Page 10 of 27 FirstFirst 1234567891011121314151617181920 ... LastLast
Results 271 to 300 of 788
  1. - Top - End - #271
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

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

    Aberrations are being that are *wrong* in the sense that they should not be here. They're from another time, another planet, another Material Plane, etc, where the rules and the laws of how the world work weren't/are not/will not be the same as the current world.

    Monstrosities are beings that do work according to the rules of the world, yet have something clearly putting them outside of the common natural and magical order.

    If you go by the MM only, the Monstrosities are (this is by no mean not an exhaustive list, just what I could find on a quick scan):

    Chimera-like (at least two species' body parts combined):


    Centaur

    Chimera

    Cockatrice (or: petrification)

    Drider (or: created by (demon) magic)

    Ettercap

    Griphon

    Hippogriff

    Hook Horror (or: unnatural limbs)

    Lamia

    Manticore

    Medusa (or: created by magic, petrification)

    Minotaur (or: created by (demon) magic)

    Naga

    Owlbear (or: created by magic)

    Peryton

    Sphinx

    Yuan-ti (Abomination and Malison) (or: created by magic)

    "Organic" shapeshifting ones:


    Doppleganger

    Mimic

    Unnatural number of limbs/heads

    Death Dog

    Hydra

    Strange camouflage:

    Darkmantle

    Piercer

    Roper

    Animal-like, but with unnatural characteristics that pushes them away from normal species (capacity to talk, special powers, etc):

    Phase Spider

    Winter Wolf

    Worg

    Ankheg

    Basilik

    Behir (or: created by magic)

    Bulette

    Displacer Beast

    Gorgon

    Grick

    Merrow (or: created by (demon) magic)

    Remorhaz (or: unnatural limbs)

    Rust Monster

    Umber Hulk

    Yeti

    Relatively similar to existing animal species, but titanesque

    Purple Worm

    Roc

    Kraken
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2017-04-13 at 12:33 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #272
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Gender
    Male

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

    Does the early Roc get the Purple Worm?

    Can you use Purple Worms to bait your hook while Kraken fishing?
    This ... is my signature finishing move!

    "It's never good when you make a fiend cringe" - MadGrady

    According to some online quiz, I'm a 6th level TN Wizard. They didn't give me full XP for all the monsters I've defeated while daydreaming.
    http://easydamus.com/character.html

    I am a Ranger Archetype: Gleaming Warden (thx to Ninja Prawn)

  3. - Top - End - #273
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    Does the early Roc get the Purple Worm?

    Can you use Purple Worms to bait your hook while Kraken fishing?
    Yes. To both.

  4. - Top - End - #274
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Gastronomie's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Yokohama, Japan

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

    You could use Griffons as an excuse as to why the party doesn't travel by horse from a particular town to town. Like, there's lots of them nesting in the area (perhaps, like a nesting ground for a particular season). For when you want a session or two of the adventurers traveling by foot.

    Also, bumped.
    Last edited by Gastronomie; 2017-04-16 at 10:14 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #275
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Regitnui's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gastronomie View Post
    You could use Griffons as an excuse as to why the party doesn't travel by horse from a particular town to town. Like, there's lots of them nesting in the area (perhaps, like a nesting ground for a particular season). For when you want a session or two of the adventurers traveling by foot.

    Also, bumped.
    Griffins were on my list of breakouts in a Vadalis port town. The players got dire wolves (subdued), basilisk (petrified with a minor illusion mirror) and pegasi (two players spoke Sylvan; ironically the women...), so I didn't get to use the griffins.
    Spoiler: Quotes from the Playground
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJ View Post
    In fact, I will here formally propose the Zeroth Rule of Gaming: No rule in any game shall be interpreted in a way that breaks the game if it is possible to interpret that rule in a way that does not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Good old Jes, the infamous Doppelganger MILF.

    (aka "The Doppelbanger")
    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    Shhhhh, shhhhhh. Be calm, inhale the beholder's wacky float gas and stop worrying.


