New Podcast Posted!

Rechan

Adventurer
One thing I caught. When discussing trying to make more monsters work together: "Rather than, y'know... Drow don't like working with other fey."

Notice: OTHER FEY.

Does this mean that Drow are fey? Or elves are fey?*

*Yes, I know that elves have a connection to fey, but I've seen many people make the statement that elves are humanoid (fey), not fey.
 

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epochrpg

Explorer
Rechan said:
Nope. Wyatt explained that what they're doing is that they want to drive home the point that the MM1 isn't "The Core MM"; if the MM1 doesn't have Frost Giants, that doesn't mean "You don't have frost giants in your game". All MMs are Core.

MY COMMENTS:

So I suspect that various critters are going to be spread out., making each book legitimate, rather than MM1 = Core, MM2-5 = not important to your game, but a nice suggestion. Which probably also means "If you want X in your game, you'll have to Wait for it and then buy MM12 so you can have medusa" (I pulled that out of my butt).

It looks like they are taking a que from Hackmaster, which had the monsters so split up you couldn't even have a complete campaign with only one of the books. They should change the name to 4th Edition: The Quest for More Money.
 

Rechan

Adventurer
epochrpg said:
It looks like they are taking a que from Hackmaster, which had the monsters so split up you couldn't even have a complete campaign with only one of the books. They should change the name to 4th Edition: The Quest for More Money.
Honestly, I'm not very broken up about this.

I think the last time I used an iconic D&D monster was 2001 when I used carrion crawlers. This week I plan to use some modified owlbear stats (which will look like a yaun-ti abomination, because the abomination is too powerful for what I need).

The only thing I'm really hoping to see in the MM1 is the kobold.
 

Lackhand

First Post
... Because in 3rd edition, they only ever published one monster book.

Look, it seems like they're trying to be more strongly themed with their books for this edition. I kind of like the idea of giving iconic monsters to the interesting rules subsystems: the Blazewyrm in Dragon Magic is a CR 3 elemental [fire] that is strictly superior in every way to the CR 3 fire elemental in the core.

That's just sad.

Fighting a frost giant is like fighting a fire giant, but he's differently colored.

Might I suggest that you run it the same way -- possibly with a 4 point strength, natural armor, and constitution difference, if you feel the need?
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
epochrpg said:
It looks like they are taking a que from Hackmaster, which had the monsters so split up you couldn't even have a complete campaign with only one of the books. They should change the name to 4th Edition: The Quest for More Money.

No, Hackmaster was much worse. You'd get a book that had all the monsters from A to B.
 

Glyfair

Explorer
Moon-Lancer said:
If they spread their classic material throughout all the books, Thats going to really cheese me off. I don't want to feel like every time i'm buying a book, its only for a few things with a ton of extra junk, Like I do when i buy miniatures once an a while.

One thing to remember is that, from various comments in blogs and playtest reports, you'll be able to put together a monster pretty fast with the tables of "expected values." It sounds like the most difficult part will be doing "powers" on the fly.

I imagine if you have the stats for a hill giant it will be very easy to quickly throw together the stats for a frost giant.
 

Merlin the Tuna

First Post
Rechan said:
Speculation: The Mindflayer won't come out until the Psionic rules are out.
I hope that's the case. "Psionics (Sp): [Some spells]" pretty much amounts to shenanigans made manifest. I'm all in favor of being willing to reduce, reuse, and recycle mechanics, but if you're going to involve both psionic creatures and rules for psionics in a game, the two had better play off of each other. The current system is akin to using a Tumble check to handle your long jump distances -- it'd work just swell in the absence of a system devoted exactly to what you're doing, but that absence does not exist.
 

Irda Ranger

First Post
Rechan said:
One thing I caught. When discussing trying to make more monsters work together: "Rather than, y'know... Drow don't like working with other fey."

Notice: OTHER FEY.

Does this mean that Drow are fey? Or elves are fey?*

*Yes, I know that elves have a connection to fey, but I've seen many people make the statement that elves are humanoid (fey), not fey.
I caught that too. I think they are fey, yes, "as similar to elves as elves are to eladrin."

