Wednesday, September 16, 2020



If you read my old post Thoughts on 5E Backgrounds you'll note that I like the Backgrounds but think they should be by race and not job. Backgrounds, customized for a campaign world, provide nice insight into the world, yada, yada, yada. So I was thinking that might be useful for the nasties as well. I'm not suggesting a DM should roll up an Ideal/Bond/Flaw for every encounter but if the players start to have a conversation the DM can roll them up and have the basics of the humanoids personality.


I haven't really worked on this one yet but I'd like to have an old school 2d6 Reaction table with run away on the low end, and fight to the death on the high end, with talk it out in the middle. Then each humanoid, or possibly each 'type' could have a modifier. Ogres might be +4 to ensure they are more likely to fight, Goblins could be -4 as they are more likely to run away. Then have the rule that the highest modifier in a group is used for that group. If that 'leader' dies the next highest rolls. Could also have each number more or less than the opposing group act as a modifier. So if the Adventurers have 5 people and the Goblins have 6 the Goblins get +1 on their reaction roll, something like that.

Anyway I'm still thinking this out.


One of the big improvements that 4E added to the game (in my humble opinion) was the introduction of various types of each monster. Each with a slightly different statblock. So you'd have Goblin Cutters, Goblin Blackblade, Goblin Warrior, Goblin Sharpshooter, Goblin Hexer, Goblin Skullcleaver, and Goblin Underboss. It reminded me of the Warhammer Armies book which I adore even though I've never played Warhammer Battles. These types makes it easy for a DM to add variety to their Goblin encounter. 5E took a step back with just Goblin and Goblin Boss (and the SRD didn't even include the Boss). Anyway, I think a truly useful Bestiary should include multiple 'types'. You might have only three types of dogs, but you should have more than a few for each humanoid and they should have a variety of weapons/armor to help differentiate them from their fellows.

Also the statblocks in the srd are overly complex. Dice required to roll Hit Points, multiple weapon options, and a blurb saying how to work out proficiencies but not actually saying what they are proficient in (we can assume the provided weapons but really). I decided I'd create stats for the four humanoid races of the Horde and I'd give the different Armor and weapon proficiencies to make each feel different.

Also the statblock should be made easy for a GM to copy/paste.

No comments: