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GMing. This thread is a rough guide for GMing, primarily intended to address the intersection of mechanics and GMing, and how to look at things from that regarding. With the expectation/goal that the mechanical constructs exist in service of the narrative one. Or, less pompously: How to manipulate the mechanics and challenge of a fight. This is not a bible, or canon. This is a guide, and can be adopted or dropped as needed. But it can be used to scale pre-made, or existing NPCs against the PCs involved in a thread. The lead in is a rough rule: In general, I estimate that character can fight up to 3 PL ranks high without it being mechanically problematic. This assumption is predicated on no tradeoffs, and represents the average PLs of protagonist and antagonist groups. Though it can be weighted, though this will be discussed in depth. I refer to this as PL Differential. The assumption is based on central tendency for most rolls on a d20 to be about 7-12. And that the rough assertion that there is a 5% flat chance a given result. (Yes I am rounding) Which translates to at 12, or higher, it then follows suit that you will have a 45% chance to hit (40% for 13 or higher). At this breakpoint of a PL Deviation +3, the probable outcome swings clearly in favor, and generates and mitigates the ability for an HP generated reroll to be beneficial as it effectively swing favor greater than the simple 60% in favor of the higher PL character. Deviation from Null Tradeoff can result in more difficult combat, switching from a more expected/static more and goes to a more dynamic/organic model, and can reduce the PL D As does non-Damage/Toughness Interaction, enough that I would argue that an Attack Shifted character may not count towards their full PL differential. And Impervious Toughness on the NPC side should impact the PL differential to a greater degree. Minions Corollary: In general this is a non-issue. I recommend adding a classification of ‘super-Minion.’ I.e. a minion that can’t be Taken 10 on. Or allow defeat of Lieutenants on 1 Hit, depending on circumstance. Example, following the above logic Two fully Attack Shifted characters at PL10 without modifying feats, versus one fully Tough Shifted NPC w/Impervious Tou 11 translates in a very difficult, or impossible battle as no configuration can produce a sufficient damage source to impact the NPC. And as such might as well be a PL Differential 5. Here are some samples, based on Pro-wrasslin’ match structure to apply them to fights using my approach:. *Jobber/Squash match. Here is just gonna whup the snot out of the baddies and/or minions. this also can be used if the heros get their hands on a villain who can't really fight them. But can arrange events to impact them. I.e. taking down the mastermind villain and serving commuppance. Works best in Start (minions/lower baddie) or End (if mastermind). Effective Combat PL Differential should be 2-4. *Hot Match: This is close, and both the baddies and the goodies are gonna go. And they should go hard, so both can show off, or it be close. This can go anywhere, and is a great pace setter, or capstone. PL Differential Recommendation is none *Out Numbered: Goodies can win this, but they are outnumbered or betrayed. This can be a win or loss, but what matters is the 'against greater odds.' This should be Middle or End. Differential Recommendation: None. It is numbers not power that creates the drama. Depending on character construction, however, Outnumbering scales fast, and non-linearly due to action economy, so 2 to 1 in favor of non-Minion NPCs would count as a +2 or 3. Whereas 3 to 1 can count at +3 to 5. Use sparingly. Monster Squash: Big bad beats the crap out of the hero(es). It's simple. Curb stomp battles should be rare, to save their impact. Used to show perseverance. Suitable for Beginning or End. If End recommend hero Win, but at a cost, or barely. Unless you are setting up persistence. PL Differential Recommendation +2-4, w/Tough shifting, or lots of resistance to the PCs bailiwick or tricksy non-Damage actions.