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  1. - Top - End - #211
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ShikomeKidoMi's Avatar

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Spellbreaker26 View Post
    They are inspired by the Frankenstein story yes, but if it was just Mary Shelly then it would have a significantly higher INT for one, and probably wouldn't be listed under golems at all. This guy shows a lot more resemblence to the Hammer Horror interpretation played by Boris Karloff.
    You're getting your Horror mixed up. Karloff was classic Universal in 1931. Christopher Lee was Hammer Horror Frankenstein and didn't come out until '57, more than two and a half decades later.

    I agree that the Flesh Golem is pretty obviously based on Karloff, though.

  2. - Top - End - #212
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    SamuraiGuy

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

    The inarticulate Karloff version does seem like the prototype, loosely based on Shelly.
    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.
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    I am a Ranger Archetype: Gleaming Warden (thx to Ninja Prawn)

  3. - Top - End - #213
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Iron Golem

    Introduction

    The iron golem is the wizard version of the robot, or clockwork, guardian.

    Art

    Menacing, but not sense of scale. It looks kind of lurching and jerky like its almost about to fall over. The head though is great, the glowing eyes in particular set the piece off nicely.

    Purpose and Tactics

    Its big, it has a ton of hit points, hits like a truck, and is immune to a bunch of damage types. So the fighter better hope they brought adamantine or magic weapons. The wizard probably shouldn't use fire, and other spells still get advantage on the saves. Also you can't polymorph and iron golem into something else. And just for fun they have a poison area of effect attack, because why not? Oh, and its a pretty high save that will make wizards and other low constitution characters cry.

    Iron Golems make the best eternal guardians for those ancient sites that PCs love to explore and loot. Bonus points if the location is a furnace or forge of some kind.

    In the end the iron golem is a big metal damage sponge, so they're best used as a running interference for the party with a monster that does fire damage. Like a red dragon.

    Fluff

    Iron golems are the big daddy of golem-crafting. They're eternal, hard to kill, and they don't berserk if they get low on hit points. They are the best option to defend a wizard from other wizards,

    Hooks

    An inactive iron golem sits in the centre of Townsville. After more than a century nobody remembers how it got there or who put it there. Yesterday one of its arms moved and today its head has started tracking people that walk by. Why has it stirred now and what does it mean for Townsville?

    You found an amulet of golem command, it seems to be linked to a massive army of iron golems. You're not sure where they are or who crated them. Do you take control of the immortal army, and what happens if the wrong sort of people find out that you have the amulet?

    Verdict

    Iron golems are a classic wizard killer in D&D. They are best used as defensive mechanisms against those pesky spellcasters.

  4. - Top - End - #214
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    Imp

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    Menacing, but not sense of scale. It looks kind of lurching and jerky like its almost about to fall over.
    I guess even the great ones have feet of clay.

  5. - Top - End - #215
    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 Beleriphon View Post
    An inactive iron golem sits in the centre of Townsville. After more than a century nobody remembers how it got there or who put it there. Yesterday one of its arms moved and today its head has started tracking people that walk by. Why has it stirred now and what does it mean for Townsville?
    meh. let the powerpuff girls take care of it :P

  6. - Top - End - #216
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    SamuraiGuy

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

    How does a red dragon defeat an iron golem? The golem is immune to the fire attacks and the physical attacks, since a dragon's natural weapons aren't considered magical.

    Answer: by using a technique beloved of older siblings the world over. Grab the golem's forearm, say "Stop hitting yourself!", and beat the golem to death with its own fist.
    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)

  7. - Top - End - #217
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    I recall tales of someone dropping Iron Golems from orbit, which would heat up do to the friction of falling, thus heal themselves and popp out of city destroying impacts as good as new. While D&D doesn't function of real world physics, and sufficient fiction doing fire damage is debatable, there are few more metal monster entrances out there. It was from the Tale of an Industrious Rogue if memory serves.
    Last edited by GorinichSerpant; 2017-04-04 at 08:06 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #218
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    Also like the clay golems, a Blue Dragon who filled his entrance hall with Flesh golems would be a nasty customer.
    If not for questions of scale and manual dexterity, this makes me wonder about a dragon cobbling together flesh golems from dragonborn worshippers. (or just plain victims) Lizard features and 1/day lightning breath is probably the most dramatic change you can expect from making golems out of something other than humans.

