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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Okay, I've been hearing this a lot lately.

    And TBH I agree... KINDA.

    I find many 5e monsters boring but I haven't found better ones elsewhere.

    So, show me that 3.x or 4e had cooler monsters.

    For example, I find the chimaera to bit lackluster for a monster with three heads... I think that, for a monsters with 3 heads, it would be cool to allow players to target a head at the very least. But it seems to be the same in 3e and 4e (IIRC).

    Can you point me to better examples?

    EDIT: BTW, here are some (admittedly very rough) ideas on the chimera to give you an example.
    Last edited by Eric Diaz; 2017-12-30 at 02:03 PM.
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Um, to me the way to make combat encounters more interesting in to up the lethality on both sides.

    If the start of the initiative order has been reached a fourth time, and no PC or NPC has dropped yet, than AC's, and/or HP's are too high, or "to hit mod's" or damage is too low.

    5e at first level seems about right, but my instinct is that HP's for both higher level PC's and the monsters should be lower.

    As for otherwise making encounters more interesting, I'd say that's mostly about how well the DM can narrate.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Diaz View Post
    I think that, for a monsters with 3 heads, it would be cool to allow players to target a head at the very least.
    Angry has some very comprehensive thoughts on this matter.

    Honestly, the 'boring bag of HP issue' can be solved pretty easily if the DM's willing to get creative. At the most basic level, monsters have access to all the standard actions that players have, even if they're not listed in the stat block. It's not too complicated to give them different equipment or even magic items to play with. You can also make 'simple' monsters (I'm thinking mainly humanoid monsters like orcs, gnolls, hobgoblins and lizardfolk) more interesting with clever tactics, ambushes, flanking manoeuvres, etc., or by giving the PCs an objective other than 'kill all the bad guys'. And then, if that's not enough, you can just homebrew your own monsters with weird an wonderful abilities. It's not that hard.
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    There's also the issue that, while you can always add more options, DMs have to manage all of this for multiple monsters. For me at least, managing 6-8 monsters for a normal encounter (1.5-2x PCs) leaves me short of mental resources to actually use the spell-casters (for example) effectively and still have quick combat.

    If every monster had a bunch of conditional abilities like in 4e, I'm afraid my brain would rebel and I'd end up not using them.
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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    The Manticore is pretty disappointing. For a monster that is a weird combination of a few kinds of beasts, they are so boring to fight. They are just a bag of hp with the typical multi-attack bite/claw, a range attack, and can fly. Why spend so much effort in designing their looks? They don't even matter, mechanically they are so bare bones.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Omox Demon, Alchemical Golem, Wendigos, and pretty much every Aberration are all favorites of this Pathfinder DM. Lots of things that change the combat paradigm, basically. Wendigos are mostly a challenge when using hit-and-run tactics and trying to spook their prey into making mistakes. Alchemical Golems combine the typical golem immunity to magic with an unpredictable on-hit effect and ranged options. Omox Demons require you to deal with puddles of water as a hazard because it can move between them, forcing creativity unless your caster took something to remove water for whatever reason. Aberrations are just piles of weird effects and traits.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Combat is generally exciting at lower levels. Higher levels get trickier. Here is some advice from DMing several versions:

    -Magical items should be treated as uncommon or rare. If I have a group of experienced players, by level 7 each member might have one magical item. Limiting access to magical items, especially rare ones, is key. Some campaigns, the characters have 2-3 magic items each by level 10, and that makes encounters easier.

    -Add minions (Monster has 1HP.) Zombies in particular make minions interest. Lets say you have a group of five 6th level PCs. You could throw at them a Necromancer with three fifth level Beholder Zombies (each at 1 HP) already present. Incredibly powerful creatures, but if they get hit they die, except undead fortitude might have them rise back to life at 1HP. Lot of fun, and you role play that PCs attacks knocked off an arm, an eye....ect, but not enough to finish the monster.

    -Borrow from 4e the bloodied concept. The bloodied concept was once you reached below 50% hit points, some effects might take place. You might have a Chimaera lose the ability to fly while bloodied, but also gain a new attack. This works well with any type of mini-boss battle. It shows the PCs that the creature is becoming damaged, but that it might become more deadly as its backed into a corner.

