New monster: Ooze Swarms, for use in our game

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Here is a monster I was thinking to add to our game, as a custom monster.  I would seriously like the community's feedback / constructive criticism and ways to balance this monster.


Recommended for lv.12+ , party of 5 – 7


Lv.12 swarm


Status: AC: 29 FORT: 32 REF: 24*WILL: 24*


*+1 to these defenses for each ooze swarm within five squares (up to preferred harmony number)


Speed: 4


Hit points: 100 (not sure what’s a fair, balanced number)


Perception: +10 (+1 for each Ooze swarm up to harmony number - see below)


Initiative: +10 (+1 for each Ooze swarm up to harmony number - see below)


Physical Description / background:

Ooze swarms are cousins to gelatinous cubes.  They have the same general viscosity and make the same sounds as their cousins and like cubes, tend to dwell underground.  This is where their similarity ends.


Unlike their brethren, Ooze swarms do not take a defined cube shape.  They instead take a half-moon or slightly spherical form.  They also are semi-sentient, and prefer the close proximity of other oozes.


Nature or Dudgeoneering checks: DC: 15/25/35


The above description +: Ooze swarms have a preferred harmony number (generally three), though larger numbers have been rarely reported.


The above description+: Ooze swarms’ color represents the type of damage they inflict and their resistances to that type of damage (resist 5)


The above description+: Ooze swarms tend to have vulnerabilities (vuln 5) related opposite to their color


Red: fire damage / vuln cold.  Blue(opposite)


Yellow: Acid damage / vuln poison.  Black (opposite)


Opaque(clear)*: Radiant damage / vuln necrotic. Grey(or purple) / (opposite).  *Opaque swarms tend to be benevolent, or at least not outwardly hostile.  If a party makes no moves of hostility, the swarm will generally ignore the party's presense.  Rare cases indicate an Opaque ooze swarm can even be talked with, via telepathy.  If an Opaque swarm is initially hostile, you may feed it 1lbs of organic matter to pacify it (this won't work if you initiated the hostility)


*Ooze swarms ALWAYS resist 5 force damage


*Ooze swarms LIKE thunder/lightning damage.  They regen 1d6 hp on any thunder/lightning attack, and the attack itself does no damage.


(( end nature/dungeneering check ))


Actions:

Move: Ooze swarms can shift 2 as a move action, or move their speed


Basic attack (Standard Action): +18vs. AC.  Hit:2d10 (color typed) damage, and target is dotted for 5 ongoing (color typed) damage and slowed (save ends both).  If target is already slowed, target is restrained

Recover(at-will)*(Standard Action): *only a freshly spawned ooze swarm may recover 4d10 + 10 on its first turn.  After its first turn, it loses this power.  See how Ooze swarms spawn, below. 


Absorb(at-will)* (Standard Action): if target is slowed/restrained/dazed, ooze swarm may make a grapple attack.  +16 vs. reflex.  Hit: target takes 10 (color typed damage) and is grappled.  At the start of their turn, takes 10 (color typed) damage.  *There is no limit to the number of PCs an ooze swarm my grapple, and PCs may be affected by multiple ooze swarms' grapple damage.


Minor (limit once per turn): shift one


Minor(cannot be used if the swarm still has its recovery at-will power. limit one per turn) 10 + 1d6 hp recovery


Burst spray(encounter - recharge 6): Close Burst 1.  +16 vs. FORT.  Hit:1d10 + 10 (color typed) damage, and all targets are dazed and dotted for 5 damage of same type (save ends both).  Other ooze swarms of the same color are immune to this attack.  Miss: Half damage, and targets are dazed until the end of ooze swarm's next turn.


Bloodied Power(when first bloodied) : immediate reaction to use their burst attack (even if they've expended it and not regained its use). 


Immediate interrupt (if the swarm still has its recover at-will power) shift their speed.  This shift can travel through PC tiles and doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity (though if a fighter has them marked, they can take their combat challenge attack but cannot stop the movement)


Death Blow:  When an ooze swarm dies, it ruptures with a sickening fleshy ‘pop’.  All adjacent allies make a saving throw.  If they fail, they take 10 (color typed) damage.


immediate reaction:  When an ooze swarm is missed with any attack, the ooze swarm may divide into two ooze swarms,  if the following conditions are met:


1)      The ooze swarm cannot be at its preferred harmony number


2)      The ooze swarm cannot have its recovery at-will power


3)      There must be a free tile adjacent to the ooze swarm


4)      The parrent cannot be bloodied


The child swarm has the same initiative order as its parent, but goes after its parent.  A freshly spawned ooze swarm has a special recovery at-will.  While it has this power, it cannot use its burst spray, basic attack, nor divide.  


