Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default So, you're a minion...

    You are a level 1 4E commoner. You have 10 in all stats. You are considered a minion as far as the monster manual is concerned. You live in a small town (population between 100 and 200) with spouse or kids.

    One day an adventuring party comes into town, and you overhear them at the inn asking for someone named Vanderville. You go back to your work, then stop for a second and take a look at your underwear. Wait a minute, you're Vanderville!

    What do you do in the following two situations:

    1. The DM lets the players have their way with his world. He doesn't really care what happens to his NPCs -- they exist mostly as a way to push the party to the next shiny objective.

    2. The DM tries to protect his NPCs from the players through some fiat (though he isn't always successful).
    Last edited by TheOneTrueGod; 2012-10-28 at 02:47 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    I don't understand the questions. Why is Vanderville so important? What do the PCs want with him? Why would I care why he lives or dies? If "Vanderville" is so important to the plot, why is he a "minion"?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    You are Vanderville. You don't know the answer to any of those questions -- only that the local adventurers are looking for you with the personalities of most PCs. And you're a minion because you're a commoner with no discernible skills or abilities.

    It's a question of 'what'cha gonna do when PCs are coming for you'

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NecroRebel's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    How do the random NPCs in the world know who are PCs, and for that matter how PCs and NPCs interact?

    Anyway, in situation 1, Vanderville will end up encountering the PCs, one way or another. The logical course of action would be to go and introduce yourself to these strangers, as from the description this person has no reason to believe them to be hostile, and if one fled it would likely result in one's death, either by the pursuing adventurers or by whatever it is that they're trying to warn Vanderville about (depending on whether they're there to kill or save the villager).

    In situation 2, the logical course of action is still to go and introduce oneself, as one is a level 9000+ minion (despite being a level 1 character. Monsters aren't subject to the same rules as PCs) and thus has defenses the PCs are incapable of hitting, attacks the PCs are incapable of dodging, and damage the PCs are incapable of surviving, thus making it so that they aren't actually a threat even if they are there explicitly to kill Vanderville and everything that Vanderville has ever known or loved.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    "Adventurer vs Commoner" isn't the dividing line between minion and basic, "Plot Important vs Unimportant" is. If he's plot important, then he's not a minion.

    So, as asked, the question is dividing by zero, and any answer is going to be equally nonsensical.

    Now, is what you really meant "A group of anti-social, well-armed, homicidal hobos with a well knows reputation for random acts of violence have come to town looking for you: what do you do?" I think that question answers itself: Run, Hide, or Get Protection.

    If you really meant "A group of well-dressed, charming travelers, who are spreading quite a bit of coin around the local inns and shops, are asking for you: what do you do?" the answer would depend on the character in question: How much does he like money? How much does he like strangers? Is he the type to get information first?

    Strip the mechanics from the question, and play the role.
    DM's in New York and players are in Chicago, Paris and Hong Kong?

    MapTool

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Surrealistik's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    Quote Originally Posted by NecroRebel View Post
    In situation 2, the logical course of action is still to go and introduce oneself, as one is a level 9000+ minion (despite being a level 1 character. Monsters aren't subject to the same rules as PCs) and thus has defenses the PCs are incapable of hitting, attacks the PCs are incapable of dodging, and damage the PCs are incapable of surviving, thus making it so that they aren't actually a threat even if they are there explicitly to kill Vanderville and everything that Vanderville has ever known or loved.
    What if they have auto damage?

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NecroRebel's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    What if they have auto damage?
    Clearly you're immune, or massively resistant, to that damage type. Random DM fiat, remember?

