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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: How can I make my NPC's dumber?  (Read 2279 times)
EricAlexander
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Posts: 12


« on: February 01, 2004, 10:16:07 AM »

Hey, everyone.  I'm trying to come up with some good dumb mistakes for my npc's to make in combat that they can make without being obvious about it.  I want my players to feel clever, not make them think they're getting the fight handed to them.  Any ideas?
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Paganini
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2004, 10:25:10 AM »

Have them use the "toss" maneuver. Apparently.

:)
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Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2004, 10:58:30 AM »

Hi Eric,

There are several ways to make things easier for your players.

-Morale(aka guts)-

Instead of everyone ganging up right away, some people will hang back and try to see how tough the opposition is.  Maybe they just don't really want to fight.  If they see someone get hurt, they'll bail.  Others will be way overconfident, and underbid the player's, thinking they're not that tough.

-Oops, wasn't looking!-

It's very easy to make bad use of terrain.  Low bid Terrain dice, and watch your bad guys slip on stains, get trapped between trees, and out and out fall down.  Heroes tend to do this a lot, so it doesn't look so bad when bad guys do it too.

-Charge!-

If your players have mastered the fine art of Full Evade, then you might have an aggressive sort throw all of his dice into attack, get evaded, and stabbed in the back or side by another player.  Teamwork is everything.

Chris
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2004, 11:17:42 AM »

Underestimate!

Had a scenario where the PC Slaine was unarmed and ambushed an armored guardsman with an arming sword. He popped out of an alcove and slugged the guardsman in the face. The guardsman, luckily for Slaine, didn't have his sword in a proper position to parry, though he did roll to react (rolled a success on Surprise) His evasion was mostly successful, 4 successes to Slaine's 5. So Slaine managed to catch him for a level one wound to the face, which I ruled was enough to at least rattle him a little bit, but ended up failing to either knock him out or down. Slaine pressed his initiative and struck again..

The smart thing to do would have been to have the guard parry with his sword. Slaine probably would have lost a hand in the process. But the guardsman, barely hurt by the first strike, underestimated his opponent and attacked, despite the fact that he didn't have the initiative. Slaine caught him square in the throat, dealing a level 4 wound and crushing his larynx. When the guardsman fell, grasping at his throat, Slaine picked up the sword and finished him off.

Be careful of this sort of underestimation, though. If it goes badly (ie, your player misses or fails to do a high level of damage) then your PC can get whacked pretty badly.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
[MKF]Kapten
Member

Posts: 67


« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2004, 05:08:53 AM »

One thing that I have noted when sparring (thai boxing) against "newbies" is that they are very, very defensive. They hang back their heads so that they are out of harm's way and thereby putting themselves in an impossible position to attack from, making it very easy to defeat them.

I have used this with NPCs that dont have a lot of combat experience; the most obvious example is an armed peasant. They always throw white and I have a secret rule (from the players that is :) ) that they always put at least half their CP to defense. That rule makes it so that they tend to fight inferior. They never use any maneuvers to speak of and they always attack from above (diagonally or vertically) when using cutting weapons. This is to symbolize the hesitance involved in a dangerous situation.

I have rules like this for many types of combatants (like berzerkers, town guards, etc).

The morale effect is important too when it comes to not-so-hardcore combatants. If a PC manages to keep from getting hit by three town guards and manages to kill or maim one of them (even if by sheer luck) the other ones will take off. On the opposite, a zealot or berzerker will never escape.
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The path of the warrior is covered in blood. Most of it will be yours so you better have alot of it.


While other clans play, MKF kills!
Pyske
Member

Posts: 30


« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2004, 08:09:43 AM »

Be predictable.  Telegraph your moves, use the same move repeatedly, allocate the same number of dice several times in a row.  Use dice at a TN disadvantage, so that 5 dice from the enemy can be countered by 4 dice from the PC.  Take bad gambles like tossing everything into one attack (or one feint) -- but this one's risky in that it might work.  Allow the PC to control the terrain (if they think of it), luring the NPC into fighting uphill or on unstable footing.  Overuse the extra damage option of the "Bash" maneuver.
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(Real Name: Eric H)
Mokkurkalfe
Member

Posts: 340


« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2004, 11:51:42 AM »

Use parries and partial evasions instead of full evasions.
Personally, I let only the most highly trained/motivated/crazy people go on after a level three wound or more. No bandit is goin' to fight on after you broke his arm.

Anyway, a good idea would be when A strikes B with the two-three remaining dice. B, who's armored, realises three dice won't hurt him, and attacks instead. Wham! A is dead.
If A was more clever, he'd use a bind or similar maneuver that drains B's CP in the next round. If you rule that a bind would stop the attack from A in that round, which some do and some don't (I do), it would be a very good choice.

Another tip is to let dumber opponents attack the armored parts of the PC, even if an unarmored part is available. This makes most sense if you have a chain chirt or something. Dumb NPC just goes for the middle, ignoring unarmed extremites.
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Joakim (with a k!) Israelsson
Jake Norwood
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2004, 03:54:14 PM »

Quote from: Paganini
Have them use the "toss" maneuver. Apparently.

:)


Or, more appropriately, have them fall for the "Toss" maneuver, and maneuvers like it, big-time.  This is a unverisal mistake in untrained fighters...a serious flinch-reflex.


Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2004, 08:24:51 AM »

Having been on the receiving end of Jake's assault, I can attest to the serious flinch effect. He likes to start off with a beat, at which point I feel totally helpless and begin to full evade like a mad-man. That and the fact that he didn't want to maim a guest is probably the only reason I didn't get hit.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
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