Tag: CR 1/4

  • Scavver Tactics

    Scavvers are good old-fashioned monstrosities, not hostile per se but interested solely in their next meal, and the next, and the next. They come in four varieties: in ascending order of strength, the gray scavver, brown scavver, night scavver and void scavver. Unfortunately, once again, their stat blocks include nothing that’s tactically interesting. They’re brutes. They chomp. That’s all there is.

    Strength is the primary offensive ability of all scavvers, and Constitution is their primary defensive ability. Their Intelligence and Charisma are rock-bottom, and their Dexterity and Wisdom are somewhere in between. The humanoid-average Wisdom of gray, brown and night scavvers means they know when to flee a combat encounter but are indiscriminate in choosing targets. Void scavvers are better at choosing targets—preferring the young, the old, the weak, the isolated and the oblivious—and will avoid groups that are clearly too much for them to take on, but their rock-bottom Intelligence means that what’s clear to most people probably won’t be clear to them until they’ve already engaged. All scavvers operate purely from instinct and are primarily interested in an easy meal, so they’re not hard to drive off. They’ll retreat when only moderately wounded, which for a gray scavver means being reduced to 13 hp or fewer, for a brown scavver means being reduced to 35 hp or fewer, for a night scavver means being reduced to 79 hp or fewer, and for a void scavver means being reduced to 109 hp or fewer.

    Night scavvers and void scavvers have proficiency in Perception and expertise in Stealth, indicating that they seek to ambush their prey rather than saunter right up and monch. Wait—how do you ambush someone in wide-open, featureless space? Well, the Astral Sea may be a swirling, misty expanse of silvery gray, but Wildspace looks like … space. It’s pitch-dark, an expanse of black velvet sprinkled with countless motes of light, and night scavvers’ and void scavvers’ coloration offers them camouflage against this backdrop. While this adaptation may grant them a surprise round in combat and even give them a free unseen attack with advantage, that’s all it does for them.

  • Draconic Elemental, Construct and Ooze Tactics

    Time to put the wraps on Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons with a roundup of the last several creatures remaining: animated breath, metallic sentinels, dragonbone golems and dragonblood ooze. (That’s right—a draconic ooze!)

  • Monsters of the Multiverse: NPCs

    Continuing my examination of the stat block updates in Monsters of the Multiverse, today I look at nonplayer characters. Since the majority of NPCs in Volo’s Guide to Monsters (they all come from Volo’s—there are no NPC stat blocks in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes) are spellcasters, and since spellcasting is the most frequently changed mechanic in Multiverse, all but a few of these NPCs have received some substantive change, and the ones that haven’t are all non-spellcasters.


  • Monsters of the Multiverse Humanoids, Part 1

    I’m going to look at the significant changes to monsters in Monsters of the Multiverse in the order they appear in MOAR! Monsters Know What They’re Doing (which, for the record, is not random, OK?—they’re in order of challenge rating, from low to high) and grouped by creature type, starting with the humanoids. Which means the first ones I’m going to look at are the sorry, sad-sack xvarts.

    The basic xvart loses the Overbearing Pack feature; the shoving effect is moved into the Shortsword attack, which includes pushing the target 5 feet but not knocking it prone. This change means that the strategy of knocking down targets to attack them with advantage is history.

    Since they still have Raxivort’s Tongue, I do think the idea that they’d team up with giant rats and giant bats remains sound. Because of how the shoving rider works, they do still have an incentive to double-team their opponents, but simply pushing the target 5 feet doesn’t offer much benefit. It can’t be used to trigger opportunity attacks: you don’t get an OA when a creature is pushed out of your reach against their will.

    The only peak in their ability contour is in Dexterity, so xvarts are either shock attackers or snipers. But both of these combat roles require a way to maximize damage. How can xvarts do that?

    1. Like before, xvarts send their beast buddies into combat first. Then, while the xvarts’ foes are fending them off, they pop up and attack from 30 feet away with their slings. When charged, they use Low Cunning to slip away.
    2. Xvarts hide near a pit full of giant rats, then use the shoving rider to push their foes into the pit. This plan is made feasible by the fact that the shove is automatic on a Shortsword hit: the target doesn’t get to make a Strength check to resist it. Xvarts need that edge, because they haven’t got much else.


  • Fastieth and Clawfoot Tactics

    What’s better than steampunk fantasy? Steampunk fantasy with dinosaurs! Eberron: Rising From the Last War includes stat blocks for two, both used by the nomadic halflings of the Talenta Plains as trained mounts: fastieth and clawfoots. (more…)

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