D&D 5E [D&D 5e] Planescape- In Through the Out Door (Full)

Unsung

First Post
I don't think that magic resistance is a bad rule, per se. Along the lines of what Shayuri was saying a few posts ago, player spell DCs scale; monster saving throws and advantage do not. Magic resistance should tend to obsolete itself as the players level.

As a gentle hack, maybe all conjuration spells ignore magic resistance, but all evocation spells are subject to disadvantage on spell attack rolls? That seems harsh, but in keeping with what magic resistance actually is, without a lot of bookkeeping or time spent discussing each spell on a case-by-case basis. I'm not in love with this idea, but it's along the lines of what I'd prefer in terms of keeping things simple and not departing too far from the RAW.

It's possible too that I've overstated the importance of the mechanic. Magic resistance is at least in part intended to function as a barrier to entry of sorts, but not many creatures actually have it in this edition, not even all demons and devils, high-level undead and outsiders, dragons, or (perhaps the ur-example) the drow. All currently statted yugoloths do, however, as do even the lowliest slaad tadpoles.

Maybe I should apologize again for throwing all these mid-tier, magic-resistant bugs at a low-level party of mostly casters. Although in my defense, I had the plan for these enemies before I knew party composition, you won't be expected to fight everything you encounter on the planes (note emphasis), aaand yeah, I didn't know that all yugoloths in this edition would have magic resistance. That's new, as far as I'm aware. (I'm mostly familiar with their esoteric chart of fiendish resistances and immunities from 2e.)

So far we've got two for RAW, one against, and one undecided. [MENTION=8058]Queenie[/MENTION], [MENTION=2820]Fenris[/MENTION], [MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION], care to cast the deciding vote(s)?
 

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Quickleaf

Legend
[MENTION=6781406]Unsung[/MENTION] I think it is great you are asking people their opinions. Here's my thought:

While the intention behind magic resistance is good (prevent tougher monsters from getting stun-locked by spells), the execution of magic resistance (blanket impenetrable advantage on saves) is bad.

The reason I say bad is because (1) there's no flavor associated with the same mechanic being used across a very wide spread of monsters. "Magic resistant" doesn't tell a story about how demons are different from slaad are different from fey, etc. Also because (2) there is no work around for saving-throw based spellcasters, no way for them to outsmart or outplay the magic resistance.

A common rebuttal I see to #2 is "well, the spellcaster should switch to attack spells and spells that target the environment, duh." Which makes sense if you're playing a generic mage, but many player enjoy more themed spellcasters and enforce that theme in their spell selection. So what Magic Resistance effectively does is penalize players who play enchanters, illusionists, etc.

Now, if this were a rare trait and intentional as part of the monster's concept, no problem.

However, it's clear that's not the case. It is just bad lazy design (and yes, I have alternative ideas).
 

Shayuri

First Post
I don't really agree with item 2, there. There's workarounds.

And if lots and lots of critters had Magic Resistance, I'd agree it was more of a problem. But it's pretty rare.

I see it not so much as penalizing magic-users as trying to set the few beasts who have it apart.

We just happened to be up against some of those unusual monsters right off the bat is all. :)
 

Pembinasa

First Post
Thanks [MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION], for articulating my thoughts in ways that didn't sound like grumpy old grognard-speak. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this, and quite interested in hearing about your alternatives!
[MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION], while it may be comparatively uncommon in the Monster Manual, the fact that it applies across the board to entire classifications of creatures from the bottom up (fey, yugoloths, slaadi, etc) as an unstoppable and untouchable advantage is something I (possibly we) see as being just too much. If it was something that just applied to unique monsters or a type of being crafted to be specialized in mage-slaying, that's one thing- but entire planes full of varying creatures that just so happen to easily shrug off most of any spellcaster's repertoire, it's something that sticks in the craw.

That said, your list of workarounds is something that bears bringing up, especially the inflicting of magical disadvantage; I hadn't thought of that one, and am not sure as to the ways in which it's possible. I would like to know more! Also, while I had another option to add (Besides the simple expedient of 'just use mundane weaponry, already') I can't seem to think of it right now. Hopefully it will come up later.

As to the others- well. I'm quite interested in the notion of pumping the save DCs via heroic quest-work, but by RAW the standard magic-resistant creature can shrug off over half of everything a standard dedicated spellcaster can throw at them until 8th level, and even then it's just barely less than that. (I'll share the math I'm using if you like; there's plenty of variation but the overall trend is solidly consistent.)

Finding the weak spot requires monster information it's very unlikely that our characters do- or should- have; there's nobody walking around in-game with a Monster Manual, after all. (Then again, this IS Sigil; if we could just go and buy one I immediately withdraw my concern. :D )

And [MENTION=6781406]Unsung[/MENTION], please don't worry about the monsters; even if it stirred up a debate I still do dearly love having yugoloths around. They're so much fun, independent of whatever mechanics apply!
 

Shayuri

First Post
Finding the weak spot requires monster information it's very unlikely that our characters do- or should- have; there's nobody walking around in-game with a Monster Manual, after all. (Then again, this IS Sigil; if we could just go and buy one I immediately withdraw my concern. )

This is what knowledge skills like Arcana and Nature exist for. :)
 

Pembinasa

First Post
Granted, but at how high a check? Last I saw you needed to hit numbers that were implausibly high for managing when you need it, if you want any useful stat information, as opposed to just lore.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
I don't really agree with item 2, there. There's workarounds.

