I really don't like what Mearls and co. are doing to monster design.

Really, they all seemed kinda boring during the playtest and I was told it was because they were keeping it simple for the playtest but now...in the latest L&L it's come out that the simple, uninspired, boring monster design is a design goal. Wtf is up with that? Who wants to fight boring monsters for hours at the table? I don't! Why would anyone other than WotC think this is a positive step forward? Everyone liked to bag on 4E for being too close to WoW in design but to me there is nothing that screams WoW to me like all of the monsters but one in an encounter being big bags of hit points...

Dull monster design is a step back, a system failure, and I am not really enthused with Mearls for supporting this whole mess. I've tried to give 5th Edition a chance but...this is a dealbreaker. If the final release monsters are as boring as the Rats, the kobolds, and especially the Hooked Horror...I'm out.
Khyber is a dark and dangerous place, full of flame and smoke, where ever stranger things lie dormant.
your post really has a 'the sky is falling' attitude and i don't know that it's that bad.

all they've really said is that they're thinking about keeping the stormtrooper-style monsters simple. i love 4e's monster design but when i'm dming, i wouldn't really mind if the level 1 goblins only have 5 hitpoints and a shortsword attack.

Mearls even said that you'd be able to give them abilites by adding a leader type character to the group.
hate 4e monster design with an extreme passion, so I absolutely love the direction they're going with Next.
Who wants to fight boring monsters for hours at the table?

Umm... don't fight boring monsters for hours at a time?
Any adventure that's monsters-hallway-monsters-hallway-monsters-hallway-repeat is just badly designed.

never was fond of the 4e design either. to me they never did seem that terrorizing compared to 3e.
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
Who wants to fight boring monsters for hours at the table?

Umm... don't fight boring monsters for hours at a time?
Any adventure that's monsters-hallway-monsters-hallway-monsters-hallway-repeat is just badly designed.




Yeah, tell that to WotC then. I mostly use modules.
Khyber is a dark and dangerous place, full of flame and smoke, where ever stranger things lie dormant.
Eh, 4E monster design was one thing I felt they got right.  I could far more easily wing a unique enemy in 4E than I could in any other RPG I've GM'd.  Unique description, aoe, summon and use the damage guidelines for balance.  Worked beautifully.  I could even wing casters with unique abilities doing something different every round.

I think with adv/disadv and such it might be even easier in Next if they go a roughly similar route.  I'd like to see some guidelines on special abilities like enervation, but I think those would be pretty easy to add, overall.

Now, I'll grant my use of the rules wasn't exactly how 4E was written, but it should have been and could be used that way.
I think regular 4e monsters had too much to keep track of between recharging powers, saving throws, conditions, and encounter powers. I think minions should be boring, regular monsters should have a simple encounter power, elites can have a few tools, and solo monsters should have a ton of features and abilities.
Monsters should be designed in a process similar to players in regards to complexity and ease of use.  The level of complexity or difficulty of the monster should all in all be left up to the DM.  Only he can truly divine the capabilities of his group and provide a challenging encounter.  Having said that monsters should start simple in th core rules and then just as pcs may add background, themes, or class levels so too should the monsters if they DM so wishes so that his monsters can compete with the pcs.  You hav 10 kobold beggars conscipted for guard duty - AC12, hp2 but good with traps and hiding = kobolds with no real combat training.  The player's run into them and slaughter those that could not run away fast enough.  They go tell the six kobolds grunts who are suppose to be on guard duty - AC17, hp12, not so good with traps but trained to fight and defend themselves and their warleader - AC18, hp25, no trap training but has formal training from the chief and now the player's have to work a bit harder to win the caves for the miners from town a couple of miles back in town.  What I am trying to suggest is that the DM can make it as complex or as simple as he wants.  Give the DM simple basic concepts to work with in the core books and some suggestions for complexity (such as a theme or background) and then in future releases rules on crafting more like 3E or 4E monsters and styles of critters.  It is always easier to go from simple to complex to make challenge simple and fun than the other way around.

Monsters should be designed in a process similar to players in regards to complexity and ease of use.  The level of complexity or difficulty of the monster should all in all be left up to the DM.  Only he can truly divine the capabilities of his group and provide a challenging encounter.  Having said that monsters should start simple in th core rules and then just as pcs may add background, themes, or class levels so too should the monsters if they DM so wishes so that his monsters can compete with the pcs.  You hav 10 kobold beggars conscipted for guard duty - AC12, hp2 but good with traps and hiding = kobolds with no real combat training.  The player's run into them and slaughter those that could not run away fast enough.  They go tell the six kobolds grunts who are suppose to be on guard duty - AC17, hp12, not so good with traps but trained to fight and defend themselves and their warleader - AC18, hp25, no trap training but has formal training from the chief and now the player's have to work a bit harder to win the caves for the miners from town a couple of miles back in town.  What I am trying to suggest is that the DM can make it as complex or as simple as he wants.  Give the DM simple basic concepts to work with in the core books and some suggestions for complexity (such as a theme or background) and then in future releases rules on crafting more like 3E or 4E monsters and styles of critters.  It is always easier to go from simple to complex to make challenge simple and fun than the other way around.