The child starts at the parrent's HP - 25.  The parent then takes 25hitpoints damage


 Special:  An Ooze swarm may choose to assimilate itself into an adjacent Ooze swarm as a standard + minor action (it cannot do this if either itself or the target Ooze swarm still has its recovery at-will power)  When it does so, it adds its current HP to the other swarm's total (HP above their max  converts into temporary HP and follows all temp. HP rules).

Wow... I'm not even sure where to start.  This monster is completely wack.  Not only is it grossly unbalanced, but it displays an incredible unfamiliarity with monster creation rules and conventions.  I suggest you look at the guidelines in the DMG and DMG2, followed by a large numbers of monsters from MM2 or later.

I'd like to go through your post and address each problem individually, but there are so very many that it would be impossible.  Instead I'll put together a proper statblock for this monster, with notes on why it should be done that way.  I'll post it in an hour or so.
Wow... I'm not even sure where to start.  This monster is completely wack.  Not only is it grossly unbalanced, but it displays an incredible unfamiliarity with monster creation rules and conventions.  I suggest you look at the guidelines in the DMG and DMG2, followed by a large numbers of monsters from MM2 or later.

I'd like to go through your post and address each problem individually, but there are so very may that it would be impossible.  Instead I'll put together a proper statblock for this monster, with notes on why it should be done that way.  I'll post it in an hour or so. 



First off, when you posted "wow" with that avatar, frog picture , it was extremely funny! Secondly, I am hoping for people like you, to help balance these monsters.

Again , remember they are intended for lv.12+ parties and I tried to put good restrictions on their dividing abilities (based on their 'recover at-will' power being available or not).

I'm looking forward to hearing ( I hope) constructive criticism that doesn't outwardly bash me ^-^;;

Edit:
oh and remember, my specific DND group has 7 PCs (Not the standard 5 or even 6) so please take that into consideration?





























Sunswarm OozeLevel 12 Elite Controller
Large natural beast (blind, ooze, swarm)XP 1400
Most monsters shouldn't be a challenge on their own.  Three elites make a good encounter for six PCs.
Also, you need a cooler name than "Ooze Swarm". 
Initiative +8
Senses Perception +8; blindsight 10
Swarm Attack (radiant) aura 1; the sunswarm ooze makes a basic attack as a free action against each enemy that begins its turn in the aura. 
HP 256; Bloodied 128
AC 26; Fortitude 27, Reflex 23, Will 22
Immune gaze; Resist 10 radiant, half damage from melee and ranged attacks; Vulnerable 10 against close and area attacks
Saving Throws +2
Speed 4; see also flowing form
Action Points 1
Your numbers were all way off; here are some more appropriate figures.

Note that I'm being pretty sparing with resistances; as a rule, you should only have resistances or vulnerabilities if it's really intrinsic to the monster concept.

Swarm Attack, the half damage from melee and ranged attacks, and the vulnerability to close and area attacks are the hallmarks of the swarm subtype.
Slam (standard, at-will) Radiant
+16 vs. AC; 2d6+7 damage, and the target is slowed and takes 5 ongoing radiant damage (save ends both).A basic attack that can restrain multiple creatures is way too powerful for paragon tier.  Plus, there's already Engulf.
: Engulf (standard, at-will) Radiant
Targets a slowed Medium or smaller creature; +15 vs. Fortitude; the sunswarm ooze pulls the target into its space, and the target is grabbed. Until the grab ends, the target is dazed and takes ongoing 10 radiant damage. When the grab ends, the target shifts to a square of its choosing adjacent to the sunswarm ooze. When the sunswarm ooze moves, it pulls any engulfed creatures with it, and it does not provoke opportunity attacks from engulfed creatures.
This is the standard phrasing for an ooze's Engulf/Absorb power.
Radiant Burst (standard, recharge ) Radiant
Close burst 2; targets enemies; +15 vs. Reflex; 3d8+7 radiant damage, and the target is dazed until the end of the sunswarm ooze's next turn.Encounter and recharge powers can afford to do more damage than at-wills.  Consult DMG p.42 for guidelines.
The targets are probably already taking ongoing damage, so there's no need to reapply it.
Flowing Form (move, at-will)
The sunswarm ooze shifts four squares.Standard phrasing for the power.
Split (immediate reaction, when first bloodied; encounter)
Radiant Burst recharges, and the sunswarm ooze uses it immediately.  The sunswarm ooze then splits into two, each with hit points equal to one-half its current hit points. Effects applied to the original sunswarm ooze do not apply to the second one. A sunswarm ooze can’t split if reduced to 0 hit points by the attack that bloodied it. Left alone, the two halves recombine into a single creature at the end of the encounter.
Standard phrasing for the power.  Your version was totally weird.  Why would the new swarm have a healing power?  Can your oozes split endlessly?  The first is inefficient, and the second is unbalanced.  This is better.

