Balancing?

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inzeos
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Balancing?

Post Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:52 pm

May have missed it as I only have a few days in so far of reading materials.

Is there a particular good reason about balancing "encounters" or creation of "monsters/NPC's" from scratch?
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Hywaywolf
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Re: Balancing?

Post Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:00 pm

Not exactly sure what you are asking, but encounters in BFRPG games aren't usually balanced. You may be able to mow though the opponents or you may encounter in a first level dungeon a vampire riding on a dragons back. Its up to the party to decide whether its time to fight or time to take flight.
inzeos
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Re: Balancing?

Post Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:05 pm

Hywaywolf wrote:Not exactly sure what you are asking, but encounters in BFRPG games aren't usually balanced. You may be able to mow though the opponents or you may encounter in a first level dungeon a vampire riding on a dragons back. Its up to the party to decide whether its time to fight or time to take flight.
Let's say I have a party of 4 level one players and I want them to be reasonably successful as they work there way into a module. Are their any guidelines in regards to hit die, attack die, powers, etc that would be appropriate?

I guess something akin to a challenge rating (CR) that other currently popular systems use?
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Hywaywolf
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Re: Balancing?

Post Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:08 pm

I don't write modules, but plenty of peeps here do. Someone will be along to help you out soon.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Balancing?

Post Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:26 pm

inzeos wrote:Let's say I have a party of 4 level one players and I want them to be reasonably successful as they work there way into a module. Are their any guidelines in regards to hit die, attack die, powers, etc that would be appropriate?

I guess something akin to a challenge rating (CR) that other currently popular systems use?
Other than a basic comparison of hit dice vs. levels, no, there is no such rule.

Basic Fantasy RPG is Old School. You say you want your players to be "reasonably successful" in your game. Have you ever played a game with a real mortality rate? I am not counseling you to be the "killer GM" and set out to kill the player characters, but it is very important that they believe their characters might die. If they are accustomed to "modern" games (or worse, video games), they will have no fear of death. If you really play Old School, you learn that death can and does happen to player characters.

They won't really respect this until someone dies. The good news is, you don't have to try to kill them. Just be sure you warn them that death is a possibility, and then wait for them to blunder face-first into a situation they can't handle. They will do so, almost certainly.

Do try to create encounters that they can reasonably expect to either defeat or successfully run away from. Make sure they understand that not all encounters are created equal, and that some are better avoided than faced.

If you're unsure, please, try one of the more mature starter modules, like BF1 Morgansfort or JN1 Chaotic Caves (they actually work quite well when combined together) before you set out to create your own. Running a "modern" game is a science; running an Old School game is an art. Treat it that way and you'll have a blast with it.
My personal site: www.gonnerman.org
inzeos
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Re: Balancing?

Post Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:41 pm

1 HD = 1 Level?

No worries killing the players or letting them die or watching them die, etc, etc.

More concerned with game mechanics of using an encounter to draw them further into the story etc.

Mechanically it's always fun watching the party gain that "feeling of success" and the inertia that drives them forward, almost like dungeonering adrenaline.

Sorting out if I throw say 4 level 1 thiefs at a party of 4 is that before rolls / placement considered balanced? Or would 4 thieves steam roll them from the stat block perspective...
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Joe the Rat
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Re: Balancing?

Post Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:28 am

Depends on how you play them. If they come running up, a mixed party should have no problem. If they attack with stealth (especially if they can close for a backstab), you could easily take down party members.

Mechanically, a first level cleric or fighter is on par with a goblin or orc (depending on armor) - on a straight up fight it's close to even odds (with strength, dex, and con bonuses improving your chances). Thieves and Magic-Users are a little harder to quantify - toe-to-toe they'd probably match a kobold (why your magic-user is going toe-to-toe with anything is beyond me), but their other abilities can tip the balance depending on what they do. A lucky thief can fell some sizeable monsters. A Magic-User can take out an entire room with the right spell, but will be a glorified torchbearer for the rest of the run.

And that's the big if - success depends on playing smart... and a bit of luck. Attrition is another aspect, particularly at low levels. One solid hit could take down almost anyone, and making it through three "balanced" fights without retreat is doing very well.

HD = level is a decent ballpark, but a single 4HD monster will likely destroy the party unless they play it smart.

Since you're talking about running adventures, you can easily adjust as you go. If they blow through a small group of goblins, make the next batch the encounter larger. Upgrade the skeletons in the next room to zombies. Downgrade the owlbear into a regular bear.

Experience is based on what you defeat, not the difficulty of the encounter. And defeat does not always mean "beat up"
inzeos
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Re: Balancing?

Post Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:37 am

Good reply, thanks. Have a whole slew of content I plan to migrate from my home brew campaign world over into Basic Fantasy. Just trying to get a feel for how GM's approach monster creature from a stand point of encountering a standard party.
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