    I'm a spell! (Thanks to Ninja_Prawn)|Eberron Questions Answered

    Avatarial Awesomeness by Kymme!

  6. - Top - End - #276
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Gastronomie's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Yokohama, Japan

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

    So next are Grimlocks, eh?

    ...I've yet to see them being used, and have no idea how to place them in most campaigns in ways that are interesting and beyond "they're minions of the Mind Flayers", but does anyone have good ideas?
    Spoiler: Avatar
    Show

    ^ Fantastic avatar made by Professor Gnoll. Yaya Tokaz, from the manga "Kukul and Nagi". ^
    Spoiler: Quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Only on a DnD forum would discussing the methods for jamming a T-Rex into a 10x10x10 box be a thing.
    Extended Signature: Homebrew Stuff
    Unlimited Blade Works: The Guide to the Ultimate Paladin/Sorcerer Multiclass

  7. - Top - End - #277
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Millstone85's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gastronomie View Post
    So next are Grimlocks, eh?

    ...I've yet to see them being used, and have no idea how to place them in most campaigns in ways that are interesting and beyond "they're minions of the Mind Flayers", but does anyone have good ideas?
    Go back to the probable original model and put them in a Morlocks-&-Eloi situation with a community of halflings?

  8. - Top - End - #278
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

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

    I might do the Grimlock today or tomorrow.

  9. - Top - End - #279
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    Go back to the probable original model and put them in a Morlocks-&-Eloi situation with a community of halflings?
    Or go Lovecraftian; degenerate descendants of local humans who have developed a taste for human flesh.
    This ... is my signature finishing move!

    "It's never good when you make a fiend cringe" - MadGrady

    According to some online quiz, I'm a 6th level TN Wizard. They didn't give me full XP for all the monsters I've defeated while daydreaming.
    http://easydamus.com/character.html

    I am a Ranger Archetype: Gleaming Warden (thx to Ninja Prawn)

  10. - Top - End - #280
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    Or go Lovecraftian; degenerate descendants of local humans who have developed a taste for human flesh.
    Or just use the 5e Grimlock in an interesting way

  11. - Top - End - #281
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ShikomeKidoMi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    Or go Lovecraftian; degenerate descendants of local humans who have developed a taste for human flesh.
    Interestingly, there's very little difference between the Lovecraftian and original flavors there, since the Morlocks were physically degenerate descendants of local humans with a taste for human flesh (amusingly, in their case they were less mentally degenerate than the surface folk they were eating).

  12. - Top - End - #282
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2016

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gastronomie View Post
    So next are Grimlocks, eh?

    ...I've yet to see them being used, and have no idea how to place them in most campaigns in ways that are interesting and beyond "they're minions of the Mind Flayers", but does anyone have good ideas?
    I used them as kind of an intro into Mindflayers. The Grimlocks inhabitanted an abandoned mindflayer temple, and attacked the party a lot. The party still hates grimlocks more than mindflayers.

  13. - Top - End - #283
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Gastronomie's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Yokohama, Japan

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterMercury View Post
    I used them as kind of an intro into Mindflayers. The Grimlocks inhabitanted an abandoned mindflayer temple, and attacked the party a lot. The party still hates grimlocks more than mindflayers.
    True - maybe they're better off being used as an introduction to a campaign involving Mind Flayers, rather than be used as generic enemies that appear after the players know they're fighting the Flayers.
    Spoiler: Avatar
    Show

    ^ Fantastic avatar made by Professor Gnoll. Yaya Tokaz, from the manga "Kukul and Nagi". ^
    Spoiler: Quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Only on a DnD forum would discussing the methods for jamming a T-Rex into a 10x10x10 box be a thing.
    Extended Signature: Homebrew Stuff
    Unlimited Blade Works: The Guide to the Ultimate Paladin/Sorcerer Multiclass

  14. - Top - End - #284
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Regitnui's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gastronomie View Post
    True - maybe they're better off being used as an introduction to a campaign involving Mind Flayers, rather than be used as generic enemies that appear after the players know they're fighting the Flayers.
    Maybe fodder for mind flayer encounters, or slaves filling the gaps where facing a mind flayer would be inappropriate.

