Is there a Monster Manual Minions update?

30 posts / 0 new
Last post
I wasn't sure if I should put this here or in the Monster Manual Eratta section, but here goes...

Monster Manual 2 started the practice of giving the Minions monsters their regular roles as well [a Podspawn (Demon) is a Lv15 Minion Skirmisher, for example] but the Eratta for the original has not extended DMs this courtesy of helping them balance Minion roles with the rest of the party.

Is this an oversight, or were MM Minions really not leaning towards any specific roles? Were they all leaning towards the same role?

Did some friendly fan maybe post pointers on this somewhere that I'm mission?

Any help would be appreciated!
There's no need for "errata" - it's not like adding a role actually changed the mechanics of the minion in a meaningful way - but the role listing gives you a clue about how the minion should be effectively used.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Monster Manual 2 started the practice of giving the Minions monsters their regular roles as well [a Podspawn (Demon) is a Lv15 Minion Skirmisher, for example] but the Eratta for the original has not extended DMs this courtesy of helping them balance Minion roles with the rest of the party.

Encounter balancing isn't that precise.

Is this an oversight, or were MM Minions really not leaning towards any specific roles? Were they all leaning towards the same role?

Minions were originally meant to be minions. They can't really fulfill a "role" when they're not intended to be around for more than a couple rounds. I'm still not sure why they felt compelled to put "roles" on them.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Minions were originally meant to be minions. They can't really fulfill a "role" when they're not intended to be around for more than a couple rounds. I'm still not sure why they felt compelled to put "roles" on them.



To tell the GM how the minion works best, of course.

a "Minion Brute" is going to run in and hammer away.  A "Minion Artillery" is going to hang out at 10+squares and shoot from there.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
To tell the GM how the minion works best, of course.

a "Minion Brute" is going to run in and hammer away.  A "Minion Artillery" is going to hang out at 10+squares and shoot from there.

A minion brute is going to run in and get blasted. A minion artillery is going to stand back and get blasted.

Encounter design isn't that precise.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

To tell the GM how the minion works best, of course.

a "Minion Brute" is going to run in and hammer away.  A "Minion Artillery" is going to hang out at 10+squares and shoot from there.

A minion brute is going to run in and get blasted. A minion artillery is going to stand back and get blasted.

Encounter design isn't that precise.



I'm just saying, the "role" on a minion is a style indicator.  And costs 'em nothing but a few character's worth of ink.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
a "Minion Brute" is going to run in and hammer away.


I always thought a minion brute was a contradiction in terms.

The 'role' also gives you an idea of how its defense numbers should look. 
To tell the GM how the minion works best, of course.

a "Minion Brute" is going to run in and hammer away.  A "Minion Artillery" is going to hang out at 10+squares and shoot from there.

A minion brute is going to run in and get blasted. A minion artillery is going to stand back and get blasted.

Encounter design isn't that precise.



What if the party's only ranged attacks are from the rogue throwing his dagger?  You have the ability to threaten the party with ranged attacks that take advantage of their weakness, but aren't as overwhelming as, say, an Eladrin Arcane Archer.

While, for experienced DMs, spelling out minion roles might seem trivial, you have to remember that there are *gasp* people who are new to DMing, either to 4e or just RPGs in general.  Giving some extra text to help support those people is worth it, even if you and I think it's silly to have to tell me that a minion named Gnoll Archer has no business going into melee. 
Salla, on minions: I typically use them as encounter filler. 'I didn't quite fill out the XP budget, not enough room left for a decent near-level monster ... sprinkle in a few minions'. Kind of like monster styrofoam packing peanuts.
Nope, so I'll be thinking of the appropriate roles right now and will be posting them somewhere (I'll edit this post)

EDIT:
Here it is!
Most of them are pretty unimaginative and useless, though.
Get your Microsoft Word Monster Statistics Block Template here! My Campaign
What if the party's only ranged attacks are from the rogue throwing his dagger?  You have the ability to threaten the party with ranged attacks that take advantage of their weakness, but aren't as overwhelming as, say, an Eladrin Arcane Archer.

Minions can be surprisingly effective, but that's not their point.

While, for experienced DMs, spelling out minion roles might seem trivial, you have to remember that there are *gasp* people who are new to DMing, either to 4e or just RPGs in general.  Giving some extra text to help support those people is worth it, even if you and I think it's silly to have to tell me that a minion named Gnoll Archer has no business going into melee. 

