preplanned encounters no longer required?

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http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=906381

"An interesting note, though, that the players didn't even pick up on was that I didn't start the session with stat blocks for the spiders. I knew I wanted the small spiders to use webs to trap the PCs and pull them closer, and I wanted the large spider to be a more significant melee threat. With a couple of notes on those abilities, and using a generic set of level-appropriate attack bonuses and defenses, I was able to generate those monsters nearly entirely on the fly."

I usually create my own monsters rather than using the ones from the monsterous manual. As you can imagine, in 3.5 this was pretty difficult. There were a whole bunch of rules that you were supposed to follow (and I followed them, silly me) to come up with monsters. Back in 2e all you need to do was to write down hp, thac0, AC, and damage, and notes on special abilities.

So, does anyone think that generic monster stat guidelines will ship in the game? Or will we be expected to spend hours crafting our monsters by hand if we want to use the 4e rules as is.

More time should be spent in sessions than in preparation. I was spending something like 20 hours in preparation for a four hour session. Was fun to do it once in my life.

So how else will the new edition support making up stuff on the fly?
http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=906381

"An interesting note, though, that the players didn't even pick up on was that I didn't start the session with stat blocks for the spiders. I knew I wanted the small spiders to use webs to trap the PCs and pull them closer, and I wanted the large spider to be a more significant melee threat. With a couple of notes on those abilities, and using a generic set of level-appropriate attack bonuses and defenses, I was able to generate those monsters nearly entirely on the fly."

I usually create my own monsters rather than using the ones from the monsterous manual. As you can imagine, in 3.5 this was pretty difficult. There were a whole bunch of rules that you were supposed to follow (and I followed them, silly me) to come up with monsters. Back in 2e all you need to do was to write down hp, thac0, AC, and damage, and notes on special abilities.

So, does anyone think that generic monster stat guidelines will ship in the game? Or will we be expected to spend hours crafting our monsters by hand if we want to use the 4e rules as is.

More time should be spent in sessions than in preparation. I was spending something like 20 hours in preparation for a four hour session. Was fun to do it once in my life.

So how else will the new edition support making up stuff on the fly?

I do this all the time in 3e for minor random encounters. Generally all you need is BAB, damage. HP and AC, possibly a minor special attack. I only worry about the exact details if it a key monster, liable to show up again or is weird enough that I have to be careful about balance. Other details I work out on the fly if they become important, otherwise I just wing them.

Still, a table of what the normal values for regular monsters at each level would be nice. You can really do that right now with the information at the front of the monster manuals, but it isn't laid out in a way to make that easy.

I'm little worried that it will become too standardized though. There needs to be an explanation of how to adapt the monsters to the party size, and the number of monsters. And how to adjust their power based on the number and magnitude of special abilities.

But if done right, it will be a big help. I know it took me a long time to get the art of building monsters down when I was learning back in the 1e days. I often had to revise the monsters in the middle of combat because I made their special abilities too good or too bad.

Jay