A deadly monster with a terrifying appearance bonds with a small child and protects the small child with its life.
An injured hero comes upon a monster, or a hero comes upon an injured monster, and they have a Moment where they understand each other.
Giant vicious-looking monsters that answer to names you would give a pet dog.
A character rescues or spares the life of a wounded or infant monster; later, the fully-grown/recovered creature returns the favor.
A monster is only behaving aggressively to defend its young; the heroes realize this and make piece with the creature before leaving it be.
Similarly, a monster is only behaving aggressively because it is displaced and frightened; the heroes realize this, and help it to return home.
The horrifying eldritch creature that has been stalking the heroes turns out to be wholly benevolent, and its previously menacing behavior is revealed to be its attempts to protect them from something far deadlier.
BENEVOLENT MONSTERS!!!! BENIGN MONSTERS!!!! MONSTERS YOU DON’T HAVE TO FIGHT!!!
A lil context: our party (of around 5) had been captured by drow and abandoned a small island inhabited by humans, goblins, and orcs. We decided to approach the orcs to see if they would aid us in taking out the drow and get off the island. I play a female half-elf paladin, while my friend plays her twin brother. Our campaign has been run using milestone levelling, rather than XP for story reasons.
Orc Leader: by our custom to gain our loyalty, you must compete to show your physical prowess!
(DM tells us to roll Athletics or Performance to see which of us will be picked for the trial)
Me: rolls nat20 Athletics
Twin: rolls nat20 performance
Orc Leader: you! The small double-elf persons! You shall compete in our physical challenge!
Twin: *leaning into the orc’s space* what kind of physical challenge, big boy? Surely we can bend the rules a little.
Me: I wink flirtatiously.
DM: Make a persuasion roll, with advantage because of your sister
Twin: rolls nat19
DM: Seriously? *rolls a nat1 for the orc’s saving throw* oh come on!
Orc Leader: (nervously) Crekkar accepts your challenge!
DM: And so you both take Crekkar to his tent and show your …physical prowess. *rolls dice* You both tire him out easily while you remain almost unaffected. The orcs appreciate your strength and endurance and are now your allies.
Me (ooc): *jokes* level up!
DM: … actually. I had planned for the milestone to be after you conquered the orc camp, either by killing them or proving yourself in combat. So, yeah. The entire party is now level 3.
Monk: I can’t believe I can now catch arrows because the twins are sluts
I just explained my issues with executive dysfunction to my dad and holy shit he gets it!
I described it like this:
Imagine you’re back at AllPro(where he worked) with fifty phones and they’re all ringing. You want to answer them all because they’re all equal priority. That’s an environmental cue– phones are generally a ‘respond immediately’ cue.
Picking up a phone is a simple thing. You know it’s as easy as deciding which phone to answer and reaching out to pick it up, but your brain is saying “I must answer all of them!” The phones are ringing, and you can’t make your body reach out to pick one up because you don’t have fifty arms to reach out, you don’t have fifty ears to listen with, you don’t have a brain that can process and respond to fifty conversations and you don’t have fifty mouths that can all say different things all at the same time.
Either you do it all simultaneously or nothing will happen. You can want to do it so bad it makes you cry, and you can’t make a decision because no choice seems like the right one. So the task stays unfinished and you get frustrated every time somebody reminds you to “just do it, it’s not that hard!” Because yes, it really IS that hard.
Now, if you had somebody who could point to which phone to answer, you can do it fine. That’s a prompt. Prompting removes the ‘middle man’ thought that says ‘do it all at once’ and gets you to focus on tasks one at a time instead of seeing them as some towering insurmountable mess.
Dad looked at me for a couple of seconds and said something to the effect of, “I didn’t know doing things were that hard for you.”
This is a major, major, major breakthrough between us because dad had it in his head that I left things messy because I didn’t care. While that’s crappy of him to assume, teaching him how that’s not the case and having him really understand it is a huge deal.