Kobold hordes with advantage

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So the DnDnext playtest packet's kobold no longer has advantage with more numbers than there enemies.  I thought giving advantage to kobolds that outnumber thier opponents brilliant.  It made an encounter with a horde of kobolds, scarey.  Sure a kobold by itself is nothing for a party of adventurers to fear, but a horde of kobolds should give a group of seasoned heroes pause.

Give back kobolds advantage when they outnumber thier opponents.  That was fun!
I don't know about you, but when I ran the kobold encounters in the first playtest packet I felt like I was taking up so much time double rolling for every single kobold. It really slowed up the combat for us and didn't much matter since half the time they hit, they did no damage anyway with their negative modifiers. 
"fun" wouldn't have discribed the kobolds for me. If I am going to roll three dice and have nothing happen, I may as well have not rolled those dice and wasted everyones time. 
Does double rolling really take any more time? Roll two instead of one (at the same time), check to see if either hit the target. I'm doing it right now on my desk. It doesn't slow things down in any way I can perceive.
i'm with nytemare on this.  I played through kobold horde after kobold horde.  there was no signigicant time issues from two dice per attack.  I think it took about an hour and a half to play through three hordes, that includes a massive ambush at the pit trap, exploration and erasing my  mat and reseting for all three hordes.  In our playtest no time delay issues.
Does double rolling really take any more time? Roll two instead of one (at the same time), check to see if either hit the target. I'm doing it right now on my desk. It doesn't slow things down in any way I can perceive.



+1
Does double rolling really take any more time? Roll two instead of one (at the same time), check to see if either hit the target. I'm doing it right now on my desk. It doesn't slow things down in any way I can perceive.


Try rolling 36 instead of 18, or 80 instead of 40. It happens.
I don't know about you, but when I ran the kobold encounters in the first playtest packet I felt like I was taking up so much time double rolling for every single kobold. It really slowed up the combat for us and didn't much matter since half the time they hit, they did no damage anyway with their negative modifiers. 
"fun" wouldn't have discribed the kobolds for me. If I am going to roll three dice and have nothing happen, I may as well have not rolled those dice and wasted everyones time. 




You know that regardless of negative modifiers every attack does at least one point of damage.

Rolling two dice at a time is pretty much the same as rolling them individually.

If you know that the party is going to encounter more than a hand full of these things at once you can pre roll the dice and check them off a sheet as you use them. 

You also don't have to have every kobold in the room attack at once either.

As for the change I agree with the OP. The new form of "advantage" is really a poor substitute fot the original strength in numbers special ability.


I hated Advantage and Disadvantage.  It took way too much extra time having to roll for every Kobold, Rat and Goblin, and sometimes you can't roll more than one die at a time.  I for one, only bring one set of dice with me when I DM, because it's all I need.

Why could't we keep the benefits of having Kobolds outnumber opponents granting Advantage, but make Advantage a +2 to hit or something like that.  An easy to use modifyer, that takes no time to add or subtract from an attack or damage roll.
Does double rolling really take any more time? Roll two instead of one (at the same time), check to see if either hit the target. I'm doing it right now on my desk. It doesn't slow things down in any way I can perceive.


Try rolling 36 instead of 18, or 80 instead of 40. It happens.

4E tended to not have large numbers of monsters due to how encounters were supposed to be built, but I remember large battles from my ealy days of playing 1E in the 80s.  It wasn't uncommon for the DM to pick up a handful of d20s and say, "Now 7 goblins are attacking Player X." and roll all the dice at once.  Now the DM would have to make 7 seperate rolls of 2 dice each if the goblins have advantage. While I still need time to test it on my own, I can certainly see why some DMs don't like it.

Does double rolling really take any more time? Roll two instead of one (at the same time), check to see if either hit the target. I'm doing it right now on my desk. It doesn't slow things down in any way I can perceive.


Try rolling 36 instead of 18, or 80 instead of 40. It happens.

4E tended to not have large numbers of monsters due to how encounters were supposed to be built, but I remember large battles from my ealy days of playing 1E in the 80s.  It wasn't uncommon for the DM to pick up a handful of d20s and say, "Now 7 goblins are attacking Player X." and roll all the dice at once.  Now the DM would have to make 7 seperate rolls of 2 dice each if the goblins have advantage. While I still need time to test it on my own, I can certainly see why some DMs don't like it.





Exactly.  My problem isn't as much of having to re-roll, it's also a problem that rolling two hits with one creature.  For one, which die do you choose?  One Kobold rolls two attack dice, bacause you're anticipating the first to miss or because rolling two dice per creature is faster, whatever.  Both attack rolls end up succesful hits, one a 17, the other a nat 20.  Do you use the 17, being a fair DM and giving the monster a chance to miss, or do you go for the natural crit and possibly kill a PC, knowing you could have let them stay in the fight.

