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13th Age [13th Age] Stealing the mook rules from 13A

Yesterday our Greyhawk DM tried something interesting: using 13th Age-style mooks instead of minions.

In the 4e game I'm running, I don't use minions much, as two PCs have encounter powers that deal AoE damage without needing any sort of attack roll and another has a daily that can do that for the entire battle, so I'm unlikely to use minions unless they're orcs (final attack when "killed"). In the Greyhawk game, my PC is a wizard who frequently dishes out Stinking Cloud, a mobile damage-dealing zone which is obviously going to slaughter minions, although it's primary function seems to be to cripple archers (and also give our monk something to throw bad guys into, plus my own PC's Thunderwave and Spectral Ram).

So the Greyhawk DM created "mooks". He took regular monsters and cut all their stats in one quarter. This resulted in probably too little damage, but that's an easy fix to make. I thought it worked out pretty well. Because they were dealing flat damage, they dished out damage fast and took it fast too, but could each survive at least one round in the mobile zone of strangling poison gas.

Following the 13th Age rules, mooks share hit points in a pool. The mooks attacked in groups of four, and if you overkilled one the damage carried over to another mook in a pool. However, this seemed to make AoE and multi-target attacks really strong against th em, since apparently hitting three mooks in a pool deals triple damage. It didn't come up, but damage would have been pretty satisfying if anyone had a power like Cleaving Strike. I couldn't figure out if AoEs work that way against mooks in 13th Age.
 

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Jer

Adventurer
Following the 13th Age rules, mooks share hit points in a pool. The mooks attacked in groups of four, and if you overkilled one the damage carried over to another mook in a pool. However, this seemed to make AoE and multi-target attacks really strong against th em, since apparently hitting three mooks in a pool deals triple damage. It didn't come up, but damage would have been pretty satisfying if anyone had a power like Cleaving Strike. I couldn't figure out if AoEs work that way against mooks in 13th Age.

I'm just starting to get into 13th age and migrate some ideas into my 4e game, so this may be wrong. But my understanding is that each mook that you hit in 13th age reduces the hit points that the mob has. So if you throw out an AoE effect that does 15 points of damage on a hit and it hits three mooks, then the mob pool would lose 45 hit points. If each mook in the group had 20 hit points then you would have killed two mooks (even though none of the mooks that was hit took enough damage to be killed by themselves). A very useful mechanic for theater of the mind type play, and I can see how it would keep the game moving faster than just reducing the number of hit points that the "mooks" have but still tracking individual hit points per mook because you would never have the situation where you have 4 mooks clinging to live with one it point each - you're always reducing the number of mooks out on the table each round. Which feels narratively "right" if we're talking about mooks, where a few should be falling every round but every mook shouldn't just fall over in a single round.

It seems like a decent mechanic - I may be trying it out this weekend with my own group.
 

Uskglass

First Post
Jer got it right on how the mooks mechanics work in 13th Age. And yes, AoE attacks are very powerful against them: it's intended to be that way. But also a single big blow can be effective as the damage is transferred to the next mook after killing one, so it's not lost.
I like using mooks rules to simulate swarm-like enemies (by the way, the should have 1/4 of the hp of a normal enemy, but deal 1/2 damage, not 1/4).

Another minions variant I like using is 'Elite Minions': these have 2 hp: on a hit they only take 1 hp (becoming bloodied), or the second hit they are slain. A single crit can slain an elite minion at full health. This still has the simplicity and speed of the usual minion rules, but makes them significantly more challenging.
 

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