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D&D 5E How to defeat creatures with legendary actions?

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I know it's hard to believe now days, but some groups understand that there's value on sticking to strict RAW.
Of course I know I could homebrew any number of systems to adjust the difficulty to what I see as adequate, but I'm just saying it would be so much better if we had official ways to do so.
It also changes the tone of the discussion if it's about using optional rule from wotc vrs using this whole new thing I cooked up myself. That extends well beyond my own table to include games I might be a player in & content I create personally. People saying to simply do things like "discuss it with your players" are ignoring the fact that here we are like 6-7 years into 5e where wotc has gone out of their way to engender mistrust towards any sort of homebrew not strict RAW for a significant period of that time.
 

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darjr

I crit!
It also changes the tone of the discussion if it's about using optional rule from wotc vrs using this whole new thing I cooked up myself. That extends well beyond my own table to include games I might be a player in & content I create personally. People saying to simply do things like "discuss it with your players" are ignoring the fact that here we are like 6-7 years into 5e where wotc has gone out of their way to engender mistrust towards any sort of homebrew not strict RAW for a significant period of that time.
What? How have they generated mistrust against homebrew? They even give you a way to publish your home brew in a dnd focuses area in the DMsGuild.
 

Our DM likes to target spell casters and will ignore high AC martial characters in favor of chasing down spell casters. How do you deal with enemies that can use a legendary action to move after another player without provoking opportunity attacks and can choose to save from a spell?

The next big fight will probably be indoors. The party consists of an AC 20 sword and board paladin, a celestial warlock that likes to fight mid- to front-line (?!?), a barbarian with low HP that always recklessly attacks with GWM, an eldrich knight, a battlesmith artificer, and a circle of shepherd druid. Nobody is min/maxed and several aren't optimized. All are 9th level, but the next big fight will probably occur at 10th. Resources (gold and magic items) are very scarce.

The Paladin should use Compelled Duel, and the Druid should use Entangle. The Artificer should cast Warding Bond on the Druid. The Druid and the Artificer should both have Longstrider already cast on them (both Druids and Artificers can cast this spell), making it pretty easy for them to stay out of reach. The Artificer can also cast Grease on the floor, as prone things cannot move. The Barbarian should try to knock whatever it is prone every round, as, while raging, he has advantage on Athletics checks.

Now you're thinking, "what about Legendary Resistance?" Compelled Duel and Entangle are not high-level spells. Forcing a BBEG to decide whether or not to burn LR on somewhat uninteresting spells is a win/win. If you burn up all your LR avoiding a compelled duel, guess what, you don't have it available when the druid unleashes an upcast Moonbeam or whatever.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
What? How have they generated mistrust against homebrew? They even give you a way to publish your home brew in a dnd focuses area in the DMsGuild.
Especially early on WotC was pretty open about expressing a dim view of homebrew* whenever they spoke about AL or other stuff that might intersect with AL. The AL community itself took that message baton & ran with it. WotC has never made any real efforts to reverse than damage & the so far total absence of anything that could be interpreted in even admitting the validity of other playstyles within 5e only ensures the oneTrueWay remains the only acceptable style. It's the combination of tainting the water early on & refusing to acknowledge other styles for so long.

* comments like "you can do whatever you want in your home game but what we require/design for/etc is x" type comments.

edit: if it were actually as "simple" as people often try making it out to be rather than change these spells these abilities rest mechanics death saves & the rest of phb197 like so wotc has even less excuse for not tossing in a "simple" sidebar somewhere
 
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Sithlord

Explorer
Agreed, but honestly I was talking more of a comparative perspective in relation to older editions. Sometimes I feel it's almost like 5e shifts the blame of PC death to the DM instead of natural gameplay and dice randomness.
Seriously, I can't be alone in this.
If someone doesn’t die every session or two the game is too easy unless you have very knowledgeable players that mastered the rules. If they don’t understand the rules they should be dying regularly.
 

darjr

I crit!
Especially early on WotC was pretty open about expressing a dim view of homebrew* whenever they spoke about AL or other stuff that might intersect with AL. The AL community itself took that message baton & ran with it. WotC has never made any real efforts to reverse than damage & the so far total absence of anything that could be interpreted in even admitting the validity of other playstyles within 5e only ensures the oneTrueWay remains the only acceptable style. It's the combination of tainting the water early on & refusing to acknowledge other styles for so long.

* comments like "you can do whatever you want in your home game but what we require/design for/etc is x" type comments.
This is the first time I’ve ever heard this. In fact the usual complaint is that AL is NOT a focus of WotC but home games are. Completely the opposite here. You can even see it in thier hosted stream games that are specifically NOT AL games. None of them are. And many have home brew in them. Even Critical Role is an example of this, as far as what WotC supports and champions. See also DNDBEYOND where WotC all but demanded there be a home brew capability.

As with all things your mileage will vary, but I think your view is wholly subjective and doesn’t resemble the actions of WotC on this front.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I have seen this discussed extensively time and time again and I am well aware of how to make a PC death seem less cheap. Still this is not my point.
All I'm asking is for a few optional rules to make 5e deadlier so I don't have to resort to a third party retro clone.
Hmm...I intended for my previous post to be about the importance of trust. Sorry about that. I wasn't trying to build a case against deadlier combat rules; if that's the sort of thing you want/need in your game, you should pick up a pencil and give it a shot. Don't let random folks on the internet tell you how to have fun.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
This is the first time I’ve ever heard this. In fact the usual complaint is that AL is NOT a focus of WotC but home games are. Completely the opposite here. You can even see it in thier hosted stream games that are specifically NOT AL games. None of them are. And many have home brew in them. Even Critical Role is an example of this, as far as what WotC supports and champions. See also DNDBEYOND where WotC all but demanded there be a home brew capability.

As with all things your mileage will vary, but I think your view is wholly subjective and doesn’t resemble the actions of WotC on this front.
That's the theory, but we still have hardcover adventures with pared back treasure to avoid conflicting with the AL treasure rules & near zero attempt at filing the rules gap needs of those home games. Even the attempts we see in things like xge & tcoe are rather unfinished or entirely player focused with little to no optional/variant rules support for GMs wanting to run something other than the one true way of 5e like a more deadly game or better support for incuding magic items & such. The void of GM support says a lot.
 

darjr

I crit!
First, EVERY adventure violates AL treasure rules. A common complaint was how long AL guidance took to come out for adventures largely BECAUSE of treasure in the books.

And with your, seemingly, blatant disconnect with how things actually were, you just utterly lost me.

You keep using one true wayism and homebrew but I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean.

I mean I understand your desire for more DM toolkit rules but to conflate that with some idea that WotC wants to force a play style doesn’t make sense to me.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
First, EVERY adventure violates AL treasure rules. A common complaint was how long AL guidance took to come out for adventures largely BECAUSE of treasure in the books.

And with your, seemingly, blatant disconnect with how things actually were, you just utterly lost me.

You keep using one true wayism and homebrew but I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean.

I mean I understand your desire for more DM toolkit rules but to conflate that with some idea that WotC wants to force a play style doesn’t make sense to me.
The treasure points debacle was due to wotc attempting to address AL complaints that the hardcovers had treasure that they didn't get to have without going through how AL handled it. After that the HC adventures since have adjusted treasure down so the AL players wouldn't notice it or care because they automatically got to pick things at level 5 & such but the HC itself includes no guidance to nonAL GMs running it. wrt one true wayism, look at how many different parts of the game collide into ensuring that a player can deliberately try to die but fail due to how much is fighting against lethality & attrition. That makes fixing the problem a very nontrivial thing to do
 

Coroc

Hero
It won't take the character all the way down to minus max HP. They won't die unless the DM deliberately attack the downed character.
So let us assume a wizard has 55 HP, but he is down to 10, then gets hit by a dragon breath targeting the group for another 70 damage, because he botched the save, is that the DM deliberately attacking downed chars, or a clean instakill, in yur POV?
 

Nefermandias

Explorer
So let us assume a wizard has 55 HP, but he is down to 10, then gets hit by a dragon breath targeting the group for another 70 damage, because he botched the save, is that the DM deliberately attacking downed chars, or a clean instakill, in yur POV?
It doesn't matter. If you followed my posts in this thread, you'll see I was just asking for a few official options to make the game more like it was before so I don't have to resort to homebrew rules or OSR retro clones.

Everyone insisting 5e doesn't go out of it's way to prevent PC's death either aren't being completely honest or aren't really getting my point.

That's all.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Why not house rule? It's not like the quality of the "official options" we've seen so far have been particularly good.
Official options provide some portability and consistency. I can use whatever house rules in my personal games but if I join some other game or one of my less experienced players decides to gm I can't really point out my house rules as s suggtion because this is an area where it can get pretty involved amending all of the system's deliberate edge cases.

Edit: the lengths 5e goes to in order to avoid being deadly and wotc's silence on the idea of changing anything even with optional rules is also an oppressive presence in the discussion with players that immediately puts the gm (or whoever) in a bad light for daring to bring up something wotc is clearly of the opinion is a bad style of gaming

Even if I never play at someone else's table this absence has big issues for me because new players joining my game have a lot more house rules unique to my table that they might need to learn before or during their first session.
 

AnotherGuy

Explorer
What @tetrasodium and @Nefermandias rings true.
5e, does not work like some of the older editions, where the monsters on their own could kill, more often than not one requires to homebrew the monsters, create house rules and/or use GM fiat to seriously threaten or kill PCs.

House Rules
I know to beef up my incorporeal undead, I introduced the 3.x touch rule.
Touch attacks by incorporeal creatures ignore physical defenses such as armour and shields. Now that +4 to hit is scarier.

Homebrew the Monsters
When possible, I use @Nixlord's Expanded Monster Manuals. Besides the incredible art and detailed work, the reason there is such a demand for this is because the official monsters are meh.

GM Fiat
Monsters have learnt to target foci and holy symbols, take the dodge action and use their Legendary Attacks, Huge+ monsters that miss on their attacks damage the terrain around them instead...etc
 
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I've killed a lot of PCs. I don't use homebrew monsters because that sounds like work, something I am firmly against as a DM. Mostly I just don't really give a crap about trying to "balance" anything and leave it up to the players to figure out what to do. Running things this way also means I don't just do, "You see three bugbears, roll initiative."
 

nevin

Adventurer
sounds like your DM is playing very tactically. Just make sure your mages and casters are in places the Melee can reach. It means your casters will be hit more but it also means when they are the party can turn on the offender en masse and destroy it.
 



S'mon

Legend
Legendary saves are optional.

Creatures aren't forced to use them.

There's plenty of repeatable stuff like Monk Stun or Hold Person that will cost the monster a round of having the entire group wail on the monster, that is worth using a Legendary save to prevent. 20 damage (save for half) on a 400 hp monster isn't likely to force it to burn a Legendary, but anything that interferes with its action economy is good. The idea is to put the monster & GM in a no-win situation; either suck now or burn LS and suck worse later. The main PC-side trick is to save the higher level spell slots for when the Legendaries are gone - having it burn a LS vs a Monk Stun Save is better than having it burn a LS vs a level 9 spell slot.
 

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