D&D 4E Getting back to 4E via Essentials: What do I need?

Jhaelen

First Post
Third, re buying the Monster Vault: Yes, yes and HELL YES. The Monster Vault is approximately one hundred and seventy-three and a quarter times better than MM1.
I disagree. Actually, it's about 50% better ;)

It has a smaller number of monsters, roughly half of them being 'new' (meaning new variants of old monsters) and half of them being simply errataed versions of MM1 (and a couple of MM2/MM3) monsters. It is also severly lacking in support for higher level campaigns. It should be sufficient to get you through the heroic tier, though.
 

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TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
On DDI: I am not encouraging you to subsribe per se. But the most usefull bit for a DM is the compendium, which is web based and accesible on just about any computer with an internet connection.

If you are running a focused essentials game--which I commend--you won't need it for sure, but could still be handy.
 

Dausuul

Legend
I disagree. Actually, it's about 50% better ;)

It has a smaller number of monsters, roughly half of them being 'new' (meaning new variants of old monsters) and half of them being simply errataed versions of MM1 (and a couple of MM2/MM3) monsters. It is also severly lacking in support for higher level campaigns. It should be sufficient to get you through the heroic tier, though.

Note, however, that MM1 doesn't have support for higher-level campaigns either. The difference is that Monster Vault is up front about it, whereas MM1 has a whole bunch of high-level monsters that, when confronted with a high-level party, will flail about helplessly for 4-5 long, boring rounds and then slump over dead.
 

mhd

Adventurer
As long as we're speaking about Monster Manuals and online offerings, what's a good approach with the current 4E situation to create humanoid enemies? I like the occasional monsters but prefer to populate the ranks of my villains mostly by humans, orcs etc.

The powers offered by the Vault and the Heroes books might not be enough to choose and alter. This might be something where the DDI might come in handy, right? What sources do you guys use when you're creating your black necromancers and dastardly thieves' guild bosses?
 

Obryn

Hero
As long as we're speaking about Monster Manuals and online offerings, what's a good approach with the current 4E situation to create humanoid enemies? I like the occasional monsters but prefer to populate the ranks of my villains mostly by humans, orcs etc.

The powers offered by the Vault and the Heroes books might not be enough to choose and alter. This might be something where the DDI might come in handy, right? What sources do you guys use when you're creating your black necromancers and dastardly thieves' guild bosses?
Monsters in 4e are pretty eminently reskinnable. I try and figure out what I'm looking for, pick a level and role, and look for an appropriate monster. Then I make necessary edits, make sure their attacks and damage are up to MM3 standards, and run with it.

For example, I needed a pair of Gladiators for my Dark Sun game - one was a mul, and just used the stat block from the Dark Sun Creature Compendium. The other was his partner, an archer, and I just reskinned the Dread Archer from MM3, minus a few random undead-ish things. It worked perfectly - it felt just like a pair of partners who'd worked together for years.

Ditto, when I needed a Necromancer just last session - I redid an undead flameskull whose name escapes me, removed an undead ability, and subbed in a Psionic Adept theme ability from the Dark Sun CC.

It works really well, overall.

You can further find other stat blocks, and add in the templates for character classes, if you don't mind using Elites.

-O
 

Jhaelen

First Post
Note, however, that MM1 doesn't have support for higher-level campaigns either. The difference is that Monster Vault is up front about it, whereas MM1 has a whole bunch of high-level monsters that, when confronted with a high-level party, will flail about helplessly for 4-5 long, boring rounds and then slump over dead.
You DO have a point there ;)
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
Monsters in 4e are pretty eminently reskinnable. I try and figure out what I'm looking for, pick a level and role, and look for an appropriate monster. Then I make necessary edits, make sure their attacks and damage are up to MM3 standards, and run with it.

For example, I needed a pair of Gladiators for my Dark Sun game - one was a mul, and just used the stat block from the Dark Sun Creature Compendium. The other was his partner, an archer, and I just reskinned the Dread Archer from MM3, minus a few random undead-ish things. It worked perfectly - it felt just like a pair of partners who'd worked together for years.

Ditto, when I needed a Necromancer just last session - I redid an undead flameskull whose name escapes me, removed an undead ability, and subbed in a Psionic Adept theme ability from the Dark Sun CC.

It works really well, overall.

You can further find other stat blocks, and add in the templates for character classes, if you don't mind using Elites.

-O

I use the compendium--not the MB--for this sort of thing all the time. Both to search for comporable monsters and to copy and past the stat blocks before tweaking.
 

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