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13th Age 13th Age monsters in 5E

Nilbog

Snotling Herder
So I've just finished the Lost mines, and my group loved it, so we will be continuing on. As such I now have to build a campaign (my First 5e one)

The system itself meshes very well with my DM style, and I feel prep time is on par with 4e, however I do find a lot of the monsters quite vanilla. So i was looking at some of the 13th age monsters and wondering if anyone had experience of dropping some of the more unusual properties of them into a 5e game? Is there any gotcha's I need to be wary of that can throw out balance or break the mechanics?

I know this is quite a general question, as different powers will, obviously have a different impact, I was just however hoping for an overview of if its worth it?
 

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Nebulous

Legend
So I've just finished the Lost mines, and my group loved it, so we will be continuing on. As such I now have to build a campaign (my First 5e one)

The system itself meshes very well with my DM style, and I feel prep time is on par with 4e, however I do find a lot of the monsters quite vanilla. So i was looking at some of the 13th age monsters and wondering if anyone had experience of dropping some of the more unusual properties of them into a 5e game? Is there any gotcha's I need to be wary of that can throw out balance or break the mechanics?

I know this is quite a general question, as different powers will, obviously have a different impact, I was just however hoping for an overview of if its worth it?

I'm running Lost Mine right now and loving it, and so are players. In fact they say it is their favorite edition of D&D, and i admit I like it quite a bit too. And, very, very much like you, i find too many of the monsters vanilla. Which is disappointing because although i didn't care for 4e, they did a great job of making everything have a shtick.

I too have been looking at 13th Age for monster powers to supplant. And for the most part I think you can totally do it. Take for example some of the owlbear abilities, like puling off a limb on a critical hit and retreating to its nest. Or the ogre's ability to push back a group of close enemies. Stuff like that NEEDS to be in the 5e statblock for the ogre, it is an utterly vanilla monster.

But not every monster is dull, many of them do have interesting abilities, it's just not consistent across the board. Ideally, what I want to see as a DM is a database like the 4e monster builder where we can sort and modify pre-existing powers by HD and Type (such as a 6HD aberration) and insert to the stat block. For the most part I just want something to have an encounter power with 1 or 2 or 3 uses, and then it's tapped. Easy to implement and not complicated to run,
 

Nilbog

Snotling Herder
I'm running Lost Mine right now and loving it, and so are players. In fact they say it is their favorite edition of D&D, and i admit I like it quite a bit too. And, very, very much like you, i find too many of the monsters vanilla. Which is disappointing because although i didn't care for 4e, they did a great job of making everything have a shtick.

I too have been looking at 13th Age for monster powers to supplant. And for the most part I think you can totally do it. Take for example some of the owlbear abilities, like puling off a limb on a critical hit and retreating to its nest. Or the ogre's ability to push back a group of close enemies. Stuff like that NEEDS to be in the 5e statblock for the ogre, it is an utterly vanilla monster.

But not every monster is dull, many of them do have interesting abilities, it's just not consistent across the board. Ideally, what I want to see as a DM is a database like the 4e monster builder where we can sort and modify pre-existing powers by HD and Type (such as a 6HD aberration) and insert to the stat block. For the most part I just want something to have an encounter power with 1 or 2 or 3 uses, and then it's tapped. Easy to implement and not complicated to run,

Exactly! it would be nice for a lot of the monsters to have some interesting tricks up their sleeve. I figured 13th age would gel better with 5e as it assumes play without a grid, whereas a lot of 4e monster powers work around the grid
 

Psikerlord#

Explorer
Yeah I think anytime you use a 5e monster that seems a bit bland, check the 13th Age equivalent and see if you can port in an ability/surprise. I suspect it's very easily doable. The Owlbear is a great example. If tearing off a limb is too serious a wound, it would be easy to modify - possibly using the lingering wounds option coming in DMG.

Hmm I might do up a quick list of swappable abilities from 13A to 5e monsters of the same kind. See what it looks like.
 

Nebulous

Legend
Yeah I think anytime you use a 5e monster that seems a bit bland, check the 13th Age equivalent and see if you can port in an ability/surprise. I suspect it's very easily doable. The Owlbear is a great example. If tearing off a limb is too serious a wound, it would be easy to modify - possibly using the lingering wounds option coming in DMG.

Hmm I might do up a quick list of swappable abilities from 13A to 5e monsters of the same kind. See what it looks like.


I might do that too this weekend. I think I'll make a list and post it in this thread.
 

Nebulous

Legend
Ok, I'm looking over some of the core 13th Age monsters and comparing their stat block powers. 13th Age takes its cues from 4th edition, so you can pretty much cut and paste the stuff with just a few tweaks to fit into 5th edition.

