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Old 04-15-2010, 02:27 PM   #1
Nymdok
 
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Default [GM] At last! A combat Matrix is Born(sort of)

The PDF is Here

No doubt you've all grown tired of me posting huge walls of text about balancing encounters. I think I may have found, once and for all, a convient single page of tables that will allow people to scale combat encounters easily and quickly.

Lets take a Hypothetical Bad Guy and see if we cant scale him around shall we?

Generic Test Orc:

Sword (16):DMG 2D
DR:6
Parry: 11
HP: 12

While this might be a suitable foe for Begining DF adventurers, What if your not playing DF? What if your just playing something lower powered?

So Well say that, on average, a DF 'Begingin Frontline Fighter' ballparks in at
Attack : 17
DMG: 2D+1
Defense: 13
DR: 4

Then That Means

Fighter
Attack V Defense : 40%
Damge V DR : 70%
Expectation : 2pts per penetration x 1.5 for wounding = 3

Orc
AVD: 20%
DMG v DR : 80%
Expectation: 3 per penetration x 1.5 for wounding = 4.5 or 4

So know we know the balance points, what If i wanted to take the same orc write up but use the monster against more humble warriors?
Say in the neighborhood of ...

Low Fighter:
Attack: 12
Defense: 11
DMG : 1d+1
DR: 2
Expectation 1.5*1.5 = 2

Then for our percentages to remain the same the Orc changes to

Attack: 10
Defense:10
DMG:1d+1
DR: 3
Expectaion 2.5 * 1.5 = 4

NOte that the Expectaion Damage/round has changed for the fighter a bit. Its not alot, but if it were really bothering us we could offset it by bumping the Fighters attack % (not damag vs DR) by a little bit or by dropping the HP of the orcs.

What if we were going the other way? What if, like Azinctus our party had swaggering 400 point combat wombats on the order of

Epic Fighter
Attack:30
Defense : 18
DMG:5D
DR:13
Expectation: 2.5 DMG * Wounding

And we wanted to use the same orcs? Where should we set the knobs then?

Epic Orc
Attack:24
Defense: 18
DMG: 4D +2
DR:15
Expectation: 3 * wounding

EASY!

Nymdok

p.s. I havent added this to my website yet, but look for it soon!

Last edited by Nymdok; 04-16-2010 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: [GM] At last! A combat Matrix is Born(sort of)

Oh hey, thanks man. I look forward to the chance of looking this over. :)
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: [GM] At last! A combat Matrix is Born(sort of)

Very interesting work, Nymdok.

Listing a direct link to this page of your website in the very matrix could be useful.
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Last edited by demonsbane; 04-15-2010 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: [GM] At last! A combat Matrix is Born(sort of)

I'm very impressed. I don't understand. But I am impressed. :-)
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: [GM] At last! A combat Matrix is Born(sort of)

Uh, that is wonderful.

Thanks!
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Old 04-16-2010, 04:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: [GM] At last! A combat Matrix is Born(sort of)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azinctus View Post
I'm very impressed. I don't understand. But I am impressed. :-)
Dont understand?


Its a very simple, single page set of matricies that can serve 2 functions:
  • Take a set of circumstances for one encounter and translate them to another set of circumstances for varrying 'power levels' of games.
  • Help Game Balance individual Encounters.
Its the same basic ideas that we did in the 400 point Demon thread a while back, just re-matrixed, rounded to the nearest 10% and formatted neatly.

How it Solves Problem 1:
The biggest problem I think in writing adventures for gurps is that everyone spends their CP differently so its tough to write a module that will balance well for everyone. Some people may play in a party of 4 swash bucklers and thats going to need a very different set of monster skills, Damage, DR and Active Defense than 2 clerics a thief and a Martial Artist. Still others may be playing 50 point peasants! With these tables, consistent with the example above, we can translate those encounters easily and quickly by focusing on those 4 'Per Turn' combat matrices.

