Hello all! I am a fan of the universe for quite some time now.
I just need some help with something.
I have a player who created a powerhouse of a character,
He is a Bauhaus templar, 15 strength, tonnes of Willpower and Mysticism and Aspect of Mentalism, and dual-wielding.
Naturally, every combat for him is trivial, and hard for me to create encounters. The rest of the party is an inquisitor and an investigator (both of them are way more toned down but the same amount of XP and careers etc)
How do I deal with a 3 actions per turn and minimum 10 dmg dealing powerhouse without making the rest of the party suffer or without making him feel targeted or treated unfairly?
Hello all! I am a fan of the universe for quite some time now.
Such problems often happen, not only in MC3 but in Conan, Infinity and other 2d20-based RPGs and other RPGs, of course, too.
The Templar with Mentalism is, of course, very competent in combat situations.
How about other fields of expertise? How about social skills? Vehicle operation? Stealth?
The MC3 setting offers a great variety of challenges besides simple combat scenes.
And even winning a fight might still mean to lose the actual objective, get hostages killed, get the opposition alerted to make their escape, etc.
Generally, talk to your player about the power differences of the characters in the group.
Roleplaying is a group effort, so every player is supposed to look out for the other players that they can enjoy the game too.
In that regard, the player will most certainly understand, that any physical combat, that provides a challenge for the Templar character might utterly obliterate the other player characters.
So it will be alright if you spend Dark Symmetry Points to drop some problems on the Templar, like typical environmental hazards, separate the character from the group to fight his way back to the others, drop the Templar in awkward social situations where one cannot simply fight their way out, make it necessary to operate a vehicle (car, airplane, spaceship) where high Strength and fighting power does not do any good, etc.
As I said, such problems often occur if you have different character “builds”, some more focussed on one thing (especially combat) and others more diversely competent. The less specialized are always worse off than the specialists if it is their best field of expertise. But the specialists usually lack competency in a lot of other fields where the other characters might shine. So challenging the group in different ways, not simply by combat situations, makes everyone get their spotlight.
That approach worked for me well enough, and even in games like Conan 2d20 where combat situations are expected to occur more frequently than in MC3 or Infinity.
First of all thanks for the reply!
You’re right I have to employ my fantasy into that. I guess I am very scared of the 3 actions per turn and craptonnes of Willpower and HP he has. I wasn’t able to get any willpower checks off him to get affected by some of Semai’s spells, like the spell that forbids any spellcaster to use the art in a zone, he succeeded in a D6 Willpower check (that was the encounter) also even if I give them dread, he just shrugs it off with a spell using one of his myriad of actions. Same goes for damage, I managed to get him seriously wounded (not to kill him obviously I would never just kill off a player for no reason, unless he put himself in such a situation) but in just one round he was in full health!
Also some rules questions:
Can other players use group momentum during combat?
Can you use momentum outside of combat from the group pool to add successes?
How can you make the players starting feeling scared both for their lives but for each other as well?
It’s my first time playing as a GM and I only now started figuring this out
Yes, that is just what the group Momentum pool is for.
Any Momentum from a test, that is not used immediately, gets added to the Group Momentum pool - up to the limit of 6 Momentum.
Whoever in the group wants to use Momentum, can access this pool - outside or during combat.
You can NEVER use Momentum to add successes.
There are well-defined Momentum spends. None of those adds successes.
In an opposed test, you cannot use Group Momentum to add to your side of the test to make it more likely to succeed. In an opposed test you have to make do with whatever Momentum you rolled and Bonus Momentum from Talents or some equipment you used in this action.
You don’t. - Why would you want the players to feel scared?
The characters can get the feel of Dread by the very same mechanic: Dread. You can always spend Dark Symmetry Points to raise the Dread level on each character, which raises the Repercussion range. And that makes them feel more insecure, as bad things can happen more frequently.
Of course, you need to get creative regarding those Repercussions. This is a very powerful mechanic to raise tension during the game.
