D&D 5th Edition 5e: the demystification of monsters? - Page 2





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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gweinel View Post
    In the playtest the heroes, from the 1st level are able to face a variety of foes and monsters. They can beat an ogre, drow elves, wights and many more. These monsters are made in porpuse to be beaten from the 1st level.
    I agree with you that the "magical feeling" of scare is very important in a game of D&D

    As a matter of fact, I am even a stern proponent of occasionally using unbeatable monsters (not strictly unbeatable, but unbeatable at the current party level) in a campaign, to teach players that sometimes winning a battle equals to save yourself rather than kill the opponent (which is actually closer to real life...).

    But I want to point out that just because some monsters might get a "downgrade", that doesn't mean that every monster in the 5e MM will be a reasonable foe at 1st level... most of them still won't.

    Drow in particular, they should really be characters, thus having a 1st-level Drow is OK as soon as the DM can control their true level of difficulty by adding class levels.

    I would not use this approach for savage monsters... they should be naturally a tough challenge, without any training or "education" into a class. But Drow really... what makes them scary is that they have excellent warriors, assassins and spellcasters.

    If you design a Drow (base version, with no class level) already being equivalent to a mid-level PC, then you're shooting yourself in the foot when you want him/her to be also a high-level Wizard or Cleric and realize that you have to keep their class level lower than the PC party or the end result is too much for the same party to fight against.
    Last edited by Li Shenron; Tuesday, 2nd October, 2012 at 12:23 PM.
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  • #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    Of course we aren't. You were talking about an entire tenth level party. Which is considerably more than a solo fifth level fighter.
    So why did you have to throw out your 5th level fighter quip...oh, wait, never mind, of course, the agenda...

    Anyway, what I said holds true, a monster with +6 to hit and 2d8 + 4 damage is still a threat to a 10th level character in 5th Ed.

  • #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely_Dan View Post
    So why did you have to throw out your 5th level fighter quip...oh, wait, never mind, of course, the agenda...
    ... Because if an ogre isn't going to be a meaningful threat to even a 5th-level fighter, how is it supposed to be a meaningful threat to a fighter with 5 more levels and a group of similarly BA friends?

    There's no agenda here, just some facts that, for some reason, you aren't acknowledging.

    Anyway, what I said holds true, a monster with +6 to hit and 2d8 + 4 damage is still a threat to a 10th level character in 5th Ed.
    I'm not sure how - especially if that 10th-level character is a fighter (2d8+4 damage will be easily, easily soaked by that fighter's Parry).
    "A rock on a stick has a 5' reach unless otherwise specified."

  • #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Patryn of Elvenshae View Post
    1) ... Because if an ogre isn't going to be a meaningful threat to even a 5th-level fighter

    2) There's no agenda here, just some facts that, for some reason, you aren't acknowledging.

    1) ...but, it is.

    2) Oh, I'm acknowledging, the fact of you and your cohorts anti pre-4th Ed agenda, so obvious.

    Lets address the substance of the post and not any hypothetical "agenda" anyone may have, please. ~ KM
    Last edited by Kamikaze Midget; Tuesday, 2nd October, 2012 at 08:51 PM.

  • #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely_Dan View Post
    1) ...but, it is.
    Gimme the numbers. Show me how that ogre is going to threaten a 5th-level fighter, on his own.

    2) Oh, I'm acknowledging, the fact of you and your cohorts anti pre-4th Ed agenda, so obvious.
    *snrk*

    I'm playing Pathfinder right now. I'm not "anti pre-4th Ed" by any means; I'm anti ignorance.
    "A rock on a stick has a 5' reach unless otherwise specified."

  • #16
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    To me, based upon the playtesting of the monster design of 5E, and the playtesting we've done, monsters are both demystified (that is they now appear far more realistic, gritty, and mortal - more like flesh and blood creatures instead of mere fantasy or sci-fantasy imaginary constructs- so I like that kind of demystification) and because they are so simple in design, far more easy to modify and to make mythological in nature.

    (Something I also very much appreciate and harkens back to AD&D/OD&D monsters).

    As to your comment about them being dark, dangerous, scary, and a real lethal threat (and I'm all for all of these things) I think a lot of that depends upon how the DM presents monsters in their particular adventure, setting, world, and game.

    Now to be perfectly fair I get your point, it is a valid and a good one, and I think game designers should strive to design monsters to be, indeed, fully capable of being absolutely Monstrous.

    However, I think it was a conscious choice on the part of the game designers not to overdesign and overdefine any one monster, or monster type. That is to say they are obviously leaving room for the individual DM to mythologize and mystify and "monsterize" each monster to the taste of the DM and the setting. I think they are intentionally taking the tack, which I agree with, that they provide the monster idea-templates and basic characteristics, and the DM provides the Real Monsters to the players.

    I think we are (gratefully) moving away from the game design era where the front-end designer does all the designing and thinking and creating for everyone else and back to (or modified, forward to) the era of the DM and players carrying their end of that load.

    (We are moving away from the pre-programmed OS game design era that the game designer wanted to create, and into the Free Form End User Era, where the end user does the yeoman's work to design the game they want to create. In the OS game the designer provides both the data and an Operating System that is very hard to modify or alter - it is rigid and static, in the Free Form system the designer designs a lite OS and provides some of the data and the end-user modifies as they wish, and adds to it as they desire. It's much, much more like earlier versions of the game, only less complicated and with more streamlining. We are moving away from the Geek-era of "you design it and I'll learn how to use and master it," and back to the Nerd-era of, "you lay out the general idea and I'll run with it and see what I can do." Away from a technological, mechanical game design approach and back more towards an artitistic, individualized, mythological approach to design.)

