So why doesn't every monster in the bestiary throw down 500gp for +3 AC?

Lots of monsters in the bestiary are humanoid in basic shape (giants, bugbears, hobgoblins, some demons, etc). Now, why of why aren't they wearing armor.

Throw down 500gp for dragon leather, dragon scale, or banded mail and their ACs will go from the 11-14 range to 17. 500gp is chump change for some of these monsters too.

Seems strange...

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The hobgoblin chieftain assuredly would do something like that. For most of the other mooks, 500 gold is a lot of money!

Stop the H4TE

Cuz you'll make a business out of skinning Hobgoblins for loot.

Remember pulling rings of protection off every enemy caster in 3rd?

Coulda made a suit of chain mail +1 out of all the rings of protection +1 I collected.
The hobgoblin chieftain assuredly would do something like that. For most of the other mooks, 500 gold is a lot of money!

Not if you and your pals are peeling armor off of idiots who stumble into your territory. 

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

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

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

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

Cuz you'll make a business out of skinning Hobgoblins for loot. Remember pulling rings of protection off every enemy caster in 3rd? Coulda made a suit of chain mail +1 out of all the rings of protection +1 I collected.



Which just shows how ridiculous any form of "Pay for your AC" is.

At least 3.5 had a natural armor bonus that virtually all monsters got, so they could have decent AC without gear.  Here you don't even see that much.
This is also an example of why NPCs and PCs shouldn't have to play by the same rules.
That's absolutely silly to make monsters obey different rules. Total 4e-ism. 500gp is indeed a lot of money. 

The DM controls the economy. If he says every Orc in Sauron's army is wearing Plate and Shield, then every Orc has an AC 20. Why is that so hard to do?

Just avoid the absurdly cheap "resize armor permanently" ritual and armor is a non-issue.  Go ahead, try and sell that orc plate armor in a human town in my campaign, see what price it gets you. Try and wear that hobgoblin's splint mail, and see how well it fits.

Kill a human for their armor? why not? But don't even bother trying to fit into their plate armor without paying 1k to refit it and having penalties. Plus, plate should have all sorts of insignia on it, wearing a stolen guard's plate armor should give you crazy scrutiny at the town gates. Wear it in the dungeon all you want, but you'd better bury it when you get into town because I would NEVER allow a PC wearing stolen plate armor into down without proper identification. If you want to roll charisma checks and charm spells, go ahead, just don't play the game like a videogame or even think of it that way and all these problems you guys mention disappear.
This is also an example of why NPCs and PCs shouldn't have to play by the same rules.



One of the IMHO underrated innovations of recent DND (and one that took me a while to appreciate) was the notion that monsters/NPCs and PCs do not use the same rules.  This hugely simplifies my life as a DM, and I found that doing a recent PF campaign, having to build monsters like PCs was not only a major PITA but it also lead to issues like this.

The fact is that most NPC/Monsters will only have one encounter with the PCs (usually their last) and that means that the resource management and balance that's appropriate for PCs simply doesn't apply (and it's one big reason why NPC casters in 3.x were so deadly).

-Polaris
That's absolutely silly to make monsters obey different rules. Total 4e-ism. 500gp is indeed a lot of money. 



No, it's a wonderful idea.  NPC/Monsters play a completely different role in the game and have much different balance considerations than PCs.  If you want to cut your own throat sometime, try making a high level 3.X Monster (because you have to use both the monster template AND the PC construction rules). 

NO THANKS

-Polaris
And the NPCs can use 1/week magic items for a discount during creation.

They only exist for 1 fight anyway.

Chain mail is 75gp. Is that a lot of money? That is 16 AC pretty cheaply.


Do monsters have no blacksmiths of their own? Are they unable to defeat and rob humans/elves/dwarves?


What about more powerful monsters like Ogres, Giants, Minotaurs, Shapeshifter's, Undead raised by necromancers, Demons, etc. Why do they mostly go without armor. Note some giant's do wear dragonscale armor, but most go with leather or no armor.

500 gp may be a lot for a level 3 monster. But what is the expected loot for a level 6 monster, a level 9 monster, a level 12 monster?

That's absolutely silly to make monsters obey different rules. Total 4e-ism. 500gp is indeed a lot of money.


As a point of clarification, monsters didn't obey different rules in 4e.  You built monsters and NPCs differently, but they had to obey the same rules.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

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Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

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Lots of monsters in the bestiary are humanoid in basic shape (giants, bugbears, hobgoblins, some demons, etc). Now, why of why aren't they wearing armor.

