Dragons of the East
I’m instituting a slight change to regular combat, i.e., not mass combat. This is to allow me to use extras on the field without being bogged down with dice and such. It’s mostly a variant on mass combat, but without having to worry about extra rules and the like. It is only applicable in small-scale situations, like twenty beastmen extras led by two important beastmen.
Seeing as the player characters are true heroes, they won’t use these rules, instead opting for the mass combat system when appropriate. Therefore, all you really need to know is the following:
At the start of a combat, you’ll be able to easily identify the important foes. These are the heroic members of the enemy group. Non-heroic members may very well be as tough as beastmen, but will simply lend bonuses to the heroic members.
When attacking, you may choose to either attack the heroic enemies or the mob of extras they have surrounding them.
If you attack the heroic enemies, it works just like normal combat, except they benefit from certain bonuses that their lackeys give them.
If you choose to attack the mob of extras, then you will be targeting a much less capable opponent. Further, every die of damage that you succeed on, after soak, will kill one of the lackeys, diminishing the heroic enemy’s bonuses.
A quick example:
Cloud Ravager and Scent of Fear are two heroic beastmen. For simplicity’s sake, they have the following identical stats:
Attack +9, Damage 9L, Dodge DV 4, Parry DV 5
They are each accompanied by ten beastmen, a mixture of wolf and panther hybrids that have the following stats:
Attack +6, Damage 7L, Dodge DV 2, Parry DV 3
Note that while the extras have attack and damage, they do not attack on their own, merely lend their help to their leaders.
With his ten beastmen, Cloud Ravager would have the following stats:
Attack +9 with 2 auto successes
Dodge DV 7
Parry DV 8
If you attacked Cloud Ravager directly, those are the basic combat stats you’d be facing. However, you could attack the group that surrounds him instead. A DV of 3 vs a DV of 8 is quite substantial and clearing out his lackeys would allow you to defeat Cloud Ravager more easily.
The number of lackeys will not become an issue as this system is only meant to work for numbers ranging in the 5-30 range. Any more than 30 lackeys per heroic enemy and we’ll use the full mass combat system. There must be at least 5 lackeys for the heroic member to receive the bonuses. At 15 and 25 they receive an additional +1 success to their DVs and Attacks, and +1 die to Damage.
This system is simply meant to make combats situations more realistic and cinematic without making them slogs for us to get through keeping track of fifteen combatants, most of whom are worthless. While I like the mass combat system, I don’t really want to use it simply for the enemies, if it can be avoided. Hopefully this will work. I’d welcome any and all suggestions regarding it and if it turns out to be a steaming pile, then we’ll just discard it entirely.