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How do you manage a long term campaign?


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Seems like the game system starts breaking down after 6-10 sessions/chapters, It also become much harder to challenge players with encounter building. How do you guys do it? is there a system for making sure there's appropriate difficulty to keep players engaged? 

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This is a great question, and managing the level of opposition can be tough in many rpg systems once characters advance. 

The basics for getting the most out of FM-controlled characters in combat is outlined on pages 312-313 of the rulebook. FM-characters get Fate Points based on Rank, which can be used to activate discard effects (like Flurry), or to gain advantages in combat; they can gain a Positive, gain an AP, remove a Condition, or Heal 2.

Even with the Fate Point mechanic, many Minions are pretty weak in combat, but you can adjust their Rank if you like. Facing only Enforcers is really not fitting for some campaigns, so there are a few tricks.

1. Give Minions Hard to Kill; this lets them ignore a Critical Effect, but also means they do not automatically fail Unconsciousness challenges and will have to be taken out by Crits. 

2. Abilities like Incorporeal give minions staying power, Horror Duel can slow things down, and every faction has synergy between leaders and Minions. Attacking a group of characters with a Sergeant AND some Guardsmen works better than just waves of Guardsmen, for instance.

3. Try to get your characters aligned with one of the major (human-led) factions in Malifaux. Every faction has natural enemies, and knowing who is after the Characters gives you a reference for building opposition.  In my experience, it is better to underplay the opposition than to break your narrative. 

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Right I get all that, I have varied combats with several different abilities and even using environmental hazards, but when you PC's are flipping double possitive each attack or completely ignoring armor/incorporeal etc, and have enough damage on average to kill most guys in a single hit, it getts pretty hard to challenge em other than upping the TN's arbitrarily. just kinda feels like the game wasnt designed to go past maybe 8 sessions.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Merchant said:

Right I get all that, I have varied combats with several different abilities and even using environmental hazards, but when you PC's are flipping double possitive each attack or completely ignoring armor/incorporeal etc, and have enough damage on average to kill most guys in a single hit, it getts pretty hard to challenge em other than upping the TN's arbitrarily. just kinda feels like the game wasnt designed to go past maybe 8 sessions.

 

 

Without knowing anything other than your characters are very strong after 8 sessions it is hard to offer advice. I have certainly played more sessions than that without issue, but then each campaign is different.

Honestly, double-positive on attacks and ignoring Armor and Incorporeal is tough for anyone to beat if the minimum damage is 5+. It is likely you will have to Meta-game pretty hard to take them down. Just attack their weaknesses; is WP low? Attack that. They rely on high-end weapons? Teleport them away. They use powerful magic? Send in the Death Marshalls,(include a couple of Exorcists to give the characters Undead so they lose all thier triggers).

Get them in a large wooden structure, then send waves of Witchling Stalkers at them; after a few Stalkers die, the building will be an inferno.

Moon Shinobi would turn those double positive attacks into double negative attacks.

Someone will certainly take note of such powerful characters.....maybe a Tyrant?

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Easy one: if I have a group who enjoys tactical (combat) rpg I just don't do TTB. There are other systems who have a focus there. For me, TTB is more about narrative play and heroic decisions. 

When I do design combat 'encounters' within narrative/heroic systems I focus on the decisions: no matter how mighty the PCs are they can't do everything at once and they have to be forced to make decisions: do you do this or do you that or even that? There will be consequenses for not doing this or that or that each. Decide! 

I prefer spending my preparations times on stuff like this over spending hours of creating the stats and special rules for the next "challenging" encounter.  

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On 2/18/2021 at 3:13 AM, diki said:

Are your players sad about the lack of challenge? Or enjoying being combat monsters?

little bit of both.

 

On 2/18/2021 at 6:47 AM, Harlekin said:

Easy one: if I have a group who enjoys tactical (combat) rpg I just don't do TTB. There are other systems who have a focus there. For me, TTB is more about narrative play and heroic decisions. 

When I do design combat 'encounters' within narrative/heroic systems I focus on the decisions: no matter how mighty the PCs are they can't do everything at once and they have to be forced to make decisions: do you do this or do you that or even that? There will be consequenses for not doing this or that or that each. Decide! 

I prefer spending my preparations times on stuff like this over spending hours of creating the stats and special rules for the next "challenging" encounter.  

idk the combat feels really tactical to us it's just that the progression system starts breaking down pretty quickly.

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Have you tried leaning into their natures? If they're combat monsters start throwing the world in a loop. Bounties on heads, assassins in their sleep, allies start falling left and right to give them a few days of respite. Only to have the hounds at the door again. In my option that's the terror of stepping on a giants toes.

If they're invested in the game and their characters then just have fun with things.

I ran the system for a few players a while back before 2e, I was able to keep them invested by the world itself. But mine ended around 15 or 16. If you're having doubts ask them what they'd like. Lean into the Rp hard or the combat even harder.

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