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Elite Minions


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#1 Skie

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 01:10 AM

Inspired by another thread about minions I started thinking about making minions a little more dangerous without multiplying their numbers - which sometimes doesn't make sense in the narrative. Currently there is no difference between stormtroopers or pirates... And usually that's perfectly fine. 

 

One idea of making minions more dangerous was shown in "Beyond the Rim" - scout troopers have 10 WT (instead of usual 5). Any other ideas? Perhaps Elite Minions should always receive a profficiency dice? Or have a lower-tier talent? What do you think?



#2 Krieger22

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 05:12 AM

Stick a squad leader (rival) in there with some talent or ability that improves the effectiveness of the minions, like the Stormtrooper Sergeant. You can also give them better gear, or put them in a position (elevated ground, etc.) that gives a boost die to attack rolls. But other than that I don't think that there are many ways (except to increase the wound threshold) to improve on minions. That's why they're called minions. If you want a harder fight I'd seriously consider a group of rivals instead.


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#3 polyheadronman

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 05:14 AM

There are many offerings for ways of increasing the lethality of minions.  In the CB, BG and modules, they generally suggest increasing characteristics and WT, but you can definitely play around with them as a group.  Taking their Agility from 2 to 3 or 4 could make a huge difference.  Give them better armor for higher soak, or better weapons for more damage or crits.

 

I like the minimum proficiency dice idea, or you could flip destiny to upgrade, or even house a rule an upgrade to a dice pool (firing or being hit) so long as the minion group has their full number.  So as soon as one minion drops they lose said upgrade.  Experiment and let us know!


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#4 Agatheron

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:51 AM

Inspired by another thread about minions I started thinking about making minions a little more dangerous without multiplying their numbers - which sometimes doesn't make sense in the narrative. Currently there is no difference between stormtroopers or pirates... And usually that's perfectly fine. 

 

One idea of making minions more dangerous was shown in "Beyond the Rim" - scout troopers have 10 WT (instead of usual 5). Any other ideas? Perhaps Elite Minions should always receive a profficiency dice? Or have a lower-tier talent? What do you think?

 

Stormtroopers are somewhat more dangerous than pirates in that they have 1 more soak and carry around a much more dangerous weapon in the form of a Blaster Rifle. So even those equipment upgrades can push things to be a bit more challenging. Of course, the big way to make minions more dangerous is how you group them. Larger minion groups are rolling more yellow dice. Smaller clusters are less effective.

 

Of course, having a squad leader in the group, as other have mentioned, will make minion groups more effective.



#5 HappyDaze

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:57 AM

Be careful when improving Minions by adding gear. Minions tend to appear in bulk, so if they have large amounts of high-end gear, you run a bigger risk of looting disturbing the flow of your game.


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#6 mouthymerc

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:06 AM

Add talents like Deadly Accuracy or Point Blank. Adjust soak or wound qualities. You can adjust them just as much as any other adversary.


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#7 awayputurwpn

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:32 AM

Yeah, Soak is the first thing I'd go to. +1 Soak. After that is +1 point of weapon damage. Then perhaps +2 WT. But I dislike giving minions talents. It's like one more thing I have to remember when running them. I like a simple block of numbers (Soak, WT, damage, skill ranks) so I can focus on the narrative of the battle. 



#8 Split Light

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:34 AM

Nothing says hilarity like minions with missile launchers.


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#9 HappyDaze

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 10:06 AM

Yeah, Soak is the first thing I'd go to. +1 Soak. After that is +1 point of weapon damage. Then perhaps +2 WT. But I dislike giving minions talents. It's like one more thing I have to remember when running them. I like a simple block of numbers (Soak, WT, damage, skill ranks) so I can focus on the narrative of the battle. 

I usually add to WT first, commonly upping it into the 6-8 range if I want "tough" Minions. For Talents, I'll stick to simple Passive talents like Feral Strength for hand-to-hand mobs or something like Point Blank and/or Barrage for the shooty types.


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#10 2P51

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 10:06 AM

I'm all for creativity in the game and this included.  However, depending on group size and composition you'd need a pretty dedicated combat focused group of at least 4 to find half a dozen Stormtroopers deployed separately to unchallenging.  They may have a lower Wound threshold but a 3 Agility and blaster rifles makes them pretty dangerous.


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#11 Skie

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 10:38 AM

I agree with HappyDaze - too much good gear means looting and sometimes doesn't make sense. I think I'll experiment with talents. And 2p51 - my group's PCs are around 400xp now. A ranged-combat dedicated Hired Gun can easily defeat 6 grouped stormies (as our last game proved). And that's ok - that's what he's for :)



#12 kaosoe

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:27 AM

I agree with HappyDaze - too much good gear means looting and sometimes doesn't make sense. I think I'll experiment with talents. And 2p51 - my group's PCs are around 400xp now. A ranged-combat dedicated Hired Gun can easily defeat 6 grouped stormies (as our last game proved). And that's ok - that's what he's for :)

 

I am understanding 2P51 correctly, he is suggesting you ungroup them. Treat them as 6 separate stormtroopers. Sure they don't get any proficiency dice, but that's 6 separate shots with a blaster rifle.