Throw down 500gp for dragon leather, dragon scale, or banded mail and their ACs will go from the 11-14 range to 17. 500gp is chump change for some of these monsters too.

Seems strange...


Because monsters put their concept before min/max...

Seriously though, I have been putting important monsters in better armor.  I rationalize the reason to be the get a lot of precious gems and art stuff that has no practical trade value for them.

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Imagine a world where the first-time D&D player rolls stats, picks a race, picks a class, picks an alignment, and buys gear to create a character. Imagine if an experienced player, maybe the person helping our theoretical player learn the ropes, could also make a character by rolling ability scores and picking a race, class, feat, skills, class features, spells or powers, and so on. Those two players used different paths to build characters, but the system design allows them to play at the same table. -Mearl

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That's absolutely silly to make monsters obey different rules. Total 4e-ism. 500gp is indeed a lot of money.


As a point of clarification, monsters didn't obey different rules in 4e.  You built monsters and NPCs differently, but they had to obey the same rules.



Point taken.  I was refering to construction/build rules, not rules in combat itself.

-Polaris
Because having every mook be hard to hit leads to grindy combats, which are great once in a while but not very fun all the time.

Stop the H4TE

Bounded accuracy implies that an orc having an ac 18 is only possible if he's wearing plate or has a dex of 20, a shield, and leather armor.

That's a good thing. Sorry if you want the game to be a 4e clone, it just isn't.

PF monsters might be harder to make, but they aren't one-trick ponies either. There's nothing I hated more about 4e than how most monsters felt the same, except for some minor variations.

We played 2e for decades and the DMs never complained that monsters were hard to run. Maybe 3.x was too complicated, that's a fair critique of character generation in general. But they absolutely should live in the same world and be governed by the same rules as PCs. I.e. an enemy human has the exact same AC as a PC wearing the same armor and with the same Dex bonus. That's a feature, not a bug. It's implied by Bounded Accuracy.

This is indeed one of those rules philosophy areas that 4e fans will never be happy with, and frankly, Polaris, I couldn't care less if you don't like it. 
Lots of monsters in the bestiary are humanoid in basic shape (giants, bugbears, hobgoblins, some demons, etc). Now, why of why aren't they wearing armor.

Throw down 500gp for dragon leather, dragon scale, or banded mail and their ACs will go from the 11-14 range to 17. 500gp is chump change for some of these monsters too.

Seems strange...


Because monsters put their concept before min/max...



How is a bunch of Orc Bandits wearing Hide armor against that character concept?  Honestly for a lot of humanoid-type monsters in the bestairy, their character concept almost REQUIRES that they be using actual armor.


Seriously though, I have been putting important monsters in better armor.  I rationalize the reason to be the get a lot of precious gems and art stuff that has no practical trade value for them.



Why not simply make the armor part of the listed monetary treasure value?

-Polaris
That's absolutely silly to make monsters obey different rules. Total 4e-ism. 500gp is indeed a lot of money. 

The DM controls the economy. If he says every Orc in Sauron's army is wearing Plate and Shield, then every Orc has an AC 20. Why is that so hard to do?

Just avoid the absurdly cheap "resize armor permanently" ritual and armor is a non-issue.  Go ahead, try and sell that orc plate armor in a human town in my campaign, see what price it gets you. Try and wear that hobgoblin's splint mail, and see how well it fits.

Kill a human for their armor? why not? But don't even bother trying to fit into their plate armor without paying 1k to refit it and having penalties. Plus, plate should have all sorts of insignia on it, wearing a stolen guard's plate armor should give you crazy scrutiny at the town gates. Wear it in the dungeon all you want, but you'd better bury it when you get into town because I would NEVER allow a PC wearing stolen plate armor into down without proper identification. If you want to roll charisma checks and charm spells, go ahead, just don't play the game like a videogame or even think of it that way and all these problems you guys mention disappear.

One of these days I'm going to come across your first post in a topic and it's not going to be some crazy take on how whole swaths of the game should be based on your view of just the minute detail being discussed. 


I'm not entirely sure how I'll react that day. 

Either way, I'm at least positive that playing at your table would eventually drive me crazy from being micromanaged and gotcha'd to death.

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

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

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

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

Sorry if you want the game to be a 4e clone, it just isn't.


