Larian Studios
Inspired by a discussion we were having across several different threads and that started "spilling" a bit everywhere, I decided that this topic in particular should probably get its own thread.


The title should be pretty much self-explanatory, really, but just to elaborate a bit, here's a bunch of previous posts (not just mine) that already touched on the point.

Originally Posted by Tuco
What puzzles me about the phase spiders is that there ARE spiders who are canonically supposed to have ranged attacks in D&D, so it's not really clear why Larian felt the urge to use one that it's notorious for being a "melee only" beast and gift to it an arbitrary ranged aoe venom spit.

This complete disregard for implementing the "appropriate canonical movesets" for their bestiary is part of what often makes me feel that Larian goes through the handling the D&D license as a painful constriction rather than a pleasure or privilege.
Originally Posted by GM4Him
And, it isn't like they don't have enemies doing things like Ethereal Jaunt with Invisibility Potions and jazz, so implementing it correctly wouldn't be hard. I don't get it. If you think the battle is too easy, throw a few more spiders in the battle, don't mess with a monster's stats. I mean, messing with the stats makes a monster no longer the monster. Like you said, the phase spider then becomes like a whole different type of spider.


Originally Posted by 1varangian
I hate how Phase Spiders are now elusive spitters. I hate the sea of exploding poison in those caves even more.

Ethereal predators who would surprise you at melee range would be much more tactically interesting, distinctive and scary. But do we have ranged enemies and AoE surface spam oh boy. Protection fighting style would have a great use against proper Phase Spiders. You'd have to place your mages next to your Fighters in a tight formation which in turn would open the party up for AoE's.

It's like Larian has a one track mind for tactical combat where it's just about high ground and teleport/mobility on wide open battlefields. And surfaces. And if D&D has a monster that would provide more tactical depth, they assimilate it into a teleporting and/or surface spamming creature.


Originally Posted by GM4Him
Ok. This is driving me crazy. Use true D&D stats and stop nerfing enemies. I mean, BG3 is balanced fairly well right now but only because monsters aren't really genuine. A Mud Mephit should have more health and it gets only a 25% chance of multiplying and it should be hidden as mud to begin with. A Phase Spider should use Ethereal Jaunt to phase out of and into the material plane as a Bonus action, not teleport and spit but melee range. Intellect devourers should use Intellect Devour, one of their main attacks, and they and imps shoyld be resistant to different attacks.

Larian is taking some aspects of these monsters but not all. Why? Instead, why not allow bigger party size, less enemies and maybe even enemies that fit the encounter more. Im trying to play out these scenarios via Tabletop, and they are BRUTAL. 2 Mud Mephits and 2 Wood Woads is too much even for 4 Level 4 characters.


One thing of the game that is occasionally starting to grind on my nerves is how Larian is almost regularly disregarding the canonical stats/abilities for most of the monsters they are using.

Some get buffed with powers they shouldn't have, some get nerfed significantly, lose special powers, don't show any sign of their typical resistances or immunities, etc.
This is happening over and over across the entire portion of the game available so far.

Phase spiders that are gifted aranged AOE venom spit when they should just attack in melee (which is two times as bizarre, given that D&D DOES offer spiders that canonically have ranged attacks), Minotaurs that don't "charge" in a straight line but do the whole hulk jumping and ground stomping instead, mud mephits and wood woads as pointed by GM4Him have been gimped to the point of being husks of what they were supposed to be, etc.

Is there any reason for it? Does the core design of the game benefits in any way of this complete disinterest in sticking with the source material? I honestly don't get it.

It feels almost like people at Larian, after going through the negotiations to get the official D&D license, one morning woke up decided that they felt only contempt and disdain for it.
"Who cares about this worthless trash, we'll do our own bestiary, with blackjack and hookers" or something of that sort.
I have to agree.

I don't mind game designers creating something unique or special or interesting and different - in fact they should do that, every now and then, for their game deigning show pieces. However, and this has consistently been Larian's problem... if they try to make everything special and different and new and unique, then ultimately nothing really is and it all just feels like a messy, thoughtless aberration.

The bread and butter of what you encounter should really be sticking to the book, to help make the unique and special things feel like they have more impact. There are monsters that suit what you want to do, no matter what you want to do.

Seconding that they should really use the enemies that fit for the scenarios they want to make, and make them line up with core book as accurately as they can - and actually *try*, rather than just doing as they've done before by saying "we're sticking to 5e as faithfully as we can" and then completely butchering it in completely unnecessary and unhelpful ways...

The majority of the changes from the recent patch have been very positive, and are all steps in a good direction, I never want to undersell that! But it hasn't yet done enough to curb the feeling like the designers simply don't like, don't care for, and don't have any respect for Dungeons and Dragons, at all, and it's not a good feeling, really.
Not a shocker, they changed all aspects of the game to there hearts content. I don't see why monsters would be any different. Just look at ranger class, the d&d staple for that class is non existent, been in every edition, favored enemy. What you get? You get arcane spells that's over used in races and classes. Wizards? oh they cast arcane and divine no deity required. I'd bet rogue sneak attack is still just one die roll multipled and divided, you just cant see it anymore.

Ya alright, +1
to be fair the phase spiders & mud mephits are probably the most annoying fight in all of EA regardless - having said that having monsters use their attacks & special abilities as per the monster manual does make sense but its not the end of the world at least for me personally.
Given how they've been handling combat mechanics, now if they're trying to alter monsters to fit an encounter idea they have, rather than come up with an encounter to fit monster abilities, that wouldn't surprise me. One of the design philosophies in DOS2 is that enemies need either 1) a teleport/"jump" ability that let them close gap and get to high ground, or 2) a ranged attack so they can still attack you if they can't get to you. Sword/shield fighters have Captain America's Shield Throw skill + Phoenix Dive, dogs have jump skill, other dogs have a device that shoots bolts attached to their body, void monsters can spit and fly (which is basically jump), etc.

Having said that, since it's the EA, maybe they're just picking a few of the most well-known, easy-to-implement monsters out of the rule books to use as placeholder, rather than digging and finding other weird monsters to implement (or maybe they just don't know a whole lot of other monsters other than the most popular ones). Either way, "canonical monsters" with proper stats/abilities will most likely be something for way later, if they care about it at all.
They have been blinded by their own clever and honestly amazing area design with a lot of verticality. That's why everything teleports and jumps and that's why Phase Spiders have been "adapted" to their multi-level cave environment. But that's where it goes wrong. It's time to kill your darlings, Larian. Or at least take the verticality glasses off to see the real big picture.

Phase Spiders would be more lethal and tactically interesting if they behaved like they should and used their powerful bite (1d10+2 + 4d8 poison). Add Spitting Spiders separately as an extra flavor to that cave if you want annoying spiders that need to be hunted down or killed with ranged weapons.

If everything teleports and jumps and all battlefields are about getting the high ground, you lose tactical depth. It gets old. I want to be able to park my Fighter next to a Minotaur and properly THREATEN it so the Fighter can do their job and protect the party. Minotaurs and Hook Horrors jumping around is really annoying. It makes you feel like you have no control whatsoever over the battlefield. Tactics mean you have to have some control.

The Gnoll Hunter multiattack is just asinine. The crazy burst damage underlines the worst aspects of RNG at low levels. I thought Elven Archers were legendary, but I guess it was Gnolls all along since they fire arrows three times faster than my dedicated Wood Elf archer.

Giving Goblins less AC and more HP has been brought up many times, how that small change destroys Sacred Flame and every other spell or attack that targets saves instead of AC. Giving a random Githyanki Gish crazy ability score spread where everything is 14+ also screws up balance with attacks that target saves.

Overall, it seems that 5e is a very balanced and well tested system that just makes sense. I haven't played it but I have read the rules now because of BG3. And Larian took a sledge hammer and are just rampaging all over it, messing things up and fixing things that weren't broken in the name of "video game" which really means "we want everything to play like DOS". Nevermind that there are many D&D CRPG's that play very well and didn't need these video game tropes.
5E *is* a well balanced and well tested system, which is why deviating from it so dramatically is puzzling - why take something that is known to be balanced (on average - there are always exploits/over-powered builds) and arbitraily change it? I have played D&D from AD&D up to 3.5E, PF, skipped 4E (blech) and returned to D&D with 5E. Initally I disliked it, but it has grown on me. There are legit ways of making 5E encounters more challenging within the game system - you really don't need to break the monster manual to do this. Monsters are even arranged by CR - so you can easily figure out what is appropriate for the party. And they have access to all of this. And as pointed out earlier, many monster aleady have powerful abilties - you can always find sometime that suits the scene. The odd homebrew addition is fine of course.

One positive: goblins have been slightly weakened - although they still have too many incendiaries - and minotaurs have lost some of their power, including (as far as I could tell) their AoE jump that knocks people prone (well, they landed but nobody in my party was knocked down). So those are hopeful signs.
Good use of development time indeed, taking a balanced ruleset and monsters, changing them, and then attempting to rebalance the new modified rules and monsters. I wonder if there are any steps that could have been skipped.
Originally Posted by 1varangian
If everything teleports and jumps and all battlefields are about getting the high ground, you lose tactical depth. It gets old. I want to be able to park my Fighter next to a Minotaur and properly THREATEN it so the Fighter can do their job and protect the party. Minotaurs and Hook Horrors jumping around is really annoying. It makes you feel like you have no control whatsoever over the battlefield. Tactics mean you have to have some control.
Yeah, as much as Larian wants positioning "to be a thing" it is also something that everyone gets to ignore with more or less ability to teleport all the time.

Be it true to the source material or not, I found phase spiders to be really not very fun to fight - and not very spidery.

EDIT: Spellcheck
Yeah it's the spitting and pools of poison that's not spidery. It's more about a compulsive obsession to make surfaces with any excuse. That's not what poisonous creatures do. They bite.

And of course all webs and poison pools explode spectacularly.

Larian's blind obsession with these mechanics is doing more harm than good. They should learn to moderate.
I don't particularly care about this. It makes for an interesting and unique encounter. Also, the implications are that the phase spider matriarch is a high elf worshipper of Lloth that transformed herself into a unique monster, so plenty of explanation there.
Originally Posted by Thrythlind
I don't particularly care about this. It makes for an interesting and unique encounter. Also, the implications are that the phase spider matriarch is a high elf worshipper of Lloth that transformed herself into a unique monster, so plenty of explanation there.
Well, I do, I'd like to get the impression I'm actually playing in the Forgotten Realms, rather than on some memetic "Poorly disguised Rivellon".
I also wasn't complaining about the Matriarch to begin with, given that I implicitly considered her as an aberration/one-time special occurrence.

There's a reason if I specifically mentioned the ordinary phase spiders and not her.
Because the recurring ordinariness of the "special exceptions" is precisely what becomes grating fairly quickly here.

Incidentally, canonical fidelity aside, I also think that the fight against the spiders/ettercaps would actually be A LOT more fun with:
- proper phase spiders attacking in melee. If difficulty would need to be tuned, increasing or decreasing their numbers would do the job.
- Ready actions for your party to reach to the surprise.
- A proper reaction system for, well, some extra reaction, really.
- less fucking surfaces all over the place? Pretty please?
+1 to staying true to the canonical monsters. They have plenty of interesting mechanics on their own, no need to cram them full with overpowered AOE they shouldn't have and other unnecessary abilities.

edit: and can I just say that getting poisoned from posion that is ON THE GROUND makes no fucking sense.
Originally Posted by Thrythlind
I don't particularly care about this. It makes for an interesting and unique encounter. Also, the implications are that the phase spider matriarch is a high elf worshipper of Lloth that transformed herself into a unique monster, so plenty of explanation there.


The Spider Matriarch is one thing. She was a mage who could potentially still cast magic. So, her using Ethereal Jaunt and Misty Step to port across greater distances makes more sense. She could even be explained as using Poison Spray or something of that nature to blast adventurers with poison. I'm fine with her being buffed and powerful.

What I don't like is the Phase Spider minions doing the same thing. That makes Phase Spiders not Phase Spiders. That makes them strange variants also, and that's just weird and unnecessary and it takes away from them being what they truly are. They should be melee brawlers, not ranged teleport mages flying around the level killing people from above.

The point of this entire thread is that when Larian does all these variations to these monsters, they take away from what these monsters truly are. A Phase Spider is no longer a Phase Spider if it is porting hundreds of feet every round from one platform to another as if they are super-powered mages with lots of spell slots casting Misty Step at 3 times the spell's normal abilities to teleport someone. Phase Spiders, by their created nature in D&D, are melee combat assassins. They use Bonus action to vanish from the board so players can't hit them. Then they creep up on them and port back into reality to strike. Remain there for a round and disappear again. They are ninja assassins, not ranged combat poison-spitters.

Likewise, Intellect Devourers are not actually brutes for Mind Flayers. They are also ninja assassins who are supposed to attack lone enemies. They are meant to pop out of nowhere and attack single travelers. Their entire purpose is to devour the person's brain and steal their bodies and act like the person. They take on all of that person's intelligence and memories and everything. They pretend to be that person and then lure other victims into traps with other Intellect Devourers. What Larian has turned them into is some sort of grunt melee attack force for Mind Flayers who simply run up to PCs and swipe them with claws. They don't devour minds and they don't steal their bodies and turn them against their allies.