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    obryn's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    Quote Originally Posted by NecroRebel View Post
    How do the random NPCs in the world know who are PCs, and for that matter how PCs and NPCs interact?
    They don't and they don't need to. :) The game's not about them, and the DM is free to run them in whatever sensible fashion is appropriate. Mechanically, stats are only relative to the PCs. PCs can't run into 30th level minions at 1st level, because that monster is a beefy elite or solo to the PCs and has way more than 1 hit point. :)

    -O

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Surrealistik's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    Quote Originally Posted by NecroRebel View Post
    Clearly you're immune, or massively resistant, to that damage type. Random DM fiat, remember?
    What if they have auto-damage and Wizard's Wrath? :p

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Leolo's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    Special ability 1: Whenever you take damage you awake with double the hitpoints you had before you took the damage after the attack is resolved. Special ability 2: At the start of your turn every status effects on you end.

    ^^ and answer to question 1: Ask the local authorities for help.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOneTrueGod View Post
    What do you do in the following two situations:

    1. The DM lets the players have their way with his world. He doesn't really care what happens to his NPCs -- they exist mostly as a way to push the party to the next shiny objective.

    2. The DM tries to protect his NPCs from the players through some fiat (though he isn't always successful).
    Quote Originally Posted by TheOneTrueGod View Post
    You are Vanderville. You don't know the answer to any of those questions -- only that the local adventurers are looking for you with the personalities of most PCs. And you're a minion because you're a commoner with no discernible skills or abilities.

    It's a question of 'what'cha gonna do when PCs are coming for you'
    I are confuse?
    If this question is "What would Vanderville realistically do in this situation?" then why would the DM's attitude matter?
    If a tree falls in the forest and the PCs aren't around to hear it... what do I roll to see how loud it is?

    Is 3.5 a fried-egg, chili-chutney sandwich?

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOneTrueGod View Post
    You are Vanderville. You don't know the answer to any of those questions -- only that the local adventurers are looking for you with the personalities of most PCs. And you're a minion because you're a commoner with no discernible skills or abilities.

    It's a question of 'what'cha gonna do when PCs are coming for you'
    I think I understand the question now, but it still doesn't make it any more answerable. The question(s) presume a number of things:

    1) I'm fully aware that I'm an NPC in a role-playing game (i.e. I understand that I have statistics, hit points, skill checks, etc.). This begs a number of questions, such as "why are PC characters interested in talking to my 10 AC butt?"

    2) I'm aware that there is some greater than god-like power (the DM) that determines the fate of its inhabitants. It then brings up the question about whether I have a choice in this matter or not; you ask the question as if I can refuse to meet the PCs (aren't NPCs by definition controlled by the DM?)!

    Because I am an NPC, I would therefore trust that my DM would seek to protect me, on the basis that I am worth little in the way of experience (a mere 25 xp) points or treasure. If the party were a group of bloodthirsty ravagers, I would trust that the mighty DM would provide some backup in the form of equal to higher level NPCs (who are not minions), to fight the PCs, on the understanding that I would not meaningfully contribute to his XP budget, hopefully allowing me a chance to escape.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    Quote Originally Posted by Akodo Makama View Post
    "Adventurer vs Commoner" isn't the dividing line between minion and basic, "Plot Important vs Unimportant" is. If he's plot important, then he's not a minion.
    Not so IMO. Competent in combat vs incompetent in combat is closer. I've had an 83 year old wizard NPC who would definitely have been a minion in a fight but was a really learned sage.

    But the rest I agree with. You are Vanderville, a peasant with no serious weapons training and no armour. A group of really heavily armed and dangerous toughs backed up by magic and who are probably able to turn the local militia into sushi without breaking a sweat have asked for you by name. Do you (a) try not to wet yourself as you go up to them and admit you are who you are knowing there's no point doing anything else or (b) run and hide, and preferably get a new pair of underwear?

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOneTrueGod View Post
    You are a level 1 4E commoner.
    Works for me. In answer to the questions posed, one of the following will be true:

    1) I would not believe such a ridiculous claim right up until they showed up on my doorstep. Don't they have better things to do than bother me? I'm not some relative of a lost king, last survivor of an expedition to some plot-forsaken place, guardian of ancient treasures, or other gateway to adventure. There's nothing about me that would make it entertaining or challenging for them to fight, torture, court, or otherwise employ my services. If I'm wrong about that, I'd have no way of believing it was so right up until they showed up to prove just how wrong I was.

