Minions and cleave optional rule dmg 5e?

Nightbeat84

Explorer
Ive been using minions for awhile and i can say its a great mechanic for DM's everywhere i first seen this idea on Matt Colville's channel and have been using it ever since. The only thing i'm not sure of is having minions in a fight and using the optional rule of cleave from the DMG page 272 at the same time has anyone tryed it out?
 

jgsugden

Adventurer
You don't really need minion rules. There re a lot of low hp monsters that can be dropped in one blow and provide a reasonable chance of hitting the PCs, even at high levels. If you want to use the cleave rules, this will work better. If not, treat a minion as 4 hp for purposes of the cleave rules.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Ive been using minions for awhile and i can say its a great mechanic for DM's everywhere i first seen this idea on Matt Colville's channel and have been using it ever since. The only thing i'm not sure of is having minions in a fight and using the optional rule of cleave from the DMG page 272 at the same time has anyone tryed it out?
Not in 5e, but in 4e the cleave fighter power was a great minion killing tool. Should work fine - having disposable creatures that you don’t have to track HP for is the point of minions. I suppose if it becomes a problem you can always rule that minions don’t take damage from a cleave, same as they don’t take damage from failed saves.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
You don't really need minion rules. There re a lot of low hp monsters that can be dropped in one blow and provide a reasonable chance of hitting the PCs, even at high levels. If you want to use the cleave rules, this will work better. If not, treat a minion as 4 hp for purposes of the cleave rules.
Minions serve a purpose low-hp monsters don’t, in that they provide canon fodder enemies that you don’t have to track HP for.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Minions serve a purpose low-hp monsters don’t, in that they provide canon fodder enemies that you don’t have to track HP for.
I assume jgsugden was intending the same thing... that even if you used CR 1/8 monsters as-is, their HP is low enough that they are essentially minions and are killed with a single swing.

In the end it doesn't really matter-- if the monster is auto-killed with a single attack, whether you said they had 1 HP or kept it at 4 HP to begin with is going to have the same result.
 

Nightbeat84

Explorer
I assume jgsugden was intending the same thing... that even if you used CR 1/8 monsters as-is, their HP is low enough that they are essentially minions and are killed with a single swing.

In the end it doesn't really matter-- if the monster is auto-killed with a single attack, whether you said they had 1 HP or kept it at 4 HP to begin with is going to have the same result.
True enought. The big take away is that the dm doesn't have to remember hp numbers. The other thing to is that if you want to use minions on higher level party you have to scale up there attacks and damage for 1/8 cr where it's just easier to take a higher level cr and just give them 1 hp
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Minions serve a purpose low-hp monsters don’t, in that they provide canon fodder enemies that you don’t have to track HP for.
they also were simpler with fewer distinct effects usually than counter parts ie there is more to being a minion than the drop in one hit. It also created implicit scaling on pcs the same kind of ogre that pushed you around and threw the party for a loop is forced to fight with more desperate less disruptive techniques or for that ogre he cannot land a blow solid enough to smash you across the field.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I actually liked the idea of minions as a concept and used them relatively frequently when I ran 4E. Especially at low-levels in the game, the minions rule was a time-saver. The only thing that I eventually came to have problems with was that as monster CR / HP got higher, the disparity between the HP of a regular version of the monster and the minion version just felt wrong after a while.

A "powerful" orc and a "minion" orc were close enough in HP that the idea of "one-shotting" an orc (via the minion mechanic) felt good. Cutting through large groups of them did make the PCs feel powerful. But when you started facing off against things like ogres, hill giants, or even more powerful creatures... the fact that a party of PCs would need to hit a regular version over and over and over, round after round after round again to kill it, but a "minion" version was still one-shottable... just didn't feel the same or sit as well with me.

Had there been a very distinguishable narrative reason as we described them as to why these specific ogres could be one-shotted (they were non-combatants, they were children etc.) it might not have felt so weird. But that usually wasn't the case. Instead you were presented with a perfectly typical warband encounter of supposed ogre warriors, but when you then faced off against them... some of them had these huge pools of HP that you had to slowly whittle away round after round, but others dropped in a single shot. When that happened I no longer felt the same feeling of being powerful and carving through large swathes of enemies... instead I felt like the game was gimping my enemies and thus my achievement for no logical reason. A couple creatures requiring 10 to 12 hits to kill alongside a few that only needed 1 hit was just too disparate for my sense of reality.

