September 17, 2018 0 comments

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Number of opponents

For a 3rd  level party of 4 to 6 players.  How do you determine the number and level of opponents for an encounter?

Thank you


Hello Charles, ToM here.

There's no really such a thing like "balanced encounters" in VsD, since it was not our main concern and aim in designing the game.
Balanced encounters, providing a ladder progression, basically keeps the "tactical difficulty" level constant during the game, never actually raising the stakes, and conveying a sense of artificiality that subtracts to the suspension of disbelief. You're basically playing a board game, or a video game - not a story game anymore.

Plus, consider in VsD characters do have Drive Points to spend during action. Those are a great resource to add drama and help smooth the dice's harshness, allowing the characters to brave fights that would normally be out of their reach, conveying a greater sense of epic and a rewarding experience.

Finally, remember that in VsD combat is not something trivial that should happen on a routine basis - quite the contrary instead! Combat should an occasion rarer than in other FTTRPGs: more often than hacking their way through, the characters will find themselves fleeing from combats or using wits over brawn to win their day against overpowering opponents.

However, if you want a rule of the thumb for "balancing" combat, you might want to have the total level of the opposition similar or equal to the playing characters total for "easy" fights, up to 1.5x for "challenging" fights and 2x or more for "very tough" fights. Of course total level is not the only factor: four 1st level orcs are far less dangerous than a 4th level Wizard against a party of combat-oriented characters, whilst they could be more deadly against a mainly stealthy/spell-casting party, especially if ambushing...

For no one in this world you can trust, my son. Not man, not woman, not beast. But STEEL... this, you can trust!

Thank you,

This clears up a lot of my design questions with encounters and with the feal/design of the campaigns. 🙂