Monsters, Zombies, and multicombat penalties?

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Monsters, Zombies, and multicombat penalties?

Postby piper909 » Mon May 15, 2017 11:03 pm

I used the Zombies (from PI, p. 28) for the first time yesterday but was unclear if the normal rules/penalties about multicombats applied to them? Because if so, Zombies would only get one attack per turn, as 1d6 Brawlers, correct? Is this the intent? It makes them weaker than otherwise, so it's an important distinction. Are monsters and non-player characters / menaces in general subject to multicombat penalties?
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Re: Monsters, Zombies, and multicombat penalties?

Postby Dave » Tue May 16, 2017 4:23 am

piper909 wrote:I used the Zombies (from PI, p. 28) for the first time yesterday but was unclear if the normal rules/penalties about multicombats applied to them? Because if so, Zombies would only get one attack per turn, as 1d6 Brawlers, correct? Is this the intent? It makes them weaker than otherwise, so it's an important distinction. Are monsters and non-player characters / menaces in general subject to multicombat penalties?


Yes, all the basic rules apply to all characters. And if it has a profile/stats then it is a "character", regardless of whatever it is named.

If you want meaner zombies feel free to give them Fierce or Animal to get more dice. Or you could substitute the Perilous Island zombies for the Abominations (2d6 Brawl), Risen Warriors (3d6 Brawl), or Tomb Guardians (4d6 Brawl) from the Tomb of the Serpent book.

The reason I was not too concerned about making the Perilous Island zombies more dangerous is the assumption that the players will also be fighting each other - so the zombies are really just there to be a bit of a nuisance and slow the leagues down a bit.
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Re: Monsters, Zombies, and multicombat penalties?

Postby piper909 » Wed May 17, 2017 3:37 am

And thanks again for the helpful rules clarifications!

Noted! I was also using some Zombies for similar purposes, a Horror-influenced scenario, with an unhallowed cemetery near the major plot point, so the players have to contend with some Undead as well as each other; I just wasn't sure how to classify the Zombies when it came to the combat penalty rules. It was my first time to use such additions.

This will help me to construct and manage the Mummies I'll be using in another scenario coming up soon.

So a basic, low-level 1d6 Brawl Zombie who can't shoot, if it's attacked by a character during a character's activation, and survives, might move to engage a living character at the end of the turn -- but without the ability to Fight again this turn, he just engages that character ineffectively, and the character gets to Fight the Zombie without worry of a counter strike, yes?
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Re: Monsters, Zombies, and multicombat penalties?

Postby Dave » Fri May 19, 2017 2:04 am

piper909 wrote:...
So a basic, low-level 1d6 Brawl Zombie who can't shoot, if it's attacked by a character during a character's activation, and survives, might move to engage a living character at the end of the turn -- but without the ability to Fight again this turn, he just engages that character ineffectively, and the character gets to Fight the Zombie without worry of a counter strike, yes?



Hmmm... Well, here're a couple things to consider...

Remember, the multiple combats penalty says "-1d penalty... for each prior use of any combat skill".

This is an important distinction, because if a character can not Shoot (Animal) and can not Dodge (Reanimated) - then it is impossible for them to use a combat skill when someone shoots at them. It is simply resolved as an unopposed attack. So, even if 2 or 3 guys shoot at the Reanimated-Animal during their own activations, he will still get to roll his Brawl dice once he engages an enemy. Yay! :D

Now, it is not acceptable to simply ignore attacks on purpose. If you can react to an attack, then you have to. But in this case, the Reanimated-Animal simply can not react - so their Brawl is not lowered by the multiple-combats penalty until they actually roll/use their Brawl dice -- because it is the only combat skill they can ever roll.


Also, please note that the 1d6 Brawl zombies in Perilous Island also have 1d6 Shoot so they can shoot.


Lastly -- Yes, any character can move to engage an enemy even if they can not roll any Brawl dice. Normally, the enemy will react by rolling Brawl dice or simply "Dodge move" away.


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Re: Monsters, Zombies, and multicombat penalties?

Postby piper909 » Fri May 19, 2017 8:57 pm

Very useful clarification, thank you again!

I had made my zombies for this scenario non-shooters -- but I'd forgotten about the lack of Dodge ability. So in a way, the situation depends on how the character has been constructed or modified. If you opt for mindless zombies who can only Brawl, you scrub their Dodge and Shoot skills and they become targets when at a distance, seeking only to Rush and engage in a Brawl.

But the reminders about the important distinction/definition of "combat skill" is vital. Makes all the difference.
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