D&D 4.0 vs 3.5 monsters

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How come the monsters from 4.0 are much stronger than the 3.5 monsters? Goblins have over 30 hp or st, and attack with like plus 8 vs AC with a huge amount of damage compared to 3.5. And still, it's a lvl 1 creature... I wanted to use 4.0 monsters, because they have fun variations, but thats just impossible. What's up with that? (Or is it a difference in CR systems?)
Is this guy serious? 

3.5 and 4e are completely different systems. That would be like trying to use 3e monsters in your AD&D game.

Edit: To be more informative, 4e monsters a built using a completely different method than in 3e. In 3e you build everything like a player character. In 4e you build monsters, and NPCs in easier ways so creating these things isn't such a hassle. In 4e each monster gets base stats, multipliers, and additions based on their role and monster type.

For example here is a brutes stat modifiers.
Show
Initiative bonus: 0 Hit points: 10 + Con + (Level × 10) AC: Level + 12 Other Defenses: Level + 12 Attack vs. AC*: Level + 3 Attack vs. other defense*: Level + 1 *Reduce the attack bonus by 2 for powers that affect multiple creatures.


 And what in the world is "st"?

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Is this guy serious? 

3.5 and 4e are completely different systems. That would be like trying to use 3e monsters in your AD&D game. 

hehe yeah I'm serious :P. 
Yeah I know that, but I would like to know where the difference is. You see, 4 E has some great monster ideas, like different kinds of goblins, and I would like to use that concept for my 3.5 games. But to be able to do that, I need to know why the monsters are so damn strong. Are the players that strong as well, so I just need to dumb down the HP and Attack and stuff? Or do the monsters have like some sort of limitations, so that they are easier to kill even with high hp.
The thing is, I believe I remember that the weapon damage isn't that different, like a longsword still deals somewhat of 1d8 damage. But then the HP of the monsters seem kinda high, so that seems strange to me.
I could have explained my question a bit better in the first place, I guess :P 
Is this guy serious? 

3.5 and 4e are completely different systems. That would be like trying to use 3e monsters in your AD&D game. 

hehe yeah I'm serious :P. 
Yeah I know that, but I would like to know where the difference is. You see, 4 E has some great monster ideas, like different kinds of goblins, and I would like to use that concept for my 3.5 games. But to be able to do that, I need to know why the monsters are so damn strong. Are the players that strong as well, so I just need to dumb down the HP and Attack and stuff? Or do the monsters have like some sort of limitations, so that they are easier to kill even with high hp.
The thing is, I believe I remember that the weapon damage isn't that different, like a longsword still deals somewhat of 1d8 damage. But then the HP of the monsters seem kinda high, so that seems strange to me.
I could have explained my question a bit better in the first place, I guess :P 


Yes PCs are fairly strong to begin with. For example a 1st level 4e fighter would be about on par with a 3rd or 4th level 3.x fighter. In 4e a fighter gets different types of attacks (all classes do), some are stronger than others but have a limited amount of uses. For instance you could do a melee attack that does (if we are using a longsword) 1d8 + (Str Mod) + 1/2 level, which for a level 1 fighter (without feats/class features) with 16 strength would do 1d8 + 4 damage. Then there are some attacks, the more powerful ones, that deal 2 weapon damage (think 3e multi-attacks but with one attack roll) Which would be 2d8 + 4. All at level 1. So yes monsters are harder to kill and can deal some good damage because they have to in order to keep up.

Though monster math through 4e's life has changed some by decreasing their hp by a small amount, and increasing their damage.  

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Ah, thank you. This helps. I know what to do now :P
The difference between 3e and 4e monsters isn't as simple as strength and damage.  4e and 3e are different games with very different design philosophies.

For example, 4e PCs are not just tougher than their 3e counterparts, but overall more versatile.  Fighters, for example, aren't limited to a feat chain or two.  Instead, they can impose conditions, move about the battlefield, and actively, rather than passively, protect their allies.  4e combat is a lot more tactical than 3e combat.  Movement around the battlefield is a lot more important for both PCs and monsters.  Not only did 4e do away with the stand-still-and-full-attack routine in favor of single action attacks (which should feel familiar if you've played with ToB classes), but many powers and abilities of both PCs and monsters, among other effects, grant or inhibit movement.  4e's math also scales much differently than 3e's.  For both PCs and monsters, attacks, defenses, and skill checks generally stray as far from each other as they did in 3e.  4e also has different types of monsters.  Solos, for example, are suppose to represent your boss type monsters and are worth several standard monsters in terms of balancing an encounter.  On the opposite end, you have minions, which are your disposable storm troopers that are only worth a fraction of a standard monster.  

I could keep going, but I think I made my point.  4e and 3e are different games.  And 4e monster monster design reflects those differences.

Now, with keeping some of those differences in mind, on to the constructive part.  Adapting material from one medium to another is not that hard.  This is my goto method, which applies to pretty much any medium or system:

Setting mechanics aside, simplify the target material into its core, composite parts.  What is it about the target material that you like, that you consider essential, or otherwise want to adapt.  Then, rebuild that target element in your system of choice, using that system as your frame work and simplified target material as your guide. Then balance and test until you're satisfied with the end product.  Sometimes it can be hard to force a perfect fit, but you can usually come pretty close.  And both 3e and 4e are adaptable enough to allow such translations pretty easily.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
Long story short power creep on the PCs at low levels meant you had to pump up the monsters to compensate. Short term it can be fun but mostly all it achieved was to drag out combat and they beefed up the monster math in the MM anyway. Basically they made a lot of assumptions about expected number of fights per day, length of combat etc.

 On the plus side I prefer 4th ed type monster mechanics over the complexiy of 3.5 monsters but they just have to many hot points. I have been using them in d20 homebrew D&D just adjusting the hit points down or using the stats from 3.5 tranposed onto 4th ed monsters to lower their damage. I end up with a 4th ed hobblin with 20 hit points instead of 60+ that deals damage similar to a 3.5 hob gobbo.  

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 



I have been using them in d20 homebrew D&D just adjusting the hit points down or using the stats from 3.5 tranposed onto 4th ed monsters to lower their damage. I end up with a 4th ed hobblin with 20 hit points instead of 60+ that deals damage similar to a 3.5 hob gobbo.  


Sounds good; could you give me like a sample to check out? 
Not really I just wing it. I think I have an NPC Drow though. Yeah it uses twin scimitars. I'll go and convert a BECMI Dragon to my homebrew for you using this theory. I'll blend a 4thE and BEMI Dragon to d20 homebrew.



Khazea Cyn' Bryll


Female Drow Fighter 8 Chaotic Evil


AC 24


HD 8d10+16 (68hp)


Abilities Str 11 Dex 18 Con 14 Int 15 Wis 13 Cha 14


Attacks 3/1, + 15, Damage 1d8+7 (scimitars)


+11 hand crossbow, 1d6+poison (DC15 sleep)


Weapon Proficiencies: Dagger, Finesse Fighting, Finesse Fighting Specialization, Hand Crossbow, Scimitar, Weapon Specialization:Scimitar, Two Weapon style, Two Weapon Style Specialization,


Skills: Athletics +10, Acrobatics +10, Bluff +6 Diplomacy +6 Perception +6, Ride +10, Stealth +10 Survival: (Underdark) +9


Talents: Ambidexterity, Attribute Training (dexterity+1), Combat defense (+9 AC)


Spell like Abilities: Dancing Lights, Darkness, Detect Magic, Faerie Fire, Levitate, Know Alignment,


Spell Resistance 66%


Equipment: Ring of Protection +1, X2 scimitars +2, Drow Cloak, Drow Boots, 6 daggers, hand crossbow, 20 quarrels, 4 doses of drow sleep poison

Basically the fighter can have 3 attacks as a standard action as I use the 4th ed round structure.


 Quick and Dirty BECMI/d20 conversion


Young Red Dragon (Large): AC 21


HD 7d12+ 28 hp 70; MV 90' (30')


AC 21


Saves Fort +12 Ref +8 Will +8


AT +11 2 claws/1 bite or breath weapon


Damage 1d8+4 (claw), 3d6+4 Bite


Breath Weapon 4d6 fire DC15 save for half (recharge 5,6)


AL CE


Abilities: Str 18 (+5) Dex 10 (+1) Wis 12 (+2) Con 18 (+4) Int 10 (+1) Cha 8 (+0)


Spells: First Level: ventriloquism, charm person, detect magic


Second Level: detect invisible, continual light


Third Level: dispel magic



Ability scores etc are from the white Dragon from the 4th ed MM. This Dragon is a solo for a level 3/4 party. Took just over 5 minutes to convert. Basically grab an old BECMI/AD&D monster, flip its defenses into modern d20 format and grab stuff from the 4th ed MM to flesh it out. The 3.5 MM is a bit to nutty with ability scores but I guess most 3rd and 4th ed players would recognise this Dragon and how it runs. 


 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

There are definitely several different aspects to the way 4e and its monsters are designed vs 3.5 and its monsters. You could separate out some of those and apply them back to 3.5 for sure. Zard is essentially doing that I guess. Some aspects I'd think about:

Presentation: 4e uses a very combat-focused condensed and highly structured stat-block format and power format for monsters. You could apply this to 3.5 monsters, though some details will have to be a bit different. You might also consider abstracting certain rules at the same time, as 4e's tight condition, damage type, etc all feed into making the stat blocks nice and tight.

Modular Design: This goes with the stat block concept as well. Things are very 'plugin'. A monster power, aura, trait, all are easily removed, added, or swapped. This is to some extent a presentation issue, you can usually do the same in 3.5 but it encourages a much more lego-like approach to monsters. For instance I use almost entirely customized and reskinned monsters in my games these days, but that only trivially adds to my work as a DM since I can just swap a part of a stat block out.

Power Curve: This is really a 4e thing, as you all have noted the power curves between 4e and 3.5 are a good bit different. You'll just have to adjust to go back.