    Look at that, we've analysed the grimlock without even a review.
    Spoiler: Quotes from the Playground
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJ View Post
    In fact, I will here formally propose the Zeroth Rule of Gaming: No rule in any game shall be interpreted in a way that breaks the game if it is possible to interpret that rule in a way that does not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Good old Jes, the infamous Doppelganger MILF.

    (aka "The Doppelbanger")
    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    Shhhhh, shhhhhh. Be calm, inhale the beholder's wacky float gas and stop worrying.


    I'm a spell! (Thanks to Ninja_Prawn)|Eberron Questions Answered

    Avatarial Awesomeness by Kymme!

  15. - Top - End - #285
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Gastronomie's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Yokohama, Japan

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Regitnui View Post
    Maybe fodder for mind flayer encounters, or slaves filling the gaps where facing a mind flayer would be inappropriate.

    Look at that, we've analysed the grimlock without even a review.
    Well, true. But I do believe we should make an official review before moving on.

    Unoriginal said he could work on it, but how's it going? Or should someone else do it?
    Spoiler: Avatar
    Show

    ^ Fantastic avatar made by Professor Gnoll. Yaya Tokaz, from the manga "Kukul and Nagi". ^
    Spoiler: Quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Only on a DnD forum would discussing the methods for jamming a T-Rex into a 10x10x10 box be a thing.
    Extended Signature: Homebrew Stuff
    Unlimited Blade Works: The Guide to the Ultimate Paladin/Sorcerer Multiclass

  16. - Top - End - #286
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gastronomie View Post
    Well, true. But I do believe we should make an official review before moving on.

    Unoriginal said he could work on it, but how's it going? Or should someone else do it?
    Working on it. I should have the time to finish in a few hours.

  17. - Top - End - #287
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2016

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gastronomie View Post
    Well, true. But I do believe we should make an official review before moving on.

    Unoriginal said he could work on it, but how's it going? Or should someone else do it?
    Official review is a good idea. Just to get a file for the index. Honestly, someone could just look through the last page and make one with all the comments made.

  18. - Top - End - #288
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

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

    I'm working on it, I'll get it done tomorrow for sure.

    Just keep running into troubles.

  19. - Top - End - #289
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2016

    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 working on it, I'll get it done tomorrow for sure.

    Just keep running into troubles.
    I believe in you!

  20. - Top - End - #290
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Gender
    Male

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

    Did the dog eat your homework?

    That would be ... unoriginal. Just sayin'.
    This ... is my signature finishing move!

    "It's never good when you make a fiend cringe" - MadGrady

    According to some online quiz, I'm a 6th level TN Wizard. They didn't give me full XP for all the monsters I've defeated while daydreaming.
    http://easydamus.com/character.html

    I am a Ranger Archetype: Gleaming Warden (thx to Ninja Prawn)

  21. - Top - End - #291
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

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

    GRIMLOCK:


    Introduction: Degenerate, hostile and so ugly even their mothers probably hate them with a passion, the Grimlock has been present in the game since AD&D, inspired by the subterranean mutants called the morlocks from Wells's The Time Machine, and are probably not going anywhere.

    I must say that I've skipped over the grimlocks in every edition I've played, have never heard anyone tell any anecdote about them in a session they've played, and I've barely ever seen them being mentioned in anything treating about D&D. I expected nothing interesting, yet, actually reading their entry in the MM, I've pleasantly surprised.

    Art: The artworks on the pages are pretty efficient. The full-body, colored picture gives a good impression of what a Grimlock is: savage, twisted, kind of pathetic, yet still dangerous. The pose they went for manages to give a sense of life, notably with the open, seemingly screaming mouth, and the impression that the Grimlock is standing rigidly, in a kind of "come at me, bro" tentative of intimidation, standing on the point of his feet hoping to be more impressive. The non-human proportions, the lack of eyes and purplish/stony skin tone, coupled with the definitively recognizable humanoid features, give the Grimlock the twisted-by-the-Underdark look they should have, while the bald spot and the somewhat fat belly kinds of add a darkly humorous quality to the picture, a bit like a goblin-esque version of Homer Simpson was trying to murder you.

