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[Roleplaying Games] Play Everything, Only GM the Games You Want To

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Posts

  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    So I've been running Trail of Cthulhu now since March and I feel I have a good grasp of it. The game interacts with a modern day setting pretty much out of the box very easily I find and that was kind of surprising. I'll post some thoughts and feelings on it, with the ways I've modified it to suit a more modern time in the next thread (whenever that is). My overall impression is that I just couldn't ever go back to Call of Cthulhu now. This system just works so much better.

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
    Dex DynamodresdenphileElvenshae
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    What, in your opinion, are the elements of a really good boss battle?

    - Not just a bullet/swordhack/damage sponge
    - Not anticlimactic
    - Any surprises should not make the PC feel like the boss pulled it out of its ass
    - ???

    I like to use a 3-tiered boss fight detailed here by The Angry DM. The idea is that the boss is one monster, three stages. Basic example would be a dragon. At the first stage he might fly about and breath fire, but he normally focus on one or two people. When his HP drops to 66% or less (or bloodied in 4e), he changes tactics. He keeps in the air more, gains a sweeping attack, his breath weapon might gain a new effect, ect. Once his health hits 25% he falls to the ground and starts more melee fighting, gains crit increases, immunity towards certain effects. It's one monster but with the changing tactics, you players will have to deal with the changes.

    13th Age's sample adventure has a nice example with the traitor who turns into demon upon death.

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited September 2014
    What, in your opinion, are the elements of a really good boss battle?

    - Not just a bullet/swordhack/damage sponge
    - Not anticlimactic
    - Any surprises should not make the PC feel like the boss pulled it out of its ass
    - ???

    What I think is pretty neat is when you've got a character players have heard is a bad-ass.

    And the character is indirectly antagonistic to the players.

    And then finally the players get to fight this jerk.
    And then they have to team up with the guy in order to fight a greater threat that shows up in the middle of the battle.

    Maybe they let the other guy get killed. Maybe they decide to kill him in the confusion. Maybe they even decide to make sure he survives, because it turns out his motivations were understandable, and then they have a new ally to call upon.

    Keeps the players on their toes and also lets them roleplay while fighting.

    DarkPrimus on
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    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • AspectVoidAspectVoid Registered User regular
    I got to play Age of Rebellion last night. One of our nWoD players couldn't make it, and rather than moving on without her, we pulled out the Age of Rebellion beginner set and gave it a go.

    Everyone had a really good time with it. Once everyone had gotten one or two rolls in so we all had a grasp on how success vs failure and advantage vs threat worked out, we found the system fairly fast paced and plenty enjoyable. Really the only issues were do to us running the box set, as the pack in characters weren't designed the way we would have, and the DM had to go "Guys, this is a published beginner's game, take it easy on me" since there was no prep as we just played on the spur of the moment decision.

    PSN|AspectVoid
    Super NamicchiHuddsArdent
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Final battles shouldn't be drawn out in my opinion. Make them deadly, but fast and tense. Best boss fight I ever had was just three rounds.

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    @Wearingglasses‌

    They need to take place in an interesting environment, as well.

    10x10 rooms are fine for a couple of orcs, but the Orc chieftain should be in a great hall with fireplaces and trophies from previous successes, etc.

  • RendRend Registered User regular
    Boss battles should involve every player having a decisive outcome on the fight.

    If your rogue can't hit armored targets, there should be a way for someone to sunder it, or the rogue should have a way to weaken or stun, or something.

    Elvenshae
  • Ken OKen O Registered User regular
    I'm two sessions away from the big boss fight in my Edge of the Empire game. The fight will end the story arc of the game. The big boss is far more mastermind than warrior. I'm thinking about putting the dice down for it and just building the narrative with the players. It'll be on an ancient warship collasping into lava, so that should be fun.

    http://www.fingmonkey.com/
    Comics, Games, Booze
  • Desert LeviathanDesert Leviathan Registered User regular
    edited September 2014
    It depends on how much you mix up the "final battle." The best Boss Fight I've ever run lasted about six hours, split across two play sessions. But it was the climax of a two year, bi-weekly game, and involved a running battle through an ancient ruined city, with the boss throwing multiple waves of servants, changing tactics and location several times, and handing the fight over to his own god/boss for the final scene. And it was also Exalted, which thrives on JRPG, Classical Mythology and Wuxia tropes. So the fight went something like this:
    Enemy: A Deathlord, one of thirteen Sorcerer-Kings of the Underworld, empowered to act as vessels for the infinite wrath of dead Titan masters, commissioned with the objective of dismantling the entire universe (which they follow through on with varying degrees of loyalty). This particular guy was a Fantasy Engineer turned up to 11, a cyborg who had swapped out almost all of his "organic components" in life, and now as a ghost doesn't have enough "memory of himself" to manifest a shape, and interacts with things by possessing machines and building robot bodies for himself. Through this fight, he was attempting to perform final calibrations on the components of his Ultimate Doomsday Device, with nodes scattered around the ruined city he haunted.

