log in or register to remove this ad

 

Monsters, OAs, and soft PCs

ad_hoc

(he/they)
A key thing I noticed in the thread about how often OAs happen in games was what was left out of the responses.

Most of them mentioned 2 things - PCs don't like to allow OAs against them, and monsters only sometimes run away but when they do they usually Disengage.

How about monsters rushing past the heavily armoured characters with swords to kill the ones in robes who are causing mayhem and destruction?

This is probably why I have a different experience with 5e than many others.

Common things I have seen in comments/threads:

- Ranged attacks are much stronger than melee attacks
- Concentration spells are annoying because you are only limited to one of them. No mention of failing saves.
- Warlock's Hex is amazing because it lasts all day


And finally, 'the game is too easy'. I think if PCs get to dictate combat simply by where they are standing this is probably true.

I like dynamic combats. I like having melee PCs gaining OAs, it is fun for them. It is a challenge and exciting for the softer characters to deal with monsters who are up close and personal with them. All the PCs must continually change what they are doing in order to face the threats and maximize their abilities.

In the couple of replies that I read that did mention it this was said - 'Intelligent creatures would never let their guard down to let an enemy freely swing at them.' In D&D creatures have HP, they get many swings taken at them. It's what combat is, lives are on the line. Futilely trying to injure the character in heavy plate hiding behind a shield while arrows and spells rain down on you is much worse than running past to attack the soft PCs. Also, PCs only get 1 reaction. A mob of creatures can all run past with only 1 swing being taken at 1 of them.

Obviously some sorts of monsters just wouldn't. Mindless ones come to mind. This is what makes run of the mill Zombies and Skeletions so weak. Sometimes it is in their personality too. There can be all sorts of reasons why they wouldn't. Without those reasons though, monsters at our table rush to the weak ones first.

So, if monsters don't provoke OAs in your game, why?

And if not, I encourage you to try running monsters this way. Even lowly orcs can suddenly become very dangerous taking down concentration, causing disadvantage to attacks, and even taking PCs to 0 which could quickly lead to a TPK - so PCs, watch out!
 

log in or register to remove this ad

I agree with this and have recently started using monsters in this way and it has made the encounters a lot more dynamic (and varied) and as a result more fun.
 


Li Shenron

Legend
How about monsters rushing past the heavily armoured characters with swords to kill the ones in robes who are causing mayhem and destruction?

...

So, if monsters don't provoke OAs in your game, why?

As I mentioned in the other thread, our monsters do provoke OAs, but rarely.

Intelligent monsters can figure out that it is a good idea to run past the melee enemy line and attack the backers, but since they are intelligent, they also probably use Disengage, especially if they would provoke more than one OA: this means they won't attack the backer in the same turn, but at least they get to them.

Occasionally, an intelligent monster that has a high AC or a lot of HP (or another protection) may decide it's worth risking the OA in order not to give up the attack this round, but perhaps not if he can see that he needs to get past more than one enemy. But I think in general intelligent creatures prefer to minimize getting hurt, and I don't remember if I have ever make them provoke OA in this case.

Dumb monsters tend to just attack whoever is nearest, but they also do dumb things, so they sometimes draw an OA just because they notice that a different enemy is hurting them from the back, and they decide to leave their current target to pursue the other. This happens to us now and then,

Running away is also the other case where our monsters' OA occurred, and even the intelligent ones may panic when fleeing and thus decide to Dash. But this is not that common either in our case, and by the way reading TheMonstersKnow blog made me think that probably I don't have the monsters flee nearly as often as it would be reasonable for them to do so.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
It depends on the monster but another consideration is that intelligent monsters are likely to understand the basic concept of one OA per round. So that hobgoblin is going to order the goblin mooks to distract the front line fighter (even if it means taking a hit) so that they can close with the wizard in back without taking a hit themselves.

In addition, it seems like many DMs don't take advantage of mounted monsters. A gnoll riding a giant hyena can command their mount to disengage and run past the fighters avoiding the OA and still getting their full attack.

Not to mention attacking from multiple directions, flanking, kobolds popping out of hidden passages at the rear of the party, so on and so forth.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
Occasionally, an intelligent monster that has a high AC or a lot of HP (or another protection) may decide it's worth risking the OA in order not to give up the attack this round, but perhaps not if he can see that he needs to get past more than one enemy. But I think in general intelligent creatures prefer to minimize getting hurt, and I don't remember if I have ever make them provoke OA in this case.

Dumb monsters tend to just attack whoever is nearest, but they also do dumb things, so they sometimes draw an OA just because they notice that a different enemy is hurting them from the back, and they decide to leave their current target to pursue the other. This happens to us now and then,

This is the part I entirely disagree with.

One swing in a fight is nothing. Minimizing getting hurt is killing the very dangerous and easy to kill characters rather than wailing round after round on a character you can barely hurt.

How dumb are we talking here? A creature doesn't need to be a tactician to go after the unarmoured person. Many of the 'dumb' monsters are just out for blood so they would definitely go for the characters they can rip to shreds.

Here's an easy way to see it - What would the players do if their characters were the monsters? Would they attack round after round against a creature that they could barely hurt while getting pummeled? I don't see how this is 'minimizing getting hurt'.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
A key thing I noticed in the thread about how often OAs happen in games was what was left out of the responses.

Most of them mentioned 2 things - PCs don't like to allow OAs against them, and monsters only sometimes run away but when they do they usually Disengage.

How about monsters rushing past the heavily armoured characters with swords to kill the ones in robes who are causing mayhem and destruction?

This is probably why I have a different experience with 5e than many others.

Common things I have seen in comments/threads:

- Ranged attacks are much stronger than melee attacks
- Concentration spells are annoying because you are only limited to one of them. No mention of failing saves.
- Warlock's Hex is amazing because it lasts all day


And finally, 'the game is too easy'. I think if PCs get to dictate combat simply by where they are standing this is probably true.

I like dynamic combats. I like having melee PCs gaining OAs, it is fun for them. It is a challenge and exciting for the softer characters to deal with monsters who are up close and personal with them. All the PCs must continually change what they are doing in order to face the threats and maximize their abilities.

In the couple of replies that I read that did mention it this was said - 'Intelligent creatures would never let their guard down to let an enemy freely swing at them.' In D&D creatures have HP, they get many swings taken at them. It's what combat is, lives are on the line. Futilely trying to injure the character in heavy plate hiding behind a shield while arrows and spells rain down on you is much worse than running past to attack the soft PCs. Also, PCs only get 1 reaction. A mob of creatures can all run past with only 1 swing being taken at 1 of them.

Obviously some sorts of monsters just wouldn't. Mindless ones come to mind. This is what makes run of the mill Zombies and Skeletions so weak. Sometimes it is in their personality too. There can be all sorts of reasons why they wouldn't. Without those reasons though, monsters at our table rush to the weak ones first.

So, if monsters don't provoke OAs in your game, why?

And if not, I encourage you to try running monsters this way. Even lowly orcs can suddenly become very dangerous taking down concentration, causing disadvantage to attacks, and even taking PCs to 0 which could quickly lead to a TPK - so PCs, watch out!
I found the responses interesting, some were very different from my experience (but that's why I asked the question, I like to see differing opinions, views)

I tend to have monsters provoke AoOs for any number of reasons from stupidity to arrogance to sound tactics ("lowly" goblins or kobolds can be very dangerous when used tactically, often more dangerous than a big solo)

AoOs are fun, they keep the players more engaged in the combat and hone their tactics for more difficult encounters.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top