Excerpts Archive | 5/2/2008
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Excerpts: Swordwings
4th Edition Monster Manual

Swordwings are supreme collectors, gathering rare items and arranging them in galleries within their cavernous lairs. A swordwing’s collection defines it as an individual. A typical swordwing favors one particular collectable, while crownwings keep multiple collections. Typical “collectables” include skulls, weapons, gems, magic items, books, monster eggs, and victims’ hearts.

Level 25 Soldier
Medium aberrant humanoid
XP 7,000
Initiative +21 Senses Perception +18; low-light vision
HP 234; Bloodied 117
AC 42; Fortitude 40, Reflex 38, Will 32
Speed 6, fly 10 (hover)
Melee Armblade (standard; at-will)
Reach 2; +30 vs. AC (+32 against a bloodied target); 2d6 + 9 damage (crit 2d6 + 21), and the target is marked until the end of the swordwing’s next turn; see also vicious opportunist.
Melee Sudden Strike (immediate reaction, when an adjacent enemy shifts; at-will)
The swordwing makes a melee basic attack against the enemy. The attack deals an extra 2d6 damage if it hits.
Vicious Opportunist
The swordwing’s opportunity attacks deal an extra 2d6 damage.
Alignment Evil
Languages Deep Speech
Skills Endurance +25, Stealth +24
Str 28 (+21)
Dex 24 (+19)
Wis 13 (+13)
Con 26 (+20)
Int 10 (+12)
Cha 10 (+12)

Swordwing Tactics
A swordwing swoops into battle and hacks enemies to pieces with its armblade, using its sudden strike power against those that try to shift away. The creature is incensed by the blood of its enemies and attacks bloodied foes with greater accuracy.

Level 26 Skirmisher (Leader)
Large aberrant humanoid
XP 9,000
Initiative +24 Senses Perception +20; low-light vision
HP 238; Bloodied 119
AC 40; Fortitude 36, Reflex 38, Will 32
Speed 6, fly 10 (hover); see also flyby attack
Melee Armblade (standard; at-will)
Reach 2; +31 vs. AC; 2d6 + 10 damage (crit 2d6 + 22) plus an extra 2d6 damage if the crownwing is flanking the target.
Melee Flyby Attack (standard; at-will)
The crownwing flies up to 10 squares and makes one melee basic attack at any point during that movement. The crownwing doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks when moving away from the target of the attack.
Ranged Mark of Death (standard; encounter)
Ranged 10; allies gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls and deal +10 damage against the target.
Alignment Evil
Languages Deep Speech
Skills Arcana +22, Endurance +24, Intimidate +21, Stealth +27
Str 30 (+23)
Dex 28 (+22)
Wis 15 (+15)
Con 22 (+19)
Int 18 (+17)
Cha 16 (+16)

Crownwing Tactics
The crownwing places its mark of death upon the foe it perceives as the most dangerous, then orders its underlings to attack that target while it takes out weaker prey using its armblade and flyby attack power.

Swordwing Lore
A character knows the following information with a successful Dungeoneering check.

DC 25: Swordwings are insectoid creatures that inhabit the Underdark. One of their arms ends in a scimitarlike blade, hence the name.

DC 30: Swordwings live in clusters of tall “nesting spires” built from resources chewed out of the surrounding environment. From a distance, these towers resemble stalactites or stalagmites made of grayish-white paper, but in truth the structures are as hard as stone.

Encounter Groups
Swordwings occasionally ally with other Underdark dwellers such as mind flayers, beholders, and gibbering orbs.

Level 25 Encounter (XP 37,000)
  • 4 swordwings (level 25 soldier)
  • 1 crownwing (level 26 skirmisher)
Level 29 Encounter (XP 76,000)
  • 3 swordwings (level 25 soldier)
  • 1 gibbering orb (level 27 solo controller)

Be sure to return Monday for a look at skill challenges!