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 Post subject: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:08 am
  

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Explorer

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I'm curious, how do you guys determine who the enemies attack while in a fight?

I've been using the WoW rules where whoever just did a bunch of damage or whoever jumped right in the middle of the enemy swinging get's focused.

What other ways are there? How do you do it?

I basically feel bad focusing one of my players even though it makes the most sense for them to be attacked if they go charging in or just dealt a serious amount of dmg to an enemy.


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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:24 am
  

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D-Bee

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Comment: I have a slapa' muthafracka complex.
Charger first.
Spell casters.
Or power armor.


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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:29 am
  

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Explorer

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Ok, so you go by what the enemy would think the biggest threat?

For example, fighting CS troops they are going to have a murder boner for the mage of the group and focus fire him?

I get that it's always going to be somewhat situational depending on who my PCs are fighting.


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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:30 pm
  

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Obvious threats get shot at first. Typically, that's PCs in front unless they're battling something that can sense magic or the PCs have a giant robot or other significant threat.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:42 pm
  

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Explorer

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Ok cool. That's primarily how I do it. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being unfair or anything. Thanks you guys!


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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:44 pm
  

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D-Bee

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Comment: I have a slapa' muthafracka complex.
In rifts. Power armor or giant robot. Then if on the field the mage. Sure thw juicer or crazue that charged is a threat also but spells n missiles out weigh a brawler. Imo


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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:44 pm
  

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Megaversal® Ambassador

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Comment: Rifts is a framework, if you don't like part of it don't use it.
First let me put this here... SHUDDER Aggro

Now that I've done that the concept of Aggro in various RPGs and MMOs really bugs me. Encounters are supposed to be quasi realistic, when you are taking fire you don't think "Oh he just called me a name (IE Taunt) I'll forget about the dude with grenades because the 'big fighter type' has aggro"

The whole concept makes sense in some ways, but the mechanics of it is so artificial it bugs the hell out of me.

In general, for the GM it is an audible call. I like to use perception or notice type rolls for a bad guy to figure out who really the threat is in a combat. Depending on the intelligence of a foe, they will ignore the 'taunting fighter' type and pop the heads off the guy who is setting up a heavy weapon.

Honestly, I like to make my bad guys smart. They aren't brainless drones in a video game. They are living breaking creatures who want to make it out of the combat to live another day. Evil, usually, blood thirsty, perhaps, suicidal, never. GMs should make their creatures actually thinking things. Using a game mechanic to remove this hampers a GMs ability as much as helps them.

So, which target do my mobs aggro too? It depends on the situation. Maybe the creatures are melee types and have to close as fast as they can. In that case they all pick someone and charge quickly. Perhaps it is a group of CS soldiers who are ambush masters, those people would lay in wait and just pop heads off of each PC as they came within range. Maybe the party has one or two suits of serious Power Armor or large DBee who is obviously a power house. Guess what, concentrate fire until he is dead!

Think through the encounter, see what the party does and shift based on behavior of the party.


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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:50 pm
  

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Explorer

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Good advice as well.

Maybe I should just man up and be like, "You were the target that made the most sense."

No one has really complained yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:38 pm
  

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I ROLE PLAY it-

Put yourself in the shows of the NPCs- Who do they think is the bigest threat? Is there any individual revenge to be had? Are there any emotions behind the attack? did someone just kill their friend? who's closest? Are there orders/strategies to the attack? Who is the biggest threat (the mage? the healer? the psychic? the Dbee?)? Are they prejudice (or magic/Dbee-ist)? etc. etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:41 pm
  

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I like that as well!

Maybe when they're fighting those faceless CS troops, one dies and another loses it and yells, "NOOOO! CLINT! YOU BASTARDS!"

Reminds the PCs they are fighting people and not just automatons.


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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:55 am
  

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I leave it up to the whims of the dice gods. X number of members in the party. I've got a die or at least a formula to apply to a die roll to figure out who gets attacked. That way no one can say you were out to get them.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:40 pm
  

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I prefer to go by who the enemy is. If they're inexperienced, they get jumpy and shoot at anything that moves. If they know the game, enemies will pick targets based on threat and opportunity. Most enemies will try to confuse a heavy hitter like power armor while they pick off weaker targets so they can focus fire the big that later. Though if they're armored and armed well they might go in reverse order.

A lot if variables go onto target selection.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:11 am
  

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IMHO, Perceived power equals perceived threat. Unless given specific targets/objectives and depending on training the bad guy/villain thugs will tend to concentrate fire on the biggest threat. Soldiers/villain troopers being better trained won't get as "target locked" and will tend to spread their fire better along with communicating and coordinating better.