He has just as much business going into melee as any other minion. Don't all minions have melee basic attacks?

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

While, for experienced DMs, spelling out minion roles might seem trivial, you have to remember that there are *gasp* people who are new to DMing, either to 4e or just RPGs in general.  Giving some extra text to help support those people is worth it, even if you and I think it's silly to have to tell me that a minion named Gnoll Archer has no business going into melee. 

He has just as much business going into melee as any other minion. Don't all minions have melee basic attacks?



And yet, a minion whose Ranged attack is more effective than their melee attack - which, if it *has* a Ranged attack, it often is - shouldn't go into melee.  Their purpose is to do a steady stream of damage without letting any single attack take out more than one of them.

Whereas something like a Legion Devil *wants* to clump up and rush into melee, using their high defenses to make it harder to sweep them all at once and tying up movement and attacks from melee characters.  Their purpose is to be speed bumps where you either waste attacks on them or take damage from avoiding them.

And something like a Goblin Crazy wants to charge *and die*, causing Immobilisation and Combat Advantage.  Their purpose is to enable another creature to attack more effectively.

And something like a Crazed Human Rabble doesn't care about it's *attacks* at all.  It's a Controller minion, sliding the enemies around the battlefield and occasionally doing damage when you kill one.


Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
While, for experienced DMs, spelling out minion roles might seem trivial, you have to remember that there are *gasp* people who are new to DMing, either to 4e or just RPGs in general.  Giving some extra text to help support those people is worth it, even if you and I think it's silly to have to tell me that a minion named Gnoll Archer has no business going into melee. 

He has just as much business going into melee as any other minion. Don't all minions have melee basic attacks?

And yet, a minion whose Ranged attack is more effective than their melee attack - which, if it *has* a Ranged attack, it often is - shouldn't go into melee.  Their purpose is to do a steady stream of damage without letting any single attack take out more than one of them.

Whereas something like a Legion Devil *wants* to clump up and rush into melee, using their high defenses to make it harder to sweep them all at once and tying up movement and attacks from melee characters.  Their purpose is to be speed bumps where you either waste attacks on them or take damage from avoiding them.

And something like a Goblin Crazy wants to charge *and die*, causing Immobilisation and Combat Advantage.  Their purpose is to enable another creature to attack more effectively.

And something like a Crazed Human Rabble doesn't care about it's *attacks* at all.  It's a Controller minion, sliding the enemies around the battlefield and occasionally doing damage when you kill one.

Minions can be surprisingly effective, but that's not their main point. One should never depend on minions to do anything but die en masse. That's what they're there for.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Minions can be surprisingly effective, but that's not their main point. One should never depend on minions to do anything but die en masse. That's what they're there for.



I'm not disagreeing.

I'm just saying that a minion's role can give the GM a good indication about how best to use it *before* it dies, and how to make it die in the most dramatic and effective way.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Minions can be surprisingly effective, but that's not their main point. One should never depend on minions to do anything but die en masse. That's what they're there for.

I'm not disagreeing.

I'm just saying that a minion's role can give the GM a good indication about how best to use it *before* it dies, and how to make it die in the most dramatic and effective way.

I don't really disagree either. I mostly had a bad reaction to the phrase "extend the courtesy" as if WotC was being rude by not updating all the preexisting minions.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Firstly... Nice advising me of replies, Forums...

While, for experienced DMs, spelling out minion roles might seem trivial, you have to remember that there are *gasp* people who are new to DMing, either to 4e or just RPGs in general.  Giving some extra text to help support those people is worth it, even if you and I think it's silly to have to tell me that a minion named Gnoll Archer has no business going into melee. 


Exactly, thank you. If the Solo is a Brute, then I wouldn't want the Minions used to round out the party to be Soldiers/Brutes either. Unfortunately, while my shelves are literally warping with the pre-"essentials" books (I will never find the Essentials to be essential), I have not had a chance to actually play more than a one-shot or two and am still learning.

Here it is!
Most of them are pretty unimaginative and useless, though. 


Hmm. I'd say a great big "thank you" except that, for some reason, that link doesn't seem to want to work for me? Keeps sayind that "Your post has now been submitted!

"Due to privacy restrictions, you cannot see this user's full profile."

Odd

I don't really disagree either. I mostly had a bad reaction to the phrase "extend the courtesy" as if WotC was being rude by not updating all the preexisting minions.


Not being rude, no. But, by definition, a courtesy is something that is extended not because one must, but because it is helpful or kind to do so. Realising that new DMs are much more likely to have just the MM than the later books, it seems strange not to update the earlier book when all it would require is a list of the Minion names with their additional roles listed beside them...
Updated the link. It might work now.

Really, though, the MM1 minions are 9/10 standard ones with 1 MBA and nothing special. You're better off thinking of your own on the fly, then. Just keep a cheat sheet with minion damage and monster defenses and it's not hard  
Get your Microsoft Word Monster Statistics Block Template here! My Campaign
While, for experienced DMs, spelling out minion roles might seem trivial, you have to remember that there are *gasp* people who are new to DMing, either to 4e or just RPGs in general.  Giving some extra text to help support those people is worth it, even if you and I think it's silly to have to tell me that a minion named Gnoll Archer has no business going into melee. 

He has just as much business going into melee as any other minion. Don't all minions have melee basic attacks?



And yet, a minion whose Ranged attack is more effective than their melee attack - which, if it *has* a Ranged attack, it often is - shouldn't go into melee.  Their purpose is to do a steady stream of damage without letting any single attack take out more than one of them.

Whereas something like a Legion Devil *wants* to clump up and rush into melee, using their high defenses to make it harder to sweep them all at once and tying up movement and attacks from melee characters.  Their purpose is to be speed bumps where you either waste attacks on them or take damage from avoiding them.

And something like a Goblin Crazy wants to charge *and die*, causing Immobilisation and Combat Advantage.  Their purpose is to enable another creature to attack more effectively.

And something like a Crazed Human Rabble doesn't care about it's *attacks* at all.  It's a Controller minion, sliding the enemies around the battlefield and occasionally doing damage when you kill one.





Exactly... Except by adding a single word to the monster profile, a person can skim through the book and know with ease what the purpose of the Monster is.

Generally speaking, I'd say that the majority of the creatures in Monster Manual 1 shouldn't be used at all anymore...at least not without adjustment. Their attacks & defenses tend to be way out of date or just downright weird, and you get oddball broken things like minions with an MBA that does immobilized (save ends). I cull that book for ideas now, not statblocks.

And once you are adjusting a minion, giving it a role or not giving it a role are kind of beside the point...you should already be thinking about how they could be used.

Some are claiming the 'New DM' defense here, trying to help out those who aren't comfortable enough with the rules to go adjusting their minions yet. I'd counter with the notion that the role still doesn't matter. In a game run by a new DM, I'd recommend just charging the minions into the PC gauntlet of death no matter what their stats are. Finesse is something to be learned later: the most important lesson that a new DM can learn is that DMing can be fun.

Trying to make sure that they "do it right" is not a good pathway for a new DM. They worry too much and feel like they're "doing it wrong" when (generally) they aren't. 
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
Generally speaking, I'd say that the majority of the creatures in Monster Manual 1 shouldn't be used at all anymore...at least not without adjustment. Their attacks & defenses tend to be way out of date or just downright weird, and you get oddball broken things like minions with an MBA that does immobilized (save ends). I cull that book for ideas now, not statblocks.


All the more reason for an in depth Eratta, no?

And once you are adjusting a minion, giving it a role or not giving it a role are kind of beside the point...you should already be thinking about how they could be used.


I don't want to adjust the Minions, just know what role they better fill at a glance. Roles help when deciding how best a monster can be used. That's kinda the point, no?

Some are claiming the 'New DM' defense here, trying to help out those who aren't comfortable enough with the rules to go adjusting their minions yet. I'd counter with the notion that the role still doesn't matter. In a game run by a new DM, I'd recommend just charging the minions into the PC gauntlet of death no matter what their stats are. Finesse is something to be learned later: the most important lesson that a new DM can learn is that DMing can be fun.

Trying to make sure that they "do it right" is not a good pathway for a new DM. They worry too much and feel like they're "doing it wrong" when (generally) they aren't. 