Above, I took the orc and wend both ways on the spectrum. That will work with an entire encounter as well so that a module written for 150 point fantasy adventurers can be used with 400 point DF charachters just with some table look ups. For example, If I knew the Party Averages that the play testers used for Caravan to Ein Eris, I could readily scale that up to 400 point DF. If we hold the statistics the same, the balance should be preserved.
How it Solves Problem 2:
As its based on the other spred sheets Ive been using, just with round numbers, it can still be used to balance encounters as we did before in the 400 point demon thread, the Suitably dangers DF encounters thread and various other places. Just instead of needing 5 pages of spreadsheets, we just need one page of 3 matricies. Its true that we loose a little something in the granularity and resolution, but we gain so much in simplicity that its worth it!

Make sense now?

Nymdok
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: [GM] At last! A combat Matrix is Born(sort of)

I've been thinking that GURPS needed something like this for a long time. Very awesome, thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-17-2010, 01:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: [GM] At last! A combat Matrix is Born(sort of)

Nymdok,
I am skeptical, but I am willing to try a “real world” test or two.

In my DF game, my players have a big "Boss" encounter with Acid Spiders coming up. In my mind, a Boss encounter should have most of the party seriously wounded, with a chance of death for one or two of them (assuming the dice don't turn against them with a string of criticals).

Using your combat matrix, how many Acid Spider opponents should I send at the 6 PCs as a “Boss” encounter?

I'll run it with your suggestion rather than what I had planned.
-Dan


The opponents
Acid Spiders
Bite (15) Dmg: 2d+1 imp + 1d-3 per second corrosion follow up for 10 sec.
Defenses P / D/ B = 0 / 11/ 0
DR 0
HP 26
Speed/Move: 7 / 9 (+ 10 yard Jump)
Stealth 15

The players:
Barbarian/Scout
2 x Axe (18) Dmg: 3d+1
Bow (22) Dmg: 1d+4
Defenses: P / D/ B = 13 / 12 / 0
DR: 4
HP 22
Speed/Move: 7 / 8

Knight/Scout
Sword (17) Dmg: 2d+1 cut / 1d + 1 imp
Bow (22) Dmg:1d+2
Defenses: P / D/ B = 12+2/ 12+2/ 13+2 (Med Shield)
DR: 4
HP 13
Speed/Move: 7.25 / 8

Swashbuckler/Martial Artist
2 x Sabre (19) Dmg: 1d+3 / 1d+1
Throwing Knife (16) Dmg: 1d-2 imp
Defenses: P / D/ B = 15 / 12 / 0
DR: 4
HP 10
Speed/Move: 7.25 / 8 (10)

Thief /Martial-Artist
2 x Saber (15) Dmg: 1d+1 / cut 1d-1 imp normal 2d-1 cut / 1d imp suprise
Bow (16) Dmg: 1d+2 imp
Karate (16) Dmg: 1d cr
Defenses: P / D/ B = 11 / 11/ 0
DR: 4
HP 11
Speed/Move: 6.25 / 7

Cleric
Sword (15) Dmg: 1d+2 cut /1d imp
Sunbolt (15) Dmg: 1d – 9d burn
Defenses: P / D/ B = 10+2 / 9+2/ 10+2 (Med Shield)
DR 4
HP 11
Speed/Move: 6.25 / 6

Mage
Staff (15) Dmg: 1d+2 cr (swing) 1d cr (thrust)
Flame Jet (16) Dmg: 1d – 3d
Fireball (16) Dmg: 1d -18d burn
Explosive Fireball (16): 1d
Create Fire/Fast Fire (20): Dmg 1d/2d per turn
Defenses: P / D/ B = 12 / 9/ 0
DR: 4
HP 10
Speed/Move: 6.25 / 6

Last edited by DAT; 04-17-2010 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: [GM] At last! A combat Matrix is Born(sort of)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAT View Post
Nymdok,
I am skeptical, but I am willing to try a “real world” test or two.

