A Problem with Monster Design and a Suggested Solution: "Colossus" design.

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Right now, a lot of the "BIG SCARY" monsters just don't feel very big or scary. It is often scarier to fight hordes of weaker creatures, like hobbgoblins, than a single tough creature, like a dragon. I don't really think that just adding more HP to something like a dragon would fix the problem. That would just make the fight with something like a dragon drag on, as witling down a dragons HP would have no real effect until the dragon reached 0 hit points. I have a suggestion. I call this suggestion "colossus monster design." 

There should be a new size category of monster. That category should be "colossal." It should be saved for the largest and most fearsome monsters. A colossal monster, however, is not stated as a single monster. Instead it is composed of multiple stat blocks, each of which mechanically looks like a single smaller monster, which together act as one creature. Here are some examples of what I mean:

You could design a hydra. The hydra would have 8 heads. Each head would be treated as its own special monster. It would also have a 9th monster which is the body. The body would have two claw attacks and the hit points of 16 heads. Each head would have one bite attack. 7 of the heads would have a special feature where if they die then in two rounds the hydra regrows 2 heads. So, killing one of those heads robs the creature of a head for two rounds, but in two rounds it just grows more. One of the heads, however, would be its weak point. If you kill that head the creature dies instantly. The problem is that you have to find it. Meanwhile, you can instead take the safe route and attack the body (which has the HP of 16 heads). Once you kill the body the entire hydra also dies.

For a dragon it would have a body, head, wings, and tail. The head would have a bite attack and a breath weapon. The wings would have two wing buffets. The tail would have a lash. The body would have two claw attacks. You would have to defeat any three parts of the dragon to kill it. Meanwhile, the head would be a special case. When you defeat it the first time every part of the dragon takes disadvantage on all attacks and saves. It does not, however, lose its breath weapon or bite. Instead, it "heals" itself to full HP. If you kill it a second time the entire dragon dies. 

By using such design they would both make these creatures very fearsome and more fun to fight. You would have to tactically think about what part of the creature you should attack. And, the fights wouldn't feel like they are dragging on, because each time you defeated some part of a colossal monster something memorable would happen. 


So, I created an example stat block:



Dragon, Red



Gargantuan Dragon
Immunities fire
Str 25 (+7)
Dex 10 (+0)
Con 21 (+5)
Int 11 (+0)
Wis 11 (+0)
Cha 19 (+4)
Alignment chaotic evil
Languages Common, Draconic

Traits
Dragon: The dragon cannot be paralyzed or put to sleep.
Frightful Presence: A creature that starts its turn within sight of the dragon must make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw.
Failed Save: The target is frightened for 1 minute; while frightened, the target must use its movement to move away from the dragon. As an action, the frightened target can make a DC 14 Wisdom or Charisma check to end this effect.
Successful Save: The target is immune to the dragon’s frightful presence for the next 24 hours. This immunity also applies once the effect ends.
Keen Senses: The dragon gains a +5 bonus to all checks to detect hidden creatures.
Magic Resistance: The dragon has advantage on saving throws against magical effects.
Gargantuan Colossus: A colossus is a powerful creature that is so large that it is often impossible to engage with the creature as a whole. Rather, creatures must engage with its parts. A colossus has multiple parts, each of which is given a stat block below. When a part is reduced to 0 hit points the creature is not killed and the part is not destroyed. Rather, the part suffers some debilitating injury and is disabled. To find out what happens when a part is disabled refer to that part’s stat block. All of the parts are considered to be one single creature. As a result, when any of the creature’s parts move the other parts move with it, but every part takes its actions on its own initiative count. Any action used to move, however, may divide the movement between every part's turn. All of the parts may only take a single move action per round, but each part may take its own action on its turn. All of the parts may only give up a single action for the purposes of using a hustle, but only a part with a movement rating may do so. Attacks only target a single part at a time (unless an area of effect is used to attack the creature). Any of the statistics listed in the stat block above are considered to be common to the dragon as a whole, and are used by all of its parts unless stated otherwise in a part’s stat block.
Colossal Death: A gargantuan red dragon starts dying when three of its parts are disabled or its head is brought to -138 hit points. As always, it is the DMs discretion whether a red dragon automatically dies or not. If the DM wishes to prolong its death process then at the moment a red dragon starts dying every disabled part begins to suffer the Dying condition as per the How to Play rules. When three parts are reduced to an amount of hit points expressed a negative value equal to or greater than the part’s Constitution score (21) plus its hit dice the dragon dies. Alternatively, if its head is reduced to -138 hit points the red dragon dies instantly. 
Attacking a Disabled Body Part: Creatures may choose to attack a body part that is already disabled. When they do so they gain advantage on the attack. If they hit double any damage dealt and then divide it equally amongst all the parts of the dragon’s body (with any remainder being dealt to the disabled body part). 



