Author Topic: Mob/Unit Template-Making groups of weak creatures threatening to players!  (Read 16292 times)

Online Raineh Daze

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So they're meant to be more or less able to fully heal the mob with a 1st level spell? :huh
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If your mob is composed of lv1 commoners of regular races with 10 or less Con, yes.

If you're leading a unit of veteran troops, or even 1st level warriors with positive Con mod, you'll need a stronger healing spell to fully restore them.

1d8+1 still averages to a measly 5,5 HP per dude cured.

Offline MrRoboto

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Does a mob add its size modifier to the save DC of its volley attack? The text doesn't say it does but it does mention adding that modifier to the DC of other saves the mob causes.

EDIT: Since only half the members need a ranged weapon to use the volley option, can a unit perform a volley and still deal mob up damage at EOT (the members in the center of the formation attack at range while the edges engage in melee)?

2nd EDIT: How does moving within a mob/unit work for friendly creatures that are not part of said mob/unit (IE the other PCs)? Is it possible and does it provide cover of any sort?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 06:30:52 PM by MrRoboto »

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Re: Mob/Unit Template-Making groups of weak creatures threatening to players!
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2015, 05:22:23 AM »
Mounted Mob/Unit



Mounts and Riders act as one.

A mounted Mob/Unit is composed of creatures riding their mounts. The riders must have the Mounted Combat feat and at least 4 ranks in ride and the mount must be able to carry the rider. Count each pair of rider/mount as a single creature, with the size and creature type based on the mount and then the best of each creature's Ability Scores, HD, movement speeds, skill ranks, base saves and Bab.  Combine the feats and other abilities of both.

The CR of a Mounted Mob/Unit is equal to 1+the CR of the base Mob/Unit if it was composed solely of individuals of the highest CR between mount/rider.

Otherwise it works as a normal Mob/Unit.

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« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 10:49:18 AM by oslecamo »

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Re: Mob/Unit Template-Making groups of weak creatures threatening to players!
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2015, 05:29:36 AM »
Completely missed those questions but better late than never I guess.

Does a mob add its size modifier to the save DC of its volley attack? The text doesn't say it does but it does mention adding that modifier to the DC of other saves the mob causes.
No, since the Volley gets to add the Bab while most other abilities don't (correct  me if I'm mistaken on this).

EDIT: Since only half the members need a ranged weapon to use the volley option, can a unit perform a volley and still deal mob up damage at EOT (the members in the center of the formation attack at range while the edges engage in melee)?
Yes.

2nd EDIT: How does moving within a mob/unit work for friendly creatures that are not part of said mob/unit (IE the other PCs)? Is it possible and does it provide cover of any sort?
Friendly creatures still count a mob/unit as difficult terrain as it's still a bunch of tightly packed creatures. The mob/unit moves independently of creatures that are not a part of it, but will still grant cover as a bigger creature normally would.

Offline TC X0 Lt 0X

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Re: Mob/Unit Template-Making groups of weak creatures threatening to players!
« Reply #45 on: February 07, 2017, 01:50:05 AM »
So a few questions:

1) A unit of Zombies would lose their Critical Strike and Precision Damage immunity, correct?

2) How would Tactics work with activated abilities involving attack rolls, or for that matter stuff like Martial Adept Strikes/Boosts? Would you just make a single attack against a target in reach? Do you need to roll the attack roll? Are you using Mob Up/Volley damage as the Unit or just a single attack as the base unit of the mob? Would something like a Boost apply to all the mobs attacks (presuming it works with more then 1 attack normally)?

3) Supernatural Mob/Unit are interesting, but kind of funky. Namely how their Laser Up and Focused Laser Barrage compare to Mob up and Volley. I was missing around with it with Warlocks, and I noticed that Mob Up generally outperformed Laser Up. This mainly stems from the damage multiplier from having 3/4 BAB which doesn't seem to apply to Laser Up, and even further for units that get to benefit from Discipline bonus damage. For Instance a Large Mob/Unit of Warlock 3 with Mob Up deal 4d6/+6 (assuming Str 8 with Morningstar) but only 3d6/4d6 with Laser Up. And then you need to make an attack roll. At bigger group sizes this difference only increases. It kind of evens out if you are using Higher level warlocks in smaller groups, but not by much.
Obviously the Warlock Mob Unit has more options available to it then Laser Up and Barrage, namely Laser Storm as an extra free attack, but it seems kind of odd that the warlocks are better off smacking people with weapons then eldritch blasting them. And of course this issue probably isnt a problem for most other applications of the template and is just a bit nitpicky on my part, but I felt like it would be good to point that out.