    2) If I did know why such a group might be looking for me, I'd set out tea in preparation for their visit. Odds are I'd get very disappointed with how long it took them to get around to paying the visit. Watercress sandwiches are better fresh, you know?

    3) If I did know why such a group might be looking for me, I'd sell anything I could to buy the fastest horse out of town. Too bad that won't work, but I simply couldn't take their tricked out riding options into account when making my plans.

    4) If I did know why such a group might be looking for me, I'd hide in the old mine out of town. I know it's supposed to be heavily trapped and guarded by terrifying creatures, but I've never seen any of these things. Then, when the adventures finally track me down, looking pretty banged up, I will be completely baffled by why they think this is my fault.

    5) If I did know why such a group might be looking for me, I would end it all. Given a chance, I'd try to put my affairs in order first, but adventurers are darned inconsiderate about such things. In any case, I'm not sticking around to find out what hideous fate they have planned for me. Naturally, I will respond to any attempts at resurrection without checking to see who's making the attempt to bring me back.

    6) If I did know why such a group might be looking for me, I'd go pay a visit to their room at the local inn right away. I'd even sneak in through the window, so we could avoid complications from involving other NPCs. And then when the adventurer's shot me, mistaking my brightly coloured clothing for the typical garb of a cleverly disguised ninja, I will pull out the card I keep in my front shirt pocket for just such occasions and follow its directions carefully, reciting, "W-why?" in the appropriately faltering voice just before keeling over in death.

    7) If I did know why such a group might be looking for me, I will cheerfully direct them to every Vanderville I know within a day's ride, then cheerfully reveal that I am also a Vanderville once they stop to take a break from their wild goose chase. Hey, how could I possibly have known I was the Vanderville they were looking for all this time? As I noted earlier, there's nothing special about me! Now my cousin over in Plot Point, I hear tell he used to attend elf-roasting classes with Baron Wasteland's second cousin on his father's side, so he might know something useful!

    8) I would make an appointment with my therapist afterward to help me overcome the trauma that comes from suffering a bout of NPCitis, a condition that temporarily overwrites free-will to help nourish the dreaded campaign.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    This really depends on many factors, kind of a cascading case here:

    Do you know why the PCs are looking for you?
    YES > Respond appropriately

    NO > Do you have some false idea about why they're here?
    YES > Respond appropriately to what that idea is (ie: if they're here to kill you, get out of dodge)

    NO > What's the reputation of the adventuring party? Have you heard of them? Are they the type that would kill your type (whatever that is) or what?

    YOU KNOW OF THE PCS > Respond appropriately

    YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF THESE GUYS > What's the impression you get from the PCs? Are they a mix of trusted races? Are they all donned in scary spiked armor and dark clouds? Are they threatening the locals or are they benevolent?

    Respond appropriately.


    This doesn't take into account what type of personality you (the NPC) have as well. Are you paranoid? Brave? Confrontational? Scheming?

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: So, you're a minion...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOneTrueGod View Post
    You are Vanderville. ...
    It's a question of 'what'cha gonna do when PCs are coming for you'
    Run. And hope that your friends do not tell the PCs where you are headed. As you go running away from them be sure to make new friends on the road.

    While the players are trying to figure out what exactly your doing, hope that all the high jinx you get into doesn't make the players think that you are an evil mastermind.

    • Such as suggesting that the Thieves guild should steal from the King who should be visiting soon.
    • Tell a troll at a bridge "Why eat me when you can eat my large group of friends who are following me?"
    • Teach the locals about the dark arts. "Oh, you know what will cure that disease? The blood of the innocence, a necromancer I talked to in a bar told me."


    On second thought I'm using this. Get your own.
    Haggis is Sheep's stomach filled with its intestines.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •