D&D 5E A better model for Legendary Resistance

MarkB

Legend
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.)
Yeah, I've seen this myself recently. Running Rime of the Frostmaiden, and the drakewarden ranger's companion used Grab against both Auril's third form and the demilich, both of whom have an impressive list of condition immunities that doesn't include being grappled, and -5 strength penalties.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
.That's not interesting game play to me- it just rewards characters who focus on dealing damage via attack rolls.
Wait, I though we wanted martials to feel important. ;)

The real issue, I think, is that wasting abilities -- especially big abilities -- feels bad. The monster savibg feels like wasting the ability, moreover if the monster didn't save but then used LR to do so.

So what we really need is a design that both protects the players' sense of feeling effective, while also preserving the monster's awe and danger. It isn't an easy balance to reach. Ibthink it means looking not just at "boss" design, but going deeper and looking at how special abilities and spells work with regards to numbers of uses and saving throws.

One possible work around: if LR is invoked, the use of the spell or ability is not consumed.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Wait, I though we wanted martials to feel important. ;)

The real issue, I think, is that wasting abilities -- especially big abilities -- feels bad. The monster savibg feels like wasting the ability, moreover if the monster didn't save but then used LR to do so.

So what we really need is a design that both protects the players' sense of feeling effective, while also preserving the monster's awe and danger. It isn't an easy balance to reach. Ibthink it means looking not just at "boss" design, but going deeper and looking at how special abilities and spells work with regards to numbers of uses and saving throws.

One possible work around: if LR is invoked, the use of the spell or ability is not consumed.
If it was just martials gaining an advantage vs. casters, sure. But the truth is, there are casters who can deal damage without saving throws (Warlocks come to mind) as well and martials (like the Monk or the Battlemaster) who do want foes to fail saves from time to time.

When you look at LR, it has the same function as Hexproof in Magic: the Gathering. It's an ability that prevents a "feel bad" when you put a powerful creature in play from someone just negating it with a spell or effect. You're protecting your value, so to speak (or really it's more like regeneration or shield counters, but that's not really important). A legendary creature should be able to be a challenge and not cheaply taken out by player abilities.

Even losing one turn from an effect can radically alter an encounter. I think a previous poster suggested this, but what we really need is not more protection, but more turns. If a monster more turns, then it actually becomes important to use abilities to try and take it's turns away from it, and that makes for more interesting play. If a solo creature is supposed to be equal to four creatures, give it four turns, say at initiative -5, -10, and -15.

But James, you might say, what about something that completely takes the creature out of the fight? Well, all I can say is, those sorts of effects really shouldn't exist- you should always get multiple saves to avoid being one shot.
 

Sulicius

Adventurer
I have been thinking about this as well. I like the MCDM way of doing it: using LR costs something from the monster.

Whatever the answer will be, it needs to:
  1. Feel less bad for players
  2. Make player want to engage with the mechanic
  3. Allow the monsters to still take a turn
  4. Be easy to adjudicate to keep the pace of the game going
I don’t think we have found the best solution yet.

I was thinking that the monster would instead burn legendary actions. It could then choose to burn a legendary action, than it then wouldn’t be able to use the rest of the battle/until the end of its next turn?

I’m not sure how to balance it yet, but I think it would be more elegant design if it doesn’t make us graft a new system on combat.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Legendary Resistance as a reaction is interesting.
Legendary [*] primary function is to even up the action economy and then keep it.

Something which (a) uses up some of the action economy, and (b) limits it to once per foe turn when the PCs will have 4-6 actions to put on save-or-suck effects, does not meet the mandate.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
5e has auto win spells? Most of them let you save on consecutive rounds and there are no more save or die. What spells are you talking about specifically? Hold Monster is one where they lose a round of actions or more. I what else?
Yeap. When you're fighting a solo, and can do something like Hold Monster it for a single round, so it goes from lasting 3-4 rounds to having a round with not only no actions (Hold Monster gives Paralyzed, which include Incapacitated, which shuts down Legendary Actions) but also the entire party able to Nova at at and any attacks from within 5' being auto-crits with Advantage.

Think like this - pretend your single target save-or-suck spells would instead target every enemy on the field, and they only get one save so it can affect every single one of them. Because that's what happens with a solo. When a 3-4 round combat the foes lose an entire round or something similar, it wins the battle even if it's still ongoing.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Legendary [*] primary function is to even up the action economy and then keep it.

Something which (a) uses up some of the action economy, and (b) limits it to once per foe turn when the PCs will have 4-6 actions to put on save-or-suck effects, does not meet the mandate.
That isn't it's only purpose. It is also intended to model the pure power of the creature. Not every high CR creature gets Legendary abilities, only the ones that constitute "boss monsters." There is no mechanism, for example, for making an ogre Legendary when facing off against a low level party, even though the same action economy situation exists.

Note that I think there should be such a mechanism, with a simple but comprehensive system for building Legendary creatures off of normal statblocks. But that's neither here nor there.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
That isn't it's only purpose. It is also intended to model the pure power of the creature.
Sure, there are secondary purposes, and I agree this is part of them. However, the game aspect of balancing out the mechanical power of action economy is the primary one.

Not every high CR creature gets Legendary abilities, only the ones that constitute "boss monsters."
True, but saying "they didn't apply this to every one" doesn't change what it does.


There is no mechanism, for example, for making an ogre Legendary when facing off against a low level party, even though the same action economy situation exists.
Note that I think there should be such a mechanism, with a simple but comprehensive system for building Legendary creatures off of normal statblocks. But that's neither here nor there.
We're in agreement a mechanism should exist. 5e does have one, but I wish it had it clearer. The DMG monster creation/modification addresses this, but briefly. It talks about how Legendary Actions should be considered part of it's damage per round (pg 278) and Legendary Resistances are considered as HPs (pg 280). There's also numerous references to special abilities, a catch-all that would include these.

But I wish there was a "here's how you make a solo" in the MM, followed by "here's how you modify # of Legendary Actions/Saves based on party size" as one of those knobs of adjustment. That would make it a lot clearer.
 

Stormonu

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.
I'd like to see more of these spells too, but the problem is there isn't any sort of way to give the player a way to know they are "in the zone" where they could be effective without it feeling a bit too gamey. If there was a "Bloody" or "Vulnerable" condition in the game that these were effective to use during instead of at certain HP threshholds (or in conjuction with them), that might work better.


Wait, I though we wanted martials to feel important. ;)

The real issue, I think, is that wasting abilities -- especially big abilities -- feels bad. The monster savibg feels like wasting the ability, moreover if the monster didn't save but then used LR to do so.

So what we really need is a design that both protects the players' sense of feeling effective, while also preserving the monster's awe and danger. It isn't an easy balance to reach. Ibthink it means looking not just at "boss" design, but going deeper and looking at how special abilities and spells work with regards to numbers of uses and saving throws.

One possible work around: if LR is invoked, the use of the spell or ability is not consumed.
There is a danger to that. If the ability is not consumed, there needs to be some sort of cool-down or block so it isn't just immediately attempted to use again.
 

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