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Old 02-06-2021, 10:08 PM   #1
zionspelunker
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Default How should i run monsters?

So I'm relatively new to playing gurps, i've played in one campaign that got canceled due to covid and i've made some races and such in my spare time which ive been told were pretty well done. My question is if im going to try and run a one shot and make a bunch of monsters should i stat each and everyone out like a character or should i just give it abilities as i desire from outside the rules of the book? I'm specifically thinking of making a hydra with multiple heads growing back each time one is cut off but i dont know how much i should worry about all the nitty gritty stuff or how i should do it if i wanted to run a longer form campaign with a variety of weird and wacky creatures. Thanks for any assistance
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Old 02-06-2021, 11:15 PM   #2
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: How should i run monsters?

I generally state out monsters, but that is because I have been doing GURPS for over thirty years and often reuse things. You can strip things done to just attributes, secondary characteristics, attacks, defenses, damage, movement, and resistances, though. For example, an ogre might have ST 20, DX 10, IQ 8, HT 14, HP 20, FP 14, Will 8, Per 10, Basic Move 6, Basic Speed 6.00, Damage 2d-1/3d+2, BL 80 lbs., Brawling-14, Wrestling-14, Parry 10, 2d crushing damage punches, and DR 4.

Last edited by AlexanderHowl; 02-06-2021 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 02-07-2021, 01:51 AM   #3
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: How should i run monsters?

For the most part statting monsters out like characters in full is a waste of time at best.

Monsters do need all the usual attributes, because otherwise they can't really interact with the system and things could get very confusing. And where reasonably convenient it's preferable to describe their traits in the same terms as used for characters for clarity and compatibility. But point values definitely don't matter! And if you've got some nasty weird trait in mind that you could maybe build out of a hideous composite of modified Advantages and Disadvantages...yeah, better to just say what it does instead of torturing the system to 'stat it out'.

Also, you can likely get away with entirely ignoring traits that are irrelevant to the monster's game role. (Likely to include most non-combat skills and traits, for a typical 'monster' that's in the scene to be fought.)

(Unless, of course, the monsters are going to wind up being used as Allies, Enemies, or PC races, in which case suddenly they really do need to be done up properly. Probably not a problem for a one-shot.)
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Old 02-07-2021, 01:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: How should i run monsters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zionspelunker View Post
So I'm relatively new to playing gurps, i've played in one campaign that got canceled due to covid and i've made some races and such in my spare time which ive been told were pretty well done. My question is if im going to try and run a one shot and make a bunch of monsters should i stat each and everyone out like a character or should i just give it abilities as i desire from outside the rules of the book? I'm specifically thinking of making a hydra with multiple heads growing back each time one is cut off but i dont know how much i should worry about all the nitty gritty stuff or how i should do it if i wanted to run a longer form campaign with a variety of weird and wacky creatures. Thanks for any assistance
For things like a hydra growing its heads back, I wouldn't bother writing that up using the powers and stuff from the books. Just describe how it works in basic game mechanics (e.g. it's head will grow back unless one or more points of burning damage is applied within three turns of the head having been cut off), including any effects having some heads missing might have on its ability to see all round it (with lots of heads it should be able to see 360-degrees, so one if its gimmicks would be that you can't get the bonuses for flank or rear attacks until most of the heads are gone) and so on. It's not a player character, so a 'book legal' writeup isn't important and the point value certainly isn't.

Also, only write up the stuff that matters - if the hydra is just a monster to be fought, most social skills and stats don't matter so leave them out.
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: How should i run monsters?

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
For things like a hydra growing its heads back, I wouldn't bother writing that up using the powers and stuff from the books. Just describe how it works in basic game mechanics (e.g. it's head will grow back unless one or more points of burning damage is applied within three turns of the head having been cut off), including any effects having some heads missing might have on its ability to see all round it (with lots of heads it should be able to see 360-degrees, so one if its gimmicks would be that you can't get the bonuses for flank or rear attacks until most of the heads are gone) and so on. It's not a player character, so a 'book legal' writeup isn't important and the point value certainly isn't.

Also, only write up the stuff that matters - if the hydra is just a monster to be fought, most social skills and stats don't matter so leave them out.
^ This

In GURPS statting out stuff like fire-immunity for character can be tricky. But when dealing with NPCs they don't have to follow character creation rules. Just write "Takes no damage from fire and slowly recovers health when inside a flame" on your fire-elemental or whatever.

I also wouldn't even bother trying to give them character point value (excepting allies); character points are rarely a good indicator of how difficult they are to fight or socially navigate around anyway. A flying burning skull that breathes hellfire might be one heck of a difficult opponent, but be built on a negative amount of points.

