About monsters

First of all, the skeleton is both resistant and immune to necrotic damage? Wink

Monsters seem a little... boring. I've played 2e, 3e, and 4e, (besides many non-D&D games) and the latter is by far my favorite. Monsters had a lot of personality there. You could really tell a goblin, a kobold, a hobgoblin, and a gnoll apart by how they acted. Gaining advantage in certain situations is both bland and invisible to the players. I'll give them a spin and see how they work out in actual play but I think I'll miss the interesting and unique tricks that 4e monsters had.

Owlbear has the "Hug" ability? Carebears should have the hug ability while owlbears should have something like the "Rend" or "Rip Apart" or "2 Claw Tear" ability.

Dale McCoy

President of Jon Brazer Enterprises

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It is definitely an in-between though. Many of the basic monsters in 3.5/PF have only basic attacks to throw around. Here, every entry (I think) had some little tidbit thrown in. The is one big change that I find significant though. The wight's enervation and the centipede's poison do  not deal attribute damage or level drain. Thank god! Those seem to be out of the game OR seem to be relegated to a possible add-on module. 

Additionally, the "rat swarm" is no longer immune to any melee character without certain weapons/magical weapons.

The only ability I noticed that hurts your simple fighter more than the dynamic wizard was the grey ooze's corrosion which could cost a melee player more money in terms of armor/weapon cost due to damage.   
Agree with the OP, but I'm hoping they are just super-simplified since the focus of this first package is for the core mechanics to be tested. 
I don't normally need a stat block to tell me how to make monsters distinct from each other.

I don't need a completely different power to make a Goblin and a Kobold act differently from each other.  That's where telling a story comes into play. 
The monster stats are kind of hard to parse. Like, instead of giving you the monster's size, it tells you the 'space' and gives it in feet. In fact, all distances are given in feet. I also don't like the clerical tags given like "Neutral Evil Natural Beast" instead of "Immortal Natural Human" or "Gargantuan Abberant Humanoid". It gives you a real pithy and evocative description of what sort of monster it is, whereas unless you're steeped in D&D Lore you won't even know what the hell "Neutral Evil" means. Heck, I barely know what it means.