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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 132 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [MADcorp / world gone weird] how to make a monster  (Read 1365 times)
David Berg
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Posts: 997


« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2012, 07:08:10 PM »

The standard operating procedure for MADcorp is to first observe if possible, then try something (ideally in a way that puts interns at risks instead of your main dudes), and if it doesn't work then make a choice between gettin' out while the gettin's good, or trying another possibility.

Sounds good to me!  "Put interns at risk instead of your main dudes" answers my question. 

Your earlier comment about character death made me wonder if you were looking to enable a player to learn about a monster via multiple tries with the same character (so the character learns too) or via multiple tries with multiple characters (so the later characters just seem smarter thanks to the player's learning).  Of course, there are other options, like leaving diaries for later characters to find.  But I suspect I'm tangenting now.

I know for sure that I need to be able to classify monsters by type -- undead, mechanical, abomination, etc. -- because those terms matter for certain rules. I also need to be able to classify them by threat level, to have a way to determine how much THREAT it costs to bring a monster into play. And I have to be able to generate them randomly. I'll have to think of what else.

Random brainstorm:

Maybe the GM picks Threat level and Type, then refers to a table that says "roll on Table X" and then Table X contains powers and stuff appropriate to that Threat Level and Type?  So if you have 4 types and 4 levels, that's 16 tables.  More work for the designer, less work for the GM.  None of that directly helps with creating the right kinds of encounters, but maybe through populating those random tables with the right kind of stuff you could get partway there...

Does Threat attempt to relate difficulty to cost?  If so, whatever it is that gets a Threat rating might need to include situational factors.  Like, the godlike tentacle monster will be cheaper if it's precariously perched next to the lava pit.

So, y'know, when I roll for a random monster, I don't just get a collection of fangs and poisons, I also get "in the dark" or "in a room full of innocent victims" or whatever will help both the difficulty level and the experience come out right.

The random table could have "capabilities", "weaknesses & clues", and "environment" columns.
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here's my blog, discussing Delve, my game in development
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