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#1 Darian Ocana

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:54 PM

Hi all - Two questions regarding Minions:

1.  Reading on the boards I have found that there are two approaches to soak. One is that a group of minions get to use it once and then the remaining damage is allocated killing each past 5 wounds (give or take), and the other is that each minion takes advantage of their soak as extra damage spills on to them. Has there been an official answer to this?

2.  Since I could not find a clear answer (I looked, honest!), Would someone explain how you upgrade dice on minions? I understand every minion past the first grants one skill die (EotE Beta pg196). But how is this upgraded? I have a feeling that its just like PCs, but I want to make sure I have this clear in my mind.

Example: Random Stormtroopers attacking PCs.

1 Stormtrooper: Ag 3, soak 5, wounds 5, blaster rifle - doesn't get to roll anything to attack?

2 STs - 1 ability die, upgraded to 1 proficiency die, due to AG 3.

3 STs - 2 ability dice, upgraded to 2 proficiency dice, due to AG 3.

4 STs - 3 ability dice, upgraded to 3 proficiency dice, due to AG 3.

5 STs - 4 ability dice, 3 upgraded to proficiency dice, due to AG 3, 1 remains an ability die. 

Is this correct?

 

 



#2 LethalDose

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:52 PM

Darian Ocana said:

 

Hi all - Two questions regarding Minions:

1.  Reading on the boards I have found that there are two approaches to soak. One is that a group of minions get to use it once and then the remaining damage is allocated killing each past 5 wounds (give or take), and the other is that each minion takes advantage of their soak as extra damage spills on to them. Has there been an official answer to this?

2.  Since I could not find a clear answer (I looked, honest!), Would someone explain how you upgrade dice on minions? I understand every minion past the first grants one skill die (EotE Beta pg196). But how is this upgraded? I have a feeling that its just like PCs, but I want to make sure I have this clear in my mind.

Example: Random Stormtroopers attacking PCs.

1 Stormtrooper: Ag 3, soak 5, wounds 5, blaster rifle - doesn't get to roll anything to attack?

2 STs - 1 ability die, upgraded to 1 proficiency die, due to AG 3.

3 STs - 2 ability dice, upgraded to 2 proficiency dice, due to AG 3.

4 STs - 3 ability dice, upgraded to 3 proficiency dice, due to AG 3.

5 STs - 4 ability dice, 3 upgraded to proficiency dice, due to AG 3, 1 remains an ability die. 

Is this correct?

 

 

 

 

First, notice that in the minion stat blocks, each minion has a list of skills, but no listed ranks.  This is because minions working as a group are considered to have ranks in the listed skills, and only in the listed skill, equal to the number of minions in the group minus one.  This is discussed in the second half of the Minions can fight as a group section of page 196 in the Eote Beta text.  

In your example, you would roll the following for attacks:

  • 1 trooper: 3 Ability dice; equivalent to a character with Agi 3 and 0 ranks in Ranged [Heavy]
  • 2 troopers: 1 Proficiency die, 2 ability dice; equivalent to a character with Agi 3 and 1 rank in Ranged [Heavy]
  • 3 troopers: 2 Proficiency dice, 1 ability die; equivalent to a character with Agi 3 and 2 ranks in Ranged [Heavy]
  • 4 troopers: 3 Proficiency dice; equivalent to a character with Agi 3 and 3 ranks in Ranged [Heavy]
  • 5 troopers: 3 Proficiency dice, 1 ability die; equivalent to a character with Agi 3 and 4 ranks in Ranged [heavy]

Note that these are accuate so long as the stormtroopers have "Ranged [heavy]" in their stat block and are attacking with a Ranged [heavy] weapon.

So, notice that the number of 'equivalent ranks' is n - 1 in each group, where 'n' is the number of individual minions in each group, e.g. the group that has 2 minions has 2 - 1 = 1 rank, the group that has 5 minions has 5 - 1 = 4 ranks, etc.  The advantage of operating the minions as single units is that each individual beyond the first that is added to and acts as part of group improves the groups skill rolls.  

This doesn't mean that you would roll 3 proficiency dice and 1 ability die for each of the 5 minions in the final instance of the example.  To get this 'equivalent ranks' bonus, all the minions make one roll as a group to resolve a single attack as a group, i.e. a single roll is used to resolve all the attack actions made by all 5 ST's at once.

I guess it should also be noted that in the Beta text, it only discusses minions adding skill ranks in a combat context, e.g. the source of these ranks is not mentioned in the Minions do not possess skills section, and is only explained in the Minions can fight as a group section using combat skills.  However, many minions have non-combat skills (e.g. Skulduggery, Perception, etc) listed in their blocks.  In our games, we rule that the same rules apply to non-combat skills.  So I guess technically there could be some room for interpretation on this.

