsters AT LEAST total that amount of TF.  I say at least because a party with good synergy can survive a 200% of their TF advantage with some difficulty and routinely defeat up to 150% of their TF just through cooperation.  I used this system to balance games so much that I even changed the name to Threat Factor. 

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On 7/11/2019 at 3:35 AM, Casey said:

May be using the Treasure Factor as in RQ2 could help ?

 
Sweet. Would Plunder have that information? (Attractive since it's $4.95 haha)

Plunder has ready made treasure hoards and unique magic items. The calculation for treasure factor is in the RQ2 rulebook.

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5 hours ago, David Scott said:

Plunder has ready made treasure hoards and unique magic items.

And intriguing randomised special items.  As an aside, my very favorite game inspiration ever comes from the pages of Plunder.  The Gems/Jewelry Table:  "01  Costume jewelry that serves as a deed".  Think on that for a bit.

!i!

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On 6/30/2019 at 9:22 PM, Casey said:

I am designing a sandbox low-magic fantasy setting based on the BRP basic rules. I understand that combat is generally far deadlier than in D&D, but is there some quick metric or rule of thumb to help balance combat deadliness to the party? I'm thinking a formula based on primary attack, ac, and hit points?

Not really.

You could use Treasure Factors, as mentioned previously, to give a very rough idea of how powerful or dangerous a foe is.

My own guidelines are:

  • Tough Armour - The more armour a foe has, the harder it is to defeat. This applies exponentially, so a foe with 4 point armour is not a lot tougher than one with 2 point armour, but a foe with 8 point plus armour is a lot harder to defeat than one with 4 point armour. 
  • High Damage - This really takes PCs down. Someone with a 3D6 or higher damage bonus will be really dangerous, as most average hits penetrate armour. A D10 weapon is slightly better than a D8 one, but not overly so, however, a D10 is a lot better than a D6.
  • Multiple Attacks - This can be a killer, especially when combined with a high damage. A big cat with claw/claw/bite can be deadly. A Scorpion Man with weapon + Sting can be deadly. A Walktapus with several tentacles can be deadly.
  • Special Attacks - Any foe with a special attack is dangerous. This can be poison, harmonise, love trance, breath weapon, gaze attacks or whatever. These are hard to counter and make the foe more dangerous.
  • Special Abilities - These can make a foe dangerous. A foe who regenerates is hard to kill. A foe with an allied spirit can cast healing or other spells in combat. A shaman with spirits can be very dangerous.
  • Magic - The more magic a foe has, the more dangerous the foe is likely to be. This counts double for combat-related magic.
  • Numbers - Facing more foes is always more dangerous. I'd rather face one big bad boss than a number of foes.
  • Hit Points - Not really an issue, as even really tough creatures have a fairly low hit points per location value. Once you penetrate armour, perhaps with a critical, if you can do 12 points of damage then you can take most things down.

 

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