Average Antagonists

Just unearthed Jamie Wallis’s article on creatures in the Maelstrom role-playing game, a feature that Alexander Scott overlooked somewhat. Indeed, Maelstrom really leaves antagonists wide open for a Referee to consider, as it offers no particular advice whatsoever.

You can, in practice, use the standard character generation system. An average person will have, roughly speaking, a score of 30 in every attribute. For me, I prefer to assume the average person will actually have a score of 25 in each attribute, except through key to their profession which rate as 30s. So, you can refer to the Training section in the advanced rules and find the positive training areas and adjust accordinly.

Using this method gives you the average people, but it doesn’t account for the antagonists you want to present a challenge. I have considered the need for some system to balance up challenges. Perhaps, add up the attributes of the whole player character party and find the average for an basic level opponent. Choose the halfway point between average and maximum for a greater challenge, and something based off the maximum (or more) for a real challenge.

Alternatively, keep a record of the number of adventures that you party have and give an opponent attributes of 30 across the board with an extra allotment of experience to assign per adventure the player characters have completed. In practice, an adventure with a few combats might net the characters quite a few, so you need to be the judge here. If you’re quite generous, 20 or more per adventure might be appropriate. Given the negative feedback loop of the experience system (i.e. it gets harder to get experience the more experienced you become), you may want to give opponents 20 extra points for the first 10 adventures the character’s complete, 15 for the following 10, 10 for the next, with 5 per 10 thereafter. Human opponents should max-out their attributes like characters – around 80 or so, based on the restrictions imposed by age.

Supernatural opponents won’t have the same kind of ceilings or restrictions applied. For example, in Jamie Wallis’s article he provides the statistics for a Dragon. With an Attack Skill of 95 and an Endurance of 250, this opponent presents no kind of pushover, especially with a Speed of 150 while airbourne. As a mythical beast that the characters should fear and only kill by dying in the attempt, this seems entirely appropriate.

So, an interesting find…

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