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Using 1e Modules for 4e: On the Fly Powers

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Making Power on the Fly
I talked about the 1e to 4e conversion in the previous post and noted the lack of power in the monsters besides their basic attacks. One of the aspects of 4e is the ability of DM's to create with monsters abilities they think would be a great challenges or story elements. I personally follow a more story aspect in DMing, as I am not a great strategist. So here are some on-the fly abilities I can apply to my monsters that require no real extra designing *i.e I am not going to bother with stating out the monster for it). Some of these power are what PC can do anyway, so they won;t cry foul if it happens to them.

On the Fly Abilities:
Use these with monster that really have nothing going for them. I would recommend only 1 such power buy if you get a good theme going (ie, Flaming aura, sword, ongoing damage), you can pull off more.

Mark: Give the creature a mark and it will make the players think twice on who they attack. Add another penalty to the mark to make it memorable like damage or a free attack if ignored. Marks on other defenders, though, tend to be not as effective as you would hope. Marks and running away are pretty effective.

Dual Weapons: An easy thing to add is to give the creature two weapons it fights with. This allows you to give them that threatening look of a an expert swordsman, and you can give him a very simple twin strike ability that is the bane of many marking defenders.

Shield Bash: This is another really nifty ability for a heavily armored foe, to bash foes with his shield. Not only does it do damage, but can push a target. You may also allow it to knock prone on a charge.

Furious Smash: A blow that dazes, slows or immobilizes a target and does double the damage. Should be a recharge.

Whip or Spike chain: Nothing says trip attack than a reach tripping attack. Even better, you can target reflex and no one is the wiser.

Flaming Weapon: Everything goes better with fire. Nothing makes an impression than a flaming weapon (See Fellowship of the Ring). You can add an additional +1d6 per tier of Fire damage on every hit. You can refluff the sword to be a icy blade, a blade of crackling electricity, a dark blade of the void, etc.

Hit and Run: A creature that can hit before or after a shift is a good way to make then tricky. For a “dervish dance”, allow then to move their speed and hit any foe in their path.

Shake it Off: This ability allows the creature to shake off those pesky conditions. This is usually a immediate reaction encounter or recharge power.

Flaming Aura: In the saying “everything goes better with fire”, a aura 1 doing 5 points of fire damage on those who enter or start their turn will do wonders. You can re-fluff it to be any element or damage you choose.

Ongoing Damage: A gloaming cut, a burning sword, an poisonous bite all have ongoing damage potential of 5 (save ends).

Grab and Toss: This my favorite for large creatures as an effect rather than a strategy. On a hit they do damage, grab and as a free action throw the character a few square away landing them prone. It is very effective at keeping a fight going for longer and not doing a lot of damage to the PC's if they are over matched. It also is useful in skill challenge/battle where the PC's need to get to another place and the bruiser is preventing them.

Flyby attack: The staple of the flying creature. Moving and attack at the same time without provoking attacks of opportunity. Every dragon should have one.

Riposte Strike: The monster can strike back when they are hit. Nuff said. You could make this a “when bloodied” reaction.

Sneak Attack: Makes flanking something you want every turn. Give your monsters only +1d6 at level 1-4, +2d6 at level 5-10.

Themes: With these basic powers you can packed them into quick and ready use powers for your monster.

The Bruiser: Furious Smash, Grab and Toss, and Shake it off.

The Sneak: Hit and Run, On ongoing damage, Sneak attack

The Skirmisher: Dual weapon, Hit and Run, Mark

The Soldier: Shield Bash, Mark, Furious Smash

The Gladiator: Whip/Spike Chain, Riposte Strike, Shield Bash

The Badass: Flaming Aura, Flaming Weapon, Ongoing Damage

The Dragon: Flaming Aura, Shake it off, Flyby attack, Grab and Toss, Furious Smash

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