DM toolbox and how to create monsters on 4th Edition D&D

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Just recently I received the DM's Kit but got a little bit puzzled by the lack of a section for designing monsters and villians. I know both the DMG & DMG2 had a section for that issue. As a returning D&D player (I didnt liked the approach of the former core books, but liked what they did with the essentials player's books, ) I was expecting to find this toolbox in the DM kit... were shall I look for them??

how do you design your own monsters, npc and villians? 

 (I dont want to have to buy any of the former corebooks just for that section )

The DM screen that came in the box has a nice little table on the expected average numbers based on level for Defenses, Attacks, and Damage.  After that it's an art, not a science, and you have to use best-fit examples from published monsters to get an idea what the pro's are up to.

It's pretty easy, for the most part.
Thanks for your time FitzTheRuke

The DM screen table you mention gives the expected average number based on level for damage (single target and two or more targets), but doesnt give any number for defenses or attacks Frown

 
That's unimpressive I must say, from the DM's kit. The first DMG Toolbox was probably the best thing in the entire game from a DM's POV.

Maybe it's just me that likes to fiddle and create my own monsters.

Could also be that Essential is a little bit more lite, so the DM isn't expected to fiddle too much with things. 

I think I should have followed my instincts as I have always been a little bit suspicious about Dungeon Master's books (those are always my last buy... ), but being the tools for the DM one of the selling points of 4th edition I was expecting more of this product. Frown

Maybe your right johnnii the GM's kit  is a lite approach to DM work.

Not one Essentials book has deserved the term 'essential' and now you know why.

You should have bought the real DMG aka the one from the Core boxed set that comes with a real Monster Manual and a real Players Handbook.

I am told Monster Vault has a lot of monsters 'fixed' in it, which tells the tale if you ask me. Essentials is looking to me to be errata we paid for in the guise of a product.

I 'might' buy Monster Vault for the tokens if I knew what they at least looked like. Maybe I will just wait on the pdf file. Amazon has it on sale for 17 bucks, which might be ok for a revised monster mix. I can make monster tokens with my eyes closed, but printing ink is never cheap for colour copies at the printer.
I don't play 4th edition D&D for Wizard's sake I play it for my sake.
If they are remaking the monsters so they are like monster manual 3... then believe me... you won't hear any complaints from me. ;) I will take that errata quite happily.
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move."-Douglas Adams
Back in ye olde times a few months ago the Monster Builder used to be an exellent way of designing your own bad guys. I used it a lot and it works perfectly.
The person doesn't have ddi. Though paying for a month and dling adventure tools is an idea. Probably won't be an update to it ever again either if they intend to make all the tools online based.
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move."-Douglas Adams
the dm kit doesnt show how to build monsters. also when people say it shows how to build npcs that is a lie, it has random tables for npc mannersims but doesnt have stats
If they are remaking the monsters so they are like monster manual 3... then believe me... you won't hear any complaints from me. ;) I will take that errata quite happily.



It's not really errata, you can still use the old versions if you like. Lets say they are better thought out based on how people play the game. Take the young red dragon. They are pretty close to each other in both books. But a lot of solo creatures now have action recovery, were they shake of effects like stunned and dazed at the end of their turn.

So, you can't keep a solo stun locked for the whole encounter, because of it's autosaves. And it also doesn't rob a player from being able to use their abilities, but it does limit them, which is a good thing.
Sly Flourish has a really good chart that I use for making my monsters that has all the averages on it.
You can check it out here:
slyflourish.com/master_dm_sheet.PDF
that looks ok but i prefer the errata that wizards put out since it differentiates roles
Don't forget that the Essentials line is aimed at NEW players, not veterans.  So lets not try to make applesauce from oranges.

The Players books contain class builds that are designed in such a way to not overwhelm the players.

Likewise, the DM book contains what you need to run a game, just the 'Essentials' in an effort not to overwhelm them.  I think one could make a good argument that the ability to create new monsters is not an 'essential' (albiet desired) need, and even moreso that it would be considered an advanced tool (IOW not needed for beginner DM's).

The Monster Vault is a GREAT product, and although it makes me sound like a WotC spokesman (my bill is in the mail Trevor), the Vault plus Rules Compendium, plus DM Kit is an excellent starting platform for new DM's.  And as such it does exactly what it was intended for.

That all being said, I would have liked to see updated guidelines for creating monsters in the DM Kit, and the absence of them is what is preventing me from picking it up.  Maybey I'll ask for it for Christmas...heh.
Quizzit Nizzpin The Moraly Ambiguous Necromantic Gnome From the North Shores of Nethintir "Honestly people, all this worry about dying. I'll bring you back, I promise!" /em fishes around in his pack for a piece of black onyx
Thanks for your time FitzTheRuke

The DM screen table you mention gives the expected average number based on level for damage (single target and two or more targets), but doesnt give any number for defenses or attacks . 

 



Yes, my apologies.  If you click on the Rules Updates and go to the Dungeon Master's Guide Update, go to page 7 and you will find what I use.  This allows you to level up or down monsters (a few levels)pretty easily.  After that it's an art, not a science, and your best bet is to use the most similar monster you can find, or fuse two (one that is the right style, one that is the right level) and go with your gut.

Monster design isn't hard, but it takes a bit of practice.  Don't worry too much about it either, if you don't do anything nuts it should work out well enough.

Thanks for the info Smile

I will check the chart and the update.

Quizzit_Nizzpin  nonetheless GM's kit have great stuff (the adventure on the kit is really nice!! so are the tokens and maps)

Btw, theres any thread on the forums where people share their monsters, villians and other creations?
Make a DDI pass (sign up for a 1-month subscription) and get the client version of Monster Builder while it's still available.  Makes building monsters a snap.  Wait too long and it'll go on-line-only like CB, and you'll have to subscribe forever... ;)

 

 

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