Tips for making Monsters?

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Okay, so I'm new to the D&D scene (It's just me and some friends, and they claim I have the most knowledge of this kinda stuff, so pushing me to DM, also their lazy)
and I was wondering how to make monsters?
I.E Necromancers and chieftans for bosses mainly, I have the dungeon monster guide but, it doesn;t really show how to make monsters, and the tools here doesn't really explain what is what.
and I had like.. 4 people made for bosses, than was told never use the  character creator in 4E so i deleted those.

so any tips for a noob? thank you.
Several ways:

Take an existing monster and use that, as is.

Take an existing monster and "reskin" it, changing the appearance of it and its powers to fit what you're after.

Take an existing monster and modify it, adding or removing existing powers or anything else from other monsters, as well as reskinning it. This requires some knowledge of how monsters work, but it's not an exact science.

Make a monster out of a basic role (HP and defenses, basically) and adding in existing powers and traits to the blank slate.

Make up entirely new powers and traits and make a monster out of them.

No, don't use player characters as creatures. But you can make monsters that work much like player characters, in a monster mode. The DMG goes into that.

This can be hard to get "right." Even if you know what you're doing. Be prepared to have your encounters be either much harder or much easier than you expect. Much easier is embarrassing, but much harder can be a major frustration, if no one is expecting it. There's advice on this forum for how to run combat that is challenging but non-lethal, which cushions the game against combat math errors.

Good luck.

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

Here is what I do for a lot of my monsters:

Make an encounter with some sort of vague idea of what you want:

2x Lv+0 Soldiers
3x Lv+1 Brute
2x Lv+0 Artillery
8x Lv-1 Skirmisher Minions

Then write down a list of what would be cool for them to have:
The artillery can create damaging zones of lightning. (Low limited damage initially and minion quality damage for the zone)
The Soldiers can mark people and the mark violation pulls them into the lightning zone. (Low damage)
The Brutes have a charge with a big knockback and slow. (Med Limited damage)
The Minions do slightly less damage from range than melee.

Then take the DM Cheat Sheet to look up the averages for things in combat.  Adjust their HP to change things to make them semi unique:  This won't make a lot of sense if you don't look at the cheat sheet first (slyflourish.com)
Soldiers have an extra +1-2 AC/Fort.  They get a -2 to either Reflex or Will. They have average HP.
Brutes have average defenses and high hp.  Normal damage which increases to High damage on charges.  High limited damage once per encounter on a charge.
Artillery have -1-2 AC/Fort.  They get +2 Ref/Will.  They have Low HP and medium damage.
Minions have +1 all defenses and get a power that gives them a bonus 4 to defenses once or can grant a +2 to the defenses of an ally when the ally is adjacent to one of the PCs.

Then just run it.  I typically run a combat with that much prep or less. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
Then take the DM Cheat Sheet to look up the averages for things in combat.  Adjust their HP to change things to make them semi unique:  This won't make a lot of sense if you don't look at the cheat sheet first (slyflourish.com)


This is a direct link

Seriously, this is an incredibly useful spreadsheet. It's one of the things I always have behind my DM screen, especially when I'm feeling lazy. It allows you to just write down a list of HPs and work from there. 

Matyr has it right, and I often go even further by making up interesting or appropriate powers on the fly for my monsters. For example, would an area burst slow be interesting at that moment? POOF! The monster whose turn comes up is now a controller with an area burst slow power.

Another example: is your slippery rogue grabbed by a brawler? Then he has a power that gives him a bonus to escape checks, like a true rogue would. 

Handle this power with care, because it's a slippery slope. Be careful not to screw your players over  by coming up with just the right power at every turn. Also watch out that you don't counter your players special abilities. The brawler example is a good one: even though it's fun to make life hard on him once in a while, don't give all your monsters escape powers. The player will feel useless and is likely to quit the game.
Remember to build and play every role to it's strength.

If you're going to build a soldier, make it hard for at least one character to ignore the monster at a time. Elite or Solo soldiers may want to be built towards multi target defense depending if they have other soldiers working with them or not. Conditions like Slowed, Grabbed, Immobilized and Marked are helpful to give soldiers. A vanilla attack penalty can also work wonders. Larger Soldiers might do well with some threatening range.

If you want to build a Brute, they should have big damage values, and most are built with close combat in mind. Brutes should sometimes have great charge attack capability as mentioned before. Brutes can use status conditions just as well as any other monster, but make sure their usage is justified in the design of the monster's powers. A Brute isn't going to dominate a creature just by clubbing it over the noggin after all.

Artillery should be built with high damage ranged and area attacks in mind. Effects that allow for distance like push and sliding works well to keep distance between them and their enemies. They also work well with soldiers or brutes to keep the front lines occupied.