As a new DM I want the game to be fun, yes, but balanced. I am using the erata from the monster books, but not cutting out any of my options. If the Eratta hasn't extended to cover a given monster, then I will go on the assumption that the money spent on the product was not wasted and the creature can be used as is stands.
The privacy settings on this site confuddle me...
And most creatures above heroic cannot be used as it stands if you want balanced encounters. And every solo cannot be used as they stand, because they are boring and easy to lock down.

The list:

1 Decrepit Skeleton - Artillery/Brute*
1 Giant Rat - Brute
1 Goblin Cutter - Skirmisher
1 Kobold Minion - Skirmisher
2 Halfling Stout - Skirmisher
2 Human Rabble - Brute
2 Kruthik Hatchling - Brute
3 Hobgoblin Grunt (Goblin) - Soldier
3 Zombie Rotter - Brute
4 Orc Drudge - Brute
5 Vampire Spawn Fleshripper - Brute
6 Legion Devil Grunt - Soldier
6 Sahuagin Guard - Skirmisher
7 Human Lackey - Brute
7 Snaketongue Initiate (Yuan-ti) - Brute
8 Hobgoblin Warrior (Goblin) - Soldier
9 Orc Warrior - Brute
10 Vampire Spawn Bloodhunter - Brute
11 Angel of Valor Cohort - Brute
11 Legion Devil Hellguard - Soldier
11 Ogre Thug - Brute
12 Snaketongue Zealot (Yuan-ti) - Brute
12 Troglodyte Warrior - Soldier
13 Horde Ghoul - Soldier
14 Cyclops Guard - Brute
14 Grimlock Minion - Brute
16 Angel of Valor Veteran - Brute
16 Cyclops Warrior - Brute
16 Kuo-toa Guard - Skirmisher/Skirmisher (Leader)**
16 Legion Devil Veteran - Soldier
16 Ogre Bludgeoneer - Brute
17 Azer Warrior - Brute
18 Aboleth Servitor - Soldier
18 Abyssal Ghoul Hungerer - Soldier
21 Angel of Valor Legionnaire - Brute
21 Legion Devil Legionnaire - Soldier
22 Grimlock Follower - Brute
23 Abyssal Ghoul Myrmidon - Soldier
26 Lich Vestige - Artillery

* Artillery until someone moves into melee range. Then they become brutes, according to their Tactics.


** If they can move other kuo-toa with their move at-will power, it's a Skirmisher (Leader), but the power isn't clear about that.

Get your Microsoft Word Monster Statistics Block Template here! My Campaign
And most creatures above heroic cannot be used as it stands if you want balanced encounters. And every solo cannot be used as they stand, because they are boring and easy to lock down.


That's troublesome, to say the least.

The list:
[...]


Thank you kindly! :D
Generally speaking, I'd say that the majority of the creatures in Monster Manual 1 shouldn't be used at all anymore...at least not without adjustment. Their attacks & defenses tend to be way out of date or just downright weird, and you get oddball broken things like minions with an MBA that does immobilized (save ends). I cull that book for ideas now, not statblocks.


All the more reason for an in depth Eratta, no?


Well, in a sense they have. The Monster Vault offers tweaked versions of a number of MM1-era monsters. In addition Dungeon Magazine has been running a "Monster Manual Update" series which does exactly what the name says. 
Well, in a sense they have. The Monster Vault offers tweaked versions of a number of MM1-era monsters. In addition Dungeon Magazine has been running a "Monster Manual Update" series which does exactly what the name says. 


So I should be happy that WOTC's "solution" is to make customers repurchase a product because they appear to have rushed the publication?

Excuse me if I don't leap for joy at that one.

Then again, I didn't get any 3.5 stuff because I had just scrapped together enough money to purchase the 3e core books only to have 3.5 released a week later.

Yeah. I was impressed then too.
In addition Dungeon Magazine has been running a "Monster Manual Update" series which does exactly what the name says. 


Starting at what Dungeon issue?
Get your Microsoft Word Monster Statistics Block Template here! My Campaign
Well, in a sense they have. The Monster Vault offers tweaked versions of a number of MM1-era monsters. In addition Dungeon Magazine has been running a "Monster Manual Update" series which does exactly what the name says. 


So I should be happy that WOTC's "solution" is to make customers repurchase a product because they appear to have rushed the publication?

Excuse me if I don't leap for joy at that one.

Then again, I didn't get any 3.5 stuff because I had just scrapped together enough money to purchase the 3e core books only to have 3.5 released a week later.

