Club PA 2.0 has arrived! If you'd like to access some extra PA content and help support the forums, check it out at patreon.com/ClubPA
The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

[D&D 5E Discussion] Maybe he's born with it. Nope it's Vampirism.

19495969798100»

Posts

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Depending on how many NPC's you have....give the players enough stats to figure it out for themselves and let the players roll the dice and decide what actions the NPC's would take on their turns.

    That way the players are still playing and not sitting there watching you do most of the work. It may not be their own PC, but it'll be one of the players who rolls that clutch natural 20 or something that saves the day.

    Elvenshae
  • FryFry Registered User regular
    Sometimes I write up a simple stat block for the NPC, and let the players run it.

    If I'm running the NPC myself, my general rule is "don't roll dice for interactions between two things I'm controlling." So whenever the NPC attacks a monster or vice versa, I just decide what the outcome is.

  • GlaziusGlazius Registered User regular
    edited July 2016
    Amaryl wrote: »
    Hey guys, I'm (a rather new dm) running a campaign for 3 players - and they're just about at the end of the arc - where they have to go hunt down a demon and a number of cultists revering that demon - they managed to gather a couple of allies, through quests and forged relationships that are supposed to help them defeat that demon.

    my question is mainly do you guys have any tips to handle NPC Allies - because it just doesn't seem like great fun if my players sit there while I run through all the allies doing stuff during initiative in addition to the bad guys?

    So don't have the allies do anything. And also some of the bad guys don't do anything.

    I mean, right, there's going to be a ton of cultists hanging out and what's going to happen is the PCs are going to rush the demon and its trusted lieutenants, while their allies fight the demon's allies in a giant crazy brawl that's happening all around them.

    Just run the central fight. I mean, if you want to get clever with things you can put some support structures in the central fight that the PCs can take down to help their allies, and that can pay off in both plot (more people survive and are happier with the outcome) and immediate benefits (somebody can call in a volley of arrows with their action or just 1/round someone can say their allies made a distraction and get advantage). Maybe give the demon "lair actions" for its army that the PCs can claim for themselves. Or, like, if you get shoved out of the central fight you eat four rinky-dink attacks on your way back in.

    But start off with just running the central fight.

    Glazius on
    JoshmviiElvenshaeMrTLicious
  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    Nealneal wrote: »
    I would totally consider using the myconids and the various fungi as encounters in this dungeon. You could also include various undead guardians changed up to include the fungus aspect. Like skeletons animated not by necromancy, but by the fungus that's growing on the bones. Oozes would be good too since they kind of have that slime mold thing going for them. That's the sort of stuff I would use. As to your beast, I would go with a Shambling Mound with slightly bolstered stats to show it has become something else. Maybe have the bones of the original Beast revealed once it was defeated?

    Ooh, that actually would work really well. My original idea was that the guardians chosen to seal the tomb from the inside would simply be long-dead, but their corpses could be puppeted about by this fungus and I could just throw myconid stats on it. And a shambling mound for the beast itself sounds perfect. I wanted to avoid using anything too "magical" as the original beast since this place has been sealed since before this world had any magic to speak of. Thanks guys.

  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    edited July 2016
    Amaryl wrote: »
    Hey guys, I'm (a rather new dm) running a campaign for 3 players - and they're just about at the end of the arc - where they have to go hunt down a demon and a number of cultists revering that demon - they managed to gather a couple of allies, through quests and forged relationships that are supposed to help them defeat that demon.

    my question is mainly do you guys have any tips to handle NPC Allies - because it just doesn't seem like great fun if my players sit there while I run through all the allies doing stuff during initiative in addition to the bad guys?

    I'd advise if you're going to play them in combat, have only one that deals damage in combat at the most. Have the others heal or buff your player characters. Even better, have it be completely narrative, describing the allies storming alongside the players, interfering with enemies and all that as the player characters do battle with all that chaos going on around them.

    Edit: do what @Glazius said. I hadn't seen it yet, but that post describes what I would consider to be the right way to handle it.

