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Fun and Creative Ways to Obliterate Minions

Written by Janna - Published on August 3, 2009

Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.

Minions are the unsung heroes of D&D. They make the PCs look awesome in comparison. They also fall rather quickly when battle breaks out, so their job is to do as much damage as possible before they stub a toe and die.

Too many minion fights descend into a boring repetition of, “I stab it with my sword. It dies.” But minion fights don’t have to be that way. In fact, there are tons of ways you can dispatch a minion while adding fun and flavor to your game session. Let’s look at some of the most fun suggestions from the Wizards of the Coast web site.


Always a hit in Prague, defenestration is the act of throwing someone out a window. In this case, a minion. It’s even funnier if you boot them out with a well-placed kick to the ass, but a plain old shove will work in a pinch. If you’re a real badass, you could get a running start, tackle the minion, and use their body to cushion your own landing. The possibilities are endless!

Karate Chop

This could be the legendary Captain Kirk two-handed karate chop, or the more technically correct one-handed version. It doesn’t really matter. If you land it, that minion’s going DOWN. Throw in your best ‘kiai’ for good measure.

Improvised Weapons

How many times have you watched a movie extra walk on screen and get knocked senseless by some random flying object? That’s the idea here. It could be a tankard, a spellbook, or even another minion! Thrown projectiles keep the thrower out of melee range, and they also add comic relief to the game. (Because really, who can keep a straight face when a minion is laid low by a block of hard cheese?)

Environmental Hazards

Whether it’s a pool of quicksand or a pit of boiling lava, environmental hazards are a great way to speed a minion along to its inevitable fate. Even the clichéd crashing chandelier can be used to great effect. Push, pull, or heave the minion into the hazard and let the environment do your dirty work.

Flying Projectiles

We’ve already grinned at the thought of hitting a minion with another minion, but why stop there? Load those goblin cutters into a catapult and lob them over the castle walls! Imagine the tales you’ll inspire by using whiny minions as ballast.

Explody Things

This is a wide-ranging approach. You could use spells, explosives, or just a particularly vicious psychic attack that explodes the minions’ heads, Fist of the North Star style. When minions go boom, a good time shall be had by all.

Ride-By Assault

Of course, minion-slaying can be done from horseback. Just line them up like a set of bowling pins, steer your steed into their midst, and you’ve just bowled a strike! Repeat as necessary wherever cowering clumps of minions are found.

How would you kill a minion in a memorable way? Let’s keep the party going in the comments section!

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Written by Janna

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Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.



14 Responses to “Fun and Creative Ways to Obliterate Minions”
  1. Noumenon says:

    One source of inspiration would be Naruto and all the ways they kill off his shadow clones. Can’t you imagine minions making that little “piu” and puff of smoke when they die? So get a bunch of minions on an unstable surface and make an earthquake, or wrap three minions up with a rope and spin them around like a top till they whack into a tree. What do you think the DC would be for *that* stunt?

    Great idea for an article topic, by the way, and good examples.

  2. shaike says:

    why do all the dirty work when you can enchant them to fight each other?(bluff and diplomacy skills could also be useful)
    you could also make them fall into traps (either that you built or that you found there)
    or you could use the minions. example: shield, armor and even weapon.

  3. greywulf says:

    Do Minions from Mutants & Masterminds count? Here’s a few ways by all-too-evil players have despatched a villain’s thugs and lackeys in their time:

    – Medusa (heroic descendant of the mythical creature) turned about 100 of them to stone with a mere glance, and Warmage teleported them to Central Park as instant lawn decoration. They’re still there.
    – Transmute Flesh to Bomb. Don’t ask.
    – Insubstantial (usable against others). Turning Minions into ghosts and walking right through is, plainly, cheating. But in a cool way and it sure freaks the Minions out.
    – Making the ceiling super-dense, wait until it collapses, walk right over.

    Did I mention my players don’t fight fair? :D

  4. Yohkai says:

    It’s funny that Noumenon should bring up the sound effect for the shadow clone thing, because that’s the noise I make when my summons either appear or disappear. I took Cloudy Conjuration to give it extra oomf.

    But a most recent encounter really confused a bunch of Drow minions when the goody-goody caster summoned a few Large Fiendish Spiders. I love Malconvokers. :3

  5. Marc says:

    Well i like this article and these are some good ideas. lets see i let the evil villains kill off their minions some times thats fun. or if your character has perform(dance) you could show off those never used dance fight moves to take out many minions in one fluid burst of song and dance. shrugs it worked for west side story.

  6. The Reaper says:

    Speaking of defenestration, what about instead of kicking em out a window, how about INTO THE CEILING? Remember the description of defenestrating sphere back in 3.X? DMs, make a power like it for your campaign so your PCs can pwn minions!

  7. The Reaper says:

    Put them in the game God’s Playing Field and nuke em!

  8. Jordon Ross says:

    Hey guys I thin I can top all you guys.

    I was playing a game with some friends of mine and in a moment of weakness my DM allowed me to make a dragonborn be my mount. I gave her 12 Charisma and 2 Intelligence. It was awesome.

    So My wizard who was riding this dragonborn (and happened to be a shape shifter) Went out to bluff the hell out of some halflings in a castle.

    During this time the dragonborn and the other party members got into a fight with other halflings. During this fight a particularly annoying halfling came up to my dragonborn mount and started bullying her around. SO she busted out the ole Diplomacy and diplomacised the halfling not to attack her WITH A NATURAL 20 Binches!

    After that the best part of my story occurs. The halfling now would not attack my dragonborn. THe next round She asked him to go and kill one of his companions WITH ANOTHER NATURAL 20 YALL!!!!

    So the halfling jumps up onto an awning where his allies were hiding and slits one’s throat.

    Upon realizing what he had done he promptly snapped out of it and jumped off the awning trying to get back into the fray… Except instead of leaping forward… he did a total head first dive into the concrete and killed himself.

    I shat you not that is exactly what happened. IT was AWESOME!

  9. GroovyTaxi says:

    Minions are canon fodder. They’re here to make PCs feel strong, but you can use them to make the monsters look stronger to the PCs. Anyone saw the Left 4 Dead opening video? That part where the Tank charges towards the survivors, throwing away the zombies he encounters, has a pretty ”I’M COMING FOR YOU” feel to it.

  10. DandDGuy says:

    Personally “I like things that EXPLODE!!!” and it fun too just watching the imaginary pieces fly.

  11. CrazySlyHawk says:

    My PCs once tied a rope to a minion’s leg and flung him out of a tower window, waited for the inevitable *crack* off the tower then pulled him up again. He wasn’t dead, so it was just a case of rinse & repeat.

  12. Rctfanatic says:

    Hey, Janna! I saw your bio go from “rolling the dice for 16 years” to 17. So… happy birthday! :) I love your articles!

  13. The Reaper says:

    Just asking: If I have a dragon attack a town, should the townsfolk be done as minions? I will need this answer, because I’m thinking of killing more than half the town’s population (adult, of course) before the heroes show up.

  14. Lord RPGs says:

    There’s one method which I love, kinda an enhancement on one of the Mind-flayer powers – Use them as living shields. Nothing’s funnier (Well, perhaps somethings, but whatever) than using a handy minion to deflect that very nasty attack the Boss was throwing your way. It’s a grab to hang onto one, then ready an action to drag them into the way of whatever wants you dead.

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