D&D 5E New Spellcasting Blocks for Monsters --- Why?!


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HaroldTheHobbit

Adventurer
Why should monsters be "built" to do anything in particular? D&D monsters are built around literary and mythical archetypes, not combat roles. Once you have your archetype statted up the DM can look at what it can do and then decide how to use it in an encounter.
But isn't one of the arguments for doing away with spell lists that it makes it easier for new players? If the Flumph is non-aligned, doesn't have a label and with only a wee bit of fluff text, it may not be an easy task for a new DM to decide how to use it in an encounter.

As I've written before, I hope WotC stop with the half-measures and go full 4e for monster stat blocks in 2024.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Why should monsters be "built" to do anything in particular? D&D monsters are built around literary and mythical archetypes, not combat roles. Once you have your archetype statted up the DM can look at what it can do and then decide how to use it in an encounter.

Every monster is built.
Literary and mythical archetypes are often bult off combat roles. The gladiator arena lived off these.

When you give an ogre tons of HP, low AC, and a stong melee attack in order to math the myth, you are building it to be a brute.
When you make an fey have high AC, low HP, and both a good melee and ranged attack because fey are squishy but dangerous in legend, you are building it to be a marauder.
When you make the knight have hip AC, decen HP, and a good melee attack, you are building a soldier because knights were elite soldiers in RL. That's what the expensive armor and weapon training was for.
 

"The DM makes a ruling" nips that argument in the bud.

It's only people who can't accept "rulings not rules" who waste time arguing about it.
In my experience the people who don't want "rulings not rules" are overwhelmingly DMs who didn't pay good money and spend good time learning a game only to find out the game was incomplete and wanted them to fix it on obvious interactions rather than be able to use it as a solid foundation when the PCs come up with absurd plans to limit test things.
 


DMs who didn't pay good money and spend good time learning a game only to find out the game was incomplete
I paid good money for 1st edition!

So that's nonsense.
when the PCs come up with absurd plans to limit test things.
If the DM thinks something is absurd then their ruling is to disallow it. Simple. Meanwhile, on a different table, the DM can rule that shield-surfing down a staircase whilst shooting a bow is just fine.
 
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Hussar

Legend
Why should monsters be "built" to do anything in particular? D&D monsters are built around literary and mythical archetypes, not combat roles. Once you have your archetype statted up the DM can look at what it can do and then decide how to use it in an encounter.
What mythical or literary archetypes is a beholder or a rust monster being build around?

Sorry, no. You are just wrong here.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
In my experience the people who don't want "rulings not rules" are overwhelmingly DMs who didn't pay good money and spend good time learning a game only to find out the game was incomplete and wanted them to fix it on obvious interactions rather than be able to use it as a solid foundation when the PCs come up with absurd plans to limit test things.
I think one of the interesting troubles WOTC ran into is that people change, swap, or play with different DMs a lot more now. And a lot more new DMs.

5e was designed for old stable group but attracted a lot of new rotating groups. I think the content in the last few players surveys are evidence that many newcomers have joined.


So while "Rulings over Rules" may have been great for edge cases, WOTC having it so entwined in the foundation common mechanics and systems and going freeform and ignoring their own guidelines makes groups way too different from each other, adds significant work for DMs to change aspects and explain house rules, and straight up confuses or confounds new fans.
 



I paid good money for 1st edition!

So that's nonsense.
I'm tempted to say "More fool you" especially as 1e was the most shameless cashgrab in D&D history, written to take Arneson's name off the rulebook. But that isn't fair and design standards have moved on - instead I'll say that what was acceptable for a game, a car, or a computer in the 1970s isn't in the 2020s
 

Hussar

Legend
Original ones, created by Gygax. D&D is literature too.
LOL. An "original" archetype is something of a contradiction in terms. If it's original, it's only an archetype if other things start following along in a similar vein. A rust monster isn't an archetype at all. Nor is a beholder.