Statting out NPCs can be a fun exercise though.
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Old 02-07-2021, 07:05 AM   #6
Taneli
 
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Default Re: How should i run monsters?

See the various posts regarding stated monsters on these forums for examples. I Yahooed "gurps hydra" on my chosen google and this popped out:

http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread...ighlight=Hydra

And that linked to this:

http://forums.sjgames.com/showpost.p...&postcount=135

On my opinion, both are more than sufficient examples of write-ups for monsters.

I usually stat my NPC's as having a name and relevant stereotypes as wildcard skills, and then any combat info if relevant.

For example:
John the Generic Innkeeper, Innkeeper!-12, Ex-Soldier-13, HP 12, DR 1 (not Head & forearms), 1d+4 imp crossbow under the bar, 1d+2 cr cudgel at belt. Q: Treats everyone the same.

Monsters usually have a bit more stuff, suppose that dear old John above would have met a regrettable accident and had the classic hydra power of multiple heads in addition to above:

1d+3 heads, cutting off a head results in two new growing up in 1d seconds, fire damage negates regrowth, injury to heads or necks does not count against total hit points, each head can make a bite attack: skill-14, reach 6, damage 1d-1 imp.
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Old 02-07-2021, 07:22 AM   #7
zionspelunker
 
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Default Re: How should i run monsters?

Thanks for all the tips. Is there any good way to know what might be a good fight for my players or what is likely to kill them with ease?
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Old 02-07-2021, 07:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: How should i run monsters?

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Originally Posted by zionspelunker View Post
Thanks for all the tips. Is there any good way to know what might be a good fight for my players or what is likely to kill them with ease?
Start out by writing up a couple of characters at skill levels comparable to those of the player characters. Run a fight between them and your monster, and see what happens. After you've done this a couple of times, you'll have a better idea of monster effectiveness, without upsetting your players by killing their characters.
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Old 02-07-2021, 08:34 AM   #9
Taneli
 
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Default Re: How should i run monsters?

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Originally Posted by zionspelunker View Post
Thanks for all the tips. Is there any good way to know what might be a good fight for my players or what is likely to kill them with ease?
Trial and error.

As in, start small and remember that you can always toss in more opposition, either into that encounter, or the next one, depending on your GMming style.

Pyramid #3/77 has a system for trying to accomplish this, see the link below. I always felt that it was too much effort for the benefits, but that's probably due to my GM style.

http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=133555
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Old 02-08-2021, 01:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: How should i run monsters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zionspelunker View Post
Thanks for all the tips. Is there any good way to know what might be a good fight for my players or what is likely to kill them with ease?
My basic method is to look at the DR, IT:DR (Injury Tolerance: Damage Reduction) and HP the party has. I then look at the party's active defenses and make note of them.

It takes some experience (ChaosCoyote can't roll less than a 14 unless it's dramatically appropriate or hilarious), but I aim for a minor enemy to be able to, on an average hit, do about 1/5 to 1/4 of their HP.

Major foes should be able to inflict between 1/3 and 2/3 HP damage on a hit.

Bosses should be able to KO a PC (inflict full HP loss) on a successful hit.

All of these successful hits are related to the characters that are most likely to be on the front line. Characters with lower defenses should be aware of this and should be managing their characters appropriately.

For our Kingdom Hearts game, shadows do 1d-1 cutting, but the party doesn't have any DR or IT:DR yet (I'm also changing IT:DR a bit for this game, it's an HP multiplier, to reduce book keeping).

The party has really good defenses, so long as they're using their chosen items (Ruby's shield gives her a Cosmic block of 12, Kay's sword gives her a Cosmic parry of 11, Karyl's wand gives her a Cosmic parry of 10). So, other than Kay (who is ChaosCoyote's character), the party has a good chance of avoiding damage.

During the first fight, to show the threat of the shadows, the party only got hit once with Kay taking a total of three points of injury.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
I'm not saying I'm happy with this state of affairs. I wish there was a cleaner way to have "immune to fire damage" as an ability that costs less than hundreds of points. But clearly the publishers have declared DR the canonical method.
The way I usually do it is base it on Insubstantial. I just call it Insubstantial (Only vs Damage [-10%], Affects Substantial, Limited Defense [from DR]). So, with Multiplicative Modifiers, invulnerability to fire would be 80 points. Since it's a GM-call to allow the ability, I don't require characters to take Affects Substantial on their other abilities since it's just a place-holder for an invulnerability.
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