Praise the troop subtype!


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

OK, long story short, a 5 PC party was going through The Thrushmoor Terror and got into

Spoiler:
Fort Hailcourse

where they have decided to pull all aggro and basically entered an escalating encounter against everything within the place. Which, among others, left them fighting against two dozens

Spoiler:
Juju Zombies and Deep Ones.
Faced with the prospect of a nightmare fight between over 30 combatants, I've decided to run enemy units as troops, modifying the existing troop statblocks on the fly.

And it worked. We did have an excellent, cinematic battle with me having way less to handle. It still did take half an hour to resolve, but was much smoother, fun and interactive than having each individual mook resolved separately.


where's that system from? I might want to add that book to my library.


Klorox wrote:
where's that system from? I might want to add that book to my library.

Of all things, I believe it's from the 5th book of Reign of Winter: Rasputin Must Die!


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White Hilt wrote:
Klorox wrote:
where's that system from? I might want to add that book to my library.
Of all things, I believe it's from the 5th book of Reign of Winter: Rasputin Must Die!

Indeed. It's since been added to the RPG line in Bestiary 6. ^_^


Or Bestiary 6.
Troop Subtype.

I like the idea of the Troop but not the specifics. For example, armor is worthless against them. That means the tactics you need are very different to what it would be like to fight dozens of normal enemies.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I fell in love with the troop subtype when I read through the Hell's Rebels AP. So much so that I am now running a homebrew wartime campaign that utilizes troops subtypes rather than using the preexisting mass combat rules which my players don't like because it doesn't feel very special.

In so doing, of course, I've discovered that troop on troop combat doesn't work very well and was really intended for PCs on troop, so I've had to modify a few things to make it feasible, but they are small modifications.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:

Or Bestiary 6.

Troop Subtype.

I like the idea of the Troop but not the specifics. For example, armor is worthless against them. That means the tactics you need are very different to what it would be like to fight dozens of normal enemies.

It's a sacrifice that I am willing to take if it shaves me few hours of time :)

Apart from Rasputin Must Die! and Bestiary 6, there are several troop statblocks in A Song of Silver (Hell's Rebels book 4), Lands of Conflict and several Ironfang Invasion episodes. They should all be soon up on Archives of Nethys now that it's catching up.


Rogue Genius Games just released the Monster Menagerie:Troops pdf that is worth picking up for more troop examples.


Matthew Downie wrote:

Or Bestiary 6.

Troop Subtype.

I like the idea of the Troop but not the specifics. For example, armor is worthless against them. That means the tactics you need are very different to what it would be like to fight dozens of normal enemies.

Well, how is that so different from fighting a dozen enemies the normal way? Regardless of your AC, it's more likely than not that at least one or two attacks with hit you each round. That's what the automatic damage represents, the few attacks that would make it through your guard regardless of how defensive you're fighting. If anything, you'd need to be more careful with taking damage from dozens of individual enemies. The odd crit here and there could really mess you up.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For bookkeeping sanity, I have come to love and adore the Troop subtype...

Especially since it lets piles of lower-CR foes actually be both worth taking the time to fight AND not take all friggin' year.

And from a player perspective, it lets you feel like you're in Dynasty Warriors...


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Dαedαlus wrote:
Well, how is that so different from fighting a dozen enemies the normal way? Regardless of your AC, it's more likely than not that at least one or two attacks with hit you each round.

A guy with 60AC surrounded by a mob of 20 enemies will take about 1 hit per round. A guy with 10AC surrounded by a mob of 20 enemies will take about 19 hits per round. But they both take exactly the same damage when you switch to a troop. Troops do not simulate what they're supposed to be a simplification of.

I still prefer my homebrew subtype:

Mob: 16 squares in size, made from four two by two blocks that must remain adjacent. (Assuming Medium source creature.)
AC: as source creature, minus two
Hit points: sixteen times that of the source creature
Mobs are always treated as rolling a 1 on their initiative. They provoke attacks of opportunity as normal.
Mobs attack all adjacent enemies. They do the same damage as the original creature on a hit. A single square of a mob can attack only one adjacent creature. They spread their attacks as evenly as possible between potential targets. If multiple squares of the mob attack the same creature, they get iterative bonuses.

Example:
If the mob's base creature is an orc with an attack of +5 (2d4+4/18–20) and three squares of this orc mob are attacking a single character, they can full-attack with +15/+10/+5 (2d4+4/18-20). No more than four attacks can be made on a single creature in a round, but if the mob is able to attack from opposite sides at once, all these attacks get flanking bonus.

