NPC Guide

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Mana Link
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Re: NPC Guide

Post by Mana Link »

NPC Tactics
Today I'm going to touch on something that a lot of players, and some GMs have a problem with. NPC reactions and tactics. I'll keep this simple and try to explain everything I can.

Bandits/Brigands/Outlaws:

Their general tactic is to surround and extort. Rarely do they come into open conflict, as that would be taxing on their energy. They are there to look intimidating, and bully the money out of the person. If it was to come down to conflict, most bandit parties consist of at least 20 somewhat well armed men, and one leader who is better equipped. These men have some combat training, probably ex-mercenaries, ex-soldiers, or the like. This means that they know how to keep their ground, and how to fight. They aren't inept 0th level commoners who just decided to pick up a sword. These people fought before. They know the odds of survival, and they know how to win if goaded into a fight.

Pros: Know how to fight, use simple tactics, deploy fighters first and archers in the back rows.
Cons: No magic support, no match for cunning and/or intelligent characters, use the same tactics over and over again.

Pirates

Pirates are like brigands of the sea, except they are violent, moody and mostly out for their own skin, and their ever expanding treasure horde. Since Lodoss has no cannons (luckily), the tactics have changed a little to adapt to the lack of technology. It would be unwieldy to have a siege weapon aboard, but there are still harpoons that could bite into another ship to bring it closer. Their favorite tactic, of course, is the old board and slaughter routine. They send men out in waves, and while it seems chaotic, as most pirates are, this tactic makes them seem like there is an endless supply of them. Most of these pirates have spent their entire lives on the sea, working as pirates, ex-merchants, even some ex-soldiers. Their concept of tactics has been stunted due to their time on the sea and the lack of maneuverability. Had they had cannons...the tides of battle would be quick and bloody.

Pros: Seasoned seamen, basic grasp of tactics, bloodthirsty and violent.
Cons: No magical support, limited maneuverability.

Monstrous humanoids: Goblins

Goblins are semi-intelligent humanoid monsters. They are ruled in clans, usually by a smarter and more brutal goblin or hob-goblin. Their leader is usually a shaman of sorts, so they have the magical support the last two didn't have. Although their shaman/priest (in some cases) has limited powers, it still gives them an edge that makes up for their lower intelligence. Goblins, however, are nocturnal. They rarely come out during the day, lest, of course, their food reserves are depleted. Since Goblins live in forest caves for the most part, their habitat is the forest, giving them a quasi advantage over humans, but on par to lesser disadvantage over elves. Those that remain underground are usually the females or children, but due to their tribal ways, even the females and children can fight with some ability. They are ambushers. They prefer to overwhelm their opponents. Since they are somewhat cowardly creatures, if they see that they cannot win, most times they will run from battle and regroup.

Pros: Advantages in darkness and the forest, shaman leader, some minor magical support
Cons: Cowardly, nocturnal, ambush tactics can be unsuccessful.
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