D&D 5th Edition There are zero incarnations of swarm rules that I don't hate. - Page 2




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  1. #11
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    I share B.T.'s dislike of previous edition swarm rules, especially 4E. They never really feel like swarms to me; they just feel like singular monsters, sacks of hit points to be beaten down like anything else.

    That said, a swarm of 20 singular rats is not something I have any interest in running.

    I would prefer to see a swarm treated as an environmental hazard rather than a monster. It doesn't have hit points. Instead, it has squares. Effects that deal area damage above some damage threshold can destroy the squares they target. Non-area attacks have a much higher damage threshold, or perhaps have no effect at all.

    Of course, the challenge with this approach would be making it so that swarms are not just another "casters rule, non-casters drool" gotcha.

    There is no fluff. There is no crunch. There are only rules of varying precision.

 

  • #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.T. View Post
    If you want a swarm of rats, then throw ten rats against the party.
    Quote Originally Posted by B.T. View Post
    I would never include 18 rats in a single encounter.
    So you're using 10 rats as an example but would never include 18 rats. That seems ... oddly specific.

  • #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEFCON 1 View Post
    I would suggest that if all you're getting from your story when facing a rat swarm is a "mass of hit points"... part of the issue might be how your DM is describing and coloring the swarm. ANY monster can be a "mass of hit points" if the DM does nothing to emphasize the uniqueness of what you're facing.
    Yep. My wife almot literally turns green when I describe a swarm in-game and you can see her unease the rest of the session. She definitely doesn't view the swarm as a 'bag of hit points.'
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  • #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    So you're using 10 rats as an example but would never include 18 rats. That seems ... oddly specific.
    Right. Ten rats is fine. Almost twice that is not.

  • #15
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    ... Are 11 rats okay?
    "A rock on a stick has a 5' reach unless otherwise specified."

  • #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patryn of Elvenshae View Post
    ... Are 11 rats okay?
    Probably not. Ten is the maximum number of monsters I'd want to run at once.

  • #17
    Please no swarm rules.
    The previous swarm rules were all completely silly as the swarm of creatures always had completely different abilities as the creatures had when faced alone.

  • #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Derren View Post
    Please no swarm rules.
    The previous swarm rules were all completely silly as the swarm of creatures always had completely different abilities as the creatures had when faced alone.
    Sure, what I'd really like is the stats for a single killer bee!

    A swarm in real life has very different traits to the individual creatures that it consists of (Edit: before we get dragged into "realism", I'm talking about traits such as the area it might threaten, the volume it contains, how it moves, how dangerous it is). And ask any physicist or chemist about aggregate materials!

    "Please no swarm rules." seems like an odd request to me - are you concerned about things in the rulebook that you won't use, to the extent you want them blocked? Seriously, a set of rules for swarms won't be more than a page, which you can safely ignore . . .

    Swarms of creatures aren't a necessity in a fantasy game world. But a bit of variety in the types of enemy is just fine by me.
    Last edited by slobo777; Wednesday, 26th September, 2012 at 09:32 PM.

  • #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.T. View Post
    Probably not. Ten is the maximum number of monsters I'd want to run at once.
    And I'd consider that unarmed and unarmoured, as an overweight and out of shape man, I could handle ten rats without too much trouble. A professional adventurer, armed and armoured? No problem. If you're only going to run ten rats at a time then IMO you might as well not bother at all.

  • #20
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    Hrmmm...this has to be some kind Rorschach test for the effect of looking at a singular token on a grid versus multiple tokens (I can't imagine that swarm rules would matter one way or another in TotM play as there is no sensory input outside of the description of the fiction).

    - Do you want to have a token in each of 4 squares adjacent to you representing 4 tiny creatures in each square and adjudicate their collective impact as individual attack rolls (and the attacks against them one by one)?

    - Do you want to have a 2 * 2 token representing 16 (or more) or more tiny creatures as a cohesive (but incoherent) swarm and adjudicate their collective impact as a collective, single attack roll + aura effect (and the attacks against them as a single attack roll with special rules)?

    This seems as thought it has to be some kind of grid:token sensory input over-riding the fiction, assuming there is a depiction by the DM (because if not, then there is your answer...I'll assume that there is because you would have thought of that simple answer and therefore wouldn't have composed this thread), kind of deal as TotM is neutral.

    Or maybe its the word "swarm." You could try a test. Use the 2 * 2 token, and the corresponding swarm rules, and take a black felt-tip marker and write NOT A SWARM on the token. See if that works for you or if the NOT A SWARM swarm of rats still feels like a bag of HPs.

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