This is added to the High Fantasy Autoplayer
Some monsters are not accustomed to losing. They will die before the players, most likely, but Great Immunity comes with an extra bonus, at times. Most Great creatures are content to watch minions tear prey apart. Or toy with an upcoming dinner. But when the victims are proving to be stubborn and just won’t die…Or worse, when the group seems to be winning, then the Great might start to employ their own devilish tricks and magic.
In the spirit of always giving the players a fresh surprise, here’s something that helps motivate the party to think and then act. Sometimes the story needs the group to decide to retreat. These modifiers will start to appear any time after the players achieve second level. By level five they should always be used for Great opponents. At the last advance from level seven to eight, the party will be so famous that its guaranteed the combat will escalate.
But first, let’s start with a list of triggers that might cause an escalation.
* First Onerous combo of Skills used to make an action. Level 1+
* Last minion killed. Level 2+
* First use of True Magic. Level 2+
* Once any Immunity is removed on any mob. Level 3+
* First acclaim Skill put in-play. Level 3+
* First time a Special Attack Threat is cancelled. Level 3+
* First minion killed. Level 3+
* First use of a Talisman or Charm. Level 3+
* First wound inflicted on a player character. i.e., Smell of human blood. Level 4+
* First Advanced combo of Skills used to make an action. Level 4+
* First specialist Skill put in-play. Level 4+
* First time a penalty, like knocked prone, is cancelled. Level 4+
* First Easy combo of Skills used to make an action. Level 4+
* First Harm generated. Level 5+
* First professional Skill put in-play. Level 5+
That’s fifteen and is a good starting list. The GM can add other triggers in the environment. e.g., Breaking the queen’s eggs, even by accidental step. Previous slaying of mate or offspring.
These triggers are ordered by significance. i.e., How serious the action would seem to the Great monster. Does it get the thing to start fighting ferociously and vigorously. Fear is a powerful motivation, so is anger. Those ranked Highest Probability of Reaction, first on the list, will occur with groups of any level. The ones at the end of the list will trigger an escalation only for groups at later levels. Combat at level seven should have all fifteen triggers and then some.
The Triggers have suggested levels. e.g., 4+ Yet all shall be left to the GM to decide, since only he can judge the experience of the party with the combat procedures.
1 (or less): Anytime the player fails to combine the Skills in-play on his turn to create at least one combat action, he suffers Harm. The action must be one that progresses the battle, not just combines Skills to say it has been done. e.g., If there are no mortal opponents left in play, then slaying one would be immaterial and would still trigger Harm. If this happens a second time, treat as result two.
2: Whenever Skills are combined to create actions a separate Task roll is made to ensure success. Fail and the Skills are removed without benefit. If this occurs a second time, any Harm for doubles activating the combat action becomes Magical Mishap. Flair, instead of that Magical Mishap, the GM may penalize the player and merge his magical items into a single coalesced relic. That’s an important discovery but does tend to make the action at hand harder. Unless the new relic is to slay this Great monster, then the destiny of the relic is completed with the group’s victory.
3: Anything that is generated as Rounds changes to Turns. Thus, if an Immunity is removed for half a D8 rounds, that would change to a half D8 player turns. In a large group, the bonus or act might not even be there by the time the player’s next turn arrives. If this happens twice, then all rolls for number of Turns becomes one and expires as soon as the player’s actions are finished.
4: Anytime the player fails to put at least a half D8 Skills into play, he suffers Harm. If this occurs a second time, the number required raises to D8. Each player will roll his own total Skills to make successfully. Recall, if the Skill is already in play, the roll, even as success, does not count.
5: Whenever True Magic is attempted and failed, the player loses all his remaining Glory Pips. That occurs on the raw dice roll before Glory Pips could even be added. If this happens a second time, add the Deviant Consequence for failed incantation attempt; this occurs even if this is not the first failed attempt by the player in the adventure. Flair, if the player is using magic items (often), the one (or all) that he’s using turns inert and is discarded, whenever the result where the magic item is employed has failed. Could be time to set aside your trinkets and get back to human vigor and prowess.
6: Anytime the player fails to combine the Skills in-play on his turn to create at least one combat action, the monster adds a Special Attack Threat. The action must be one that progresses the battle, not just combines Skills to say it has been done. e.g., If there are no mortal opponents left in play, then slaying one would be immaterial and would still trigger the extra Threat. If this happens a second time, treat as result seven.
7: The next player to attempt True Magic suffers White Magic attack. That’s all or nothing, do or die. GM sets the Great monster’s rating, typically three D8. All should know this will occur – either refrain or risk magical exhaustion. White Magic does permanently strip at least one Glory Pip from the victor. If this happens a second time, treat as result eight.
8 (or less): Anytime the player fails to combine the Skills in-play on his turn to create at least one combat action, the monster adds a Grave aspect. The action must be one that progresses the battle, not just combines Skills to say it has been done. e.g., If there are no mortal opponents left in play, then slaying one would be immaterial and would still trigger the addition of a powerful aspect. Each time this occurs the monster will continue to add Grave aspects.