You know what I miss? D&D 3.5’s templates.

You know what I miss? D&D 3.5’s templates.

You know what I miss? D&D 3.5’s templates.

When the Shadow King desires to claim a great beast as his own, he will bind it with great and heavy chains so thoroughly one can barely see the original creature. Chains freezing cold to the touch, with the creature’s true name etched into every link. Shackled Trolls are a common sight in the Shadow King’s territories, serving as heavy infantry in his armies, and rumors have it that a Shackled Dragon serves as his very own steed, although the reliability of such accounts are highly in question.

Shackled is a template that applies to any Large or Huge monster. It gains +1 armor, the special qualities “Ponderous” and “Bound to the Shadow King’s will”, and the move “Entangle someone in its chains”.

22 thoughts on “You know what I miss? D&D 3.5’s templates.”

  1. You know… My Dungeon World game totally has a Shadow Queen with huge monsters bound to her will…

    Ben, I’m taking your move and there’s nothing you can do about it!

  2. Although, on that note, I’d totally rewrite this as a move instead or trying to make “templates” a new mechanical thing.

    When the Shadow Queen Bind’s a Monster to Her Will, that monster gains +1 armour, the special qualities “Ponderous” and “Bound to the Shadow King’s will”, and the move “Entangle someone in its chains”

  3. Well, this specific case works well as a move, but ‘born that way’ templates like Half-Fiend or whatnot might work better with the ‘traditional’ format.

  4. Well, sure, but that’s a “move” that is… pretty unlikely to come up in play, at least not nearly so much as game prep, so why not phrase it as a template you can add on to monster creation process?

  5. Well, if you want to stick it into the monster creation process, I’d just add it to that list of monster creation questions.

    Regardless, there’s nothing WRONG with writing templates up as a thing. I just think phrasing it as a move is COOLER.

  6. Yeah, templates are like a compendium class for monster creation. Or, as I see it, a way to easily hack existing monsters. “You know, maybe I’ll add ‘hydraic’ and ‘rot-grub infested’ these Maggot-Squids, mix it up a little!”

  7. I like the compendium class comparison. A compendium class is, in a way, a move itself that modifies future advancement, but we don’t phrase it like a move because it’s easier to deal with this way.

    Likewise, I think phrasing it as a fictionally-predicated template is maybe easier to track than a move, even though it’s really the same thing.

  8. See, I thought compendium classes WERE phrased like moves… They’re all in the “When fictional circumstances occur, specific mechanical rules” format, right?

  9. Yes, but we dont list them like moves. I guess it’s a matter of presentation but once you get away from the one paragraph format I start to think of it as move-like.

    But hey, this is just a formatting thing. This rocks no matter what.

  10. Yeah, I agree with easier-to-parseness, hence my leaning. Not that the idea of monster-modifying moves are bad, especially ones that you think might happen on-screen! “When something gets exposed to the energies of the Dimensional Vortex…”

  11. I never did anything with it myself. I suppose the easy hack is to consider the “template” you want, go through the monster creation process, and ask yourself if it changes the answers to any of the questions.

Comments are closed.