D&D 4th Edition Big, Strong, and Dumb


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    Big, Strong, and Dumb

    Those of you who have tangled with ogres and trolls in your D&D games know that these creatures can bring the hurt. This week, James takes a look at both of these monsters, plus discusses ogre mages (or oni if you prefer).

    Read Big, Strong, and Dumb on D&D Insider here!

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    It might not seem like much, but giants only range from 19 for hill giants to 25 for storm giants, just like in 1st Edition AD&D.)
    That's not a lot of granularity to work with. The difference between a hill giant and a storm giant is less than the difference between an average human and a really strong human?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    That's not a lot of granularity to work with. The difference between a hill giant and a storm giant is less than the difference between an average human and a really strong human?
    GOOD point! They should at least work it out to be 8 point difference (assuming a 10 is Average for humans and an 18 is top notch). So a 19 for Hill giants and a 27 for Storm might be better...though I'm not sure if I can get down with the idea of a strong human (18) and a Hill Giant (19) having an evenly matched wrestling match. Grappling a Troll? Sure. Tackling an Ogre with a reasonable chance of knocking him over? Ok. But doing the same to a Hill giant puts a crack in my "immersion shields."

    I'd probably go with this: Trolls 19 (ripping and rending is more their thing than necessarily hitting hard), Ogres 20, Hill 21, Wood/Forest (always thought Treants should have been considered among the giant-kin 22, Frost & Stone 24, Fire & Cloud 26, Storm Giant 28 (Titans 30 and Gods whatever the DM wants/makes sense.)
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    It becomes more of an issue because unlike in AD&D, class grants you ability score bonuses and an 18 is not the top of what a human can reach at all. Humans being stronger than giants is not cool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    It becomes more of an issue because unlike in AD&D, class grants you ability score bonuses and an 18 is not the top of what a human can reach at all. Humans being stronger than giants is not cool.
    Absolutely! Sorry I can't give you any XP ATM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    It becomes more of an issue because unlike in AD&D, class grants you ability score bonuses and an 18 is not the top of what a human can reach at all. Humans being stronger than giants is not cool.
    That depends on the story. Hercules is stronger than giants.

    Maybe there should be a "mood" module. In "gritty" games, humans can go beyond 18. In "fantasy heroic" they can go up to 20. And in "Mythic fantasy" they can go up to 25 or whatever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triqui View Post
    That depends on the story. Hercules is stronger than giants.
    Sure. In D&D terms, however, I would not describe Hercules as any of the following:
    *Human
    *1st level
    *Mortal
    *A typical 1st level human non-divine PC

    There are already mechanisms in place to handle demigods and other such things. Those mechanisms may need to be redesigned for 5e, but I don't think they're particularly relevant to the discussion at hand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    That's not a lot of granularity to work with. The difference between a hill giant and a storm giant is less than the difference between an average human and a really strong human?
    average is the key.

    A normal human has a strength score of 10(ish). An average ogre is 18. A human though hard work and dedication can get as strong as an ogre. If you could could find an ogre who was similarly gifted, his strength could be in the mid-20s. Thankfully, ogres are stupid and lazy and rarely have the drive to get stronger.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    That's not a lot of granularity to work with. The difference between a hill giant and a storm giant is less than the difference between an average human and a really strong human?
    It's also possible that the difference between 24 and 26 strength is meant to represent a bigger in-game power gap than the difference between 10 and 12 strength.

    Even a mid-sized dragon could probably be said to be twice as strong as an ogre, but if we applied that literally to their strength scores, then mid-sized dragons would have strength scores in the 40's, and would only go up from there. 3.x did it like that, and I think the idea in DDN is to cut back on the stat inflation somewhat by compressing the upper end of the spectrum.

    If you fiddle with the carrying capacity math you can even make this make a little sense. If a strength 24 monster has twice the carrying capacity of a str 20 monster, and a str 28 monster has twice that, then you establish a mechanical basis for the fiction that str 28 great red wyrms are in a completely different league than str 20 ogres, even though the stats are only 8 points apart. I thin it's better to do it that way, and not have to deal with stats in the stratosphere.

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    I think they need to do something.

    I rolled up a human fighter with a 20 strength. that's the same strength score as an AD&D frost giant.

    Perhaps a rethink of the ability bonuses would be in order.

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