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Building a Combat Encounter?


thefinaltuba
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Hey, quick question about combat encounters. Is there any sort of like, "formula" people have come up with for building combat encounters? Is there some sort of magic number of total rank value to shoot for? I feel like I often see like, "one (5) minion per Fated, but upgrade one to a (7) Enforcer!" in Penny Dreadfuls. So for 4 Fated that would come up to a rank value total of 22. So if I wanted to do a mix of a Henchman and some peons, are we shooting for 22 as well? like 3 Peon (4) and 1 Henchman (10)? And I imagine the formula is a bit different as the Fated level up?

Or is there a totally different way people recommend doing it? Have a few combats coming up, and want to try to make sure they're challenging enough to be fun. Not too easy, not too hard. Thanks for thoughts!

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Honestly, I have a really hard time coming up with a standard template for encounters, at least in terms of FMC rank. 

What I tend to do instead is shoot for a mix of different types of enemies, to keep the encounter from feeling stale. If the minions/peons are Guild Guard who attack at range, make the Enforcer/Henchman a Witch Hunter who attacks in melee and maybe drags along a Sanctioned Spellcaster to throw some control around. 

Because FMC’s vary so wildly in their effects, I don’t really see their ranks as a good indicator of their power levels. For example, my current party will completely destroy anyone attacking at range, but get really nervous when people close to melee. Therefore, a Young Nephilim that ambushes them is a lot scarier than a Guild Rifleman doing the same.

I will say that I tend towards having an equal ratio of Minions to Fated, and Peons tend to be Fated + 2 or 3, but again, that’s not a hard and fast number. Give your Fated ways to get out of a fight, and emphasize early on that discretion is sometimes the better part of valour. That way you can dial in combats to your particular group without wiping them.

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