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Author Topic: Natural Attacks vs Extraordinary Attacks - Scaling  (Read 755 times)
nimrand
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« on: February 18, 2012, 09:29:18 AM »

I'm reading through the "Foes" chapter of Fantasy Craft, and something isn't quite making sense to me.

The natural attacks have damage that is set based on the creature's size and the grade of the attack, but the threat level does not factor into damage.  Extraordinary attacks, however, are based on grade and threat level.  For instance, in the extraordinary attacks section, it says that "For example, a Grade IV damage attack inflicts 1d10 damage per 2 NPC Threat Levels."

So, it looks to me that extraordinary attacks scale as you increase the creature's threat level, but natural attacks do not.  It seems like that would cause creatures with only natural attacks to be under-powered compared to creatures with extraordinary attacks.  That makes me think I'm missing something.  Is this right?  Do natural attacks scale in a different way that I've missed?

Also, I didn't see anything regarding limits on extraordinary attacks.  It seems odd to think of a dragon using it's breath attack every single round, but it seems like that's what would happen if it was modeled as an extraordinary attack.
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Crafty_Alex
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 12:14:26 PM »

I'm reading through the "Foes" chapter of Fantasy Craft, and something isn't quite making sense to me.

The natural attacks have damage that is set based on the creature's size and the grade of the attack, but the threat level does not factor into damage.  Extraordinary attacks, however, are based on grade and threat level.  For instance, in the extraordinary attacks section, it says that "For example, a Grade IV damage attack inflicts 1d10 damage per 2 NPC Threat Levels."

So, it looks to me that extraordinary attacks scale as you increase the creature's threat level, but natural attacks do not.  It seems like that would cause creatures with only natural attacks to be under-powered compared to creatures with extraordinary attacks.  That makes me think I'm missing something.  Is this right?  Do natural attacks scale in a different way that I've missed?

No, natural attacks do not scale, in the same way that weapon damage does not scale. If it helps, look at the two versions like this: Natural Attacks are a creature's "weapons," always dealing the same damage, while Extraordinary Attacks are a creature's "spells," increasing in power as they go up in level just like magic. Extraordinary attacks are also mitigated by all having saves, where natural attacks do not.

As such, natural attack creatures are not any more underpowered than a weapon-based fighter vs. a spell-blasting mage - particularly at lower levels, that greatsword or longbow is gonna be more deadly than the mage with magic missile, while at higher levels the fighter will be making up for the mage's increased damage with more attacks, stronger feats and so on.

Also note that a critter with 3 or more natural attacks can "flurry" and attack once with every one of its natural attacks as a full action. That certainly helps!

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Also, I didn't see anything regarding limits on extraordinary attacks.  It seems odd to think of a dragon using it's breath attack every single round, but it seems like that's what would happen if it was modeled as an extraordinary attack.

That's very true - the only limitation is that you have a limit of 1/round for extraordinary attacks. We've tried to avoid unnecessary timers in Fantasy Craft to make the GM's life easier. The best break on a dragon breathing fire every round is the GM's sense of fair play and judgement of the situation at the table.
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TheTSKoala
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 12:35:54 PM »

Also, I didn't see anything regarding limits on extraordinary attacks.  It seems odd to think of a dragon using it's breath attack every single round, but it seems like that's what would happen if it was modeled as an extraordinary attack.

That's very true - the only limitation is that you have a limit of 1/round for extraordinary attacks. We've tried to avoid unnecessary timers in Fantasy Craft to make the GM's life easier. The best break on a dragon breathing fire every round is the GM's sense of fair play and judgement of the situation at the table.

