Hot answers tagged

85

As with other aspects of the game, as the GM you have a lot of leeway here. Just because the Adventure Path/Campaign/Monster Manual says that these creatures are spiders doesn't mean that they have to be. After all, all a monster is is "A block of stats with fluff" (Thanks @Grey Sage, I particularly liked that quote) You can easily reskin spiders with creepy,...


76

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. ...


73

One thing to keep in mind before you just port spider-like abilities over to something that isn't quite a spider is that real arachnophobia isn't just a matter of being "creeped out" by them. I have a good friend who suffers from it and it's a real condition that is completely outside of his control. Halloween is a terrible time for him, because fluffy toy ...


64

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 ...


51

There's no conflict. The intelligent tag sets a very low bar — it just means that it's a type of creature that has more than instinct or animal cunning going for it. Its definition is: It’s smart enough that some individuals pick up other skills. The GM can adapt the monster by adding tags to reflect specific training, like a mage or warrior. “Smart ...


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", ...


38

There are no official stats for Sheep. But we won't leave you hanging... Other Animals. A book of this size can't contain statistics for every animal inhabiting your D&D campaign world. However, you can use the stat block of one animal to represent another easily enough. For example, you can use the panther statistics to represent a jaguar, the ...


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

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

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

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 ...


29

Take it slow... Since you're all pretty new, it's generally considered to be a really good idea to stick with the official published rules at first, so you can see how things play out and the effect of different abilities before you start messing with them in ways that might change the game balance. If you really want to play as a cloud giant runt (which ...


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

In AD&D, the cosmology of D&D which had gradually developed over the course of numerous publications was codified into the Planescape setting, which focused on adventures on the planes besides the Prime Material. The architecture of the cosmology focused on the “Great Wheel,” the sixteen planes surrounding the Outlands. These seventeen planes, ...


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

Yes it would, ...probably. A lich Rejuvenation ability is triggered when the lich is destroyed. The petrification condition states that a petrified creature is incapacitated and transformed to stone, but not destroyed. So, if you manage to petrify a lich, it will become a (very ugly) statue until it is de-stoned... or someone smashes it into pieces. You'll ...


26

Mearls wrote an article about Challenge Ratings that actually specifically explains the Ogre's Challenge Rating of 2: http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/building-adventures-0 The important bit for your question is: For example, an ogre is worth 450 XP and is a CR 2 threat. A party of five 1st-level characters should expect to face about 500 XP ...


25

A Shadow Dragon is the same as the regular version of the dragon, but with the changes detailed under “Shadow Dragon Template” on page 84 of the Monster Manual applied to it. The template does not change alignment, so the alignment of a Gold Shadow Dragon is the same as that of a regular Gold Dragon.


25

We can determine the Challenge rating of the new "Koldbold" (like it? it's all yours!) by using the steps in DMG page 273. Firstly, a few assumptions: The Kobold's ability scores do not change. With this, we can assume that the spell attack bonus is at +1 using either Int or Cha, because Wisdom is just... no... You're only giving it Ray of Frost as a ...


25

The hill giant and frost giant are both using two-handed weapons (a greatclub and a greataxe, respectively), and a two-handed weapon gets a ×1½ STR bonus for damage. With fractions rounded down, +7 × 1½ is +10, and +9 × 1½ is +13. That's all that's going on.


24

You are thinking of Ssendam, the Slaadi Lord of Madness detailed in the 1st edition Fiend Folio and Manual of the Planes. He appears as a golden slaad in his golden castle in Limbo near the slaadi Spawning Stone, but normally looks like a huge amoeba. He is the oldest of the slaadi lords, believes that madness is the ultimate form of chaos, and doesn't care ...


24

You should probably just have this discussion with the player, rather than trying to plan something out without their input. Phobias are very personal things, and no matter your best intentions, creating a creature that acts almost exactly, or even partially like a spider, could still trigger that phobia. Ask them what it is about spiders that worries ...


22

Indeed, that encounter is way above the characters' expected level. One of the writers, Steve Winter has also spoken a little about the encounter's balance and design history. In a post (posting as Huscarl) on WotC forums, Steve Winter wrote of the "No Room at the Inn" encounter: [in] The original version ... the villains were not assassins but young ...


22

Hit dice for monsters in both editions of AD&D are almost always d8s, so it's normal for monster stats to say things like “6 HD”, “3 HD + 4”, or “½ HD” with no further explanation given. From the Monster Manual introduction where how to read statistics is explained: HIT DICE indicates the parameters of the number of hit points a creature can ...


22

The step from Spawn to Vampire is described on page 295 of the Monster Manual as: If a true vampire allows a spawn to draw blood from its own body, the spawn transforms into a true vampire no longer under its master's control. Interestingly enough, that suggests that any true Vampire can promote a Spawn, not just the Vampire that created the Spawn.


22

The language skills of ropers have varied by edition: The original roper, in the original Monster Manual, had Exceptional intelligence, but no listed ability to use language. In second edition’s Monster Manual, the roper is much the same. The Habitat/Society and Ecology sections make no mention of language, and the best we get is “Ropers are not social and ...


21

They Are A Pair of Monsters With A Long History Together You can appeal to Dungeon and Dragons tradition for a thematically (historically?) consistent relationship between an Otyugh and an Ettin in the manner you describe. The rules you are working with don't explicitly say one way or the other, as KRyan pointed out in his answer. Citation: Article ...


21

Doing it right The Tarrasque's Jump check is not particularly great as it hasn't bothered to put skill ranks into it, just its Strength modifier of 17. It is even negatively impacted by its slow speed, for a total of +11. If it rushes though, it gains a bonus of ((150-30)/10)*4 = 48 instead of a penalty, a great improvement. The total effective Jump skill ...


21

A Dragonclaw is the title for a higher-ranking cultist. You can find the description and stat block in the Monsters Appendix of Hoard of the Dragon Queen. (Dragonwings, Dragonfangs, and Dragonsouls are also ever-higher ranking cultists.) You can find more material on each of the ranks in "Cult Structure" in the introduction of Rise of Tiamat. And for a ...


21

As you mention, the 5e Monster Manual says nothing about needing a wish to permanently kill a Tarrasque. Since it doesn't say you do, then you don't. There have been many changes between editions, this is obviously one of them.



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