Now, that said, it would be a sucky game indeed if an intellect devourer ate your MC's brain and then took him/her over. To explain them not doing this part, the tadpole would maybe prevent them. So that makes sense. BUT, the point is, then don't use Intellect Devourers for these encounters. Instead, if you really want to throw a CR 2 enemy at your party of 1 MC and maybe Shadowheart, throw a Grick at them. HP 27, AC 14, Resistant to Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing, has multiattack and tentacles and a beak, so it deals some serious damage with +4 to Hit. Almost the same as Intellect Devourer stats but without the Devour Intellect ability and Body Thief. Thus, you still have relatively the same encounter but with a monster that has appropriate 5e stats. You aren't robbing the monster of what makes it what it is.

Or! Better yet, a better fight for a level 2 pair, 1 MC and Shadowheart, would be 2 or 3 Kuo-Toas. They are more grunt Mind Flayer minions. They have AC 13, HP 18, aren't resistant to anything, and they only get 1 attack each round. Besides that, they are sensitive to Sunlight, so they would get disadvantage on attack rolls. Making 2 or 3 Kuo-Toas a more fair fight for a level 1 or 2 pair of heroes at such an early stage in the game.

And THAT is the main point. Throw something more reasonable against the player than 3 Intellect Devourers against 2 characters right away on the beach. The issue we are having is that instead of Larian throwing 2-3 Kuo-Toas, or something similar, at the PC and 1 party member, they are throwing 3 Intellect Devourers and then severely nerfing the monsters so they aren't actually genuine Intellect Devourers. D&D has SO many monsters that Larian could use. Why nerf a monster to make it fit when you could just put a different monster in there and have it work far better for the scenario?

Even if you are using Intellect Devourers as a placeholder for Kuo-Toas, or whatever, at least let us, the players, know that you are doing so for EA. You know, a simple message like, "Hey folks. Just so you know, don't get too bent out of shape that we're using Intellect Devourers in this scene. In the end, we plan on using Kuo-Toas instead. We just don't have models and stats built in yet for them. So sit tight. This is only temporary. We'll be giving you more appropriate monsters later. Promise."
Originally Posted by Sigi98
edit: and can I just say that getting poisoned from posion that is ON THE GROUND makes no fucking sense.

Oh yeah, there's that, too.


On a side note, I tried to start a similar topic on the "Suggestions and feedback" board on Steam and so far most of the reactions seem to default to "FOOL, THE DM MANUAL SAYS THE DUNGEON MASTER CAN HOMEBREW THINGS HOWEVER THE HELL HE WANTS" which if I have to be perfectly honest sounds like a fucking stupid cop-out of an excuse to me, not to mention fundamental misunderstanding of why that note is even there and how your personal session with friends at the library or pub is not the same as having a triple A game specifically tailored around an official license, but to each one its own.
Still, the gist of it is that bar a couple of replies it doesn't look like people are feeling the issue very much.

I won't even bother trying to gauge opinions on the BG3 subreddit, frankly. I can already see the average reaction being an even more over-defensive version of the discussion on Steam.
+1, I'm down for a "Core" implementation of the Monster statistics. I think more than anything, this is a symptom of not having all of the 5E combat system properly implemented for BG3.

Example - the MM Phase Spider is essentially the tutorial monster for Readied Actions - without this system in place, their Ethereal Jaunt is MUCH harder to counter. Probably why Larian decided to implement Phase Spiders in the same way Owlcast did with Kingmaker (making phasing a teleport). I think most of us are the same page in terms of hoping that Larian will just implement all the combat systems fully.


However, I'm also down for them buffing by adding abilities to monsters for difficulties higher than Core. I think there should be a Core difficulty where Monsters are implemented accurately, but would love to see additional abilities added to enemies in higher difficulties (this is much better than simply bloating Damage/AC/HP IMO).

In general, the Monsters in the MM are balanced towards a no-magicial-gear party, and are underpowered even then. You can in theory increase encounter difficulty by bloating stats or adding numbers, but this usually just leads to tedium as oppose to challenge since the player's strategies are not challenged with proper counterplay or variables (which incidentally was my biggest problem with Solasta's endgame). You're still using a failing strategy, and just hoping bigger numbers can lead to more challenge.


I know what you're going for using the term "canonical", but as tabletop player, it's just funny to see it used this way (as in, having a true-to-book stat block be the defining factor of an canonical implementation). In most general tables (including Wizard's own Adventurer's League), flagging to your DM that a monster they're running is not using "canonical" stats/abilities would get you branded as a cheater and might even get you kicked out of the table. This isn't just a DM is always right thing either - there's a whole culture/philosophy around not-metagaming in table-top. I.e. the players are NOT supposed to know the monster statistics and abilities (outside of what their character discovers). Sometimes to the detriment to the fun of the game IMO.
Regarding what GM4HIM said:

Totally agree with you.

But I am somehow pessimistic and I don't think there are any elaborate reasons why Larian used the Intellect Devourers and not Kuo-Toas.

In my opinion they were just like: "monsters that look like small dogs but are brains! That's so awesome and crazy and cool! Let's make them the first enemies players encounter! That will show everybody how much boom our game has!"

It would also fit the narrative style of the whole tutorial.

And regarding the poison pools: yep, that's just plain stupid.

Edit:
Huge fan of the game being as close to 5e as possible, and then start iteration from there, if demanded by players.
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by Sigi98
edit: and can I just say that getting poisoned from posion that is ON THE GROUND makes no fucking sense.

Oh yeah, there's that, too.


On a side note, I tried to start a similar topic on the "Suggestions and feedback" board on Steam and so far most of the reactions seem to default to "FOOL, THE DM MANUAL SAYS THE DUNGEON MASTER CAN HOMEBREW THINGS HOWEVER THE HELL HE WANTS" which if I have to be perfectly honest sounds like a fucking stupid cop-out of an excuse to me, not to mention fundamental misunderstanding of why that note is even there and how your personal session with friends at the library or pub is not the same as having a triple A game specifically tailored around an official license, but to each one its own.
Still, the gist of it is that bar a couple of replies it doesn't look like people are feeling the issue very much.

I won't even bother trying to gauge opinions on the BG3 subreddit, frankly. I can already see the average reaction being an even more over-defensive version of the discussion on Steam.

I hardly post on Steam now. When I first started, I posted there all the time and nearly lost my sanity. They were SO rude and obnoxious. Think people here are bad? Suggest on Steam.
Originally Posted by Tuco
On a side note, I tried to start a similar topic on the "Suggestions and feedback" board on Steam and so far most of the reactions seem to default to "FOOL, THE DM MANUAL SAYS THE DUNGEON MASTER CAN HOMEBREW THINGS HOWEVER THE HELL HE WANTS" which if I have to be perfectly honest sounds like a fucking stupid cop-out of an excuse to me, not to mention fundamental misunderstanding of why that note is even there and how your personal session with friends at the library or pub is not the same as having a triple A game specifically tailored around an official license, but to each one its own.
Still, the gist of it is that bar a couple of replies it doesn't look like people are feeling the issue very much.

The funny thing is, if the game would have been as close to 5e as possible from the beginning of the EA, these people most probably would like the game anyway.

I imagine there would be then the same arguments against changes aka homebrews with the words "it's in the PHB, stupid".

As long as the game has cinematics, dragons and the odd explosion, all is well for them.

Sorry, if that sounds depressing.
Originally Posted by daMichi
The funny thing is, if the game would have been as close to 5e as possible from the beginning of the EA, these people most probably would like the game anyway.

I imagine there would be then the same arguments against changes aka homebrews with the words "it's in the PHB, stupid".

As long as the game has cinematics, dragons and the odd explosion, all is well for them.

Sorry, if that sounds depressing.
In this specific case (especially with that couple of users I already spotted in the past) it's not really a matter of defending their own preference, for them.
It's more about defending what Larian does no matter what.

It's like in this last patch: it introduced a bunch of changes people have been asked for a while. When these were recurring "demands" from the community, these same users defended the status quo rabidly claiming that it was for the better, to "let Larian do their own thing", etc.

Patch 5 rolled out, everyone and their granma seemed to agree these changes were for the better and that the game has a better overall feeling now in combat... And guess what? Suddenly these very same people who defended how the game worked before are happy about the changes as well. Because of course, now they are Larian-sanctioned ones.

Man, at times I can't even decide if being a sycophant must be mentally exhausting or the most laid back job ever, given you are delegating any critical thinking to a third party.
Weirdly there was just an article on how 5e's devs approach canon, WotC's stance on canon for streams, video games, novels, and the like is apparently "treat it like a home game." They specifically mention that this allows RA Salvatore's novels to go off in different directions from the RPG's lore.

https://dnd.wizards.com/dndstudioblog/dnd-canon
Thanks for the link, it was an interesting read!

To stick to the topic of the thread, I want to cite from the article:

"Fifth edition’s canon includes every bit of lore that appears in the most up-to-date printings of the fifth edition Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide."

Mind me, imho it doesn't matter much if Larian wants to stick to lore or not.

But, i see it similarly as Mythago:
They have monsters available that are canon, they have fought to get the license to do something in the FR, they wanted to do Baldurs Gate 3. Why change it so much? It's stupid. They made themselves much more work, public discussions and backlash than necessary.

Is it due to some narcissistic notion aka "I know better"? Is it to get discussions aka publicity? Is it because they just wanted some big name?

I just don't understand why.

Edit:
Wrong person mentioned originally.
Originally Posted by Thrythlind
Weirdly there was just an article on how 5e's devs approach canon, WotC's stance on canon for streams, video games, novels, and the like is apparently "treat it like a home game." They specifically mention that this allows RA Salvatore's novels to go off in different directions from the RPG's lore.

https://dnd.wizards.com/dndstudioblog/dnd-canon

Yeah, this was brought to my attention on another forum few days ago (not during this same discussion, for the record, but it was a thread about BG3).
People didn't seem particularly happy about it in general. Many seemed to think it was WotC being once again wishy-washy and coward about stating openly what it considered current canon, for the record.
Originally Posted by Tuco
Inspired by a discussion we were having across several different threads and that started "spilling" a bit everywhere, I decided that this topic in particular should probably get its own thread.


The title should be pretty much self-explanatory, really, but just to elaborate a bit, here's a bunch of previous posts (not just mine) that already touched on the point.


Agree 100%.
Myself I'd rather give Larian the freedom to customize monsters if they need to. For instance, the canonical green hag was designed more for roleplay encounters than battle, so she's fairly weak, and makes for a poor boss villain. Also, like previously said, intellect devourers are supposed to have an instant-kill combat ability, so even 1 of them is a walking would-be TPK for newbie players. And do we really want Us to be able to insta-kill commander Zhalk and take over his body in the tutorial? What about canon imps' immunity to damage from Scorching Ray and Poison Spray? So yeah, I try not to be too harsh on Larian for things like that.
Originally Posted by agouzov
Also, like previously said, intellect devourers are supposed to have an instant-kill combat ability, so even 1 of them is a walking would-be TPK for newbie players. And do we really want Us to be able to insta-kill commander Zhalk and take over his body in the tutorial? What about canon imps' immunity to damage from Scorching Ray and Poison Spray?
The suggestion was to NOT use inappropriate monsters, rather then use inappropriate monsters and make them too powerful for low level parties.

I am not well versed in DnD monster manual, nor 5e in particular, but there is inherent appeal in starting killing proverbial (or literal) rats and moving on to epic enemies after X hours of progress and gain in power. I get that Larian wasn't their rats to be COOL, but then it detracts from actually cool late game enemies.
In general D&D has flavor-gates in that the usual progression is to start out reasonably close to real-world European medieval reality and move on to more fantastical elements slowly. For example, Fly is traditionally flavor locked to start appearing around 5th level when you get access to the 3rd level spell Fly and uncommon magic items like Flying Brooms start appearing.

I tend to feel that's fine for Greyhawk and Dragonlance. It would also have been fine for the Faerun of about 100 to 300 years ago. But Faerun as it currently stands has experienced a lot more in the way of cosmological events. Note that the events of Descent to Avernus have recently happened not to far away. A little bit before that the Temple of Elemental Evil would have been kicking up a storm a bit further north, and this is also after the Tomb of Annihilation events... among other things.

Also note that Out of the Abyss started with the party kidnapped by drow and escaping during a battle between demons and the drow.

That said. Temple of Elemental Evil does start with small events like bandits and stirges and leads up toward apocalyptic cults summoning eldritch abominations.

So, starting with weird and traditionally dangerous monsters is far from unheard of.
Originally Posted by Wormerine
The suggestion was to NOT use inappropriate monsters, rather then use inappropriate monsters and make them too powerful for low level parties.

If the suggestion is to no longer use Us and Auntie Ethel, then good luck with that. They're some of the game's most memorable characters.
Originally Posted by agouzov
If the suggestion is to no longer use Us and Auntie Ethel, then good luck with that.
No one is delussional enough to believe that Larian will completely redesign whole Act1. But as OP mentioned, they could use appropriate mosters, instead of changing "recognisable brands"
Originally Posted by agouzov
Myself I'd rather give Larian the freedom to customize monsters if they need to.
Eh, even if I was torn about this in general (which I don't feel it to be particularly the case, really) given the results so far I'd really rather NOT.
Because most of the changes they introduced have been nothing short of disruptive, gimmicky, immersion-breaking and incoherent with the setting and lore many are familiar with.

It's really a cacophony of bad decisions both in terms of mechanics and consistency with the accepted lore.
Ethel is not a good example. She's a boss fight. Bosses are meant to be buffed and tweaked. The best example is Spider Matriarch and Phase Spiders. Matriarch again is a boss, so making her buffed is good. However, she should have Phase Spider minions that stay true to their original design.

