Monday, June 18, 2012

Where is The Grumpy Dwarf at Yo!

Mike Mearls' posting on monster design last week made sense for the most part. Heck, the man was using AD&D 2e as source material. Kinda hard to find fault in someone that does that.

The Grumpy Dwarf doesn't tear apart 5e posts for the sake of tearing apart 5e posts (although some may feel otherwise), he does so because something(s) in the post piss him off. Nothing last week really pissed him off, and the Rule of Three was boring as hell - so no Grumpy.

This week's Mike Mearls' Monster Mucking might get Grumpy to write something - we'll have to take a closer look at it. It won't be happening tonight, as I'll be running a DCC game and Grumpy Won't have access to to the computer ;)


  1. I'm surprised by the Hook Horror article getting a shrug. Without trying to impersonate Grumpy or reiterate my dislike of the 2e version of the beast:

    Story - Mearls doesn't rate the 'Horror's clicking as "eerie" (that term is in the 'Folio and 'Compendium), it's just a functional echolocation. So we're going away from anticipated creepy horrible thing (vulture-headed hook beast, argh!) towards hook beast.

    Mechanics - there are a number of wholesale changes here.

    Take the hooks. In 2e, the Hook Horror is a claw/claw/bite beast, which automatically hits with its bite if it gets two claw hits, and can keep auto-biting until "at least one of the hooks is dislodged". How do you dislodge a 2e Hook Horror hook? Can someone else do it? Will magic work - which spells? Propose something to the referee! Compare this to the Mearls: hooked creature only, their action, DC12 Strength check.

    Also note that echolocation and acute hearing are being conflated here. I don't see any reason why the 2e Hook Horror can't hear you breathing from behind a rock - but Mearls believes that this is a sure way to hide from the beast.

    Story Elements This one needs a direct quote: "I don't see the need to alter any of its story elements from the Monstrous Compendium... [hook horrors will now use a tactic of] pouncing on prey from above".

    I'm not sure I have a huge problem with someone deciding on Hook Horrors jumping on adventurers from above (though large, heavy bipeds don't strike me as natural plummeters). However, this is alteration - and if we take Mearls at his word, it's needless alteration.

    Frankly, Mearls' whole perspective is incredibly patronising. He explains, "We want to ensure that a stat block format gives you everything you need to run a creature, including a breakdown of its combat abilities. We might save noncombat abilities for its complete write up." This kind of spoon-feeding is a great way to pad out rulebooks, but it's no way to train creative referees.

  2. Mike has written much more offensive things than the first part of the Hook Horror - and as Grumpy can't type (it's those oversized dwarven fingers)i have to type for him, and i had two games to prep for last week.

    so, Grumpy got the shaft ;)


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