Exactly.  My problem isn't as much of having to re-roll, it's also a problem that rolling two hits with one creature.  For one, which die do you choose?  One Kobold rolls two attack dice, bacause you're anticipating the first to miss or because rolling two dice per creature is faster, whatever.  Both attack rolls end up succesful hits, one a 17, the other a nat 20.  Do you use the 17, being a fair DM and giving the monster a chance to miss, or do you go for the natural crit and possibly kill a PC, knowing you could have let them stay in the fight.


(Dis)Advantage doesn't give a reroll, it means rolling twice and taking the highest or lowest of the two rolls. In your example that would mean you take the critical hit; if those rolls were instead for disadvantage then you'd use the 17.
I enjoyed the kobolds w/ advantage. But, having not run the second playtest rules I can't speak to the power of the kobold mob.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
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Why could't we keep the benefits of having Kobolds outnumber opponents granting Advantage, but make Advantage a +2 to hit or something like that.  An easy to use modifyer, that takes no time to add or subtract from an attack or damage roll.



I think that is a good alternative if you do not like the whole advantage/ disadvantage mechanic.  But I am a fan of advantage/ disadvantage so i argue for a return to advantage for kobolds who outnumber thier enemies. 

The +2 for kobolds who outnumber thier opponents is a far better rule than the current mob tactic +1, the creature chooses a creature within reach, until the start of the kobolds next turn, friendly creatures with this trait gain a +1 to attack rolls and damage rolls against the target while it's in the kobold's reach (what a mouth full) which is an alright rule if you play on a grid with minis, but will be problematic for groups who do not use a grid.  I would guess for groups who only narrate combat, mob tactics is just going to be left out.   Pure speculation, but a fair one since position and reach are important part of the rule.

On another note, I also like to grab a handfull of d20 and roll the lot for hordes of creatures.  Yes, that would be problematic with the kobolds get advantage with numbers, but in our experience not a significant slow down in combat.  We did three kobold horde battles with time to erase the mat and reset, including a massive trap filled ambush and exploration in one and half hours.  That is the time it takes to play out one complicated kobold horde trap filled ambush in 4e.  The resulting fun we had and exciting narrative, and the fact that my players didn't want anything to do with anymore kobold hordes is worth it. 

I advocate for the return of advatage for kobolds that outnumber there enemies, because and only because, it was so much fun for us.  If your experience was different, that's fair argue away.  That's what these DnDnext message boards should be about.

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Why could't we keep the benefits of having Kobolds outnumber opponents granting Advantage, but make Advantage a +2 to hit or something like that.  An easy to use modifyer, that takes no time to add or subtract from an attack or damage roll.



I think that is a good alternative if you do not like the whole advantage/ disadvantage mechanic.  But I am a fan of advantage/ disadvantage so i argue for a return to advantage for kobolds who outnumber thier enemies. 

The +2 for kobolds who outnumber thier opponents is a far better rule than the current mob tactic +1, the creature chooses a creature within reach, until the start of the kobolds next turn, friendly creatures with this trait gain a +1 to attack rolls and damage rolls against the target while it's in the kobold's reach (what a mouth full) which is an alright rule if you play on a grid with minis, but will be problematic for groups who do not use a grid.  I would guess for groups who only narrate combat, mob tactics is just going to be left out.   Pure speculation, but a fair one since position and reach are important part of the rule.

On another note, I also like to grab a handfull of d20 and roll the lot for hordes of creatures.  Yes, that would be problematic with the kobolds get advantage with numbers, but in our experience not a significant slow down in combat.  We did three kobold horde battles with time to erase the mat and reset, including a massive trap filled ambush and exploration in one and half hours.  That is the time it takes to play out one complicated kobold horde trap filled ambush in 4e.  The resulting fun we had and exciting narrative, and the fact that my players didn't want anything to do with anymore kobold hordes is worth it. 

I advocate for the return of advatage for kobolds that outnumber there enemies, because and only because, it was so much fun for us.  If your experience was different, that's fair argue away.  That's what these DnDnext message boards should be about.




No, +2 (or even 1) if they outnumber their foes is a better rule regardless of whether you play with minis.  Trust me.  There are tactics to using the "choose one" rule, and that slows the game. 
I also like to grab a handfull of d20 and roll the lot for hordes of creatures.  Yes, that would be problematic with the kobolds get advantage with numbers, but in our experience not a significant slow down in combat.  We did three kobold horde battles with time to erase the mat and reset, including a massive trap filled ambush and exploration in one and half hours.  That is the time it takes to play out one complicated kobold horde trap filled ambush in 4e.