    I mean, that and half-off halfling flesh golems. (for the despicably budget-conscious)

  9. - Top - End - #219
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    RedWizardGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by twas_Brillig View Post
    If not for questions of scale and manual dexterity, this makes me wonder about a dragon cobbling together flesh golems from dragonborn worshippers.
    Why do you think dragonborn worshipers exist in the first place? The dragon can provide the magical force, while all the things you need thumbs for are done by dragonborn servants.

  10. - Top - End - #220
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    SamuraiGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by GorinichSerpant View Post
    I recall tales of someone dropping Iron Golems from orbit, which would heat up do to the friction of falling, thus heal themselves and popp out of city destroying impacts as good as new. While D&D doesn't function of real world physics, and sufficient fiction doing fire damage is debatable, there are few more metal monster entrances out there. It was from the Tale of an Industrious Rogue if memory serves.
    Acknowledging first of all that D&D doesn't use physics - or chemistry; the heat of reentry would melt iron. Since an iron golem is "magic" and presumably doesn't melt at high heats (citation definitely needed here) that should work just fine. You'd heat the golem to a nice toasty 4000 degrees or so, it would retain considerable heat due to the enthalpy of iron, and so it should presumably continue to take fire damage (heat damage) and heal itself for minutes or even hours.
    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)

  11. - Top - End - #221
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    SamuraiGuy

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

    Stone Golem

    Introduction
    Last of the four Monster Manual golems, the stone golem is a slightly bigger and tougher version of the clay golem. Most importantly, it can't go beserk.

    Art
    It's a statue! Seriously, that's all the art shows. Statue with fists clenched, is statue. But it does raise the important point that stone golems ought to have the form of their creators, or something their creators wanted to depict - dwarves would build dwarf-shaped golems, for example.

    Fluff
    The Slow ability is tied to them being made of stone. Stone golems in ancient tombs sometimes take the form of forgotten beasts - imagine being attacked by a stone golem in the shape of a T-Rex.

    Purpose and Tactics
    Like the iron golem, the stone golem stands someplace you want to protect until intruders show up. And then it punches them a lot. The Slow ability means the creators ought to put them in places where the attackers have to close with the monster. Note, though, it can only slow what it can see; it does have 120' darkvision, but magical darkness shuts that feature down. At CR 10, a party probably has ways to bypass these foes rather than fight them. Their use has to be situational.

    Hooks
    The statue in the town square stood there for centuries - until the day the goblin raiders reached the town square. The goblins are thin red paste, but the statue hasn't gone back to sleep, and it makes the residents nervous.

    A trap door opens! Sneaky Pete the thief drops into a small room with a large golem, which starts pummeling him. Can the party get Sneaky out, given that he's slowed? Or do they descend to fight the angry statue toe-to-toe?

    At the end of a short corridor stands a wooden door. The door you came in is iron. When the wooden door is opened, the iron door shuts and is bolted on the far side, and the corridor and room start filling with water. There's a stone golem, which of course doesn't have to breathe, in the room. Have fun!

    Verdict
    A classic monster, one that you can easily see a non-evil non-crazy wizard using to protect the entrance to his laboratory. I just wish it had better art. I give this version a tepid thumbs-up.

    EDIT: forgot hooks.
    Last edited by Shining Wrath; 2017-04-08 at 07:32 AM.
    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)

  12. - Top - End - #222
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    ClericGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    Art
    It's a statue! Seriously, that's all the art shows. Statue with fists clenched, is statue. But it does raise the important point that stone golems ought to have the form of their creators, or something their creators wanted to depict - dwarves would build dwarf-shaped golems, for example.
    I can just imagine the Tomb of the Gnome Barons.

