Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Converting to Tunnels & Trolls - Part 2.5 - Monster Rating Redux

Setting something straight before I go any further - I am in no way questioning or challenging the T&T Monster Rating (MR), how it works, or how it is interpreted in gaming terms.

The point I guess I have been doing a poor job of making when corresponding on other blogs is this: if you cater the monsters to match the strength of the party to pose an appropriate or 'real' challenge to the party, what makes a monster unique?

You have an Orc, a Goblin, a Bugbear, and a Gnoll...they are all MR60...what makes each monster different? If you are constantly changing the MR to match the party strength, what makes a unique monster a unique monster other than changing its name?

Some monsters should have a minimum MR in my mind. A dragon is something that you see and you either run away or you draw your sword knowing full well, in general, what you are getting with a 'dragon'. Meanwhile, a goblin is generally a goblin. Should you have a MR 30 goblin and an MR 30 dragon? Maybe...I personally don't think so, but that is just me.

I also believe some monsters should have some special ablities, whether it be via unique SPITE or other such things, that give it some personality and set it apart from something else.

Now to some, I believe where they are coming from is that is what the GM's job is, right? To present the scenario and the encounter in a way the you would be able to tell an Orc from a Goblin from a Bugbear, from a Gnoll - I get that.

Where I am coming from is that ultimately, some monsters should have some things that set it apart from others. Otherwise, you have an MR50, MR100, MR150, MR200 monsters that are statistically the same whether you call them a goblin, or a dragon, or a gnoll, or a bugbear, or a death knight, or a....

1 comment:

  1. "...Some monsters should have a minimum MR in my mind..."

    I heartily agree with this. I was starting a norm when formatting my own monsters on-line where the MRs listed meant "the starting MR." That was a bit before the latest copy and paste incidents made formatting anything in public unseemly.

    "...I also believe some monsters should have some special abilities, whether it be via unique SPITE or other such things, that give it some personality and set it apart from something else..."

    Watching the T&T GMs' interpretation of various monsters is one of the pleasures I deeply enjoy in T&T. There's not just those that include abilities and those that just throw up a MR and say "forget it." The differences in GM described monsters from the same bit of folklore or literature is wonderful reading.

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