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Question on Group Size

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Question on Group Size

Postby timejockey » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:23 am

So I'm preparing for my first Mythras campaign, and I am having some concerns because we have a large group (6-7 players + GM on an average night). I'm worried it might bog down combat or there might be balance issues with that many players. I was just wondering if anyone had experience playing the game with a group that size and how it worked out for them. Or any advice how to work around the group size in combat.
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Re: Question on Group Size

Postby raleel » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:36 am

First off, on balance - do a point buy, and that helps a bunch. I might also use the Mythras Imperative rules where AP are fixed at 2, rather than being based off of dex and int. AP is a clear point where optimizer go for, and being able to make the 2 AP guys feel as effective as the 3 AP guys takes a pretty high level of system mastery in my experience. Once you get past that, you just have to deal with two handers, which I think is easy using missiles, which is coutnerwble by shields, which reduces damage, etc.

On combat - start with just a few special effects. Like overextend opponent, press advantage, choose location, maximize damage, blind opponents and select target. Most of these actually minimize rolling.

Have everyone roll their damage and their hit location at the same time. Don't use weapon reach until you are ready, but do consider using it - its an important factor when dealing with certain combinations. For my group, reducing reload times for most weapons by 1 worked well, as we tended towards closer skirmishes and a more cinematic style.

Use rabble and underlings extensively. You don't want to track locations on a whole bunch of opponents for them. Use the Mythras Encounter Generator (google it) to generate foes - quite the amazing site a couple of the folks on here do a lot of work with.

What does your group normally play?
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Re: Question on Group Size

Postby timejockey » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:54 am

My players run the gamut in experience, but most are long term gamers who have played many different systems. We just came off a loooong run of 5th edition D&D and I know the combats there could take up most the gaming night due to the group size. But Mythras combat is a new animal for them because they are used to games with more passive defense. I ran a test combat with two of them, one whose been away from gaming since 2nd Edition D&D, and it went well. That guy actually took to it better because he was involved with the SCA so he really got into it.
And all excellent suggestions! I was planning a point but and to have them roll location and damage together. And the encounter creator is a life saver! I like the idea of limiting effects until they get used to it. The campaign revolves around them training at an academy, so that would fit well as they learn to fight. In terms of rabble, do you think that would work to balance out an encounter with more significant monsters/NPCs? I worry most about them slaughtering single large monsters or important NPCs due to numbers.
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Re: Question on Group Size

Postby Matt_E » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:39 am

You are right to be concerned: In many other threads (which you might also find useful) we have mentioned the fact that, in general, any single "boss" will fall to a group of PCs, due to the so-called Action Point economy that can tend to dominate Mythras combat.

Yes, think about adding minions (Rabble, Underlings, or full NPCs) for that boss, and in any case keep encounters adjustable, in case the PCs seem to be having too easy (or too hard) a time.
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Re: Question on Group Size

Postby raleel » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:20 pm

timejockey wrote:My players run the gamut in experience, but most are long term gamers who have played many different systems. We just came off a loooong run of 5th edition D&D and I know the combats there could take up most the gaming night due to the group size. But Mythras combat is a new animal for them because they are used to games with more passive defense. I ran a test combat with two of them, one whose been away from gaming since 2nd Edition D&D, and it went well. That guy actually took to it better because he was involved with the SCA so he really got into it.
And all excellent suggestions! I was planning a point but and to have them roll location and damage together. And the encounter creator is a life saver! I like the idea of limiting effects until they get used to it. The campaign revolves around them training at an academy, so that would fit well as they learn to fight. In terms of rabble, do you think that would work to balance out an encounter with more significant monsters/NPCs? I worry most about them slaughtering single large monsters or important NPCs due to numbers.


Yep. Have one more significant guy and then some rabble. Matt is right about the action point economy, and how you deal with action point differences. One guy with 3 AP can be quickly defeated by two or three with 2 AP. He's having to lean on outmaneuver.
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Re: Question on Group Size

Postby timejockey » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:42 pm

The action point economy is still the part I am trying to get used to in terms of running the game. I gather it's hard to balance challenge in terms​ of it even with rabble and underlings since a hoard of lesser foes can still overwhelm a well trained PC. Plus like most systems, I'm guessing large numbers of combatants bogs things down.
And what's your experience with heavy hitters like giants and dragons? On paper a dragon seems fearsome but can it still be easily overwhelmed?
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Re: Question on Group Size

Postby raleel » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:23 pm

Depends if they can get hurt and if they care. Press advantage makes it very easy to put someone on the defensive. 8 points of armor is a lot. Essentially can the dragon survive the special effects that get put on him if he chooses to forego spending action points on defense. If so, he can pretty much cream party members (4d6 fire is a lot). Most dragons are still very tough customers. They are smart too.

Giants are not as smart. They have armor, but arrows sting. They can be overwhelmed with press advantage or overextend opponent. They don't have high skills, so if you can get inside their reach, you are really causing them an issue.
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Re: Question on Group Size

Postby timejockey » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:03 pm

Yeah, I figured the damage output plus the fact that dragons can do flying passes and diving attacks made up for their low relative action points. I would like to use one and make it as fearsome an encounter as it should be. I'm assuming diving attacks are a good strategy there for any flying opponent.

And that's good to know with giants too. I have a villain who gained control of a tribe of ogres and a few giants through guile and a bit of magic, and I was worried his troops would be too much for the PCs due to output. I guess in that case its a matter of playing their low intelligence and natural sense of superiority to the small, squishy folk. I don't see the unintelligent varieties ogres and giants doing a lot of parrying, instead relying on brute force and strength to overwhelm opponents.

I appreciate all the advice and input! The test combat we did helped me a lot in terms of cementing my choice for Mythras for the campaign, but this is making me feel better about any lingering anxieties.
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Re: Question on Group Size

Postby Matt_E » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:27 pm

For very large creatures, like giants and dragons, don't forget Sweep Attacks. Like an Area Attack, it can hit every foe in its zone, for 1 Action Point. That's bad.
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Re: Question on Group Size

Postby timejockey » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:44 am

Oh yeah, I need to keep that in mind too. Have you ever done any battles with dragons as written in the core book? How did it go? What percentage of the PCs were greasy piles of ash in the end?
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