On NPCs and power levels



  • This was brought up in a previous topic and honestly it's a good point.

    I'm curious as to what other players' opinions are..

    How do you feel about "server important" or just high-ranking NPCs having strength well into the 50s that gives them ungodly AB and damage?
    Or, NPCs that are so strong that they allow no players to attain their own gravitas in that NPCs field of speciality as other players simply go "Well X can do it better than you!"



  • No NPCs have 50 strength (by default)

    During an event where, say, an NPC is beheading something, we buff the hell out of it's strength for ease of use. There are two examples of this I can think of off hand.

    One where Hardcastle personally executed someone. (his strength is pretty normal usually but was buffed to one shot the character being executed because it looks silly if an NPC misses due to mechanics in these instances)

    And one where an NPC from the plebian court ("the emporor") had it's strength buffed to [Slices them in half with the massive greatsword] during an introduction event for the new faction, because it would kind of suck for the new faction to be introduced, and thier NPCs crushed on day one.



  • The point being, story driven events always trump mechanics.

    NPCs aren't as easy to control as a PC, and also, dont tend to have 6000 haste potions, heal potions etc etc all on nicely accesible quickslots.



  • I have on multiple accounts fought NPCs with stupidly high damage and AB.

    Granted, all these cases were when I was interacting with Moloch, but other players may have had similar issues.

    It FEELS (may not be intended) that when these things happen, that it is a DM punishing a player for trying to stir things or act ICly up by giving them an unwinnable fight.

    I know for a fact I would have retired my Agent way back when after he was killed by a former Lancelord (in two hits for 45+ damage each, on a one-handed weapon) for attempting to bring him in under charges of treasom if it wasn't for players asking me not to.

    This isn't a personal gripe and I don't mean to have it look that way, it simply seems like players get punished for trying to stir the pot, in these situations.

    I'm still curious to see if anybody else has experienced that.



  • Killing an NPC isn't done by mechanical means, it's done using a storyline. That's probably why NPCs were buffed to determine the outcome. If it was after a run up to an attempt on the NPC's life, which involved more cool stuff than getting levels and lots of potions etc (Though that's part of it, just not the main part) then the NPC probably wouldn't have been as powerful.

    There is a thread about this somewhere hold on.

    /forum/viewtopic.php?p=605650

    Relevent part quoted below

    [quote="Right, then I want to kill off certain NPCs to create some INTRIGUE.
    "]That actually isn't something we encourage. We prefer you plot your intrigues against existing player-characters. Now if you want to see a certain NPC removed, perhaps because they're of an opposing faith, or occupy a position of authority you want removed or to gain for yourself–then you do have a good chance to turn this into a ADVENTURE and INTRIGUE moment in a few ways.

    Start ADVENTURE by seeking out some powerful weapon/poison/tome/allies who help you face this NPC foe you want to stop.

    Start INTRIGUES by gaining player-character alliances with players and other factions that either want to help remove that NPC as well, or whose support you will at least need after the NPC is removed to take his position of authority or even push forward another idea linked to this NPC's defeat.

    The key here is that even to take out an NPC, we expect that you'll be doing plenty of ADVENTURES and INTRIGUES with a wide-range of fellow player-characters (not just one tightly knit group you quest with frequently) well before you make a move against that NPC.

    So, that's why NPCs get buffed in certain situations, and the outcome is indeed pre-determined.

    If this wasn't the case, a whole lot of NPCs would be dead REAL quick I can guarantee you, because player characters are generally VASTLY superior mechanically.



  • (Semi copy/paste from the other thread.)

    I again mention my duel with Lord Mertoi. It was a duel with Puffy in our down time, she was at the Spire hanging out with us when the topic of mastery was brought. The PCs were excited to see my character (that rarely ever loses a duel) fight this Lord and… She one-shot me. She must have wildly outleveled me and I was already lvl 10 (with 150hp, 30% slash resist, 35 AC). Besides that, in a narrative sense, why is she that strong? If you read her description and know a bit of her story it's evident she should not be as strong a fighter at her age.



  • I should also like to mention, in the case that I had brought up, it was quite clear that I had no intentions to murder this NPC, I wanted him subdued so he could stand trial.
    This would have gone horribly wrong for my Agent as he had not a lick of evidence and would have embarrassed Hardcastle and himself.
    Instead, it was decided. "You'll lose X amount of XP with nothing negative or positive to show for it, because you DNA'd"



  • @Sophia:

    (Semi copy/paste from the other thread.)

    I again mention my duel with Lord Mertoi. It was a duel with Puffy in our down time, she was at the Spire hanging out with us when the topic of mastery was brought. The PCs were excited to see my character (that rarely ever loses a duel) fight this Lord and… She one-shot me. She must have wildly outleveled me and I was already lvl 10 (with 150hp, 30% slash resist, 35 AC). Besides that, in a narrative sense, why is she that strong? If you read her description and know a bit of her story it's evident she should not be as strong a fighter at her age.

