Quantity in Combat





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  1. #1
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    Quantity in Combat

    Are there rules somewhere - or can folks suggest some rules - for handling massive amounts of enemies?

    Example: Instead of a group of 5 10th level PCs fighting a CR 10 creature, what if I wanted 20+ much lower level CR creatures. Rolling for each of those creatures to attack sounds horrifically slow. Is there a rule for handling mass combat in this way?

    Thanks.
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  • #2
    Full on Mass combat is generally not handled grand in 3E.
    Last edited by frankthedm; Tuesday, 29th January, 2008 at 05:15 PM.

  • #3
    There are a number of products out there that handle mass combat. Some suggestions include:

    Cry Havoc (Malhavoc Press)
    Field of Blood (Can't remember the publisher now)
    GRIM TALES (Mass Combat) (Bad Axe Games)

    I think WotC Miniatures Handbook and Heroes of Battle had some rules in there as well. My personal favourite remains Grim Tales.

    Pinotage

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    Black Company has some good rules for creating units out of low-powered creatures. Or you could use the mob template from DMG2.
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    The Mob rules in the DMGII allow ~60 medium or 12 large creatures to become a "Mob"
    with 30 HD. It functions like a swarm, doing 5d6 damage and causing distrataction to any creature that occupies its area (20x20)
    Each mob is a CR 8

    I have a few extra HR for using it with armies - DR for armor, concentrated missle fire as a AoE, and Power attack not working as well as great cleave.

    It worked pretty well last time I ran a war, it allowed 9th lvl PCs to "kill" 3 mobs and then escape with heavy wounds. "Killed" mobs actually have 30%-50% survivors who are too disspirited/tired/wounded to continue but can be rallied/healed.
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    I think this is an area where a DM can adopt some habits that speed things up quite a bit.

    I find that I can actually run large groups of mooks pretty quick as long as they are very simple. I generally divide them into groups of 4-6 and have each group run on its own initiative order.

    Usually, they aren't very tough compared to the PCs and need very high numbers to hit on the d20. So you can just roll a handful of d20s , pick out the 1 hit, then do its damage and move on.

    To keep track of damage on them, I cut out small pieces of colored paper before the fight starts, and just note the damage that a given mook has taken on its piece of paper and stick it by the mini. Or, if their hit points are really low, I don't even bother to note the damage; I just adopt a convention that the 2nd hit on a damaged mook automatically takes it out, if the first one wasn't sufficient to do so.

    You can even match d20s to damage dice by color, and roll everything at once, to speed things up further.

    I ran a fight once where 250 savage tribesmen led by about 15 leader types attacked a village that the PCs had fortified once this way. It took us about 6 hours to fully play out, but what a fight! My players loved it. The key to making it work was that the savage tribesmen were lvl 1 warriors, all with identical stats and equipment. So I didn't have much to keep track of.

    Ken

  • #7
    Code:
    The Mob rules in the DMGII allow ~60 medium or 12 large creatures to become a "Mob" 
    with 30 HD. It functions like a swarm, doing 5d6 damage and causing distrataction to any creature that occupies its area (20x20)
    Each mob is a CR 8
    That also negates cleave, greatcleave and whirlwind. Area attacks that should decimate those grouping of creatures now do only semi noticeable damage against 30 HD worth of hit points. It is like the angry mob became an angry blob.

    If you saw the episode of Drawn Together where the sweat shop workers fuse together into a giant monster, youve got an idea how DMG2 mobs work.



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    Thanks for the input, everyone.

    Frank, special thanks for the printables.
    My works:

    Neversfall , a Forgotten Realms Novel (November 2007, Wizards of the Coast)

    "Freedom's Promise," Realms of the Dragons II , a Forgotten Realms Anthology (May 2005, Wizards of the Coast)

    http://www.edgentry.com

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    Another tip is to not roll HP for the critters. Just say that if they're hit by the fighter they die.

    Splitting them up into groups is good. If you've got 5 in one group, four of them can use the Aid Another action to give one +8

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    Ignore Aust Diamondew
    If the opponents are so weak as to only hit a PC on a natural 20 just assume for every 20 attacks 1 succesful hit against a PC.

    This saves a lot of needless rolling.
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