D&D 5th Edition Monsters taking PC classes: I want it in Next.


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    Monsters taking PC classes: I want it in Next.

    I'm not sure if anyone has brought this up but it's something that I really hope makes a come back to D&D Next. I loved back in 3rd edition where I could take a class or even a PrC and add it to a monster.

    I have had anything from Ogre Wizards to Half-Celestial Satyr Bards and I liked it. I do not want to see 4th edition's monster design because I just didn't like it. I like when monsters and PC's read off the same hymn sheet because it allows me to use PC classes and PrC's very easily.

    Discuss.

 

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverSlayer View Post
    I have had anything from Ogre Wizards to Half-Celestial Satyr Bards and I liked it. I do not want to see 4th edition's monster design because I just didn't like it. I like when monsters and PC's read off the same hymn sheet because it allows me to use PC classes and PrC's very easily.
    I thought those things were cool, but eventually I found it was too much work for the results. If we get another system like that...well I hope they come up with a workable shortcut method or something. For me, there's really no justification for working up an 3-round NPC taking the same amount of effort as a campaign-long PC. Find a way to make all that coolness happen with less than 5 min/NPC-monster, and I'm all about it.

    Having a full-on 3e style monster-classing system as a central feature of monster customization would decrease the likelihood of my purchasing and using 5e. Monster design (if not power level) was one of the things that 4e got generally right. In General, I think its vitally important that the DM's job be as easy, fast, and straightforward as possible.

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    I do believe that Mearls or Thompson (or someone) wrote an article on this very subject and explicitly stated that they are aiming for a monster design method whereby both top-down (outcome/target-based) and bottom-up (process/organic-based) work hand-in-hand. Want to build a monster through the organic process of 3e (bottom up)? You're good. Those same monsters will have their derivation formula readily available so you can quickly ad-hoc build (top-down) diverse, of-level (and above and below) NPCs/monsters to challenge your PCs (4e).

    Given the absolute, disparate tastes of DMs out there, they must make good on this promise. But they said they aware of the polarization of the user base on this subject so they were adamant that they will. So there you go.

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    It was very easy to do in 4E. Just pick your PC class, pick some powers from that class, and bam, you're done. I've done it quite a bit. Ever seen "Come and Get it" used on an adventuring party?

    I try to save it for elites, because standards are typically needed in such number that complexity problems arise (and solos are their own thing) but it's quite funny when the PCs realize what's going on.

    Maybe I just utterly hate bottom-up monster design though. It's so much work to get a result that often barely works properly and then the PCs kill it with two lucky crits.
    Last edited by GreyICE; Saturday, 22nd September, 2012 at 05:20 PM.

  • #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    I do believe that Mearls or Thompson (or someone) wrote an article on this very subject and explicitly stated that they are aiming for a monster design method whereby both top-down (outcome/target-based) and bottom-up (process/organic-based) work hand-in-hand. Want to build a monster through the organic process of 3e (bottom up)? You're good. Those same monsters will have their derivation formula readily available so you can quickly ad-hoc build (top-down) diverse, of-level (and above and below) NPCs/monsters to challenge your PCs (4e).

    Given the absolute, disparate tastes of DMs out there, they must make good on this promise. But they said they aware of the polarization of the user base on this subject so they were adamant that they will. So there you go.
    Prediction (with no basis in fact): They will try to do this very simply with a set of ability ranges by level/xp. You will either use them directly and read a range of allowed monster attacks, hitpoints and damage from a table, or you'll build the monster from components and eyeball where it falls into the table to decide level/xp.

    Second prediction (with even less basis in fact): It will kind of work, but won't be perfect. Not as tight as 4E's designated values, but not as loose as 3E's CR system.

    They've set themselves an interesting challenge by partly separating level and xp for each monster.

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    I added classes to monsters back in AD&D all the time. No special rules are really needed.

    The reason that 3e and 4e create systems for this was so that monsters could be pegged to a CR or experience value. I had ogre clerics and frost giant wizards back in the day with no real hassle at all.
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    I share your concerns for the execution of this. I share your position that the most likely outcome for the "top-down derivative approach" is that it will "kinda work."

    I share this same concern for tight, elegant, user-friendly encounter-design derived from a system premised upon "adventure-design."

    My guess is that for many DMs who appreciate 4e for those aspects, those two issues are very much on their radar screen. If they turn out to be a muddled morass of murky "kinda works" (but not as elegantly or tightly than expectations demand), then I expect a whole lot of disinterest in the product.

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    A troll that takes 1 level in wizard should not be considered 1 level more difficult of a challenge. Any magic he's popping off pales next to his claws and regeneration.

    I prefer top-down design, with limits based on in-game conceits. E.g., you can't get high AC without heavy armor.
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    I will provide a very big disagreement with the OP on this one.


    While some didn't like 4e interpretation of monster design, it had the right idea. Monsters at their core are meant to be foils to the PC, not PCs themselves.

    Its hard enough to design a good monster to challenge a party of players. But expecting the designer to also consider the same monster as PC worthy is simply asking too much.

    I have no problem with supplements to tailor core monsters into being more PC like, but I don't want that to be the monster design focus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    I do believe that Mearls or Thompson (or someone) wrote an article on this very subject and explicitly stated that they are aiming for a monster design method whereby both top-down (outcome/target-based) and bottom-up (process/organic-based) work hand-in-hand. Want to build a monster through the organic process of 3e (bottom up)? You're good. Those same monsters will have their derivation formula readily available so you can quickly ad-hoc build (top-down) diverse, of-level (and above and below) NPCs/monsters to challenge your PCs (4e).
    I dunno about them. I know I've written posts saying that I think such a thing is possible. I'd be fine with it, too. I have no problems with the idea that you can build such a critter. I just want the top-down way, too. If they keep prestige classes/paths, they'll need a way to splice those into the top-down method as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    Given the absolute, disparate tastes of DMs out there, they must make good on this promise. But they said they aware of the polarization of the user base on this subject so they were adamant that they will. So there you go.
    One can hope.

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