So what we're suggesting is not a complete overhaul. It's a tweaking of the system to set monsters to proper stats with bosses as the exceptions. In a goblin fight, they should all be roughly easy to kill so you can slaughter droves of them in each encounter. A single intellect devourer should be a tough fight even for a team of 4 level 2 adventurers if done properly.

And if Larian wants more numbers of enemies, don't use a monster that needs to be nerfed in order to be large numbers of them. There are plenty of monsters. Use something that fits more.

Again, Kuo-Toas in the beginning as opposed to intellect devourers especially since they aren't even having the monsters use their abilities that make them what they are.
I agreed, that the changes are ok with bosses like Auntie Ethel (who is so far my favorite encounter) or the spider matriarch. But I, too, would like to see the normal enemies more attuned to their pen & paper counterparts. I find it strange, that my character should be able at level 2 to fight three intellect devourers. Or that the phase spiders jump around and then attack you with ranged attacks.
So I threw my voice in for more true to d&d 5 ruleset stats for enemies.
+1

I never understood why they choose these WTF monsters and changed them so much...

I don't have more fun because I'm fighting redcaps rather than wolves or phase spiders rather than giant spiders...

On top of that the world they created just look inconsistent with this unappropriate variety because "hey look, it's DnD".
I agree that obviously Larian SHOULD and indeed, they actually DO have the freedom to tweak and change monssters as they see fit. The question is if they're using that freedom to good effect. I personally don't know D&D lore so the fact that enemies don't match isn't strictly what bothers me about the changes. What bothers me is that it's another (in my mind particularly illustrative) example of something that a few people on the forums-including I think Tuco himself-have mentioned. It feels like Larian is constantly fighting against the D&D rules and lore in order to create a game that matches their vision. Hearing about all the differences and changes they've made to enemies right off the bat, the only conclusion I can reach is that they designed the monsters for the encounters they wanted rather than choosing monsters that would make sense and designing encounters around them. I had no idea intellect devourers and imps were meant to be so strong, nor did I realize that (for IDs at least) there were another grunt creature type that could have taken their place.

Honestly the thing tha tmost bugs me about the way they apparently have been changing creatures is that it shows that they're throwing out the concept of challenge rating, which is a simple and effective tool that could have been a great help to them. The game came with a pre-made system for how to manage and balance enemy encounters, but now they've thrown that out the window and made things harder for themselves in a way that wasn't entirely necessary.
I can assume the intellect devourers are weaker young ones like the imps are Lesser Imps. They can be from the same hatchery on the ship or however they are created. There can be exceptions. I understand they want a cool minion monster for the mind flayers that is lore and challenge appropriate. The problem is when these exceptions become too common.

Bosses are obviously custom monsters and they have a lot of freedom with them. Even so there are guidelines and rules that should make sense. Amount of spell slots for casters etc.

What I don't like is completely changing existing monsters i.e. Phase Spiders. The poison pools are asinine as a concept alone (more arcade/platform game than RPG) and spiders spitting gallons of poison is another.

Stat blocks of monsters are really inconsistent in BG3 too. Some random player race NPC minions have insanely high stats and I wish that was more consistent.
I like Larian homebrew for monsters, nothing wrong with diversity in spiders. No reason why phase spider coudn't spit poison or make web? Sounds cool from world and setting perspective to me.

I agree they could add more types into those encounters and homebrew those as well. I'm a zealous supporter of homebrewing and adaptation. It is all in the spirit of DnD after all, makes for more fun experience.

Even if they buffed Mud mephit and Wood woad hp to what it is in 5e, that fight would still be easy, walk in the park.

I would think at nightmare difficulty HP and stats will be way higher than that of 5e and hopefully bigger numbers of enemies and type as well cos right now this all feels like a story mode to me and 20 more hp will not change that at all...
Originally Posted by agouzov
Myself I'd rather give Larian the freedom to customize monsters if they need to. For instance, the canonical green hag was designed more for roleplay encounters than battle, so she's fairly weak, and makes for a poor boss villain. Also, like previously said, intellect devourers are supposed to have an instant-kill combat ability, so even 1 of them is a walking would-be TPK for newbie players. And do we really want Us to be able to insta-kill commander Zhalk and take over his body in the tutorial? What about canon imps' immunity to damage from Scorching Ray and Poison Spray? So yeah, I try not to be too harsh on Larian for things like that.
Completely agree with this, people forget this is a video game and it needs adaptation.

The whole ship part is just a glorified tutorial. Intellect devourers are a prfect example of why it's great they homebewed it. You need mosters that fit the story the place you are in nothing wrong with homebrewing.

Some times i get the feeling people look for problems where there are none. I can't wait to see what they do with nightmare difficulty, hopefully even prologue will get few new monsters if they don't run out of money and time like most devs do for those difficulties
Originally Posted by Lastman
I like Larian homebrew for monsters
And I genuinely don't.


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nothing wrong with diversity in spiders. No reason why phase spider coudn't spit poison or make web?
Several ones, actually.
- It's not particularly fun mechanic in its own.
- It doesn't fit the archetype of beast used. Which matters for the already-mentioned reason of internal consistency. Same of you may not give a shit, but some of us would like to see a game that doesn't BREAK the illusion of being set in a familiar fictional world at any given step. If I was going to write a Lords of the Rings spin-off and my goblin could suddenly be a jolly bunch of misunderstood pranksters who can fly and teleport people should be in the right to say that I'm not making a great display of imagination, but that I'm a sad wanker who doesn't understand one single thing about the setting I'm using.
- There are ALREADY other kinds of giant spiders with ranged attack in the D&D bestiary that could ALREADY cover that exact role without flipping Phase spiders upside down. And if you are wondering: no, ALREADY repeated twice wasn't a mistake. I was just hammering the point.
- As others already pointed, "walking on this poisonous surface will poison your party" (because Larian wouldn't be Larian without special surfaces every two steps, I guess) is not a particularly shining display of creativity. In fact it doesn't really make a lick of sense and it's pretty fucking stupid.
Originally Posted by Lastman
Completely agree with this, people forget this is a video game and it needs adaptation.
This is basically a shallow platitude that gets parroted around at this point.
Both because the implied assumption that any adaptation should necessarily be transformative is demonstrably false and because even when some tweak is necessary, something "adapted" doesn't need to be completely flipped on its head to work properly.

Originally Posted by Lastman
The whole ship part is just a glorified tutorial. Intellect devourers are a prfect example of why it's great they homebewed it. You need mosters that fit the story the place you are in nothing wrong with homebrewing.
No, what you need is monsters that fit the role (and power level) you are planning for that specific encounter.

Making the wrong pick and then completely transforming your monster of choice to be more manageable is what piss poor DMs do.
It's not just stupid and inconsistent on several levels, it's also borderline patronizing toward any decent player. "Here's your epic adventure, we'll scale down whatever you want to beat so you can have bragging rights! Hey, do you guys want to curb-stomp a red dragon at level 1? I have one ready with just a couple of modification!.
Originally Posted by Thrythlind
Weirdly there was just an article on how 5e's devs approach canon, WotC's stance on canon for streams, video games, novels, and the like is apparently "treat it like a home game." They specifically mention that this allows RA Salvatore's novels to go off in different directions from the RPG's lore.

https://dnd.wizards.com/dndstudioblog/dnd-canon

Thanks for the link, I'll read that later for sure. Curious if it goes into how 4e was crossed over with Forgotten realms d&d books, novels and Neverwinter online, remember they were trying to sync all that together in some way or form. An if 5e tried to do the same or if that was just a one hit wonder.
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by Lastman
I like Larian homebrew for monsters
And I genuinely don't.


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nothing wrong with diversity in spiders. No reason why phase spider coudn't spit poison or make web?
Several ones, actually.
- It's not particularly fun mechanic in its own.
- It doesn't fit the archetype of beast used. Which matters for the already-mentioned reason of internal consistency. Same of you may not give a shit, but some of us would like to see a game that doesn't BREAK the illusion of being set in a familiar fictional world at any given step. If I was going to write a Lords of the Rings spin-off and my goblin could suddenly be a jolly bunch of misunderstood pranksters who can fly and teleport people should be in the right to say that I'm not making a great display of imagination, but that I'm a sad wanker who doesn't understand one single thing about the setting I'm using.
- There are ALREADY other kinds of giant spiders with ranged attack in the D&D bestiary that could ALREADY cover that exact role without flipping Phase spiders upside down. And if you are wondering: no, ALREADY repeated twice wasn't a mistake. I was just hammering the point.
- As others already pointed, "walking on this poisonous surface will poison your party" (because Larian wouldn't be Larian without special surfaces every two steps, I guess) is not a particularly shining display of creativity. In fact it doesn't really make a lick of sense and it's pretty fucking stupid.

You do know you'r just posting opinions right??? The tone you used sounds like you belive those to be facts? Clearly you are hostile towards anyone that doesn't agree with your posts - narrow opinions.

I like your first reply in the first quote: "And I genuinely don't." It's great you should look more into that feeling, because there is nothing wrong with that and there is a hide clue in it for you.
It was spot on it's clear you don't like it. You posted your opinion but maybe now you should stop attacking people who do not agree with you? Nothing wrong if i post my feedback right? i never quoted you directly.
The whole lord of the rings thing is just ridiculous same as the stuff after, not worth replying to.
Adaptation is transformative by it's nature if it's not, it's a copy. If people repeat that. it should be a clue?
Show me one game that didn't do it, can you? please i really want to know it.
If you can't live with that so be it, no skin off my back.

The whole idea of homebrew is in the spirit of DnD DM, Larian is making game campaign for us. Sound like you don't like your DM and how they do things?? Do i have to say it??
Anyway, by the sound of things you are telling me that you didn't expect elemental surfaces in the next Larian game, really? You joking, right?

Not sure what part of fictional world gets broken due to poison on touch. Even on earth we have poisons that can kill you just by touching it so why woudn't it make sense in a made up magical universe?? Where you can shot poison rays and fireballs. So funny.

And on a side note, no one transformed "your" monster it's still a phase spider, you didn't even comment on the looks, animations, effects which are way more important than the stats.
After all you can take 5e stats/abilities of Mud mephit and slap on spider model and animation sprinkle it with spider abilities like web or spit poison and vast majority of casual players will still see it as a spider. yes it would even be Immune to poison damage! OOOw, that game braking homebrew! Poor Forgotten Realms the whole realm is doomed!

If you use phase teleportation ability on it then everyone will know it as a Phase spider. If you ask me even you woudn't know those stats were from Mud mephit without triple checking everything.

In old games like BG 2 you can't even look at those stats and the game is still great without that option. I'm sure you were posting back then as well, how they homebrewed mosters?? Give me a brake.
It may be ideal, if you wish to take the higher ground, to ease off on the aggressive insults, sarcasm and violent condescension you're employing when responding to others, Lastman. You can't really tell someone that they shouldn't spend their energy attacking other people, when your own post, in its tone and phrasing, is doing nothing but attacking that person in an even more aggressive manner.
when you only discipline one child when two are fighting, you are approving of what the other child did.
And if you'll illustrate to me where the other party actively and directly insulted, belittled or attacked another forum poster personally in this thread, I'll be glad to redirect my statement. He didn't, and as yet has not.

Regardless, I won't derail any further; I just wanted to encourage folks to calm down and focus on the arguments and stances, and not each other.
Originally Posted by Niara
It may be ideal, if you wish to take the higher ground, to ease off on the aggressive insults, sarcasm and violent condescension you're employing when responding to others, Lastman. You can't really tell someone that they shouldn't spend their energy attacking other people, when your own post, in its tone and phrasing, is doing nothing but attacking that person in an even more aggressive manner.
yeah i agree, but i don't really need anyone hammering points for me, do you? so you reap what you sow. IF you end it at bottom line - pretty fucking stupid. Not sure what to say to that. I guess i could ignore him, you'r right.

Anyway, what we could do is look at that particular fight more in detail and see what can be improved.
There is always room for improvement. Like i said in my original post by adding more monsters other spiders, giant spider those would work great as a team. Maybe even sword spider homebrew that's in the game. But that was ignored.

They could change how range attack gets used by Phase spiders. Ease up on frequency of range attacks, make it a one off at 50% HP or random. Right now they do spam range attacks for some reason. Hopefully it's AI working in progress.

Mixing those up with melee attacks would definitely improve that fight and make it better. Same for Ettercaps those keep spaming web or lets say Gaint spider if they would add those. Every turn having web thrown at you by raw Gaint spider would be the same thing. Homebrew is not the problem if you use it right.
Originally Posted by Lastman
The whole idea of homebrew is in the spirit of DnD DM, Larian is making game campaign for us. Sound like you don't like your DM and how they do things?? Do i have to say it??
Anyway, by the sound of things you are telling me that you didn't expect elemental surfaces in the next Larian game, really? You joking, right?

Not sure what part of fictional world gets broken due to poison on touch. Even on earth we have poisons that can kill you just by touching it so why woudn't it make sense in a made up magical universe?? Where you can shot poison rays and fireballs. So funny.

And on a side note, no one transformed "your" monster it's still a phase spider, you didn't even comment on the looks, animations, effects which are way more important than the stats.
After all you can take 5e stats/abilities of Mud mephit and slap on spider model and animation sprinkle it with spider abilities like web or spit poison and vast majority of casual players will still see it as a spider. yes it would even be Immune to poison damage! OOOw, that game braking homebrew! Poor Forgotten Realms the whole realm is doomed!

