Monster Templates

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Hi all,
    I have recently decided that I hate myself and have taken on the arduase task of converting my favorite 3.5 adventures to 4th edition.  In doing so I have run into a snag, mosters in the 3.5 adventures often don't have a 4th edition counter part.  I could just swap the monsters out for something else completely but I want to stay as close to the original source as I can.  
   I then began looking at monster templates, thinking I could create the monsters I want\ need.  The problem is I don't understand them at all.  For example the vampire lord template in the Monsters Manual is a lurker human rogue.  I want to change this to a caster\ artillary creature.  But I don't understand how.  
    I was going to take a human sorcerer and apply the vampire lord template to him but there isn't a Human Sorc type creature that meets the pre-reqs for the template.  So I thought I'd take the Vampire Lord Creature and apply the sorc class template to him.  Problem is the base Vampire Lord creature already seems to have a rogue template applied to it.  I tried to reverse engineer it and came up 80 some HP short, as you can see I'm completely turned around on this and would love some assistance.  Thanks all.  
Here's a Vampire Lord without the Rogue Template:

Vampire Lord
 

Vampire Lord 
Medium natural humanoid (undead), human
Level 11 Elite Lurker  XP 1200
Initiative +12        Senses Perception +10; Darkvision
HP 186; Bloodied 93
Regeneration 10 (regeneration does not function while the vampire lord is exposed to direct sunlight)
AC 29; Fortitude 30, Reflex 25, Will 25
Immune disease, poison; Resist 10 necrotic; Vulnerable 10 radiant
Saving Throws +2
Speed 8, climb 4 (spider climb)
Action Points 1
 Short Sword (standard, at-will)  Weapon
+13 vs AC; 1d6+8 damage.
 Spiked Chain (standard, at-will)  Weapon
+13 vs AC; 2d4+8 damage.
 Blood Drain (standard; requires combat advantage, recharges when an adjacent creature becomes bloodied)  Healing
+13 vs Fortitude; 2d12+8 damage, the target is weakened (save ends), and the vampire lord heals 46 hit points.
 Dominating Gaze (minor, recharge 
Ranged 5; +13 vs Will; the target is dominated (save ends, with a -2 penalty on the saving throw). Aftereffect: The target is dazed (save ends). The vampire lord can dominate only one creature at a time.
Mist Form (standard; encounter)  Polymorph
The vampire lord becomes insubstantial and gains a fly speed of 12, but cannot make attacks. The vampire lord can remain in mist form for up to 1 hour or end the effect as a minor action.
Destroyed by Sunlight
A vampire lord that begins its turn in direct sunlight can take only a single move action on its turn. If it ends the turn in direct sunlight, it burns to ash and is destroyed.
Second Wind (standard; encounter)  Healing
The vampire lord spends a healing surge and regains 46 hit points. The vampire gains a +2 bonus to all defenses until the start of its next turn.
Alignment Evil        Languages Common
Skills Acrobatics +15, Athletics +18, Bluff +13, Intimidate +13, Stealth +15, 
Str 16 (+8)      Dex 20 (+10)      Wis 11 (+5)
Con 13 (+6)      Int 12 (+6)      Cha 16 (+8)
Equipment: leather armor , short sword 



Here's a Sorcerer Template:  (Based on the Wizard)

Sorcerer Template
 

Sorcerer
Power Source: Arcane.
Sorcerer                                 Elite Artillery
Defenses +2 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point 1
Hit Points +6 per level + Constitution score
Weapon Proficiency Simple melee, simple ranged.
Armor Proficiency Cloth
Trained Skills Arcana plus one other skill from the sorcerer
class list
Class Features Spell Source
Implements Daggers, staffs



Select a Spell Source and one Sorcerer level 1 at-will power and a Sorcerer level 7 encounter power and give it to him. Here's an exemple using a Dragon Magic Spell Source and the Dragonfrost and Crushing Sphere powers: 