    Players: Bronze Age Zorro/Batman, Kung Fu Moses, Nightmare from Soul Calibur (but heroic!) and Dr. Strange as played by a young Sean Connery.

    Part one: Airship fight with the flying Deathlord, trying to cripple his mechanical wings enough to force him to the ground, before he could return to his city.

    Part two: Deathlord crashes onto a stretch of the desert-spanning highway that leads to his city. Deathlord retaliates, temporarily grounding the airship, but over-extend himself enough that running while his magical resources gradually restore seems wise. He summons one of his enormous mechanical centipedes from the desert as a mount. Players pursue by various means (as I recall, two on horseback, one on a riding lion, and one on a magical motorcycle), fighting through his escort of wheeled battle golems to reach him and his mount.

    Part three: City edge reached, mount crippled, the Deathlord releases dozens of telekinetically controlled spike-tipped chains from his robot chassis and swings through the city like Dr. Octopus. Players can mainly reach and engage with him by ninja-leaping off of all the gargoyles and shit he's prying off of buildings to hurl at them.

    Part four: Deathlord reaches and activates first part of his doomsday array, while distracting players with a huge War Zombie made of Dinosaur parts. Dino-Zombies traditionally have cages built in, stuffed full of hostages, to suitably distract heroes.

    Parts five through eight: Repeat parts three and four, but on the second pass he adds a laser weapon to the chase scene, now that his essence reserves are back up a little (Part 5), and summons two slightly smaller Dinosaur Zombies with a combo attack (Part 6). On the third pass a bunch of the debris he's throwing has swarms of mechanical spiders burrowed into it, that crawl over the heroes when they try to leap off of it (Part 7), and summons one much slower but more heavily armored Dinosaur Zombie (Part 8).

    Part nine: The array is active! The Deathlord retreats to his tower at the center of the city, with a significant lead. The players pursue into the tunnel he's taking, which also happens to be his main storage area for his unused horde of regular zombie foot soldiers. Cue insane Dynasty Warriors fight against Zombie Army lead by one of the Deathlord's last two surviving Abyssal Exalted servants.

    Part ten: (Play session two begins here.) Deathlord's sanctum, normally a nightmare of traps (which they've infiltrated once before) is fortunately wide open due to the late phase in his Master Plan. His actual control room is a huge puzzle box suspended by chains from the underside of a tower that hangs out into a seemingly bottomless pit, however. Kung-Fu Moses breaks away to have a final solo duel with his personal rival, the Deathlord's chief lieutenant and the final surviving Abyssal. The other three figure out the Puzzle Box and crack open the control room.

    Part eleven: Bounding off the arcane equipment stuck in the walls of the bottomless pit, or the Deathlord's own chain arms, they engage him directly, under circumstances where he can't retreat, for the first time. Spider golems disassemble any perch the players rest on for more than a few seconds, but new perches keep erupting out of the walls, as he telekinetically tears up the city around them to try to stab these guys with huge sewer pipes twisted into spears, or whatever. He's also shooting lightning, swinging a spear, and throwing clockwork razor-winged ravens around.

    Part twelve: The Deathlord's robot body is too wrecked to sustain him, and the last wisps of his spirit tumble out into the bottomless pit. The Heroes emerge from his tower, thinking all is well. But WAIT, SHIT, HE SUCCESSFULLY CAST THE SPELL HIS ARRAY WAS BUILT TO AMPLIFY, BEFORE THEY CRACKED OPEN HIS CONTROL ROOM. Rising from the black sand desert is a War Golem that this Deathlord has taken the last 1,500 years to construct, vast enough to dwarf his city. With his Necromancy Amplifying Array, he has summoned his patron, the slain Titan known as HE WHO HOLDS IN THRALL, who now possesses the consecrated body using robot-ghosting techniques this Deathlord himself innovated. The team's mostly-repaired airship swoops in, and they board and give chase. Pseudo-Strange and Faux-Moses fight from the airship using spells and shipboard artillery, while dodging return fire from the Golem's assorted ETERNITY-SCOURGING ESCHATON CANNONS. Knockoff-Batman and I-can't-believe-it's-not-Nightmare leap onto its back to do the Shadow of the Colossus thing, crawling all over it, taking turns thrashing up weak spots, while the other one runs interference on all the spiderbots that keep trying to stop them.