I agree, with the exception that the first optional rules for compexity should not wait for a future release. Sure have future releases expand upon them; but there should be enough modular rules, to satisfy those that want them, in the initial release.
I agree with Lawrencehoy.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, "Are you really sure?"

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/13.jpg)

Eh, 4E monster design was one thing I felt they got right.  I could far more easily wing a unique enemy in 4E than I could in any other RPG I've GM'd.  Unique description, aoe, summon and use the damage guidelines for balance.  Worked beautifully.  I could even wing casters with unique abilities doing something different every round.

I think with adv/disadv and such it might be even easier in Next if they go a roughly similar route.  I'd like to see some guidelines on special abilities like enervation, but I think those would be pretty easy to add, overall.

Now, I'll grant my use of the rules wasn't exactly how 4E was written, but it should have been and could be used that way.



I know, right? If there is one thing in 4E they shouldn't be ditching, it's monster design.
Khyber is a dark and dangerous place, full of flame and smoke, where ever stranger things lie dormant.
Monsters should be designed in a process similar to players in regards to complexity and ease of use.  The level of complexity or difficulty of the monster should all in all be left up to the DM.  Only he can truly divine the capabilities of his group and provide a challenging encounter.  Having said that monsters should start simple in th core rules and then just as pcs may add background, themes, or class levels so too should the monsters if they DM so wishes so that his monsters can compete with the pcs.  You hav 10 kobold beggars conscipted for guard duty - AC12, hp2 but good with traps and hiding = kobolds with no real combat training.  The player's run into them and slaughter those that could not run away fast enough.  They go tell the six kobolds grunts who are suppose to be on guard duty - AC17, hp12, not so good with traps but trained to fight and defend themselves and their warleader - AC18, hp25, no trap training but has formal training from the chief and now the player's have to work a bit harder to win the caves for the miners from town a couple of miles back in town.  What I am trying to suggest is that the DM can make it as complex or as simple as he wants.  Give the DM simple basic concepts to work with in the core books and some suggestions for complexity (such as a theme or background) and then in future releases rules on crafting more like 3E or 4E monsters and styles of critters.  It is always easier to go from simple to complex to make challenge simple and fun than the other way around.



I agree, with the exception that the first optional rules for compexity should not wait for a future release. Sure have future releases expand upon them; but there should be enough modular rules, to satisfy those that want them, in the initial release.


I agree with this. However, it's only effective to go from simple to complex if the simple version is built with its status of a foundation in mind. If contentious factors are integral to the design, or if possible expantion points are designed as closed-ended this becomes much, much harder. The same way that D&D Next as a whole is designed to be modular, so should monsters.

It's my personal philosophy that monsters should be built on the same core system as the PCs, even if some have quirks to differenciate them, seeing as they're both creatures in the world. The 'race wars' threads further highlighted this by pointing out how arbitrary the distinction between a "monster" and a "player race" really is.
Actually, 4e monster design was perfect for the WoW campaign we ran. Each mob has one or two gimmicks, which makes the first few trash pulls of a dungeon interesting, and after that people know what to expect and it involves using those gimmicks in interesting ways with the environment.

Big bag of HP is vanilla WoW and early BC (and translates to 3.5), late BC and the others are perfect analogies to 4e.

A modular monster design system (Which is possible with open math, as promised) will be great. But they need to be sure to include some (many?) interesting ideas for cool abilities.  That was one of the best things about 3.5: creating things like spell-stitched minotaurs, for example, with a level of wizard, wand of true strike, and power attack made for a mob that pc's don't soon forget.  Similarly some of the ideas of 4e are awesome: the free attack on death type mobs, for example, when applied to minions...

As long as mobs have something mechanical to differentiate them, it'll be fine. What I don't want is a MM with a ton of fluff, and only numerical crunch changing between pages. While some of the mobs look promising, the difference between, say, a bugbear and an ogre doesn't leap out as strongly.

'That's just, like, your opinion, man.'
As long as mobs have something mechanical to differentiate them, it'll be fine. What I don't want is a MM with a ton of fluff, and only numerical crunch changing between pages. While some of the mobs look promising, the difference between, say, a bugbear and an ogre doesn't leap out as strongly.


