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  1. - Top - End - #781
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    HalfOrcPirate

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    More than fair and I apologise, I probably should have intuited or asked about the ettiquette that was expected.


    In the interests of actually advancing the pertinent discussion then: Is there any kind of consensus as to how to handle merfolk and other undersea creatures like, say, deep ones, on land?

    I've given merfolk the ability to "dry out" across the period of a long rest. Magically transmogrify themselves into having legs for 16 or so hours. (With increasing penalties for doing it multiple days in a row) when I had a desert set campaign and I've also heard of:

    Give them a tiny (Say. 5 foot) move speed on land with no other pentalties.
    Flying merfolk (for a variety of different reasons)
    Merfolk in large tubs or carried around like Blasters better half.

  2. - Top - End - #782
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    I'm away from my books right now, but I think there is a rule saying monsters carry 1d4 thrown weapons if they have one in their statblocks or something like that. Though I'd say it makes sense 1/8 CR beings wouldn't be well prepared for combat.
    Based on the fluff, I'm not sure they have large stores of weapons to carry around, as their spears are made from whatever they can salvage from shipwrecks and the skeletons of aquatic creatures. Fluff is mutable, fortunately.

    Quote Originally Posted by S_A_M I AM View Post
    Give them a tiny (Say. 5 foot) move speed on land with no other pentalties.
    Currently both merfolk and merrow have 10' land movement speed. Additionally, they can breathe air just fine and there's no mechanics actually tying them to the water at all.
    Last edited by QuickLyRaiNbow; 2017-12-12 at 08:36 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #783
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    I gave them (merfolk) the choice between their current speeds and a 30ft, swim 10ft combination as they choose between fins or legs. Of course, they also use water elementals to carry them.
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  4. - Top - End - #784
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    I've used Merrows and Merfolk for a water dungeon with some fluff adjustments. In this case, a group of good Merfolk sent the players on a quest to clear their traditional home of a group of evil Merfolk who'd moved in. This was around level 3 or 4, I believe, and the Merrow's Scorpion hook attack worked well for dragging characters into throngs of Merfolk.
    Avatar credit to Shades of Gray

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Scripten View Post
    I've used Merrows and Merfolk for a water dungeon with some fluff adjustments. In this case, a group of good Merfolk sent the players on a quest to clear their traditional home of a group of evil Merfolk who'd moved in. This was around level 3 or 4, I believe, and the Merrow's Scorpion hook attack worked well for dragging characters into throngs of Merfolk.
    Yeah, I really like the harpoon attack, and if I were to use them I'd consider importing some of the mechanics from the 3E harpoons. Has potential, I think, as an auxiliary enemy in an encounter on a ship. Some sort of flying creature, perhaps, with merrow in the water underneath trying to hook people and drag them under the ship.

  6. - Top - End - #786
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by QuickLyRaiNbow View Post
    Based on the fluff, I'm not sure they have large stores of weapons to carry around, as their spears are made from whatever they can salvage from shipwrecks and the skeletons of aquatic creatures. Fluff is mutable, fortunately.
    i'm not sure how you think spears are made, but i see no particular reason to presume that a number of variations on "long pointy stick" are terribly hard to scavenge the materials for.

  7. - Top - End - #787
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Looks like the merfolk/merrow discussion has died off.

    Unoriginal, if your mimic entry is done, go ahead and post it.

  8. - Top - End - #788
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    I'll post tomorrow

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Nobody's responded in a while, so I'm going to post my minotaurs entry if nobody has a problem with that.

    Also, bump!

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    This is my post on minotaurs, a monster which I have very strong feelings about. Please don't be offended by my discussion of them if you have a different opinion.

    Also, it includes a lot of bad puns, which should also be ignored if you don't like that sort of thing.


    Minotaurs

    The minotaur is a creature, half-man and half-bull, that has captured the minds of fantasy writers and gamers since the days of Ancient Greece. Although the origin and nature of these beasts has changed over the years, the basic theme stays the same: huge, tough men (the MM flavor text references breeding, implying that there are also female specimens of the species, but Iíve never heard of anybody using one) with the heads and legs of bulls. Not too smart, but as strong as a (permit the pun) ox. Oh, and they eat human flesh. Letís take a look at these strange and hideous monsters.


    Stats:

    Minotaurs. Oooh, these look fun. Relatively low AC, but hit points through the roof, and they have some serious damages. The result of these would appear to be tanky, especially when combined with their low Int score, but they also have a great speed and decent action economy, typically signs of a hit-and-run skirmisher. What does that leave us with? A monster that sneaks around, hoping to catch you off guard, but doesnít run from combat in a hurry. Take an average thug, give him horns and incredible strength, and send him to charge down enemies when they least expect it. Thatís no bull.


    Fluff:

    This edition varies considerably from the original myths, in which the minotaur is painted as the victim of a truly disgusting affair between bull and man due to a godís wrath. A victim of circumstance, shall we say. That minotaur always seemed sad to me, more of a tragic figure than a true villain. D&D sets to get rid of that trope entirely, replacing it with a story of a group of evil cultists who were driven mad and transformed into monsters by a ritual to Baphomet, Demon Prince of Savagery, gone horribly wrong. The newly created minotaurs have all the nasty aspects of the cultists they once were, but without a scrap of their former humanity. I've got no sympathy for these devils.


    Art:
    Oddly enough, the art on this page reminds me more of the tragic minotaur from the original myths than the new, Gygax-approved, horrible demonic beast. I donít love a lot of things from 3.5, but I honestly thought that their depiction of the minotaur worked better to portray their savagery. With that said, however, thereís nothing wrong with the actual art on the page, and something about the melancholy, noble expression on its face makes me want to roll up a neutral good minotaur NPC somewhere, somehow.


    Hooks:

    Ritual Gone Wrong: The players have been hired to clear out a mansion full of demonic cultists, but when they enter they find an abandoned pentacle and an ominously hoof-shaped impression in the floor nearby. Where could the cultists themselves be, though?

    Maze of Shadows: A mysterious sinkhole has opened underneath the town of Insigínifíicant. Down below it is a strange maze carved into the rock itself, with some strangely malign presence lurking within. Do the players dare to venture into the lair of the mighty minotaurs?

    Canít Judge A Book By Its Cover: As the town the players are residing in comes under siege by gnolls, a mysteriously hulking stranger wearing an oddly shaped black hood chases them all away. When the players go to thank him, they find out that he is a rare good-aligned minotaur, a race they know to be unequivocally evil. Can the party set aside their differences long enough to finish off the returning gnoll war band?



    Verdict:

    A much-maligned, hidden gem within the world of D&D. This guy could be so much more than he is made out to be, but is hardly ineffective at the bruiser role he plays at the moment.

  11. - Top - End - #791
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    I think, among all the "monstrous" races, the minotaur are likely the one that humans would get along with. Cattle have a sort of dopey look in their eyes, and minotaur are mostly human under that, so I can easily see good- or even neutral-aligned minotaur integrating well into a civilisation.
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Thanks for posting! Guess everyone is busy right before Christmas and New Years... i also dont like the art - IMO the best depiction of scary minotaurs is in god of war 3: crazy charging berserkers, that have no value for defense or other Ąrefinedď strategy, but charging, stomping and smashing. The 5e depiction seems to much civilized for me, but hey...

    Maybe its 16 wisdom is meant to distinguish it from other brutes, so it can be a wise creature as well?
    Also CE is an odd alignment for a herd animal, but fits to a crazed selfish alpha being...

    Also why always the labyrinthine recall?

    All in all a good monster and a dangerous bruiser that hits hard (especially with 10% chance to crit thanks to having advantage), but its also just another brute...

  13. - Top - End - #793
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    First of all, I'm sorry to not have posted the Mimic when I said I would. I had 2 weeks of mess due to stressing for an important exam. I'll post my entry when the discussion about this one ends


    Quote Originally Posted by Regitnui View Post
    I think, among all the "monstrous" races, the minotaur are likely the one that humans would get along with. Cattle have a sort of dopey look in their eyes, and minotaur are mostly human under that, so I can easily see good- or even neutral-aligned minotaur integrating well into a civilisation.
    Err, 5e's Minotaurs are Demon-created spawn nearly on the same caliber as the Gnolls. They're not going to get along with humans unless the humans are depraved cultists.

