Friday, March 30, 2012

Monster in the Details: MR and the Attributed Encounter.

I happened to be re-reading the hill giants hanging out in the the wilderness between Thornguard and Willowmoss of Peakvale, and it just so happened that my T&T 7plus rulebook was open to the "Rare Kindred Attribute Modifiers" pages. You know, like I was writing a T&T scenario or something to that nature. But then something struck me about Scot Malthouse's assignment of 90-120 range for the MR for the creatures, his detailed example of a specific hill giant and the Attribute multipliers. The numbers translated nicely considering the calculus of T&T Stats.

Now this doesn't surprise me. Scott Malthouse tends to be from the under-reported school of the empirical T&T designers. While many authors run around worrying about the most dramatic event that they can think in a solo, usually meaning the instantaneous death of the single PC or a very lop-sided combat, leading to a not so quick death of said PC, "Malty" takes the time to think about making an obstacle possible, even likely, to be overcome by the PC or group of them. I noticed this when I read his "Depths of the Devilmancer" and "Forest of the Treelords" scenarios some months, maybe a year, ago. I happen to be one as well, which is why I like to work with the man. So while our works don't get half the press, mostly complaints about "dungeon" lethality, and long-lengthy articles trying to come up with game norms to increase survivability of the player's character, our audience generally doesn't perceive much imbalance in our scenarios.

Once again, this isn't what is interesting. What is odd, is that Scott and I never sat down and talked about our methods, outside of reading each others shorthand at our blogs for creating encounters. Over the years, I've spent more time trying to explain T&T's "Monster Dice" to people more familiar to D&D than Our Game and trying to explain why one does not really have to worry about size. Indeed, our infrequent correspondences have been about two handfuls over five years and mostly pertaining to projects that one or the other has going on, not rules discussion. But somehow his encounters for this or that "Level" of Delver in T&T game terms mathematically add up to me when I read them. So I've spent this morning figuring out how is this so.

You take the eight stats (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Speed, Intelligence, Wizardry, Luck and Charm) and apply 1/10th of the MR to each. Then you apply the Kindred Attribute Modifiers. Figure in a 3d weapon, really any weapon or just a single die for fists or kicks but there will be a bigger difference in results. And add the Combat Adds. To proof yo
urself, you do the damage potential ranges (excluding DARO and TARO), for both the detailed encounter and then the generalized "MRed" encounter. What will vary will be the Combat Adds between the two, but the damage potential ranges will be within 9-12 points of each other, with the Detailed encounter doing less than Rated one.

Godsheads, I am glad I've gotten this out of my head. Now I can get some real work done.


  1. Your head looks an awful lot like Herman Cain's head. - Taran Dracon the ORC from Trollhalla

  2. what can I say, I love the Kabuki theater artist known as Herman Caine.

    1. And there was me thinking I winged the whole thing ;) But you do make a good point on the lack of collaboration in emails. It would be nice to get some discussion going outside the 'halla walls. Good write up though

      - Malty