Who is saying that they want that?  The ability to quickly and effectively make monsters and NPCs without having to build them like PCs doesn't make the game a 4e clone.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

#BoobsNotBlood

We played 2e for decades and the DMs never complained that monsters were hard to run. Maybe 3.x was too complicated, that's a fair critique of character generation in general. But they absolutely should live in the same world and be governed by the same rules as PCs. I.e. an enemy human has the exact same AC as a PC wearing the same armor and with the same Dex bonus. That's a feature, not a bug. It's implied by Bounded Accuracy.



Why?  Monsters (and most NPCs) don't have the same resource demands in the game, so why shouldn't the rules reflect this?  Rules as physics is something that IMHO needs to DIAF.  Verisimiltude is all fine and good and I approve mostly, but not when it gets in the way of the game (and monsters built as PCs definately does).


This is indeed one of those rules philosophy areas that 4e fans will never be happy with, and frankly, Polaris, I couldn't care less if you don't like it. 



It's simply good game design.  Since monsters don't have to face the same sort of resource and balance requirements, asking them to follow the same rules (for construction) doesn't make sense.  In fact most DMs I know (even in 3.x) aknowledge this abeit informally by simply 'not bothering' with non-combat feats and skill ranks for higher level monsters.

-Polaris
Coulda made a suit of chain mail +1 out of all the rings of protection +1 I collected.



Ringmail, actually.
"Therefore, you are the crapper, I'm merely the vessel through which you crap." -- akaddk
Lots of monsters in the bestiary are humanoid in basic shape (giants, bugbears, hobgoblins, some demons, etc). Now, why of why aren't they wearing armor.

Throw down 500gp for dragon leather, dragon scale, or banded mail and their ACs will go from the 11-14 range to 17. 500gp is chump change for some of these monsters too.

Seems strange...


Because monsters put their concept before min/max...



How is a bunch of Orc Bandits wearing Hide armor against that character concept?  Honestly for a lot of humanoid-type monsters in the bestairy, their character concept almost REQUIRES that they be using actual armor.


Sorry this was a joke.



Seriously though, I have been putting important monsters in better armor.  I rationalize the reason to be the get a lot of precious gems and art stuff that has no practical trade value for them.



Why not simply make the armor part of the listed monetary treasure value?

-Polaris


Because I choose to simply make precious gems and art stuff part of the listed monetary treasure value.

Reality Refracted: Social Contracts

My blog of Random Stuff 

Dreaming the Impossible Dream
Imagine a world where the first-time D&D player rolls stats, picks a race, picks a class, picks an alignment, and buys gear to create a character. Imagine if an experienced player, maybe the person helping our theoretical player learn the ropes, could also make a character by rolling ability scores and picking a race, class, feat, skills, class features, spells or powers, and so on. Those two players used different paths to build characters, but the system design allows them to play at the same table. -Mearl

"It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare." - Edmund Burke

Back to Product and General D&D Discussions -- because the mobile site is bad. (Fixed!)

Sorry this was a joke.



My apologies.  Yes I think we see pretty much eye-to-eye on this issue.

-Polaris
I've always preffered using different rules for monsters. Building enemies in 3.5 was a pain in the ass :P
My two copper.
Lots of monsters in the bestiary are humanoid in basic shape (giants, bugbears, hobgoblins, some demons, etc). Now, why of why aren't they wearing armor.

Throw down 500gp for dragon leather, dragon scale, or banded mail and their ACs will go from the 11-14 range to 17. 500gp is chump change for some of these monsters too.

Seems strange...



A bugbear, a demon and a giant walked into a bar...

That's why.  Hard to get people to actually sell you something if you are a bugbear, demon or giant.  Now, they could probably MAKE armor, but that's different ;) 
And the NPCs can use 1/week magic items for a discount during creation. They only exist for 1 fight anyway.

That's the one thing that's always concerned me.


A PC wizard is supposed to use 10 spells over the corse of a day.

A NPC wizard is suppose to use 10 spells, in 1 fight??? 

Not exactly "fair". 

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Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
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Crits: what their really worth
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F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

In fact most DMs I know (even in 3.x) acknowledge this abeit informally by simply 'not bothering' with non-combat feats and skill ranks for higher level monsters.

There's a difference between not calculating out the NPC's bonus to Swim checks, and saying that NPCs don't have to make Swim checks. For most high-level characters, you can simplify out a good portion of feats/skills/spells as merely irrelevant for the purposes at hand. If you manage to flood the battlefield, or push the NPC into a lake, then I will spend the 20 seconds necessary to figure out its bonus to Swim checks. It's all about making reasonable assumptions in order to expedite gameplay.

