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    Default Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    My players absolutely hate it when a monster has an ability that they cannot replicate. If it is an ability out of the monster manual, they will usually grumble and tolerate it, but if it is a custom ability they absolutely read my the riot act. I assume this is just my players being crazy and not normal, right? Anyone else have experience with that?


    But one of my players absolutely loathes legendary / lair actions*. He is normally one of my more reasonable players, but every time legendary actions come up in game or merely in discussion he immediately goes into a bad mood and starts grumbling and complaining or quietly sulking.


    This came to a head yesterday when they were fighting a dragon. He complained loudly the entire fight about how BS legendary actions were, and at one point there was an unclear rule involving a monster's legendary action and I needed to make a ruling and we were discussing it and the player but in and said, "No point in discussing this. Talakeal always rules in the monster's favor when legendary actions are concerned. We might as well just write a house rule that states: Change description of all legendary actions to "The monster does whatever Talakeal wants it to do."

    Then, when his character hit zero HP (not dead, just disabled and fully heal-able) the player got up, pulled out his phone, and went into the other room to surf the net rather than pay attention to the game.


    So yeah, for some reason, this player really really hates legendary actions. I try to explain that they are necessary to keep the action moving and to counteract the advantages provided by action economy, but the player simply doesn't see it and just gets mad and turns the discussion into a fight any time I bring it up. At this point I am legitimately considered house ruling legendary actions out of the game and just giving boss monsters extra HP and damage to compensate because I am tired of fighting about it.

    Anyone have any advice? Either how to socially disarm the situation or mechanically change the rules? Anyone have any similar opinions or experiences with legendary actions?



    *: For anyone not familiar with this concept, it is basically a concept introduced in recent editions of D&D where certain "boss" monsters have a few special abilities that they can only use as bonus actions during the player's turn.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    The most problematic lair actions are the ones that allow for repositioning. The players make a plan, think about how their turn works, and then the monster repositions and then it's all back to square one. It's difficult to lock them down, and they're able to react to changes faster than the players. The wing buffet that dragons have is particularly infuriating to melee characters, and a lich using something like Thunder Step with a legendary action is just brutal.

    And to a lesser extent... well, they can place their attacks when and where they hurt, and they can be versatile enough that it feels that the monster is running on GM fiat.

    A way to tone down the hostility may be to give some indication of what the monster's legendary actions are likely to be, on the monster's turn. It takes away some of the dread, gives you some idea of what you could likely expect, and generally makes them less of an intimidating blank check of 'screw the players' that they might otherwise be. More 'laying a trap card' by saying how three balls of energy (three cantrips) whir into existence around the lich, or how the dragon flexes his wings (foreshadowing a wing buffet). Speak with the player first, and if they're receptive to a compromise, treat them as extra readied actions, with all the extra description that entails.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    *: For anyone not familiar with this concept, it is basically a concept introduced in recent editions of D&D where certain "boss" monsters have a few special abilities that they can only use as bonus actions during the player's turn.
    Hooooooold the phone.

    It is not during the players' turns. If it is, that is your key mistake here and I understand why the player feels they might be intrusive. They are only directly before or after a player's turn. They cannot interrupt their initiative. Disrupting the flow of planning is one thing, but disrupting the flow of a player's turn is very much disrupting something that players and game designers keep sacrosanct.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Fable Wright View Post
    The most problematic lair actions are the ones that allow for repositioning. The players make a plan, think about how their turn works, and then the monster repositions and then it's all back to square one. It's difficult to lock them down, and they're able to react to changes faster than the players. The wing buffet that dragons have is particularly infuriating to melee characters, and a lich using something like Thunder Step with a legendary action is just brutal.

    And to a lesser extent... well, they can place their attacks when and where they hurt, and they can be versatile enough that it feels that the monster is running on GM fiat.

