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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Stalker (5E Monster)

    The lands Stalker inhabits are strewn with strange populations of blinded bears and other animals. Nearby villagers come home terrified and permanently blinded, as Stalker wanders. His territory is amorphous but he does not migrate.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Vibranium: If it was on the periodic table, its chemical symbol would be "Bs".

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jul 2019

    Default Re: Stalker (5E Monster)

    Interesting creature, but I think it needs to do more damage. With only a single attack (and with only a +7 to hit), it's DPR is gonna be LOW. Even if you assume advantage on the attack via its tongue ability, the expected DPR against an AC 22 frontliner (paladin, fighter, etc) is 12.97. Even a 7th level character can weather this thing for rounds with hit points alone.

    It has good hit points, very good AC, and a constant blur, so the defenses are great. The tongue is going to be really annoying, especially to martial characters that don't really have an option to break a grapple aside from Str/Athletics checks (which they will have disadvantage on). But the low damage I think is going to push this into tedium. It'll take forever to kill, but won't really threaten anything - unless it can drag people into environmental hazards, in which case it's going to feel pretty cheesed.

    I think you'd be better served by making the tongue easier to get out of (don't inflict disadvantage on Str checks, that's just martial-hate), but make the tongues do damage. Maybe have the tongues do acid damage at the beginning of the turn. That way characters are going to *want* to get out of it, but are unlikely to just get shut down - and they can tactically take the damage and attack, if they want to go that route.

    Another route would be for it to use its bite attack against all adjacent targets that are caught by its tongue. Dragging in the whole party and giving them all a chomp is a great way to do a lot of damage but also not focus it on any particular character.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground

    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Stalker (5E Monster)

    I kind of get it. The description seems apt - it doesn't want to fight, but just to blind people... hence the paltry attacks. Its interesting, but worry it won't be fun.

    Firstly, there really isn't that much drama. Will anyone die? Well if its at all level appropriate, they won't - the damage just isn't there.

    Secondly, the restrain on hit thing is really annoying. If you build a character for strength, this is one of the things you should expect to avoid. Instead of it being a check vs strength or a strength save its based on AC and your wizard with shield and mage armour is better than the barbarian. Sure, the barbarian is better at using an action to break free but better to not get grabbed at all.

    Thirdly, the blindness effects are annoyin. No impact on combat and either you screw one (or more) people with a blindness conditon that they can't shift or you just slap a spell slot tax on a cleric to remove it. Its more hoops to jump through with no reward.

    Fourthly no one can see it. So this basically means most spellcasters don't get to play the game. They get to sit about whilst a non-threatening monster is attacked endlessly with disadvantage (because can't see it) untill enough hits land on its AC 20 hide to eat through its 200+ HP. Its a long time to sit out of a session.

    Fifthly, some of its abilities don't stack. So you beat the restrained condition, due to high AC or breaking free... you still can't see it. Its just the same as if you had failed - you still attack with disadvantage and it still has advantage against you. It gives no satisfaction for succeeding at this if there is no benefit.

    I think the idea is great, but to be fun you might want to work on the execution. I would suggest something like an aura of doing bad things to people - you have all these great tools to grab people and pull them in; make them work for the monster. Maybe keep the monster hidden, but behind illusions instead and allow casters to interact with the monster a little more easily. At CR10 you can consider adding legendary resistance, magic resistance and legendary reactions to bolster any weakness you think this might provide.

    I would also buff its damage (though an aura could do that) and lower its defence a little. Make it feel like a danger. AC20 is high-ish but the shifting hypnotic hide you describe might be better represented as a mirror image or similar type of effect - something to be burned through to give a sense of progress.

    Its a cool monster, and I want to like it, but I feel if I were a player I wouldn't really enjoy an encounter with it.

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