    -The Twist(ed). This can happen when a creature is bloodied or dies. When the Chimaera is slane, one of the heads launches out of the corpse and is a Bone Naga. This works well for a lot of things. I have had a Helmed Horror fight in which after it was destroyed, the lifeforce trapped within it reformed immedietly as an Invisible Stalker. The party barely survived after expending resources fighting the Helmed Horror.

    -Critical hit. If you run lower magical item campaigns, and throw out some difficult creatures, make the critical hit even more powerful. While the damage is nice, letting your characters attempt to frighten the creature, regain a spell slot, or even disabling one of the creatures attacks is a lot of fun. If the fighter hits with a critical hit, I would argue that one of the heads of the Chimera is instantly slain for example. What this encourages is even more strategy at the beginning of combat. PCs might seek to restrain/knock prone a creature with a surprise attack, and try to swing with advantage to simply increase a chance of a critical hit. (obviously if you have an assassin in the campaign, you can adjust this as needed.)
    Last edited by hellgrammite; 2017-12-30 at 04:35 PM.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    If the start of the initiative order has been reached a fourth time, and no PC or NPC has dropped yet, than AC's, and/or HP's are too high, or "to hit mod's" or damage is too low.
    Agreed!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    (BTW, love the blog).
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    Angry has some very comprehensive thoughts on this matter.

    Honestly, the 'boring bag of HP issue' can be solved pretty easily if the DM's willing to get creative. At the most basic level, monsters have access to all the standard actions that players have, even if they're not listed in the stat block. It's not too complicated to give them different equipment or even magic items to play with. You can also make 'simple' monsters (I'm thinking mainly humanoid monsters like orcs, gnolls, hobgoblins and lizardfolk) more interesting with clever tactics, ambushes, flanking manoeuvres, etc., or by giving the PCs an objective other than 'kill all the bad guys'. And then, if that's not enough, you can just homebrew your own monsters with weird an wonderful abilities. It's not that hard.
    Good post by Angry, his posts are always very... comprehensive.

    I agree that the DM can make it more interesting, but I'm looking for monsters that are interesting/diverse/peculiar by themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    There's also the issue that, while you can always add more options, DMs have to manage all of this for multiple monsters. For me at least, managing 6-8 monsters for a normal encounter (1.5-2x PCs) leaves me short of mental resources to actually use the spell-casters (for example) effectively and still have quick combat.

    If every monster had a bunch of conditional abilities like in 4e, I'm afraid my brain would rebel and I'd end up not using them.
    Yeah, that is true. But maybe it would work for "bosses" etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dinosaur View Post
    Omox Demon, Alchemical Golem, Wendigos, and pretty much every Aberration are all favorites of this Pathfinder DM. Lots of things that change the combat paradigm, basically. Wendigos are mostly a challenge when using hit-and-run tactics and trying to spook their prey into making mistakes. Alchemical Golems combine the typical golem immunity to magic with an unpredictable on-hit effect and ranged options. Omox Demons require you to deal with puddles of water as a hazard because it can move between them, forcing creativity unless your caster took something to remove water for whatever reason. Aberrations are just piles of weird effects and traits.
    This is very good.

    Not really a good metric for comparison, because they sound like monsters that wouldn't be in the first MM... But great for inspiration.

    The sad thing is that when I read Algernon Blackwood's "The Wendigo" I created a hit-and-run monster for 5e... but it seems PF beat me to it by years!
    Last edited by Eric Diaz; 2017-12-30 at 04:42 PM.
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by hellgrammite View Post
    Combat is generally exciting at lower levels. Higher levels get trickier. Here is some advice from DMing several versions:

    -Magical items should be treated as uncommon or rare. If I have a group of experienced players, by level 7 each member might have one magical item. Limiting access to magical items, especially rare ones, is key. Some campaigns, the characters have 2-3 magic items each by level 10, and that makes encounters easier.

    -Add minions (Monster has 1HP.) Zombies in particular make minions interest. Lets say you have a group of five 6th level PCs. You could throw at them a Necromancer with three fifth level Beholder Zombies (each at 1 HP) already present. Incredibly powerful creatures, but if they get hit they die, except undead fortitude might have them rise back to life at 1HP. Lot of fun, and you role play that PCs attacks knocked off an arm, an eye....ect, but not enough to finish the monster.

