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Mooks

Mooks are the minor, often nameless, opposition encountered in Fate Accelerated. The main differences between a mook and a normal character is that a mook has a simplified write-up, and can represent either an individual or a "mob" that acts as a group.

A broad selection of mook write-ups for antagonists are available in the Bestiary, while mook write-ups for adventuring encounters and challenges such as traps appear in various Adventures.

Mooks aren't always people or monsters; inanimate objects and situations such as complex traps or environmental considerations like burning lava or a pit of acid can also be represented using a mook write-up. This allows for a more detailed encounter than narrative or aspects alone and is particularly appropriate in situations where stress might be inflicted as part of an encounter with the object or situation.

Using the Fate Accelerated rules starting on page 38 of the rulebook, very simple guidelines are given for mooks which can be summarized as "one or two aspects, a list of things they get +2 to do, another list of things they get -2 to do, a stress track of 0-2 boxes, and no consequences". Mention is given to using more complex options from Fate Core if desired, and that's mooks as written.

Pathfinder Fate Accelerated expands on mook write-ups considerably to allow more variability, which offers more options when translating source material from Pathfinder into Fate Accelerated terms.

Baseline Mook

Pathfinder Fate Accelerated baseline mooks are essentially the same as mooks as described in the Fate Accelerated rulebook. The main difference is that they can be upgraded, and instead of having a list of things that get a bonus or penalty, Pathfinder Fate Accelerated assigns a bonus or a penalty to a specific skill-like ability or concept, which allows a more finely grained allocation.

A baseline Mook gets two Aspects, uses a simple hit box track starting at zero (0) hit boxes, has one (1) skill-like ability that they are good at (+2) or two (2) skill-like abilities they are fair at (+1 each), and are either bad at one (1) thing (-2) or poor at two (2) things (-1 each).

Mook Autonomy and Initiative

Mooks act on their own, but unless they have a skill-like ability, Aspect, or Stunt that suggests otherwise, they have initiative 0.

Mook Threat and Summoning Difficulty

Pathfinder Fate Accelerated allows mooks to be upgraded, which increases the threat a given mook poses. As a convenience, the total upgrade value of a mook can be used as a comparative threat value. For instance, a mook with upgrades that total to +3 can be referred to as a +3 threat.

As a baseline mook has no upgrades, a baseline mook is effectively a +0 threat.

Finally, as described in the Conjuration And Summoning section of the simple magic guidelines, Pathfinder Fate Accelerated allows mooks to be summoned when that makes sense to the story; the difficulty to summon a given mook is equal to the mook's threat level. For instance, an upgraded mook with upgrades totalling to +8 threat also presents a Legendary (+8) challenge for a summoner to overcome if attempting to summon that kind of mook.

Summoning Difficulty: +0

2 Aspects

Good At: Spread +2 around 1 to 2 skill-like abilities

Bad At: Spread -2 around 1 to 2 skill-like abilities

Mook Upgrades

Mooks can be improved upon from the default baseline to make a more difficult encounter.

The Mook Upgrades chart details available upgrades, and measures the impact of the upgrades for purposes of measuring how much of a threat the mook is, which also sets the difficulty for purposes of summoning such a mook.

Mook Upgrades
Threat Adjustment
Traits
Additional Aspect
+.5 each
Additional +1 "Good At" skill-like ability bonus
+1 each
-1 Refresh equivalent ability
+1 each
(such as a Stunt)
Stress Mitigation
Hit Box
+.5 each
Stress Box (up to [1][2][3])
+1 each
Mild Consequence
+1
Moderate Consequence
+2
Severe Consequence
+3
Hindrances
Reducing "Bad At" penalty by -1
+1 each
Additional -1 "Bad At" penalty
-1 each
Special retrictions
-var
Stunts

A mook can have one or more Stunts or similar Refresh reducing abilities. As mooks do not have Refresh, this is treated like any other mook upgrade. Simple Stunts that just grant a bonus to do something specific are already covered by the "Good At" feature of mooks; thus this option is better used for more complicated abilities that do something other than just grant bonuses.

Spellcasting Mook

A mook can be a spellcaster, but must have a relevant skill-like ability at +3 or better. For instance, a goblin "fire shaman" might be "Good At: Fire Magic (+3)".

