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> Vampire NPC Creation, What powers to give and should BP be counted
fatal2ty
post Mar 4 2008, 06:51 PM
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hey, I'm creating a prime runner vampire for my group to run against, but I'm stuck at a hurdle of what powers or skills should a vampire have

my group is all 400BP builds and have gotten about 2 dozen karma thus far, so I was thinking of making it a 1000BP to 1500BP Vampire though I don't know if thats too much or not enough and I don't know how to integrate the powers into the build, whether it should be using BP or just add them
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Jaid
post Mar 4 2008, 07:08 PM
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0.o

1,000 to 1,500 BP?

what are you going to give this theoretical vampire NPC that's going to need that much?

seriously, if you want to challenge your players, the solution is not high stats. basically, in SR4, things are either invincible or they are going to die really, really fast if they aren't careful. the solution is not to try to make things closer to invincible, it is to have them be careful. if you have an important vampire NPC, don't give him insane stats, give him reasonable stats and play the vampire intelligently.

that way, you can challenge your players without murdering them.

and seriously, if you're tossing around numbers like 1,000 BP+, then just set the stats at whatever you want. there's no point in trying to count up every single thing, just decide what kind of resources he has, what kind of (relevant) skills he has, etc, and forget about how much it would cost to build him as a character.

a 400 BP character who manages to get surprise on a 800 BP character has a really good chance to slaughter the 800 BP character in SR4... heck, we've demonstrated that a great dragon which is dumb enough to get out in the open and let stuff try to kill it, will die. a fragging great dragon. so just make sure the vampire doesn't get into situations it can't escape from until you're ready for it to die.
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fatal2ty
post Mar 4 2008, 07:13 PM
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ok, so if i create the Vampire with a sane amount of BP, even around 500, then how do I integrate the powers into the build, should it be BP based or just added on
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Slymoon
post Mar 4 2008, 07:33 PM
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I concur with Jaid.

Even in SR3 (which I am highly familiar) I would build major opponents with a 'free point' system. ie: don't worry about it.

Think of who you want the NPC to be and what you want him to be able to do. Put him together and play him intelligently.

As the gm your role is to lay out a fun atmosphere. It really doesn't matter if the main antagonist has 2's across the board as long as he can accomplish what you want him to do.

If in this case you want him to be able to arm wrestle the troll body builder into submission then obviously you will have to give him the stats/ skills to accomplish it. But is that type of display required to meet your goal?

I find making a major NPC by building him 'legally' often times forces me to have an NPC that doesn't meet my story requirements, or is overqualified. After all, if you spend time trying to legally build this NPC only to have him slaughtered in the first IP was it really worth it? Did you spend your time wisely? And was that NPC any more valid than the one someone else put together in 10 minutes.
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WearzManySkins
post Mar 4 2008, 07:46 PM
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I agree with Jaid and Slymoon. Just create him/her give what you want them to have.

One warning players and their characters have a tendency to attack such NPC's at the drop of a hat, so do not get mad at them, just let them get any repercussions in the end.

I played in the SR3 game, where in New Orleans we had to get a blackmailing Gator Shaman, the fangs of particular Uber NPC Vampire. We looked at if from all angles and came up with a solution the GM did not think of. We spoke with the Vampire told him what the Gator Shaman wanted, he agreed to some with us.
I still remember the words of the Gator Shaman when we showed up.

"Damnation forgot to tell them to remove the vampires fangs." (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)

We got paid, and the Gator Shaman and the NPC Vampire had a "Conversation" which the Gator Shaman did not like. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif) He got the vampire fangs but not the way he wanted them.

WMS
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Moon-Hawk
post Mar 4 2008, 08:14 PM
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BP are just a way to make sure PCs are balanced, so that Bob's character isn't better than Jim's character in every measurable way. They're not for NPCs. Just give it the stats you want it to have and run with it.
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jago668
post Mar 4 2008, 09:07 PM
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I'll have to agree with the others. When you build NPCs don't bother with counting up build points or karma. Give it what you think it should have or what you want it to have. Just remember one thing, if it has stats it can die. Also it can get better over time, the PCs aren't the only ones gaining karma and money in the world.
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Rasumichin
post Mar 4 2008, 09:56 PM
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I don't know if "just stat him up the way you want to" is the kind of answer the OP was looking for...

So, here's just some basic brainstorming on what should be considered when building a BBEG vampire.

-First of all, is he magically active?
This will make a huge, huge difference for any vampire's survivability.
In fact, every really badass vamp has to be awakened or won't be that much of a badass.

Not only because being a mage gives you tons of useful options, especially if you won't be getting any cyber anyway.
But because it a) greatly enhances a vampire's regenerating ability to have a high magic attribute and b) because magic is the best way around a vampire's biggest vulnerabilities : he has got better ways to counter offensive magic (which is one of the best anti-vamp-weapons, since magical damage can't be regenerated) and gives him access to that nifty alleviate allergy spell (which does not only remove an additional direct vulnerability from him, but also counteracts attempts to block his regeneration and mist form powers by exposing him to wood or sunlight).

If he's a mage, a whole bunch of other questions will eventually come up : what tradition the guy follows, preferred spirits, spell lists, metamagic techniques, wether he's got an ally spirit, wether he maintains a cadre of bound spirits to do his biddings and so on.

Of course, you could also make him an adept.
A social adept who is able to orchestrate a giant network of -probably unknowing- minions and has terribly efficient ways of manipulating people at his disposal is a scary, scary opponent indeed.

If you're really going to use 1000 BP or more, a mystical adept might actually become a viable choice to create a truly fearsome enemy.

-The second major point is outlining the alliances and ressources of the vamp.
No matter how much BP you dump into him, if he stands alone against your group, they're gonna walk all over him.
Make sure he's got more than a hunchbacked, bug-nibbling Renfield among his assets.
This also directly leads to the kind of environment you set him up in.
Does he control a derelict, run-down part of the barrens?
Is he a corp exec?
Leader of a magical study circle?
Triad soldier?
Policlub leader?
Many skills not covered under point 1 will become self-evident during this stage.

Also, think about connections between his network and the PCs' social surroundings, their connections, friends and families.
Makes for wonderful plot twists.

Material ressources may also be an important matter here.
Keep in mind that, depending on his position, he will need much more than the (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) to pay for his gear, but might also have ways of moneymaking that by far exceed anything within the PCs' reach.

-Of course, he also needs a good motivation.
Decide on what that bloodsucker is up to and what he would be willing to do to achieve this.
Does he just want to feed and accidentally crosses your groups' way?
Or is he concerned with greater, more elaborate plans?

-As far as the BP for being a vampire are concerned, i do not think that they are much of an issue when the amount you plan to use already can vary between 1000 and 1500 points.
It should, by no means, exceed 100BP, which makes it neglegible when you play in such a league and when such a broad variance in the basics for this build is calculated in.
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fatal2ty
post Mar 5 2008, 02:13 AM
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Well, that was a great help and really gave me some focus with my Vampire, I think he's gonna turn out to be a great character, I'll post the build when I'm done, maybe someone else can see uses for him in their campains, I appreciate the help.
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Cthulhudreams
post Mar 5 2008, 06:04 AM
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What vampires really need is a bunch of lackies to slap around/drain essence from, and a fortress they can flood with poison gas.

Then the players can fight there way past 'endless army of force 8 spirits' that the vampire spams at them while in a cloud of nerve gas.

At that point the fact that the vampire is superbadass (at the end) is just icing.
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