JP On Gaming

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tweaking Pathfinder: Mobs vs Hordes [Response]

One thing I've really enjoyed since I started writing this blog is to read comments, responses and counter-proposals. It is always my goal to make the game better overall.

This past Thursday, Perry-S posted a reply on G+ regarding my mob rules. In his response, he directed me to his post on Paizo.Com (found here). In his post, he offers an alternative to the mob system I presented.

At first glance, my gut feeling was "It's 4e monster roles re-hashed". In many ways it is, but with a few things that got me thinking. What in there could I use myself? I read and re-read his thread. I thought the way he presented his stuff was simple, intelligent, and really using 4e's roles well. Not only does the thread present his thought process, but also some guidelines on encounter-building, which had me fascinated.

I was quite intrigued by his simplified stat block, which was a very 4e/5e thing, which for minion-like things, I really find a good thing.

Mobs vs Hordes

Since he posted in regards to mobs, he uses "hordes of minions". Both represent a similar thing: large number of (generally) weaker opponents fighting in a somewhat coordinated manner.

If I understand his post correctly, the two are similar in the following way:
   - They move all at once (a mob as one creature and the horde as a unit)
   - PCs are able to take them down fairly easily

Here is where a mob has an advantage:
   - quick to run
   - no extended tactics or options (makes them very easy to run)
   - swarm attacks scare players (minions are likely to miss constantly)
   - focuses only on damage rather than tactics
   - uses existing and current game rules and stat blocks

Here is where a horde has an advantage:
   - blocks space (each minion must be bypassed individually)
   - minions have attacks of opportunity
   - action economy (you must take the time)
   - use of tactics (flanking, aid another, use of special abilities)

I can see how the two groups could be used in different instances. They both have their advantages.

So... which is best? That's a toughie. I am personally tilted towards mobs, but I cannot discount the use of a more complex encounter provided by the horde.

I will be talking to Perry on his math. That thread of his shows that he put a lot of thought into it and I would like to see more of these house rules. I am quite intrigued by his take on Commanders & Solos. Stay tuned guys for more word on this. A Gostor product? Who knows!


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