    -Borrow from 4e the bloodied concept. The bloodied concept was once you reached below 50% hit points, some effects might take place. You might have a Chimaera lose the ability to fly while bloodied, but also gain a new attack. This works well with any type of mini-boss battle. It shows the PCs that the creature is becoming damaged, but that it might become more deadly as its backed into a corner.

    -The Twist(ed). This can happen when a creature is bloodied or dies. When the Chimaera is slane, one of the heads launches out of the corpse and is a Bone Naga. This works well for a lot of things. I have had a Helmed Horror fight in which after it was destroyed, the lifeforce trapped within it reformed immedietly as an Invisible Stalker. The party barely survived after expending resources fighting the Helmed Horror.

    -Critical hit. If you run lower magical item campaigns, and throw out some difficult creatures, make the critical hit even more powerful. While the damage is nice, letting your characters attempt to frighten the creature, regain a spell slot, or even disabling one of the creatures attacks is a lot of fun. If the fighter hits with a critical hit, I would argue that one of the heads of the Chimera is instantly slain for example. What this encourages is even more strategy at the beginning of combat. PCs might seek to restrain/knock prone a creature with a surprise attack, and try to swing with advantage to simply increase a chance of a critical hit. (obviously if you have an assassin in the campaign, you can adjust this as needed.)
    These are all good ones! I once did a fat monster that, upon disembowelment, became a living stomach! Fun times!

    Another idea (that I've seen on Low Fantasy Gaming and, I think, 13A), is giving monsters unique criticals - this way, you don't require constant checking on the part of the DM, but keep players on their toes.
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    The Manticore is pretty disappointing. For a monster that is a weird combination of a few kinds of beasts, they are so boring to fight. They are just a bag of hp with the typical multi-attack bite/claw, a range attack, and can fly. Why spend so much effort in designing their looks? They don't even matter, mechanically they are so bare bones.
    How is fighting a sapient flying feline with an human-ish face and with spikes it can throw at you boring?

    In D&D's combat, for any edition, it's not the mechanics that are going to make it entertaining.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by hellgrammite View Post

    -Add minions (Monster has 1HP.) Zombies in particular make minions interest. Lets say you have a group of five 6th level PCs. You could throw at them a Necromancer with three fifth level Beholder Zombies (each at 1 HP) already present. Incredibly powerful creatures, but if they get hit they die, except undead fortitude might have them rise back to life at 1HP. Lot of fun, and you role play that PCs attacks knocked off an arm, an eye....ect, but not enough to finish the monster.
    Hell no.

    Don't add minions, never.

    Aside from making casters way more powerful because killing lotsa low-hp creatures is their thing this edition (to say nothing of the Sleep spell, which would become the new "ahaha I win" button), minions totally go against 5e's idea of making low CR monsters stay relevant at higher level.

    They also take a creature that should be awesome and transform it into a waste of time by robbing it of any chance to last more than a round if the PCs care about dealing with it.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    I've really enjoyed playing with Mummies this edition. With a full page of backstory, fluff, and character development material in the MM you also have some really fun abilities to play around with (especially Mummy Lords).

    However, I will agree that after flipping through the MM several times to find my favorite monsters, I was disappointed to see that it can be difficult to find something that REALLY jumps out at you. It really does depend on the DM to make the monsters, encounters, and environments exciting regardless of what the stat box and abilities are of whatever your players are fighting.

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Landon_Guss View Post
    I've really enjoyed playing with Mummies this edition. With a full page of backstory, fluff, and character development material in the MM you also have some really fun abilities to play around with (especially Mummy Lords).

    However, I will agree that after flipping through the MM several times to find my favorite monsters, I was disappointed to see that it can be difficult to find something that REALLY jumps out at you. It really does depend on the DM to make the monsters, encounters, and environments exciting regardless of what the stat box and abilities are of whatever your players are fighting.
    Bad DMs can make interesting monsters boring to fight. Good DMs can make “boring” monsters fun to fight. The stat block themselves are largely unimportant.
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    An easy way is just to liberally hand out feats to monsters. Yes, this includes Magic Initiate. You can refluff or repurpose them however you want (all those goblins with produce flame or firebolt are actually just firing flaming arrows), and restat and retool them however you want (use Dex for arrows, maybe that chimera can use GWM on its natural attacks, PAM similarly for other things, etc). Just slapping a lvl1 or 2 at will spell on something often makes it more fun too, without actually giving them a proper list or feat or anything.