    A way to tone down the hostility may be to give some indication of what the monster's legendary actions are likely to be, on the monster's turn. It takes away some of the dread, gives you some idea of what you could likely expect, and generally makes them less of an intimidating blank check of 'screw the players' that they might otherwise be. More 'laying a trap card' by saying how three balls of energy (three cantrips) whir into existence around the lich, or how the dragon flexes his wings (foreshadowing a wing buffet). Speak with the player first, and if they're receptive to a compromise, treat them as extra readied actions, with all the extra description that entails.
    It really seems to be less the surprise aspect of it and more the concept of a monster being able to do something that a player fundamentally cannot do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fable Wright View Post
    Hooooooold the phone.

    It is not during the players' turns. If it is, that is your key mistake here and I understand why the player feels they might be intrusive. They are only directly before or after a player's turn. They cannot interrupt their initiative. Disrupting the flow of planning is one thing, but disrupting the flow of a player's turn is very much disrupting something that players and game designers keep sacrosanct.
    I am aware of that, I was just giving a very brief overview for people who may not be familiar with the term.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    It really seems to be less the surprise aspect of it and more the concept of a monster being able to do something that a player fundamentally cannot do.
    Players can get Legendary Actions through True Polymorph.

    Players can also do several things that monsters don't, such as death avoidance, domain Channel Divinities, Conquest Paladin lockdowns, and so on. It's not 3.5e anymore. But... well, the players can't get eye-beams for at-will disintegration like a Beholder can. The players can't get dragon-strength breath weapons outside of Shapechange and such, but they don't complain about that in most systems.

    If it's really just about player/monster asymmetry, have you considered letting players make a lair where they *can* have lair actions via traps or spells? Or, in a climactic encounter defending townspeople, they temporarily get (restricted) Legendary Actions?
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Coming from a PF background, legendary/lair actions are one of my favorite things about 5e: they reduce the degree of rocket tag by metering out what an enemy boss can do. Instead of a single extremely powerful spell or flurry of attacks, they can have several moderate strength abilities. Not as much of a fan of legendary saves, though. It's an inelegant solution to a persistent problem. That's not the question at hand, though, so to keep it on topic: neither I nor anyone I've played with has reacted negatively to legendary actions.

    I can understand the interest in PC-NPC symmetry but, as Fable said, that basically went out the window in 5e. Even in 3.5/PF there were plenty of assymetrical things that you could only get through high-level or convoluted means. It feels like a weird hill to die on and while I obviously only have the context from your post, your problem player in question comes across as, well, a problem player. Making snide remarks and walking away once something doesn't go their way doesn't really paint a picture of someone I'd be super interested in gaming with.

    It's cliche advice but I'd just ask what they want from the game before you try to houserule it. Why are they so mad about legendary actions? Would they be mad about if enemies just got extra actions, but only on the enemy's turn? What if they had no more actions, but each action was stronger to make up for it? Do they not like the (perceived) increase in raw power, or do they not like the way it circumvents the normal conventions of initiative? Maybe it really is just exclusively about the asymmetry? Based on your posts it definitely looks like you're leaning towards the asymmetry being the issue and that's just...weird to me. It's such a non-issue for me.
    Last edited by Elysiume; 2019-05-13 at 02:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I DM'd 3.0, 3.5, 4e, and 5e. I can say, without hesitation, that Legendary Actions are a boon to the game.

    Your player seems to resent that Action Economy does not work in his favor when hanging up on a single monster. I can say, without a doubt, based on your story, that he is being petulant.

    I've run dragon fights in 3.x, and Action Economy makes those things a lot less exciting than they should be. Example: I once ran a party of 14th level characters against a CR 20 ish Red Dragon. 6 PC turns to only one for the dragon meant it was not much of a challenge. This was not only disappointing to me, as a DM (since I wanted my players to experience something epic and awesome), but anticlimactic to my players, who felt kind of jaded.

    4e gave us Solo Monsters, and barring making a creature a Solo thru templates, all Solo monsters had lots of Reactions, Interrupts, and other off-turn actions. Dragons, for example, upon reaching their Bloodied threshold immediately recharge and use their breath weapon. This made encounters with a single creature way more fun and exciting for everyone. Beholders were a lot of fun, too.

    5e gave us Legendary Actions. This was the inheritance of 4e's Solo monsters. It makes creatures able to challenge an entire party when encountered alone. Lair Actions, likewise. They emphasize the extra danger involved in attacking a creature in its home turf. Better to lure an Ancient Dragon into neutral ground than fight in its home.

    Your player seems, to my perception, to be more interested in "winning" than "playing". I, as a player, have been in combat with Legendary creatures, and my take-away is that it was a lot of fun.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I mean, everyone has the option of Extra Attack. Since you're on the topic of 5e, Fighters can get up to 5 attacks in a single turn (Attack, Extra Attack x3, Two Weapon Fighting).

    A Fighter + Sorcerer multiclass can cast up to 3 spells in the same turn (Action Surge + Quicken Spell).

    So the problem isn't quantity. The problem is perception.

    So my recommendation is to change how your boss works a little bit. Remove his Multiattack feature and instead rely on his Legendary Actions to implement his attacks. So while players do all of their attacks in a burst, the Boss has them divided between all of the turns equally. Dial up the damage a little bit to compensate for the loss of Multiattack. Then just explain that this change actually makes things easier on players, as it gives them the means of responding to an enemy's attack as opposed to dying in a single turn. Now everyone has Extra Attack, the boss just has a slightly modified version.

    He's probably a 3.5 player or something. 3.5 had monsters and players come from the same creation system, and not having that system probably has the player feel like the game is being unfairly tilted.

    The funny part is, it's being tilted in his favor.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    5e gave us Legendary Actions. This was the inheritance of 4e's Solo monsters. It makes creatures able to challenge an entire party when encountered alone. Lair Actions, likewise. They emphasize the extra danger involved in attacking a creature in its home turf. Better to lure an Ancient Dragon into neutral ground than fight in its home.
    Yeah, we're working on porting some version of these back into PF, so that we have boss monsters with true action economy but with the prior system's more heroic-feeling scaling. It was definitely a good idea on 5e's part - people want big climactic solo-monster boss fights, but trying to do those in 3.5/PF is just too swingy - either the monster crushes everyone or they wax it in a couple of rounds and shrug.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2019-05-13 at 03:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I sympathize in general with wanting symmetry with NPCs, at the least, but monsters are fundamentally different.

    Have you tried a points based system like BESM, GURPS, or Mutants and Masterminds? Building monsters as PCs is a lot easier in those, if that is the problem your players are having.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I sympathize in general with wanting symmetry with NPCs, at the least, but monsters are fundamentally different.

    Have you tried a points based system like BESM, GURPS, or Mutants and Masterminds? Building monsters as PCs is a lot easier in those, if that is the problem your players are having.
    His players are simply huge jerks.

    In D&D 3E and upwards, monsters are designed to counter a whole party of 3 to 5 players if needed, so they tend to pack more oomph than what's available on the player side of the table. Legendary and Lair actions are there to counter the more or less automatic advantage in the economy of actions granted by pitting a group against a solo monster. I mean, you can always use a setup like old Onyxias Lair in WoW, adding waves of mooks to negate this advantage, but that doesn't really carry the same mood and feeling of confronting the big dragon.

    Either one understands and accepts that this asymmetry is there by design (and why it was designed in such a way), or the meaningless hissy fits start.

    (This is also the reason why some 3.5E abilities are flat-out broken. Having access to stuff that was meant to be a challenge for a whole party quickly sinks any semblance of balance.)

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    My players absolutely hate it when a monster has an ability that they cannot replicate. If it is an ability out of the monster manual, they will usually grumble and tolerate it, but if it is a custom ability they absolutely read my the riot act. I assume this is just my players being crazy and not normal, right? Anyone else have experience with that?

