(D20) Challenging powerful Player Characters

Discussion in 'Games: RPG & Miniatures' started by Donp, Jun 7, 2006.

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  1. Donp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2003
    star 1
    Hi.

    I'm a DM in a KOTOR era campaign. There are three players, two Jedi and one scoundrel/soldier. The character are currently 9th level. The thing is that I am having some difficulty providing challenging encounters for the characters.

    One of the reasons the players are hard to come by is that one of the Jedi is uber-powerful and nigh-on unstoppable.

    He is a Wookie Jedi Guardian 5/Jedi Weapon Master 4. He has a threat range of 17-20 on his lightsaber and a Strength score of 22 so that without boosting himself with the force hiss attack rating goes something like this:

    M. Att. : +16/+11 (Personalized Lightsaber w/impr. critical 17-20/Damage 4d8+9). If he boosts himself up with say Battlemind and Enhance Ability (Str) and gets average rolls his attack rating looks like this:

    M. Att. : +22/+17 Damage 4d8+10

    If he chooses to use Wookie rage also he gets a +4 to Str and gets the attack rating of:

    M. Att. : +24/+19 Dam: 4d8+13

    Now even in his unboosted state he is very likely to hit avery enemy (Non-Jedi/Sith enemies of appropriate levels generally have a defense of 18-22). This means that in his un-boosted state he will hit on a roll of 2-6. Not hard.

    Now here comes the tricky part. He also has the JWM ability Devastating Strike. This means that 9 times a day (his Jedi level) he gets to make an attack with a threat range of 13-20. Coupled with his enormous damage he has an about 40% chance of killing an opponent with an attack he can use nine times a day.

    How can I make things hard for this group that has such a monster. In D&D it would be no problem, just throw in some Demons or whatever and this guy is in deep trouble, or a creature that is immune to critical hits.

    But in the SW RPG it's really hard to make opponents that won't be hacked down easily.

    Any advice??
  2. Indigo_Jade Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2002
    star 5
    Throw him against a Dark Jedi or two that have the ability to drain energy on his lightsaber. That'll slow him down right quick.
  3. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Boosting with wookie rage? DSP! Rage is the path to the dark side. Anger, fear, Agression.
    I would be awarding a DSP per round for that.

    but that's just me.


    You have a couple of alternatives:
    Build a better combat monster

    Put in situations where the characters have to role-play their way out.
    Or make attacking the bad guy endanger the lives of others. I had the party seriously stagnated by a malignant force-user who transfered the damage done to him to a woman he help hostage--one of the PCs wife. They ended up killing her to get to him. The same fight took down 4 other players.
  4. Donp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2003
    star 1
    I think I read somewhere that a wookie should not get a DSP for using his wookie rage as it is a natural thing or something. Anybody seen that?
  5. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    As an ordinary wookie, perhaps, but a jedi wookie, certainly.

    It's kinda like multi-classing a barbarian and a monk in D&D.
    If you start as a monk, and take a level in barbarian, you have to shift your alignment to non-lawful and loose one of your benefits (I don't remember exactly what).
    If you start as a barbarian and take a level in monk, you become non-chaotic and loose something from the barbarian class.

    Especially considering the character is deliberately invoking wookie rage (unless I'm mis-interpreting) while using the force, he should be in trouble.

    But hey, that's why I'm D6. I freely confess to not understanding or knowing all the rules to d20. It's my interpretation, and the D20 rules may say that I'm wrong.
  6. Blithe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    Yes, that is correct; however, on page 182 of the RCRB:

    Wookiee Force users don't gain Dark Side Points for following their natural tendencies and using the Wookiee rage species ability. They do receive a Dark Side Point, however, if they incorporate Wookie rage with anyof their Force skills. In addition, while in Wookiee rage, a Wookiee Force user can't call upon the Force (except for calling upon the Dark Side when using a Force Point). All other uses of the Force require more calm and peace than the Wookiee can manage while in the natural frenzy.


    The Wookiee will still be quite a combat beast without using Force skills anyway, so like Indigo suggested, it's a good idea to throw a few Darksiders with Drain Energy at him to disarm him. Further, the inability to use key combat skills -- such as Enhance Ability and Battlemind -- or spend Force Points without gaining a DSP should help even the odds. (Unless of course, he doesen't mind the DSP, or just drops the Wookiee rage) ;)
  7. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    Also, put him up against an opponent with Improved Disarm [face_skull] Most 'saber twinks are pretty useless without their glowsticks...
  8. Rogue_Thunder FanForce CR, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2003
    star 6
    Hehehe... I took a 14th level JG/2nd level DSM, applied thew Ghoul template from D20 Modern... he has no Con score and instead of a Fort save he's always immune. He also has Dissipate Energy, so when my party's JWM tried to use Devastating Strike he gave my Dark Jedi a whole lot of VP. He automatically makes his Fort Save for Diss. Energy.

