I am going to be running a game in a couple of weeks and as I haven't run anything for years was wondering what sort of opposition to sic on unsuspecting starting characters?
I'm guessing you stick mooks at around the 8 or 10 AV mark, but how do you lot handle the Big Bads? Do you give them the same sort and level of abilities as the player characters, or slightly tougher perhaps?
I usually give my mooks a 9 or 10 AV in their primary attack form (Guns, Fu, etc), yeah.
For villainous Named types, it depends on how many I want in the brawl. If you only have one primary Bad Guy, I give him AVs close to the PCs', otherwise he gets tromped by the PCs who have him outnumbered already. If I have two or three named dudes, then maybe drop their scores a point or three below the PCs' scores.
If your PCs are Impaired due to injuries, you may want to be kind and lower the villains' AVs by another point or two. One time I had a single Named guy, who I thought the PCs would take out rather quickly, and because their were so many more PCs than this one guy, I gave him AVs a point or two above the characters'. But, the players rolled poorly, and the entire fight this bad guy just beat the snot out of the five PCs. Finally, one guy rolled exploding 6's and did enough massive damage to drop the bad guy, but until then, I'd been seriously reining in how much power this guy used against the PCs, otherwise they woulda' been toast.
So you gotta be careful, and don't be afraid to modify your bad guys' stats on the fly if they're too hard or too easy for the players. You can fudge stuff in the middle of play, of course, to make things more fun or dramatic.
One of the good things about the Feng Shui rules is, that the
AV equals the average action result.
You also gotta take into account, that dice-roll reuslts statisically
rarely exceed +1 or +2.
thus an "average" named character should have the same AV
as the characters average battle AV.
If you want him to be tough make it characters average battle AV + 1.
If you want to cause them real pain, make it average battle AV + 2.
Remember though, that the number and power of unnamed mooks
assisting the named villians is also important.
Mooks with AV's around 10 can be a real thread for you pc's.
Big Bruisers for example have a really tough time to put them
down with their measly martial arts AV of 12, because they
need a dice result of at least +3 (wich is VERY rare) to put a single
Thus the max AV of an average mook shouldn't exceed 8 or
use very few of them.
Another important factor is, how much part the villian takes in the
fight. If he's busy doing something else, not attacking the PC's all
the time, he may be stronger.
If there are multiple named characters, you might lower their AV's
by one or two each below the average pc-battle AV's.
Yet another point is: How intelligent is the opponent ? Animals
can be tricked into traps and such, while an evil mastermind might
be able to pull off some interesting manuvers, even if he isn't as
tough as the pc's.
Last game I had my PCs (MA 14, Guns 15, MA 16) fight 15 Mooks (MA/Guns 12, which I later realized was a bit too high for normal mooks, but damn, it worked!) and 1 Bandit (MA/Guns 14) - it was quite a challenge, but no player even made a Dying Roll, so I guess it must have been good.
So I normally just pick a PC archetype and throw that against the players (since most of the time I'm in oneshots anyway).
Best you try to start with a lower number like 12 AV8 mooks and
increase the number from fight to fight to see how many mooks
your players can handle.
Usually 18 to 24 AV8 mooks shouldn't be a problem for them, though.
There is another tricK:
Let only a few mooks (like 8 ) actively participate in the fight at the
beginning, but make sure reinforces arrive in time. Never tell the players
how many mooks are really there. This way you can bring an end to
the fight, when you feel it's about time.
[color=darkblue]Plus, it depends on your players' style.
If they like to do stunts that take out many mooks at once, you'll need to give them plenty more targets. For instance, my players love to lure mooks in front of gas tanks, forklifts, quicksand, etc, then pull some stunt that blows up the tank, rolls over the mooks, or knocks them into the goop. A good stunt can take out 3,5, maybe a half dozen mooks. So if one player takes out a few mooks with a good stunt, your whole PC group doing stunts can easily waste a horde of mooks in one Sequence!
So, yeah, like it was said above, if the fight goes too quickly, send in reinforcements. Don't let the PCs know how many mooks are waiting in the wings. Just let the fight go until it feels like it's time to move on.