    Anyone have any advice? Either how to socially disarm the situation or mechanically change the rules? Anyone have any similar opinions or experiences with legendary actions?
    Your story has 3 elements
    1) Your players do not like the asymmetry between monster NPC mechanics and PC mechanics. This has come to a head with Legendary Actions. Both liking and disliking asymmetry are common preferences players might have. Personally I would prefer 3rd edition's symmetry if I were making a monsterous PC and I can see the advantages of 5th edition's asymmetry when creating encounters.

    2) Your players are reacting crazy (how much of that is hyperbole?) when you use the asymmetry. It would be better if they attempted a dialogue rather than passive aggressive grumbling, reading you the riot act, or tuning out of the game.

    3) You do not say what they dislike about the asymmetry / legendary actions. Talk to them? Don't try to explain why legendary actions are great / required. You have already told them those details. Right now, what you want to know is specifics from them, so you can find a solution.


    So my suggestion has a few parts:
    1) Most of your horror stories sound like a breakdown in communication. You like X for reason A. They dislike X for reason B. You know reason A but you have not heard reason B. Once you know reason B and they know reason A, then you can use Y for reason A & B.
    2) I can guess at some of their criticisms.
    2a) Asymmetry might mean that "I can see a monster do a cool thing, but at the price of knowing I can never do that cool thing". If this is one of their concerns, then it can be solved by creating custom feats / spells with the players. Now the monsters and PCs still use asymmetrical rules but both get access to the cool thing.
    2b) Since 5E reduced the number of PC reactions to 1, and increased the number monster out of turn actions to 1+ per PC, then the players might feel like their characters are moving in slow motion with limited ability to react. If this is the concern, then legendary actions might be the wrong tool for solving the action economy. Consider giving the Boss reinforcements rather than extra turns. In 3rd edition I often made the boss only half of the encounter budget and made sure they had worthy minions including minibosses.
    3) In the long run you would want to get everyone on board with being more respectful to each other. Defusing the social situations earlier via better communication will help build the trust and respect that will temper temporary emotions.
    Last edited by OldTrees1; 2019-05-14 at 02:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Well, I guess there is a few things you could try.

    You could tell the primary problem player (PPP) to try out DMing a series of combats with Solo creatures that do and do not have any Legendary Actions. Non-legendary action Solo’s will probably need additional NPCs to make the combats not lame.

    Perhaps you can provide an NPC ally to the Party with Legendary Actions (like a Unicorn or two, acting as mounts in a dramatic combat-chase scene). That way your Party can benefit from some combos without having to wait a whole round (and not have to rely on using the Ready Action).

    Alternatively, you could just threaten to use more badass creatures that are also now worth less XP. “Because PPP is such a whiner, you get to fight two Adult Black Dragons with their own separate Breath Weapon recharges, fortunately they don’t have Legendary Actions anymore”.

    Last idea I have is to use nesting monsters (one inside another) who can burst out part way through a fight, or just use Paragon Monsters from the Angry DM. https://theangrygm.com/return-of-the...ght-now-in-5e/

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    tl;dr:

    Players: Complain complain complain whiiiiiiiiiiine

    Your players would absolutelly hate playing AD&D or the older editions, where monsters have very different rules from players.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Between this and the clarification in the Railroading thread, it seems like the issue may be with you appearing to pull out unexpected maneuvers with no notice.

    You might try foreshadowing them in a way, or even demonstrating them if you can do so in some way, so that your players have an expectation of what may happen.

    So for the giant example, having him sneeze or whatever as the players came up to him, and describe the strong gust of wind, would make “and then he blows out his nose and it’s a Gust Of Wind less surprising.

    Same with legendary/lair actions, especially custom ones. Show the players something that suggests the ability rather than just springing it on them. If possible, and within rules/limitations, just show them the ability outright, like how horror movies will often have the monster do whatever scary thing it does to an unnamed minor character to show you what it’s capable of.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I don't like legendary actions either (primarily because it's a mechanical solution with in-universe consequences to a narrative problem that doesn't exist in-universe), but you'll either have to put up with it, or give up your single-big-boss fights, or go back to 3.5-style action economy shenanigans (i.e. bosses don't have more options than players, but they're more optimized/prepared, have minions, traps, contingencies etc.). Give them the three options, and see what they prefer. Let them switch back to legendary actions once (after the high-OP psion obliterates them in the surprise round), and then put your foot down and stick with whatever's been chosen.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    I don't like legendary actions either (primarily because it's a mechanical solution with in-universe consequences to a narrative problem that doesn't exist in-universe), but you'll either have to put up with it, or give up your single-big-boss fights, or go back to 3.5-style action economy shenanigans (i.e. bosses don't have more options than players, but they're more optimized/prepared, have minions, traps, contingencies etc.). Give them the three options, and see what they prefer. Let them switch back to legendary actions once (after the high-OP psion obliterates them in the surprise round), and then put your foot down and stick with whatever's been chosen.
    I view legendary actions as working just fine in-universe. Watch any number of fights that these kinds of monsters are meant to emulate in fiction on TV or in novels, and you'll see the single big monster handling action deficit by being able to take more actions than any individual character, using invulnerabilities to shake off individuals' actions, and generally the challenge being posed because the actions the monster takes are sufficient in number to inconvenience each member of the heroic ensemble as if he were being individually fought by a single foe.

    Legendary actions are just how the big monsters "keep up." They really are acting that often, and are that tough. It's not a kludge any more than any other mechanical construct to model something. In this case, it's modeling the monster's real-in-universe ability to be that hard to put down (in the case of things like auto-making a save) or that fast (in the case of actions that let them take extra actions out-of-turn).

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I view legendary actions as working just fine in-universe. Watch any number of fights that these kinds of monsters are meant to emulate in fiction on TV or in novels [...]
    Hang on. "In fiction" does not mean "in-universe". The fact that it's fiction means it's not in-universe.

    There are several conflicting interests here:
    (1) People want the story of a big bad dragon that is defeated by a party of four amazing adventurers.
    (2) People want the game to be fair, which such big dragon fights tend not to be, if the dragon is built like the adventurers (either the dragon has higher-level abilities that do more per action, in order to mitigate the action disadvantage, or it gets obliterated way too quickly).
    (3) People want the universe be to "realistic" (or "believable" or "sensible" or whatever), which legendary actions tend not to be ("Hey look, three people walked into my lair, I'm suddenly twice as fast").

    Legendary actions enable (1) to be combined with (2) (at least in the sense that the dragon and the adventurers use abilities of comparable strength), but at the cost of (3). I prefer (2) and (3) to be prioritized, hence I don't prefer legendary actions. That's all.
    Last edited by ExLibrisMortis; 2019-05-16 at 04:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    Hang on. "In fiction" does not mean "in-universe". The fact that it's fiction means it's not in-universe.

    There are several conflicting interests here:
    (1) People want the story of a big bad dragon that is defeated by a party of four amazing adventurers.
    (2) People want the game to be fair, which such big dragon fights tend not to be, if the dragon is built like the adventurers (either the dragon has higher-level abilities that do more per action, in order to mitigate the action disadvantage, or it gets obliterated way too quickly).
    (3) People want the universe be to "realistic" (or "believable" or "sensible" or whatever), which legendary actions tend not to be ("Hey look, three people walked into my lair, I'm suddenly twice as fast").

    Legendary actions enable (1) to be combined with (2) (at least in the sense that the dragon and the adventurers use abilities of comparable strength), but at the cost of (3). I prefer (2) and (3) to be prioritized, hence I don't prefer legendary actions. That's all.
    I don't see how this is at the cost of (3). The dragon is a powerful monster with unique abilities. It can do certain things, including make attacks more often than certain other monsters, or succeed at saves significantly more reliably, possibly with a supreme effort of will. (Legendary saves are usually of the "after they fail, choose to make them succeed instead" variety, which is fairly easily mapped to "No. I. Do. Not. Give. In.")

    What's unbelievable about a universe where a legendary monster is able to withstand things, or make an attack? If anything, the round structure that usually forces monsters to take all actions on one intiative tick is more counter to (3) than are legendary actions they can take off-turn.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I don't see how this is at the cost of (3). The dragon is a powerful monster with unique abilities. It can do certain things, including make attacks more often than certain other monsters, or succeed at saves significantly more reliably, possibly with a supreme effort of will. (Legendary saves are usually of the "after they fail, choose to make them succeed instead" variety, which is fairly easily mapped to "No. I. Do. Not. Give. In.")

    What's unbelievable about a universe where a legendary monster is able to withstand things, or make an attack? If anything, the round structure that usually forces monsters to take all actions on one intiative tick is more counter to (3) than are legendary actions they can take off-turn.
    I think the disconnect is that their power scales with the number of foes they face.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I think the disconnect is that their power scales with the number of foes they face.
    It does? I thought they had a fixed limit. Do they get (# of players) legendary actions, or something?


    If so, while it's a bit of a Quantum Ogre scenario, it's easily enough explained by one of a few options: this dragon only ever had that many, or he used some earlier in the day, or exploit the fact that not all of them are visible to obfuscate how many he actually has. (Legendary saves don't have to be announced, after all. Just record the uses fairly.)

    Scaling with number of PCs is not nearly the problem that scaling with PC level is in terms of universe-cheating. It falls into a similar category as not rolling up the random encounter until the party encounters it.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    What's unbelievable about a universe where a legendary monster is able to withstand things, or make an attack?
    What's unbelievable is that a "legendary monster" is "legendary" because it's present at a certain point in the story; it's not "legendary" until it's actually being challenged by a group of PCs. Because of the way legendary actions work, the narrative structure is present and detectable in-universe--boss monsters know that they're boss monsters, PCs pray to the DM for high rolls, and all that. Which is all fine, but I'm not a fan.

    Another way of looking at it is this: legendary actions produce monsters that are perfectly tuned to produce just-about-certain victories for the PCs, that still feel like they had to work for them. I.e. it reduces dragon hunting to sport.

    In contrast, in 3.5, it's generally the game rules that are detectable in-universe, at the cost of (1); sometimes that means your "ideal story" breaks down, because in the real world, most people who challenge dragons either die to attacks they cannot possibly resist, or kill it in one round because of overwhelming action advantage (which is the sensible way to hunt big dangerous things, after all).

    And yes, the round structure isn't exactly good for (3), but I don't think it's easy to have everyone act at once... some sacrifices must be made to enable (4) (and to a certain extent (2)), which is: "The game must practical, i.e. it must be physically playable on a tabletop, and socially/intellectually playable with normal people, without too much effort" (3.5 violates (4) big-time if you play high-optimization casters).


    Edit (number 3, sorry): What Talakeal said. I'm totally fine with an expanded form of Combat Reflexes that you can dump on a monster to give it more immediate-action counters, extra luck rerolls, and all that, as long as the abilities are always-on and part of what makes the monster so powerful in the first place.
    Last edited by ExLibrisMortis; 2019-05-16 at 04:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I honestly hate Legendary actions. They are pure mechanical anti-fluff hogwash that breaks the suspension of disbelief we're aiming for in our storytelling game. It goes full swing into "this is a game and here are ways my boss monster can cheat".

    But hey, I happen to like the theater of the mind. Maybe you prefer Final Fantasy games where there's some deep involving story cutscenes -- followed by a boss battle where the enemy literally cuts you in half every other round. A bit jarring for me but the games are still fun as a solo experience.

    D&D keeps becoming more and more like a video game and less like its original concept. But hey, that's what sells, especially in this age of gamers.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I haven't seen any entries that say, "Because this monster isn't a boss monster for this scenario, he doesn't get his legendary actions." I've seen entries that say, "This isn't his lair, so he can't take lair actions," but that is very much a (3)-function. Lair actions are things that the monster can do because it has a connection - mystical or just in terms of having prepared it - to his lair.

    A mad bomber in his lair likely would have lair actions involving pre-placed explosives, for instance, and couldn't use them in the Temple of Fiery Boom despite having beaten the party there and started studying the explosive properties of the Boom-plane, because he hadn't set the bombs up the way he has back home. A dragon who's just chased out the gnomes living in the caves she wants to claim as her new lair hasn't been there long enough to infuse the region with her magical essence, so it isn't her lair.

    But I haven't seen anything in monster entries that say "these legendary actions only apply if the PCs are facing them at the right time."

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    But I haven't seen anything in monster entries that say "these legendary actions only apply if the PCs are facing them at the right time."
    Legendary actions in general only happen when initiative has been rolled, i.e. when the monster is in its role as boss monster, instead of being a far-away villain or future threat.
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    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    Legendary actions in general only happen when initiative has been rolled, i.e. when the monster is in its role as boss monster, instead of being a far-away villain or future threat.
    The same is true of melee attacks and fiery breath. Are you suggesting those break (3) as well?

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I also strongly dislike this concept. Just watch Teen Titans, or any of a number of other "1-vs-many" shows, where the 1 gets to act to counter each of the many for no discernable reason. And, obviously, only when "narratively appropriate".

    By all means, give me two dragons, or let us realistically* pown the lone dragon. Both are fine. Unrealism (counterrealism?) is not.

    Now, as for PCs not getting the abilities… eh, it depends. If the ability is realistic, then the PCs should be able to duplicate it. They should be able to create spell-firing golems that fly around their heads to emulate Beholder eyes, or attach/grow animated wings or whatever.

    IMO, it's the Gamist / Simulationist / Narrative argument. Are your players familiar with these concepts? If your players keep whining incoherently, you should probably work to gain a shared vocabulary.

    * Yes, I realize how silly that sounds
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I also strongly dislike this concept. Just watch Teen Titans, or any of a number of other "1-vs-many" shows, where the 1 gets to act to counter each of the many for no discernable reason. And, obviously, only when "narratively appropriate".

    By all means, give me two dragons, or let us realistically* pown the lone dragon. Both are fine. Unrealism (counterrealism?) is not.

    Now, as for PCs not getting the abilities… eh, it depends. If the ability is realistic, then the PCs should be able to duplicate it. They should be able to create spell-firing golems that fly around their heads to emulate Beholder eyes, or attach/grow animated wings or whatever.

    IMO, it's the Gamist / Simulationist / Narrative argument. Are your players familiar with these concepts? If your players keep whining incoherently, you should probably work to gain a shared vocabulary.

    * Yes, I realize how silly that sounds
    You are aware that real-world battles of one-v-many have a sort-of bottleneck effect, too, and that there are tactics for this that make it look like the one gets to act more often than the many due to openings and lack thereof, right?

    When it's a huge monster vs. normal sized guys, it's even more realistic. Heck, dragons have all those different attacks; rolling them on their own initiatives would make it "look" more like it does in Teen Titans and other shows.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    You are aware that real-world battles of one-v-many have a sort-of bottleneck effect, too, and that there are tactics for this that make it look like the one gets to act more often than the many due to openings and lack thereof, right?

    When it's a huge monster vs. normal sized guys, it's even more realistic. Heck, dragons have all those different attacks; rolling them on their own initiatives would make it "look" more like it does in Teen Titans and other shows.
    Eureka! This is what we need to do then. Roll initiative for every weapon.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    The same is true of melee attacks and fiery breath.
    No, it's not. Dragons can attack or burn whatever they please, no PCs required.

    In any case, me not liking legendary actions isn't the topic at hand, so let's get return to Talakeal's players and what do do with them.
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