Yes those dreaded humanoids. Players want to
play them but DMs have a hard time dealing with them. Simple beings
like goblins and kobolds are easy to incorporate into a campaign
but what if the players want to play something more DM challenging.
Ogres are an excellent example of powerful humanoids that make DM's
Image, in 2nd edition, a massive brute with a
19 strength and a 19 constitution. An ogre with a maximum of 19
hit points at 1st level, specialized in 2-handed sword, and shield.
He is a whopping +4 to hit and +9 damage. No simple 1st level monster
can take that! At 5th level this beast has, on average, has 57 hit
points, does a d10+9 damage, and has a THAC0 of 12. Lets not forget
he can't be held by hold person and he has a natural AC of 5 plus
his shield. So what if he's a moron, a klutz, and is ugly. Usually
we know why players pick this race, to smash, kill, and be powerful
One must remember that in 2nd edition large creatures
take large damage. That bad breath hulk is taking a d12 from a long
sword not a d8. Make him the main target of ambushes. Make it more
difficult for him to get magic that he can use. Also remember that
players should play their characters appropriately. Ogres don't
figure out plots, traps, or solve the riddle of the sphinx.
Another problem that confronts ogres is the friendly
factor. Already plagued by a low charisma and short aggressive temper,
ogres don't fit well in the civilized world. Commoners are more
often than not going to run in fear from the ogre, perhaps even
get a mob together. Higher level characters would promptly want
to kill the beast, unless PCs reason with them.
When performing combat against the party it is
difficult to balance villains properly when one character stands
out so much. Making the enemy equal to the level of the party will
make combat a breeze for the players as the ogre will generally
smash everything. The party will make sure the ogre always is well
protected. If the enemy is too high level then as soon as the ogre
goes down they party gets the crap beaten out of them.
A better approach is to make one opponent equal
in power to the ogre and the rest to the party. This way it will
keep him busy and if he goes down the ogre's specialized opponent
will be already damaged enough that the other party members can
The last approach is a bit more fun for the DM,
at least when I did it. Make a large group of small annoying creatures
to assault the party and their ogre beast. Sure there will be a
lot of corpses flying but so many creatures trying to hit the ogre
will gradually bring him down to size. If your really malicious
allow the large runt group a cleric or wizard that animates the
bodies as they drop. Since there are so many opponents the party
will have a difficult time getting to the evil spell caster
If all else fails and the ogre is ruining your
campaign and encounters, eliminate the threat by a force of great
magnitude. I don't prefer this method myself. I would not allow
the race in the first place if I felt it was a problem.
...Darth and Negahri, tired from their ordeal
with the pursuing party, have managed to evade them. It is finally
safe and Darth heals the ogres wounds, he is at full strength again
and ready to do battle.
As they find their way
out of the sewers they come across a chest along a small passage.
"How unusual" Darth thinks. Negahri seeing treasure immediately
picks up the chest to open it. It is heavy so he picks it up from
both sides before Darth can usher a word of caution.
Suddenly Negahri can't
let go of the chest and the lid opens up with a set of teeth. Darth
recognizes the creature as a mimic as tells Negahri to let go and
smash it. Negahri raises the chest above his head to smash the mimic
against the wall. In his haste, he perfectly places the animated
mouth above his head. One chomp later the mimic has satisfied his
hunger and Darth's strong lackey is dead. Darth quickly moves away
from the exotic beast and grumbles to himself, "stupid ogre"...