    It took them awhile to beat that guy. :D
  9. Jedi_Matt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    ^^^[face_plain]^^^

    Almost messed it up didn't we. He was one nasty mofo

    Can i somehow become ghoulish? i want to not be able to fail my dissipate energy roll for that fight with dooku we might be getting ;)
  10. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Present the Jedi with a situation in which being a combat beast in a liability instead of an asset.

    Try this one:
    A terrorist from the Droid Liberation Front is using Droids to spread chaos. He does this by using droids to re-program other droids into various acts. The reprogrammed droids, if captured intact, cannot provide any information about the person's responsible. Any attempt to counter their reprogram sets off a security code that wipes the memmory of the incident. Not just delete's it, but over-writes the information in the droid's brain with 0's, including (eventually) the over-write program. A good slicer will find that information was over-written but have no way of recovering it.

    Droids will:
    Taxi droid will dump passengers into the middle of busy intersection
    Power droid will jump off an overpass
    Logging droid reprogrammed to view (pick an alien species--sentient plant would be good) as trees to be chopped down.
    Medical droids prescribe fatal medicine or otherwise cause severe problems for patients (this can be creepy, or ludicrious (like attaching a prostetic arm instead of a leg, or a tentacle instead of an ear).
    Astromechs plot jump coordinates that place a capital ship inside the atmosphere of a planet.
    Messenger droids deliver holo images (faked?) that cause domestic disruption or divorce filings within powerful families.
    Protocol droids provide inaccurate translations between species in business or political negotiations (this can be subtle, or rediculous (or both) depending on the mood needed at that point).

    You get the idea
    And there is no much the Jedi powers can do in most of these instances because the perpetrators aren't organic, don't know that they are behaving incorrectly, and their reprogramming is being destroyed before they can access the information about where it came from.
    All this from a villan who is a lvl 10 tech specialist with a concentration in droid programming and security systems.


    More ideas can be found in the old thread "Jedi Killers" and my favorite "Adventure Ideas Go Here".
  11. NJOfan215 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 5
    Have a bounty put on the guy. HAve him be chased by a bounty hunter/ sharp shooter or something like that. HAve the guy use a snipper rifle that deals sonic damage or something.
  12. jasconsolojediknight Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2006
    star 1
    Take an idea right from KOTOR and have go in a tmeple that is full of dark jedi and elite troopers that are there level or high. They might get a lot of ex but the have a hard time fighting them if there were say 10-15 guys that range from 9-12 per battle. Make sure the places they can Heal so they know that your not trying to kill the, just give them a hard time.
  13. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Jedi Killers thread

    Now, you may not want to actually kill [face_whistling] the characters, but you can certainly use these ideas to make their lives challenging and difficult. ;) [face_mischief] :)

    One nice variation: Dark-sider uses Smite Weapon to detroy Jedi's lightsaber(s). The Temple is out of "spares" because of a recent trend, and the Weapon smiths haven't been able to keep up with demand. The only lightsaber currently available is from the Dark-sider (assuming they manage to defeat him/her). That lightsaber, however, has no visible switches or activating mechanism, and also no visible way to dismantle it (extremely unusual design, and will explode if someone attempts to tamper with it). The activation switch is on the inside, and only someone with telekenisis and fine control can activate it. What's more, the user has to know WHERE the switch is. The anti-tamper mechanisms are very effective, and attempting to cut into it will set off the equivilent of a grenade in the hands of whoever is so foolish. (I'm sure clever players will find a way to locate the switch, but make them think about it).
    In the meantime, the Jedi in question will have to get by without sabers.
  14. NJOfan215 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 5
    That's a really cool idea.
  15. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Thanks!
    Of course, the jedi are of advanced enough level that they will know how to build new lightsabers, but finding the appropriate parts... [face_devil]

    And the weapons smiths won't have even those. Anything they did have they would be using to build new sabers. Even their parts stores are used up by other jedi needing to build sabers.

    Now, there is something called a "lightfoil", which is a cheap, mass-produced lightsaber that does significantly less damage (3d instead of 5d, convert to d20 rules) because they aren't properly focused, bulk materials instead of custom-made, etc. oh, and they accidentally switch off 1/6 of the time (random 1-in-6 deactivation malfuncion, roll at beginning of character's initiative, after s/he has declared actions reflex save to abort stated to reactivate weapon if you're feeling generous).


