Minions, elites, & solos?

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Okay, so a couple weeks back I bought all 10 of the Essentials books & boxes. I have been reading through them almost nonstop since.
I am confused by the "roles" Minion, Elite, and Solo.

If I am understanding it right, a Minion uses the basic monster block, but only gets 1 HP and is worth quarter XP. Is that the only changes?
The Elite is double HP and Double XP. Is there anything more to it? Extra attacks or extra damage?
Same thing with Solos, they multiply HP & XP by 5, but do they get any bonus attacks?

The text in the books shifts so rapidly from "informal coversational" to "technical" so often that is sometimes hard to tell what is meant to be favorful description and what is actually a "hard & fast" rule.
I am having a hard time coming to grips with the ideas that four minions are equal to one standard, or that two standards can be replaced with a elite, etc.
The stat blocks for monsters are completely self-contained.  A solo gets the attacks that its stat block says it gets, no more no less.  There is no automatic scaling involved, and there generally aren't four "versions" of a monster to do those comparisons for.

The general idea is that yes, 4 minions = standard, 2 standards = elite, 2 elites = solo as far as encounter design is concerned.  However that's only important before the actual encounter starts, in the design phases.  In combat, the stat block is the only thing that matters.  There are no adjustments based on role - they're all contained within the stat block, if any.

If you're talking about changing a monster from one role to another, then yes there are things to be aware of.  I'm pretty sure either DMG or the Monster Manuals have information on how to do that, but yes, there are general changes to make.  However you're usually better off taking an existing monster of the role you want and just changing the names of its powers.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
So using the Monster Vault Goblin entry as an example:

You have the Sniper, who is a minion.
Then there is the Beast Rider, Cutthroat, and Hex Hurlers all who would be standard.
There is no goblin Elites or Solos without the rules in the Monster Manual or Dungeon Masters Guide hardback books?

What makes no sense then, is the example of a using an Elite is for a Ogre "mini-boss". This Ogre example is used in all the books when describing the roles, but there are no Ogre Elites in the Monster Vault.
So I am still confused.
Ok, it seems there are two issues here.

One is whether the Monster Vault contains all the monster varieties it should.  The answer is that being one book, it does a decent job but isn't comprehensive.  A search for 'goblin' in the D&D Insider online Compendium lists 201 creatures, with a wide variety of main roles and group roles.  Despite not having all 201 different goblin creatures in the MV, the general principles about group roles are still important, and do work.

The other is how do you go about filling in the gaps.  I'm honestly not sure where the guidance is for changing monster types.  If it's not in Monster Vault, then it'll be in DMG or DM Kit.  Do you have either of those books?  One of the two of them is rather vital for running a campaign, as the player books.  I also highly recommend DMG 2 no matter what you're playing.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I have all the "Essentials" books and boxes.

In the Dungeon Master's Book (out of the Dungeon Master's Kit) Minions, Elites, and Solos are only mentioned once. Here it basically just says that Minions are weak and only have a single HP and are worth 25% XP. It says that Elites are twice as tough as a standard monster and worth double XP. Then Solos are about five times as powerful.
There is one of the places that the Elite Ogre is mentioned, but I cannot find a stat block for an Elite Ogre anywhere in the Essential books.
interesting issue.  I haven't actually looked through MV in any detail, but look here:

www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compendium/da...

type in "elite" in the search bar, and it (currently) comes up with over 1000 examples.  Without an insider account, you can't look at more details, but a quick scan shows quite a few that are listed as coming from both Monster Vault and Dungeon Master's Kit.  True, none of the 4 ogres (type "elite ogre" into the search bar) are in those books, so it was just an example of how multiple types of creatures can work together to make an encounter.

Elites generally have a power or two that makes them more powerful than just double the hit points.  Because two creature's worth of attacks are often more powerful than just one a turn.  Examples include ways to effect other bad guys, auras, and ways to mitigate damage.  They also generally have an action point, and a +2 to saves.

Solos are very complex creatures (at least, recent ones like in MV are), often being able to act 2 or 3 times per round, auras, reactions, automatic damage, screwing with player's healing, and so much more.  They also generally have 2 action points (or more) and can use them all in a single encounter, and +5 to all saves.

Converting a standard to minon is easy.  Converting a standard to an elite generally requires a little bit of work.  Converting a standard to a solo is hard, and takes lots of practice.  If you can't find just what you want, use another creature that has the same role and similar level, and adjust from there (solo to solo, elite to elite). 

Adventure tools (www.wizards.com/dnd/Tool.aspx?x=dnd/4new...) can help a lot with this, but again, it is an insider tool only.
I'd just like to point out that issues like this would be avoided if Wizards had actually bothered to include information about creating enemies in the Essentials product line.  I love Essentials, but it's garbage that this information didn't make it into the final product.
I have all the "Essentials" books and boxes.

In the Dungeon Master's Book (out of the Dungeon Master's Kit) Minions, Elites, and Solos are only mentioned once. Here it basically just says that Minions are weak and only have a single HP and are worth 25% XP. It says that Elites are twice as tough as a standard monster and worth double XP. Then Solos are about five times as powerful.
There is one of the places that the Elite Ogre is mentioned, but I cannot find a stat block for an Elite Ogre anywhere in the Essential books.



There are rules in the hardback books for making any creature an elite or solo. Just because there isn't an elite ogre in the monster vault doesn't mean there aren't any in the game.

What this section is pointing out is that using an elite reduces the total number of monsters without changing the level of the encounter.  The type of monster in question is completely irrelevant to the point it is making, it could have said "goblins" or "kobolds" or "carrion crawlers" with no loss of sense.