From Jonathan Hardin,

Roleplaying Suggestions E-newsletter #1178

Howdy Sojourner!

My gamers know all the stats for each villain I place of their path.

By way of looking out on the web, hours learning monster manuals, and good quaint wits, my gamers have discovered a option to circumvent the surprise of being shocked in battle.

As GM, I need to maintain them engaged, even when they’ve already learn the monster e book.

My technique is easy.

I modify the stat block by making a story and giving gamers hints.

Do you have got the identical downside?

Let’s have a look at 4 methods to shock your well-read gamers.

1. Prime of the Spherical

On the high of the around the monster takes a free motion.

Require a cube roll from every character to save lots of from an space impact attributable to the monster.

For instance, a monstrous slime usually stalks its prey slowly and solely assaults melee.

What should you give the monster a ranged weapon assault?

On the high of the spherical, a big, slimy appendage extends to every participant past melee vary, strikes and damages them, pulling them nearer to its oozing physique.

The Story: This specific ooze has developed over time. A close-by tribe worships this creature and feeds it, subsequently altering its skills over time.

The Trace: The characters witness carvings depicting worship of a slimy creature within the dungeons. Describe the creature as an ooze, however sporting bulbs sprouting from its high portion.

2. The Villainous Terrain

Make the terrain harmful.

Use this tip to institute motion challenges through residing and oppositional terrain.

For instance, a burrowing predator native to the terrain hunts characters as they try and relaxation within the wilderness.

Issues progress usually till the bottom collapses, leaving gamers underneath the earth.

This impacts motion and helps the gamers see the fictional world as three dimensional with depth and peak, fairly than only a flat two dimensional grid.

The Story: Apart from a numerical stat block, you make your monsters (and characters) work together with the terrain.

The Trace: Foreshadow this shock by describing comfortable, freshly tilled floor beneath their toes.

3. Kidnapping Monsters

Kidnap a participant character.

Shock gamers with monsters who cease at nothing to seize fairly than kill.

For instance, contemplate your common minion.

Characters can simply win a match in opposition to them, whether or not they be kobolds, robots, bangers, or any horde.

What begins as a routine combat turns right into a mission in opposition to a selected character.

The minions use all of their sources to seize one PC and kill or depart the remainder. Slightly than combating to the bloody dying, they combat with a motivation and means to kidnap.

The Story: A extra highly effective villain employs the minions to seize the participant for nefarious functions, and offers the assist wanted for the seize.

The Trace: Run fight as regular the primary spherical, however have one minion stand again looking out the occasion for his or her supposed goal, possibly even calling them by title. Then unleash all forces on the seize.

4. Add a Reactive Function

As the sport grasp, you management time and house.

The monsters in your world usually are not static items of paper, however dynamic creatures.

Shock your gamers by including a brand new function that reveals maturation.

Take into account an underground creature with tentacles.

It usually lurks, grapples, and eats.

The gamers are prepared for this and know what actions the monster can take.

However by including a dynamic function, you carry shock to the sport.

Merely give the monster a dynamic response that triggers upon a participant’s motion.

Each time a spell is forged, the monster reacts.

Each time a motion is made, the monster reacts.

Each time the character strikes with a essential hit, the monster reacts.

You’ll be able to fill within the blanks with what sorts of actions the monster can take.

Perhaps they nibble off just a few hit factors for sustenance.

Perhaps they acquire a spell slot in response to the magic.

Or possibly they name forth their mate to come back to their assist.

The Story: This monster developed over time and discovered from previous errors of its form.

The Trace: Describe this monster with various colours, twice the eyes, or grant it speech.

When your gamers have exhausted their seek for books and stats, it’s time to get artistic.

Take these strategies and apply them to your sport.

By utilizing story and hints, draw your gamers to the sting of their seats in anticipation that that is no odd monster.

Could your story proceed!

Focus on these sport grasp suggestions on this thread on the official Roleplaying Suggestions group discussion board.