Legendary hold up?

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Armos Black
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Legendary hold up?

#1 Postby Armos Black » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:11 pm

I have been running a fantasy game for some time now. The players are halfway through Heroic to Legendary. I am having a problem however with characters getting taken out pretty easily. I mean, I can throw Orcs at them ok but if I give the party one Frost Giant (or the equivalent in power), I am a step away from a total party kill almost every time. The setting is low on magic items but I have 2 healers and some powerful characters. It just seems the group should be doing better with some of these encounters. I think a lot of the problem I am having is the damage vs. toughness ratio. It seems the damage of Heroic or Legendary "level" monsters far exceeds character toughness. An NPC having d12+d10+4 against 9 or 10 toughness? That character is more than likely going down in a few rounds, if that. Then the players are having a hard time just getting past the monster's toughness. Has anyone run Legendary fantasy in SW? Can Legendary characters fight legendary battles or are they destined to be Orc slayers in Savage Worlds. :-? :wink:

Thanks.

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Enno
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#2 Postby Enno » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:59 pm

Yes, i have run Legendary adventures with Legendary heroes. Once in Evernight (which was expanded by our GM because we were so great and had so much fun, to last 5 years), and Hellfrost, were i'm the GM.

It all depends on the groups composition, their heroes "skill set", and if they act as a team well.

All basic archetypes group should be represented in the group. There should be the Faceman, the talking guy; there should be the knowledge and the healing guy, and there should be the tank and the stealthy guy(s). The basic fighter, cleric, mage, and thief, we know. There could be highlights (more combat oriented or more support oriented) depending on the setting and style to be played, but regardless of setting it usually comes down to this "types" in every setting and genre.

This types define the available "skill set", or abilities, which should be distributed as evenly as possible, without many ommissions.

Team play is the last ingredient in the mix. The heroes and their players should act as a team. One of them tries trick the monster, and tests its will, to get it shaken. Another one buffs the group or the tank, to go on the creature directly, while the rests heals when needed, lowers or boosts, and is mostly a distraction or support (ganging up). Tactical and team game is the key here!

Because of this, giants and other creatures of this magnitude were never a problem for our group, even on Heroic and veteran rank. We even managed to strangle a black master in Evernight, naked and without any real weapons and resources.

Team play and a good, even distributed set of abilities (with eventual overlappings) is the best way to survive this. And a good way for roleplaying and getting bennies. :wink:
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Magnus
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#3 Postby Magnus » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:00 am

I've run a few campaigns with Legendary characters and I've never had any trouble with too many TPKs - as a matter of fact I still haven't managed a TPK in a "fair" fight.

The progress of characters in basic SW is pretty even and they don't turn into superheroes overnight as in some other games out there. But if you'd like them to "step it up a notch" try taking a look at the Savage Suzerain rules, they have some simple ways to make your characters feel much more heroic and "larger than life".
You can get a free PDF here: http://savagemojo.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=28&products_id=193

Stay Savage,
Magnus

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Re: Legendary hold up?

#4 Postby UmbraLux » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:40 pm

Armos Black wrote:I have been running a fantasy game for some time now. The players are halfway through Heroic to Legendary. I am having a problem however with characters getting taken out pretty easily. I mean, I can throw Orcs at them ok but if I give the party one Frost Giant (or the equivalent in power), I am a step away from a total party kill almost every time. The setting is low on magic items but I have 2 healers and some powerful characters. It just seems the group should be doing better with some of these encounters.
Out of curiosity, what tactics do the players commonly use?

I think a lot of the problem I am having is the damage vs. toughness ratio. It seems the damage of Heroic or Legendary "level" monsters far exceeds character toughness. An NPC having d12+d10+4 against 9 or 10 toughness? That character is more than likely going down in a few rounds, if that.
One of the best "defensive" tactics is simply to keep the opponent shaken. Cover is also essential against ranged attacks.

Then the players are having a hard time just getting past the monster's toughness.
This requires tactics! Called shots, tricks, tests of will, ganging up, etc...

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#5 Postby kreider204 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:44 pm

UmbraLux said it: tactics. You have to get away from the old-school "I hit it; I hit it again; I hit it again" mentality.
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Clint
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Re: Legendary hold up?

#6 Postby Clint » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:19 am

Couple of things...

Armos Black wrote:I think a lot of the problem I am having is the damage vs. toughness ratio. It seems the damage of Heroic or Legendary "level" monsters far exceeds character toughness.


What is a Heroic or Legendary "level" monster? Seriously. I know Pinnacle doesn't categorize NPCs by any kind of Rank, so perhaps part of the issue is just a miscategorization. On the other hand, it may not be an issue, and it could be related to...

Armos Black wrote:An NPC having d12+d10+4 against 9 or 10 toughness? That character is more than likely going down in a few rounds, if that. Then the players are having a hard time just getting past the monster's toughness.


To get that kind of damage and a particularly high Toughness almost always requires an NPC to have Size+4 or greater. There are two big points here...

1. Such creatures have a bonus to be hit that players should capitalize on with Called Shots, not just trying for a raise on the attack roll. The whole point is that they can take the Called Shot and the foe won't be any harder to hit than any other foe, but they can bypass some of their Toughness. Think of it like this...

Against Large, it's basically a free Called Shot to hit a limb and possibly bypass Armor. or it's +4 damage for only a -2 penalty to hit.
Against Huge, it's a free +4 damage, or +4 damage and bypassing Armor for only a -2 to hit.

2. Also remember that the reverse is true. Size modifiers to attacks rolls are relative. Meaning any creature that is +2 or +4 to be hit is suffering a -2 or -4 to attack rolls against the PCs. While the big creature may do a lot of damage if it connects, it has significantly less chance of connecting (especially if the characters use other options like Cover to decrease the odds even more).

Also note, that even just the -2 to be hit by a Large creature means a character can perform a Wild Attack for +2 to attack and damage and still effectively retain his normal Parry. Combine that with the innate +2 bonus to hit it, and the character can attack with a -4 Called Shot for +4 damage with his normal Parry (-2+2) and normal chance of hitting (+2+2-4) and do +6 damage when he hits. That completely negates or exceeds the Size bonus to Toughness for any Large creature except a Size+7 (which only gains 1 point even then).

Again, can't be certain, but those are typically the main issues I see when Size+ critters are taking out PCs left and right. If all of that is already in play, we might need to look at more specifics to figure out what's happening.
Clint Black
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