Head
Armor Class 18
Hit Points 138 (12d12 + 60)
Dex 14 (+2)
Senses darkvision 100 ft.
The red dragon senses the world through organs that are all located on its head. If its head is deprived of its senses for any reason, all of its other parts suffer the same effect.
Improved Dexterity: The red dragon’s head houses its brain, and as a result the head tends to react faster than the rest of its body.
Improved Armor: The red dragon’s head houses some of its most important organs. Those organs tend to be a good deal more vulnerable than those found in the rest of its body. In order to protect those organs its head tends to be armored in thicker plating.
Disabled: When the head is disabled all of the red dragon’s parts take disadvantage on any attack rolls and anyone making a saving throw against one of the red dragon’s actions does so with advantage. Additionally, all of the red dragon’s parts take disadvantage on any saving throws, and its fire breath no longer recharges.

ACTIONS

Melee Attack—Bite: +7 to hit (reach 15 ft.; one creature).
Hit: 33 (4d12 + 7) piercing damage.

Fire Breath (Recharge 5–6): The dragon breathes fire in a 60—foot cone. Each creature in the area must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw.
Failed Save: 29(7d6 + 5) fire damage.
Successful Save: Half damage.

Body
Armor Class 15
Hit Points 172 (15d12 + 75)
Speed 60 ft.
Disabled: When the body is disabled it may no longer take any actions (or use its move speed).

ACTIONS

Multiattack: The red dragon’s body makes two claw attacks.

Melee Attack—Claw: +6 to hit (reach 10 ft.; one creature).
Hit: 20 (3d8 + 7) slashing damage.

Wings
Armor Class 15
Hit Points 172 (15d12 + 75)
Speed fly 150 ft.
Disabled: When the wings are disabled they may no longer take any actions (or fly).

ACTIONS

Wing Buffet: The dragon buffets two areas on either side of it in a  30—foot cone (each). Every creature in the area must make a DC 14 Dexteritysaving throw.
Failed Save: 17 (3d6 + 7) bludgeoning damage.
Successful Save: Half damage.

Tail
Armor Class 15
Hit Points 172 (15d12 + 75)
Disabled: When the tail is disabled it may no longer take any actions.

ACTIONS

Tail Slap: The dragon slaps an area in a 20 foot line extending from its rear. Each creature in the area must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw.
Failed Save: 18 (2d10 + 7) bludgeoning damage and, if the target is Large or smaller, the dragon either pushes the target up to 15 feet away or knocks it prone (dragon’s choice).
Successful Save: Half damage and no effect.


And, just to give you an idea of size, that would be a 55 foot long dragon from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail. It has a 20 foot long tail, a 20 foot long body, a 10 foot long neck, and 5 foot long head. Its legs are about 10 feet long each. It has a wingspan of about 120 feet when fully extended. The assumption is that it does not use a wing buffet when its wings are fully extended (in order to avoid hurting itself), and rather does so when its wings are drawn halfway in. Larger dragons would be designed as even bigger creatures. 
I had an idea for something like this once, with a Colossal-sized enemy golem that the PCs would fight it in parts.(imagine the Vegnagun battle in FFX-2)
Cyber, I did something incredibly similar for the last session w/ my PCs. Made a 3-headed dragon w/ 3x the hp. Each "head" had an initiative, but each one generally preferred a specific type of attack. It would've played out very mechanically similar to what you have in mind. Also, it was about the size of a mountain... so... yeah. I dig this colossus notion. It comes closer to what a 4e solo should be than a lot of 4e solos were.
"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
That's a good idea; seems like a natural extension of the monster design implemented on a few solo monsters from 4e. Since Colossal has a history in D&D as its own size category, I vote for a different term, though. Especially since there's plenty of boss creatures that aren't colossal in size. Not sure what, though.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
They should probably remove the customization rules in the monster manual and just use the term variants, and then they can add another category for monster stages. The later can consider age, size, or different levels of powers to include higher AC, action economy, etc. It could include colossal size creatures, but stages should consider any size creatures like devils that can be around for thousands of years and slowly grow in power.

