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"I don't cheat as a GM."


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In one campaign I set up this very elaborate encounter with a main bad guy.  It was to be the crowning moment of the campaign, an epic battle that would be remembered for years...  In the first round one of the PCs criticaled and killed the main baddie in one hit, battle over.

 

Did I cheat and make the bugger immune to criticals?  No.  I let the dice fall where they may and that was that.  Same rules apply to the PCs as does to the NPCs.

 

Too bad, your players would have likely enjoyed a more epic fight.

 

A better question would be why your players had weapons/spells capable of taking down your so-called "big bad" in a single shot.

 

You're a terrible, terrible GM.

 

...

 

Now, for the actual topic at hand. Should NPCs be given a different set of rules than PCs?

 

Discuss.

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I like interesting stories.

 

If tweaking an NPC so that they are different helps make that the case, then I have no problems with it.

 

 

I also have no problems with plot specific NPCs being invincible and whatnot. Too bad Hades disagrees.

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They were going against a human warrior/thief type, who wasn't wearing a helm, and one of the PCs was able to throw their dagger +2 right into his skull. Metal slicing into gray matter tends to kill a person instantly if you aren't careful. It would be cheating if I let the bugger live with such a critical strike. No one should be "invincible."

 

As or the actual discussion, no. There should be a single set of rules and a single set of interpretation of those rules, regardless it being PnP or CRPG, in a given campaign. These rules should govern the game mechanics fairly and without bias.

Edited by Judge Hades
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That completely ruins the potential climax of the "final battle," though. It shows your short-sighted planning. Your big bad should not be killable in a single round, let alone a single HIT.

 

I actually agree that NPCs should follow the same rules as PCs in terms of development. HOWEVER, you completely failed to take balance into acount. Your big bad, made to challenge your entire table top group, was killed by only one.

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It's a good thing the baddies in the Kotors survived so long to make an epic battle, eh <_<

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

TSLRCM Official Forum || TSLRCM Moddb || My other KOTOR2 mods || TSLRCM (English version) on Steam || [M4-78EP on Steam

Formerly known as BattleWookiee/BattleCookiee

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I would much prefer that a story is built and made plausible / functional WITHOUT special treatment of NPCs: however, when faced with a situation where the NPC must be given such, or the story / experience compromised, I would opt for a discreet empowerment of the said NPC. It's very easy to break immersion, this.

 

So in Hades' story, I would have had to try and find a good way to make him "not die" - something that doesnt sound too much like deus ex machina.

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I would much prefer that a story is built and made plausible / functional WITHOUT special treatment of NPCs: however, when faced with a situation where the NPC must be given such, or the story / experience compromised, I would opt for a discreet empowerment of the said NPC. It's very easy to break immersion, this.

 

So in Hades' story, I would have had to try and find a good way to make him "not die" - something that doesnt sound too much like deus ex machina.

 

But what about in a CRPG, where a GM cannot modify stats on the fly?

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Same logic applies. :lol: When the story / game is adapted onto the coded realms by the devs, they should initially endeavour to achieve this (e.g. villains that escape and whatnot) through 'orthodox' means, that is, without artificial empowerment or invulnerability. When through Q&A they find this to be too risky (e.g. possibility of killing Sion on Korriban), artifical stopgaps should be placed, but ones that are the least immersion-breaking.

 

As examples, I would prefer creatures that are *extremely* powerful as opposed to ones that cannot be killed: if this is done consistently enough (see Werewolf) players will learn to expect that the game wants THEM to decide when to give up and when to keep trying. Right now the trend in CRPGs is that players always walk down the obvious path, the guided path, and only think 'outside the box' when they are steered to. Now that coding is becoming more and more capable of multiple approaches and more 'open' situations, the devs should also strive to make players become used to it, and EXPECT it - not to be told "this creature is too powerful", but for themselves to think "hey, this guy is way too powerful, but surely I can reach a compromise with him or run away?"

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That is where scaling comes in, though it needs a lot of improvements.

 

Almost every RPG back-end system has a point where the game mechanics simply start to break down. In D&D, AC simply stops mattering for players, bad guys have to-hit bonuses that easily outweigh their AC. So players are forced to rely on DR.

 

There are ways to avoid this, but most designers don't take this into account, or go the "it isn't our job to ensure the players are over powered" route. A game designer's first duty is fun. Fun trumps all in game design and development.

 

Using the D&D example further, if enemies are forced to to live by the same AC rules that players are, they need items that aren't available to players to survive fighting them, or they need to be much, much higher level; in order to survive more attacks.

