Encounter Difficulties (SWFC Page 104)

Fan art, fiction, OOC commentary and whatever else you want to chime in with.
Post Reply
User avatar
RFT
Diamond Patron
Diamond Patron
Posts: 2394
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:55 pm
Location: Black Company

Encounter Difficulties (SWFC Page 104)

Post by RFT » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:55 am

The following is from Savage Worlds Fantasy Companion page 104. I want to talk about it, but will first post it here and hear what others have to say before spoiling it with my own opinions.


ENCOUNTER DIFFICULTIES

This advice first appeared in 50 Fathoms. However, it applies to all settings, so we’re printing it again.

You might wonder about the difficulty of the encounters listed throughout this book. Are they intended for characters of Novice Rank? Seasoned? Legendary?

The answer is none of the above. The encounters are created to reflect the natural organization of the characters or creatures listed. That means your group had best be warned that this isn’t like certain other games that automatically set the challenge level to something they can deal with. Sometimes a dragon needs to be avoided, or clever tactics or hired swords are needed to defeat it.

We do this because it’s more natural, it’s more of a challenge, and any system we created would have a difficult time fitting the nature of your characters. If the player characters hire 40 veteran mercenaries, it doesn’t make sense that every group of bandits and orcs suddenly grows exponentially to defeat them. That means that just as in real life, exploring the world with a larger party is much safer. Of course it also means the heroes have to feed the extras and provide them a share of the Treasure (or pay) as well. They also get to contend with the many mutineers and other troublemakers who are likely to infiltrate their army. There are bad apples in every bunch, as the old saying goes.

All that said, the GM should tweak encounters to fit the nature of his party. If they truly are walking around in a group so large nothing is a threat, feel free to up the difficulty of encounters that make sense—such as orc tribes or a hunting party of giants. You’ll have a good handle on what your party can handle after a few sessions without the need for some sort of formula. And don’t worry if the heroes lose a few extras along the way. Even famous heroes rarely make it to the finale of their adventure with all their loyal men.


ENCOUNTER

Each day the party spends exploring outside of a town, draw a card from your action deck. If the card is a face card, an encounter occurs. Decide what the party runs into or roll on a Encounter Table for that area you have previously set up to see exactly what the party has run into. If a Joker comes up, roll twice or pick two—the group has run into two things at once. Reshuffle the deck after every encounter. Think about the encounter a bit before setting it up. A few minutes’ pause before you hit the heroes with some terrible beast or dire storm can make a “random encounter” a very memorable experience.

If your heroes are crossing the mountains and you pick “Bandits,” for example, just tell them they see campfire smoke in the distance. It’s up to them whether they want to approach or not. The same goes with monsters. A blood flea attack in a swamp shouldn’t just be a quick roll. Describe the first few pests biting the heroes and causing giant welts. Let them take some action then adjust the encounter accordingly.
Shaping Worlds Together
The 99's Game Master Bennies 5
  • +8 Players
    +2 Sidekicks
    -5 Stupid Slumber

Shaintar Game Master Bennies 6
  • +8 Players
    -2 Bennies to save Yellow Jack

Nightbane Game Master Bennies 5
  • +5 Players

Phase World - The Remorseless 10
  • +8 Players
    +2 Sidekicks

User avatar
Tribe of One
Posts: 782
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:28 am

Re: Encounter Difficulties (SWFC Page 104)

Post by Tribe of One » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:02 pm

I did something similar recently in the New West game that turned out to be fun (or at least I thought it was fun):

Traveling to Marron will take a base of 3 days -- you can make good time in the Sky Siren on the relatively flat stretches, but frequently find yourselves skirting old ruins or high mesas, and having to navigate around or through other hazards. To determine what sorts of things you run into, I'll draw a card for each day:
  • Clubs - Some sort of disaster strikes. Maybe it's a dust storm, or an alien whale falls from the sky. Maybe a rift opens and a horde of demons falls through ... whatever it is, it's no good for you, and probably slows you down in addition to other negative effects or dangers.
  • Spades - You've run into a potential trap, whether natural or man-made. Maybe it's an ambush, or a caravan of con artists, or perhaps a deceptively appealing shortcut. There might be a silver lining, but obtaining any sort of reward will require running considerable risk.
  • Hearts - A potential ally or some other form of help lies in your path. You may have to work for it a bit, but a real boon is possible if you play your cards right.
  • Diamonds - Riches are right in front of you! They might not be handed out on a silver platter, but there's gold in them hills if you know where to look ...