    Oh, BTW: go ahead and throw the occasional D&D monster at them. Change the description a little and it's a rare alien. Problem solved. My favorite was a tentacled bloby swamp monster that attacked the party. Everyone was trying to remember what swamp monster throws lightning bolts from its tentacles. I was just using the stats of a Blue Dragon with a different description. [face_whistling] [face_laugh] :eek: Didn't tell them for 2 weeks. The ubergeeks were combing through all the monster manuals, monstrous compendiums, fiend folios, etc, trying to find what I'd thrown at them. It's fun to be evil GM.
  16. Donp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2003
    star 1
    Those are some really good ideas, thanks guys!

    If you've got more ideas or stories about how you've dealt with pesky Jedi PC's keep 'em coming!
  17. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Having no CON score giving no Fort save doesn't automatically grant you the VP for Dissipate Energy back.
  18. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    (borrowing from the "Worst things your character has ever done" thread)

    How to defeat JEDI:
    Duct-tape 6 infants (prefferablly orphans) to your body. One on each arm, one on each leg, one chest, one back. Add additional for those species with additional limbs. This will incur encumberance penalties, and does horrible things to your stealth rolls, but on the plus side, it will be virtually impossible for a Jedi to attack you without recklessly endangering the lives of an innocent.
    Oh yeah: wear vynil or other clothes that you don't care about, not your high-fashion dark robes or expensive cloaks. And nothing that isn't water-proof. (Learned that one the hard way...)

    Blow up the ship they are travelling in while it is outside any atmosphere.
    There's nothing like exposure to vaccuum to ruin a Jedi's day-cycle.
    (doesn't work on Givin)
  19. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    One other advantage to blowing up the ship outside the atmosphere: even if they survive the explosion and exposure to vacuum, their chances of surviving orbital re-entry are slim-to-none without some kind of vehicle. Don't know what the damage would be for the friction of entering atmosphere, but probablly greater than even Yoda's Absorb-Dissipate energy. Probablly higher than Palpatine's too.

    Be funny to see one try though. I suddenly have a vision of a jedi in a vaccsuit riding a door into the atmosphere ala DarkStar.
  20. Donp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2003
    star 1
    Hi, I'm the guy that started this thread. I wanted to give you an update on my problems with the game. As you knew I was having difficulty with providing a challenge for the Wookiee Jedi weapon master in my game. Well that's no longer a problem.

    He's dead!

    I sent the three players (The Wookiee JWM, an Ithorian Jedi Consular, and a human Soldier) to retrieve a lost force artefact of great power. The player of the Wookiee (who had 1 DSP) got another DSP and then started to show great lust for the power of the artefact that was entrusted to the Jedi Consular. The Wookiee, who had a Wisdom score of 6 (-2) was almost tainted with his 2 DSP and during the course of the session raged and fell to the dark side.

    During a climactic moment when the wookiee had disarmed the soldier the Jedi Consular finally attacked him, and what a dramatic moment!

    His rolls: 19 on the attack roll (threat). He then confirmed the threat (critical). We use the hit locations rules so I secretly rolled for the hit location: 10 on a d10 - headshot! Then the player rolled damage: he has 2d8 on his lightsaber: 8 on both d8's! The wookie was decapitated and dead!

    I tried really hard to provide a challenge for the Wookiee, the he ends up being player-killed!

    Also if the Jedi Consular had not rolled a headshot on his roll (automatic death) he could not have killed the Wookiee, even with maximum damage. So that was pretty damn dramatic!
  21. Blithe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    That was good! Very cinematic! :D

    Your wookiee player seems to have role played his fall pretty well, too.
  22. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Sounds like a good time was had by all.
    Hope so.

    Any news on what the player is planning for a replacement character?
  23. Rogue_Thunder FanForce CR, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2003
    star 6
    Wow. That sounds like a truly Star Wars moment. Let us know what the player decides to play next.
  24. Donp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2003
    star 1
    Oh I'll be sure to keep you guys posted on what he does for a new character :)

    But even now that the Wookiee character is dead there are a lot of great ideas in this thread for me to challenge the players with!

    I love movie moments in the RPG. That's what makes this so fun after all. We should do a thread on our movie moments during playing. Because sometimes it seems that certain things are just meant to happen, and the dice just play along to fate's music.

    Poetic ain't I ;)
  25. Donp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2003
    star 1
    Also as Blithe observed the Wookiee's player role-played his fall really well. He's a true sport and wasn't unhappy at all that his character was killed. He just thought it was really cool.

    He's a smart roleplayer, he reasoned that with a wisdom score of only 6 (where you need only 3 DSP to become tainted) he would get pretty close to the dark side with only 2 DSP.

    This is also, funnily enough, the player's second Jedi character in our role-playing games, and the second to be decapitated.
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