The term colossal is not a good term for granting monsters advanced ability. And I prefer your type of mechanic to be used for any type of creature when applicable.
Sounds a lot like wrecan's Piecework Creatures design for 4e.

Still a great idea to incorporate into Next.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

I'm not sure if giving different segments different hp totals would be appropriate for many monsters. Hydras and constructs, sure, but when you cut off a dragon's arm the whole thing suffers.

I'm a firm believer in "bloodied" effects and other hp thresholds for monsters, even if not for PCs. Let them change tactics as the battle progresses.

Honestly, the devs have said several times that they want to emulate the setpiece-battle feel of 4e. I do hope we'll see that in the monster design at some point soonish. 
I like CyberDave's idea since right now with Bounded Accuracy, increasing the number of foes/attacks vs. PCs is by far the easiest way to make more deadly encounters (along with AoE attacks and natural hazards).  Giving the most fearsome monsters many attacks (or making them function like multiple monsters as CyberDave suggests) would definitely make those monsters seem more menacing.  

Hopefully, when all is said and done, WotC will have a way to make some monsters more menacing, and hopefully WotC will be able to judge more carefully how number of attacks in an encounter scales with difficulty level and XP values.  Right now, calculating challenge ratings for encounters becomes very difficult.  For even a low level party, 15 Kobolds worth 150xp could be more deadly than fighting 1 Ogre worth 300 xp because of the number of attacks vs. PCs not necessarily the heartiness of monsters or damage output.   

A Brave Knight of WTF

So, I just wanted to give an example of how I see this playing out:


DM: A massive giant of colossal size crashes through the wall of the castle’s outer defenses, leaving a gaping 30 foot hole in the stonework.


Fighter player: Oh dear. Well, there is nothing more to it… I charge towards it and attack.


DM: Ok, but it is far too large for you to be able to strike at anything but its legs. You might be able to jump up and try to swipe at its belly, but you will take disadvantage on your attack.


Fighter player: Yea. I will just strike at the legs. (Rolls an attack, hits, deals damage.)


Ranger player: I want to shoot at it with my bow.


DM: Ok. But, keep in mind, this is a colossus. Attacking it is like hitting the broad-size of a barn. Do you want to aim at the legs, the body, or the head? The legs and body are much larger than the head, they will be easier to hit (the head has a higher AC than the rest of it).


Ranger: Um… I want to attack the head anyway. Hopefully I can hit it in the eye and take this sucker down. (Rolls an attack and misses.)


Rogue player: I am going to run up and attack as well, just like the fighter. But, I want to run up to the other side of the giant. (Rolls attacks and damage as per any attack sequence).


DM: Ok, so, the giant stomps once on the fighter (rolls attacks and damage as per any attack sequence. Only the fighter is in the stomp’s AoE). After that it reaches down and tries to grab the rogue. (Rolls a special grab attack and is successful.) Ok, Mr. Rogue, you take X damage. You must also make a Dex save.


Rogue player: *Gulp* (rolls and fails).


DM: Yea. Its fist closes around you and it picks you up. You need to break free with an action used to make a Strength or Dex save on your turn. Until you do, it will be able to squeeze you each round.


Fighter player: Ok, I am going to hack at its legs again. (Rolls attacks and damage as per any attack sequence).


Ranger player: I am going to shoot another arrow at its head. (Rolls attacks and damage as per any attack sequence).


Rogue: I try to wriggle out of its grip. (Rolls a Dex check.)


DM: Ok, that was not high enough to completely wriggle free, but it is high enough to free your arm. You may choose to attack or make a save from now on.


Montage of events that completes the encounter: The rogue will either make it save, or start dealing damage to the arm. If he deals more than X damage with one attack the giant will drop him. Either the ranger does enough damage to the head, instantly killing the entire giant, or the fighter and the freed rogue will deal enough damage to the legs to “defeat” them. Either way, the DM will say:


DM: [Insert description of the fighter doing some sort of major damage to the leg or an arrow killing the giant here.] The giant stumbles and crumples towards the floor. Anyone within a 25 foot by 75 foot  square in front of the giant must make a Dexterity save (DC X) or take XdY damage as the giant falls on them.


Continued montage of events that completes the encounter: If the giant did not fall from dying, the group has a choice. They can attack the body or the head. The head has a slightly higher AC, but the entire giant is now prone, so the party takes advantage on any attacks. Either way, when either the body or the head is “defeated” the giant dies. Meanwhile, the giant cannot stand up or stomp on the PCs anymore.


How the giant would be designed: It would have three stat blocks: the legs, the body, and the head. The legs would be able to make one stomp per round. It would be a small AoE attack. Say with a 5 square radius range from a point of origin (or a 10 by 10 foot square). The body would be able to make either two punches/dual weapon attacks/one great weapon attack (depending on what the giant is wielding) or one special grab attack per round. The grab deals the same damage as a punch, but if the target fails a Dex save (DC X) the giant grabs the target; if the target fails a Dex save (DC X-Y) then the giant still grabs the target, but it fails to grab the targets arm. Once a target is grabbed the giant automatically deals XdY damage to the target per turn. On the targets turn it may either A) use an action to try the save again (either Dex or Str this time) or B) attack (if its arm is free). If it deals more than X damage on an attack the giant automatically drops the target. The head has no attack actions, but its AC is much better. Dropping any two components to 0 HP kills the giant. Dropping the head to 0 HP also kills the giant. While the giant is standing its head cannot be attacked with melee attacks, and melee attacks against the giant’s body are made with disadvantage unless the weapon used to make the attack has the reach property. When the giant dies or its legs are dropped to 0 hit points the giant falls. When it does it chooses a direction. Anything within a width of 25 feet and a length of 75 feet into that direction must made a Dex save (DC X) to dodge out of the way of a bodypart or take XdY damage. 

That's a good idea; seems like a natural extension of the monster design implemented on a few solo monsters from 4e. Since Colossal has a history in D&D as its own size category, I vote for a different term, though. Especially since there's plenty of boss creatures that aren't colossal in size. Not sure what, though.



Actually, I am playing on that size category, which is why I used the term colossus/colossal. This sort of design would be used for colossal creatures (bigger than gargantuan in size, which is currently the largest size creature that the game has used), not for "bosses." This design would not be used to represent any boss creatures. Smaller "boss creatures," such as powerful vampires, liches, NPC wizards, or even younger dragons, would not be "programed" this way. They would be designed with a single stat block. Most of them would use minions of some shape or form in order to make themselves more of a threat. Only the largest of monsters would be designed this way. Or maybe both gargantuan and colossal creatures would be designed this way, but the larger sized creatures would have more parts.

The term colossal is not a good term for granting monsters advanced ability. And I prefer your type of mechanic to be used for any type of creature when applicable.



I don't really think it is applicable to anything but the largest sized creatures. Medium sized liches of great power should not be designed this way. And, encounters against medium sized creatures of great power, including bosses, should probably utilize not only those creatures and their own powers but also hosts of minions. 


 
You know what would be sweet? a mecanic for characters to climb onto monsters and then attack their vulnerable parts.
Any of you ever played Shadow of the Colossus ? 
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You know what would be sweet? a mecanic for characters to climb onto monsters and then attack their vulnerable parts.
Any of you ever played Shadow of the Colossus ? 


I would love that. SotC is one of my favorite games of all time.
I'm not sure if giving different segments different hp totals would be appropriate for many monsters. Hydras and constructs, sure, but when you cut off a dragon's arm the whole thing suffers.
 



When you drop a dragon's body to 0 hit points you don't cut an arm off. You merely damage it to the point where it suffers a wound serious enough that it no longer want to attack using the limbs coded into that section of the body. As a result, the dragon stops making claw attacks. Of course, players might want to choose to continue to attack a "defeated" party of the body, trying to do something like kill the dragon by actually lopping off an arm. So, attacking a "defeated" part of the body should grant advantage. If you drop the part of the body to a negative value of hit points equal to its hit point maximum it should count like defeating another part of the body. Same thing would happen when you drop it to a negative of hit points equal to double that parts hit points, triple that parts hit points, and etc. The benefit of attacking such a "defeated" body part is that you attack with advantage. The negative benefit of attacking such a "defeated" body part is that doing so will never cause the monster to stop making one of its other attack types. 

What about a medium size ooze the continously divides after each attack, or a devil that appears in sets of three to torment the mind, body and soul. Or the hell cat with nine lives; not that I have any special affinity for devils but those are just examples.
I'm not sure if giving different segments different hp totals would be appropriate for many monsters. Hydras and constructs, sure, but when you cut off a dragon's arm the whole thing suffers.
 



When you drop a dragon's body to 0 hit points you don't cut an arm off. You merely damage it to the point where it suffers a wound serious enough that it no longer want to attack using the limbs coded into that section of the body. As a result, the dragon stops making claw attacks. Of course, players might want to choose to continue to attack a "defeated" party of the body, trying to do something like kill the dragon by actually lopping off an arm. So, attacking a "defeated" part of the body should grant advantage. If you drop the part of the body to a negative value of hit points equal to its hit point maximum it should count like defeating another part of the body. Same thing would happen when you drop it to a negative of hit points equal to double that parts hit points, triple that parts hit points, and etc.  



Or another type of fight this could create is one with an enemy "core" and a whole bunch of different parts to the boss. Each part alive gives the "core" extra bonuses and stuff. Taking the "core" out would end the fight, but it becomes much easier if you take out some of it's parts first.
You know what would be sweet? a mecanic for characters to climb onto monsters and then attack their vulnerable parts.
Any of you ever played Shadow of the Colossus ? 



No. But I played Dragon's Dogma. And, such a mechanic would be very fun. 
I like it. A lot.
A question, though, if I may?

Say the PCs are fighting a red dragon great wyrm. He's give or take 300 ft. in length. Using this set-up, if the PCs are capable of reducing two of his parts to 0 HP, he is dead. If you reduce his head or body to 0 HP, he is dead. If you cannot kill the body or the head, you instead have to whiddle him down however possible. Then, once he drops, he regains his HPs and the PCs get to start over with the whiddling down or focus-fire process, and the dragon would have disadvantage on his attacks.

Am I interpreting this correctly?
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
What about a medium size ooze the continously divides after each attack, or a devil that appears in sets of three to torment the mind, body and soul. Or the hell cat with nine lives; not that I have any special affinity for devils but those are just examples.



The ooze actually becomes two monsters after each attack. The three aspects of the devil might be three parts of an obscene trinity which are actually one essence, but each of the three aspects would actually be its own creature. The hell cat with nine lives would be a single hell cat that you need to kill 9 times before it goes away for good (and unless each of its lives has different attacks/stats, it would actually be the same as fighting a cat with 9X the normal amount of HP, and the fight would be fairly boring). None of those are examples of the sort of design I am talking about (though they are related, and could be designed to be very fun encounters). 

I like it. A lot.
A question, though, if I may?

Say the PCs are fighting a red dragon great wyrm. He's give or take 300 ft. in length. Using this set-up, if the PCs are capable of reducing two of his parts to 0 HP, he is dead. If you reduce his head or body to 0 HP, he is dead. If you cannot kill the body or the head, you instead have to whiddle him down however possible. Then, once he drops, he regains his HPs and the PCs get to start over with the whiddling down or focus-fire process, and the dragon would have disadvantage on his attacks.

Am I interpreting this correctly?



Erm, each creature would be designed a little differently (in a way that best reflects its abilities). None of the examples I gave work like that though. The dragon example I gave would work something like this:

It has four parts : head, body, wings, tail.  

Each part makes the following attacks: head--bite or breath weapon (reacharge 6); body--two claw attacks; wings--wing buffet which is an AoE that strikes everyone within two AoEs on either side of the dragon; tail--one AoE attack that strikes everyone within X squares of the dragon, but each square must be touching, and one square must touch the dragons body.

If you drop any 3 bodyparts to 0 hit points the dragon dies. When you drop the head to a negative value of hit points equal to its hit point maximum the dragon dies.

Any time you drop a body part to 0 hit points it loses the attacks that that body part makes. The exception is the head. When you drop the head to 0 hit points it may still bite or make breath weapons. Instead, the entire dragon (every bodypart) takes disadvantage on all attacks and saves, and heroes take advantage on any saves made against the dragon's AoE effects.  
It has four parts : head, body, wings, tail.  

Each part makes the following attacks: head--bite or breath weapon (reacharge 6); body--two claw attacks; wings--wing buffet which is an AoE that strikes everyone within two AoEs on either side of the dragon; tail--one AoE attack that strikes everyone within X squares of the dragon, but each square must be touching, and one square must touch the dragons body.

Any time you drop a body part to 0 hit points it loses the attacks that that body part makes.

If you drop any 3 bodyparts to 0 hit points the dragon dies. When you drop the head to a negative value of hit points equal to its hit point maximum the dragon dies.

The exception is the head. When you drop the head to 0 hit points it may still bite or make breath weapons. Instead the entire dragon (every bodypart) takes disadvantage on all attacks and saves.  



