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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Take a goblin. Remove their shortbow, and give them the capacity to use Firebolt.

    Does that make the goblin more interesting?
    Yep, sure does
    Last edited by ross; 2018-01-01 at 06:26 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by ross View Post
    Yep, sure does
    Really?

    What about this is more interesting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    I find Ogres are a little boring. Except for moving faster than PCs, of course. That's pretty scary if they somehow get in among the squishies suddenly out of nowhere.
    Ogres are big smasher. Sure, it's nothing fancy, but sometime all you need is a big club.

    Also, people tend to forget Ogres do have javelins. The squishies staying away won't change much.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2018-01-01 at 08:15 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Drascin View Post
    Again, I legitimately do not care. I mentioned the example of "the hydra dudes were taking several hits to go down now go down in one" explicitly because that is the thing I do not mind. The ogres were an important encounter before because they were guarding the Temple of the Red Skull, and getting past them mattered to the campaign. The ogres now are just appendages of the superboss, and their sole mechanical purpose is making it harder for our heroes to simply annihilate the boss by whacking at him six times for every turns he gets, without adding four hundred low-threat HP to boringly chew through to the encounter. To borrow a videogame design term, encounter-design-wise they're a destructible stage hazard, not actors.

    Basically, sometimes people want to play less Self-Contained Simulator and more Silmarillion.
    I understand that you don't care but there are two points here to consider.

    1) Not caring doesn't make it so that other people don't care. The things you can wave as unimportant are not universally unimportant

    But more to the point 2) Hydra goons in a comic setting are a bad example from a story perspective. I'm not a big comic book reader, but I feel confident in saying there has never been a time that a single, faceless nameless Hydra Soldier has been a threat to Captain America. Their design is such that they are never meant to be a threat, even in massive numbers they aren't a true danger to the heroes.

    This isn't the design principle for DnD or Ogres. Even up to level 4 Ogres are a credible boss fight. They're dangerous up to, what level 9. Minor threats into the higher levels.

    So, on one hand we've got masses of faceless enemies who are never a threat versus a enemy that can be a credible threat for half the game.

    But compare to goblins. Goblins are minions essentially. By level 5 or higher goblins are almost guaranteed to die in a single hit.

    So, to change the narrative, how many Hydra Special Agents, people with names and gimmicks, early threats to the hero, should Captain America be able to tear thru in a fight? And how often are people frustrated with those guys during a story when they all get taken out in seconds?

    They don't make good minions.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosmancer View Post
    I understand that you don't care but there are two points here to consider.

    1) Not caring doesn't make it so that other people don't care. The things you can wave as unimportant are not universally unimportant
    Actually, my point with making the post was in fact the very reverse of this, so that's kind of serendipitous . Multiple posters in the thread seemed to accept as a matter of course that this kind of thing would bother everyone, because it's bad and wrong. I'm pointing out that no, there's lots of us that are genuinely not bothered by this, because not everyone wants their D&D to try to be all simulation-y.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosmancer View Post
    But more to the point 2) Hydra goons in a comic setting are a bad example from a story perspective. I'm not a big comic book reader, but I feel confident in saying there has never been a time that a single, faceless nameless Hydra Soldier has been a threat to Captain America. Their design is such that they are never meant to be a threat, even in massive numbers they aren't a true danger to the heroes.

    This isn't the design principle for DnD or Ogres. Even up to level 4 Ogres are a credible boss fight. They're dangerous up to, what level 9. Minor threats into the higher levels.

    So, on one hand we've got masses of faceless enemies who are never a threat versus a enemy that can be a credible threat for half the game.

    But compare to goblins. Goblins are minions essentially. By level 5 or higher goblins are almost guaranteed to die in a single hit.

    So, to change the narrative, how many Hydra Special Agents, people with names and gimmicks, early threats to the hero, should Captain America be able to tear thru in a fight? And how often are people frustrated with those guys during a story when they all get taken out in seconds?

