September 2, 2011

Vivid System: Anti-Mook Tactics

Eureka!  I’ve been wrestling with how I handle large numbers of faceless minions, not quite satisfied with how I’ve been doing it. 

A single Mook has Threat of 1 and Resistance of 0; he falls with one hit. 

A group of Mooks has a higher Threat, but still has Resistance 0.  Why? Because a single roll can represent an entire action sequence – so if a hero defeats 20 goblins in one balletic wire-fu sort of kickassery, because the dice said so, that’s how Vivid plays!

When the GM has a bunch of minions to throw at the player characters, he gets a bunch of dice.  The GM can roll these dice more or less as he sees fit, but if the player wins the roll, the GM loses the dice rolled, representing the mooks taken out. 

For example, if I represent a band of hunting orcs with 12 dice, and there are three player characters, I can resolve the combat very quickly by rolling 4 dice against each player. 

Player A wins his roll, defeating all the orcs coming after him; Player B gets a tie, locking him in a tense stalemate; while Player C loses his roll, and takes damage.

This now brings a new layer of tactics into play: maneuvering to limit the number of opponents you have to take on.  The maximum number of Mook dice the GM can throw at any one PC at a time should be roughly 3-5 + 1 for every side that can be attacked; thus a max of about 9 or so for a totally surrounded character.

If you want to roll vs. less Mook dice, you want to get obstacles between you and your attackers; weave through the trees, fight your way retreating up a narrow staircase, etc etc. 

On the other hand if you’re feeling like a Cimmerian, you can plunge right into the thick of the foe, even if the GM grins evilly and scoops up eight or nine dice …


  1. Sounds interesting. But can we see an example combat in practice?

  2. I'll post one from my upcoming game next Saturday. There'll be some players there who I've never gamed with before, so it'll be a good acid test. :)


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