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#13 2P51

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:59 AM

I agree with HappyDaze - too much good gear means looting and sometimes doesn't make sense. I think I'll experiment with talents. And 2p51 - my group's PCs are around 400xp now. A ranged-combat dedicated Hired Gun can easily defeat 6 grouped stormies (as our last game proved). And that's ok - that's what he's for :)

 

 

 

I agree with HappyDaze - too much good gear means looting and sometimes doesn't make sense. I think I'll experiment with talents. And 2p51 - my group's PCs are around 400xp now. A ranged-combat dedicated Hired Gun can easily defeat 6 grouped stormies (as our last game proved). And that's ok - that's what he's for :)

 

I am understanding 2P51 correctly, he is suggesting you ungroup them. Treat them as 6 separate stormtroopers. Sure they don't get any proficiency dice, but that's 6 separate shots with a blaster rifle.

 

 

Yes I am speaking to Stormtroopers ungrouped.

 

If your group is 400 xp I think you're expecting too much mileage out of Minions and you should be sticking with Rivals and Nemeses.


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#14 HappyDaze

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:29 PM

 

If your group is 400 xp I think you're expecting too much mileage out of Minions and you should be sticking with Rivals and Nemeses.

 

My group is around 400 XP, and Minions are still quite a threat. Stormtroopers are particularly dangerous in groups, but they don't tend to get off too many actions before going down if the PCs turn their attention to them. This means that the Minions alone don't decide the encounter, but they do have enough of an effect on it that they cannot be ignored.

 

I also tend to use entire squads (8 Stormtroopers or Imperial Army troopers) as a Minion Group. The group doesn't degrade in skill until half of them are defeated (at which point anything other than droids or Stormtroopers are trying to disengage).


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#15 LibrariaNPC

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 02:35 PM

Ah, the joys of modifying minions. . .

 

Here are a few points from my experience from similar games:

 

1) Increase the base stats: This can become a slippery slope of every-growing numbers, but if you need it, it's there. Raise the stats for the important skills, increase Wounds, arbitrarily raise soak. . .do what you have to.

 

2) Give them a few perks. Let them have a few talents that they normally wouldn't have that will make them formidable. Allow them to do something that the PCs won't have access to but is still fair (like the Adversary talent, for example).

Other perks can include a Defense increase as long as they are still in a group.

 

3) Play them smart. Have the "squad" break apart and put the group in a crossfire, and throw in a boost die or two for that as well as the standard bonuses for the minions doing their thing.

 

4) Add a leader. This can be tied to "Play Them Smart," but you can add other bonuses. 

Is it the 501st being lead by Vader into battle? Allow them all to upgrade their pool once for the sheer leadership, admiration, or the fear of failure.

Is it a smaller group lead by a trusted luietenant? Maybe a boost die is in order.

 

5) Make Leaders REALLY worthwhile. Perhaps allow the group to use certain Advantages that the Leader has if, and ONLY if, the leader is still alive.

Does the Leader have Armor Master? Then everyone gets it! The same can be true for things like Adversary and the like.

 

6) Use the minions as Support for a "leader." Want to ensure that you Stormtrooper Sergeant is going to hit and hit hard? Instead of the usual boost die, allow an upgrade for every Minion involved in the roll with the appropriate skill. Brutal, but effect, and means a squad of Stormtroopers becomes even deadlier than they already are.

 

 

 

Just my thoughts and theories on the topic. Enjoy!


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#16 awayputurwpn

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 01:02 AM

Depending on the threat, breaking up the squads really can be the best way to handle it. 



#17 Skie

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:38 AM


If your group is 400 xp I think you're expecting too much mileage out of Minions and you should be sticking with Rivals and Nemeses.

 

 

That's the point of this thread - I don't want to resign from using minions. They're nameless, faceless opponents that attack when some shouts 'Guards, guards!' ;). I think rivals, and especially Nemeses are more special. But at some point, narrative-wise, it is not logical to for example stuff dozens of normal minions into a small transport vessel/installation/whatever. That's why I'm exploring the option of 'better' minions. 

And, as always, this forum and its users did not fail in giving great ideas!



#18 polyheadronman

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 05:35 AM

Here's another idea:

 

My group is on the Wheel during Act 1 of Beyond the Rim.

 

Because of the heightened security following a major rebel sighting,  I informed my group that they would only be able to carry sidearms.  No big weapons.  My E/BGH and BH/A have been on their best behaviour ever since, as the weapons that they depend so much on to give them their edge in combat are sitting in a locker on their ship.  Because of that, the rest of the party is also behaving, since their heavy hitters are (as far as they are concerned), unable to be back up.

 

Now it doesn't matter that the party can still effectively hold their own with a little ingenuity and adaptive problem solving.  What really matters is that sometimes you can make enemies more powerful by taking away your party's resources, rather than buffing your enemies.'


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