Creative combat objectives (other than "kill 'em all") - Page 5
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  1. #41
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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



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    I don't have it (I'm just now looking into it), but situations like this seem to be what Wraith Recon was made for.

  2. #42
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    During my game I ran one of the scenarios, and boy did it fail hard. It taught me that these need to be developed a little bit stronger before you introduce them to the players.

    I ran the "Whack-a-mole" situation. The Bad Guys were doing some rituals to empower a summoning. It took about four minutes of explaining because of bad communication ("Wait, we only have 5 rounds TOTAL to stop 5 different places?")

    Then they started asking questions for details:

    "What is it we need to do in order to stop the site from activating? How many actions or rounds does it take?"
    "If we break the site from activating, then can they just run back in and re-activate it?"
    "If the minions and non-minion engage us, then shouldn't the activation stop, considering they're busy fighting us?"
    "Can't we just see where they're going to put things up? Okay, if so, then why can't we just split up and send one guy to each site before it activates, and then just try and keep them preoccupied?"

    While I came up with answers to each, it still came off half-assed. I wasn't sure how the answers would effect how the scenario played out.

    I also couldn't think of actual obstacles which made movement between the sites important. I placed difficult terrain and some general setting pieces, but the PCs just went around them.

    Thank God I have a giant battlemat (4 foot by 3 foot) in order to make it doable.

    In the end, it felt very pointless (but slow), because the PCs weren't too challenged; they'd just sweep in, ignore the badguys for the most part, and stomp the necessary materials, then flee. And they would also start attacking a site before it activated because they succeeded in the 'tell where it's going to activate next' roll.

    The lesson I took from this is: make sure to flesh out all the details first, and think rather hard about the actual way it works in play. Anticipate some of the player's questions/thoughts, or try to fill as many questionable gaps as possible. Write out the details ahead of time in a clear sheet, instead of trying to explain (and re-explain, and in effect muddy the water when you re-explain). This should go for all of the situations.
    Last edited by Rechan; Monday, 5th January, 2009 at 08:03 PM.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rechan View Post
    The lesson I took from this is: make sure to flesh out all the details first, and think rather hard about the actual way it works in play. Anticipate some of the player's questions/thoughts, or try to fill as many questionable gaps as possible. Write out the details ahead of time in a clear sheet, instead of trying to explain (and re-explain, and in effect muddy the water when you re-explain). This should go for all of the situations.
    Yep. At most, the different scenarios are no more than skeletons of encounters (or "design patterns"). They're nothing without skin and flesh.

  4. #44
    I ran a variant on the "whack-a-mole" concept when my players entered an ancient Pyramid. A Skeleton Priest was using the piedestal in four rooms to bind spirits to skeletons (making them Warriors instead of Decripit). Each piedestal "raised" two of these Warriors and if he activated atleast 3 of them, the Stone Golem would awaken (setting storytelling events in motion).

    In game, they quickly figured out what was happening, but didn't have time both to protect themselves against the existing Decripit Skeletons AND hunt down the Piedestals. The priest activated 3 out of 4, the Stone Golem was awakened and the party had some serious fighting on their hands.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rechan View Post
    Then they started asking questions for details:

    "What is it we need to do in order to stop the site from activating? How many actions or rounds does it take?"
    "If we break the site from activating, then can they just run back in and re-activate it?"
    "If the minions and non-minion engage us, then shouldn't the activation stop, considering they're busy fighting us?"
    "Can't we just see where they're going to put things up? Okay, if so, then why can't we just split up and send one guy to each site before it activates, and then just try and keep them preoccupied?"
    My answers would have been "you'll have to find out..."

    More helpfully from a DMing position, thanks for pointing out the potential problems with these mini-games. I'm certainly going to keep them in mind, as I think this is a fantastic thread. Very glad it got bumped!

    Whilst at the moment I'm using Kots, TL, PoS etc for my campaign, I'd certainly be thinking along these lines if I was designing my own homebrew game, or writing for publication.

  6. #46
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    They Can't Know We're Here!How about something like an infiltration objective? In both cases, the goal is to avoid notice or alarm on the part of the enemy, while still achieving objectives. Those objectives could either be taking out guards to allow an army to approach, killing enemy scouts to allow maneuvers, or the classic "get as far as you can into enemy HQ before they sound the alarm at intruders"?

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by neuronphaser View Post
    One of my favorites was from Pathfinder #2, the Skinsaw Murders:

    PCs go into an abandoned clocktower. They go up some dilapidated stairs, and the badguys lurking above start severing the ropes that hold the bells in the tower up there. Bells start crashing through the already unsteady stairs, creating gaps, potentially crushing PCs or forcing them to dodge and possibly fall.

    Absolutely nasty.
    In the crazy terrain motif; one of the Dark Forces games featured a timed, fighting escape off a falling starship in the upper atmosphere while the artificial gravity is severely hosed. Even better, No One Lives Forever 2 does this one better, ala Wizard of Oz, where you fight a ninja boss inside a house that's tumbling inside a tornado! You know, in case you needed a paragon-plus level terrain challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rel View Post
    This thread is replete with awesomeness. Subscribed!

    I've mentioned elsewhere that I'm modifying the "Milestones" rule in my upcoming campaign so that the PC's get them for tangible accomplishments rather than simply every two encounters. Many of these scenario objectives are exactly the kinds of things I've been thinking of.

    Excellent stuff!
    This idea is familiar to any Shadowrun player. The two magic words, karma refreshes, can either inspire intense relief or sudden dread. I used them at any dramatic turning point or beat; both right after and just before major encounters...

    Me: "You open the doors to the great chamber beyond, revealing the dragon Farfegnugen waiting for you inside. Karma refreshes."

    Players (in unision): "Oh, SH*****T!!!"

  8. #48
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    This thread contains some fantastic ideas, and deserves to be resurrected.

  9. #49
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    Awesome Sauce!!!!!!!!

  10. #50
    Scenario: Make Friends
    Objective: The enemies you are fighting are not truly evil. You must activate a MacGuffin to turn them from enemies into friends.
    Setup: Similar to a standard Capture the Flag or Get the Macguffin setup, the MacGuffin will be placed deep in enemy territory, with many enemies guarding it.
    In Play: The big catch here is that the party needs to actively avoid killing any of the enemies. They can choose to do this by subversion and infiltration, or by using only nonlethal attacks. Once the Macguffin is activated, the enemies will stop attacking. If no enemies were killed, the party is greatly rewarded. If many enemies were killed, they may be less rewarded, or even tried for murder. If all the enemies are killed, there's no real point to activating the Macguffin.

    This scenario can be used in conjunction with Assassinations (kill the evil wizard controlling the minds of others), Capture the Flag, or many other scenarios. It adds a fun twist that forces the characters to think outside the box. There are some basic RP requirements; the party must be generally good and not want to kill the enemies, etc.

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