In my DF game, my players have a big "Boss" encounter with Acid Spiders coming up. In my mind, a Boss encounter should have most of the party seriously wounded, with a chance of death for one or two of them (assuming the dice don't turn against them with a string of criticals).

Using your combat matrix, how many Acid Spider opponents should I send at the 6 PCs as a “Boss” encounter?

I'll run it with your suggestion rather than what I had planned.
-Dan
First of all Dan, thanks for playtesting!

Im going to say that, depending on range,

4: easy
5: Medium
6: hard
7: very hard
8: TPK

What Follows is an explanation of these numbers.

Per Turn Metrics
So looking at the averages:

Spiders offense
Attack 15 vs 13 (20%) average of all party AD.
Damage 2d Imp - 4 DR + 1d-3 per sec 10 seconds = 3 imp +10 = 16
.20 x 16 = about 3 dmage per turn per spider.

Player Offense
Attack avg 17 v 11 (15 v 10 with 1 level of DA) @ 50%
Damage Avg 11 (10.7)
.5 x 10.7 = 5 damge per turn.

Knowing what that expectation is, we look at how long we expect each side to last.

Encounter Metrics

I dont know what the avereage Effective HT of your party is, nor do I know what the HT of the spiders are. I can tell you this, its much more likely that they will fall unconcious than they will die from wounds (generally speaking). Once we get negative HP, we're going to start assuming bad things happen.

Now for the Spiders, we have to be more careful still as the spiders have only dodge for thier defense in this build. Once they loose 2/3 of their hit points, their dodge will drop to 6 virtually guranteeding hits for the party. So practically the spiders dont have 26 hp , but closer to 17

So if we assume, even up 6 on 6, we have:
The spiders doing about 3 per turn vs Heroes 13 hp - so about 5 turns
The Heroes doing about 5 per turn vs spiders 17 hp - so about 4 turns

Now we know that the Party's aveage HP is pulle dup by the Barbies 22 HP and most of them are between 10-11 which is only 3 rounds! That means taht on average by turn 3, almost everyone in the party is making HT checks but the Barbie.

Other Considerations:

This party has some reasonable missle abilities and could concievable wither the non-missle spiders. You can solve this with either enviornmental consideratoins (rooms less than one basic move away) or adding enough spiders to absorb the damage. Since your average looks to be about 7 damage at range, or 42 we then take that and figure what the likelyhood is that they will hit.

So at 9 yards or less the spider can close in a turn and get in a slam this is the default assumtion.

At 18-10 yards then there will be -4 to -6 in range penalties, Well say -5. This drops the party average to 13 v 11 or 30% so we can add .30*42 = about 13. since our spiders are functionaly only 17, we could add another spider at this range.

OTHER OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:
There were a few things missing from your assesment of yoru party that may merit your consideratino.

I didt see a listing for FP, no one had acrobatics and Im assuming tha th 2x in your listing meant you were Dual Wielding not rapid striking. I also saw no listing for helaing spells or potions, off hand weapon training or ambidexterity.

You know your party better than I do. You know your tactics as YOU play the nPCs and their tactics as they play. Most manuvers have counters (eg, Flurry of blows vs Feverish defense) keep these in mind.

Good luck and I look forward to hearing how it goes!

Final Notes:

Based on what we have here, medium difficulty should be 5 spiders. That means that it is (70%) Likely that SOMEONE in the party will get hit each turn and have to deal with the acid issues. The 2d impaling versus DR4 means that the AVERAGE will be enough to do a major wound per turn with the knockdown and stunning that goes with it.

That means that if the party doesnt act quickly to end the spiders, thsi can get out of hand QUICKLY.

For what its worth, Im guessing the fight goes 6 rounds with the knight as last man standing.

Nymdok

Last edited by Nymdok; 04-18-2010 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: [GM] At last! A combat Matrix is Born(sort of)

"In the most general sense, players can fight for 10+FP Rounds, but there are certain limitations and considerations to be made."

Where is this rule?
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