Last time we witnessed Captain Triumph outclassed by a giant Deathbot (yeah, I still need to stage a combat between the Deathbot and Superman or Thor – not enough time in the day …). Today, we’ll pit him against five humans to see how one vs. many works out in Mystery Men!
Captain Triumph sneaks into the island headquarters of Doctor Death. While moving through a large audience chamber, he sets off an alarm and is attached by four thugs armed with machine guns and their leader, a ninja.
The Bad Guys
The thugs are human warriors: HD 2 (9 hp each); DC 12; Attacks with fists for 1d4 damage or with handgun for 2d6 damage; Speed 2; XP 200.
The ninja is a human elite: HD 3 (18 hp); DC 13; Attacks with fists for 1d6 damage or with sword for 1d6+2 damage; Speed 2; XP 300.
Initiative Order (1d10+Speed+Dex Mod): Triumph , Thugs , Ninja 
The thugs stand at the end of the room, blocking its only exit, the ninja behind them. We’re going to pretend that Triumph has already used his Invisibility I power this turn, and thus cannot use it during this fight. He decides to charge (+1d6 damage, -3 DC) at one of the central thugs and belt him. He has the same speed as these combatants, so only gets one attack per round. Triumph’s attack roll is 1d20 + Attack Bonus of +8 plus Strength Bonus of +5. With a total bonus of +13, Triumph cannot miss against the thug’s DC of 13. though the Referee might want to use the roll of a natural “1” as an opportunity to introduce a complication to the situation. So, Triumph rolls a  to hit (why couldn’t he do this against the Deathbot more often?), slugging the thug for 12 points of damage and knocking him unconscious at -3 hp.
The remaining thugs open up on the charging hero with their gats – dangerous, but they know they’re facing an ubermensch. I’ll rule that on a natural roll of “1”, the thugs hit one another with their bullets. The thugs roll 1d20 + Hit Dice (2), getting rolls of ,  and . Even at Triumph’s lower DC (because he charged), they don’t hit him, but they don’t hit one another either.
Question: Bonus for attacking at Point Blank Range? Have to think about that.
The ninja takes a swipe at Triumph with his sword. He rolls 1d20 + Hit Dice (3), getting a roll of . Since he’s striking to kill, he scores double damage for beating Triumph’s current DC of 14 by 5 or more points, and rolls 11 points of damage.
At the end of the first round of combat, there are three thugs and a ninja left unhurt, and Triumph has been reduced to 84 hit points.
Initiative Order: Thugs , Triumph , Ninja 
The thugs roll high initiative this round, and do the same thing as last round, rolling ,  and . No friendly fire this time, and Triumph takes 8 points of damage.
Tied initiative goes to Triumph, since he has the higher Dexterity score (since average normal human Dex is 3 and max normal human Dex is 6). He leaps at two of the thugs and attempts to clunk their heads together. This counts as making a multiple attack (i.e. one additional attack), so he suffers a -3 penalty to hit. He rolls  and , scoring two hits. No double damage, because Triumph isn’t attacking to kill, just stun. He rolls  and  for damage. Because he beat their DC’s by more than 5, and was attacking to stun, the thugs have to make feats of Constitution to avoid being stunned. They roll 1d10+2 and need to beat a 9 (5 + Triumph’s Feat Bonus of 4). They each roll a , failing the feat roll and becoming stunned – i.e. cannot move or attack next round, drop their guns, etc.
Final attack goes to the ninja, who rolls a measly  and misses.
At the end of this round, we have an unharmed ninja and thug, two stunned thugs with 3 and 2 hit points and Captain Triumph with 72 hit points.
Initiative Order: Triumph , Ninja , Thugs 
Captain Triumph now goes for the third thug, again attacking to stun. He rolls a  and scores 8 points of damage. The thug rolls a Constitution feat and gets a , failing. He’s now stunned.
Our ninja sees the writing on the wall. He throws a smoke pellet (Fog Cloud) and backs out the door.
No thugs can attack this round – the other two were stunned last time, and the third thug is stunned now.
Combat round ends with two thugs clearing their heads (they have 3 and 2 hit points, respectively) and the third thug, with 1 hit point, just starting to shake things off. The ninja is gone, and Captain Triumph still has 72 hit points.
Initiative: Triumph , Thugs 
Round four begins with everyone caught in a Fog Cloud. It lasts three rounds. Nobody in the cloud can see anyone more than 5 feet away, and suffer a -4 penalty to attack the enemies they can see.
Triumph decides to smack the thug he can see – the one he stunned last round. He’s going to attack to stun, and decides to forgo his Strength bonus to damage to avoid accidentally killing the guy. He rolls a  due to the fog, and misses the thug.
The thug dropped his gun when he was stunned, but he decides to take a swing at Triumph. He rolls a  and also misses. The other two thugs decide they’ve had enough and use the fog as cover to run away.
For all intents and purposes, this fight is over. If Triumph can’t defeat a simple thug with 1 hit point, he doesn’t deserve the name “Triumph”.
What Did I Learn?
I think this combat went pretty well. It made sense and the rules seem to support the kind of combat I would associate with comic book heroes. Triumph outmatched the thugs just as much as the Deathbot outmatched him, but the fight still took four rounds (well, five technically, if we assume Triumph knocks out the last thug in one more round), and the thugs had a chance to resist the stunning attacks. I could have made the ninja more impressive, but that would really involve building him like a comic book villain rather than as a minion, and I’m going to save the hero vs. villain fight for next time.