Also, I added a free Radiant Burst to give the mechanics a stronger theme of bursting apart in a blast of unstable energy.  I took my inspiration from nuclear fission.
Reassimilation (when reduced to 0 hit points)
Radiant Burst recharges, and the sunswarm ooze uses it immediately.  Each sunswarm ooze in the burst gains 15 temporary hit points.
Because really, two swarms aren't going to recombine during a fight unless one of them is dying.  Plus I like the image of a few tiny surviving ooze fleeing into another swarm.



Alignment unalignedLanguages -







Str 21 (+11)Dex 16 (+8)Wis 15 (+8)
Con 24 (+13)Int 5 (+3)Cha 4 (+3)

Of course, it doesn't have to be a Sunswarm ooze; just replace radiant with cold for an Iceswarm Ooze, or fire for a Flameswarm Ooze, or whatever you like.

One thing to remember is that 4e is balanced around a group of PCs fighting a group of monsters. That's why I made this guy an Elite, roughly equivalent to two PCs.  For a seven-PC party you could use three of these and one other standard monster, perhaps a lurker of some sort.

I got rid of your "Harmony" thing because it didn't add much to the flavour of the creature, and the ooze had plenty of things to do already.  If you really want the harmony thing, I'd do something like the Human Lackey's "Mob Rule" trait.

Basically, just remember that less is more: a few good traits and powers that work together in harmony are far better than a random collection of weird stuff.  With every power and trait you add, you should be asking yourself "Is this necessary?  How will this make the creature play?  Is that how I want it to play?  Can I rephrase this in a simpler manner?"  Simplicity and elegance are the name of the game.

Anyway.  Hopefully that was illuminating; if not, I'm happy to answer more questions.
Very nice job lgfig. Solid mech's and good explanations for a beginner looking to learn monster creation.

smiles

Hmmm....
You put a lot of work into reorganizing it into an elite.
The principle behind the ooze swarm (or your new, rather nice name) was that they divide during battle.  Alone they weren't too difficult but over six rounds they can multiply.

Because when they divide, they take damage (and the 'offspring' will not be anywhere near full health) I gave them the initial 'recovery' power, so that they would at least stand a chance.

If like you propose, I remove that ability and take your format as a basis, I wonder if I can still add as a minor, regeneration?
Perhaps after they divide, they gain regeneration (regen 10)?

Your (to hit) rates are lower than mine, giving the monster around a 45% chance to hit some of our members (as some of us have 27 will or fort.)  I suppose that's somewhat better.  I'm not current DM for my game, but I've created this monster because he's always asking us if we have new and interesting ides for challenging monstesr to fight.. and his custom monsters always seem to have +17 or +18 to hit at our current level (perhaps he's designing them too powerful?)

Your "blidsight" ability isn't a bad idea.  The principle behind the 'harmony' number was that they are semi-sentient and bunch together in small clusters.  I suppose 'tremmor sense' could go nicely with them for other colors - thanks for that idea (of course thank you in general, for the restructure).

You also made them a 2x2 (large) creature.  I was thinking of them as a medium creature.  but perhaps large is better.
It's true, I did make some fairly deep changes.  Some were for balance, some were for simplicity, and some were just my whims.

Splitting
Changing how splitting works was all three.  See, there are certain standards all monsters should cleave to.  All of the monsters of a given role and level can take about the same amount of damage before dying, and they all deal similar amounts of damage in that time.  These standards ensure that they will provide roughly the same challenge to any party they encounter.

The way your version of the ooze works, it can divide without limit.  Now even on its own, without healing, this is already bad because it violates economy of action.  The way we predict how much damage a monster will deal each round is to multiply its number of attacks by the average damage of each attack.  Every attack does about the same amount of damage, so a monster's threat can be gauged by the number of actions it takes each round.  This is assigned by role: standards take one action, elites two, solos four.  