EDIT

4) And is bonus damage multiplied when calculating mob damage? From 1 Flaming weapon for example?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 10:36:40 PM by TC X0 Lt 0X »
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Re: Mob/Unit Template-Making groups of weak creatures threatening to players!
« Reply #46 on: February 08, 2017, 03:54:46 PM »
So a few questions:

1) A unit of Zombies would lose their Critical Strike and Precision Damage immunity, correct?
Yes.

2) How would Tactics work with activated abilities involving attack rolls, or for that matter stuff like Martial Adept Strikes/Boosts? Would you just make a single attack against a target in reach? Do you need to roll the attack roll? Are you using Mob Up/Volley damage as the Unit or just a single attack as the base unit of the mob? Would something like a Boost apply to all the mobs attacks (presuming it works with more then 1 attack normally)?
Yes single-target maneuvers would remain single-target with normal attack/damage roll. Only use mob-up damage when specifically called. A boost would affect all of the unit's attacks as appliable.

3) Supernatural Mob/Unit are interesting, but kind of funky. Namely how their Laser Up and Focused Laser Barrage compare to Mob up and Volley. I was missing around with it with Warlocks, and I noticed that Mob Up generally outperformed Laser Up. This mainly stems from the damage multiplier from having 3/4 BAB which doesn't seem to apply to Laser Up, and even further for units that get to benefit from Discipline bonus damage. For Instance a Large Mob/Unit of Warlock 3 with Mob Up deal 4d6/+6 (assuming Str 8 with Morningstar) but only 3d6/4d6 with Laser Up. And then you need to make an attack roll. At bigger group sizes this difference only increases. It kind of evens out if you are using Higher level warlocks in smaller groups, but not by much.
Obviously the Warlock Mob Unit has more options available to it then Laser Up and Barrage, namely Laser Storm as an extra free attack, but it seems kind of odd that the warlocks are better off smacking people with weapons then eldritch blasting them. And of course this issue probably isnt a problem for most other applications of the template and is just a bit nitpicky on my part, but I felt like it would be good to point that out.
There's several details that you seem to have overlooked:
1-Although the warlock's blast damage is indeed not multiplied, it also outright ignores armor/shield/natural armor, so swarming with morningstars would only be superior against very lightly armored targets.
2-Warlock mob blast does not demand you to get closer and eat aoos.
3-There's several extra effects a bunch of debuffs you could add to their blast.
4-You kinda selected a biased example since warlock blast is infamous for being kinda lowish damage. Although now that I think about it I'm not very sure where you got the +6 to morningstar mob damage since 8 Str should be a negative modifier.


4) And is bonus damage multiplied when calculating mob damage? From 1 Flaming weapon for example?
Assuming everybody in the mob has flaming weapons, yes. A single one wouldn't do any difference though.

Offline TC X0 Lt 0X

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Re: Mob/Unit Template-Making groups of weak creatures threatening to players!
« Reply #47 on: February 08, 2017, 07:44:38 PM »

3) Supernatural Mob/Unit are interesting, but kind of funky. Namely how their Laser Up and Focused Laser Barrage compare to Mob up and Volley. I was missing around with it with Warlocks, and I noticed that Mob Up generally outperformed Laser Up. This mainly stems from the damage multiplier from having 3/4 BAB which doesn't seem to apply to Laser Up, and even further for units that get to benefit from Discipline bonus damage. For Instance a Large Mob/Unit of Warlock 3 with Mob Up deal 4d6/+6 (assuming Str 8 with Morningstar) but only 3d6/4d6 with Laser Up. And then you need to make an attack roll. At bigger group sizes this difference only increases. It kind of evens out if you are using Higher level warlocks in smaller groups, but not by much.
Obviously the Warlock Mob Unit has more options available to it then Laser Up and Barrage, namely Laser Storm as an extra free attack, but it seems kind of odd that the warlocks are better off smacking people with weapons then eldritch blasting them. And of course this issue probably isnt a problem for most other applications of the template and is just a bit nitpicky on my part, but I felt like it would be good to point that out.
There's several details that you seem to have overlooked:
1-Although the warlock's blast damage is indeed not multiplied, it also outright ignores armor/shield/natural armor, so swarming with morningstars would only be superior against very lightly armored targets.
2-Warlock mob blast does not demand you to get closer and eat aoos.
3-There's several extra effects a bunch of debuffs you could add to their blast.
4-You kinda selected a biased example since warlock blast is infamous for being kinda lowish damage. Although now that I think about it I'm not very sure where you got the +6 to morningstar mob damage since 8 Str should be a negative modifier.


1 - That is true, so the damage is not too bad after those.