Certainly combat in 5e is faster and that is a good thing, but if you have six identical kobolds attacking the same player, if they all had a static bonus (say +5) instead of advantage, you could just roll 6d20 at the same time and look at the results. If they do have advantage, you have to not only roll 12d20, you have to make sure that you keep track of those d20s in sets of two. Now, maybe if you have a bunch of d20s in pairs, then you have no problem, but if you don't, then chances are you are only rolling them in groups to 4d20 (two dice in each hand). So now, instead of rolling the dice in a single batch, you are rolling them in three batches of four dice each. That is going to be slower. Now, if you only have a two or three d20s anyway, than there isn't much difference.
I posted this in another topic but the solution to using advantage with a lot of creatures is the smae one I use in World of Darkness games. With 5 kobalds with advantage roll five dice if any miss just reroll those you might miss out on some crits but... meh. I use this method and it is quick. Just something to try out if you wnat to keep advantage and lower die rolls.


No, +2 (or even 1) if they outnumber their foes is a better rule regardless of whether you play with minis.  Trust me.  There are tactics to using the "choose one" rule, and that slows the game. 


 
Guys with out minis aren't tracking position and reach, trust me, the majority of playes not using minis are just going to drop that rule.  Traking position and reach for such rule as the +1 mob and AoO have been the biggest critic for gamers who do not want to use minis about DnD combat since the release of 3e.  If the idea is to make a set of rules that play well for both mini and non-mini gamers then the mob +1 rule is a bad one. 
I also like to grab a handfull of d20 and roll the lot for hordes of creatures.  Yes, that would be problematic with the kobolds get advantage with numbers, but in our experience not a significant slow down in combat.  We did three kobold horde battles with time to erase the mat and reset, including a massive trap filled ambush and exploration in one and half hours.  That is the time it takes to play out one complicated kobold horde trap filled ambush in 4e.


Certainly combat in 5e is faster and that is a good thing, but if you have six identical kobolds attacking the same player, if they all had a static bonus (say +5) instead of advantage, you could just roll 6d20 at the same time and look at the results. If they do have advantage, you have to not only roll 12d20, you have to make sure that you keep track of those d20s in sets of two. Now, maybe if you have a bunch of d20s in pairs, then you have no problem, but if you don't, then chances are you are only rolling them in groups to 4d20 (two dice in each hand). So now, instead of rolling the dice in a single batch, you are rolling them in three batches of four dice each. That is going to be slower. Now, if you only have a two or three d20s anyway, than there isn't much difference.


 
My point is that having to rolling two dice for each kobold attack did not take such a significant amount of time as to rob are fun.  In fact the advantage rule for kobold hordes was worth minute amount of time it took to roll those attack individually with two dice.  that is how it worked out in actual game play for us.
I don't know about you, but when I ran the kobold encounters in the first playtest packet I felt like I was taking up so much time double rolling for every single kobold. It really slowed up the combat for us and didn't much matter since half the time they hit, they did no damage anyway with their negative modifiers. 
"fun" wouldn't have discribed the kobolds for me. If I am going to roll three dice and have nothing happen, I may as well have not rolled those dice and wasted everyones time. 



There should be a way to treat a swarm of kobolds as a single creature. That'd do a fairly good job of solving the multi-rolling issue.


The other solution would be to always put that on the players. If the kobolds have advantage, that means the pcs have disadvantage. If the kobolds have disadvantage, that means the pcs have advantage. NPCs never get advantage or disadvantage in combat, but PCs do.

The problem with the hordes having advantage is alot of DMs save time by rolling all attacks at once. So if 7 kobolds are attacking this turn roll all of them at once and figure it out.  DMs could no longer do this with all of them having advantage, since you couldn't tell which pair of dice went together, so you know how to roll each attack seperatly, which is time consuming.  An easy solution for this is roll all of their attacks as normal, and then only reroll the ones that miss.


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The other solution would be to always put that on the players. If the kobolds have advantage, that means the pcs have disadvantage. If the kobolds have disadvantage, that means the pcs have advantage. NPCs never get advantage or disadvantage in combat, but PCs do.



That does not have the same impact as the kobolds having advantage.  A horde of kobolds hitting and hurting a party is far more impactful, than the party missing kobolds in a horde more frequently.   Our pcs retreated after the fourth kobold horde attack because those hordes were punishing and no one had an apetite for a fifth.  Making the party roll attacks with disadvantage against a horde of kobolds would just be frustrating.  I'm a story oriented Dm, I want an impact, kobold hordes with advantage had an impact in our playtest. 

The problem with the hordes having advantage is alot of DMs save time by rolling all attacks at once. So if 7 kobolds are attacking this turn roll all of them at once and figure it out.  DMs could no longer do this with all of them having advantage, since you couldn't tell which pair of dice went together, so you know how to roll each attack seperatly, which is time consuming.  An easy solution for this is roll all of their attacks as normal, and then only reroll the ones that miss.



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My point is that having to rolling two dice for each kobold attack did not take such a significant amount of time as to rob are fun.  In fact the advantage rule for kobold hordes was worth minute amount of time it took to roll those attack individually with two dice.  that is how it worked out in actual game play for us.