Your ooze, though, throws that all out.  It starts with one attack, but then it has two. Then four.  Then eight.  Its damage jumps all over the place, and you can never pin down what its DPR will be in the end.  A party with lots of offense and little defense will kill oozes relatively quickly, and never take more than two or three attacks each round.  A party with lots of defense and little offense, on the other hand, will soon find itself drowning in thirty-two attacks each turn, which will quickly kill it dead.

When you add healing into the mix, it gets even worse.  Not only does it have a potentially limitless number of attacks, but now it also has potentially limitless HP.  Once the oozes can split and heal faster than the party can damage them, it'll be literally impossible to defeat them.

And if you add regen on top of that, well that's just ridiculous.  On the first round, when there's only one ooze, it regains 10 hp.  On the second round, when there are two, it regains 20.  Next round, 40.  Next round, 80.  Its hit points don't just increase without limit; they increase exponentially.  After five minutes--the length of one encounter--it'll have more hit points than every other creature in the universe, combined.

But anyway.  On the topic of giving my version regen... why does it need it?  Nothing in the fluff screams "Regeneration!" at me.  A split swarm isn't all that vulnerable, really; it's got as many hit points as a bloodied standard, which isn't all that small a number.  The ochre jelly--the original splitting ooze--does fine without it.

(Oh, and regeneration is just a trait that goes in the top section of the statblock.  It doesn't require an action to use.)

Size
The reason I made the ooze Large has to do with roles and encounter-building.  Quite simply, most elite beasts in Paragon tier are going to be Large.  If you see a Medium creature next to a similar-looking Large creature, you're going to assume that the Large is much tougher.  A Medium elite would be misleading.

But why make it an elite in the first place?  Well, it definitely can't be a standard: it's possible to kill a standard in a round or two of focus fire, which isn't enough time for the whole splitting thing to really affect the course of the battle.  Good monsters have a flow to them, a sort of narrative almost, and the sunswarm ooze needs a bit more time to tell its story.

What about a solo?  Well... it just doesn't feel like a solo to me.  A fight against a solo should be a big, epic affair, and this guy is just a wandering monster.  Moreover, to return to the monster-as-narrative model, a solo is more space than the sunswarm needs.  I mean, what does it really do?  It smacks people, engulfs them, lets off some area bursts, splits, dies, and finally is reassimilated.  On a solo, that would get samey after a while.  

Also, since splitting is it's schtick, that should happen often.  There are other solos that can increase their action quota--the berbalang and heroslayer hydra, for instance--but they do that in a predictable manner, and are recognizably a single entity.  The sunswarm ooze should split and reform more haphazardly, and each swarm should be independent of the others; that points toward using three independent elites instead of a single solo.

(You can totally describe the three swarms as a single mass to your players, though.  If one swarm moves away from the others, describe that as 'splitting'.)

To-Hit
Yeah, these to-hit values are right where they should be.  Monsters aren't expected to be quite as accurate as PCs.  Your DM's values might not be wrong, though: if he's making artillery and soldiers, those numbers are just about right.

Harmony
Like I said, the "harmony" ability doesn't add much to the creature because it's already established that they bunch together in clusters.  That's what the Swarm subtype does.  Harmony would only be reasonable if they got a morale boost from being dispersed into lots of small clusters (as opposed to a large mass), which sounds like the exact opposite of how they function.

And Blindsight is just a standard ability for creatures that don't have eyes. 
The Sunswarm Ooze is a really great monster!

If it's ok, I think I'm gonna use next weekend at a Shrine to Dagon dungeon. I'll probably call it a Deathswarm Ooze, make it do necrotic damage, and up that damage a little bit. Do you think making the ongoing 10 necrotic would be too much?
Igfig:
I'd like to talk with you more about your ideas on balance for monsers.  Is there an email I can use to talk with you?

I want to discuss more about these swarms, your ideas and mine.  I don't want to "use you" for ideas, but in the same respect, yes I do.

Edit:
drac - thanks for the compliment.  I mean yes it was Igfig who refined it, so give him  most of the credit, but I'm thanking you because it was half my idea to invent an ooze swarm to begin with. ^-^
Draconobalen: Yeah, go ahead!  But I wouldn't really recommend increasing the ongoing damage.  I did consider boosting it to 10, originally--that is the standard amount for a paragon tier monster--but decided not to for two reasons:

1. The attack slows in addition to dealing ongoing.  If I increased the ongoing, I'd probably have to reduce the base damage to compensate.