It's fine to have guidelines on how to create simple NPCs, but those guidelines shouldn't give wildly different results than if you were to figure everything out manually. It shouldn't change how the NPC acts in any way.

The metagame is not the game.

Monster & encounter building in 4E was actually widely praised & well-received.

In fact, I think 2E monsters were also built differently than PCs, iirc.
That's absolutely silly to make monsters obey different rules. Total 4e-ism. 500gp is indeed a lot of money.


As a point of clarification, monsters didn't obey different rules in 4e.  You built monsters and NPCs differently, but they had to obey the same rules.



Character creation times was a problem in both 3e and 4e, so making monsters with a different set of rules was an innovation in 4e, however it forced them to have arbitrary, level- and role- based defenses, hit points, and offense, and that's what made them all so same-y.

You meet one minion, it was rarely different than another (one hit and it's dead, oh, it's a minion, yawn, use magic missile on it), same as a brute (big bag of HP), or Solo, etc. That might have made monster generation and control simpler, but it didn't gain any points for believability on the player side of the table, and it certainly did make monsters feel like a set of easily-gamed stat packs instead of unique in their own way. E.g. how do you narrate a dungeoneering check to know exactly all the stats and hp and powers, on a monster you've never seen before? Oh, but you've heard of it, so therefore you know precisely what AC it has? It was so fake.

At least with Plate having an AC 18 for everyone, there is a very plausible, in-game reason to know its AC at a glance. I don't want PCs to know exact combat stats, it's meta-gamey for characters to have a skill that allows them that ability. It really ruined the game for us. 

If default character generation rules are simple enough, a DM should be able to roll up a human NPC foe in a matter of a couple minutes, tops. An enemy wizard should be a RARE and powerful foe, with access to exactly the same spells that PCs do, so that when you gather their spellbook you can transcribe them.

That simply would never work in 4e with monsters created differently. It actively prevents making the enemy wizard's spellbook part of their treasure. Think about it for a second. It ruins believability and gains nothing. 2e monsters were not hard to run, and wizards should not be as common as ogres or footsoldiers. If you run them as such, create pre-packaged spellbook loadouts with common spells from PHB 1 only and be done with it. It's really not that hard.

Avoiding 3e NPC complexity doesn't mean doing it the 4e way. There are tons of generators now for NPCs anyway, it's a false argument.
Lots of monsters in the bestiary are humanoid in basic shape (giants, bugbears, hobgoblins, some demons, etc). Now, why of why aren't they wearing armor.

Throw down 500gp for dragon leather, dragon scale, or banded mail and their ACs will go from the 11-14 range to 17. 500gp is chump change for some of these monsters too.

Seems strange...



A bugbear, a demon and a giant walked into a bar...

That's why.  Hard to get people to actually sell you something if you are a bugbear, demon or giant.  Now, they could probably MAKE armor, but that's different ;) 



Not only could they, but they almost certainly would since both have their own cultures and civilizations and all three know how to smelt steel.

-Polaris
And the NPCs can use 1/week magic items for a discount during creation. They only exist for 1 fight anyway.

That's the one thing that's always concerned me.


A PC wizard is supposed to use 10 spells over the corse of a day.

A NPC wizard is suppose to use 10 spells, in 1 fight??? 

Not exactly "fair". 


That's what makes it a challenge for the player characters :P

In any popular RPG video game the boss gets to waste all his resources while the characters have been drained a bit before hand. It's part of the challenge of the dungeon crawl and why rationing resources is nessesary lol. You don't wanna blow all 5 of your level 1 spells on the hobgoblins because there might be something bigger and badder around the corner. 
My two copper.
In fact, I think 2E monsters were also built differently than PCs, iirc.

They didn't really go into it, except in that humanoid NPCs were built exactly like PCs. There was no separate entry for a githyanki gish, for example, other than to say that it was a multiclass fighter 5 / mage 3 with chainmail armor and a +1 greatsword.

The metagame is not the game.

And the NPCs can use 1/week magic items for a discount during creation. They only exist for 1 fight anyway.

That's the one thing that's always concerned me.


A PC wizard is supposed to use 10 spells over the corse of a day.

A NPC wizard is suppose to use 10 spells, in 1 fight??? 

Not exactly "fair". 


That's what makes it a challenge for the player characters :P

In any popular RPG video game the boss gets to waste all his resources while the characters have been drained a bit before hand. It's part of the challenge of the dungeon crawl and why rationing resources is nessesary lol. You don't wanna blow all 5 of your level 1 spells on the hobgoblins because there might be something bigger and badder around the corner. 



