D&D 5E What a foe can do rather than what a foe is - humans with punch?


Because you can play as other races, the result is that everyone wants to play anything other than humans, so why should so much work be done for a "monster" that you may never encounter?

Humans will always be comparatively weak to dwarves, elves, orcs, and aaracockra, and this largely has to do with a rejection of the race-as-class mechanics of older editions. The newer rules have to be written to reflect this, and now anyone will look at a human and think "vanilla."

You could restrict playable races in your campaigns, but will get you sour looks, or you can desperately try to make humans more interesting, which is still plausible.

Or, follow the money and just write humans out of the game instead. This is far easier, and no one will really complain.
This is more for a campaign set in a largely human city.

For PCs, I actually see a lot of people playing humans because of the additional feat and skill. They have been competitive for quite a while.

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I just roll up a high-level character, fugde my stat rolls to be awesome, then optionally give it legendary resistance, legendary actions, magic (legendary) items, extra HP and a few minions, and it's good luck to the party.

I almost always want to customize the human(oid)s in my campaign anyway, so can't use any straight out of the MM anyway.


Yes precisely. I already have all the motivations and three dimensional personalities - it’s trying to make them engaging and interesting in combat now.
Never underestimate the value of the reskin. There's no reason you can't make a frightening pugilist with exactly the same stats as a hill giant, except medium. Or the displacer beast can be reskinned as an elusive ninja assassin type. You will have to tweak things here and there but ultimately all the details are behind the screen and players won't notice.


I guess all NPCs can be classified as either Warriors, Experts or Casters. I could create a baseline for each of these, look at how they could scale with CR and then have a selection of abilities across the traits, actions, recharge actions, bloodied abilities, reactions etc which consideration of how they would scale. Hmm may work on that over the next week or so.


Curiously, I don't think PC classes are well-balanced to serve as enemies; certainly WotC seems to think they don't have enough hit points, if nothing else! But definitely the game could use NPC "classes" that you can level up, instead of dozens of individual stat blocks. If they build monsters using some kind of math, there's no reason we can't have an enemy advancement system again!
The best thing about PC enemies is they can be designed to target individual party members. But if you are throwing individual enemies at the party you are doing it the weakest way. If a Church, thieves Guild or some other organization sends someone after the PC's they will research them get all the information they can on their abilities and then send people who can deal with those abilities. The deadliest thing to a group of PC's is a smart group of intelligent foes who surprise them. Seduce the bard get him/her out of the room, drug the Mage and then strike hard.

The problem with most humanoid enemies in Dnd is for most games they just show up and attack when the clock dings 1.


Iron Kingdom: Requiem 5E has a number of neat Humanoid stat blocks. Ranging from City Watch guards, soldiers, mercenaries, criminals and so forth. Oh, and Cultists too. (A number of the various supplemental books/DLC PDFs also contain others like Raider, Rhulkfolk/Dwarves, and stuff).

Agate Studios Fateforge also has a number of humanoid stat blocks as well in their Monster Compendium Book. Paladin, Archmage, Bard, Master Assassin, and Crime Baron are just some of the examples of stat blocks listed in it.

I haven't gotten it yet, but Ruins of Symbaroum Beastiary (5E) looks like it would have a number of humanoid style stat blocks that could be used as well. Some examples being Town Folk and Drug Peddler.

Adventures in Middle-Earth 5E has a number of what I like to call "average joe" type stat blocks that you could apply to various normal villagers. Farmer, Town Guard, Messenger, your VERY basic run of the mill bandits/thugs. Some other books in the line have Dwarf stat blocks and Elven stat blocks you could use. (THOSE ones wouldn't be the equivalent of average joes though). Of course, this route is probably not the easiest method to go by due to the unfortunate nature of this TTRPG book line being discontinued/license expired.

And I too will add another recommendation on top of the one mentioned before by Ralif Redhammer. Kobold Press puts out some good stat blocks for Humanoid type opponents as well. I like to see their First Servant stat block as representing like a Specialty Priest of a deity or for any other high ranking deity servant.
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Another thing I just thought of...the cultists in Princes of the Apocalypse are very easily reskinned and provide a great source of humanoid foes. Same goes for the various faction member statblocks in Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica.

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