Thursday, February 21, 2013

Little Things I've Learned...

I'm wrapping up work on the playtest/Demo edition of the MTDAA Legacy Edition RPG (it will be available for free this weekend), and I've become more convinced than ever that the simplest, cleanest solution is always going to be the best one.

To whit, I've traditionally tried to build monster/creature/predator stat blocks to model the PC ones - so far, so good. However, I've traditionally tried to build creatures using the same structures and restrictions as the PCs - so, if a level 4 PC has 7 ranks in dice and 15 ranks in traits, then a level 4 creature should have 7 ranks in dice and 15 ranks in traits. I've learned over the last while that just by reversing this thinking - 22 ranks in dice and/or traits = level 4 - you can build custom creatures more easily, and you can remove artificial barriers that force you to create balanced but sometimes counter-intuitive builds. I've found it is very easy to build predator stat blocks, and to still have variety among a range of creatures of comparable levels. Here are stat blocks for small tree frogs and small chameleons, to give you an idea of how these come together:



Chameleon, Small (30 QPs; Level 6; 6D10 Hits; Save +3)
Body D10; Prowess D12; Spirit D10; Strike D10
Attack +3; Bite +4; Invulnerability +1; Regeneration +2; Speed +2; Stealth +5
Bite (att D12+3/dmg D10+4)
The chameleon attempts to close in on its prey, using stealth (blending into its environment) to get a surprise attack.

Tree Frog, Small (26 QPs; Level 5; 5D12 Hits; Save +3)
Body D12; Prowess D10; Spirit D8; Strike D10
Attack +3; Constriction +4 (Tongue); Leap +4; Tongue Attack +3
Tongue (att D10+3/ dmg D10+3)
The tongue attack can strike a target up to 3 units away. A target struck by the tongue is pulled into the mouth of the frog, suffering D12+4 hits (no soak allowed) on each turn the frog takes. Once the target has been killed, the frog swallows it. A creature attempting to break free of the frog’s tongue must use 1 turn to attempt this, rolling Body + Might vs. the frog’s Body + Constriction resist.