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 Post subject: [4e] Monster Attack Stats
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:18 am 
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New to 4e so I'm probably just confused about something stupid or that I misread.

Trying to work out the base attack bonuses for certain 4e monsters and can't for the life of me do it. As an example, the Dwarf Bolter that appears in Forges of the Mountain King and on p. 97 of the MM. Basic melee attack is listed as a warhammer at +8. This is a 4th level monster (so half-level is +2), with a STR of 14 (another +2) using a warhammer (yet another +2). This totals out to +6...I'm obviously off but not sure why.

Again, new to 4e so convinced I'm just missing something obvious. Go easy on me... :)

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: [4e] Monster Attack Stats
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:51 am 
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As far as I understand, game-mechanics for monsters and for PCs in D&D4 is different. For monsters, it's something like "keep attack bonus around Level + 5 and don't sweat". See DMG pg.184. One of 4E principle is that you don't have to worry about adding lots of numbers during preparation. The downside is that you can't deconstruct monster stats.


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 Post subject: Re: [4e] Monster Attack Stats
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:22 am 
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EvilCat wrote:
As far as I understand, game-mechanics for monsters and for PCs in D&D4 is different. For monsters, it's something like "keep attack bonus around Level + 5 and don't sweat". See DMG pg.184. One of 4E principle is that you don't have to worry about adding lots of numbers during preparation. The downside is that you can't deconstruct monster stats.


Hmm...fair enough. I guess that if I were to think on that rule, I'd be glad for it. Still, that seems a bit out of place in the instance in which we have PC races turned into monsters. I guess the incongruity is the price of having a fairly simple rule for constructing monsters from scratch.

Thanks for the help!


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 Post subject: Re: [4e] Monster Attack Stats
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:18 am 
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Hi Fat Action Figure,

Don’t worry, you’re not alone; I’m a 4E designer, and I can’t even make sense of the inconsistencies in the Monster Manual half the time. :D

As you have certainly learned, monsters stats aren’t as straightforward in 4E as they were in 3.5E. There’s more wiggle room – artistic license, even. However, there are some underlying rules that form the basis of a monster’s attack bonuses, and it’s based on the monster’s role (artillery, brute, controller, skirmisher, etc.) and which defense the monster is attacking. Let me break down the basic attack bonuses for attacks against AC (the most common) for the various roles, as written in the DMG:

Artillery – Level +7
Brute – Level +3
Controller – Level +5
Lurker – Level +5
Skirmisher – Level +5
Soldier – Level +7

Now, the attack bonuses above only represent a melee or ranged attack against a single opponent; they can actually change with attacks that affect multiple opponents; and change again if the monster’s attack targets another defense (Fort, Ref, Will). In addition, these are only the base line bonuses; designers often increase or decrease them by a few points (usually decrease) if it is appropriate for the monster. Also, you’ll notice that the monster’s ability scores play no part in the determination of its attack bonus.

Okay, let’s look at the dwarf bolter you mentioned. He’s a level 4 artillery; so his basic attacks against AC should be +11 (level 4 plus 7). However, you can see that the MM designers have decided to adjust that a bit. His warhammer attack is only +8, and his crossbow attack is only +10. This is actually pretty common for monsters with the artillery role. Since they are ranged attack monsters, their melee attack is usually 2 to 3 points lower than their ranged attack. This is true in the case of the dwarf bolter; in addition, the designer saw fit to adjust the bolter’s attack bonuses down by 1 point.

Damage does factor in the monster’s ability score bonuses, and is fairly consistent throughout the Monster Manual. In the case of the dwarf bolter, his Strength of 14 gives him a +2 bonus to damage rolls with his warhammer; and his 16 Dexterity gives him a +3 bonus to damage rolls with his crossbow.

Okay, that’s the very basics. Just remember, 4E takes a more of a “get-it-in-the-ballpark” approach to monster stats, which is a huge departure from 3.5E monster stats. Once you get used to that, it’s actually a lot of fun designing monsters – and a lot less work! :D

BD

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Aeryn "Blackdirge" Rudel


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 Post subject: Re: [4e] Monster Attack Stats
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:46 pm 
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Blackdirge wrote:
Okay, that’s the very basics. Just remember, 4E takes a more of a “get-it-in-the-ballpark” approach to monster stats, which is a huge departure from 3.5E monster stats. Once you get used to that, it’s actually a lot of fun designing monsters – and a lot less work! :D

Which is a bit problematic to me. I wrote a 4e monster editor (you can see the output at http://identicalsoftware.com/coco/monsterlist.php). Ever since I just hate designing 3.5E stats. It is so much more work. :)

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 Post subject: Re: [4e] Monster Attack Stats
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:54 am 
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dulsi wrote:
Blackdirge wrote:
Okay, that’s the very basics. Just remember, 4E takes a more of a “get-it-in-the-ballpark” approach to monster stats, which is a huge departure from 3.5E monster stats. Once you get used to that, it’s actually a lot of fun designing monsters – and a lot less work! :D

Which is a bit problematic to me. I wrote a 4e monster editor (you can see the output at http://identicalsoftware.com/coco/monsterlist.php). Ever since I just hate designing 3.5E stats. It is so much more work. :)


I agree, it's just too much work. i wish there was a way to make it easier and less time consuming.


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