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Old 11-03-2006, 10:43 AM   #1
Dinofreak2000
 
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Default How many CP for NPC fodder?

yes, a question i figure is regularly asked but my forum-fu is to weak to give friut.

in my next game night the group (hopefully) will make their way into the forest to possibly find out the source of the beasties they hve been hunting.

as such they have made quiet a mess of thier "covert op" with the massacer of guards, tavern customers and the local populace. they have since made themselves known as demon summoners and allround bad guys.

i have decided that causing this much of a ruccaus near the area of their location has alerted the local habitants of the wood.

so i have set up an ambush. it has 4 dark elves (earth/fire mage, archer, spearman, swordsman). the current group have gotten up to 180 cp (and a summoned 300 cp water elemental), so how big should the NPCs be? the 4 are each below 90 cp but close to it. think this is to big? think that having the little encounter here an ambush makes up for the smaller cp totals?

advice is wanted
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: How many CP for NPC fodder?

I would not call them cannon fodder. Make them as powerful as the part, or just slightly less so -- and for an added surprise, give one of the mages the Banish spell.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: How many CP for NPC fodder?

Prevailing opinion in these parts appears to be that CP totals don't mean a lot (a bunch of 200 point scribes won't do a lot of damage ambushing a bunch of 75 point warriors despite their vastly superior point total). Look at "functional" stats: skill levels, hit points, DR, how much damage they can do, and so on as compared to what the PCs can do.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: How many CP for NPC fodder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company
Prevailing opinion in these parts appears to be that CP totals don't mean a lot (a bunch of 200 point scribes won't do a lot of damage ambushing a bunch of 75 point warriors despite their vastly superior point total). Look at "functional" stats: skill levels, hit points, DR, how much damage they can do, and so on as compared to what the PCs can do.
My thoughts exactly. Me too when I started playing GURPS I was trying too hard to evaluate NPC combat power with CPs. It simply doesn't work. Best approach I think is to balance out their combat abilities (melee skills, ranged skills, block, dodge and parry, HP, damage, DR, etc.) compared to your players abilities.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: How many CP for NPC fodder?

I agree with TBC and CR. Forget about points -- they won't help you. Extreme, Silly Example #1: Give one of your ambushers 100 points in Musical Instrument (Lyre), so he knows it at IQ+24. Now he's worth 100 points more and isn't any closer to being a threat, except in an Angbandian Idol contest. Extreme, Silly Example #2: Give one of your ambushers the Unholy Sword of Smackdown, which inflicts +1d each of fire, electricity, and cold on each hit. If it's on loan from the Dark Lord, it isn't even his and won't affect his point value through Signature Gear or Wealth . . . but it makes him a huge threat.

For an even match, simply make the adversaries' average skill, defenses, damage, and DR equal to the PCs' averages in those areas. You can probably vary one up a point or two if you vary the other downward a similar amount. To make things tougher, raise one or two numbers without lowering anything. To make things easier, drop a score or two without raising anything. Don't try to evaluate every last special consideration . . . just eyeball it ("Okay, the guy with the bow is a Weapon Master, so I had better give him lower defenses to keep him even." "Hm, the guy with the spear has Berserk and probably won't even defend himself, so I'll give him better armor to even things out.").

Oh, and one last thing: Despite all the points and rules, GURPS isn't a highly objective, prescriptive system where the roleplaying is actually a thin veil over a set of PvP rules. You cannot rely on its mechanics to gauge threats and outcomes very precisely. It's designed to be used by a GM running a game with a group of players in a more-or-less cooperative fashion, and it tacitly assumes that the GM will sometimes fudge outcomes to get dramatic results. So be prepared to do that . . . if the bad guys are getting destroyed a second after unleashing their ambush, have their cut-off group or security element show up as reinforcements, have the wizard use his "secret weapon" Lesser Wish amulet to score a critical hit, etc. If the bad guys are winning too easily, have them get overconfident and use bad tactics, or simply have one fall down if he suffers so much as a nick. Really, if you're good at thinking on your feet, you can make any group of foes a suitable match for the PCs.
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Old 11-03-2006, 01:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: How many CP for NPC fodder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xplo

Possibly Patron, though.
Possibly, sure . . . but most Dark Lords don't care enough about their slaves to rate as Patrons. More likely the Sword is equipment that gives you points back, as a Duty -- a lot like military-issue gear today.
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Old 11-03-2006, 01:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: How many CP for NPC fodder?

thanks for the responses.. i can see what a majority of you said....

if the ambush goes off as planned, then after the warriors jump out the mage of the Pc team will suffer Flesh to Stone... and a couple explosive fireballs later i hope the elememntal will be down and out... all this time the archer is pelting the barbarina and arab... the spear man i plan on throwing a bola at the closest target as a means of slowling down 1 guy for a round or two as the others dispatch the friends... we'll see...
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Old 11-03-2006, 02:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: How many CP for NPC fodder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinofreak2000
if the ambush goes off as planned, then after the warriors jump out the mage of the Pc team will suffer Flesh to Stone...
Um, you may want to look over the casting time and costs of that spell, it's usually not a normal combat spell.
In addition, if you don't have anyone around to cast Stone to Flesh you've pretty much killed off a PC, which is not desirable in most campaigns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinofreak2000
and a couple explosive fireballs later i hope the elememntal will be down and out...
Rain of Fire and Fire Cloud are also good vs. water elementals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinofreak2000
all this time the archer is pelting the barbarina and arab... the spear man i plan on throwing a bola at the closest target as a means of slowling down 1 guy for a round or two as the others dispatch the friends... we'll see...
Just be careful, with surprise and a few good damage rolls, the ambush may succeed too well.
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Old 11-03-2006, 05:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: How many CP for NPC fodder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha
Just be careful, with surprise and a few good damage rolls, the ambush may succeed too well.
Depends how well-built the PCs are, but yes, it could turn really ugly, really quickly.
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Old 11-03-2006, 06:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: How many CP for NPC fodder?

flesh to stone is a 2 second cast... seems combat effective to me...

but yes... i have contingency plans for if it works too well... i have already let them get out of their fatal scrapes without being maimed... i'm sure i can do that here.
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