    Joshmvii on
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2016
    You could do a variety of things with allies:
      * Allies do nothing, but are just RP filler. * Allies have their own NPC statblocks and take their own actions. * Allies have their own NPC statblocks, but at the minion level (ie- 1/1 hp). Worked for 4e for simplicity's sake, unsure if translateable to other editions well. * Allies are represented by an automatic action that occurs at round start/round end/their initiative. AOE attack, single attack, status effect, whatever. * Allies are represented by an action that an individual PC can choose to use as their Standard/Move/Minor Action for the turn.

    Roughly ordered in my personal preference from "Least Appealing" down to "Most Appealing". I tend to like Move or Minor actions for bonus things like Allies, because a Player that has to give up their own action in order to gain the benefit of a "bonus" thing, isn't really gaining any benefit from the bonus action.

    Aegis on
    We'll see how long this blog lasts
    Currently DMing: None :(
    Characters
    [5e] Dural Melairkyn - AC 18 | HP 40 | Melee +5/1d8+3 | Spell +4/DC 12
  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    Strictly speaking, I've found the best way to handle allies that do things in combat to be there for the express purpose of plugging a hole in party composition for the small (Re: 2-3) parties I run. This free's them up to play what they want and not be crippled by an absence of a healer or a tank and also helps to ensure that the game is less about cheesy tactics.

    Just remember: they're a tool to assist the party who are the stars of the story.

    Richy wrote: »
    But I think the resistance I’m getting more has to do with “rawr! Loklar said it! Rage!” than anything else.

    No, it has to do with the fact that you're done nothing but throw lies, blatant flasehoods, and downright dumb statements at us so far.
    never die
  • never dienever die Registered User regular
    edited July 2016
    I think it also depends on what the NPCs's power levels are. In Curse of Strahd for example, one of the npcs the players can get is Ismark, who uses the veteran NPC block. He is slightly stronger than the party will normally be when they meet him (level 3) but is very useful as a meat shield in combat and giving the players some direction if they need it. At the same time, its extremely hard for him to overshadow the party as he doesn't have any flashy powers or abilities. He falls under the simple stat block run above. Having an NPC or two like this in the party if they want/need it is fine. Also, if the party likes an NPC and wants them to come along for an adventure and it makes sense, why not let them? This has happened plenty of times for me as a DM where the party really likes an NPC and convinces them to go on an adventure with them. It can be fun and will allow you to use them to enhance the party.

    If you have a lot of weak NPCs with them, like a town guard or small army, you can use them for bonus attacks or abilities like above, or use them for thematic events such as locking down an opposing army or monsters or cultists etc.

    I tend to go the same way with powerful NPCs. Have them be doing something thematic to help the party, such as buffing the party or working on something that they can do to support the party thematically. If you are going to give a powerful NPCs a class, you might aim for support classes such as bard or a healer focused cleric. Or if they are a more combat focused class, build their support in to the arc or story so they are doing something that furthers the story but doesn't overshadow the party.

    An example of all of this combined I can think of was in my last DnD campaign, the party was fighting an ancient Drow Matriarch brought back from the dead to try and conquer the country they resided on again (after being sealed thousands of years ago). Weak NPCs fought the Matriarch's army and could provide light healing or bonus attacks for the party during the climatic siege at the end of the game. The party lacked a tank and had drafted Gary, a town guardsman earlier in the campiagn, to help them so he used a simple version of the fighter class to be a beefgate with some other town guardsman to block some of the onslaught of the attacks. And for a powerful NPC, they had the high level wizard NPC who was working on a spell to seal the undying Matriarch back up again. They had to fight the Matriarch and her vanguard warriors, kill the vanguard and keep her at bay to stop her from destroying the city and disrupting the ritual.

    At the same time of course, use what works for you. Try out different types of NPCs and see what works with your group.

    Also, for @Vincent Grayson , I agree with @Joshmvii for the Fomorian. They are great and I think would fit well with the feel you want.

    never die on
  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    Thank you for the advice guys, and giving me some options I hadn't considered before - I'll mull this over and figure out the best way to keep the most agency in the player's hands.

