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Minion Dice Pool for attacks


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#1 Blue Dog

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:17 PM

In the Long Arm of the Hutt, my group is going up against 4 minion groups of 4 enemies each. I'm a little confused as to how you set up the attack dice pool for a minion group of 4.

As the adventure states there are 4 enemies in each minion group, does this mean they get 1 ability die for each enemy, and then for each enemy past the first add one proficiency die?  So they roll APPP?

The adventure gives these stats for the minion group of 4.

Human and Aqualish Thugs [Minions]
Agility: 2
Skills: (Groups only): Ranged (Light)

The beginner book states: "For every minion beyond the first in the group, the group counts as having one rank in that skill."

So in the beginner book, a group of 3 stormtroopers counts as having 2 ranks in Ranged (Heavy) and rolls a dice pool of APP.

I'm just wondering if I'm adding that correctly for minions, as that seems a really powerful attack? I get that they only get the one attack so it's to make up for four of them firing, and they'll have less dice as they get killed off, but it still seems like the odds of rolling successes and triumphs has just increased by a wide margin.

I always get stuck at what I think are more basic rulesets, would appreciate it someone can help me out as I'm running a game on Sunday.



#2 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:35 PM

You're a bit off.  Since it's a group of 4 Minions would be considered to have Ranged (Light) 4, which with their Agility 2 means they'd be rolling AAPP, since you take the higher of the skill or characteristic to determine the base number of Ability dice, and then upgrade them to Proficiency dice based on the lower of the two.

And yes, this means that a large group of minions is dangerous to the PCs, especially low-level ones as those PCs won't have as much opportunity to develop various defensive talents.  If it's the encounter I think it is, the author's intent is that the PCs high-tail it out of the line of fire and seek cover.  If the PCs are going to resort to violence, they're going to need to be equal parts lucky and creative to win.

There's been past discussion about how deadly a squad of stormtroopers (generally seen as joke opponents in the d20 systems once your PC got past 2nd level) can be in EotE.  A minion group of six stormtroopers is likely to pulverize a freshly-generated PC, and will pose a very daunting threat to a group of beginning characters; the PCs literally will need to act before the minion group and hope to severely whittle down their numbers.


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#3 Farsox

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 03:40 PM

Blue Dog said:

The adventure gives these stats for the minion group of 4.

Human and Aqualish Thugs [Minions]
Agility: 2
Skills: (Groups only): Ranged (Light)

The beginner book states: "For every minion beyond the first in the group, the group counts as having one rank in that skill."

The wording of this seems a bit tricky.  Where it lists "Skills," it states that it is for groups only.  Also, It states that there is one rank in the skill for every enemy beyond the first.  The impression that I get is that if there was only one, he would not be a group and technically wouldn't have a skill in Ranged (light).  In a group of 4 minions, there would be 3 enemies "beyond the first in the group,"  so the group would have a Ranged (light) skill of 3.  This would result in a dice pool of APP.


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#4 ramza82

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 05:22 AM

I don't have any of the rules infront of me, but as I read it, a minion group of 4 would be rolling APP according to "one rank in the skill for every enemy beyond the first." Once it was down to just one minion he would be rolling AA(reflected by his 2 agility and no longer having ranks in ranged due to the absence of his minion buddies).



#5 LethalDose

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:58 PM

ramza82 said:

I don't have any of the rules infront of me, but as I read it, a minion group of 4 would be rolling APP according to "one rank in the skill for every enemy beyond the first." Once it was down to just one minion he would be rolling AA(reflected by his 2 agility and no longer having ranks in ranged due to the absence of his minion buddies).

This is 100% correct.



#6 DVeight

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 04:11 PM

Donovan's post seems to point to a different approach. Either sound plausible so the issue for me as I am reading this thread is, what do the rules say exactly about this?

I personally do like the idea that groups pose a real threat and that Stormtroopers, as mentioned by Donovan, shouldnt be seen as just cannon fodder for any PC. They should also pose a good threat and build anxiety in any encounter. The intention of the rules is to create a very dangerous combat mechanic as more and more of us 'adult' gamers now appreciate these game mechanics more so than what I refer to as DnD style "Lollipop Gaming".



#7 LethalDose

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 04:19 PM

Donovan Morningfire said:

You're a bit off.  Since it's a group of 4 Minions would be considered to have Ranged (Light) 4, which with their Agility 2 means they'd be rolling AAPP, since you take the higher of the skill or characteristic to determine the base number of Ability dice, and then upgrade them to Proficiency dice based on the lower of the two.

And yes, this means that a large group of minions is dangerous to the PCs, especially low-level ones as those PCs won't have as much opportunity to develop various defensive talents.  If it's the encounter I think it is, the author's intent is that the PCs high-tail it out of the line of fire and seek cover.  If the PCs are going to resort to violence, they're going to need to be equal parts lucky and creative to win.

There's been past discussion about how deadly a squad of stormtroopers (generally seen as joke opponents in the d20 systems once your PC got past 2nd level) can be in EotE.  A minion group of six stormtroopers is likely to pulverize a freshly-generated PC, and will pose a very daunting threat to a group of beginning characters; the PCs literally will need to act before the minion group and hope to severely whittle down their numbers.

I think you made a mistake, DM.  A group of 4 minions would have a skill rank of three, not four.

In fact this (a group of 4 minions) is the example provided in the Beta text on pg 196, Minions fight as a group:

"So a group of four Imperial Navy troopers would count as a having three ranks (for the three additional troopers after the first) in any checks the group waclled on to make."

In your example they would roll APP, from 2 ability ranks and 3 skill ranks.

-WJL

PS I prefer to use the colors of the dice, so APP would be YYG.  Just for clarification in other posts.



#8 ramza82

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 02:29 PM

I too didnt like the idea of Stormies been minions, they are an iconic part of Star Wars, and I never understood why the "Emperor's elite" as they are called in the beginner box were portrayed and bumbling idiots who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn in the movies. 

However if you want to go by the RAW, a minion group of 4 would only have 3 ranks in a minion skill, as the book specifically states on page 196,

Minions do no possess skills. One thing that makes minions significantly weaker than player characters is their lack of skills. They can compensate for this by operating as a group.

Minions can fight as a groupd  …When operating as a group, the minions treat each member beyond the first as one skill rank for certain skill checks they have to make.

 

However it is your game, and if you want to run it so that minions are more of a threat, that is your option too!



#9 LethalDose

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:10 PM

ramza82 said:

I too didnt like the idea of Stormies been minions, they are an iconic part of Star Wars, and I never understood why the "Emperor's elite" as they are called in the beginner box were portrayed and bumbling idiots who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn in the movies. 

The whole "should stormtroopers be competent or bumbling screwheads" is another long discussion that has shown up on these threads (I come down on the competent side, BTW).

BUT because they are minions does NOT mean they fall into that latter 'bumbling screwhead' category.

There seems to be this assumption that, because something is listed as a minion, it cannot be dangerous.  

And this is total crap.  

The reason they created the "minion" type NPC is to easily manage a large number of combatants on the field as much as or more than it is to give the players a way to feel good about dropping enemies easily (this absolutely was the purpose of 'minions' in some other games, such as those created by shoreside dwelling sorcerers).  You can run stormtroopers as individual henchmen in your game if you want, and more power to you.  The problem, however, is that is REALLY going to slow your game down because you're making A LOT of separate rolls: one per ST per round.

If you want your STs to be tougher, then make them tougher.  But don't think that the only way to make them tougher is to make them henchman, because this is, again, nothing more than Bantha pudu.  You can make them tougher and still minions by increasing their damage or abilities or just adding in boost dice or wounds or soak or  whatever, but still treat them as minions!

Personally, I have no problem running Stormtroopers as minions because they always show up in groups.  I'm totally comfortable interpreting the profiency dice they get for being a group as a representation of all that time they spent training to operate as a cohesive unit.  Really, when was the last time you saw a single stormtrooper fighting a group of PCs?  They practically always show up in groups.  

They travel in packs because thats how they can be most effective!

My advice is to pump up the individual ST minions, continue to treat them as minions, and operate them in moderate to larger sized groups.  I can't speak for anyone else, but I doublt that many tables have really found that a group of 4-5 lower level PCs can easily outgun a company of STs, led by an ST seargeant.  I have seen a dozen STs, split into 2 groups of 6, and played intelligently, mop the floor with some new PCs, and even some more experienced groups.

 

The inevitable counterpoint to what I've said above is that lone minions don't get proficiency dice on their rolls, which means they suck.  I can show you simuulated data that shows that to upgrading proficiency dice doesn't really affect the outcome of the roll as much as you think it would.  So even though your STs aren't rolling yellows (by themselves), they can still throw down some serious firepower.

 

tl;dr version:  In this game system, 'minion' does NOT neccesarily mean 'incompetent', 'cannon fodder', 'weak'; instead, 'minion' simply denotes a type of NPC that can be easily managed as a group, despite what previous game systems have done.

-WJL



#10 DVeight

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 10:16 PM

Totally agree with everything you have said there Lethal.



#11 mouthymerc

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:11 AM

LethalDose said:

If you want your STs to be tougher, then make them tougher.  But don't think that the only way to make them tougher is to make them henchman, because this is, again, nothing more than Bantha pudu.  You can make them tougher and still minions by increasing their damage or abilities or just adding in boost dice or wounds or soak or  whatever, but still treat them as minions!

This is true. If you want tougher stormies, it is easy enough to do. Give them the Deadly Accuracy talent. This gives them additional damage based on the size of the group that will decrease as the group is decimated. Ranks of the Point Blank talent may also be used to increase damage. If you want them to be a little more durable give them ranks of the Enduring talent or Toughened or just increase their wounds and soak outright. If you want them harder to hit give a rank of the Adversary talent. Plenty you can do and still keep them as minions.


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#12 Voice

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 12:03 PM

mouthymerc said:

LethalDose said:

 

If you want your STs to be tougher, then make them tougher.  But don't think that the only way to make them tougher is to make them henchman, because this is, again, nothing more than Bantha pudu.  You can make them tougher and still minions by increasing their damage or abilities or just adding in boost dice or wounds or soak or  whatever, but still treat them as minions!

 

 

This is true. If you want tougher stormies, it is easy enough to do. Give them the Deadly Accuracy talent. This gives them additional damage based on the size of the group that will decrease as the group is decimated. Ranks of the Point Blank talent may also be used to increase damage. If you want them to be a little more durable give them ranks of the Enduring talent or Toughened or just increase their wounds and soak outright. If you want them harder to hit give a rank of the Adversary talent. Plenty you can do and still keep them as minions.

And on top of that, there's nothing that says *every* stormtrooper is a minion, any more than every Smuggler is a full blown character.






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