    "Aw cute, I get it, they're lawn gnomes, the little statues. hahaha aaargh why are they killing us!"
    "The chance of him being trampled by my vampire horses is 90%"

  13. - Top - End - #223
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    just one of the many reasons you should always assume the statues are going to try to murder you :)

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    SamuraiGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    just one of the many reasons you should always assume the statues are going to try to murder you :)
    Next: a Mimic that looks like a Statue.
    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)

  15. - Top - End - #225
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    Next: a Mimic that looks like a Statue.
    Next is the Gorgon, which is maybe one of the more misnamed creatures in D&D.
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    ShikomeKidoMi's Avatar

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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
    Next is the Gorgon, which is maybe one of the more misnamed creatures in D&D.
    I'll agree to that. The Gorgon really shouldn't be bull shaped when it's the name of medusa and her sisters. At least it turns things to stone.

    I actually like the monster design, but the name doesn't fit.

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    SamuraiGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ShikomeKidoMi View Post
    I'll agree to that. The Gorgon really shouldn't be bull shaped when it's the name of medusa and her sisters. At least it turns things to stone.

    I actually like the monster design, but the name doesn't fit.
    I didn't mean Mimic was next in line; just that if you assume statues are going to murder you, then Mimics taking the form of statues is a logical progression.
    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)

  18. - Top - End - #228
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Nah nah. What you need is to have a large ornate chest, with two statues of muscular warriors flanking it. The party will spend 20 minutes poking at the mundane statues, totally missing the possibility that the chest is a Mimic.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by War_lord View Post
    Nah nah. What you need is to have a large ornate chest, with two statues of muscular warriors flanking it. The party will spend 20 minutes poking at the mundane statues, totally missing the possibility that the chest is a Mimic.
    I always find, with suspicious players like mine, overdescribing an innocuous person or object leaves them blind to the real problem. They spent half an hour throwing kobold corpses onto a grid of symbols to try and make a trap trigger.
    Last edited by Regitnui; 2017-04-09 at 02:19 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #230
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    Kobold

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

    Mimic as a chest...might as well make it a door. The players have almost no chance to avoid interaction.

    I like my mimics to not be man made objects. I have more luck with mimic as a corpse of a dead mule and mimic as a crying, kneeling child with big eyes, arms upstretched. The corpse doesn't smell, the child doesn't cry/sob/speak or make sounds. Yet in 4 runthroughs, they've fallen for it every time. And since they generally touch the thing, the fight starts with them grappled.

    While I'm throwing off more heat than light, I will throw back to Gnolls commentary. Hyenas are matriarchal, Gnolls should be, too. But what I really want to say is...

    Wanted: A race of Leonines who are the mortal enemy of Gnolls, parallel to the relationship of hyenas to lions in real life. And no, the slinky-thin housecat people from across the western sea (Tabaxi) do not cut it. I want muscular polygamous lion-men with fantastic beards whose battle cry causes fear and can be heard from miles away. They lead a pack of lion-women who are tactical gang-fighting huntresses adept at stalking, concealment, and hit and run. Both protect their children with their lives if they must. A proud, social, savage race. They would be individually far more powerful than a gnoll, but vulnerable when outnumbered or surrounded. Their bite is not their primary weapon as the head will be too small to support the muscles. They still stalk, pounce, and grapple. Perhaps they throttle prey using large hands, or use spears, or slash throats with daggers, short swords, or scimitars. Or maybe they have retractable claws and no opposing thumbs, making weapons use impossible. Badly injured or age-weakened males lose their pride and go rogue as centaurs do, making useful NPC guides. This race is alternately an ally of outlanders and humanoid barbarian tribes (orcs, humans), or an enemy of them, depending on how hungry they are and how many cattle you have.
    Last edited by Kurt Kurageous; 2017-04-09 at 05:56 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #231
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    ShikomeKidoMi's Avatar

