Wandering Monsters: Orcs and Gnolls

Wandering Monsters: Orcs and Gnolls
James Wyatt

In a recent Rule-of-Three article, Rodney Thompson talked a little bit about our approach to monster design. That column was well-timed, because we’re starting a big push on monsters right now. The D&D Story Team is leading the charge on this effort for the moment, and this column is a place for us to share what we’re thinking so that we can solicit your input.


Talk about this article here.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

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Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

There is a false dichotomy when it comes to D&D monster bravery. It assumes you are a fight-to-the-death berserker or a cheating dirty coward.



Not in any game that I've been in since high school.  In high school it was like that, and then we grew up.

That said, if a creature is known for ambushing, attacking the weak, and not standing the ground unless they have a clear advantage, that creature is cowardly. 
I don't like the divine associations.  That was well and good for AD&D, but the game has progressed.  I think Next should come with a Campaign Setting and if they want to say these races worship those gods in the campaign settings, cool.  But not in the MM.


Orcs, I always saw Orcs as conquerors.  They gather as resources become depleted and then march on the next settlement.  Particularly dwarven settlements where they can escape the sun.

Orcs are low level adventure monsters.  Orc hordes are high level adventure monsters.




Gnolls, similar to Orcs they are at their worst when pushed to expand their territory.  A drought in the grasslands could cause them to gather and eventually move to find food.  Left alone, they are just one of the monsters of the grasslands where you find hyenas.

There is a false dichotomy when it comes to D&D monster bravery. It assumes you are a fight-to-the-death berserker or a cheating dirty coward.



Not in any game that I've been in since high school.  In high school it was like that, and then we grew up.

That said, if a creature is known for ambushing, attacking the weak, and not standing the ground unless they have a clear advantage, that creature is cowardly. 



I wouldn't call that cowardly I'd call that smart. That's generally how wizards play...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
There is a false dichotomy when it comes to D&D monster bravery. It assumes you are a fight-to-the-death berserker or a cheating dirty coward.



Not in any game that I've been in since high school.  In high school it was like that, and then we grew up.

That said, if a creature is known for ambushing, attacking the weak, and not standing the ground unless they have a clear advantage, that creature is cowardly. 



I wouldn't call that cowardly I'd call that smart. That's generally how wizards play...



A great many intelligent people are also cowards.  Bravery is often referred to as being stupid or foolish. 
I want these gnolls:

Not this coward:

Or that crotch-stuffer:


I want something to be afriad of.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Orcs: I thought the write-up was typical of D&D orcs.  I like that D&D orcs aren't necessarily Tolkien orcs or WOW orcs or Warhammer orcs.  It's ok to have a different interpretation of them.  In general, my preference when it comes to orcs is more along the lines of Warhammer orcs, either with or without the comic side (depending on my mood, but usually with).  Fairly primitive, brutal, aggressive, fight with each other as often as with anyone else (it's what keeps the population is check, if you consider their "fecundity"), etc.  As described in the article, they are pretty much the quintessential shock troops.  It just takes a strong leader to point them in the right direction and start the pillaging.  The half-breed ****-baby thing isn't my cup of tea, but I can just leave that out.  Because honestly, who would mate with an orc on purpose?

Gnolls: I've never been a fan of gnolls, mostly because I dislike hyenas.  They are opportunistic, scavenging, mean, creepy buggers.  Hyenas are too.    I agree with the earlier comments that "opportunistic" is a better word than "cowardly", but I think they both get to the same result - fight when you can win, run when you can't, use your pack to your advantage.

I appreciate the approach of defining the monsters first, then creating stat blocks second.  This is the right approach in my opinion.  I'm interested to see how they define the other humanoids, and the distinction between the goblinoids (goblin/hob-goblin/bugbear), orcoids (orcs/ogres), and various other ones (gnolls, kobolds, etc).  For instance, some have mentioned that orcs should be more militaristic, but that has historically been the domain of the D&D hob-goblin.  I'm curious how they are taking what is essentially a human chassis and fitting it into so many monster-shaped bodies without creating too much overlap, which has been a problem in the past.

Good job story team, looking forward to more!
I'm very happy that the designers are very focused on the story.   It really sounds like the 5e monster manual will be worth the money.     Taking a look at what really makes each monster iconic within the D&D universe is the most important aspect of monster design.         AD&D 2e had the best monster sheets and I'm really looking forward to a Monster Manual that is not strictly mechanical.



I want something to be afriad of.




I want to see this kind of Gnoll:
What's the matter, you dissentious rogues, That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion Make yourselves scabs?
I want something to be afriad of.




I want to see this kind of Gnoll:

Scar made those hyenas something to be afraid of for the entire length of a villain song.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Monsters are just experience points wrapped in hitpoints.  What they do when they aren't taking away players' hitpoints is largely irrelevant.
There is a false dichotomy when it comes to D&D monster bravery. It assumes you are a fight-to-the-death berserker or a cheating dirty coward.



Not in any game that I've been in since high school.  In high school it was like that, and then we grew up.

That said, if a creature is known for ambushing, attacking the weak, and not standing the ground unless they have a clear advantage, that creature is cowardly. 



I wouldn't call that cowardly I'd call that smart. That's generally how wizards play...



A great many intelligent people are also cowards.  Bravery is often referred to as being stupid or foolish. 



Bravery is not letting fear control your actions. Not suicidal insanity...

"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Monsters are just experience points wrapped in hitpoints.  What they do when they aren't taking away players' hitpoints is largely irrevant.

That's not really true.  You have to sell that bag of exp wrapped in hp somehow or else nobody is going to bother collecting it.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

This column was up for a great start !


D&D Orcs and Gnolls were well depicted.  
There is a false dichotomy when it comes to D&D monster bravery. It assumes you are a fight-to-the-death berserker or a cheating dirty coward.



Not in any game that I've been in since high school.  In high school it was like that, and then we grew up.

That said, if a creature is known for ambushing, attacking the weak, and not standing the ground unless they have a clear advantage, that creature is cowardly. 



I wouldn't call that cowardly I'd call that smart. That's generally how wizards play...



A great many intelligent people are also cowards.  Bravery is often referred to as being stupid or foolish. 



Bravery is not letting fear control your actions. Not suicidal insanity...




Nobody said it was.  You are only arguing with yourself. 

Bravery also is not attacking from ambush; Attacking only with superior numbers; and attacking the weak and helpless.  The latter two are ALWAYS cowardice, and the first is cowardice when done by a creature that uses the latter two.  Hyenas are cowards.
Monsters are just experience points wrapped in hitpoints.  What they do when they aren't taking away players' hitpoints is largely irrelevant.

That's not really true.  You have to sell that bag of exp wrapped in hp somehow or else nobody is going to bother collecting it.

Oh alright fine.
The primary purpose of a monster is killing and getting killed by PCs.  The ecological and societal stuff, while nice to have handy, is secondary.
Monsters are just experience points wrapped in hitpoints.  What they do when they aren't taking away players' hitpoints is largely irrelevant.

That's not really true.  You have to sell that bag of exp wrapped in hp somehow or else nobody is going to bother collecting it.

Oh alright fine.
The primary purpose of a monster is killing and getting killed by PCs.  The ecological and societal stuff, while nice to have handy, is secondary.



To say, a monster doesnt exist unless it is “on screen”, became part of the 4e philosophy to some degree. There is some truth to this. The philosophy allows for easy creation of monsters, because the only thing that matters is how it performs during a combat encounter.

At the same time, the philosophy in the extreme can collapse into solipsism. A palpable feeling, there is no setting, anything can happen, there is no constant, there is nothing reliable to work with, there is no point. This can feel video-gamey in the less positive sense of the word, where there is no context.

For people who care about story, what the monster does “off screen” matters. Call it “verisimilitude” call it “persistence”, whatever. When the players exert an effort to do something in the story world, there needs to be some kind of presence pushing back.

To say, a monster doesnt exist unless it is “on screen”, became part of the 4e philosophy to some degree.
....
For people who care about story, what the monster does “off screen” matters. Call it “verisimilitude” call it “persistence”, whatever. When the players exert an effort to do something in the story world, there needs to be some kind of presence pushing back.

I call it "Stupidly attributing something that doesn't actually happen to an edition that doesn't function that way."

For the length of time I played and ran 4th Ed games, monsters were every bit as "persistent" as they were in any other edition.  If they weren't for you then that is a failing of your own understanding and not of the system itself.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.


To say, a monster doesnt exist unless it is “on screen”, became part of the 4e philosophy to some degree.
....
For people who care about story, what the monster does “off screen” matters. Call it “verisimilitude” call it “persistence”, whatever. When the players exert an effort to do something in the story world, there needs to be some kind of presence pushing back.

I call it "Stupidly attributing something that doesn't actually happen to an edition that doesn't function that way."

For the length of time I played and ran 4th Ed games, monsters were every bit as "persistent" as they were in any other edition.  If they weren't for you then that is a failing of your own understanding and not of the system itself.

Heinsoo explicitly talked about this with regard to monster design, how only what happens during a combat encounter is what matters. Other 4e designers and developers talk about this too. Im not being derogatory. I think 4e makes a valuable contribution to D&D, especially for making DMing easier. Im just saying, thinking about what “powers” sotospeak a monster has while offscreen is important too. Albeit, the offscreen stuff shouldnt be in a stat block.

Another thing.

Why aren't gnolls matriarchal?
it is not like you have to create a lot of female gnoll art as well... hyena anatomy... well is... different.

As for flinds. If we go back to hyenas, the dominant female pumps male hormones into their pups. The children of the dominant female are bigger and more aggressive. These could be flinds. Gnolls on steriods.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Bigger, badder gnolls. Sounds like fun. I love all of the monster variants you got in (I think) 3.x, like orog, flinds, and such. And, of course, the Fiendishly Dire incarnations of common vermin. And ferrets that fight on long past 0 hit points. Let's not forget those.Tongue Out
After this article I've been inspired to add gnolls into my current game, and really LOVE this description of them... I've always thought of them as weak and fligty, like the hyena, but this article definitely remedied that. 
Gnolls on hyenadons. I now know what's happening next time the ship crashes...

As for flinds, I like the idea of a wolfier version being good-er, but I can honestly just stand for having gnolls and replacing their defining power with something more courageous or even just leaving it.
In fact, that's exactly what I'm gonna do here in my 3.5 game ^.^ 
You are Red/Blue!
You are Red/Blue!
After this article I've been inspired to add gnolls into my current game, and really LOVE this description of them... I've always thought of them as weak and fligty, like the hyena, but this article definitely remedied that. 
Gnolls on hyenadons. I now know what's happening next time the ship crashes...

As for flinds, I like the idea of a wolfier version being good-er, but I can honestly just stand for having gnolls and replacing their defining power with something more courageous or even just leaving it.
In fact, that's exactly what I'm gonna do here in my 3.5 game ^.^ 


What exactly are hyenadons? They sound like prehistoric hyenas...
After this article I've been inspired to add gnolls into my current game, and really LOVE this description of them... I've always thought of them as weak and fligty, like the hyena, but this article definitely remedied that. 
Gnolls on hyenadons. I now know what's happening next time the ship crashes...

As for flinds, I like the idea of a wolfier version being good-er, but I can honestly just stand for having gnolls and replacing their defining power with something more courageous or even just leaving it.
In fact, that's exactly what I'm gonna do here in my 3.5 game ^.^ 



Glad folks like the idea

The idea always had a certain apeal to me to mount gnolls on hyenadons and make the mongols.
Both are described as vicious, great with bows (at least from what I remember of 1e), use hit and run tactics (call it cowardly if you want but the mongols certainly weren't cowards but they DID use hit and run a lot).  It just made sense to me and was a way to differentiate them from the other goblinoids.
 
hyenadons in my game are basically hyenas the size of a clydesdale
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyenadon

What exactly are hyenadons? They sound like prehistoric hyenas...

Pretty much.

I ususally just pair Gnolls up with Krenshars.
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG163.jpg

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

There is a false dichotomy when it comes to D&D monster bravery. It assumes you are a fight-to-the-death berserker or a cheating dirty coward.



Not in any game that I've been in since high school.  In high school it was like that, and then we grew up.

That said, if a creature is known for ambushing, attacking the weak, and not standing the ground unless they have a clear advantage, that creature is cowardly. 



I wouldn't call that cowardly I'd call that smart. That's generally how wizards play...



A great many intelligent people are also cowards.  Bravery is often referred to as being stupid or foolish. 



Bravery is not letting fear control your actions. Not suicidal insanity...




Nobody said it was.  You are only arguing with yourself. 

Bravery also is not attacking from ambush; Attacking only with superior numbers; and attacking the weak and helpless.  The latter two are ALWAYS cowardice, and the first is cowardice when done by a creature that uses the latter two.  Hyenas are cowards.



Bravery is not equal to being stupid or foolish
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Dire ferret > orcs (and you!)
Mounted halfling on dire ferret > Tarrasque.

Really, is there a need for any other monsters?

No ape orcs please.  Pigmen is good.  The cover of Dragon #69 must stand for all time.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

There is a false dichotomy when it comes to D&D monster bravery. It assumes you are a fight-to-the-death berserker or a cheating dirty coward.



Not in any game that I've been in since high school.  In high school it was like that, and then we grew up.

That said, if a creature is known for ambushing, attacking the weak, and not standing the ground unless they have a clear advantage, that creature is cowardly. 



I wouldn't call that cowardly I'd call that smart. That's generally how wizards play...



A great many intelligent people are also cowards.  Bravery is often referred to as being stupid or foolish. 



Bravery is not letting fear control your actions. Not suicidal insanity...




Nobody said it was.  You are only arguing with yourself. 

Bravery also is not attacking from ambush; Attacking only with superior numbers; and attacking the weak and helpless.  The latter two are ALWAYS cowardice, and the first is cowardice when done by a creature that uses the latter two.  Hyenas are cowards.



Bravery is not equal to being stupid or foolish



Sometimes it is.  And cowardly actions, while they may sometimes be the "smart" action, will remain cowardly actions.

To say, a monster doesnt exist unless it is “on screen”, became part of the 4e philosophy to some degree.
....
For people who care about story, what the monster does “off screen” matters. Call it “verisimilitude” call it “persistence”, whatever. When the players exert an effort to do something in the story world, there needs to be some kind of presence pushing back.

I call it "Stupidly attributing something that doesn't actually happen to an edition that doesn't function that way."

For the length of time I played and ran 4th Ed games, monsters were every bit as "persistent" as they were in any other edition.  If they weren't for you then that is a failing of your own understanding and not of the system itself.

Heinsoo explicitly talked about this with regard to monster design, how only what happens during a combat encounter is what matters. Other 4e designers and developers talk about this too. Im not being derogatory. I think 4e makes a valuable contribution to D&D, especially for making DMing easier. Im just saying, thinking about what “powers” sotospeak a monster has while offscreen is important too. Albeit, the offscreen stuff shouldnt be in a stat block.




4E allowed for the option of this, not the requirement...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
There is a false dichotomy when it comes to D&D monster bravery. It assumes you are a fight-to-the-death berserker or a cheating dirty coward.



Not in any game that I've been in since high school.  In high school it was like that, and then we grew up.

That said, if a creature is known for ambushing, attacking the weak, and not standing the ground unless they have a clear advantage, that creature is cowardly. 



I wouldn't call that cowardly I'd call that smart. That's generally how wizards play...



A great many intelligent people are also cowards.  Bravery is often referred to as being stupid or foolish. 



Bravery is not letting fear control your actions. Not suicidal insanity...




Nobody said it was.  You are only arguing with yourself. 

Bravery also is not attacking from ambush; Attacking only with superior numbers; and attacking the weak and helpless.  The latter two are ALWAYS cowardice, and the first is cowardice when done by a creature that uses the latter two.  Hyenas are cowards.



Bravery is not equal to being stupid or foolish



Sometimes it is.  And cowardly actions, while they may sometimes be the "smart" action, will remain cowardly actions.



Nope...

Bravery is overcoming fear to the do things you have to do. It is not doing something stupid. You may take a risk for a reward, but you are not going to be sucidal.
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Thanks Kalex for starting this discussion using the proper format.

I've linked this Thread as the Official Discussion.


Nope...

Bravery is overcoming fear to the do things you have to do. It is not doing something stupid. You may take a risk for a reward, but you are not going to be sucidal.



Like so many other times with you, I guess I'll just have to accept that you are wrong and move on.  Bravery can be stupid, which is why smart people often take the cowardly route.
Thanks Kalex for starting this discussion using the proper format.

I've linked this Thread as the Official Discussion.



You are quite welcome!  I was kinda shocked it hadn't been created before me.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

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Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.



Nope...

Bravery is overcoming fear to the do things you have to do. It is not doing something stupid. You may take a risk for a reward, but you are not going to be sucidal.



Like so many other times with you, I guess I'll just have to accept that you are wrong and move on.  Bravery can be stupid, which is why smart people often take the cowardly route.



Or you can go look up the definition of both and realize you didn't know the definition. Here let me show  you:

"Courage (is referred as bravery, boldness, fearlessness, mettle, fortitude, or intrepidity) is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. "Physical courage" is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death, while "moral courage" is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement."

I'm sure you can find more. No where does it say bravery is stupidity...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.


Nope...

Bravery is overcoming fear to the do things you have to do. It is not doing something stupid. You may take a risk for a reward, but you are not going to be sucidal.



Like so many other times with you, I guess I'll just have to accept that you are wrong and move on.  Bravery can be stupid, which is why smart people often take the cowardly route.



Or you can go look up the definition of both and realize you didn't know the definition. Here let me show  you:

"Courage (is referred as bravery, boldness, fearlessness, mettle, fortitude, or intrepidity) is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. "Physical courage" is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death, while "moral courage" is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement."

I'm sure you can find more. No where does it say bravery is stupidity...



Nowhere in there does it say that the Earth is round, either, but it is still true.  The fact of the matter is, that only defines bravery, not the circumstnaces around it.  You can still be stupidly brave and not violate that definition.

I guarantee you that you can stupidly confront your fear in the face of death and jump off of the Empire State Building.  According to the definition above, that would be you being brave.  
lokiare vs. Maxperson.... fight!



Is this guy cowardlly or smart?

lokiare vs. Maxperson.... fight!



Is this guy cowardlly or smart?




Opening the arena again, Wrecan?  Well, I may as well set up the betting booth again...  (I need money while I continue to job hunt, after all ;) )

An undead spectre occasionally returning to remind the fandom of its grim existence.

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
Opening the arena again, Wrecan?  Well, I may as well set up the betting booth again...  (I need money while I continue to job hunt, after all ;) )


That's fine as long as I get my cut.
lokiare vs. Maxperson.... fight!



Is this guy cowardlly or smart?




Depends on who he bet on ;)


Nope...

Bravery is overcoming fear to the do things you have to do. It is not doing something stupid. You may take a risk for a reward, but you are not going to be sucidal.



Like so many other times with you, I guess I'll just have to accept that you are wrong and move on.  Bravery can be stupid, which is why smart people often take the cowardly route.



Or you can go look up the definition of both and realize you didn't know the definition. Here let me show  you:

"Courage (is referred as bravery, boldness, fearlessness, mettle, fortitude, or intrepidity) is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. "Physical courage" is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death, while "moral courage" is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement."

I'm sure you can find more. No where does it say bravery is stupidity...



Nowhere in there does it say that the Earth is round, either, but it is still true.  The fact of the matter is, that only defines bravery, not the circumstnaces around it.  You can still be stupidly brave and not violate that definition.

I guarantee you that you can stupidly confront your fear in the face of death and jump off of the Empire State Building.  According to the definition above, that would be you being brave.  



What you are thinking of is 'foolhardiness' which is entirely different than bravery or courage.

You can be stupid brave or smart brave, but those are separate issues not tied to bravery. You can be stupid cowardess or smart cowardess. Your combining two different definitions into one word that does not belong...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.


You can be stupid brave or smart brave, but those are separate issues not tied to bravery. You can be stupid cowardess or smart cowardess. Your combining two different definitions into one word that does not belong...



So you just agreed with what I said several posts ago.  1) Bravery can sometimes be stupid.  See bolded above.  2) You can be make the intelligent choice and be a coward.  See bolded above.

Okay Wrecan.  Time to pay out those bets   
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