D&D 5E NPCs/Monsters being able to use PC classes.

howandwhy99

Adventurer
Player Characters specifically have fewer stats and abilities mapped out than any NPC because NPCs require all of the portions the actual players are supposed to game.

I mean, their characters don't need knowledge maps or strategies determined beforehand or morale rolls or any of the mental stat breakdowns or personality traits NPCs get. Plus, players draw their own maps of home "I grew up here" or "We hire an engineer to build our house to look like this". They design their own traps and determine their own marching orders. They choose when to stay at home or become a wandering encounter for the NPCs. They decide where to stash their treasure. What they decide is their territory. Who is there friend or enemy. What they know. What they'll share with others characters (and even players). And so on. PCs don't have any of that stuff generated for them.
 

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I hope it is not even an option.

PC class abilities should be balanced and designed with the PC's in mind and how they kill the monsters, not on monsters or npc's using those same abilities against them.

Monsters using separate rules than PC's is one of the very best things about 4e.

An npc is mostly used for just one encounter ever let alone in a day, so the fact that most PC specials are based around a day long expenditure of resources is just one of many reasons this is a bad idea.


See I have exactly the opposite idea. I think forcing PCs and monsters into different rules is one of the worst things 4e did.

It works great from a gamist and narrativist perspective, but it fails miserably from a simulationist perspective.

Thing is, I like playing games in all of those styles, but I want my D&D firmly simulationist.
 


zoroaster100

First Post
I have no problem with having more background, ecology, history, motivations, role-playing suggestions, adventure placement ideas, etc. for NPCs and monsters. I just don't need their stat blocks cluttered with a lot of useless information such as a dozen spell-like or other abilities that they will never use in combat or in an encounter with appropriate level player characters. I want a streamlined combat statblock that makes the monster very easy to pick up and use correctly. I do NOT want simulationism in my D&D, but that is based on my needs as a DM with limited time to prep for games. If Wizards of the Coast determines more potential customers want simulationist rules and decides to go that route, that is fine. But then I hope they keep supporting the online tools for 4th edition because I would stick with 4th edition until 6th edition comes around. I'll become a 4e grognard, LOL.
 

sunshadow21

Explorer
Having simple stat blocks for the standard NPCs and monsters is fine, but the biggest issue to me is that they really need is a way to convert those to full PC stats comparatively quickly without having to start over from scratch. The problem I tended to see with how 4E did monsters and opponents was that each was so hyper specialized in how they were built that an NPC/monster that was intended to be a one shot encounter, and therefore built with only a few basic stats and a few powers, become very hard to run on the not particularly uncommon occurrence that they not only survived that encounter, but become an integral part of the campaign, and therefore need a fuller stat block. What they need isn't different rules for monsters or NPCs, but rather guidelines for how to pare down PC classes, stat blocks, and other character information to the essentials so that everyone is working from the same basic structure, which in turn makes the game easier for everyone to figure out, while keeping the DM workload of creating/reading statblocks to a minimum. The 3.x theory of everyone working from the same base is a far better one than 4E's specialization, it just needs some tweaking in the implementation and presentation.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
The farther away we can get from the idea that there is some difference in some in-game mechanics because of who is controlling the character in the real world, the better.

The father away we can get from the idea that the PC creation chapter in the Player's Handbook is some sort of comprehensive fantasy world simulator, the better. These rules are specifically designed for PCs, who have players playing a game controlling them.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
This is one of those side cases where I think WotC just needs to rely on the common sense of their DMs who want this, rather than spending way too much time, space, and energy to create and try to balance a system themselves.

If you are a DM that wants to add paladin levels to an orc... you can do it right now. You create a paladin of whatever level you want, add in a couple abilities from the orc MM entry that are racially oriented, and you're done. Or if you want to add barbarian levels to a grey ooze... you create a barbarian of whatever level you want, then overlay it with all the stuff the grey ooze does while adjusting some numbers here and there.

But it's up to the DM to use his or her own common sense to determine whether the new creature is "balanced" for the fight or interaction they are intending it for (if they indeed even care about that.) This can be done with every creature entry. You merge a PC and a monster together and write everything down. You just have to be comfortable enough as a DM that your Frankenstein creation is not vetted as being "100% accurate" according to whatever behind-the-scenes math WotC uses to create their own monsters.

But then again, who cares? None of the players know or care what the underlying math is and whether your leveled up monster conforms to it... all they care is that the monster works. So if this kind of thing matters to you as a DM (and I suspect you are in the minority when it comes to needing it)... be comfortable just making this stuff up as you go, rather than expecting WotC to provide a system for you. You don't need WotC to do that. You can create these monsters fine on your own.
 
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Dungeoneer

First Post
You just have to be comfortable enough as a DM that your Frankenstein creation is not vetted as being "100% accurate" according to whatever behind-the-scenes math WotC uses to create their own monsters.

But then again, who cares? None of the players know or care what the underlying math is and whether your leveled up monster conforms to it... all they care is that the monster works. So if this kind of thing matters to you as a DM (and I suspect you are in the minority when it comes to needing it)... be comfortable just making this stuff up as you go, rather than expecting WotC to provide a system for you. You don't need WotC to do that. You can create these monsters fine on your own.
Defcon took the words right out of my mouth. I don't understand the need for special rules to 'simulate' NPCs. If you want your orc to be a Paladin, say he's a Paladin. If you want him to show up later with different abilities later, add those abilities the next time the PCs run into him. If you want him to sweet talk the duke or capture the town, have him do so.

The PCs don't know the mechanics of a monster and they never will. They don't care whether your NPC is a simple stat block or exhaustively statted out PC-style. It makes no difference. You will not be graded on the correctness of your NPC.

98% of the time the sole purpose of a monster is to serve as a punching bag for the players. Monsters need to be easy to run and easy to modify. The rules for monsters need to fulfill these requirements first and foremost. Optional rules for important NPCs are fine, but they should under no circumstances get in the way of the basics.
 

Dungeoneer

First Post
I sometimes like more, a lot more.

The D&D universe does not all exist as something to be killed by the PCs in a few rounds.

To be fair for most monsters 13th Age does give you more than this. Usually for a category of monsters there is some flavor text as well as a discussion of which Icons they might be associated with.
 

Weather Report

Banned
Banned
To be fair for most monsters 13th Age does give you more than this. Usually for a category of monsters there is some flavor text as well as a discussion of which Icons they might be associated with.

This might be shocking, but what can they do outside of the player's microcosmos (a foreground can be nice).

I first thought the 4th Ed Pit Fiend was neat...until I thought about it.

4th Ed is not a bad game (highly enjoyable), do not start swaying-in, just saying.
 

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