Hot answers tagged

89

It's based on a toy. And that's all most sources will give you, because they're drawing from an article (Ed Greenwood's "Ecology of the Rust Monster" in Dragon #88, later quoted by another article of the same name in issue #346) which is actually about the rust monster, and only passingly mentions the owlbear. In fact, the original quote is so vague it's ...


75

The crab is said to come out of the waves, grab someone, and drag them back under. It has a reach of 10 ft., a grapple check that just about cannot be beat at that level, and does massive damage. It’s got astonishingly good AC, and just ridiculously high HP, for that level. It’s also faster than almost-all PCs on land, and much faster than most in the water. ...


63

Using an online Challenge calculator, I am not seeing the issue that you are describing. Monsters exist up to CR 24, and then the Tarrasque by itself is 30. For 4 Level 20 PCs, a single enemy of CR 23 is at the high end of a Hard encounter, just barely below the threshold for a Deadly encounter. A CR 24 is thus a Deadly encounter, but 5 Level 20 PCs push ...


58

They don't actually need it. I realize this is radical, but bear with me. We need to not expect them to be masters of wilderness survival --in all honesty, they aren't. Animals die in the wild all the time. They starve, they freeze, they get lost, they fall in caves and can't get out. That said, they're actually not awful at Survival and the way they're ...


58

I don’t think there is a problem Barbarians kill things. That is what they do. There are lots of things they can’t kill, or can’t kill very well, and there are lots of problems that cannot be solved by killing. They are useless, or nearly so, in such situations. This situation, however, is exactly their forté. Their specialty. They were born for ...


55

I think there’s such a huge variety in humanity that often goes relatively ignored that can be used as low-level threats. A trick I like to use to make human encounters stand out is to focus on two aspects of the enemy—be it dress, custom, weapon choice, adornments, tattoos—that stick out. This makes it seem a little more diverse. With the same couple ...


50

In "official D&D 4e rules"? No. But if by "friend" you mean "my DM", then the answer might be yes. On the other hand, if by "friend" you mean a fellow player, they are most likely yanking your chain. DMs are the ones responsible for deciding details of culture in their games, so it's up to them and we can't tell you for sure. Either way, ask your DM, ...


46

Generally, you should only tell them what their character knows. Some DMs don't even tell them the creature's name until afterwards, they just describe its appearance. Let them make a skill check to see how much they know (eg arcana, nature, religion, history - depending on the type of creature. Or perception, if there is some visual clue). Or, if you ...


42

There's a ton of low-level monsters out there. Other humans (or elves, dwarves, tieflings) are appropriate antagonists at any level. Draconians are cool and you hardly ever see them nowadays. Same goes for kenku and bullywugs. You can also get a lot of mileage from reskinning monsters; if the PCs encounter a race of strange hostile creatures with long ...


42

Study, Study, Study Information is really the only way to overcome this problem, and it comes in a few varieties: Know Your Players - This one is the most important. You should familiarize yourself with the capabilities of the PCs and with the tactics they tend to favor. Do they search a room when they walk into it before they do anything else? Does the ...


39

Every part of a vampire that isn't its heart is effectively armor. Severing a vampire's arms & legs won't kill it. Destroying its lungs or breaking its back won't kill it. It likes having those things, true, but it can survive without them to go hole up somewhere and heal. From a perspective of "what needs to be protected, and what is protecting it", ...


37

Vampires Were Always Hard to Hit The original release of OD&D didn't explain why. The Vampire was assigned the armor class of 2, which was the equivalent in OD&D of plate mail and shield. This may have been related to its level as a monster (7-9 HD) and thus a reflection of how tough it was even for higher level characters to do significant ...


36

There's an episode of the 1970s Kolchak: Night Stalker series that includes a shapeshifter called a rakshasa. It also involves a vulnerability to blessed crossbow bolts/piercing weapons, which isn't part of Hindu tradition (I think Ravana, greatest of the rakshasas, was actually killed by a round thrown weapon called an asthra). Here's a summary of the ...


34

This is actually a really interesting inconsistency. According to d20SRD.org... Each character within range of a gaze attack must attempt a saving throw (which can be a Fortitude or Will save) each round at the beginning of his turn. You could interpret this to mean that the monster with the higher initiative actually has the disadvantage! Since they ...


