Encounter Design system

I’m currently one of the GMs for a large scale, west march style Fallout game. It’s going well but running multiple groups of different compositions and different experience levels (the players, not the characters) does lay bare the fact that the game desperately needs some guidelines for designing encounters. I tweaked some of the suggestions from Conan into this

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I almost wiped out my party of 6 3rd level characters with 8 level 2 raiders and my Vault Dweller player was almost killed when he was ambushed by 3 radroaches acting as one group. Low level enemies can be very dangerous when operating in groups. My biggest gripe as a GM is finding a way to generate AP. My Vault dweller managed to stun lock one of my main baddies by using VATS to headshot him and dealing enough damage to cause an injury each turn. Since I didn’t have any AP he was unable to act for 3 turns until he finally ran out of HP and was killed.

Conversely my group of 3rd level characters…5 of them go before the Raiders due to initiative. My 8 is whittled down to 4 before they even act due to some lucky dice rolls (and used of luck) and the party is at full AP.

I had a legendary creature stun locked because the melee fighter closed, had initiative and a weapon with Stun. By the RAW you don’t need to actually inflict damage to use a quality. I like the Conan system where stun can be bought off when it lands.

1 AP per player for the GM just isn’t enough, especially when players are generally loathe to give them for dice and the game seems to encourage Complications over AP for 20s.