I'm going to run a 4E game soon and am plowing through the rules. I figure I need to have a monster "cheat sheet" rather than having as much detail as the Monster Manual offers.
What is the "need to know" list regarding monsters?
I'm thinking that I need: 1. Hit bonus 2. Damage 3. Each of their 4 defense numbers (AC, F, R, W) 4. Hit points (with "bloodied" and "healing surge" number)
Marv / Finarvyn DCC playtester (2011) S&W WhiteBox author (2009) C&C playtester (2003) Builder of the TrollBridge for T&T; Amber Diceless player since 1993 OD&D Player since 1975; Metamorphosis Alpha since 1976
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!" - Dave Arneson
You can find the tables for these in DMG p.184, but I would highly recommend using the revised tables in the DMG II. The guidelines presented in the first Dungeon Master's guide give monsters too many hit points, not enough damage, and ridiculously high defenses. This is one of the main reasons why many 4E encounters feel too grindy. The guidelines in the second volume speed things up a lot. WotC actually used completely different guidelines for the monsters in the third Monster Manual, but they have yet to publish tables for them.
Post by wheelsonmeals on Aug 22, 2010 14:17:48 GMT -6
For better or worse, you can't really trim it down a whole heck of a lot as you really need to know the specific things that each different monster can do. That's the bread & butter of what differentiating combats in 4e is all about.
I tend to reorganize it a bit when I DM: - Core stuff at top: Initiative bonus, hp, Spd, all defs, resistances, weaknesses, auras - Powers in order from basic attacks to other at-wills to rechargeables to encounters to special things (immediates, random modifiers, etc.)
The more you DM, the more you start to develop your own shorthand and way of managing everything, but it's definitely more of a bear than even 3e was for this.
I second the recommendation to make modifications to reduce the grind/suck factor of some creatures. If you're using monsters from the first MM, make these changes: - Soldiers: -2 atk bonus across the board - Brutes: +2 atk bonus across the board - Elites/Solos: -2 defs across the board
You could go back to the tables and rebuild critters from the ground up, but making those changes should honestly cover a lot of what needs to be done. The current tables (used in MM3 design) can be found on page 7 of www.wizards.com/dnd/files/UpdateDMG.pdf. There are, of course, reams of "Rules Updates" that can be applied. Most of them do actually fix genuinely broken stuff, but your need and mileage may vary as always.