2 - You mean Laser Barrage correct? Because Laser up does want them in the mob, or in reach of the unit per its description. But yeah it is true you are away from the fight. Volley will also keep you out of the fight and if using crossbows dealing more damage then Mob up with morning stars in the example, but with point 1 the mob is probably dealing more damage with Laser Barrage ignoring armor and stuff still. Volley can beat it on range though, but that is only because of how eldritch Blast works, so that cant be helped and is the case with a lone warlock as well.

3 - That is true, though there are plenty of debuffs you can find to add to weapons, like poison. But thats not really an issue either way for me, with the above two points.

4 - Yeah like I said this issue only came up with the warlocks, they are somewhat low damage overall. I only used them because I was building a Unit of them (Warlock Drow Specifically) and that they were one the examples of a supernatural mob/unit as mentioned in the template.
The +6 is for the Unit and from the Discipline ability, which gives bonus damage based on size on top of scaling weapon damage (unless I read that wrong):
1d8-1 (base Warlock) > 2d6-1 (Large Warlock Mob) > 2d6+3(Large Warlock Unit) > 4d6+6 (after 3/4th BAB multiplying damage by 2)


4) And is bonus damage multiplied when calculating mob damage? From 1 Flaming weapon for example?
Assuming everybody in the mob has flaming weapons, yes. A single one wouldn't do any difference though.

Okay that is good to know, but to clarify something which I wasnt clear with my question, do you also scale up the bonus damage based on size, or only base weapon damage?
For instance, Medium Fire Elementals deal 1d6 fire damage on top of their slam damage. If you had a Large Mob of Medium Fire Elementals, would the Slam now receive a upgraded 1d8 extra fire damage, or would it not scale with size and remain 1d6?
I ask because normally damage like that doesnt scale up (the flaming property on a Large Longsword Wielded by a Large Creature still deals 1d6 Fire), but at the same time the damage scaling is in part abstraction of just being hit by multiple creatures in a group, so I imagine a mob of fire elementals is going to deal more fire damage then a single fire elementals base attack would.


Speaking of BAB and multiplied damage though, in the rare scenario where you have a multi classed mob (or monster mob with racial HD and class levels), you would probably just treat the BAB as what it would average out to for a creature of that HD yeah?
For example, a Mob of Bugbear (3HD of 3/4 BAB) with 3 Levels of Sorcerer (1/2 BAB) would be treated as having 1/2 BAB for purposes of multiplying damage correct?


Sorry for all the questions BTW =P
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 07:58:19 PM by TC X0 Lt 0X »
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Re: Mob/Unit Template-Making groups of weak creatures threatening to players!
« Reply #48 on: February 11, 2017, 07:57:39 AM »
4 - Yeah like I said this issue only came up with the warlocks, they are somewhat low damage overall. I only used them because I was building a Unit of them (Warlock Drow Specifically) and that they were one the examples of a supernatural mob/unit as mentioned in the template.
The +6 is for the Unit and from the Discipline ability, which gives bonus damage based on size on top of scaling weapon damage (unless I read that wrong):
1d8-1 (base Warlock) > 2d6-1 (Large Warlock Mob) > 2d6+3(Large Warlock Unit) > 4d6+6 (after 3/4th BAB multiplying damage by 2)
That is indeed correct.

Okay that is good to know, but to clarify something which I wasnt clear with my question, do you also scale up the bonus damage based on size, or only base weapon damage?
For instance, Medium Fire Elementals deal 1d6 fire damage on top of their slam damage. If you had a Large Mob of Medium Fire Elementals, would the Slam now receive a upgraded 1d8 extra fire damage, or would it not scale with size and remain 1d6?
I ask because normally damage like that doesnt scale up (the flaming property on a Large Longsword Wielded by a Large Creature still deals 1d6 Fire), but at the same time the damage scaling is in part abstraction of just being hit by multiple creatures in a group, so I imagine a mob of fire elementals is going to deal more fire damage then a single fire elementals base attack would.
Well the extra fire damage is already kinda represented by the multiplier for Bab. Fire damage from weapons indeed doesn't scale by size whetever it's a pixie dagger or a titan maul. I could put a clause for that, but I'm afraid of opening a can of worms to promote stacking all the d6s you can in a small creature and then reap the size benefits.

Speaking of BAB and multiplied damage though, in the rare scenario where you have a multi classed mob (or monster mob with racial HD and class levels), you would probably just treat the BAB as what it would average out to for a creature of that HD yeah?
For example, a Mob of Bugbear (3HD of 3/4 BAB) with 3 Levels of Sorcerer (1/2 BAB) would be treated as having 1/2 BAB for purposes of multiplying damage correct?
Correct.

Sorry for all the questions BTW =P
No problem, you're welcome. :)

Offline TC X0 Lt 0X

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Re: Mob/Unit Template-Making groups of weak creatures threatening to players!
« Reply #49 on: February 15, 2017, 12:52:26 AM »
Yes thank you.