Hit Boxes

By default, the baseline mook has zero (0) hit boxes; however it can be upgraded to have more.

Unlike a Fate Accelerated mook who can only have up to two (2) stress boxes, there isn't an arbitrary cap on how many hit boxes a mook might have.

Unlike stress boxes hit boxes explicitly are for absorbing stress that represents damage, each box always has a value of "1", and additional damage inflicted rolls over to additional hit boxes.

Thus if a mook with five (5) hit boxes were struck by an attack that inflicted three (3) stress, three (3) hit boxes would be marked off.

When a mook takes more stress from damage than they have hit boxes, the mook is defeated. This might mean death, it might mean the mook runs away or otherwise exits the scene.

In Fate Accelerated some causes of stress are not characterized as damage; for instance social stress might take the form of loss of influence or standing in an argument. It is left to GM's discretion on a case by case basis to determine if a given mook loses hit boxes to a source of stress or not, and to interpret the narrative effect or lack thereof.

For instance, a crazed goblin mook might be unaffected by a hero's clever repartee or the emotional angst of a tragic turn of events but might treat an attack on their morale by an angry canine animal companion as damage, because goblins are terrified by dogs in the setting of Golarion and therefore might break and run when faced with such a threat. As always in Fate games, what makes sense to the evolving story is the correct line of play.

Hit Boxes And Mobs

Hit boxes are very easy to use, particularly when used for "mobs", i.e. groups of nameless minions that are meant to be defeated en masse.

When used in this way, it is typical for the number of members in the mob to be factored over the number of hit boxes for purposes of determining how many individuals are part of the mob.

For instance if a mob had ten (10) hit boxes and ten (10) members, each hit box would be assumed to be equivalent to one (1) member and thus losing three (3) hit boxes would be assumed to be equivalent to losing three (3) members from the mob.

On the other hand if a mob had ten (10) hit boxes and five (5) members, every two (2) hit boxes would be assumed to be equivalent to one (1) member and thus losing three (3) hit boxes would be assumed to be equivalent to losing one (1) member of the mob and injuring one (1) additional member of the mob.

However there is no requirement to track a close correlation between hit boxes and members in a mob if a given GM finds no value in the proposition; it is merely a convention.

Versus Zone attacks

Mathematically, it often makes sense to treat the members of a mob as individuals for purposes of absorbing damage from Zone attacks that do not split their shifts between targets.

Stress Boxes

A mook can have stress boxes instead of hit boxes if desired, but as the upgrade chart indicates this is considered to be a more significant upgrade as it makes a mook more durable than an equivalent number of hit boxes. Each additional stress box increases the difficulty to summon the mook by +1. The stress boxes follow the normal progression of [1][2][3], must be taken in order, and are capped at [3].

Consequences

In Pathfinder Fate Accelerated a mook that has a full stress track ( [1][2][3] ) can have one or more consequences. Having consequences obviously makes a mook more durable, and should be reserved for more creditable threats such as mooks who are intended to have an impact upon a scene or present a more significant encounter.

Generally (though not always) mooks that have one or more consequences are treated as individuals and are more likely to be named.

Hindrances

Mooks can have additional "Bad At" penalties at the GM's discretion, and typically used to help balance a mook out. It also lowers the threat level and thus the summoning difficulty of a mook.

Mooks can also have various restrictions that are not defined as a penalty. Many such things can be reflected in a mooks aspects, but a GM looking for a little more mechanical grit can further describe the mook and assess how much the restriction lowers the mook's threat at their discretion.

As an example, if a mook happens to be immobile it would generally be implicit to their nature, as reflected by one or more Aspects.

For instance, a lock written up as a mook is attached to something and inanimate; there probably isn't any need to further define a restriction on the lock's mobility, and the lack of mobility doesn't really impact the challenge the lock's write-up represents, which is getting to whatever is behind the lock.

Negative Aspects

As an alternative, one or more Aspects that are primarily negative, which is to say mostly penalize or disadvantage a mook, may reasonably be considered to be hindrances rather than upgrades. If doing this, care should be taken to make sure the negative intentions of such Aspects are clearly suggested or communicated.

Situational To A Summon

Hindrances particular to a given circumstance might also be added to an existing write-up by the player of a spellcaster in an attempt to lower the summoning difficulty of the mook to improve their character's odds of success.

This is fine, as long as the hindrances are legitimately applied and not just an attempt at min-maxing.

But in other cases immobility may not be so intrinsic to a mook's concept, and more importantly does reduce the challenge represented by the mook; in such a case it may make sense to explicitly note the restriction.

Morale is another area where a specific restriction might apply and is often worth calling out explicitly. If there are circumstances under which a mook will always run away or withdraw from a conflict or otherwise concede without putting up much resistance, they are not really as big of a challenge as their write-up suggests and adding a restriction that recognizes this often makes sense.

Reducing Bad At Penalties

Mooks can reduce the default "Bad At" penalty the baseline begins with as an upgrade. Each -1 removed also raises the threat level and thus the summoning difficulty of a mook by +1.

Mob-dependent Upgrades

A mook write-up might be presented with a note describing additional upgrades that are turned on only when the mook is treated as a mob of a certain size.

For instance, Excited Goblins are pretty weak when encountered individually, but the write-up says to "Treat up to ten (10) Excited Goblins as a mob; add +1 hit box and +1 to attack for every two Excited Goblins remaining". Thus if a mob of Excited Goblins had six (6) members, compared to the baseline write-up the mob would gain +3 hit boxes and +3 when attacking. Losing a hit box would reduce the mob to four (4) members and the mob would gain a +2 bonus when attacking instead of a +3 bonus.

Examples

Summoning Difficulty: +0

Scatterbrained, Out Of Control

Good At: Undisciplined Attack (+2)

Bad At: Making Sense (-2)

Treat up to ten (10) Excited Goblins as a mob; add +1 hit box and +1 to attack for every two Excited Goblins remaining

Excited Goblin

Summoning Difficulty: +3

Really Big Rat

Good At: Very Sharp Teeth (+2), Eating Just About Anything (+2)

Bad At: No Thumbs (-2)

Hits: [1][1]  

Up to three (3) may form a mob. Add two (2) hit boxes per rat. +1 to attack and defend for each additional rat remaining.

DonkeyRat

Summoning Difficulty: +15

Swift And Cunning Hunter, Always Alert, Flaming Fury, Outsider

Good At: Burning Things (+3), Noticing Things (+1), Tooth And Claw (+2)

Bad At: Resisting Cold (-4)

Stress [1][2][3]

Mild (2)

Do not treat as a mob. Hellhounds fight together as a pack, but using individual tactics to herd, flank, and outmaneuver prey.

Hellhound

Darkvision: Because I have Darkvision I can see perfectly in total darkness.

Relentless Tracker: Because I am so good at tracking my prey, I get +2 when I create advantage or overcome challenges related to tracking things down in wilderness settings.

Diabolic Durability: Because my infernal nature makes me much more durable than normal, I reduce by two (2) all stress inflicted on me by physical attacks. However this does not work against magic, cold iron, or weapons blessed by a benign deity.

Diabolic Immunity (-3): Because of my infernal nature, I am immune to electricity, fire, disease, and poison. However, positive energy inflicts two (2) extra shifts of stress against me.

Breath Of Infernal Flame (-2): Because of my infernal nature twice per conflict I may breathe a cone of fire, gaining +2 to attack one or more targets in my zone and one adjacent zone. If I split my shifts between multiple targets each target suffers a -2 penalty to defend against this attack.

Contagion, Unseen Threat

Good At: Infection (+4)

When a character with open wounds (as indicated by consequences or situational Aspects) is in this area, attack them each exchange using Infection. Any mild consequence taken from this attack is called Exposed To Filth Fever; any moderate consequence is called Infected With Filth Fever; and any severe consequence is called Ravaged By Filth Fever.

The contagion is anchored in a particular area. It can be dispersed by strong wind or cleansing magics as a Great (+4) difficulty.

Freezing Doom Trap

Arcane (Evocation)

Detection: Requires special senses to detect as a Great (+4) challenge

Easier Detection: Difficulty to detect is reduced by (-1) while being Arcane

Arcane (Evocation)

Disarm: Difficulty to disarm is Fantastic (+6)

Easier Disarm: Difficulty to disarm is reduced by (-1) while being Arcane

Arcane (Evocation), Cold, Zone

Effect: +8 to attack all in the zone with a burst of intensely freezing cold; any consequences inflicted have something to do with being frozen in place or encrusted with ice.