WotC Whatâ??s in a Monster? - Page 2

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  1. #11
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by gideonpepys View Post
    Agreed. This clump of stats depresses me. WotC are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
    In what way is this stat block different from the 4e one?

    You have the name, size and creature type, senses, and all relevant combat numbers; then all the monster's traits, then all the monster's actions (organized by what type of action they are).

    The only differences I can see are that the ability scores are at the top and the XP value is at the bottom.


  • #12
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    Actually looked OK to me, though i agree on tightening up the stat block.

    I liked the 4E Monster Vault-style entries and these are not far off.

    Also remember - the stat block probably won't be a wall of text once graphic designers have been over it. A symbol may even be used to designate melee and ranged attacks for example.

    As far as WHAT goes in I like, but I too would like to see encounter groups/sizes mentioned somewhere. (So they can be determined randomly). eg: Patrol #; Warband #; Small tribe #; etc. But this doesn't need to be in stat block.
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  • #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Carlsen View Post
    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
    How about killing two birds with one stone and getting rid of one of my pet peeves, too?

    Replace the Alignment line with a list of personality traits!

    And suddenly you know about its attitudes and motivations without taking up more space.
    In a sense, the D&D game has no rules, only rule suggestions. - Tom Moldvay

  • #14
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    Not sure there is anything "wrong" with the statblock in the article, but I prefer Jeff Carlsen's.

    I also prefer to have ac, hp, saves and attacks all in one area when running a combat out of the book. Does not make much sense to have combat related numbers spread out over the entire block.

  • #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jhaelen View Post
    Replace the Alignment line with a list of personality traits!
    That would be a very interesting change for D&D.
    F I G H T E R

  • #16
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    4e stat blocks are so easy to read.....why not use them? Why are ability scores right in the middle? I do not like. Also, give us a description we can read, as stated earlier. I fail to see how this is hard.

  • #17
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    It's not a bad start. I'm fond of the detailed world, lair, and personality information in the paragraph text of the entry. I'm on board with a lot of people's suggestions in this thread, too!

    For me personally, I need to know what other creatures it travels with in the ENCOUNTER BUILDING section -- a return to the "Organization" entry, perhaps. I want to be able to turn to this monster, and, having been inspired, roll some dice and have a complete encounter right there for me.

    Maybe something like:
    Typical Encounter: Ambush. 2d2 bugbears + 2d3 goblins + 1d2 hobgoblis + 50% wolves
    Lair: Camp. Typical encounter * 10

    Quote Originally Posted by Jhaelen
    Replace the Alignment line with a list of personality traits!
    Personally: lets do both!
    Alignment Neutral Evil (greedy, selfish, cruel)

    The stat block could probably use some use of color and lines a la the 4e stat blocks to separate information a little better (perhaps traits, actions, and encounter building, and the top, could all be their own boxes) -- I wouldn't mind a stat block that looked a bit more like a table of values and a bit less like a list of things. That's kind of graphic design's department, but it could certainly help.

    I also wouldn't mind seeing the encounter building stuff at the top. If you're already familiar with what a bugbear is, that's the stuff you're going to need to reference fast, and if you're NOT familiar with what a bugbear is, it could serve as a bit of a teaser, setting the stage for this creature.
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  • #18
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    This block is step up from some others, but I still don't want to use it in combat.

    Here's more what I want out of a stat block:
    Bugbear (medium humanoid, goblin)
    AC 14, HP 18
    Walk 30'
    Morningstar +2 1d8+1 bludgeoning and 1d8+1 piercing
    Javelin 30'/120' +2 2d6+2 piercing

    Darkvision, +5 Stealth
    Common, Goblin
    Str 15 (+2); Dex 14 (+2); Con 10 (+0)
    Int 8 (–1); Wis 11 (+0); Cha 9 (–1)
    The first half covers them in combat, the second in skill-based conflict (and also provides the attributes for saves, which you'd need anyway). Obviously there would need to be a separate block (or just text) giving encounter information and discussing their role in the world.


  • #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Jhaelen View Post
    How about killing two birds with one stone and getting rid of one of my pet peeves, too?

    Replace the Alignment line with a list of personality traits!

    And suddenly you know about its attitudes and motivations without taking up more space.
    In concept, I agree with you. But a listing in a stat block, while useful, is no replacement for block text, and alignment it never going to disappear. Even so, your suggestion is worth considering. Perhaps it is time that D&D add some roleplaying information to the stat block.

  • #20
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    Could've sworn Wyatt said rght at the top of his column that you shouldn't be looking at it from a page design or graphic design POV. So the fact that it looks like an AD&D statblock instead of a 4E statblock doesn't matter yet.

    He himself said:

    "All I'm really thinking about at this point is what information belongs in a monster entry—what do you want to know about it?"

    So don't waste time arguing that the stat block should be color coded or which info should be on which line (or even worse, complaining about the actual monster to-hit numbers)... because that isn't what is being "playtested" right now.

    He just wants to know if there is good information or missing information or too much/too little detail about the bugbear entry itself.

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