    'course you can change the fluff.

    Quote Originally Posted by DerKommissar View Post

    Maybe its 16 wisdom is meant to distinguish it from other brutes, so it can be a wise creature as well?
    Also CE is an odd alignment for a herd animal, but fits to a crazed selfish alpha being...

    Also why always the labyrinthine recall?

    All in all a good monster and a dangerous bruiser that hits hard (especially with 10% chance to crit thanks to having advantage), but its also just another brute...
    Nothing wrong with a brute. The Minotaurs naturally distinguish themselves from, say, ogres or giants.



    Something I like about the Minotaur's fluff is that it makes it very clear Demons aren't just dumber Devils. Tricking people into performing th at kind of ritual under the guise of a benevolent deity, or corrupting mortals to the point they do the ritual willingly, is something that even Asmodeus considers to be a great plan. And Baphomet does it without any trouble.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2017-12-21 at 07:20 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #794
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    First of all, I'm sorry to not have posted the Mimic when I said I would. I had 2 weeks of mess due to stressing for an important exam. I'll post my entry when the discussion about this one ends




    Err, 5e's Minotaurs are Demon-created spawn nearly on the same caliber as the Gnolls. They're not going to get along with humans unless the humans are depraved cultists.

    'course you can change the fluff.



    Nothing wrong with a brute. The Minotaurs naturally distinguish themselves from, say, ogres or giants.



    Something I like about the Minotaur's fluff is that it makes it very clear Demons aren't just dumber Devils. Tricking people into performing th at kind of ritual under the guise of a benevolent deity, or corrupting mortals to the point they do the ritual willingly, is something that even Asmodeus considers to be a great plan. And Baphomet does it without any trouble.
    Not all minotaurs are demon spawn. It says in the MM that they can breed with each other, so there can be naturally created ones with some semblance of free will. This is where the possibility of a good or neutral minotaur comes in, and I would wholeheartedly support any attempt by WotC to popularize this idea.

  15. - Top - End - #795
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by the_brazenburn View Post
    Not all minotaurs are demon spawn. It says in the MM that they can breed with each other, so there can be naturally created ones with some semblance of free will.
    That would just mean they're born of two demon spawns.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_brazenburn View Post
    This is where the possibility of a good or neutral minotaur comes in, and I would wholeheartedly support any attempt by WotC to popularize this idea.
    Eh. I have nothing against good minotaurs in fantasy settings, but I'd say it'd be out-of-place with the interpretation 5e has gone with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    I have nothing against good minotaurs in fantasy settings, but I'd say it'd be out-of-place with the interpretation 5e has gone with.
    There was that UA with Krynnish minotaurs not so long ago... That's partially why I said if any "monstrous" race, not the monstrous races that are defined as any humanoid that isn't in the monster manual. Of all the real monsters in the manual, a minotaur is most likely to get along with humans.
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Regitnui View Post
    There was that UA with Krynnish minotaurs not so long ago... That's partially why I said if any "monstrous" race, not the monstrous races that are defined as any humanoid that isn't in the monster manual. Of all the real monsters in the manual, a minotaur is most likely to get along with humans.
    What about the Centaurs?

