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Mars University
Mars University's picture
Converting First Edition NPCs to Second Edition
NPCs, conversion

Now that all the Kickstarter backers should have all the First Edition material to complement their Second Edition core books, does anyone have any thoughts on converting the old Hero and Villain NPCs presented in the nations and secret society books to the new mechanics?

While you could just arbitrarily assign a Villainy Rank to the character and go to town on appropriate Advantages, its not clear from the old stat blocks how roughly powerful the NPCs should be, if I want them to "fit in" with the new setting when/if focus falls on them or their home region in the later supplements.

I suppose it isn't really important, and you can just have your own group canon for the NPC, but I don't think I'd be a GM if I didn't obsess about stupid details like this.

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Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

It's possibly not a bad idea.

It might be worthwhile ranking the major NPCs in the various books, then trying to see where they fit in on the Strength - Influence scale.  Obviously, somne NPCs are no longer relevant, but others like Trauge and Posen do.  I ran a campaign in Eisen recently, so am willing to list the ones from the Eisen nation book.

Any volunteers for other ones?

Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

So, NPCs from the Eisen Nation book.  I have dropped the two in Wische, seeing as how that Konigreich has a (vampire) countess now...

I will admit that I am not 100% sure how some advantages will work for NPCs.


Eisenfurst Posen is undoubtedly the most powerful character in the book.  

  • I put her at Strength 9, Influence 7, with the advantages: Academy, Duellist, Indomitable Will, Reputation (General), Staredown.

I was unsure whether Sieger or Heilgrund was next, so gave them the same total, split different ways.

  • Heilgrund is Strength 5, Influence 6, with Linguist, Rich and Spark of Genius (Occult).  If he manages to pull off his plan, that will up his Strength.
  • Sieger is Strength 7, Influence 4, with Duellist, Hard to Kill, Leadership and Staredown.

The last of the competent Eisenfursts (-en?) comes next

  • Fischler is Strength 2, Influence 6, with Able Drinker, Rich, Survivalist and Valiant Spirit

One of the assistants is actually better than  two Eisenfursts, but he is aiming to take over a Konigsreich

  • Philip Knef is Strength 3, Influence 4, with Inspire Generosity, Opportunist, Small and streetwise

Frieberg's small size hampers its drunken Eisenfurst and that Castillian 'Governor' is actually quite hard!

  • Eisenfurst Trague is Strength 3, Influence 3, with An Honest Misunderstanding, Linguist and University
  • Miguel Soldano is Strength 5, Influence 1 with Come Hither, Duellist and Fencer

Fischler's adviser takes nearly all of his influence and the final Eisenfurst is divorced from reality

  • Eisenfurst Hainzl is Strength 4, Influence 1 with Fascinate, Lyceum and Rich
  • Franziska Kohl is Strength 3, Influence 2 with Lyceum, Streetwise and Team Player

Finally, these last 2 are barely more then Henchmen

  • Hendryk Brandt is Strength 4, Influence 0 with Disarming Smile, Hard to Kill, Indomitable Will and Small
  • Odel Herricksen is Strength 1, Influence 2 with Fascinate, Friend at Court and Opportunist
Lady Grace
Lady Grace's picture
I've got Redmund Earhart from the Freiburg boxset as one of my current baddies. Be interested in how he'd be reimagined (besides as a Trump analogy)
Salamanca's picture
I don't have books in front of me but lete get you a range. Giovanni Villanova is at least 20 dice evenly split. Linae Knute and Cardinal Verdugo have about the same number of dice with Knute being about 75% strength (or more) and Verdugo being 80% influence. The O'Bannon rolls all the dice you own and activates Glorious every round. As for the Eisenfursts, Heilgrund is stronger and has more influence than you are guessing. He and Posen should be in that 17-20 die range. Trague has more influence and is around 12 dice (he just opts not to use it).
Mars University
Mars University's picture

So you're thinking putting the top-tier Villains in the rank 20 range? As the new rules describe that level, it should be for supernormal threats (since it mentions a demi-god specifically). Then again, it also mentions a "best ever known" mortal assassin, so I guess there's a lot of room for variance in Mythic Villains, and if any of the old canon characters should start with 20, it would be Villanova and Verdugo.

You should note that it is all the dice you own for The O'Bannon, and not limited to d10s:

"Is that a 'days of the week' d7?"

"Yes. His taunting dance fills you with a deep, gnostic terror that you can't quite fathom. You desperately want to claw your way free of the audience chamber, but for some reason your mind keeps wandering back to this past Veldi."

Seriously, though, I don't think I'd bother creating any in-game stats for any of the monarchs unless intending to use them directly as a Villain (say, by making the focus of a Series overthrowing l'Empereur). I was more interested in the lesser villains for use as foils for Hero Stories or Episode Stories.

Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

Heilgrund's an odd one.  As presented in Eisen, he has a plan that will give him a big bump, but hasn't actually enacted it yet.  That was where I was pitching him.  If you want to present him after that, then my Strength is too low.

Mars University
Mars University's picture

I'd be interested in seeing some Schemes for Villains in the upcoming supplements. Most of the old NPC Villains had at least one in the works and its hard to decide on how much should be invested in most of them. I suppose the obvious answer would be, "as much as you want them to loose if the players foil that Scheme," but some examples couldn't hurt.

Salamanca's picture
For schemes, I recommend safe bets by the villain until they are pressed to go for broke. First scheme is like 2 points. Assuming they keep winning, They then bank their original 2 and gamble the new 2 on the second plan. Then they bank one of the earned and put 3 into the next scheme. Then 4, 6 and 8-10. If the heroes stop a plan, they back up, regroup with a scheme out of the banked influence at the previous level and continue. If the hero pressure builds on them and they have lost back to their start up level, maybe they go for broke and bet it all in some grand plot. ( May also do this if they keep winning all the time and get confident)
Salamanca's picture
Someone in every campaign gets dumb enough to take a shot at Villanova. If not with a blade, in a social conflict. He needs stats.
Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Well, Giovanni Villanova is pretty much the poster-boy for mustache-twirling villainy, so of course any right-minded Hero is going to want to try and knock him down a peg or three.  Too bad for them that Giovanni is a master chessplayer while the Heroes are stuck playing checkers...

I don't know if I'd put him at Villany Rank 20, but I do agree that he's up there in terms of dice being rolled.  Might go with Strength 9 and Influence 8, with a lot of other things being covered by Advantages such as Connection and Rich.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

Salamanca's picture

I don't know, I always ended up teaming up with Giovanni, he never seemed like that bad of a guy when I was around.  (Or there was something worse going on at the time)

Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

Villanova is a villain, but he's smart, if his schemes were out in the open then he'd have to deal with heroes trying to foil them all the time. By making sure the schemes don't come to the heroes' attention and being willing to lend a hand on a matter that it would personally benefit him to remove, he not only ensures his schemes succeed, he also gets heroes to do the work for him.

Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

Villanova's the villain with good publicity.  He's only ever around when there's something worse going on, or there's a Caligari that he can point the PCs at :)

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