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4/02/2020 1:38 pm  #1


Men as monsters

How do people treat stats for human opponents?  I note the Swords & Wizardry approach that treats human foes as monsters, with relevant abilities, HD, etc; rather than applying classes to human opponents.  Do you reserve ‘classed’ opponents for significant NPCs that are allies?  Or use classes for opponents too?

 

4/02/2020 2:17 pm  #2


Re: Men as monsters

I would give classes and levels to opponents whenever appropriate.

Anyway, how can you be sure which ones are the allies and which ones are the opponents ahead of time? https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

Last edited by Blackadder23 (4/02/2020 2:18 pm)


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

4/02/2020 4:42 pm  #3


Re: Men as monsters

For random encounters and mixes, see BA's Encounter Tables. Shows how many 0-lvls. back up yr typical classed person.

I am more comfy with more people being classed in Hyperborea than I ever was in D&D. It's a harsh world and a lot of normal people die. And a lot of adventurers retire after a big score since being an adventurer is even MORE dangerous. Or retire once too tentacular to continue their duties!

 

4/02/2020 8:01 pm  #4


Re: Men as monsters

Antalon wrote:

How do people treat stats for human opponents?  I note the Swords & Wizardry approach that treats human foes as monsters, with relevant abilities, HD, etc; rather than applying classes to human opponents.  Do you reserve ‘classed’ opponents for significant NPCs that are allies?  Or use classes for opponents too?

I lean more towards the S&W approach. I also have most NPC humans as 0-level nobodies, as it helps my PCs stand out even at 1st level. I find most modules are the opposite, though, so typically have to ignore much of the additional details for minor NPCs.


"Enough of this intolerable inanity! I propose that such loquacity passes beyond the scope of nuisance and over the verge of turpitude."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous
 

4/03/2020 1:25 pm  #5


Re: Men as monsters

Antalon wrote:

How do people treat stats for human opponents?  I note the Swords & Wizardry approach that treats human foes as monsters, with relevant abilities, HD, etc; rather than applying classes to human opponents.  Do you reserve ‘classed’ opponents for significant NPCs that are allies?  Or use classes for opponents too?

I guess I'm too lazy. I've run the game for close to 8 years and have never created a single character sheet for an NPC significant or not.  I treat as monsters with just the info I need. This allows me to kill them off in the normal flow of the campaign without feeling like I lost hours of prep.  
 


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

4/03/2020 2:03 pm  #6


Re: Men as monsters

I like the concept of leveled NPCs - not quite to extent of the old Wilderlands but close -  but I still don't get to anymore detail than you can fit on an index card. Basically HP, AC, Class , FA, weapons, Spells, and notable pieces of equipment.  I really like how AS&SH separates Fighting Ability (FA) as a separate number because you can add that to any NPC as you see fit without tying them to a class (and it works with a Target 20 style hit determination which help avoid looking at too many tables).  This also allows you to make a tougher than 0-level opponents while avoiding having to figure out extra abilities like weapon mastery.   Of course HD basically works the same but FA feels more right to me for NPC type characters.

 

4/03/2020 2:13 pm  #7


Re: Men as monsters

In my games, I reserve classes for PCs and treat human NPCs as monsters, giving them whatever abilities I want for the situation. I find it very liberating creatively and also easier to prep. Plus, I think it makes the human NPCs more mysterious and unpredictable when they're encountered. For what it's worth, I ignore any classing of monsters as well (e.g., snake-men). Admittedly, this is all a deviation from the rules as presented in the main books and modules. Too bad, suckas! https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

4/03/2020 3:16 pm  #8


Re: Men as monsters

I have 2 NPCs in my game that I have stat'd up and such.

But I'm generally in the same ball park as Chainsaw. NPCs get to do things that PCs can't and I try not to limit myself to class abilities.


What? Me worry?
 

4/03/2020 3:39 pm  #9


Re: Men as monsters

I do men as monsters Ex, Barbarians, Bandits etc, are all listed in the Monsters section, when I need tougher opponents, I add more (swarm) or I bump them in HD, remembering that HD kinda equates for Level, I'll bump HD and give them some skills.
The exception is when I want captains or magic-using NPCs, then I will create a Character like setup, still with the "monster" like HD, etc, but apply spells selections and abilities associated with that of a class.