Yeppers. I dunno, maybe there will be easy-to-apply templates and powers that can transform the bag of hit points monsters into something else. Right now the MM looks like A Book I Already Own, Vol. 5, with some new art and somewhat sleaker stat blocks. Perhaps the software will be good - maybe the books will be aimed at the retro-clone market, while the Next DDI will offer some ways to create mechanically distinct monsters. I hope they offer a free trial or something!

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

IMAGE(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_zENuDflPejY/SS1mK9V63tI/AAAAAAAADSs/tD6OvdyTzUQ/s1600/mr__horse.png)
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
Eh, 4E monster design was one thing I felt they got right.  I could far more easily wing a unique enemy in 4E than I could in any other RPG I've GM'd.  Unique description, aoe, summon and use the damage guidelines for balance.  Worked beautifully.  I could even wing casters with unique abilities doing something different every round.

I think with adv/disadv and such it might be even easier in Next if they go a roughly similar route.  I'd like to see some guidelines on special abilities like enervation, but I think those would be pretty easy to add, overall.

Now, I'll grant my use of the rules wasn't exactly how 4E was written, but it should have been and could be used that way.



I know, right? If there is one thing in 4E they shouldn't be ditching, it's monster design.



Quite.

I definitely think they should keep very strong guidelines on health and damage with monster creation.

I mean, I once did a trio of wizards all fighting together.  What abilities did they have?  One was a summoning, another telekinetic, and a their had elemental effects.  Something like that.  From there I just made up an ability each round using the theme combined with the damage guidelines.  Health and AC were based on those guidelines.  Easy-peasy.

I cannot overstate how awesome that was as a DM.  Sure I used the guidelines to craft specific monsters sometimes, and I had no trouble coming up with powers that felt unique and appropriate.

Seems a heck of a lot easier than in 3E.  There you could copy-paste a monster and change its desktop theme or with great difficulty try to make a balanced enemy...which is extremely hard if you gave it unique powers -- let's face it, CR adjustments were middling in value and worthless if you came up with new abilities.

If they can manage to make the classes decently balanced, I'd like to see them as an option for making guys.  In 3E they weren't remotely balanced at all, however.  4E the classes were too similar, I felt, and honestly, class abilities generally weren't as good (e.g. creative) as what you could come up with using the damage guidelines.  Some were, but a lot were boring.
hate 4e monster design with an extreme passion, so I absolutely love the direction they're going with Next.


This post adequately expresses my own sentiments on the matter.

If you have to resort to making offensive comments instead of making logical arguments, you deserve to be ignored.

Overall, monsters are the best thing 4e did.  But I agree that having to have every single monster have a bunch of powers is unnecessary.  I think we should keep the tools and the options because they are useful.  Many monsters should have unusual attacks etc...   But I think a lot of monsters really should just have an attack with damage.   

I do think though they said there are going to be a pool of free martial manuevers that any class can use and any monster can use.   Bullrush I'm looking at you.  Now obviously if you are a Kobold you probably aren't Bullrushing but if you are an Ogre you are.

 
>mfw


You're not even trying to hide you're from "The Internet" anymore, are you?

On topic, I guess I'm not pleased with the direction either and I fear that mosters which are "more complex" are going to go back to being arbitrarily deadly via Save or Die options, but that's more preparing for the worst given how "nostalgia for nostalgia's sake" this edition seems rather than anything overly concrete ATM.
Knowing is Half the Battle. The Other Half is VIOLENCE. Imagine a lightsaber duel between Optimus Prime and Batman. You're welcome.


Way to be a jack a$$.



See what I did there?
holydoom.weebly.com: Holydoom! A lighthearted RPG in progress. Loosely based on 3.5. 4, and GURPS. Very, Very, Very loosely. Seriously, visit it now. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/29086701/I_HIT_IT_WITH_MA_SWORD!_(like_this!):_A_Slayers_Handbook An attempt at CharOp
To anyone who thinks Pathfinder is outselling D&D
While one report may say that FLGS report a greater amount of book sales, one cannot forget the fact that the 71000 DDI subscribers paying 6-10 dollars a month don't count as "Book Sales."
"see sig" redirects here
Oblivious troll is Oblivious
PbP supporter!
General thoughts, feelings, and info on DDN!
Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.
I think monster design was a bit over complicated in 4e.    There was a forumla for AC, HP, Attack, and damage, but it was a bit obtuse.    

I think what irked me the most was that all the values scaled with level.     I couldn't just tell the party you see 4 knights in black plate mail standing on the bridge and worry about the details when and if combat started.     In previous editions I could turn those knights out from the top of my head on the spot.     ok platemail is AC 3,  +1 for the shield, longsword is 1d8, 5d10 HD, and their thac0 is 15.

With 4e,  I had to sit down before the game and calculate all their numbers and/or search the monster manual for an appropriate challenge and reskin it.    

At one point, I tried to make a massive table that pre-calculated all attributes depending on level and monster role, but it ended up being too much work.   I think it wouldn't have been all that usefull anyway because I would still be required to make a bunch template powers that I could reskin on the fly.  





Things I love about 4e Monster Design:  MM3 on a business card, yes.  A strong mathematical framework, yes.  Clear and defined roles, yes.

Things I didn't love about 4e monster design:  Some monsters had a few too many status effects or uncelar wording.  Some had too many hit points.

Direction I hope they take 5e:  Make sure every class of monster has one thing which, leader or no, makes them special. My party fears gnolls because I can make gnolls converge on a singe target for lots of bonus damage when ganging up on a target.  My party hates goblins because of that shifty movement.  A monster which can disengage from combat without an AoO is an irritating thing.  A monster which gets bonus damage when ganging up (much MUCH easier to run than advantage if you ask me) is frightening.

That said, keep it one thing.  Maybe a variant on each race -- a kobold dragonshield can be a tad different than a kobold skirmisher, but they should be clear and obvious and have similar attacks / defenses for the sake of sanity.

The idea that leaders can channel through other monsters is one I adore.  Yes, this is good.

All things considered, I'd rather they error on the side of too simple as opposed to too complex.  I prefer tactical / positional play anyway, so  things like movement and range make a monster interesting even before one adds special abilities.
I think monster design was a bit over complicated in 4e.    There was a forumla for AC, HP, Attack, and damage, but it was a bit obtuse.    

I think what irked me the most was that all the values scaled with level.     I couldn't just tell the party you see 4 knights in black plate mail standing on the bridge and worry about the details when and if combat started.     In previous editions I could turn those knights out from the top of my head on the spot.     ok platemail is AC 3,  +1 for the shield, longsword is 1d8, 5d10 HD, and their thac0 is 15.

With 4e,  I had to sit down before the game and calculate all their numbers and/or search the monster manual for an appropriate challenge and reskin it.   



4E a table and some addition/simple multiplication and you are done.  Challenge comes built-in to the design process.  Damage guidelines are there and easy to use to have custom abilities on the fly.  The resulting balance and challenge?  Pretty darn good.  Could be better, but pretty darn good.  To speed things up before a session you can jot down relevant numbers for different base types of monsters, and use that as a reference for making things on the fly during the session.

2e/3e?  Easy to make an NPC if it was a player race and wasn't a caster.  That didn't help with figuring out how to make the combat challenging.  Who cares if you can pop out 4 knights easily if their challenge is unclear (hit points have the same level of multiplication as 4th, since you have to take into account constitution mods), you can't do the same for most other classes, and making an interesting encounter is 10 times more difficult?

I don't know how anyone can possibly say 4e isn't the easiest system to make monsters in.  This is one thing 4E got almost perfectly (and let's be clear, I largely dislike 4E, but it was a breeze to do monsters in as a DM).
@Pashalik_Mon

your post really has a 'the sky is falling' attitude and i don't know that it's that bad.

all they've really said is that they're thinking about keeping the stormtrooper-style monsters simple. i love 4e's monster design but when i'm dming, i wouldn't really mind if the level 1 goblins only have 5 hitpoints and a shortsword attack.




Minions say"Hi!... remember us? The good invention of 4E that made mooks simple to run and effective? Can we join the party yet?"

Yep. One of the (many) things 4e got right was monster design.

Throwing baby out with bathwater

I had such high hopes for 5e when it was first announced.
I think monster design was a bit over complicated in 4e.    There was a forumla for AC, HP, Attack, and damage, but it was a bit obtuse.   



Well, like pretty much everything you say about 4E, this is wrong. Compared to the nausea inducing task that 3E/Pathfinder monster design is, "whee, I spend an hour making an NPC with a life expectency of 3 rounds, that leaves a huge amount of magical vendor trash behind to achieve the math it needs to function!", 4E monster creation runs itself.



I think what irked me the most was that all the values scaled with level.     I couldn't just tell the party you see 4 knights in black plate mail standing on the bridge and worry about the details when and if combat started.     In previous editions I could turn those knights out from the top of my head on the spot.     ok platemail is AC 3,  +1 for the shield, longsword is 1d8, 5d10 HD, and their thac0 is 15.

With 4e,  I had to sit down before the game and calculate all their numbers and/or search the monster manual for an appropriate challenge and reskin it.



