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D&D 5E Check out Level Up: Advanced 5E's TARRASQUE!

If you've been following the Level Up forum, you may know of the A-Z monster thread where a monster from Level Up's Monstrous Menagerie has been previewed every few days for the last few weeks. This week we reached T, and for T we could only choose the legendary TARRASQUE! In this sample, you can see many of the things we done to level up 5E's monster book, including adjusting the math and CR calculations, giving creatures interesting abilities, and adding tools for every monster such as signs, encounter tables with sample treasure hoards (don't worry you can randomly regenerate them too), legends and lore tables for PCs to roll on, and more.

Don't forget, the Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition Kickstarter launches in just over two weeks. Click on the link to be notified when it launches!



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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey





Teemu

Adventurer
Neat! Although I kind of wish its claws and horns attacks had something extra to go along with the damage. Nothing big, just a bit of added complexity (which would be fine on a tarrasque!). The same for the breath weapon. Maybe it could blind you on a failed save, or if you failed by 5 or more.
 

MarkB

Legend
Neat! Although I kind of wish its claws and horns attacks had something extra to go along with the damage. Nothing big, just a bit of added complexity (which would be fine on a tarrasque!).
Maybe just a 10 foot shove, Tarrasque chooses direction.
The same for the breath weapon. Maybe it could blind you on a failed save, or if you failed by 5 or more.
Play up its Siege Monster property. The ground is an object, and every square that's in its cone is taking an average of 210 points of damage. Any ordinary earth in there is probably just going to go away.
 


dave2008

Legend
Elite? Shouldn’t it be a solo?

Oh, bloodied. I miss bloodied.
An Elite is the LevelUp version of a Mythic Monster. I imagine Mythic monsters are not OGL and Elite monsters tie into the bloodied mechanic (negate the need for a mythic monster to regain HP).
 

dave2008

Legend
It was a 4E reference, along with bloodied.

How new is the math? Is it the same Blog of Holding 5E MM on a Business Card that’s been out for years?
They haven't previewed the math, but the guidelines for monster creation and encounter building will be in the LevelUp Bestiary.

However, as @Corrosive mentioned, I would imagine it is based on Paul's Blog of Holding work. For whatever reason I find that (BoH) harder to follow than the DMG myself, but hopefully the explanation in the Bestiary makes more sense to me as I am converting most of my 5e monsters to LevelUp versions.
 

Overall I like this a lot better than the official version. Terrifying, and a genuine accomplishment to defeat (that is, until some white room theorycrafter notices the bare spot in the pocket in its left breast.)

My one critique is that I truly loathe the phrase "some scholars speculate that..." in monster entries.

Yes, I'm overreacting to a pet peeve. But is it what it is.
 



What bothers you about that language?

I'm honestly not 100% sure. It's at least partly due to it being such a cliché at this point.

But it's also that monster compendiums are intended for DMs, and DMs are omniscient about their own world. "Sages speculate..." is player-facing language, and I find it weird to see it in this context.

I suppose the phrasing is shorthand for "here is a possible origin story to use, but the players won't necessarily know of it, or know whether it's true..."

But, yeah, anyway...it bugs me.
 


My only real criticism would be that I don't get a sense for how or why the Inescapable Earth feature works. I get that having a powerful way to deal with flying creatures negates one of the major weaknesses in 5e Tarrasque design, and I get that causing flying creatures to fall from the sky somehow has to do with its special relationship with the earth. But does the power eminate from the Terrasque or does it call upon the earth to do its bidding? What does it look like?
 

Scribe

Hero
But it's also that monster compendiums are intended for DMs, and DMs are omniscient about their own world. "Sages speculate..." is player-facing language, and I find it weird to see it in this context
That doesn't mean it needs to be dry and sterile though.

I don't know, I still want books to try and pull me into that 'fantasy' mindset, vs just crunch and move on.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
I'd be tempted to

  • Combine Attack and Move legendary actions
  • Change the radiant breath to be a 1000' range 20' wide line. It makes it much more epic, if less useful in combat.
  • Make reflective carapace less absolute; it is a game element that vetoes a type of spell, rather than making that type of spell more interesting. Like:

1-2: Tarrasque takes half damage
3-4: A random creature besides the source and Tarrasque is attacked instead
5-6: The source is attacked instead

* Tweak inescapeable Earth. It needs to be tied to the narrative. Like:
Boulder Storm: The Earth cracks and pieces swirl around the Tarrasque for the next minute. The radius starts out at 100', and each time this ability is used the radius increases another 100'. Ranged attacks that pass through more than half of the radius of this Boulder Storm are done at disadvantage. All creatures except the Tarrasque must make a dexterity saving throw (DC X) at the start of their turns or when they first enter the Boulder Storm. On a failure, they fall prone and take 5d10 bludgeoning damage; if they are flying, this save is at disadvantage, and if they fail they fall and their speed is reduced to 0 until the end of their next turn.

The Tarrasque may use this ability if it has taken damage since the last time it used this ability.

This acts very similar to the "ground everyone within 300'", but now ties into the narrative.

* Some mechanics for the Horns and Claws. Like:

Claws: DC X strength save or be pushed 50'. If you hit an obstacle, take 1d12 damage for every 10' early you where halted.
Horns: DC X strength save or be stunned until the start of their next turn. At the start of their next turn, repeat the save; on failure, they can only move or take an action, not both.

Also, maybe a limit on how many of bite/claw/horn/tail can be used on the same target. I know DMs can do that, but such a limit both makes sense geometry wise, and ensures that the Tarrasque wants to stay mobile.

I might also add a great leap ability, like 120' range, with recharge. Maybe let the tarrasque do that by dropping the tail attack; this makes it something it does only when it needs to (as it costs damage output), but makes "kiting" less likely.
 

Corrosive

Adventurer
I might also add a great leap ability, like 120' range, with recharge. Maybe let the tarrasque do that by dropping the tail attack; this makes it something it does only when it needs to (as it costs damage output), but makes "kiting" less likely.
It has one.
 

MarkB

Legend
My only real criticism would be that I don't get a sense for how or why the Inescapable Earth feature works. I get that having a powerful way to deal with flying creatures negates one of the major weaknesses in 5e Tarrasque design, and I get that causing flying creatures to fall from the sky somehow has to do with its special relationship with the earth. But does the power eminate from the Terrasque or does it call upon the earth to do its bidding? What does it look like?
I envision it as the Tarrasque generating its own gravitational field.
 

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