My point still remains.  I'm one of those Dm, who rolls a handlful of dice for hordes and when I got into that first kobold encounter, I had a stutter step, it donned on me that I had to roll two dice for each attack to keep things straight.  I did, not ruin the fun for us, and actually had a big impact on our game.  I brought this issue up with my players, they don't check out these message boards or really care to give any feedback on DNDnext.  But they could not believe people didn't like the rule.  They are insulated from other gamers, we live on a small island, few gaming groups and none care to lurk on these boards.
I have mixed feelings on Kobolds with Advantage. At first, I liked the idea. But, my first playtest, the party was Eaten Alive by the Kobolds. TPK. Now that was before Attacks of Opportunity came back - so kobolds could run right by the Fighters and kill the Wizard. I like the idea that has been flooded of variant monsters. You can add an ability that adds some XP to the monster. So, you can have Advantage Kobolds and Non-Advantage Kobolds. That works with the philopshy of modularity that is desired in D&DN. 
As to taking more time to roll. I have not found that a problem. I roll both dice or in the case of many monsters up to 6 d20 at a time. Each is a different color. All of the players have at least d20 so it is not a problem. 
As for which number to take. The rules are clear ""You use the highest roll between the dice to determine your result if you have advantage..."  
I have mixed feelings on Kobolds with Advantage. At first, I liked the idea. But, my first playtest, the party was Eaten Alive by the Kobolds. TPK. ..



That is a good point. Our pcs ran out of the caves for thier lives.   After the third encounter and fourth horde of kobolds the party was out of healing, hd and low and hitpoints.  They returned and bent over backwards to negotiate and not fight.  But the ogre in the module is much tougher and one of the first things the party encountered. 
Now that was before Attacks of Opportunity came back - so kobolds could run right by the Fighters and kill the Wizard.

-chuckle-

What is it with DMs all out for blood in Mages before they ever prove to be a threat?

Kobolds aren't that smart, probably not that much exposure to enemy spellcasters (let's face it, if they did, they'd be dead), and would likely see the larger, more impossing figures entering into their domain first and foremost... it's not like they are tall creatures that are going to be seeing over the top and beyond the heavy armor wearing warrior that's blocking/guarding the back ranks.

No wonder Wizard players are calling for triple Hit Points.  DMs are out to kill them :P

I obviously DM in a much different style than a lot of others.  I take the above into consideration, plus I let the warrior types roleplay their characters (shouting warcries, challenging the enemies) and let them enjoy the roles they were hoping to play (defender and guardian... not the guy who watches everyone else get attacked because I am trying to TPK the group).

I just don't get it, truly. 

[Edit:] Does occur to me that the Wizard in my campaign rarely try the charge-forth-and-blast approach.  Usually, they strike from afar and maintain some level of cover.  In looking at some playtest notes and logs, Magic Missile was used far more often than Burning Hands - and I am not going to PK a player's Wizard because he hit some Kobold for 3 damage when others are doling out more damage while being front and center.  Even when they used Sleep, I only had those creatures who were naturally in their range go after them as they don't have Magical Lore to understand why a bunch of compatriots just collapsed to the group.  

I try to remember that a lot is happening in a six-second round and even if we pause, as players, to focus on one player's actions, it doesn't mean that all 8 kobolds in the room have turned there attention to him or her in that exact moment when they cast their spell and then understood exactly what they were doing, observed their apparent weak defensive state, and collectively decided to attack that particular character as a unit, disregarding all other threats and dangers they face.

On topic, the Advantage in Numbers thing was trouble from the start, yeah.  Which is one of the reasons the First Packet proved to be much more deadly than the second.
I agree with Shade Raven I mean Kobalds are not very intelligent and in the heat of battle I assume most would jsut go for the first clear threat they see which would be whoever is in front.  Now if the wizard stands in the front then that is another matter entirely. 
I must disagree. Kobolds are sneaky little backstabbers that understand mob tactics. Wolves are no rocket scientists and they do they basic tactics just fine. They are not orcs that just charge at the first thing. One of the things that is good with the humanoids is that they have different tactics. Kobolds use every dirty trick in the book. After a wizard has burning hands you once. You take notice. And by definition, if he just used Burning Hands, he only a short distance behind that Fighter. Besides, there are tons of kobolds. A number sneak by, and there are many more to keep the fighter busy. I was not going for a TPK, I was playing the monsters the way that I thought they should be played. None of the players faulted me for it. Actually, they would have faulted me if the monsters just racked up to be slaughtered.
As far as Defenders go, now fighters can do that job much better. In this battle, the Fighter was a Slayer. The Cleric was a Defender. He at that point, he had pulled the Rogue back and was keeping him from dying.
I must disagree. Kobolds are sneaky little backstabbers that understand mob tactics. Wolves are no rocket scientists and they do they basic tactics just fine. They are not orcs that just charge at the first thing. One of the things that is good with the humanoids is that they have different tactics. Kobolds use every dirty trick in the book. After a wizard has burning hands you once. You take notice. And by definition, if he just used Burning Hands, he only a short distance behind that Fighter. Besides, there are tons of kobolds. A number sneak by, and there are many more to keep the fighter busy. I was not going for a TPK, I was playing the monsters the way that I thought they should be played. None of the players faulted me for it. Actually, they would have faulted me if the monsters just racked up to be slaughtered.
As far as Defenders go, now fighters can do that job much better. In this battle, the Fighter was a Slayer. The Cleric was a Defender. He at that point, he had pulled the Rogue back and was keeping him from dying.