If you use phase teleportation ability on it then everyone will know it as a Phase spider. If you ask me even you woudn't know those stats were from Mud mephit without triple checking everything.

In old games like BG 2 you can't even look at those stats and the game is still great without that option. I'm sure you were posting back then as well, how they homebrewed mosters?? Give me a brake.

I don't disagree that some degree of adaptation is gonna likely be necessary for the game, but I also agree with the spirit and much of the substance of Tuco's argument (which I acknowledge was delivered far more aggressively and antagonistically than it needed to be). As has been pointed out before, Larian has a whole host of potential monsters to choose from. Sticking with the phase spider encounter example (which I dislike for reasons unrelated to adaptation stuff), why make the creatures phase spiders if you're also gonna give them a bunch of abilities that are already present in another spider monster? As I mentioned in another post, they're just making things harder on themselves without much meaningful gain. Like, what is gained substantively by changing the stats of monsters when there are other monsters that could fill the same role without changing their stats?

Regarding homebrew in principle, yes I agree that homebrew is in the spirit of D&D and TTRPGs as a whole, but this isn't just someone's personal game around a table. It's an adaptation of a beloved setting that is also the sequel to a beloved franchise. I don't think it's unreasonable, with that context, to expect that Larian would take an attitude of "stick with the setting as given unless changing things gives a clearly better experience." A lot of the changes I've seen discussed seem to just be changes for the sake of changes. And when taken into consideration with a lot ofthe other system changes that Latian have made, it's not unreasonable to think that Larian doesn't actually care much for the property they're adapting. Honestly, speaking as someone who themselves doesn't care or know much about D&D and knows literally nothing about the Forgotten Realms as a setting, Larian is approaching this game in a way that makes me think they actually care about D&D either. Not that I think they actively dislike it, it just seems apparent that they're more interested in doing their own thing and bending the D&D acoutrements to fit, rather than making an effort to exemplefy the benefits and strengths of D&D's system and setting. Their approach to monsters is just a microcosm of that.

Does that make Baldurs Gate 3 a bad adaptation? I don't really know. It's too soon to tell where it will end up.

Also just to touch on the poison issue, the fact that poison seems to seep into your boots to affect you *is* kind of silly. Not stritctly world-breaking but another example of them deviating from how D&D works for seemingly no reason beyond that's how they wanted to do things.
Let's take Star Wars for example. What makes a Rodian a Rodian. Is it just the creature's looks and appearance? If a Rodian started flying like a Geonosian from cliff to cliff, everyone would wonder what the heck is happening.

Creatures in stories like BG3 have set characteristics. Remove those, and the creature loses its original identity. Intellect Devourers that no longer devour intellect but act like thugs for Mind Flayers causes them to lose their original identity.

So, again, why use a monster and strip their identity when there are plenty of other monsters you can use that fit better?
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
As has been pointed out before, Larian has a whole host of potential monsters to choose from. Sticking with the phase spider encounter example (which I dislike for reasons unrelated to adaptation stuff), why make the creatures phase spiders if you're also gonna give them a bunch of abilities that are already present in another spider monster?

As I mentioned in another post, they're just making things harder on themselves without much meaningful gain. Like, what is gained substantively by changing the stats of monsters when there are other monsters that could fill the same role without changing their stats?

5e is light on Raw spiders types as far as i know, nothing wrong with homebrewing a few. There is a well known sword spider in game already and those are from 3.5 if i remember correctly. What we get is diversity and millions of casual players will not care one bit what stats were used.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Regarding homebrew in principle, yes I agree that homebrew is in the spirit of D&D and TTRPGs as a whole, but this isn't just someone's personal game around a table. It's an adaptation of a beloved setting that is also the sequel to a beloved franchise. I don't think it's unreasonable, with that context, to expect that Larian would take an attitude of "stick with the setting as given unless changing things gives a clearly better experience." A lot of the changes I've seen discussed seem to just be changes for the sake of changes. And when taken into consideration with a lot ofthe other system changes that Latian have made, it's not unreasonable to think that Larian doesn't actually care much for the property they're adapting. Honestly, speaking as someone who themselves doesn't care or know much about D&D and knows literally nothing about the Forgotten Realms as a setting, Larian is approaching this game in a way that makes me think they actually care about D&D either. Not that I think they actively dislike it, it just seems apparent that they're more interested in doing their own thing and bending the D&D acoutrements to fit, rather than making an effort to exemplefy the benefits and strengths of D&D's system and setting. Their approach to monsters is just a microcosm of that.

it's not unreasonable, but you are forgetting that millions of people like their "thing" and Wotc thinks Larian way is the way to go. They are the gatekepers of DnD. It was clear from day one at least to me that surfaces will still play a part in BG 3. THey did made it more subtle.


i think there is room for improvement. But throwing homebrew and adaptation under the bus because one hates Larian surfaces or whatever just isn't my cup of tea so i can't support that. I believe homebrew will make for a better game if they do it right.
What i do support is improvement and suggestions that add or change those adaptations.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Also just to touch on the poison issue, the fact that poison seems to seep into your boots to affect you *is* kind of silly. Not stritctly world-breaking but another example of them deviating from how D&D works for seemingly no reason beyond that's how they wanted to do things.
Well, if you go down that road it's silly that arrows get through steel armor as does sickening ray, we shoot made up arrows and other stuff as well. It's fictional universe as i said before.
Originally Posted by Tarorn
to be fair the phase spiders & mud mephits are probably the most annoying fight in all of EA regardless - having said that having monsters use their attacks & special abilities as per the monster manual does make sense but its not the end of the world at least for me personally.

I completely wrecks any real sense of CR, and in fact, makes Larian's job even harder.

If they'd started with core DnD and then adjusted based on need, instead of starting with DOS and implementing homebrew rules, then they wouldn't be months behind on development, and in a scenario where balancing is all but impossible.
Originally Posted by Lastman
You do know you'r just posting opinions right???
Well, yes and no.
Because on one hand, sure, I'm familiar with the secular notion that subjectivity is implied in this type of discussion.
On the other hand, incidentally that post included a whole bunch of FACTUAL statements that weren't particularly relying on my opinion of them (but I'm not shy to share that too).

Quote
I like your first reply in the first quote: "And I genuinely don't." It's great you should look more into that feeling, because there is nothing wrong with that
I never even began to worry there was anything remotely wrong with it, but thanks for the endorsement, I guess?

Quote
The whole idea of homebrew is in the spirit of DnD DM, Larian is making game campaign for us. Sound like you don't like your DM and how they do things?? Do i have to say it??
Well, no shit, Sherlock. I don't, indeed. If you were trying to for a "gotcha moment" I'd say you are falling a bit short of the target.

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Anyway, by the sound of things you are telling me that you didn't expect elemental surfaces in the next Larian game, really? You joking, right?
By the sound of it you have some issue with reading comprehension. Or you are being disingenuous and a bit too fond of your own strawmen. Pick one.
Not sure how else someone could even begin to do the logical jump from "I don't like how abused that feature is" to "SO YO UTHOGUHT THE GAME WOULDN'T HAVE ANY?".

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Not sure what part of fictional world gets broken due to poison on touch. Even on earth we have poisons that can kill you just by touching it
Can't think of any poison that could kill me from the ground while walking over it with a pair of boots, but sure, embrace your delusion of realism I guess.
Also, Jesus Christ at that selective nitpicking.


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And on a side note, no one transformed "your" monster it's still a phase spider, you didn't even comment on the looks, animations, effects which are way more important than the stats.
I have no idea what point you are even ATTEMPTING to make here.
The Phase spider has always been defined by its "stalker-like" approach of ambushing players in melee only, so it's not just a matter of stats. Its abilities, its animations and its typical role in a fight have all been subverted and replaced here.
It's also a fairly iconic monster in this saga, since it played a role in the past chapters, so seeing it flipped on its head just because Larian suffer a heartache every time it' has to renounce its recurring gimmicks for three minutes straight can admittedly be a bit annoying.
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it's more than enough to not even consider it the same monster anymore, no matter how many silly convoluted excuses you could come up with to PRETEND it's still "more or less the same". It's not.

After all you can take 5e stats/abilities of Mud mephit and slap on spider model and animation sprinkle it with spider abilities like web or spit poison and vast majority of casual players will still see it as a spider. yes it would even be Immune to poison damage! OOOw, that game braking homebrew! Poor Forgotten Realms the whole realm is doomed!
I'm sure you can do all sort of idiotic and pointless (if not even harmful) stuff if you really put your hearth in it, but it doesn't mean I have to endorse it as if it was some manifestation of peak of human creativity.



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If you use phase teleportation ability on it then everyone will know it as a Phase spider. If you ask me even you woudn't know those stats were from Mud mephit without triple checking everything.
I'm sure I could sell you a box with two bricks inside rather than the new GPU you wanted to order on Amazon for your PC and you wouldn't know how much you got screwed over until you actually took the time to open the package.


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In old games like BG 2 you can't even look at those stats and the game is still great without that option. I'm sure you were posting back then as well, how they homebrewed mosters?? Give me a brake.
1- Just because you "can't look at the stats" it doesn't mean they don't play their role. Also, you definitely can if you go to take a peek behind the curtain.
2- Previous Baldur's Gate games took their fair share of liberties as well and definitely not everyone of them was for the better. Some were even forced by the game being RTWP, other were mostly alterations according to the difficulty setting, etc...
3. ...But at least that Bioware didn't HATE the idea to stick closely to the canonical bestiary, at least on a surface level. The DID try to make these creature resemble what they were supposed to be, at least when the mechanics required were in place, instead of playing entirely differently.

Originally Posted by Lastman
yeah i agree, but i don't really need anyone hammering points for me, do you? so you reap what you sow. IF you end it at bottom line - pretty fucking stupid. Not sure what to say to that. I guess i could ignore him, you'r right.

Jesus Christ, look at this cheeky kid acting high and might even when called out.
Yeah, you know perfectly well who she was referring to.
Originally Posted by Lastman
Originally Posted by Tuco
- It doesn't fit the archetype of beast used. Which matters for the already-mentioned reason of internal consistency.
- There are ALREADY other kinds of giant spiders with ranged attack in the D&D bestiary that could ALREADY cover that exact role without flipping Phase spiders upside down.
You do know you'r just posting opinions right??? The tone you used sounds like you belive those to be facts?

Those two are facts. here is a long to 5e Phase Spider. As claimed by Tuco it is a different monster archetype (more of a rogue? Disappear and stab) then what was delivered (snipe from distance and teleport away).

And I found Weaving Spider, which might not be an exact copy of Larian’s reimagining of Phase Spiders, but there indeed is a ranged spider archetype, which Larian could use if they wanted to have a ranged spider.
Originally Posted by Wormerine
Those two are facts. here is a long to 5e Phase Spider. As claimed by Tuco it is a different monster archetype (more of a rogue? Disappear and stab) then what was delivered (snipe from distance and teleport away).

And I found Weaving Spider, which might not be an exact copy of Larian’s reimagining of Phase Spiders, but there indeed is a ranged spider archetype, which Larian could use if they wanted to have a ranged spider.

Per my earlier post - I suspect the reason why Larian changed the implementation of the Phase Spider is because they do not have a proper readied action system in place (which I think they need to fix first and foremost). The alteration of monsters is a symptom of a bigger issue (an incomplete combat system - i.e. no proper reactions/readied actions).

The Phase Spider's Ethereal Jaunt, if implemented per the monster manual, is a very frustrating fight for BG3 player because Phase Spiders will always get a free shot on you first coming out of the ethereal plane, whereas in PnP at least you can ready an action to trade blows with them.
Ethereal Jaunt. As a bonus action, the spider can magically shift from the Material Plane to the Ethereal Plane, or vice versa.


To be fair, the Weaving Spider isn't from the monster manual or any official WoTC - it's actually from a 3rd party (Paizo) book Tome of Beasts (aka homebrew). Also, a Weaving Spider isn't actually a spider per that stat-block - it's a construct (think robotic spider) which probably doesn't fit the theme of the area.
Originally Posted by Lastman
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
As has been pointed out before, Larian has a whole host of potential monsters to choose from. Sticking with the phase spider encounter example (which I dislike for reasons unrelated to adaptation stuff), why make the creatures phase spiders if you're also gonna give them a bunch of abilities that are already present in another spider monster?

As I mentioned in another post, they're just making things harder on themselves without much meaningful gain. Like, what is gained substantively by changing the stats of monsters when there are other monsters that could fill the same role without changing their stats?