The main thing that I think is cool in all the monsters is Nastier Specials. If there was just a sortable database with hundreds of these to pick and choose, and modify and print the statblock, it would be perfect. In the meantime....

Nastier Special for all gnolls
Blood fury: +1d10 melee damage if the gnoll or its target is staggered. (This is perfect; in 5e, if the gnoll or a target is at 50% or less hit points, the gnoll does +5 damage.

Pack ferocity: If more than one gnoll is engaged with the target, each gnoll melee attack that misses that target deals half damage. (in 5e i'd lower this to just a minimal amount of damage)

Nastier Specials
Hates everyone: The crit range of attacks by gnoll rangers expands by 2 against humanoids.

Hobgoblin Warriors (this one is great and really reinforces their group tactics)

Group ability: For every two hobgoblins in the battle (round up, ignore mooks), one of them can use well-armored as a free action once during the battle.
Well-armored (group): Ignore all damage from a hit (but not a crit) against AC.


These are just examples, there's many more, but any of these could be plucked out wholesale and slapped onto a 5e monster, or even replace other abilities, or define a certain tribe of monsters.
 

Psikerlord#

Explorer
Ok, I'm looking over some of the core 13th Age monsters and comparing their stat block powers. 13th Age takes its cues from 4th edition, so you can pretty much cut and paste the stuff with just a few tweaks to fit into 5th edition.

The main thing that I think is cool in all the monsters is Nastier Specials. If there was just a sortable database with hundreds of these to pick and choose, and modify and print the statblock, it would be perfect. In the meantime....

Nastier Special for all gnolls
Blood fury: +1d10 melee damage if the gnoll or its target is staggered. (This is perfect; in 5e, if the gnoll or a target is at 50% or less hit points, the gnoll does +5 damage.

Pack ferocity: If more than one gnoll is engaged with the target, each gnoll melee attack that misses that target deals half damage. (in 5e i'd lower this to just a minimal amount of damage)

Nastier Specials
Hates everyone: The crit range of attacks by gnoll rangers expands by 2 against humanoids.

Hobgoblin Warriors (this one is great and really reinforces their group tactics)

Group ability: For every two hobgoblins in the battle (round up, ignore mooks), one of them can use well-armored as a free action once during the battle.
Well-armored (group): Ignore all damage from a hit (but not a crit) against AC.


These are just examples, there's many more, but any of these could be plucked out wholesale and slapped onto a 5e monster, or even replace other abilities, or define a certain tribe of monsters.

Yes I had a quick look too - and I agree, there are lots of example surprise abilities that could easily be dropped straight onto a 5e monster, or tweaked a little. I think the 13th Age corebook and the Bestiary will be a useful resource for 5e. :)
 

Nebulous

Legend
Yes I had a quick look too - and I agree, there are lots of example surprise abilities that could easily be dropped straight onto a 5e monster, or tweaked a little. I think the 13th Age corebook and the Bestiary will be a useful resource for 5e. :)

Yes, and I'm glad. I like 5e much more than 13th Age, but there's enough good stuff in 13th Age that is usable, so it's win win.
 



Nilbog

Snotling Herder
Some great work done already, it looks like 13th age is a good fir for 5e, this fills me with optimism! I'm going to have a look over the weekend about stating up some 5e monsters with 13th age trimmings :)

Thanks for the work guys!
 




Nebulous

Legend
That's a great and incredibly useful list. I'll link to the 13th Age open source SRD, and encourage people to actually buy the books. They're freakin' awesome, and I say that with great prejudice because I've written for them.

Yes, they ARE useful, and for someone who might be a book-a-holic and discouraged by 5e's slow rollout, it's a perfect supplement.

Personally, just dropping one of these into a 5e monster stat block completely erases my worries about them being too "vanilla".
 

Psikerlord#

Explorer
So let me know what you think. I think it would be easy to implement these, and maybe even the escalation die for another mechanic, but that might be a little trickier.

https://app.box.com/s/tceem0vkcjgq9rfa8h8h
These look excellent, thanks for doing it.

I think there is a lot to be said for even pinching randomised surprise effects, like if you roll 16+, this happens, or if you roll an even, that happens. Very easily thrown on top of a what otherwise might be a kind of boring 5e monster, and due to the randomised nature, even the DM will be surprised.
 

Nebulous

Legend
These look excellent, thanks for doing it.

I think there is a lot to be said for even pinching randomised surprise effects, like if you roll 16+, this happens, or if you roll an even, that happens. Very easily thrown on top of a what otherwise might be a kind of boring 5e monster, and due to the randomised nature, even the DM will be surprised.

You're welcome. And I agree, randomizing a few effects is a great idea. I sure wish that had been a core rule!
 



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