I did say that if the wizard stood up front and used burning hands, they were getting what they deserve.

But... you are giving Kobolds a lot of credit.  They might be clever and sneaky, but they absolutely aren't intelligent or have any knowledge of spellcasting.  Plus, you are making them this uber-aware creature that notices everything during the heat of battle, even stuff that's well covered and more distant.

So, what's the point of Magical Lore?  If every race that's clever automatically recognizes spellcasting and spell powers, it's kind of an useless skill.  That -2 INT Kobold can detect someone capable of casting magic missile, burning, or sleep ... even if he's half hidden.

It's great that your players love your DMing.  I applaud you.  We have the toughest job and that's the biggest reward.

And there's nothing wrong with us having different DMing styles.  Zero.

But from my perspective, you are being too tough, giving too much credit to an unintelligent creature, and are expecting game mechancis to prevent TPKs.  I don't need Next to be like 4E with all sorts of aura's, markings, and elevated HPs to keep players from being slaughtered regularly.  I adjust my thinking and go... what if the Fighter gives a mighty battle roar, catching the attention of the enemies?  What if kobolds, in all that chaos and movement, don't notice where that magic missile came from or see that thinner guy in the back ranks?  What if Kobolds are just used to seeing threats and reacting to them, not pausing to consider every strength and weakness various foes have, then collectively decide to cut down the weakest first, leaving the hardiest, most well armored, etc., for last?

Again, let me stress, if you all are having fun and it works for you, that's great.  I am absolutely not disregarding your talent as a DM.  I am just trying to offer you a new perspective as to how to look at combat in the more simplified world of Next/5E.

I take it or leave it on a lot of advice and try to improve as a DM at every opportunity.  I am not saying this will help, maybe it's just too wrong for you, but don't immediately dismiss everything you get offered because it's not the way you do it.  
I'm with Ramses, kobolds are tricky, crafty trapmakers. They are far more than dumb, weak, dungeon fodder.  They survive in world of larger monsters who view them as meals on legs, because they work together, build traps, ambush thier enemeies with overwhelming odds, and when things go wrong, they are clever enough to run away.

To say kobolds are to stupid to spot the wizard in the rear and target the threat, is underestimating the clever survivors and just boring.  If you want lame stupid kobolds incapable of fighting smart, then by all means go for it.  As Dm and player, I prefer my kobolds to be clever, sneaky, crafty trapmakers, smart enough to run when things go bad. 
I'm with Ramses, kobolds are tricky, crafty trapmakers. They are far more than dumb, weak, dungeon fodder.  They survive in world of larger monsters who view them as meals on legs, because they work together, build traps, ambush thier enemeies with overwhelming odds, and when things go wrong, they are clever enough to run away.

To say kobolds are to stupid to spot the wizard in the rear and target the threat, is underestimating the clever survivors and just boring.  If you want lame stupid kobolds incapable of fighting smart, then by all means go for it.  As Dm and player, I prefer my kobolds to be clever, sneaky, crafty trapmakers, smart enough to run when things go bad. 




Dude all of their mental stats are below 10. The only thing kobolds got going for them is they reproduce lie rats and can fit in small holes. Even if they out number you 10 to1 they will flee at the first sign of trouble. they ain't tough and they ain't smart. They are pesky annoyances that some how got the knack for traps, and I just can't figure out how that came about since the devs surely made them as dumb as a box of rocks.

To be honest the devs seem to think all of their "mooks" are dumb as rocks because they seem to only give them one good stat at all.

I'm kind of leaning toward the kobolds ganging up on the wizard hiding behind a burly guy or two with big assed swords and axes is probably the last thing on their minds, especially if the worst thing that character is doing is takin pot shots with his everfull pea shooter. in my estimation the'd be trying to find a way past the whole party and out into the less dangerous sunshine to wait out the raid.

I just can't see anything that is aware of itself as an individual is going to throw itself onto someone's sword over a pile of rags and some rancid meat. An 8 intelligence and an 8 charisma are high enough for them to be aware that they suck in a fight and might want to find a way keep their hides intact.
I'm with Ramses, kobolds are tricky, crafty trapmakers. They are far more than dumb, weak, dungeon fodder.  They survive in world of larger monsters who view them as meals on legs, because they work together, build traps, ambush thier enemeies with overwhelming odds, and when things go wrong, they are clever enough to run away.

