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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 166 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Strife and NPCs  (Read 1623 times)
Nev the Deranged
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Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« on: April 11, 2007, 05:16:33 PM »


 So, how do you deal with spending Strife on NPCs before you know how they will be disposed toward the heroes? Should Strife only be spent on definite enemies? Would I spend saved Strife on NPCs if they become antagonistic due to the heroes' actions? If, say, the soldiers of a particular town may end up fighting the heroes, or may end up accompanying them, do I spent Strife on them during prep?

 yes, it is the last minute, and no, I don't have my game ready for this weekend yet. >.< I am a bad person.
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John Harper
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2007, 08:52:05 PM »

You don't need to spend Strife on an NPC unless it's definitely an obstacle for the heroes. Friendly townsfolk and such are free.

If an NPC becomes antagonistic later, then yes, you'd spend the Strife then and stat them up.
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Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!
Nev the Deranged
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Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2007, 03:01:41 PM »

Hm. Right. Except then I can't budget effectively.

Plus, since Strife is based on the number and Name of heroes, it's tricky trying to write an adventure for general use. I mean, sure, it's just tweaking Strife, adding or subtracting a bit, but still... Even though I chose Agon specifically because it was budgeted and simple, I feel like the Strife budget is hindering me... which I guess is what it's for. Hm.

I guess the whole "strife budget prevents GMs screwing the players" thing that made sense when I picked the game seems like a bother now that I'm doing it and realizing that I have no intention or desire to screw the players, so why do I need a budget? I blew through my budget without even trying, and then some. Although, if the soldiers don't count until/unless they become adversaries... hm.

I'm complaining, but I should probably chalk it up to not knowing what the hell I'm doing, and just see what happens.

I do have some questions:

1) I am considering the use of positioning tokens for inanimate objects, such as altars, columns, scrying pools, and whatnot. Obviously they would not roll, act, or move on their own (although maybe some volcanic steam jets or immobile but hostile trees could have limited ability to act, either on a timer or of their own volition). Such items could have various effects, maybe adding a cover bonus, or having some kind of protective (or damaging) aura, or a door that must be held shut, or a trap that must be disarmed, etc. Obviously some things would ordinarily be done outside of combat, but I think it's more interesting and gives the whole positioning mechanic more oomph if players have to accomplish something while fighting. What do you think?

2) I was thinking about Sacrifices. The basic mechanic is simple, but a sacrifice is a big deal to the Greeks. Finding and securing a worthy animal, finding or building a suitable altar, and performing whatever rite pleases your god (based on the god's prime requisites, naturally) could all be separate contests. Or perhaps optional ones, letting them try for Advantages for the sacrifice roll itself. I was also thinking, if they have slain a Beast of some note, using it as a sacrifice would net a bonus equal to the Name of that Beast... does that make sense?

I guess those aren't so much direct questions as sort of bouncing ideas off the forum... ideas which I probably won't work in by this weekend, but intriguing nonetheless.

 thanks!
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Skywalker
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Posts: 37


« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2007, 07:13:08 PM »

Only spend up to half your budget in advance. It advises this in the book. Leave the other half unspent. Remember that as the Antagonist you need to leave lots of the adventure open so the players can try and influence the challenges to their PCs favour.

I also break down the adventure into Strife per objective in advance to help me keep an eye on this. In a 4 Objective Quest, I normally go for 15/15/20/30.
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John Harper
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2007, 10:50:35 PM »

Skywalker has it right. Don't try to pre-spend all your budget and plan for every contignency. You'll go mad. Smiley

Also, don't worry too much if you go over budget a bit. Strife turns into Glory, so the players probably won't mind either. Like you said, you're not trying to screw them on purpose. The Strife budget numbers are a general guideline for how much adversity a given group should face in one quest, but it doesn't have to be an ironclad limit if it bugs you. In my own games, I've gone 5-10 Strife over budget a few times with no ill effect.

Also, remember that a "group of guards" can be a free 2d6 simple contest roll in some circumstances. No need to spend on everything unless you really want to.

Now to questions:

1) Objects on the range strip sound like fun to me. Chris Chinn also suggested this idea at one point. I haven't tried it yet, but I think it should work well. Cover bonuses should probably be free Advantage dice instead of actual penalties to hit.

2) Taking time to engage in contests for Advantage dice for your Sacrifice roll is Good Play(tm). If your players don't figure it out, feel free to gently shove them in that direction. When the heroes go to the temple to sacrifice, the priest tells them that none of his humble offerings are worthy, and asks the heroes to go into the hills and bring back the finest ram they can find. Now it's a contest among the PCs, and the winner gets the Advantage dice. Fun.
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Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!
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