Please build in the Troop subtype.


Prerelease Discussion


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This kind of thing has been included in loads of d20 products, but has never been in core and thus never got as much use as it should have. It would be great for this kind of thing to be in core now and have instructions for making it.

The troop subtype in the 1st edition rules had some annoying oddities like being impossible to buff, even if the buff would effect all the component monsters (Bless, bardic music) and ignoring AC entirely. These could also stand to be corrected.

Liberty's Edge

I have never heard of this. Can you explain it further?


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It is in one of the bestiary (don’t remember the one) and in Rasputin Must Die (Reign of Winter AP) and in Ironfang Invasion/Molthune setting book. It like a swarm but for humanoid size medium. It allows you to have thirty hobgoblins Fighter 1 to be a threat for a high level group by being only one monster. It is very nice because it give that Stormtroopers feeling or that Moria feeling of players bashing a lot of humanoids.

It is a really nice idea to have them in the Core Bestiary indeed, and fixed because they have a few issues. I approve that suggestion. They are really interesting rules and roleplay wise I think.

Edit: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/humanoids/troop/

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah Swarms were a game changer for 3.5e and Pathfinder, Troops would be an awesome add to PF2E, especially if there was an easy way to template it onto any low-level monster so that you can get longer life out of them.


Great suggestion. Thumbs up!


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Agree, Troop subtype is necessary abstraction of fighting large number of weak opponents.

CR system does not play nice with big groups. Before swarms, you always ran into the problem, that if you added enough mice to a pile, you had a danger the size of a great wyrm.


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Please make the Troop subtype use regular attacks, not 'reflex save for half'. Things like Full Plate Mail or a Shield spell provide zero protection against a Troop of peasant archers at the moment, and that feels wrong to me.

Give the troop a couple of attacks with a bonus to hit and double damage (compared to the base creature), or something like that.


To be fair, you run into the same problem with physical damage area spells.

Ice Storm for example.


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

A problem I've encountered in some adventure paths is that large groups aren't used very often because of the lack (or lack of widespread knowledge) of convenient rules for them. I remember playing a Cleric in Serpent's Skull who could have taken on an army of ten thousand with weather control and wide-area debuffs, but who was pretty much useless against the single godlike end boss.

Having well defined swarm / troop rules in the core rules would mitigate that, and help keep the encounters varied. Putting them in an expansion would be much less useful, because then adventure path writers would be hesitant to use them.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
To be fair, you run into the same problem with physical damage area spells.

True, but players know that if they're facing a caster they might have to make reflex saves against area effect spells. They don't expect that from orc warriors.

"If they're regular orcs, we should send in the Fighters to slow them down. But if they're a troop of orcs, we should send in the Rogue. With his Evasion and good Reflex save, he can hold them off all day. How are we supposed to know which it is?"


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The Troop subtype has become an incospicuous saviour for my higher level play. It is incredibly flexible, simple and easy to modify on the fly. Therefore elegant.

Some things I like about why is the Troop subtype so versatile?

- Turns an abstract idea (we are overrun! surrounded!) into a tangible mechanic
- Circumvents one of the nemesis of high play - unhittable heroes or hordes cannot threaten individuals - by igoring AC
- Builds from an original creature to something recognisable by the players, often retaining some of its characteristics
- Easily malleable by the GM. I can decide that if a player doesnt like the automatic damage that ignores their resources (AC) I could just have a higher damage done and use AC as DR, because troops exist a little outside of the hard rules players accept unusualness better.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Absolutely.

The troop/army/swarm rules should be unified and expanded as part of the initial bestiary. The closer these can come to allowing a group of creatures to be treated like a single creature, within the existing combat mechanics, the easier it will be to play with individual characters vs groups AND group vs group scenarios.

Silver Crusade

deuxhero wrote:


The troop subtype in the 1st edition rules had some annoying oddities like...ignoring AC entirely.

My edit; just to clarify: do you consider troops ignoring target AC to be a problem that needs to be fixed? Because if so, isn't that kind of the entire point of a troop mechanically?


Troops could just have you make an AC save for half instead of a reflex save, that would keep the idea while making armor matter. The only problem is that AC and saves are on different scales in 2e, but I don't think that will matter because weapon attacks are on the same scale as AC so just make the attack do half damage on a miss and it works like the old save.