Monster Types: Solo, Elite, Standard, and Minion don't really correspond to anything in 3.5 or its CR system. A 4e Solo monster has 4x the hit points and is expected to have enough multi-attacks, reactions, minor action attacks, action recovery mechanisms, etc to allow it to roughly dish out the damage of 4 standard monsters. Note that it has the defenses and attack bonuses of any other monster of its level, a Young Blue Dragon is IIRC a 5th level monster, but it is a SOLO 5th level monster, it can take on a whole level 5 party and be a decent fight (actually maybe more like a 2nd or 3rd level party would have a TOUGH fight with it, the level 5s would find it an ordinary encounter). In any case, in 3.5's CR system if you want to give a monster a lot more hit points you automatically increase its other stats, so it works a bit differently. A CR5 dragon would have core stats pretty much the same as a CR5 orc, whereas in 4e the orc is a Standard monster, or possibly an Elite (double hit points and some added attack output, takes the place of 2 Standard monsters as roughly a sort of 'mini boss').

Monster Roles: You can definitely translate this over, its just a guideline anyway. All 4e monsters are built to be one of Brute, Lurker, Skirmisher, Soldier, Controller, or Artillery. Normally their stats are tweaked slightly based on these distinctions and the powers/traits they get are granted with their role in mind. So a Brute will do a bit more damage. A lurker will have a power that requires some sort of setup but does high spike damage (usually its designed to be a surprise type of thing, but some monsters snatch and grab or do other similar things). This really doesn't have to be explicit, but its a nice way to think about monster design and I think you will find that a lot of the less successful monsters in all editions are ones that fail to take on a clear role.

You may want to go through the DDN monsters and look at them. They are clearly in some sense 'post 4e' in design, but the system is less like 4e overall, and some might even say (at the risk of a flame war) pretty much 3e in many respects.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
D&DN monsters to me resemble more of a d20 AD&D monster type with 4th ed influence. I think most comparisons with 3.5 in regards to D&DN monster are because is is d20 and not following the 4th ed monster designing things so hard although I personally like some abilities like the +2 AC thing for hobgoblins fighting adjacent to each other. That Dragon above was acually a copy and past and update from a BECMI module and it is really easy to adapt from BECMI/AD&D to D&DN once you add ability score to monsters which the old ones lacked. A BECMI Ogre for example has say +3 to hit and deals 1d8 damage but updated to d20 it gets 18 strength and 1d8 becomes +7 to hit  1d8+4 or ad8+6 damage. To add ability score to old monsters one can wing it, use the 2nd ed High Level Camapign book to do it or grab an approximate creature from any d20 game and steal their scores.

4th ed creatures (or at least most of the basic ones) can convert easier than 3.5 ones once you adjust the level and hit points. 4th ed critters low damage by 3rd ed standards is actually good when you run d20 retroclones of AD&D and tweaking 4th eds ability scores is a similar deal if you want to run a critter in D&DN. Once you convert a critter to d20 format it is not a huge step to add it to d20 AD&D/BECMI or D&DN. Even if 4th eds bloat in terms of levels can help. Ogres are usually 4HD or so so an 8 hit dice 4th ed one can just be an advanced ogre in BECMI/AD&D/D&DN.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Fun with numbers, conversions.

4th ed Ogre.

Ogre Savage Level 8 Brute
Large natural humanoid XP 350
Initiative +4 Senses Perception +4
HP 111; Bloodied 55

AC 19; Fortitude 21, Reflex 16, Will 16
Speed 8
 Greatclub (standard; at-will)  Weapon
Reach 2; +11 vs. AC; 1d10 + 5 damage.
Angry Smash (standard; recharge 6 )  Weapon
The ogre savage makes a greatclub attack, but gets two attack
rolls and takes the better result.
Alignment Chaotic evil
Languages Giant
Str 21 (+9) Dex 11 (+4) Wis 11 (+4)
Con 21 (+9) Int 4 (+1) Cha 6 (+2)
Equipment hide armor, greatclub

D&DN


Ogre Savage Level 8 
Large natural humanoid 
HP 88

AC 19
Speed 8
Attack +6 vs 1d10 + 5 damage.
Reach 2
Alignment Chaotic evil
Languages Giant
Str 21 (+9) Dex 11 (+4) Wis 11 (+4)
Con 21 (+9) Int 4 (+1) Cha 6 (+2)
Equipment hide armor, greatclub


 Homebrew/Myth and Magic
 
Ogre Savage Level 8 
Large natural humanoid 
HP 88

AC 19
Saves Fort +13 Ref +8 Will +7
Speed 8
Attack +6 vs 1d10 + 5 damage.
Reach 2
Alignment Chaotic evil
Languages Giant
Str 21 (+9) Dex 11 (+4) Wis 11 (+4)
Con 21 (+9) Int 4 (+1) Cha 6 (+2)
Equipment hide armor, greatclub 


AD&D
Hit Dice 8
Hit Points 48
AC 1
Speed 120
THACO 13
Attack 1, dmg 1d10 club
Alignment Chaotic evil
Languages Giant


BECMI
Hit Dice 8
Hit Points 40
AC 1
Saves F8
MV120
Attack 1, dmg 1d8 club 
Alignment Chaotic 
Languages Giant

 It might be missing a few things for AD&D/BECMI but it is usable, took about 10 minutes to do this. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer