View Full Version : [D&D 4e] Essentials Monsters to Standard 4e

2010-12-03, 08:05 PM
I just got a big book o' Essentials monsters for Hanukkah. Problem is, I play regular 4e and the monsters apparently use different rules. How can I convert them to balance regular 4e monsters?

Edit: Yeah, it's MV. Did the PC mechanics not change at all in Essentials (or at least not enough to create disparity)? If so, and the monsters still work against PHB-standard PCs, then it won't be a problem.

2010-12-03, 08:07 PM
You don't. The new monsters don't have "new" rules, they have "fixed" rules, at least as far as WOTC is concerned. The Monster Manual 3 changed the math around to work better for what they intended and the Monster Vault follows suit. You don't really need to change anything to use them. The changes were basically additional damage, better powers, less HP for solos. 4e characters of all kinds can fight them.

(At least I think you're talking about the Monster Vault.)

2010-12-03, 08:11 PM
Don't change them. The Monster Vault monsters are entirely better than MM 1 and 2 monsters, stats design wise.

(Note, I'm talking as a player.)

Mando Knight
2010-12-03, 09:51 PM
The reason Monster Vault was released was to update MM1 monsters to the MM3 math, which tends towards the big blowout brawls that players like, rather than the "padded sumo" fights that were complained about in 2008. Monsters hit harder (especially with their burst damage), but Solos in particular have a lot less HP, though more such monsters have increased resistance to lockdown effects such as daze or stun as well as packing enough additional or multitarget actions to avoid getting taken down by PC focus-fire before they can do anything.

In the end, both math-sets work out to roughly the same amount of give-and-take in a given encounter, but the new math brings each encounter to a close faster so you're not stuck to using Scorching Burst for ten turns in a row because that Ancient Dragon just won't die. What you don't want to do is give the new monsters the MM1 monsters' HP, or the MM1 monsters the new monsters' damage output and lockout resistance, or you'll end up with monsters like Tiamat, who's so powerful she's been stricken from the Compendium. Effectively immune to Stun and Daze (and most any (save ends) effect, unless you're really lucky), she gets 5 Standard and Immediate actions each round, has Fly 15 (hover) and Teleport 10 as two of her movement modes, and can dominate one player, knock another prone, and blind everyone who's stupid enough to stay in formation. And that's when she's already expended her encounter abilities and her Chromatic Breath hasn't recharged... which is basically a Close Burst 20 "Damn you all to the Nine Hells" in which she further reminds you that in some campaign settings, she controls part of the Nine. She's probably the first true Solo WotC had ever released for 4e... and her suggested encounter in the Draconomicon is "Yeah, go ahead and throw in one of her consorts... like an Ancient Red Dragon."

2010-12-03, 10:08 PM
Wow, I was just about to make a thread to ask about this book. So, since this thread is here:

Is this book still a good purchase for somebody who isn't getting any other books in the Essentials line? (I'm like the OP and will be avoiding Essentials. Monster Vault was the only one I thought might be useful to me.)

Are there any new monsters, or is it all updates for existing ones? Can anybody give an approximate ratio?

2010-12-03, 10:49 PM
The book is a good buy for anybody. It fixes a lot of the monsters in the MM1. I can't really give an approximate ratio as I don't own the book, I just skimmed it with a friend. I remember it was far and away more conversions of old monsters than new stuff, if anything new was there. I tend to get confused as to what monsters in 4e are in which book due to all the Noun Verb-er and Nounverb Verb-er names thrown around.

Another one that anybody could find useful is the Rules Compendium.

2010-12-04, 05:12 AM

I guess I'll hafta take a look at it, then. :smallsigh::smallamused: