Are there going to be minions?

146 posts / 0 new
Last post
I love minions. They are a great way to spice up an encounter with more enemies without having to track more hit points. And they do constant damage which cuts down on the rolling.
No, it seems (thank god), there will just be lower HD/Level monsters.
Goblins and Kobolds pretty much fill this niche from the get go.

It has been stated that these early enemies can be thrown in at greater and greater numbers rather easily like minions. 
Minion rules specifically? Sadly I don't see this happening in any official capacity. However its extremely easy to implement (dropping the HP to 1 or dies on first hit). Essentially there already there with the monsters present (oh 3 HP is MUCH better :rollseyes: )
Minion rules specifically? Sadly I don't see this happening in any official capacity. However its extremely easy to implement (dropping the HP to 1 or dies on first hit). Essentially there already there with the monsters present (oh 3 HP is MUCH better :rollseyes: )

But 3hp IS much better, the difference is player mindset. For me, there is a vast amount of contrast between, "ok, those guys are minions," and "ok, these guys are weak." One of them has meta game mechanics tied to it and devalues the mob's existence to hero fodder; while the other I could think to myself while punching out children at a day care center. Children drop like flies because I'm awesome (and they're not), minions drop like flies because they're designed to be weak.
With characters already one-shotting a third of the monsters in the Bestiary - would you even notice if there were minions?


Carl
Kobolds. Seriously. I suspected by 5th level the party cleric might cast cause disease on the party if they are fighting a large group of them seeing as they pretty much fall over if you sneeze at them.
The idea in next is that the 'flatter' math means that low level monsters remain a threat but as you level up you end up one shotting the buggers so they'll function like minions.

The current game math makes this a tad unlikely though. Right now AC and HP for characters advances quickly enough that low level monsters will only rarely hit and when they do the damage will be minor, meaning we're right back where we were in 3e.

That said implementing a quick and dirty minion template is easy enough, it's just something that the devs should do officially as well. 
Minion rules specifically? Sadly I don't see this happening in any official capacity. However its extremely easy to implement (dropping the HP to 1 or dies on first hit). Essentially there already there with the monsters present (oh 3 HP is MUCH better :rollseyes: )

But 3hp IS much better, the difference is player mindset. For me, there is a vast amount of contrast between, "ok, those guys are minions," and "ok, these guys are weak." One of them has meta game mechanics tied to it and devalues the mob's existence to hero fodder; while the other I could think to myself while punching out children at a day care center. Children drop like flies because I'm awesome (and they're not), minions drop like flies because they're designed to be weak.


I'm a bit disturbed by your example, but it pretty much fits.
Minions are not lower level monsters.  Nor are they swarms.  Different things entirely.

Minions can be monsters of the same level or higher of the same monsters you are facing now.   They just hit half as hard and die if you hit them, but their attack and AC are the same.   It is only metagame if your PC knows which ones are minions, so don't tell them!.   Mix in the killer brutes with the minion version of same, and your PC may end up hitting the minions instead of your brute, thinking this is an awesomely easy fight, and be overconfident when they take on the brute and in for a suprise when they realize it did not go down.

Even though they are easy to make  taking any existing monster and editing XP, HP and dmg; if they do not officially exist then creative uses of them in published and community adventures will not appear.   It is ridiculous to argue that they are not realistic, neither was the sea of orcs in front of the gates that took our fellowship a trilogy of movies, so many to one-hit!   Nothing more than a plot device, a staple in the fantasy genre.   If you do not like them, guess what you can OPT OUT and replace them with real HP monsters.
Minion rules specifically? Sadly I don't see this happening in any official capacity. However its extremely easy to implement (dropping the HP to 1 or dies on first hit). Essentially there already there with the monsters present (oh 3 HP is MUCH better :rollseyes: )

But 3hp IS much better, the difference is player mindset. For me, there is a vast amount of contrast between, "ok, those guys are minions," and "ok, these guys are weak." One of them has meta game mechanics tied to it and devalues the mob's existence to hero fodder; while the other I could think to myself while punching out children at a day care center. Children drop like flies because I'm awesome (and they're not), minions drop like flies because they're designed to be weak.



The fact that your making it a point to illustrate 2 HP different is meta-gaming in itself. My character doesn't know if they have 1 HP or 4 HP if they all still drop in 1 attack (even on a damage roll of 1 + Ability score). They die with one attack and that's all my character cares about.
I agree with you...  I loved minions as a DM.  If an encounter was going way to well for the players, you could just drop in a second wave of minions to keep them on their toes and humble the encounter down allot more.  The players in the end love it and the stories about these types of battles are talked about in many session that follow.  Keep the minions.

 
I love minions. They are a great way to spice up an encounter with more enemies without having to track more hit points. And they do constant damage which cuts down on the rolling.



The fact that your making it a point to illustrate 2 HP different is meta-gaming in itself. My character doesn't know if they have 1 HP or 4 HP if they all still drop in 1 attack (even on a damage roll of 1 + Ability score). They die with one attack and that's all my character cares about.

I don't care about HP value either, but minion =/= mob with 1hp. Minions auto die at any damage and aren't damaged by miss effects. The thing I don't like is the thought "I guess these are minions" being in my head because the keyword "minion" used in that sentence is used as a game definition. Not telling the players that a mob is a minion doesn't fix it. I can be totally wrong in thinking "that was a minion" but the damage is still done because it's the act of making me think like that I'm complaining about.
I think monsters should be designed like standard or normal, and like minions with different XPs. It would not only a hit-point but a hit-point each bodymass point (one medium size, two large, four huge...)


Why? Sometimes PCs are too powerful or they are using a special help like a warmachine, or modern firearms. Other times monsters are killed without combat, for example like when Mogwli (from Book of Jungle) incited a buffalo stampede to kill to Shere-Khan the tiger or when Mu-lan caused a avalanche to kill Mongol army. The XPs reward would be different. Killing a tyranosaurus rex is easier if your PC are riding a steampunk golem-like mecha (=giant robot). 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Personal opinion...

I think that a Minion Module could be a very simple thing to implement in a sidebar.

"Minions: If you want a more cinematic style of play, consider setting the hit points of monsters used in groups to 1.  You can also cut down on dice rolling a bit in combat by setting a Minion's damage to the average die roll (for example, a creature's whose normal damage is 1d6+1 would deal 4 points of damage per hit).  Reduce Minion-ized monsters XP value by x amount when using this option."

Just something to consider.     

All around helpful simian

See! that is what I wanna see in the book, a quick and dirty minion template.
Personal opinion...

I think that a Minion Module could be a very simple thing to implement in a sidebar.

"Minions: If you want a more cinematic style of play, consider setting the hit points of monsters used in groups to 1.  You can also cut down on dice rolling a bit in combat by setting a Minion's damage to the average die roll (for example, a creature's whose normal damage is 1d6+1 would deal 4 points of damage per hit).  Reduce Minion-ized monsters XP value by x amount when using this option."

Just something to consider.     


 
Not gonna work really the low level enemies are already one hit kills why are you reducing the experience for them exactly? 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Not it didnt apply to low level monsters but anythign you wanted to use in a group.

Not that it's perfect but some sort of minion template in the book would be very useful and probably wouldn't get all the luddites up in arms. 
Personal opinion...
I think that a Minion Module could be a very simple thing to implement in a sidebar.


Yes it is a very simple rule but not so simple to leave it up to house rules (25% XP, HP 1/tier, dmg is half average level or something tweaked from that 4e version?).   However they have not done that for 5e. Instead they said minions are the same thing as lower level monsters (when they are in fact, not) , so thus no need to even mention this feature of 4e, as far as they are concerned it is in there.

Are there going to be minions? 

Doubtful.  It's a recognizable 4e feature with relatively subtle benefits.  I imagine we'll just be told to use weak monsters. 
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
Not it didnt apply to low level monsters but anythign you wanted to use in a group.


Minions in 4e DDI run from lvl1-34 and run the gamut of monsters and roles.  My favorite use is the stealthy sniper ambush rather than the close up skirmisher.  The best way to think about how to use them is that it is a monster made of four independent parts that in total can potentially hit twice as hard as its average peer that is unlikely to entirely miss yet takes 4 hits to remove from play.  A low level monster cannot fulfill that role. They are actually more likely to kill a PC than their average peer if the party is not working together and the DM is playing them as intelligent (if they are) and focusing his fire, especially when the DM does not point out that they are minions.

Assuming they fix the monsters so that they can hit at any level (and, as expected so they are close to being equally likely to hit at any level) - what is it that minions will do for you that a low level monster will not do?


Automatically killed in one hit - heck, a quarter of the bestiary does that already.

Able to hit the party - see above.  This should be the case if they get the math straightened out.

Small but noticeable damage - likewise.

Minions were necessary in 4E because the 'red-queen's-race' of ever increasing attacks and defenses meant that a low level monster couldn't hit the party and the party would auto-hit the monster. 

Minions are not necessary in 4E (again -assuming they fix the low attack bonus problem which plagues all monsters).

As I see it.


Carl
Making interesting solos is more challenging
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Making interesting solos is more challenging
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

(assuming they fix the low attack bonus problem which plagues all monsters).

That is not what you want to do bumping up the attacks overall, just to be able to say it is now a capable minion, because then you lose the DM tool called the low level monster that can't hit you but it is easy for you to hit them.  Those old monsters serve another story purpose to remind the PC where they came from, it is fun to go back to the swarming kobold dungeon at lvl5 because they killed off the new crop of adventurers and the town needs your help even though they know we be better off fighting baby dragons and hostile orcs.

It was a mistake to say those old kobold dungeons are the minions that somehow decided to run up the hill and join the orcs, because that is NOT what minions are in 4e.  The difference from old monsters  is a minion can be your level or higher, it is just as hard for you to hit a minion as it is for them to hit you.  The only thing the minion has in common with the old monster  is they do little dmg (individually) and are one-hit kills (individually), it is their attack/defense being at your level, and being more powerful as a group than their non-minion peer that makes them different, and they should remain so.

A group of old monsters is just a slogfest called 99 kobolds on the wall, take one down stomp it down, 98 kobolds on the wall...no risk of getting hurt just a bloody waste of time, but fun to do when the party needs a break for pure slaughter.   Whereas minions can and will hurt you if you do not take them down in time.
Making interesting solos is more challenging

 Indeed designing and running solo monsters that can kill the party without actually killing the party is a hard balance of somewhere between a slogfest and TPK.  And they have their place in the story, being that is the dragon in the dungeon.  Designing minions is a trivial template to copy from 4e, but I do not think 4e figured out how to balance solos and they need more work.

Agreed. I will be very happy and impressed if they come up with robust ways to deal with combats where the action economy is heavily stacked in favor of the party. Giving creatures multiple turns works okay, but it also kind of loudly flags creatures as solo monsters, which isn't the end of the world but maybe there's a better way.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
The attraction of minions is that it frees you from putting in creatures that may not be thematically appropriate to your dungeon.

If I am running a dungeon full of creature X, and I want to fill out an encounter with weak monsters, I don't want to have to figure out some forced reason to put kobolds in. I just want to have weaker versions of creature X, so that the players can mow through them or be buried under their weight.

In the first few levels it's not really a problem, most monsters are 1 hit/1 kill already; that's why some people don't see their lack as a problem.  The problem will be more apparent at later levels.

Are minions NECESSARY? Probably not. Arev they USEFUL? Definitely. Minions were one of the better 4E ideas, and should definitely stay in.
I once built a solo that had the same action count as a normal PC (barirng his free use of two action points in an encounter) to counter I had him generate multiple flying bits of hardened magic that acted as minions (with huge Damage resistance).

