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[MONSTERS] Monster Advancement - Implied Simulationism

BryonD

Villager
There's a few ways I can move here based on what folks want.
It comes down to figuring out your target audience.
It seems to be people who want to build a lot of custom monsters, but don't feel comfortable doing it just using the tables in the back of the monster manual.

Is that right?
 

booboo

Villager
Option 1: by Creature Type.
Find the Type of creature you want (Giant, Ooze, etc.), find the Size you want, find the CR or HD of the creature you want. All the numbers are done for you, then you just pick whatever special effects you want to bolt onto that Spine. We'll provide guidelines for how many special features you could/should add to stick within a given CR..
sounds ok

Option 2: by Creature Role.
The creature's Spine is defined by its role-- Brute, Tank, Soldier, Skirmisher, Leader, etc. As above, find the Size, CR or HD, and read across to get the numbers.

If this is the path you prefer, then you can help out by defining the roles you want to see and the Spine (HD type, BAB, Saves) that you expect to see in each role.

As a caution, as shown on p.16-17 of Trailblazer, it is really pretty hard for a change in Spine.
I like much more

Option 3: The Ur-Monster.
Generate ONE fixed, middle-of-the-road Spine that's good for pretty much anything-- d8 HD, 3/4 BAB, two good saves. This is more of a 1e philosophy, where monsters had their own HD, their own attack table, etc. All creatures have pretty much the same numbers-- it's the special features that matter..
I like how simple a system like this could be

Option 4: Tables for Everything.
Ehh, I have a spreadsheet, and it's just a multiplication table after all. I can provide as many variants as you want..
not much interest to me

Option 5: Give me the guidelines, I'll do my own Math..
plenty of math intensive systems for creating monsters out there

Option 6: Slide Rule
Give me a table that lets me advance HD (or Size) and see how that affects the numbers I already have in the statblock. In other words, instead of reading across to find a fixed number for BAB (+12), I read across to a cell that shows me the change (+3) from where I started..
I'm not even shure what your talking about (poor math skills)

Option 7: Give me everything.
This seems to be the simplest answer. Make the method transparent so you can do it yourself, but provide tables so you don't have to.

I may discover, once I am finished with the tables, that the numbers end up so close together (again, see p.17 of Trailblazer) that a "Close Enough, One Size Fits All" is the best way to go.

For players who are absolute sticklers for every last skill rank, every possible point balanced out, you simply might not have any good options, and you have to live with the status quo. I think these players are misguided, and I will do what I can to convince them to loosen up a bit, but you're going to get out (in precision) what you put in (in effort). If you can live with less precision, you can get by with much less effort.
I just want easy but its fine buy me
 

Kid Charlemagne

I am the Very Model of a Modern Moderator
I'd like the monsters to be primarily defined by role - kind of like how 4E does it - and then modified by size, type, etc. Then a few key abilities added. One of the things that really annoys me about 3E is the way that creatures like Fey and Undead are really unsuited to combat roles due to their BAB advancement (which is why defining them by type doesn't really work for me). All 3 HD "soldiers" (for example) would look the same before you apply simple templates for the differentiating factors.

Although Option 3 does have its charms - then role could be another simple template applied over the base.
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
After reading the comments and discussing with Wulf, I wanted to give everyone a quick breakdown of the direction we are leaning towards.

Revised Stat Blocks

Each creature's stat block will be revised, as discussed previously. In the PDF, each creature will get its own page for easy printing. We also will include bookmarks and hyperlinks to sort alphabetically, by type, CR, and possibly even by "spine value".

The print version will be laid out alphabetically (although I made a case by type). We would like each creature to get its own page but that is TBD depending on page count and layout. If not, the entries will be per column.

Advanced Creatures

We are going forward with a "hybrid" of the various options Wulf and I presented in this thread.

Advancement by HD
For these creatures, we will stat out selected advancement "break points". Most likely, these entries will be every 3 or 4 HD or CR.

For example, we may include stats for an aboleth with 12, 16, 20, and 24 HD or at CR 11, 15, and 19. This may be an abbreviated stat block so we don't repeat info.

This is much more practical than just including massive tables for each monster or monster type. It gives the DM a variety of options for each creature that he can use and bring to the table quickly.

Advancement by Class Level
For creatures that advance by class level, we are going to stat three "paths" - heavy striker (warrior, solider, etc), light striker (scout, rogue, etc), and caster (shaman, witchdoctor, etc) - again, at various "break points".

When the dice start rolling, the class levels you used to create your NPCs don't really matter, only the modifiers do. This system will allow DMs to define general roles for the creatures he needs and stat them quickly.

Both of these methods, in addition to the Quick Template system that we've discussed should give DMs a multitude of new ways to customize monsters quickly and easily.

The "Ur-Monster"

As Wulf described on the previous page, this is a generic monster template that DMs can use to create and stat out completely new and unique monsters quickly. Rules for adding special abilities, types, and size will be included.

Quick Templates

This section will list all the quick templates, recommended creatures and types, and perhaps some random tables.

Traps & Skills Challenges
still TBD
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Advancement by Class Level
For creatures that advance by class level, we are going to stat three "paths" - heavy striker (warrior, solider, etc), light striker (scout, rogue, etc), and caster (shaman, witchdoctor, etc) - again, at various "break points".

When the dice start rolling, the class levels you used to create your NPCs don't really matter, only the modifiers do. This system will allow DMs to define general roles for the creatures he needs and stat them quickly.
To what extent will this be (in)compatible with the section in Trailblazer regarding adding class features to the spine, and the resulting CR changes?

Traps & Skills Challenges
still TBD
I hope that means you're just working on the format for how to include them, instead of still deciding whether or not to include them at all.
 

booboo

Villager
Advancement by HD
For these creatures, we will stat out selected advancement "break points". Most likely, these entries will be every 3 or 4 HD or CR.

For example, we may include stats for an aboleth with 12, 16, 20, and 24 HD or at CR 11, 15, and 19. This may be an abbreviated stat block so we don't repeat info.

This is much more practical than just including massive tables for each monster or monster type. It gives the DM a variety of options for each creature that he can use and bring to the table quickly.
I like what you are doing i think it will work well

[The "Ur-Monster"

As Wulf described on the previous page, this is a generic monster template that DMs can use to create and stat out completely new and unique monsters quickly. Rules for adding special abilities, types, and size will be included..
this also sounds right up my ally
 

Elodan

Explorer
After reading the comments and discussing with Wulf, I wanted to give everyone a quick breakdown of the direction we are leaning towards.
...
Advancement by Class Level
For creatures that advance by class level, we are going to stat three "paths" - heavy striker (warrior, solider, etc), light striker (scout, rogue, etc), and caster (shaman, witchdoctor, etc) - again, at various "break points".
...
Are monster "roles" going to only be handled in the "path" options for Advancement by Class Level or will monsters have a default "role" or some such?

Thanks.
 

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