Podcasts Archive | 10/5/2007
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Monsters, Monsters, Monsters
Dave Noonan & Mike Mearls

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Don't just read about D&D's latest news and announcements -- listen to them as well! And where better to find inside information than from the very halls of Wizards of the Coast? Presenting Episode 16: Monsters, Monsters, Monsters!

Last time, Dave Noonan and Mike Mearls fielded many of your questions in regards to 4th Edition. This time, Dave put forth his own questions to Mike and James Wyatt, regarding the 4E Monster Manual:

Questions

1:01: Where are we with the 4E Monster Manual, in terms of its development?

1:52: What was the criteria for which monsters made the cut into the Manual?

3:40: Were there any monsters that you particularly advocated to include?

  • The 1st Edition Fiend Folio monster that can create a copy of itself? That would be the berbalang… or at least an astral copy of itself.

5:24: The flipside; were there any monsters you advocated to not include?

  • What’s a guardinal? Actually, denizens of the NG plane of Elysium.
  • Bytopia, also known as the Twin Paradises, was the LG/NG plane of existence.

8:20: What are monster roles?

10:00: How are existing monsters converted to 4th Edition monsters?

13:00: What monsters had good essence but bad execution in 3rd Edition (and that you’ll improve in 4E)?

15:25: What monsters came out quite differently, mechanically speaking?

16:40: Any monsters that fundamentally changed in their concept?

  • The lamia, in Greek mythology, had the upper torso of woman and the lower body of serpent. This look did change and vary considerably through the editions.

17:40: How do monsters relate to their world?

  • The 1st Edition algoid was a colony of algae, with mobility and a rudimentary intelligence.

19:20: Any monsters make big level (or “CR” in 3E parlance) moves?

20:40: Can you give any examples of good/new monster powers/attacks?

23:41: When it comes to using monsters, which ones do you love to throw at players?

24:50: How do monster powers work, as compared to PC powers?

Test

Populate the following encounters with suitable monsters:

  • 12th level PCs, in the Underdark
  • 8th level PCs, in the forest
  • 3rd level PCs, guarding a caravan on the road
  • 15th level PCs, in Dispater’s fortress

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About the Hosts

Mike Mearls is the dark hope of chaotic evil: young, handsome, well endowed in abilities and aptitudes, thoroughly wicked, depraved, and capricious. Whomever harms Mearls had better not brag of it in the presence of one who will inform the Demoness Lolth!

Evil to the core, Mearls is cunning, and if the situation appears in doubt, he will use bribery and honeyed words to sway the balance in his favor. He is not at all adverse to gaining new recruits of any sort, and will gladly accept adventurers into the ranks, but he will test and try them continually. Those who arouse suspicion will be quietly murdered in their sleep; those with too much promise will be likewise dealt with, for Mearls wants no potential usurpers or threats to his domination.

David Noonan is a designer/developer for Wizards of the Coast. His credits include co-designing Dungeon Master's Guide II, Heroes of Battle, and numerous products for the Eberron campaign setting. He lives in Washington state with his wife, son, and daughter.