To say kobolds are to stupid to spot the wizard in the rear and target the threat, is underestimating the clever survivors and just boring.  If you want lame stupid kobolds incapable of fighting smart, then by all means go for it.  As Dm and player, I prefer my kobolds to be clever, sneaky, crafty trapmakers, smart enough to run when things go bad. 




Dude all of their mental stats are below 10. The only thing kobolds got going for them is they reproduce lie rats and can fit in small holes. Even if they out number you 10 to1 they will flee at the first sign of trouble. they ain't tough and they ain't smart. They are pesky annoyances that some how got the knack for traps, and I just can't figure out how that came about since the devs surely made them as dumb as a box of rocks.

To be honest the devs seem to think all of their "mooks" are dumb as rocks because they seem to only give them one good stat at all.

I'm kind of leaning toward the kobolds ganging up on the wizard hiding behind a burly guy or two with big assed swords and axes is probably the last thing on their minds, especially if the worst thing that character is doing is takin pot shots with his everfull pea shooter. in my estimation the'd be trying to find a way past the whole party and out into the less dangerous sunshine to wait out the raid.

I just can't see anything that is aware of itself as an individual is going to throw itself onto someone's sword over a pile of rags and some rancid meat. An 8 intelligence and an 8 charisma are high enough for them to be aware that they suck in a fight and might want to find a way keep their hides intact.



An 8 int, is high enough to know they suck in a fight.  That is also smart enough to know the skinny guy behind the burly iron clad ax swinger can also kill a kobold.  Anything can kill a kobold.  That's why kobolds know there only chance is to gain the advantage in numbers, ambush and use traps.  Call it cunning, call it instinct, if there is one thing about kobolds they know how to survive in a DnD world.  So the ave. kobold isn't smart, isn't wise, and is easily bullied and culled.  But they are no chumps, there not going to ignore the skinny guy in the back.  That guy is dangerous.  Everything is dangerous to a kobold.  There going to get to that skinny guy, throw a spear, ambush, or just run around ax swinger.  If I were a meak kobold I would find a way to hurt skinny guy and let someone else die facing ax swinger.

Dude.
Curious, then, is there any point to the INT stat then?  Or WIS?  Or the skill Magical Lore? Or Spot/Wisdom Checks?

Apparently, in less than 6 seconds, as the chaos of battle with shouts, screams, and challenges echoing loudly, with no prior actions on the wizard's part, with the wizard getting half cover behind others, and with lights glaring in their sensitive eyes, the entire collection of kobolds can all, in a heartbeat, determine the strengths and weaknesses of a party, recognize the signs of a spellcaster, spot him behind cover, and act collectively to eliminate that particular threat.

That sound about right?

Okay.

Again, play it as you want.  If you want everything smarter than a rock to go about the best avenue to TPK the party, that's your right.  It's your campaign and you can run it as you wish.  DMing is hard enough without overly critical input.

All I am trying to do is offer an alternative way to look at combat so that you don't have to make an effort for that TPK or dead Wizard.  It's possible not to kill them off while still roleplaying.

It's not soft or player-friendly, it's just a different DMing style that doesn't put so much emphasis on   being tactically superior.
 
I quite understand different DM play styles. I am explaining why I did what I did. If you are having fun, that is the important issue.

The prime reasons why I thought that Kobolds would think to mob attack the party in the manner they did is many fold. 1). They have the power Mob Tactics. So, they should use mob tactics. 2). The wizard had already attacked them. They Know that he is threat. 3). Kobolds are often lead by Sorcerors or magical leader with Dragon blood. Magic is not some new concept to them. Magic hurt. Wizard can't cast when dead. (That is probably a 1 on the Magic Lore roll using Int.) 4). Kobolds are the sneaky like beggers that would attack the weak and gang up on them. It is how they survive. 5). The Wizard was 1 square behind the fighter. If he had cast a Magic Missile 20 squares away from cover this would not have happened. 6). The Kobolds live in the D&D world. They know that there is now AoO. They know that they can just run by the Fighter and nothing will happen. They don't have to deal with our "real world" rules or at the time the new updated rules. A wolf could come up with those tactics. And, while I like wolves, they have lower Int than 8.

Also, keep in mind that this was literally the second battle I had DMed with D&D Next. I know that I know how deadly Kobolds are, the system was and is even more so now. I use the rules for the first few fights as printed in a playtest. Then I try to alter them to make them work better for my games. I will not know if the rules are actually deadly, if I don't use the rules first. I may have opinions by just reading the rules, but until they are actually played. I don't know. I used the rules. They where deadly. I reported my findings. I changed the rules or the play accountingly. But, that is a topic for another Thread .

