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.