"I hit some mooks": - AV, difficulty & mook removal services

taken from Queex's website

"I Hit Some Mooks"
Players can be rather reticent about exactly how many mooks they are trying to take out. Plus, if the player wants to collapse the roof on a whole mob of mooks, what difficulty should it have? A number based on the number of mooks who might be killed? A stunt action determined by the GM? How does this allow for degrees of success? Wouldn't it be nice to have a method of determining how many mooks are flattened on a statistically sound sliding scale? Here's my solution. find the Action Result as normal, and take away from it the standard difficulty of wasting a mook (usually 5, but may be less for certain Schticks or weapons). Divide this adjusted Outcome by 2 (rounding up) and that is the number of mooks taken out. It's bulletproof, trust me.

I am hoping anyone, esp. queex himself, might be able to help me expand upon this example taken from his website. As I am being, as usual, a little slow on the uptake.

For example. My gun character (guns 15) is attempting to shooting a structural pillar out (not too far away, say 6-7 metres) which would cause the roof to collapse on top of 7 mooks (highest def AV 9) and 1 named character (highest def AV 15). How would you run this, and what would you say are the (name one or two) likely outcomes?

-for sake of argument if necessary, the gun character rolls positive 4, negative 1 for a combat AV of 18

(paying particular attention to the highlighted text from Queex's text.)

taking the above example but with a slight variation. If you beat the def AV of some of the mooks - they all get flattened, but don't beat the AV of a few others + the named character - do they escape getting flattened completely? Do they escape unscathed or would you for example add a shot to his next action. Do you say that you have to beat the AV of the mooks by 5?

Would you run it by needing to beat a difficulty for the stunt (that the GM decides) and if you pull it off it works, meaning both mooks and named character get wiped out/take damage irrespective of what their def AV might be?

I quite like how Queex writes it - perhaps if you've got time you could give a more detailed example? )

I interpret his text as following:

If you got some mooks with AV (9+5=) 14 and roll an action result of (15+4-1=) 18, then you kill ([18-14]/2=) 2 mooks.

If you want to include the named character the AV is perhaps raised to 15 (20 for mooks), which would mean that you miss all the mooks but hit the named character.

Everyone not affected by the crushing roof gets away somehow without any penalties and anyone who gets hit will suffer the normal consequence.

I use a different way, because I interpret the rules on page 128 differently, where it says that you get -2 if you want to attack two mooks, -3 for three mooks and so on. I don't care how the action is described, I want to know what the player wants to achieve. If the PC is targeting three opponents, I use the highest AV and give the player -3 on the AV. That's what the player wants to achieve with the action. It doesn't matter if the player want to make the roof fall down over them or throw in a grenade, I only focus on how the opponents are affected by the rules. Clean description of how an action is performed should never be covered in rules, but rules have to be described to make sense in the world. "You take out three mooks. How?!"

I very much like that (not to say Queex's rules aren't good - @Queex - you're still my go to guy buddy!), and I've highlighted what I like - I'm just asking in general for examples, not really hard and fast rules.

Would I be right in thinking that with your example that if you didn't match the highest AV - say a named character, but managed to hit the three mooks on a -3 that the named character would jump out of the way but the three mooks would get crushed (and if you didn't beat the mooks by an out come of 5 would this still be applicable?)

Also: even after quite some time I'm still trying to work out whether or not with some combat stunt actions I would have to put a stunt AV to beat as well as a combat AV if the stunt is crazy.

For example, jumping of a grand prix car to another to build momentum up to kick a spectator in the face (I don't know where I came up with that one). If it was a non-combat stunt you could say that the difficulty was a stunt of 20 perhaps. Say the spectator though was just a mook you're talking about a -2 because it's a stunt where you're getting a better than normal result (i.e crossing a high speed race track quicker than normal - debatable for the -2) and the spectator probably has a high AV of around 8-10. What would people do in this situation?

I would still require an Outcome of 5, otherwise all the mooks will leap into safety unharmed.

When I come to think of it, I've never been in a situation where a player wants to include both mooks and named characters in one attack. They got a thinking, I don't know if I imprinted it or not, that they take care of either the mooks or the named characters first.