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Dean HS Jones wrote:
My edit; just to clarify: do you consider troops ignoring target AC to be a problem that needs to be fixed? Because if so, isn't that kind of the entire point of a troop mechanically?

I do see it as a problem, because it's an inconsistency that harms immersion and tactics.

To me the point of the Troop is that it allows the PCs to fight dozens of enemies without the GM having to keep track of dozens of individuals.

If PCs have ACs so high they can't be hit, PF2 should fix the problem at source by reducing AC bonuses.


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Something I can agree with. /Signed


Absolutely agreed! I really wanted to use this subtype for zombie hordes and had a difficult time making it balanced.

Troop subtype really make it easier to portray small group of PCs squaring off against an army of minions.

Silver Crusade

I would love to see the Troop type integrated into PF2 core. And better (/clearer) swarms. And better monster templates generally. Comments from the designers on making monsters easier to create/run on-the-fly give me some hope that they've been thinking about this kind of stuff, but so much of what's been revealed so far is all player-facing rather than GM-facing ... I guess I'm just looking forward to hearing more about the GM-facing side of things, especially with regard to monsters/NPCs/enemies

Silver Crusade

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Maybe to give the notion that the fighter's armor can make a difference against troops, whatever half of his armor bonus is, turn that into DR vs. Troops specifically, because it doesn't feel right that the rogue can easily handle a mass of enemies, but the heroic fighter type will get swarmed under. If the fighter has Plate and a shield +11 ac, maybe he gets DR 5 (1/2 rounded down) vs. troop types, unless that troop type uses magic or supernatural abilities as their primary attack. In that case, if a PC has SR they can apply 1/2 of that as DR against the troop type. Make the rules similar for Energy resistance. If you have ER 10 vs. fire and the enemy troops are damaging with fire, then you get DR 5 vs. fire against the troop type.

Obviously this is just a quick "what if we do this" but it would allow different classes to excel vs. different troop types. Wizards fighting against magical troops, rogues against skirmisher/archer types, and Fighters against physical attackers.

That or simply make the save based on the troop type.

Fortitude = physical attackers
Reflex = ranged attackers/skirmishers
Will = Magical attackers

Put a clause in that either evasion doesn't work due to the mass of enemy combatants.

When I first encountered the troop type it was poorly ran by an inexperienced GM, and made things akward and annoying. However after that I looked into troop type enemies and I fully intend on implementing them in my campaign.


Kain Dragonhand wrote:

If you have ER 10 vs. fire and the enemy troops are damaging with fire, then you get DR 5 vs. fire against the troop type.

Imagine you were being attacked by a bunch of small individual creatures with 1d6 fire breath attacks. If you had Fire Resistance 10, you would be completely immune.

If the Troop type somehow allowed those creatures to combine their attacks into a single 10d6 fire breath, your energy resistance would be nowhere near as effective. So already we've created a system where the usual tactics no longer work as expected.

Halving energy resistance on top of that seems excessive.


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I like troops. I want them to build them for PF2 in the core game. I also think that people's dislike of them ignoring AC is somewhat overblown, because when I've built them, I've noticed that the damage of troops is much lower than recommended for their CR. This helps adjust for the fact that they automatically hit, and makes them a heck of a lot easier to run.

But that's just my opinion. Please make them for the PF2 Bestiary, Paizo!


Matthew Downie wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
To be fair, you run into the same problem with physical damage area spells.

True, but players know that if they're facing a caster they might have to make reflex saves against area effect spells. They don't expect that from orc warriors.

"If they're regular orcs, we should send in the Fighters to slow them down. But if they're a troop of orcs, we should send in the Rogue. With his Evasion and good Reflex save, he can hold them off all day. How are we supposed to know which it is?"

It should be consistent either way.

Armor as DR vs physical AoE reflex effects or physical AoE targets AC. (I prefer the first personally)


I don't see any reason for troops to use AoE effects in the first place.

For example, with standard PF1 Troops, everyone who stands next to the troop takes the same amount of damage. In a real battle, you'd want to send all your warriors to fight them simultaneously, to prevent any one character getting overwhelmed. Against PF1 Troops, the more people you send, the more damage the Troop does.

