|Art by Shoji Ohtomo|
Designing from ScratchLet's keep this simple. When creating a new monster, just find a comparative creature and use/alter those numbers or start from scratch using the typical stat ranges as follows:
The Skill stat for creatures ranges from 3-16, but about two-thirds have a Skill of 7, 8, or 9. Just remember you are working with a curve. There's a big difference between those three numbers! The "drop off" on either end of that middle range is severe.
- Low Skill 3-6: Gremlins, Pisceans, Goblins, Living Dead
- Moderate Skill 7-9: Knights of the Road, Orcs, Harpys, Lizard-Folk, Man-Beasts, Thinking Engine, Ogre
- High Skill 10-16: Tower Wizard, Manticore, Dragon
Creature Stamina ranges from 3-46, with a fairly even/wide distribution. Remember that creatures that use spells don't spend Stamina on them, so you don't need to adjust for that. Stamina is just a measure of toughness. Base your score on how long you want them to stay active in a fight.
- Weak 3-6: Gremlins, Pisceans, Sympathy Serpent
- Average 7-14: Feathered Folk, Knights of the Road, Lizard-Folk, Orcs, Man-Beasts, Living Dead, Trolls, Harpys, Tower Wizards, Parchment Witches, Thinking Engines
- Tough 14*-21: Cyclops, Salamanders, Ogres, Manticores, Dolms, Alzabos
- Titanic 22+: Dragon, Ekodat, Loathsome Wurm
* 14 is a kind of slip-point between really tough humanoids and loutish or "puny" giants. If you prefer, you could use 1d6+1, 2d6+3, 3d6+5, or 4d6+7 as rough "hit dice" guides for weak, average, tough, titanic creatures.
Initiative ranges from 1-8, but only 4 creatures out of 36 exceed an Initiative of 3. Creatures with multiple attacks, area attacks, or follow up attacks need an extra point or two to get those in.
- Slow 1: Goblins, Living Dead, Trolls
- Average 2: Pisceans, Feathered Folk, Knights of the Road, Orcs, Lizard-Folk, Man-Beasts, Tigers, Parchment Witches, Thinking Engines
- Fast 3: Gremlins, Harpys, Tower Wizards, Cyclops, Salamanders, Ogres*
- Supernatural 4-8: Alzabo, Manticore, Loathsome Wurm, Dragon
Armour ranges from 0-4.
- None 0: fifteen creatures from Living Dead to Tower Wizards
- Light 1: nine creatures from Goblins to Thinking Engines and Ogres
- Heavy/Tough 2: six creatures from Trolls to Cyclops
- X-Heavy/X-Tough 3: five creatures including Salamanders and Manticores
- "Impervious" 4: the dragon
Damage should be based on the weapon used, a weapon comparable to the creature's natural weapon (e.g. dagger-claws), and/or creature's size and ferocity. Seriously, I can't make this easier than just thinking about the creature's "weapons" and looking at the damage tables for a comparable.
Pick any six labels. They don't need to represent any kind of sequence and there are 158 unique ones among 36 monsters, so I think it's safe to say you can be creative. Common ones are Aggressive, Confused, Curious, Fearful, Hungry, Playful, Spiteful, Tired, and Watchful. Some of my personal favorites are: Absent-Minded, Beatific, Blooming, Doubting, Hagridden, Inveigling (and Fake Inveigling), Mewling, Plagued by Thought, Rancorous, Rowdy, Smug, and Unstable.
Specials aren't always directly combat-oriented. While the Manticore and the Dragon have special combat attacks, lots of other creatures have specials like the Cyclops' foresight, the Parchment Witches spell variety, or the Pisceans' penchant for eating the party's supplies.
In case you are wondering where these numbers came from, I put the Troika! creatures into a spreadsheet (also in available in comma-delimited form). Enjoy.
Converting from Advanced Fighting FantasyTroika! is based on Fighting Fantasy. The monster manuals for the RPG based on FF (AFF) is called Out of the Pit and Beyond the Pit. The presentation of each is slightly different:
Damage as Weapon
MeinAdvanced Fighting Fantasy Goblin
5 Overly Friendly
Skill: 5The obvious differences are that Troika! includes Initiative, assigns a number to Armour, and teases out the reactions with a Mien table. AFF, on the other hand, supplies a Habitat, Number Encountered, and Intelligence rating.
Habitat: Hills, Plains, Wilderness, Caves, Dungeons, Marshes
Number Encountered: 1-6
To convert an AFF monster to Troika! you will minimally need to assign an Initiative number, Armour rating, and Damage Track (or "as Weapon"). You can obviously work with the ranges above. The rest is icing. And you shouldn't need to adjust the scores where the two systems' stat categories align.