Spiraller
Topic Author
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon 01 Oct 2018, 09:47

NPCs attacking NPCs – to roll or not to roll?

Tue 26 May 2020, 21:48

In combat, does the GM in your game roll for NPC attacks against NPCs, or do they just decide what happens? Just want to know how your GM interprets the rule on page 49 of the Player's Handbook:
the GM only has to roll for actions
that affect a PC directly – for example,
if the NPC is attacking a player character or is
attempting to save them. When an NPC performs
an action that does not directly affect a
PC, the GM can simply decide what happens.
 
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lupex
Posts: 772
Joined: Sun 08 Oct 2017, 13:16

Re: NPCs attacking NPCs – to roll or not to roll?

Tue 26 May 2020, 22:00

I would just describe what you want to happen, or roll if you prefer.
 
Mr Oldtimer
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun 14 Apr 2019, 12:01

Re: NPCs attacking NPCs – to roll or not to roll?

Tue 26 May 2020, 23:51

I've done both. Much depending of the NPC and his/her role in the adventure.
 
silverfoxdmt73
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu 24 Aug 2017, 12:53

Re: NPCs attacking NPCs – to roll or not to roll?

Wed 27 May 2020, 12:47

I've done both. Much depending of the NPC and his/her role in the adventure.

I was going to say, if the NPC needs to survive for later on, then just act it out, otherwise roll and see what happens.
 
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Ebrim
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue 30 Jul 2019, 22:51

Re: NPCs attacking NPCs – to roll or not to roll?

Wed 27 May 2020, 14:41

Usually I have NPC allies abstracted into help dice for the players unless it really looks like they’re in trouble. So generally I try and avoid rolling for NPCs attacking NPCs. If it’s some fight that the players aren’t a part of and I want the result random I may just roll a d6. Otherwise I just narrate it according to the situation.
Catch me on Three Skulls Tavern: YouTube or Twitch, a Forbidden Lands AP which focuses on learning the game, playing Raven’s Purge
 
Konungr
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon 10 Jun 2019, 09:39

Re: NPCs attacking NPCs – to roll or not to roll?

Thu 28 May 2020, 04:54

Depending on the NPCs and the situation I will do either. If I intend to just decide what happens I still roll a pile of dice behind my screen and pretend to check them. It's always a good idea to keep the players guessing and make it look like your decisions are done at the whims of the dice even, and especially, when you are just doing what you want.
 
Burgonet
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri 22 May 2020, 16:37
Location: Toowoomba, QLD, AU.

Re: NPCs attacking NPCs – to roll or not to roll?

Thu 28 May 2020, 06:44

I personally would avoid rolling dice but rather compare statistics, story imperatives and then perhaps invite players themselves to intercede.
It is their story however if they choose inaction they are handing you as GM final arbitration in reconciling outcomes.
;;
 
Spiraller
Topic Author
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon 01 Oct 2018, 09:47

Re: NPCs attacking NPCs – to roll or not to roll?

Thu 28 May 2020, 10:02

If there were friendly NPCs adventuring with the PCs, would you still draw initiative for them? Or, as the GM, just narrate their actions whenever you feel like it?
 
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lupex
Posts: 772
Joined: Sun 08 Oct 2017, 13:16

Re: NPCs attacking NPCs – to roll or not to roll?

Thu 28 May 2020, 17:44

I actually did this on our Monday night session, an NPC rival attack one of the PCs, and then another Rival from a different group got the drop on the first NPC and stabbed her repeatedly in the back. Not only did I not roll to see how it played out, I also used way too many actions for the frenetic stabbing but it was cinematic and was pretty awesome. One of the players asked me how many actions was I using, I said as many as I want as I'm the GM :D
 
Spiraller
Topic Author
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon 01 Oct 2018, 09:47

Re: NPCs attacking NPCs – to roll or not to roll?

Thu 28 May 2020, 17:48

I actually did this on our Monday night session, an NPC rival attack one of the PCs, and then another Rival from a different group got the drop on the first NPC and stabbed her repeatedly in the back. Not only did I not roll to see how it played out, I also used way too many actions for the frenetic stabbing but it was cinematic and was pretty awesome. One of the players asked me how many actions was I using, I said as many as I want as I'm the GM :D
You're lucky no one asked to see the NPC's stats. :-P

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