Legendary as a template

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I was thinking about the legendary dragon and then had the following idea. Instead of making some monsters legendary and others not, make legendary a template that can be given to any monster. The template would remove weakness and add other special abilities to a monster to represent their legendary status. 

In this way, you could take an orc and turn him into Obold many arrows or a red dragon and turn him into Ashadralon. Count Strhad is not just a vampire, he is a legendary vampire that can walk in daylight and knows all that is going on in his dominion. Drizzt is a legendary drow who does not suffer disatvantage when in bright daylight.

In this way, any monster could be turned into somthing legendary (even Meepo!). Or, if not a template, at the very least, the MM could list standard monsters and then list along with them their legendary counterpart. The idea is that if every dragon is legendary, then 'legendary' kind of loses its meaning. But if you have your standard run of the mill dragons taht you might encounter in the wild, well, that is a different creature than a legendary dragon whos name is only whispered by the brave, or foolish.

This avoids pegion holing dragons, and other monsters, into a role of only boss fight. You can use a dragon as a random encounter without it being an earth shaking cataclysmic show down of the ages with magical inter-planer vortex blah blah non-sense. But then, when you do want a campaign to focus on a wicked dragon which concludes with a big boss fight with him, then, you can kick in the legendary template. And again, it would let you create other legendary creatures as well (I am thinking in particular of what a legendary beholder would be like!).

Exactly how it would work I am not sure, but it should basically let you break the rules so to speak when adding it to a monster. It lets you take away weakness and vulnerabilities, lets you add special abilities (maybe not spells but, spell-like abilities). Maybe it would look something like this:

-When adding the legendary template make the following adjustments:
Increase each ability score by 4 points and adjust attack, damage, defense, hps, and saves appropiratly (i.e. add 2 hps per level of the creature, the creature now does an extra two points of damage, etc.)

-Remove any vulnerabilities/weaknesses the creature has

- The creature has advantage on saves, and if the monster already has advantage on saves vs a particular effect then it automatically passes that save (i.e. a legendary dargon with magic resistance would automatically pass all saves vs magic).

-Any recharge abilities now recharge at a faster rate. So if the ability was recharge on 5 or 6, it now recharges on 4, 5 or 6.  

-Add a number of monstr traits to match the story behind the legendary monster (for example, maybe the dragon has the trait "displacment" similar to a displacer beast, and so attacks have disatvantage unless  under the effect of a true seeing spell. Or give it "flaming body" like the balor, so that creatures that start their turn within 5 feet of the dragon take 6d6 fire damage). 

Exactly how much xp this would increase the monster by would need to be worked out, and it would varry on how many traits you give it, but I think this is a far better approch than just giving a dragon the ability to tail slap 4 times a turn. It would let us take standard monsters and truly turn them into something unique and legendary for our campagin!

What do others think? 

I was thinking about the legendary dragon and then had the following idea. Instead of making some monsters legendary and others not, make legendary a template that can be given to any monster. The template would remove weakness and add other special abilities to a monster to represent their legendary status. 

In this way, you could take an orc and turn him into Obold many arrows or a red dragon and turn him into Ashadralon. Count Strhad is not just a vampire, he is a legendary vampire that can walk in daylight and knows all that is going on in his dominion. Drizzt is a legendary drow who does not suffer disatvantage when in bright daylight.

In this way, any monster could be turned into somthing legendary (even Meepo!). Or, if not a template, at the very least, the MM could list standard monsters and then list along with them their legendary counterpart. The idea is that if every dragon is legendary, then 'legendary' kind of loses its meaning. But if you have your standard run of the mill dragons taht you might encounter in the wild, well, that is a different creature than a legendary dragon whos name is only whispered by the brave, or foolish.

This avoids pegion holing dragons, and other monsters, into a role of only boss fight. You can use a dragon as a random encounter without it being an earth shaking cataclysmic show down of the ages with magical inter-planer vortex blah blah non-sense. But then, when you do want a campaign to focus on a wicked dragon which concludes with a big boss fight with him, then, you can kick in the legendary template. And again, it would let you create other legendary creatures as well (I am thinking in particular of what a legendary beholder would be like!).

Exactly how it would work I am not sure, but it should basically let you break the rules so to speak when adding it to a monster. It lets you take away weakness and vulnerabilities, lets you add special abilities (maybe not spells but, spell-like abilities). Maybe it would look something like this:

-When adding the legendary template make the following adjustments:
Increase each ability score by 4 points and adjust attack, damage, defense, hps, and saves appropiratly (i.e. add 2 hps per level of the creature, the creature now does an extra two points of damage, etc.)

