D&D General What Would Happen if Fiends Came to Fill the "Low CR Monsters" Niche?

JEB

Legend
🙄

Adding the word “many” to the description of evil gnolls doesn’t actually do anything to shift the lore. Show is what the non-evil gnolls look like, don’t just tell us they could theoretically exist somewhere. Then give us PC stats for them.
Agreed that a lack of actual details about good gnolls vs. evil gnolls is a fail, but hey, baby steps. At least they have an origin separate from Yeenoghu now!
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Agreed that a lack of actual details about good gnolls vs. evil gnolls is a fail, but hey, baby steps. At least they have an origin separate from Yeenoghu now!
Yeah, it just sucks to have to take baby steps to get back to the point we had already gotten to over a decade ago.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
If you are willing to look at some of the high quality 3rd party, like Kobold Press' Creature Catalog and Fifth Edition Foes, we have actually a nicely fleshed out set of fiends starting CR 1/4 and going up from there. This would definitely be possible.
 

Fifinjir

Explorer
There’s plenty of reasons for devils to go to war on the material plane. Safe and happy people are less likely to make deals, while people fearing for their lives, ground down by tragedy, or separated from their support structure won’t be as inclined to thing through that decision as objectively. Of course, they might want to disguise the lemures as something else so their targets can’t see what they’ll become right in front of them….
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
This is an interesting thread (and gnolls...are furries...you may use in our game as you wish...but I have to concede some wider cultural influence, and they are furries).

And its an awesome idea, for a particular campaign. For a particular campaign, I think playing down other fantasy elements and playing up a demonic threat, with cultists and paranoid witch hunters and all the rest, could be great.

But as we can see from the thread, its probably not a general solution.
 

Remathilis

Legend


Adding the word “many” to the description of evil gnolls doesn’t actually do anything to shift the lore. Show is what the non-evil gnolls look like, don’t just tell us they could theoretically exist somewhere. Then give us PC stats for them.
They look like the kawaii puppy PCs artwork you find on your typical CR fansite.

Hi gnolls, welcome back to being hyena-headed orcs.
 

Oofta

Legend
🙄

Adding the word “many” to the description of evil gnolls doesn’t actually do anything to shift the lore. Show is what the non-evil gnolls look like, don’t just tell us they could theoretically exist somewhere. Then give us PC stats for them.
If 4E is any guide then I submit my 4E PC for LFR as a sample:

Screenshot 2022-01-26 073120.png
 

Voadam

Legend
Goblins (orcs, etc.) reproduce in the same way that humans do. That goes a long way to making them into people--you can have baby goblins and elderly granma goblins, if you wanted.

How do demons reproduce? If you want them to remain inhuman, killable monsters, then have them reproduce as such. They aren't born; they spontaneously generate out of corrupted places or out of piles of filth, spawn from evil thoughts, or are formed out of souls stolen or captured by greater demons. (This is assuming you don't have them being created out of the souls of the damned, as is traditional.)
Goblins and orcs as ordinary mammalian humanoid reproduction is simply changeable lore same as demons coming from outer planes.

You can go with Warhammer 40K orcs reproduce from spores released by orcs killed while flooded with adrenaline during battle and their biology is directed to aggressively getting into fights to die as a reproductive strategy. I have gone with 40K style orcs in a Pathfinder game and it worked well narratively.

I have seen people use goblins as narratively cruel dark fey spawned by shadow and corruption. So they pop out of evil tainted dark areas, there are no goblin children or grandmas.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
I'm sure most people reading this thread already know this, but I just wanted to point out that Kobold Press has an excellent resource for playable gnolls with a fleshed-out culture. The stats are in their book Southlands Heroes for 5th Edition. More detailed information about their culture and homeland are in the recent Southlands Worldbook.
 



Oofta

Legend
Hey, if that’s the tone your group is going for, more power to you.
I've said it before, I have a hard time taking FR seriously. That and PCs for public games tend to be comparatively simplistic.

Home games tend to be more serious, although the LPH (laughs per hour) tends to be pretty high there as well. It's a game. One I play to have fun.
 


JEB

Legend
They look like the kawaii puppy PCs artwork you find on your typical CR fansite.

Hi gnolls, welcome back to being hyena-headed orcs.
The new lore specifically allows for both Yeenoghu's single-minded killing machines and complex non-Yeenoghu gnolls to coexist in the vast D&D multiverse. Now, it fails in not actually putting much effort into detailing how that works - a failing the lore in Monsters of the Multiverse seems to have generally - but it's probably the best way to accommodate fans who want one or the other approach.

Personally, I hope to see more of this - take the options we had in 2014 and add to them, don't just slim everything down.
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
I've noticed that in sci-fi settings there is often some 'insect swarm' type enemy which the heroes can kill without remorse. Tyranids being an example.

I'm not sure if DnD has anything equivalent to that. The good thing about some tyranid-like hive mind species (obviously toned way down to fantasy levels) is that it can be intelligent enough to give players a more complex fight like they're looking for. While also being pretty safe from people wanting to play 'good adventurer' versions of those same creatures.
 

I've noticed that in sci-fi settings there is often some 'insect swarm' type enemy which the heroes can kill without remorse. Tyranids being an example.

I'm not sure if DnD has anything equivalent to that. The good thing about some tyranid-like hive mind species (obviously toned way down to fantasy levels) is that it can be intelligent enough to give players a more complex fight like they're looking for. While also being pretty safe from people wanting to play 'good adventurer' versions of those same creatures.
Zergs gotta zerg. I've seen a few attempts to do this kind of thing in D&D (e.g. formians, core spawn) but it never seems to have caught on. Starfinder has this trope.
 

Mirtek

Hero
The only thing is I have the suspicion that putting demons in the goblins' niche might somehow end up making people want to start portraying literal demons and devils more sympathetically,
What you describe here is certainly one thing that would be bound to happen. I don't think that it would lead to the negative view though.

My main concern is about "suspension of disbelieve" and getting "too fantastic".

Fighting the extraplanar as run off the mill mooks from 1st level just makes them totally mundane.

There's a reason adventurers fight giant rats in cellars and don't start with a "CR1 least lesser aspect of Orcus"

Fighting least fiends all the time just means there's nothing special anymore when the higher fiends show up
 
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Remathilis

Legend
I've noticed that in sci-fi settings there is often some 'insect swarm' type enemy which the heroes can kill without remorse. Tyranids being an example.

I'm not sure if DnD has anything equivalent to that. The good thing about some tyranid-like hive mind species (obviously toned way down to fantasy levels) is that it can be intelligent enough to give players a more complex fight like they're looking for. While also being pretty safe from people wanting to play 'good adventurer' versions of those same creatures.
Drone enemies (hivemind aliens, battle droids, zombies) all work but the suffer from a lack of creative spark that makes them drones. Hence, they get boring after a while and any attempt to inject creativity or personality leads to the same kind of problems as inherently evil races in that if one can go against it's programming (Such as Seven-of-Nine) then they aren't inherently evil and KOS.

Mainly though, it's a sense of repetitiveness. Which is why D&D has 700 low CR critters all filling the same general role.
 


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