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What Monsters got nerfed from early D&D/AD&D to now/5e

Gadget

Explorer
5e seems to have made a conscious design decision to reduce or curtail effects that bypass hitpoints. Of course, some them must stick around by necessity due to the history and iconic status (petrification, paralysis) and this has had a detrimental effect on some monsters. I do not miss some editions (I think 3.0 did this iirc) penchant for turning monsters into virtual archmages in order to make them viable or challenging though(I'm thinking Dragons & Demons here in particular). On the whole, I liked how 4e handled monsters for the most part: they gave them abilities to represent their lore and status that made them interesting challenges, by and large. Though it took them multiple tries to get it right.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Anything with an age attack. I killed two pcs due to aging. And some pcs where happy when they aged into a different bracket.
 

vpuigdoller

Explorer
I miss things like mummy rot. I always dreaded mummies, now they're just another bag of hp to be killed. I miss monsters that are immune to non magic or need silver. Total immunities made you do some research, made monsters seem scarier. Half damage is boring, you just need to hit more. Yawn.
OMG, I miss Mummy Rot as well!
 

the Jester

Legend
5E puts all monsters into the same approach.... if you just hit it hard enough it will die. There is only one tactic needed to defeat any monster (some make it harder but it still exists).

I mean... yes, but.

The 5e DMG does have a section on designing monsters that require special conditions to beat, and I have done this more than once- for instance, there was a demon in a ruined city that couldn't be defeated until the city's standard, which the demon's forces had overrun and torn down, was re-raised.

So it's not that this kind of thing isn't there in 5e- it's just not a main line thing, and it's left pretty thoroughly in the DM's hands when to use it, rather than being tied to specific monster types.

That said, I miss puzzle and trick monsters from older editions and sometimes import them into my game. "Gotcha" monsters too- I have no problem with ambush predators and the like. I do always update the mechanics, but not always so that "hit it more" is a viable solution.
 

Lanefan

Hero
Does 5e even still have the Rust Monster?

The sweet harmless snuffly little puppy-dog Rust Monster, the very sight of which would send the bravest, toughest, strongest warriors running for the hills as fast as all that heavy armour would let them?

:)
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
Does 5e even still have the Rust Monster?

The sweet harmless snuffly little puppy-dog Rust Monster, the very sight of which would send the bravest, toughest, strongest warriors running for the hills as fast as all that heavy armour would let them?

:)
Several years ago I was running a 1e adventure and the PCs were getting cocky. They got even more cocky when they found out they had to take out a marauding tribe of gnolls. I mean, they were relatively higher level by then, so easy, right?

They weren’t so full of themselves when they discovered said group of gnolls were from a very primitive tribe (stone weapons and bone armor) that kept rust monsters like we keep dogs. Oh, and sling pots with rot grubs was an especially rude surprise for them 😉
 

Nebulous

Explorer
I have found that the monster books Kobold Press released for 5e have a wider variety of interesting and challenging abilitues, while staying within the 5e philosophy. They have been very useful for spicing up my 5e game. A lot of them seem a bit on the tough side for their CR, but maybe we've just gotten too complacent with less scary 5e critters.

The books are The Creature Codex and Tome of Beasts. They're massive, minimal fluff, but full of great, flavourful monsters. I don't usually get too excited about bestiaries, but these are good.
They ARE very good, but when you look at the hit points and damage output for some of these CRs, compared to the core monsters, they're almost unfairly deadly, so be wary about using some of them. In general though, these books are the equivalent of an AD&D MM2. Great artwork and great writing.

For example, here's a CR 9 insect, and it's attack stats are pretty scary:

ACTIONS
Multiattack. The horakh makes two claw attacks and one bite attack.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (4d8 + 4) slashing damage. If the bite attack hits a target that’s grappled by the horakh, the target must make a successful DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or
one of its eyes is bitten out. A creature with just one remaining
eye has disadvantage on ranged attack rolls and on Wisdom
(Perception) checks that rely on sight. If both (or all) eyes are
lost, the target is blinded. The regenerate spell and comparable
magic can restore lost eyes. Also see Implant Egg, below.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 17 (3d8 + 4) piercing damage. If both attacks hit the
same Medium or smaller target in a single turn, the target is
grappled (escape DC 14).

So, you're looking at 10d8+12 damage per round - not including Crits! - and potentially permanent blindness.
 
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Nebulous

Explorer
Does 5e even still have the Rust Monster?

The sweet harmless snuffly little puppy-dog Rust Monster, the very sight of which would send the bravest, toughest, strongest warriors running for the hills as fast as all that heavy armour would let them?

:)
It does have the rust monster, but heavily nerfed and no longer scary. When running Tomb of Annihilation, I had the party come up on a group of them, but for the BIG rust monster, I used the 3e statblock. Um, well, it destroyed Artus Cimber's +3 dagger.
 
I'm perfectly fine with rust monsters only working on non-magical items. My character was still running around for what felt like months with one less AC because his scale mail got destroyed and the available replacement for that time was a chain shirt. It's still a memorable experience.
 

Markh3rd

Explorer
Remorhaz. Early additions if it swallowed you, you died. Now you take damage until you can do 30 points of damage to it from the inside to force a con save or it vomits you up.
 

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