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Old 09-04-2019, 05:34 PM   #11
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Octopus with Shield Expertise is more deadly than a 14-hex dragon

Even in the old game stating that the scenario was for four 35 attribute characters made a lot of assumptions about the amount of bling those characters would have with them.

Here I roll all of that into one not terribly precise "CP" number. In a given CP budget you can design the "best" party to deal with a specific list of challenges, but I doubt that there is even a limited set of characters who are optimized to take on every task.
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: Octopus with Shield Expertise is more deadly than a 14-hex dragon

I'm confused by the premise of the OP. You can't seriously mean that you think and Octopus with shield expertise would win a fight against a 14 hex dragon. Do you? The dragon could just fly by and torch it at will without risking engagement. I can't imagine how it would even be a fight.
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Octopus with Shield Expertise is more deadly than a 14-hex dragon

This isn't a monster vs monster fight. As Protagoras said, Myrmidon is the measure of all things. The octopus is weighing in against swordsmen while the dragon is doing hit and run on spears and crossbow men.

For monster vs monster I'd need an AI cage match system. And then I'd wind up with rock-paper-scissors style match ups of Basilisk beats Ogre beats Dragon beats Basilisk.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:30 AM   #14
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Default Re: Octopus with Shield Expertise is more deadly than a 14-hex dragon

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For certain values of "does not work", I have to agree. But I find it useful to have a simple value to compare when trying to balance combats.
Yes, it is useful. I still often use my own system to estimate appropriate XP awards.

I think it's even more useful to be aware of the potential errors in adding such values together. Hcobb seemed to me to be writing as if it should work to add the values for a group together and compare to a single foe, and there are many issues with trying to do that. So I was trying to be helpful by pointing that out.


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The cold hard truth is that the dice don't get rolled often enough in a single fight to overcome the chaos inherent in the 3d6 bell curve. Things just aren't that predictable in the short term.
And thank goodness, or else gameplay would be rather more predictable. I don't like Stratego and certainly don't want to roleplay it.


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All that aside, it's a place to start, and the GM can easily fudge the upcoming encounters based on the current state of the party. It's also useful if you want to exchange foes for ones of similar prowess. Your mileage may vary, but I'm happy to at least have something reasonable, if not very precise.
The GM can, but I hope the GM won't.

I agree it's valuable to have a formula for estimating the combat ability of things. More accurate is to look at the stats and use play experience and imagination to figure out how dangerous things are.

However I greatly prefer to play in a gameworld where what NPCs of what numbers and power levels exist where it makes sense for them to exist, and the GM provides fairness and balance by giving the players logical opportunities for their PCs to learn what that situation is and respond to it to mitigate danger by their choices, and not have it be that metamagically wherever they go and whatever they do, they will only meet things that are estimated to be somewhat weaker than they are.
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Old 09-05-2019, 03:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: Octopus with Shield Expertise is more deadly than a 14-hex dragon

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Yes, it is useful. I still often use my own system to estimate appropriate XP awards.
Fair points all.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:43 AM   #16
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Default Re: Octopus with Shield Expertise is more deadly than a 14-hex dragon

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, but I doubt that there is even a limited set of characters who are optimized to take on every task.
Two crossbow artists w/missile weapons who aren't afraid to roll-to-miss, and two dual-wielding javelin/whip users with pole expertise and tactics
:)
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:59 AM   #17
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Default Re: Octopus with Shield Expertise is more deadly than a 14-hex dragon

Going by CP, this gent is worth 66 CP, is he equal to two starting characters in terms of clearing a dungeon?

ST 11, DX 14(14), IQ 13 (38 attributes)
Knife, Pole Weapons, Shield, Shield Expertise, Sword, Weapon Expertise(Polearms), Weapon Mastery(Polearms)
1-h Very Fine Spear with +1 damage enchantment(1d+5), $800+$1000
Small Shield (2), $30
Leather armor with +1 enchantment(3), $1100
Stone Flesh ring(4), $4000
+2 DX ring, $4000
ordinary dagger(1d-1), $10
$60 of other gear to get up to $11k total
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:00 AM   #18
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Default Re: Octopus with Shield Expertise is more deadly than a 14-hex dragon

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Two crossbow artists w/missile weapons who aren't afraid to roll-to-miss, and two dual-wielding javelin/whip users with pole expertise and tactics
:)
In my online adventure the researcher figured out that a wight was waiting, so this wasn't enough.
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:54 AM   #19
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Default Re: Octopus with Shield Expertise is more deadly than a 14-hex dragon

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In my online adventure the researcher figured out that a wight was waiting, so this wasn't enough.
Right -- lucky they also have magic bolts, javelins, and flaming whips
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:03 PM   #20
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Default Re: Octopus with Shield Expertise is more deadly than a 14-hex dragon

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Going by CP, this gent is worth 66 CP, is he equal to two starting characters in terms of clearing a dungeon?

ST 11, DX 14(14), IQ 13 (38 attributes)
Knife, Pole Weapons, Shield, Shield Expertise, Sword, Weapon Expertise(Polearms), Weapon Mastery(Polearms)
1-h Very Fine Spear with +1 damage enchantment(1d+5), $800+$1000
Small Shield (2), $30
Leather armor with +1 enchantment(3), $1100
Stone Flesh ring(4), $4000
+2 DX ring, $4000
ordinary dagger(1d-1), $10
$60 of other gear to get up to $11k total
Again, not only are you trying to reduce a multi-dimensional question down to a one-dimensional value (and not thinking about where "zero" should be), but you are also still trying to be able use addition of those values to give you a value for a group. Those are all fundamental errors that make your calculation impossible unless the particulars happen to align.

So it depends on the situation and what figures do.

But the basic answer is heck no, that character is vastly more capable than most pairs of ordinary non-munchkin 32-point characters. Especially in tunnel situations where he may be quite able to fight only one or two opponents at a time.

He's a good example too of why to really estimate effectiveness, you need to look at specific values. That guy typically has 9 armor, making a huge range of attackers almost unable to hurt him, for just one example.
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