    It's lazy and easy, but adds enough flair and options to encounters to make them interesting. A couple of cantrips and a lvl1 spell usually isn't enough to effect CR, or only increases it a tiny bit, but it allows lots of options. It also gives you a good ballpark to judge how powerful stuff is. Is it more than a few feats or low level spells worth across the encounter? Then it might be too much, or raise the CR by a bit.

    Gives you some easy, flavourful encounters. An Orc warboss casting bless (Warcry?) on himself/ his minions is an easy example. You can knock the bless out of him to make things easier, or just try and slaughter the little guys and then gang up on him. But no-one is actually a "spellcaster", he just got an "ability" that works suspiciously similar to spellcasting. He may have even had it precast as the encounter begins....

    Anyway, feats and MI are a good yardstick of what's useful, without being too powerful.

    Otherwise, yes, 5e encounters are rather vanilla without a fair bit of effort. Not always, but sometimes lacking in "cool factor", without there being a huge amount of guidance than CR given on how to crank it up a notch.
    Last edited by sambojin; 2017-12-30 at 05:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by sambojin View Post
    Just slapping a lvl1 or 2 at will spell on something often makes it more fun too, without actually giving them a proper list or feat or anything.

    It's lazy and easy, but adds enough flair and options to encounters to make them interesting.
    How does adding spells make thing more fun/interesting?

    Quote Originally Posted by sambojin View Post
    But no-one is actually a "spellcaster", he just got an "ability" that works suspiciously similar to spellcasting. He may have even had it precast as the encounter begins....
    It's called Innate Spellcasting. It's already a thing, plenty of monsters have it.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2017-12-30 at 06:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    atropal, world born dead, and neutronium golem are pretty fun

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    How does adding spells make thing more fun/interesting?
    how does it not?
    Last edited by ross; 2017-12-30 at 06:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by ross View Post
    how does it not?
    Because spells aren't inherently fun or interesting.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Thanks for all the answers folks!

    I'd really like to see some of the PROVE IT! stuff, if someone has it.

    Let us see some 3e, 4e, or even 13a - their monsters are supposed to be very cool - examples to inspire our 5e games!
    Methods & Madness - my D&D 5e /OSR /game design blog.
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Diaz View Post
    Okay, I've been hearing this a lot lately.

    And TBH I agree... KINDA.

    I find many 5e monsters boring but I haven't found better ones elsewhere.

    So, show me that 3.x or 4e had cooler monsters.
    Forget those - AD&D Demons had more at-will spell capabilities that were way, way more varied, powerful, and devious.

    Look at the Glabrezu:

    Glabrezu 1E: At will: Telepathy (with any intelligent creature), Teleport (no chance of error), Darkness 10' radius, Fear, Levitate, Cause Pyrotechnics, Polymorph Self, Telekinesis (400 pounds), and Gate in another Demon of types I-III (roll for which type) with a 30% chance of success. (And, on top of all that, Psionics.)
    Glabrezu 5E: At will: Darkness, Detect Magic, Dispel Magic. 1/day: Confusion, Fly, Power Word Stun.
    Demons in 1E played by a clever DM were absolutely terrifying.

    Think about what one could do by observing the party from a far away corner in darkness, polymorphing into something stealthy and inoffensive to follow them around while reading their minds to learn who they were and what they were capable of, gating in some extra help, then sowing utter confusion with pyrotechnics and hauling the Paladin up in the air with telekinesis while rending the squishier party members for a round or two - then just Teleporting away to stalk them some more.
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    How is fighting a sapient flying feline with an human-ish face and with spikes it can throw at you boring?

    In D&D's combat, for any edition, it's not the mechanics that are going to make it entertaining.
    That's my point. It only looks interesting, but in combat, all it does is multi-attack you.

    Unoriginal, I think you're being unnecessarily obtuse here. You are entitled to your opinions, as dumb as they are. But over here, we deal with facts.

