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Reaper Bones 5 : Enthusiasm and Commentary Thread

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It's fascinatingly circular to see people treating D&D like a tactical wargame, with real concerns about base sizes, the exact sizes of Elder Brains, heights of giants and the appearance or non-appearance of creatures in official tomes.

 

I'm not criticising in any way: the way you want to play is the way you play, but as a 1983-era D&D initiate it is strange to me to be so proscriptive in an RPG - at my table a three headed troll mini (for example)  would just be a troll with three heads, give it two extra bite attacks and roll for initiative, and a taller or shorter giant would be just that,  adjust the HP total to either extreme as appropriate. A good-looking mini that doesn't match anything in the MM is an opportunity for a novel encounter! 

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I more or less agree with the above few comments. I started with 2nd Edition D&D and for the first 10 or so years I played, if we did use physical aids at all, it was things like bottle tops, coins and erasers. And that was a lot of fun. 

 

But I must say I do like how visual and “board gamey” D&D has since become with the emphasis on miniatures and maps and scenery and stuff. I find the eye-pleasing, tactile nature of modern D&D enhances my theatre of the mind rather than detracts from it. And since I like the lore of D&D, and there are so many options for visually accurate miniatures to choose from, I say “Why not use them?”

 

I’m not bothered by things like slight size issues or minor physical discrepancies though. I just figure that since there’s a lot of variations within species’ in the real world, why wouldn’t there be in a fantasy world too?

Edited by Kalibak
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1 hour ago, TGP said:

What happened to the fine tradition of inventing creatures to throw at your player characters?

 

I know there are players of D&D who will complain if creatures don't use the "right" stats. Those players would be ... uncomfortable in any game I run.

 

"But ghouls are medium creatures and have only 3 HD, so they can't be more than 27 HP! We've done 85 points of damage to that creature, and it's Small!"

"The ghoul casts a fireball that gets your entire group. You've never seen a chartreuse fireball before. Take 34 points of damage or 17 if you save. Did I mention that it's a DC 19 Fort save?"

"Ghouls can't do that! Nobody can do that!"

"Huh .... So should I take that as you delaying your action or do you want to do something now?"

 

:devil:

10 hours ago, strawhat said:

 

TPK due to snack-time?

 

Think of it as incentive to bring a painted mini, particularly a metal mini. If you're not an M&M, you're probably not going to be involved in the Great Munchening.

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Well... 

 

I see both sides. A lot of my friends just run adventure paths. The monsters are established and codified. So, while they could make up their own monsters, it defeats the reason they are running adventure paths... (quick and easy to run without as much prep).

 

I run a homebrew game. So, I am much more likely to create my own monsters... Using Doug's example above. That ghoul could have class levels. Wait, its a ghoul Samurai?!!! Also I use monster alignment as a stereotype, not a hard fast rule. So my players encountering a Red Dragon (or the ghoul samurai) never go in to the encounter knowing if it is a bad guy or potential ally.

 

Though I will say, I find things like the Wolf dragon/ dragon wold less helpful. As while I will make it a monster, sure... I will probably only use it once... Unless for some reason it becomes the focus of the game... and i dont find the sculpt that provocative to base a whole campaign on. 

 

As far as traditional monsters... If something is supposed to be human size, i expect it to be human size. If its not, then its use become limited. And if i see my use of something is limited, it moves it down on my priority to buy list. So the succubus/incubus on 40mm moved down a notch for me. Again, I could make a reason for them being larger in my game... but then would i use them in another game? Yeah these succubi also drank that akchemists experimental growth hormone... just like the ones in that other game... there really shoild be a warning label....

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Was there an official announcement that the base size was changed. When I watched the episode, they were not sure what base size it was.

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7 minutes ago, Smokestack said:

As far as traditional monsters... If something is supposed to be human size, i expect it to be human size. If its not, then its use become limited. And if i see my use of something is limited, it moves it down on my priority to buy list. So the succubus/incubus on 40mm moved down a notch for me. Again, I could make a reason for them being larger in my game... but then would i use them in another game? Yeah these succubi also drank that akchemists experimental growth hormone... just like the ones in that other game... there really shoild be a warning label....

 

I do get that, but then I don't really paint minis specifically for RPGs, even though I use my painted minis for RPGs. I'm simply not (and never have been) a fast enough painter to say, "Next Friday's game needs 8 town guards, 6 Drow and a Drider, and 2 Hill Giants" and have them ready. (Heck, I'm more likely to say, "Wait, a hill giant? I have a great hill giant model! I should paint that. Soon™." :poke:

 

For RPGs I use markers, which might be D&D Miniatures prepaints, disks with labels, proxies that aren't too obnoxious, scraps of paper, whatever. Or miniatures I've previously painted that work. For whatever reason, I almost never use unpainted minis as markers.

 

So for me, I'm interested in figures more as pieces of art, for which those succubi will work great. And when there's a mini that turns out interestingly, I'm willing to build NPCs to suit miniatures, too.

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Don't forget some of the succubi/incubus are laying down so imho it makes sense for those to have larger bases and still be medium and would be unrealistic on the 1in bases.

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I also run adventure paths. I run them because I'm lazy and don't want to have to write a story. So I treat a lot of APs as outlines instead of exact step by step instructions. I toss in odd things all the time. Have to, I have players that couldn't follow a railroad to save their lives, or more their PCs lives :devil:

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It's worth remembering that the 5e DMG explicitly makes allowance for using miniatures that don't have the "proper" base size.

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The dragon wolf is simply a half-dragon dire wolf. That's one of the great things about 3/3.5/pathfinder 1, there's a ton of easy templates to modify creatures.

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6 hours ago, Smokestack said:

Well... 

 

I see both sides. A lot of my friends just run adventure paths. The monsters are established and codified. So, while they could make up their own monsters, it defeats the reason they are running adventure paths... (quick and easy to run without as much prep).

 

I run a homebrew game. So, I am much more likely to create my own monsters... Using Doug's example above. That ghoul could have class levels. Wait, its a ghoul Samurai?!!! Also I use monster alignment as a stereotype, not a hard fast rule. So my players encountering a Red Dragon (or the ghoul samurai) never go in to the encounter knowing if it is a bad guy or potential ally.

 

Though I will say, I find things like the Wolf dragon/ dragon wold less helpful. As while I will make it a monster, sure... I will probably only use it once... Unless for some reason it becomes the focus of the game... and i dont find the sculpt that provocative to base a whole campaign on. 

 

As far as traditional monsters... If something is supposed to be human size, i expect it to be human size. If its not, then its use become limited. And if i see my use of something is limited, it moves it down on my priority to buy list. So the succubus/incubus on 40mm moved down a notch for me. Again, I could make a reason for them being larger in my game... but then would i use them in another game? Yeah these succubi also drank that akchemists experimental growth hormone... just like the ones in that other game... there really shoild be a warning label....

The thing is, adult human size can vary from significantly less than 60 inches tall to more than 78 inches tall with weights in proportion.

That means the monsters can have a similar range of variability.  And not all monsters need to plot on the Good/Evil - Lawful/Chaotic plot, some of them can be just plain Random / Hungry.

GEM

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To add to critical hit's list (from a largely 3e viewpoint):

 

Boulderkin = Galeb Duhr

Dragon Wolf = Half-Dragon or Half-Fiend Dire Wolf

Gem Dragon = Gem Dragons (Tamiya Clears can dye them just about any color, and keep the translucency)

Three-Headed Troll = Mutant Ettin or Fell Troll (depending on size), or any giant with the Multi-headed template.

The Thing in the Well = Mind Flayer Elder Brain (advanced to 39 HD to make it Huge)

Dire Cabbage = Mimic

Overgourd = Beholder, Mimic, or Beholder/Manitou (Loumara demon) hybrid monster.

Dragon-Lion = Dragonne or Half-Dragon or Half-Fiend Tiger/Smilodon, etc.

1001 (Surkar, Orc Shaman) = Orc shaman

1016 (Bane Larva) = advanced Large Grick, or a Carrion Crawler

1017 (Bog Homonculus) = some type of fiend

1020 (Nightcloak) = Cloaker or one of the monstrous bat species from Monsters of Faerun (I forget their names)

1025 = Advanced (Large) Basilisk - which is exactly what they intended it to be, by the way.

1029 = (Krampus) = Half-Fiend or fiendish troll (especially one from union with a Goristro) or a half-troll Minotaur.

Goroloth = Aboleth (it's the correct size for every D&D edition except 5e)

Yog-Sothoth = Lovecraft Outer God. Adapt stats from Call of Cthulhu d20, or just make up your own stats.  Would actually work fairly well for a D&D Sibriex (advanced to Huge or larger; I'm not exactly sure how big that mini will be)

Leucrotta = Leucrotta

Cerberus = Cerberus = best 3e analogue would be an advanced Brachyurus (wolf-like monster from the Epic Level Handbook) with the Multi-Headed template.

 

Templates are a great thing...

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8 hours ago, TGP said:

 

I don’t understand this lack of love for the dragon-wolf. What happened to the fine tradition of inventing creatures to throw at your player characters?

I absolutely LOVE the dragon wolf.  I'm looking forward to painting one!

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6 hours ago, Corsair said:

Was there an official announcement that the base size was changed. When I watched the episode, they were not sure what base size it was.

He waffled a bit, then said he thinks they were inch-and-a-half.  Sure, it's not a 100% official confirmation, but the fact he couldn't flat-out pin it down to "D&D game piece size" is a bit telling.  I intend to hound Ron about getting some test prints out next to Sir Forscale.

 

1 minute ago, WhiteWulfe said:

I absolutely LOVE the dragon wolf.  I'm looking forward to painting one!

Me too.  I hope to get at least 5, so I can make different Red, Blue, Green, Black, and White ones.  That's the biggest reason I'm salty about the way they bundled it in with the other Core set dragons.

 

It's the same reason I'm ecstatic that the Dragon-Lion and the Gem Dragon are stand-alone add-ons.

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4 hours ago, alchemist said:

It's worth remembering that the 5e DMG explicitly makes allowance for using miniatures that don't have the "proper" base size.

While this is true.  Almost every terrain and battlemap used for D&D does not....

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