Example encounter for 8 6th level Characters for a game I've run:
Pictish Scouting Party (8 Picts(3HD), 1 Captain(6 HD), 1 Shaman(6HD))
                        Picts                            Captain                        Shaman
AL                                            (Chaotic Neutral)
SZ                    M                                 M                                 M
MV                   40                                40                                40
DX                   12                                13                                14
AC                   AC7                             AC4                             AC7
HD                   (3HD)                          (6HD)                          (6HD)
#A                    1/1                              2/1                               1/1
D                      D8                              D8(L-Sword +2)          (Scimitar +2)
SV                    15                              14                                13
ML                    7                                 8                                  8
XP                    41                              175                              250
Treasure          L, M                            M (x2)                         M (x3)

I put in the Spell list for the Shaman and make sure to note the abilities (like turning into a Salmon to retreat if he fails morale) and the "Captain" I have as a fighter Increased attack rate (Mastery). And applied magical gear, and had them using it.

But, the game is yours, whatever you want to do you can do...

Bob


-- 
BlackKnight, AKA Sausage
Been playing Role-Playing Games for 45 years.
 

4/03/2020 3:53 pm  #10


Re: Men as monsters

Useful to know there’s a range of approaches.  I can see the benefit of using FA and CA to give men different abilities.  I favour treating men as monsters and liberally borrowing class abilities as useful.

     Thread Starter
 

4/03/2020 4:00 pm  #11


Re: Men as monsters

Antalon wrote:

Useful to know there’s a range of approaches.

You will find the one thing we all have in common here is a willingness to do our own thing. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

4/03/2020 4:35 pm  #12


Re: Men as monsters

Chainsaw wrote:

You will find the one thing we all have in common here is a willingness to do our own thing. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png

Yep https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


-- 
BlackKnight, AKA Sausage
Been playing Role-Playing Games for 45 years.
 

4/03/2020 8:04 pm  #13


Re: Men as monsters

Chainsaw wrote:

Antalon wrote:

Useful to know there’s a range of approaches.

You will find the one thing we all have in common here is a willingness to do our own thing. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png

I also sense an appreciation for others to do their own thing: I like seeing others' approaches, as mine is not so calcified as to be unimpregnable.


"Enough of this intolerable inanity! I propose that such loquacity passes beyond the scope of nuisance and over the verge of turpitude."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous
 

4/03/2020 9:38 pm  #14


Re: Men as monsters

Yeah, Chainsaw, I will also happily give NPCs powers and abilities that PCs don't have. Different paths to power. I think I have blethered on about it in other posts!

 

4/04/2020 6:11 am  #15


Re: Men as monsters

rhialto wrote:

Chainsaw wrote:

Antalon wrote:

Useful to know there’s a range of approaches.

You will find the one thing we all have in common here is a willingness to do our own thing. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png

I also sense an appreciation for others to do their own thing: I like seeing others' approaches, as mine is not so calcified as to be unimpregnable.

Great point!

Handy Haversack wrote:

Yeah, Chainsaw, I will also happily give NPCs powers and abilities that PCs don't have. Different paths to power. I think I have blethered on about it in other posts!

Agreed.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

4/05/2020 10:46 am  #16


Re: Men as monsters

Handy Haversack wrote:

Yeah, Chainsaw, I will also happily give NPCs powers and abilities that PCs don't have. Different paths to power. I think I have blethered on about it in other posts!

I agree as well. NPC's will give themselves over to servitude for power the PC's would NEVER put up with. Nothing like a good Handy blethering though!
 


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

4/05/2020 10:47 am  #17


Re: Men as monsters

Chainsaw wrote:

Antalon wrote:

Useful to know there’s a range of approaches.

You will find the one thing we all have in common here is a willingness to do our own thing. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png

Hahaha, yup!
 


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

4/07/2020 4:29 pm  #18


Re: Men as monsters

I spent a little time wondering about this, then dug into my archive of stuff I've worked on over the last 15 years. 

I don't have a consistent way.

Some are just "monsters", others are "3rd level fighter, +1 to hit/dmg, AC: 3, 23hp, Longsword, Bow", and others are largely fleshed out, especially the Leaders and their Lieutenants, who generally get a character sheet..

 

4/15/2020 11:01 am  #19


Re: Men as monsters

Surprised nobody has mentioned this very useful compendium of "people stats" — free from the author's blog. One of the most useful OSR booklets around!
http://beyondtheblackgate.blogspot.com/2010/06/monsterless-manual-get-yours-free.html
 


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
 

4/15/2020 11:52 am  #20


Re: Men as monsters

Jimm.Iblis wrote:

Surprised nobody has mentioned this very useful compendium of "people stats" — free from the author's blog. One of the most useful OSR booklets around!
http://beyondtheblackgate.blogspot.com/2010/06/monsterless-manual-get-yours-free.html
 

Didn't know about this: thanks much.


"Enough of this intolerable inanity! I propose that such loquacity passes beyond the scope of nuisance and over the verge of turpitude."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous
 

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