D&D 5E Do you mind not experiencing traditional lower level challenges?

Doug McCrae

Legend
The AD&D DMGs advise organising the wilderness in a similar way to the dungeon with easier areas for low level PCs. However this advice isn't really consistent with the wilderness encounter tables and requires additional work by the DM.

1e:
The general idea is to develop a dungeon of multiple levels, and the deeper adventurers go, the more difficult the challenges become — fiercer monsters, more deadly traps, more confusing mazes, and so forth. This same concept applies to areas outdoors as well, with more and terrible monsters occurring more frequently the further one goes away from civilization.​

2e:
Perhaps an area of the nearby forest is regularly patrolled by the King’s Wardens who drive off the greater threats to the safety of the population. Lone monsters often escape their notice and sometimes raid the outlying farms. Special encounter tables can be created to reflect the lower levels of monsters that do manage to lurk in these woods, providing low-level characters with a decent but not overpowering challenge.​
 

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coolAlias

Explorer
I've toyed with the idea of changing all the monster resistances and immunities to exclude magical weapons (unless that is the only requirement), e.g. werewolves can only be damaged by silvered weapons, period.

That'd be a quick way to make them scary to an unprepared party, as well as making silvered, adamantine, etc. weapons more valuable to keep around.
 

Nebulous

Legend
I will agree that I'm discouraged by some of the classic "player's dread" monsters are now very low CR. Lone monster haven't really done well since AD&D, simply due to action economy (AD&D worked because there wasn't really any encounter structure guide, so you could throw a very powerful solo monster against the party).

I agree with @Hussar that the best solution would be to create your own legendary versions of these monsters. There's a product on DMGuild that helps with this, called (...not so) Legendary Monsters, because it creates multiple levels of "legendary" for weaker monsters.

There's another called Monster Talents that adds hundreds of small feat options to the core monsters that makes them considerably more dangerous.
 

Nebulous

Legend
Add cantrips to that. It used to be that dealing fire or acid damage took spell slots or things like torches as weapons... now in 5e it's almost the norm to have multiple pcs doing it every round. I've thrown out regenerating monsters that literally never regen even once before death in 5e

One way to maybe get around that is to say something like, your need to deal "X" amount of fire or acid damage to halt regeneration. I agree though, access to fire bolt makes any regenerating troll not scary a bit. Fortunately, last fight we had with a bunch of trolls, the wizard was out of combat fast and the rest of the party was scrounging with flint and steel and flasks of oil to spark fire on downed trolls.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
One way to maybe get around that is to say something like, your need to deal "X" amount of fire or acid damage to halt regeneration. I agree though, access to fire bolt makes any regenerating troll not scary a bit. Fortunately, last fight we had with a bunch of trolls, the wizard was out of combat fast and the rest of the party was scrounging with flint and steel and flasks of oil to spark fire on downed trolls.
It's not just trolls. Revenant & vampire in just the MM alone too. That says nothing about the pointlessness of "is it magic" for basically every resistance & probably some immunities.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
All I can say is that I'm glad I don't need a caddy for storing all my weapons. Easy enough to add back in if you care of course, but I had enough weapon variety in 3.5 to last me a lifetime.
The golf bag of weapons is usually highly overstated & in this case is massively so. It wasn't so overloaded to bypass dr, it was overloaded to target vulnerabilities & do it with your most damaging weapon or cycle through stuff like holy/axiomatic/chaotic/neutral/etc . A bludgeon, slash, & pierce weapon with one silvered would cover you most times except oddball things like high end fiends that needed stuff like holy or +2 & better weapons Given that you had dagger (S/P), morningstar (B/P), Halberd (P/S), scythe (P/S), gnomish hooked hammer (B/P), dwarven Urgosh(S/P) as weapons capable of more than one damage type it was often possible for martial types to cover that with two weapons.

The collection of weapons may have been silly sometimes as a player or spectator, but as a gm it meanti could force players to choose a different hurt stick sometimes and they gave players goals to work towards.... That's different from now where "I already have a +N maybe we can sell it" if it's not objectively better in the one way that matters.
 

Retreater

Legend
I liked the older method because it forced the party to rethink strategies, utilize weapons that might be normally less favorable ("oh, I need to use this silver dagger instead of my +3 flaming greataxe"), etc. It added mystery and a level of uniqueness that is often missing from creatures these days.
 

Oofta

Legend
The golf bag of weapons is usually highly overstated & in this case is massively so. It wasn't so overloaded to bypass dr, it was overloaded to target vulnerabilities & do it with your most damaging weapon or cycle through stuff like holy/axiomatic/chaotic/neutral/etc . A bludgeon, slash, & pierce weapon with one silvered would cover you most times except oddball things like high end fiends that needed stuff like holy or +2 & better weapons Given that you had dagger (S/P), morningstar (B/P), Halberd (P/S), scythe (P/S), gnomish hooked hammer (B/P), dwarven Urgosh(S/P) as weapons capable of more than one damage type it was often possible for martial types to cover that with two weapons.

I'm going from memory here but I seem to remember in 3.5: magic, silver, adamantine, cold iron, holy(?). Ideally in both edged and bludgeoning variations.

I found it annoying and I had a house rule that said that a +2 weapon covered pretty much everything in my home campaign. But it was annoying to have to have multiple weapons for the monster of the week in LG.



The collection of weapons may have been silly sometimes as a player or spectator, but as a gm it meanti could force players to choose a different hurt stick sometimes and they gave players goals to work towards.... That's different from now where "I already have a +N maybe we can sell it" if it's not objectively better in the one way that matters.

I can see needing a special weapon or tactic every once in a blue moon to make a specific legendary monster special. But when it's every fourth monster I found it annoying. As far as "forcing players" to do anything ... well that's just not my style.

But that's just my opinion. It didn't add anything to the game for me, it was just extra paperwork.
 

I honestly believe there's a bit of nostalgia glasses going on here

There is, but I’m afraid you are the one with the spectacles on, my friend. 😀

An AD&D Werewolf had 4HD +3 Hit points, and you needed a silver or +1 weapon to hit it

Neither of which, one typically had at first level.

In AD&D the Werewolf wins.

If your DM was a generous, horn of plenty sort of referee, than a Werewolf may have been low level fodder, but for those with parsimonious DMs, the bay of a Werewolf,
( and no or only one silver dagger in the whole party), meant you have to get creative, or run.
 


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