While it does seem odd at first, I will tell you it gives the GC ALOT of wiggle room AND it stops your players from being able to meta, even if they don't intend to.  I have a player or two who would inadvertently think "Well, it death gazed last round.. so we have two rounds until it can do it again."  ..and it also has them coming up with some great ideas.. like making it breath fire on barrels of lamp oil...
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 01:55:55 PM »

Weapon attacks have a number of advantages, such as increasing to-hit, compared to extraordinary attacks' static save DCs; being able be used multiple times per round; synergies with feats, tricks, and qualities; the ability to crit; and benefitting from high Strength. The only major caveat I would make is that if a creature has the frenzy quality, extraordinary attacks become relatively more effective.
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Theodoran
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2012, 02:29:21 AM »

 For instance, in the extraordinary attacks section, it says that "For example, a Grade IV damage attack inflicts 1d10 damage per 2 NPC Threat Levels."


I have a little question about that. When it say 1d10 damage per 2 threat level. How many d10 are roll at threat level 3 (1d10 or 2d10). And at threat level 1 (no d10 or 1d10)?

Thank you for your answers Wink
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Coyote0273
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 02:49:21 AM »

1d10 at level 1, and 2d10 at level 2. When it says "every 2 levels" it's at the 2nd level you get bumped up. So at 5, it's 3d10, 6 its 4d10.
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ludomastro
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 03:07:54 AM »

I took it to mean, 1d10 at levels 1 and 2, 2d10 at levels 3 and 4, etc.
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Matrix Sorcica
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 04:43:54 AM »

while at higher levels the fighter will be making up for the mage's increased damage with more attacks, stronger feats and so on.

This is only true if the NPC is given the feats/qualities to accomplish this. This mean an increase in XP. Which in turn means you have to increase the xp value (by giving feats) to 'natural weapon npcs', to make them threatening to high level characters at all - thereby making the 'you can scale any creature to any threat level just like that' statement a truth with modifications. IMO.

I mean, an Orc dealing 1d10+4 damage is fine at threat level 1 or 2 or such. The same Orc dealing 1d10+4 damage and no feats/abilities added at threat level 18 is just... not a threat.
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2012, 12:14:15 PM »

I took it to mean, 1d10 at levels 1 and 2, 2d10 at levels 3 and 4, etc.

Ludo has it right. Check out the example at the top left of page 236.
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Patrick Kapera
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2012, 12:17:26 PM »

while at higher levels the fighter will be making up for the mage's increased damage with more attacks, stronger feats and so on.

This is only true if the NPC is given the feats/qualities to accomplish this. This mean an increase in XP. Which in turn means you have to increase the xp value (by giving feats) to 'natural weapon npcs', to make them threatening to high level characters at all - thereby making the 'you can scale any creature to any threat level just like that' statement a truth with modifications. IMO.

I mean, an Orc dealing 1d10+4 damage is fine at threat level 1 or 2 or such. The same Orc dealing 1d10+4 damage and no feats/abilities added at threat level 18 is just... not a threat.

This is actually intentional, and a built-in balance of the system. The idea is that as your characters rise in level they gain more options and a moderate increase in stats, where adversaries and monsters only gain the latter. PCs tend not to dramatically outdistance the competition numerically, making their growing option pool the edge they gain by leveling up.

You can certainly add NPC qualities and other options to your adversaries and monsters to compensate, but that's above and beyond the expectations of the base system - at least for the same NPC or critter.
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Matrix Sorcica
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2012, 04:13:27 PM »


This is actually intentional, and a built-in balance of the system. The idea is that as your characters rise in level they gain more options and a moderate increase in stats, where adversaries and monsters only gain the latter. PCs tend not to dramatically outdistance the competition numerically, making their growing option pool the edge they gain by leveling up.

You can certainly add NPC qualities and other options to your adversaries and monsters to compensate, but that's above and beyond the expectations of the base system - at least for the same NPC or critter.
Thanks for clarifying.
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pawsplay
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2012, 11:14:39 PM »

I mean, an Orc dealing 1d10+4 damage is fine at threat level 1 or 2 or such. The same Orc dealing 1d10+4 damage and no feats/abilities added at threat level 18 is just... not a threat.

That's pretty much how FC does scaling. Threat level 18 or no, an orc grunt shouldn't be a particularly dangerous threat to a high level PC.
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