 
Oops! Forgot one other element. The fog of war is something that I have tryed to work with in many games for years. It is tough to tell a character that he didn't see the evil wizard that is 10' away from them in the dark behind the evil fighter that just cast a huge jet of flame on them. I use Percept ... err Spot rolls more than most. That is an aspect of my DM style that players don't like. The Player knows where the evil wizard is and what spell he cast - Why doesn't the character? Even if he is a half-sentient cave man. So, it is usually assumed in Fantasy RPGs that I run that combatants react quickly and with a strange amount of knowledge. I also play the monsters like the characters. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Now in Horror games, characters spending a round or two going - where did that come from!? What is it? EEEK! IIIIEEE! That has worked. As has been said that is just the way I DM, not the Right Way.
Sounds like your group had some bad luck involved, too, then.  Kobold had 3 HPs.  If the Wizard already acted, and did something visually confirming of their abililty, apparently whatever he or she did wasn't very good.  Neither was any other attack against them.

Kobolds have 3 HPs... and AC 11.  Magic Missile has a 75% kill rate.  Very Average Fighter (+5/+2) will kill one 75% of the time.  Etc.

AC 13 for the wizard (BTW: 1 square behind the fighter still equals cover.  +2 to AC.). If the rogue has cover, probably has AC 17.  Cleric behind two fighters?  AC 18.  Fighters?  AC 17 probably.  They are vastly superior by the numbers yet are still getting smoked by kobolds (+1 hit, d4+1 dmg).  Goblins would be about the same.

Again, though, I ask... what's the point of Magical Lore?  If every creature on whatever D&D world can recognize spellcasting, no matter how mundane, benign, or subtle, then there must by _FAR_ too many wizard running around for my taste or every single creature seems to train in lore (every goblin and kobold, from birth, is told how to recognize and eliminate those of wizarding ability). By your reasoning, because wizardry is in your world and everyone knows wizardy = AoE, there's not a single creature with a point of intelligence out there that hasn't been trained to know to automatically kill the wizard off right away.

Beyond that, I always figured the rare few kobold casters were more shamanistic, which would be much different in style and look in my opinion.

Again, though, it's my opinion.  You have clearly different view on the commonality, identification, and reaction to someone wearing a cloak.

Sneaky and Weak != Tactically Smart and Highly Observant.

Yes, fog of war and perception often is tough... *but* I hold myself to a higher standard than the players.  After all, all the true advantages are on my side.  If I want to "win", there's absolutely nothing they can do to stop me.  Even quitting the campaign would still result in "my" monsters defeating "their" characters.

But, in all fairness, I am a storyteller at heart who's trying to weave a grand adventure that the players are the stars of.  Deep down, I want them to succeed (but even the best tale has tragic moments and some even end tragically).  I am not running a simulation game nor am I wanting a wargaming exercise.

So when, in the last 4E campaign, 3 of 6 character perished (and 1 of the 3 replacements died, too), I feel a little bad... it certainly wasn't my intent.  This was over a couple of months, so it wasn't common, but still, character that players had invested time, thought, and even a bit of themselves in, died under my narrative care.  Not all the fun for me.  If that makes me "soft", well, I can't argue that.

Anyway... I can't argue with your logic because it suits your world and your style. That's how you play it and your players enjoy it.  I think that's great.  Honestly.  It can be fun to be a player with a killer DM, because it *is* a challenge and surviving even one evening is something to be proud of.

I think it's safe to say, though, we don't have the same views on our fantasy worlds
BTW: Mob Tactics +1:  The kobold chooses a creature within its reach. Until the start of the kobold’s next turn, friendly creatures that also have this trait gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls against the target while it is within the kobold’s reach.

All those kobolds shooting from range... who ran up to mark.. and then survived to keep the mark going?
The Burning Hands did kill every kobold in the area, but there where a LOT more. The Caves of Chaos have a LOT of creatures. The new rules have fewer monsters in an encounter.

The kobolds didn't need Magic Lore. "Big fire comes from bad man" - it is a fan of fire from his hands. Now if it had been a Sleep spell, that might be more mysterious and they wouldn't have had an idea.(However, I was played the Kobolds as if they had some vague knowledge of magic because of their heritage - which is from 4th edition, but I recently ran an adventure with a whole lot of magic using draconic kobolds, so that might have been on my mind). 
But, they would have swarmed anyway. Keep in the mind, there was a opening by the fighter. They ran by and attacked the Rogue, Cleric AND the Wizard. Well, or some of them, but they attacked more than the wizard and kept coming because the party couldn't plug the hole the kobolds where pouring through. Actually THAT was the bad luck.
This is an interesting question. The high end of Magic Lore can be easier to determine. But, could a Fighter with a 8 Int, recognize a Cure Light Wound spell? What if it is healing soul damage that you can't see. Would he even KNOW that he is healed? Would a Magic Missile from the Darkness be seen as a Magic Missile. What if the Fighter tryed to Parry it? Would he in his ignorance lose his expertise die? (This last one actually happened to a player and the player roleplayed ignorance). Now a guy in a long cloak speaking baleful invocations and then blasting away with a huge fan of fire - that is probably going to be recognized as magic by just about anyone. (Even if is a Charlatan Rogue with Bluff and some Alchemist Fire ).