2. The ongoing damage does increase if the swarm engulfs a target.  In that case, 10 is be the correct number, since the slowed condition doesn't matter while you're grabbed.


Xenxander: You can PM me through the forums if you really want, but I'd slightly prefer to keep the dialogue out in the open (in this thread or another) so other people can contribute to and benefit from the discussion.

And I'm totally okay with being used for ideas.  A lot of my best stuff is the product of a bunch of people kicking ideas around until something good pops up.
I think I'm going to print up your new swarm and present it.  We may beta-test it in our 7 PC game and see if they can create a challenging and fun enocunter ^_^

Now then, how about a 'baby' verson of a slime that isn't a 'swarm' in game mechanics, but can be called "slime swarmling".  I was thinking this:






























Swarmling Slime
Level 12 (something)
Medium natural beast (blind, ooze)XP ????
Initiative +8
Senses Perception +8; blindsight 10
Regeneration 5; slime regenerates 5 hit points per round.
Slime Threat
aura 1; any enemy entering the aura provokes an opportunity attack by the slime
HP 30; Bloodied 15
AC 26; Fortitude 27, Reflex 23, Will 22
Immune gaze; Resist 5 radiant, ; Vulnerable 5 necrotic
Saving Throws +2
Speed 6; see also flowing form
Action Points 0
These little guys are medium creatures (but maybe I could make them small, like flaming skulls? input?).  I didn't know what defenses to put so I left your original ones identicle.  I gave them vul. and regeneration, but not to a high degree.  And I gave them very little hit points.  consider them "high hitpoint minions" :P
basicmelee.gif Slime Slap (standard, at-will) diamond.gif Radiant
+17 vs. AC; 1d6+7 damage, and the target is slowed(save ends).
:melee.gifSquishing Sting (standard, at-will) diamond.gif Radiant
Targets a slowed Medium or smaller creature; +15 vs. Reflex; the slime latches on to the target, and the target is grabbed. Until the grab ends, the slime occupies the same tile as the target, and the target is dazed and takes ongoing 5 radiant damage. When the grab ends, the target shifts to a square of its choosing adjacent to the slime.
I loved the idea of a small slime latching onto you, slowly stinging you as you try to pull it off of your face or body.
close.gifElusive Squish(standard, recharge roll6.gif ) diamond.gif Radiant
Targets a medium creature; +15 vs. Will; the slime shifts its speed.  Durring the shift, it can make a single attack against any enemy along its movement path.  If an enmy is slowed, the slime my shift through that enemy's squre without provoking opportunity attacks by that enemy.Shifting 6 tiles is very strong for an attack I know, which is why it recharges on 6, and doesn't get any other benefit other than being able to shift through a tile occupied by a PC if that PC is slowed.
Flatten and Flow (move, at-will)
The slime shifts two squares.small, shifty little buggers
Divide (immediate reaction; encounter)
The slime splits into two.  The offspring has full health.  Effects applied to the original slime do not apply to the second one. A slime can’t split if reduced to 0 hit points by the attack. Left alone, any two slimes recombine into a single creature at the end of the encounter.The offspring can have full health, with only 30 hp.  A good hard smack will probably nearly kill each one.  Which is why I made this just a standard Imm. Reaction without any other penalties.



Alignment unalignedLanguages -







Str 21 (+11)Dex 16 (+8)Wis 15 (+8)
Con 24 (+13)Int 5 (+3)Cha 4 (+3)

I think the idea here is to make little annoying but comical slimes that the party can "almost" squish under their boots (so that's why I'm thinking they can be 'tiny' instead of 'medium') but who are these niggling little pests becaus they can divide.

Do you think this is a somewhat decent monster?
It's better... but still pretty bad.  Seriously, you need to go read the monster creation rules on pp. 184-185 of the DMG and p. 133 of the DMG2.  Right now.  Go.  I'll wait.



Done?  Okay, good.  If you read it through in detail you should have a better idea of what numbers are reasonable for a creature of a given level.  That's not enough to give you an instinct for how a monster should work, but it'll keep you from doing weird things like giving a level 12 monster 30 hp. Never ever give hit points to a minion: if you want it to die in one hit, give it one hit point.  If you want it to be tougher than that, make it a standard.  I am holding a discussion right now in another thread on how to make a minion that dies in two hits, but that's really advanced stuff and we still don't have a satisfactory solution.  So don't do it.


Now, as for the creature itself.  First of all, I want you to think about what it is.  