It would depend on the situation. If the player want to show off without being in a combat, then it would succeed without making any roll. I got a mantra when I play Feng Shui: "They are action heroes. They are action heroes. They are action heroes". I repeat that when they are doing something and it makes it easier for me to decide what rule I should use in the given situation.

If it's just about hitting a mook, I would require a normal dice roll. Perhaps the player wants to shine and describe how cool the character is, so why should I penalize that? Mooks don't take damage, so the stunt would be something that should be used against named characters instead, giving -2 on the AV but with drastically increased damage.

I never tend to care about movement or distance. I assume that the PC's are moving while the camera is filming someone else. It's the players obligation to come up with amusing moves, so I don't care if they are in a car on one action, on a boat on another action and climbing a ladder on a third, as long as they are still in the scene. They can freely describe where the mooks are as well. In that way, it doesn't matter if you're using Guns or Martial Arts when you fight. You can shoot them on a distance or be right with them to kick them through a brick wall... But sometimes, I want to put obstacles in their way, like a race track with passing race cars. To move to that location would increase the shot cost with one or give the player -2 on the AV to ignore the extra shot cost (following the rules of Snapshots on page 130).

Yeah I pretty much agree with all you've said, just wanting an opinion. On the above, I'd just note that I do ask for stunt checks outside of combat (one reason for asking questions in the first part) - but only if they're going to add some advantage later on.

For example, I played a masked avenger in my first ever game using the adventure in the core. I used a bunch of grappling hooks, some sweet swinging that would put spider-man to shame and some daredevil sliding and climbing to position myself silently high above a building site (on a bunch of cranes) so I could work my way down and take out a bunch of mooks, like the stealth ninja that I am, to allow the other players to come in unmolested (for not everyone can be a stealth ninja.

The GM made me do checks for some stunts - where I would be noticed, or where there was a good chance of a prat fall and comical splat landings at the feet of my enemies, but not for everything - some stunts really were no more than flavour text, so to speak, and therefore he didn't require checks for that. - I think I've carried on his way of running stunts in this way.

I think I basically ran my BoF's the same way as posted directly above, and I think as intended - if it's not done as an advantage, there's no mechanical reason to impose a penalty - if your stunt that has no other appreciable effect, DOES have the possibility of an effect, such as impressing an NPC (and that impression being important to the game in some way), then I consider it a roll, otherwise - no.

When I run games, I more or less used Queex's method, though before I had read it so not nearly as refined. Once a roll exceeded the 5 outcome for one mook, for every... I think I did 3, points above, I considered it another mook taken out, and the players certainly never complained, and it did help them hesitantly narrate broader attacks from their characters. I guess really you could just set a "factor" or something for each type of mook group - say standard mooks get taken out on a 2-1 basis (Queex's divide the remaining outcome by 2), while the way I did it, it would take 3 more outcome per extra mook wiped out, etc.

The "downside" (which I don't really consider it) is the multiple enemy penalty only really gets used in a particular situation like a hostage or with named characters. The upside is of course, bare-assed awesomeness for the characters and quicker, easier GM'ing, also not a bad bonus for me.

Obviously, the multiple trashes mechanic works best in conjunction with something like the true mook rule of ambiguous numbers in a group - instead of 7 mooks, it's "a handful". It's not definite, but when was the last time you or the heroes stopped to count the mooks in an action movie before sticking a foot through someone's esophagus? "How many are there?" "A shitload!" Since mooks don't take damage anyway, I use the borrowed Threat Level (calling it Life as it's more a question of how much/long it takes to get rid of them in a scene) idea to give the whole enemy group for the scene a "Hit Point Pool" essentially, and whenever it runs out, the fight is over - either more mooks pour in, or downed ones get back in the fight, etc. until then. The number of mooks that attack each turn would I guess logically be the same as current Threat Level (calling it divided by Guts, which could vaguely equate to the base number of mooks you could specify if you were pressed.

You could use the extra mook reduction division factor (I'm calling it Guts for mine) as an improv morale too, possibly, for some sort of non-damage dealing skill, like an intimidate or persuasion, the tougher guys are less likely to give up or be convinced as easily, etc. as they're theoretically better trained or experienced. I've got a few different variations, from more complicated/bookkeeping than FS, to less.

