What’s behind the decision to not give the Kraken Legendary Resistances?

6 thoughts on “What’s behind the decision to not give the Kraken Legendary Resistances?

  1. D. Walker says:

    Are you serious.

    Mr. Crawford, you’re the one who designed the game. You’re the one whose opinion matters. And people come to you asking for insights into your thought process behind certain aspects of the game precisly BECAUSE you are the experienced designer behind the game they enjoy.

    Comments like the one you provided are not helpful. You come across as passive-aggresive and disdainful and condescending of your customers.

    When someone asks your expert opinion about the game you made, the appropriate response is NOT to deflect their question and instead ask what THEY would do if THEY were an experienced professional and expert in YOUR field.

    • Jon M. says:

      This is a long standing tradition in D&D dating back to when people would look up Gary Gygax in the phone book and call him to ask him how he would handle a situation. He would respond “Well how did you handle it?”, listen, and say “That sounds like a good way to do it.” The intent is to impower people to make their own decisions. If the DM thinks the Kraken should have legendary resistances in their game, then just give it legendary resistances.

      On top of that “Why?” is a perfectly legitimate question. If you see someone asking your opinion as passive-aggressive, disdainful, and condescending, then that’s an issue with you, not the person asking.

      • tideoftime says:

        The first part of your paragraph is contextually correct, but only relative to the time/era in question. Due to Twitter, et al, not existing decades ago and people having to potentially wait several months to see a question of theirs answered in Sage Advice (which they’d have to *pay* to see, via purchasing Dragon magazine/having a subscription), it was fine for Gygax to answer the way he did (particularly as, honestly, those people *shouldn’t* have been calling him at his private home). His trying to get people to feel more empowered relative to their own ability to adjudicate and/or create new elements in their games was a good thing for that time; however, that open-ended suggestion is already part-and-parcel of the game as-written-and-presented in 5E. People are encouraged to use and abuse the system(s) provided and homebrew left, right and center. It isn’t empowerment that they need in that regard relative to asking “X” about “Y” — the game already stresses that empowerment, as does the secondary sources/people.

        What is *actually* important in this regard is that when someone asked as question like Marc did, JC not play the Uno “Reverse” card on them. Most people already know that they can make up/change things as they’d like as, again, that is indicated in the books themselves and stressed by JC & Co. on the regular basis. Asking about what the headwriter and associated writers were basing, in this case, a high-threat/better known creature’s lack of a given feature on (a feature which many comparable and even lesser-standing status possess) *is* a very legitimate question — one that “reversing” it back to the questioner does absolutely nothing to help understand the situation/basis involved.

        Lastly, your second paragraph, as-phrased, reads slightly peculiar relative to the comment that D. Walker was making: you make it sound as if he’s saying that Marc is the one he perceives as “passive-aggressive/condescending”, et al, when he is directing that at JC. Nothing of what he comments is negatively directed towards Marc. Your comment in that regard makes very little sense no matter how you read it.

  2. Brian Hamilton says:

    I don’t know if I would call it passive aggressive. However, I do agree that it’s a pretty condescending answer. I don’t want to know what the OP thinks. I want to know whether the WotC team debated over giving the tarrasque legendary resistances. If they did, why did they decide against it?

    It’s not at all interesting to know whether a random guy on Twitter thinks a particular monster should have legendary resistances. What’s interesting is knowing the history behind the design and development of a monster. For example, I still recall the article that Jessie Decker and David wrote about the proud nails of 3.5. Among them were the seemingly random abilities of the ogre mage whose abilities were just a one-for-one translation of its abilties in 2nd Edition. Mike Mearls, also chafing about these seemingly random abilities, then wrote a followup article redesigning the ogre mage as a more interesting and challenging encounter for 3.5. That’s why I think that D. Walker has a point. If you’re going to respond to fans, tell them what they want to know. Otherwise, it does come across as condescending.

  3. tideoftime says:

    The question is contextually highly legitimate give the relative status, power and threat-level that the Kraken has. Beings of of comparable or even lesser status (adult dragons, vampires, and similar) all have legendary resistances; it seems peculiar that the Kraken *wouldn’t*, so asking about the design rationales behind deciding that are very legitimate and shouldn’t be deflected.

  4. Bill M. says:

    I love the internet.

    The kraken is a “signature monster”. Unlike orcs, goblins, and their endless-manifold ilk, a kraken is closer to evil dragons; highly intelligent, wise, and quintessentially evil. Legendary resistances are attached to legendary monsters, of which the kraken is quintessentially part.

    The mechanic allows for Kraken to be “the more they deserve to be”.

    I’m currently playing a first level monk, so the idea of fighting a kraken is laughably absurd, but as a higher level character, I would most likely hunt for it.

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