And if lots and lots of critters had Magic Resistance, I'd agree it was more of a problem. But it's pretty rare.

I see it not so much as penalizing magic-users as trying to set the few beasts who have it apart.

We just happened to be up against some of those unusual monsters right off the bat is all. :)

Could be there are more workarounds than I know -- I haven't played a caster in 5e yet! I was speaking more from my perspective as a DM. :)

While not a lot of creature TYPES have Magic Resistance, the ones that do include Angels, Devils, Demons, many Fey, Golems & Helmed Horrors, Nights Hags, Slaadi, a few Undead (Flameskulls, Liches, Demiliches, Death Knights, Mummy Lords), Mind Flayers, Yuan-Ti, and Yugoloths.

Several of those creatures are prevalent in Planescape. Also, several of those are often found thematically grouped in adventures - e.g. hordes of Demons, ziggurats of Yuan-Ti, halls of Helmed Horrors, glades of Pixies, etc.

Pembinasa said:
Granted, but at how high a check? Last I saw you needed to hit numbers that were implausibly high for managing when you need it, if you want any useful stat information, as opposed to just lore.
Are you talking about 5e? In 5th edition there are no guidelines for 'monster knowledge checks.' It is completely at the DM's discretion whether such a check is even possible, and if it is possible what ratio of lore vs. lore tied to weaknesses/abilities is revealed. Personally, I like that this is in the DM's hands, because it allows for greater flexibility and also for establishing old school feel without any 'monster knowledge checks' if that's what the group wants.
 
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Unsung

First Post
The party is meant to be a little off-balance at this point, being, in large part, a bunch of clueless primes who just arrived on the planes. This won't stay the case forever, but right now, not knowing is part of the encounter. DCs might seem a tad high right now, yes, but my take is that the roll isn't just based on what your character remembers-- rather it's about what they are likely to know given the realm of their past experience, and their ability to recall it in the heat of the moment. I'll sometimes just feed you information through the more experienced planar PCs: Shandrizar, Oz, Eurid if he was still here. Eurid in particular has good reason to know the differences between different kinds of fiends; with Shandrizar, while he might know all the many kinds of fiends by heart, it's another matter entirely as to whether he can pick them out in his current frazzled (one would imagine) state.

On a campaign-specific note, I'm treating skeroloths as a relatively little-seen variety of one of the lesser known fiendish races. A lot of people on a lot of primes wouldn't know the difference between a demon and a devil on sight, and might sooner recognize a rakshasa or hag than a yugoloth.
[MENTION=6776473]Pembinasa[/MENTION] Not knowing much about Mystara, I'm relying on you to speak up and tell me if you think Graydon would know something on this subject. By default I'm not assuming he does. ;)

--
Now, having said all that, let's cut the knot: I'm going to drop magic resistance from the monsters you're currently fighting, the skeroloths, starting now. I'll probably do the same in the future for other monsters who aren't either themselves casters, or antimagic tanks or siege monsters.

This discussion is one I'd like to continue having, though, because I do think that flat magic resistance has a place in the system and I prefer the randomness of a reroll to a percentage chance. But fiends already have ample defenses as it is (resistance to nonmagical weapons, elemental resistances, poison immunity, Teleport, and nasty innate spells like cloudkill and feeblemind). Giving them damage resistance on top of that seems like overkill, outside of a boss-level encounter.

I do agree that there are more interesting mechanics than just a reroll, though. Particularly for chaotic creatures like demons, fey, and slaadi. Personally, I always liked condition immunities and damage resistance as ways of differentiating monster types. Variable resistance from 4e-- that would be better for the slaadi than flat resistance to each classical element, I think. [MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION], I'd love to hear your alternatives. :)

Taking another look, I believe I'll adjust immunities and resistances for fiends and slaads. As written they don't sit quite right with how I think of them.
 

Pembinasa

First Post
Going to teach the controversy, eh [MENTION=6781406]Unsung[/MENTION]? :D

Still, I very much like your solution as far as I understand it. I'll have to look up variable resistance, and it sounds intriguing! As to save DCs, you really don't have much available to improve them short of homebrew; that's something that you really can't count on going from one DM to another. 'Magic resistance' really does hose low-level casters, and remains a significant obstacle to accomplishing anything as you advance- though I will say up it's a hefty step up from the ancient times when it was a flat percentage rate to see of a spell connected at all.

Quickleaf, apologies if I got it wrong from my last look at the 5th ed Monster Manual, I seem to remember sidebar-scrolls with lore to share with the inquisitive players, and assumed they had knowledge DCs to hit; if I'm mistaken, I'm sorry and retract the statement.

(Oh, and while Graydon knows some things about the Inner Planes that he just kind of picked up, like about the City of Brass and the Princes of Elemental Evil, he doesn't really know all that much and the Outer Planes are a big blank to him; as was requested I will absolutely share if something comes up where he might have extra awareness. )
 

[MENTION=6781406]Unsung[/MENTION], whatever the rule is that you settled on, will you please edit it into the originating post of this thread so that we can more easily reference it longterm?
 

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