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

    I actually had a DM use the 'mimic takes the shape of a door in an empty doorway' ploy once. As you can guess, it did get us. But really, the group thought it was a pretty clever way for a shapechanging ambush predator to feed. Way less obvious than a treasure chest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    I didn't mean Mimic was next in line; just that if you assume statues are going to murder you, then Mimics taking the form of statues is a logical progression.
    I know. I was agreeing that the Gorgon was the most misnamed monster in D&D, not saying anything about anything you said.

  22. - Top - End - #232
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ShikomeKidoMi View Post
    I actually had a DM use the 'mimic takes the shape of a door in an empty doorway' ploy once. As you can guess, it did get us. But really, the group thought it was a pretty clever way for a shapechanging ambush predator to feed. Way less obvious than a treasure chest.



    I know. I was agreeing that the Gorgon was the most misnamed monster in D&D, not saying anything about anything you said.
    I think, judging by context, he misquoted, and was going for the post before the post of yours he quoted. (hope that makes sense)

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    SamuraiGuy

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

    Gorgon

    Introduction
    A monster that has been with us in D&D since first edition, and has always been about the same - a poison cloud exhaling metal bull. As others have noted, the name "gorgon" meant something completely different to the Greeks; Gygax must have failed his Knowledge(History) check on this one.

    Art
    Dynamic and menacing, with a nice cloud of vapor to let you know this guy is not someone you want to be near.

    Fluff
    Aggressive creatures that attack on sight and cannot be domesticated. With an Int of 2, they can't be reasoned with, nor can they have much in the way of a personality.

    Purpose and tactics
    With AC 19, a decent pile of HP, a dangerous breath weapon, and a charge ability, these are a tough problem to solve. Since Greater Restoration is not available to 5th level characters without help from friendly high level NPCs, the possibility of character death is real. If a PC has a +2 Constitution modifier and is not proficient in Constitution saves (most aren't), they have a 50-50 chance of being affected by the breath weapon and a 25% chance of winding up a statue. Given the aforementioned toughness, gorgons are likely to get two chances at using their breath weapon. As a result of all this, they really aren't random encounter fodder at level 5, at least not the way I like to run campaigns. Roughly speaking, two breath attacks each hitting two characters with a 25% chance of petrification per character results in a 70% chance of someone dying during this encounter. On top of that, there's a good chance someone will be restrained by the breath weapon, and then be hit with the trampling charge on the next round for ~34 points of damage. Using standard HP generation, a 5th level wizard with CON=14 would have 32 HP; a D8 hit die character, 38 HP. That's another decent chance of a dead (or at least, on the ground bleeding) PC. It's a brutal 5th level encounter. This is the first monster I've reviewed where I have to consider whether or not the CR ought to be a level or two higher. A party that meets one of these needs to kill it fast and hard. They might work well as part of a higher level encounter.

    For an obvious example, stone golem + gorgon = lots of statues, one of which tries to kill you when the battle starts.

    Hooks
    According to legend, the tomb of Arcanix the Mystic contains loot! Also according to legend, the dreadful gorgon guards the only entrance to the tomb, and in fact those who have dared to creep within view of the entrance report many statues gathered around it - so many that the entrance itself is obscured from view.

    The wicked Dao Borkina Petrophage rules over Mount Custo with a granite hand; and she rides into battle atop a mechanical bull with strange powers of petrification. Can the party deal with both the elemental and her mount?

    Alas, the party has been captured by Dinoceasus the Cruel, and each member of the party must fight in the arena. What horrible creature awaits the party rogue?

