Minions

"Minions" are a type of enemy that serves mostly to wear down a PC group. They're no match for a PC face-to-face, but they can be dangerous if they swarm you. Any sort of monster or humanoid enemy can be a Minion.

Specific details of Minion-type monsters are given in the Monster Manual. In brief, however, the idea is that the creature should have comparable defenses and attack bonii of any other monster of their level, but do only static damage equal to about 1/2-1/3 of the maximum possible for a normal creature- so a beast that does 1d6+3 on a hit in a normal creature might do 4 points as a minion. As a final touch, minions have 1 hit point, but take no damage on a missed attack roll. This does not include automatic damage- if an effect just invariably does X damage to a creature, then it's enough to kill them.

As a rule of thumb, 4 minions are equal to 1 regular monster for XP and balancing purposes. Be careful when you add them to a plot, though- if the PCs don't have a wizard, they can get swarmed fairly easily. Since minions don't have particularly weak defenses, it can take a few swings to actually kill one.

For a few examples of the type, take a look at the NPC templates.

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