They can also make ranged attacks under the same rules, but no more than three can fire on a single creature in a round.

When a character attacks a mob with a weapon of effect that target a single enemy, you can inflict no more damage than the hit points of the source creature, except with a bludgeoning or slashing attack, in which case you can inflict a maximum of twice that much damage.

For each 25% of maximum hit points the mob loses, one two by two square of the mob is dispersed.

Area effect attacks are very effective against mobs, getting bonuses based on the number of squares hit:
1-2 - normal damage.
3-4 *1.5 damage
5-6 double damage
7-8 *2.5 damage
9-10 triple damage
11-12 *3.5 damage
13-14 quadruple damage
15-16 *4.5 damage

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Having just encountered some brutal troops at GenCon, I agree with the toothy bag.


Yep...the troop subtype is definitely one of the best rules systems to be introduced in the AP line, and I am glad it finally made it into a hardcover


Matthew Downie wrote:

Or Bestiary 6.

Troop Subtype.

I like the idea of the Troop but not the specifics. For example, armor is worthless against them. That means the tactics you need are very different to what it would be like to fight dozens of normal enemies.

How is this different from swarms?


It's basically the same thing as Swarms, but available for larger creatures than Swarms. Swarms after all are only intended for Tiny or smaller creatures (with the exception of, like, 1 spell).


Do you have a Troop Template?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Furdinand wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:

Or Bestiary 6.

Troop Subtype.

I like the idea of the Troop but not the specifics. For example, armor is worthless against them. That means the tactics you need are very different to what it would be like to fight dozens of normal enemies.

How is this different from swarms?

In several respects. Troops are not fixed in shape, the area they occupy is shapeable (but must remain contiguous). It is subject to crits and precision damage as long as individual members are. Casting spells while fighting a troop requires a DC 20 + spell level concentration check.


Furdinand wrote:
How is this different from swarms?

If you mean: Armor doesn't protect against swarms either, you're right, but swarms exist to let you fight, say, three thousand wasps. I don't expect that to be like a normal combat. But I would expect fighting 20 orcs in a troop to be like fighting 20 orcs.


If you want to fight 20 orcs, talk your GM into having an encounter with 20 straight up orcs. You'll probably go down even quicker because 20 orcs will out action-economy any reasonable party. In a troop, functionally all 20 orcs are attacking at once, so statistically at least one of those will hit regardless of your AC anyways. But in exchange you can attack, and even crit, all 20 orcs at once. And it's also a whole lot less book-keeping than the GM trying to track 24+ initiatives and 20 separate NPC turns.


Imagine a level 5 party is scouting a camp and they see there are twenty orcs. Their plan is to cast some buffs on the frontliners to boost their ACs and then the have them stand next to each other so the orcs can't all attack the same guy at once, and while the orcs are distracted attacking them the invisible wizard tries to finish them all off at once with his last Fireball.

And instead of it working as expected, the AC buffs are worthless, and standing next to each other just means they each take as much damage as any one of them would, and the 24 point fireball that would have devastated ordinary orcs instead does just 18 points of damage to the troop because the entire troop passed a Reflex save.

Unless players know the troop rules and can tell the difference between troops and individuals, it's pretty confusing.

Shinigami02 wrote:
And it's also a whole lot less book-keeping than the GM trying to track 24+ initiatives and 20 separate NPC turns.

So is my alternative template.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Furdinand wrote:
How is this different from swarms?
If you mean: Armor doesn't protect against swarms either, you're right, but swarms exist to let you fight, say, three thousand wasps. I don't expect that to be like a normal combat. But I would expect fighting 20 orcs in a troop to be like fighting 20 orcs.

I'm sorry, but it seems like what you want is the ability to fight twenty Orcs with impunity.

Pathfinder combat, without the Troops, is rather poor at dealing with the effectiveness of organized combatants. This really suits some people's playstyles, and really doesn't do it for others.


Daw wrote:
I'm sorry, but it seems like what you want is the ability to fight twenty Orcs with impunity.

With my alternative template the orcs (if they surround you) can attack a solitary PC with:

+20/+15/+10/+5 (2d4+4/18-20)
This means that typical defences (AC, mirror image, etc.) are useful but not invincible.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Your alternative is also a lot more complex for not much gain.


I just do a single roll against everything being attacked by the troop and then if they hit AC-5 you take X, AC you take Y, AC+5 you take Z etc. No critical hits or misses and always some minimum damage.

Pre write the damage and party AC.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The House on Hook Street uses the troop type, too. I liked them, but the ones the book used weren't very tough when my players encountered them.

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