So I can understand the desire to just use standard HP totals for low-level enemies to achieve the same effect. If you can cleave through goblins hordes by one-shotting their normal HP level but then sometimes facing off against a boss that requires only two or three hits? That feels okay and I'm happy to go with it. I just don't want the separation to be too great.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Had there been a very distinguishable narrative reason as we described them as to why these specific ogres could be one-shotted (they were non-combatants, they were children etc.) it might not have felt so weird. But that usually wasn't the case. Instead you were presented with a perfectly typical warband encounter of supposed ogre warriors, but when you then faced off against them... some of them had these huge pools of HP that you had to slowly whittle away round after round, but others dropped in a single shot. great.
The side effect of huge amounts of hit points being skill. Picture this ... they are out classed and fight differently because of it.
A minion is already in over their head their desperate attacks in order to even have a chance leave them seriously open if we weren't using a system with advancing hit point picture taking the desperate defense as doubling how much damage you deal if you succeed but improving their defenses by a chunk. These things open them up another so double the effectiveness of your retaliation. The combined effect is better to hit and better defense but they take 4x damage when hit.
You can make that half as much if you note that when they are defeated they are often actually utterly demoralized not dead they know how much they are pushing it and I treat them as already bloodied any way. Now on top of that assume that a significant number of times they are hit by even a small amount they flee quitting the fight after they get hit. Make that a save in 5e land because the first hit really hits home they are truly over their head. Which with the number of things which trigger off of bloodied means that works even better in 4e. Intimidating them to quit the fight become a very real choice as per the intimidate skill even without hitting them.

Not thinking that is clear or if I over expressed lol but I cannot english today
 

Nightbeat84

Explorer
The side effect of huge amounts of hit points being skill. Picture this ... they are out classed and fight differently because of it.
A minion is already in over their head their desperate attacks in order to even have a chance leave them seriously open if we weren't using a system with advancing hit point picture taking the desperate defense as doubling how much damage you deal if you succeed but improving their defenses by a chunk. These things open them up another so double the effectiveness of your retaliation. The combined effect is better to hit and better defense but they take 4x damage when hit.
You can make that half as much if you note that when they are defeated they are often actually utterly demoralized not dead they know how much they are pushing it and I treat them as already bloodied any way. Now on top of that assume that a significant number of times they are hit by even a small amount they flee quitting the fight after they get hit. Make that a save in 5e land because the first hit really hits home they are truly over their head. Which with the number of things which trigger off of bloodied means that works even better in 4e. Intimidating them to quit the fight become a very real choice as per the intimidate skill even without hitting them.

Not thinking that is clear or if I over expressed lol but I cannot english today
Interesting concept have to think about but I do like it
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Interesting concept have to think about but I do like it
While I largely was presenting it as a way of envisioning what was happening with minions under the hood so to speak. In 4e they could be presented with lower level characters who have significantly less to hit and significantly less ac, the need to change up their methods might be pretty obvious... they are fighting at all either because of fanaticism of their own or being driven by those greater masters.... the story of minions being in this scene is why bloodied behavior seems appropriate. Bounded accuracy sort of hides the need for that desperation though. The features of 4e I think makes that paradigm work better less so in 5e.
 

Weiley31

Adventurer
I let the Cleave thru Monster rules affect creatures that are both damaged AND undamaged. Minions would just be one HP wonders really.
 

Nightbeat84

Explorer
I let the Cleave thru Monster rules affect creatures that are both damaged AND undamaged. Minions would just be one HP wonders really.
While I largely was presenting it as a way of envisioning what was happening with minions under the hood so to speak. In 4e they could be presented with lower level characters who have significantly less to hit and significantly less ac, the need to change up their methods might be pretty obvious... they are fighting at all either because of fanaticism of their own or being driven by those greater masters.... the story of minions being in this scene is why bloodied behavior seems appropriate. Bounded accuracy sort of hides the need for that desperation though. The features of 4e I think makes that paradigm work better less so in 5e.
Hmm im not well verse in 4e. I started a little in pathfinder and have been DM'ing most if not all in 5e so I don't have a lot of point of reference from other edition or other systems. Correct me if I'm wrong from your original post was to justify the reason why minions die in 1 hit vs other types would take a few more hits to take down for narrative purposive? I also believe HP scaling is problematic but have no solution, I've seen other people talk about it and how its archaic but again I'm new so not sure. Also taking monsters like goblins and having them have higher hit and damage would be better then just turning higher CR into a minion?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Correct me if I'm wrong from your original post was to justify the reason why minions die in 1 hit vs other types would take a few more hits to take down for narrative purposive?
Yes the narrative part still works either edition, minor difference 4e lower level monsters are mechanically more fully outclassed than 5e ones... a monster that is 5 levels lower had -5 to hit and -5 armor class so the mechanics rather fit with the narrative... to get up where they are only a bit behind they push themselves and are vulnerable when you inevitably find the openings.
And even things which are pretty damn big early on.... may be operating desperately in minion mode when they are 5 or so levels lower than the pcs.
I also believe HP scaling is problematic but have no solution, I've seen other people talk about it and how its archaic but again I'm new so not sure.
Ah if you are interested in that aspect well its a bit different scope.
It's the mechanism that well simulates heroic fiction and allows players a predictable choice about when to play differently ie serves game and fiction (not so much the raw simulation). RuneQuest is an ancient game that used static hit points. Every attack could potentially kill any character. It didnt feel particularly heroic unless you added other rules to do the job.(a bit over realistic actually to my tastes)

I can definitely see how the narrative of shifting fighting style to accommodate being outclassed definitely points to a way to potentially have static hit points though. But dividing damage and other things on the fly is kind of tough.
 
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