Adjusting Monster Stats, Monster Synergies, and Hiding

Sarah Darkmagic - Posted on 07 March 2010

At our last game, I decided to do something a bit different and did an across the board changing of monster stats. In this case, that meant giving the monsters a -2 to each of their defenses and a +2 to their attack rolls. The reason? The number of misses on both sides of the "screen" were just to high to be fun and seemed to drag out the game. My players now hit more, which made them happy, and were also hit a little more often, which lead to drama and tension. My husband even sent a tweet during the game when his halfling rogue went down for the count.

Once my players have made it through the entire little adventure, I'll post it here with more details. However, another point I would like to stress is the use of monster synergies. For instance, I used Kenku sneaks in this encounter, and they have the ability to become hidden if they have cover from another Kenku. This makes it very important for them to hang back in the crowd. In our case, they were behind a group of minions, which was great for them until the monk unleased an area attack that took out most of the minions.

Finally, I find the stealth and hide rules really confusing. I hope the new D&D rules compendium tries to make it much simpler. Either that, or someone should write an article that sums up all the information in one place with a section on frequently asked questions. I tried to look up most of the rules before the session but with the information spread across multiple books, I found it a bit difficult. Since the first part of the encounter involved them dealing with hidden guards, it meant a slow start to the encounter, especially since they found the rules a bit confusing as well.

I do that all the time. I figure slightly better than a 50% hit/miss ratio for the players to a 75% hit/miss ration for the monsters is the sweet spot. At least, that's what provides the most challenge and causes the least complaint from my players.

Synergies are something I haven't played with enough, though. It sounds brilliant.

I used this in my oneshot this past weekend (4/10). Worked great even at 1st level.

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