Whats their stats? You'll need to know in case someone tries to grapple them or something. Their saving throws? What weapon prof/specializations do they have? 2E isnt much simpler, except for brute equivalent monsters, which are stupid easy to run in 4E as well.  Your way is really no easier than just opening up the monster manual to the "Human Guard" page...  (Also, 5th level fightes have a 16 THAC0).

Once you get any kind of spellcaster (or monster with spell like abilities) in 1st/2nd, each SPELL is the equivalent of a power that you might also need to look up. 1st/2nd only really wins out in boring animal type monsters.
I think monster design was a bit over complicated in 4e.    There was a forumla for AC, HP, Attack, and damage, but it was a bit obtuse.   



Well, like pretty much everything you say about 4E, this is wrong. Compared to the nausea inducing task that 3E/Pathfinder monster design is, "whee, I spend an hour making an NPC with a life expectency of 3 rounds, that leaves a huge amount of magical vendor trash behind to achieve the math it needs to function!", 4E monster creation runs itself.



I think what irked me the most was that all the values scaled with level.     I couldn't just tell the party you see 4 knights in black plate mail standing on the bridge and worry about the details when and if combat started.     In previous editions I could turn those knights out from the top of my head on the spot.     ok platemail is AC 3,  +1 for the shield, longsword is 1d8, 5d10 HD, and their thac0 is 15.

With 4e,  I had to sit down before the game and calculate all their numbers and/or search the monster manual for an appropriate challenge and reskin it.



Whats their stats? You'll need to know in case someone tries to grapple them or something. Their saving throws? What weapon prof/specializations do they have? 2E isnt much simpler, except for brute equivalent monsters, which are stupid easy to run in 4E as well.  Your way is really no easier than just opening up the monster manual to the "Human Guard" page...  (Also, 5th level fightes have a 16 THAC0).

Once you get any kind of spellcaster (or monster with spell like abilities) in 1st/2nd, each SPELL is the equivalent of a power that you might also need to look up. 1st/2nd only really wins out in boring animal type monsters.



ok first of all I'm only talking about creating an NPC on the fly.    I'm not talking about pre-game monster creation.          Stats, saving throws, specializations, etc are not needed until it comes up in the game.        I'd most likely just give them a 15 or 16 strength with weapon specialization in the longsword.    The DM screen and DMG had all the charts for saving throws and thaco0 for you anyway.    You just had to look them up when you needed them.  Even spell casters are easy to make as well, you just pick a spell from the list  (they listed them by level in 2e which made it easy) and use it.     There was no need to worry about scaling AC, class templates, powers, feats, skills,  hazards, terrain, etc.     

The point I want to make is that 4e encounters require more thought.    The 4e encounter design paradigm demanded more from you just to  facilitate the tactical combat feel of the game.   

I just hope that 5e includes charts for monster creation and not formulas.   Like I said, in my previous post, I tried to make a few charts for this in 4e but it was a bit too complicated.
I just hope that 5e includes charts for monster creation and not formulas.



Disagree. I want charts and formulas.
My character is called Ryotto Tyrannicide, wich comes from "tyrannicidal riot". He wields two magic swords: King Beheader (as in "Beheader of Kings", not "King the Beheader") and Chain Splitter. He's also a bit of a skirt-chaser. So yeah, I REALLY hope you have some Lawful Evil bad guys prepared for me. Government/trade/church conspiracies are optional, but highly recommended.
hate 4e monster design with an extreme passion, so I absolutely love the direction they're going with Next.



Why? What specifically makes you hate them?
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I just hope that 5e includes charts for monster creation and not formulas.



Disagree. I want charts and formulas.



Yeah I agree,  should have said not 'only' charts.
Overall, monsters are the best thing 4e did.  But I agree that having to have every single monster have a bunch of powers is unnecessary.  I think we should keep the tools and the options because they are useful.  Many monsters should have unusual attacks etc...   But I think a lot of monsters really should just have an attack with damage.   

I do think though they said there are going to be a pool of free martial manuevers that any class can use and any monster can use.   Bullrush I'm looking at you.  Now obviously if you are a Kobold you probably aren't Bullrushing but if you are an Ogre you are.

 



In other words you would be ok if each type of monster had 1 or maybe 2 powers each instead of 4 powers like in 4E?
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Overall, monsters are the best thing 4e did.  But I agree that having to have every single monster have a bunch of powers is unnecessary.  I think we should keep the tools and the options because they are useful.  Many monsters should have unusual attacks etc...   But I think a lot of monsters really should just have an attack with damage.   

I do think though they said there are going to be a pool of free martial manuevers that any class can use and any monster can use.   Bullrush I'm looking at you.  Now obviously if you are a Kobold you probably aren't Bullrushing but if you are an Ogre you are.

 



In other words you would be ok if each type of monster had 1 or maybe 2 powers each instead of 4 powers like in 4E?