    Single monsters are hardly ever going to threaten the party, due to action economy. A single target CC like Tasha's would simply shut it down hard. Heck, even the simple 'grapple and beat it down' tactic would work. Also, they are hard to make interesting fights out of.

    You say mooks would only die to spell casters, but that's only if you clump them up together. Also, not if they can get past their leader, who could be a caster himself, who might have Counterspell. I'm not even going to argue against your point on why spells aren't fun or interesting. That's stupid as ****, and we all know it.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Increase monster difficulty + increase interactive battlefield.

    F.e.

    -monster is only reachable after he does a legendary action in one place.

    -monster is too hard for the group, but there is an arcane cannon that can be loaded 2-3 times for massive damage.

    -Rival monsters nearby. Attract them so they attack each other and get easier to kill (a belphir and a dragon, maybe?)

    Environment is the third part of the battle. Make use of it to make things easier/harder for PCs.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    That's my point. It only looks interesting, but in combat, all it does is multi-attack you.
    Good. If it looks interesting, and the DM can make the interaction entertaining, then it's all what matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    Unoriginal, I think you're being unnecessarily obtuse here. You are entitled to your opinions, as dumb as they are.
    Thanks for the insult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    But over here, we deal with facts.
    Then let's deal with facts. Not with your opinion that awesome-looking monsters trying to rip your character's face off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    Single monsters are hardly ever going to threaten the party, due to action economy. A single target CC like Tasha's would simply shut it down hard. Heck, even the simple 'grapple and beat it down' tactic would work.
    ...yes, and? Solo monsters need to be way stronger than the party to be a decent encounter, I've never said the contrary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    Also, they are hard to make interesting fights out of.
    Depends the solo monster and the level of the party.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    You say mooks would only die to spell casters,
    I did not. With 1 HP they would die against anything. It's just that spellcasters can kill them en masse.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    but that's only if you clump them up together.
    No, it's what happen any time several of them stand in one of the caster's spells' AoE. Something that will happen easily when they close in, usually.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    Also, not if they can get past their leader, who could be a caster himself, who might have Counterspell.
    "Minions work because sometime their boss is a spellcaster with 3rd level spells" isn't really an argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    I'm not even going to argue against your point on why spells aren't fun or interesting. That's stupid as ****, and we all know it.
    Do you have any really argument against it or is calling it stupid the only way you have to discredit it?

    No, spells aren't inherently interesting or fun. Giving spells to monsters don't make them inherently funnier or more interesting.

    If a DM makes fighting three orc bounty hunters boring, it won't be less boring if one of them can cast Heat Metal or whatever.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    No, at the first question. Not unless the DM doesn't do his or her job. Which also makes the "no" on the second part ('prove it') inevitable.

    To be honest, I don't like the way this thread is named. It's a very negative frame of a core DnD 5e combat mechanic. The OP invites edition wars ("this was waaaay beter in X.X!!")

    To make combat interesting, 2 things are needed imo:
    - interesting mechanics
    - interesting narrative.

    If you have a good storyteller as a DM, the narrative alone should be enough to make a combat that is mechanical not complex, interesting.

    But lets focus on the mechanics. "Boring bags of hitpoints" suggest a simple hit, damage, hit damage etc. sequence. But it isn't that simple. On the most basic level, without special abilities, creatures can gang up, surprise, dodge, hit & run, grapple, shove. With only these tools, a DM should be able to keep encounters interesting. Especially because the DM also controles the environment in which the encounter takes place: chasm's, bridges, traps, lava pits, etc. etc.

    Of course, plenty of creatures have special abilities as well, for variation.

    No, not as much as in earlier editions. I loved 3.x, with all the crazy abilities creatures (and players) had. But it had 2 huge drawbacks. First the complexity for the DM, it took way more time to familiarize with the monsters. But more importantly: at higher levels, all those special abilities had there own special counters. This a) was annoying for the casual players who didn't want to invest that much time in learning all that stuff and b) contributed to the overpoweredness of casters, since most counters were spells.

    To summarize: the lack of all those special abilities isn't a bug, it's a feature. Complexity go tuned down. But no, not to the point where it's 'boring', if you use a little bit of creativity. Then again, there are always players who want stuff as complex as possible. Maybe for them, 5e just isn't the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    That's my point. It only looks interesting, but in combat, all it does is multi-attack you.