Actually it can be extemely deadly (as I've found out running 3.X) and as potent as 3.X PC casters are, NPC ones are downright vicious since they can blow all their daily resources into one encounter and the PCs can't.  It really isn't fair nor is it good design.

-Polaris
What?

I don't understand anything you just wrote apart from hating on 4E (because its 4E).

You think 4E monsters were samey but believe there was a wide variety in 3 monsters? Weren't all the Dragons sorcerers? Whereas in 4E if you met orcs, you had no idea of their capabilities - one might be a tank, another an archer, another a spell caster - and they'd all look like orcs! There was real differentiation!

I'm sorry but it seems you're very off-base here.
In fact, I think 2E monsters were also built differently than PCs, iirc.

They didn't really go into it, except in that humanoid NPCs were built exactly like PCs. There was no separate entry for a githyanki gish, for example, other than to say that it was a multiclass fighter 5 / mage 3 with chainmail armor and a +1 greatsword.




Actually they weren't.  They had their own seperate listings.  There were optional rules if you wanted to make a humaniod PC, but those were often quite different from the MM listing.  Heck monsters even had their own saving throw chart and THACO progression (yes ALL of them) unless that monster specifically stated differently.

-Polaris
Lots of monsters in the bestiary are humanoid in basic shape (giants, bugbears, hobgoblins, some demons, etc). Now, why of why aren't they wearing armor.

Throw down 500gp for dragon leather, dragon scale, or banded mail and their ACs will go from the 11-14 range to 17. 500gp is chump change for some of these monsters too.

Seems strange...



A bugbear, a demon and a giant walked into a bar...

That's why.  Hard to get people to actually sell you something if you are a bugbear, demon or giant.  Now, they could probably MAKE armor, but that's different ;) 



Not only could they, but they almost certainly would since both have their own cultures and civilizations and all three know how to smelt steel.

-Polaris



And that's a problem...why?

They made padded and even chainmail armor for trained indian war elephants.

In REAL LIFE.

Not to mention plate barding for horses.

Every Orc and Minas Tirith Guard in Return of the King wore plate armor. Even the trolls had plate armor and huge warhammers.

Gear matters, but it costs money to equip a whole army like that, and time to make. It changes the game to give Trolls plate-like AC without actually making plate for them.

Why can't they be tough without plate, but tougher still with it?

The more I think about how 4e did it with a handwave, the more I actively detest it. D&D can do better than handwaving stats. Smart Monsters absolutely should make and wear armor if they are able to and have the funds and smiths available to them. Definitely.
Lots of monsters in the bestiary are humanoid in basic shape (giants, bugbears, hobgoblins, some demons, etc). Now, why of why aren't they wearing armor.

Throw down 500gp for dragon leather, dragon scale, or banded mail and their ACs will go from the 11-14 range to 17. 500gp is chump change for some of these monsters too.

Seems strange...



A bugbear, a demon and a giant walked into a bar...

That's why.  Hard to get people to actually sell you something if you are a bugbear, demon or giant.  Now, they could probably MAKE armor, but that's different ;) 



Not only could they, but they almost certainly would since both have their own cultures and civilizations and all three know how to smelt steel.

-Polaris



And that's a problem...why?

They made armor for elephants.

In REAL LIFE.

Every Orc and Minas Tirith Guard in Return of the King wore plate armor. Even the trolls had plate armor and huge warhammers.

Gear matters, but it costs money to equip a whole army like that, and time to make. It changes the game to give Trolls plate-like AC without actually making plate for them.

Why can't they be tough without plate, but tougher still with it?  



Honest question: Have you actually read this thread from the beginning? If so you'd know what the problem is.

-Polaris
Oooh looks like someone hasn't read the against the slave lords bestiary where enemies are wearing magic chain mail and magic shields.

Why don't all monsters have expensive armor that gives them an ac of 20+? Same reason I don't just say rocks fall, everybody dies, I win. Because it would be no fun if they all had the same ac or near the same ac, and that ac was relatively unhittable to most characcters. There is nothing stoping me from putting all the orcs in plate with heavy shields...however that changes what level of monster it is (because upping their ac by that much increases their difficulty rating) and we havnt got the rules for how to do that yet. However that doesn't cange the fact that just because I could put them all in heavy armor it doesn't mean I should, I'm the dm its my job to give a good game not to "win". I say deffinitely give some armor when it is apropriate but there is no good reason to give them all a 20 ac.
Monsters should be built using a formula.

