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D&D 5E Managing Minionmancy

Fauchard1520

Explorer
This one is for all the minionmancers out there. I’m talking to all the necromancers, druids, and wizardly types who like fighting with squads of dudes rather than your singular PC. How do you manage it? I always find that when you’ve got a boatload of minions following your orders, you wind up chewing through game time like an intellect devourer at a Mensa meeting. And even though I like the idea of these PCs, all the bookkeeping and action economy maintenance gives me pause.

So help a gamer out here. How do you keep things fast paced and fun throughout? What kinds of software, ease of play strategies, and general quality of life advice do you use to speed up play?

(Comic for illustrative purposes.)
 

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Voadam

Legend
When I played in a Pathfinder 1e Wrath of the Righteous game, my wizard was redeeming and being corrupted by a mythic familiar, an aspect of a defeated Qlippoth Lord bound into a quasit form who was going up in levels with me as a sorcerer. Summon monster spells were one of his core selections, supported by feats, so minion summoning was always an option in combat.

I specifically only pulled out the summon armies of minions tactic when we had fewer than normal PCs show up for the game. This helped even out the action economy of the party versus monsters and it meant that everybody was not waiting around as often between turns compared to if I had done so when the whole group was there.

To speed things up I had pre-done out stats for everything I would summon (including templates and feat adjustments) and I generally focused on simple tactics for them (engage enemy in melee).
 
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tommybahama

Adventurer
Sly Flourish's mob damage calculator

Sly Flourish has talked about this a lot. He uses average HP for each minion and calculates their attacks and damage as a mob.

I played a circle of the shepherd druid online and the other players said it wasn't a problem. The DM didn't like it though but he has some weird hang ups. He thought it was better to give each conjured minion a separate initiative roll instead of rolling for the entire group as RAW. Go figure.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
As a GM, I have pointed players with minionmancy capabilities at the optional rules in the DMG for handling mobs, with instructions to use them, and told them they are responsible for running their hordes so as not to slow the table down. To date, the abilities haven't gotten enough use for me to draw a conclusion regarding the utility of this approach.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
So help a gamer out here. How do you keep things fast paced and fun throughout? What kinds of software, ease of play strategies, and general quality of life advice do you use to speed up play?
Software? DMs do it without software, so I hope a player doesn't get so many minions that he would need software just to keep up with all of them. Otherwise, my answer would be, "sure, you can raise 20 of the corpses nearby. But I get to control them."

Besides, combat rules are for when the PCs are in a dramatic battle. When it's minions doing the fighting, don't use combat rules.
 


dave2008

Legend
Sly Flourish's mob damage calculator

Sly Flourish has talked about this a lot. He uses average HP for each minion and calculates their attacks and damage as a mob.

I played a circle of the shepherd druid online and the other players said it wasn't a problem. The DM didn't like it though but he has some weird hang ups. He thought it was better to give each conjured minion a separate initiative roll instead of rolling for the entire group as RAW. Go figure.
FYI, the link you provided doesn't work (at least it didn't for me).

EDIT: Correction, it seems that sly's website is inaccessible.
 

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