If you’re like me, you sometimes want the best villains of your campaign to escape a battle in order to become recurring villains. My usual 13th Age group knows that and does what it can to prevent the creation of yet another nemesis! I still get away with it occasionally, but I found myself thinking about the schemes of masterminds and realized I was missing an obvious piece of tech that’s already in the 13th Age system.
Throwing extra enemies into a fight is a reasonable trope, but I’m not actually looking to tip a fight away from the PCs that they deserve to be winning. I’m looking to buy a little more space-time for a villain to make their escape, making it tougher for PCs to figure out how to chase them down.
The answer is mooks. A big mob or two of mooks held in reserve and called in when the fight has gone south for the villain probably won’t seriously threaten a PC group when the escalation die is high unless the PCs totally ignore the mooks while trying to chase down the escaping villain. And if the villain does manage to escape, the PCs at least get the semi-satisfactory glory of rapidly mowing down the minions that helped their master get away.