You should consider spending Dark Symmetry Points to corrupt equipment - the more delicate or essential, the better. That shows the players how insidious the Dark Symmetry is, and it forces them to make do with lesser quality or more simpler equipment (which has a higher Reliablity).
Consider causing Mental Wounds or even Corruption on the characters. That is often a rather expensive Dark Symmetry Spend, but might be worth it.
Then, you can award Chronicle points for loyal, selfless and caring actions to those players who help their companions. Lone wolfs, do-it-all-by-my-selves, they don’t get those valuable Chronicle points. That communicates clearly what kind of group cooperation you want to see as a GM and what gets rewarded.
What I meant was feel tension, English is not my first tongue sorry!
thanks for all your help!
Those abilities are higher up in the respective Talent trees and Art of Light trees. How many XP do your players have to be able to act at that power level?
There are a few Talents (in the Command and the Willpower tree) that reduce the Difficulty of Willpower tests quite a bit, making high Difficulty tests easy and mid Difficulty tests a D0 affair. Those are somewhat disruptive to the intended horror and dread effect such things are supposed to cause. But if your player invested for example 1200 XP to get Rank 3 of Courageous, then that is a lot of XP and that is supposed to be worth something.
One question: How did you achieve a D6 Difficulty? Difficulties usually max out at D5.
How did the character heal himself at Seriously wounded condition that quickly? Using Regeneration? That might work, of course. And while under the Swiftness spell he might have several Standard Actions available.
To challenge such a character, you can attack him several times per round, preferably by spending Dark Symmetry Points to interrupt initiative and go before him. You only ever get a single Response Action per character and round in MC3. So he must choose which attack to defend against, and has to take all the other attacks and hope to survive them.
Regarding Swiftness: If you manage to surprise the group, that character cannot cast this spell in advance, so you have at least the first round - going first with your NPCs - at “normal performance”.
A question: if the character apparently maxed out on Willpower and/or Mysticism, how about the other Attributes and Skills? Surely the close combat or ranged combat abilities cannot be that great, if the Mysticism and Willpower are that highly skilled?
Neither it is for me, so I might misunderstand things quite often.
Precisesly Regeneration + Group Momentum.
Now that you mention it, it is also a Restricted action to attempt to hold a concentration spell.
He’s also going to get “PURITY OF SELF” soon anyway.
That is true on CC he is Agility 8 CC Expertise 1 and Focus 5. With 4 dice so he’s exploding in at least one. + Paragon.
My main concern at this point is that I do not want him to feel “targeted” or punished and at the same time I do not want the rest of the party to be like “welp let the Templar do his thing and we wait here”.
God forbid they don’t start hitting each other, or he starts bullying all the NPCs. (I’ve had such an experience before like that as a player though and obviously not from him)
With that level of experience, how long has the campaign been running? Do the Inquisitor and Investigator have areas of focused specialism, or are they more generalist?
Don’t forget to give them some spotlight time by providign challenges that relate to their skills and not the combat monsters. That said, I can see that he would be able to solo most combat challenges.
So, as Frank suggested, one option would be to split the party, enabling you to challenge each part of the party with a challenge scaled to their abilities.
Another option is to require something else to be done during the combat, to which the other two characters are better suited - that way the Templar may end up having to e.g. hold a doorway or tunnel against substantial opposition, while the others handle a different challenge.
That is what I am wondering, too. With 800 XP plus something, to max out on Willpower and Mysticism and to learn all those expensive (some very expensive) Talents to learn those spells, that seems a bit low in XP.
Of course, if the character is really a one-trick pony, maxed out on Mysticism to activate the spells, then simply give him no time to raise the Expertise and Focus of skills by using the Paragon spell. That not only takes an action in combat, it is a mystical activity, that you simply don’t perform in social situations without anyone noticing - and probably being alarmed by it.
You might trust someone of the Brotherhood - but even that only as far as you can throw them.
Anyone else running around with “black magic” abilities might as well be a mutant or - even worse - a heretic.
And then it would be interesting having a lot of common people calling the Inquisition to look after this possibly heretic casting spells left and right.
