Friday, August 22, 2014

Pathfinder House Rules: Minions

Art by Ralph Horsely
It's no secret that I'm not the biggest fan of 4th Edition. While the system is alright and I wouldn't object to playing it, 4e just isn't my cup of tea. With that being said, there are a few ideas introduced with this edition that I genuinely like.

For example, I love the concept of minions. For those of you unfamiliar with 4e, I'll elaborate. Minions are a type of creature that die after one successful attack. While they aren't much on their own, they can be a real bitch in numbers and offer a good way to recreate those iconic scenes of a ragtag group of heroes battling a horde of creatures without slaughtering the PCs. 

Since I think the concept is a good one, I figured I should make a version for my fantasy game of choice: Pathfinder. There are a few ways you could handle a port of this mechanic, which the most obvious being the reduction of certain creature's HP to 1 and calling it a day. However, I'd like to take a different route that's a little more creative than that. 

With that in mind, I created the following template that Game Masters can add to existing NPC stat blocks, hopefully keeping the rules simple and keeping the spirit of the original mechanic alive. Keep in mind this just a rough draft that still needs to be playtested. However, feel free to give it a try at your gaming table and leave some feedback in the comments below.

CREATING A MINION
"Minion" is an inherited template that can be added to any living, corporeal humanoid with an Intelligence score of 4 or more. A minion creature retains the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted below. 

CR: Same as the base creature's, but -2. 

Type: The creature's type remains the same, gaining the Minion sub-type. Do not recalculate HD, BAB, or saves. 

Hit Dice: While the creature retains the same number of HD, they only receive a single hit point per HD, ignoring the creature's Constitution modifier. 

Defenses: The creature gains the following defensive ability. 

Evasive (Ex): If the creature makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, the creature takes no damage instead. A helpless minion does not gain the benefits of this ability. 

Skills: A minion receives no skills. 

Feats: A minion receives no feats. 

SAMPLE MINION
Goblin Minion (CR 1/6)
XP 65
Goblin Minion Warrior 1 
NE Small Humanoid (Goblinoid) 
Init +2; Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception -1
DEFENSE
AC 16, Touch 13, Flat-Footed 14 (+2 Armor, +2 Dex, +1 Shield, +1 Size)
HP 1 (1d10)
Fort +3, Ref +2, Will -1
Defensive Abilities Evasive 
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft. 
Melee Short Sword +2 (1d4/19-20)
Ranged Short Bow +4 (1d4/x3) 
STATISTICS
Str 11, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 6
Base Atk +1; CMB +0; CMD 12 
Feats -
Skills Ride +6, Stealth +10; Racial Modifiers +4 Ride, +4 Stealth
Languages Goblin
Gear Leather Armor, Light Wooden Shield, Short Sword, Short Bow with 20 Arrows, Other Treasure