A troop-like template I created for D&D 5e represents 5 creatures on a 2by2 base. They get three attacks per round, +2 to hit compared to the base creature (and doing average damage for the original creature's attack, because that's quicker). This is pretty simple to run, and all regular tactics and buffs work as you'd expect.

Grand Lodge

Good idea! This is a must in the new book. :)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Totally agreed.

Grand Lodge

Hey hey hey! What's with all of this "agreeing" going on! This is a Pathfinder Playtest thread!! KNOCK IT OFF!!! (on topic, I think it's a good idea).

The Exchange

Here I'll be a did-agree-er...

The only time I have encounter the Troop subtype in a game was... not a lot of fun.

I don't think the judge really understand the rules for swarms/troops and how the worked, so he just ran with what made sense to him - and wouldn't share any of that (the mechanics) with us players. Basically, the PCs would suffer effects and we never really understood why or how they were inflicted on us. So we just ran away - those of us who were faster then the Troops anyway (and who were still standing after it's first attack).


Love them for the longevity they can add to enemy types without needing to tack on a bunch of class levels.

I think the AC ignoring part is important because its what would happen if you actually fought them individually. No armor is gonna block 30 arrow shots (one guy got a nat 20), nor is there a way to just dodge them if they aim around your space! Their damage is low anyways.

Do agree that the way they spread damage around in melee could be handled differently, though.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'd be cool with this being added to the game. I'm not entirely sure it fits the high-level aesthetic, but I could see it being useful.


Or the troop's attack bonus could be significantly higher than normal.
Base the damage around the fact troops will crit more, maybe even have a thematic crit element like the zombie horde grabbing PCs. A high AC person would still get hit enough to feel it, but would alleviate the extra damage.


Castilliano wrote:

Or the troop's attack bonus could be significantly higher than normal.

Base the damage around the fact troops will crit more, maybe even have a thematic crit element like the zombie horde grabbing PCs. A high AC person would still get hit enough to feel it, but would alleviate the extra damage.

See, a bunch of low level enemies actually getting more criticals feels like the opposite of what should be happening (but indeed it happens mechanically).


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This must happen!


I wholeheartedly support this. Personally I'd like Shields to give a bonus to saves v troops when ready (shield proficiency bonus perhaps, minimum 0) and have troops target AC unless you occupy their squares. That way you can still threaten them from the outside with your defenses up but also make being surrounded by enemies a lot more dangerous.


Well this wound up more popular than I expected.


Ooooh troops could have special actions like "form tetsudo" or stuff like that that allow them to act like they are able to show off the benefits of fighting as a unit


deuxhero wrote:
Well this wound up more popular than I expected.

Troops were introduced in Reign of Winter, but using Modern weaponry. Regular troops (using traditional weapons) were then presented in Hell's Rebels and further expanded in Hell's Vengeance and Ironfang Invasion. Bestiary 6 added a few of them too.

I think that troops were welcomed, but more situational than your normal encounter. The fact that they'll upgrade to 2E soon won't help them much though :(

I don't know how troops will be integrated in P2E, but I hope they will be, because if you need to have the PCs fight more opponents than expected, a troop would be perfect. For instance, you have a Goblin Troop in B6, that saves a lot of time than having 10-15 singlular goblins to manage.


Yeeeeeees.


Matthew Downie wrote:

I don't see any reason for troops to use AoE effects in the first place.

For example, with standard PF1 Troops, everyone who stands next to the troop takes the same amount of damage. In a real battle, you'd want to send all your warriors to fight them simultaneously, to prevent any one character getting overwhelmed. Against PF1 Troops, the more people you send, the more damage the Troop does.

A troop-like template I created for D&D 5e represents 5 creatures on a 2by2 base. They get three attacks per round, +2 to hit compared to the base creature (and doing average damage for the original creature's attack, because that's quicker). This is pretty simple to run, and all regular tactics and buffs work as you'd expect.

I like this. This is basically a bunch of wimpy creatures using aid-another. It macks the math easier and faster while not changing the game logic.

Please this and not P1E troops.

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