    The black and white sketch next to the color picture shows a grimlock with a more relaxed, maybe even somewhat smug expression, and it does a great job showing they're not just snarling beasts, which make the Grimlocks both more "human", so to speak, and more sinister, as it demonstrates you're not fighting mindless puppets, but beings that knowingly will make you suffer and enjoy every bit of it.

    Purpose and Tactics:

    With a CR of 1/4, low AC and an handful of HPs, one could think to just slap the label "Underdark goblin" on the Grimlock, call it a day, and never use them unless they want to add a bit of variety to their low-power mooks. Yet, like many things about the Grimlock, they actually have a surprising number of interesting thing going for them.

    While their poor AC and lack of escape-based features makes them likely go down faster than even goblins, the Grimlock is both relatively stealthy, especially in rock area, and perceptive enough to make them pretty impressive in an ambush scenario (or as guards). Combined with their pretty decent attack score and the damages they can inflict, I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of them couldn't take out a whole group of adventurers in the early steps of the adventure, probably to the horror of players who expected an easy fight. Probably resulting in a few optimizers' eyes popping out of their sockets when their PCs go down to Jay Prescott Sherman from The Critic dressed up as one of the Flintsones.

    So, definitively a good way to throw a suckerpunch to people who think their shiny new characters can handle anything.

    But, of course, their most distinctive features is their Blindsight. Complete darkness, when the PCs can't produce light (or their opponents disable the lights they have), is were the Grimlocks truly shine, if you forgive me the wordplay. A fight in the dark with Grimlocks will probably be a terrifying experience even for battle-hardened PCs, unable to use most of their ranged options and in an environment their opponents master, especially if the the DM manages to convey the sense of unseen threat such a situation requires. So time to make a big, toothy smile and open the soundtrack for JAW.

    Fluff:

    The Grimlock's fluff is also surprisingly interesting, for a bunch of cannibalistic mooks. While humanity in D&D has always been pretty... flexible, what with those half-human half-everything beings that continuously show up and others like the Dragonborn showing up for the first time as transformed humans (something that changed in latter lore, for the better IMO), the Grimlock is one of the only instances where that flexibility, that mutability of the humans were used against them. Grimlocks were humans, once, but Mind Flyers manipulated them, took over their society, and eventually twisted them into the blind man-eaters, endlessly roaming the Underdark for the pleasure of their masters, that we know today.

    This has the potential to be a very powerful reveal, especially if the players aren't aware of this tidbit of information. The tragic, pathetic story of the Grimlocks can really help drive it home how the world around the PCs is dangerous, what happen when there is no hero to save the situation, and how easily the humanoid species could come to an end if beings like the Illithids succeeded.

    Especially powerful if it's an Outsider, an immortal who had the time to observe the world from a distant perspective, who reveals it when the PCs are either very hateful toward the Grimlocks or are trying to show how great and worthy their species is.

    And the worst in all this is that the Grimlocks don't hate their torturers and tormentors. They hate those of the surfaces who escaped their fate. They'll never forgive, never forget, and will drag you down to their masters as soon as their

    Coupled with their abilities, the Grimlocks' backstory really give them the potential to be horrifying and memorable adversaries.

    Hooks:

    From the Dark they Came:


    People have been disappearing, in the city. Snatched in their beds, in the middle of the night. As panic is starting to rise, the adventurers are hired by desperate officials to find a solution. What if it's linked to that breach in the sewers, leading to those abandoned tunnels...?