As a GM I try to not get too overwhelming on any one "target" but in doesn't hurt to make them sweat and fear for their lives.

To be honest I never really thought about how I deployed or maneuvered my baddies outside of what kind of baddies they are.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:26 pm
  

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I usually do biggest threat first. After that I roll dice and attack randomly.
If the Bad Guys are targeting a specific person, then they will go for him/her first.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:19 pm
  

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There is no simple forumla I use. It depends on who the bad guys are, what they know about the party, and what they know of what they see. There is no "detect biggest threat in the area" ability for anyone, although see aura can give someone on the other side a rough idea, the existance of alter aura and masking abilities makes this not a perfect tool. and then of course, a low level guy in a big power armor can be a major threat without magic.

basically, the only thing I can say is "The bad guys attack whoever they think it is in their best interests to attack, based on whatever information they have access to, unless they choose to use some other criteria, such as who annoys them more, due to arrogance, or is randomly attacking due to insanity/compulsion/other reason here"

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:54 pm
  

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ItsmeYo wrote:
In rifts. Power armor or giant robot. Then if on the field the mage. Sure thw juicer or crazue that charged is a threat also but spells n missiles out weigh a brawler. Imo


True, but it is a lot harder to concentrate on shooting at the biggest group threat when your biggest personal threat is the guy pounding your face in the pavement.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:31 am
  

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Champion

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This entire idea is a very interesting concept in general, done poorly though, it can be ruinous to the mood. However, giving players tools to control their enemy and in part direct who in their party attacks greatly expands the options players have, and it makes the big durable brute with low damage out put a viable concept, which without that, it is not. I like the idea of 'taunts', but it can't be a binary thing as present in MMOs.

The idea of a general 'threat meter' used in MMOs, where an NPC attacks whoever is the highest threat value, and you gain threat as you deal damage or do other things (healing of course isn't a 'danger' to the opposing team, but you know tactically that someone keeping the fighters from harm must be removed, and fast). In this fashion, a taunt would just be a free (or nearly free) action that perhaps lowers the taunters defense and gives them far more threat then their attacks may otherwise provide, and people not attacking could lose them threat. However, this means you're tracking an immense amount of data as to be unwieldy at best, and utterly impossible at worse (particularly in larger fights with 5+ Players and 30+ enemies).

Of course the 'attack the obvious threat first isn't really true actually most people tend to try and pick off the weak targets first, and shed away from the enemy's strong point, because then, after the minor threats are dealt with, you'll (hopefully) have a critical mass of force to break through, or cut off the stronger target (or they've worn themselves out, leaving openings, thus less risk for the attackers). Realistically of course, particularly in fire fights with small arms, it's a lot more opportunity and chance, "Well that guy happens to be out of cover a bit, and I happened to notice, so I guess I see if I can't drop him", rather than standing in an open field and blasting away at a group of targets.

In addition, issues of kiting and abusive threat manipulation can arise with any threat system. In most MMO's it was actually common to let a target bounce between two or more characters with competing threat, so time it took them to get from person A to person B could be used, ideally person A would regain threat before any of the mobs attacks where made, sending them back to person A and wasting more time doing nothing. In an RPG this is something that's really easy for a GM to just handwave, but super hard to add into pre-written rules.

Some other notes about 'threat' in general, forcing enrages to get people to make bad choices, what a taunt really is. Forcing them to make a Power Attack when they obviously have a bad chance to hit, or run into the open to lay down a spray when the group can easily open fire on them. And this isn't a factor of "Dumb NPC is Dumb", many people while under fire simply make bad choices or let their emotions get the better of them, rage and fear make volatile bedfellows, a well placed insult, baiting them into running into the open to help an ally (or reminding them that time when they shot one of their friends while they where helpless) is a crux of most snipers in general. Shouting to that Troll that he couldn't even hurt a Gnome, in hopes he'll make a slow, reckless (though powerful) swing to leave his guard down giving you (or an ally) a chance to deliver a fatal wound are all things 'threat' could be used to dictate and influence, if the mechanics of it can be worked out suitably.

