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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    danzibr's Avatar

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    Default What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    I'm about to (well, it might a ways in the future, but not too long...) run a campaign where a bunch of Kobolds escape from the underdark. And by a bunch I mean like, 30. It looks like I'll have 4 players, so everyone gets about 8 Kobolds.

    For the Kobolds we'll have about 15 grunts (NPC classes), about 13 decent peeps (PC classes), 1 Cleric Saint (it's his goal in life to convert his Kobold brethren) and 1 Half-Dragon Paladin of Tyranny//Swordsage. The two with the templates have them for free, all start at level 1.

    This is what I was thinking: the players divvy up the Kobolds as they wish, then they can have 2 out at a time. This doesn't make sense fluff-wise, but I think it should work mechanically. The other Kobolds are in gunspace or wherever. Switching out one Kobold for another can be a full action.

    Has anyone done something similar? Any ideas?
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    A comment on tiers, by Prime32
    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    As a DM, I deal with character death by cheering and giving a fist pump, or maybe a V-for-victory sign. I would also pat myself on the back, but I can't really reach around like that.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    I would give templates to 4 (1 for each player - or 8, 2 each) and have them be the leaders. the rest are NPC attack- and flank-bots.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    Sounds like the Kobolds are Pokemon. lol.

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    danzibr's Avatar

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    Default Re: What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    Quote Originally Posted by kitcik View Post
    I would give templates to 4 (1 for each player - or 8, 2 each) and have them be the leaders. the rest are NPC attack- and flank-bots.
    I like this idea a lot. Plot-wise I definitely want one to be like, the leader, the gestalt guy. But it would be neat to have everyone have one neat character. maybe throw on some Mineral Warrior or something.
    Quote Originally Posted by Traken View Post
    Sounds like the Kobolds are Pokemon. lol.
    Ha, yeah... I should've mentioned they have silly names to remember who's who, like the Rogue is Pik-Lok.
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    A comment on tiers, by Prime32
    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    As a DM, I deal with character death by cheering and giving a fist pump, or maybe a V-for-victory sign. I would also pat myself on the back, but I can't really reach around like that.
      /l、
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    Default Re: What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    I'm almost certain I've played this game on an xbox.

    Was this inspired by Overlord by any chance?
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    Default Re: What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    Have 36 Kobolds

    4 of them will be the 'leaders', as already suggested, each player will actually inpersonate one of those leaders, as a standard Pc

    The others shouls be low level NPC classed characters, grouped in bunches of 4 with identical stats / classes / skills / equipment.

    Each chatacter would have two groups of 5 NPCs under his command. A simple sheet for the NPC group should take no more then half a page (and the only thing that should be listed multiple times is each NPC HP pool).

    As a pesonal suggestion, don't give templates and similar stuff "for free" unless you do it for everyone.

    Example:
    PCs: 32 PB, ECL 2+2 Free LA
    NPCs: 24 PB ECL 1

    Group 1:
    Kobold Saint Cleric 2
    Str 10 Dex 12 Con 14 Int 12 wis 20 Cha 16
    4 Middle-aged Kobold Expert 1 (lorekeepers)
    Str 8 Dex 12 Con 8 Int 14 Wis 12 Cha 12
    4 Kobolds Adept 1 (Saint's underlings)
    Str 8 Dex 14 Con 12 Int 10 Wis 14 Cha 10

    Group 2:
    Kobold Half blue dragon Paladin of Tyranny 1
    Str 18 Dex 16 Con 14 Int 12 Wis 16 Cha 12
    4 Kobold Warrior 1 (melee)
    Str 12 Dex 12 Con 12 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8
    4 Kobolds Warrior 1 (ranged)
    Str 10 Dex 16 Con 12 Int 12 Wis 8 Cha 10

    Group 3:
    [Insert PC here]
    4 Kobold Expert 1 (trappers)
    Str 8 Dex 14 Con 10 Int 14 Wis 12 Cha 10
    4 Kobolds Warrior 1 (ranged)
    Str 10 Dex 16 Con 12 Int 12 Wis 8 Cha 10

    Group 3:
    [Insert PC here]
    4 Old-aged Kobold Aristocrat 1 (elder's council)
    Str 6 Dex 10 Con 8 Int 12 Wis 15 Cha 14
    4 Kobold Warrior 1 (melee)
    Str 12 Dex 12 Con 12 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    nedz's Avatar

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    Default Re: What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    I'm not sure about the idea of making your players play specific characters.

