July 5, 2008

Monster Creation

So, I've been reading through the 4E DMG and MM and I just want to say: encounter, monster, and potentially combatant NPC creation seems easier than ever.

Encounters are just an issue of sticking monsters together until they hit a certain XP goal for your party's size and level. So, no more "two CR 5 monsters equal a CR 7 encounter" which is just a little insane.

Unless you need to make a really custom monster, there are simple enough creation rules in the DMG. Of course, there's still an option that's always been available to DMs: re-skin them. Call an existing monster something different, change any relevant descriptions and voila! Instantly new monster. What's great about this is that now it's actually suggested in the DMG.

NPC creation is similar, but there's one great thing that's out there now with the way that PC powers work. No longer does a special power mean that the NPC has to have a magic item providing it (or a spellbook including it), which means there's no obligation to provide such an item as loot.

Even better: the DMG spells out the expected item loadouts per character level, so there's not guessing and there's no "I should XXXXXXgp worth of items".