Thread: Whatâ??s in a Monster?
Tuesday, 13th November, 2012, 07:08 PM #31
Magsman (Lvl 14)
1. I'm really liking the how Level = Challenge Level & XP = an even finer tuned CL for Monsters. Not to mention how XP does double duty trainig purposes when these foes are beaten.
2. What about including some CL additions and subtractions based upon:
- Equipment like Magic Items usable by the creature
- Environmental benefits and hindrances like cold creatures in the artic or the same in a desert
- Culture and Behavior (predominant taught strategies & tactics) for combat & non-combat engagements
3. Weapon & Magic Attack Training modifiers should be weapon independent then later with examples as you have. If the factors involved are printed, as has been done for Armor Class, DMs can easily recalculate on the fly a new total attack modifier. Because, you know, creatures might change weapons in the heat of battle.
4. Also, basic creature training in combat and magic ability, if not whole class training, should be listed for the group. All the calculations don't need to be included in statblocks so they can stay simplified, but a Monster Manual should mention what training common adult creatures have. I would think PCs fightitrained Bugbear warriors with a +2 weapon modiifer due to training because their whole culture focuses on war. (1st level FTRs having +2 and both of their training would be Elite).
5. I've posted before about having individual Combat Statblocks and then whole Monster Manual statblocks that make up the baseline for the creature. That way, for example, you can have different ability scores for different creatures in shortened form in an adventure, but the shared monster stats in an open Monster Manual.
6. What do you think about a group statblock for rolling random monster factions (old Encounter Generation)? Something like rolling random treasure? These might include Frequency, Climate, Terrain / Environment. No. Appearing standard grouping behavior. The size of lairs and territory patrolled or hunted. % in Lair. Tribal make up and distribution of patrol groups. Lair Treasure Type. Standard group ALN. Standard Leadership design / government. And so on. As is, "Environment" seems a bit odd for an individual creature's statblock.
7. I'm glad a lot of good stuff was mentioned. For instance, combat styles (ambushing at dusk or dawn from range followed by hidden attacking, melee by individual only), items crafted (like favored weapons and armor), lair types (underground), resource gathering methods (raiding for treasure, slaves, alcohol), resources required/desired (any creature = food / prefer shiny objects and weapons), physiology (ht, wt, etc.), communal behavior (competitive and likely without shared aid), alignment behavior (do not seek alliances, use or destroy all others, % enslave), leadership (by strongest),
- Bugbear noses and superior scenting ability were mentioned, but no abilities were listed.
- Basic equipment (treasure type) wasn't included, but this might be because Bugbears tend to take their supplies from other races instead of crafting their own. Still, some armor fitting might be appropriate and weapon upkeep.
- Cultural make up by NPC monster classes was absent, like witchdoctors, chieftains, iron smiths, fire maker/tender, poison collector, etc. Maneuvers by Culture. Spells by Monster Tradition. Also Procreation growth rates, environment / terrain knowledge and use, deities worshiped, and stuff like that.
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Defender (Lvl 8)
Good point above, my comments were about awful presentation....
I think a great physical description is needed. I think ability scores are not really needed, just bonuses, but I guess I am ok if they are there. Organization structure is important. Numbers and types of creatures found in various adventure contexts are needed. Like how many in an ambush party, or in a scouting party, or in a home base. I want to know if they use a lot of magic or not, and if that is wizardly, or shaman or cleric or what.
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
- Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
ø Ignore Klaus
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
ø Ignore Primal
Like many others, I feel this stat block format is a bit confusing and, well, messy. The entry begins with AC and HP, and is followed by Speed and Senses? And why are Traits placed above Actions? I'd rather have attacks in the combat/offence section.
IMO both 4E and PF stat blocks are far more coherent and easy to read. This is the Pathfinder version of bugbear, by the way.
I think WotC's biggest mistake was to get rid of 4E keywords and explicit wording/format (e.g. "at-will, fire, necrotic, weapon, melee 2, hit: 1d8+1 fire and necrotic damage and stunned until the end of your next turn"). More elegant (and yet more complex as a power) than this: "Melee Attack—Large Morningstar: +2 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). Hit: 5 (1d8 + 1) bludgeoning damage and 5 (1d8 + 1) piercing damage." (and why is the bugbear's Str bonus halved?!?)
Lama (Lvl 13)
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- Kent, WA
ø Ignore Jeff Carlsen
I thought I'd take another stab at the stat block. My goal was something that would work without advanced formatting (and even in a text editor). That lead me to using more white space for separation. It's less concise, of course, but it is easy to read.
NE Medium Humanoid (Goblin)
Str 15 (+2); Dex 14 (+2); Con 10 (+0)
Int 8 (–1); Wis 11 (+0); Cha 9 (–1)
AC 14 (leather, shield); HP 18 (4d8)
Speed 30 ft.
Senses darkvision 60 ft.
Languages Common, Goblin
Burly: The bugbear can wield weapons that are one size category larger than normal without penalty.
Stealthy +5: The bugbear gains a +5 bonus to all checks made to avoid detection.
Attack: +2 (Reach 5')
Damage: 1d8 + 1 bludgeoning and 1d8 + 1 piercing
Attack: +2 (range 30'/120')
Damage: 2d6 +2 piercing
Level 3; XP 140
Environment: Hills or any underground
Organization: solitary, pair, gang (3-6), or warband (7-12)
Guide (Lvl 11)
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
ø Ignore Libramarian
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