One curious change to monsters in #dnd is that the Roper went from being a exceptionally intelligent foe to a dumb monster. pic.twitter.com/mm2FntIQSc
— Merric Blackman (@MerricB) June 22, 2017
AD&D ropers also spent 10% of their time outside of their lairs. At the theater, no doubt. #WOTCstaff https://t.co/Ol1EHbnxj3
— Christopher Perkins (@ChrisPerkinsDnD) June 22, 2017
3 thoughts on “Why Roper went from being an exceptionally intelligent foe to a dumb monster?”
I think drastic changes to various creatures are some of the riskiest things the devs do, and I think more often than not they screw it up.
Sometimes a change is good and works, like kobolds being weird little dragon men rather than weird little dog-like goblinoids; or like the Firbolg going from being boring generic kind-of-giants to being their own unique thing inspired more by sylvan fey, and filling a unique niche by being a “big” kind of fey relative.
But other changes are just bad, or at best are severe headscratchers. Why did Kenku go from being an exotic race from Kara-Tur based off Japanese myths about Tengu, to being the servant race of a mysterious unknown power from another plane of existence who cursed them to be unable to speak or to have original thoughts?
How the hell are you supposed to function in the game without being able to speak, or to display creativity? This is literally a storytelling game where the primary things you do are speak and be creative!
If your character’s race magically prevents them from being able to think of things for themselves or do anything of their own volition, you might as well be playing as the party’s pet dog! You have to wait for your teammates to tell you what to do, how to do it, and when to do it! And if a plan goes wrong, you can’t come up with a new one, or improvise? Not even the most dedicated roleplayers would tolerate those kinds of limitations! You have no agency, either as a player or as a character! You’re just a robot following orders, for reasons that are intentionally left completely unexplained, and that you can do literally nothing about.
Why even make a race playable if the vast majority of people will never play it without houseruling? Why waste space in the book, and cut other actually useful material that could be printed instead?
It’s a unique option. Playing a kenkku would be completely different from playing any other race, for sure. I have known of a few players to do so very well and to great effect and it was a unique experience for everyone at the player. It’s a challenge few will be interested in but not a waste of pages for sure.
How did they do so with great effect? To me you either have to bend the lack of creative thought and let the player have so lee way there or they just become a lacky. or are you saying they were just real good at being a mindless lacky? could be fun to be the funny sidekick