Oct 29, 2008

4E makes monster creation fun again! - Revised

Good morning all! And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

This is an edited repost, as Thanks to Graham of www.criticalanklebites.com I have made some minor adjustments to Shkrem and his minions. Enjoy!

I am finding that the more I use Asmor's monster maker 3.1, the more I enjoy making monsters! While simplistic on the surface, the new system makes modifying and hybridizing critters so easy, I suspect I may be missing something :-)
Here is another encounter core that I am polishing up on, a dread necromancer was brought low by a group of adventurers. They hounded him from one end of this valley to the next, until the final battle at a secluded box canyon known as the tar pits. While Shkrem the unclean was slain, he took the heroes who did him in to the grave as well. Later, when he arose as a wraith-ish creature, he bound the spirits of the heroes that slew him for an eternity of torment.
Now the party has the opportunity to put him down for good. And collect some sweet treasure sunk down in the tar pits. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Shkrem the unclean, and his bound spirit band!
Still trying to find an optimal resolution and such, but that is but a minor concern. Next up is to begin mapping encounter areas. I like the concept of having an "interactive" combat environment, ala terrain and such, most of it seems a bit contrived. We shall see if I can pull it off. Until next time, Game on!


DBV said...

Hey, nice write up! I'm kind of shocked, because I've been working on a Halloween themed encounter, and ended up with a Level 8 Elite Controller (Leader) that summons minions as he goes. Odd, but your design has given me a few more ideas to fine tune it. I also love Asmor's program. Here's to easy monster-making!

Graham said...

A couple comments. In Blackfire:

"Shkrem regenerates the surge amount immediately."

This is probably a poor way to handle things.

First, the wording "regenerates" isn't the best, as regeneration is a different mechanic.

But more importantly, you can affect up to 49 creatures with this, and the amount healed is dependent on how much each of their individual healing surges is worth.

I'd recommend the following changes:

Blackfire (Standard, encounter, recharges 6) - Fire, Necrotic
Area 2 within 6, +12 vs Fort, 2d8+5 fire and necrotic damage, and save or lose 1 healing surge. Shkrem regerates 10 hp for every surge lost in this way.

Additionally, Death's Chill Grasp should probably be a zone. Also with a recharge of 5 or 6, he can basically fill the battlefield with this. Try this:

Death's Chill Grasp (Standard, encounter, recharge 6) - Zone
This power creates a zone of Area 3 within 8 squares. Skeletal hands burst from the earth, clawing at the enemy's feet.
Any enemy of Shkrem that starts its turn within the area or moves into the area is subject to the following attack:
+12 vs Reflex, 1d8+5 damage and immobilized (save ends).

Let's see... Call of the Grave is disjointed. It requires an action, but then is always active, but recharges... How about:

Aura 5: Call of the Grave
Each round on Shkrem's initiative, 3 Bound Spirit minions materialize within the aura. They act on Shkrem's initiative, and may act the round they materialize.

Graham said...

Oh, one more comment, this time about the Bound Spirit.

Maddening Touch is far, far too powerful.

Constantly-appearing undead that impose cumulative penalties to a defense ("Will save"? What's that?) are a bit much.

You could make the effect non-cumulative, but that defeats the feeling of being swarmed that I think you're going for. So how about this:

Maddening Touch (Standard) - Necrotic
+9 vs Will, 5 damage and a -1 (cumulative) penalty to Will defense (max -5) until the start of the Bound Spirit's next turn.

It's still a bit much, if you have a lot of Bound Spirits on the table, which is why I included the "max -5" caveat. Without that, you could (with planning) impose a -16 penalty to Will Defense in a single turn, which just gets higher and higher.

I'd also recommend that Swarm of Shades provide a bonus to damage, rather than attack.

Donny_the_Dm said...

GRAHAM! Where ya been!?

Long time no see :)

Thanks for the feedback, the devil is always in the details eh? Good suggestions. That is definitely more what I had in mind - it just needed some better articulation.

Get your 4E game going yet?

Graham said...

Not a problem, man. I've just been crazy busy lately.

The 4e game has begun. Watch for a post about it soon.

Donny_the_Dm said...

I'll make the changes tonight, and update tomorrow.

Thanks Graham, easy to lose the forest for the trees when building a new killing machine :)

Mad Brew said...

Cool villain, I dig necromancers.

I've been working with Asmor's Monster Maker as well, but I just copy the html and paste it in the page (and of course added the css to my style sheet).

Of course I don't know how Blogger works or if it is possible.