That sound more fun?

Or what about creating a monster where the HP pool applies to 2 or more semi-independent bodies. 
Making interesting solos is more challenging



You can say that again!

Making interesting solos is more challenging




Sorry Garthanos, couldn't resist. But for the record I agree with you.
Or what about creating a monster where the HP pool applies to 2 or more semi-independent bodies. 


I was thinking about this once and thought it would be neat.

I remember making one epic level boss that easily gave the party a run for their money(the group has some optimizers in it, they made a mention that they thought it was too hard despite winning). His abilities included...

Aura 3 that Slows(Save Ends) if they end their turn in it.
When bloodied, he lsot the aura, but could use a Minor Action to give himself a Standard or Move Action.
2 full turns per round(rolls init twice, acts on both)
Every other turn, rolls a d20. Once during the round as a no action, he can replace any d20 roll made during the round with that d20 roll. Picture a souped-up version of the Time Bender PP's Loan from the Past feature.
Rolled against Save Ends effects at the start of his turn instead of the end.
Heavy hitting MBA
Multi-target RBA
Recharge 6, Damage+Remove From Play until EoNT with Dazed(Save Ends) aftereffect.
1/encounter Mass Stun with heavy damage(No damage and Dazed on a miss). Has degrading aftereffects when saved against, each aftereffect needing it's own save(Stunned-->Dazed-->Immobilized-->Slowed). A Nat 20 save instantly ended the current effect with no aftereffect tacked on.
Recharge 3 Shift double speed as a move action
A Recharge Bloodied minor action that summons 5 minor clones of himself. Gains a defense bonus of (1+Number of Clones) as long as at least 1 clone is alive.
Could "degrade" an effect's duration if he failed a save against it, or was under it for one whole turn(from start to end, any effects put on him during his turn would have to wait until his next turn). It would go down one duration at this point(End of Encounter-->Save Ends-->End of Player's Next Turn-->End of Boss's Next Turn-->End of Boss's current turn). Each effect could only by "degraded" once, to keep it from being to cheap.

The arena was also heavily in his favor(a medium-sized pentagon shaped flat arena, no cover to speak of, meaning he could pretty much get anywhere on the field he wanted to and attack what he can), and caught the PCs somewhat off-guard, a DMPC that went insane aftergetting a rush of power from an artifact that could rend the fabric of time. Personally, given they thought he was hard, I was proud of this fight.

The party's favorite fight from that one-shot though was one against a slightly buffed Phane Wraith who kept running into mirrors and spawning Paradox copies of the party. The party's caster managed to notice the Paradox PCs linked to their respective PC, and if they damage a copy that wasn't theirs, the copy took zero damage, and the PC it was based off took half. The Paradox PCs had their defenses-5, used their attack and damage bonuses, their lowest level encounter power, and I had the PCs themselves rolling their attack and damage rolls(damage was halved). After they all died(they were all Minions), the Wraith appeared in the mirrors and kept respawning them, without the damage-link benefit, and the PCs had to destroy the mirrors(which instantly killed the Paradox PC it spawned if it's alive) which hurt the Wraith as well, leaving it Bloodied by the time it came out to fight them properly.
I once built a solo that had the same action count as a normal PC (barirng his free use of two action points in an encounter) to counter I had him generate multiple flying bits of hardened magic that acted as minions (with huge Damage resistance).


Glowstone Caverns a Chaos Scar adventure in Dungeon 177 features an Elite Goblin Mass that spawns corrupted Goblin Minions hoping they will distract the party while it trys to replace its lost flesh mass with the party!  It also spawns Goblin Warriors so you never know if it is a Minion or Warrior coming at you.

Minion have several propouse on 4e, one of them it's that they are very simple, they have a basic attack and maybe a small feature depending on their race or background...oh wait, 95% of the monster manual on 5e are like that!...
Except almost none of them have features and about half of them don't actually have the ability to hit somoen with decent armor.

