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How many hits can a mook take?

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
When I want a skirmish to go quickly, I skip the combat rules and just use a simple conflict - a few rolls from each player to decide what happens. The PCs usually win this because the opponents are mooks and the PCs have better things to do.

Skipping combat rules means skipping damage rules, for the most part. So how many successful attacks/actions does a PC need to make to drop/defeat a mook? "Just one" could mean the skirmish feels like swatting flies, and "until the opponent runs out of hit points" means the combat rules are back in effect.
 

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I think it depends largely on the game system being used.

If you wanted to take a more traditional system like D&D which has HP and AC and so on, and then abstract it even further to kind of fit your example above where you want combat resolved quickly, then I think using something akin to the Minion rules from 4E likely makes sense. You can kind of keep most of the combat rules in place, or as many as you like, but the foes are dispatched with one hit.

But in a game that doesn't really use HP or similar mechanics, this may not be necessary. In Blades in the Dark, this is all part of the core mechanic. Typical foes are defeated with one successful roll on the part of a player. If the player instead gets only a partial success, then perhaps an enemy may linger and only be wounded or similar. It kind of depends on the fiction and what the GM thinks would be best. But if a PC says "I'm going to stab this ornery guard in his neck for him" and then makes a Skirmish roll and gets a full success......then very likely that guard just got stabbed in the neck, and is either dead, or likely rapidly bleeding out. The position and effect set by the GM can influence this, but assuming a normal level of risk, then it plays out as above.

So I really think it depends on the system and how much of a departure what you're describing is from that system.
 


Blackrat

He Who Lurks Beyond The Veil
Minion = 1 hit.
Elite = 3 hits.
Big Ones = 5 hits.
Bosses use normal combat rules

If a pc is a ”heavy hitter” they do two hits worth of damage, and crits double.

This has been my ”quicker combat” formula since 3e 😂
 
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billd91

Hobbit on Quest
When I want a skirmish to go quickly, I skip the combat rules and just use a simple conflict - a few rolls from each player to decide what happens. The PCs usually win this because the opponents are mooks and the PCs have better things to do.

Skipping combat rules means skipping damage rules, for the most part. So how many successful attacks/actions does a PC need to make to drop/defeat a mook? "Just one" could mean the skirmish feels like swatting flies, and "until the opponent runs out of hit points" means the combat rules are back in effect.

If you want to make it somewhat variable - could be 1 hit, could be more - maybe look at something like first edition Fung Shui where mooks went down if you hit them sufficiently well (I think 5 over the target number) or Mutants and Masterminds where mooks go down if they fail a damage save at any level.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
One, maybe two. Usually one, but in the case of especially weak characters where it's appropriate I might go to two.
 

Back in 4e, minions were generally one hit, maybe two if you're unlucky. They were fun for padding combat, but it was both frustrating and amusing to see people waste their dailies and encounters on them, before they knew that they were minions.
 

Doug McCrae

Legend
In the British superhero rpg Golden Heroes (Games Workshop version 1984), mooks are knocked out if they are hit once by any type of super or highly skilled attack, or stunned if struck by a non-super/skilled attack. This rule only applies when mooks accompany a supervillain, otherwise they have normal 'hit points'.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
My answer is "variable enough to make me not skip the combat rules". Even a 6 h.p. mook against a decent warrior can take a while to put down if said warrior keeps rolling pathetic on the damage die.

Never mind that any combat risks long-term consequences* for the PCs including being clobbered if the mook gets lucky on crits, loss or breakage of items on fumbles, and so forth.

* - the risk is not high, but that it's not zero means IMO it has to be played out.
 

MarkB

Legend
Close enough to a guaranteed one-hit kill that you can reliably do the cinematic "take out the guards" thing without relying upon sneak attack or multiple hits. They'll have an amount of hit points, but definitely not double figures.
 

Nytmare

David Jose
Torchbearer is also one of those "one roll" kind of games. Not every fight, but a mook-ey one would probably forgo hitpoints of any kind and would be described by a single roll made by one party member who gets an extra die added into their pool from every other player who describes how they are helping.

"Easy" is going to adjust based off of party level but in general I'd consider a mook fight one where the party needs about one success per mook.

Even if they don't make the roll, they might still succeed by GM fiat. Failure is met by the GM either giving them a win and a "condition", a kind of death spiral flag that chips away at their ability to do things, "You easily dispatch the goblins but you're left feeling Exhausted." Or a failure and introducing a story twist of some kind "The bar brawl spills out into the street where it eventually draws the attention of the town guard. All of you are put into the stocks for the rest of the week."
 

If you're skipping the combat system, you're leaving RPGs and drifting into story-telling. Which can be done.

But fights that can't be lost, and PCs who die because of a GM's whim are not acceptable to all. As so much in this hobby, it boils down to managing expectations.
 
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Mook --> One hit at 50%+ damage, two hits otherwise.
If base damage is at or near the mook's otherwise typical hit points, then it is one hit regardless.
 




Most of the systems I've seen with mooks have one of three modes:
1. Fully functional monster/character, but any damage takes them out.
2. Fully functional monster/character, but with 1/3 to 1/5 normal HP; groups may act using the help rules
3. only groups functional, usually low HP as per type 2, but ability to function degrades as individuals dropped,

Mode 4 I've never seen alone, but it's a special case in a few:
4. Any crit takes out the NPC, as does sufficient cumulative.

FFG Star Wars is group 3&4 for minions, but group 4 for rivals. Nemeses function exactly like PCs.
FFG L5R is borderline group 2 and 3. It's also group 4. Minion types are unskilled, unless in groups. Rival level are taken out by any crit. Excess damage causes crits.
In both, minion groups take excess damage from one member to another member.

7th Sea is group 1.

D&D 4E is group 1; 5E has an option for group 1.

John Wick's Blood & Honor makes mooks type 3.

WFRP 1E has a sort of backdoor mook rule... The conversions to WFB 4e. If you run ordinaries using your WFB stats, and notables using WFRP stats, you get the one-hit wonders that still present a real threat. It's not the intent, but I've done it, and it works well enough. Mook vs PC uses WFB to hit, but then do the damage roll as WFRP. PC vs mook? Use conversion of PC's stat to WFB. (Given the high potential for 2 attacks, and the better hit chances, 4th career PCs are often +15 or better models...)
 

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