Favorite things about your favorite edition: MECHANICS/RULES ONLY

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
The other big difference is that minions dealt enough damage and have sufficient attack bonus to make them scary. Albeit, Bounded Accuracy more or less handles the attack bonus part.

Sure, you could use a kobold as a 5e "minion" against a high level party, but the damage from that kobold will be piddly at best. Even in vast numbers, they won't have the threat that comes from a proper 4e style minion.

IMO, to properly implement the concept of a minion, you give them 1 HP. Up their damage (and possibly attack bonus) to the point where they are threatening. Additionally, they negate any damage taken after making a successful save.

Veering into house rules for a moment, I've been toying with the idea of having minions who avoid damage by making a successful save fall prone. This helps to avoid the odd Rambo minion who just keeps making saves and refuses to die. (The idea is that they can't use their damage negation when already prone.)
Personally I always thought high level minions were a bit odd, it reinforced the whole "levels are just a treadmill" idea. I liked the concept, just felt odd in practice.

So if I want a low level monster to be a real threat I'll use mobs. Or this guy:

300px-Goblin_Sapper_TCG.jpg

[EDIT: I don't mean to make this a slam on minions in 4E. They were fine for that version of the game. I just like the thought of a goblin sapper running at the group cackling maniacally as the group frantically tries to take it out before it reaches them. :D ]
 
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Fanaelialae

Adventurer
Personally I always thought high level minions were a bit odd, it reinforced the whole "levels are just a treadmill" idea. I liked the concept, just felt odd in practice.

So if I want a low level monster to be a real threat I'll use mobs. Or this guy:

View attachment 107209

[EDIT: I don't mean to make this a slam on minions in 4E. They were fine for that version of the game. I just like the thought of a goblin sapper running at the group cackling maniacally as the group frantically tries to take it out before it reaches them. :D ]
Fair enough. For me, minions are less about level treadmill and more about that the idea that monster stats are fluid and abstract. The ogre vs low level party is a significant threat to them on his own. The ogre minion is the same creature, but now he's up against a high level party. He needs to go all out on offense in order to have even a snowball's chance against them, hence his offense goes up but his defense goes way down. The creature hasn't changed, only the way its stats are expressed.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Fair enough. For me, minions are less about level treadmill and more about that the idea that monster stats are fluid and abstract. The ogre vs low level party is a significant threat to them on his own. The ogre minion is the same creature, but now he's up against a high level party. He needs to go all out on offense in order to have even a snowball's chance against them, hence his offense goes up but his defense goes way down. The creature hasn't changed, only the way its stats are expressed.
I don't want to derail this too much because I think this can be/should be it's own thread, but I do occasionally do have templates that I slap on low level monsters. It varies by campaign, but for example that ogre may be a berserker ogre has "frenzy" which grants them advantage on all attacks, double the number of normal attacks while granting advantage to attacks made against them. I may add other damage such as some type of energy damage, the ogre explodes when they die, etc.

I basically take the ogre concept and reconstruct them using the monster build guidelines from the DMG, sacrificing HP for accuracy and damage. HP don't increase dramatically, but they have more than 1. Or maybe they have a lot of HP but are on fire and will only last N number of rounds before they burn to death but in the meantime they have a breath weapon and a burning aura. Hmm ... my players would hate that, I'll have to use it soon. :devil:
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I don't want to derail this too much because I think this can be/should be it's own thread:
Thanks, I appreciate that :). I wanted this thread to be about those things mechanically from each edition people like, not to really have a discussion on the merits of anything a person might have listed. That way leads to derailment and often edition warring. Not that you’re doing that, but I appreciate your awareness to catch it before it gets there.
 

Eltab

Explorer
I liked 4e Minions: finally an NPC that is supposed to be easy to defeat but also dangerous if you ignore them or let them swarm you. You can finally do those big mass combat scenes (albeit rather slowly) where the PCs must Save the City.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I liked 4e Minions: finally an NPC that is supposed to be easy to defeat but also dangerous if you ignore them or let them swarm you. You can finally do those big mass combat scenes (albeit rather slowly) where the PCs must Save the City.
Did you try out swarms?