The impression I'm getting is that it's a single ooze separated from the larger sunswarm (correct me if I'm wrong).  How did this happen?  From what I understand, the oozes like to stick to their clusters... so why is this one by itself?  Is it the lone survivor of a destroyed swarm?  A scout sent out to find food and report back?  A baby that hasn't found a swarm to join yet?

How does a single ooze work, biologically?  How does it reproduce?  I mean, when a swarm splits it's not the individual oozes dividing in two, but rather some oozes moving in one direction and some moving in another.  Can an individual ooze reproduce asexually, or does it need other oozes to be present?

How big is it?  I was under the impression that a sunswarm was made up of a couple thousand tiny oozes, but it could also be a couple hundred small oozes or a dozenish medium ones.  I suppose that a lone survivor that hangs around on its own might potentially grow relatively big if it can't reproduce outside of a swarm.


Next I want you to think about what it does

Remember what I was saying before about how monsters and encounters have a sort of narrative flow to them?  Tell me, what role does this monster play in the encounter narrative?  Does it hang around larger swarms, close enough to be part of the same encounter?  Does it appear in the same general area, but not in the same room?  Or is it only found by itself, far from any other cluster?  Does it act in harmony with other combatants, or is it just there to be a hazard?

After defining its role in the encounter narrative, you should determine its personal narrative.  When a PC fights the monster, what will happen?  Will it chase them down and jump on their face, or lie in wait for them to approach and then jump on their face?  And what happens after that?  They stomp on the ooze, and it squishes out from under their boots and reforms?  If it's going to be a minion, that's all you need: your narrative should last about two rounds, because minions are usually dead after that point. Standards, however, should have 4-6 rounds of narrative, elites 6-10, solos 10 or more.


Lastly, I want you to think about what it needs.  Specifically, what it needs to successfully pull off its narrative.  Ideally, you should be able to trim a monster down until it has exactly as much as it can use--no more, no less.  Every power and trait should get used, and each use should contribute to the story.

For your ooze, here are some things to consider:  
  • Which primary role (artillery, brute, controller, lurker, skirmisher, soldier) is best suited to your monster's play style?

  • Which secondary role (minion, standard, [elite, solo]) best suits it?

  • How big or small will it need to be to fulfill this role?

  • What level does it need to be?  If it'll be encountered near other sunswarms, it should be of a similar level.  If it won't, you'll have more freedom of choice.

  • What kind of ability scores does it need?  Does it attack with force (Str), speed (Dex), or composition (Con)?

  • Which traits are vital to its concept, and which ones aren't? And why or why not? Traits include things like subtypes, regeneration, resistance, auras, and anything else that's "always on".

  • How many powers will it need to fulfill its role?  Minions don't need much variety; solos need tons.

  • Which kind of powers would be vital to its concept? Why?  You put some commentary in your last post, but it would be cool if you could express what each power would add to the narrative.


Also, for the powers, you'll want to make sure that they're properly balanced, well worded, and adhere to the necessary conventions.  For instance, a minion always deals a flat amount of damage, and shouldn't usually inflict any save-ends effects.


Answer all these questions for me--what it is, what it does, and what it needs--and, if possible, post a revised statblock.  Once you've done this, I'll post my own version of the creature, and why I'd do it that way.
Okay, I lied.  I'm posting my version even without your revisions.  Actually, I'll probably be posting multiple versions, each fitting a different interpretation.

My first interpretation will have the ooze as a scared and lonely creature, the last survivor of a destroyed swarm.  The PCs might encounter one and think it nothing but a mindless beast, which sets them up for an interesting encounter in the next tier with a complete sunswarm.





















Sun Swarmling
Level 5 minion lurker
Tiny natural beast (blind, ooze)XP 50
Use the XP value to gauge overall power.  A single swarmling can't even kill a level 1 adventurer, but three might.
The lurker role reflects its loneliness, fear, and squishiness.
Initiative +3
Senses Perception +2; blindsight 10
HP 1; missed attacks never damage a minion.
AC 19; Fortitude 18, Reflex 17, Will 16
Immune gaze; Resist 5 radiant
Speed 4
Regeneration and vulnerability are nonsensical on a minion.  I would have dropped them from a standard too, though.  The sunswarm has neither, so why would the indiviual swarmling?
A "Swarm Attack"-type power represents the danger of standing in a swarm of little bites.  It doesn't make sense on a single creature.
basicmelee.gif Face Latch (standard, at-will) diamond.gif Radiant
+10 vs. AC; 5 radiant damage.  If the swarmling has combat advantage against the target, the target is grabbed and grants combat advantage (until escape).This is a simpler way to handle the latching-on image.  I considered adding a second attack for the radiant sting (after the grab), but minions should be as simple as possible.
Elusive Squish (free action when the swarmling takes damage; encounter)
The swarmling makes a saving throw.  If the save succeeds, the damage is negated and the swarmling shifts one square.This kind of thing captures the squishiness and annoyance really well.  Lurkers need some annoying way to evade attacks.



