Monster Arena

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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Masterweaver on Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:29 pm

Nah, I'm cool.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:02 pm

Awesome MirrorImage. Let's kick things into gear. I haven't had much time to devote attention to the Monsters yet, so I'm excited to see how these fine fellows work in practice.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  MirrorImage on Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:46 pm

So there appears to have been a minor lack of interest here...

I'm going to reschedule for next Saturday (Aug 4) and we'll see what happens then.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:25 pm

MirrorImage wrote:So there appears to have been a minor lack of interest here...

I'm going to reschedule for next Saturday (Aug 4) and we'll see what happens then.

I'm insanely busy this week, so I haven't had time to devote to monster development. However, it's probably a good idea to wait until a collection of monsters have been 'polished' anyways - do as much as we can with the design before playtesting. Might be easier to send the bat-signal out to DMs, suggesting that they playtest monsters in their home campaign.

You could also run a challenge adventure MirrorImage - a hard, hard module designed to test ponies to their limits and weave the playtests into that. That's more exciting than an arena battle.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  tygerburningbright on Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:39 pm

um how did the test go? or did it not happen?


Last edited by tygerburningbright on Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  AlicornPriest on Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:52 pm

Nah, it didn't happen. We're either not making enough monsters or we don't actually need to play test them. Just not enough interest. :/ Ah well.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  MirrorImage on Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:14 am

AlicornPriest wrote:Nah, it didn't happen. We're either not making enough monsters or we don't actually need to play test them. Just not enough interest. :/ Ah well.

Pretty much.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:19 am

Yeah, the main thing is that I haven't yet devoted attention to making the Monster Vault yet (been liking watching you come up with all these great, creative ideas). Focusing on the level-up system and palyer options first. Then I'll help tackle Monsters.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Philadelphus on Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:57 am

You know, if you just want to test the monsters mechanically, you could cut out the role-playing and just have people pick 5 combat talents and a special move (and maybe a trait if you want to test higher levels), then pit them against monsters (perhaps in a play-by-post system). If anyone has a monster they'd like to test using that system I'd be willing to throw my hat into the ring.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  AlicornPriest on Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:08 pm

Philadelphus wrote:You know, if you just want to test the monsters mechanically, you could cut out the role-playing and just have people pick 5 combat talents and a special move (and maybe a trait if you want to test higher levels), then pit them against monsters (perhaps in a play-by-post system). If anyone has a monster they'd like to test using that system I'd be willing to throw my hat into the ring.
...That was the idea, more or less. XD
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Philadelphus on Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:39 pm

Ah, gotcha. I just read people talking about holding mini-sessions and stuff. Like I said, if someone has a monster they want to test I'd be willing to take a shot at it. Would probably work best if it's suitable for a single encounter, but I'm willing to try against hopeless odds in a see-how-long-you-can-last situation.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Cardbo on Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:33 pm

I'd figured I'd pop this bad boy over here.

Polaris Bear
120 HP
Trait:Magnetic Resonance
Gain +1 Pip whenever you're attacked.
[+1] Flatten
Deal 1d8 damage to one enemy or 1d4 to two.
[+1] Stellar Strength: Nocturnal
The next attack will deal an extra 2d4 damage.
[-X] Create Minions
Create X Minions, which are smaller versions of the Constellation. They have 1/10 the HP and
no Resistance or Vulnerability.
[-2] Roar - Free Action
Target and adjacent enemies are weakened until end of next turn.
[-4]Sideswipe
2d8 Damage to all opponents

EDIT: Its intended as a solo boss encounter. Not sure how many ponies it'd take to be able to successfully take him on and live.


Last edited by Cardbo on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  SilentBelle on Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:21 pm

I'd suggest including the situation in which you intend the monster to be faced. Ie. It's a solo for 5 ponies to tackle. Or you should be fighting at least 10 parasprites in a battle for it to be a challenge.

Just leave a note like that and it will help to figure out just how balanced the monster is.

Oh and I'll help out with this project (It never hurts to have a second go at monsters) when I have some free time maybe later today. I've DM'd for over ten years now, and I have a fairly good eye for balancing monsters.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:39 am

Quite.

For example, variable on the size of the party and their fighting style of course, you are meant to fight about two or three of these bad boys per player in any encounter, probably sometime in the distant future + time travel if you want to stay true to flavor. Already ran a few tests, went pretty well, but my party kept losing, which makes me worry I made these guys too strong. Either that or I was just unlucky with the rolls or chose the wrong kind of party to bring in. We'll see.

These guys'll be pretty tough stuff for smaller parties, especially the type of party I playtested with, and ESPECIALLY if that party gets some bad rolls in.

Cyp-Con (Cybernetic Pony Construct)
HP:10
A pony-shaped creature of robotic genius, the Cyp-Con is a creature of cold logic and heavy weaponry. In any other universe, this would make them quite the formidable and frightening opponent, but in the magical land of Equestria they are considered little more than an annoyance. Pity there's a lot more than one of these annoyances, then...

Traits:
Iron Pony
- Cyp-Cons have Resistance 2 to all attacks (optional: except electricity-based attacks).
Self-Repair Systems
- Cyp - Cons have Regeneration 2.

Attacks:
[+1] Procedure Seven: Direct Combat
- Deal 1d6 damage to target creature.
[+3] Procedure Eighteen: Conserve Energy
- For the rest of the battle, your Trait "Self-Repair Systems" no longer applies.
- This attack can only be used once per battle.
[-4] Procedure Twenty: Fatal Force
- This attack may only be used if you are below 50% Health.
- Target up to three creatures. This attack has one of three effects, dependent upon how many creatures are targeted.
1) If this attack targets one creature, deal 3d8 damage to that creature.
2) If this attack targets two creatures, deal 2d8 damage to one creature and 1d8 to the other.
3) If this attack targets three creatures, deal 1d8 damage to all targeted creatures.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Brony 7 of 9 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:53 pm

Though having Cyp-cons not resist electricity-based attacks is good flavor, the problem is that this system has no attacks that are specifically electricity-based - players can adjust attack name and flavor as they see fit, so the Sorcerer's Wild Lightning attacks may turn into hurling a bunch of bowling balls at people, and the chance of someone specifically making a pony with electricity-based attacks, unless you warn them beforehand, is minimal.

Perhaps the main problem is that the Cyp-Cons essentially negate 4 damage from a pony if only one pony attacks them? Defense/resist contributes a lot more than people think to how long a creature can stay in the fray - lots of enemies with any amount of Resist makes any party's life difficult, especially when they're dealing 10d6 or however many damage per turn.

I know I should probably wait until a playtest starts to offer up balance tips, but I don't have enough free time/good tech for a Skype session.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:07 pm

Brony 7 of 9 wrote:Though having Cyp-cons not resist electricity-based attacks is good flavor, the problem is that this system has no attacks that are specifically electricity-based - players can adjust attack name and flavor as they see fit, so the Sorcerer's Wild Lightning attacks may turn into hurling a bunch of bowling balls at people, and the chance of someone specifically making a pony with electricity-based attacks, unless you warn them beforehand, is minimal.

I am entirely aware of this problem. That's why I suggested that bit of flavor be optional, so the PH could see whether electricity-based attacks were rare or common enough in the party's flavor and see whether or not the party is the type to abuse that bit of flavor once/if they figure it out, and whether the PH wants it to be abused or not.

(Suddenly ALL the attacks are electrical-based!Q!!1)

As for the rest...yeah, I'm aware of that problem too. They are meant to be tough, but overcome-able. It's just I don't know exactly where that overcome-able line begins and ends. I think that despite their increasing numbers, they'll get easier as a party gets bigger, especially if the PH is wise/soft (dependent on your point of view) enough to start lowering the Cyp-Con:Player ratio as the numbers start getting really big, say only nine or ten Cyp-Cons for six players or whatever.

And yet despite my viewpoint mostly conflicting with yours, I'm very grateful for your input - we'll see which of us is right, as far as opinions on balancing can be right or wrong, in PITCHED BATTLE. Eventually.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Philadelphus on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:25 pm

So, um, anyone else care to join me against these voracious monsters? I can fight 'em solo if you guys want some sort of endurance test, but it might be more fun if other people join in...
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:21 pm

I bet Karilyn would like this.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Cardbo on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:37 pm

Philadelphus wrote:So, um, anyone else care to join me against these voracious monsters? I can fight 'em solo if you guys want some sort of endurance test, but it might be more fun if other people join in...

I can join up as well. We fighting them on the board?
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:42 pm

Setting a skype session might be best. Do playtesting faster.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  SilentBelle on Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:10 pm

I plan on doing separate battles controlling all the characters and the monsters (It's not harder than playing yourself in a game of chess). I will then post the results: party size, number of monsters, how threatening or powerful the monsters were, how lucky each side of the battle was (sometimes bad luck can stop everything from going your way). I just don't have time right now, next week though, I can do it.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:40 pm

SilentBelle wrote:I plan on doing separate battles controlling all the characters and the monsters (It's not harder than playing yourself in a game of chess). I will then post the results: party size, number of monsters, how threatening or powerful the monsters were, how lucky each side of the battle was (sometimes bad luck can stop everything from going your way). I just don't have time right now, next week though, I can do it.

You are officially awesome for doing that.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  SilentBelle on Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:47 pm

Cardbo wrote:I'd figured I'd pop this bad boy over here.