5e is light on Raw spiders types as far as i know, nothing wrong with homebrewing a few. There is a well known sword spider in game already and those are from 3.5 if i remember correctly. What we get is diversity and millions of casual players will not care one bit what stats were used.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Regarding homebrew in principle, yes I agree that homebrew is in the spirit of D&D and TTRPGs as a whole, but this isn't just someone's personal game around a table. It's an adaptation of a beloved setting that is also the sequel to a beloved franchise. I don't think it's unreasonable, with that context, to expect that Larian would take an attitude of "stick with the setting as given unless changing things gives a clearly better experience." A lot of the changes I've seen discussed seem to just be changes for the sake of changes. And when taken into consideration with a lot ofthe other system changes that Latian have made, it's not unreasonable to think that Larian doesn't actually care much for the property they're adapting. Honestly, speaking as someone who themselves doesn't care or know much about D&D and knows literally nothing about the Forgotten Realms as a setting, Larian is approaching this game in a way that makes me think they actually care about D&D either. Not that I think they actively dislike it, it just seems apparent that they're more interested in doing their own thing and bending the D&D acoutrements to fit, rather than making an effort to exemplefy the benefits and strengths of D&D's system and setting. Their approach to monsters is just a microcosm of that.

it's not unreasonable, but you are forgetting that millions of people like their "thing" and Wotc thinks Larian way is the way to go. They are the gatekepers of DnD. It was clear from day one at least to me that surfaces will still play a part in BG 3. THey did made it more subtle.


i think there is room for improvement. But throwing homebrew and adaptation under the bus because one hates Larian surfaces or whatever just isn't my cup of tea so i can't support that. I believe homebrew will make for a better game if they do it right.
What i do support is improvement and suggestions that add or change those adaptations.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Also just to touch on the poison issue, the fact that poison seems to seep into your boots to affect you *is* kind of silly. Not stritctly world-breaking but another example of them deviating from how D&D works for seemingly no reason beyond that's how they wanted to do things.
Well, if you go down that road it's silly that arrows get through steel armor as does sickening ray, we shoot made up arrows and other stuff as well. It's fictional universe as i said before.

Let me go through your points one by one.

As I've said, I'm not against homebrew as a concept. You're very right that the majority of players won't care-I certainly didn't. I did not like the fight, but not because I don't like that they changed the phase spider's stats. However I don't really see what diversity is actually added by changing the spider. Plus what I've seen of how a phase spider is meant to act sounds interesting as well. Sneak-attacking at random could have created a lot of tension in the combat. It's not like there are any enemies that could already do that in the game.

I too think that homebrew can make the game better if done right. I'm just not convinced that Larian is doing it right. I don't mind surfaces in principle-though people have pointed out elsewhere the ways that it disrupts other D&D systems-and I even enjoyed an early use where using ray of frost on burning sections of ground could put out the fires. I felt really clever figuring that out. I'm not ever going to advocate never changing or adapting things from one media to another, but I think that sometimes the best improvement that can be suggested is "this homebrew attempt isn't working, it needs to go." Sticking to the surface example, I'm ultimately fully neutral on those. If they stick around in an improved form, I'll be fine with that. If they get removed completely, (which I don't expect to happen) I'll be fine with that too. Surfaces are a thing that I don't honestly think will enrich the game meaningfully even in their best version. Nor do I think their presence will negatively impact the game once they've been altered and improved.

Firstly let me say that I'm never going to advocate for perfect world consistency at the expense of fun or interesting story. Quite the opposite, I think story or enjoyment should always trump strict adherence to logic. But there's still got to be an internal logic to the world. Saying it's a fictional universe doesn't absolve it of a need to make internal sense. Saying "it's a fictional world, it doesn't matter" isn't a good rational. There has to be some line of logic that players can get invested in. I'm not saying the poison thing is a cardinal sin, but they don't even try to justify it. With your arrow example, you can hit someone in steel armor with an arrow because the arrow hits one of the chinks in the armor. Ray of Sickening is explicitly magic, it's not hard for an audience to justify that working in their heads.

In my opinion the poison thing really isn't a big deal, but I'm against saying, "it's a fictional world, it doesn't matter." I think the bar should be, "it makes things more fun/interesting/easy to use, it doesn't matter." Dismissing a hole in logic just because it's a ficional world absolves the creators of too much responsibility.
I remember being terrified when I saw TWO(!) wood woads along with a bunch of mud mephits, but decided to give it a shot with my party of level 3's anyway. I completely obliterated them, lol. Very confusing.
I guess I didn't take notice, but it does seem odd, phase spiders not acting like the core rulebooks does seem VERY odd.

I wonder why Larian did choose to do this in the first place? The assumption that Reactions and Ready Actions are not implemented correctly or at all seems like the surface issue.
You know, I will say this, though. It is true that there aren't really a huge variety of spider types in 5e. Giant, Phase and Giant Wolf, along with Swarm of Spiders.

BUT, that said, why not use ALL these types in the spider lair instead of 2 Ettercaps and 4 Phase and 1 mama plus some babies maybe?

So, instead of how it is now, why not start with two Swarms of spiders that attack almost as soon as you enter the Apprentice lair with her journals? Then, maybe 2 more as you round a bend. Thus, showing this lair is FULL of spiders. Then, while roaming, two Giant Wolf Spiders attack, dropping from unseen webs above. Then two more.

Suddenly, as you are nearing the mama lair, THAT'S when you encounter the Ettercaps. Then, finally, in the heart of her lair, you face Mama and 2 Phase Spiders with proper stats. However, Mama has twice Phase Spider stats and can cast some magic with spell slots, etc. Maybe she can Poison Spray you and such. Whatever. The point is, give us baby monsters to enjoy slaughtering that weaken the characters a little. Then hit the player with the boss fight. Don't make every fight so tough. I'd love that lair to be full of baby spiders and then Mama comes out to play.
You guys could get just as worked up about 5e not being "CANONICAL" to 2e, if that were your original experience of the game. To me 5e is just as much of a bastardization of classic AD&D as certain spiders spitting and poison splashing in BG3 are to you. It seems like you're getting fixated on a couple specific details, when really there are larger game design flaws that are detracting from your enjoyment of the game. (Setting looking more like Southern California than a high fantasy environment... no towns... all of act 1's areas becoming obsolete after you finish the "content"... maps just being a series of interconnected pathways instead of geographically believable terrain representing Faerun at large... I could go on.)
Originally Posted by Araanidim
You guys could get just as worked up about 5e not being "CANONICAL" to 2e, if that were your original experience of the game. To me 5e is just as much of a bastardization of classic AD&D as certain spiders spitting and poison splashing in BG3 are to you. It seems like you're getting fixated on a couple specific details, when really there are larger game design flaws that are detracting from your enjoyment of the game. (Setting looking more like Southern California than a high fantasy environment... no towns... all of act 1's areas becoming obsolete after you finish the "content"... maps just being a series of interconnected pathways instead of geographically believable terrain representing Faerun at large... I could go on.)

No. We are suggesting something. We aren't saying we don't want other changes too. I come out here and suggest things as I play the game or write my fan fiction that I think will improve the game... you know... the whole point of EA?

Of course there are other important things for them to focus on, but this is an important thing too. Again, Forgotten Realms is like Star Trek. It has some creatures that are established in terms of their abilities and types. Imagine playing a Star Trek game an having a Klingon act like a Vulcan. No wait. Not just one but ALL of them. What makes a Vulcan a Vulcan? Logic. So if a Klingon was acting like a Vulcan, Trekkies would say, "But why do? Why not instead replace all your Klingons with Vulcans instead of having all these Klingons act like Vulcans.

Now...If for some reason there is a VERY good reason why every creature in EA isn't really living up to the standards of their race, like the Absolutes influence in the region has messed with all their genetics or something crazy, and the reason isn't stupid, then fine. Fans can live with that. What fans don't like is a developer changing characteristics unnecessarily to fit encounters when they could use other monsters that would fit better and all the monsters would maintain their legit established traits.
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Originally Posted by Araanidim
You guys could get just as worked up about 5e not being "CANONICAL" to 2e, if that were your original experience of the game. To me 5e is just as much of a bastardization of classic AD&D as certain spiders spitting and poison splashing in BG3 are to you. It seems like you're getting fixated on a couple specific details, when really there are larger game design flaws that are detracting from your enjoyment of the game. (Setting looking more like Southern California than a high fantasy environment... no towns... all of act 1's areas becoming obsolete after you finish the "content"... maps just being a series of interconnected pathways instead of geographically believable terrain representing Faerun at large... I could go on.)

No. We are suggesting something. We aren't saying we don't want other changes too. I come out here and suggest things as I play the game or write my fan fiction that I think will improve the game... you know... the whole point of EA?

Of course there are other important things for them to focus on, but this is an important thing too. Again, Forgotten Realms is like Star Trek. It has some creatures that are established in terms of their abilities and types. Imagine playing a Star Trek game an having a Klingon act like a Vulcan. No wait. Not just one but ALL of them. What makes a Vulcan a Vulcan? Logic. So if a Klingon was acting like a Vulcan, Trekkies would say, "But why do? Why not instead replace all your Klingons with Vulcans instead of having all these Klingons act like Vulcans.

Now...If for some reason there is a VERY good reason why every creature in EA isn't really living up to the standards of their race, like the Absolutes influence in the region has messed with all their genetics or something crazy, and the reason isn't stupid, then fine. Fans can live with that. What fans don't like is a developer changing characteristics unnecessarily to fit encounters when they could use other monsters that would fit better and all the monsters would maintain their legit established traits.

Fair points all, but wouldn't the Klingon analogy work more along the lines of if, e.g. Githyanki weren't a space-time traveling race bearing a grudge against the Illithid? Spending so much time on Phase Spiders spitting feels more like quibbling about tribbles than Klingons/Vulcans. grin
Phase spiders are a notable example among many.

The issue at hand here is PRECISELY that this bastardization of the bestiary keeps happening over and over across the entire EA for no apparent other reason than Larian going all in with their “We put more divinity in your Forgotten Realms”.

Phase spiders are supposed to be basically rogue spiders, minotaurs are supposed to charge you, not Hulk stomp you into a fine paste, goblins are supposed to have nasty group tactics but not to be individually “Tanky”, spectators should have two RAY ATTACKS per turn and an average of 40 HP ( peak at 60 if maxed out) not four random actions readily available at will and 90 HP, hook horrors doing the hulk stomping sounds new as well, gnoll archers should NOT be medieval Gatlings who put wood elves to shame, those swamp monsters aren’t supposed to be low level enemies, etc, etc, etc.

The regularity of these ass-pulls is arguably even more grating than their egregiousness.
And again, why not give us lots of baby minions to kill? Goblins are meant to be easy kills, but in greater numbers more deadly. It's so much more rewarding to kill droves of goblins than 4-6 tanky ones.

Same with the spider lair. It's so much creepier and fun to kill swarms of weaker spiders than 4 Phase Spiders, 2 Ettercaps and a Boss Mama. Yes, I want to face a few big tough monsters, like Boss Mama and such, but the battles should build up to that. Every battle shouldn't be against such tough enemies that, again, they need to be severely nerfed to beat them.
I'm +1 more for keeping the monsters we know and love closer if not exact to the monsters we know and love. Yet another aspect of the game I expect I'll be looking for a good mod for after release.

As to poison surfaces... I can see a minimum explanation that walking through a poisoned surface causes some of the poison to splash up and hit exposed skin/clothing above the boots and soak through there, or even through the boots themselves at the seams/rivets/overlapping areas...I'm not sure if "Boot Armor" was made to be waterproof. I'm NOT saying I'm a fan of Larian's surfaces implementation...only that I can see at least some barely plausible possible reasoning for some of them.
I have no issue with Larian home brewing some new monsters. But if they're going to do that, they should just create new monsters. Phase spiders are iconic and, while many people haven't encountered them before, those who have are going to expect them to behave a certain way. It's not the end of the world to have your expectations confounded now and then, but the point of using icons is for quick recognition and understanding - don't mess with them.
Originally Posted by grysqrl
I have no issue with Larian home brewing some new monsters. But if they're going to do that, they should just create new monsters. Phase spiders are iconic and, while many people haven't encountered them before, those who have are going to expect them to behave a certain way. It's not the end of the world to have your expectations confounded now and then, but the point of using icons is for quick recognition and understanding - don't mess with them.

I fully agree with you
Originally Posted by Tuco
Phase spiders are a notable example among many.

The issue at hand here is PRECISELY that this bastardization of the bestiary keeps happening over and over across the entire EA for no apparent other reason than Larian going all in with their “We put more divinity in your Forgotten Realms”.

Phase spiders are supposed to be basically rogue spiders, minotaurs are supposed to charge you, not Hulk stomp you into a fine paste, goblins are supposed to have nasty group tactics but not to be individually “Tanky”, spectators should have two RAY ATTACKS per turn and an average of 40 HP ( peak at 60 if maxed out) not four random actions readily available at will and 90 HP, hook horrors doing the hulk stomping sounds new as well, gnoll archers should NOT be medieval Gatlings who put wood elves to shame, those swamp monsters aren’t supposed to be low level enemies, etc, etc, etc.

The regularity of these ass-pulls is arguably even more grating than their egregiousness.

Pretty sure the reason Larian decided to monkey with all of the monster stats, is because they realized that they broke any semblance of balance in combat with their homebrew rules/barralmancy/surface spam etc, and then decided to just give every enemy a ranged and/or AOE attack.
To be charitable, I think it might also be because there could be situations things can't get to players, so giving them ranged attacks to avoid having to stand there being plinked away is done.
Sorry I'm late to this thread, but between this thread and others on elves and FR gods and itemization and connections to the original BG games I thought it might be useful to note for everyone here that very recently, in an interview, a WotC dude (Crawford?) stated very clearly that it is now WotC policy that EVERYTHING pre-5e is not considered canon anymore. So not only are the old video games and novels and comic books etc no longer considered canon but also even WotC-published sourcebooks from previous editions are no longer considered canon. ONLY 5e sourcebooks and nothing else. It is WotC's latest attempt to make anything pre-5e to be no longer relevant to D&D players, and in this way make people buy the new material if they want canon. And whenever 6e is released, all 5e material will become non-canon and irrelevant too.