I guess my only inkling now is overall damage scalling, particularly for units. on the smaller sized units discipline bonus damage is not to bad, but when you get to larger units with full BAB that discipline damage could probably one shot parties. A Full BAB Gargantuan unit with 10 str is dealing 18d6+36 with Greatswords, an average of 99 damage to anything in range. The 10th level fully armored d12HD character with a 24 Con and avg HP is maybe 140 HP and around 20 DR vs Mob up give or take.
Barring other abilities to shave off damage (which outside of somewhat optimized games might not be around), this guy is getting 2 shotted. Against characters not as focused into defense or with smaller HD (d10HD, 20 Con) you are probably are going to see that HP drop to 110 and DR a few points. Squishes are straight out murdered on contact it seems, especially sense the Unit is ignoring miss chances and stuff.

Realistically as a DM your probably not going to send a horde of Greatsword wielding Hobos against your Party and are going to watch the damage they can do. The smart move as a DM is probably longswords (which is only 6d6 is less damage). Still the damage multiplier makes thing swing wildy in my opinion. It might be a good idea to make discipline damage for units apply after multiplication rather then before (still an advantage to the unit damage wise), or reduce BAB multiplication to 1, 1.5, and 2 (for low, mid, and high bab respectively), perhaps both. Really while characters with higher BAB should have some representation of being better combatants, I dont thing the difference between a low BAB and high BAB is a tripling of damage, especially amongst low level characters which mobs/units are going to typically be composed of.

And then there is Power Attack Wedge formation which doubles damage after base multiplication, which is just absurd no matter how you slice it. At best it should be a +1 multiplier.


I dont know, maybe Im miscalculating or not accounting for something, and any changes probably do throw off the lower end damage down. I guess the issue there is its easier to get a bulk or armor for DR early on but the bonuses scale slower then the damage ramps up.
What are your thoughts on this?
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Re: Mob/Unit Template-Making groups of weak creatures threatening to players!
« Reply #50 on: February 15, 2017, 07:20:53 PM »
My head's kinda burned right now, but I'll just point out a couple things:
1-At first level squishies go down in 1 round of melee.
2-At level 10 you either have great mobility or great range and either way a mob of 1st level dudes is gonna be lucky to ever close in melee, so they need to make it count.

Wedge Formation a bit too OP though so nerfed as per your suggestion.

Online Raineh Daze

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Re: Mob/Unit Template-Making groups of weak creatures threatening to players!
« Reply #51 on: February 15, 2017, 10:30:04 PM »
My head's kinda burned right now, but I'll just point out a couple things:
1-At first level squishies go down in 1 round of melee.

Most things will die to one bad crit for a couple of levels, but that's not a good thing. Also one of the issues at higher levels where it's all rocket tag. That doesn't mean it justifies an outcome where any sufficiently large group can only be taken on by kiting and hoping they have no way to catch up, even when the individual participants have no ability to hurt you even on a 20.
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Kinda late reply here, but consider the following.

A fire giant (CR 10) makes 3 attacks for 3d6+15, average of about 76 damage without crits. But he has power attack and is wielding a two-handed weapon by default, so he can easily get a 24+ damage in a full attack if facing a squishy target, keeping up damage with the mob. So squishies that get in melee range do drop in 1 round at mid levels against melee specialist already.

And from a fluff perspective, it is a classic that the heroes can't just mindlessly charge in the middle of a compact formation of mooks. Heck, more often than not, a compact formation of mooks is enough to make the heroes choose to run away to fight another day, or engage in skirmish tactics to wear down their opponents without eing surrounded, although one on one or even ten on one the mooks would have no chance.


Offline nijineko

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Hmmm, I've never had problems with threatening PCs with large groups of mooks in the past?

the PCs have to burn some AoE uses or just wade into them for a somewhat protracted combat while taking some hits.

either way, it is a distraction and/or challenge.

an interesting idea nonetheless.
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Online Raineh Daze

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A fire giant (CR 10) makes 3 attacks for 3d6+15, average of about 76 damage without crits. But he has power attack and is wielding a two-handed weapon by default, so he can easily get a 24+ damage in a full attack if facing a squishy target, keeping up damage with the mob. So squishies that get in melee range do drop in 1 round at mid levels against melee specialist already.

It can also miss for various reasons, doesn't ignore a chunk of defensive measures from both sides of the martial/magic divide, can end up in a position where its attacking risks it getting hit, and doesn't negate every single-target ability in the game and most debuffs. Whilst being able to hit every PC every round without fail for high damage. That's too many things at once.