    Part thirteen: Eventually, they knock off enough armor sections to give the shipboard artillery a clear shot at the interior. They blast a hole into the terror dimension at the heart of HE WHO HOLDS IN THRALL, and all four leap inside to confront the slain Titan on the battlefield of his own mind. Within, they face the memory of the Primordial he used to be - MARDUKTH, THE MOUNTAIN AND THE BEAST UPON IT. This fight, taking place in a chaos dimension of fragmentary memories and poisoned magic, is pretty surreal, and for most of it, Faux-ses "tanks" for the team by engaging the dead god in debate about the sanctity of existence and futility of revenge, while the rest of the team punches, stabs and magic spells its health levels off. Not-Nightmare takes a fatal hit guarding Faux-Moses. Pseudo-Strange sacrifices his life to empower the Counter-Spell that will sunder this ghost from its vessel, which is cast on the knife that Knockoff-Batman uses to deliver the finishing blow. The two survivors barely escape the collapsing dream dimension.

    Desert Leviathan on
    Realizing lately that I don't really trust or respect basically any of the moderators here. So, good luck with life, friends! Hit me up on Twitter @DesertLeviathan
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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Knockoff-Batman and I-can't-believe-it's-not-Nightmare leap onto its back
    The next hero I create for a superhero campaign is totally going to be called "Knockoff-Batman". Although "I-can't-believe-it's-not-Nightmare" is a pretty close second. :D

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    PSN: Hahnsoo | MH Rise: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
    ElvenshaeDesert Leviathan
  • Desert LeviathanDesert Leviathan Registered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    Knockoff-Batman and I-can't-believe-it's-not-Nightmare leap onto its back
    The next hero I create for a superhero campaign is totally going to be called "Knockoff-Batman". Although "I-can't-believe-it's-not-Nightmare" is a pretty close second. :D

    Dude, yes! I'm imagining someone like the Die Fledermaus (Tick Cartoon) or Bat-Manuel (Tick Live-Action) who has clearly danced as close to copyright infringement as he can, and nobody else plays along with whatever his "real" superhero name is, because they all know where he came from.

    Knockoff-Batman in my campaign was actually a pretty rad original character, it's just that at one point he realized he was an orphaned plutocrat with a covert heroic ninja identity, and after that he couldn't help but feel like a huge poser forever.

    Realizing lately that I don't really trust or respect basically any of the moderators here. So, good luck with life, friends! Hit me up on Twitter @DesertLeviathan
    ElvenshaeCalicaEdith Upwards
  • HuddsHudds Fool Just Outside TimeRegistered User regular
    edited September 2014
    What, in your opinion, are the elements of a really good boss battle?

    - Not just a bullet/swordhack/damage sponge
    - Not anticlimactic
    - Any surprises should not make the PC feel like the boss pulled it out of its ass
    - ???


    I like making the environment come into play a lot for boss battles. Maybe even making the boss unbeatable by normal means; a special shield generator/magical protection or whatever depending on setting.

    Special attacks are always good, too. Usually this breaks down mostly to your description of what they're doing, but something they only do once or twice in the course of the battle that has a major effect.

    A turning point is important, too. A change in behavior or tactics to show that they're taking things seriously or they've become frightened by the PCs or they're enraged.

    Hudds on
    Elvenshae
  • ArdentArdent Down UpsideRegistered User regular
    What, in your opinion, are the elements of a really good boss battle?

    - Not just a bullet/swordhack/damage sponge
    - Not anticlimactic
    - Any surprises should not make the PC feel like the boss pulled it out of its ass
    - ???
    I actually work really hard not to put NPCs into the game that are significantly tougher than the heroes can be. The flip side of this is you need to get creative to provide challenging fights without relying on the "hahaha I have infinite hp! Now behold my new form!" stuff of JRPG shame.

    I work hard to establish potential boss battles. I want the players and their characters to be very familiar with their own personal Xanatos. I want them to discover the hints and allegations and (un)truths along the way. I want them to suspect what's going to happen but still be surprised when it does.

    From a player perspective, I hate bosses that have only shown up a few episodes back but are the culminating encounter for an entire arc. No thanks. Sometimes I don't want a boss battle to cap an arc.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
  • VanguardVanguard A wretched country of duskRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    New thread is up.

    @Echo please close this thread

    ElvenshaeGrunt's Ghosts
This discussion has been closed.