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Old 04-11-2014, 08:44 AM   #11
benz72's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North Park, San Diego
Default Re: [DF] Advice on combat encounters for a 2-player party

2 Players with 2 PC's does not necessarily imply skill gaps. There is no reason the Scout can't have a good traps skill (and lock picking etc.)
Why can't the Knight be 'multi-class' with at least a decent healing talent and some 1-college magery?
Either one (or both) could also be a mage, perhaps with separate specializations.

You controll the point budget and with lenses it is trivially easy to bolt on capability to a standard template.
Life has a funny way of making sure you decide to leave the party just a few minutes too late to avoid trouble.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:10 AM   #12
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: [DF] Advice on combat encounters for a 2-player party

Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Once one of them is severely injured, you can get them to do all kinds of crazy stuff if you dangle some healing potions in front of them.
Ah, yes!

I remember when the sorcerer Abadas 'I Just Get These Headaches' Hussein and Rasul Khamsin Mubtasim, the Martial Artist From Hell*, were trying to get away from an enemy fortress during an incursion of fiends**.

Abadas decided to stop in the gatehouse, where any relief force was sure to pass through and where fiends were likely to gather for defence, so he could search for healing potions on the bodies of some champions he'd slain.***

Of course, searching for healing potions led to seeing all the nice and shiny valuable loot on the champions. Glowing magical weapons, orichalum armour, amulet pulsating with magical energy, etc.

Long story short, he stopped there until he'd stripped the bodies of everything valuable and in the meantime, Rasul desperately dodged spells from wizards who could collapse castles with their magic and wondered why the sorcerer who was going to teleport them away wasn't coming.

*He literally spent the last century in Hell, serving as a commando leader and working himself up to dark general in the eternal Blood War between the fiends of Law and Chaos, due to a minor lapse of attention when reading the small print on a contract with a devil.
**Summoned by Rasul, but not all that friendly to anyone.
***He had received a barbed glaive through the rear of the Groin hit location. Even with enough healing to allow him to stand up again, he was far from okay.
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:21 AM   #13
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Default Re: [DF] Advice on combat encounters for a 2-player party

Originally Posted by Magic_Octopus View Post
That's probably a great adventure, but it's for 4 or more characters. Do the scaling rules within work for a party of just 2?
Yep. The random encounter tables use n a lot, where n is party size.
Originally Posted by Dwarf99 View Post
I'd probably take Restricted Diet: Boiled Children
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:28 PM   #14
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Virginia, USA
Default Re: [DF] Advice on combat encounters for a 2-player party

I'm running a DF campaign for 2 250-point PCs: dwarf knight and elf wizard. They found an NPC cleric in the first adventure, who helps out with healing and undead.

So far (only 3 sessions) they've fought pretty wimpy monsters like skeletons and rats and mutant gnomes and spiders and non-exceptional humans and orcs. Plus a few tougher opponents like a giant praying mantis and a minotaur. And various traps that they've mostly bypassed with luck and the Levitation and Flight spells.

The knight is much better at straightforward melee combat than the wizard and cleric. (A scout, OTOH, is very effective at range, but kind of squishy up close.) That's not really a problem, as long as there's a variety of challenges so that everyone can be useful. With only 2 PCs, screen time isn't an issue.

My suggestions for a small party:

1. Tell everyone to take Luck. With only 2 characters, they're always one critical failure away from disaster. If they take Luck and save it for emergencies, that becomes much less likely.

2. Tactics aren't that complicated for a small group, but the main tactic is that the beefy knight needs to be front and center shielding her friends from the bigger bad guys. An opponent who's any threat at all to the knight's DR 6 and 16 HP and good defense rolls is a serious threat to the others.

3. Make sure they have some healing potions. Otherwise, without a cleric, all damage lasts a long time.

4. If there are a lot of opponents, don't get bogged down in bookkeeping. Make some of them mooks that go down after 1 hit, so you don't have to track too much stuff.
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:08 PM   #15
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: [DF] Advice on combat encounters for a 2-player party

In general, a lower number of characters makes encounters more random; 2 on 2 is really swingy, 20 on 20 is not so much. If 'ignore the problem' isn't an acceptable option, you can make GURPS combat less swingy by using a larger number of low damage attacks.
My GURPS site and Blog.
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