    They don't make good minions.
    An "ogre" is definitely not a baddie with a name and gimmick in comicbook equivalent. They're, at most, "elite agents". So Hydra Spec Ops or League of Assassins faceless ninja elites, rather than people who have an actual name.

    And yes, you very often get, say, Nightwing having a big end of chapter fight against three League of Assassins dudes, which takes multiple issues and is hard fought and climactic - and then, in a different arc of the same story, a room full of like thirty assassins he and Robin just chew through while bantering with Lady Shiva, who is the genuine threat in the event.

    In one of these events, getting through the Assassins is important. In the other, they're just there to make the fight harder and make our heroes look more threatened.

    That said, yes, Ogres make for bad minionization in general, because "big and tough" are basically the only distinguishing features of an ogre as an enemy, so if you remove "tough", you're left with absolutely nothing for them to be an interesting stage hazard. Things like Hobgoblins or Elementals or the like have more character to them and make for far better minions.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    I'll come back to this later.

    One of the things 4e especially does better is unifying traits of humanoids. For instance, all Kobolds have shifty (Lets them shift as a minor action, rather than move) which helps make a Kobold with a longbow feel different from a goblin with a longbow.
    Last edited by UrielAwakened; 2018-01-02 at 01:05 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by UrielAwakened View Post
    I'll come back to this later.

    One of the things 4e especially does better is unifying traits of humanoids. For instance, all Kobolds have shifty (Lets them shift as a minor action, rather than move) which helps make a Kobold with a longbow feel different from a goblin with a longbow.
    You mean like how all 5e Kobolds have Pack Tactics, which help a Kobold with a longbow feel different from a Goblin with a longbow, since all 5e Goblins have Nimble Escape instead?

    But I guess it's not unified enough.

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

    Monsters have always been bad of hitpoints.

    If you have stats for things, players are there to slay them.

    If you want to play a heavy RP game with likely no encounters in 3+ sessions in a row, go ahead.

    It's up to the quality of the Dungeon Master (tactician's mind) to play the monsters in a manner that if offers some challenges to players (like trying to kill them by the rules optimally).

    If the monsters are boring to you... then you may need to change your take on the game (as a player or a DM). Monsters have always been monsters. 5e edition is still the same thing as fighting orcs back in Gygax basement in 1970s.

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Most modern players prefer to think of them as bags of xp. And maybe loot drops. Many grognards used to do that too, for that matter. Even when the majority of XP came from GP, it was common to kill everything between you and the GP. Plus it was common to house-rule that away as "not realistic" or some other completely missing the point reason.
    XP and hitpoints are synonyms in here. They're bad of things you want to slay otherwise they'll kill you.

    Don't take a long scheme to explain that the Ogre is hungry and he'll probably kill you all if the group doesn't react. Roll initiative !

    Then again, it's up to the GM and the players to get involved and describe what they're doing or is happening during combat. You can't force someone to be a good storyteller, but you can surely make sure that the players get involved a bit by challenging them at least.

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    You mean like how all 5e Kobolds have Pack Tactics, which help a Kobold with a longbow feel different from a Goblin with a longbow, since all 5e Goblins have Nimble Escape instead?

    But I guess it's not unified enough.
    Yeah not really the same since there's nothing unique about pack tactics as it applies to Kobolds. Lots of stuff gets pack tactics.

    Shifty is an exclusively Kobold thing.

    4e also does monster roles which is super important to having balanced, interesting combats.

    5 5e kobolds are just lurkers, or maybe artillery, more or less. They can't go toe-to-toe with 5 PCs in any circumstances and have a chance. They all need to hide and outwit the party to survive such an encounter.

    4e has Kobolds designed for the back line, but also Kobolds designed to use traps, Kobold Dragonshields designed to go toe-to-toe with that 2nd level Paladin, and Kobold Wyrmpriests designed to provide magical support.