Sorcerer Vampire Lord
 

Vampire Lord - (Human Sorcerer)
Medium natural humanoid (undead), human
Level 11 Elite Artillery  XP 1200
Initiative +12        Senses Perception +10; Darkvision
HP 186; Bloodied 93
Regeneration 10 (regeneration does not function while the vampire lord is exposed to direct sunlight)
AC 29; Fortitude 30, Reflex 25, Will 27
Immune disease, poison; Resist 10 cold, necrotic; Vulnerable 10 radiant
Saving Throws +2
Speed 8, climb 4 (spider climb)
Action Points 1
 Dagger (standard, at-will)  Weapon
+13 vs AC; 1d4+8 damage.
 Quatterstaff (standard, at-will)  Weapon
+13 vs AC; 1d8+8 damage.
 Dragonfrost (standard; at-will)  Arcane, Cold, Implement
Ranged 10; +11 vs Fortitude; 1d8+11 cold damage and the vampire lord push the target 1 square.
 Crushing Sphere (standard, encounter)  ArcaneForceImplement
Area burst 1 within 10; +11 vs Reflex; 1d8+11  force damage, and the target takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls until the end of your next turn.
 Blood Drain (standard; requires combat advantage, recharges when an adjacent creature becomes bloodied)  Healing
+13 vs Fortitude; 2d12+8 damage, the target is weakened (save ends), and the vampire lord heals 46 hit points.
 Dominating Gaze (minor, recharge 
Ranged 5; +13 vs Will; the target is dominated (save ends, with a -2 penalty on the saving throw). Aftereffect: The target is dazed (save ends). The vampire lord can dominate only one creature at a time.
Scales of the Dragon
The first time the vampire lord become bloodied during an encounter, he gain a +2 bonus to AC until the end of the encounter.
Dragon Soul: The vampire lord ignore any target's resistance to cold damage up to 10.
Mist Form (standard; encounter)  Polymorph
The vampire lord becomes insubstantial and gains a fly speed of 12, but cannot make attacks. The vampire lord can remain in mist form for up to 1 hour or end the effect as a minor action.
Destroyed by Sunlight
A vampire lord that begins its turn in direct sunlight can take only a single move action on its turn. If it ends the turn in direct sunlight, it burns to ash and is destroyed.
Second Wind (standard; encounter)  Healing
The vampire lord spends a healing surge and regains 46 hit points. The vampire gains a +2 bonus to all defenses until the start of its next turn.
Alignment Evil        Languages Common
Skills Acrobatics +15, Athletics +18, Bluff +13, Intimidate +13, Stealth +15, 
Str 16 (+8)      Dex 20 (+10)      Wis 11 (+5)
Con 13 (+6)      Int 12 (+6)      Cha 16 (+8)
Equipment: leather armor , short sword 


Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Thanks for creating the monster for me, I do appreciate it but I still don't understand how this all works.  Did you just take the rouge powers away from the vamp lord in the MM and change them with Sorc powers?  Wouldn't HP, and Defences change?  I'm looking for a little more explination as I'm sure I'm going to have to do this a LOT during my conversion.
You're welcome! Yes i removed the defense bonus and the associated powers and traits coming from the Rogue Template and added those from the Sorcerers Template.

As for Hit Points and Defenses, i left them as they were as i found no guidelines on how to adapt them from a Lurker to a Artillery. I know the DDi Monster Builder has a matrix for it but the books don't explain it.
 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Thanks again.  I find it frusterating that they don't have the monster creation matrix in the book and I have to subscribe to DDI to get the monster builder...Thanks again.
Thanks again.  I find it frusterating that they don't have the monster creation matrix in the book and I have to subscribe to DDI to get the monster builder...Thanks again.



Actually, they do.  It is not as detailed as the 3e rules were for creating monsters, but the DMG has rules on page 184, DMG 2 has slightly revised rules, with rules for minions and such.  The DMG Errata update pdf here - www.wizards.com/dnd/files/UpdateDMG.pdf - has corrected numbers for the new math introduced with Monster Manual 3.  The DM's book from the Dungeon Master's Kit also has these numbers.

Basically, it gives equations on what HP, Defenses, Initiative, and attack bonuses should be based on level and Role of the creature.  Then, it gives an appropriate damage value based on whether any given attack is hitting single target, or multiple targets.  It then provides examples of why you might want to tweak the given numbers slightly, adding to a defense and subtracting others
"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler
Everything I saw in that book said take an existing creature of the level you want then do x,y,and z.  Problem is there aren't any high level humans, let alone high level human wizards.  I'd love to be wrong on this but I just didn't see anything that said "here is how to make any monster you want from scratch."
Go to the page I quoted. DMG p. 184.

P.174 details increasing or decreasing levels of monsters, then you get a few pages of templates for your monster, then, on page 184 you get to the section on "Creating Monsters."

Unfortunately, like I said before, it's not overly detailed. It will give you stats, damages, but you will need to approximate anything special.

Monster Design in 4e is more of an abstract processes. Look through other creatures of the same level and borrow attack powers you like, just make sure that their damage output is roughly in line for the level.

Often, it is far easier to "reskin" an existing monster than to create a new one. For my Darksun game, i just recently took a goblin shaman, and used it in place of an ancient halfling guardian, taking out the goblin racial power, and adding in the halfling racial.

So, play around with both. Eventually you will be able to create, modify, and reskin monsters with ease
"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler
Ok I can try that.  Its not very detailed at all.  Does the D&D insider Monster Creator make it easier.  I'm ok with buying a month or 12 if the monster creator tool is worth a damn.  Has anyone used it much?  Or should I just do it the "analog" way?
The online tools basically do the math for you. They let you level up/down a monster with a click.

You can also create new monsters by choosing role, elite/solo/standard, level, and it fills in ac, defenses, hp, etc. it also gives a convenient way of copying power entries from other monsters and pasting it into your creation.

However, if you take a monster, say level 15 because it fits, but since it is too high, you drop it down to level 7, the math will be wrong. They still haven't found a good formula for this. Any changes of more than 2-3 levels results in a monster too strong (if it started too high) or too weak (if it started too low), so again you are left to your own devises.

That being said, sometimes i use the monster leveler, sometimes i just decide to add or subtract x from defenses, hp, attack mods and damage, based on experience, and what i know other monsters in the right level range are capable of
"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler