Crash Test Magic (where we design and test new spells, cards or features for our favorite games) has been away too long. Don’t call it a comeback — this new 4E monster power will make even low-level minions into a serious threat.
This new power is not perfect, I must admit. I like the idea and I’m pretty sure it works as intended, but explaining exactly how it works is really unwieldy. Here’s the actual text of the power — take a look and see if you are grasping what I’m trying to get across. Then I’ll explain it in more detail below. By the way, the attack bonus and damage are irrelevant, those would scale to whatever monster you wanted to give this to (and I just noticed the typo…oh well).
The idea is, you would give this to a large group of minions positioned behind cover a good distance from wherever the party would enter the encounter. Equipped with bows, the entire group of minions would act at the same time, taking the same action using this power. The burst radius is equal to the number of minions participating: 5 hobgoblin archers create a burst 5.
The hard part is the attack and hit calculations. It’s not actually complicated — in my head, it makes perfect sense and is quite simple, but explaining it with any amount of brevity has been really difficult so far. Basically, after rolling a D20 for each attacker (not target!), you take the lowest attack roll, compare it to the target with the lowest AC. If it hits, then you move to the next lowest attack roll and the target with the next lowest AC. If it misses, you still move to the next lowest attack roll, but continue to attack the target with the lowest AC until it is hit. Conceptually, the entire area is under a volley of many arrows, so the easiest targets to hit would get hit before anyone else.
Does that make any sense at all? Is there an easier way to accomplish the same thing that I’m overlooking?
I do like the flavor and the idea of a joint action by minions. The 50 % recharge simulates the time required for a small group to draw and knock new arrows. You can tweak the name and the damage type for some really cool effects at higher levels. Change it to fire and have a bunch of imps shooting flaming stones at you. How about Psychic Bombardment? “Oh, your armor lets you resist most damage? Not this kind!” A group of weird aberrations could shoot out acid like lawn sprinklers, and add some ongoing damage for fun. For maximum synergy, the effect could create difficult terrain within the burst radius, making it even harder to close in on the artillery.
Can you tell I’m DMing again?