WotC Whatâ??s in a Monster?




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  1. #1

    Whatâ??s in a Monster?

    This week we take a look at a changed way to present monster statistics. Come see the bugbear entry in its current incarnation and provide us with your feedback.

    Read Whatâ??s in a Monster? on D&D Insider here!



 

  • #2
    I'm not sure if the polls refer to just the stat block (which is great) or the entry as a whole (which is bad).

    For one thing, it's missing "treasure" and "lair probability." I know these could be specified by the adventure, but I'd rather they appear in the monster entry. They obviously don't need to be in the stat block (neither do alignment, languages, or environment, by the way), but they should be on the page. Just saying "they like treasure" doesn't help me as the DM.

    Also: why so specific about the kinds of weapons they use? Are they, as a race, committed to javelins and morningstars?

  • #3
    Incredibly blah, and I'd rather they fix monsters and the logic before how to present ... Still not understanding the logic behind to hit and damage bonuses

  • #4
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    My communities:

    I liked it, but think the physical description needs a little work. If I was new to D&D I'd have some trouble with that. Other than that I agree with GX.Sigma.

  • #5
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    The monster descriptions contain a fair amount of useful information, but don't feel complete. It spends a lot of time describing what a bugbear is and does, but not the why.

    I need to know their attitudes, motivations, and beliefs. How do they see themselves and the world around them? This information is crucial for roleplaying these creatures as NPCs.

    As for stat blocks, they'll serve, but there is room for improvement. For example, Alignment doesn't need it's own line, and AC and HP can be truncated into a single defense line. Also, I don't need to be told that melee weapon is a melee attack, so the extra cruft can be removed. An example:
    Doomgizzard
    LE Medium Avian (poultry)
    AC 13 (feather, shield), HP 18 (4d8)
    Speed 30 ft.
    Senses darkvision 60 ft.
    Languages Common, Chicken
    Str 16 (+3); Dex 14 (+2); Con 12 (+1)
    Int 16 (+3); Wis 11 (+0); Cha 12 (+1)

    TRAITS
    Doomy: Doomgizzard can inspire doom in the strongest of bakers.
    Gizzardy: Doomgizzard has gizzards that spell really bad.

    ACTIONS
    Longsword: +3 for 5 (1d8 + 1) slashing damage.
    Large Javelin: +2 for 9 (2d6 + 2) piercing damage. (range 30 ft./120 ft.).

    ENCOUNTER BUILDING
    Level 3; XP 140
    Environment: Apocolyptic chicken pens
    Last edited by Jeff Carlsen; Tuesday, 13th November, 2012 at 05:48 AM.
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  • #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dndungeoneer View Post
    I liked it, but think the physical description needs a little work. If I was new to D&D I'd have some trouble with that.
    I concur. What I really want to see is a description that you can read to your players the first time they see it.

    "A humanoid standing about seven feet tall. Coarse brown fur covers much of its muscular body, and its bestial creatures include a bearlike nose and a fang-filled mouth. You cannot help but note a similarity to goblin and hobgoblin physiology. It wears crude armor and wields a simple weapon. It walks with an awkward, shuffling gait, yet it moves absolutely silently."

  • #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warbringer View Post
    Incredibly blah, and I'd rather they fix monsters and the logic before how to present ... Still not understanding the logic behind to hit and damage bonuses
    Agreed. They need to give monsters a +2 or greater proficiency bonus to hit. And the damage is not the same as its strength or dex bonus. It's like they just arbitrarily assigned attack and damage statistics without any regard to its ability scores. That really irks me.

    As for the presentation, why do they insist on using this AD&D-ish wall-of-text format? The 4e monster stat blocks were amazing. They were easy to read, simple, straight forward and they made running monsters fun by giving every monster a special attack. This? It's just... meh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GX.Sigma View Post
    I concur. What I really want to see is a description that you can read to your players the first time they see it.

    "A humanoid standing about seven feet tall. Coarse brown fur covers much of its muscular body, and its bestial creatures include a bearlike nose and a fang-filled mouth. You cannot help but note a similarity to goblin and hobgoblin physiology. It wears crude armor and wields a simple weapon. It walks with an awkward, shuffling gait, yet it moves absolutely silently."
    i agree, the best thing about playing with new players is giving them a good description of a well known D&D monster and seeing the puzzled look in their eyes.

  • #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falling Icicle View Post
    As for the presentation, why do they insist on using this AD&D-ish wall-of-text format? The 4e monster stat blocks were amazing. They were easy to read, simple, straight forward and they made running monsters fun by giving every monster a special attack. This? It's just... meh.
    Agreed. This clump of stats depresses me. WotC are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    I'm also tired of these 'reinvention of the wheel' articles where my subscription is frittered away asking me if this is a goblin or not.

    Perhaps they are worried about player backlash if they release a howler like dragonborn with boobs again, but this is overkill, incredibly tedious overkill. It reminds me of a trip to the opticians.

    "Better? Or worse? Better? Or worse? How about now? And now? How about now?..."

  • #10
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    I think the level of the critter should be more prominent. I just think that DMs - the prime users of MMs - are going to be wanting to quickly eyeball the rough power of monsters as they go though the various monsters.

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