Now that this Gassy Gnoll has played a few sessions of D&D 4e, I have to say that one of the rules I have some serious issues with are the minions.
Don’t get me wrong. I love minions. You can never have enough of them. But one hit point? Come on.
If I’m in a battle and there are several targets to hit, minions are a waste of time. Sure, I could play some gnome croquet and try to knock a few minions through gates with a willing (or unwilling) gnomish accomplice and a hammer. Or I could try my hand at dwarf bowling (though all the dwarves I’ve met are tough bastards and rarely drunk enough to get a good handle on). But ultimately it’s one shot, one kill, and on to the next. Unless you have cleave or some kind of an area-effect spell, the odds are against you taking out too many of them at once.
I prefer the 1 HD creature approach. If a group of disposable targets are there solely to offer the bigger critters more shots at me, then give them a chance to absorb a hit. Make it worth my while. Even 4 HP creatures might survive the occasional blow from a PC. Give them 6, 8, or 10 HP and they could actually be a threat while they’re wasting my time. 1 HP isn’t a target, it’s a blood smear on the windshield.
As a GM, I’m willing to track a gaggle of kobolds, each with a slightly different weapon – perhaps one has a dagger, another has a short sword, someone else has a spear… Perhaps one has hide armor and a shield, a different one is fighting two-handed, one is wearing a mail shirt too big for him that he stole from an earlier conquest… I want the variation. I want there to be the possibility that one of the minions could technically be the last man standing in a battle, fighting for the honor of his fallen leader.
Maybe a smaller adjustment would take care of the problem. I really like the idea of the “Two-Hit Minion” from Dungeon’s Master earlier this year. At least that way it’s a bit more than “tap, you’re done”. Maybe that’s all it would take to buff out this beef I have.
However with 1 HP, a being is closer to winking out of existence than sticking around for another round. He could trip and fall on the ground and take enough damage to knock himself out.
Gaming is all about the texture, the layers, the story… And killing hordes of 1 HP critters is just about killing things, not about how or why they got there. And yes, I know creative GMs can work around this. I’ve seen my new GM Justin do it already. But I want more crunch to my minion horde.
*Curious Gnolls Want To Know*
What do you thnk? Are minions in 4e the greatest thing since sliced bread and a time-saver for GMs? Or do minions need to unionize and get a better representative at the 5e bargaining table? Leave comments below and I’ll tally the results…
- Two-Hit Minions from Dungeon’s Master (dungeonsmaster.com)
- simple marvel minion rules from The Mule Abides (muleabides.wordpress.com)
- Minions Are Spice from Critical Hits ” RPG (critical-hits.com)
- Dark Legacy of Evard, Session 9: Here’s Your Minion, Take Good Care of Him from free the minions! (dnd4eplay.blogspot.com)
- minions (sevenanahalflife.wordpress.com)
- DESPICABLE ME 2 teaser poster promises more minions (geektyrant.com)
- I have a minion! from JP on Gaming (jpchapleau.blogspot.com)