Actually, I think that we are closer in DM style than you might think. Usually, the players fear the Velvet Glove MUCH more than the Steely Blade. I have not run anything like the Caverns of Chaos in a while. Actually, the last one was a few months ago when I ran .... Keep on the Borderlands using Red Box D&D as a "Blast from the Past". But, that is not the point.    
     
 Oh, the rule for the Kobolds was from the previous version of the rules. If they outnumbered the party, each kobold had advantage. The new Mob Rule that you quote is from the new version is much more balanced.

But, lets agree to agree. Different games and DM are different. I am curious about other DMs and the Fog of War - when do you make the characters make a Spot roll? And when do make them make a Lore check?  But, that is the topic of another thread .
BTW: Mob Tactics +1:  The kobold chooses a creature within its reach. Until the start of the kobold’s next turn, friendly creatures that also have this trait gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls against the target while it is within the kobold’s reach.

All those kobolds shooting from range... who ran up to mark.. and then survived to keep the mark going?




I'd just like to say that I reaally hate this ability. If there's going to be a lot of this kind of thing going on I will not be playing a whole lot of this version of D&D.

Can someone explain how every critter in a room is going to be able to get a bonus to hit my character just because one of them is near enough to hit me? 

Mob tactics to me would be that if a mob was to attack my character, as long as there was an actual mob doing the attacking then they get the bonus. You know four or more making melee attacks at the same time on the same character.

I think the dev team is taking minimal rules to the wrong extreme. This packet is like a block of swiss cheese, full of a lot of big holes. If they are going to use different rules for each packet then those changes need to be articulated clearly and those rules that are new need to be very clear nd unambiguous in their descriptions. 

Some poorly camouflaged marking system isn't going to fly in my opinion. These things contribute to my not playing 4e I don't like them and I really don't need them in any game I intend to play.
 
The Burning Hands did kill every kobold in the area, but there where a LOT more. The Caves of Chaos have a LOT of creatures. The new rules have fewer monsters in an encounter.

But, lets agree to agree. Different games and DM are different. I am curious about other DMs and the Fog of War - when do you make the characters make a Spot roll? And when do make them make a Lore check?  But, that is the topic of another thread .

Yeah.  No doubt.  I didn't automatically alert the entire Cave A and have them come pouring in on the players...

And since the other kobolds didn't see the burning hands, I would have had them automatically know who killed the first kobolds.

Beyond that, I expect you are right... we are closer to style than it seems, just specific circumstances were handled just enough differently that the end results seem dramatically different.  Plus there's the variables of how our players play, how many there are, and what classes they compose.
Oops, forgot to answer the questions:

I take it that Spot is fairly natural for character (How to Play alludes to it).  They are generally aware that danger abound, so they are constantly on the lookout.  Specifics, no, but when they move and ask, do we see anything, I give them the benefit of the doubt.

Lore is mostly a feel thing, but I always allow players to use it if they are trained.  4E really started me on that, since creatures were so complex, knowing their capabilities was a big advantage.  So with some 4E players coming this way, they are in the habit of asking "rolled a 14 on Nature Lore."  What do I know about Kobold Dragonshields....

My reply would be something like:  "They are tougher than regular kobold, for certain, with much better defenses as they wear armor and use a shield... their melee is much stronger, plus they ashew ranged... there has been rumors that they also know how to protect, but how, you aren't sure."

A worse roll would result in less and a better with more specifics. 
I'm with the crafty kobolds on this one for at least 2 editions now Kobolds have been into traps ambushes and magic scorcery in specific Because of the draconic heritige. That should probably be adressed somewhere in the stat block but the lore is defietly there
At this rate, Kobolds will be ruling the world! ;)

+1 more to the Kobolds = TPK team, though.  I am starting to think I am in the minority.

4E did away with the idea that you could have a Caves of Chaos type setting (other than heavy use of minions, which were kind of cheesy).  Higher population creatures that were dangerous because of numbers, not because of intelligence and power.

No more rooms with 10 Orcs.. no more Against the Cult of the Reptile God with rooms of skeletons or troglodytes. No more Temple of Elemental Evil with a dozen zombies in one room and 8 gnolls in another.  Everything had to be advanced, with classes, tactics, and powers.  Couldn't just be mass chaos, it had to be tactical and smart.

I must be getting old, because I kind of miss the simpler days of my youth where players just went in and DMs didn't have to think so much. :P

Hopefully, there will be a segment of 5E that allows me to flashback to that more relaxed style of gaming.

Yet another call for modularity and options galore in 5E!