A minion is level appropriate, but still simple. 
yep, that's why the entire monster design should be redesigned, rampant.  The current one on the playtest looks like a copy paste from AD&D Monster Manual, as a DM i want to use interesting monsters with abilities and tactics to challenge my players without the need of needing to have a outlandish monster that have like 10 30 feet tentacles, save or dies effects or casting spells...that btw will be a pain to play because i would need to look at the spell description and effect when i use them (or in my case, browsing thru the book with the spells beside the monster manual to script the commands on the token on maptools, wish will increase the time i have to spend to build encounters...no thanks).

Also, the lie that is bounded accuracy should be dropped too.

Minions are not as "treatening" as a standard on 4e, but they can become quickly a threat to the players if left uncheck, they are inmune to "miss" damage, high level wizards will still destroy low level monsters even if they succed their save on Next, while 4e minions will.  Some of them have abilities and features that synergy that may not be a threat to the players themselves, but it synergies with the standard, elite and/or solos on the same encounter for some painful effect on the players if left uncheck.  They are also fast to use, because they don't roll for damage.
I have got a question.... do you think large or bigger monsters should can be minions?

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

What exactly do you do with an epic level 30 minion?  Dungeon 374 'The Prince of Frost'.

"In the presence of the Prince of Frost, grief overwhelms the sisters, making them all the more insane but also more formidable against the prince’s attackers"

What happens is the two sisters who are level 24 elites, get converted to level 30 minions when near the Prince of Frost.  If you manage to 1-hit kill them near the prince yet don't kill the prince they have a 50% chance of returning to 1HP life every turn.  And there is two of them which means you will never get to the prince because odds are there will be at least one of the minions to deal with.  The only way to kill them is to get them away from the prince so they are themselves, but then you have to get thru their bucket of hit points, or deal with them in a more dangerous minion form where they will never die as long as the prince lives.  Do you think the DM will say when they are within 5 squares they are dangerous minions or will he leave the PC to figure this out for themselves?  

In other words minion are a plot device, and that plot device is likely not that the lvl1 kobolds have massed to save the lvl5 orcs, but I will keep searching on DDI because surely they must have got that idea that that is how they are used from somewhere....

I don't understand the question.

Level 30 minions fight level 30 PCs because it doesn't matter how many of the gobbos you get from that first warren those creeps are never going to hit a level thirty party much less do any real damage, heck I doubt they'd even constitute difficult terrain at that point. 
I have got a question.... do you think large or bigger monsters should can be minions?



Yeah, because it means the player character did a lethal wound when it hit them, stabbing the ogre eye directly to the brain, decapitation, pierce the heart, neck stab.  Remember HP and damage is an abstract number
Also remeber that 1 hp doesn't mean dies in one hit.

Minions can have resistances just liek other monsters (more even) to represent things like monsters that are super tough usually but have specific weaknesses like silver or fire.
I don't understand the question.

Level 30 minions fight level 30 PCs because it doesn't matter how many of the gobbos you get from that first warren those creeps are never going to hit a level thirty party much less do any real damage, heck I doubt they'd even constitute difficult terrain at that point. 


You did not read the rest of the story, the lvl 30 minions are replacing lvl24 elites whenever they get near the boss.  Which means the PC are probably around just above lvl20 since that is a boss fight.  Those lvl30 minions are going to be deadly.  The goblin minions had nothing to do with that story, I was just looking thru DDI to find examples of what minions are used by adventure writers for.

Point being that minions are often used at level or higher, not just for revisiting weak prior monsters for a slaughterfest.     Though I like their pretense at that in the first lvl of the goblin story to fool you into thinking that is what it is going to be, then use the minions for a very different purpose once you realize you have gotten in way too deep and there is no turning back because even a lucky lvl1 minion can be deadly if you are near death and trying to escape a lvl5 nightmare,because you yourself have few HP and little offense/defense left.