Ogres have long filled an important niche in fantasy RPGs; that tough to beat on lower level creature! We’ve used them as minions from everything from lowly Goblins all the way up to Ancient Dragons.
4 BIG ideas for Ogres:
1) Pump up that brain! What if an Ogre wasn’t just a dumb minion? What if there was an Ogre unlike the others? One who for some reason didn’t have an INTscore of 5 but one of 12? or even 14? or maybe 16??? Maybe he’s the leader of a savage band of Ogres who plauge the travelers on the roadways. We’ve all faced Bandits in our games but: Ogre Bandits???
2) Mobile attack platforms: It’s very true that Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes has one of these stated out for us but we’ve been putting Kobolds and Goblins on the backs of Ogres for years now! Put them on a fortified wearable platform and suddenly they’re firing from partial cover! The Ogre has a 40′ move speed which raises the entire package’s combat effectiveness. Plus when your players finally do bring the Ogre down… Kobold Piniata! The little stabby fellas come spilling out when the Ogre falls.
3) Mix up those weapons! Ogre’s come stated with Great Clubs and Javelins but the 5e DMG tells us that large creatures use bigger versions of weapons so the damage dice get doubled! Toss in a few Great-Swords or Battle Axes and watch your players openly pray against the Ogre’s rolling a critical hit on them!
4) Our old stand-by… tack on some class abilities. Barbarian rage makes sense (and is terrifying), or the fighter’s Action surge. When tacking on class abilities just remember that they can buff up an opponent really quickly turning a nuisance into a deadly threat if you’re not cautious.
We like to think of Ogres as a sort of blank canvas to paint on as a DMs. Creatures like Orcs and Kobolds carry with them many ideas on how they should behave and what tactics they use. We’ve found that Ogres don’t carry nearly as many preconceived ideas so we’re able to plug them into more scenarios without raising player’s eyebrows. Ogres can be anything from bouncers at a seedy pub to hooded executioner for an evil mage. Here’s hoping you find many awesome ways to plug Ogres into your games!