In many ways, this is the companion piece to Mythic Boss Monsters.

Two of the problems with trying to run big encounters in Pathfinder are that the game often gets bogged down of the GM has to keep track of what four or more different creatures can do, and it’s tough to find low-CR creatures that remain effective in groups of 4 or 8, since that requires them to face PCs 4 or 6 levels higher than their CRs.

Yet, many storylines call for battles with 4, 8, or even more antagonists, and boss monsters often need henchmonsters to compete with player character’s action economies, and to prevent a single lucky roll from ending an encounter to soon (and unsatisfyingly). What some encounters need, are flunkies.

The idea for flunkies owe a great debt to the mooks of Feng Shui and minions of 4e D&D. This idea is far from original, this is just a specific implementation.

A single creature becomes four flunkies. Each flunky has its own set of actions each round, takes damage and suffers conditions separately, and they can be as far apart and independent as they want, but for purposes of determining CR treat all four flunkies as a single monster of their type.
*Each of the flunkies has 1/5 the hit points of the base creature
*If flunkies have abilities with limited uses per day, all the flunkies must share that limit. For example if you make a cyclops into a set of four cyclops flunkies, only one of them can use flash of insight each day.
*A Flunky does not target the same creature another flunky has already damaged this round, unless it has no other target.
*If multiple flunkies are caught in the same damaging area, they divide the damage taken by the number of flunkies in the area. For example, if you catch three flunkies in a fireball, each flunky takes 1/3 the damage it normally would. to avoid dealing with this math, most GMs try to spread out flunkies.

Flunkies are limited in numerous additional ways.
*Flunkies cannot score critical hits.
*All flunkies deal ½ damage. Any effect, condition, or spell a flunky imposes on a PC has a maximum duration of 4 rounds. Even a flunky medusa only has the power to petrify a target for 4 rounds, max. Damage, unconsciousness, and death work normally.
*Critical threats against flunkies always confirm. If the critical threat is with an attack with an x3 or greater crit multiplier, the critical hit instantly kills the flunky.
*Flunkies take a -5 penalty to AC.
*Flunky treasure is often added to their boss’s treasure. It’s all trickle down, man.

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About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on February 8, 2017, in Adventure Design, Game Design, Pathfinder Development and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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