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View Full Version : Creating Simpler Stat Blocks 4e



wizarddog
01-15-2010, 12:37 AM
I missed the easy data for monsters in the day of 1e where a single line of text could describe a monsters stats well enough. Since 3e, we have gotten into these incredibly long stat blocks that just are a pain to type out or to copy all of the time for encounters. I am developing a system that shortens the stat block for 4e creatures by giving information needed on the fly.

1. The stat block is not a substitution for knowing what the monster is. The DM should have the stat block available to them if needed. The DM should know the creature regarding its type and subtype and should make notes if PC's have abilities that effect those stats. The purpose of the block is to allow the DM information relevant to the combat situation.

2. The role of the creature and its type are left off to save space. And there is no reason to have XP value. DM should know what that was when they designed the encounter. Level has been left on the block because it will be used as a measuring tool .

The Solo and Elite type should be tagged on so DM's know that those creatures should get +2 or 5 on saves and action points. They will also know that all recharged powers should reset when a Solo is bloodied and that they have 2 standard actions.

Size is also a indicator so you will want to indicate the creatures size for the correct mini to be used.

3. Hit point Bloodied number. This has been left off but if you wish to have it you can to keep track of bloodied conditions more accurately. I would only use it if the creature or PC gains some boon while bloodied.

4. Various items have been left off the stat block because they become repetitive. All attacks/powers are assumed to be standard; at will powers. Those that required any other action will be denoted in parenthesis (minor) (move) (immediate) (free) (encounter)(recharge). All designated as (encounter) will be assumed to be standard actions. If not then they will be designated; (minor;encounter) for example.

5. All attacks will assume to be natural or weapon keywords. Those of specific keywords will be listed and the damage will be indicated as well. Extra effects will be added to the line. For example: Fireraging Greatsword (Fire) +26 vs AC; 2d6+9 plus 4d6 (fire); push 2; marked.

Unless stated as a (save ends), all powers effects last until the monsters next turn.

6. Here is the tricky part. A creatures ability scores and skills become very redundant information until something specifically calls upon them to be utilized. If Wizards had bothered to make things work on formula, this would be an easy calculation, but they didn't follow such a formula when designing monsters. Instead you have to wing it somewhat.

The easiest is to subtract 12 on FORT/REF/WILL for monsters level 1-10 to determined the modifier and subtract 16 on monsters AC/FORT/REF/WILL levels 11-20 to determine modifiers. Use FORT for Constitution and Strength, Reflex for Dexterity and Will for Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma. So if you need a modifier for strength for a monster level 7 to get out of grab, you subtract the creatures Fort by 13 to find it. So a creature with a 20 Fortitude would have a modifier of +7. This is just a quick way of doing the check without having to refer to the book.

7. Skill Checks. As above but add 5 to the roll should you think the creature would have that skill trained.


Examples of Stat Blocks

Galeb Dubr Earthbreaker: Level 8 IN+4 PER +12 (Tremor Sense 10) SPD 4 (earth walk) Burrow 6 Hp 74 AC 22 FORT 23 REF 18 WILL 20; Slam +13 vs AC;1d8+6 Hurl Stones: Area Burst 1 within 10 +13 vs AC 1d10+6 Difficult terrain. Shockwave (recharge 5 or 6) Close Burst 2; +14 vs Fort; 1d6+6 push 1 and knock prone.

Fire Titian(Huge) Level 21( Elite) IN +18 PER +18 SPD 8 Hp 398/199 AC 39; FORT 36 REF 33 WILL 33 Resit Fire 30 Fireraging Greatsword (Fire)Reach 3; +26 vs AC; 2d6+9 plus 4d6 (fire); push 2; marked. Double Attack (x2 Greatsword attacks); Hurl Lava (recharge 5 or 6) (fire) Rng20 +24 vs Reflex; 4d6+6 (fire); immoblized; Burning Waves (fire) Close Burst 5; +24 vs Reflex; 2d10 (fire) ongoing 10 (fire) (save ends) Miss: 1d10 (fire)

Hezrou (Large) Level 22 IN +16 PER +16;darkvision SPD 6 Hp 255/127 AC 34; FORT 36 REF 32 WILL 32 Resist Variable 20 (2/encounter) Noxious Stench (Poison) Aura 2; -2 to attack rolls;when bloodied targets are weakened; Slam reach 2; +25vs AC 2d10+9; Bite Reach 2; +25 vs AC; 2d8+9 Combination (Slam and Bite); Demonic Step: ignore difficult terrain

Goblin Blackblade (small) Level 1 IN+7 PER +1;low light SPD 6 Hp25 AC 16 FORT 12 REF 14 WILL 11; Shortsword +5 vs AC; 1d6+2; Combat Advantage +1d6, Goblin Tactics (immediate) shift 1 if missed by melee attack; Sneaky Goblin may swap positions with ally on shift

Blydden
01-15-2010, 02:01 AM
...I like the idea, I just can't bring myself to like the result of this...it seems so...empty...

(It is still a good idea though, just not for me. Maybe I like the light and dark green colors or something.)

kkriegg
01-15-2010, 09:58 AM
Eh... whatever works for you. Personally, I like the stat blocks just the way they are.

jonnyrockshard
01-18-2010, 05:32 PM
While the new stat blocks seem smaller.... they also look too cramped, and just plain difficult to navigate, at least for myself. If that's your style then go for it though, and it looks like it accomplishes what you wanted to do so yeah.