    Unoriginal, I think you're being unnecessarily obtuse here. You are entitled to your opinions, as dumb as they are. But over here, we deal with facts.
    The first part is nonsensical, that is, "all it does is multi-attack you" is only true if the DM deceides to run the creature like that. The fact that that it doesn't have more options in it stat block spelled out, doesn't mean they aren't there.

    The second part is flaming.
    Last edited by Waazraath; 2017-12-31 at 07:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Well, if combat feels like a boring interaction between boring HP Pools slowly taking down each other, it's the DM's/Players fault, not the MM's fault.

    Using visual descriptions of what's about to happen, having higher expectations, keeping players to their toes...

    After all, it's better to have a low degree of lethality on your Monsters, as you don't actually want to kill your players, just use the monsters for a visual description, and cinematic, and move on with the RP. I've always used Monsters as nothing more than a narrating tool, and not the actual focus of the story.

    If you want an actually more threatening boss fight (in cases you favor this type of game), you can actually build an NPC with Class Levels, potentially on top of their Monster Race. It's fairly easy to figure out what a monster's entry "Race" and "Class" features are, once you are fammiliar enough with 5e.

    That's it more or less.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Perhaps most of you didn't play, or even read 4th edition rules, but the point of minions is they're immune to aoe spells. Because yeah, a simple sleep spell would render them moot; let alone a fireball or burning hands... How you explain that in universe, meh - it's just a mechanical benefit that allows them to remain a nuisance without adding a ton of complications to the game. In 3rd ed, we called them popcorn - they were just actually codified in 4th. Bringing them back, especially as numbers support for a solo critter helps alleviate the action economy problem.

    A 3rd level party facing a lone ogre gangs up and kills the ogre... boring.

    A 3rd level party facing an ogre and 5 goblins, probably get eviscerated without good tactics and a decent party makeup.

    A 3rd level party facing an ogre and 5 goblin minions is a balanced fight that might end up a TPK if they don't recognize and eliminate the goblin threat first, but one monk or hunter ranger could handle them all in a couple rounds - even a magic missile cast from a 2nd level slot would take out 4 of them in a single round... But the players wouldn't necessarily know that - and that's what makes the combat a bit more interesting, yet not Deadly.

    If you're not into the minion idea, that's fine - but it appears there are a lot of people who don't even know such a concept exists, and expanding knowledge should never be poopoo'd on the face of it.
    Last edited by Theodoxus; 2017-12-31 at 07:30 AM.
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoxus View Post
    Perhaps most of you didn't play, or even read 4th edition rules, but the point of minions is they're immune to aoe spells. Because yeah, a simple sleep spell would render them moot; let alone a fireball or burning hands... How you explain that in universe, meh - it's just a mechanical benefit that allows them to remain a nuisance without adding a ton of complications to the game. In 3rd ed, we called them popcorn - they were just actually codified in 4th.
    So that'd mean that Minions would move from being weak against casters to full "make one of the casters' main combat advantages completely worthless"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoxus View Post
    Bringing them back, especially as numbers support for a solo critter helps alleviate the action economy problem.

    A 3rd level party facing a lone ogre gangs up and kills the ogre... boring.

    A 3rd level party facing an ogre and 5 goblins, probably get eviscerated without good tactics and a decent party makeup.

    A 3rd level party facing an ogre and 5 goblin minions is a balanced fight that might end up a TPK if they don't recognize and eliminate the goblin threat first, but one monk or hunter ranger could handle them all in a couple rounds - even a magic missile cast from a 2nd level slot would take out 4 of them in a single round... But the players wouldn't necessarily know that - and that's what makes the combat a bit more interesting, yet not Deadly.
    Or you could put an Ogre with 2-3 goblins versus a 3rd level party and have a balanced encounter, as the rules in the books suggest.

    Honestly I don't see what you gain from having a bigger bunch of Minions fragile as wet paper when you could have fewer, but still several, normal mooks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoxus View Post
    If you're not into the minion idea, that's fine - but it appears there are a lot of people who don't even know such a concept exists, and expanding knowledge should never be poopoo'd on the face of it.
    Sure, sharing the knowledge is good, but it should also be noted in which ways this concept isn't appropriate to 5e.

