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Old 02-22-2018, 07:31 PM   #31
Kromm
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Default Re: Difficult monsters

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Originally Posted by ArchonShiva View Post

I love how many tricky questions can be settled definitively by looking up the actual text of the rule. That means some people did a fantastic job with these books.
Thanks for the compliment. To be fair, I'm sure many things are less than perfect . . . but to stay on topic: One thing that's really, really hard is to design a "boss" that isn't just stupidly unfair ("Immune to everything. Each attack kills one target, no defense or resistance allowed.") but isn't a glass cannon or otherwise flawed.

That said, a lot of monsters meet the "boss" criterion only if the GM carefully reads the description and notes. Dragons are a great example. Reading the stats blocks alone, they aren't impossible to take out with a good shot. But there are mitigating circumstances, like:
Dragons are also intelligent – the older, the smarter. They use canny tactics . . .

. . . these creatures vary widely, and the GM should customize each one . . .

. . . a particular dragon could have any advantage – most famously Alternate Form (Human), Danger Sense, Discriminatory Smell, Extra Heads (with Extra Attacks and different breath weapons), and See Invisible . . .

Dragons this big sometimes cause Terror.

Dragon may have Magery 1-6, up to Energy Reserve 50 (Magical), and wizardly spells!
All of which means that a dragon might, say, show itself only after the delvers are stuck in a swamp outdoors . . . and freeze some of them with Terror . . . and then blast them with all four standard breath weapons plus magic spells. Which is actually a lot more important than its Dodge, DR, HP, etc.

So remember, while it's important to play fair, that isn't the same as playing nice. I made sure to include reminders.
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:41 PM   #32
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Default Re: Difficult monsters

Of course, sometimes the most difficult monsters are the lamest ones with good tactics. Has any one actually tried having delvers deal with many times their number in orcs who set traps, shoot from behind barricades, and have a few shamans who've prepped the battlefield with Glue, Grease, etc. as Castle Doctrine (Monsters, p. 7) proposes? It can be nasty.
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:03 PM   #33
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Default Re: Difficult monsters

Of course, a dragon with a little support can be truly terrifying. Barrels of oil to dump on the target zone, bundles of javelins tied with a slip knot, bundles of dry kindling piled on stair cases ready to ignite, caltrops, nets neatly folded for a nice drive by dropping, punji stakes in the clear line of retreat, plenty of ways to turn their lair into a kill zone without having to get into close combat with the annoying knight with the great sword.
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:15 PM   #34
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Default Re: Difficult monsters

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
It's "Any metal weapon" in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 1, not "Any all-metal weapon." If you look just down the page, the text for silver weapons is pretty clear: "Metal arrows, bolts . . . can be made of solid silver . . .". A projectile with a metal head is allowed to use modifiers for metal weapons. What Dungeon Fantasy Adventurers does is make this clearer:
Metal Weapon: Any melee weapon, thrown weapon, or projectile capable of cutting, impaling, or piercing damage, save for a rock or wooden stake.
That seems like the opposite of what you said here:
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Thinking about it, that makes sense. Otherwise, why would anybody ever make anything but the little tippy bit of any weapon from meteoric iron? No, the whole weapon has to be done, or magic can get a grip. The magic immunity is not conferred by contagion.
And:
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The opposite, I think. Otherwise it's hard to justify why a 2-ounce meteoric iron badge welded to your breastplate wouldn't make the whole breastplate immune. Nobody said meteoric iron arrows need to be a good option. My intent when introducing the modifier was mostly to handle all-metal items.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchonShiva View Post
I love how many tricky questions can be settled definitively by looking up the actual text of the rule. That means some people did a fantastic job with these books.
It's not the text of the rule, but the posts quoted above that is the source of my confusion. Prior to that thread I thought meteoric iron arrows were things too.

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Old 02-28-2018, 06:53 PM   #35
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Default Re: Difficult monsters

Yep, the majority of gamers who play DF appear to like meteoric arrows, so I changed my mind. I know when I'm outvoted, and of course nine years have passed. ;) Nothing changed in the rules, though.
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:36 AM   #36
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Default Re: Difficult monsters

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Of course, sometimes the most difficult monsters are the lamest ones with good tactics. Has any one actually tried having delvers deal with many times their number in orcs who set traps, shoot from behind barricades, and have a few shamans who've prepped the battlefield with Glue, Grease, etc. as Castle Doctrine (Monsters, p. 7) proposes? It can be nasty.
If the players are not big on team work that approach can be quite effective.

Hmm, now I want to set up a map where two elderly goblins have a serious chance of wiping the floor with a seasoned party....
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:23 AM   #37
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Default Re: Difficult monsters

Or one kid goblin who was being accidentally left behind during a winter pilgrimage. Home alone DF sounds like fun.
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:54 AM   #38
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Or one kid goblin who was being accidentally left behind during a winter pilgrimage. Home alone DF sounds like fun.
That is awesome! Of course, you'd have to stack the deck a little. "Goblin-kin are as diverse as dwarves, elves, humans, and other adventurer races – an individual could have almost any trait!" Kevin the Goblin would surely have less ST, more IQ, Magic Resistance (an important part of Plot Armor in fantasy), and Ridiculous Luck, plus epic Stealth and a good Traps skill. Big bonus if he can defeat the party non-lethally.
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Old 03-01-2018, 01:01 PM   #39
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Default Re: Difficult monsters

Also important for Kevin is a great Scrounging skill and apparently a very busy house to loot and pillage, or Gizmo + Serendipity to keep finding exactly what he needs.
Also Fearlessness, Callous, and possibly Bully (seriously, he does some cruel stuff).
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:07 PM   #40
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Default Re: Difficult monsters

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Also Fearlessness, Callous, and possibly Bully (seriously, he does some cruel stuff).
all very in keeping with a cunning goblin warrior to be!
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