Having those powers is great when you are to battle a Nepharite, some Ezoghouls and a ton of Necromutants and other critters of the Dark Legion.
But in more civil situations, which in Mutant Chronicles present the majority of scenes, presenting supernatural powers is, well, unnatural and makes people quite uneasy (possibly raising the Difficulty of all social skill tests by +1 or +2 Difficulty for this character - and by association maybe even his companions, too).
We have been playing for quite some time, and the book suggests 200XPper hour of gameplay… The rest of the guys are a bit more generalists, with the investigator having more ranks in Insight, Observation and Persuade, recently he invested in Ranged Weapons Talents too. The Inquisitor is a bit in limbo having spent some XP in Kinetics as well as ranged weapons.
Don’t forget the discount for having started the game with 5 Focus in Mysticism and dumpted pretty much his entire talents in Mentalism.
I tried having them have a hard time interacting with people while using magic but the last session there was an argument “how dare he oppose the brotherhood, they should be giving us stuff for free just because we are with the brotherhood.” I explained that while he was collaborating with the brotherhood, simply some people can’t afford giving you supplies just because you demand it, also that some people just don’t value the Brotherhood as much, simply because they can prosecute people for no reason, or having different values (being greedy etc). No one has invested in Lifestyle and they really “oofed” while trying to buy some stuff (reloads, grenades, and medipacks)
I tried doing that as much as I can. I don’t want the players to feel left out, I strongly believe that RPGs are made for everyone to have fun while playing.
Also I can’t find on the books, but using the Arts or Ki or Dark Gifts, has any visual “effect”?
Abusing the Brotherhood’s name and privilege might lead to an internal investigation.
If a Brotherhood member shows greed and selfishness to the common people, that is an indicator that he might be corrupted by the Dark Apostles, possibly by Semai.
So a (non-player) Inquisitor might start an investigation in this kind of unacceptable behaviour.
On the other hand: whatever a Brotherhood member NEEDS (not wants) he will get by requisiting it from the nearest Brotherhood chapter. So no need to terrorize normal folks.
The Bauhaus Templar is most certainly not perceived as “Brotherhood”. He is from a Bauhaus order that has access to The Art, and that works close with the Brotherhood, but that is all. He is still Bauhaus. That means, people from Capitol, Mishima or Imperial might have a lot of problems interacting with him. Cybertronic will definitely have problems.
So this whole “I’m Brotherhood, give me all that I want”-action must have been the Inquisitor character.
And that is just the one who should not only know better, but know that his “colleagues” will look into such suspiciously corrupt behaviour with more zeal than even usual for an Inquisitor.
If they did not put some XP into learning Lifestyle, let them suffer for it. Building one-trick pony characters is in MC3 usually not a good idea. So they made the choice of their poison.
Yeah - some people don’t trust the Brotherhood. There’s that handy interaction chart for a reason! Also, send them to Mercury, or any other Mishiman territory, and see how far they get on respect for the Brotherhood there!
Also, no Lifestyle at all? Ouch. That’ll really impact being able to get anything. As you say, you might get issued stuff by the Brotherhood themselves - if they have stock that hasn’t already been allocated to another purpose. But your average shopkeeper is going to expect being paid for goods - or might question why, if they really are with the Brotherhood, they are not getting supplied by the Brotherhood, and are having to buy direct?
Would it be appropriate in your to have each player run two characters, a combat dude and a non-combat dude? You could flesh out your team with bodyguard characters geared for dealing with threats on the same level as your powerhouse, and your powerhouse player could also run an assistant or secretary.
Basically, when the bullets start flying the “nerds” duck down and take no part in the fight, while the players instead run their “jocks”.
WH40k Black Crusade RPG by Fantasy Flight Games had a sidebar about this topic. Basically they called it Prioritizing Threats, or something like that. When you have one character who is extremely better at combat, then you give them the majority of the challenge. Having a big bad boss with two goons, the Big Bad would focus on the most dangerous character and the goons would go after the others.