Fate of the Norns

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 Post subject: Swarm damage output
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:56 pm
Posts: 92
Do swarms get any bonuses to damage or Pierce? I don’t see anything listed about it in swarm rules, but 1. in average, a swarm of, say 30 skeletons, is gonna have a much higher damage output than a single skeleton, and 2. I ask about pierce from the standpoint of being able to have a large swarm of weak enemies attacking the party and dealing small amounts damage a dozen times, rather than one or two crippling hits. I want to be able to challenge my players without it feeling like an arms race as their parry and protection factor go up. I have a berserker, Druid, and blacksmith, meaning it’s not as easy to limit those stats as just saying “yeah the local merchants don’t have any armor better than what you’re wearing.” Again, I don’t want it to feel like a DM vs players arms race, or for it to feel like I’m cheesing it by adding absurd bonuses to enemy stats.

I try to avoid norns/dnd comparisons, but just as an example, fighting 20 skeletons at level 2 is gonna be extremely dangerous; fighting 20 kobolds as level 10 will be a minor inconvenience, but there’s still an element of resource spell and class feature expenditure and small amounts of health being taken down. In contrast, if I had 20 lvl 15 skeletons at level 9 in norns, that would be a lethal encounter, whereas that same swarm of lvl 15 skeletons wouldn’t do anything at all to a level 20 party.

Side note: in a swarm of creatures with an aura power, do their auras damage each other?

Also, skeletons are just used here as an example of an iconic creature in most fantasy RPGs that are commonly found in swarms. I used them in particular to demonstrate my point, but the question applies to all swarms.


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 Post subject: Re: Swarm damage output
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:39 am
Posts: 1203
Let me address the comparison point first. FOTN:R design is very different than most RPGs, example:
1) Denizens are made exactly like dwellers, same process except for the Void rune. Allows players to play monsters if they wanted to. Allows Norn to easily assess threat level.
2) You get many more actions, but you pay for everything. No innate savings throws, you must play runes to counter effects (or have passives). Easy to get swarmed by lots of lower-level minions.

We have some new Swarm rules in tCoE, so I have to reference what we have in LotA for swarm for my answers...
Let's address each individual point:
- Aura is a tricky one, especially with swarms, since they need to remain contiguous. I would grant them immunity to their own aura, but that should cost at least 1 passive power slot.
- Just as DF, Parry and Pierce stack on a single attacker dual-wielding, if your attack action is based on 3 skeletons attacking a single dweller with a DF 1 Pierce 2 sword, then their collective attack would deal DF 3 Pierce 6 to that dweller who is surrounded. If you're using a hex mat, max 6 attackers (unless they're flying lol).

Does that help?

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 Post subject: Re: Swarm damage output
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:56 pm
Posts: 92
Very much so, thank you. I was having trouble figuring out the best way to scale damage for a swarm engulfing someone, and was giving consideration to just throwing something similar to fangs on to the swarm.


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