Let's compare these two easy to kill iconic monsters. One set of stats from Labyrinth Lord and one set from Pathfinder.
A full page Stat Block for a monster that can be killed one hit.
Has modern gaming went to far?
#Enc. 2d4 (6d10), AL C, MV 60` (20`), AC 6, HD 1 -1, #AT 1 (weapon), THAC0 19, DG 1d6 or weapon, SV 0 human, ML 7, THC III (XX), XP 5, BOOK LL, PAGE 78
This creature stands barely three feet tall, its scrawny, humanoid body dwarfed by its wide, ungainly head.
Goblin CR 1/3
Goblin warrior 1
NE Small humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception –1
AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+2 armor, +2 Dex, +1 shield, +1 size)
hp 6 (1d10+1)
Fort +3, Ref +2, Will –1
Speed 30 ft.
Melee short sword +2 (1d4/19–20)
Ranged short bow +4 (1d4/×3)
Str 11, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 6
Base Atk +1; CMB +0; CMD 12
Feats Improved Initiative
Skills Ride +10, Stealth +10, Swim +4; Racial Modifiers +4 Ride, +4 Stealth
Environment temperate forest and plains (usually coastal regions)
Organization gang (4–9), warband (10–16 with goblin dog mounts), or tribe (17+ plus 100% noncombatants; 1 sergeant of 3rd level per 20 adults; 1 or 2 lieutenants of 4th or 5th level; 1 leader of 6th–8th level; and 10–40 goblin dogs, wolves, or worgs)
Treasure NPC gear (leather armor, light wooden shield, short sword, short bow with 20 arrows, other treasure)
Goblins prefer to dwell in caves, amid large and dense thickets of thistles and brambles, or in structures built and then abandoned by others. Very few goblins have the drive to build structures of their own. Coastlines are favored, as goblins are quite fond of sifting through junk and flotsam in an unending quest to find treasures among the refuse of more civilized races.
Goblin hatred runs deep, and few things inspire their wrath more than gnomes (who have long fought against goblins), horses (who frighten goblins tremendously), and regular dogs (whom goblins regard as pale imitations of goblin dogs).
Goblins are also quite superstitious, and treat magic with a fawning mixture of awe and fear. They have the habit of ascribing magic to the mundane as well, with fire and writing both taking on mystical power in goblin society. Fire is much loved by goblins for its capacity to wreak great destruction and because it doesn't require size or strength to wield, but written words are hated. Goblins believe that writing steals words out of your head, and as a result of this belief, goblins are universally illiterate.
Goblins are voracious and can eat their body weight in food daily without growing fat. Goblin lairs always have numerous storerooms and larders. While they prefer human and gnome flesh, a goblin won't turn down any food—except, perhaps, vegetables.
#Enc. 4d4 (6d10), AL C, MV 60` (20`), AC 7, HD 1d4 hp, #AT 1 (weapon), THAC0 19, DG 1d4 or weapon -1, SV 0 human, ML 6, THC I (XIII), XP 5, BOOK LL, PAGE 83
This short, reptilian humanoid has scaled skin, a snout filled with tiny teeth, and a long tail.
Kobold CR 1/4
Kobold warrior 1
LE Small humanoid (reptilian)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +5
AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+2 armor, +1 Dex, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 5 (1d10)
Fort +2, Ref +1, Will –1
Weaknesses light sensitivity
Speed 30 ft.
Melee spear +1 (1d6–1)
Ranged sling +3 (1d3-1)
Str 9, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 10,Wis 9, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB –1; CMD 10
Feats Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Craft (trapmaking) +6, Perception +5, Stealth +5; Racial Modifiers +2 Craft (trapmaking), +2 Perception, +2 Profession (miner)
Languages Common, Draconic
Environment temperate underground or deep forest
Organization solitary, gang (2–4), nest (5–30 plus equal number of noncombatants, 1 sergeant of 3rd level per 20 adults, and 1 leader of 4th–6th level), or tribe (31–300 plus 35% noncombatants, 1 sergeant of 3rd level per 20 adults, 2 lieutenants of 4th level, 1 leader of 6th–8th level, and 5–16 dire rats)
Treasure NPC gear (leather armor, spear, sling, other treasure)
Crafty (Ex) Craft (trapmaking) and Stealth are always class skills for a kobold.
