Why didn't I think about this before?
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  1. #1
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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



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    Why didn't I think about this before?

    When I DMed, I'd put every monster the PCs fought on an index card.

    Now I had a thought.

    4e monsters all have roles. Each role has different HP/Damage bonuses/etc. With the New Math, their stats don't matter so it's all based on level and role.

    So instead, just make a card for each role that has that role's HP/Defenses/standard +damage. Keep these cards pinned to your DM screen/in your folder. Each time your PCs level up, level up the monster cards.

    Then, you only need to just write down specific power expressions.

    This way if you ever have to do an encounter on the fly, you have all the HP/Defenses right there.

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    It's a good idea. However, unless you're only ever going to throw at-level encounters at the party on the fly, you'll probably want a bit more data - perhaps three entries, showing "level - 1", "level" and "level + 1".

    Also, don't those cards (and the matching set of mix'n'match powers) make monster manuals almost entirely redundant?

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    Quote Originally Posted by delericho View Post
    It's a good idea. However, unless you're only ever going to throw at-level encounters at the party on the fly, you'll probably want a bit more data - perhaps three entries, showing "level - 1", "level" and "level + 1".
    Pretty much. :P So perhaps making a brand new set each time the PCs level, and keeping the old ones.

    Also, don't those cards (and the matching set of mix'n'match powers) make monster manuals almost entirely redundant?
    Honestly I don't like using the book at the table. I always transcribe the monster onto the index card, so its' no different. The MM jsut becomes a suite of monster power suggestions and ideas.

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    Just remember that HP does include Con score, and the the Defense values are averages, and that most monsters have some higher and lower defenses. These are easy enough to judge on the fly however.

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    In theory that works but then you reduce the game to a maths lesson.

    The game is complicated, it takes time and an encounter can last 2 hours sometimes!! - the complexity is probably the reason a lot of us don't play the skirmish games, if after all it would be exactly what you suggest, monsters on a card and the fun would really go out the window a little.

    Good idea in theory but in practice it would over simplifiy a game that relies on complexity to remain interesting

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    There was a thread here on ENWorld awhile ago where someone linked to a business card they had created that had all the monster math, you just had to plug in levels. Was a very nice little item

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rechan View Post
    4e monsters all have roles. Each role has different HP/Damage bonuses/etc. With the New Math, their stats don't matter so it's all based on level and role.
    Bear in mind that the association between ability scores and derived stats (like defenses, hit points, and damage) is no weaker or stronger now than it was when 4e was released.

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Rechan View Post
    4e monsters all have roles. Each role has different HP/Damage bonuses/etc. With the New Math, their stats don't matter so it's all based on level and role.
    I agree, I believe that each monster role should have a base value for attacks, defenses, hitpoints, damage expressions, and the like, listed from level 1 to 30. Ability scores would be provided in case they were needed, but they wouldn't factor in to the monster's combat statistics.

    For specific types of monsters there would then be a list of traits, powers, and abilities not unlike the monster themes they published in the DMG 2. The DM would pick a few options from the list (I see more or less limited power picks). For example, if the "goblin" theme would list a bunch of goblinny options, like Goblin Tactics, Sneaky (an extra d6 damage when having combat advantage), Mobile Ranged Attack (move up to half speed, make a ranged attack at any point during that movement), and any other ability commonly associated with goblins.

    If DMs want to tweak things from the default math, like raising hp, lowering a defense, or adding a "non-theme" power the rules (and the monster builder) would allow it to happen and give a bit of guidance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neubert View Post
    Yeah that would be the one. Sorry, I've been away from the forums for a few days

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