A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    I know there is a certain "metagame" going on within RPG systems. I am taking D&Desque approach because that is familiar to most of you. I want to know if you still target immune characters with stuff.

    Example group:
    Paladin is immune to mind affecting stuff and disease.
    Druid is immune to poison and summons a fire elemental.
    Tiefling Rogue has evasion and resists fire, cold and electricity.
    The wizard has protection from missiles and shield up.

    Would you target the wizard with magic missile or arrows? Would you use your succubus to try and seduce the paladin infight? Fireball the fire elemental and rogue? Try to poison the druid? Or would you go the opposite? Poison the wizard, fireball the wizard and paladin, seduce the rogue?

    Wasting ones turns for the sake of RP seems feasible, but a bit pointless if only one side does it. On the other hand, I feel it should be obvious the zealous paladin does not easily succumb to a demon's lures, or the fast rogue is hit by a big explosion. On the other hand, it does make a fair few very good class features just pointless, when you're never targetted anyhow.

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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Yeah, I'd say try to avoid targeting or not targeting specific character abilities. Try to just design adventures and scenarios that make sense for the setting and are fun for you. It's impossible to totally be unaware of the characters' abilities, and I think it's ok to purposefully challenge them or give them an easy fight on rare occasion- but mostly I'd try to keep that consideration out of my mind as best I could.

    When it comes to RPing monsters and enemies, and you're not sure if they should attempt using a power you know won't work, let a die roll decide. Maybe a perception or intelligence check, maybe just a random 50/50.
    Last edited by Thrudd; 2021-10-23 at 07:04 AM.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Plus it's an awesome moment when the succubus comes up and tries their seduction on the paladin player only for a big grin to cross the players face as they get to make some witty "I'm sorry, but you're not my type" style comeback (followed by repeated stabbings).

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Things that are obvious are obvious.
    You don't use fire on the fire elemental, for example.

    But unless you have special knowledge about the wizard, using arrows or magic missile is absolutely valid.

    It should also be possible for the attacker to take a guess and be wrong. Like, if someone summons a fire creature, he might have a special connection to fire, so don't fireball him.

    So, try to forget the things you know and instead go by the things the attacker would know.
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    All the discussion of how weird the half-hour start is seems weirdly prescient, in retrospect.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
    Things that are obvious are obvious.
    You don't use fire on the fire elemental, for example.
    .
    I do not know.
    Maybe fire elementals can be killed with regular fire and are tough only to magical fire due to being one only with magical fire?
    It depends on the table probably.
    Last edited by noob; 2021-10-23 at 07:47 AM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    I do not know.
    Maybe fire elementals can be killed with regular fire and are tough only to magical fire due to being one only with magical fire?
    It depends on the table probably.
    Is this a serious suggestion? Because I have never heard anyone saying "Hey, wouldn't it be a great idea to attack a being made of fire with fire?".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unavenger View Post
    All the discussion of how weird the half-hour start is seems weirdly prescient, in retrospect.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
    Can I use my prediction of the half an hour being used to set up Factional chats as proof I am the Seer?
    Quote Originally Posted by rogue_alchemist View Post
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    It depends. Let's first make a distinction between few types of games:

    1) Games where I, as a game master, have perfect information and no particular rules for how to play enemy characters.

    2) Games where I have perfect information and am subject to some rules on how to play enemy characters.

    3) Games where I don't have perfect information but am better at predicting my players than they are at predicting me.

    4) Games where I don't have perfect information and my players are better at predicting me than I am at predicting them.

    5) Games which are too chaotic to predict.

    The answers for each are:

    1) Never target immunities or good resistances except when I want my players to win or am playing some complex strategy which requires lulling the players into a false sense of security.

    2) Never target immunities or good resistances except when no legal options are present, otherwise like above.

    3) Only target immunities or good resistances by mistake which, depending on the game, may reduce to one of the cases above, otherwise being somewhere below 50% of the time.

    4) Forced by player action to target immunities or good resistances more than 50% of the time.

    5) Can make no principled decision of how often to attack immunities or good resistances.

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    The DM should never meta game, if the NPCs know the weaknesses of the PCs and have the means to target those weaknesses only then should they do it. In fact if the enemies are organized and use strategy then that probably relies on communication: the NPCs should be shouting orders at each other, may be encrypted or in a language the PCs do not understand. But the DM should narrate that.

    If the PCs are constantly meta gaming/cheating and you need them to stop then tell them not to, give rewards to players that roleplay.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Depends on the enemy. Probably about 25% of the time, usually to telegraph the enemy's powers before I use them on someone who is likely to fail their save.

    Smarter enemies may test player defenses with lower-level spells that were unlikely to succeed.

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    If the monsters don't know about the immunity, then they'll target whoever they feel like. If they do, they'll try to be effective. That simple.

    And things like "all paladins are immune to fear" are meta enough to not be visible--both "X is a paladin" and "paladins are Y" aren't well defined things in universe.
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    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    I don't tailor encounters to character stats, one way or another.
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    The DM should never meta game, if the NPCs know the weaknesses of the PCs and have the means to target those weaknesses only then should they do it.
    Thing is, every other creature is smart enough to judge their enemy. I would really not feel it like metagaming if the wizard has informed a potential mercenary group of the rough past exploits of the party, and thus conclude a common strategy beforehand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I don't tailor encounters to character stats, one way or another.
    One absolutely should tailor some encounters to the player's strengths and weaknesses imho. Fighting a lot of demons is making the paladin happy and stand out, meanwhile a few morally grey assassins that challenge the knight's ethos while the rogue can stab away happily is nice too. I am not talking about a enemy enchanter wizard that exclusively focusses on the horrible charisma save of the druid just to bully a player's decision, but if a charisma save comes up, you will pay the price for dumping it.

    I am unsure if you mean that at all though. I have had the epiphany of using a playmat and squares is an absolute must at least for D&D as far as I am concerned because suddenly many abilities, spells and class features get their value adjusted. Maybe using less homebrew monsters and encounters is another such a thing, even if it only culls the possibility for harassing some players too much.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    i try to play npcs to their intelligence.
    everyone will recognize that the guy in heavy armor waving the holy symbol around is a cleric, and will expect him to have good will saves, so he won't be hit often with will-based effects. they'll use those on the rogue (recognizable as the lightly armored, dual wielding dude) instead.
    then again, among my players the wizard has spent a fortune in defensive items, and he's got the best AC in the party. But the enemies have no way of knowing that, and so they'll still try to hit the "squishy" wizard.

    only recurring enemies with access to good information may tailor their combat to the party's capacity; and generally the party will also know about them.
    Last edited by King of Nowhere; 2021-10-23 at 02:18 PM.
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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    I think players enjoy being able to "nope!" monsters from time to time.

    I also think that as long as you run your monsters as not really knowing the PCs well (unless they have reason to), such moments will arise organically without you having to force them.

    Enemies with experience fighting adventurer types or who have reason to use divination magic to learn about the PCs specifically are an obvious exception.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    I never deliberately target a specific character in creating an encounter. Players feel that the DM is cheating if they create encounters that target a specific character’s weakness.

    Since I have perfect knowledge of the situation and (should have) perfect knowledge of the PCs abilities I play the opponents as pretty dumb. The guy in heavy armor could be a fighter, a cleric, or a Paladin. The guy in leather armor could be a Barbarian, a rogue or a ranger and so on. So until the party takes an action that identifies character class or the attackers have reason to have prior knowledge the attackers will not act as if they know the PC’s classes. NB I consider looking at a character’s equipment and inferring class from that as meta-gaming to be avoided.

    If randomly selecting targets, in the first round I will not target a PC that has a specific weakness to that type of attack. After the first round the party has been warned.

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    I feel like ideally, most foes should be built / set up without the PCs in mind, and should only use what knowledge they have available (which can include guessing, but that guessing should sometimes be wrong).

    So if a PC is a huge brawny warrior? Yeah, probably not using Fortitude, probably using Will. But if they're actually a Magus and have a good Will save? Same tactics, because the enemies don't know that until they try.

    A monk wearing robes and a wizard hat is usually going to be mistaken for a caster and foes will try to grapple them - until one of them gets counter-grappled or flurried, anyway. Likewise a psion wearing full plate will likely be mistaken for a warrior until their actions prove otherwise.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-10-24 at 05:39 AM.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Heaven forbid the GM have to comprehend the concept of role-playing in a role-playing game.

    To quote Forest Gump, "that's all I have to say about that".

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
    Is this a serious suggestion? Because I have never heard anyone saying "Hey, wouldn't it be a great idea to attack a being made of fire with fire?".
    I mean, flesh creatures seem vulnerable to flesh. Isn't it kinda weird that fire creatures are immune to fire? (Color blue to taste)

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    I had a player who was so excited to use his new spell that he proudly whipped it out on the next fight. Pity it was firestorm and we were fighting fire giants...
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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Depends on the critter.

    Smart ones with time to prep? Will review all info on opponents & prepare to bypass or defeat known defenses. Won't throw stuff the party has demonstrated resistance to.

    Smart ones without prep? Run off what they can see, re-evaluate as they get more info. Depending on specifics they may open with something that is rarely resisted by anything or perhaps something that hits lost of common resistances at once.

    Most regular folk will try their best shot, whatever it is. The organized ones will have a backup, others may panic if their thing doesn't work. Will improvise if required to fight and their best shot is resisted.

    One trick ponys will use their trick. If it fails they may panic or flee.

    Unintelligent creatures act on instinct & experiences, commonly fleeing if they can't affect an opponent.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    The usual bits with smart vs dumb enemies, prepared vs unprepared.

    The one big detail that seems to stay relevant is: while the PCs may be immune, their hirelings rarely are >:)
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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    I also think that as long as you run your monsters as not really knowing the PCs well (unless they have reason to), such moments will arise organically without you having to force them.
    That is what I have found.
    Enemies with experience fighting adventurer types or who have reason to use divination magic to learn about the PCs specifically are an obvious exception.
    Yeah; smart enemies play smart, but they are not omniscient. That's how I work it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    Smart ones with time to prep? Will review all info on opponents & prepare to bypass or defeat known defenses. Won't throw stuff the party has demonstrated resistance to.