There is no single monster in 4e that has too many powers.  It's more of a category thing.  I would like some more that have no powers mixed in.   Otherwise I'm fine with various monsters having a variable number of powers.  Humanoids though are probably less likely to have a bunch in my opinion.   Wherease a carrion crawler could have a bunch no problem.
hate 4e monster design with an extreme passion, so I absolutely love the direction they're going with Next.



Why? What specifically makes you hate them?



This is exactly what I was about to ask. I think 4E monster creation rules are the tightest and easiest to use, most streamlined, while allowing for the most varied mix of abilities, that D&D has ever had to date. By a very large margin. Monster layout is the same. You have an enormous amount of mechanical info on the monster in a comparatively tiny block to previous editions (fluff can be as long or short as one wishes, and has no direct impact on mechanics, per se). 

Now, with D&DN's flatter math, it will be even easier to see all the numbers and how they'll really interact at the table, because encounter creation will have quite different metrics; it won't require the same amount of specificity of levels of creatures required to make an encounter challenging.

If D&DN has a DDI Monster Creator like 4E does, it would be the first version of D&D where you could VERY easily plug in the monster you want, stats and abilities FIRST, and have it spit out an appropriate level for the monster itself, giving you the appropriate XP it should give, and thus a pretty darned accurate challenge level. 

@thestoryteller: What is it that you hate so much? 

I don't know how anyone can possibly say 4e isn't the easiest system to make monsters in.  This is one thing 4E got almost perfectly (and let's be clear, I largely dislike 4E, but it was a breeze to do monsters in as a DM).


hate 4e monster design with an extreme passion, so I absolutely love the direction they're going with Next.



Why? What specifically makes you hate them?

In general terms, I hated the philosophy behind it.  I don't want realism, but I want internal consistency in my game.  

PCs use these rules here, GMs use those.  That was my first problem.  There was no consistency.  A knight has one set of stats as a PC, and a totally different set on my side of the table.  I dislike that.  I also dislike consulting charts in general, but that's another issue.

Enemy attributes and gear also had pretty much nothing to do with their performance.  A level N enemy had X AC, Y attack bonus and dealt Z damage.  Then you could reverse engineer what their stats must have been.  No, thank you.  I want to visual what the enemies are first,  and then determine what they can do.  4e wanted you to make them backwards--it wanted you to decide what the enemy was going to do (I need a skirmisher to complement this soldier and controller or I want an enemy that gets a bonus to damage after it moves a lot) and then figure out what they are later.  

This actually touches on a greater problem for me--4e expected you to design encounters.  I don't want to do that.  To me and my style of GMing, these things should be organic, not designed.  Monster creation was inextricably tied into this problem.  You didn't, say, make a goblin warrior.  You made a skirmisher that was a standard challenge for a level 2 PC, and it happened to look like a goblin when you described it.  And actually, level meant absolutely nothing objective.  It was totally relative to the PCs they were challenging--a level 7 Orc berserker was only level 7 because the party is levle 7 and they were fighting Orcs.

For me, I want the NPCs to just be--they are there and they can do what makes sense for them to be able to do.  The PCs encounter them in some internally consistent way--if they walk in while a tribe of 40 goblins is eating dinner, well, then there are 40 goblins in the room.  If they come in at a non-meal time, there's probably nobody there.  I'm not looking to design an encounter and make sure they can fight whatever they walk into.  I'm looking to create a consistent situation and see how the players handle it. 

Further, I did not find it easier--not one bit.  In fact, I felt like the system created more obstacles for me than it solved.  Yes, all the math was on a chart and then the system abandoned you at the most important part--math is easy, powers are hard.  

I'm making a level 9 Lurker.  I have his HP, Defenses, Attack bonus, and damage values from consulting a chart.  Now what?  He has to lurk, obviously, but how?  Can I make him fly?  Is that ok for a level 9?  Can his attack blind or is that too nasty of a condition for level 9?  How much should his normal attack deal vs. his attack with advantage?  My only guidance came from scouring the Monster Manual for monsters of that same level and extrapolating/stealing from them.  

Figuring out a perfect suite of powers for a new creature took me way longer than deciding on attributes, level, and remembering a few formulae did in 3rd.  Feats and classes and stuff told me what abilities were appropriate.  Can this monster blind the players?  Well, is there feat or class ability reachable in 9 levels that blinds?  Very simple, and thankfully, PCs and NPCs were made with the same rules.  Not that I'm saying 3rd edition was ideal--a lot of stuff was still arbitrary and actual monsters (rather than humanoids with class levels--which constituted the opposition in my games probably around 90% of the time) were annoying because monstrous hit dice were not as valuable as class levels, and I still couldn't wing it and make a monster on the fly--but it was better and way easier for me than 4e was.  

