(Originally posted September 2009)

The following ideas are heavily derived from Spirit of the Century but inspired by my evening session of the Last Remnant.

This system is intended for skirmishes that are somewhere between a typical D&D fight and a full on battle of a war. It’s meant to simplify situations where the PCs have ready access to lower-level assistants and/or are fighting enemies with lots of mooks, such as when defending a town.

Each PC or significant NPC threat forms a unit with one or more NPC assistants. The maximum number of assistants is typically equal to the number of NPCs that can stand adjacent to the character and still allow attacks (typically up to 5 for melee and 9 for ranged). This number might increase in special cases (such as well-trained units, units with reach, etc.).

Assistants have their contribution to the battle holistically determined. They are essentially doing their best to use Aid Another on the leader and getting in the way of attacks to some degree. In general, they will cease to help after a certain amount of wounds (either being taken out but not killed, fleeing, or simply going fully defensive).

Each assistant provides an attack bonus and temporary hit points to the leader (both of which stack for each additional assistant). In general, each assistant provides either:

  • 1 HP/level* and +2 attack (for rogues and other light skirmishers)
  • 2 HP/level* and +1 attack (for standard militia)
  • 3 HP/level* and +0 attack (for heavy armor or shield types)

* NPC’s level, not leader’s level

These numbers are reduced by one step for ranged assistants.

The temporary HP added are doubled if the assistants are willing to fight until gravely wounded (such as when truly loyal or defending their homes) or tripled if the assistants are willing to die before giving up (more typical amongst enemies that will be killed if they fail anyway).

Unlike normal temporary HP, leaders can opt to take half the damage dealt before it is applied to the bonus unit HP. This decision can only be made on the character’s turn, not decided with each attack.

The unit attack bonus ceases once the bonus HP from the unit are used up.

Assistants move with the leader to the limits of their movement rate and the allowance of the space, and act at the same time as the leader (so the entire unit can move and then attack with the full bonus). If a unit is separated from its leader and must field attacks alone, the highest level member uses his attack bonus, saves, and AC (treat him as a Warrior of the appropriate level) and the rest of the assistants help him; the unit maintains its current HP. Unless so separated from a leader, assistants generally cannot be specifically targeted by any attacks, and are not affected by AoEs beyond the amount of damage they take for the leader.