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Thorfred

A houserule question regarding henchmen

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Hello,

 

I tried to look up threads about henchmen, but none of those seemed to be relevant. So here is the question: Has anyone tried to use henchmen otherwise per RAW, but with the amount of wounds normal creatures would have?

 

The idea of 3 wound goblins and such bugs me a bit, so I have been tinkering with the idea. I have found lots of things here, but what do people think about this particular idea? What would be the pros and cons?

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Sure, I've done that.  I just tailor things to the party.  I almost never use the official wound thresholds.  It never hurts to "not" use henchmen and just use individuals instead (way more dangerous because of the minimum 1 wound on any hit deal).  They're a lot tougher on a party.  If you look at the demo that I ran on the regular forums

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I am probably going to use normal NPCs most of the time, because of my long history with previous editions, where no-one is safe, ever. However I would also like to try to use the henchmen, as it would sometimes be interesting to swarm the PCs with "lesser" creatures. However the stated 3 wound goblins, especially with damage shared to multiple creatures might make it too much of a slaughterfest to my tastes. I can see a common soldier killing 3 of them quite easily with a single melee strike, which is too much.

 

Emirikol, how did it affect the gameplay, when you used higher wound henchmen? Was the game too much of a drag when you have to score some 30-40 wounds to finish a henchmen group? What about everyone else? Have you tried and how did it go?

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I've not had the displeasure of having a min-maxed combat monkey in my group before, but I think if I had one, I'd simply not use henchmen and still use individuals.  If you know your PCs are doing a lot of damage (that kind of damage you list is not possible by the rules btw), you should simply use individuals as high wound threshold henchmen wouldn't matter.

 

I killed off our rank 3 priest of morr the other night with normal skavenslave henchmen :)

 

You'll get it right.  Just remember if you make them too tough, you can simply have them run away  or get spooked away.

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Thanks for the answer Emirikol. Just to clarify (and check I have understood things), to kill three goblin henchmen in a single strike would take 12 damage, right? First 3 to get through the toughness and then 9 to finish them. Does not seem to be WAY out of range, though I admit it does not usually happen with a normal melee strike.

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p.42 in the Tome of Adventure notes exactly that.  Toughness is only applied once.

 

Regarding a melee strike, we're just assuming multiple hits (Sauron from Lord of the Rings-style), but use some common sense:  You've kind of got to rule rationally.  A person with Sniper Shot, for instance, couldn't kill 3 snotling henchmen because arrows don't take right-turns...maybe two with a lucky hit, whereas an action like "Arrowstorm" would make sense to take out a whole horde.

 

Back during my old Advanced Dungeons & Dragons days, Fighters could take out one creature per level.  That would be a rational house rule:  maybe 1+1 per rank per round..or something like that if you wanted to keep it rational.  

 

That would also be a good house rule for maximum maneuvers per round as well.

Edited by Emirikol
r_b_bergstrom likes this

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Thanks, it is always good to be sure. I have a bit of a work still to be done to turn my mind from the previous editions to this one =D. It is not too hard to come up with the mental image of killing multiple opponents with a single action card, it is just the fact that it can happen. I will most likely be using regular NPCs and if I want to use a bigger group, it is more about the morale of the enemies, rather than fight to the death.

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Yeah, that's really the way to go.  The only reason to use henchmen is in those corner cases where they're meant to represent something special (such as the blue horrors, which are simply henchmen versions of pink horrors).

 

When making that switch, though, consider applying critical hit severity to damage, per the henchmen rules, to any large and not powerful group of foes.

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