Discussing alternative mooks rules

Hey guys !

I'm reading through Seventh Sea 2nd Edition (seems like all my favourite games from the 90s are back, better than ever) and I read an extended review of the parts I haven't reached yet. And there's a rule that I'm really considering houseruling into FS2 : the way they apparently handle Brutes (the 7th Sea equivalent to mooks).

According to the article, Brute Squads are a passive threat with a rating. They can be attacked, they can be included in action descriptions, and at the end of a round, they inflict damage on heroes according to their rating, so it's in the heroes' interest to mow them down while doing other things.

It's a really appealing concept to me, because I'm starting to get tired with ticking the pregenerated mook rolls list, discarding rolls 20 by 20 while saying "they all miss, ok who's next". And when they hit, it's because they exploded a few 6s, so they hit as hard as a featured foe. At which point I have to remember to ask the player if he dodges (which actually means "yes, you have to dodge"). To me, it feels empty of actual purpose and feels like an even simpler mechanic would be nice.

Obviously named antagonists would work the same as before. My point would be to reduce book-keeping and put more emphasis on the featured foes.

So I'm thinking. Right now it's around the lines of :

On their attack, mooks hit (hard) according to their current numbers. I mean that they wouldn't "miss" : if there are 20 mooks, they divide 20 damage between PCs, that you can't avoid through your defense and that you can't reduce with your thoughness.

The GM rolls 1d6 at the beginning of a new sequence, and that's the only shot on which mooks will attack. No shot cost for them. If you roll a 5, they'll attack on shot 5, but won't attack again on shot 2. (which is fine since they all hit). That gives the PCs some time to try and reduce their number (and thus, their damage), and it puts some pressure on them if you rolled an initiative of 6 and not a 2.

I would allow players to reduce the damage for a cost of 1 lost shot for 1 damage avoided.

Obviously, I'm going to check on a case-by-case basis whether it disrupts the schticks owned by my PCs. But I really want to try it out.

I've home brewed a secondary type of "mook."

Henchmen. What I do is basically combine five mooks and up the attack AV. Mechanically a henchman is like a mook, but they get all five mook attacks. They take five hits before dropping, regardless of damage taken, but until they go down, they still get five attacks.

When I did this, my players started taking mooks more seriously, as they give more of a prolonged danger. I like it because it slows down the big hitters who consistantly roll positive exploding 6s and two-shot featured foes. Hit a henchman for 35 smackdown with one attack? Still only counts as one strike, and he still gets his fill five attacks.

P.S. I'm relatively certain that players have to declare dodge before they know the result of the roll if they're not holding their action. At least that's how my group does it.

I think boosts were invented precisely to give this sort of 'group action' as an option for the GM. The mooks can always make one attack per group at +1 AV/member, instead of one lower-AV attack per member. Its not perfect, but it might do the trick. Automatic damage seems to me to penalize the PCs that specialize in high DVs. 'I took the Thief so I could be awesome on defense, and yet now you're telling me I'll get hit automatically? What's up with that?'

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I see what you mean easl ! But my players aren't the type to use an archetype like Thief.

Your point is perfectly valid, I'm not saying it isn't. But this rule is aimed at my specific group, and may be useful to other GMs if they have a group similar to mine :slight_smile:

I used the rule last week and it worked marvelously. We had to quickly modify a few schticks that didn't work satisfyingly now that mooks only attacked once, but all players were satisfied with the changes and it was a much better combat experience for me.

My way of doin this : separate the differents kind of mooks player may encounter.

  1. Standard mook : AV 10 Def 10 Spd 5 Dmg 8 Health : number
    Use them as a mob. The original "all in ! he can't kill all of us!" pack of low shits. Goblins, zombies, lesser demons, street thugs, bidasses...
    You're Outcome how many dropped.
    Special rule : outnumbered : +1AV/10 mooks, max +2
    Special rule : overwhelmed : 2 hits in a row : buried under the pack, auto 15 dmg every 3 shots, but def down to 5

  2. skilled mook : AV 11-12 Def 11-12 Spd 6 Dmg 10 Health : 1
    The standard rule of mooks, but with higher skill, increase the threat ! Orks, armored skeletons, demon warrior, mafia, commandos...
    The 12 ones for officers, special unit and so.
    May be used as standard mook vs high skill heroes

  3. The Elite : AV 13+ Def 13+ Spd 6+ Dmg 11+ Health : 2+
    Well. That guy is The cherry on the cake, bigger threat under the named foe. Black ork, ogre, vampyr, demon knight, hitman, badass expandable...
    The first time you hit them, you fail. They may dodge (ninja!), crash but stand up (armored), laugh (fat) and so... But if you know their point faible, target Def +2 and one shot them.
    Mutiple HP availables. Weakspot at +2, or more.
    I use them as gerenic version of named foe previously encountered, sort of "damn that giant devil tarantula was so tough! how shit, that's 7 more isn't it?..."
    Sometime, as a named foe with kick dead, usualy with 14-15 AV/DEF.

I really like that very simple idea of "the first hit misses, the second one takes out". It's simple and efficient. I'll need to find a way to use it :stuck_out_tongue: