Handling a Hengeyokai

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One of my players is playing a Hengeyokai druid with passive 22 perception, which leads me to two main questions.


How as a DM would you handle traps? Is it best to just leave most of them out since his passive perception will let him auto-see most (and I checked forthe first few levels there is only one or two he wouldnt see) of them.  Or should I only drop high level traps whose DC is higher than his passive perception? I like traps, and want to use them, but I don’t want to penalize the player for having a high perception score; but on the flip I don't want to put traps that the party will instant-see due to this player, if thats the case I'll just use damage-dealing squares instead (lava/acid/spikes)


Since his character has plenty of versatile movement options (fly/swim/borrow/climb) due to his animal forms; what are some good ways to approach skill challenges (non-social) while keeping this in mind. Had written up one where the party gets stuck in a pit before I realize his character could easily get out of it in several ways. Should I actively just try to think around his characters animal powers (Ex, you fall in a bit and a force bubble surround its) or is that slapping the players hand because of their race choice?


Note I am fine with him playing this character; he really is excited to play it, I just need to figure out how as a DM to handle his super sight and mobility.

1. Never nullify a players ability, or punish the player for their ability. Likewise, you can reward them for it. You can design traps that even once detected must be circumvented with a skill check; or make the trap useful for players to exploit against the enemy.

You are completely on the right track by not wanting to penalize the player, and as for his movement options and animal forms, make them required for success.

Have an Animal NPC such as a specific Intelligent Owl have a piece of information instead of "the blacksmiths son". He will need to use his ability, and be rewarded for having it. Hybrid Forms and Animal Forms might be useful, for example a trap that can be disabled by the character taking bird form and getting into a small area. Maybe a "hole in the top of the wall" will get the player to the other side of a locked door.

As for flight, I like all players to have equality in movement options when possible. If he is flying, he is probably an archer, and vulnerable to archery. He would be a target for some spells naturally by intelligent NPC's, however other enemies might simply not be able to reach the player, which is the "reward" of the ability.

As for the player "moving ahead of the others" there might be something ahead for a scout to discover. The sky can be dangerous, with manticores, roc's, giant eagles, drakes, harpies, air elementals, that no player would be advantaged to "fly 100 feet above the rest of the group". If the player enjoys doing that, you can storyline in a Flock of Birds or something for the player to occasionally travel with.

Sometimes, going forward simply requires crawling, bashing down a door or something else in which flight isn't useful. If I was an archer and an enemy turned into a bird, I would use a net or something else to knock the bird out of flight. Likewise, he could make checks against their arrows and spells. Some enemies might polymorph him back, or polymorph themselves into a bigger bird. I would let the player enjoy the full spectrum of their abilities by building the function of those abilities into the encounters.

I hope it makes for interesting games for you and your players.

Within; Without.

One of my players is playing a Hengeyokai druid with passive 22 perception, which leads me to two main questions.

How as a DM would you handle traps? Is it best to just leave most of them out since his passive perception will let him auto-see most (and I checked forthe first few levels there is only one or two he wouldnt see) of them.  Or should I only drop high level traps whose DC is higher than his passive perception? I like traps, and want to use them, but I don’t want to penalize the player for having a high perception score; but on the flip I don't want to put traps that the party will instant-see due to this player, if thats the case I'll just use damage-dealing squares instead (lava/acid/spikes)

Use traps that are dangerous even if the PCs are aware of them. Indiana Jones was aware of every trap in the Hovitos temple, and got into trouble when he misjudged one (failed a Thievery check, one might imagine) and got turned on by his henchman. Furthermore, even the traps he could see were not trivial to circumvent.

Some traps have control panels that even a minion can use to spring them on PCs. Others can be sprung by monsters moving the PCs into them.