There's a lot of dark fey in this edition, given the example where the PC's are fighting a Dryad and her treants minions. Feywild indeed.

On the Giants issue, I actually find that problematic, on two levels. One was the reasoning given. It sounded from the podcast like they're deliberately witholding classic monsters from the MM so they can sell more books in the future. I know that sounds cynical, but that's really how it sounded to me. Two, I have long considered the test of "Is it D&D?" to be: can I play the classic adventures? Can I take some 4e PC's and monsters and situate them in a classic adventure and "just run" the module? If I can't, the game has strayed too far from its roots. It may be a good game, but it's not D&D.

So, I ask you, can you play Against the Giants in 4e?

Because if you can't, I kind of curious what game it is you're playing ....


Some other notes:

- "Briar Witches." Are they new? I don't have all the MMs ...

- Monsters have a two-axis grid of 2x3, for a total of six monsters types. One axis is BBEG-Horde. Gnolls fight in packs, so I guess they're horde. I'm guessing Giants are BBEG. The second axis is Brute/Soldier -- Skirmisher -- Artillery. So, each monster is a BBEG/Skirmisher or a Horde/Brute. etc.

That section sounded like it's still in flux though.

- Also, within the above categories you also have "regulars" and "elites." An elite is still a 12th level monster (not the equivalent of a higher CR), but is worth two regulars in a fight. No idea how that's supposed to work. A Death Knight is a 12th level elite Soldier/BBEG.

- Tactical Activation. When the PC's use a tactic, the monsters may get an immediate counter-tactic. Dragons can tail slap as an immediate action if someone flanks like. Like a special-purpose AOO?

- "Exceptions Based Design." That phrase got use a lot. Basically it's just a fancy way of saying monster "just do what they do." There's no over-arching Feat system that works the same way for every monster (so you don't have 1/3rd of all monsters with the Improved Grab feat) or a unified "change size" mechanic. Each monster just works the way it works; period. Much more free-form and with lots of room for creativity in the design process, and makes for less predictable encounters. Higher learning curve for the DM though. Hopefully the simpler stat blocks will more than soften the blow.

- "Attack + Zone." This is the second time I have heard this. A Warlock PC used the Mire of Minoas to do an acid attack and then create a pool of acid that shaped the battlefield. Now we have a monster (which didn't make the MM1 cut) that would throw a cold attack that would leave an ice patch which effected movement. I expect to see more things like this, where there's an immediate effect and an ongoing effect.
 


jasin

Explorer
Rechan said:
Nope. Wyatt explained that what they're doing is that they want to drive home the point that the MM1 isn't "The Core MM"; if the MM1 doesn't have Frost Giants, that doesn't mean "You don't have frost giants in your game". All MMs are Core.

MY COMMENTS:

So I suspect that various critters are going to be spread out., making each book legitimate, rather than MM1 = Core, MM2-5 = not important to your game, but a nice suggestion. Which probably also means "If you want X in your game, you'll have to Wait for it and then buy MM12 so you can have medusa" (I pulled that out of my butt).
That sounds like a reasonable asesessment... and I find it worrying.

I don't mind the basic concept of "all MMs are equally core" or waiting for the frost giant until MMx. But I'd hate to see 4E MM1 padded out with crappy, silly monsters the likes of which can be often found in 3E MM2+, just so they don't have to put the frost giant in, just so they can lend legitimacy to 4E MM2 by putting him there.
 

Baby Samurai

Banned
Banned
Rechan said:
One thing I caught. When discussing trying to make more monsters work together: "Rather than, y'know... Drow don't like working with other fey."

Notice: OTHER FEY.

I'm so into this.

I have always thought elves should have stronger ties to fey in D&D.

And the fact that the main antagonist in the current Planescape (heavy fey theme) campaign I'm DMing at the moment is a Half-Fey Drow Truenamer is just a bizarre coincidence.
 

