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D&D 4E Notes from the 4E Corebooks: Alignment, Monsters, Artifacts and More

Wolfspider

First Post
Fallen Seraph said:
Well you figure, they probably have about 300+ monsters in the MM. They have said every single one is going to have a illustration. It isn't that unreasonable to assume there be some duplicates.

Perhaps...but it still seems odd for me. I can't remember a single piece of artwork being recycled from one edition of D&D to another before...barring the half edition change of 3.5, of course, which is not really a complete edition change.
 

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Fallen Seraph

First Post
Oni said:
Only 4 artifacts the DMG?

Guess we'll be getting a book of artifacts down the road.
There will probably be lots more in Adventurer's Vault in September and future DMGs. There could maybe be rules to make your own too in the DMG.
 

pukunui

Legend
Matthew L. Martin said:
Hereditary, mostly.
But how did the family get infected in the first place? ;)

It's the same illustration--it's even got his kama-wielding sidekick. :)
Damn, that's disappointing. Did anyone else notice that the vampires in NWN2 are the same ones? At least, the kama-wielding one is. I don't think the other one has a spiked chain.

There's a full ritual writeup.
Cool. This begs the question though: is there a vampire template in the DMG? We know there's a lich template. So I wonder if the templates are in the DMG but the rituals required for creating them are in the MM along with the sample stats? I hope there's an actual ritual for the lich as well.

It's more like there are cultist writeups attached to his entry, actually.
Ah ok. Gotcha. Good enough. There will probably be more fluff about his cults and stuff in the DMG and in the upcoming MotP.

Didn't spot any, but I was only looking for a handful of specific things.
The 3.5 Spell Compendium only has one full page illo and it's one that's been recycled from Complete Divine, I think. Just seems kind of odd when it's the only one there ...

Like I said, artifacts have serious meat to them now. I'd really look forward to a 4E Book of Artifacts.
Cool. I've always liked artifacts but I haven't liked that you have to wait so long to introduce them to your game. It'll be fun to be able to include them in sooner. Did you see if there were rules/guidelines for creating your own artifacts? I had this great idea for giving the PCs an evil artifact that causes bad stuff to happen to other people (but not them). So they go to the little village after raiding the dungeon and after a while the crops start failing and the cows' milk goes sour and the villagers all come and blame the strangers in town for bringing misfortune to them. Hopefully it'll take a little while for them to realize that it's an evil artifact ... and then when they figure it out, they'll find out they can't get rid of it easily! Mwaahahahahaha!


Lurker59 said:
There is a named item in KotS, but it certainly isn't considered an artifact.
A misunderstanding on my part then. I was reading a different thread with a review of KotS and someone described it as an artifact.


Fallen Seraph said:
So there could be ways of having a Template or Feats to become a Werewolf.
Good point. There might very well be a lycanthrope template in the DMG.
 
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drothgery

First Post
GoodKingJayIII said:
Wait wait wait...

Recycled art... in a new edition's core rulebook?

I hope that is the single exception, and not a general rule.

Hmm... almost all of the art in the Star Wars Saga core rulebook is recycled from Star Wars Revised books.
 

HeavenShallBurn

First Post
Wolfspider said:
Perhaps...but it still seems odd for me. I can't remember a single piece of artwork being recycled from one edition of D&D to another before...barring the half edition change of 3.5, of course, which is not really a complete edition change.
QFT

I don't remember seeing any 2e art re-used in the 3e core books. I might be wrong as I didn't see every single piece of 2e artwork, but what was in there didn't look like the 2e material I'd seen, even the base style was a change.
 

Gargazon

First Post
Wolfspider said:
Perhaps...but it still seems odd for me. I can't remember a single piece of artwork being recycled from one edition of D&D to another before...barring the half edition change of 3.5, of course, which is not really a complete edition change.

Yes, but how many monster illustrations and how many monsters were in the old edition monster manuals?

(I'm probably going to regret asking this, aren't I? Cause I don't have a clue what the answer might be...)

P.S. 2e was a TSR product, 3e was a WotC product. I imagine there may have been issues with copying art between the two as they belong to different companies, but what do I know?
 
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Green Knight

First Post
Rechan said:
Hey, as someone who didn't like the 3e version either, it all comes down to "add what you like, strip what you don't". At least that the new vampire isn't like the 3e one; taking things away was harder than adding things IN. Adding weaknesses shouldn't be hard.

That's not saying much, as anything is better then the 3E Vampire. ;) I still can't get over their level draining bitchslap. Where'd that come from?!?
 

Rechan

Adventurer
I'm not really bothered by there being no inflicted methods. I never liked that from rules perspective. Also the forced alignment, etc. The "You turn into a raving psycho lunatic" seems suitable enough.

Especially given that I've been pondering lycanthropy, or at least Infectious lycanthropy, as "The Endowment of the Id"; stripping the morality and inhibitions of the human mind, allowing the desires that someone locks away in their heart to surface. The greedy man robs and steals without repentance, the man who covets his neighbor's wife takes his neighbor's wife by force, the man who harbors hate acts upon it.

It wouldn't surprise me if we see Lycanthrope as a playable race in the MM2 maybe?
 
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Rechan

Adventurer
Green Knight said:
That's not saying much, as anything is better then the 3E Vampire. ;) I still can't get over their level draining bitchslap. Where'd that come from?!?
Isn't there a scene where Dracula grabs someone by the throat and slams them up against a wall, choking them, and at some point he lets go and the guy is just sort've stunned laying there?

The one thing I never understood is zombies having a slam. ZOMBIES DON'T PUNCH PEOPLE.
 

M.L. Martin

Adventurer
Wolfspider said:
Perhaps...but it still seems odd for me. I can't remember a single piece of artwork being recycled from one edition of D&D to another before...barring the half edition change of 3.5, of course, which is not really a complete edition change.

True--but bear in mind the radical jumps in production values between 1E and 2E, or 2E and 3E, as well as the shift in the game's look from 2E to 3E (which would have mitigated against reusing any of the color art). 3E to 4E isn't nearly as big a shift in quality or style.

I wouldn't want them to make a habit of it, but I'm not going to condemn them for a handful of reused pieces. Besides, so far, the only reused piece we're aware of comes from 3.5, not 3E proper. ;)
 

Wolfspider

First Post
Gargazon said:
Yes, but how many monster illustrations and how many monsters were in the old edition monster manuals?

(I'm probably going to regret asking this, aren't I? Cause I don't have a clue what the answer might be...)

Let me put it this way. WotC made a big deal out of how the new edition was going to have a new art direction. Much fuss was made over this in the preview books and through the website recently with the daily art selections.

To find out now that WotC is recycling old art from v3.5 seems to fly in the face of this purported new artistic theme running through the new books.
 

Fallen Seraph

First Post
Rechan said:
Isn't there a scene where Dracula grabs someone by the throat and slams them up against a wall, choking them, and at some point he lets go and the guy is just sort've stunned laying there?

The one thing I never understood is zombies having a slam. ZOMBIES DON'T PUNCH PEOPLE.
Wouldn't that be simply "stunned" then, not "level drained"

LOL, I want a boxing zombie now.

Also, wow you can tell people are coming online now, this thread is really moving now.
 

GoodKingJayIII

First Post
drothgery said:
Hmm... almost all of the art in the Star Wars Saga core rulebook is recycled from Star Wars Revised books.

It's a great book, but that irritated me too.

Even so, the scopes of the two projects (SWSE vs. 4e) are so massively different as to be incomparable. SW is a formidable RPG, but Dungeons and Dragons is the most popular RPG on the market and the flagship of the roleplaying division. I expect them to put their absolute best effort forth to sell this thing.

It does not destroy my expectations of 4e, but it does smack of laziness. How many artists and contractors does Wizards have at their command? Surely one of them could have created some new vampire art?
 

Gargazon

First Post
Wolfspider said:
Let me put it this way. WotC made a big deal out of how the new edition was going to have a new art direction. Much fuss was made over this in the preview books and through the website recently with the daily art selections.