    You will find(and can ask other players) that such a NPC is an exception to a rule.
    It is the reason why that NPC's fight with another iconic NPC was somewhat retconned.



  • Puffy made a mistake and gave that npc a devasting crit sword, which basically means if a crit is landed if you fail a fort save you insta die, It's an epic level feat



  • Semi-on topic, where power levels are more than just physical strength. Back when Anne Marie was killed, it should have been a huge coup for the Team Not Likey Hardcastle. Yet it was somehow leveraged into a massive promotion for Hardcastle, when it could have been a huge drawback for him. Unable to protect his own daughter, causing another Lord, not just any lord, a Wyvernspur, to get caught in his feud with criminal elements. Public humiliation of having his daughter killed before the Royal Court. Yet he secures a huge promotion, making him a viceroy and junior king in all but name.

    There is also the power struggle between Hardcastle's Faction and the Opposing Side, where the Opposing Side is shown to be completely and utterly dominated by HC, and has almost no control whatsoever over areas which they should have had some influence, especially so in canon Forgotten Realms. It seems unnaturally and deliberately weighed towards HC, once again. This keeps to the status quo of Unbeatable, Unassailable, All Powerful.



  • We could go into the details of how that worked, but essentially, the King couldn't just outright remove hardcastle, because he had the support of many other powerful lords in his kingdom. While the king did give hardcastle a position of power, he also placed Lhal nearby to keep him in check, removed his personal agents from any semblance of power, and installed (a?) war wizard(s?) nearby to keep an eye on things.

    Hardcastle lost more than he gained, but didn't lose too much face publically, and didn't lose enough for him to try and start an all out rebellion and try to install a council of lords over Cormyr.

    That's the TL/DR of it anyway.



  • @Mortui:

    I should also like to mention, in the case that I had brought up, it was quite clear that I had no intentions to murder this NPC, I wanted him subdued so he could stand trial.
    This would have gone horribly wrong for my Agent as he had not a lick of evidence and would have embarrassed Hardcastle and himself.
    Instead, it was decided. "You'll lose X amount of XP with nothing negative or positive to show for it, because you DNA'd"

    The detail is impossible for me to go into. I wasn't there, it doesn't sound right from the perspective given. I would hope Moloch was aware of the intention of your character before hand, if not though that may have had an impact. As I say though, I can't get into the details as I don't have them. All I can tell you is the general way things are done.



  • @verkosh:

    Puffy made a mistake and gave that npc a devasting crit sword, which basically means if a crit is landed if you fail a fort save you insta die, It's an epic level feat

    Why does an NPC have access to an epic level feat when her character is not a legendary warrior of any sorts? If we can't have them then they shouldn't either without good reason. Not to bash, just saying.



  • I think he was trying to state that the feat was given by accident. It was on the sword and wasn't meant to be there.



  • @Sophia:

    (Semi copy/paste from the other thread.)

    I again mention my duel with Lord Mertoi. It was a duel with Puffy in our down time, she was at the Spire hanging out with us when the topic of mastery was brought. The PCs were excited to see my character (that rarely ever loses a duel) fight this Lord and… She one-shot me. She must have wildly outleveled me and I was already lvl 10 (with 150hp, 30% slash resist, 35 AC). Besides that, in a narrative sense, why is she that strong? If you read her description and know a bit of her story it's evident she should not be as strong a fighter at her age.

    This seems like a badly built NPC, and from what I can see here, probably should have been retconned, preferably right away.

    There was also a child who sells tomatoes thats a level 13 priest in the middle of the citadel, but I think that got fixed. Things slip in sometimes.



  • There was also a child who sells tomatoes thats a level 13 priest in the middle of the citadel, but I think that got fixed. Things slip in sometimes.

    i thought that he was there as a 'cookie' of a raises the killed commoners/beggars when dms arent about sort of thing. i used to drop their bodies close by and he would raise them anyway.



  • Nope, we would have put an actual priest in for that. It was just someone duplicated another NPC and changed it's appearance, without checking what the NPC was, or, the hit the auto level up button in the toolset by accident.

    Just a mistake.



  • Whoa I almost forgot about the NPC "raiser" I remember slugging around a half dozen corpses as a Militia-Man taking them to the HotD guy and he'd spam the raise on them. Is this still a thing?



  • Sort of, depends on the NPC's used.



  • I tend to find that the important NPCs are well scaled most of the time. I agree with the mertoi girl and think her being this ungodly butcher of things is very immersion breaking, and hope that that accident has been fixed. But i can speak about recent things like the Axe and the former Warden, both who i was going to kill on Raaz. I had an excellent shot and was winning after looking over the numbers, they were rough but fair. I probably would have won if the lag from the huge event hadn't kicked in at the worst possible moment, but that's the way things go. Pretty much every DM said they were rooting for Raaz on that event, but making it easy would take away all sense of accomplishment. And i agree with that whole heartedly.

    I think most of the time, when it matters, NPCs are scaled fairly, PC group coming so close to killing the mage guild archmage (was it Solus or Aldek?) is a good example.


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