Since his character has plenty of versatile movement options (fly/swim/borrow/climb) due to his animal forms; what are some good ways to approach skill challenges (non-social) while keeping this in mind. Had written up one where the party gets stuck in a pit before I realize his character could easily get out of it in several ways. Should I actively just try to think around his characters animal powers (Ex, you fall in a bit and a force bubble surround its) or is that slapping the players hand because of their race choice?

Note I am fine with him playing this character; he really is excited to play it, I just need to figure out how as a DM to handle his super sight and mobility.

You should not try to "fix" traditional traps in order to make them harder for this character. If a trap or other challenge doesn't work, let them get out of it and move on, and then don't use that type of trap again. And while you're at it, don't assume that the party won't have some power that they can use to get out of anything you put them in. And don't assume they do, either.

I can offer other advice, but the best thing you can do is talk to the player. Make it clear to him, has you have to us, that you're happy for him to play the character, and ask for suggestions on traps that would pose an interesting challenge to the player. The character, of course, can be frustrated, but the player should find it interesting.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Something important I wanted to throw in here, your player doesn't get ALL of those animal forms. He has to choose 1, and he has to be in full animal form to use it. Meaning he can have a burrow speed or a fly speed, but only while he's a full badger or sparrow.

That cuts down on that worry a fair amount. As for Perception, my recommendation would be to set up traps during battles, preferebly including enemies with forced movement. The enemies would know they were there, as would the party. Then, it's a matter of who pushes who into the traps first. Should make things interesting.

Hope that helps.
Indeed he has to chose what kind of "spirit" he is so if he choses to be a fishhengeyokai he can only change into a small carp to gain a swimspeed. If he choose a dog, fox or hare hengeyokai he doesn't even get a special movement speed only a +2 to speed.

And you'll find someone with a high perception quite often as most people know how important it is. It's basicly a required pick on a wis char :P.
And you'll find someone with a high perception quite often as most people know how important it is. It's basicly a required pick on a wis char :P.

Because without it players are bascially asking for their characters to look stupid for missing traps, clues and ambushes.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Something important I wanted to throw in here, your player doesn't get ALL of those animal forms. He has to choose 1



Hrm I don't remember reading that; I do recall you have to choose a Skill Buff (Crane gives +2 to perception) but I didn't see where that choice locked you into an animal form choice (though I had suspected it)

I am fine letting him use all the forms, since he has indicated when he first made the character that was the main reason for his choice; I guess I can just let him know I'm doing him a solid in letting the rules slide and thus should give me more freedom to restrict if it gets out of hand.

Also; setting up traps, events and such that only his chracter can get around seems a bit harsh on the other players; what if his player fails at doing something, unless the other party members could concivably do something they would be stuck. That ontop of his character is the only one optimized at all in the party (and I've tried the with the rest) I'm just concerned of him drawing heat to himself from his fellow players.

Thankz for all the replies; I greatly appricate it.      

      

Also; setting up traps, events and such that only his chracter can get around seems a bit harsh on the other players;

I generally agree. Sometimes it would be cool for him to be the only one immune to a trap, but most of the time the traps and situations you use should challenge all of them.

what if his player fails at doing something, unless the other party members could concivably do something they would be stuck.

I don't quite follow this.

That ontop of his character is the only one optimized at all in the party (and I've tried the with the rest) I'm just concerned of him drawing heat to himself from his fellow players.

You're worried about the players being unhappy with him? Bring this up with him and the group. Ask for ideas about how to challenge the optimized player and the non-optimized players equally. There are ways, and you're more likely to come up with them if you get input from everyone at your table.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Because without it players are bascially asking for their characters to look stupid for missing traps, clues and ambushes.



I prefer the expression "brave and forthright."

Roleplaying is for roleplaying.  The rules are for the game.

Because without it players are bascially asking for their characters to look stupid for missing traps, clues and ambushes.

I prefer the expression "brave and forthright."

I'm with you. Falling into traps, getting the tables turned on them, and dealing with ambushes are heroic activities. But they are also mistakes, and players don't like making mistakes. It is possible to get to the point where they do, though, and that's magical.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy