Content of the article: "Tweaking Legendary Resistances"
I'm looking for a way to alter the Legendary Resistance mechanic to make it more satisfying in play.
As far as I know, the main problems that LR has are:
- It is arbitrary. Dragons, liches, elder brains, vampires and the main antagonists of your campaigns get it for no discernible in-game reason, which isn't very coherent nor satisfying.
- It introduces concurrent "health" pools. What I mean by that is that there is two ways to defeat a monster with LR: either you bring his HP to 0, or you get rid of his LR and land powerful spells on him. The main issue with this is that progressing on one track does not impact the other at all, so the optimal strategy is to focus on targeting either HP or LR. Of course, if the entirety of the party have the same natural target among HP and LR, that's not much of an issue, but mixed parties will have PCs that does not contribute much to the fight.
- It impacts different caster playstyles very differently. Most casters have some sort of specialty or preferred strategy, such as dealing direct damage, buffing, debuffing, CCing, summoning, and so on. Unfortunately several of these playstyles are severely hampered by LR while others are hardly affected.
- It severely impacts spell choices at higher levels. Since casters can expect that their high-level spells will be used on a high-level baddie with LR, they are encouraged to choose spells that are not affected by LR, such as the infamous Forcecage or Maze. Having the majority of one's spell list be useless in practice is not satisfying for players.
In order to address these issues, I considered several solutions on which I'd like some feedback:
- LR only allows to reroll the save. That would make LR less of and impenetrable wall, at the risk of allowing the fight to end quickly if the antagonist is unlucky with his dice.
- LR only allows to reroll the save. If the rerolled save is failed, another use of LR may be used to reroll it. This drastically lessens the probability of having a 1-hit KO, while allowing a lone caster to burn through 3 LRs before his buddies kill the antagonist.
- Using LR consumes a significant amount of HP. This would lessen the aforementioned issue of concurrent health pools, while adding a strategic element to LR use. Is it worse to suffer the full effects of the spell, or to lose a lot of HP? I'm thinking of having the HP loss somewhere between 10% and 20% of the antagonist's maximum HP.
- LR must be used before the roll. It make the choice to use LR more interesting, as using it for every roll would make it run out very quickly.
- The nuclear option: no LR. If the participants are in a similar league, a 1v4 fight should result in swift defeat for the outnumbered party. Therefore, if the antagonist was caught alone, the natural consequence of that is for him to die. The DM should not be playing favorites by giving him unjustified legendary resistances. While this would make the story more believable and coherent, it would make a boss fight potentially less interesting. I think this could work for the right group of players.
I'd like to hear what you think about the proposed solutions, as well as what are your own ideas to fix legendary resistance's problems.
- Make sure you know how a spell works before you choose it!
- If only the tarrasque didn’t have proficiency in these saving throws. . .
- Just noticed it takes Wizards and Clerics a while after a long rest to get their spells ready
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