    Dreams in Colia-Tael:

    In the ruins of the once mighty city of Colia-Tael, the Naga Buruna needs help. An ancient weapon is about to awaken and reduce the country to dust, judging anything new since its last activation to be invaders on its masters' rightful territories. Only the last king of the city, Nordor-Zar, knows how to make the weapon harmless. Buruna proposes to send the adventurers in an oniric trance, transporting their mind far, far back in the past, as Colia-Tael lived its last moments before the Illithid achieved both their conquest and the creation of the Grimlock.


    They Say It's a Cycle, Not a Revolution:


    Illithids have started to notice an increase in reports of strong-willed, resistant to psychic powers Grimlocks. Not wanting to repeat the failures that lead to their other slave-species revolting, the Elder Brains have decided to craft a replacement for the Grimlocks, before culling the whole species. And while this would require massive manpower, they just happen to have a whole entirely disposable species to use to collect whoever will be the basis for their replacements... but who will it be?

    Verdict: A pretty good monster, with a lot of unexpected potential.

  22. - Top - End - #292
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Beleriphon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Protecting my Horde (yes, I mean that kind)

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    GRIMLOCK:
    ....
    Verdict: A pretty good monster, with a lot of unexpected potential.
    A fine review, only thing missing is a reference to a bozo robot dinosaur.

    Spoiler
    Show

  23. - Top - End - #293
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2014

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

    I've actually been in two adventures involving grimlocks (though neither in 5e). One played them up for horror vicariously, with the sole survivor of a grimlock attack on a temple cowering in fear, cloaking the whole temple in thick incense and chimes in order to confuse their blindsight. The players had to fight them off in a generally straightforward encounter (made easier by the aforementioned countermeasures). The other played them up for the player's fear, as we were moving through a tunnel complex of unknown size and scope, trying to get to a particular point, and were aware of creatures moving beyond the light of our torches. When our party was ambushed, my 3-hp wizard tried retreating, only for his candle to blow out...

    So DMs should take note; grimlock encounter difficulty can be easily adjusted by either making it hard for the PCs to see or by providing for means to confuse their blindsight (or even sticking them in situations where the theater of combat is larger than their blindsight radius).

  24. - Top - End - #294
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

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

    Additional plot hook:

    Blind Retaliation

    The adventurers encounters a wounded drow, close to death, who promises to tell them something crucial to save a nearby city from an attack if they help the elf. The drow, if healed, reveal that they were from a group who killed a Mind Flayer, before getting nearly killed. The problem is, the grimlock slaves of the mind flayers have decided to avenge its death by attacking and eating all the inhabitants of the city... if you can trust what the drow is saying, in any case.

  25. - Top - End - #295
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Apr 2007

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

    Hag

    Probably the first reaction many players would have to the hag is, of course, "A witch! A witch! May we burn her?" The idea of the creepy old crone with green face and warts is almost an undead horse trope.

    That's a shame, because hags are some of the coolest monsters in all of D&D.

    The idea of the hag coven has roots all the way back to Ancient Greece, with ties to the Fates (especially in the story of Perseus). Quite famously, a coven of what we'd call hags appears in Shakespeare's Macbeth as well--pulling strings and driving the plot. Of course, it's impossible to discuss the history of hags without mentioning Baba Yaga of Russian fame. More recently, the role of Tia Dalma in the Pirates of the Carribean franchise is quite similar to that of the traditional hag--though perhaps the most prominent cinematic example would be the Wicked Witches of the East and West.

    Art

    The green hag is depicted in a typical "I'm an evil ritualist" pose, but it's far more effective here than elsewhere. The profile really gives us a good look at the distortion of her face and the cruel expression on it; the hand thrust at us covered in blood from pulling out that heart is impossible to ignore. Conversely, the sea hag is naked and shapely... but those misporportioned limbs and that rotten seaweed hair giving us only just a hint of the monstrous face is a brilliant stroke to change it from fanservice to nightmarish.

    The only really disappointing art here is the night hag. It's serviceable, but far less effective than the other pieces--it's just a bit too generic.