    You can craft varied, interesting encounters using nothing but Kobolds, as they are, right out of the box. That's what 4e truly did best: Every group of monster was a swiss army knife and the instructions on how to use them came with the manual.
    Last edited by UrielAwakened; 2018-01-02 at 02:20 PM.

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

    I honestly really like something I call the "Magic card" rule for monster design.

    If your theoretical monster could not essentially fit on a magic card, or else would be too boring to work as a magic card, it's a bad monster.

    Monsters should do one thing that's interesting and do it well enough that it's emblematic of what they are. If they don't even have that one thing that sets them apart, they're too boring. If they have to many things, they're too busy.

    Most 5e monsters fall into one of those two groups, with most of the unintelligent monsters being the former, and the spellcasters being the latter.
    Last edited by UrielAwakened; 2018-01-02 at 02:54 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by UrielAwakened View Post
    I honestly really like something I call the "Magic card" rule for monster design.

    If your theoretical monster could not essentially fit on a magic card, or else would be too boring to work as a magic card, it's a bad monster.

    Monsters should do one thing that's interesting and do it well enough that it's emblematic of what they are. If they don't even have that one thing that sets them apart, they're too boring. If they have to many things, they're too busy.

    Most 5e monsters fall into one of those two groups, with most of the unintelligent monsters being the former, and the spellcasters being the latter.
    I don't agree. 4e's monsters were too over-specialized--each thing had its own constellation of actions that had to be dealt with and learned separately. It made it so I had to refer to the book for every single thing (and couldn't easily have a group of switch hitter kobolds who could be ranged and melee in the same combat--those were different stat blocks).

    I can handle the parts that distinguish a big cat from a wolf (for example), although the 5e versions of those have pounce vs pack tactics to set them apart. It's the numerical, mechanical bits that I need generated. These are the parts that directly affect balance. The rest is mostly up to flavor and description. I've had the most success with taking a common stat block and simply describing it differently but using the same numbers and base actions. The claws become a flurry of spines, etc.
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by UrielAwakened View Post

    4e also does monster roles which is super important to having balanced, interesting combats.

    5 5e kobolds are just lurkers, or maybe artillery, more or less. They can't go toe-to-toe with 5 PCs in any circumstances and have a chance. They all need to hide and outwit the party to survive such an encounter.

    4e has Kobolds designed for the back line, but also Kobolds designed to use traps, Kobold Dragonshields designed to go toe-to-toe with that 2nd level Paladin, and Kobold Wyrmpriests designed to provide magical support.

    You can craft varied, interesting encounters using nothing but Kobolds, as they are, right out of the box. That's what 4e truly did best: Every group of monster was a swiss army knife and the instructions on how to use them came with the manual.
    And this here confirm you don't even read 5e books.

    The Kobol Dragonshields exist in 5e, along with the Kobold Inventor and the Kobold Scale Sorcerer.

    Even the basic Kobolds are not "just lurkers". As per their fluff, they will harrass the PCs at a distance and lead them in a trap-filled environment (or, if not available, to anywhere that put them at an advantage), and if cornered they will try to swarm the PCs with their superior numbers and their teamwork, laying down their lives in the hope their community will survive.

    You might not like 5e, and that's fair, but stop pretending that it doesn't have the things it does.

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    As a DM that went from 5e to 3.5e (GASP, such blasphemy), my 2 cents are the following:

    It really annoys me that 5e does not have generic monster building blocks. Kobold should not be a stat block, but a race on which you put class levels, feats etc. Same for ogre and orc and all that. That was the major breaking point for me, because I'm fine with homebrewing an Ogre wizard or a Kobold paladin but from some point on the homebrewed abilities stack on and on. In this sense this edition feels lazy, it puts all the work on the DM on having to adjudicate a lot of stuff for which there should be rules.