    Same way you can tell people about Paragon Paths without having them

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoxus View Post
    Perhaps most of you didn't play, or even read 4th edition rules, but the point of minions is they're immune to aoe spells. Because yeah, a simple sleep spell would render them moot; let alone a fireball or burning hands... How you explain that in universe, meh - it's just a mechanical benefit that allows them to remain a nuisance without adding a ton of complications to the game. In 3rd ed, we called them popcorn - they were just actually codified in 4th. Bringing them back, especially as numbers support for a solo critter helps alleviate the action economy problem.

    A 3rd level party facing a lone ogre gangs up and kills the ogre... boring.

    A 3rd level party facing an ogre and 5 goblins, probably get eviscerated without good tactics and a decent party makeup.

    A 3rd level party facing an ogre and 5 goblin minions is a balanced fight that might end up a TPK if they don't recognize and eliminate the goblin threat first, but one monk or hunter ranger could handle them all in a couple rounds - even a magic missile cast from a 2nd level slot would take out 4 of them in a single round... But the players wouldn't necessarily know that - and that's what makes the combat a bit more interesting, yet not Deadly.

    If you're not into the minion idea, that's fine - but it appears there are a lot of people who don't even know such a concept exists, and expanding knowledge should never be poopoo'd on the face of it.

    I don't get it, both as a mechanical and visual perspective;

    How can minions be imune to a fireball? Does their boss give them orders that help them co-ordinate better to avoid getting into the AoE?

    Also, it kinda takes away the point of casting such a spell in the first place (in a mechanical perspective). You don't cast an AoE to do single Target Damage, most single target attacks pack the same, if not more damage in an action either way. You cast an AoE to hit as many opponents as possible.

    The reverse could make a bit more sence; A boss getting resistance/advantage to the saves of AoE spells as long as he has a Minion avalable within some range, to provide cover/use as a meat shield/snap him out of a sleep effect/cover him as the minion's reaction to protect the boss from the spell's most harmfull effects. That said, Advantage on Minion Saves could be granted by using the bosses reaction to give an order for a particular save (Dexterity for example), still it's not appropriate on all creatures.
    Last edited by Asmotherion; 2017-12-31 at 07:55 AM.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Basically, the monsters in this edition are like the champion fighter.

    It's only boring if the person running it is boring.

    If your monsters are boring your players, I'd suggest you might be a boring DM.

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Afrodactyl View Post
    If your monsters are boring your players, I'd suggest you might be a boring DM.
    Oh, come on, it's not just that. 5e gives you less stuff to do RAW with your monsters and that's objective fact. Any DM can make any monster interesting. It doesn't mean the system can't help them.

    Look at the 3e Ice Devil and the 5e Ice Devil statblocks. The 3e version has at will persistent image, greater teleport, wall of ice, Cone of Cold and Ice Storm. That's on top of being able to summon other devils, Slow effects of attacks, a fear aura and regeneration that can be bypassed by good aligned weapons.

    The 5e Ice Devil has uh..claws that do normal damage and a tail that poisons you. Oh and Devil's Sight! Woo! Are you scared now?

    Sure, the DM can make any combat cool. But acting like 5e monsters are just as interesting as previous edition monsters mechanically is objectively wrong and I can't believe how obtuse so many of you are being to the OP's point.

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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by mephnick View Post
    Sure, the DM can make any combat cool. But acting like 5e monsters are just as interesting as previous edition monsters mechanically is objectively wrong and I can't believe how obtuse so many of you are being to the OP's point.
    Eh, no, not "objectively wrong". It's not objective. It's just an opinion. For many players, the overkill on options monsters had, like in 3e you give as an example, made the game boring. Slow, because stuff had to be looked up all the time. And more boring for those players that didn't want to remember 500+ pages of rules, monsters, spells, special abilites etc. by heart, because they were irrelevant in combat compared to players who did.

    Again, bug, not feature.

    The only thing that is 'objective' is that monsters were more complicated in 3e. If that made that game 'more interesting' is as subjective as hell, cause it depends on how complex a player wants his game to be.

    For me: I like complex games, but 5e hit the sweet spot, where you can still use plenty of creative tactics, but the game is also quite accessible.

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