Also, we've decided that to act as a group, minions have to be able to communicate effectively to coordinate actions and access the target of the actions to 'act as a group'.  For example, a group of minions could act as a group to attack a character they all have line of sight to, even if he is behind cover.  However, if 2 minions in a group were on the other side of a blast door from the other 3 minions and the target PC, the 2 on other side of the door could NOT provide bonuses to the 3 that could attack the PC because they can in no way reach the PC, even if they did have comlinks.  However, if the whole group of minions wanted to slice the door open, the could if they had comlinks (or some other way to effectively communicate) AND all the minions could access the door.  Similarly, if you had a group of minions that were individual spread over different continents of a planet that wanted to hack a single mainframe, they could act as a group provided they could 1) communicate effectively to coordinate (e.g. via chat-room, holo-conference, comlink) & 2) access the mainframe (e.g. via a data network).

Maybe more detail than you wanted.  Sometimes I get carried away with the explanations.  Anyway, hope that helped.

-WJL

 

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#3 LethalDose

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:13 PM

And I didn't even respond to the first part of your post.  I don't think there was an official ruling on this.  I scanned the final beta update and didn't see it mentioned.  Both methods can run into some, uhm… hinkey results that need some minor handwaving to explain narratively, but really nothing major.  I'd refer you to this thread, at least before it started getting ugly about minion placement.

I come down on the "apply soak when hitting the first minion, and not the bleed-over" camp, with some accomodations made for wierd situations with area attacks. But you can see all that on the thread.  In the absence of an 'official' ruling, just do what feels appropriate.  If its a frequent occurence, come to a consensus with your players, or agree to have the GM adjudicate it on a case-by-case basis.

-WJL


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#4 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:13 AM

Darian Ocana said:

Hi all - Two questions regarding Minions:

1.  Reading on the boards I have found that there are two approaches to soak. One is that a group of minions get to use it once and then the remaining damage is allocated killing each past 5 wounds (give or take), and the other is that each minion takes advantage of their soak as extra damage spills on to them. Has there been an official answer to this?

2.  Since I could not find a clear answer (I looked, honest!), Would someone explain how you upgrade dice on minions? I understand every minion past the first grants one skill die (EotE Beta pg196). But how is this upgraded? I have a feeling that its just like PCs, but I want to make sure I have this clear in my mind.

Example: Random Stormtroopers attacking PCs.

1 Stormtrooper: Ag 3, soak 5, wounds 5, blaster rifle - doesn't get to roll anything to attack?

2 STs - 1 ability die, upgraded to 1 proficiency die, due to AG 3.

3 STs - 2 ability dice, upgraded to 2 proficiency dice, due to AG 3.

4 STs - 3 ability dice, upgraded to 3 proficiency dice, due to AG 3.

5 STs - 4 ability dice, 3 upgraded to proficiency dice, due to AG 3, 1 remains an ability die. 

Is this correct?

First one, there's been no official word.  Hopefully, that's something that will be expounded upon in the final version of the core rulebook,  Most GM's have been playing it as "roll over to next mook," mostly as a Minion Group is treated as a single target.  This may get some further detail in the Beginner Box, as there's an encounter with a couple stormtrooper minon groups, but I'll have to check that later.  As a point in favor of the "bleed over," using a single Minion Group make things easier on the GM, as it allows them to have a palpable threat to the PCs without having to resort to the "hordes of mooks" that most d20 and tactical-based RPGs use, making it easier to track a few minion groups instead of a dozen individual minions.  The results can get a tad wierd if the GM has placed their minions far apart, but quite a few GMs use a self-imposed restriction of keeing minions no further than Short range from each other.

On the second, you've got it exactly right, with the caveat that as each stormtrooper gets dropped, the dice pool degrades.  I've seen a few posts from GMs new to this system that made the mistake of using the dice pool of a full minion group even when down to the last minion.


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#5 LethalDose

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:10 AM

Donovan Morningfire said:

On the second, you've got it exactly right, with the caveat that as each stormtrooper gets dropped, the dice pool degrades.  I've seen a few posts from GMs new to this system that made the mistake of using the dice pool of a full minion group even when down to the last minion.

Uh, maybe I misread his example, but going back to Darian's post:

 

Darian Ocana said:

1 Stormtrooper: Ag 3, soak 5, wounds 5, blaster rifle - doesn't get to roll anything to attack?

2 STs - 1 ability die, upgraded to 1 proficiency die, due to AG 3.

3 STs - 2 ability dice, upgraded to 2 proficiency dice, due to AG 3.

4 STs - 3 ability dice, upgraded to 3 proficiency dice, due to AG 3.

5 STs - 4 ability dice, 3 upgraded to proficiency dice, due to AG 3, 1 remains an ability die

Is this correct?