With each passing day I come to hate WotC more and more, and can't help asking myself if I want to keep giving WotC even one penny of my money ever again.
Originally Posted by kanisatha
Sorry I'm late to this thread, but between this thread and others on elves and FR gods and itemization and connections to the original BG games I thought it might be useful to note for everyone here that very recently, in an interview, a WotC dude (Crawford?) stated very clearly that it is now WotC policy that EVERYTHING pre-5e is not considered canon anymore. So not only are the old video games and novels and comic books etc no longer considered canon but also even WotC-published sourcebooks from previous editions are no longer considered canon. ONLY 5e sourcebooks and nothing else. It is WotC's latest attempt to make anything pre-5e to be no longer relevant to D&D players, and in this way make people buy the new material if they want canon. And whenever 6e is released, all 5e material will become non-canon and irrelevant too.

With each passing day I come to hate WotC more and more, and can't help asking myself if I want to keep giving WotC even one penny of my money ever again.
Who gives a fuck if you like a monster from 3.5 or older use it! homebrew it. Use lore or whatever part you like that's the beauty of DnD. You play it the way you like.
Originally Posted by kanisatha
Sorry I'm late to this thread, but between this thread and others on elves and FR gods and itemization and connections to the original BG games I thought it might be useful to note for everyone here that very recently, in an interview, a WotC dude (Crawford?) stated very clearly that it is now WotC policy that EVERYTHING pre-5e is not considered canon anymore. So not only are the old video games and novels and comic books etc no longer considered canon but also even WotC-published sourcebooks from previous editions are no longer considered canon. ONLY 5e sourcebooks and nothing else. It is WotC's latest attempt to make anything pre-5e to be no longer relevant to D&D players, and in this way make people buy the new material if they want canon. And whenever 6e is released, all 5e material will become non-canon and irrelevant too.

With each passing day I come to hate WotC more and more, and can't help asking myself if I want to keep giving WotC even one penny of my money ever again.

I'm not gonna argue against anyone not wanting to give WotC money, but I do want to ask why this is that big of a deal. Is it just a matter of principle? Like, you're against the way WotC is disrespecting past editions? I can understand that. But the idea of canon for TTRPGs has always been pretty weird to me. I understand wanting to play in a world that's already been created for you, but what does it really matter if Wizards no longer considers past stuff canon? They're not gonna come and take the books you already have away, you're free to fold past stuff into canon at your tables and having the books that they declare canon only matters insofar as you want to use what's in the books. If you prefer the lore from a past edition, you can keep it when you play.
Originally Posted by kanisatha
Sorry I'm late to this thread, but between this thread and others on elves and FR gods and itemization and connections to the original BG games I thought it might be useful to note for everyone here that very recently, in an interview, a WotC dude (Crawford?) stated very clearly that it is now WotC policy that EVERYTHING pre-5e is not considered canon anymore. So not only are the old video games and novels and comic books etc no longer considered canon but also even WotC-published sourcebooks from previous editions are no longer considered canon. ONLY 5e sourcebooks and nothing else. It is WotC's latest attempt to make anything pre-5e to be no longer relevant to D&D players, and in this way make people buy the new material if they want canon. And whenever 6e is released, all 5e material will become non-canon and irrelevant too.

With each passing day I come to hate WotC more and more, and can't help asking myself if I want to keep giving WotC even one penny of my money ever again.
I thought the point of that article was not to say that nothing except 5E is canon, but that everything has its own canon and it doesn't make it any less "valid" or whathaveyou. It's basically a pass for Larian to do what they want. It's also a pass for DMs to do what they want.
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Originally Posted by kanisatha
Sorry I'm late to this thread, but between this thread and others on elves and FR gods and itemization and connections to the original BG games I thought it might be useful to note for everyone here that very recently, in an interview, a WotC dude (Crawford?) stated very clearly that it is now WotC policy that EVERYTHING pre-5e is not considered canon anymore. So not only are the old video games and novels and comic books etc no longer considered canon but also even WotC-published sourcebooks from previous editions are no longer considered canon. ONLY 5e sourcebooks and nothing else. It is WotC's latest attempt to make anything pre-5e to be no longer relevant to D&D players, and in this way make people buy the new material if they want canon. And whenever 6e is released, all 5e material will become non-canon and irrelevant too.

With each passing day I come to hate WotC more and more, and can't help asking myself if I want to keep giving WotC even one penny of my money ever again.

I'm not gonna argue against anyone not wanting to give WotC money, but I do want to ask why this is that big of a deal. Is it just a matter of principle? Like, you're against the way WotC is disrespecting past editions? I can understand that. But the idea of canon for TTRPGs has always been pretty weird to me. I understand wanting to play in a world that's already been created for you, but what does it really matter if Wizards no longer considers past stuff canon? They're not gonna come and take the books you already have away, you're free to fold past stuff into canon at your tables and having the books that they declare canon only matters insofar as you want to use what's in the books. If you prefer the lore from a past edition, you can keep it when you play.
Yes, absolutely, and as far as I am concerned what I consider to be canon is what is canon, and WotC can kiss my ass. It is very much just my reaction to their attitude towards all that came before, and by "their" I mean the current people at WotC working on D&D who have often openly denigrated and mocked the fans of and the material from the older editions. It's that attitude that gets under my skin.
Originally Posted by GM4Him
You know, I will say this, though. It is true that there aren't really a huge variety of spider types in 5e. Giant, Phase and Giant Wolf, along with Swarm of Spiders.

BUT, that said, why not use ALL these types in the spider lair instead of 2 Ettercaps and 4 Phase and 1 mama plus some babies maybe?

So, instead of how it is now, why not start with two Swarms of spiders that attack almost as soon as you enter the Apprentice lair with her journals? Then, maybe 2 more as you round a bend. Thus, showing this lair is FULL of spiders. Then, while roaming, two Giant Wolf Spiders attack, dropping from unseen webs above. Then two more.

Suddenly, as you are nearing the mama lair, THAT'S when you encounter the Ettercaps. Then, finally, in the heart of her lair, you face Mama and 2 Phase Spiders with proper stats. However, Mama has twice Phase Spider stats and can cast some magic with spell slots, etc. Maybe she can Poison Spray you and such. Whatever. The point is, give us baby monsters to enjoy slaughtering that weaken the characters a little. Then hit the player with the boss fight. Don't make every fight so tough. I'd love that lair to be full of baby spiders and then Mama comes out to play.

i agree with this, that fight could be done so much better. They need a better AI that uses better tactics and all attacks. Right now it's just spaming same things, range attacks all the time, same as Ettercaps... and this problem is all over EA.

The fight is not hard at all so i can't agree with that part and even if they used RAW stats that wouldn't change. Homebrew is not the problem in my book but other things need to improve AI attacks, monster placement and so on.

But you are right on this part, not sure why they only used Phase spider and Ettercaps other types need to be added, maybe a gobo fight vs spiders could happen somewhere and then you join in. That zone is so cool and fights could be designed in all sorts of way, surprise attacks, web traps they could even add a Drider on nightmare difficulty.

An that's one more thing i have to say we have no clue what stat will they use on harder difficulty. Right now it's walk in the part and even if they used RAw stats that wouldn't change.
The main point of this entire post is that they aren't even using 5e monsters as they were designed. They throw tough 5e monsters at players and then Nerf them. Why? They could use different monsters and NOT nerf them. They could create their own and do whatever the heck they want. But why turn imps into baby grunts, intellect devourers into straight up thugs with no real special traits, phase spiders into teleporting spitters...etc?

That's the point, people. Do you want a teleporting, spitting spider? Use phase spider stats and tweak them and call them something new and different. Give players a new breed of spider to have fun with and enjoy and get excited about. Make up new lore about them. Thats how you do homebrew right. You don't call it a Phase Spider and then have it act totally different. That messes with people familiar with the premade monsters.

First time I went into the spider lair, I saw a Phase Spider and prepared myself for a melee fight. Next thing I knew, BAM! Ports over my head and blasts my whole party with poison. I, being knowledgeable about Phase Spiders, was butchered by them because they acted in no way like Phase Spiders.

See my point?
Originally Posted by Some_Twerp753
To be charitable, I think it might also be because there could be situations things can't get to players, so giving them ranged attacks to avoid having to stand there being plinked away is done.
That is probably the most likely reason - teleport and range attack allows phase spiders to "skip" verticality of the level. That said, Druids can change into spiders, so spiders can climb ladders and such, so I don't think their mobility would be hurt that much.

Overall, for my taste Larian likes to make their enemies jump/teleport a bit too much.
Originally Posted by Tuco
Inspired by a discussion we were having across several different threads and that started "spilling" a bit everywhere, I decided that this topic in particular should probably get its own thread.


The title should be pretty much self-explanatory, really, but just to elaborate a bit, here's a bunch of previous posts (not just mine) that already touched on the point.

Originally Posted by Tuco
What puzzles me about the phase spiders is that there ARE spiders who are canonically supposed to have ranged attacks in D&D, so it's not really clear why Larian felt the urge to use one that it's notorious for being a "melee only" beast and gift to it an arbitrary ranged aoe venom spit.

This complete disregard for implementing the "appropriate canonical movesets" for their bestiary is part of what often makes me feel that Larian goes through the handling the D&D license as a painful constriction rather than a pleasure or privilege.
Originally Posted by GM4Him
And, it isn't like they don't have enemies doing things like Ethereal Jaunt with Invisibility Potions and jazz, so implementing it correctly wouldn't be hard. I don't get it. If you think the battle is too easy, throw a few more spiders in the battle, don't mess with a monster's stats. I mean, messing with the stats makes a monster no longer the monster. Like you said, the phase spider then becomes like a whole different type of spider.


Originally Posted by 1varangian
I hate how Phase Spiders are now elusive spitters. I hate the sea of exploding poison in those caves even more.

Ethereal predators who would surprise you at melee range would be much more tactically interesting, distinctive and scary. But do we have ranged enemies and AoE surface spam oh boy. Protection fighting style would have a great use against proper Phase Spiders. You'd have to place your mages next to your Fighters in a tight formation which in turn would open the party up for AoE's.

It's like Larian has a one track mind for tactical combat where it's just about high ground and teleport/mobility on wide open battlefields. And surfaces. And if D&D has a monster that would provide more tactical depth, they assimilate it into a teleporting and/or surface spamming creature.


Originally Posted by GM4Him
Ok. This is driving me crazy. Use true D&D stats and stop nerfing enemies. I mean, BG3 is balanced fairly well right now but only because monsters aren't really genuine. A Mud Mephit should have more health and it gets only a 25% chance of multiplying and it should be hidden as mud to begin with. A Phase Spider should use Ethereal Jaunt to phase out of and into the material plane as a Bonus action, not teleport and spit but melee range. Intellect devourers should use Intellect Devour, one of their main attacks, and they and imps shoyld be resistant to different attacks.

Larian is taking some aspects of these monsters but not all. Why? Instead, why not allow bigger party size, less enemies and maybe even enemies that fit the encounter more. Im trying to play out these scenarios via Tabletop, and they are BRUTAL. 2 Mud Mephits and 2 Wood Woads is too much even for 4 Level 4 characters.


One thing of the game that is occasionally starting to grind on my nerves is how Larian is almost regularly disregarding the canonical stats/abilities for most of the monsters they are using.

Some get buffed with powers they shouldn't have, some get nerfed significantly, lose special powers, don't show any sign of their typical resistances or immunities, etc.
This is happening over and over across the entire portion of the game available so far.

Phase spiders that are gifted aranged AOE venom spit when they should just attack in melee (which is two times as bizarre, given that D&D DOES offer spiders that canonically have ranged attacks), Minotaurs that don't "charge" in a straight line but do the whole hulk jumping and ground stomping instead, mud mephits and wood woads as pointed by GM4Him have been gimped to the point of being husks of what they were supposed to be, etc.

Is there any reason for it? Does the core design of the game benefits in any way of this complete disinterest in sticking with the source material? I honestly don't get it.

It feels almost like people at Larian, after going through the negotiations to get the official D&D license, one morning woke up decided that they felt only contempt and disdain for it.
"Who cares about this worthless trash, we'll do our own bestiary, with blackjack and hookers" or something of that sort.

Couldn't agree more... So far, to me, Larian has only proved how bad their homebrew implementations suck in multiple dimensions.
Originally Posted by GM4Him
The main point of this entire post is that they aren't even using 5e monsters as they were designed. They throw tough 5e monsters at players and then Nerf them. Why? They could use different monsters and NOT nerf them. They could create their own and do whatever the heck they want. But why turn imps into baby grunts, intellect devourers into straight up thugs with no real special traits, phase spiders into teleporting spitters...etc?

That's the point, people. Do you want a teleporting, spitting spider? Use phase spider stats and tweak them and call them something new and different. Give players a new breed of spider to have fun with and enjoy and get excited about. Make up new lore about them. Thats how you do homebrew right. You don't call it a Phase Spider and then have it act totally different. That messes with people familiar with the premade monsters.

First time I went into the spider lair, I saw a Phase Spider and prepared myself for a melee fight. Next thing I knew, BAM! Ports over my head and blasts my whole party with poison. I, being knowledgeable about Phase Spiders, was butchered by them because they acted in no way like Phase Spiders.

See my point?


I guess, they think they show how creative they are and we admire that! In reality, they just piss most of us DnD players off.
Critters exist, whether in the real world or a fantasy world, to fit certain ecological niches - for both flora and fauna.

