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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Feng Shui: Follow-Up on Scaling Enemies

Just a brief after-action report about the principles discussed in this post.
Increasing the base attack value of Mooks by 2 to give my players a challenge (these were trained mooks, by the way, not just gang rabble) made them just enough of a threat that the PCs couldn't just ignore them, and a couple of their characters either took damage or spent Fortune/Chi on dodges to avoid that damage. This is useful, because it softened their characters up enough such that they were down some combat resources when the Featured Foes arrived. I like how this mirrors the action-movie trope of "First swamp them with minions, then send in the lieutenants, then have the boss fight."

Curiously, giving the mooks an additional +1 defense (to represent armor & training) didn't seem to make much difference. Nearly all of the PCs still managed to hit them, and the one that missed did so by a large margin.

The mook quantity of [4xPCs] was certainly enough to make them take the mooks seriously, but not so much that they would overwhelm the PCs before defeat. 4x seems like a good number to use when backed up by named characters, and I think my group could easily handle 5x of just mooks and no named NPCs. They might be able to handle 6x if fresh, but 3-4x plus a Featured Foe for each PCs seems about right for now.

Speaking of Featured Foes, pitting the PCs against PC-level FFs that have been properly advanced per the above post is definitely a challenge for them, but not an unbeatable one. They're going to know they've been in a fight, though, as so far I have one character with two marks of death against him.

Potentially of interest: It took about 2 hours of game to get through a complete sequence of 6 PCs, 5 named NPCs and 6 mooks. I'm not sure what to make of this; perhaps this will speed up as we get more comfortable with the system and have to check the rules less often.

Finally, my players get really annoyed when the bad guys act like a team and use coordinated tactics. Imagine that...

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