D&D 5th Edition Monster Creation in D&D Next




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  1. #1

    Monster Creation in D&D Next

    So, how does one create monsters in D&D Next? Mike walks you through some statistics for the minotaur this week.

    Read Monster Creation in D&D Next on D&D Insider here!

 

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    Easily the most enlightening and heartening article I've read to date. Clear and concise yet granular in detail. This article gives the impression of some quality accounting going on.

  • #3
    I'm completely confused by this. First you create stats, and then you add different "skill" and "natural armor" modifiers to transform those stats to conform to expected ranges for their level? They recognize that level is an important number to know for judging a monster's strength, but you're just supposed to use its XP value for building encounters? The connection between hitpoints and hit dice is backwards from older editions? They keep on the idea of elites and solos, but now they link them to size, drop minions, and introduce the terrible name of "mook" for normal monsters?

    This is some twisted 3E/4E hybrid that misses the point of both of its parent systems. It lacks the simulationism of 3E, and all the balance, ease of use, and variety of 4E's system. I don't know what they're trying to do with this.
    Last edited by TwinBahamut; Monday, 23rd July, 2012 at 06:04 AM.

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    I suspect the terminology will see some changes before the light of day (release).

    After the initial read it sounds like it could work. For me, I would have to do some designing myself before giving it my stamp of approval.

    Color me cautiously optimistic!

    Edit: Some of the stuff is a bit klunky, but its the first kick at the can and a reasonable one to me.

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    HP is nerfed to the sum of HD + Con mod? Interesting. And low.

    Nice to see everything is not so arbitrary.
    Mook, elite, and solo, eh?

    Aw crap.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    Easily the most enlightening and heartening article I've read to date. Clear and concise yet granular in detail. This article gives the impression of some quality accounting going on.
    It does? I'm having a hard time drawing the connections from one statement to another.
    • Large creature = elite? All the time?
    • Equivalent to 5th level PCs, and that means 10d10 hit points? Each level is worth 2 hit dice? Does elite tie in with that somehow?
    • The minotaur has 10 hit dice but doesn't gain any attack bonus from that at all? His bonus might be the same as a 1st level character with an 18 strength? Should the math get flattened that much?
    • Armor doesn't stack with other types of armor? What exactly is that supposed to mean? Natural armor no longer stacks with armor?
    • A hill giant with only +3 to hit? That's no better than the orcs in the play test Caves of Chaos.


    This really just raises more weird questions than it answers. I don't have much insight into the rationale behind these statements.
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    Yes, I definitely think the math should be flattened that much. A brutish, unskilled but strong monster shouldn't be better at hitting you just because it's big. Even a low-level mathematician chaotician was able to dodge the bite attack of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

    Improved attack bonus should be skill based (and even then pretty flat). Big things should be scary because of the damage they can do, not just because they have a high attack bonus.

    Oh, and mook is NOT a word I'd like to see in the actual mechanics.
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    Also, if large creatures are elite, and elite creatures are supposed to be equivalent to 2 PCs, it makes good sense for large/elite creatures to a) have twice as many HP as medium creatures like PCs, and b) do twice as much damage because their weapons are bigger. I like it.
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    One thing that seems to be a major plus in the monster system for HPs is scalability.

    Mearls says that the typical 5th level elite should be in the 50s for HPs. He arrives at this using the Minotuar's 10d10 (average HD being 5.5) + the con bonus.

    This is a huge range from the expected average to the max it COULD have. If the PCs managed to get a little over powered its pretty easy to just up the HPs the monster has, thereby making the fight last longer, thereby making the fight more difficult since more damage would be dished out to the PCs before the end of the fight.

    That seems to be a simple and elegant way to "toughen" encounters without a lot of work on the DMs part.

  • #10
    I am glad to see some of these things outlined, though I share a bit of the confusion.

    I'm glad to see the idea of 'Elite' and 'Solo' returning, something I loved from 4e to give boss monsters that extra 'oomph'. I know 'mook' is a working title, as its stated as such, but I am a little sad to see the lowly minion disappear. However I'd need to see just what the power difference is between levels. Perhaps 1st level goblins will fit the bill of 'minion' well, though in a way that as of right now feels clunky, especially this early in the playtest cycle.

    I'm a little worried about the notion that size category might instantly bump creatures up to elite or solo status. I personally truly hope they don't return an idea that creatures that advance in hit dice might increase in size as well. This was something from 3e that honestly baffled me. I'm also confused if this is something that is always done for larger creatures, or just picked on a case by case basis. Sometimes I'd like to have 'Krynnish' minotaurs that travel in bands, instead of being solely province of being low number creatures.

    I'm on the fence about hit dice size being raised or lowered by size category. Its something I'd have to see in play. I'd imagine huge creatures would use a d12 then. And small perhaps a d6? But does this translate over to player characters as well?

    If its true larger creatures get d10 HD, I wonder why the large zombie in the Chaos article linked in the L&L column uses only d8's for HD. That could actually just be an error, or from a document that was an earlier draft perhaps.

    I'm hoping there really are clear rules for adding and subtracting from chances to hit as well. I'm okay with some DM fiat, but when it comes to monsters I'd like to have a really solid base to start from. I like the idea of at a glance stats/HD/power levels for creatures and the idea that things can be customized however. But again, I think this is still so early in its development that I truly need to see it in action to get a good idea of it.

    On the plus side, I'm happy that the article had much more concrete information about things planned. Even if they might change. Its hard to keep up any enthusiasm when articles start becoming little more than nebulous thoughts about design processes.

    Here is hoping for more articles like this. Even if I don't always agree with the direction I'm seeing.

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