-Remove any vulnerabilities/weaknesses the creature has

- The creature has advantage on saves, and if the monster already has advantage on saves vs a particular effect then it automatically passes that save (i.e. a legendary dargon with magic resistance would automatically pass all saves vs magic).

-Any recharge abilities now recharge at a faster rate. So if the ability was recharge on 5 or 6, it now recharges on 4, 5 or 6.  

-Add a number of monstr traits to match the story behind the legendary monster (for example, maybe the dragon has the trait "displacment" similar to a displacer beast, and so attacks have disatvantage unless  under the effect of a true seeing spell. Or give it "flaming body" like the balor, so that creatures that start their turn within 5 feet of the dragon take 6d6 fire damage). 

Exactly how much xp this would increase the monster by would need to be worked out, and it would varry on how many traits you give it, but I think this is a far better approch than just giving a dragon the ability to tail slap 4 times a turn. It would let us take standard monsters and truly turn them into something unique and legendary for our campagin!

What do others think? 




i was kinda under the impression that legendary was entirely going to be a template.  however I do think some monsters will come with it automatically applied especially in adventure modules and campaign based creature catalogs.
This works well on paper, but in practice it causes some issues.

I play 3.5 mostly, and honestly have used a template maybe once, despite having played since near inception. Templates cause a number of problems for me, the greatest being time. I just don't have time the time to add mods, change stats, etc just for one monster, boss or no. Mostly this is because... I don't plan very far. Who knows where my players are going to go? Who their true enemy is? I certainly don't, and neither do they.
You are Red/Blue!
You are Red/Blue!
This works well on paper, but in practice it causes some issues.

I play 3.5 mostly, and honestly have used a template maybe once, despite having played since near inception. Templates cause a number of problems for me, the greatest being time. I just don't have time the time to add mods, change stats, etc just for one monster, boss or no. Mostly this is because... I don't plan very far. Who knows where my players are going to go? Who their true enemy is? I certainly don't, and neither do they.




that's why I say distribute a bunch of creautres that do have it listed by default already, but also deliver a template like structure I can use to make anything a legendary monster.  by delivering both I can also take it off of a monster that had it put on by default.
I would suggest the MM only have the template and an example. Then you could have a splat book called something like Legendary Creatures. That book could list specific examples like: Count Strhad, Elminster, Tiamat, and Orcus.
Well, as for a separate template, I think it could work but it would have to be simplified from the 3.5 versions. I used templates alot in 3.5 and had fun with it, but it was time consuming. I think in dnd next it will likely be more easy to just make a a monster from scratch rather than mess with templates, for the most part. It seems like instead of templates you can just add/swap traits. 

The idea of just including a legendary version for monsters can also work well but, again, it would be cool to have a template to let me mess with other monsters and customize to my campaign needs. Then again, there is nothing stoping me from customizing monsters already. I don't have to have a legendary template to add traits or boost stats for a monster. So, maybe just having legendary versions of some tyes of monsters would be good enough, and then those would be good examples for if I want to turn, say, a beholder into a legendary monster. 

Seems like a lot to explore here. At any rate, I hope legendary becomes something that makes a monster more, well, more legendary than other monsters of the same type. The idea that all dragons in the world are legendary makes legendary seem less significant. 
I would suggest the MM only have the template and an example. Then you could have a splat book called something like Legendary Creatures. That book could list specific examples like: Count Strhad, Elminster, Tiamat, and Orcus.




Oooh, I like this idea. It makes all legendary monsters seem like they should be named creatures with significant back story. a legendary monster is not just the boss fight of a dungeon, it's something much more. This approach helps bring that out. At the same time, I would not be apposed to having some legendary examples for obvious monsters such as dragons. But I like hitting home the idea that a legendary moenter is a monster that stands out from oth monsters of the same type. 
I think they should change the name.  Everyon is taking the term "Legendary" to mean something above and beyon, i.e "Smaug" vs. red dragon.  However, that is an in world usage of the term legendary.  Mr. Mearls was using as a game mechanica term.    It is simple a term to desribe a monster that is tougher than the standard monster of a giving level.  Similar to the 4e "Elite" and "Solo"  (which as a bad term also, because they often could or should not have been used as a solo threat).  As such, it should be a template of shorts (or simply guidelines like 4e) and baked into certain monstrs.


