Author Topic: MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)  (Read 941 times)

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Offline Ecthellion

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MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)
« on: December 03, 2020, 02:14:12 PM »
So I'm re-reading the MERP 2nd edition (tha most awesomest rpg ever made thank you) and I'm stuck at p66-67: Encouters! So I get the point that when moving through the countryside, the GM may want to have a rule to help determine encounters, to make it unpredictable and exciting. But here is what I do not understand: "If the modified avoidance roll is greater than the modified activity roll, nothing happens". Great. So the PC want (probably, most of the time) to have a greater result on their roll than the GM's activity roll - so far so good. But when you look at the modifications on table ST-10, then why the hell does being a small group give a minus? Should it not be easier to avoid encounters with a small group? Same goes with sneaking, minus 50. So if you are a small group of hobbits or elves, sneaking, then according to these rules, you cannot possibly get a higher (greater) result than the GM!?

It totally doesn't make any sense. If the point/goal is to get a greater number than the GM's activity roll, to avoid being noticed/encounters, than surely these values are inverted?

Or have I misunderstood it somehow?

Please help me sort this out cause I want to use these rules or some set of good rules to settle this.

Aure Entuluva! The day shall come again!

Offline Spectre771

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Re: MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2020, 08:07:32 AM »
That's a great point.  One one hand, a larger party means more people are able to detect the baddies and to better avoid them.  But a smaller group should be easier to move stealthily.  I'd like to read the posts from this as well to see what the correct game mechanic is.
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Offline Vorng79

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Re: MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2020, 12:42:49 PM »
I don’t remember in merp (i don’t touch the manual at least from 20 years) but in rmss table t-5.1 a small group have a + to the avoidance roll. The minus you are speaking is at the activity or avoidance roll?
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Offline RandalThor

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Re: MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2020, 07:12:05 PM »
Yeah, it looks like they just inverted the numbers. Though, I guess you could just have it a single roll on the Activity side, that way the modifiers could line up.
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Offline Aspire2Hope

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Re: MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2020, 08:09:25 AM »
Yup in 2ed the stuffed up the table. In 1ed it is reversed to +50 etc.

Offline Ecthellion

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Re: MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2020, 01:45:35 PM »
Yeah, it looks like they just inverted the numbers. Though, I guess you could just have it a single roll on the Activity side, that way the modifiers could line up.

That's not a bad idea if you wan't to tweak the rule a bit, actually. One roll, modified by all stuff relevant, then the number is cross-indexed by population density, and..ta-da!
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Offline Ecthellion

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Re: MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2020, 02:08:55 PM »
Yup in 2ed the stuffed up the table. In 1ed it is reversed to +50 etc.
Ok, great, then it makes more sense. Except for this: Under "General" in the same table (avoidance roll), it says you get a - 30 modification "if actively searching for something" - That seems to be correct! If the group is searching for something (or someone), the risk for encounter increases. So that's in order, right? But underneath, it is mixed up again (?), where it says the group get a +20 "if in camp and traveled for 12 hours" and +40 mod "if in camp and traveled for 16 hours", so these two should be changed to a minus, yes? If you agree that its stealthier to travel for a shorter period and take more time to find a good camp site. SO please correct me if I'm wrong here!

One final thing. Under the modifications to the activity roll, under general, it says "-10....Perception".
Ok, who's perception exactly? I do not understand. And again, thanks for your help! You're awesome.

 

variable...spell used by the group". Or is that supposed to be two differ

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Offline Aspire2Hope

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Re: MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2020, 05:37:40 AM »
I've always gone with what makes sense. In those early days and, dare I say it, still, the level of editing and proofing was not great. I don't think any of the publishers really have professional-level editors on staff. I mean quite frankly given the margins and recovery you would have to do it as a day job and then love gaming enough to do it for free in the evening. :)

Offline razapalevi

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Re: MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2020, 11:33:20 AM »
I think the bonus is inverted. It don't make sense in any othe way.

Offline RandalThor

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Re: MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2020, 07:58:03 PM »
Yeah, it looks like they just inverted the numbers. Though, I guess you could just have it a single roll on the Activity side, that way the modifiers could line up.

That's not a bad idea if you wan't to tweak the rule a bit, actually. One roll, modified by all stuff relevant, then the number is cross-indexed by population density, and..ta-da!
I like to see where to limit the number of rolls whenever possible (that doesn't mess up play, of course), it helps speed things up. It's one of the reasons why I don't favor games based on opposed rolls even though some of them are really fun (Shadowrun, I am looking at you!).
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Scratch that. Power attracts the corruptible.

Rules should not replace the brain and thinking.

Offline juillen

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Re: MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2021, 08:33:47 AM »
Depending on the encounter size, I'd say the minus has a definite place.  The rolls would take care of stealth and how well they actually do the "we're not here" bit.  A modifier on size would relate to how motivated the NPCs were at forcing an encounter.
You'll find similar in regular banditry.  If you have a lone person wandering a trail in the middle of nowhere, they tend to be a target, so the attacker would be highly motivated to engage.
Change that factor to a large group, and the motivation to attack drops to the point of them actively avoiding the encounter themselves.   To me, the modifier just says "NPCs aren't stupid, and they'll make reasonably informed decisions, not just be there to automatically attack a wandering party no matter how tough, and attack them suicidally".

Offline Morthaur

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Re: MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2021, 08:22:27 PM »
The activity roll and avoidance roll is d100 plus modifications right?   Ok so lets say you have a group of 8 PC's travelling through an area.  Well because it's hard to move undetected with that many people the avoidance roll would take a -20 penalty.  Contrast that with say 1 PC trying to move through the area undetected, well he would get a +50 to his avoidance roll. 

Say Activity roll is 125 - 15 Rough for a Modified Activity roll of 110

Avoidance roll is 85 -20 for result of 65 for 8 PC's
Same roll of 85 + 50 is 135 for 1 PC 

Avoidance roll of 135 is greater than 110 so 1 PC would not have an encounter

The 8 PC's would have a difference of 110 - 65 = 45 which would be a possible sighting. 

The Encounter Table makes sense 

Offline Vladimir

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Re: MERP Encounte table/rules doesn't make sense!(?)
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2021, 03:13:39 AM »
  With my group, they WANT to encounter things, so if they see something or someone first, they will optimize the chance to ambush or attack, not avoid trouble. I always give them that option.

  Small groups means less eyes out for trouble. While a large group may mean being easily spotted...unless you have sufficient point men or outriders that are acting as small groups to seek trouble and screen the main body from observation.
  When my party is, say 5-6, MAYBE 1 or 2 of the group has a decent enough perception to act as decent point, so I place them well ahead, about 100-200 meters, depending on the visibility, to scout and screen. Signaling is a must. 

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are hardly aware that he exists.
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