WhatGravitas

Explorer
Irda Ranger said:
- "Exceptions Based Design." That phrase got use a lot. Basically it's just a fancy way of saying monster "just do what they do." There's no over-arching Feat system that works the same way for every monster (so you don't have 1/3rd of all monsters with the Improved Grab feat) or a unified "change size" mechanic. Each monster just works the way it works; period. Much more free-form and with lots of room for creativity in the design process, and makes for less predictable encounters. Higher learning curve for the DM though. Hopefully the simpler stat blocks will more than soften the blow.
Well, it's not really a higher learning curve. In 3E the reuse of abilities often meant "Get the PHB, look up spell X", this new design will just print the ability in the statblock. And gives more room for creativity. I really like that.

Cheers, LT.
 

Tharen the Damned

First Post
Rechan said:
Which probably also means "If you want X in your game, you'll have to Wait for it and then buy MM12 so you can have medusa" (I pulled that out of my butt).

What, you have the 4th MMs stored in your...?
I can imagine it must be unconfortable sitting down with at least 12 MMs in your special stoarge area :p
 

Rechan

Adventurer
jasin said:
That sounds like a reasonable asesessment... and I find it worrying.

I don't mind the basic concept of "all MMs are equally core" or waiting for the frost giant until MMx. But I'd hate to see 4E MM1 padded out with crappy, silly monsters the likes of which can be often found in 3E MM2+, just so they don't have to put the frost giant in, just so they can lend legitimacy to 4E MM2 by putting him there.
I don't see that for one reason:

WotC has to sell this.

All ready there are a lot of people calling foul. If they just produced 'Crap monster book with one or two good ones", then they'd shoot themselves in the foot.

Although if they put out a book with say, 25% of the 3.5 MM1, and 75% new, but really cool monsters, I don't think that would be necessarily a bad thing.

I really liked what Wyatt had said about the Rimefrost Griffon, about it alternating with heat and cold attacks, but it can't use the heat attack until it's sucked up x amont of cold. I like the shapeshifty malleable monster that moves around your swordblades (though I got the impression that Noonan was using an example from 1e he wasn't porting over.
 

Tharen the Damned

First Post
Well, i think it is plain ridiculous to have the Roc and Orcus in the MM1 but not the Frost Giant.
I mean, how often did you fight a Roc and how often do you fight Orcus compared to Frost Giants?
Frost Giant, one of the classic Monsters is out.
But the Briar Witch is in.
Huh?
This has nothing to do with RPG design but everything with money grabbing.
As WoC are a business company, that is ok.
But why do we have to get such lame excuses as "we want to make all MM core!?
 

Moon-Lancer

First Post
Rechan said:
I don't see that for one reason:

WotC has to sell this.

All ready there are a lot of people calling foul. If they just produced 'Crap monster book with one or two good ones", then they'd shoot themselves in the foot.

Although if they put out a book with say, 25% of the 3.5 MM1, and 75% new, but really cool monsters, I don't think that would be necessarily a bad thing.

I am afraid that wizards may be making a mistake in expanding core to mean mean more then just 3 books.

Lets just hope expanding the concept of core helps the srd rather then hurt it.
 

Rechan

Adventurer
If the SRD added all the stuff from the PHBx/MMx, I would be ecstatic. But then, I run D&D games online, so being able to flick back and forth into this window with the monster's stats and that window where the game is happening is a huge boon.
 

Simia Saturnalia

First Post
Tharen the Damned said:
Well, i think it is plain ridiculous to have the Roc and Orcus in the MM1 but not the Frost Giant.
I mean, how often did you fight a Roc and how often do you fight Orcus compared to Frost Giants?
How often do you fight something a whole lot like a Frost Giant but lacking the "frost" parts? Now how often do you fight something a whole lot like a roc, or like Orcus? Of the three, Frost Giants seem the easiest to jury-rig out of an existing monster; slap a level-appropriate white dragon breath weapon on a hill giant, give it two more hit dice and some extra strength, paint it blue, beef up its level, and send it out there. Ultimately, the mechanics define nothing more than a bag of HP, damage, XPs, and loot that trundles around the battlefield challenging PCs. It's up to the DM's narration and characterization to make it scream 'frost giant'.
Frost Giant, one of the classic Monsters is out.
But the Briar Witch is in.
Huh?
This has nothing to do with RPG design but everything with money grabbing.
There are too many responses to this; there's absolutely nothing to do with RPG design in pumping out the same thing every damn time, I don't think I've ever used a frost giant or even seen one used (which is anecdotal and useless), offering something original is a great way to go about grabbing money because people want it, I for one welcome our new Briar Witch overlords, and even "I don't see how it's money-grabbing, since this forum has taught me people fear and resent the unfamiliar". Take your favorite.

