Last week my party in &D had a great RP-driven session, having just survived a huge throwdown with a fiend-controlled Arch-druid, a humongo spider, and a zillion spiderlings.

I really like 5e's Legendary action system. A great way to address the primacy of action economy in the game.

What's action economy? It's the idea that in a tactical combat game, having more actions is a huge advantage. In earlier versions of D&D, a 5-person party vs. a dragon instantly had the advantage if the dragon only got one action per round, even if they got claw/claw/bite.

Legendary Actions, and their sibling Lair Actions, sets up a system where boss creatures get another action in the round to be able to react and pose a threat. Lair actions represent the monster's lair acting.

In this case, the spider got a Legendary Action (mostly webbing and biting) and the Lair got actions, which mostly involved birthing new spiders to throw at us (ala spawning mobs/adds in a raid).


It made the combat feel much less in our control, systematized the rate of new monsters coming in, and made the boss feel like a Boss.

The last boss we fought, a necromancer, got totally overwhelmed by our party, esp. by our Smite-tastic vengeance Paladin. Even with undead minions around, he just didn't have the opportunity to really put the pressure on us or keep away from our DPS. Legendary Actions would have changed that a lot.

The Ruler Reactions in the X-Com 2 expansion does the same kind of thing. Being able to interrupt and/or act out of turn is a *huge* tactical asset in turn-based .

@MichaelRUnderwood Useful/interesting thread from a design POV, thanks :)

@JubalBarca You're very welcome! I've been thinking a lot about design of late, as well, watching/listening to more Actual Play games, esp. how to design for a version of RPGing where many games have non-player/GM audiences (Twitch, etc.)

@MichaelRUnderwood Yes, I've never had much time or inclination to do a lot of watching others' games for entertainment, but it does seem to be a growing thing!

@JubalBarca There was a chunk of a couple of years where I didn't have any gaming group, and following games-as-entertainment helped me scratch that itch.

@MichaelRUnderwood Aye, that makes sense :) I need to find a new gaming group, or start one; I moved to Vienna a few months back and still working on that sort of thing!

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