However, the bounded accuracy of 5e is perfect in my mind for what I am looking for.  This Orc has a 16 Strength and he's trained in using his greataxe.  He has a +5 to hit.  Very easy to figure out--no inflation needed based on level or anything else.  In fact, I make that orc off the top of my head in the heat of the moment, if I have to.  I just need to know the monster Hit Point formula and I'm set.  Or I can just go with PC levels and it's all done for me.

I don't know, I could type for hours more about each specific thing I didn't like about 4e monster design, but I think my point has been made.  

I'm really glad it helped you--seriously.  But it was a nightmare for me and I really don't want to see it back--I'm sorry, but I've got to choose my own happiness over yours ;)

Side Note: I actually liked a lot about 4e otherwise--especially as a PC.  I loved a lot of the player side innovations--I just hated running it, and that's weird because I usually love running games, and do/did so for probably 95% of the rpgs I've been involved with.

In general terms, I hated the philosophy behind it.  I don't want realism, but I want internal consistency in my game.

PCs use these rules here, GMs use those.  That was my first problem.  There was no consistency.  A knight has one set of stats as a PC, and a totally different set on my side of the table.  I dislike that.  I also dislike consulting charts in general, but that's another issue.



In 3.xE I had a problem with spending 3 hours creating a level 10 half-dragon wizard with specced out magic items and all of that for the players to steam roll over them in 5 minutes of play. I think 4E went the way it did because people just got tired of taking so long to create monsters like that.

Enemy attributes and gear also had pretty much nothing to do with their performance.  A level N enemy had X AC, Y attack bonus and dealt Z damage.  Then you could reverse engineer what their stats must have been.  No, thank you.  I want to visual what the enemies are first,  and then determine what they can do.  4e wanted you to make them backwards--it wanted you to decide what the enemy was going to do (I need a skirmisher to complement this soldier and controller or I want an enemy that gets a bonus to damage after it moves a lot) and then figure out what they are later.



I agree there was a disconnect. They could have done better. They should have allowed for treasure to be used by the monsters. Most of the time I would come to the table and say I need a sneaky monster that's going to come up behind the party dart in while hidden/invisible get an attack off and then run away. Then I would look at the chart of monster roles and say "oh a lurker works well for that." and "Ok, a lurker has a high dex score and not so good hp, nice."

This actually touches on a greater problem for me--4e expected you to design encounters.  I don't want to do that.  To me and my style of GMing, these things should be organic, not designed.  Monster creation was inextricably tied into this problem.  You didn't, say, make a goblin warrior.  You made a skirmisher that was a standard challenge for a level 2 PC, and it happened to look like a goblin when you described it.  And actually, level meant absolutely nothing objective.  It was totally relative to the PCs they were challenging--a level 7 Orc berserker was only level 7 because the party is levle 7 and they were fighting Orcs.



4E helped you design balanced encounters. You could still throw them into a room of 40 goblins at level  one, it was just assumed that if you did, it was a TPK, which unless they get out of it somehow, it would be (even with 40 minions)...

For me, I want the NPCs to just be--they are there and they can do what makes sense for them to be able to do.  The PCs encounter them in some internally consistent way--if they walk in while a tribe of 40 goblins is eating dinner, well, then there are 40 goblins in the room.  If they come in at a non-meal time, there's probably nobody there.  I'm not looking to design an encounter and make sure they can fight whatever they walk into.  I'm looking to create a consistent situation and see how the players handle it.



The modules WotC made were horrible examples of good 4E encounter design. The guidelines for encounter design were meant to give you a measure of what would be easy and what would be a TPK, that way you wouldn't kill your party early on...

Further, I did not find it easier--not one bit.  In fact, I felt like the system created more obstacles for me than it solved.  Yes, all the math was on a chart and then the system abandoned you at the most important part--math is easy, powers are hard.



I agree with this, they should have had a chart of status effects and things like that, with DCs and that kind of thing. It would have made it much easier.

I'm making a level 9 Lurker.  I have his HP, Defenses, Attack bonus, and damage values from consulting a chart.  Now what?  He has to lurk, obviously, but how?  Can I make him fly?  Is that ok for a level 9?  Can his attack blind or is that too nasty of a condition for level 9?  How much should his normal attack deal vs. his attack with advantage?  My only guidance came from scouring the Monster Manual for monsters of that same level and extrapolating/stealing from them.



I agree. It could have been done better, but it was a huge improvement over the 3.xE's template pile up and math snafu. Then when you were done the creature according to its CR rating may or may not be a TPK monster.