Kobolds are creatures of the dark, found most commonly in enormous underground warrens or the dark corners of the forest where the sun is unable to reach. Due to their physical similarities, kobolds loudly proclaim themselves the scions of dragonkind, destined to rule the earth beneath the wings of their great god-cousins, but most dragons have little use for the obnoxious pests.
While they may speak loudly of divine right and manifest destiny, kobolds are keenly aware of their own weakness. Cowards and schemers, they never fight fair if they can help it, instead setting up ambushes and double-crosses, holing up in their warrens behind countless crude but ingenious traps, or rolling over the enemy in vast, yipping hordes.
Kobold coloration varies even among siblings from the same egg clutch, ranging through the colors of the chromatic dragons, with red being the most common but white, green, blue, and black kobolds not unheard of.
This is EXACTLY what's wrong with modern rule sets.ReplyDelete
This is the main reason why I've left D&D 3.0/3.5 for LL. I knew something was wrong when I picked up the MM for 3.0 and it included unnecessary skills and space/reach in the stats. Why would triceratopses and black puddings need a Charisma score? When 3.5 came and included both "normal" and "full" attack modes, I was even less impressed.ReplyDelete
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(Sorry for the repost...Had a major typo that I couldn't let slide.)ReplyDelete
I disagree. If the sole focus of a creature were the fact that it can be killed in one hit, then it's nothing more than a "minion," which is a recent creation that I detest.
It seems to me that the question of "has modern gaming gone too far?" misses a very important point: If all you're looking for is combat info, then the small statblock like the one in Labyrinth Lord makes sense. But if you want information to actually flesh out a creature and how it fits--both story-wise and mechanically--within a setting, then you're going to need more information. The Pathfinder style of entry provides that core information on which to build.
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Even the minions are full page monsters. The LL version has core information on which to build as well in the description. The rest the GM makes up.ReplyDelete
Both goblins can work the same way. Much could be left out of rule mechanics and left for story such as goblins are excellent riders (worgs!)and they are very stealthy AND can swim better than average.
Okay I will now attempt to compress the Goblin info into a small as possible stat block as leaving in the description was not allowing for a fair look at the D20 system. I have tried over and over to find a compressed stat block such as this and could find them not on the net.
Goblin CR 1/3, XP 135, Goblin warrior 1, NE Small humanoid (goblinoid), Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception –1, Defense: AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+2 armor, +2 Dex, +1 shield, +1 size), hp 6 (1d10+1), Fort +3, Ref +2, Will –1, Offense: Speed 30 ft., Melee short sword +2 (1d4/19–20), Ranged short bow +4 (1d4/×3), Statistics: Str 11, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 6, Base Atk +1; CMB +0; CMD 12, Feats Improved Initiative, Skills Ride +10, Stealth +10, Swim +4; Racial Modifiers +4 Ride, +4 Stealth, Languages Goblin
Damn that's still lots of unnecessary info.
The problem with the more modern example is it's just not *important* enough information to be bothered with. Most of that won't really come up in a game, and if it ever did, it's the type of thing I'd rather make up for my home campaign anyhow. Monsters do not need PC-level information!ReplyDelete
"... Monsters do not need PC-level information!"ReplyDelete
First let my say, being a 'basic' player, that I agree. However, I think they may just need them for one purpose. That is, IMHO, based on the limit understanding and opinion that monsters in these versions of D&D were designed to surpass the level one fodder role by adding classes to them. If this is the case, and I believe it might be, then having the starting point on which to 'level' a Goblin or Kobold may be necessary.
Sorry but I disagree with all of you out there.ReplyDelete
When I was an AD&D 1st and 2nd ed DM, I found the lack of knowledge, such as the Stregnth stat, of a monster unnerving. I would have to make up everything (especially on the call). This never made sense! If you're supposed to make up everything then what's the point in using a rule system.
Another thing to the "partisans" of good'ole ad&d that keep hating 3.0: I noticed playing recently the old game that the majority of these guys don't even know ad&d rules!!! (they keep on making them up!) Why? Tell me why you keep on complaining about 3.0 3.5 4 , Pathfinder and other RPG's !?!
"What's the point of the rules system?...."ReplyDelete
To know HOW to roll and what to roll... Not hold your hand and strip you of your imagination. Sheesh. Some folks gotta be spooned.