    Smart ones without prep? Run off what they can see, re-evaluate as they get more info. Depending on specifics they may open with something that is rarely resisted by anything or perhaps something that hits lost of common resistances at once.

    Most regular folk will try their best shot, whatever it is. The organized ones will have a backup, others may panic if their thing doesn't work. Will improvise if required to fight and their best shot is resisted.

    One trick ponys will use their trick. If it fails they may panic or flee.

    Unintelligent creatures act on instinct & experiences, commonly fleeing if they can't affect an opponent.
    That's a great approach, thanks for summarizing that.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
    Is this a serious suggestion? Because I have never heard anyone saying "Hey, wouldn't it be a great idea to attack a being made of fire with fire?".
    You know the old saying; you fight fire with fire.

    Edit*= Is this something I should put in blue text? I am not sure how that works.
    Last edited by Easy e; 2021-10-27 at 02:38 PM.
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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    I think players enjoy being able to "nope!" monsters from time to time.
    This. And especially if it's a preferred tactic of the monster. A succubus isn't going to check for a Death Ward before going in for the kiss, they get off on it regardless. And a dragon will aim its breath to cover as many party members as possible even if some of them have energy protection.

    With that said, a particularly intelligent/savvy foe may know some things. A master Assassin sent after a Druid is not going to bother poisoning their weapons for instance.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    I think players enjoy being able to "nope!" monsters from time to time.

    I also think that as long as you run your monsters as not really knowing the PCs well (unless they have reason to), such moments will arise organically without you having to force them.

    Enemies with experience fighting adventurer types or who have reason to use divination magic to learn about the PCs specifically are an obvious exception.
    The worry I'd have is the effect of it skewing their observations.

    Suppose the player gets fireballed 100 times and 7 get through their fireshield and they also get iced 3 times out of 4.
    I'd worry that they'll "notice" that their fire resistance isn't working because they've been flamed twice as often as they've been iced.

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Better than "my fire shield works, probably, but it doesn't do ****, because nobody ever targets me with fire" innit?

    I really doubt anyone in a campaign where they get fireballed 25x as much as they get iced is going to think fire shield isn't worth.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-10-27 at 03:59 PM.

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    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Less often as the players go up in levels and fame.

    To an extent, the abilities of characters in the world should be known in a general sense. Paladins are immune to fear; halflings are resistant to it. Therefore, unless you don't have a choice, you don't use as many fear effects against them.

    But, at lower levels, this is less true. Maybe the Paladin isn't powerful enough yet to be immune to fear? Maybe the halfling isn't that fearless, compared to other halflings? When the enemies are less powerful, these are more of an option.

    But, as levels go up, and fame accumulates, intelligent enemies should know. Ser Gorden is a powerful paladin, strong in his faith, and you're not going to be able to make him afraid. Bilba the Nimble will get through your fireballs without singeing her golden hair. These may not be 100% true... Ser Gorden may be a Paladin dip who's mostly got levels in Fighter... but the combination of fame and stereotypes should mean that more powerful characters rarely get their strengths tested, except by people who want to prove that they're stronger.
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    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    It's a good excuse to throw more of it at the party.
    Would you be willing to throw at the party 3 intellect devourers per member of the party?
    Does your answer change if all of them have proficiency in int saves?
    Will your play group remember that?
    Use their strengths to push the limits of what you can get away with.

    Use sarcastic numbers of enemies to make the AoE glorious, use massive amounts of damage at those resistances. Etc, Etc.
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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    One of the advantages of open tables with pick up groups is you don't start to memorize the PCs capabilities.

    But generally speaking, no, avoid tailoring stuff to the PCs or group as much as you can. Not easy obviously, given that DM-NPC separation is just as much a myth as player-character separation. But tailoring is chiseled into stone tablets from days of old to be handed down as one of the ten RPG sins.

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    Griffon

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    One of the advantages of open tables with pick up groups is you don't start to memorize the PCs capabilities.

    But generally speaking, no, avoid tailoring stuff to the PCs or group as much as you can. Not easy obviously, given that DM-NPC separation is just as much a myth as player-character separation. But tailoring is chiseled into stone tablets from days of old to be handed down as one of the ten RPG sins.
    But...but....what do I do with my linear guild now?

    With my monk scoffing at the blacksmith's love for weapons and armor?
    With the Cthulhu cultist showing the shadow summoner what horrors truly lurk in the dark?
    Or the cleric of the Kraken god trying to drown the Fire Genasi bard's flame?

    What about theming, about anathemas and holding up a mirror in front of the PCs? Not that this is particularly elegant storytelling...

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    Default Re: How often do you target "good saves" or "immunities" on players

    Quote Originally Posted by Spore View Post
    Not that this is particularly elegant storytelling...
    Stop trying to tell stories and give the players a living breathing world for any characters they choose to bring to the table to interact with in character, and face consequences for their decisions?

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