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Dar'Quing
3 November 2002, 03:11 PM
I have a web enhancement for the NJO era that requires 4 level 3 chars. Does anybody have any ideas on how to modify it for about 5 level 7 PCs? The way I have it set up now the low-level NPCs become mid-level NPCs and some of the numbers are increased. (get this: a level 6 gungan dark jedi took out a YV in hand to hand combat.. on his own.. I was kind of mad).

ElfWord
3 November 2002, 06:58 PM
Instead of increasing the quality of the enemies, you could increase the quantity. Or you could give the enemies greater abilities or equipment. Or you could hinder the PCs with traps and obstacles.

Lord Diggori
4 November 2002, 07:29 AM
Here's how I would scale it:

For I one, I find the whole letter-coded encounters kind of cumbersome so I favor the 3E D&D use of average party level. The adventure is set up for avg. level around 3, some a little easier some a little tougher. Your party would likely has avg. level of 7, the extra PC probably won't change it. So what's the difference between level 3 and 7?

A four level increase usually means a attack bonus increase of 3 or 4, a distributed save base increase of about 2 -3, class defense bonus increase of about 1-2, an extra feat, another point to abilities, and skill modifiers about 4 higher.

I'd raise skill check DC's by 5 and save DC's by 2-3, making sure to change the flavor text of the encounter to make it seem more difficult than published, cause now it is. ;)

To increase NPC quality you could raise the levels by 3-4, which may take a little doing. Alternatively, to increase quantity, you could quadruple their numbers which would equate to the former adjustment.

Let me know how it goes.

Kryl'thar
11 November 2002, 02:08 PM
Beefing up an encounter isn't always a matter of kicking up the stats of the NPCs. The PCs are high level, and it's kinda false to have all NPCs higher level now just to compensate for the PCs being exceptional. If you do this I wouldn't change the levels of the NPCs by more than 1 or 2 levels. It's more effective and believable to have an exceptional NPC mixed in with a group of average thugs to spice up the encounter. There's nothing quite like hearing players lament the fact that an assumed thug has vitality.

The difficulty of encounters can be enhanced by little things as well. Location of battles can be vitaly important. If the NPCs are easily defeated, make sure that the confrontation occurs someplace crowded. More likely than not, the PCs aren't as willing to shoot innocents as the bad guys are. Of course they could always take hostages as well.

Be sure that the baddies use cover and concealment to the best of their ability and if possible always strike from surprise. Sure somebody wth a +16 spot will probably always be on the ball, but someone's bound to fail their roll and that one or two rounds of shooting at flat footed PCs can definitely drain their vitality a some.

Also, don't be afraid to seperate or split up the party. That brings down the challenge code for the people quite sharply, and makes NPC numbers that much more intimidating.

So, I think a mix of a slight increase in NPC abilities, with greater numbers, and creative staging of fights can keep the challenges high and your PCs guessing.