From Jonathan Hardin, sojournersawake.com
Roleplaying Ideas E-newsletter #1178
Hi there Sojourner!
My gamers know the entire stats for each villain I place of their path.
By means of looking on the web, hours finding out monster manuals, and good quaint wits, my gamers have discovered a technique to circumvent the marvel of being shocked in battle.
As GM, I wish to hold them engaged, even when they’ve already learn the monster guide.
My technique is easy.
I alter the stat block by making a story and giving gamers hints.
Do you have got the identical drawback?
Let’s have a look at 4 methods to shock your well-read gamers.
1. Prime of the Spherical
On the prime of the around the monster takes a free motion.
Require a cube roll from every character to avoid wasting from an space impact attributable to the monster.
For instance, a monstrous slime usually stalks its prey slowly and solely assaults melee.
What for those who give the monster a ranged weapon assault?
On the prime of the spherical, a big, slimy appendage extends to every participant past melee vary, strikes and damages them, pulling them nearer to its oozing physique.
The Story: This explicit ooze has developed over time. A close-by tribe worships this creature and feeds it, subsequently altering its skills over time.
The Trace: The characters witness carvings depicting worship of a slimy creature within the dungeons. Describe the creature as an ooze, however sporting bulbs sprouting from its prime portion.
2. The Villainous Terrain
Make the terrain harmful.
Use this tip to institute motion challenges by way of dwelling and oppositional terrain.
For instance, a burrowing predator native to the terrain hunts characters as they try to relaxation within the wilderness.
Issues progress usually till the bottom collapses, leaving gamers beneath the earth.
This impacts motion and helps the gamers see the fictional world as three dimensional with depth and top, reasonably than only a flat two dimensional grid.
The Story: Moreover a numerical stat block, you make your monsters (and characters) work together with the terrain.
The Trace: Foreshadow this shock by describing mushy, freshly tilled floor beneath their ft.
3. Kidnapping Monsters
Kidnap a participant character.
Shock gamers with monsters who cease at nothing to seize reasonably than kill.
For instance, take into account your common minion.
Characters can simply win a match in opposition to them, whether or not they be kobolds, robots, bangers, or any horde.
What begins as a routine combat turns right into a mission in opposition to a selected character.
The minions use all of their assets to seize one PC and kill or depart the remainder. Moderately than preventing to the bloody dying, they combat with a motivation and means to kidnap.
The Story: A extra highly effective villain employs the minions to seize the participant for nefarious functions, and offers the assist wanted for the seize.
The Trace: Run fight as regular the primary spherical, however have one minion stand again looking the celebration for his or her meant goal, perhaps even calling them by identify. Then unleash all forces on the seize.
4. Add a Reactive Characteristic
As the sport grasp, you management time and area.
The monsters in your world aren’t static items of paper, however dynamic creatures.
Shock your gamers by including a brand new characteristic that reveals maturation.
Think about an underground creature with tentacles.
It usually lurks, grapples, and eats.
The gamers are prepared for this and know what actions the monster can take.
However by including a dynamic characteristic, you deliver shock to the sport.
Merely give the monster a dynamic response that triggers upon a participant’s motion.
Each time a spell is solid, the monster reacts.
Each time a motion is made, the monster reacts.
Each time the character strikes with a vital hit, the monster reacts.
You’ll be able to fill within the blanks with what sorts of actions the monster can take.
Possibly they nibble off just a few hit factors for sustenance.
Possibly they acquire a spell slot in response to the magic.
Or perhaps they name forth their mate to return to their assist.
The Story: This monster developed over time and realized from previous errors of its sort.
The Trace: Describe this monster with various colours, twice the eyes, or grant it speech.
When your gamers have exhausted their seek for books and stats, it’s time to get inventive.
Take these strategies and apply them to your sport.
Through the use of story and hints, draw your gamers to the sting of their seats in anticipation that that is no unusual monster.
Could your story proceed!
Focus on these sport grasp suggestions on this thread on the official Roleplaying Ideas neighborhood discussion board.