• FINAL DAYS! -- The Awfully Cheerful Engine on Kickstarter! An action comedy RPG inspired by cheerful tabletop games of the 80s! With a foreword by Sandy 'Ghostbusters' Petersen, and VTT support!
log in or register to remove this ad

 

Level Up (A5E) Monster preview thread!

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
From time to time I'll drop a monster preview into this thread. These are initial layout drafts of the Monstrous Menagerie, and layout may be tweaked before final release, but not drastically. The first one will be in the next post (note the margin markers and header to help you navigate the book!)
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
'A' is for Aboleth.

aboleth.jpg


Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 6.52.29 PM.png
 

Rabulias

Adventurer
Looks nice! If they are known for working with merfolk, I guess LU's merfolk will have a darker side to them? Or did you mean merrow?

Looking forward to more monsters!
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I know some people have criticized the green color, but I really like it. I also like how there is tons of flavor text there, including breakdowns by suggested encounters and CR lore. I think that would be a great help to a lot of DMs out there.
 



tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I love how so many of the signs & motives are easy ways to give a random aboleth something it considers more important than starting a fight with random adventurers. Leaving it with a sting for overusing legendary resistance is a nice touch as well since burning all of those abilities against legendary resistance at least something useful came out of that resource expenditure
 


Faolyn

Hero
So I, of course, have questions, now that I've taken a second look and compared it to the o5e version...

You've changed Enslave from 3/day, DC 14, to practically at-will, because it's a Legendary, to DC 16. That's going to increase the size of the aboleth's retinue of thralls by a lot. This isn't a bad thing, mind, just a thing I noticed.

I do wish you had made Thrall into a template, although it isn't shouldn't be too hard to reverse-engineer it. I like templates.

The Sea Change disease can only be reversed by a disease-removing spell of 4th level or higher. Does this mean other effects--such as the adept's ability to remove disease, or a magic item of disease-B-gone--also don't work, because it's not a spell?

I can't tell if this is the entirety of the aboleth entry, but what you've shown us lacks the lair actions of 05e's aboleth. Are you doing away with the aboleth's lair actions, or is it on the next page?

(Speaking of which, considering each entry seems to have a lot more info in it, what with the Legends & Lore, Encounters, Signs, and Behaviors, do you have an estimated page count for your MM?)

I will say I'm not a huge fan of your treasure tables. Obviously, I can ignore them at substitute my own treasure, but it's a weird image, that every aboleth encounter will result in a periapt of health. (<Old Lady Voice> "In my day, aboleths had Treasure Type F, with its 10% chance of 3k-18k silver pieces and so forth, and we liked it like that!" </OLV>)
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Looks nice! If they are known for working with merfolk, I guess LU's merfolk will have a darker side to them? Or did you mean merrow?

Looking forward to more monsters!
Could be a misdirect, do history check facts always have to be accurate?
afterall Dealings with Merfolk could mean that Aboleth regularly dominate Merfolk
 

Stalker0

Legend
You've changed Enslave from 3/day, DC 14, to practically at-will, because it's a Legendary, to DC 16. That's going to increase the size of the aboleth's retinue of thralls by a lot. This isn't a bad thing, mind, just a thing I noticed.
So the Enslave is a very interesting change, that is both stronger and weaker than the vanilla version.

  • DC 16 vs 14 (thank god, I've used aboleths in core and that 14 DC is weak sauce)
  • 60 ft range vs 30 ft
  • Requires Sea Change Disease vs any target (this is a big one, vanilla Aboleths would often open with enslave, in LU you have to work for it, that's a major nerf).
  • Legendary Action vs Regular Action
  • Full functionality vs Loss of Reactions
  • Save every 24 hours vs No save if remains within 1 mile of Aboleth
  • Can go anywhere vs Must remain on same plane for the effect to remain.
So which is better depends on what you want. I would say for a single encounter, the Vanilla's Aboleths enslave is stronger, anytime your fighting a party, being able to disable one party member (and even better switch them to your side) is the strongest thing you can do. Meanwhile, having to make attacks that do no damage is a big action economy loss. So if its a single one off fight, I don't know if I would use the LU's enslave.

However, things get interesting when you consider an Aboleth attack as part of a strategy. The aboleth gets off the disease and leaves. Well now your diseased character is extremely vulnerable to follow up aboleth enslave, and that disease is likely to linger. Considering an LU aboleth can generate 3 charm saves a round on a single character....its highly likely you will fail. It gives some strong incentive to address the disease immediately as opposed to waiting until the underwater part of the adventure is over.

I'll echo others that the Legendary Resistance concept is very cool. I have been very disappointed with the vanilla aboleth (I've used them twice in games and they were comically defeated both times)....in terms of a total package this aboleth looks a lot better.
 

Stalker0

Legend
One thing I continue to notice, apparantely as a DM I give up lore "way too freely". A DC 20 check for me reveals weaknesses and things, not "Aboleths have spies"
 

Faolyn

Hero
DC 16 vs 14 (thank god, I've used aboleths in core and that 14 DC is weak sauce)
Agreed. Even a low-level character with a decent Wisdom save could save half the time.

One thing I continue to notice, apparantely as a DM I give up lore "way too freely". A DC 20 check for me reveals weaknesses and things, not "Aboleths have spies"
I guess they assume that this would be a shocker to the characters, even if the players already knew that? Like, maybe people in general just assume that aboleths--if they've heard of them at all--are just big blobby sea monsters and it's surprising to learn that they're not only intelligent but are controlling large parts of the city.

I'll echo others that the Legendary Resistance concept is very cool. I have been very disappointed with the vanilla aboleth (I've used them twice in games and they were comically defeated both times)....in terms of a total package this aboleth looks a lot better.
This at least in part is a problem with CR. Most creatures are either too weak or too strong for their CR. Half the time, I found that even Deadly encounters are on the weak side.

I guess the other assumption is that you should only be fighting an aboleth after you've been softened up by all of its minions first.
 

Reynard

Legend
Do a dragon next!

5E dragons are just too boring. We need cool ability options and a pants-wetting-terror aspect that is missing.
 







Awfully Cheerful Engine!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top