Quote
And from a fluff perspective, it is a classic that the heroes can't just mindlessly charge in the middle of a compact formation of mooks. Heck, more often than not, a compact formation of mooks is enough to make the heroes choose to run away to fight another day, or engage in skirmish tactics to wear down their opponents without eing surrounded, although one on one or even ten on one the mooks would have no chance.

But there's also plenty of stories where the number of combatants is totally irrelevant and any number of weak enemies is literally just cannon fodder. There's enough mythological stories where numbers weren't enough and you needed to pit heroes of equal force against each other to achieve anything at all--the Greeks seemed to be a big fan of those sorts of things. Then there's the intermediate step where you can throw an entire army against one person and eventually kill them but at the cost of having lost the battle anyone as it worked out to a draw. Or a lot of mecha series.

There's level ranges and situations where that's appropriate, but a ten level gap is the difference between summoning a horse and teleporting a party the length of a continent. A disorganised low level mob is not the sort of thing that should be threatening level 11 fighters.
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A fire giant (CR 10) makes 3 attacks for 3d6+15, average of about 76 damage without crits. But he has power attack and is wielding a two-handed weapon by default, so he can easily get a 24+ damage in a full attack if facing a squishy target, keeping up damage with the mob. So squishies that get in melee range do drop in 1 round at mid levels against melee specialist already.

It can also miss for various reasons, doesn't ignore a chunk of defensive measures from both sides of the martial/magic divide, can end up in a position where its attacking risks it getting hit, and doesn't negate every single-target ability in the game and most debuffs. Whilst being able to hit every PC every round without fail for high damage. That's too many things at once.
Actually single-target effects that kill creatures do remove HP from a mob (and multi-target will remove multiples). And it loses immunities as it's losing HP. And takes extra damage from area effects and cleave/greater cleave. Heck even vulnerable to black tentacles. And the mob's AC/saves should be pretty crappy meaning it will be losing basically every save and you can full power attack it and only miss on 1s. That basic Fire Giant can probably one-round a colossal mob of basic 1st level dudes despite being a couple CRs lower.


Quote
And from a fluff perspective, it is a classic that the heroes can't just mindlessly charge in the middle of a compact formation of mooks. Heck, more often than not, a compact formation of mooks is enough to make the heroes choose to run away to fight another day, or engage in skirmish tactics to wear down their opponents without eing surrounded, although one on one or even ten on one the mooks would have no chance.

But there's also plenty of stories where the number of combatants is totally irrelevant and any number of weak enemies is literally just cannon fodder. There's enough mythological stories where numbers weren't enough and you needed to pit heroes of equal force against each other to achieve anything at all--the Greeks seemed to be a big fan of those sorts of things. Then there's the intermediate step where you can throw an entire army against one person and eventually kill them but at the cost of having lost the battle anyone as it worked out to a draw.
You mean like the Trojan war? Where the trojans had two named heroes who were explicitly weaker than the greek's best, die relatively fast and then the trojan mooks hold a literal army of greek named heroes for a decade before Ulysses pulls a super bluff check and then they just go coup de gracing the trojan mooks during their sleep?

Meanwhile the 300 spartans appear to be invincible until the persians get a proper flanking going and then even the spartan king goes down to the persian's mooks like a whimp.

Then there's the classic LoTR where individuals like Sauron and Gandalf are supposed to be demigods walking the earth, but get enough goblins/orcs and you can swarm them.

Or a lot of mecha series.
Gundam series always have the main mecha fighting as part of a bigger force. Even Mazinger and Getter Robo and TTGL ended up needing to rally armies to help win the day at the end. Getter Emperor actually deploys squads of rifle humies as part of its attack patterns, besides budding smaller getters.

There's level ranges and situations where that's appropriate, but a ten level gap is the difference between summoning a horse and teleporting a party the length of a continent. A disorganised low level mob is not the sort of thing that should be threatening level 11 fighters.
But then that raises the question of why would anybody bother to train and maintain armies. If quantity doesn't have a quality of its own, then there's no reason to ever go for quantity.

Plus explains why BBEGs love lurking in dungeons with tight corridors. Keeps them safe from being swarmed. :p

Hmmm, I've never had problems with threatening PCs with large groups of mooks in the past?

the PCs have to burn some AoE uses or just wade into them for a somewhat protracted combat while taking some hits.

either way, it is a distraction and/or challenge.

an interesting idea nonetheless.
So you're fine with rolling dozens/hundreds of rolls for all the mooks? :psyduck

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A fire giant (CR 10) makes 3 attacks for 3d6+15, average of about 76 damage without crits. But he has power attack and is wielding a two-handed weapon by default, so he can easily get a 24+ damage in a full attack if facing a squishy target, keeping up damage with the mob. So squishies that get in melee range do drop in 1 round at mid levels against melee specialist already.