So your typical modern generic thugs, or basic unnamed bad/good guys, might be:

Name: 9 Modern Mooks (from book, slightly modified for compliance)
Weapons: revolver 9 (6 cap), knife 7
Attr: Bod 5, Chi 0, Mnd 4, Ref 5
NC Skills: Intimidation 8, Info/Crime 6
Combat Skills: Martial Arts 6, Guns 8
Combat Stats: KO 5, Guts 2, Edge 0, Life 45
Extras: none
Attacks (starting): 9
Threat: (8+6=14) + 3 + 4 + 26 + 7 + 23 + 0 = 77
Citizen Equivalent: 1.75

And further back:

Name: 9 Ancient Henchmen (from book, slightly modified for compliance)
Weapons: Spear 10, Bow 7
Attributes: Bod 6, Chi 0, Mnd 4, Ref 6
NC Skills: Intimidation 8, Info/Crime 5
Combat Skills: Martial Arts 8
Combat Stats: KO 5, Guts 2, Edge 0, Life 45
Extras: none
Attacks (starting): 9
Threat: 8 + 4 + 4 + 16 + 7 + 23 + 0 = 62
Citizen Equivalent: 1.41

And from the FS core book, Poison Thorns and Fast Eddie's Boys:

Name: 9 Poison Thorns (modified for compliance)
Weapons: revolver 9 (6 cap), machete 9
NonCbt Skills: Intimidate 6, Info/Crime 6
Attr: Bod 6, Chi 0, Mnd 4, Ref 6
Combat Skills: Guns 7, MA 7
Combat Stats: KO 5, Guts 2, Edge 0, Life 45
Extras: none = 0
Attacks (starting): 9
Threat: (9+6=15) + 4 + 4 + 28 + 14 + 23 + 0 = 88
Citizen Equivalent: 2.00

Name: 9 Fast Eddie's Boys (modified for compliance)
Weapons: Morinco 6 (7+1 cap), Mini Uzi 6 (25 cap), machete 5
NonCbt Skills: Intimidate 6, Info/Crime 6
Attr: Bod 7, Chi 0, Mnd 4, Ref 7
Combat Skills: Guns 8, MA 8
Combat Stats: KO 5, Guts 2, Edge 0, Life 45
Extras: none = 0
Attacks (starting): 9
Threat: (5+16=21) + 4 + 4 + 32 + 7 + 23 + 0 = 91
Citizen Equivalent: 2.07

And for the heck of it, essentially the least competent mook group usually encountered:

Name: 9 Normal Citizens
Weapons: revolver 7 (cap 6), baseball bat 5
NonCbt Skills: Info/Profession 6, Info/Everything Else 5
Attr: Bod 3, Chi 0, Mnd 3, Ref 3
Combat Skills: Guns or Martial Arts 3
Combat Stats: KO 4, Guts 2, Edge 0, Life 36
Extras: none = 0
Attacks (starting): 9
Threat: (6+6=12) + 3 + 2 + 3 + 6 + 18 + 0 = 44
Citizen Equivalent: 9

KO = Outcome needed for one mook in the group to be taken out (5+ for basic mooks)
Guts = Outcome minus KO, divided by this, equals extra mooks KO'd (2 in Queex's example)
Edge = Life divided by Guts plus this equals the number of attacks the group gets on their turn (basic mook groups have 0 in this)
Life = the life, duration-wise, of the group itself, rather than life as a measure of physical vitality
Extras: any useful group abilities, schticks, etc.
Attacks (starting): how many times the GM acts or rolls to attack the PC's when it's his appropriate Shot)
Threat: Overall danger presented by this group as a whole - larger or more capable groups both increase this
Citizen Equivalent: basically how many normal people a mook is "equal to"
Gear: any non-combat stuff a mook group might have, either individually or as a whole

Weapon Value: (tot weapon damages) + (tot weapon capacities / number of guns) divided by number of weapons
Non-Cbt Skills Value: add together and divide by number of skills +1 for NC Skill Value
Attributes Value: add together and divide by 4 for Attributes Value
Combat Skills Value: add together for Combat Skills Value
Combat Stats Value: add KO + Guts + Edge and divide by 3 for Combat Stats Value, plus Life / 2
Extras Value: any useful group abilities, schticks, etc. add values together and divide by number of extras
Attacks: Life / KO
Threat = Weapon Value + NC Skills Value + Attributes Value + Combat Skills Value + Combat Stats Value + Extra Value
Citizen Equivalent = group's total Threat rating divided by 5

That's very interesting. I"m going to have to re-read it, but only because it's early in the morning and I haven't had my coffee quota yet.