    It is also a risky idea to base your plot line on one PC. It makes the other players feel second rate and there is also the risk the the chosen one goes off the rails, or flat out dies. Maybe you should make the saint an off-screen NPC, like he's the parties boss or something ?
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    I'd make the two leaders important NPCs, divide the rest to 4 "squads" and make PCs command one "squad" each. Or allow them to choose a kobold they want to control in a "scene" (basically a piece of time that makes sense plot-wise like "a fight", "go look what's ahead", "negotiations", ...).

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    danzibr's Avatar

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    Default Re: What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    Thanks for the suggestions all!

    I'm afraid it got a bit off topic. Sort of, anyway. I was particularly interested in how to handle having several characters per player.

    For more details on the campaign, it will start at level 1 and end at level 2. It's a one-way trip out of the underdark. They got captured by Drow or Illithid or something, break free, have a scuffle with some Svirfneblin, then run into the Svirfneblin again right as they see daylight. Maybe stopping at level 3 max.

    The point of having pre-made characters is for simplicity. I'll be playing with some very non-optimizers. If I run it on the forums I might do it differently.
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    A comment on tiers, by Prime32
    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    As a DM, I deal with character death by cheering and giving a fist pump, or maybe a V-for-victory sign. I would also pat myself on the back, but I can't really reach around like that.
      /l、
    ゙(゚、 。 7
     l、゙ ~ヽ
     じしf_, )ノ

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    Default Re: What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    I'd encourage a troupe style campaign, where the players have a pool (of 30 in this case) characters that they can pick from, and the others are assumed to be back home in the village, or the subject of a rescue, or whatever. Any time they return to base, they can swap out the character for one of the others.
    Last edited by Ashtagon; 2012-10-17 at 02:37 AM.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    I'd encourage a troupe style campaign, where the players have a pool (of 30 in this case) characters that they can pick from, and the others are assumed to be back home in the village, or the subject of a rescue, or whatever. Any time they return to base, they can swap out the character for one of the others.
    This.

    Have the Players control one Kobold PC at any given time, the group is whichever 4 Kobolds the players have chosen to control for the moment.
    Last edited by only1doug; 2012-10-17 at 07:45 AM.
    Doug

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    danzibr's Avatar

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    Default Re: What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    I'd encourage a troupe style campaign, where the players have a pool (of 30 in this case) characters that they can pick from, and the others are assumed to be back home in the village, or the subject of a rescue, or whatever. Any time they return to base, they can swap out the character for one of the others.
    Well, the plot is that they're all trying to break free. I was picturing they'd all start out in some jail cells or something. It wouldn't make sense plot-wise to have a base they return to. Still, I like the idea... just not sure how it'd work.
    Quote Originally Posted by only1doug View Post
    This.

    Have the Players control one goblin PC at any given time, the group is whichever 4 goblins the players have chosen to control for the moment.
    Where is this talk of goblins coming from?
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    A comment on tiers, by Prime32
    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    As a DM, I deal with character death by cheering and giving a fist pump, or maybe a V-for-victory sign. I would also pat myself on the back, but I can't really reach around like that.
      /l、
    ゙(゚、 。 7
     l、゙ ~ヽ
     じしf_, )ノ

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    Quote Originally Posted by danzibr View Post
    Where is this talk of goblins coming from?
    I have no idea what you mean, what talk of Goblins? Ooops

    Quote Originally Posted by danzibr View Post
    Well, the plot is that they're all trying to break free. I was picturing they'd all start out in some jail cells or something. It wouldn't make sense plot-wise to have a base they return to. Still, I like the idea... just not sure how it'd work.
    4 Kobolds are scouting ahead of the main group to find a safe route, because 4 makes less noise than 30. The main group are located in the hallways some distance behind the scouts, with lookouts posted to warn them when to duck down a side passage (Until the scouts can find them a safe place to hide).
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What to do with too many characters (not players)?

    What if instead of 'four of them have special templates', you have four magic items that the kobolds have found early in their escape. A kobold who wields one of these items is one of the four leaders (one item per player, basically). If that kobold drops, the guy who picks it up next is now the leader, and so on.

    For non-leader kobolds, I'd agree with the 'identical stats' thing. You might also want to use combined statistics for when groups of these guys fight. I.e. instead of rolling one attack roll for each kobold in a squad, just have them deal average damage based on their chance to hit. Basically, make a table of AC vs damage percentage for the squad. Also require the entire squad to take the same kind of action across the entire squad for simplicity (so everyone attacks, or everyone casts Magic Missile, or whatever)

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