    For example, if I want to make a human guard in 5e I'll make this guy with a few fighter levels and maybe, if I feel like it, let him be a variant human with a feat, which will inevitably be one of the 5 feats that would matter on a guard, most likely either Polearm Master or Sharpshooter (For halberdiers and watchtowermen). Or I would run the pregiven statblock. All these options would inevitably lead to all the guards in the campaign being very similar mechanically. And no matter how much one claims that you can have different tactics and all to differentiate your adversaries that can only go so far, and a guy with an axe and a shield will almost always cut with his axe and block with his shield. In 3.5e you have a similar choice of class but now you have much more varied feats and abilities to choose from, a given group of guards might be trained to better utilize flanking, some guards might inspire their colleagues, some guards may look to make particurarly brutal strikes, and those are mechanical differences, and that's with 1-3 levels of an NPC class.

    Yes, you could give the same abilities to some guard in 5e, but you'd have to homebrew it, and you'd have to offer it to your players and everyone else in the campaign would have access to the "Good Flanker" feat/ability/fighting style, and that's weight that I'd prefer not to have on me as a DM.

    I think that's the only major difference that makes older edition monsters more interesting mechanically, they're build more like LEGOs than like playmobiles. And the system is made with that in mind. In 5e a monster has a specific statblock. In 3.5e you can repick feats, choose alternate abilities, add class levels, templates. You can mix and match your monster to fit your needs and that gives a greater amount of freedom related to encounter building.

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by PanosIs View Post
    -Snip-
    All of the criticisms you list are both by design and are a feature, not a bug. They may not be your cup of tea (likely the case since you are treating 5E as if it were 3.5 and judging it based on those same metrics) but they are a core component of the system which those who prefer it enjoy.

    Have fun playing 3.5, but can we just... not do this same edition wars crap all over again?
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scripten View Post
    All of the criticisms you list are both by design and are a feature, not a bug. They may not be your cup of tea (likely the case since you are treating 5E as if it were 3.5 and judging it based on those same metrics) but they are a core component of the system which those who prefer it enjoy.

    Have fun playing 3.5, but can we just... not do this same edition wars crap all over again?
    I don't see how the lack of customization when it comes to adversaries outside of homebrewing can be considered a feature, as that is all I'm saying. And that's what I'm adding to the discussion here, not that older edition monsters have more abilities, but that not all, but some of those abilities dictate how those creatures feel in-game. A goblin using bonus action disengage feels different because it has a mechanic associated with his tactics, but most of the 5e monsters don't have anything to outline their intended tactics, it's multiattack and maybe some attack status effect (Poison, Extra Damage, Grappling)

    If I were to answer the OPs "question", I'd look into giving the monsters that seem mechanically bland more distinctive abilities that highlight their character.

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

    Just to reiterate, I'm looking for examples, especially examples from other editions - and, even better, examples from other editions that are absent in 5e.

    So far I've got:

    - Spells.
    - Minions.
    - The medusa's "gradual" gaze (from Colville's video).
    - Some good examples from PF, especially the wendigo.

    What else have we got?
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by PanosIs View Post
    Snip
    Is your argument "I *had* to homebrew monsters in 3.5e, but it's bad when I *can* homebrew monsters in 5e, because they use different rules than PCs"?

    If I want to make guard in 5e, I take Guard (or whatever I feel like would be the most appropriate) statblock, and if I really want to, I put feat, or pack tactics, or hobgoblin's Martial Advantage (to represent the "good flanker") on top. Or I can outright take the hobgoblin, it's already got Martial Advantage, guard-level stats and better equipment, and just reskin it. I don't have to spend an hour building an unimportant NPC using PC rules, I have my guards done in 10 seconds. Unlike 3.5, there's even a handy table listing monster's special abilities if you want help with choosing the most appropriate.

    Nothing stops you from giving NPCs class level and building them like you would PCs, it's just a bad idea and a waste of time.