It can also miss for various reasons, doesn't ignore a chunk of defensive measures from both sides of the martial/magic divide, can end up in a position where its attacking risks it getting hit, and doesn't negate every single-target ability in the game and most debuffs. Whilst being able to hit every PC every round without fail for high damage. That's too many things at once.
Actually single-target effects that kill creatures do remove HP from a mob (and multi-target will remove multiples). And it loses immunities as it's losing HP. And takes extra damage from area effects and cleave/greater cleave. Heck even vulnerable to black tentacles. And the mob's AC/saves should be pretty crappy meaning it will be losing basically every save and you can full power attack it and only miss on 1s. That basic Fire Giant can probably one-round a colossal mob of basic 1st level dudes despite being a couple CRs lower.

Do I really have to point out that this is a lot of "probably"s that need more checking? Last time you used a mob you did nearly kill everyone except the mathematical abomination Anomander's playing in a single round.

Quote
Quote
And from a fluff perspective, it is a classic that the heroes can't just mindlessly charge in the middle of a compact formation of mooks. Heck, more often than not, a compact formation of mooks is enough to make the heroes choose to run away to fight another day, or engage in skirmish tactics to wear down their opponents without eing surrounded, although one on one or even ten on one the mooks would have no chance.

But there's also plenty of stories where the number of combatants is totally irrelevant and any number of weak enemies is literally just cannon fodder. There's enough mythological stories where numbers weren't enough and you needed to pit heroes of equal force against each other to achieve anything at all--the Greeks seemed to be a big fan of those sorts of things. Then there's the intermediate step where you can throw an entire army against one person and eventually kill them but at the cost of having lost the battle anyone as it worked out to a draw.
You mean like the Trojan war? Where the trojans had two named heroes who were explicitly weaker than the greek's best, die relatively fast and then the trojan mooks hold a literal army of greek named heroes for a decade before Ulysses pulls a super bluff check and then they just go coup de gracing the trojan mooks during their sleep?

Meanwhile the 300 spartans appear to be invincible until the persians get a proper flanking going and then even the spartan king goes down to the persian's mooks like a whimp.

Then there's the classic LoTR where individuals like Sauron and Gandalf are supposed to be demigods walking the earth, but get enough goblins/orcs and you can swarm them.

Yeah, the Trojan War where Achilles was unstoppable until a god specifically took action to take him out. The same Greek Myths where half of Herc's labours were killing things that couldn't be swarmed by sheer numbers. At which point they go spend the next ten years holing up inside of their walls rather than coming out to fight--that's a siege, not a battle. What about Beowulf, with the minor issue of "well, our soldiers can't do this, but this one guy can".

And LotR? Bad example. Yeah, the named human characters can be overwhelmed. Gandalf and Sauron? Nope. Gandalf survived every mortal battle he was ever in without issue, and Sauron's being defeated by the Last Alliance? It wasn't the numbers; he was single-handedly stopping an entire army by smashing it to pieces. It was one of the four named characters in the battle (two of whom were dead) who basically scored a crit. That isn't a mob of low level characters, that's an out-of-CR boss fight with NPC's to soak up damage for a bit. The rest of the setting is even worse. Nazgul? Named characters and they were generally operating as generals in the past. But go back to the Silmarillion and it's even more skewed: the earlier parts of the war include an entire army refusing to engage with a single elf who went to take on Morgoth. Or single entities radically changing the tide of battle--Ancalagon is a great example of "and no amount of numbers is going to help against a max-size dragon".

... The Battle of Thermopylae is so far our of D&D's general scale I'm not sure of its relevance.

Quote
Or a lot of mecha series.
Gundam series always have the main mecha fighting as part of a bigger force. Even Mazinger and Getter Robo and TTGL ended up needing to rally armies to help win the day at the end. Getter Emperor actually deploys squads of rifle humies as part of its attack patterns, besides budding smaller getters.

TTGL ultimately resolves to "what can a single party do against a single enemy" and any groups are totally sidelined. There's certainly no army in Getter Robo Armageddon or New Getter Robo. Gunbuster and Diebuster's biggest fights are sans army. Code Geass pretty much operates in a space of "the newest mecha eclipse the common stuff by such a margin they aren't worth considering". NGE doesn't have much of a role for armies or numbers.

There's pretty much a lot of examples either way. There's no universal rule that a large group of weaker enemies must be threatening and at a certain point it stretches much credibility: how the hell are these weak groups acquiring all the items they need to do any damage?

Quote
There's level ranges and situations where that's appropriate, but a ten level gap is the difference between summoning a horse and teleporting a party the length of a continent. A disorganised low level mob is not the sort of thing that should be threatening level 11 fighters.
But then that raises the question of why would anybody bother to train and maintain armies. If quantity doesn't have a quality of its own, then there's no reason to ever go for quantity.