  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    Fomorians are definitely fun. My party fought a couple of them deep in the underdark in the lead up to their Aboleth fight and it worked well together, because the Fomorian's curse of the evil eye attack resulted in the party fighter and barbarian growing vestigial arms out their necks, extra eyes, etc. with their gnarly ass curse.

    never die
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    100 pages already? I guess I better start working on a new thread...

    AegisSteelhawk
  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    never die wrote: »
    I think it also depends on what the NPCs's power levels are. In Curse of Strahd for example, one of the npcs the players can get is Ismark, who uses the veteran NPC block. He is slightly stronger than the party will normally be when they meet him (level 3) but is very useful as a meat shield in combat and giving the players some direction if they need it. At the same time, its extremely hard for him to overshadow the party as he doesn't have any flashy powers or abilities. He falls under the simple stat block run above. Having an NPC or two like this in the party if they want/need it is fine. Also, if the party likes an NPC and wants them to come along for an adventure and it makes sense, why not let them? This has happened plenty of times for me as a DM where the party really likes an NPC and convinces them to go on an adventure with them. It can be fun and will allow you to use them to enhance the party.

    If you have a lot of weak NPCs with them, like a town guard or small army, you can use them for bonus attacks or abilities like above, or use them for thematic events such as locking down an opposing army or monsters or cultists etc.

    I tend to go the same way with powerful NPCs. Have them be doing something thematic to help the party, such as buffing the party or working on something that they can do to support the party thematically. If you are going to give a powerful NPCs a class, you might aim for support classes such as bard or a healer focused cleric. Or if they are a more combat focused class, build their support in to the arc or story so they are doing something that furthers the story but doesn't overshadow the party.

    An example of all of this combined I can think of was in my last DnD campaign, the party was fighting an ancient Drow Matriarch brought back from the dead to try and conquer the country they resided on again (after being sealed thousands of years ago). Weak NPCs fought the Matriarch's army and could provide light healing or bonus attacks for the party during the climatic siege at the end of the game. The party lacked a tank and had drafted Gary, a town guardsman earlier in the campiagn, to help them so he used a simple version of the fighter class to be a beefgate with some other town guardsman to block some of the onslaught of the attacks. And for a powerful NPC, they had the high level wizard NPC who was working on a spell to seal the undying Matriarch back up again. They had to fight the Matriarch and her vanguard warriors, kill the vanguard and keep her at bay to stop her from destroying the city and disrupting the ritual.

    At the same time of course, use what works for you. Try out different types of NPCs and see what works with your group.

    Also, for @Vincent Grayson , I agree with @Joshmvii for the Fomorian. They are great and I think would fit well with the feel you want.

    I like the weird curse thing for sure. I might just steal that and attach the ability to a shambling mound to combine the two.

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    @Amaryl

    So, in a "recent" game I ran, the players mobilized most of the population of a small town and its outlying farms into a large militia / small army. There were some retired soldiers in the mix, and some caravan guards, and those became "veteran" units. Some of the hunters were skirmishers, they had some older kids / younger teens as slingers, etc.

    Each group was made up of 4-5 NPCs. At any time, a PC could attach to an NPC squad and take it over; the NPCs would then follow the players around, provide automatic assists when attacking and potential bonus damage dice, etc. The PC could detach at any time to let the NPCs do their own thing. NPC vs. NPC combat was handled by both sides doing average damage to each other to keep things moving.

    I represented the squads with a large mini base that had a colored ring to denote unit type, and a "topper" that represented the group thematically (e.g., an archer for the rangers group, a dwarf fighter-type for the caravan guards, etc.). When the PCs attached, I replaced the topper with the PC's miniature, and they were now a PC leading a gang of NPCs around.

    Worked pretty well, I think.

    omgbfz5lzi1s.png
    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
    The Disappearance of Inigo Sharpe: Tomas à Dunsanin
    never dieFuselage
Sign In or Register to comment.