    And kobolds *are* both stat blocks and a race. Creatures that don't got their racial writeup (or even just the place in the table in DMG) can be extrapolated from their statblocks the same way they had to be in 3.5 if they lacked the "[monsters] as a player characters" bit.
    Last edited by JackPhoenix; 2018-01-03 at 04:49 AM.

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

    I wouldn't call it homebrew, the DMG presents the Death domain and Oathbreaker Paladin as primarily an NPC option. Now, there's an open question as to whether that's actually a good idea, since the Monster stat blocks so far go the (far more elegant imo) route of giving NPCs abilities that replicate certain class features instead of straight up handing out levels. But RAW it's not homebrew to give a monster class levels.
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Yeah, I think the only way it makes sense is if you picture Yeenoghu spreading his taint over every gnoll.

    Go ahead and imagine that.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Diaz View Post
    Just to reiterate, I'm looking for examples, especially examples from other editions - and, even better, examples from other editions that are absent in 5e.

    So far I've got:

    - Spells.
    - Minions.
    - The medusa's "gradual" gaze (from Colville's video).
    - Some good examples from PF, especially the wendigo.

    What else have we got?
    That video is garbage (the part about the monsters, at least, I haven't watched the "history of 4e" part), the 5e Medusa *has* a gradual gaze (unless if you fail your save by a lot).

    Also, I'm not up to date with Pathfinder monsters, but I'm pretty sure the Wendigo is just a spooky harasser like many of 5e monsters can be.

    And plenty of monsters have spells.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2018-01-03 at 08:09 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    That video is garbage (the part about the monsters, at least, I haven't watched the "history of 4e" part), the 5e Medusa *has* a gradual gaze (unless if you fail your save by a lot).

    Also, I'm not up to date with Pathfinder monsters, but I'm pretty sure the Wendigo is just a spooky harasser like many of 5e monsters can be.

    And plenty of monsters have spells.
    You're right, what I meant is that the 4e medusa is *more* gradual, 3e monsters have *more* spells, and 4e minions are"more" frail.

    I didn't find any monster like the PF Wendigo in 5e, but that is a very specific creature and AFAICT it was written in a PF book made specifically to make creatures with interesting twists.

    But I'm not defending any examples - I'm just LOOKING for them. As I've said in the OP, I've been hearing this "5e monsters boring bags of HPs" a lot lately.

    I'm not convinced - more spells, more saves or less PH does not make monsters more interesting IMO.

    So, I'd like to see some examples.

    EDIT: also, here are some good ones form 4e. Bloodied, different crits and "twists" are certainly interesting.
    Last edited by Eric Diaz; 2018-01-03 at 10:20 AM.
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Diaz View Post
    You're right, what I meant is that the 4e medusa is *more* gradual, 3e monsters have *more* spells, and 4e minions are"more" frail.

    I didn't find any monster like the PF Wendigo in 5e, but that is a very specific creature and AFAICT it was written in a PF book made specifically to make creatures with interesting twists.

    But I'm not defending any examples - I'm just LOOKING for them. As I've said in the OP, I've been hearing this "5e monsters boring bags of HPs" a lot lately.

    I'm not convinced - more spells, more saves or less PH does not make monsters more interesting IMO.

    So, I'd like to see some examples.
    You can't capture the real essence of a good storyteller that makes the encounter a living scene rather then just a pile of numbers being compared.

    It's still up to the level of play of the table. Good players and good DM do exist.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardakan View Post
    You can't capture the real essence of a good storyteller that makes the encounter a living scene rather then just a pile of numbers being compared.

    It's still up to the level of play of the table. Good players and good DM do exist.
    Well, I'm not looking for numbers, but cool powers - wall of ice, bloodied stuff, cool crits, the medusa's gaze, etc. (I've edited my post, maybe after you made yours).