But, all this aside, what do you think a role is if it's not an archetype? Good grief, that's exactly what the roles ARE. They are archetypes. Which means that monsters that are build around literary archetypes or mythical archetypes fall into the categories that are defined by the different types.

Which means that you stop having to reinvent the wheel with every monster. You start with a nice chassis - a CR X monster of this archetype will have a range of HP, AC and attack bonus and damage of Y. From that point you can fiddle around with some of the details, but 99% of the work is done for you and it works.

Why is this a bad thing?
 

Hussar

Legend
Ahh, it appears I've confused my posters a bit here. I've crossed @Crimson Longinus with @Paul Farquhar . My bad. Paul didn't argue about the stat blocks being set in stone and the Monster Manual was "rules". That was @Crimson Longinus.

I think it was the "glass cannon" plus it's been a really long day, that has led me to confuse the two. :D Sorry about that.

But, the point still remains though. You can't just state, "rulings not rules" fixes everything, when there is stuff there that is a bit beyond just making a ruling. I mean, I got held over the coals for adding an Invocation to a high level warlock (death lock mastermind), so, I'm thinking that expecting DM's to be able to rewrite entire stat blocks on the fly, accurately, without any guidance whatsoever, is a bit of a stretch.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
But we can 1 billion percent call what happened back in the day lies.
Mod Note:

If your hope is to make this discussion degrade further, calling people liars is probably a good way to accomplish that goal.

Of course, actively working to degrade a discussion is also a good way to get moderators to give you the hairy eyeball.

So, maybe, you know, stop that, and step back from the rhetorical precipice before you find out what's at the bottom, hm? Thanks.


Reading the past couple of pages of this thread, really, this goes for everyone. Folks ought to start treating each other with rather more respect than is being shown here.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The reason is simple. If WotC stays silent about their intentions, everyone can argue that WotC supports "their conclusions" about how the game is meant to function- ie, the way they want it to function. Thus 5e is "their kind of game, not yours".

If they communicate what their intent is, it could become "not their kind of game" and they won't be happy, and possibly not buy their product.

So vagueness = success when your game plan is to try and appeal to the broadest base of consumers possible.
I'm going to take it a step farther and argue that WotC's intention is for it to function how you(general you) want it to function. That's why they are constantly drilling in that it's "rulings over rules", and "the rules serve the DM, not the the other way around", and "check with the DM to see if there are any rule changes", and the "DMG is just guidelines", and...

The vagueness is just another way that they really are supporting everyone that doesn't want the rules to spell out everything.
 

HaroldTheHobbit

Adventurer
I didn't say I liked the change. But it doesn't really affect me, since I stat up monsters however I like.
As do I. But since a beginner friendly D&D that generate DMs that has confidence in the material is good for the hobby I wish WotC would be more consistent in what they aim for. Or how it manifests in the newer material.

If monster stat blocks and fluff doesn't hold the DMs hand in at least some way the newer gamers will be more dependent on readymade adventures and campaigns - which can be fun and all, but I think most of us older gamers have fond memories from our homegrown campaigns. Those will be harder to make and play if you for example don't know what an Otyugh is supposed to be.

Like, if I know that a Gazebo is neutral evil and prey on travellers in one campaign world, it's easier to adapt and fit into my own world, rather than if I'm told it's a non-aligned living building with unknown typical behavior.

But nevermind, I will still play and be happy with my version of the game no matter what Wiz do.
 

Voadam

Legend
If monster stat blocks and fluff doesn't hold the DMs hand in at least some way the newer gamers will be more dependent on readymade adventures and campaigns - which can be fun and all, but I think most of us older gamers have fond memories from our homegrown campaigns. Those will be harder to make and play if you for example don't know what an Otyugh is supposed to be.
I mostly run modules but I still rely upon monster manual monster entry characterization a lot for how I portray the monsters in a module.
 

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