Each player has a chance to modify the results of your journey. Make an appropriate Trait roll and incorporate it into your post with a description of how you took some action while traveling to improve the COT's odds -- perhaps you were scouting, or keeping watch at night, or cast a spell (go ahead and spend the PP if you this) to allow the Sky Siren to pass undetected. Maybe you shoot scavengers or set booby-traps around the campsite. Whatever it is, if you fail you increase the length of the journey to Marron by half a day. If you succeed with a raise you can choose one of the following benefits:

  • Shift one day's draw up or down by one suit -- from Clubs to Spades, or Spades to Hearts, etc.
  • Draw an additional card -- you went looking, and found either trouble or something terrific!
  • Reduce travel time by half a day (minimum a day and a half)
  • Gain a +4 bonus to any one Trait roll that may be required by an event, or +2 to all Trait rolls during the journey to Marron.


The group ended up with some good draws and made them better with their rolls; I think they ended up gaining a couple of allies and finding a cache of weapons (protected by a field of floating disintegration mines) and a TW jet pack, along with some great RP posts. It livened up the journey but didn't feel like it bogged things down, either.
GM Bennies: 4/8

User avatar
RFT
Diamond Patron
Diamond Patron
Posts: 2394
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:55 pm
Location: Black Company

Re: Encounter Difficulties (SWFC Page 104)

Post by RFT » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:08 pm

That is areally awesome way to handle it.

I have dones the draw a card thing before, specially recently I did it for PbP (the 99) and the Joker came up, which I used for some double bad mojo.
But I have not considered posting a rule like that and the actual draw in front of the players.

It lets them feel empowered by affecting the results. Which is great.
Shaping Worlds Together
The 99's Game Master Bennies 5
  • +8 Players
    +2 Sidekicks
    -5 Stupid Slumber

Shaintar Game Master Bennies 6
  • +8 Players
    -2 Bennies to save Yellow Jack

Nightbane Game Master Bennies 5
  • +5 Players

Phase World - The Remorseless 10
  • +8 Players
    +2 Sidekicks

User avatar
Snake Eyes
Game Master
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:16 pm

Re: Encounter Difficulties (SWFC Page 104)

Post by Snake Eyes » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:48 pm

I enjoyed Tribe's method of travel, most definitely. I may or may not be stealing this verbatim for my game.
Beware the mesmerizing eyes of the snake!
GM Bennies: 6/9 (-1 EE puppet, -1 EE slumber, -1 EE puppet)
Wild Card Bennies:
CM left: 2/2
CM right: 2/2
NM left: 0/2 (soak, soak, dead)
NM right: 0/2 (soak, soak)
Summoner: 0/2 (unshake, EE FM)
Statheros: 1/2 (reroll resist slumber)

User avatar
Tribe of One
Posts: 782
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:28 am

Re: Encounter Difficulties (SWFC Page 104)

Post by Tribe of One » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:52 am

The best part (as usual for this board) was that the players did 90 percent of the work, inventing opponents and allies and potential rewards.
GM Bennies: 4/8

User avatar
RFT
Diamond Patron
Diamond Patron
Posts: 2394
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:55 pm
Location: Black Company

Re: Encounter Difficulties (SWFC Page 104)

Post by RFT » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:42 am

Tribe of One wrote:The best part (as usual for this board) was that the players did 90 percent of the work, inventing opponents and allies and potential rewards.
(Player Agency + Time for creativity) is the reason why PbP is so great.
Shaping Worlds Together
The 99's Game Master Bennies 5
  • +8 Players
    +2 Sidekicks
    -5 Stupid Slumber

Shaintar Game Master Bennies 6
  • +8 Players
    -2 Bennies to save Yellow Jack

Nightbane Game Master Bennies 5
  • +5 Players

Phase World - The Remorseless 10
  • +8 Players
    +2 Sidekicks

User avatar
Pender Lumkiss
Diamond Patron
Diamond Patron
Posts: 2393
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:00 pm

Re: Encounter Difficulties (SWFC Page 104)

Post by Pender Lumkiss » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:50 pm

Win.
13th GM bennies GM Bennies
4/4
Vampire Kingdoms GM Bennies
8/8
Legends of the Black Bennies
2/2

Post Reply

Return to “Out of Character Topics”