Ah, got it.
Thanks for the clarification.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft

Ah, got it.
Thanks for the clarification.



I made a few edits just to make the presentation more clear. But yea, the gist is the same. I think this would result in large creatures that are both a) a lot more challenging in smaller numbers (and worth more EXP), b) still a realistic challenge as a solo fight for a party of the appropriate level (depending on the creatures level), and most importantly, c) more fun to fight. 

I like it. But I think the principle could work for lesser beings too to make combat less of a subtraction exercise.

For example, what if we took an ogre and divided its' HP between its arms, legs, torso and head. You take out one of the arms and it loses an attack per round; take out a leg and it loses movement speed; etc.

Obviously, you don't want to do this for what would have been Minions in 4e, but I think it would work really well to make "Big, Tough" opponents less of a drag, and to allow the PCs more interesting strategic decisions when fighting a monster where "modular" damage makes sense - a cerebus or cockatrice for example, or a beholder, things with mutliple attacks and multiple powers.  
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
there were titan monsters in 2nd edition the issue is how this impacts the game world and the possible damage it would cause running over a major city
I think the principle could work for lesser beings too to make combat less of a subtraction exercise.

For example, what if we took an ogre and divided its' HP between its arms, legs, torso and head. You take out one of the arms and it loses an attack per round; take out a leg and it loses movement speed; etc.

Obviously, you don't want to do this for what would have been Minions in 4e, but I think it would work really well to make "Big, Tough" opponents less of a drag, and to allow the PCs more interesting strategic decisions when fighting a monster where "modular" damage makes sense - a cerebus or cockatrice for example, or a beholder, things with mutliple attacks and multiple powers.  



I really don't think that ogres should be more tough than they are now. Meanwhile, ogres are not a drag in combat right now. So, we will have to agree to disagree. I think this sort of design space should be saved for gargantuan and colossal creatures in order to really represent their size, mechanically speaking. 
there were titan monsters in 2nd edition the issue is how this impacts the game world and the possible damage it would cause running over a major city




What is it with you and 2nd edition? Any topic where you post, you always post to the effect "2nd edition could do that!" Even when it doesn't make any sense. Like this time. Because, 2nd edition did not have monsters that were coded/designed via the mechanics I describe in this post. It had large creatures, but we are not just talking about introducing large creatures. Meanwhile, the sorts of creatures I am describing are not any larger than the 300 foot dragons that are already in this edition of the game. I am talking about designing creatures that already exist in the game a different way so that their size, as it is currently described in the game, is better reflected in their mechanics. That is a topic you did not interact with at all, despite the fact that you like 2e. You liked 2e. Cool. We get it. I happen to like 2e too. Can we stay on topic now?

I think the principle could work for lesser beings too to make combat less of a subtraction exercise.

For example, what if we took an ogre and divided its' HP between its arms, legs, torso and head. You take out one of the arms and it loses an attack per round; take out a leg and it loses movement speed; etc.

Obviously, you don't want to do this for what would have been Minions in 4e, but I think it would work really well to make "Big, Tough" opponents less of a drag, and to allow the PCs more interesting strategic decisions when fighting a monster where "modular" damage makes sense - a cerebus or cockatrice for example, or a beholder, things with mutliple attacks and multiple powers.  



I really don't think that ogres should be more tough than they are now. Meanwhile, ogres are not a drag in combat right now. So, we will have to agree to disagree. I think this sort of design space should be saved for gargantuan and colossal creatures in order to really represent their size, mechanically speaking. 



Ok, ogre is a bad example. But cerberi? Cockatrixes? Beholders?
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Ok, ogre is a bad example. But cerberi? Cockatrixes? Beholders?




A cockatrixe is chicken sized according to one of the last monster articles. So, yea, I don't think it requires such mechanics. It is scary because it can turn you to stone. But, once you hit it, you should kill it pretty fast. A cerberi that is medium or large sized should pretty much die once you do the mechanical equivalent of dropping one of its heads to 0 hit points. It just isn't big enough to take that sort of damage. I could see an argument of that sort for a huge cerberi. But, honestly, I think the creature would be better served by a mechanic that goes something like this: "you can choose to attack a specific head. When you do you take disadvantage. If you hit the target with a single attack that deals more damage than its Con score, it loses one of its three attacks until after it can take a short rest." The result is similar, but it allows you to distinguish it from the larger gargantuan/colossal creatures in mechanical feel. Same basic argument for the beholder. 

One of these days I'm going to win that umpteen million dollar powerball.
When I do, I'm hiring Cyber-Dave, Wrecan, and a select few others to design an RPG that will put a serious hurt on established RPGs. I'd pay really well, too.

And there's no cynicism in that statement. Wink
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
my point is that in the rules it states it makes no sense. why would i spend hours fighting a giant monsters arms ect when the head will kill it
my point is that in the rules it states it makes no sense. why would i spend hours fighting a giant monsters arms ect when the head will kill it



But that's not what you said.
You said, "...the issue is how this impacts the game world and the possible damage it would cause running over a major city."

As for killing the head itself, either rules would need to be implemented to allow a PC to reasonably get to the head (simply calling for ability checks to climb a moving, angry, fully aware titan seems illogical), or the HP for each "piece" of the beast wouldn't be much more exaggerated than if it were a whole, normal creature.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
One of these days I'm going to win that umpteen million dollar powerball.
When I do, I'm hiring Cyber-Dave, Wrecan, and a select few others to design an RPG that will put a serious hurt on established RPGs. I'd pay really well, too.

And there's no cynicism in that statement. Wink




Thank you! And you are allowed to be cynical. If it is good enough for Antisthenes it is good enough for me! Well, maybe not. I don't think I could give up sex and debauchery. But, I can look at those who do admiringly! Wink

my point is that in the rules it states it makes no sense. why would i spend hours fighting a giant monsters arms ect when the head will kill it

 

How does this in any way, shape, or form follow from what you wrote? This is a total non sequtur to your last post! And, while this is on topic, it doesn't make much sense. In what rules does it state anything along these lines? No such rules exist. That is why I have made the proposal. Or, when you say "in the rules it states" do you mean "in your proposal, as stated"? In which case, what you ahve written still doesn't make sense. My proposal clearly outlined reasons for why people would choose to attack different bodyparts. 

In the case of the hydra, you don't know which head kills the beast. It has 8. If you choose the right head you will kill it quickly. If you choose the wrong head you will stop it from using that stump for two turns. Then it will grow 2 heads which it will use to start attacking you. In the case of the dragon, you don't just need to take down the head. You need to, effectivly, deal enough damage to take down the head twice. Meanwhile, while you will impose disadvantage/gain advantage against the creature after you take it down the first time, you won't stop it from making any attacks against you. Gaining advantage on a save still leaves you with a very high probability of failure. Seeing as the dragon has three AoE attacks in my proposal, choosing to take down three parts instead of effectively taking down two, but making it loose a type of attack with each limb you take down, is as tactically intelligent as just focus firing on the head. It might take a little longer (you will have to deal 150% of the damage you would have had to deal to the head), but the group is likely to get hurt less overall in the process. Moreover, the dragon can fly. Which means, you might have to take out its wings first via range in order to stop it from flying (so that you can then attack it with better melee options). If you do so, attacking the head no longer makes any sense. You won't kill it by dropping its head to 0, and by the time you drop the head to negative the heads maximum hit points you have taken out the equivalent of three parts. You may as well melee the body to deprive it of its claw attacks and then focus on whatever you want next. Finally, the best way to take down the giant is to attack its head. The problem is that its head has a much better AC than the legs/torso. And, you may not attack the head with a melee attack unless the creature is prone. Which means, for many groups focusing on the legs first will be a smarter option.

Ok, ogre is a bad example. But cerberi? Cockatrixes? Beholders?




A cockatrixe is chicken sized according to one of the last monster articles. So, yea, I don't think it requires such mechanics. It is scary because it can turn you to stone. But, once you hit it, you should kill it pretty fast. A cerberi that is medium or large sized should pretty much die once you do the mechanical equivalent of dropping one of its heads to 0 hit points. It just isn't big enough to take that sort of damage. I could see an argument of that sort for a huge cerberi. But, honestly, I think the creature would be better served by a mechanic that goes something like this: "you can choose to attack a specific head. When you do you take disadvantage. If you hit the target with a single attack that deals more damage than its Con score, it loses one of its three attacks until after it can take a short rest." The result is similar, but it allows you to distinguish it from the larger gargantuan/colossal creatures in mechanical feel. Same basic argument for the beholder. 




I find that less cool. One opponent as many opponents is too amazing an idea to restrict just to the colossi.

Not a cockatrix...what's it called, Chimera, sorry. 
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Ok, ogre is a bad example. But cerberi? Cockatrixes? Beholders?




A cockatrixe is chicken sized according to one of the last monster articles. So, yea, I don't think it requires such mechanics. It is scary because it can turn you to stone. But, once you hit it, you should kill it pretty fast. A cerberi that is medium or large sized should pretty much die once you do the mechanical equivalent of dropping one of its heads to 0 hit points. It just isn't big enough to take that sort of damage. I could see an argument of that sort for a huge cerberi. But, honestly, I think the creature would be better served by a mechanic that goes something like this: "you can choose to attack a specific head. When you do you take disadvantage. If you hit the target with a single attack that deals more damage than its Con score, it loses one of its three attacks until after it can take a short rest." The result is similar, but it allows you to distinguish it from the larger gargantuan/colossal creatures in mechanical feel. Same basic argument for the beholder. 




I find that less cool. One opponent as many opponents is too amazing an idea to restrict just to the colossi.

Not a cockatrix...what's it called, Chimera, sorry. 




Don’t know what to tell you. I very strongly disagree. I think that creatures of different sizes should feel different. I think this sort of mechanic is the best way to do it. Some huge monsters (like the chimera or Cerberus) should have the “can take disadvantage to attack a single head” function, with the possibility of stopping attacks from a head/imposing an effect on a head if you deal more damage than the monster’s Con. Some gargantuan creatures should be programmed as multiple creatures. All colossal creatures should be programmed as multiple creatures, and should have more parts to their stat blocks than their gargantuan counterparts.




One of these days I'm going to win that umpteen million dollar powerball.
When I do, I'm hiring Cyber-Dave, Wrecan, and a select few others to design an RPG that will put a serious hurt on established RPGs. I'd pay really well, too.

And there's no cynicism in that statement. Wink



So you're not a cynic, just often cynical.  Or are you in the program?  I am, but I'm still working on step 1; I would say I'll never make it to step 12, but that would be too cynical.
I agree the suggestion, but with subtle differences.

 

Template Multiple-heads (Savage Species).


Simbiotic template from Savage Species.

I suposse we can see a future module for localized damage (for example if legs are hurt penalty to movement, damage in the wings and creature can´t fly).

My suggestion is add the extra limbs or tentacles like.."magic pet", like if they were a mixture of giant serpent (animal companion) + simbiont graft.

And I suggest it only for solo monsters, because using it for elite or minions would be too complicated stats (and slower gameplay) for newbie DMs.   

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

This is very similar to Wrecan's piecework monsters for 4e solos:  community.wizards.com/wrecan/blog/2009/1... 

I designed a couple, but have not used one in combat yet.  I may try it out in my next adventure though.
One of these days I'm going to win that umpteen million dollar powerball.
When I do, I'm hiring Cyber-Dave, Wrecan, and a select few others to design an RPG that will put a serious hurt on established RPGs. I'd pay really well, too.

And there's no cynicism in that statement. Wink


I accept your future offer of employment. Let me know when those LOTTO numbers hit.
I think piecework creatures could be a great way to make solo encounters in Next.  I haven't tried to adapt them yet because monster design is still very much in flux right now in the playtest.  With bounded accuracy, I think it will be even easier to implement.  Piecework creatures have several benefits: (i) it makes the creature less prone to lockdown and save-or-die, (ii) it offers a dynamic challenge to players with the creature acting and moving throughout the round

I find piecework creatures work paricularly well for describing swarms and hordes (and armies) as single creatures. It speeds up combat considerably and allows for massive armies without havig to roll an attack for every soldier individually.
I am against the separate pools of HP, I'd rather have a single pool and have bloodied points at total HP / Number of Pieces.  For instance a 5 peice creature with 100hp would have bloodied points at 20/40/60/80.  each of these bloodied points would corrospond to a kind of detriment weather it's disabling a part or triggering another kind of event. 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

I am against the separate pools of HP, I'd rather have a single pool and have bloodied points at total HP / Number of Pieces.  For instance a 5 peice creature with 100hp would have bloodied points at 20/40/60/80.  each of these bloodied points would corrospond to a kind of detriment weather it's disabling a part or triggering another kind of event. 



Giving each piece its own total works better. You can give varying parts different totals (like making the giant head, in my example, have less HP). 

EDIT: It also makes the rules for targeting different areas and the detriment induced when a part is disabled clearer.