34

Lions and Tigers and Bears... Oh my! I think the number of dangerous creatures out in the wilderness is almost innumerable, so I will just list categories with a few examples. Reptiles Snakes (Venomous or large) Poisonous frogs Alligators Insects Mosquitoes (with or without diseases) Army ants Bees and Hornets Large Mammals Large Cats (Lions, ...


34

At the beginning of a combat, all participants roll initiative (d20 + Dex). Everyone ends up with a number, and take their turns from highest to lowest. Initiative count 20 (losing all ties) means that lair actions happen after any creature whose total for the initiative roll was 20, and before any creature whose initiative roll was 19. So, for example, a ...


34

The rule about all of its heads dying is an exception particular to the hydra. It is not immune to the effects of being defeated when reduced to 0 hp. If the hydra were immune to defeat at 0 hp, its description would have to say so.


33

Short Answer The characters don't know, so there's no need to tell their players. But why's that? Your GM principles should give you your answer here: Address the characters, not the players. Begin and end with the fiction Give every monster life Remember, your principles and agendas are rules just like HP and armor. If you're telling the players ...


31

Actually, the Tarasque is an imaginary creature in a game, so you can't actually kill it since it's not real. :P Joking aside, in DnD 3.0 you had to reduce it to -30 and use a Wish spell to kill it permanently, otherwise it inevitably regenerated. The entry in the Monster's Manual states that anything else which normally would kill instead just reduces it ...


31

What you could do is run with their inability to combat the wasps, and turn it into plot. The first time they encounter the wasps, they get severely injured and are forced to flee. You then have a followup of them looking for a way of combating them: be it fire weapons, magic bug spray, or whatever. Just try to make it clear to the players that they're ...


30

The methodology I've settled on is as follows: The creature is the dominant inhabitant of the correct alignment plane (according to the Manual of the Planes). The Greyhawk (default setting for D&D 3.5) cosmology lists the Outer Planes that are keyed to the nine alignments. The creature has the appropriate alignment subtypes - an iconic Lawful Good ...


29

Wolves I have torn more than one group of adventurers to shreds with wolves. Wolves are smart team-hunters. They harry and feint. They wear groups and individuals down. They work together and coordinate their attacks. Make them spend a night or two being howled at all night. Make sure to use whatever rules your system has for fatigue. Don't neglect the ...


29

According to the MM, page 220, its true form is amorphous. That means that it is without form in its true state. You could describe it as a blob. Shapechanger. The mimic can use its action to polymorph into an object or back into its true, amorphous form. Dictionary definition: a·mor·phous (adjective) əˈmôrfəs without a clearly defined ...


28

If you're willing to borrow a fairly reasonable half-breed from Pathfinder you can get 6/10 for sure, probably 7/10, and maybe all of them without any magic or unpleasantness at all (for you). Step 1: Get in good with the Green Hags. Yah, this doesn't sound like a very good idea. Hags in general "are horrible creatures whose love of evil is equalled ...


27

Indirectly, yes. Gary Gygax tells us that "the mind flayer I made up out of whole cloth using my imagination, but inspired by the cover of Brian Lumley's novel in paperback edition, The Burrowers Beneath." Said novel was firmly rooted in the Cthulhu mythos; in fact, Lovecraft's character Robert Harrison Blake wrote a short story titled "The Burrower ...


27

An air elemental is not just air. It is a corporeal creature type and as such it has a "body" that can be disrupted by normal weapons. Elemental traits from the back of the monster manual include only "immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, and stunning" and "Not subject to critical hits or flanking", so its perceptions and body are not like a ...


27

There's a factor you missed out on: the square-cube law. As Wikipedia describes it: When an object undergoes a proportional increase in size, its new surface area is proportional to the square of the multiplier and its new volume is proportional to the cube of the multiplier. Let's consider the implications of this for a moment with a cube of water: it ...


27

Fun idea It is a fun idea. I don't think it would work. I have an even more fun idea: don't tell the player it won't work - let her think it can and have lots of fun when she fingers the innocent. Rules The doppelganger can use its action to polymorph into a Small or Medium humanoid it has seen, or back into its true form. Its statistics, other ...


27

A Monkey Part of Aya's description in The Scroll Thief (DDEX1-6 pg. 9): "Perched on the elf's shoulder is a small, grey-furred monkey."


26

First of all, it's a Knowledge check Don't lose sight of the fact that the player asked to make a Knowledge check because he or she wants information. There's no way around that. Don't worry about that information breaking the flow. If the player doesn't want to break the flow by getting that information, he or she would not be requesting the check. Tease ...



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