    Not all ogres have to be the same ogre anymore. They never really had to be, but that was the way the game designs stressed it operating - so that compatibility was king, not Individuality. Now though, or once again (taek your pick) some ogres can be tall, hairy, brutish human thugs, and some can be terrible, vicious, semi-supernatural Grendels.

    And personally I like that design/construct a lot. Especially as regards Role Play Game Designs. They are, after all, Role Play Games. Not Programming Games. Or Game Apps. But it means the DM and players can't expect the designers to do all of the deisgn work anymore. Now it falls back to the DMs and players.

    Now the DM and players become true co-Creators and sub-Creators again, not just referees and character actors.

    It's now our job again to take a monster and make them truly Monstrous, depending upon the needs of the setting, players, and game.

    So I think the real solution is not to look to the Game Designers, they're doing their part with the general design, but to look to ourselves to do our part with the individualized specifics.

  • #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Patryn of Elvenshae View Post
    1) Gimme the numbers.

    2) I'm not "anti pre-4th Ed" by any means; I'm anti ignorance.

    1) +6 to hit, 2d8 + 4 damage.

    2) Anti-something else more like-it.

    See my note above. ~ KM
    Last edited by Kamikaze Midget; Tuesday, 2nd October, 2012 at 08:52 PM.

  • #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patryn of Elvenshae View Post
    Gimme the numbers. Show me how that ogre is going to threaten a 5th-level fighter, on his own.
    Ignoring Steely_Dan's apparent and mysterious vendetta against you, you won't find many people who claim that an ogre would be a threat to a 5th level Fighter. Even back in 3e, ogres were only CR 2-3. The point isn't that one ogre is still a threat to a 5th level Fighter or a 10th level party, it's that ogres in general are still a threat to higher level groups.

    In older editions, your AC and attack bonuses scaled too much with level, meaning that after you got a few levels higher than a certain threat... it was almost pointless to face them. They'd nearly always miss or fail a save, and you'd almost always hit or pass a save. What 5e is doing is flattening the math involved, so that (once they realize that monsters need to get a +2 or +3 to hit like PC's) low-level combatants can still hit high-level combatants. The difference now comes from HP and damage.

    It's possible for a level 1 party to beat an ogre, but not likely (again, once they add the proficiency bonus for monsters). You'll have to be very very good to knock down their high HP before their high damage takes out your low HP. An ogre will be an easy target for a 5th level Fighter... but a 5th level Fighter is far more likely to be fighting 2d4+3 ogres than he is to be Fighting a lone ogre. A 10th level group can probably face down a veritable army of ogres... but the important part is that the ogres can still hit them. They can still deal damage, and enough damage will still kill.

    It's because of this that you can still use iconic enemies in late-game events without resorting to a dozen different stat blocks for different character levels just to allow a certain type of monster to remain relevant. Also, it'll probably cut down on the number of silly portmanteaus. By the time you hit 10th level, you shouldn't have to fight a "Duskogre Knobslobber" just so the DM can have an ogre uprising that actually has a chance of threatening the group.

  • #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely_Dan View Post
    1) +6 to hit, 2d8 + 4 damage.
    Here, I'll do the math for you.

    Ogre: AC 15, 32 HP, +4 to hit, 2d8+4 Bludgeoning Damage

    5th-Level Fighter: AC 18 (Banded + Shield); 44 HP (+2 Con), +7 to hit (+4 Fighter, +3 Strength), 1d8+3 damage (Longsword, +3 Str), 2d8 Expertise Dice

    Assuming the Fighter uses no combat maneuvers at all:

    Ogre Damage per Round: Chance to Hit * Damage
    (6/20) * 2d8+4 + (1/20) * 20
    (6/20) * (13) + (1/20) * 20
    =
    4.9 damage per round

    It takes him ~9 rounds to kill a single 5th-level fighter. Meanwhile, the 5th-level fighter is doing:

    Fighter Damage per Round: Chance to Hit * Damage
    (12/20) * 1d8+3 + (1/20) * 11
    (12/20) * (7.5) + (1/20) * 11
    =
    5.1 damage per round

    It takes the Fighter ~6.3 rounds to kill the Ogre. A 5th-level Fighter, on average, easily beats an ogre. Therefore, if a 5th-level Fighter, one-on-one, can easily handle an ogre, how is a single ogre supposed to be a threat to a 10th-level Fighter plus his 3-5 10th-level friends?

    The easy answer is: It's not.

    BUT WAIT! There's more!

    The fighter actuall has 2d8 Expertise dice per round. Assuming he does nothing but Parry (which is probably suboptimal), that drops the ogre's damage:

    Ogre Damage per Round: Chance to Hit * Damage
    (6/20) * 2d8+4-2d8 + (1/20) * 20-2d8
    (6/20) * (4) + (1/20) * 11
    =
    1.75 damage per round

    Or, in other words, by making pretty suboptimal choices, the 5th-level Fighter increases his average survival time to 25 rounds.

    Yeah, the standard ogre is not a meaningful threat to even a 5th-level fighter, let alone a 10th-level party.
    "A rock on a stick has a 5' reach unless otherwise specified."

  • #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patryn of Elvenshae View Post
    *snrk*

    I'm playing Pathfinder right now. I'm not "anti pre-4th Ed" by any means; I'm anti ignorance.
    If you go by publish dates technically that's not pre-4E.

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