Making Posse Selection Easier For New Players While Not Overwhelming Them With Long Blog Post Titles
You may think the complex graph to the right is rather complex, but when introducing a new player the idea of building or choosing a Posse is equally overwhelming. IP and ND are great measurements of the power/skill of a Posse, but it’s hard for a new player to look at a roster and go “Okay these guys are mostly geared for close combat”.
To alleviate this I recommend a simple system of adding up all the statistics for a Posse to give an idea of where they differ. For example if the total Movement of the entire 5 man Posse is 35 we’ll know they are much faster than normal, since an average 5 man Posse would have 5*4=20 MV. By doing this for every statistic you can help new players see trends when evaluating a bunch of pre-built Posses.
So first of all add together the MV for all members of the Posse and record it somewhere on the sheet. Do the same for AR, BRV, and HP. For MMC and RMC you will have to do this a bit differently since lower is better, so subtract the MMC and RMC from 12 (for example 4 RMC would count as 8 [12-4]). By the end you’ll have a big set of numbers for each statistic. These can be compared to the default, min, and max stats for the number of characters in the Posse. Here is the chart that you can compare to:
For example if you had a Leader + 3 Members who were ALL Dusters, then their MV would be 3 MV * 4 char = 12. You could then look at the Default MV column for Leader + 3 on the chart above to see 16, meaning that the Posse you’re evaluating is slower than average. This helps evaluate at a glance without having to explain “What is a Duster” to a player who might already be overwhelmed with the idea of rolling D12s :)
Pre-Built Posses and Characters
Why do I mention pre-built Posses? Well, when you’re just starting or just trying to introduce someone to the game you want to make it as easy as possible to join in. As part of that the most veteran player would likely create some pre-built Posses that other newer players can choose from. This is a lot easier than a player who doesn’t know the system trying to build their own characters. Simply describing the Posse can help, like “This is a close combat Posse, but they have a sniper here” or so forth, but having some numerical comparisons from the system above doesn’t hurt.
Another option is to have pre-built characters that can be combined into a Posse, which is a good second step for players who aren’t fully ready to make their own Posse. For example you could have a “Sniper” character with related stats, traits, and weapons with an IP and ND total, and a player could simply hire that built character instead of customizing one of their own. Once they have 100 IP and $1,000 in hirings their Posse is done.
I eventually want to help with this idea on the blog by giving simple pre-built characters that can be thrown together into a Posse, so stay tuned for that. It relates back to the early days of Dinosaur Cowboys when I created generic “Hirelings” with preset stats and equipment. I might also include some generic enemies for the campaign/RPG side, like Sabertooth Cats, bandits, and non-recruitable dinosaurs. If I complete The Saloon (my idea for web based Posse creation software) I’ll be able to pump out these characters even faster.