Alignment unalignedLanguages -
Skills: Stealth +8







Str 6 (+0)Dex 13 (+3)Wis 10 (+2)
Con 14 (+4)Int 5 (-1)Cha 4 (-1)
A heroic-tier minion is equivalent to a monster of its level - 8, so I calculated its ability scores (and how they affected its defenses) as if it were level negative 3.  This is just a stylistic choice on my part: I like a certain degree of simulationism.


Your original Elusive Squish power was completely irrelevant to the creature, so that was out.  Divide didn't make sense to me, since it's the swarm, not the ooze itself, that divides. Also it's somewhat overpowered on a minion.  Flowing Form was mildly superfluous: it's unlikely that the swarmling would survive long enough to need to shift anywhere.

The narrative for this creature would go something like this:

Rounds 1 to X-1: The swarmling hides in a crevice and waits for some prey to come into range.
Round X: The swarmling, sensing a creature within 4 squares, leaps out of hiding and latches onto your face.
Round X+1: You try to tear the ooze off your face and stomp on it, but it squishes out from under your foot and latches onto your ankle.
Round X+2: You kill the ooze with fire or something.
The original concept of the 'slime swarmling' was a small creature that looks unthreatening, but when provoked, multiples (like gremlins).

And I did see in the new monster manual that 4e finally introduced Gremlins, and that made me laugh (though I didn't read up fully on them).

Your swarmling version is taking one of the creatures that make up the swarm as a minion, for an early level encounter, that could come back to haunt PCs later.  That in itself makes for some interesting story telling.  I also like how easy it is for your minion to latch onto someone (it merely needs combat advantage).

I think saying 'minon' was a mistake when I created the slime swarmling.  I wasn't trying to mention "a minion with higher hitpoints", but that was just a way to consider what the monster was (poor terminology).

Later, I'll attempt to revisit the little multiplier and see if I can create a change. 
As they have now introduced cloakers (one of my favorite monsters) into 4e, and reading up on them which states attacking a latched cloaker deals half damage to the cloaker and half damage to the PC it latches onto, I think I can use that principle for my slime.

Ohhh, it's a completely different creature.  Okay.  Right.  You might want to change some details to differentiate it from the sunswarm: a different name and a more conventional resistance (acid, probably), at the very least.

Anyway, it sounds like what you're looking for is a green slime with an ochre jelly's Split power.  Maybe a Flowing Form-style movement power on top of that, though I'm not sure it needs it.  For the powers, at least, does that sound about right?
Wish I had the DND insider...  oh well.
I think a little of what you're mentioning is correct.  Even a swarm of these slimes wouldn't be a life-threatening encounter with anyone who has burst and blast spells (crowd control)  For slash and bash melee' though, these things could get out of hand (hence always why group synergy is important and why I wouldn't use these guys in a one or two PC story.

The little slime can flatten itself down, making it slippery and hence why it can shift a good number of squares.  Also being small, it can occupy identical tiles to that of PCs, much like flaming skulls.

The ability to latch onto a PC is how it divides, suckling life from the PC, but not using that life to heal itself, more so using that life to 'energize' its duplication ability - the HP it sucks from a PC is in turn the HP the progeny has when it divides.  That's why I think 10HP sucked down then translates into 10HP for the offspring (or whatever number for level appropriate)

Also there can be 2x2 (large) versions of them, but that idea is very young.  First and foremost is considering the abilities for a slime that is about the size of your foot, that you can squish, but if you fail to notice, will latch onto your foot and then divide.

I'd say they can blend into the scenery, and if you happen to fail a perception check, you could step on one without noticing and get a 'surprise' round.  They could be laying in wait - much like a very still Gelatinous Cube.

Don't get me wrong, your large sunswarms, and the small swarmling are fantastic and I'm going to, with permission, keep these monsters on standby.
Even a swarm of these slimes wouldn't be a life-threatening encounter with anyone who has burst and blast spells (crowd control)  For slash and bash melee' though, these things could get out of hand (hence always why group synergy is important and why I wouldn't use these guys in a one or two PC story.

