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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Just to Browse's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Un-advancing monsters: How to do it?

    There are already codified rules for advancing creatures to higher CRs by increasing their HD, ability score arrays, etc, or just giving them class levels.

    However there isn't a way of decreasing creature CR. Like there aren't any baby owlbear stats or "small tiger" rules. I want some of those, and I'm willing to write some, but I'm just pitching for ideas right now.

    The two options I see are:
    • Build creatures with class levels from the ground up. This takes effort and eyeballing and probably won't work well for simple monsters like lions which are just balls of damage + pounce
    • Remove HD and abilities. I can't just take away hit dice because that leaves "low-CR" monsters with powerful abilities and that won't do. But I don't have an easy way of determining which abilities to get rid of (when do I remove pounce from the list for a de-advanced lion? When do I decrease regeneration on a troll?)


    Suggestions for improving one of these two ideas, or any other ways of weakening monsters are much appreciated.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Un-advancing monsters: How to do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Just to Browse View Post
    Build creatures with class levels from the ground up. This takes effort and eyeballing and probably won't work well for simple monsters like lions which are just balls of damage + pounce
    This might be workable considering the number of monster classes floating about (not just GiTP, MinMax also has quite a few).

    Also a note on Pounce: It sometimes helps to break an ability down to scaling component parts. Like how a Dragon Disciple gives the Half-Dragon template over many levels. This isn't possible for all abilities, but in the case of pounce, you could have lesser pounce. E.g. only able to make attacks with 1 natural weapon. Then 2 natural weapons. Then all 3 (in the case of a lion). Then adding improved grab, and then rake.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Re: Un-advancing monsters: How to do it?

    I'd advise thinking about what you're representing with the weaker monster, and what abilities it would "make sense" for it to have. So a lion cub should still probably have pounce (IIRC they pounce even from a young age), but their smaller size and lower strength would mean it really wouldn't be that strong an ability.
    For mythical creatures such as trolls, you'd have to decide what's going on in the D&D universe. So you might decide that regeneration is a fundamental feature of trolls that they are born with and then grows with them (so a small troll might still have regeneration/fire or acid, but it would only be regeneration 1), or that it is something that comes along later.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Just to Browse's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Un-advancing monsters: How to do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeminiZero View Post
    This might be workable considering the number of monster classes floating about (not just GiTP, MinMax also has quite a few).

    Also a note on Pounce: It sometimes helps to break an ability down to scaling component parts. Like how a Dragon Disciple gives the Half-Dragon template over many levels. This isn't possible for all abilities, but in the case of pounce, you could have lesser pounce. E.g. only able to make attacks with 1 natural weapon. Then 2 natural weapons. Then all 3 (in the case of a lion). Then adding improved grab, and then rake.
    The idea is nice, but all the classes that have been made (especially osle's stuff) are meant as cool PC classes with a bunch of abilities. While this works for a Big Bad or maybe two, it gets swampy once DMs start sending out big swarms of creatures with lots of abilities (which those with monster classes are almost guaranteed to have).

    I really do like the idea of templating different tiers of pounce and just stamping those on to monster progressions. It could help curve animal-shape abuse too.

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