Jump to content
The13Fates

Suggestions for homebrew defensive triggers/abilities

Recommended Posts

I'm currently designing a boss encounter against a two-pursuit-path-completed party, consisting of a focused damage dealer, a focused nigh-unkillable tank, a dedicated healer with a pair of maxed out constructs and a soul-stoned to the teeth spell caster.

Safe to say, they hit like a meteor and shrug off most attempts at being attacked.

My 'solution' (although purely experimental at this point) is to, rather than the Npc have stats in their 20s and a 8/9/11 damage track, have a homebrew creation that survives via Def/Wp triggers, heals regularly and chips away at wounds directly 1 or 2 at a time.

Understanding that this is also a slog, I'm thinking of including ways for the players to do actions that could "turn off" these defensive measures temporarily; creating a hopefully interesting and memorable fight.

Remembering my Malifaux days, Rasputina had a trigger which just ended a turn, other TtB NPCs have "when attacked, deal 2 damage" or similar & of course, black blood. What are other interesting, powerful defensive triggers could I include, with the assumption of a Death Marshal base and the fated having ability to turn them off?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So admittedly I'm not sure all about what your wanting here, but if your going to have it be a switch with a Death Marshal, why not make it something where they have to flip between two 'worlds'. The 'physical world' where the boss has low Def, but high WP, and a 'spectral world' where the boss has high Def, but low WP. So the players will have to flip between the worlds to face against the boss. However make it clear the longer they stay on one side, the boss becomes more dangerous. Either through the use of Defensive Triggers that only do 1 damage at first, goes up the longer he stays in one of the 'worlds', or by flat out allowing him to gain bonus' to his AV and/or damage the boss does with either a physical or willpower move. Or you can even have each of the players suffer a stacking debuff of some kind the longer they stay in one 'world' then the other. 

 

Though if your just looking for a purely Defensive Trigger kind of thing. Then how about simply a trigger that gives them a condition that causes damage for every stack of the condition they build. Turning it off will allow the players to safely attack without retribution for a short time, but might cause the boss to become more dangerous.

 

Sorry. I think I'm a bit of a sucker of the idea of making your 'turn off defenses' mechanic into a Risk Vs. Reward mechanic. Something that gives the players some advantage, but forces them to think as it should also present some sort of new challenge for them to deal with. Of course you don't want to make the fight a slog, but you also don't want to give the players an "I win!" button either. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, game day is tomorrow evening, so fingers crossed.

So far I have 4 Defense triggers and a discard effect to switch them to Willpower instead for the round (savvy players can use different attacks)

The four triggers for each suit are different ways of saying "Choose bad thing; or take 2 damage" so for example:

"When attacked, enemy chooses either to be unable to declare triggers this action; OR gain Burning +2."

He can heal by staying in the void (in this case his Pine box) and I've included minion enemies that specializes in "remove from reality for round" catch is, he loses all defensive abilities whilst in there, so players can use that to their advantage (the void being the same space in my game).

THEN when he receives a Moderate Critical of 10+; he switches stat blocks and becomes more offensive with Burning based abilities.

Now I'm under no illusions that despite all this, this poor Death Marshal is still going to be curb-stomped, but I hope that he is curb-stomped in an interesting way at least.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That honestly sounds pretty good to me. It should make for an interesting battle, if nothing else. Hopefully though your boss there will prove to be some challenge at least to your players.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An update! Game night last night and the session went well with resolving destiny, interrogations and the wanton destruction of more public buildings! (A Warehouse, a Church, a Gentleman's Club and now a Hospital, all destroyed indirectly by the players).

The stat block: 3AP Henchman rank Death Marshal, removing Pine Box (see below) in favour of an AV15 vs WP attack that does 3 damage or a severe Crit, player choice (Penance Stare). Can 'discard' to heal 2/3/4, added blast damage to his attacks and four defensive triggers which amounted to "give Death marshal combat advantage, or take 2 damage.
The gimmick for the fight was that along all the floors and walls were copies of the Pine box which only the D.M could interact with, allowing him to 'teleport' and also hide.
Alongside all of this were a smattering of slightly modified Void Wretches that allowed the players a way to reach the hiding D.M and get a few hits in via 'Void Stutter' (I think it's called).
Lastly, when the D.M received his first Mod-Crit of 10+, he switched stat block and gained Burning to all his attacks whilst also setting fire to the Pineboxes, which summoned the "Fire" stat block found in Into the Steam.

He lasted 2 rounds.

Funnily enough, the Void Wretches were getting in a lot more hits compared to the above, their bonus vs Fast Targets and having WP based attacks really hampered the players who all appear to have terrible Willpower stats.


So would I go this far with an encounter again? Ehh, not really. For all the moving parts and abilities, tactics, stat-block switching and defenses, it still produced the same level of fun and enjoyment that a fight against a group of by-the-book NPCs would have given with a 10th of the prep-time.

I think environment use and having different types of attack (Melee, Ranged, vs WP etc) is a better tuning option than a fancy complicated stat block would ever be; having minions act almost as fodder whilst the Enforcer rank + play off their abilities and help each other is the way forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't play Malifaux, I'd suggest picking up cards for the various models.  There's a lot of abilities and triggers you can mine from them.

With the coming of Malifaux's third edition, second edition unit cards can be had cheap.  Some people would probably even send you them for free, if you paid shipping.  The nice thing about M2E cards is that they have actions with AP costs, whereas M3E got rid of action costs and charge as a separate attribute.

That being said, the M3E cards are also a good source for abilities, and you can buy all the cards for each faction.

This thread, for instance, is all about people trying to decide what to do with their M2E cards.  If you post there, someone may be happy to unload them off to you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...