    Purpose and Tactics

    Hags make great villains simply because they scale through the early parts of a campaign very well: one alone is CR3 (5 for a night hag), but once they start grouping together they get far more powerful--and the full coven can cast spells like a 12th-level wizard! They're independently threatening at earlier levels, and at mid-level they make a great "puzzle boss:" your best tactic isn't to beat them in a close-up fight, but to break the coven and reduce them to mere shadows of its power.

    With that said, the only really worrying hag in a straight up "block of tofu" fight is the sea hag: its instant death glare has a low DC, but boy howdy can it stop anyone who fails in their tracks! The rest are best used as casters or as opponents sniping from the shadows (or, in the night hag's case, in their dreams).

    Fluff

    Every other monster in this game wishes they had the awesome fluff treatment the hags get.

    The idea of their magic as deliberate blasphemy. The list of names. The procreation. Bargaining. "Helping" the beautiful. The hag code, and what happens to those stupid enough to believe it applies to non-hags. The green hag's love of tragedy. The night hag's special items. The sea hag's curse.

    Seriously, go read it. It's all fantastic.

    Hag Hooks

    On a misty day as the party travels through the forest, three hags appear! They seemed primed to attack... until they kneel before a member of the party and address him as "Count of Barovia?"

    The party Warlock knows he made a pact with one of the fey. His magic has always reflected fey beauty in its purest form. But now, it all seems twisted and evil... and seems to come with the faintest hint of brime....

    Adriella, the most beautiful girl in the village, is about to have her 13th birthday--and her mother has just had another child, too! Won't it be a wonderful party?

    One more hook that already exists: if you don't normally look at Adventurer's League material, have a look at the Season 4 guidance for Jeny Greenteeth. I'm not sure I'll ever provide nondescript spellcasting services again!

    Verdict

    If you're looking for a tough, dice-heavy encounter, the hag probably isn't it. For almost every other purpose, I might actually start here first.
    Avvie by Sneak

  26. - Top - End - #296
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Gender
    Male

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

    Well done.

    A mutant Grimlock (they are mutants, after all, so mutate away) with slow regeneration would be a terror for level 1 characters. They keep killing it, but it keeps coming back because it regenerates 1 HP / hour. Only completely burning the body will prevent this - but making a bonfire in the Underdark poses other problems ...
    This ... is my signature finishing move!

    "It's never good when you make a fiend cringe" - MadGrady

    According to some online quiz, I'm a 6th level TN Wizard. They didn't give me full XP for all the monsters I've defeated while daydreaming.
    http://easydamus.com/character.html

    I am a Ranger Archetype: Gleaming Warden (thx to Ninja Prawn)

  27. - Top - End - #297
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Gender
    Male

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

    Quote Originally Posted by tsuyoshikentsu View Post
    Hag

    Probably the first reaction many players would have to the hag is, of course, "A witch! A witch! May we burn her?" The idea of the creepy old crone with green face and warts is almost an undead horse trope.

    That's a shame, because hags are some of the coolest monsters in all of D&D.

    The idea of the hag coven has roots all the way back to Ancient Greece, with ties to the Fates (especially in the story of Perseus). Quite famously, a coven of what we'd call hags appears in Shakespeare's Macbeth as well--pulling strings and driving the plot. Of course, it's impossible to discuss the history of hags without mentioning Baba Yaga of Russian fame. More recently, the role of Tia Dalma in the Pirates of the Carribean franchise is quite similar to that of the traditional hag--though perhaps the most prominent cinematic example would be the Wicked Witches of the East and West.

    Art

    The green hag is depicted in a typical "I'm an evil ritualist" pose, but it's far more effective here than elsewhere. The profile really gives us a good look at the distortion of her face and the cruel expression on it; the hand thrust at us covered in blood from pulling out that heart is impossible to ignore. Conversely, the sea hag is naked and shapely... but those misporportioned limbs and that rotten seaweed hair giving us only just a hint of the monstrous face is a brilliant stroke to change it from fanservice to nightmarish.

    The only really disappointing art here is the night hag. It's serviceable, but far less effective than the other pieces--it's just a bit too generic.