Lurker's should have powers that let them escape sight or attention. Include them in encounters with a lot of cover for them to hide behind, or give them powers that turn them invisible or blind their enemies. Lurker's should do more damage, or have more debilitating effects, against enemies that they have combat advantage against or are hidden from. Lurker's can also be creatures that can remove themselves from play temporarily, or can "ride" other creature, like a ghost that can possess a character. A higher speed might fit well with Lurkers if they have no manual way of escaping sight. An encounter works best with only one or two of these creatures at most.

Skirmisher's should be mobile, and stronger skirmishers (like elites and solos) should have ways to either remove or prevent effects that limit their mobility (ex: A power that lets them make saves against effects like slowed, even if a save would not end that effect). They should have average damage, but might also have damage buffers against enemies in certain conditions, such as when granting combat advantage. Skirmisher's might also deal in effects that lower their enemies movement should their own movement capabilities be average. Skirmishers might also be given powers that let them make attacks in the middle of movement, such as a Flyby Attack for a flying Skirmisher.

Controllers should have lower damage options, but deal more in controlling the flow of battle. They can reduce movement, impose attack and damage penalties, control the actions of their enemies, and apply other conditions. Controllers can wade in any attack range, and may even do thing differently than other monsters, such as grabbing characters with ranged attacks. It is generally advised to only run one controller at a time (due to the risk of their control being to strong in packs, and ease of tracking effects from only a single controller), but minion controllers with lowered control options can be run in multiples in encounters with no standard or higher grade controllers just as well.

Leaders should have healing and buffing effects. They might also have powers that let their allies attack during their turn.

Healing effects should not reference healing surges for monsters. No matter what a book may tell you, or what anyone else may tell you, monsters do not have healing surges. Instead, calculate what a monster's surge value may be and have them heal that exact amount. When healing another monster, generic numbers should be used (10 for heroic, 20 for paragon and 30 for epic).

Elites and Solos should be a more prominent role in a battle. They should have multiple attack options, usually taking the form of a minor action attack, or a  power that lets them use their basic attacks twice in a row. They should also have the ability to shake of high control effects like dazed, stunned and dominated after a turn. They should also have ways to respond to enemy attacks, such as immediate action attacks.

Monsters should only rarely have access to effects that stun PCs, or remove PCs from play. These effects are considered highly annoying for players, but in a bad way. They remove the player's interest from the adventure due to the lack of their character's involvement. Monsters with powers that can make a PC Unconscious should never be usable more than once per encounter, or once per day if an enemy is to be recurring throughout an adventure, and never be rechargeable. They should also end after a single round or when hit with an attack, never on a save.

Hope this helps. Happy Gaming
I'm fairly sure monsters get 1 healing surge/tier.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
I'm fairly sure monsters get 1 healing surge/tier.



The books do say that, but no stat block makes any note of it. Tracking it is pointless and more work than its worth. Seven monsters is a different sort of creature than one PC. Better to lay down a flat healing value for self healing, and smaller values for shared healing. Less work in the end, and the result are just as good.
Another thing, if you are going to beef up your monsters please do not make them immune to barely anything.  Especially if people in your party are built around something in particular.  Like was mentione earlier you don't want to silver bullet anyone in the party.

I recently was in a game where we fought 3 elites.

1 Elite was immune to slow, stun, ongoing damage and prone.  It also marked, had a strong mark violation and had Lv+21 AC (which increased to LV+23 AC when he hit something).

1 Elite was immune to daze and something else and could in a single action drop a smoke screen of total concealment, drop a burst 5 zone of oil and move his full speed and become hidden (Not sure what the stealth bonus was but it got a 35 so at minimum it was Level + 6 assuming it got a nat 20.  This was level 9 so a 16 stealth meant it had to have 4 (half level) + 5 (Lets assume it is trained) + 6 somehow.  And thats assuming it nat 20ed on the stealth.)

1 Elite was immune to fire and something else I forget (it was killed off almost instantly after wrecking half the party). 

That fight was difficult and also it was frustrating.  Difficult = not a problem, frustrating = problem. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
I'm fairly sure monsters get 1 healing surge/tier.



The books do say that, but no stat block makes any note of it. Tracking it is pointless and more work than its worth. Seven monsters is a different sort of creature than one PC. Better to lay down a flat healing value for self healing, and smaller values for shared healing. Less work in the end, and the result are just as good.


Since monsters have severely limited healing restrictions, you may be better off just tracking healing powers instead of surges. That is, unless you have monsters use Second Winds, then you may want to keep it limited...
Gunmage, a homebrew arcane striker. (Heroic Tier playtest ready.) GDocs link. (More up to date.)
Just to let everyone know, the Cheat sheet linked about contains modified values and does NOT conform to wotc's values (either pre or post errata).
Just to let everyone know, the Cheat sheet linked about contains modified values and does NOT conform to wotc's values (either pre or post errata).



I know, these values are actually useful and accurate.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here