    Verdict
    I've used these against a pair of level 9 characters, and one of them did become petrified; I had to arrange for a wandering group of elves to come by with a scroll of Greater Restoration. Just plain nasty. A classic monster, with a pair of special attacks that work in synergy to make this a truly tough customer. The fluff is uninspiring, though. Overall a good effort and a creature worth adding to your DM tool kit.
    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)

  24. - Top - End - #234
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    Gorgon

    Introduction
    A monster that has been with us in D&D since first edition, and has always been about the same - a poison cloud exhaling metal bull. As others have noted, the name "gorgon" meant something completely different to the Greeks; Gygax must have failed his Knowledge(History) check on this one.
    Maybe he knew, but just didn't care that much, thinking "gorgon" sounded better than "catoblepas" - so using that as the name (and making it more overtly bull-like).
    Marut-2 Avatar by Serpentine

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    SamuraiGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Maybe he knew, but just didn't care that much, thinking "gorgon" sounded better than "catoblepas" - so using that as the name (and making it more overtly bull-like).
    If you know you're using a word "incorrectly", but do it anyway for Reasons, is that not a form of failing your Knowledge check? Alternative gorgons!
    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)

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

    I really can't think of a reason for the misnaming, beyond "medusa sounds cooler so what's a gorgon?"
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    Good old Jes, the infamous Doppelganger MILF.

    (aka "The Doppelbanger")
    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Maybe he knew, but just didn't care that much, thinking "gorgon" sounded better than "catoblepas" - so using that as the name (and making it more overtly bull-like).
    Since the catoblepas is also in the game (VGtM for 5e), that means confusion between three creatures.

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

    on the flip side, a gorgon is a low int creature with not a lot of ranged options. it should be relatively easy to beat if you know what you're facing in advance and are able to prepare accordingly.

    a group armed with longbows and riding horses could pretty easily stay out of reach and kill it without even being injured if they are in the open and are cautious. likewise a group of spellcasters riding on ritual summoned phantom steeds casting fire bolt or eldritch blast, or using a fly spell, or in the right environment even a spider climb spell.

    if encountered in a more limited space, the gorgon is, of course, a much greater threat.

    and yeah, the CR does seem off. compare to the flesh golem we just discussed... gorgon has way better AC, better hit points, better damage if it gets to use trample (and the chance to be attacking at advantage), and the breath is pretty scary too. granted, the golem has those immunities, but magic weapons aren't that rare, and fire damage is almost common if you have a spellcaster in the party, and fire damage really screws flesh golems over pretty hard. anyone feel like taking the time to go through the monster creation rules and see where the gorgon stacks up? it might just be on the high end of the CR 5 scale while flesh golems are more on the low end...

  29. - Top - End - #239
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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

    I think a gorgon can be handled by a level 5 party that knows they are fighting a gorgon in advance. As you point out, fly + height, or speed > 40 + ranged, lets the party stick and move.

    A gorgon that has enough cunning to stay within its lair and make the party come into a dungeon (admittedly contrary to fluff) doesn't fall for that.

    But a CR 5 monster is supposed to be a suitable match for 4 level 5 characters who aren't blowing through all their high level spells to deal with this problem.
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  30. - Top - End - #240
    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 Shining Wrath View Post
    I think a gorgon can be handled by a level 5 party that knows they are fighting a gorgon in advance. As you point out, fly + height, or speed > 40 + ranged, lets the party stick and move.

    A gorgon that has enough cunning to stay within its lair and make the party come into a dungeon (admittedly contrary to fluff) doesn't fall for that.

    But a CR 5 monster is supposed to be a suitable match for 4 level 5 characters who aren't blowing through all their high level spells to deal with this problem.
    yeah, it does seem a bit weird that this is likely to go quite poorly for one side or the other, depending on environment, foreknowledge, and preparedness. it's hard to imagine a situation where a group of level 5 characters either lose a lot more than the encounter exp rating suggests they should (possibly including the permanent petrification of one or more party members), or expend almost nothing. neither of those results really fit the intended result of a CR 5 monster facing a group of level 5 characters.

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