The various D&D critters, via Monster Manuals or whatever they call them now in 5.0, fulfilled this admirably.

As noted, when Larian determines what type of "niche" critter is needed for a certain area, they need only consult available material to find the appropriate critter (Boss mobs and other specials are always exceptions.) When they veer widely from this material, it creates unnecessary lore conflicts. It's as if they put "Shark-People" into a desert clime - instead of using "Snake-people" , or placed camels in a tropical environment- it defies common sense. Lions hunt in packs, while spiders walk across the ceiling, not the other way around.

And while we are at it, my sword does NOT fire arrows and my longbow is NOT used to bash gargoyles over the head - just in case you were wondering Larian....

One of my fondest memories of the old Gold Box games, involved my party entering the cavernous lair of low level critters - kobolds as I recall - where it was immediately riddled with several rounds of arrows. The kobolds had no need of massive ac or hp - those arrows created the sense of immediate danger - and subsequently whittling down the kobold masses bit by bit, added to the suspense. They were still wimp ass, 3 hp kobolds, with an ac of probably 6 or 7 (back in the old THACO days) but the large numbers armed with ranged weapons kept my level 3 or 4 party (with higher hp and ac) busy and the fight satisfying. Exploding, flammable, poisoned arrows were unnecessary.
I like Larian. I really do. I just like consistency in a fantasy world. If you call a creature a red dragon, it should act like a red dragon. If you call a dragon a Cosmos Dragon, something no one has ever heard of, wow! Cool. You made up a new dragon. Tell me more. It flies in space? It can shoot stars out of its eyes? Great.

But don't make it look like a red dragon and call it a red dragon. I honestly think the easiest way for Larian to make us all happy about the monsters is to rename them and tweak their appearances. Call the Phase Spiders in the game now something like Zap Spitter Spiders and give them some new lore and change their appearance and we're good. Elliette created them or birthed them from her weird twisted magic.

But you gotta make goblins goblins and devourers devourers and imps imps.
Originally Posted by GM4Him
I like Larian. I really do. I just like consistency in a fantasy world. If you call a creature a red dragon, it should act like a red dragon. If you call a dragon a Cosmos Dragon, something no one has ever heard of, wow! Cool. You made up a new dragon. Tell me more. It flies in space? It can shoot stars out of its eyes? Great.

But don't make it look like a red dragon and call it a red dragon. I honestly think the easiest way for Larian to make us all happy about the monsters is to rename them and tweak their appearances. Call the Phase Spiders in the game now something like Zap Spitter Spiders and give them some new lore and change their appearance and we're good. Elliette created them or birthed them from her weird twisted magic.

But you gotta make goblins goblins and devourers devourers and imps imps.


I completely disagree. What Larian needs to do is staying faithful to 5e rules as much as possible rather than implementing unnecessary homebrew thingies. I didn't buy this game to fight zap spiders. This game was advertised as a 5e adaptation. What we need official 5e rules in the game.
Hey. I support using 5e stats. I'm one of the guys saying it. However, I'm not opposed to creating new monsters. However, the whole game shouldn't be new monsters. It should be mostly standard monsters with standard stats. Don't call it a goblin and then make it an orc. Either let me fight proper orcs or proper goblins. Don't give it a goblin skin but orc stats. That's my point.

Make a new monster? Give it a new name and lore. Don't make a Misty Step Spitter monster look like a Phase Spider and call it a Phase Spider.
I generally agree with most of this thread. I too think the phase spiders and spiderlings are strangely implemented, and that the spider fight overall focuses too much on verticality rather than genuine, monster-accurate strategy. Part of me isn't too bothered, though, because I believe it's highly possible that Larian just haven't finished the 'phase' ability and are using misty-step as a placeholder. The spider fights aren't really linked to the main quest and to me it seems like the most left-field bonus content of the entire EA, so it makes sense to me that they haven't finished implementing the full mechanics of that battle.

However, I have no real problem with the intellect devourers at the beginning of the game. It makes sense to me that Us doesn't insta-kill Tav and take over their body because Tav is host to a highly unique mind-flayer tadpole that needs to be protected. I also have no problem with Us not being able to insta-kill the Commander, because I consider winning that battle to be an 'easter egg' of sort and not really an intended result of the tutorial section - the same section that, if you do manage to kill the Commander, has the Mindflayer turn on you and the party, including Us, who can then attack its Mindflayer master? So I take that whole section with a grain of salt.

I also have no problems with the intellect devourers on the beach. I saw people complain that the party of 1 or 2 including shadowheart at level 1, or 2 if you did manage to kill the Commander on the nautiloid, shouldn't be able to take on 3 intellect devourers. Sure, but I'm also going to assume that the intellect devourers on the nautiloid were newborns just like Us. Also, remember, they just fell thousands of feet from the sky in a fiery blaze after warring with githyanki *and* imps, the intellect devourers on the beach are wounded. They didn't have an 'Absolute' to magic them safely out of the sky because the Absolute doesn't care about them, so it's a wonder they survived at all. This is why it doesn't really bother me that Tav and Shadowheart can kill them at the beginning. It's not even that easy anyway, if you don't firebolt the tank and run up the ledge at the side for extra distance - they still can insta-kill the party if they manage to get in close. I don't consider this a 'nerf' because it makes sense narratively.

Apart from this, I would definitely like to see some more battle-instances that are designed around strategy and tactics rather than verticality and ranged attacks. Putting a crossbow in the hands of all my weaker party members so they can run away from and whack the minotaurs/owlbear etc that just keep jumping around the battlefield instead of focusing on my damage-dealing tank is just weird. Feels like some of the battles are really well designed, and then others are sloppy, and I'm not even sure if that's down to the AI or the enemy's stats/abilities.
Taking a step back a moment, I want to be clear. Patch 5 is great. I enjoyed the game SO much more. I'm still not done with it, mind you, but it is so much more enjoyable. I don't feel like I'm bashing my head into the wall during every battle just trying to figure out how to cheese the fight in order to move forward. I felt like I was able to make my way through without getting frustrated. Some fights I did have to reload, but I felt like either that was due to just bad rolling the first go around or I made some stupid mistakes. It wasn't because the game was just too dang hard.

The hag fight, for example, used to piss me off to no end. I loved the concept of it, but the execution was awful. For my first playthrough, the only way I wound up beating her, after like a dozen tries, was that I finally got lucky and shoved her through the hole. I had one character left alive and had a 25% chance of shoving her and succeeded by some miracle. Now, in Patch 5, I had to maybe only play it twice at most, and each time I felt things were going relatively well.

The Gith fight I actually beat on my first try, reloaded it and did it again just to see what would happen. Same result. I won. It was tough, but not like it used to be where in the first round half my party was dead because they Misty Stepped to high ground or backstabbed me to death with two attacks from behind.

So, this said, my issue isn't so much that the game isn't fun. It's just the implementation of the monsters. I get what you're saying about the intellect devourers being weaker because of the crash, and they don't body thief you because of the special tadpole. I figured that was what they were kind of going for. They even have the devourers now with less health, as if they are injured. That's fine too. In fact, I thought having them with half or less health really fit the scene well.

The issue is simply that even at half health, whether newborns or not, they should be resistant to piercing, bludgeoning, etc. But even if you make an exception to this and say that they are all newborns who haven't developed resistance yet, my issue is that ALL of them are then newborns without resistance. Likewise, ALL of the imps you face have no resistance either. Are they ALSO newborn imps who haven't developed resistance? Why do imps not use Sting or Invisibility? Sting would be much more effective than melee or ranged weapons. It is one of their natural abilities, so why wouldn't they use it? Invisibility would make them like phase spiders, assassins who are not able to be seen until they attack you.

These are things that make the monsters what they are. Goblins are not tanky fighters. They are little grunts who are only really effective in large groups. So why use goblins instead of something like orcs, or if you are going to use goblins, why not just send out more of them so players feel like they are having to kill mass numbers of them as the challenge as opposed to only a few tanky ones? I can even accept that these are the Absolute's goblins, so maybe Gut has enhanced them with certain spells. Okay. That's fine. But phase spiders also don't act like phase spiders and wood woads don't really use wood woad stats and mud mephits don't use mud mephit stats, except maybe their ability to generate a few more mud mephits, and even that isn't implemented completely accurately. Then you have gnolls not being true gnolls and minotaurs not being true minotaurs, and so on and so forth.

I can work with one or two variants here or there. I can make excuses for those and accept them. The issue is that ALL the monsters are not using proper stats. ALL of the monsters are altered. Many of them are only what they are in name and skins only. What gives them their true identities has been stripped from them.

The main reason I use the intellect devourers as a prime example is because they don't even ever use devour intellect on anyone. That is their primary ability. That IS what makes them what they are. Devour Intellect and Body Thief are what they are. So, if you're going to use an intellect devour, even 1, let me see them be intellect devourers.

Neverwinter Nights, the original, made perfect use of an intellect devourer. It took over a soldier's mind and had that soldier attack the MC and companion. After that soldier died, it jumped out of him and ran to the next one and took him over. Then you had to fight another grunt soldier and kill him until the intellect devourer had no one left to take over... BUT YOU! But he didn't take you over. That was fine with me. No complaints. In fact, I'm glad they didn't allow it to do such a thing. That would have sucked. So the point is that they at least used its primary ability in some way.

In the same way, they could do something similar in the battle against the MC and Shadowheart. Have a single, or multiple, devourers that are super hurt with only a few HP left fighting some fishermen when you arrive. As you enter the battle, they devour intellect and body thief the fishermen. Then, as the fishermen, they attack you. You have to kill the fishermen and then they pop out. Then you have to finish them off. Maybe they only have like 2-5 HP left after the crash but they have resistance, so you have to still do at least 10 damage or something to finish each of the 3 off. That would be just fine. Something like that would make the scene more true to the creatures and make it so much more emotionally raw. Here are these fishermen who are just victims, but the devourers have taken them over and are using them to kill you. You have no choice but to kill them. Shadowheart could even say something like, "Their minds are gone. Don't hold back. They're already dead," just to appease any guilt you might have.

And, on that note, I would also ask, "If our tadpoles are special to the Mind Flayers and they want us to live, why are they trying to then kill us? If I help kill Zalk and save the Mind Flayer, why does he turn on me and try to then kill me? Shouldn't he, instead, use some sort of ability to take over my mind and MAKE me go to the controls? He's a mind flayer. Why is he not taking over minds especially of our characters? Why kill something so special to him? Why are the devourers even trying to kill us? If they don't Body Thief us because of our special tadpoles, why are they even attacking us? Shouldn't they be like, 'Ah! Master! Let me join you and help you fight anything that's coming to kill you?' Are they confused and disoriented?"

None of it makes sense, and that's where my problem comes in. Maybe it'll make sense later in the game. Whatever. I find it hard to believe that they could really make sense of every single creature being not true to their proper 5e stats and design, but if they can... Great! Fine. But they better have some seriously good reasoning for it. Otherwise, why?

Again, if you need mind flayer grunts, why not use something like Kuo-Toa? If you need goblinoid tanks, why not throw orcs in the mix or hobgoblins? The Absolute obviously has multiple races working for her. Why not more bugbears instead of tanky goblins? Why not some crazy spider variants? Why phase spiders that aren't acting like phase spiders? Why wood woads and mud mephits? Why not something else? Giant frogs? Something that fits more. The list goes on and on.
Originally Posted by lilaque
I would definitely like to see some more battle-instances that are designed around strategy and tactics rather than verticality and ranged attacks.

This, so much !

Verticality and ranged attacks are so much everywhere than playing foccused melee characters can be a pain in this game.
I agree with everything except for the imps and intellect devourers. I think the narrative reasons overrule any need for them to be their normal powerful selves because of it being the tutorial level. Larian want the nautiloid level to be engaging and bombastic without being overwhelming/overpowering. Later in the game, I'm sure that intellect devourers and mind-flayers and imps and devils and cambions etc from the first area will all be back in their true forms without any of the limitations set by the tutorial. We know that imps *can* use invisibility and sting, we know that from summoning them, they're just disabled in the tutorial so that Tav and Lae'zel and Shadowheart don't get their shit rocked before the game even really starts. I'm fine with this because I don't think it takes away from their identity as monsters, and I think that the tutorial would be less fun the other way.

I do agree, though, that it would be cool to actually see the intellect devourers take over someone's body. I think adding this to the beach would be cool. The 'abducted nobleman' in the husk of the ship could be still alive when we get to him, with one of the intellect devourers taking over his brain and the other one coming at Tav's party. Move the tank of fluid that's in the centre of the ship husk and put it at the entrance instead, so that Tav/Shadowheart can blow it up and give themselves a tactical advantage before the devourers reach them. I think that could at least solve the monster identity issue without making it super difficult.

Other than that, I agree about the gnolls and mephits and minotaurs etc. There's no real reason for them to not be set-up as their traditional selves w stats and abilities intact. If Larian wants us to go against loads of rangers then put us against another group of bandits that have taken over a fort, and leave the rest of the creatures alone.
I wholly agree and even in the case of the imps and intellect devourers there is no reason they cannot be included with the correct lore. This is simply creative laziness. I will explain:

They could easily have you fighting injured and or crippled enemies for your tutorial engagements. For example they could be debilitated from their previous fight. The Ship itself could be debilitating them somehow. A Nautaloid could be debilitating them and ends up bleeding out as soon as you finish combat.

There are so many things they can do to address this. These things would be easy to do and would not require much, do not attribute their disregard for this due to restraints, as that's simply untrue. The fact that they are disregarding the monsters so much is truly a sad thing to see.
Ok. I'm officially good with the goblins. Played Gut scene and talked with all the gobbos. I'm not sire which one says it, but the goblin tells the MC that the Mark of the Absolute is ehat enhances them. So, many of the goblins do not have enhanced homebrew stats because they aren't marked, but many do have enhanced stats because of the mark.

I can accept that. I'm good with it. They actually had someone explain it. That's cool.

Still, not every monster in the game was altered by the Absolute. Right? RIGHT? 😳
Wait! What if they were? 😳

Phase Spiders in the Whispering Depths came from Elliette, who was captured by Drow. She only escaped because of some turmoil in the Drow families. Perhaps she wasn't visited by Lloth but the Absolute and enhanced by the Absolute. She gave birth, then, to Phase Spider variants.

The wood woads and mephits were alsoessed with too? Wait. No. Can't even remotely make a connection there. Same with imps.

Sigh. 😔 Oh well. Thought I had something.
The gnolls definitely were though! The leader of the pack was infected with a tadpole and the others were following its commands, they had painted blood murals of the Absolute's insignia on the rocks around their den.

Goblins and gnolls definitely are accounted for with Absolute meddling, not sure about the wood woads and mephits, they're more linked to Kagha right? I've seen no connection to her and the Absolute but perhaps the Shadow Druids that she was indoctrinated into are? Maybe that's the connection? No idea about the spiders, I didn't even know about the matriarch's backstory until I read this thread, I must have missed a journal or something in the caves.
Originally Posted by lilaque
The gnolls definitely were though! The leader of the pack was infected with a tadpole and the others were following its commands, they had painted blood murals of the Absolute's insignia on the rocks around their den.

Goblins and gnolls definitely are accounted for with Absolute meddling, not sure about the wood woads and mephits, they're more linked to Kagha right? I've seen no connection to her and the Absolute but perhaps the Shadow Druids that she was indoctrinated into are? Maybe that's the connection? No idea about the spiders, I didn't even know about the matriarch's backstory until I read this thread, I must have missed a journal or something in the caves.

Between journals in the apothecary and the whispering depths, you het her full story.
The point isn't really how many excuses one can come up with to explain why nothing is ordinary.
It's more about mundane the "extraordinary" becomes when you try to make everything special.

It's perfectly fine to have an aberration from the norm (the gnoll pack leader in this case). Less so when you are making up contrived crap every two steps to justify how nothing matches the standard baseline.
Originally Posted by Tuco
The point isn't really how many excuses one can come up with to explain why nothing is ordinary.
It's more about mundane the "extraordinary" becomes when you try to make everything special.

It's perfectly fine to have an aberration from the norm (the gnoll pack leader in this case). Less so when you are making up contrived crap every two steps to justify how nothing matches the standard baseline.

Exactly this, if you want to have a Gnoll leader of some kind who has been marked by the absolute and so has enhanced stats, fine. But don't make his entire pack the exact same as him, or every gnoll in the game the same, because then the leader isn't some kind of special gnoll but rather just another regular gnoll with altered stats like all the others. Same for the goblins, a few marked goblins is fine, but if every single goblin in the game were to be marked and buffed then they aren't really special anymore, they're all just homebrew goblins.
But they're not, and that's what I'm saying. Fight the gobbos at the camp and you'll find a lot of them with normal stats. Some of the gnolls are too. So they actually did do a mix of both normal and not normal for both races.

What isn't normal at all are the imps, though they used to be MORE normal, and especially the intellect devourers, the wood woads and the mephits.. and ESPECIALLY the phase spiders, and minotaurs, and hook horrors and...

You know what... never mind. 😂
Originally Posted by Tuco
The point isn't really how many excuses one can come up with to explain why nothing is ordinary.
It's more about mundane the "extraordinary" becomes when you try to make everything special.

It's perfectly fine to have an aberration from the norm (the gnoll pack leader in this case). Less so when you are making up contrived crap every two steps to justify how nothing matches the standard baseline.


Cool your fire, friend, try not to dictate the flow of conversation just cuz it doesn't perfectly align with the sentiments shared in your OP. All we're doing is discussing our opinions and making slight jests at the vaguely possible reasons that Larian may or may not have made the monsters the way they did. What exactly was the point of posting on here if not to invite people to talk about their own opinions?

Me being in favour of making changes to monsters for narrative reasons doesn't mean I'm 'making up contrived crap every two steps', I literally have also criticised some of the monsters' implementations myself as well. It doesn't have to be just for or against. It's more than black or white.
Originally Posted by lilaque
Cool your fire, friend, try not to dictate the flow of conversation just cuz it doesn't perfectly align with the sentiments shared in your OP. All we're doing is discussing our opinions and making slight jests at the vaguely possible reasons that Larian may or may not have made the monsters the way they did. What exactly was the point of posting on here if not to invite people to talk about their own opinions?

Me being in favour of making changes to monsters for narrative reasons doesn't mean I'm 'making up contrived crap every two steps', I literally have also criticised some of the monsters' implementations myself as well. It doesn't have to be just for or against. It's more than black or white.
Well, you can chill. You weren’t being scolded, if that was your worry.

I was just making a point (and I stand by it) that figuring out a convenient excuse doesn’t solve the problem at all.

And the problem is precisely that making too many exceptions strips the setting of its very sense of consistency/familiarity.

After a while you start to get the feeling you aren’t even playing a D&D game anymore , but something more sinister and evil: Rivellion wearing the Forgotten Realms skin like an Edgar-suit.
I have considered it a bit more. Having a variety of monsters instead of cookie cutter ones is nice. Still, there is a bit too mich homebrew that really is taking away from what makes the monsters what they are, and that is the main point.

So all kidding aside, there are quite a number of monsters that dont even seem like they fit their race. I would like to see the monsters being true to their natures. Like it was said, minotaurs should be charging, not hulk jumping and smashing. Devourers should be shown taking people over, etc.
Totally chill, just wanted to make sure we all remember this is a discussion of opinions smile Your sentiment is fine it was just worded in a way that could have provoked someone with a shorter temper than I. There are indeed too many unrealised monster identities, but I'm sure they will be fixed, besides the narrative ones, if people fill in the feedback tickets from Larian surveys and from the Larian launcher (and ofc if anyone from Larian reads this thread).
Also, what exactly are the odds that a Gnoll could even be persuaded to the side of the Absolute? Admittedly I haven't gotten far into the story line so I don't know what/who the Absolute is or what their abilities are, but from what I know Gnolls are basically just beings of pure chaotic evil who want nothing more than to raid and eat and whatever else their god(?) Yeenoghu wants. So...why exactly would a Gnoll, who's entire existence is basically just about raiding and killing and such, align themselves with this Absolute and their ordered form of evil? Seems like Yeenoghu would make a snack of them for this.
Originally Posted by Pupito
Also, what exactly are the odds that a Gnoll could even be persuaded to the side of the Absolute?
I didnt even know that happened ... O_o
Could you please provide more information?

Bcs as far as i know, if you pray for the origin of Gnoll leader tadpole (others of hic pack are not tadpoled if im not mistaken) she is showing you the image of her being hold by several people in place, while mind flayer gives her the tadpole ...
That description didnt seem much like "persuation" more like just the same that happened to Tav. laugh
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by Pupito
Also, what exactly are the odds that a Gnoll could even be persuaded to the side of the Absolute?
I didnt even know that happened ... O_o
Could you please provide more information?

Bcs as far as i know, if you pray for the origin of Gnoll leader tadpole (others of hic pack are not tadpoled if im not mistaken) she is showing you the image of her being hold by several people in place, while mind flayer gives her the tadpole ...
That description didnt seem much like "persuation" more like just the same that happened to Tav. laugh

Right. She was savagely dominated and barely restrained at all by the Absolute, not persuaded. Flind then was used by the absolute to guide and manipulate the rest of the gnoll pack.
Yeah persuasion was a loose term hehe. More like tortured and forced, and now the tadpole is controlling its every move. Definitely not voluntary like the goblins or drow, since they seem to have no knowledge of being infected, or memory of it happening.
Ah okay, I didn't even know there was a way for me to find out how the Gnoll had been converted. Maybe I'm thinking of the wrong Gnoll or something, I haven't reached them in patch 5 yet and all I really remember about them in the previous playthrough I did was them being stupidly strong with lots of multiattacks, annoyingly always being on the high ground with their bows to make their multiattacks even stronger, and having weird ties to the Absolute and weird homebrew abilities and crap.

Follow up question though, why are the other Gnolls going along with this? Is it just like a strength, don't challenge the leader cause you'll be crushed kind of thing? Don't know too much about Gnoll lore, but wouldn't the others be kind of thrown off when their leader starts to follow some other god?
Originally Posted by Pupito
Ah okay, I didn't even know there was a way for me to find out how the Gnoll had been converted. Maybe I'm thinking of the wrong Gnoll or something, I haven't reached them in patch 5 yet and all I really remember about them in the previous playthrough I did was them being stupidly strong with lots of multiattacks, annoyingly always being on the high ground with their bows to make their multiattacks even stronger, and having weird ties to the Absolute and weird homebrew abilities and crap.

Follow up question though, why are the other Gnolls going along with this? Is it just like a strength, don't challenge the leader cause you'll be crushed kind of thing? Don't know too much about Gnoll lore, but wouldn't the others be kind of thrown off when their leader starts to follow some other god?

Gnolls are demonicaly influenced Hyenas. They do not follower a god but are connected to a Demon Lord. Meaning, the only way I could see that working if you somehow mind controll the leader and that leader steers the rest in a beneficial direction.

Pretty sure you can not incorporate chaotic evil demonic animals into any sort of cult or religion.
Originally Posted by Fox of Embers
Gnolls are demonicaly influenced Hyenas. They do not follower a god but are connected to a Demon Lord. Meaning, the only way I could see that working if you somehow mind controll the leader and that leader steers the rest in a beneficial direction.

Pretty sure you can not incorporate chaotic evil demonic animals into any sort of cult or religion.

That's what I meant by god, demon or not I figure it's kind of like a god to them.
I love how Gnolls are described in "Volo's Guide to Monsters".

Here is a small flavor text that can be found in the chapter about Gnolls:

INSIDE THE MIND OF A GNOLL

From a journal recovered from a slain cultist of Yeenoghu:

Day 2: The subject continues to growl and struggle, despite
the removal of its arms and legs. I will let it starve for
a few days to weaken its mental fortitude. If the gnoll does
have some sort of tie to the Abyss, I must keep my focus
on exploiting that link, even though the creature's mind
might remain aware.

Day 6: No appreciable loss of vigor.

Day 11: Still no appreciable loss of vigor.

Day 13: Ritual must commence tomorrow despite subject's
high level of mental activity.

Day 14: The ritual brought our minds together. I was assailed
simultaneously by hunger and rage, as if some great
force from beyond had reached out and commanded me
only to kill and eat. Though it lasted only a short time, it
was a terrifying feeling to my human mind, but in a way it
was also comforting to feel myself a part of a much greater
design. What I felt was not the hunger of one beast, but
the hunger of all of them.

Day 15: Used the ritual to join our minds again. This
time I realized where the hunger began. I was consumed
by the infinite hunger and boundless rage of great Yeenoghu,
and I knew it could never be sated. Yet I felt driven to
feed my lord. I killed and devoured a goat while linked to
the gnoll's mind. I had set aside a knife for the deed but
killed it with my bare hands instead. The flesh was warm. I
fed myself, I fed Yeenoghu.

Day 16: Third use of ritual. As my connection to my lord
deepens, I leave my old concerns behind. His hunger is all
that matters. It is greater than me; it is greater than us all.
It is His mark. He made us. He drives us. He eats what
we eat. He kills what we kill. He will come if we eat well.
He will come if we kill well. He will come if we eat well. He
will come if we kill well. We will kill and He will eat, and we
shall be He and He shall be we, never alone, never afraid,
never hungry.


So yeah, if just one gnoll (may it even be the pack leader) is subjected to the will of the Absolute, imho the other gnolls of the pack should still have their connection to the Demon Lord Yeenoghu.
Ankhegs

Like not that we have to find a full suit of badass plate armor in the first small town we reach, but you know, just the party getting gutted by an ankheg somewhere near the river?

Those are the kind of BG1 call backs I hope they make more of. I feel like the flayer vs gith, starting out with imps, having a vampire be the second person we meet, goblins, these are all BG2 call backs from the game set in the city of coin. This game should be focusing more on the BG1 call backs I think.

Kobolds, Xvarts, but you know, more stuff from BG1. For most I think BG2 is probably more what they remember, so seeing the monsters from BG1 again would be a nice touch. I was pleased to see Gnolls and Skeletons and Spiders for sure, plaudits for at least making sure those were up front hehe, but definitely an Ankheg and maybe a Wyvern? since we know which sort of monstrous creatures we might expect to run into in this part of the sword coast from the first game. I'd rather they juice it like that rather than homebrewing mini-boss gobbos. It'd be funny if we ran into the lone surviving Xvart who escaped "the battle of fireball run" to found a new colony, that's only just now getting back on its feet lol. This time it should be on a cliff near the cave of Ursa, so the party can shockwave a dozen Xvarts into oblivion. I don't know, but yeah, more of the classics
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