Running the Reach
Mooks & Monsters
Much like the rest of the system, the structure of NPCs is largely situational, with their rating representing less a quantification of skill or power, and more the danger they present to the Characters. They do not have Roles, and only the most important should have Talents; what NPCs have is a Gambit.
This determines their starting Gambit, and therefore their ability to act in the first Hand of the Deal.
If the NPCs present no threat or danger to the Characters, such unarmed farmers fighting against an orbital strike, they receive no Gambit, and there is no Deal. The players crush through their forces or obstacles as if they were nothing, and move on.
- Unarmed, normally pacifist farmers
- A small number of poorly trained, unprepared guards
- A busload of children
Mook Squad 1, or 5 Gambit
This is a group that presents very little threat initially, but could rally in a second Hand. They receive little Gambit, and likely represent a small obstacle that could receive reinforcements or create a larger danger.
- A small group of well trained guards
- A Police squad
- Scientists working on a Death Robot
Mook Squad 2, or 10 Gambit
This is something of a greater danger, roughly half that of a single Character. They still are unlikely to reach the end of the Hand with Gambit remaining, but could be setting up for a higher stakes battle to come.
- A small group of prepared and well trained guards
- A small military detachment
- A moderately sized room of angry drinkers
Mook Squad 3, or 20 Gambit
This is where the danger builds, where the Mooks begin at the same Gambit as the Characters. They are possibly going to push for a second Hand themselves, and could rally or get reinforcements soon.
- Well trained and well coordinated Guards
- A large scale crowd of rioters
- A completed and fully functional Death Robot
Mook Squad 4, or 30 Gambit and Small Boss
The danger builds, and these threats are getting real. Now, starting with more Gambit than the Characters, they are likely to force a second Hand, giving them a much greater chance to rally or gain reinforcements.
- Highly trained, well-coordinated, well equipped Guards
- A vast number of rioters
- Military Ambush
This is also the point where we begin to look at single NPC “Bosses” in detail, with the Boss representing a single NPC valued greater than any individual Character. NPC Bosses at this level should not have a Talent, and represents a high level functionary.
Mook Squad 5, or 40 Gambit and Mid-Boss
Woof. The height of Mook Squad danger, the 40 Gambit Squad is a force to be reckoned with. Double the Gambit presence of any Character, it poses a real threat to the Team.
- Well-coordinated and prepared military strike
- A team of specially designed assassins
- An overwhelming mass of angry people
At this level, the NPC Boss should receive a Talent; generally something involved with changing the environment they have chosen to do battle in. When they Tip to activate, they do so to the Pot.
Mid-Boss also has the ability to, in any Hand where he has Gambit remaining in his pool at the end, refresh his Gambit by 5, representing calling for guards or reinforcements.
50 Gambit, or Big Boss
A Mook Squad of this level would be truly terrifying, but would also defeat the idea of what a Mook represents (an easily overcome and surmountable obstacle).
The Big Boss, though. He starts with A Talent, one that is similar to Mid-Boss, in that it effects the environment.
In addition, any Hand wherein the Big Boss ends the Hand with Gambit remaining, he may refresh his Gambit by 10, typically by calling in reinforcements or guards. In more supernatural or magical definitions, this could also represent regeneration, or unlocking of greater magical potential.
Mooks as Hirelings
If there are NPCs on the side of the Players, their Mook Squad should be determined by situation, and half of their Gambit (round down) added to the Gambit of the Player they are loyal to, for this Deal. This represents called out orders or given directions for the NPCs to follow on.
If the Mooks are not loyal to any particular Character, then the addition is divided as evenly as possible between the Players, with anything in excess discarded.