To find out now that WotC is recycling old art from v3.5 seems to fly in the face of this purported new artistic theme running through the new books.

Perhaps WotC either A) thought that the old 3.5 art still fitted with their new art direction or B) they couldn't find any art that was superior to it, so stuck with the old picture.

I'm glad that we're keeping the old vampire pic. Remember that thing from the templates excerpt? I don't want one of them.
 

Green Knight

First Post
Rechan said:
Isn't there a scene where Dracula grabs someone by the throat and slams them up against a wall, choking them, and at some point he lets go and the guy is just sort've stunned laying there?

Well, none of that actually involves Dracula backhanding the guy or punching him. Besides, if you'd just been thrown into a wall and choked by a superhumanly strong vampire, you'd be stunned, too. That doesn't mean, though, that your lifeforce got sucked out or anything of the sort. And vampires sucking out your lifeforce by punching you was just damn weird.
 

Rechan

Adventurer
Green Knight said:
Well, none of that actually involves Dracula backhanding the guy or punching him. Besides, if you'd just been thrown into a wall and choked by a superhumanly strong vampire, you'd be stunned, too. That doesn't mean, though, that your lifeforce got sucked out or anything of the sort. And vampires sucking out your lifeforce by punching you was just damn weird.
And a wight sucking your soul by slapping you isn't? ;)
 

Lizard

First Post
Hmm. I like most of that.

What I find most interesting about 4e, as it gets closer, is that the developers are much sharper than the pro 4e fans gave them credit for being. Consider, for example, the HUGE frackin' thread on succubi and the apparent belief that, in 4e, things like "How does a vampire make other vampires" would be wholly ignored (and that this was a good thing). Well, looks like it's NOT -- there are actual rules/guidelines for it. Good.

I like the artifacts information, too. Sounds like it's designed mostly to inspire DMs to create their own. A few solid examples to serve as guidelines, the rest is up to you.

Alignments-- well, that's been totally borked up one side and down the other, but since alignments no longer matter (much) to the rules, it should be trivial to add them in -- and add in axiomatic and anarchic energy, as well. Houserules FTW, and depending on how the GSL is written WRT access to the old SRD, it might be easy to add them into commercial products for those who want it.

I like there are still effects which aren't "save ends". I was worried, based on things like the phane, that NOTHING would last longer than a single encounter.

Between this info and the general non-suckiness, rules wise, of KOTS, I am actually beginning to look forward to 4e. I don't see how I could convert my current game, but it might be fun to begin working on my next campaign. (Some people have backup characters; I have backup worlds...)
 

Oni said:
Only 4 artifacts the DMG?

Guess we'll be getting a book of artifacts down the road.
Artifacts are things that you revolve your campaign around, I'm glad they've realized that. As such, I'd say 4 will do most people for a while.
 

Green Knight

First Post
Rechan said:
And a wight sucking your soul by slapping you isn't? ;)

Sure. But then again, I haven't heard very many stories about Wights one way or the other. On the other hand, I have heard plenty of stories about vampires, and not a one of them involved a vampire slapping the experiences out of a guy. ;)

Whatever the case, I'm just glad slam attacks and level draining are gone altogether. They were pretty lame all around (and in the case of the vampire, the lameness was painfully noticeable).
 

malraux

First Post
Gargazon said:
Yes, but how many monster illustrations and how many monsters were in the old edition monster manuals?

(I'm probably going to regret asking this, aren't I? Cause I don't have a clue what the answer might be...)

P.S. 2e was a TSR product, 3e was a WotC product. I imagine there may have been issues with copying art between the two as they belong to different companies, but what do I know?
I picked up a 2nd ed MM off of CL just to respect the elders and all. The MM is actually reasonably well illustrated and laid out. Each entry stops at the bottom of a page, every entry includes a illustration of the creature (even the invisible strangler). There's a detailed ecology section, etc. Aside from the surprisingly unusable stat blocks and the occasional habit of hiding really important abilities or combat info in the text of the entry, the 2e MM is pretty good on having illustrations and lay out in general. The quality of those illustrations is pretty varied though.
 

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