If a monster is big enough and bad enough to challenge an entire party on their own, or if it just makes sense for the Queen of the Goblins to be better than a normal Goblin Boss, we make a named, unique, Action-Oriented version of that monster.
This is something we originally developed for the Chain of Acheron. The Black Iron Pact was the first test of this design. It was a success, and we’ve learned a LOT since! Action-Oriented monsters get special Villain Actions that allow them to act when it’s not their turn, and they rely on spells much less.
We love all the classic monsters! Goblins, kobolds, orcs, giants, dragons… We just wish they were more fun to use. Here’s how we’re going to do it:
Look, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel here. Any 5E GM should be able to use any monsters in here with a minimum of fuss. But there are a couple of new ideas in here, and some cleaning up of the standard language to make things more straightforward.