Evil Lincoln vs. The Horde

Homebrew and House Rules

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Hello houserulers! Today I'd like to discuss a tool that works something like the Mob Template from 3.5's DMG2. I've been looking at a lot of takes on this rule; there are plenty of refinements on the internets that come in various levels of complexity. Here I'm going to brew my own to meet my specific needs.

Here's a little background. I am fed up with waiting. Most of my Pathfinder campaigns are at the mid-high levels now. Combat can become really grindy, and even though we're mostly veteran GMs and players, things still aren't as fast paced as I'd like.

I'd like to be able to use lots of little mooks in encounters without spending a whole evening on just one combat.

So, the first thing I attacked was initiative. I read from a number of houserulers on the webs that all said "individual initiative is slow, team initiative is where its at!" And so I tried it. And I think they were right. There's a certain collaborative smoothness to team initiative; and it works very well with the superheroic feel of a Pathfinder battle.

So great, I'm planning on sticking with team initiative. But when you're pushing all those miniatures or VTT tokens around, you quickly develop the temptation to resolve those creatures as a group instead of taking individual actions. If there's an appropriate CR gap to account for lots and lots of creatures, you'll typically find that it's not really even worth rolling to attack. You're just hoping to roll a 20 sometimes. That's lame, and it takes a LOT of time for very little payoff.

So I started looking at creature-grouping rules, and I feel like none of them are quite hitting the mark for me. I'll call this a rule for "Hordes" to avoid confusion with the Mob template.

The Perceived Problem
When operating on a shared initiative, groups of similar creatures don't really behave like you'd expect. Lots of creatures should feel like more of a threat, and their collective action should be about as easy to resolve as a normal single creature's turn.

The Proposed Solution
Three or more identical creatures can form a horde if they remain within reach of each other.

Horde Defense
A horde has hit points equal to the total of the hit points of all creatures in the horde.

Each time the horde loses enough hit points to kill a single creature within the horde, the attacker chooses a valid target of the attack within the horde to die. If the damage was enough to kill two creatures in the horde, the attacker chooses two valid targets to die, and so forth. If the attacker has no valid targets in reach after killing one or more creatures, no additional creature is killed, but the horde still sustains the damage. (This is intended to simplify HP tracking for large numbers of creatures.)

Any creatures which are not slain when the horde reaches zero hit points become individual creatures and gain the panicked condition.

Horde Size
A horde has a size rating equal to the creature size of the necessary to contain them if they form a square. A horde of sixteen medium creatures takes up a gargantuan space, as does a horde of four large creatures. A horde of seventeen medium creatures is colossal. This modifies the Armor Class of creatures in the horde to create the Horde AC.

Ranged attacks targeting the Horde may use the Horde AC. Melee attacks may target the horde AC as long as at least two creatures from the horde are in the threatened area.

If a horde loses enough creatures to fit into a smaller creature's space, it becomes the size of that space. A colossal horde of seventeen krugs becomes a gargantuan horde when krug #17 dies.

Horde Offense
If any two creatures within a horde are flanking a target, they may make a "horde attack". A horde attack automatically hits and deals an amount of damage equal to an attack by an individual creature in the horde. Creatures with higher attack bonuses roll additional damage. Multiple the damage dice by one per full five points of attack bonus. Creatures with an attack bonus of less than five deal half damage, and creatures with an attack bonus below zero deal one-quarter damage.

<1............1/4 Damage
5-9...........Normal Damage

A horde equipped with ranged weapons can also make a ranged horde attack, which creates an area of effect with a size equal to the horde size. Flanking is not necessary. The damage is that of an individual ranged attack from a creature in the horde, but allows a reflex saving throw with a DC equal to 10 + the ranged attack bonus. A successful save halves the damage.

Individual creatures within a horde may make melee attacks against threatened targets if they are not otherwise able to make a horde attack. This includes making full attack actions if they would ordinarily be able to do so.


I know this is probably loaded with issues at this point, but that's why I bring it before you. What do you think? I'm especially welcoming of pessimistic feedback if it addresses the perceived problem!

And here I thought we were going to be back-to-back badasses against impossible odds.

Still can.

Looks like a good start,it seems like the horde should get a free bullrush when charging and possibly additional in combat maneuvers like disarm/grapple.
Monkey swarm gets free maneuvers each turn.

Yeah, at the moment, I've left a lot of the swarm language out, so you might notice it missing.

This isn't deliberate. I'm just lazy and focusing on the parts that are fun to think about. That's bad, I should knock it off.

What about the troop rules from rasputin must die?

Those slipped past me somehow. I'm eager to give them a shot now!

How about using the megaswarm subtype from Tome of Horrors 4, as your guidelines?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm surprised that none have made this shoutout, so I will.

"For The Horde!"

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