I am of the firm belief that all dragons should use the legendary mechanics; however, all dragons are not LEGENDARY!   
I think they should change the name.  Everyon is taking the term "Legendary" to mean something above and beyon, i.e "Smaug" vs. red dragon.  However, that is an in world usage of the term legendary.  Mr. Mearls was using as a game mechanica term.    It is simple a term to desribe a monster that is tougher than the standard monster of a giving level.  Similar to the 4e "Elite" and "Solo"  (which as a bad term also, because they often could or should not have been used as a solo threat).  As such, it should be a template of shorts (or simply guidelines like 4e) and baked into certain monstrs.


I am of the firm belief that all dragons should use the legendary mechanics; however, all dragons are not LEGENDARY!   




My problem with this though is why make a monster tougher than what it is for its level? The point of the level system is to help balance monsters vs party levels for appropriate encounters. Any monster that is 2-3 levels higher than the party should be a tough fight. If you make all level '10' dragons fight as though they are level 15 just to make them feel tough, then that just means the dragon is really a 15th level monster. I prefer to keep the level we assign to a monster to accurately reflect its challenge and not artifically inflate it just because its a dragon (especially when you consider that in some worlds dragons are tough and rare and in other worlds they are more commen). 


I guess the question is, is legendary just a DDN term for solo, and is about arbitarly giving those monsters extra actions and abilities out mechanical necessity for balance? Or is legendary supposed to actually mean something? If its purely a mechanical issue than just give those monsters the necessary adjustments and skip calling them legedary. For example, the beholder gets 1d4+1 spells to shoot ut of its eyes each turn. It is a nasty monster for the appropriate level party, and it dosnt need a legendary title tacked onto it, or solo or anything else for that matter. It's simply a beholder and they a scary! So give dragons more attacks on its turn, (not out of its turn) such as bite/claw/claw/wing/wing/tail slap. beef up its ability scores and hit points, and give it an oppertunity action to tail slap some one that attacks from behind, higher AC, throw in some spell like abilities, if they are feeling too weak for the appropriate level (I say appropriate level as I have seen to many people complain about how 15th+ characters can easily handle a level 13 dragon) then you can makenthem stronger without having to resort to more gimmicky things like auto pass saves and taking actions out of turn. Then we can free up legendary to mean something really special and unique.

Also, it seemed like this is more of wfhat Merals was going for in his article rather than a mechanical fix. I got the feeling he was being more ambitious and imaginative than just "dragons are too weak mechanically so lets invent 'legendary' to fix it."  And if not every dragon is legendary, then not every dragon should have legendary like abilities. Only the legendary ones get to bend/break the rules. Thus, I don't thi all dragons should have the legendary abilities. Only legendary monsters should get things like that. 
The problem with making it a template is that it seems like there would only be rare instances of Legendary monster types within most monster species. There should really only be one Legendary Orc King, for example, or else it would seem too contrived. The DM wants a boss monster so...bang...make it Legendary.

The benefit to treating all dragons, demons, devils, and elder elementals as Legendary is that it works with the overall narrative of the game world. These are especially magic and powerful creatures. They can be Legendary without being contrived. I believe that even an Imp or Manes should be Legendary. The nice thing about the Legendary concept is that it isn't so effective if a weaker creature like an Imp has it. Yes..it will help the Imp evade and perhaps do some other interesting tricks, but ultimately, since the Imp has limited hit points, it will not last too long in a fight even if it has the Legendary Actions and saves. I like that.

For exceptional creatures within a monster species, or in planned encounters, should more likely just have max hit points and a little more AC from better armor or tougher hide, some spells perhaps, or one or two special abilities/feats. To me, that would make an "Elite" monster that I could use more liberally and not break the narrative of the game world.

A Brave Knight of WTF

The problem with making it a template is that it seems like there would only be rare instances of Legendary monster types within most monster species. There should really only be one Legendary Orc King, for example, or else it would seem too contrived. The DM wants a boss monster so...bang...make it Legendary. The benefit to treating all dragons, demons, devils, and elder elementals as Legendary is that it works with the overall narrative of the game world. These are especially magic and powerful creatures. They can be Legendary without being contrived. I believe that even an Imp or Manes should be Legendary. The nice thing about the Legendary concept is that it isn't so effective if a weaker creature like an Imp has it. Yes..it will help the Imp evade and perhaps do some other interesting tricks, but ultimately, since the Imp has limited hit points, it will not last too long in a fight even if it has the Legendary Actions and saves. I like that. For exceptional creatures within a monster species, or in planned encounters, should more likely just have max hit points and a little more AC from better armor or tougher hide, some spells perhaps, or one or two special abilities/feats. To me, that would make an "Elite" monster that I could use more liberally and not break the narrative of the game world.



but not all game worlds will treat all dragons as legendary. Is a dragon something rare and barely seen? Then you can make all dragons legendary, and thus very rare in your game. but what if dragons are more commen? What if there is a chance if running into one in the Forrest? Then it would not make sense for them to all be legendary. So, you need legendary and non legendary types. 

while a DM could just make any monster a legendary monster for a boss fight, it dosnt have to be that way. The boss fights is usually a monster that is a few levels higher than the party, and thus tougher. If you need to make a monster tougher for a boss fight then add HPs and AC etc. But legendary should be a whole different level of monster. Thus, making every kind of one monster legendary means you will rarely be able to use that monster in your game. 

By breaking it into a template you give DMs more flexibility in how to create their world, what kind of monsters inhabit it, and say on what monsters are truly legends in his or her world. 

Jun 29, 2013 -- 5:28PM, Rhenny wrote:

The problem with making it a template is that it seems like there would only be rare instances of Legendary monster types within most monster species. There should really only be one Legendary Orc King, for example, or else it would seem too contrived. The DM wants a boss monster so...bang...make it Legendary. The benefit to treating all dragons, demons, devils, and elder elementals as Legendary is that it works with the overall narrative of the game world. These are especially magic and powerful creatures. They can be Legendary without being contrived. I believe that even an Imp or Manes should be Legendary. The nice thing about the Legendary concept is that it isn't so effective if a weaker creature like an Imp has it. Yes..it will help the Imp evade and perhaps do some other interesting tricks, but ultimately, since the Imp has limited hit points, it will not last too long in a fight even if it has the Legendary Actions and saves. I like that. For exceptional creatures within a monster species, or in planned encounters, should more likely just have max hit points and a little more AC from better armor or tougher hide, some spells perhaps, or one or two special abilities/feats. To me, that would make an "Elite" monster that I could use more liberally and not break the narrative of the game world.




but not all game worlds will treat all dragons as legendary. Is a dragon something rare and barely seen? Then you can make all dragons legendary, and thus very rare in your game. but what if dragons are more commen? What if there is a chance if running into one in the Forrest? Then it would not make sense for them to all be legendary. So, you need legendary and non legendary types. 

while a DM could just make any monster a legendary monster for a boss fight, it dosnt have to be that way. The boss fights is usually a monster that is a few levels higher than the party, and thus tougher. If you need to make a monster tougher for a boss fight then add HPs and AC etc. But legendary should be a whole different level of monster. Thus, making every kind of one monster legendary means you will rarely be able to use that monster in your game. 

By breaking it into a template you give DMs more flexibility in how to create their world, what kind of monsters inhabit it, and say on what monsters are truly legends in his or her world. 


Nice response. I see the advantage of the template as far as world building, not as encounter building.

A Brave Knight of WTF

The way I see it is legendary is unique, and anything else (solo, elite, colossus, lycanthropy, vampirism) is a template. Legendary explains why the creature breaks the mold and is a force to contend with. So we need to see the age brackets introduced to the dragons, before we can even discuss a legendary one. Another common term for legendary is named creatures, as their legend precedes them.
This works well on paper, but in practice it causes some issues.

I play 3.5 mostly, and honestly have used a template maybe once, despite having played since near inception. Templates cause a number of problems for me, the greatest being time. I just don't have time the time to add mods, change stats, etc just for one monster, boss or no. Mostly this is because... I don't plan very far. Who knows where my players are going to go? Who their true enemy is? I certainly don't, and neither do they.




that's why I say distribute a bunch of creautres that do have it listed by default already, but also deliver a template like structure I can use to make anything a legendary monster.  by delivering both I can also take it off of a monster that had it put on by default.



sounds perfect to me  
I also looooooooove the idea of the "named" legendaries book... makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside  
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This works well on paper, but in practice it causes some issues.

I play 3.5 mostly, and honestly have used a template maybe once, despite having played since near inception. Templates cause a number of problems for me, the greatest being time. I just don't have time the time to add mods, change stats, etc just for one monster, boss or no. Mostly this is because... I don't plan very far. Who knows where my players are going to go? Who their true enemy is? I certainly don't, and neither do they.




that's why I say distribute a bunch of creautres that do have it listed by default already, but also deliver a template like structure I can use to make anything a legendary monster.  by delivering both I can also take it off of a monster that had it put on by default.



sounds perfect to me  
I also looooooooove the idea of the "named" legendaries book... makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside  




I'd buy that splat.  A book filled with a bunch of singular monsters that instantly spawn ideas for entire adventures and the awesome culmination battles within said adventure...yes please.
HEAR THAT WOTC??? WE WANT TO BUY THIS!!!
WITH MONEY
OK??
MONEY.
You are Red/Blue!
You are Red/Blue!