Something like

Level 0 Monster
AC= 10  +hit= +0  Dmg = 1d4  H.P= 6  Ability Scores = 10,10,10,10,10,10

For each level higher the monster gains the following
+1/2 to AC  +1/2 to hit  Dmg +1 die step  H.P = +6  Ability Scores = +1 to three [highest is 10+2x level]

die steps are
d4/d6/d8/2d4/d10/d12/2d6/2d8/3d6/2d10/2d12/3d8/ect.....

Pick a type of monster
Mook  reduce H.P by 2 per level, -1 to AC, only gain +1 to two
Soldier increase H.P by 4 per level , +1 to AC , +1 to hit, one extra attack
Brute increase H.P by 8 per level, -2 to AC
Skirmisher +2 to hit when they have advantage +[1/2 lvl d6] damage
Solo as per another but with 3 times as many hit points and 2 turns per initiative

Ect...

Now once they have something like that they can make proper monsters.  Give each monster one or two unique abilities that seperate them from the others and you are done.  Fine tune the math to work with the rest of the system.

Then it doesn't matter what "fluff" you have in your description whether they are in tattered furs or adamantium full plate a level 11 Brute will always have the same AC.

 Game mechanics and math first leave the fluff for the individual DM to figure out if he wants to give the players a new suit of armor as part of the treasure he can, if he wants to describe the enemy wearing a silken robe he can.

Remember this is a public forum where people express their opinions assume there is a “In my humble opinion” in front of every post especially mine.  

 

Things you should check out because they are cool, like bow-ties and fezzes.

https://app.roll20.net/home  Roll20 great free virtual table top so you can play with old friends who are far away.

http://donjon.bin.sh/  Donjon has random treasure, maps, pick pocket results, etc.. for every edition of D&D.

And the NPCs can use 1/week magic items for a discount during creation. They only exist for 1 fight anyway.

That's the one thing that's always concerned me.


A PC wizard is supposed to use 10 spells over the corse of a day.

A NPC wizard is suppose to use 10 spells, in 1 fight??? 

Not exactly "fair". 


That's what makes it a challenge for the player characters :P

In any popular RPG video game the boss gets to waste all his resources while the characters have been drained a bit before hand. It's part of the challenge of the dungeon crawl and why rationing resources is nessesary lol. You don't wanna blow all 5 of your level 1 spells on the hobgoblins because there might be something bigger and badder around the corner. 



Actually it can be extemely deadly (as I've found out running 3.X) and as potent as 3.X PC casters are, NPC ones are downright vicious since they can blow all their daily resources into one encounter and the PCs can't.  It really isn't fair nor is it good design.

-Polaris


I disagree generally due to the fact that it's not 1v1, it's usually 1v4 or 5. If it was 1v1 and the PC had to waste spells, sure that's kinda lopsided. But when you bring in his other 3 to 4 allies, the enemy spellcaster can only cast 1 spell a turn whereas the PCs get 4 or 5.

In fact, most of the time you have to give the enemy caster a buffer of minions to even let him stand a fighting chance :P
My two copper.
And the NPCs can use 1/week magic items for a discount during creation. They only exist for 1 fight anyway.

That's the one thing that's always concerned me.


A PC wizard is supposed to use 10 spells over the corse of a day.

A NPC wizard is suppose to use 10 spells, in 1 fight??? 

Not exactly "fair". 


That's what makes it a challenge for the player characters :P

In any popular RPG video game the boss gets to waste all his resources while the characters have been drained a bit before hand. It's part of the challenge of the dungeon crawl and why rationing resources is nessesary lol. You don't wanna blow all 5 of your level 1 spells on the hobgoblins because there might be something bigger and badder around the corner. 



Actually it can be extemely deadly (as I've found out running 3.X) and as potent as 3.X PC casters are, NPC ones are downright vicious since they can blow all their daily resources into one encounter and the PCs can't.  It really isn't fair nor is it good design.

-Polaris


I disagree generally due to the fact that it's not 1v1, it's usually 1v4 or 5. If it was 1v1 and the PC had to waste spells, sure that's kinda lopsided. But when you bring in his other 3 to 4 allies, the enemy spellcaster can only cast 1 spells a turn whereas the PCs get 4 or 5.

In fact, most of the time you have to give the enemy caster a buffer of minions to even let him stand a fighting chance :P 



Then the DM is being easy on you.  If you wanted to be "fair" about it, have the adventuring party face their counterparts as monsters....but their monster counterparts know they only have to survive this one encounter.

Then watch the death toll.

-Polaris
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