D&D 5E A better model for Legendary Resistance

I’ve used a necklace with three glowing gems to physically represent LR before (an idea I surely “borrowed” from somewhere but forget where).

When LR is activated, a gem fizzles out (or explodes or…). Theoretically, a PC could try to target the necklace to eliminate the remaining LR usages for the boss/BBEG.
 

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Dausuul

Legend
The ideal solution would be that every debuff effect comes with two versions, a "regular" one and a "boss" one. The boss version applied to a solo legendary monster should have similar impact on the fight as the regular version applied to one of 3-5 normal monsters.

Unfortunately, this requires retooling half the spells in the book.

Another option, clunkier but doable without a mass rewrite: Legendary Resistance as written, but when it's used, the spellcaster can hold concentration on the spell (even a spell that's normally instantaneous) and try to push through. Each turn, the caster can use their action to force the monster to burn another shot of LR or allow the spell to take effect. This continues until the spell takes hold or the caster loses (or ends) concentration.
 
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Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
DEFENSIVE
Resistance. Make save with +5/+10 modifier.
I like a lot of these ideas, but this one above gave me an idea. This is just off-the-cuff spitballing at this point, so there may be things I have not thought through fully yet.

Instead of Legendary Resistance, legendary foes get a certain number of Legendary Destinies (LD) per round.

Legendary Destiny: Once per turn the DM can declare the result of a d20 die roll the creature makes instead of rolling the die. This can be an attack roll or an ability check, including a skill check or a saving throw. If the creature has advantage or disadvantage on the roll, the Legendary Destiny determines the result of one of the rolls, and the other die must still be rolled. It cannot replace rolls made by other creatures. Once used, a specific Legendary Destiny cannot be used again until the start of the creature's next turn.

Most legendary foes have just a single Legendary Destiny, but some very powerful ones could have multiple uses. For example, Legendary Destiny 10 gives the creature a die roll of 10 to use once at some point in a round. Legendary Destiny 10/10 gives the creature two die rolls to use (both 10s in this case). A very powerful creature might have Legendary Destiny 12/10/9 for three rolls to use over the course of a round.

Thoughts and Notes
Yes, this is a souped-up mash-up of the Diviner Wizard's Portent ability and Reliable Talent thrown in. And the numbers given will require more thought, adjusted for the creature's bonuses and the players' capabilities, but the idea is that the number is a dial that can be adjusted for various threat levels.

At first blush, I like that I can use it for more than just saving throws. Currently, Legendary Resistance (LR) solves the frustrating problem of the BBEG failing a saving throw on round 1 and being taken out before they can do anything. But they can still whiff their attack rolls after that. The BBEG still does nothing, they just do it for three rounds instead of one :rolleyes:.

I also like that it can be a calculation for the DM to make, a gambit. Do I save it to use as a saving throw (a la traditional LR), or do I use it to land an attack roll? Or do I make that Perception check to spot that rogue that has been sniping me?

I also like that in some cases, players can try to beef up a saving throw DC or apply penalties to beat the opponent's LD and force a roll, something they cannot do to beat LR.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
The ideal solution would be that every debuff effect comes with two versions, a "regular" one and a "boss" one. The boss version applied to a solo legendary monster should have similar impact on the fight as the regular version applied to one of 3-5 normal monsters.

Unfortunately, this requires retooling half the spells in the book.

Another option, clunkier but doable without a mass rewrite: Legendary Resistance as written, but when it's used, the spellcaster can hold concentration on the spell (even a spell that's normally instantaneous) and try to push through. Each turn, the caster can use their action to force the monster to burn another shot of LR or allow the spell to take effect. This continues until the spell takes hold or the caster loses (or ends) concentration.
Honestly, I wish more spells worked more like Sleep (and to a lesser extent, Color Spray) and the Power Words, where they only become effective once an opponent's hit points drop below a certain threshold. That way it synergizes with the damage dealers and you don't have to worry about being stunned or banished early in the fight- you would have to make your opponent bloodied and bruised.

Perhaps lesser effects if the target isn't in the right hit point range.
 

Hussar

Legend
Honestly, I wish more spells worked more like Sleep (and to a lesser extent, Color Spray) and the Power Words, where they only become effective once an opponent's hit points drop below a certain threshold. That way it synergizes with the damage dealers and you don't have to worry about being stunned or banished early in the fight- you would have to make your opponent bloodied and bruised.

Perhaps lesser effects if the target isn't in the right hit point range.
This would be a FANTASTIC fix to most of the spells. You can't Banish a creature until you've gotten it down to 1/2 its HP. ((Or whatever the percentage you want it to be)). Or, make it like Sleep where you get a random number of HP to affect.

I might just yank that one.
 

SlyFlourish

SlyFlourish.com
Supporter
I'm playing with a concept I'm calling Dark Blessings – basically ways the dark gods can bless certain monsters. Instead of legendary resistance, they get three Dreadful Blessing tokens (which are physical tokens the players can see).

For each token, a dark-blessed boss monster can

  • succeed on a failed saving throw.
  • downgrade characters' resistances or immunities for a particular ability or effect.
  • force disadvantage on saving throws for a particular ability.
  • end an ongoing effect or suppress it until the end of their next turn.
  • Teleport or move without provoking opportunity attacks.
  • gain advantage on all attacks until the end of their next turn.
  • redirect incoming damage or an effect to an ally.

These blessed horrors can use dark blessings at anytime, anywhere, and under any condition.

This seems like pure BS on the DMs part but it actually provides an advantage to players. If bosses burn out their dark blessings to make their attacks hit, they can't use them to succeed on saves.

Some really huge monsters might have more than three, like Tiamat.

This would, of course, be discussed with players during a session zero so they know what they are, what they can do, and what to expect.

I'm still playing with the idea.
 


James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
It's not just magic, of course, we do have Battlemasters, Monks, or, in 2024, Rogues and anyone thinking to build around Topple.
 

It's not just magic, of course, we do have Battlemasters, Monks, or, in 2024, Rogues and anyone thinking to build around Topple.
Which is another way to burn through LR - just stun or grapple.

(LR should be usable against grapples, by the way. Mostly so fighters can burn them too, but also because being grabbed can be nearly as bad as being stunned in terms of screwing a solo monster.)

In my experience, LR is only frustrating when the players don't know it's happening: if the wizard knows they burned through an LR, they know they did something the same way they know they did something when they deal damage. They're closer to victory. If the dm keeps LR secret, then it just feels like the enemy has no weaknesses.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Which is another way to burn through LR - just stun or grapple.

(LR should be usable against grapples, by the way. Mostly so fighters can burn them too, but also because being grabbed can be nearly as bad as being stunned in terms of screwing a solo monster.)

In my experience, LR is only frustrating when the players don't know it's happening: if the wizard knows they burned through an LR, they know they did something the same way they know they did something when they deal damage. They're closer to victory. If the dm keeps LR secret, then it just feels like the enemy has no weaknesses.
Yeah but like I said, what I've seen is that the players go "oh it has legendary resistance? Yeah, we won't use anything that requires it to make a save then". That's not interesting game play to me- it just rewards characters who focus on dealing damage via attack rolls.

In theory, this would balance out all the critters that are resistant to non-magical b/p/s, I suppose, but legendary creatures tend to have that anyways (and at a certain point, magic weapons should become available so it's a moot point).

That's my whole problem with this really, it's about as fun as a counterspell meta. Heck, my group doesn't even use counterspell (I avoided taking it on my level 9 Wizard and I never felt like I was missing out).
 

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