The Evil DM

The Evil DM
The Evil DM

Monday, January 30, 2017

Response to Monstrous Tactics: Bullywugs by MikeThepiper

This is a Response to MikeThepiper video titled Monstrous Tactics: Bullywugs

Welcome to my channel. I focus on tabletop role-playing games, video games, and science fiction.

MikeThepiper's introduction is reminiscent of the croaking refrain from Aristophanes' play, The Frogs. That fits well with this entire topic.

TSR released The Fiend Folio In 1981 for first edition of Dungeons and Dragons. The Field Folio introduced the Bullywug. Not much has really changed in the Bullywug from the first edition to the fifth edition.

Right after the release of the Fiend Folio, I was given charge of running the gaming section of a local science fiction convention. I designed an adventure around creatures in the Fiend Folio. The result was Key to Druid's Gate. A friend did artwork for the module. I have a nicely bound copy. I even sold a couple of copies of the module.

Between January and February of 2015, I ran an updated version of Key to Druid's Gate on Google Hangouts. I updated the creatures to their equivalent in fourth edition. It took approximately eleven hours of on-line gaming to finish an adventure that was supposed to be completed in three. Much of the extra time was caused by the extremely slow combat of the fourth edition.

One of the creatures the party fought was the Bullywug. In the Key to Druid's Gate, the Bullywugs defended their territory. Their ability to blend into the background of the swamp was the key to their tactics. Even though the Bullywugs are low level monsters, the ability to do a surprise attack allowed twelve of them to draw a little blood from a vastly superior force of seven sixth level characters. In the end, the adventurers were able to dispatch the Bullywugs without much difficulty.

Bullywugs, by themselves, are not much of a challenge. The idea of having Bullywugs riding giant frogs is an interesting approach to creating a mobile cavalry.

Bullywugs have an advantage when they are defending their lair. Their croaking can be heard over long distances. This means Bullywugs can set up a network of guards that can warn of any party venturing into the Bullywugs' home territory. Bullywugs know the swamp. They know exactly where to set up the best trap. For example, although Bullywugs are not allies with Giant Crocodiles, they know where the Giant Crocodiles live. They can set up an ambush such that any party venturing into the Bullywugs's swamp, will end up alerting the Giant Crocodiles. While the party is fighting the Giant Crocodiles, the Bullywugs can attack from behind, assisting the Giant Crocodiles.