I very much like the idea of "a bunch of mooks" - rather than a set number. I think even if you've worked out a set number, it's probably best not to be blatant to your players with how many exactly are there so you can always end the fight if it gets stale (for any reason) rather than carry it on because there are x amount of mooks who "refuse to leave" (either because you haven't made them run away or the PC relentlessly what to chase them down - happens to me a bit).

(and also "Guts" as it reminds me of a Zombies!!! board game expansion, which is always a good thing)

If you have the time to do a brief combat write up using them it would be appreciated.

It will depend on your own style and how you run your game of course, as to how combat proceeds, exactly. No playthrough as I'm still refining ideas but I will say:

For me, it might go something like:

Initiative and Shots determined, GM's mooks go on let's just say 14 for the sake of argument, or I could probably elect to split them up into 2 groups, just so all my stuff isn't in one batch against the PC's - I generally try to avoid doing that much though in case I do have a villain or two do something different than the rest, though this doesn't happen often, as if they're just mooks, unless I'm breaking one out into his own right as a surprise named character, they all just "same burger-same fries" the fight until wiped out.

So anyway, the PC's go, say there's 3 heroes and 9 mooks like I've been using in my example, and I'm using the following mooks:

I think I made a mistake on AV in my previous examples but I think this is right - I'm assuming skill levels for NPCs are already including the base stat.

In this case, the PC's would need 8's to hit the KO 6 mooks, so 14's or better to actually KO a target (this is just for example, this group would probably tear some PC's apart) and then would have to get 4 more Outcome past that to take one more out - highly unlikely to get more than one in a shot. These would be ass-eating zombies. The group gets 10 attacks to begin with, and like I said, I'd probably split them up into the first Shot I rolled, and a lower one (or two if I felt it was too unfair for the PCs).

The Life points I determined by basically multiplying the KO by the number of base mooks I wanted; in this case, 9 zombies, so 9 x 6 = 54 - this 54 will be a damn sight harder to get rid of than a 54 of normal lower KO/Guts mooks though. You could also number the mook groups based on the basic book formula which matched up 3 Poison Thorns against each PC - a Poison Thorn was basically worth 2 people, and a PC is probably worth at least 3 Poison Thorns, maybe 4, so it's likely a PC counts as 6 to 8 normal people on average, so I guess you could "power" your mook group if you wanted to match PCs, as equal to 6-8 citizens per PC, so you'd want a group that was about 30-40 Threat PER PC if you wanted a solid match for the player characters.

The Threat rating is deceptive here, however, which I actually hadn't realized, because zombies don't have ranged weapons, so the Threat functions more as an overall "Okay, if we're 100 yards away, and had time to prepare, how much danger would we be in?" because the PC's could theoretically just shoot the zombies from roofs. I'd probably have to tweak the Threat formula to get it more accurate but it really isn't important to the actual gameplay itself anyway.

Overall, this overcomplicates a mook group statblock, but simplifies customizing and standardizing them yourself with your own formula for certain situations.

I've also been back to thinking on "automating" mook hit rolls, rather than making 10 hit rolls every GM Shot, maybe either automatic hits on a reduced sized die, like for every 4, roll a D3 for number of successful hits, or modify that by the mooks' AV or something, or compromise and for every so many mooks, say 3, you get one hit roll, etc.

Other than that, combat would be as normal. Adding in Named Characters shouldn't affect anything, as the mooks' mechanics relate only to themselves, allowing them to otherwise function as per the rules as written.

I think it complicates things for me - but I see how it could work fine mechanically.

the zombie's info/brains 8 is inspired. Useless probably, but inspired none-the-less. (Perhaps you could substitute brains with ass-eating, if that is indeed what the zombies do :stuck_out_tongue:)