My problem with this though is why make a monster tougher than what it is for its level? The point of the level system is to help balance monsters vs party levels for appropriate encounters. Any monster that is 2-3 levels higher than the party should be a tough fight.
...
Also, it seemed like this is more of wfhat Merals was going for in his article rather than a mechanical fix. I got the feeling he was being more ambitious and imaginative than just "dragons are too weak mechanically so lets invent 'legendary' to fix it."  And if not every dragon is legendary, then not every dragon should have legendary like abilities. Only the legendary ones get to bend/break the rules. Thus, I don't thi all dragons should have the legendary abilities. Only legendary monsters should get things like that. 



If I remember correctly, in Next the combats are actually balanced around XP not level, thus the level system (for monsters) is not really needed to balance a combat.  Level tells you some things about the monster, but the monster(s) XP is what you use to determine how difficult the fight will be.  This is much the same as 4e and I prefer it.  It provide more flexibility than just level.  Just level would have never worked in 4e, but with Next's bounded accuracy it could, in theory, work well.  So they might go that way, but I prefer to have more options, not less.
...
It was not a fix, but a change.  A change to make the monster more interesting in game play.  Notice that everything is very generic in the discription.  This is not a specific dragon, but just any dragon.  And in many campaigns any old dragon is indeed a "legendary" monster.

So I agree it is not a fix, and it really isn't an issue of being to weak.  They could, as you suggest, simply up the level to change that.  The goal of the legendary design is to make the game play of the dragon more interesting.  It really isn't changing the place of dragons in the campaign world, just how it plays at the table.  

Finally, I also agree that the intent is to take this beyond just dragons.  It seems clear this is following a similar line as 4e elites and solos(which he alludes to  as well).  Some monsters are inherently tought (dragons), and some individual people/monsters/whatever are tougher for whatever reason.  These  could also get the legendary treatment.
I prefer that the DMG or MM simply list a bunch of ways to make monsters more challenging.    They need not create a template or use any term.   

The reason is that I don't want players thinking, "oh this is a legendary monster and that means X.  
It's a bit too MMORPG like for any monster to be recognized with what amounts to spiny dragon border around their portrait.    IMO, once the term "Legendary" is mentioned at the table the game blows hard from that point forward.    

If I make a dragon and call it Khisanth I should be allowed to give it any power I want, even magical items (like a ring of darkness).   
 



I prefer that the DMG or MM simply list a bunch of ways to make monsters more challenging.    They need not create a template or use any term.   

The reason is that I don't want players thinking, "oh this is a legendary monster and that means X.  
It's a bit too MMORPG like for any monster to be recognized with what amounts to spiny dragon border around their portrait.    IMO, once the term "Legendary" is mentioned at the table the game blows hard from that point forward.    

If I make a dragon and call it Khisanth I should be allowed to give it any power I want, even magical items (like a ring of darkness).   



The idea of nameing options just makes it easier for DMs, but I really hate that we have to tip toe around "well it makes it like this other popular thing".


I hate even more that we can't just use solo monster to mean, a monster that alone should be able to challange the whole group.  

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

Roleplaying games and computer games share alot of terminology, and both innovate and share ideas. To exlude an idea from computers games, just because it is popular, does not make sense. And most likely the RPG had the idea first, and the computer game expanded on it.
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+1 (for his avatar when reading this post)

~bobinchese, who might be looking forward to splatbooks more than core

 
The Oberoni fallacy only applies to broken rules, not rules you don't like. If a rule you don't like can be easily ignored, it should exist in the game for those who will enjoy it.
Roleplaying games and computer games share alot of terminology, and both innovate and share ideas. To exlude an idea from computers games, just because it is popular, does not make sense. And most likely the RPG had the idea first, and the computer game expanded on it.



Such things promote metagaming.    People in computer game land don't care about role playing.    

The gold spiny dragon borders are stupid for a TTRPG.

 


Roleplaying games and computer games share alot of terminology, and both innovate and share ideas. To exlude an idea from computers games, just because it is popular, does not make sense. And most likely the RPG had the idea first, and the computer game expanded on it.



