D&D 4th Edition Things wrong with 4e: Dragons - Page 5




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  1. #41
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    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Incenjucar
    They already had a book of pre-made encounters. They didn't make a second one.
    They're reprinting the 1e MM pretty soon, which is very much functionally a book of encounters.
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  • #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    They're reprinting the 1e MM pretty soon, which is very much functionally a book of encounters.
    I've read the thing before, and I did not get that impression.

    How big was the encounter map they provided for mimics? Where was the list of prior adventurers consumed so the players could use Speak with Dead on it?
    Elemental Heroes: The Harbinger May/16/2012 http://community.wizards.com/incenjucar/blog/

  • #43
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    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Incenjucar
    I've read the thing before, and I did not get that impression.

    How big was the encounter map they provided for mimics? Where was the list of prior adventurers consumed so the players could use Speak with Dead on it?
    1) Don't need encounter maps when you don't require minis combat.
    2) Don't need a list of prior adventurers when you've got a DMG that randomly tells you if there are remains in your dungeon room already (and, if necessary, all the NPC details for these adventurers).

    Meanwhile, the mimic's description gives me plenty of useful information for encountering the thing in noncombat encounters, where the party feeds the more intelligent variety, makes it friendly, and asks about what the mimic has seen around recently.

    It could probably use a little bit of additional support (maybe some tidbits of typical mimic knowledge, maybe a better description of what it's "natural form" is like when it's not impersonating some object), but it's not bad at all. It's significantly more than a bunch of stat blocks, at least, and acknowledges that I might not encounter a mimic in a purely "fight it to the death" scenario. So, y'know, not perfect, but not bad.

    Though really, in my ideal scenario, mimics are the kind of monster that probably works best supporting something else. They're not exactly villain material in their own right. Rather than have their own entry, they might appear as part of, say, the entry on Kuo-toa, who have a few mimics in the hallways of their caverns, adding their oozy stickiness to the kuo-toa's. You'd still find them in the Compendium under mimic, if you wanted to add them to something else, but they're a little underwhelming on their own, and they should be allowed to play the support role they were made to play originally.

    Because the idea to add robust fluff to every creature is also quixotic and leads to things like the infamous BEAR LORE, or even the 4e version of the mimic, which spends a lot of words trying and not really succeeding (IMO) on making the monster cooler and edgier (adding "THE FAR REALM DID IT!" to everything doesn't help, guys).

    Now, Dragons, though...a creature in the very title of your game...those, I think, you want to spend a lot of pagecount featuring and getting them right.

    My ideal MM design at this point is based on "anchor creatures." Big iconic menaces like drow, dragons, orcs, mind flayers, etc., each one with a robust supporting cast (spiders, bears, mimics, etc.) that appears near the lair.
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  • #44
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    Yeah, I'll pass on your random trivia.

    There's never been a monster entry that's been as useful to me as stats in any edition, as I create adventures, not a random string of random events, making all of that random generation stuff a waste of space. It would end my decades of monster book purchases if they started loading up on random garbage in the entries so they didn't have to include many monsters.
    Elemental Heroes: The Harbinger May/16/2012 http://community.wizards.com/incenjucar/blog/

  • #45
    Dragons, as much of everything in the first year of 4E, were very poorly done. Solos in general sucked. Yes they improved in later years, but they were still horrible, grindy pinatas.

  • #46
    By no means do we need an entry for each color of a dragon for every single age category. It's ridiculous and takes up way too much space.

    What I want is a standard entry for a dragon of each age category. Then, at the beginning or the end of the dragon section we'd have a small subsection dedicated to what abilities each color has and some insight into how they behave, and that's it. The differences between the different colored dragons shouldn't take more than a page.

  • #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellington View Post
    By no means do we need an entry for each color of a dragon for every single age category. It's ridiculous and takes up way too much space.

    What I want is a standard entry for a dragon of each age category. Then, at the beginning or the end of the dragon section we'd have a small subsection dedicated to what abilities each color has and some insight into how they behave, and that's it. The differences between the different colored dragons shouldn't take more than a page.
    I should hope not. I hated, hated, HATED that I had to reference almost half a dozen different tables to get a ready dragon in 3e/3.5e. Unless you can fit all that variety info and the generic statblock on one page spread, I don't want it.

    Not to mention that it kills the option of actually making the dragons differ from each other on the ability level. I like knowing that white dragons are physical and thus have abilities to match that, without me having to go back to the statblock and make adjustments.
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  • #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Dalamar View Post
    I should hope not. I hated, hated, HATED that I had to reference almost half a dozen different tables to get a ready dragon in 3e/3.5e. Unless you can fit all that variety info and the generic statblock on one page spread, I don't want it.

    Not to mention that it kills the option of actually making the dragons differ from each other on the ability level. I like knowing that white dragons are physical and thus have abilities to match that, without me having to go back to the statblock and make adjustments.
    How much variety do you need? I, for one, don't need to get twelve different types of slightly different ability scores just because gold dragons need to be better than the rest and white dragons need to suck. Their variety should come from their behavior and tactics, not their stats.

    To me, the there should just be a generic dragon statblock for each age category. For every different color of dragon there should just be:

    - Their behavior, tactics and habitat
    - What kind of damage their breath attack does and what energy type they resist
    - Two or three special abilities shared by dragons of the type, like white dragons can walk on ice and see through blizzards.
    - A list of spell like abilities, if any

    That's enough, to me at least.

  • #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    I have to put a lot more work into making 4e dragons interesting villains than I had to put into 2e or 3e dragons to make them interesting villain.
    Really? I need to put work into 3e villains to make them viable. As for interesting, all I need are measn and motive.

    Also: Monster Manuals should come with fully developed lairs and peons. One shouldn't have to invest extra time into the game just to get an awesome dragon out of it.
    No. No it shouldn't. There should be books with developed lairs and peons - but I want the monster manual as a reference guide. Now supplemental material like Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale that's about a specific area and has several named dragons, with entourages can definitely include lairs rather than indicitave material. In Threats, there are three dragons - Calystrix the multi-headed red force of nature, Bitterstrike the white whose minions (presented in the book) are all using and manipulating the vengeful idiot, and Vestapalk the green, friend of kobolds. None of the three of them have the problems you've mentioned because they are specific dragons. (There's also much more about motivation in Monster Vault than the MM1).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    Monsters have a life beyond combat. They have a context. 4e dragons are mostly devoid of this context, which cripples them in comparison to earlier-e dragons for my purposes.
    Try Monster Vault and Monster Vault: Threats to Nentir Vale. And seriously, the amount of fluff in the 1e Monster Manual for most creatures is negligable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    They're reprinting the 1e MM pretty soon, which is very much functionally a book of encounters.
    Really? To me it's pretty much functionally a book of statblocks.

  • #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellington View Post
    By no means do we need an entry for each color of a dragon for every single age category. It's ridiculous and takes up way too much space.

    What I want is a standard entry for a dragon of each age category. Then, at the beginning or the end of the dragon section we'd have a small subsection dedicated to what abilities each color has and some insight into how they behave, and that's it. The differences between the different colored dragons shouldn't take more than a page.
    Ugh! What I want from a monster manual is two things. The first being inspiration as to when to use something. The second being a small simple set of rules for when the rubber meets the road so I can just flip the MM to the right page and go. I emphatically do not want to be flipping between pages and doing calculations on the fly to work out the actual stats I need in the heat of the moment.

    I might not want or need all the age categories. But I want to be able to pick up the MM and have the PCs fight a foe I wasn't expecting them to attack with as minimal disruption as possible. This means no templates I need to apply on the fly.

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