View Full Version : As a DM how do you scale INT and fighting manuevers.

2010-09-09, 03:48 PM
When I say fighting manuevers I mean how an enemy fights.

An INT of 3 is super aggressive and will attack to the death.

An INT of 12 will try to be sneaky and ambush you.

An INT of 24 will try to kill you without you ever even being aware of you at all.

Etc, how do you judge it?

2010-09-09, 03:52 PM
I don't base it purely off int. For instance, two creatures might both have average int, but one of them has a very hierarchial society. That encounter would likely hinge on the leader...if he dies, a premature retreat might be in order.

Also, lower wisdom characters are also less likely to choose a wise course of action.

2010-09-09, 03:54 PM
Here's my scale:

Low INT: Animals and dumb humanoids. Has difficulty differentiating threats from casual intrusions. Will probably attack whatever does the most damage, or whatever's closest. Attempts to flee when on low HP unless otherwise constrained. Has one basic attack style and spams it.

Average INT: Uses tactics such as ambushes. Has an understanding of different threat levels and basic strengths and weaknesses, e.g. may hit casters first because he knows they are more dangerous. Has a couple of predetermined combat strategies.

High INT: Makes extensive use of pre-battle strategies such as scrying. Will plan and tailor attack pattern to party.

2010-09-09, 05:03 PM
Such a scale works for invented tactics. A high-int foe can constantly adjust to enemy tactics, and invent new ones.

However, instinctive or traditional tactics are Wisdom rather than Int. Thus, wolves have a reasonably large set of tactics that they know and can respond to. Their Int is too low to permit literacy, but they would easily beat the average player in terms of tactics. Their flaw is that they only know the set they know. Find counters to that set, and they can't tweak them.

Emperor Ing
2010-09-09, 05:10 PM
Low Int (1-8)
Has basic battle recognition and doesn't prioritize targets or develop effective strategy.

Moderate Int (9-14)
Will often make use of basic to smart battle tactics such as leading enemies into trapped areas, ambushes, from tactically superior positions. Also effectively able to prioritize targets based on threat level.

High Int (15-22)
Will use extensive battle tactics and make high use of resources available to give a tactical edge. Often has a plan to kill everything they see. Psychological warfare is often employed

Extreme Int (23+)
The most elaborate and effective strategies are often employed. At this stage, regiments are decimated without even knowing there was ever a threat. Otherwise, psychological warfare plays a heavy part in their battle strategies as these individuals know the wisdom of minimizing casualties.

2010-09-09, 05:13 PM
It also depends on drill/training. A bunch of low-int mooks who are in the employ of an evil mastermind will probably have been trained in tactics. They're not going to be good at implementing them or modifying them, but they will have a set of maneuvers with triggering conditions.

2010-09-09, 07:46 PM
I just use the morale checks in Heroes of Battle to determine how fearless NPCs are. Creatures that don't rout are usually immune to mind-affecting or fear effects and thus whether they retreat or otherwise.

I use appropriate checks to determine if a creature would be able to formulate a plan based off my ideas. If I have a good idea for how to mess with the PCs, it's not appropriate for me to have every creature do it so I just roll an Int based on the complexity of the plan and other circumstances.

Say an int 5 creature is fighting in the mountains uphill from some PCs and wants to knock some rocks loose to hurt the PCs. I first make a spot check for the nearest loose rock (high wisdom bonus helps here, maybe a bonus for Stonecunning) then an Int check modified by the circumstances. For instance, the DC might increase if the creature is in a foreign environment. It will decrease if the target prepared the plan in advance. Essentially, creatures make Int checks to see if they can follow any plan they they devise individually or in a group but each individual Int check determines whether or not they follow orders in a timely manner. These Plan checks could be modified by Marshal or Commander auras.

Plan check base DC
Use simple terrain element against a foe (pits, high ground, difficult ground, etc) 10
Coordinated attack using manufactured terrain elements such as traps, doors, tables, levers, altering terrain, etc. 15
Perform actions to the advantage of an ally or coordinate attacks with allies (Wounding or killing foes that threaten weak allies, healing or buffing the neediest, etc) 15
Find and exploit a weakness (Spot, Listen, Spellcraft or Knowledge check + DC 20 Plan check)
Perform actions that require multiple actions to succeed (ie. Unleashing a torrent of water on foes and then freezing the water with cold magic) 25

Plan check modifiers
Creature is in a totally unfamiliar or alien environment -5
Creature is in an unknown locale but familiar environment +0
Creature is in its home, dwelling, or lair +5
Creature has prepared this plan ahead of time +5
Check is made during a surprise round +2
Creature takes a full-round action to formulate or remember a plan +5
Creature is shaken -2
Creature is panicked -5
Creature is cowering (No check possible)

2010-09-09, 08:06 PM
For really smart caster NPC's, leave some spell slots open and just assume they picked just the right spell for a situation when it comes up, because they're a lot smarter than I am personally.

2010-09-09, 09:37 PM
Int shouldn't affect a creature's basic strategy much. Animals know to flee when they're outmatched, and finding an animal with int above 2 is kind of a feat.
High int tells you how fast and how deep the character can poke the proverbial cracks at the enemy's formation. A low int character wouldn't realize that the guy in the dress is more dangerous after seeing the ground in front of him rising to block his way, but a high int character would.

Because of what wisdom and intelligence are in the game and in real life, it's really hard to tell them apart (d&d's wisdom is nearly indistinguishable from real-world definitions of intelligence), so feel free to blur the line.