In my house rule set, I had a taunt and a de-taunt option. The taunt used a general resource (One which was also used as a key point for defenses, Morale), and it was a D20, with a bonus based on a skill (I forget which skill I even based it off from the top of my head) at +1 per 5%, opposed by Save vs Insanity (which I've long used as a general meter of willpower). If successful, the targets next attack would go towards the taunter if able (if unable, it would just fight as normal). An alternate version forced them to use their most powerful attack option if able, targeting that person, but was easier to save against (often getting a dragon to use a breath attack, a mage to use a spell that perhaps was impractical for the time, etc). Any races with innate enrages of course could opt to enrage any time they got taunted.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:06 pm
  

Champion

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If the enemies were smart it'd be "easiest target first". The guy in cheap armor with a crappy laser rifle might not be dishing out nearly as much hurt as the guy in power armour with a particle beam gun, but he'll go down in 2 or 3 shots instead of 20 or 30. So take out the easy targets first, because the damge they dish out will really start to mount up if you leave them alone while you're gradually whittling away the MDC of the badass targets.

I wouldn't recommend making the enemies smart though, because it's sort of ruthlessly unfair. The combat system in Rifts is a bit too uncomplicated and lethal to be much fun when the baddies are sensible, and for added bonus points you'd basically be punishing the players who decided not to twink out.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:58 pm
  

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Hero

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Whoever seems reasonable. Intelligent foes will have to judge the situation for themselves. Animals will focus of food or threats. And when it comes down to not being sure, "Get the ugly one!" "Which one's the ugly one?!", then roll randomly.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:57 pm
  

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Champion

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The Oh So Amazing Nate wrote:
I leave it up to the whims of the dice gods. X number of members in the party. I've got a die or at least a formula to apply to a die roll to figure out who gets attacked. That way no one can say you were out to get them.

I too use the die gods judgement.

Now if a character is goading an enemy, running from cover, or has taken several out he/she will be specificlly targeted.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:58 pm
  

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Hero

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Lao Tzume wrote:
I'm curious, how do you guys determine who the enemies attack while in a fight?

I've been using the WoW rules where whoever just did a bunch of damage or whoever jumped right in the middle of the enemy swinging get's focused.

What other ways are there? How do you do it?

I basically feel bad focusing one of my players even though it makes the most sense for them to be attacked if they go charging in or just dealt a serious amount of dmg to an enemy.


I would say it would depend on the monster/encounter/bad guys iq and training.

Concentrating fire is always a smart move. Taking out those that are doing the most damage first also seems logical.

Concentrating fire on PCs is usually an awkward position for a GM to be in. It can seem cruel and mean to a lot of players. But, with the GI Joe armor rule, once you destroy the pc's glitterboy, he is basically helpless the rest of the battle, so there isn't really a need to kill him, they can enslave/capture him at their leisure after finishing off the rest of the group :)


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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:26 pm
  

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Knight

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My players have learned from experience that fighting monsters is the way to go. They can be controlled much easier than thinking combatants. They really don't want to face a group of soldiers from a trained military. Even if they win the cost won't be worth it and they know that.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:57 pm
  

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Adventurer

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Thought it'd make sense to have every enemy shoot the glitter boy first and not worry about the rogue scholar holding an sdc pistol... I have also always just left it up to the die. I have the players pick a number on a d6 or whatever and just roll it x the number of enemies and they shoot however was assigned the numbers I roll. It's random that way and seems to fairly evenly disperse the damage among the group. Unless there are storyline/vendetta issues, or a reason for pwning one of the players, I try to keep it fair, which is unrealistic, but leads to smother more even gameplay and experience for everyone. That's just my take on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:57 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
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Often use dice to determine who the enemy attacks, but give a larger chance of targeting someone who did a lot of damage.


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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:15 am
  

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Knight

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Alrik Vas wrote:
My players have learned from experience that fighting monsters is the way to go. They can be controlled much easier than thinking combatants. They really don't want to face a group of soldiers from a trained military. Even if they win the cost won't be worth it and they know that.


Monsters have very little loot in comparison to armed and armored foes.

Just play it smart so your targets don't have a chance to effectively fight back.

--flatline

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:48 am
  

Champion

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 Post subject: Re: Aggro?
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:36 pm
  

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Adventurer

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Bill wrote:
Obvious threats get shot at first. Typically, that's PCs in front unless they're battling something that can sense magic or the PCs have a giant robot or other significant threat.


That's what we have been doing for decades.

Power Armor first; APCs next; cyborgs or Tattooed peeps next (depending on likelihood the enemy knows Tat-peeps = bad news); mages or psychics

But yeah - the more obvious damage-dealers, but enemies easily & quickly change focus to those that packed a surprise Punch - whether normal (Tat man, BFG, etc) or lucky (Crit Strike)

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