    A GM can create cool powers. I've created a few. I'm looking for more.
    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 War_lord View Post
    I wouldn't call it homebrew, the DMG presents the Death domain and Oathbreaker Paladin as primarily an NPC option. Now, there's an open question as to whether that's actually a good idea, since the Monster stat blocks so far go the (far more elegant imo) route of giving NPCs abilities that replicate certain class features instead of straight up handing out levels. But RAW it's not homebrew to give a monster class levels.
    Actually, that's a fair point, and I am interested to see what people consider to be homebrew versus not-homebrew. It seems like there's a scale of what constitutes homebrew for various systems/groups. Maybe I'll make a thread for it, if I'm not too lazy.
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    One way I like to make my fights interesting is to steal Phase mechanics from MMOs like WoW.

    You have to be careful not to make it too scripted, and be prepared for the PCs to come up with things you didn't think of, but overall it works really well.

    Example: For one Big Bad Dragon and no mooks. Three phases, each activated after taking 100 HP of damage (effectively, the BBEG has 300 HP). Each phase the Dragon gets 1-2 Legendary Saves, as determined by relative party strength.

    Phase One: Dragon fights in human form. Has a few spells, some basic Legendary Actions, and a longsword (or whatever weapon fits the story).

    Transition One: Immediately upon taking 100 HP of damage (even if during a PC's turn), the dragon smashes the ground (DC 15 Str save or knocked back 15 feet), transforms into its draconic form, and takes flight.

    Phase Two: Dragon flies around staying out of melee range as much as possible, hitting PCs with its breath weapon. You could have some mooks here if you want, but it's not strictly necessary. Legendary Actions if necessary, or just an Auto-Recharge on the breath weapon if you really hate your players.

    Transition Two: On its next turn after taking 100 HP of damage, the dragon lands and uses its Frightening Presence ability.

    Phase Three: The dragon fights as a normal dragon of its color. It begins using Lair Actions here as well (assuming its in its lair).

  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    I think it's fair to say that while the 3.X statblocks are complicated and full of abilities because the system is complicated and demands to have something to counter the tons of abilities the PCs have, and that 4es statblocks are full of abilities because they listed all the moves the monster could do (or nearly so) while they were borderline to do anything else, 5e works more on a "everyone is capable to do X, and this guy has an ability to do X+" system.
    Spoiler: 5e monsters still need to counter the tons of abilities PCs have. They just can't. And when that happens, combat is boring.

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

    Compare the Pathfinder Pitfiend to the 5e Pitfiend.

    One SLA I miss is Blasphemy aka low level mooks save or die. That lone ability helps preserve verisimilitude for our group. When our group of 7 level 8 PCs killed a Pitfiend, that broke our immersion. And no we don't think a Pitfiend should need masterful tactics and his army to kill some journeymen adventures.

    A PF Pitfiend can also scry, use persistent image, turn invisible, and form higher tier devils from lesser devils. It's just cooler without the GM having to add these powers ad hoc.

  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    If I want to create a Gnoll Spellcaser:

    -In 5e, I can take the Gnoll statblock, add the Spellcasting trait, figure out which spells and how many I want it to have (generally based a specific class's capacities), modify the stats and equipment as I judge appropriate, then fiddle with the HPs/AC/bonus to attack or spell/save DC/damages/etc until it is of a CR appropriate for the encounter I have in mind.

    -In 3.PF, I have to build a NPC, first selecting the stats (with the Gnoll's racial modifiers), then the class/multiclass (with or without an archetype), then the level (with the creature's racial HD taken into account if needed), then the spells according to the class/mulitclass/archetype spell list, then the feats, then the equipment (probably involving magic items to give them a chance against the PCs, if the level is high enough), then calculating the CR, and re-doing the NPC if it doesn't fit the encounter

    -In 4e... well, I'm not sure, but I think it involves taking a Controller or Artillery NPC of a given level, deciding if it's a Solo/Elite/Standard/Minion and adding the Gnoll traits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhedyn View Post
    Spoiler: 5e monsters still need to counter the tons of abilities PCs have. They just can't. And when that happens, combat is boring.
    Spoiler: it's not true.