Such things promote metagaming.    People in computer game land don't care about role playing.    

The gold spiny dragon borders are stupid for a TTRPG.

 



why is it stuipd?

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

Roleplaying games and computer games share alot of terminology, and both innovate and share ideas. To exlude an idea from computers games, just because it is popular, does not make sense. And most likely the RPG had the idea first, and the computer game expanded on it.



Such things promote metagaming.    People in computer game land don't care about role playing.    

The gold spiny dragon borders are stupid for a TTRPG.

 



why is it stuipd?



The players notice it and that immediately translates to a bunch of mechanics. That's fine for a video game, but when I DM a special monster I don't want the players to have a clue.   I don't want them know anything about the creature outside of what I've provided them via the story.   


Roleplaying games and computer games share alot of terminology, and both innovate and share ideas. To exlude an idea from computers games, just because it is popular, does not make sense. And most likely the RPG had the idea first, and the computer game expanded on it.



Such things promote metagaming.    People in computer game land don't care about role playing.    

The gold spiny dragon borders are stupid for a TTRPG.

 



why is it stuipd?



The players notice it and that immediately translates to a bunch of mechanics. That's fine for a video game, but when I DM a special monster I don't want the players to have a clue.   I don't want them know anything about the creature outside of what I've provided them via the story.   




what stops players from knowing and doing game mechanics  with the word troll (and that you need fire or acid) or the word tarrasque and that you need a wish?  If your players are going to go mechanic instead of RP nothing can stop it short of never useing book stats.  Having a 'legendary' template doesn't help or hurt it.  

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

Roleplaying games and computer games share alot of terminology, and both innovate and share ideas. To exlude an idea from computers games, just because it is popular, does not make sense. And most likely the RPG had the idea first, and the computer game expanded on it.



Such things promote metagaming.    People in computer game land don't care about role playing.    

The gold spiny dragon borders are stupid for a TTRPG.

 



why is it stuipd?



The players notice it and that immediately translates to a bunch of mechanics. That's fine for a video game, but when I DM a special monster I don't want the players to have a clue.   I don't want them know anything about the creature outside of what I've provided them via the story.   




what stops players from knowing and doing game mechanics  with the word troll (and that you need fire or acid) or the word tarrasque and that you need a wish?  If your players are going to go mechanic instead of RP nothing can stop it short of never useing book stats.  Having a 'legendary' template doesn't help or hurt it.  




Yes,  it's bad enough that a group of adventurers who know nothing about trolls automatically pull out the fire spells and oil.  In those situations a good DM will require knowledge checks.      

Having "Legendary" equate to X mechanically just adds to the problem.    

I'd rather play a game that doesn't require me to always introduce the metagaming smack down on the players.    




   
   

what stops players from knowing and doing game mechanics  with the word troll (and that you need fire or acid) or the word tarrasque and that you need a wish?  If your players are going to go mechanic instead of RP nothing can stop it short of never useing book stats.  Having a 'legendary' template doesn't help or hurt it.  




Yes,  it's bad enough that a group of adventurers who know nothing about trolls automatically pull out the fire spells and oil.  In those situations a good DM will require knowledge checks.      

Having "Legendary" equate to X mechanically just adds to the problem.    

I'd rather play a game that doesn't require me to always introduce the metagaming smack down on the players.    






see in my ind you don't want to use the MM at all then. I went through a phase like that were trolls could only be killed by sunlight turning them to stone then smashing them, and vampires walked around all day as normol people, and only had powers at night, and elans were psions from an alt prime material plane more like kryptonians, and kobolds were more like 4e shifters, and goblins had shadow powers... no one knew what to do until they learned. I also named every dragon, and they followed the rules of the MM, but they all were brown, so no knowing by color...


Having the OPTION of useing legendary doesn't really stop anyone from doing that.  

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

Yeah, legendary or not,  we can allways change how a monster works to throw a curve ball at the players. For me, the question is what does legendary mean? Does it mean the monster is a solo or does it mean the monster is something special? I prefer it to mean something special, it is something you add to a monster, to any monster, to change how it works. Or, that some monsters are also given a legendary version And normal version, this gives dms a little more control of their game than if every dragon is characterized as a legendary creature. And if legendary is just a fancy way to say solo well, for one, lone monster does not need extra actions or auto pass saves to be tough. Dragons in pre fourth ed games were plenty scary without that stuftend two, it misses an opportunity to do something really interesting with this concept of making monsters legendary.