[Magical Construct] [Horror Construct] Brass and Crystal Falsemen, Experimental

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Tattered Rags
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:04 am

[Magical Construct] [Horror Construct] Brass and Crystal Falsemen, Experimental

Post by Tattered Rags » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:09 pm

Three small boxes unfold into man-shaped contraptions of crystal and brass. Their torsos are a mazework of pipes interconnected by pieces of blue crystal. Their limbs are brass tubes, arms ending in flat, wide blades. And the head is a flat piece of hammered brass with two glowing crystals. These automatons move with a jittery motion like a wind-up toy as they plod towards you.

These experimental falsemen were created by a Horror-marked inventor to serve as his own defenders should the Kaer uncover what he had been doing. Activated by holding a small bronze disc with a crystal embedded in it and speaking a command word, these servitors will enact the wearer's will in the most violent way possible. These particular creations are not yet perfected, moving slower and with less power than expected.

Brass and Crystal Falsemen, Experimental
DEX 5; STR 5; TOU 5; PER 6; WIL 6; CHA 6
DR 27; UR NA; WT 8; RT 2
PD 7; MD 8; SD 8; PA 2; MA 2
Mov. 10; Ini. 5; Knock. 5; Karma -
Actions 1
Attacks
Whirling Dervish: 9 (9)

Powers:
Immune to Fear
Resist Pain (4)
Whirling Dervish: The Brass and Crystal Falseman plants its feet as the torso begins to rapidly spin, randomly attacking one opponent. For each opponent next to the Falseman, add 1 to the Attack Step.
Maneuvers:
Pushover (Opponent, Close Combat): The opponent may spend an additional success to cause a Knockdown test against the Brass and Crystal Falseman if it has a lower Strength Step. The Difficulty Number is the Attack test result.

edit: changed Whirling Dervish stats from 7 (9) to 6 (6)
edit: added knockdown test on Whirling Dervish
edit: completely changed the attack
Last edited by Tattered Rags on Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:42 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Tattered Rags
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:04 am

Re: [Magical Construct] [Horror Construct] Brass and Crystal Falsemen, Experimental

Post by Tattered Rags » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:15 pm

I intend these to be circle 1 opponents. I needed to do some window dressing on a Strawman. Removed the vulnerability to fire and added 2 PA and Whirling Dervish attack. I don't think they're too much harder, but with the added armor I might drop the wound threshold by 1. As well, I need to run some analysis on the Whirling Dervish. Step 7 and gets to attack twice versus step 9 and attacking only once, why bother ever doing anything else? Perhaps drop the attack step and/or add a downside to using it (like automatic knockdown test, with penalty).

Feel free to comment.
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Tattered Rags
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Re: [Magical Construct] [Horror Construct] Brass and Crystal Falsemen, Experimental

Post by Tattered Rags » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:52 pm

Based on this Anydice analysis, I think I'll drop the Whirling Dervish to Step 6 (6). Far more likely to hit a PD of 9 (43% up to 72%), so a reduction in damage makes sense.
comparisons of rolls at 9 or above

Now I wonder what the average damage calcs would be. Anyone know how to do that in Anydice? As in, roll 1D10 for each success rolled on 2D10?
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Tattered Rags
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Re: [Magical Construct] [Horror Construct] Brass and Crystal Falsemen, Experimental

Post by Tattered Rags » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:17 pm

Hey, figured it out!
P(X|Y)

And it looks like Whirling Dervish is still slightly better than basic attack. Boo.

But, dropping the damage Step to 5 makes the basic attack slightly better. I think I'll add an automatic knockdown roll instead, though. It's main purpose is to discourage surrounding it, as it has a chance to hit multiple targets (up to 6!), but the damage boost is nice.

Anyone think I should up the damage to Step 8? Also considering that.
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Panda
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Re: [Magical Construct] [Horror Construct] Brass and Crystal Falsemen, Experimental

Post by Panda » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:47 pm

Greetings,

I'm going to try and keep this brief rather than getting deep into the rabbit hole of creature design. It's deep. Quite deep. Towards that end, I have two pieces of general advice with the caveat I don't always follow them, which is entirely on me.

The first is to avoid situations that create this kind of analysis paralysis for the GM. They already have enough on their plate and making life easy is a plus. Clear distinctions between clear is good if there are different modes, even better if you can consolidate them. The latter utilizes Special Maneuvers to simplify things when it comes to making decisions. I suggest looking at Deathless Reaver from the Companion as an example with the "Darting Blades" and "Dazed" Special Maneuvers. They allow for these kind of additional attacks without needing to choose what to do beforehand and give players a way to mitigate those additional attacks if they have knowledge of their opponent.

The second is these type of effects may not be appropriate for First Circle adepts. Their options are limited and may not have an effective reply. Third Circle is where they are likely to start having abilities to deal with this, or at least should start expecting things to get ugly as their own capabilities increase. It's not the end of the world and a group of experienced players may need this kind of challenge, but this creates a greater chance for things to go pear-shaped for our burgeoning heroes with bonus D10s.

Since your goal is to discourage surrounding it, perhaps instead of Whirling Dervish granting the additional attacks, it could give a bonus to Attack for each additional adjacent opponent beyond the first, up to +5. Which is a mechanic I may use in the near future. Not as outright dangerous as attacks against each opponent, it's less time-consuming to resolve and less punitive. The former ability is more appropriate to higher Circles when adepts have equally nasty things to do to the opponent.

Hopefully this is helpful. Obviously, you should do whatever is best for your group and provides the most fun threat for them.

Best regards,

Morgan

Tattered Rags
Posts: 359
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Re: [Magical Construct] [Horror Construct] Brass and Crystal Falsemen, Experimental

Post by Tattered Rags » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:07 pm

Thanks! That gives me a lot to chew on! Particularly the points about too many options for GMs and more chances for explosions.

These are meant to be easier, prototype versions that I plan on bringing back later, but more refined and tested (that is, harder). So your advice is quite helpful for fine tuning at different challenge ratings.
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Panda
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Re: [Magical Construct] [Horror Construct] Brass and Crystal Falsemen, Experimental

Post by Panda » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:51 pm

Greetings,

I'm glad it was helpful. Those are just my guidelines, which I try to follow (I don't always). Some enemies can get complicated. This is especially true as tiers increase, and those with interacting powers and special maneuvers which require a little familiarity. Since this critter is for you, the general concerns for complexity from the GM perspective don't apply as much.

If you plan to create multiple iterations of these, I suggest saving nastier surprises for later encounters. Just giving it bigger numbers misses a great opportunity pave the way for sphincter clenching moments down the road. The first encounter teaches them the rules (it's nastier when you surround it), then later iterations can reinforce or play with those expectations as appropriate. Maybe the next one can do an iterative attack against everyone next to it (similar to Claw Frenzy). Next, it can unleash a flurry of weak attacks against a single opponent. Followed by the option for a single, awful armor rending attack at range. These are just ideas, you should really use what you like, ignore what you don't. Do whatever is best going to challenge the players. Since it's crystal, there's an ugly series of magic draining masks if the group is heavily reliant on spell buffs.

If you want any help, having any questions, etc., please let me know.

Best regards,

Morgan

Telarus
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Re: [Magical Construct] [Horror Construct] Brass and Crystal Falsemen, Experimental

Post by Telarus » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:47 pm

Love this so much.

I really need to write up 4E stats for that walking (crystal & brass, haha) crossbow automaton I came up with ages ago...

ragbasti
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Re: [Magical Construct] [Horror Construct] Brass and Crystal Falsemen, Experimental

Post by ragbasti » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:37 am

This seems like a perfect start for the Artificier Army I've had my mind on for ages. It's a plot-line I've had at the top of my list for a while but so far the ideas had been scarce.

Tattered Rags
Posts: 359
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:04 am

Re: [Magical Construct] [Horror Construct] Brass and Crystal Falsemen, Experimental

Post by Tattered Rags » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:22 pm

ragbasti wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:37 am
This seems like a perfect start for the Artificier Army I've had my mind on for ages. It's a plot-line I've had at the top of my list for a while but so far the ideas had been scarce.
Sounds neat!
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Under the Stars

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