Polaris Bear
120 HP
Trait:Magnetic Resonance
Gain +1 Pip whenever you're attacked.
[+1] Flatten
Deal 1d8 damage to one enemy or 1d4 to two.
[+1] Stellar Strength: Nocturnal
The next attack will deal an extra 2d4 damage.
[-X] Create Minions
Create X Minions, which are smaller versions of the Constellation. They have 1/10 the HP and
no Resistance or Vulnerability.
[-2] Roar - Free Action
Target and adjacent enemies are weakened until end of next turn.
[-4]Sideswipe
2d8 Damage to all opponents

EDIT: Its intended as a solo boss encounter. Not sure how many ponies it'd take to be able to successfully take him on and live.

Well I actually managed to find some time. So I decided to play test this bear against a diverse team of 4 ponies.
The 4 ponies consisted of essentially 2 support ponies, 1 AoE damage dealer, and one monk-type build

The result: The bear went first and was defeated just before it's fifth turn. The ponies suffered a character that fell to 0 hp (but was immediately saved by the miracle talent before it's turn came around)

The bear never got the chance to use either roar or side-swipe, because it didn't tactically make sense, it instead on it's 3rd turn made 5 minions that gobbled up one player.

The luck for both sides was quite average, over 4 turns, no crits were triggered, perhaps slightly less than average luck for the bear, as it failed to save against vulnerability 2 times in a row (leading to it's quick demise)

The final standings for the battle (every participant had exactly 4 rounds):
Bear = 0HP/3pips
Pony 1 (Support (buffer/healer)) = 14HP / 3 Pips
Pony 2 (Support (Debuffer/redirection)) = 22HP / 0 Pips
Pony 3 (AoE damage dealer) = 30 HP / 6pips
Pony 4 (Monk) = 30 HP / 2 Pips

Over-all I rate this an easy battle for 4 players who are prepared for what this bear has to offer.
Take into consideration the bear's weaknesses:
1: Vulnerability debuff on it's first turn substantially weakened it's later minions (By the third turn the bear was at 70 HP)
2: The bear's minions are terribly weak to AoE moves
3: Save-ends effects of any kind are hard to shake off for this bear.
4: Doesn't do enough damage to seem threatening

Strengths of the bear:
1: Lots of HP
2: Swarming ability with the minions.

Suggestions for an improved build to fight 4 ponies as a solo:
1) Give the bear an extra turn
2) Give the bear a free action (probably costing 2 pips) that will give all of it's team a +3 damage on their next attack
3) Give the bears some way to shake off save ends effects.

And there you have my first in-depth analysis of a monster.
I look forward to doing more of these, and to seeing anyone else try running a simulation like I just did. Smile
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  Cardbo on Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:41 am

Polaris Bear
120 HP
Trait:Magnetic Resonance
Gain +1 Pip whenever you're attacked.
Trait:Two-claw style.
Polaris Bear can use two moves during its turn.
[+1] Flatten
Deal 1d8 damage to one enemy or 1d4 to two.
[+1] Stellar Strength: Nocturnal
The next attack will deal an extra 2d4 damage.
[+0] Pound Sand
Any save-end effects are negated at the end of the turn.
[-X] Create Minions
Create X Minions, which are smaller versions of the Constellation. They have 1/10 the HP and
no Resistance or Vulnerability.
[-2] Roar - Free Action
Target and adjacent enemies are weakened until end of next turn.
[-2] Howl
All minions add +3 to their damage next turn.
[-4]Sideswipe
2d8 Damage to all opponents

Its new! And improved! It Two-Claw style gives it an extra turn. Pound Sand gives it a way to remove Save-End effects and Howl buffs any minions its generated.
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Re: Monster Arena

Post  SilentBelle on Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:06 am

Cardbo wrote:Polaris Bear
120 HP
Trait:Magnetic Resonance
Gain +1 Pip whenever you're attacked.
Trait:Two-claw style.
Polaris Bear can use two moves during its turn.
[+1] Flatten
Deal 1d8 damage to one enemy or 1d4 to two.
[+1] Stellar Strength: Nocturnal
The next attack will deal an extra 2d4 damage.
[+0] Pound Sand
Any save-end effects are negated at the end of the turn.
[-X] Create Minions
Create X Minions, which are smaller versions of the Constellation. They have 1/10 the HP and
no Resistance or Vulnerability.
[-2] Roar - Free Action
Target and adjacent enemies are weakened until end of next turn.
[-2] Howl
All minions add +3 to their damage next turn.
[-4]Sideswipe
2d8 Damage to all opponents

Its new! And improved! It Two-Claw style gives it an extra turn. Pound Sand gives it a way to remove Save-End effects and Howl buffs any minions its generated.

Well it certainly looks more menacing now. I'll probably do run-through of a different monster first before I go back to this one. I am incredibly busy until next Monday. However I will get to it when I can.
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