Emphasis mine.  Notice he only mentions the number of ability dice equal to n - 1.  

I think he's asking if the following minions' rolls are correct:

  • 1 minion can't attack
  • 2 minions roll Y
  • 3 minions roll YY
  • 4 minions roll YYY
  • 5 minions roll YYYG

Where Y are proficiency dice and G are ability dice.  And these are wrong. Unless I've horribly misinterpreted the rules, the rolls should be:

  • 1 minion rolls GGG
  • 2 minions roll YGG
  • 3 minions roll YYG
  • 4 minions roll YYY
  • 5 minions roll YYYG

-WJL


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#6 Darian Ocana

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:26 AM

I'm glad I asked the question. This is why I'm confused -- the minion rules are rather murky.

Lethal - that's a good abbreviation for the dice, I should have thought of that. Makes it much more visual and understandable.



#7 Darian Ocana

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

I was watching the EotE demo video on youtube (at GENCON), and I think I found the "official" answer. At 3:45 in the video the gentleman running the demo mentions that there are three minions in a group. After explaining that extra minions provide extra dice. He gets two dice and upgrades those two dice to proficiency. 

So going back to my example of Stormtroopers (AG:3), it would seem that the answer is:

  • 1 minion - no dice
  • 2 minions - Y
  • 3 minions - YY
  • 4 minions - YYY
  • 5 minions - YYYG

?I just wish we could get an answer from a developer since this was not covered in the updates…



#8 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:26 PM

Darian Ocana said:

 

I was watching the EotE demo video on youtube (at GENCON), and I think I found the "official" answer. At 3:45 in the video the gentleman running the demo mentions that there are three minions in a group. After explaining that extra minions provide extra dice. He gets two dice and upgrades those two dice to proficiency. 

So going back to my example of Stormtroopers (AG:3), it would seem that the answer is:

  • 1 minion - no dice
  • 2 minions - Y
  • 3 minions - YY
  • 4 minions - YYY
  • 5 minions - YYYG

?I just wish we could get an answer from a developer since this was not covered in the updates…

 

 

I'd have to recheck the demo, but even a single minion gets to roll, they just roll only their Ability Dice (which is what I thought your original post was asking).  Then again, could be that the guy running it was running off memory of a prior version of the rules (happens quite often with demos of games that haven't been entirely finalized yet).

So from your chart above, it would be as LethalDose said above.  So for a stormtrooper minion group, it'd be:

  • 1 minion - GGG
  • 2 minions - YGG
  • 3 minions - YYG
  • 4 minions - YYY
  • 5 minions - YYYG

Also, page 22 of the Beginner Box, discussing an encounter with Stormtrooper Minon Groups, pretty much spells out that how the dice pool is assembled, starting with a full group of 3 all the way down to a single minion.  It starts at the 3 minion chart (2 Yellow, 1 Green), with a Proficiency die lost per defeated minion.

As for developer comment, could very well be they consider it something so simple to determine (happens when you work on a project in such detail for such a long time) that it really doesn't need an official comment.  Or at least not until the actual hardcover book comes out.


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#9 LethalDose

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:42 PM

Darian Ocana said:

I was watching the EotE demo video on youtube (at GENCON), and I think I found the "official" answer. 

Link?


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#10 Darian Ocana

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

It's in the beginner box, that's official enough for me! Thank you guys for clarifying. Hopefully FFG will include an example similiar to what's in the Beginner's Box to alleviate any confusion for future players who do not pick up that set.



#11 Darian Ocana

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:46 PM



#12 LethalDose

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:59 PM

Yeah, I think I see how that could be confusing.  

When he's pointing out that minions don't have skills, he's implying that, solo, they would just roll their ability dice for the skill check (in his example GG, and GGG in ours).  The problem is when he's showing the upgrades, his hands and the dice are off screen.  I'm pretty sure that what he's doing is progressing from GG to GY to YY from 3:45 to 4:05.

Rewatch it and imagine thats how the dice are getting moved around.

-WJL


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#13 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:37 AM

LethalDose said:

Yeah, I think I see how that could be confusing.  

When he's pointing out that minions don't have skills, he's implying that, solo, they would just roll their ability dice for the skill check (in his example GG, and GGG in ours).  The problem is when he's showing the upgrades, his hands and the dice are off screen.  I'm pretty sure that what he's doing is progressing from GG to GY to YY from 3:45 to 4:05.

Rewatch it and imagine thats how the dice are getting moved around.

-WJL

Even without a clear ruling or reference, this is the only way that makes sense.


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