Wednesday, May 02, 2007

NPC tactical guides

So, this morning, Jeff posted some stupid Dracula tricks. I should probably just post this as a comment in his blog, but... ummm... I didn't. So there.

Unless you've already read it, that won't make sense, so let me explain. This past Sunday, Jeff ran Lords of Creation for the C-U Run Club. If you are curious to know what sort of game it was, I played Aleister Crowley with a lightsaber. That should tell you enough.

Anyway, we fought Dracula (of course), and Jeff made up a little table of stupid Dracula tricks for him to use in combat. He could roll on it if he wanted to, or he could pick from it.

Jeff says:
If I were in charge of developing D&D 4E every monster with more than one special power would get a chart like this. DMs would not be obligated to use these charts, but sometimes when you're trying to run 6 demons it becomes the opposite of fun to figure out what each creep is going to do each round.
I think that's an interesting idea, but I think that a monster manual is the wrong place for such a thing.

The cool part of the 'stupid tricks' chart for me is that it can suggest tactics. Tactics are environment-dependent. I'd love to see something like one of these for every combat encounter in an adventure that makes extensive use of the environment and specifics of the encounter. I'm going to try to include a chart (or at least a list of options) for each such encounter in The Goblins of Gourm. We'll see how it works out. This thing might evolve.


Jeff Rients said...

Can I have both? A general purpose chart in the monster right-up and a specific to the encounter version in adventures?

szilard said...


In terms of d20 stuff, though, I personally like what they've done with "Combat Options" in the new monster stat blocks.