The FrontierSpace Referee Handbook provides tools for Referee's that are designed to assist in the creation of star systems, robots, vehicles, creatures and more. (Don't worry, if your not the type that enjoys using tools to create we will be providing supplements that contain lots of goodies.)
One of the tools in the book is the creature creation rules. This system is designed for Referee’s who want to craft their own creatures, either for the AI setting or their own home-brewed campaign.
After creating the first draft document we wanted to know how to determine the threat a creature posed to a group of characters.
For each table (creature type, strength/endurance, size, number of attack forms, damage, etc.) we assigned a numeric value. For example; a carnivore value is 20 while a herbivore value is 5. While creating your creature you add up the values, at the end of the document we provided a "creature class table" where you simply cross reference the total to determine the creatures class. Creature class ranges from 1 to 6.
This appeared to work well.
Logical Next Step
The next step was to use the creature document to determine the threat level of a human. Some of the tables didn't apply to humans and needed to be created. After an exercise with Excel we ripped out threat level from the creature document and designed a new system that could be applied to other creation tools such as robots, vehicles, characters, etc.
Oh ya, it's all coming together.
Your Overconfidence Is Your Weakness
I tested the system using numbered miniatures, four pre-rolled characters and a few creatures I designed. My party of four characters with kinetic defenses and a mixture of kinetic and energy weapons should be able to fend off two CC-III (creature class three) large-cat-like predators that can jump, pounce and rake!
One character whipped out a sonic stunner and fired. Creature one down. Another character, a rank 3 mentalist with telekinesis, levitated the other creature while the party just snipped at it (poor thing!).
A stun effect nullified the creatures threat level, completely!
There is really no way to determine all the threats a party is cable of. The environment, gear and circumstances can all nullify or enhance threats. Ask "Mik Goodman" a character I play-tested with Bill. Mik penetrated a medium-security building easily, rigged a ship to explode (as a diversion) and was about to find his quarry when two thugs (literally) with a combined logic score of 25 stunned Mik. Mik has no protection against stuns (he is a starting level character) and failed his endurance check. Lucky for Mik the bad guy boss wanted to hire him (after he removed the bomb from his ship of course).
We are still kicking around the idea of 'threat levels' as a simple gauge of effectiveness if the playing field was equal.