    Purpose and Tactics

    Hags make great villains simply because they scale through the early parts of a campaign very well: one alone is CR3 (5 for a night hag), but once they start grouping together they get far more powerful--and the full coven can cast spells like a 12th-level wizard! They're independently threatening at earlier levels, and at mid-level they make a great "puzzle boss:" your best tactic isn't to beat them in a close-up fight, but to break the coven and reduce them to mere shadows of its power.

    With that said, the only really worrying hag in a straight up "block of tofu" fight is the sea hag: its instant death glare has a low DC, but boy howdy can it stop anyone who fails in their tracks! The rest are best used as casters or as opponents sniping from the shadows (or, in the night hag's case, in their dreams).

    Fluff

    Every other monster in this game wishes they had the awesome fluff treatment the hags get.

    The idea of their magic as deliberate blasphemy. The list of names. The procreation. Bargaining. "Helping" the beautiful. The hag code, and what happens to those stupid enough to believe it applies to non-hags. The green hag's love of tragedy. The night hag's special items. The sea hag's curse.

    Seriously, go read it. It's all fantastic.

    Hag Hooks

    On a misty day as the party travels through the forest, three hags appear! They seemed primed to attack... until they kneel before a member of the party and address him as "Count of Barovia?"

    The party Warlock knows he made a pact with one of the fey. His magic has always reflected fey beauty in its purest form. But now, it all seems twisted and evil... and seems to come with the faintest hint of brime....

    Adriella, the most beautiful girl in the village, is about to have her 13th birthday--and her mother has just had another child, too! Won't it be a wonderful party?

    One more hook that already exists: if you don't normally look at Adventurer's League material, have a look at the Season 4 guidance for Jeny Greenteeth. I'm not sure I'll ever provide nondescript spellcasting services again!

    Verdict

    If you're looking for a tough, dice-heavy encounter, the hag probably isn't it. For almost every other purpose, I might actually start here first.
    The other key thing about hags is their immortality. A hag has been living here for a long time, building up her defenses and accumulating trinkets. You should never fight a hag solo. You should never fight a hag without some consumable items to tip the battle in her favor; a hag in +3 armor is still not that tough, but a hag with a necklace of fireballs is a freakin' menace. Especially because the hag has no compunctions whatsoever about hitting minions with the blast.
    This ... is my signature finishing move!

    "It's never good when you make a fiend cringe" - MadGrady

    According to some online quiz, I'm a 6th level TN Wizard. They didn't give me full XP for all the monsters I've defeated while daydreaming.
    http://easydamus.com/character.html

    I am a Ranger Archetype: Gleaming Warden (thx to Ninja Prawn)

  28. - Top - End - #298
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Millstone85's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Gender
    Male

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

    I keep imagining Discworld witches meeting a coven of hags.

    We must have defeated these elves so often they decided to turn their glamour upside down and become their own caricature of us!

  29. - Top - End - #299
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    I keep imagining Discworld witches meeting a coven of hags.

    We must have defeated these elves so often they decided to turn their glamour upside down and become their own caricature of us!
    Oh, Discworld witches have hag-like beings to deal with. Even some human witches who decided that there was a reason why ovens were big enough to put a child in, and the like. Probably more often in the old days of the Barbarian heroes and that kind of things, though.

    Also, speaking of elves and glamour, the Elf Queen does make Jenny Greenteeth the water hag appears, in the first Tiffany Aching book

  30. - Top - End - #300
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Apr 2007

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    The other key thing about hags is their immortality. A hag has been living here for a long time, building up her defenses and accumulating trinkets. You should never fight a hag solo. You should never fight a hag without some consumable items to tip the battle in her favor; a hag in +3 armor is still not that tough, but a hag with a necklace of fireballs is a freakin' menace. Especially because the hag has no compunctions whatsoever about hitting minions with the blast.
    You know, funnily enough? They're not called out as immortal in this edition. The closest they get is a name-check as "ancient beings," but some of the hags being discussed are also clearly quite young.

    I was surprised too.
    Avvie by Sneak

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •