D&D General Minion Battles are Fun Battles

Last night, my level 2 #dnd party faced a horde of 30 skeletal minions. A skeletal minion in my world is just like a regular #dnd skeleton, except it has AC 12 and 1 hit point. Throwing your party up against a horde of minions is a really fun encounter pattern. The enemies basically disintegrate on touch but still hit hard. When you first reveal the horde, there is a genuine "oh sh*t" moment from the table. They immediately start thinking hard - "Do we run? If we fight, what tactics will we use? How do I need to adjust from a regular fight?" As always, doing something a bit unexpected is a great way to grab everyone's attention.

I didn't fudge any rolls and five level 2 characters were able to handle this horde. The terrain played to their advantage. Once the cleric dropped a "turn undead" and half the horde tried to flee, it became a turkey shoot for a while. You can't do every fight like this, but throwing the occasional horde of minions up against the party makes a nice change of pace.

1705700177213.jpeg
 

log in or register to remove this ad

aco175

Legend
It is fun to let the player just smash things sometimes. I have been toying with using the Flee Mortals minions and allow the fighter to kill more than one if they do more damage than the threshold amount.
 


MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
I sometimes think this is what the "Nobody does 7 encounters per adventuring day" folks are missing. Not every encounter is supposed to be deadly. Some are supposed to be easy, some medium, it's fun and more believable to find challenges like this sometimes.
Oh, absolutely! You can smash through lots of encounters if many take only a couple of rounds.

Cheers,
Merric
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
Last night, my level 2 #dnd party faced a horde of 30 skeletal minions. A skeletal minion in my world is just like a regular #dnd skeleton, except it has AC 12 and 1 hit point. Throwing your party up against a horde of minions is a really fun encounter pattern. The enemies basically disintegrate on touch but still hit hard. When you first reveal the horde, there is a genuine "oh sh*t" moment from the table. They immediately start thinking hard - "Do we run? If we fight, what tactics will we use? How do I need to adjust from a regular fight?" As always, doing something a bit unexpected is a great way to grab everyone's attention.

I didn't fudge any rolls and five level 2 characters were able to handle this horde. The terrain played to their advantage. Once the cleric dropped a "turn undead" and half the horde tried to flee, it became a turkey shoot for a while. You can't do every fight like this, but throwing the occasional horde of minions up against the party makes a nice change of pace.
I think terrain is key for handling encounters like this (especially at low levels). Even 1 hp foes can overwhelm when they call attack at once; give a few choke points that allow for better tactics from the players, and you have a fun time.

Cheers,
Merric
 

Clint_L

Hero
I've done minion battles using Dread rules, with a jenga tower and the stakes specified beforehand, like if the tower comes down your character is KOed (or even killed). Then it's all narrative plus some very nervous jenga pulling. It's super fun.
 

Recently our 14th level party ran into bandits. They weren't werewolves or anything, just randos with crossbows. We were so confused. And then amused.

Every so often you should have an enemy from 5-6 levels ago make a resurgence (a BBEG who escaped, their lieutenant, etc) just so the PCs can have a power level reset.

Back in a 3e campaign I had a crypt of undead get unsealed. The great cleave fighter was laughing so hard they almost hyperventilated.
 

GreyLord

Legend
I find this more fun at higher levels, but not with minions per se. This works better in older editions that didn't have the massively strong arming of bounded accuracy that 5e has.

When a Fighter get's roughly a +1 each level to hit regardless of ability scores, by the time they are 10th level they are much better at hitting and killing. Wizards in older editions also could feel the power. Most of the classes could, but martials can really use the boost of confidence to show how much better they have become (especially in 3e when they may feel that the spellcasters are getting a little more powerful than they are).

These 10th level characters now get to face off with an army of Orcs or some other low level spawn. Having the wizard kill dozens in a spell, the cleric blow through them, and the warriors mowing right along can make quite the fun combat event.
 

I don't use minion rules for it, but I love combats like that. (After a few levels, some low-level mooks can effectively go down to 1 hit using normal stats.)
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top