Figuring out a perfect suite of powers for a new creature took me way longer than deciding on attributes, level, and remembering a few formulae did in 3rd.  Feats and classes and stuff told me what abilities were appropriate.  Can this monster blind the players?  Well, is there feat or class ability reachable in 9 levels that blinds?  Very simple, and thankfully, PCs and NPCs were made with the same rules.  Not that I'm saying 3rd edition was ideal--a lot of stuff was still arbitrary and actual monsters (rather than humanoids with class levels--which constituted the opposition in my games probably around 90% of the time) were annoying because monstrous hit dice were not as valuable as class levels, and I still couldn't wing it and make a monster on the fly--but it was better and way easier for me than 4e was.



Eh. I was intimately familiar with both 3.5E and 4E, I could do it in both, but it relied on my memorization skills in each edition how well I could do it. I think many had a familiarity problem rather than a difficulty problem.

However, the bounded accuracy of 5e is perfect in my mind for what I am looking for.  This Orc has a 16 Strength and he's trained in using his greataxe.  He has a +5 to hit.  Very easy to figure out--no inflation needed based on level or anything else.  In fact, I make that orc off the top of my head in the heat of the moment, if I have to.  I just need to know the monster Hit Point formula and I'm set.  Or I can just go with PC levels and it's all done for me.



Sure, I could too. I have the 1st level kobold for 4E memorized, but what happens when you go and start throwing class levels on it, and templates. I mean imagine trying to make a half-dragon half-ogre, level 5 fighter level 1 wizard. What we are seeing now is really really simplified but doesn't allow for any kind of customization.

I don't know, I could type for hours more about each specific thing I didn't like about 4e monster design, but I think my point has been made.  

I'm really glad it helped you--seriously.  But it was a nightmare for me and I really don't want to see it back--I'm sorry, but I've got to choose my own happiness over yours ;)

Side Note: I actually liked a lot about 4e otherwise--especially as a PC.  I loved a lot of the player side innovations--I just hated running it, and that's weird because I usually love running games, and do/did so for probably 95% of the rpgs I've been involved with.



The problem is neither of us are getting what we want. We aren't getting a 3.5E style monster creation system. We also aren't getting a 4E style monster creation system. We are getting a 2E style monster manual...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
>mfw


You're not even trying to hide you're from "The Internet" anymore, are you?


I'm sorry, is this not the internet?  Did I take a wrong turn somewhere?
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
>mfw


You're not even trying to hide you're from "The Internet" anymore, are you?


I'm sorry, is this not the internet?  Did I take a wrong turn somewhere?



Yeah, the internet stops at the WotC website. Once you enter here your entering a ricketty shack on the edge of the internet...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
  

However, the bounded accuracy of 5e is perfect in my mind for what I am looking for.  This Orc has a 16 Strength and he's trained in using his greataxe.  He has a +5 to hit.  Very easy to figure out--no inflation needed based on level or anything else.  In fact, I make that orc off the top of my head in the heat of the moment, if I have to.  I just need to know the monster Hit Point formula and I'm set.  Or I can just go with PC levels and it's all done for me.
...

I'm really glad it helped you--seriously.  But it was a nightmare for me and I really don't want to see it back--I'm sorry, but I've got to choose my own happiness over yours  



I agree with everything you said about 4e encounter design.    With 2e,  I really liked the fact that I didn't need any rules to design a monster.  If I wanted a 4 armed humanoid called the Fourvenger, I would just give him whatever HD, AC, weapons, and spell like abilities I felt like.    I didn't need to follow any rules at all, I just went with my gut.     I think that's why it was faster.    Sure a novice DM could make a few mistakes, but there were lookup tables and if he wasn't all that sure he could just base the design off another monster.  

With previous editions I didn't need to create a level +/- 1-4  encounter because that was mostly done at play time.   It was relatively easy to scale the monsters up or down during play.  As the DM, I could fudge a few die rolls or give or take away HPs.    And if that didn't, work I simply tossed a few more mosters the mix at the mid point of the encounter.      I find I still have to fudge a few things with 4e encounters anyway.     I've designed hard encounters in 4e that were not a challenge for my PC's at all.    Tossing a few more brutes in the mix is often a necessity. 

With that said, it's only recently that I've started to completely ignore the monster design rules in 4e.   I guess I got caught up in the rules and didn't realize that they were just slowing me down.   I even created a few tables to help create monsters on the fly, but of course they don't follow the complex 4e design formulas.     

 

The problem is neither of us are getting what we want. We aren't getting a 3.5E style monster creation system. We also aren't getting a 4E style monster creation system. We are getting a 2E style monster manual...



Good!   3e monsters were over complicated with feats and stats and I've already said my peace about 4e monsters.