Plus explains why BBEGs love lurking in dungeons with tight corridors. Keeps them safe from being swarmed. :p

I thought it was availability. The XP required for levelling rapidly increases as you go up in level, yet the valid sources of experience diminish--essentially, you end up in a world where most enemies aren't challenging enough to learn anything. So you maintain an army of mostly level 1 warriors because they're capable of dealing with most low-level threats, and a large polity will have some medium and maybe high level characters around to deal with monster incursions etc. that are otherwise impossible to handle. It's pretty much how adventurers are justified: there aren't enough high level people available to DEAL with these and only relying on the few high levels leaves you with a defence full of holes that a low level army can actually rush through because the higher levels can't be everywhere at once.

XP to level goes up, XP available goes down, and higher levels are exponentially rarer. Having a high levelled wizard basically makes you a nuclear power, but that means you can afford bigger armies in the first place. One's more economical than the other.

And "keeps them from being swarmed" is the point. You don't have highly powered characters utilising large amounts of weaker allies for the damage potential, it's so that they don't get bogged down and left vulnerable to other high powered characters or kept from reaching some objective in time. "Uncoordinated but large mobs being as inherently lethal as boss enemies" is a little strange at higher levels.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 11:57:39 PM by Raineh Daze »
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Offline nijineko

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So you're fine with rolling dozens/hundreds of rolls for all the mooks? :psyduck

It's called Aid Another.

They attack in sets of 10 to 30 or so with reach weapons, everyone else in the group aids the single attacker - reduce size of attackers and/or make them flying creatures if you really need to pile the numbers on a tank or brick. They will hit the PCs, even with 30-50 ACs, or more. This method reduces the dice rolling to one roll per set of 'x' mooks. doable even by physical dice. For the Aid Another check, I can either fiat/assume a success or a certain percentage of success every time, roll one more die to determine how many succeed (yes, I have a 30 sided die), or I can roll them all using my next comment.


Besides, I have the best dice roller on the planet. It can handle up to 1000 rolls in a few seconds. Write the dice script ahead of time, push the button, and it sorts the results however I want. So if I wanted to, yes, yes I could roll for dozens or even hundreds of mooks in just a few seconds.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 03:46:49 PM by nijineko »
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Do I really have to point out that this is a lot of "probably"s that need more checking? Last time you used a mob you did nearly kill everyone except the mathematical abomination Anomander's playing in a single round.
Well, that was more fault of too much pimping of the gestalt enemy on my part than the mob rules. It is not easy to properly calibrate encounters when indeed attacks that nearly kill some party members only deal moderate damage to other party members.

Yeah, the Trojan War where Achilles was unstoppable until a god specifically took action to take him out.
Paris was the one sniping Acquilles. Some versions of the story have Apollo Aid Anothering him, but then Acquilles also had gods cheering him on too.

The same Greek Myths where half of Herc's labours were killing things that couldn't be swarmed by sheer numbers. At which point they go spend the next ten years holing up inside of their walls rather than coming out to fight--that's a siege, not a battle.
(click to show/hide)

What about Beowulf, with the minor issue of "well, our soldiers can't do this, but this one guy can".
Ok, one story.

And LotR? Bad example. Yeah, the named human characters can be overwhelmed. Gandalf and Sauron? Nope. Gandalf survived every mortal battle he was ever in without issue, and Sauron's being defeated by the Last Alliance? It wasn't the numbers; he was single-handedly stopping an entire army by smashing it to pieces. It was one of the four named characters in the battle (two of whom were dead) who basically scored a crit. That isn't a mob of low level characters, that's an out-of-CR boss fight with NPC's to soak up damage for a bit. The rest of the setting is even worse. Nazgul? Named characters and they were generally operating as generals in the past. But go back to the Silmarillion and it's even more skewed: the earlier parts of the war include an entire army refusing to engage with a single elf who went to take on Morgoth. Or single entities radically changing the tide of battle--Ancalagon is a great example of "and no amount of numbers is going to help against a max-size dragon".
Remind me, what happened after the big battle against Sauron?
HumiewhokilledSauron: Woot, let's return home to celebrate!
DM: Let me roll random encounters. Ok, a bunch of orc remants show up. Roll initiative!
HumiewhokilledSauron: Please, I just killed Sauron, what can some basic orcs do against mMY SPLEEN! GGAAAAAHHHH!!!!(dies to disorganized mob of orcs)

Also as a reminder, the only reason Sauron was fighting in the frontline on the first place was because his army was crumbling (since the humie/elf heroes were fighting on the frontline along the elf/humie mooks) and Sauron had nowhere to run.

