15 votes

D&D’s new book has a setting other than ‘Kill’

7 comments

  1. LukeZaz
    Link
    Well this kinda sucks. I'm DMing Curse of Strahd right now1 and hearing that there won't be stat blocks for some stuff leaves me a bit upset honestly. I get that people feel that having them kinda...

    Well this kinda sucks. I'm DMing Curse of Strahd right now1 and hearing that there won't be stat blocks for some stuff leaves me a bit upset honestly. I get that people feel that having them kinda encourages killing the thing in question, but it doesn't necessitate it by any means, and leaving them out just means that when many groups inevitably try to kill it anyway the DM is left with their pants down.

    If you want to encourage solving problems with more than just "kill the bad guy," maybe it'd be better to just include a paragraph to advocate for it & give ideas? Gutting other content in favor of this just leaves folks missing the stuff you excised, and that'll sting all the more for it not being necessary.

    1. And no, I'm not @moocow1452's brother :P

    9 votes
  2. [6]
    moocow1452
    Link
    My brother is a DM for our run through of Curse of Strahd, and he's a little bit miffed about the stat block issue because that was the first thing he heard about the book, but he figured the...

    My brother is a DM for our run through of Curse of Strahd, and he's a little bit miffed about the stat block issue because that was the first thing he heard about the book, but he figured the internet would stat all of the baddies anyway, and if there are ways to beat, best and bullshit adversaries aside from having higher numbers and more turns, I'm all for it.

    2 votes
    1. [5]
      LukeZaz
      Link Parent
      My problem with this though is that this won't be balanced & thoroughly tested like official content would be. I just don't see how removing this was necessary to achieve this effect. Feels like...

      but he figured the internet would stat all of the baddies anyway,

      My problem with this though is that this won't be balanced & thoroughly tested like official content would be. I just don't see how removing this was necessary to achieve this effect. Feels like now we'll get subpar stats at best in favor of an outcome that's not guaranteed to happen anyway — after all, everyone's first thought will almost certainly be to kill the big villain whether he's got a stat block or not.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        PapaNachos
        Link Parent
        My copy arrived today, and I've only read through parts of it, but what I've read specifically mentions that for the sort of villains listed in this book, death is temporary. So even if your PC's...

        My copy arrived today, and I've only read through parts of it, but what I've read specifically mentions that for the sort of villains listed in this book, death is temporary. So even if your PC's first reaction is murder, that's fine. The forces keeping the villains imprisoned are going to revive them sooner or later.

        And by not having stats it might encourage DMs to actually engage with the new paradigm more directly. As a player and DM for about 15 years now, my first reaction on getting a new book is to seek out the "crunch", which is to say defined stats and abilities. Not having a stat block to just lift and use means that I have to spend some time being like "wait a second, what's going on here", which provides an opportunity for me to grow as a DM

        5 votes
        1. [3]
          LukeZaz
          Link Parent
          I dunno, I don't feel like I'd grow any if I found out there were no stat blocks for a villain — just irritated. Sure, I might think about what the book has in mind for said villain if fighting...

          I dunno, I don't feel like I'd grow any if I found out there were no stat blocks for a villain — just irritated. Sure, I might think about what the book has in mind for said villain if fighting them isn't the goal, but a few paragraphs in the book discussing the concept would do a lot more to guide that thought than just leaving out content.

          I feel a case could be made for changing the format of the statblock, since that'd catch attention without cutting content, but I still really think statblocks should be included.

          1. [2]
            PapaNachos
            Link Parent
            I checked what the actual book says and it's more appropriate to say they don't have unique stat blocks. Every Darklord listed in the book references something from either the book itself or the...

            I checked what the actual book says and it's more appropriate to say they don't have unique stat blocks. Every Darklord listed in the book references something from either the book itself or the monster manual to base its stats off. For example, "[Strahd's] statistics are similar to those of a vampire...". It goes on to say he's a powerful caster and list some of his unique abilities that aren't really combat relevant.

            According to the chapter about Darklords, every one of the examples listed in the book has a monster you can reference either later in the book or the monster manual.

            This seems like a perfectly reasonable way to run it. And I would even go a step further to say that because of the unique nature of The Mists, it wouldn't be unreasonable to have a Darklord's power fluctuate from scene to scene. Sometimes they might be a frail old man wracked with guilt and regret, other times they might be empowered by their own hatred and greed into becoming something superhuman.

            4 votes
            1. LukeZaz
              Link Parent
              It is better than "no stat block," which is what I was afraid of, but it's still disappointing overall. In some cases it doesn't end up mattering much because the Darklord in question is...

              It is better than "no stat block," which is what I was afraid of, but it's still disappointing overall. In some cases it doesn't end up mattering much because the Darklord in question is elaborated on in another book ‐ the prime example being Strahd, of course – but for the rest it's really a shame.

              Having their power fluctuate can certainly be an interesting idea, but that in and of itself can be included in the statblock most times, and/or left to the DM to interpret.

              I should be clear that, this all said, I still love the book so far. Darkon in particular looks like a really interesting concept, and reading through all the various domains has been very interesting overall. It's also nice to finally have some slightly more detailed fear/stress mechanics available.