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4.0 monsters
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Thread: 4.0 monsters

  1. #1
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    4.0 monsters

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    One other thing I noticed, monsters can be horrifying. The 4.0 intro modules from game day put first level characters against a young white dragon (level 3 solo brute). I used no tactics for the dragon (even though a host of them were supplied), just had it wade in and start breathing and attacking. It demolished a party of adventurers. I wonder if it was supposed to be a fair challenge or were the players supposed to lose unless they had a really good plan? Did anyone else play the game day adventures? Did you beat the dragon?

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    I didn't make Game Day, but the first encounter I ran in my game was pretty much balanced- it was for five charas, so 500 xp budget, and we had four, so that made it a Lv 2 encounter, so still under the "Average" category.

    Setup was the party comes across two Blackblade goblins (200), seven Cutter goblins (was short 1 mini for a set of eight)(175), and a Fire Beetle (100). The monsters neglected their powers a bit due to my inattentiveness, and while the party triumphed handily, most of them used their Daily powers to do so.

    The party consisted of Ranger, Paladin, Cleric, Warlord, so very leader-heavy and controller-light, which wasn't ideal against all the minions. That and the Ranger missed with almost every attack due to bad luck.

    I suspect I could have taken the party out with that setup if I were at the top of my game, which I think is a good thing. That just meant I could have stepped up the tactics of the remaining foes if the party started mowing through them. As it was, it was a good challenge and fun was had by all.

    Solo mob two levels up? I think they'd be toast. A dragon would have munched the Striker (living with the -2 from the Paladin's challenge for the opportunity to remove the only real damage-dealer), and then mopped up the rest of the party at leisure.

    Bottom line- stick with level plus one until the group gets into their stride and the encounters start becoming routine. Then reach for the real threats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starfalconkd View Post
    It demolished a party of adventurers. I wonder if it was supposed to be a fair challenge or were the players supposed to lose unless they had a really good plan?
    In talking with the adventure designers at D&D Experience, the first 4e adventures were built to combat the opinion that a lot of people had at the time that 4e battles would be a walk in the park with all the new powers and abilities PCs had (including much higher lvl 1 HP). They purposely wanted to show that 4e does improve the staying power of level 1 characters, but they are certainly not unbeatable.

    Also, what better way to really learn all about your character when you realize you've got a possible TPK on your hands? You have to learn how every bit of your character works (healing, bonuses, daily/encounter/at-will powers) to have that chance, and you also realize how well the PCs work together in their new roles. Finally, yes, you learn about how the dying rules work (which I personally dislike).

    I wonder how many people that Wizards put off by making the first adventures so challenging though... a TPK is not a great way to convince people to buy a new system.

    Developer for Darkage Warlord, a Pen & Paper Games exclusive Medieval Wargame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    I wonder how many people that Wizards put off by making the first adventures so challenging though... a TPK is not a great way to convince people to buy a new system.
    Honestly, as a dm, I hate murdering a whole party with such ease. If a party has a good long fight and loses, it's disappointing but can still be a good time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starfalconkd View Post
    Honestly, as a dm, I hate murdering a whole party with such ease. If a party has a good long fight and loses, it's disappointing but can still be a good time.
    Agreed. A perfect finale battle for a session is one where every character had to fight for their very life but come out on top by the skin of their teeth. Seems WoTC went overboard with the first adventures.

    Developer for Darkage Warlord, a Pen & Paper Games exclusive Medieval Wargame.

    If you are in the DC metro area and like to trade D&D minis (1.0 or 2.0), please send me a PM!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    Agreed. A perfect finale battle for a session is one where every character had to fight for their very life but come out on top by the skin of their teeth. Seems WoTC went overboard with the first adventures.
    On the Game Day, as in many Cons, it always looks to me that "Dying" in battle is more frequent since there is an assumption that you won't be playing that character anyway. So the DM feels less regret at killing someone. Also you don't reach "Gargantuan Size" by not killing adventurers.

    Quote Originally Posted by gdmcbride View Post
    However, character death at climatic points is something I tend to encourage. It makes the climaxes more memorable. If I have a villian that the players have really taken to hating, then I love for him to kill a PC. That really gets the blood up.
    Although I would normally run it like the above, the 4E "Death/Dying" system seems to me fair enough to add some tension and sense or urgency to those players that are still standing. Sometimes you got to cut your losses, take your fallen comrade and return other day.
    Saluti
    Carlos

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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    We played against a young white dragon just last Saturday in our 4.0 module. It was a close call, but we prevailed. Of course having 6 players and a cleric helped, expecially the cleric.

    Thoth-Amon
    Last edited by Arch Lich Thoth-Amon; 06-25-2008 at 06:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoth-Amon View Post
    We played against a young white dragon just last Saturday in our 4.0 module. It was a close, but we prevailed. Of course having 6 players and a cleric helped, expecially the cleric.

    Thoth-Amon
    yeah no kidding right?! I thought I was going to be rolling up a new character when the DM pulled that sucker out and put it on the map. Cleric's are awesome in 4th edition.

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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamerath View Post
    yeah no kidding right?! I thought I was going to be rolling up a new character when the DM pulled that sucker out and put it on the map. Cleric's are awesome in 4th edition.
    The thought did enter my mind too for a moment.

    Thoth-Amon

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    Our party did fairly well against the young white dragon, primarily because we had a warlord with a tactical presence, and a cleric.
    "You know spies gamers, a bunch of *****y little girls." - Sam Axe

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    Has anyone tried to Run 4E Characters vs 3.X Monsters, straight from the 3.X Monster Manual?

    No adaptations .... Is a 3.X CR 3 Monster fodder for a 4E Level 3 Party?
    Saluti
    Carlos

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    When it comes to books I just use all the monster manuals because they all have different types of monsters. 4.0 has some strange unusual creatures while other books has different ones. If they kept all the monsters in 1 manual then I'd stick with 1 but that is not the case. And then of course you have the custom creatures to throw in. That's why i'm not too fond of actual stories, they take away the creativity from a story and that "what if" factor. But then again in the same breath I use a different leveling system than tthe 4.0 book. If no one else is going to say it then I am. It is too easy to level up in the game! Seriously my best character would be at level 8 by now if I used the Book's system but because I run something different he's at lvl 5. I mean all you need to do is kill a monster with like over 3000 HP and you level up like 2-3 times. And the thing is all you gotta do is walk up to it and kick the thing and then that character can simply level charactturn and run for the hills and still get EXP while the higher characters butcher it up.

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