As WoC are a business company, that is ok.
We need a notary, express written consent to make money has been given by some guy on a forum!
But why do we have to get such lame excuses as "we want to make all MM core!?
On the other hand, you might not be the Emperor's Truthsayer after all, and they really do want to expand the mental definition of core.
 

Green Knight

First Post
I might be able to see the Quickling and Satyr, as they might be fey. But... The werewolf and owlbear? WHAT IS IT DOING WITH THOSE TWO? Why hasn't it eaten them?

They're not travelling together. The Owlbear's running around the forest doing its thing, and the werewolf is following it, and so are the Quickling and the Satyr. They only make their presence known when the Owlbear attacks something, at which point they swoop in and try to grab whatever victims they can before the Owlbear can turn its attention to them. Or they wait til the Owlbear's done and pick off the stragglers. Basically they just follow this Owlbear around and let it do all the heavy lifting, without the Owlbear knowing that it's being followed. While I think the idea of TWO different scavengers is a bit of a stretch (but to be fair, the guy was a bit pressed for time to come up with challenges), I like the idea of scavengers. A smaller predator shadowing a bigger predator, waiting til it brings down some prey before it swoops in and tries to grab what it can out from under the bigger predators nose.
 

Knight Otu

First Post
Rechan said:
Monsters shot in the head: Elementals only differentiated between Size and Element, Guardinals.
If they mean what this sounds like, then blarg. As I mentioned in the "What monsters deserve the axe" thread, there is really only one monster that needs to be shot in the (nonexisting) head, and that's the shrieker. If they hadn't already mentioned slaads, I'd be pretty concerned about the fate of the remaining partially-neutral outsider families (yugoloth, slaad, and whichever of modron, formian, or inevitable). I mean, I can understand the removal/reimagination of the scalable elementals (though ironically the scalability was one of the teasers for the 3.0 MM in the 3.0 PHB), but getting rid of the guardinals I don't understand especially in light of the reimagination of the devils and demons - the guardinals already have their "thing." Hopefully they reconsider the guardinals for MM 2+. If not.... well, I guess then I'll have to recreate them myself when I want to use them.

DaveMage said:
(And the expectation that you'll get the "standard" critters in the first volume.)
Dao and Marid, anyone? There have been similar instances in the past. That said, Frost Giants not being in yet doesn't faze me as much, perhaps because I'm hoping for at least one of the following things:
1 - there are good monster design guidelines in one of the first three books. This has been strongly hinted at, and frost giants can probably be very easily created from those, unlike more complex outsiders.
2 - The "All MMs are core" bit comes into play here. With the knowledge that psionics will enter the SRD and that psionics will be in a Players Handbook, hopefully all the books that are considered core will enter the SRD with little delay.
If either one happens, I'll be happy enough, though both would of couse be the ideal scenario.

Rechan said:
My suspicion is that they're designing the books so that if you walked into your FLGS for the first time, picked up the PHB2, MM3 and DMG4, you could run the game no different than if you had the PHB1, MM1 and DMG1.
I rather doubt that, honestly. People usually don't pick up a Part 2 of anything before picking up Part 1 (excluding prequels). Wizards may want to change how we look at the game, but I doubt they'll manage to change buying habits to that extreme. Not to mention that many people would be pissed off picking up the exactly same rules year and year again.

Rechan said:
One thing I caught. When discussing trying to make more monsters work together: "Rather than, y'know... Drow don't like working with other fey."

Notice: OTHER FEY.

Does this mean that Drow are fey? Or elves are fey?*

*Yes, I know that elves have a connection to fey, but I've seen many people make the statement that elves are humanoid (fey), not fey.
I thought it was pretty clear from the Elves article that Elves, Eladrin, and Drow are all feykin to a varying degree, the Eladrin and Drow more so than the Elves, and at different ends of the Seelie-Unseelie spectrum.
 

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