And even in the Silmarrion armies were relevant and got shit done. The only reason orcs exist was because somebody decided they needed faster breeding mooks.

TTGL ultimately resolves to "what can a single party do against a single enemy" and any groups are totally sidelined. There's certainly no army in Getter Robo Armageddon or New Getter Robo. Gunbuster and Diebuster's biggest fights are sans army. Code Geass pretty much operates in a space of "the newest mecha eclipse the common stuff by such a margin they aren't worth considering". NGE doesn't have much of a role for armies or numbers.
Eeerrr, Gunbuster's grand finale is they gathering a massive army to zerg rush the enemy spawn camp. Diebuster's robot girl's main ability is having a zillion mecha mooks at her command. Lelouch's main trait is that he can rally a bunch of random peasants armed with smuggled/stolen weapons into an effective fighting force and Code Geas's grand finale has Lulu blocking the super flying fortress's nukes by literally throwing nameless mooks at them. NERV's base is completely crushed by a regular army despite having tanked multiple angels and EVA-2 gets beaten by mass produced models.

But more in particular, shame on you for forgetting Armageddon's Jin's Tower.

And then there's the full getter mob attack in SRW Z3. Never enuff Getter.
New Getter Robo does cut down on the army bits, but then it also cuts down in a lot of classic Getter stuff. Can only put so much in so few episodes.


There's pretty much a lot of examples either way. There's no universal rule that a large group of weaker enemies must be threatening and at a certain point it stretches much credibility: how the hell are these weak groups acquiring all the items they need to do any damage?
Well the basic idea is that pointy sticks never become fully obsolete.


I thought it was availability. The XP required for levelling rapidly increases as you go up in level, yet the valid sources of experience diminish--essentially, you end up in a world where most enemies aren't challenging enough to learn anything. So you maintain an army of mostly level 1 warriors because they're capable of dealing with most low-level threats, and a large polity will have some medium and maybe high level characters around to deal with monster incursions etc. that are otherwise impossible to handle. It's pretty much how adventurers are justified: there aren't enough high level people available to DEAL with these and only relying on the few high levels leaves you with a defence full of holes that a low level army can actually rush through because the higher levels can't be everywhere at once.

XP to level goes up, XP available goes down, and higher levels are exponentially rarer. Having a high levelled wizard basically makes you a nuclear power, but that means you can afford bigger armies in the first place. One's more economical than the other.
You're assuming that everybody has to grow with exp.

But on their natural state, most monsters simply grow stronger (dragons) or just spawn strong. And sometimes they can multiply by themselves (slaad, wights). Wizards can create minions by a variety of ways. Any civilization will lose by simple attrition if they must wait until heroes level up by exp to be able to defend themselves from D&D's ecoloy.

Heroes are still quite important as high mobility strike forces, since it's a lot easier to transport a few high-level dudes around than hundreds/thousands of mooks. In particular when the mooks need to eat and breathe and stuff.


And "keeps them from being swarmed" is the point. You don't have highly powered characters utilising large amounts of weaker allies for the damage potential, it's so that they don't get bogged down and left vulnerable to other high powered characters or kept from reaching some objective in time. "Uncoordinated but large mobs being as inherently lethal as boss enemies" is a little strange at higher levels.
Again, just ask the guy who took out Sauron with nothing besides a broken piece of metal.

Or the last lotr dragon. Ever wondered how his kin was driven to extinction? Well, as soon as he poked his head out, got critted by a peasant's lucky arrow. The only reason he ever conquered the mountain is because lotr dwarves have neither guns or crossbows and seem to hate bows, so fly-by attack+breath weapon wins the day.

So you're fine with rolling dozens/hundreds of rolls for all the mooks? :psyduck

It's called Aid Another.

They attack in sets of 10 to 30 or so with reach weapons, everyone else in the group aids the single attacker - reduce size of attackers and/or make them flying creatures if you really need to pile the numbers on a tank or brick. They will hit the PCs, even with 30-50 ACs, or more. This method reduces the dice rolling to one roll per set of 'x' mooks. doable even by physical dice. For the Aid Another check, I can either fiat/assume a success or a certain percentage of success every time, roll one more die to determine how many succeed (yes, I have a 30 sided die), or I can roll them all using my next comment.


Besides, I have the best dice roller on the planet. It can handle up to 1000 rolls in a few seconds. Write the dice script ahead of time, push the button, and it sorts the results however I want. So if I wanted to, yes, yes I could roll for dozens or even hundreds of mooks in just a few seconds.
I don't suppose you could share your super script with us? :P

Offline nijineko

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Sure, link's been in my sig for a long time.

Download the software, install it, and let me know what kinda dice roll you specifically want, and I'll see what I can get you.
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