Results for tag: monsters
Posted by: The_Jester on Feb 16, 2013 at 03:59:02 PM
With the design of 5th edition still underway, I wanted to rant a little about the ability (or rather the current inability) to add PC classes to monsters. Being able to make an orc into an orc fighter is pretty vital to my enjoyment of the game, mostly because making a classed creature equates with the DM’s ability to make NPC opponents.
This is a topic with some baggage, which needs to be discussed and acknowledged: past attempts have led to preconceived assumptions of what mixing classes and monsters means.
What Has Come Before
Almost no monsters had classes in the first couple editions. You had monsters and you had PCs and the rules were sketchy when you tried to make an encounter with say human fighters or an evil necromancer. You could add classes to some humanoid monsters,...
Posted by: The_Jester on Jan 16, 2013 at 06:00:02 PM
The Minotaur is a pretty iconic monster: half man, half beast. From a symbolic perspective, it’s the epitome of masculinity: the bull is already a masculine symbol, but then you pair it with an actual athletic male body it’s all the more potent. And with its bull head it lacks all the softness and emotion that comes with a face. The Minotaur is man removed from humanity, from civilization. According to mythology, the Minotaur itself is a sad figure, almost tragic. He’s the offspring of the Queen of Crete and an actual bull. In her defence, she was enchanted by Aphrodite. He was cast into a labyrinth by his stepfather, fed a diet of captured humans, and eventually killed by hero Theseus.
So famous is the story of the Minotaur that Microsoft Word autocorrects it, capitalizing...
Posted by: The_Jester on Dec 26, 2012 at 06:50:40 PM
It's review time. I refer of course to the end of December surprise of one last playtest package before the end of the year. This would be our fourth real package, excluding the small updates with added an extra class or two to the mix. This time we have the full 1-20 level range of for five classes.
It seems like as good a time as any to really look at the playtest package and the playtest process in general.
Wizards of the Coast has been managing this public playtest for roughly seven months, since the first package was released...
Posted by: The_Jester on Dec 3, 2012 at 02:12:33 PM
Perfect worlds don’t need heroes, and they certainly don’t need adventurers. Functioning kingdoms do not need to hire mercenaries to do the jobs of soldiers or a police force, civilized areas do not need a half-dozen heavily armed warriors acting as caravan guards, and very few hamlets or villages are threatened with slavery and death in a happy countryside. By the needs and conventions of the game, D&D worlds have to be seriously flawed, and even kingdoms ruled by a kind and just king must have their problems. Even campaigns built around delving into forgotten ruins seeking treasure and magic suggest a non-utopia based on the fact such a dangerous occupation is appealing, which says that there are few safer ways of earning that wealth. After all, the life of an adventurer is...
Posted by: The_Jester on May 31, 2012 at 04:32:10 PM
We have our first open look at 5th Edition. Have we all absorbed the rules? Good. Has everyone had themselves to position themselves staunchly in a “for” or “against” faction? Okay then. Let’s get started with another review ‘n’ assessment. Be warned, it's a long one. Grandpa Jester likes to ramble, he does.
Definition of Terms
I’ll be using “5th Edition” and “5e” in this blog for a couple reasons. Mostly because 5e is 2 characters and “D&D Next” is 7 (and a space). And while “D&D Next” is a good temporary name it is a terrible official name: what happens when they need to release another edition? Or – heaven forbid – an update or revision?
They can’t just call it “Dungeons...
Posted by: The_Jester on Jul 19, 2011 at 05:21:12 PM
I've been thinking about this topic for a while, since Wrecan's poll on encounter length. Like 4e itself, the poll assumed a party of 5 heroes facing a group of 5 equal level monsters. But is this a good balance? Should that be the default count?
Previously on D&D
Earlier edition were much more fluid when it came to encounter balance. A fight might be a single orc or it might be a dozen orcs. Fights were not balanced, but worked as well with a half-dozen opponents as two-dozen as a single foe. 3e tried to add a dash of balance to encounters, with the system being based around a single high CR threat to a party of 4 PCs but with sub-rules for one or two foes. As the edition aged, it was noticed that many DMs were making higher EL fights with multiple opponents, which made for more...
Posted by: The_Jester on Jun 28, 2011 at 08:54:44 AM
I think it’s time to take a good long, hard look at controllers. What works and what does not.
I’ve looked at the roles a couple times before, dedicating this blog to assumptions of controllers, and this blog to the various roles. I’ve been thinking about this again lately, tweeting about it and even discussed it on the At-Will web-chat.
(If you haven’t tried the At-Will chat, why the heck not?? All the cool kids are doing it. And a couple weeks back Steve “WotC_Huscarl” Winter dropped by to answer question.)
When In Warcraft...
This is another blog inspired by World of Warcraft.
Control is a very minor part of that game, spread out over multiple classes. Mages can polymorph, shamans can hex, warlocks can fear, and rogues can sap. Really, every damage...
Posted by: The_Jester on Jun 13, 2011 at 10:28:38 PM
Okay, a little postscript here. I debated editing it onto the end of my review, but felt that might be missed by the people who have already read my blog. One point I missed in my review but which is worthy of note is the monsters. Gloomwrought came out hot on the heels of "Heroes of Shadow" so one might assume the two products are related: HoS would be the player product while Gloomwrought fills the DM's needs.Sadly, this is not the case. For example, I was hoping for monstrous additions of the races from HoS in Gloomwrought — such as the shade and the vyrlokka — but there were none. Neither were there mentions of these two races in the book, although one might expect the book on the Shadowfell to feature some information on the two new shadow races. Details of the vampire...
Posted by: The_Jester on Apr 1, 2011 at 12:39:56 PM
Responding to a older Rule-of-Three article today. The idea of monstrous PC races was again brought up, spear-headed by folk wanting to play kobolds, which continues to be a fan-favourite monster race for reasons that defy reason. But it could also include goblins, orcs, and the like.
The author(s) of Rule-of-Three wanted feedback, so I decided to blog my thoughts and look at the issue.
I have discussed this topic before here, with a more historical slant) and quoted the interesting Gygaxian rant on the subject here. There’s also the forum discussion here, which descended more into a discussion of the merits of shifty as a power and less on monsters in general.
The excuse given for why we don’t see kobold is two-fold. The first is that their racial power is too...
Posted by: The_Jester on Dec 9, 2010 at 04:17:35 PM
WotC recently released the Monster Vault product as part of the D&D Essentials sub-line, a 256 page book of monsters and 10 sheets of monster pogs. The book is a solid re-release of the core monsters, with beasties pulled from all three Monster Manuals. It was designed to include the classic monsters, the most well-known and popular of the game’s creatures.
This book started me thinking on designing a Monster Manual, what such a books needs in 4e and how a book for beginners – like the Monster Vault – might differ from a book for established players.
Monsters in 1e and 2e were fairly static. They came at a certain level and could only do a limited number of things. You had to make an entirely new monster if the one you wanted to use was too high or too...