Minions Are Everywhere!
No matter the story, whether set in a fantasy, science fiction, comedy, or drama, the main bad guy always has lackeys. Darth Vader had the Storm Troopers, Dr. Evil had several nameless thugs and Mini Me, Sauron had the first 1/3 of the Orc army that was attacking Helm's Deep (seriously, they dropped like flies when the arrows started flying).
Minions: By The Book
A few game sessions ago, I decided I did not like using the minions in the same old fashion I had been. They were great as zombies in my campaign's Whispering Willow Cemetery session, wonderful as cheaply hired mercenaries to guard a slave camp in The Slave Pit session, and really interesting as village fishermen the party had to protect as the slavers retaliated in the final encounter of the Gates of Dyadasti session, but I decided to mix things up a bit. I used 2-hit minions in the Longtooth's Labyrinth session but when one of the players landed a high damage roll, he felt cheated that the enemy wasn't killed. I quickly converted my 2-hit minions back to regular minions to keep the level of fun at a maximum for the evening, but decided I wouldn't give up hope on the 2-hit minion.
My Minions Have HP?
For the next session, I had created 2 new flavors of minions. The 2/20 and the 3/30 minions. The 2/20 minion is dead after 2 hits or 20 damage, whichever comes first. Likewise, the 3/30 minion is dead after 3 hits or 30 damage. This may sound fruitless and you may be asking "why not just have the monster with 30 HP??" Well, for our group, this worked very well. Our Ranger misses quite a bit (he obviously hasn't read my article on how dice are made and refuses to switch d20s mid-session), so when he does land a shot, it really counts against these 2/20 and 3/30 minions. On top of this, when the "cheated" player landed a heavy blow on a 3/30 minion with 2 hits left, it was destroyed. Everyone had lots of fun and I was still able to swarm the party with a nice mix of regular minions, 2/20s and 3/30s!
Chris' articles really got me thinking again about other things I can change to keep the players on their toes. I'm going to look for specific creatures with interesting auras and burst that make sense for the setting when creating my minions. The 2/20 and 3/30 minions worked in the one session I used them, but I'm not convinced they're here to stay, time will tell.
- Have you modified how you use minions?
- Are there certain powers or considerations you give to them in your games?
- Do you think my modification was effective or just a waste of time?
Let me know in the comments!