barbarians and surprise

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barbarians and surprise

Postby garhkal » Fri May 19, 2017 12:11 am

I just noticed in the barbarian write up under "Humans" in the MM< it says that "barbarians are adept at surprising opponents, giving them a -5 penalty to their checks". WOW. Never noticed that before.

SO if someone was playing a barbarian PC, would you extend that to them?
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Re: barbarians and surprise

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Sun May 21, 2017 12:42 am

No, and I'm not sure I'd use it even for NPC barbarian encounters. I can't see why they'd be so adept at surprise, and also don't see why they gave that ability to NPC barbarians when PC barbarians don't get that.
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Re: barbarians and surprise

Postby lanir » Mon May 22, 2017 10:52 am

Sometimes you can look at a mechanic like that in D&D and realize it only exists because someone was fiddling with a particular idea. "What if I made something that always surprised the party?" Then they go on to balance it in other ways. It's just a gimmick. If it fits what you want to do with your group then use it. If not, skip it.

I kind of view medusas in the same way. You'll notice every module that has one in it will also have a stone to flesh salve squirreled away somewhere.

Edit: Fixed wrong brackets around spell name.
Last edited by lanir on Mon May 22, 2017 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: barbarians and surprise

Postby garhkal » Mon May 22, 2017 2:04 pm

lanir wrote:I kind of view medusas in the same way. You'll notice every module that has one in it will also have a <i>stone to flesh</i> salve squirreled away somewhere.


Or giants that convieniently have a 'giant slayer sword' lying around..
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Re: barbarians and surprise

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Tue May 23, 2017 1:30 am

I never liked that either. You'd think a group of giants would want to destroy a sword of giant slaying! :pos:
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Re: barbarians and surprise

Postby lanir » Tue May 23, 2017 8:03 am

The one thing about every version of D&D I've played so far is there are always more gimmicks. If you don't like one, pass on it and use creatures that have a different trick. The only problem comes in if you dislike the whole concept and then... You have some limits on what monsters you can use but there are still quite a few. They're mostly down to three big stats that matter then. HD, AC, and whatever attack forms they have. Movement and intelligence might matter too but not necessarily. The players won't see every stat you do so you may have to work a little bit to keep the monsters from feeling the same.
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Re: barbarians and surprise

Postby garhkal » Tue May 23, 2017 1:36 pm

Halaster-Blackcloak wrote:I never liked that either. You'd think a group of giants would want to destroy a sword of giant slaying! :pos:


Now i can understand SOME thinking that maybe a giant leader MIGHT (emphasis in might) Keep one around to help him KEEP control, but that's ONLY when the weapon is being WIELDED by that leader, and not just sitting in the lair's treasure horde, or as a display (like G1 did).

And IMO MOST smart foes if they find a magical weapon that's a 'bane' to their kind, would destroy it as soon as they figure out what it is..
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Re: barbarians and surprise

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Tue May 23, 2017 10:58 pm

Garhkal wrote:

Now i can understand SOME thinking that maybe a giant leader MIGHT (emphasis in might) Keep one around to help him KEEP control, but that's ONLY when the weapon is being WIELDED by that leader, and not just sitting in the lair's treasure horde, or as a display (like G1 did).

And IMO MOST smart foes if they find a magical weapon that's a 'bane' to their kind, would destroy it as soon as they figure out what it is..


That would make sense, a giant chieftain or something keeping a sword like that in order to retain power. Good thinking!
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Re: barbarians and surprise

Postby garhkal » Wed May 24, 2017 12:31 am

But as i said, the one in G1 (and the latter one in g2) are NOT weilded by the chieftains. IIRC the one in G1 is in a cubby, as a statue's sword.. i forget where the G2 one is... THAT makes no damn sense..
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Re: barbarians and surprise

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Wed May 24, 2017 2:12 am

Yeah, that is odd. It doesn't make any sense. I try not to leave "easy outs" like that for the PCs.
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Re: barbarians and surprise

Postby garhkal » Wed May 24, 2017 12:11 pm

Now, i can see some who would say "scrolls of stone to flesh being in the treasure horde of some monsters, figuring that they were ON valiant adventurers before who lost out to the monsters".. BUT then i am reminded "If those adventurers had those items, WOULDN'T they have been ON THEIR person when they were turned to stone, and thus not IN the monster's treasure horde?

Same with scrolls vs undead being on the dead corpses of those who fell to ghouls...
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Re: barbarians and surprise

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Thu May 25, 2017 12:05 am

I could almost see the scroll issue being possible. If the ghoul won initiative - or even lost initiative to the PC and the PC tried using a weapon or other item against it - then on the ghoul's attack round the PC was paralyzed, well that might be the explanation. Even if other PCs were around, maybe they didn't know he had the scroll. Yeah, it's a huge stretch, but at least possible. But yeah, with the petrification issue there's really no way around it. The scroll got turned to stone too.
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Re: barbarians and surprise

Postby lanir » Mon May 29, 2017 2:56 pm

Nah. Chicken and egg problem. The right question after someone pops off that sort of excuse is:

"If that poor sod knew about this danger but his group was so inept they failed even with that knowledge, how come our obviously more competent group had no idea?"

Most people who would give that excuse will have no answer to your question but if they do at least you'll get a good story out of it.
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