Swarms are the real go to for mass combat... a swarm/squad of 10 fight to the death fanatics may be 1 elite enemy or 10 minions but that elite enemy might also be 100 normal soldiers in a tighter 8x8 formation with a leader who has them retreat after it becomes obvious they are out matched or perhaps it is a disorganized mob whose fighting style costs them more lives before they disband. (all can have the same hit points - 25 percent historically was a horrific loss).

I think swarm combat could have used more TLC...perhaps refine what happens when 2 swarms fight each other and occupy the same space?

bloodspearthrong.png
 
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Swarms are the real go to for mass combat...
Count each formation if regulars or undisciplined mob as a swarm. A modest sized battle becomes readily doable with regular rules, and individual high-level creatures can interact with them in a reasonable/playable way.
perhaps refine what happens when 2 swarms fight each other and occupy the same space?
One thing I'd do was let swarms inflict full damage on eachother with ranged&melee.
Swarms of same-size creatures occupying the same space? Maybe not? Some kind of "fighting in the press" alternative?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Count each formation if regulars or undisciplined mob as a swarm. A modest sized battle becomes readily doable with regular rules, and individual high-level creatures can interact with them in a reasonable/playable way.
Indeed I think my idea was minions are great but all the monster roles are a very useful tool.

I also think potential swarm size is underestimated. A tight phalanx containing a century of men might be 12x12 and quite appropriate to have 5 of those against a party in paragon. A group of soldiers might have both lose and tight formation training. (change their size) ... it might actually take more than a couple rounds to burst through them.
 
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Xaelvaen

Explorer
2e (My first edition - thus let me take off my nostalgia goggles)
- The thief skill system; I still miss using a d20 as well as other dice for different aspects of play.
- The KITS! We designed our own to fit worlds and campaigns and I still have that material from nigh 20 years ago.
- The Combat and Tactics supplement that let you point-buy make your own class - that was a heap of fun.
- Weapon and Non-Weapon proficiencies (we bent the rules of this so many times haha)

3e
- Prestige Classes! Loved this concept immensely, and made for some really fun homebrew mania.
- Weapon threat ranges; a scimitar scoring a critical hit more often than a longsword - super fun.
- All the fiddly bits - focusing on AC or accuracy or damage, having a clear-cut direction to make your character standout and be superior.

PF
- As above, but with better base classes.

4e
- Something other than Vancian casting.
- Monster creation - I actually had a blast using that offline monster creation program.
- The wargame feel. While I don't -always- want to play a wargame in my D&D, when I do - it's my goto system.
- The Avenger. Just fricken loved that class.

5e
- Bounded Accuracy
- Monster Creation - I really enjoy squeaking out new mechanics in a Bounded Accuracy system.
- Subclasses
- Subclasses (yeah, deserved two spots on the list)
- Opposed tests for unique combat maneuvers - simple and sweet.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
4e: AEDU, because I love it.
I like it for being a way to make sure everyone gets to contribute in combat mechanically as often and climatically as others and in a way that syncs up with narrative with roles differentiating broadly how you contribute. Yup good design tool.
 
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I

Immortal Sun

Guest
I like it for being a way to make sure everyone gets to contribute in combat mechanically as often and climatically as others and in a way that syncs up with narrative with roles differentiating broadly how you contribute. Yup good design tool.
That, among other things I like that it reigns in casters, I like that it promotes heroic fantasy (my preferred play style) I like that it recognizes that this is a game system and removes the "fluff" text from the "crunch" text. I like that there is very little learning curve between classes, if you can play a 4E fighter, AEDU means you can play a 4E wizard.

There is very little in 4E I don't​ like.
 

Monayuris

Explorer
One thing to add about B/X and similar... the parity between monster / character hit dice and weapon damage dice. A typical low level monster has 1-8 hit points, and the typical weapon damage done by a first level character is 1-8 hit points and vice versa.

I love the simplicity and brutality of this very simple mechanic.

I love how it emulates the danger of combat. A first level character should think twice about matching up with even a lone orc or gobbo.

Also since monster hit points are so low, they go down relatively quickly.. I think the hit point balance is better implemented in B/X than in any other game. It really keeps combat fast paced and quick to resolve. Especially in B/X where the game is primarily focused on exploration, more so than combat. It lets combat be resolved quickly so you can get back to the exploration.

I find exploration more interesting and exciting that combat, so it works really well for me.
 

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