    Unless the monster have a deliberate weakness or the encounter deliberately made easy, there is no PC ability that will destroy an appropriate CR encounter without cost.

    Also, plenty of monsters can counter or at least resist to the PCs' abilities, and then retaliate.

    And finally, even if the PCs do trivialize an encounter somehow, how is that boring? Hell, people have been advocating to add Minions so the PCs have more bad guys they can trivialize.

  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhedyn View Post
    Spoiler: 5e monsters still need to counter the tons of abilities PCs have. They just can't. And when that happens, combat is boring.
    No they don't and no it isn't, at least not inherently. You're projecting your own wants and desires onto a system that obviously isn't what you want. I'm legitimately sorry you feel forced to play it, as doing things you find boring is hardly a good time, but that's not really anyone else's problem, to be blunt.

    5E's combat is not based around hard counters like 3.5 or PF. It's based around a particular balance of monster/NPC statblocks being used in strategic asymmetry with the players' own strategies. Monsters in 5E don't work like PCs and treating them like they do is a recipe for boring encounters. The best encounters I've played/ran have been based around creating synergy between various monsters' statblocks and the environment to create a unique puzzle for the players to solve.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhedyn View Post
    Compare the Pathfinder Pitfiend to the 5e Pitfiend.

    One SLA I miss is Blasphemy aka low level mooks save or die. That lone ability helps preserve verisimilitude for our group. When our group of 7 level 8 PCs killed a Pitfiend, that broke our immersion. And no we don't think a Pitfiend should need masterful tactics and his army to kill some journeymen adventures.

    A PF Pitfiend can also scry, use persistent image, turn invisible, and form higher tier devils from lesser devils. It's just cooler without the GM having to add these powers ad hoc.
    Your DM didn't correctly use the encounter calculations. This encounter is only considered to be "Hard", not "Deadly", so it's hardly a surprise that you won. You brought preconceived notions to an encounter and had your immersion broken because your meta-knowledge was subverted? That isn't a problem with the system...

    PF is a fine game. It's still fundamentally different from 5E. The 5E Pit Fiend resists normal weapons, gets massive bonuses to saves, and has advantage on spell save rolls. It also has a poisonous bite and innate spellcasting to make the fight more interesting. If you want an even more "interesting" battle, then you give it lair/legendary actions and let it do a bit more. Failing that, you complement its abilities with other monsters or fight it in an environment that is more than just a white room. Again, your problem with the system is that you are not paying attention to what it is and how it works. If you don't like it, that's fine, but it's not a system failure.
    Last edited by Scripten; 2018-01-03 at 12:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    To be thread relevant, you did not address how the 5e Pitfiend is as interesting or more interesting than the PF Pitfiend.

    Because comparatively the 5e Pitfiend does feel like just a sack of hit points.
    Last edited by Rhedyn; 2018-01-03 at 12:06 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Default Re: Are 5e monsters boring bags of HPs? PROVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhedyn View Post
    Compare the Pathfinder Pitfiend to the 5e Pitfiend.

    One SLA I miss is Blasphemy aka low level mooks save or die. That lone ability helps preserve verisimilitude for our group. When our group of 7 level 8 PCs killed a Pitfiend, that broke our immersion. And no we don't think a Pitfiend should need masterful tactics and his army to kill some journeymen adventures.

    A PF Pitfiend can also scry, use persistent image, turn invisible, and form higher tier devils from lesser devils. It's just cooler without the GM having to add these powers ad hoc.
    HOW did your group of 7 level 8 PCs kill a Pit Fiend?

    At that level, a Pit Fiend can just trap all of you in a Wall of Fire and then Fireball you to death, while Multiattacking anyone who manages to get out into a bloody pulp.

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