Friday, November 8, 2019

Discussion: Single Boss or Boss With Minions?

When you do boss encounters, do you like having it be 1 big bad who on their own is a challenge for the entire party? Or do you like for the boss to have their minions and lieutenants with them, making for a larger fight with multiple enemies being controlled by one boss unit?

Both have their strengths and weaknesses mechanically. Both can be exhausting mentally to track - especially as the PCs get higher and higher levels.

Also, does your preference change if you're playing or GMing?

For me in both cases I find I like boss with minions over a single monster. As a player I find that a single boss tends to make each individual player feel weak in comparison. As a GM I find that single monsters are harder to balance. To be a threat to the party they have to be able to tear through the party in some way. And since action economy is a thing, that tends to mean big attacks and abilities. The kind that with a little luck - or bad luck - can quickly kick the death spiral off for the group.

With a boss with minions the PCs get to feel stronger. They're not ganging up to womp on one person, they're fighting a whole group. This also means damage is broken up across multiple creatures. More importantly though, it lets you employ tactics and using those minions and lieutenants in fun ways to emphasize or mitigate abilities and plans.

A group can be harder to set up. You have to juggle multiple stat blocks. But I feel it is worth it in a lot of ways.

What about you?

No comments:

Post a Comment