That's... kinda contrary to the 4e philosophy.  A monster that's easy for one group shouldn't be lethal to another group of the same power level and tactical ability.  It's okay to have some degree of variance, of course, but that's usually distinguishable by role and keyword.  (For instance, a party focused on melee and cold attacks would probably have trouble with cold-subtype artillery.)

A creature that you can kill in one shot if you're lucky but can eat the world if you're not might have worked in 2e, but 4e tries to avoid that kind of imbalance.  You can see the same principle at work with PC races: unlike in previous editions, nobody takes a penalty to any ability score.  That's because you can't balance out an overpowered race/creature/class/etc by giving it crippling disadvantages: what you'll actually end up with is something that's both over and underpowered.

The ability to latch onto a PC is how it divides, suckling life from the PC, but not using that life to heal itself, more so using that life to 'energize' its duplication ability - the HP it sucks from a PC is in turn the HP the progeny has when it divides.  That's why I think 10HP sucked down then translates into 10HP for the offspring (or whatever number for level appropriate)

Okay, I see that the ochre jelly's split isn't right for you; you need something repeatable.  How about something like 
















Face Latch  At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +# vs. AC
Hit: #d#+# damage, and the target is grabbed.
Drain Energy (necrotic)  At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature grabbed by the [slime]); +# vs. Fort
Hit: #d#+# necrotic damage, and a [slime minion] appears in a square adjacent to the target.  The target is automatically grabbed by the [slime minion]. 


This is pretty much what you said, except it creates minions instead of exact copies.  The reason for this is twofold.  

First, if it created standards it would quickly break economy of action and deal way too much damage, as I explained earlier.  Minions deal less damage, and they're easier to run.  They also don't have the Drain Energy power, which will keep them from reproducing exponentially and destroying the world.

Second, there's not much difference between 10 hp and 1 hp past early heroic tier.  Most PCs do well above 10 damage with each attack, so they'll kill a 10 hp creature just as fast as one with 1 hp.  Easier to use a minion and be done with it.

The little slime can flatten itself down, making it slippery and hence why it can shift a good number of squares.  Also being small, it can occupy identical tiles to that of PCs, much like flaming skulls.

Sure, it's slippery... but is that best translated as "make a long shift"?  I mean okay, it should have something to reflect its slipperiness.  But is it really going to be moving around all that much?  If its modus operandi is to spring out of cover and grab your foot, how often is it going to need to "move twenty feet without provoking opportunity attacks"?

Some other possibilities include:
- shift 1 square as a minor action (at-will)
- shift 1 square as an immediate reaction when hit (at-will)
- shift 1 square as an immediate interrupt when hit (recharge)

Now, Flowing Form isn't necessarily worse than those.  It might turn out to be the right power after all.  On the other hand, it might not.  Better to consider all our options first, and figure out exactly how it'll flow.

Your original Elusive Squish power, however, is just out of place.  Shifting and making an attack is for skirmishers, not lurkers.  Plus, if they grab someone, how are they going to finish their shift?

Oh, and by the way: I'm pretty sure that Tiny creatures can already enter larger creatures' spaces. 

Also there can be 2x2 (large) versions of them, but that idea is very young.  First and foremost is considering the abilities for a slime that is about the size of your foot, that you can squish, but if you fail to notice, will latch onto your foot and then divide.

I'd say they can blend into the scenery, and if you happen to fail a perception check, you could step on one without noticing and get a 'surprise' round.  They could be laying in wait - much like a very still Gelatinous Cube.

Okay.  Good.  That's all very lurker-y behaviour.  Now take that and run with it.

What I'd like you to do is put together a round-by-round breakdown of what your slime might do in a typical battle.  Make any reasonable assumptions you like, but make sure it's actually representative of a typical fight.  Once you've got this, we can go line-by-line and identify exactly how each power should work.

Don't get me wrong, your large sunswarms, and the small swarmling are fantastic and I'm going to, with permission, keep these monsters on standby.

Oh, by all means!  Anything I put on these boards is implicitly available to anyone who wants to use it.  Except for Injun Joe. He's copyright.


EDIT (much, much later): Actually, it looks like the best thing would be something like the Skin Kite's Kite Spawn or the Clockwork Horror's Replicate power.  Repeatable, even on a minion, and it has the right flavour.  Maybe "The ooze bloodies a creature or reduces a creature to 0 hit points" for the trigger?