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I rarely 'cheat' as DM. I believe it's bad form. I try my best to balance it as much a spossible. Soemtimes, very rare as it is, I overrate my players and their characters' abilities and so find that they are dinks and will be completely wiped out with noc hance so I give them one or two breaks to even up. Other times, if tit's their fault that they're getting their butts wupped; I say tough.

 

Very rarely do my 'big bads' die as easy as the exmaple given. The rare time they do (1 in 1 million) I don't cheat as I feel those times give a good ego boost for the players and their skill for when theye ncounter an enemy that's not so easily or luckily defeated (with one hit). In a game like D&D when you have death spells, hold spells, and crits; luck is all apart of it.

 

And, the story *never* suffers; because what some ar eforgetting gaming is not a novel. It's a story being told by BOTH the players and the DM; not just the DM. If you cheat and manipulate the players to get the result you want you mght as well dump them and write a book.

 

LET THE GAMEZ BEGIN!!!

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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No they don't.  All they need is the same level of equipment as the PCs.  Keeping it balanced, if not better, as long as it fits within the rules of the game.

 

Uh... it's "the big bad." TBB can't be just another bad guy, he needs to be extra-ordinarily challenged or players feel robbed. TBB himself doesn't need to be uber, he could simply come with allies, but even then TBB needs SOMETHING be identified with. Any good TBB has some sort of seemingly super-natural power or aspect to them.

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No, not necessarily.

 

A TBB not only needs to physcial handle the PCs but also emotionally as well. One of my more memorable TBBs was someone they were comporative level to and met at first level. As they grew in power, so tdid she and she tore at them indirectly through family, friends, and associates. Never once attacking them directly was a source of frustration on the PCs for not only did she do this but was an active NPC in the PC party. :rolleyes:

Edited by Judge Hades
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"Uh... it's "the big bad." TBB can't be just another bad guy, he needs to be extra-ordinarily challenged or players feel robbed."

 

Nope. My players never seem to feel that way at all. in fact, they are usually estatic, and feel proud of themselves for such an accomplishment espciially since they know I tend not to take it easy on them. Whenn this happens, they know they earned it, or got lucky. And, sometimes, all ya need is luck espicially in a game where dice (ala D&D) is involved.

 

 

"TBB himself doesn't need to be uber, he could simply come with allies, but even then TBB needs SOMETHING be identified with. Any good TBB has some sort of seemingly super-natural power or aspect to them."

 

That's ludicrous. Most of the best TBB I've seen in pnp don't have any special power outside of overly strong persoanlities and a will to give thier wants (outside of the spells, and skills like characters).

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Sure, they are. If they weren't why bother with gaming systems at all. Might as well just play dress up and play act. Without the rules; you aren't role-playing; you are acting.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Nonetheless, TBB still needs an identifying super natural feeling. Whether it's the "always a step ahead" soothsaying aspect, or some sort of super-natural physical power. If you don't give TBB some sort of "special" combat ability, you shouldn't bother pitting the player against them. They will feel unfulfilled and bored.

 

The problem with having an NPC kill another NPC is that most players don't REALLY care about the NPCs unless they're directly involved. If they can prevent or cause the death they'll feel effected, but if they feel like a vessel to carry the story rather than a part of the story they're less likely to "care."

 

I eagerly anticipate the "omg by they you mean you!" replies, and all, but the fact is that most people do feel this way. People want to be a part of something and be an IMPORTANT part of it, not just watch. You gimp your end foe, you might as well not put it there for fighting.

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"What if the rules get in the way of said role-playing/experience?"

 

Why would they? That's why a DM has the right... no, the obligation... to change rules if they should intervere.. that's completely different than 'cheating' or 'cooking the dice'. And, all changes should be logical. ie. A human shouldn't be given the ability to fly just because he's an uber boss and to give an unfair advantage. That said, if you really want that npc to have flying as an ability there are multiple ways to do it fairly within the rulez...

 

 

"If you don't give TBB some sort of "special" combat ability, you shouldn't bother pitting the player against them. They will feel unfulfilled and bored."

 

Absolutely false with no basis in fact. Espicially dealing with D&D. Have an enemy mage follow the rules, and give him a good personality, and he can *easily* be a very memorable villain.

 

Heck, I had one orc shaman who became a very hated (in a good way) enemy of my player ssimply because he scaped an onslaught by them and came back with a vengenace (and all legit, and noc hetaing or unfair advantage given to him).

Edited by Volourn

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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