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Old 10-04-2017, 09:44 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: NPC Skill Levels

Just to give you an idea of how far a skill 11 goes in GURPS?

Recently, I ran an online cyberpunk campaign (Fantasy Grounds 2) where the player went up against an Augmented (biosculpting) ST 22 guy who had some problems thinking due to other attempts/experiments at making him an ultimate crowd pleaser in street fighting. Guy had ST 22 with what amounted to knives embedded in his hands (not quite as bad as Wolverine of course!)

With a skill of 11, all he knew was basically "Slash for face" with a telegraphic blow. This gave him a +4 to hit an area that was -5 to hit, so his modified to hit became a 10.

As GM, I figured the player character hero had it in the basket. I guess when using Dice, one should NEVER assume that at all - least of all, me! Long story short - it even looked like the player character had it in the bag when the NPC suffered an attack from the player character, a crit hit, and fell down because he failed his HT saving roll for an attack that was treated as a major wound. That the damage was only 1 point caused the player some real anguish! Down on his back, stunned for two seconds, you'd think "Red" (the NPC) would be put out of the player character's miser. Sadly, the player character just couldn't make it work.

Then it happened. Red made a Crit Success on an attack after rising to his feet, undaunted by the nearly expert brawling attacks of the player character. So, that used up the player character's "Defensive luck". Then it happened again, an automatic success. Player character went down with his head largely destroyed as the rippers hit his lower cheek orb area, penetrated his sinuses, and caused a massive bleeder. Needless to say, with the multiple death saving rolls required, one of them missed by more than 2, causing the player character to join the choir invisible (Monty Python reference for death).

Did I neglect to mention the player character had a skill of about 15 in Brawling, +1 for Combat reflexed +2 for Telegraphic attack recipient, and +3 for active defenses for a final Defense roll of 10+3+1+2 or 16?

So - learn from this example.. The Dice aren't always the player's friend when rolled in the hands of a GM. Granted, I could have FUDGED it, and lied about the rolls being made, but I figure if it is only the illusion of danger the player wants for his character, why bother rolling the dice at all?

So, it was a "fitting" end for a cyberpunk character. Ex-Cop who turned into a private investigator because he hated how justice could be bought at the police precincts. Going down to that "monster" was to be sure, anti-climatic, but the next time he runs a character against a Street Fighter named RED, with rippers, and body sculpted Biomass - there is going to be a certain sense of satisfaction in a rematch with a different character.
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