Yeah. I was impressed then too.




Well, it comes with the bleeding-edge, early-adopter territory in today's publishing world.

It's very similar to what happens a LOT with software.  For example, a lot of users of a certain extremely popular commercial computer operating system have learned to avoid every other new version of that software, as they tend to fall into a pattern of "totally new, heavily hyped, not fully tested or refined version", followed by "the previous version, tweaked, updated, fixed, and done right", follwed by the next "totally new, heavily hyped, poorly-tested and unrefined" version.

For better or worse, it seems D&D has fallen into a similar pattern.  I hesitated at adopting 3rd Edition, and finally bought the 3.5 Edition books a while after they were released.  4th Edition was released a very short while after I adopted 3.5 Edition, but I only started buying 4th Edition materials with the release of 4E Essentials.  When 5th Edition is released, I won't be one of the early adopters of that edition, either... I'll be waiting for everyone else to beta-test it, and if I move to 5th Edition it will only be after the revision for that is released.  I've been rather happy with that decision.

That said, I like the Monster Vault as a boxed set - I think it's worth picking up for the tokens, maps, and nice adventure alone, with the book that comes with it being icing on the cake.  I can understand completely that you aren't happy with paying for the other Monster Manual only to leave it to gather dust after you buy the Monster Vault, but the Monster Vault is kind of a cool boxed set, no matter what edition you prefer to play.


Now that I think of it, WotC might do themselves and their customers a service by packaging the initial release of a new edition of D&D as paper-back books with the sorts of cool extras that come with the Essentials stuff, and then releasing the revised, updated version of the game as a nice set of simple hard-back books afterward....
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
In addition Dungeon Magazine has been running a "Monster Manual Update" series which does exactly what the name says. 


Starting at what Dungeon issue?


Don't know, but there's one in the August issue.
So I should be happy that WOTC's "solution" is to make customers repurchase a product because they appear to have rushed the publication?

Excuse me if I don't leap for joy at that one.

Then again, I didn't get any 3.5 stuff because I had just scrapped together enough money to purchase the 3e core books only to have 3.5 released a week later.

Yeah. I was impressed then too.


*shrug*

If you need to feel like you're getitng value for your money, consider that the MV comes with tokens for every monster in it and a DDI subscription comes with oh, I don't know, every issue of Dungeon and Dragon for the last several years.

Also, the current revision of the monster stat blocks first appeared in MM3. Do you really think WotC should have held the first Monster Manual two years? There was clearly a bit of a learning curve for 4e monster design. No one is trying to screw anyone out of their hard earned dollars.
That said, I like the Monster Vault as a boxed set - I think it's worth picking up for the tokens, maps, and nice adventure alone, with the book that comes with it being icing on the cake.  I can understand completely that you aren't happy with paying for the other Monster Manual only to leave it to gather dust after you buy the Monster Vault, but the Monster Vault is kind of a cool boxed set, no matter what edition you prefer to play.


That would be great if I didn't play 4e on a virtual table (in my case, the Ultimate version of Fantasy Grounds II, which costs $100+ and is constantly updated). If they expected me to rebuy the software each time they found a glitch, I would be complaining about that too.

In any event. We'll see how it goes with my three Monster Manuals, two Draconomicons, Demonomicon and Open Grave (plus changes in Eratta) and see how it goes. As I've previously stated, the only thing I may buy from WOTC in the future is DMG3 (which will never happen) or new Draconomicons (which share the same fate). "Essentials" is 5e if they're going with the "well, the old books don't work, but look at this new stuff!" argument...
I have to agree on the fact that I'm disliking the fact that they didn't release an updated version of the MM1 and released the MV instead. I have only the MM1, and it feels very outdated and the monsters feel underpowered.
However, I'd like to point out that many of the monsters from the MV might have the same name as the MM1 ones, but are usually quite different monsters.

It's not the same as PHB vs HotFK&HotFL, they offer entirely different ways of playing, but the MV hosts monsters extremely similar to the MM1, and the MM1 monsters are unusable except for the ones in heroic tier. And not all of them are (dire rat +4 vs AC wtf!?) 
I'd love to see an update of the completely unusable solos, especially. 
Get your Microsoft Word Monster Statistics Block Template here! My Campaign
Sign In to post comments