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    What about the Centaurs?
    "Monster" is a relative term. Centaurs are not monsters, at least by Regitnui's definition, because they aren't evil.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    What about the Centaurs?
    The centaurs' dislike of humanity and its works is explicitly called out in the original myths and the monster manual. Though I am AFB right now. Despite their alignment, centaurs don't like people. Alignment doesn't necessarily equal friendly, after all. Good is not Nice.
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Regitnui View Post
    The centaurs' dislike of humanity and its works is explicitly called out in the original myths and the monster manual. Though I am AFB right now. Despite their alignment, centaurs don't like people. Alignment doesn't necessarily equal friendly, after all. Good is not Nice.
    There's some wiggle room there - centaurs unable to keep up with the tribe sometimes adopt settlements of the PHB races. So centaurs writ large don't get on with humans, but a particular village might have a centaur-in-residence who serves as a sage or advisor.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by QuickLyRaiNbow View Post
    There's some wiggle room there - centaurs unable to keep up with the tribe sometimes adopt settlements of the PHB races. So centaurs writ large don't get on with humans, but a particular village might have a centaur-in-residence who serves as a sage or advisor.
    A lifetime of hatred (or intense dislike) doesn't just disappear. I can see such a centaur being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold at the minimum. Filled with loathing at themselves that they are weak enough to be left behind in a village of humans. Chiron, the teacher of Greek heroes, is likely the exception rather than rule for such centaurs.
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    I also find it pretty interesting how many of the monsters in this edition have links to demon lords. It could make for a fun adventure if the party's druid finds out about a nature cult that appears pretty benign, only to join it and find out what it really is about.

    Mimic is next?
    Last edited by Ronnocius; 2017-12-30 at 10:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    I think it's fitting that it's demons, and not devils, who made so many monsters: demons are chaotic, and twisting living creatures into new horrible forms fit with that, especially if the form is as bloodthirsty as the demon itself. A demon lord is also more willing to do so on a whim or just because it wants more creatures like it around, it doesn't care about long-term consequences as long as it create more chaos and destruction.

    Devils, on the other hand, don't care about mortals' physical forms, only about their souls, and I suspect souls that were warped to be lawful evil from the birth are less valued than innocent souls that were corrupted. Creating new species is a waste of energy from the devil's point of view, and devils are less likely to do so just because they feel like it instead of it being an important part of some long-term plan. Look at devil's main contribution to the monster manual (well, PHB): tieflings. They weren't deliberately created, they just happened through more natural means, without any extra effort on the devils' part, possibly as a side result of different corruptive methods.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Yes, the demonic aspect to minotaurs is nice and flavorful. Baphomet is among my favorite of the demon lords, and I was disappointed that he didn't get much flesh devoted to him in Out of the Abyss, which I otherwise enjoyed greatly.

    By the way, has anybody noticed what the sidebar on religion says in the giant section? It says that giants can occasionally reject the ordning and fall prey to the cults of Kostchtchie or Baphomet (emphasis mine).

    Has anybody caught the significance of what I'm saying?

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Giant Minotaur?
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Yeah, I think the only way it makes sense is if you picture Yeenoghu spreading his taint over every gnoll.

    Go ahead and imagine that.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Oh yes. Definitely giant minotaurs.

    It would be cool if they retained some of their giant-specific abilities. Former stone giants would have rock-hard skin, former frost giants get a cold-based breath weapon, etc.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    I was personally envisioning Azertaurs, Lawful Evil with bronze skin, and eyes, hooves and axe burning with internal flame. But that's an image coming from Moloch in my setting being the Archduke of Toil and literally appearing as giant Minotaur with black metallic skin and burning eyes.

    Speaking of Outsiders, it never really made much sense to me that the Demon of bestial fury was named Baphomet and was essentially a super Minotaur. For one thing the most famous depiction of a being purported to be Baphomet is GOAT headed, and the symbolic associations are (from what I gleen from wikipedia) with magic and dualism.
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Yeah, I think the only way it makes sense is if you picture Yeenoghu spreading his taint over every gnoll.

    Go ahead and imagine that.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Happy new year guys! So who wants to do which entry? Unoriginal wanted to the mimic - still going to happen or should someone else write it? Next up after that would be the mind flayer...

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by DerKommissar View Post
    Happy new year guys! So who wants to do which entry? Unoriginal wanted to the mimic - still going to happen or should someone else write it? Next up after that would be the mind flayer...
    I called Mind Flayer a while back and have been waiting on Mimic.

    Let me know if I should keep waiting or write it up. If the latter, I'll probably have it ready Wednesday or Thursday.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    I'm writing the Mimic. Sorry for the delay, had real-life stuff to do.

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